Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Tracie P and I have so much to be thankful for this year.
And thank you for sharing our curiosity and our joy. We’ll see you next week…
Above: Dinuguan, pork offal and pork blood braised until melt-in-your-mouth, a classic Filipino dish as prepared by Chef Paul Qui in Austin at Qui.
I just traded emails with our good friend June Rodil who writes from Argentina that her family back in the Philippines is doing fine despite the challenges of cleaning up in the wake of the recent typhoon there.
Tracie P and I were glad to hear that. We’ve been checking in with all of our Filipino friends here in Texas. Some of them still haven’t had word yet from their families. (June, a leading Austin wine professional and the wine director at Qui, happens to be on a wine trip in Argentina.)
June also let me know that Qui — one of our favorite restaurants in Austin — will be donating proceeds from its Filipino dishes (like the Dinuguan, above) to the Philippine Red Cross (its website is updated regularly with news on the situation there).
It’s tough to get a reservation at Qui during Formula 1 week here in Austin. But once things calm down again next week, I’ll take the girls back for my monthly craving of Dinuguan.
Please keep our Filipino sisters and brothers in your prayers and thoughts…
Tracie P and I are heart-broken by the devastation in the Philippines (NY Times coverage).
And we are keeping our Filipino sisters and brothers in our hearts and prayers.
So far, our Filipino friends here in Texas have told us that with power and the network offline, there has been no communication from family members back home.
May G-d protect them.
Over the weekend, while Georgia P and I were visiting an Austin music shop, she saw this pink ukulele and just had to have it.
I’m such a pushover!
How could I say no?
It doesn’t stay in tune and its tone isn’t the best.
But it’s her “first guitar” and she loves it.
I’ll never forget my first guitar, the one I got after trading in my cello.
I was 10 years old. And I would spend hours and hours trying to learn how to play Beatles songs, sometimes until my fingers would bleed.
When I was an early teen, that guitar was a best friend in some tough times (when my family was being broken apart). It’s been a trusted companion ever since.
As I watch her pluck and strum her “first guitar,” I can only dream of where it will accompany her someday…
I love her so much.
Thanks to everyone for the tide of condolences, notes of courage!, solidarity, and warm wishes.
The thieves violated our home on Wednesday. Thanks to the support of our community, we had a new front door by dinnertime Thursday. By Saturday, the contractor had completed the finishing touches. And by dinnertime Saturday, our security system was back online.
On Sunday, we were still “discovering” stolen possessions and the talk of the burglary continued to dominate phone calls from loved ones and our conversation at the dinner table.
The photo of the pendant above comes from our jeweler, Monte Franzetti, whose office graciously sent it over with a bill of sale (for me to submit in our insurance claim).
It’s green agate and wasn’t terribly expensive. I gave it to Tracie P the day we came home after she gave birth to Lila Jane, our second daughter, in July.
Although I stayed offline this weekend (to spend much needed time with my family after a nearly two-week series of business trips), I did share Nicholas Kristof’s NY Times op/ed “Governing by Blackmail” on my Facebook. The post sparked a vibrant if not always civil discussion of the Affordable Care Act and the republicans’ current strategy to stymie it. Here’s the thread on my Facebook and the following is what I wrote in response.
Above: When our daughter Lila Jane was born ten weeks ago, no health care insurer in Texas (where we live) offered maternity care to small business owners like me who have to insure their families as private individuals. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the health care insurers will be forced to offer maternity coverage. The ACA also protects my daughers’ health rights by forcing insurers to stop discriminating against women. One person’s “lazy” is another person’s “common sense.”
I’m glad to see and welcome discussion here (although it would be great if we could keep the tone civil, especially in the light of the fact that this is a place for family and friendship).
I shared the link to Kristof’s op/ed because I think it’s a cogent argument for why the shut down is counter productive.
And as much as it may be a bitter pill to swallow, I have to say that it’s simply wrong to say that President Obama is causing the shutdown. A small contingent of extremist Republicans are the ones who set the shutdown into motion. That’s a fact.
It was so hard for me to be away from my girls over the last few weeks during the business trips that took me to California and Italy…
But this weekend, I logged off and spent our Saturday and Sunday just doing silly stuff and telling them how much I love them.
Georgia P is such a sweet girl and always has an “I love you” and a kiss for her mommy, daddy, and little sister Lila Jane (she already loves being a big sister!).
Georgia P, did I tell you that you are perfect? Perfect in every single way. I love you…
september 23, 2013
somewhere above the Atlantic ocean
my dearest daughters, you were both sleeping when I got up this morning and finished packing my bag for my business trip to Italy.
It was still dark and mommy’s eyes were still filled with sleep when I kissed her goodbye and Lila, you were sleeping on her chest.
Georgia, you were sleeping in your bed and nanna was asleep in your bedroom, too.
Yesterday, when I got back from my business trip and family visit in California (your grandma Judy’s 80th birthday party), we got to spend a few, precious, short hours together at home…
Mommy took some fun photos of both of you and I have them loaded on my phone so that I can look at them every time I feel the sharp pangs of missing you…
I said this to mommy the other day: leaving you at home for my trips makes me feel like the first times I had to leave her when she and I first fell in love and decided to devote our lives to each other and start a family… I’ll never forget the very first time we had to say goodbye… we held each other so tightly and the tears fell from my eyes… It was so hard to say goodbye then and it’s so hard to say goodbye now…
please know that I love you… I love you with all my heart and for eternity… and as much as I am not whole without you, the thought of when I’ll get back home to you and to mommy is what gives me strength in the sadness that comes with missing you so much…
please take good care of mommy while I’m gone… I’ll count the moments until I can get back to you…
love, your dad
Over the weekend, my family celebrated our mom’s 80th birthday with a big sit-down dinner party in La Jolla where I grew up.
That’s my mom, mamma Judy, circa 1940, with our cousin Sydney, who flew in for the occasion (as did many other cousins and old friends).
L’shanah tovah! Happy new year, everyone!
May your year be filled with joy and good health.
Tracie P and I have so much to be thankful for this year.
My goodness… Every time I feel stressed about money, work, or any of the headaches of life, I look at beautiful Tracie P and the gorgeous little girls she’s given our family and my heart bursts with immeasurable joy.
And I ask myself, borrowing a line from a favorite Kris Kristofferson song,
Why me Lord?
what have I ever done
to deserve even one
of the pleasures I’ve known?
Tell me Lord
what did I ever do
that was worth loving you
or the kindness you’ve shown?
My life’s journey has been such a trip… Sometimes I don’t really know how I got here but, man, I have so much to be grateful for and I love my family so very much…
Happy new year, everyone. Thanks for all the support and warm wishes and thoughts for our family this year.
Bless you all.
I’ll see you after the holiday…