Saturday, April 29, 2006

Low gas prices should be a Constitutional Right

No, just kidding.

With all the complaining recently about high gas prices, you'd think the Constitution includes a guarantee of $1.50 per gallon gas - isn't that somewhere in the Bill of Rights?

If you think you got it bad, check out this map of gas prices from around the country. I guess we should all move to Natrona Wyoming. Of course we'd have to put up with some minor inconviences, like the nearest grocery store being 100 miles down the road - but, hey, it's mostly empty logging roads!

But hey, someone's getting rich, right? Well, yes, yes they are. But we act like the oil companies owe us one - like, all we do, after all - is use their product everyday in just about everything they do, the least they could is take one for the team, right?

Ok, I don't pretend to have the answer to this problem, but here's my 2 cents (which is now about a $2.91 thanks to artificially inflated opinions, damn oil companies). Here's what I remember from my microeconomics class (or was it macro?) - The price of a product is determined by how much there is of the product (supply) and how much people want to buy that product (demand). Demand goes up and supply stays the same = price goes up.

So - you want lower gas prices? It seems to me we're not going to lower demand for oil products in this country (all aboard the last bus to Natrona County!!) - or around the rest of the world (hey, we're talking to you, China and India, quit trying to modernize!)

But what about the supply of oil or other sources of energy? There's hasn't been an oil refinery built in the country since the 1970s. We refuse to build new nuclear power plants. And when we refuse to build wind farms off pretty places, like Martha's Vinyard, or drill for oil in not-so pretty places, like northern Alaska - we're making the choice to stay the course of rising gas prices.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, 3-Mile Island, those poor moose, the Mother Earth and all that... in the meantime, how's that boycott of Exxon working?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Simplifying: Sort of

I realize now, after nearly a year of blogging, that it was somewhat ambitious of us to start up two blogs with the expectation of regular posting. Lately I've been thinking that we should blend 'jackjoy' and '1place' into one blog, because, really, the journey of parenting is as much, if not more, interesting than the our individual/married life journies. Of course, it's even more ambitious to figure out how to do that exactly without losing all of our posts from both blogs over the last year. And, we don't want to lose any posts- I also realized recently that is essentially Jack's baby book. So, one of my goals this summer is to figure out how to blend and/or upgrade our blog without losing any posts. In the meantime, we'll be posting life updates- including Jack updates- on this blog.

I've included two pictures of Jack below to let the 'blending begin.' Jack & I met Ed at BU yesterday to watch their men's soccer play Boston College. I had just purchased sunglasses after suffering an oncoming glare headache (the kind of headache I embrace because it means warm sun). Jack loves sunglasses and wanted to keep them on as long as possible.

Ed will tell you that as sports psychologist, his job is not "on stage" (e.g. on the field with coaches), but "off stage," so he does his best to be invisible at games. Jack didn't help much. The kid flirted with the girls behind us and then walked around the track near the field, pretending to throw and kick some imaginary ball, yelling, "oh! NO! each time. He also felt it necessary to blend the bear crawl with some form of toddler push-up, some exercise routine no doubt establised at day care to prepare the kids for their inevitable future in the army. When the game was over, Jack stood up straight, and properly clapped as if an opera had ended. We then went out to dinner where Jack, holding his hands together in a kind of prayer/more signal, exclaimed a loud and clear "MMMMMmmmmm" when we let him have a drink of our diet coke. We've banned "soda" from the house.
Now there's no glare on the soccer ball... Posted by Picasa
Summer is on its way! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hindsight with Time Travel is sometimes 20/20

There were times I took soccer coaching way too seriously - like there was a little piece of me on the line each time the game kicked off. Oh, I think at some level I always knew this about me (hell, my friends nicknamed my "Coco" once for the way I'd jump off the bench at a near-goal or rub my head when things on the field looked bleak). Of course, you always realize things like this after-the-fact. Oh, I shouldn't have worried so much about that, or dang, I wasted a lot of time thinking about what was it I was freaking out about? For me, it was coaching soccer.

I had one of these moments yesterday evening while watching BU play Northeastern in soccer. I work with the team, "doing sport psych", and see almost a dozen of the boys individually - they won, which is a good thing for the sport psychologist, because 1) you genuinely want the people your working with to be successful and 2) and this is self-serving, there's always the outside chance your work had a tiny, tiny part in their success.

Anyway, my point - well, I don't really have one. We watched an interesting, and if you can get past the all the geeky-tech talk in the first 10 minutes, a pretty good film about time travel. Ok, ok, I know, I know, sounds fishy, but this is a little different - Primer is a movie about 2 friends who accidently find a way to go back in time. The movie's got a more realistic feel to it and it feels like you're watching, than let's say, Being John Malkovich. Credit the filmmaker here, you get the sense this could actually happen. So it's more philosophical than sci-fi - What would you do if you could go back - play the Lotto? Convince Katie Holmes to not go on that first date with Tom? Give yourself advice for the future? Who's to say you'd listen?

In the end, we're always the ones that get in our way the most. That's all I got to say 'bout that - see the film.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I blog on Wednesdays

Today you can call me "Even-Steven" - the soda machine ate my dollar this morning while I was trying to get change for the bus, but I got it back when I didn't have to pay to take the bus back to campus today. Apparently the slot where you put your folded up dollar bill was too full, so the bus driver just waved me onto the bus. Nice.

It snowed today. Nothing big, but the flakes were big and wet. I liked the 70 degree weather last week, but if it wants to be cooler for a little while, I'll take that too. I know it's going to get hot and sticky out by July, so I'll save my complaining about that for later.

It was nice to see Jake out here this last weekend. Seeing a friend in a completely different context is like when characters on a TV show go to a completely different location. It's the same, but different, you know? Kind of like the Brady Bunch filmed on location in Hawaii. Don't worry, no one found an ancient Voodoo necklace or anything like that. Still, it was fun to play the oh-we're-East-Coast-folk-now-watch-us-easily-navigate-this-rotary game with someone from out of town.

I interviewed at a clinic that specializes in treating eating disorders. I felt ok about every answer I gave (in psych-interviews always work in the following words: informs, empathy, contextual, systemic) and I felt surprisingly calm throughout the interview. They want an intern at least 4 days a week this fall - which I could squeeze in with my class schedule, but it wouldn't work with my teaching fellowship (which pays and gives me and Jack medical insurance). So I couldn't give the lady a commitment to being there - kind of deflated the interview, now that I think about it. At the end, I felt like we were just going-through-the-motions. Reminded me of a Seinfeld episode where Elaine, realizing her interview hasn't gone well, asks, "...there's no way I'm getting this job, is there?" Without skipping a beat, the interviewer responds, "No, there isn't."

There are greater tragedies in life I suppose.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Jake, Jack, (blankie,) and Ed hang out.  Posted by Picasa

Can it be?

One of Ed's colleagues from Kentwood HS came to visit this last weekend. He was our first visitor, and even though he was here to visit Harvard Law School, we were thrilled to have a friend in our home. Jake's first impression of Boston was that "at least 50 people die a day in car-related accidents." I wasn't there, but Ed told me about how on their drive around the town, some old woman had double-parked her car with the trunk open. There was some kind of commercial truck behind her, unable to get around the *barely* two lane space of Massachusetts Ave. At reaching his limit, he got out of his truck, slammed the old lady's trunk, got back into his truck, lay on the horn and yelled something to the effect of "get the F**K out of my way. To her credit, and most likely a Boston native, the old lady just sat in the driver's seat, eyes locked forward and hands gripping the wheel, waiting tensely for who ever she was supposed to be picking up.

I'm sad I missed it. I've yet to see such a display of driving rage. Jake also couldn't get over the rotaries; like we believed when we first got here, he is certain the rotaries cause multiple deaths. And, you'd think so, but, and I went on to explain, the rotaries are a wonderful kind of controlled chaos. In fact, I said, the driving philosophy in Boston is somewhat libertarian: we don't really follow the "rules" set by the government, but instead get to know what works best at every intersection, rotary, neighborhood, and then develop a kind of pride in "knowing" the area. And, it really doesn't take that long to learn. Terror is an wonderful kickstart to the learning curve.

But, do you realize what was happening? I was defending Boston. In particular, I was defending the thing that makes me the craziest about Boston: the driving. And, here I was, defending it. Maybe it's because spring really is nice; like autumn, the weather isn't extreme, but plain lovely. Maybe it's because it's nearly been a year and we might actually be getting used to it here. Whatever, it was surprising to be sticking up for Boston.

It was also great having Jake here. Jack loved him and Ed made some fantastic dinners. Such a nice mix-up to the regular chaotic routine.