Friday, June 20, 2014


June 20, 2014

When your child dies from cancer,  you focus moment to moment.  You might have been told it was coming, but you didn't believe it.

You wonder if you can I bear to move the sneakers away from the backdoor where she always kicked them off.  What about facing the grocery aisle with the favorite Del-Dixie baby dill pickles or green, NOT PURPLE, Gatorade?

Moment to moment turns into day to day.  Can I face Mother's Day?  What about Halloween with no costumes?  How do you work up to putting the Christmas ornaments on the tree?

You heal and you grow and you love your child who isn't there.  Then one day you read that the average age of a child lost to cancer is 8.  Erin almost made it to 12!

You also read what that means.  71 YEARS OF LOST LIFE WHEN A CHILD DIES OF CANCER.

So here I sit on Erin's 17th birthday, no longer struggling with the moment to moment or even the day to day, but wondering what we lost over the last five years--classes, friends, drivers' ed, soccer, prom.  And wondering even more what the world lost by her missing the next six and a half decades.

Folks, we have to do better.  We can't just go throwing decades of life away, when there is a chance to invest in more effective treatments, and it would cost much less than many of the things we currently spend on as a nation.  #StepUp.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Go Spurs Go!

June 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

And because it is Monday, your featured Map (states that support the Spurs v. states that support the Heat):

As you can see, this morning, slightly over half the states, and probably a much larger than 50% portion of the basketball watching country woke up knowing they backed the wrong team.

Go Spurs Go!

Walter, Davis, and I won't take complete credit for the Spurs win last night or for the series, but we did our part.

Starting with hand-made, silk-screened fan gear (thanks Davis!):

We were also disciplined and dutiful.  We followed out game day rituals, eating the right foods and getting the right attitudes on.

Game time was even more crucial.  Walter watched alone, so he could bring his laser focus to bear at critical moments.  

The other five of us (me, Davis, Teddy, Willie, and Lyndon) became role players channeling whoever was on the floor at the time.  Teddy makes an incredible Patty Mills, and her encouragement on his three-point shooting last night almost required umbrellas all around to protect us from the shots that were raining down.   And if you think that Manu Ginobili could have racked that monster dunk to ignite the Spurs recovery without channeling Willie's inner fierceness, you may be mistaken.  Lyndon was best at BoBo Diaw, always on the move and helping everyone out.

Davis and I did bench squats during time outs and commercial breaks just to demonstrate our mind was right (did you notice the bad start?  Davis was distracted by his cell phone and some lively texting exchanges and did not do the requisite exercises.  I know Pop was relieved when Davis remembered his role on the team and got caught up on his squats.)

Walter wouldn't let us join him upstairs until things were completely in hand.  We tried with three minutes remaining, but he made us wait a couple of possessions more, JUST TO BE SAFE.  In the end, we all howled together, except for Lyndon who, like Kawhi Leonard, may not have learned how to celebrate yet.  He's young.  He'll figure it out.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Map It. . . Monday

June 9, 2014

I know the world (or at least the subset of the world that entertains itself with social media and online photo sharing) has special days of the week.  Who doesn't want to spice up their otherwise mundane Thursdays with embarrassing or personally revealing pictures of themselves from years past, a la Throw Back Thursday?  Until I looked it up, (#hashtag for every day of the week), I didn't actually know that I could have been chronicling this blog and my Facebook and twitter accounts in a much more systematic way all these years.

But considering that I'm a pretty poor photographer and that I haven't historically carried a camera NOR REMEMBERED TO USE IT IF I LUGGED IT ALONG in the first place, I don't have a huge ready stock of photos to share.  Did I mention that my elegant and precise system of filing all my hard copy, pre-digital photos involves packing boxes and my personal promise that one day I was going to scan, label, add snappy captions, and place them all in acid-free photo albums, EMPHASIS ON "ONE DAY"?

But I do like the idea of a little structure (Katherine Luquette, stop snickering!) and I am crazy in love with maps, so I am implementing Map-It-Monday.  Here's the first installment, which is a visualization of the ratio of bars to grocery stores in the United States.  It's easy to see Wisconsin.  Which Texas dot do you think represents Brazos County?

You can explore other Nathan Yau's similar maps of other countries here: