Monday, April 30, 2007

Play date #1


Dad & Mom,

I love you both dearly. You know that, right? Good ... then know that I mean this in all Christian love: you guys can be a little boring. So I've decided to take matters into my own little hands.

You are officially invited to a family play date, this Saturday, at 4:30 p.m. You bring the stroller and your wallets, I'll bring the fun.

Love ya,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Where have the Johnsons been?

Where have the Johnsons been? Well, the short answer is: the kitchen. Last week I exchanged my keyboard and digital camera for some power tools and ceramic tile. After all, I had been a homeowner for over six months, but I had yet to undertake a large improvement project. And so I embarked on a major rite of passage previously trekked by many 30-something males with little to no expertise in construction. Several discoveries were made during this (very) long weekend. First off, two years living in a developing country did not magically transform me into someone with great aptitude for manual labor. Secondly, when estimating the timeline for replacing your kitchen floor, arrive at a logical prediction (three days) and then multiply times two (six days). Third, when hiring a carpenter to teach you everything about kitchen tile, make certain that he is very kind, very patient, very bearded and very prone to listen to 80s and 90s pop music while working. At any rate, the results of another man's expertise and my own best efforts can be seen below. Our little home is now far friendlier to those who crawl rather than walk...although Sam cannot quite manage either just yet. He did seem to smile whenever he heard a power tool, though; start them young, that's what I say.




Monday, April 09, 2007

"He nice, the Jesus."

Over the weekend Amber, Sam and myself celebrated Easter with my parents in the bustling metropolis of Woodburn, Indiana. In commemoration of this momentous occasion, I thought you might appreciate (above) a photo of little Samuel dressed up for church and (below) a hillarious David Sedaris excerpt. Sedaris' essay "Jesus Shaves" describes his very rudimentary French course and the beginner students' attempts to explain Easter using only their limited French vocabulary. Enjoy the reading and enjoy some extra Sam photos by following this link:



The Moroccan student interrupted, shouting, "Excuse me, but what's an Easter?"

It would seem that despite having grown up in a Muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," she said. "I have no idea what you people are talking about."

The teacher called on the rest of us to explain.

The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. "It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus...oh s#*t." She faltered and her fellow country-man came to her aid.

"He call his self Jesus and then he be die one day on two...morsels of...lumber."

The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm.

"He die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father."

"He weared of himself the long hair and after he die, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples."

"He nice, the Jesus."

"He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today."

Part of the problem had to do with vocabulary. Simple nouns such as cross and resurrection were beyond our grasp, let alone such a complicated reflexive phrases as "to give of yourself your only begotten son." Faced with the challenge of explaining the cornerstone of Christianity, we did what any self-respecting group of people might do. We talked about food instead.

"Easter is a party for to eat of the lamb," the Italian nanny explained. "One too may eat of the chocolate."

"And who brings the chocolate?" the teacher asked.

I knew the word, so I raised my hand, saying, "The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate."

"A rabbit?" The teacher, assuming I'd used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wriggling them as though they were ears. "You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?"

"Well, sure," I said. "He come in the night when one sleep on bed. Which a hand he have a basket and foods."

The teacher sighed and shook her head. As far as she was concerned, I had just explained everything wrong with my country. "No, no," she said. "Here in
France the chocolate is brought by a big bell that flies in from Rome."

I called for a time-out. "But how do the bell know where you live?"

"Well," she said, "how does a rabbit?"

It was a decent point, but at least a rabbit has eyes.

- David Sedaris, "Me Talk Pretty One Day"