TNG QOTD

May. 24th, 2007 04:08 pm
asher553: (Default)
"It'd be cool if Haight Street was always like it was back then, when people were all into disco an' stuff."
- TNG, age 11

TNG at 11

Dec. 12th, 2006 06:23 pm
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I couldn't be there for it this year, but The Next Generation celebrates his eleventh birthday this month. I sent him a card, a check, and one of those robotic dinosaurs ... think he'll like it. (Had to restrain myself from getting one for me.)

He's doing lots better in math, too. Hopefully I'll be able to get down to California to visit him within a few weeks.
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Last year, The Next Generation was having trouble with his math. But you'd never know that now, the way the kid is doing fractions and multiplication and division.

a63: So, you can see that 4/12 is the same as 1/3 ...
TNG: Oh, I get it ... fractions are kinda like division, huh?
a63 {bouncing up and down excitedly}: Yes!!!!! Fractions are EXACTLY the same as division, in fact it's just another name for division.

He's doing really well with multiplication and knows most of his times tables. When he doesn't know the answer from memory, he can work it out by counting off (e.g. for 6*5=30 he'll count "five, ten, fifteen ..." until he gets the answer). So this tells me he understands the concept too.

He did several long multiplication problems tonight from the workbook I got him - multiplying two- and three-digit numbers. He got every answer exactly right. (I checked his work with a calculator.) He even did more examples than I asked.

So I'm really really excited about this. He's mastering the concepts and the techniques, and he's got the enthusiasm for the subject. He ought to have a good year in school.

In SF ...

Aug. 20th, 2006 09:23 pm
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... and having a great visit with TNG. We went to the Cartoon Art Museum today (picture the proverbial kid in a candy store) and saw the Titanic exhibit at the Metreon. He's got a Titanic fascination so it was really a lucky find. Then I let him play a few decadent video games and took him back to his mom.

I moved out of the hotel (it was getting spendy) and I'm staying with an old friend. We're being couch potatoes and watching videos now.
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I'm back in Portland and yes, I promise I'm going to catch up on my F-list! But I couldn't let the day pass without posting a link to The Next Generation's web page!

Yes, it's true. We went out for sandwiches and talked about stuff ... then I broke out the computer and showed him a few things - geeky math stuff (how to graph the formula of "x squared") and internet news. Then he asked me about setting up an internet page, and I showed him how to log on to Blogger. I walked him through the blog setup, letting him choose his own title, username (ewok5), and blog template. Then I had him dictate a post - it's one of his elaborate stories. He seems to be in a pirate phase right now. He asked if he could learn to type, and I told him that assuredly he could (once he got the cast off his wrist) and recommended that he try to get into a typing class if it's offered in his school.

And so, with great pleasure, I present TNG's new website:
Atomic Movie.
asher553: (Default)
It's Monday afternoon, I've got two more nights in San Francisco. This is the first time I can remember really enjoying a visit to The City since moving to Portland. Relations with the ex-spouse are not as strained as the used to be. I'm staying way out on the beach, not in the middle of the city like I used to, so I'm not bothered by crowds/noise/traffic etc. (I like city life up to a point, but there's a threshold where a certain amount of crowding bothers me intensely.) The weather here has been phenomenal the whole time. I'm getting to meet up with some friends I've only known online previously. And my visits with The Next Generation are relaxing, fun, warm, and memorable.

Here's a superhero cartoon that TNG drew:
superhero Demon )
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I slept in this morning (for me, "sleeping in" means staying in bed after 6:30am) and then took a short walk out by the Cliff House. Should have taken photos ... I'll do that tomorrow. The weather in SF has been absolutely splendid the whole time I've been here. It's wonderful!

My hotel is across the street from a little park that I think extends out to the beach. Just to the north is the Sutro Baths area, San Francisco's one proper "ruin". The 38 Geary bus takes me the 15 or so blocks to The Next Generation's home.

My date with TNG was for 6pm this evening, so I took the morning to relax and study my Arabic and Persian in between taking in the fabulous view of the Pacific. This afternoon I met Cinnamon for lunch - I'll see her again tomorrow evening with some friends in the area. We had a great time talking and walking around.

I took TNG to Golden Gate park, he wanted to follow the walkway past the golf course to the beach and his mom hasn't taken him out there. So we went, and we had a nice little hike! We passed some of those pretty little pink flowers (no, I haven't the faintest idea what they're called) and went up to a place where the trail ended in a spectacular view of the Pacific. Then we headed back. TNG talked about how he'd like to have wings, and asked if people could fly with glider wings but no motors. I told him it was possible, but just barely. He's even more into the superhero concept than usual - I attribute this to his temporary incapacitation - and he drew (using his nondominant hand!) a superhero for the occasion.

On the way home I took some pictures of TNG - he looks wonderful - and I'll post these in a separate (friends) post. I may have to wait until tomorrow because I'm on the hotel dial-up now.
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Had a nice long visit with TNG yesterday. Bought him some art supplies on Haight - he is really talented artistically and I want to encourage that. Also bought myself some art goodies - markers, pencils, a couple of pads, and some really pretty art paper in different colors. I think it's the kind of stuff that might have appealed to Stephanie - but not to be living in the past, and more important, it appealed to ME. I really enjoyed the Haight visit, and perhaps one way I can let myself be enriched by her legacy is to appreciate that same kind of joy and playfulness in myself.

I'm posting from the Garden House Cafe next to the soon-to-close Albertson's on Clement, by Golden Gate Park. The DSL here is fabulous! Can't believe how fast the pages are loading.

Got a load of laundry in. Going to meet a friend for coffee in about an hour. Seeing the kid again tonight at 6.

Later ...
asher553: (Default)
... while Cade and Kitiara enjoy Portland!

I've managed to miss Alison Bechdel not once but twice: she was in San Francisco just before I arrived, and she's going to be in Portland while I'm here. Grrrr.

Alison's latest undertaking {wince} is a beautiful and evocative graphic memoir called "Fun Home". I managed to score a signed copy at a bookstore on Haight yesterday and devoured most of it last night and this morning. I can't recommend it highly enough. I'll have more to write soon.

I'm staying out in the Sutro area - way out in the boonies, City-wise. Got to travel 10+ blocks just to get to a restaurant or a convenience store. The Seal Rock Inn has a restaurant, but it's really more of a diner and only serves breakfast and lunch. I was really tired and REALLY hungry after my trip in, and didn't have the chance to get anything to eat while hanging out with Daniel yesterday ... finally grabbed a very lean salmon teriyaki dinner before heading back to the SRI. I slept, but not very well, 'cuz I was still on a semi-empty stomach. Got a big omelette this morning - my first full meal in a day and a half - and crashed in my room for an hour.

When I get a chance to sit down and write at leisure, I'll fill you in some more on my history in San Francisco. It touches on my own family history somewhat, and relates indirectly to Bechdel's "Fun Home".

I'm posting from the Art Bistro, but the butch isn't here today.
asher553: (Default)
So, I got to hang out with the kid for about an hour. If you're on my f-list, you can see a couple of pictures in the preceding post. TNG was in a great mood, which got even better after I bought him an ice cream cone at the Ben & Jerry's on Haight and Ashbury.

I'm staying at the Seal Rock Inn out on Point Lobos Avenue, near ... well, it's not near anything, really, but it's not far from the beach, and more to the point it's near TNG's home which will make it easy to visit.

Right now I'm at the coffee shop on 33rd and Irving, which is just around the corner from TNG and his mom. This is my place to hang out when I visit him. The coffee shop has good pastries, great coffee, wireless access, and a really cute Chinese butch behind the counter.

But despite all these allurements, I am now going to tear myself away and go find some beer.

Later. ...
asher553: (Default)
(And for those of you who are wondering, yes, I can actually see my navel.)

I wish I had [livejournal.com profile] indigo_black's attitude about being single. Mostly I just sit around moping "poor me, nobody loves me" blah blah blah.

[livejournal.com profile] heyfoureyes reminds me that I still haven't bought Alison Bechdel's "Fun House" and I need to!

I bought a ball to play catch with The Next Generation when I go to visit, but it won't get used: TNG broke his wrist this afternoon, the poor kid. Apparently it was a tree-climbing accident. He's taking it like a trooper: "I'm not sane right now," he says, "they gave me drugs that made me crazy", and he was definitely, as they say, "feeling no pain". Hope he doesn't have too much pain when the drugs wear off. But even allowing for the drugs, he sounded like he was keeping a good attitude. He'll be in the cast for six weeks. So it's looking like a lot of movie trips, museum trips, and sedate walks in the park.

Damn, what a crappy way to start your summer vacation.

I spent most of last week at a horrible data-entry gig. Glad that's over! I think I'd enjoy numerical data entry, but this was alphanumeric combined with filing. Yuk. Tomorrow I have an interview with a new agency.

Got to hang out with Michael Wednesday evening, and again at a party at his house Saturday night.

Meanwhile, I am filling the idle hours learning Arabic and Persian. For Arabic I'm starting with the Living Language program - it's new, and looks like a good technique. Plus it's on CD so I can save it right to the iPod. I'll supplement that with a couple of other MSA courses after I've completed a few more lessons, then I'll move on to Alkalesi's Modern Iraqi Arabic. (Iraqi Arabic is somewhat different from MSA - for instance, they have a whole different set of interrogatives, like "shunu" instead of "maa" for "what".) For Persian I'm starting with the Pimsleur cassettes - it's really slow and my inner language geek says "this is too easy!" but the goal is to drill you over and over again on simple sentence structure so that you get really proficient. And I think that's a good way to start. I've got more Persian resources, too, for when I'm finished with Pimsleur. And maybe I can practice with Ghazal the next time she calls. (I used to have her phone number, but she had to change it after the latest round of death threats, now she doesn't give it out to anybody!)
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Spent this evening with TNG watching "A Wrinkle in Time" on the video. The little guy made an admirable effort to follow it, but I think it was a little old for him. At 10 (tomorrow's his b'day) he is very bright but he is geared to fast-paced cartoons more than character-based SF drama. Even so, he was watching the last 45 minutes or so pretty intently - the scenes of Camazotz were very impressive visually.

I was glad TNG got to hear Meg deliver her classic line, "Like and equal are not the same!" When I read the book as a kid, I found this very profound; now as an adult, even more so. This is the great truth that undermines the big lie of totalitarianism.

We do not have to be "alike" to be of equal value. On the contrary, our distinct and unique pieces of the great dream enhance one another's worth. I don't expect The Next Generation to be a clone of me, and I don't want him to be. I want him to be who he is, to be who he can become.
asher553: (Default)
... the weather here is beautiful ... enjoyed last night's visit with The Next Generation ... but I miss Portland already ...

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