### Surprise!

(By Erin)

About two months ago, John marked off last night for "special date night" and I was advised to ask no further questions. As I'm typically the activity/babysitter/household planner for our family... I had some serious questions! But I rolled with it - fought every urge to pry for hints, sleuth out possibilities and just enjoy not being in "charge". All I knew was that I should wear comfortable shoes and pack light.

With tremendous gratitude, we left the boys with Nana and made our way to the airport. I learned when we arrived that we were bound for OAK... Our old stomping grounds! But we hopped aboard BART and before I knew it we were in Union square in San Francisco. We'd fallen in love in this very place almost 13 years ago. Being in the Bay Area brings such strong and happy memories, it didn't matter to me what else John had planned for the night.

But there was more. I suspected we may be heading off to hear some live music, as was our pre-children activity of choice. We dropped our bags in a sweet boutique hotel and found our way to Olive, a favorite spot by the Great American Music Hall (where we saw so many fabulous shows 10+ years ago). Ultimate martinis with goat-cheese-stuffed olives and pomme frittes made for two happy Johnsons! Next up was an incredible sidewalk dinner at Absinthe. Our waitress inadvertently let the cat out of the bag in asking, "are you heading to the 10pm comedy show?" Yippee!!! John stopped her quickly enough to allow further speculation in my part. We giddily devoured a Lyonnaise salad and steamed mussels and clams--sopping up all the wine sauce with that crusty fresh baked bread.

It wasn't until we made our way into Davies Symphony Hall that I learned we were about to see Louis CK Live! He's been one of our favorite comedians for such a long time. We probably quote his quips on parenting a few times a week. It's remarkable to hear him do all new material. We were in nonstop hysterics for the next two hours.
And I haven't stopped smiling since.

Best date, EVAH!!!

HAZEL + IVY said…
That sounds like SO MUCH FUN! What a great surprise.

### On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

### Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out

It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that.
As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I…

### The Force is strong with this one...

Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1."

I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35."

Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out

x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1)

So $6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48$. That's actually pretty handy!

You can see it in the image above. Look at the elements perpendicular to the diagonal. There's 48 bracketing 49, 35 bracketing 36, etc... After a bit more thought we…