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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Work Sucks

Well, not entirely. Found out a co-worker is going to be a dad and that's pretty neat. But we're publishing a lot of books and we're really short-handed. So I've been doing everything from redesigning the Web site to boxing books and labeling boxes. Today I finalized a contract for translation of one of our books into Korean, and an agreement to use Amazon on our own site for fulfillment. I'm also working on publishing the book of a very good photographer. I'm going to submit a proposal from Shaun O'Boyle. I can't believe he's not published yet. I think this can be very good. I also boxed and shipped about 500 books. And spent two hours listening to a bunch of publishers debate DRM while adding 6 books to a Print on Demand program.

And I love my job, really I do, so please don't get me wrong. But work has been so consuming recently. Man, I'm beat.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Me, My Kids, and Disney

So I was folding the laundry when I came across the Dora sweatshirt. Used to be Aubrey's and now it's Jo's. Jo seems to be falling for the Dora. By the way, if you haven't seen this Dora parody, you should. Aubrey went through a Dora stage when she was Jo's age. All part of the life-cycle. Those first brands we really identify with. And I don't begrudge the companies with these brands for what they do. Dora uses pretty current thinking in early education. It's stories actually help kids develop those primary thinking and learning skills. And hey, I spend most of my day trying to promote the publisher I work for, often emphasizing our brand. Can't be a hypocrite.

But boy they really squeeze that brand. And they so seductive plan out associating every step of development with a successive product line. Princess goes to fairies goes to pets goes to prostitute, as best I can tell.

Anyway, I suppose I've come to terms with it. If Jo wants to fixate on a sweatshirt that features a product, I'm not going to get all hung up on it. Unless it's like NASCAR, or WWF, or some other religion. At least it's not exposing her midriff.

Friday, November 23, 2007

More on that...

Okay, so where was grandma from? No where, it seems. No where in particular but also everywhere. Same's true of my grandfather. But that angle is a little different.

Like anyone with a mother and father, I had two grandfathers. Well, two I remember. See, both of my grandmothers did something unusual for women of their time, they divorced. My paternal grandmother may have done it twice. My maternal grandmother re-married twice, but only once because of divorce. The third marriage was after her second husband died. Her second husband was who I thought my grandfather was for most of my childhood. But we weren't related by blood. Same's true on my father's side. The man I knew as my grandfather wasn't related to me by blood. Both were only related by love. And, both were Sicilian. And even with a name like Anthony Sanfilippo, I'm technically not Italian.

So just what am I?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So, where you from?

My paternal grandmother, Mary, told me she was from Timişoara-Bukova. Here's Timişoara. Bukova is a bit more complex. Here's what I've figured out. It's not next to Timişoara.

Here are the clues. If you had asked her what country she was from she would usually say Austria-Hungary. (Always with the hyphens, this one. How quintessentially American.) What she would be referring to there were the countries as they were known before WWI.
Timişoara is in what is now know as Romania, but for a brief period before the war it was part of Hungary. And once she left it or just before, it had been taken over by, or merged with Austria. And the murder of the king of Austria would be the impetus for that terrible war which would lead to that second terrible war.

When I asked her ethnicity she would sometimes say Hungarian, sometimes say Czech, sometimes Slovak, sometimes Romani. Sometimes she would say, we were gypsies or bohemians. In the context of all of these seemingly conflicting answers, those last two make the most sense. The Roma are gypsies. Current thinking is that the Roma came originally from India probably as early as the 5th century, but gypsies these days are on almost every continent and extend throughout Europe. They steal your wallet by throwing their babies at you to distract you. Or they steal your baby by throwing a wallet at you to distract you. They are hated, persecuted, and nomadic. If you want to be from several states or countries simultaneously, being a gypsy is one of the best ways to do it. They even have a wheel on their flag.
Seems they're most comfortable on the move.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Down Go Boom

I felt 43 yesterday.

They wanted to go outside and play. I needed to stack wood. Then we colored on the driveway. Then Aubrey suggested we play hide and seek.

Part one went smoothly enough. I counted to ten and they both hid right in front of me under the Lil' Tykes picnic table. I did the whole routine.

Are they in the cellar?

No, they're not in the cellar?

Are they in the beer cooler?

No, they're not in the beer cooler.

I often wonder if I'm making a serious mistake when we do this. Am I just making excellent suggestions they wouldn't have thought of without my big mouth.

Are they in the old refrigerator in the gully? Noo.

Are they in the abandoned well on the far end of the property?

So after a couple more empty guesses, I lifted the picnic table and accused, there they are.

Alright. Now my turn to hide. Count to ten Aubrey. 1, 3, 2, 4...

Then I fell.

Alright first I have to admit that my hands were full. I'm a multi-tasker and with two little kids I'm always picking up. So I had a pair of pants, used diaper, sippy cup, near empty beer can, granola bar wrapper, and a straw already in my hands. I realized her ten could only entail eight digits so I turned to find a hiding spot. Then I tripped over the hose guard. The tiny fence that keeps the hose out of the flowers.

I went straight down into the driveway. Smashed my elbows, knee, and head. Ouch.

I had to just sit for about seven minutes.

Dad, are you okay? Yeah, I think so. Maybe.

I took a spill twice on my bike when I first got it a couple of weeks ago. But this was special. God, it hurt.

I told a colleague this morning that I felt all of my 43. I was grateful I didn't break my hip.

I still hurt today.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Hello and good luck

Today we welcome a new member of the clan. Grace Rose Yorks arrived at 10:08 this morning, pointy headed and gorgeous. We're so happy for Toph and Anne, and our girls already love your girl. Smells BFF already.

We're also thinking about our neighbor Tom. Tom had his bone marrow transplant yesterday. Good luck Tom. We hope all is well and you're recovering.

The force of life never ceases to astonish me. Cut the grass this morning. Dumped the clippings into the compost and turned it. Upon turning it I found this amazing half eaten cob. Looked like the work of one of my girls. Eyes bigger than their stomach. What amazed me was almost every kernel that remained, more than half the cob, had sprouted. Thirty or so little lives all thrusting forth toward the sun. Go life! Go.

Hi, Grace. A wise guy once said:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”

Go with Grace, and be kind.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dorothy and Charlotte

Today is the 50th anniversary of a phenomenal photograph and an extraordinary event. Today is the day that Dorothy went to school.

Dorothy Counts

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Amature blogger, professional father

Yeah, this whole bog thing is kind of not happening. But I'm copping to the fact that for every post I don't make, I'm spending that time, rather than being ultra clever about the series of tubes, or politics, or technology, or copyright, or cooking, or entertainment, or whatever... I'm spending that time cracking up over or cracking up my kids.

I swear I'll do more of this someday. I do have opinions. Really I do. But I don't have a lot of time. And the time I do have, I tend to enjoy more with high pitched giggles bouncing about the house.

Maybe in the mornings, before the others wake, I can work it into my routine. But thus far, the giggles seem a better deal.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


So I haven't really posted anything in a while. Not so good at this "blog" thing.

Hang on someone's crying. Back in a moment. Probably.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


I had tried this spiffy blog hosting service that would have let me use our own URL and had crazy storage, yada yada. But, free is something we can better afford.

Kate lost her job a couple of weeks ago. Really, though that sounds bad, it's definitely a good thing, it was a toxic relationship. But since she was under contract, it's possible they could sue us. Meh. Even if they do, it's worth it to get her out of there. She also kept a journal so if they take us to court, at least we have some documentation.

Anyway, fortunately I just got a raise, and a promotion. It doesn't come near to replacing her income, but since she no longer has a 45 minute commute each way, and since we've cut day care to a couple of days a week, we should survive just fine.

So, here's the new journal.