Don’t call us, we’ll call you

March 31, 2011

Thesis Thursday: My life’s work

Today I want to show you something astounding.  If it doesn’t seem astounding at first, wait for it . . .

This is pretty basic, right?  We have good evidence from many different studies that suggests that impulsivity (defined as initiating action without adequate forethought) is a key factor in incarceration.

But it begs the question, doesn’t it . . . why are some people more impulsive than others, and thus more likely to get into trouble with the law?

Well, of course, we don’t really know for sure, but we have some strong evidence that it is at least partly “genetic,” which makes sense if you consider that most incarcerated people have family members that have been or are incarcerated as well.  But mostly I want to focus on three other possible causes beyond the “genetic” (genetics, by the way, are far more complicated than we sometimes make them out to be, which is why I like to put it in quotes like it’s something of a quaint idiom).

Intrauterine hypoxia occurs when a fetus has an inadequate oxygen supply.  Although there are many possible causes, cigarette smoking is one of the most preventable causes.  And cigarette smoking is strongly correlated with lower income and education levels.

Maternal stress during pregnancy . . . there’s still a long way to go with this line of research, but there is some fascinating stuff already.  The bottom line is that we have growing evidence that maternal stress and anxiety during pregnancy impacts not only an infant’s functioning but has effects well into childhood.  For example, one study found that “prenatal anxiety was significantly associated with behavioral regulation problems, impulsivity, and attentional difficulties” in 8-year-old children.

The ACE study is another interesting one: in short, they found that exposure to childhood trauma was significantly related to a host of medical problems in later life.  Other studies support the conclusion that adverse childhood experiences actually alter kids’ chemistry at the epigenetic level.  So, for example, some kids’ “fight-or-flight” response is altered in such a way that they stay in a “fight” mode, which appears to be tied to impulsivity.  Not surprisingly, adverse childhood experiences are correlated with lower income levels as well.

I wish I had loads more time to write and talk about this, but since it is actually peripheral to my thesis, I really really don’t.  But if you possibly have time, I highly recommend two recent RadioWest (a production of the Salt Lake NPR station) shows: The Poverty Clinic, which talks in depth about this New Yorker piece, and The Social Animal, in which David Brooks discusses his recent book.  (These podcast links may expire because it seems that the website replaces them with new shows as they occur, but the article and book will remain available.)  I don’t have time to go into detail about how these particular radio shows tie in, but trust me, they do and are fascinating to boot!

While all this is peripheral to my actual thesis and the work that needs to be done on it (preferably today since, you know, it’s Thesis Thursday), it is in no way peripheral to my life’s work.  So what do I find so astounding about all this?  Why do I feel compelled to spread it?  Here’s two take-aways I hope you’ll consider:

First, if you are one of the personally-hoping-to-change-the-world camp, this should alert you to the fact that it is FREAKING HARD.  (Or so one of my undergraduate students told me she realized yesterday after class.)  The situation is endlessly complex . . . there’s societal, community, family, genetic, epigenetic, and even “maternal womb environment” factors.  And the conclusion that many people are coming to is that we can’t impact poverty in such a piecemeal manner — better education!  therapy!  immunizations!  after-school programs!  parenting classes!  Not that any one person can be an expert in everything, but we need to think holistically and expansively and interdisciplinarily.  We need to be looking for gaps that our program or effort is not filling, and try to connect the people we serve with some other person/program that could fill it.

Second, when I work with undergrads who are encountering incarcerated individuals for the first time (either in person or through our data or in previously-published studies), I see them struggle with the same thing over and over again: I feel sorry for them, but they must pay for their mistakes.  It’s sad that their families have to suffer, but they made the choice themselves.  Justice. . . but mercy?  Mercy, yes, but what about justice? It can be this endless back-and-forth for some of them, which I think is a natural and legitimate struggle.  But I also think it’s the wrong thing to focus on.  What I try to get across — with varying degrees of success — is that they are not personally responsible for society’s law and order, they are not personally knowledgeable about or involved in any individual’s legal case.  And because they don’t bear that responsiblity, they are completely free to choose only compassion for them.  And indeed, when we realize just how many difficult circumstances most of them have had to endure, how the deck is often stacked against them in both obvious and subtle ways, it’s likely that no degree of compassion would be too great to extend.  This may be true for all of humanity, but I promise, it’s true for every single incarcerated person I have ever met.

March 29, 2011

On soapboxes (and hypocrisy)

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , , , , — llcall @ 11:44 pm

If you’ve ever had the good fortune of being in a Sunday School or Elder’s Quorum (male-only Sunday meeting) lesson with Neal, you know that he has a SOAPBOX ISSUE.  I put that all in caps because it’s such a soapbox issue that he will search endlessly for a way to work it in regardless of how peripherally related to the lesson material it is.

And that issue is . . . busyness.  You’d be amazed at how many ways he can bring that topic into lessons on the Word of Wisdom (our law of health) or baptism.  No doubt it’s a joy for the teachers.

A little background: when I met Neal, I was working egregiously long hours for very little pay at a small non-profit.  It was taking a toll on my health and my sanity, but I cared so deeply about the cause of helping disadvantaged youth that I couldn’t bring myself to move on.  Until I met Neal, this long-haired, college drop-out who worked about 10 hours per week — just enough to pay for a tiny nook (and when I say nook, I mean nook, as there were only three walls to it so it in no way resembled an actual bedroom) in an old Georgetown rowhouse.  On our second date (don’t pay any attention to Neal’s protests that it was not a date, it was), I was talking about my work dilemmas and he said, You should just quit and relax.  And so I did.

Of course, people gotta eat, so I often took on odd jobs (a combination of consulting work, grant-writing, and babysitting) to make ends meet.  But for the most part, I actually did work on my conceptual art and read a lot.  The concept of a simpler life, opting out of the slippery slope of busyness, was one of the chief commonalities that brought Neal and I together — it was not an extremely common orientation in a major metropolitan area like D.C.

Which is why the fact that lately our calendar looks like this every week is causing no small amount of stress in our lives:

It’s not exactly how we planned things, but as I’ve mentioned before, when you live on an irregular income, you have to take work opportunities when they arise . . . the success of “the project” unexpectedly led to additional consulting work; Neal’s usual SAT prep course got atypically large this term (after we thought a school-scheduling issue was going to derail the course completely); and of course, all these things occurred after I had already committed to my work on campus this semester.

Of course, Neal has no idea how complicated our calendar actually is — no doubt he would blow a fuse and end up catatonic if he did.  So every week I painstakingly write a simplified version on our little whiteboard.  All the while, counting the days until August when, God willing, we’ll both graduate and re-exert control over our mushrooming schedule.

March 26, 2011

Pictures for the Weekend: Candy striper?

Filed under: Family, Pictures for the Weekend — llcall @ 11:50 pm

I can’t quite decide what this hand-me-down from Aunt Robin (courtesy of Neal’s mom, Lorie, packing it away all these years) reminds me of . . . there’s a sort of quaint, old-fashioned feel to it.  My first thought was candy striper, although the stripes are not nearly as obvious in these pictures.  Regardless, she looks adorable in it!

This is a face we’re seeing a lot these days.  It’s a multi-purpose face, appropriate for 1) giving adorable kisses, 2) blowing her nose (in conjunction with a tissue — we’re not animals around here), and 3) getting very excited, accompanied by panting.

She’s getting cuter. every. day.  How is that even possible?

March 25, 2011

Don’t take this the wrong way . . .

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , — llcall @ 8:00 pm

but you should also watch this video.  My friend Sarah pointed me to it after my drunk walking post.  Not that I condone actual drunken babies, but fake drunken babies, that’s just good comedy.

Now, remember: toddlers (or adults) totally hammered = bad.  Drawing parallels between typical toddler behavior and drunkenness = hilarity.

Breastfeeding, part II

At this point, Breastfeeding, part I was a laughably long time ago.  But since I wrote most of this post in mid-February, I thought it was time to finish it up.  Gotta git ‘er done, you know.

I thought my part two was going to be more reflective about my personal experiences, kind of a summation to the journey that was breastfeeding for me.  But I find that my emotions are running very high as I approach total weaning, and those emotions are not adequately translating into words yet.  This no doubt ensures that there will be a part three somewhere down the line.

But in the meantime, there was a recent [February, remember] firestorm related to breastfeeding and I don’t mind saying that I got a wee bit ticked over it.  It started with the IRS announcing that breastfeeding expenses (pumps, storage containers, etc.) would now be tax-deductible because they are considered a medical expense.  I liked this article discussing the issue for two reasons.  First, I totally agree that “cheap and easy” is not the most appropriate way to describe breastfeeding — and anyone who uses “easy” in particular has either never done it, doesn’t remember what those first two or three months (at least) are like, or is one of the lucky few to have a MIRACULOUSLY smooth run with it.  Second, I like the note that it ends on: even if I fully support every mom’s right to make that choice for herself and her baby (and I do), I still think that breastfeeding is a public health issue and should be treated as such.

Within days of the IRS announcement, Michelle Obama was flamed for saying that she supports making it easier for mothers to breastfeed their babies.  I’m not a die-hard Obama fan and I didn’t vote for her husband, but it really, really annoys me to see politicians turning breastfeeding into something highly politicized.  But even that I could live with it, if the attacks were at least factually based.  But oh-my-freaking-goodness, I cannot stand political rhetoric that is completely based in fiction, which is exactly what Michele Bachmann of the Tea Party was spreading after the IRS changes came down:

To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies? You want to talk about the nanny state? I think you just got a new definition of the nanny state.

Now, I’m not a careful observer of Michele Bachmann, so I’m not making statements about her beyond this issue.  But I was seriously disturbed by her statement because it indicates to me that either 1) she has no idea what a tax deduction actually is (in which case, she doesn’t belong in the House of Representatives where she might actually have some influence over tax policy — if you don’t get Taxes 101, you don’t belong in the upper division) or 2) she is far too willing to distort the truth for political gain (if you want to read a more detailed fact-check of her statement, or learn what a tax deduction is — and then share that critical info with Ms. Bachmann — you can check out this Politifact article).

Another aspect of this whole back-and-forth about the IRS changes that annoyed me was a comment from a legal fellow at the Family Research Council (referenced in the same Washington Post article).  She said:

Giving tax breaks for breast pumps helps only those moms who are working outside the home and does nothing for us stay-at-home moms.

This comment I just find perplexing.  It makes me wonder how many stay-at-home breastfeeding moms she knows.  Because I’m one, and I bought a breast pump (and it wasn’t cheap, although I got a smoking hot deal on it — ask me about it if you live in Utah and are in the market for one!) and indeed, it was my daily companion for more than a year even though I never worked outside the home for more than an hour or two at a time.  And I know I’m not alone because virtually every breastfeeding mom I know also bought, rented, or otherwise used a breast pump at some point.  To me, a breast pump tax deduction in no way benefits only those working outside the home.  And even if it did, I would not be bothered by that.  Being a mom is hard stuff in any configuration, and I’m supportive of measures that make that just a little bit easier for moms as well as supporting the health of infants.

Oh guys, can you tell I get all angsty and worked-up about these issues?  It’s more than a month later and I still get annoyed re-reading these comments (although when I was first talking to people about this, I recall repeatedly using the word asinine so you’ve at least been spared that by a month-long delay).  It is a delicate thing to simultaneously say, I respect other mothers’ breastfeeding/formula-feeding choices AND I think breastfeeding is an important public health issue that deserves respect and support in the public sphere.  But that is exactly where I stand: I don’t want to make the decision for every mother and child in their own unique circumstances, but I also want to shout-out far and wide that our nation’s babies will be healthier (indeed, at least one well-regarded study estimates that 900 babies per year would be saved if 90% of American women breastfeed for the first six months of life) if we encourage and support breastfeeding in every way we can.

March 24, 2011

Thesis Thursday: “I did a lot I’m proud of”

Since I’m no longer “stymied,” I wanted to tell you a little bit more about Jordan,* the tuckpointer extraordinaire.  But first, a little shout-out to my great friend Kirsten, the party responsible for transcribing what is undoubtedly the-hardest-interview-to-transcribe-in-the-history-of-interviews!  You think I’m exaggerating?  I’ve got the transcription right in front of me, I’m just reviewing it as part of the analysis process, and I still have to listen to it at 80% speed.  Jordan is one insanely fast-talker.

His interview was also one of my longest because he had a lot to say about a lot of topics.  And let me tell you, it is good stuff, fascinating stuff.  It would take weeks to share all the gems he offered about his life and background and incarceration.  So today I want to share with you his answer to just one of my questions — So thinking about your life overall, can you think of what have been significant experiences for you? I asked this question to every single one of the men I interviewed, and the answers were somewhat predictable.  Becoming a father; finding out you have a brother you never knew; death of a close relative.  Basically, family-related . . . I think it’s safe to say that for most of us our most significant experiences are in the context of family.  Which is why what he described for me was so, well, unexpected.

  • I did, while I did, enjoyed doing, was my cousin, he had a driving, I am trying to put this right, ummm, transportation for the disabled.  Which is for people who are mentally disabled, some type of mental dysfunction about themselves.  So, I drove for him for the summer, for like 4 or 5 months, so I was getting to know these other type of people that I’ve never been around in my life, like, Leslie, Leslie was cool.  She was blind, but she was very, very independent, know what I’m sayin, very independent.  I had to pick her up, take her to the head entry place where they, go to their little classes and stuff like that.  It was her and then there was another Caucasian female, she used to have me, she used to try to flirt with me.  [laughs] You know what I’m sayin, she had a speech impairment, and she walked, you know what I’m sayin, but other than that, she wasn’t dumb, from far, because, when I’m driving, you, and then I picked up this other dude, named Dave, white dude, he was a wild dude too.  Then I had a sister.  She was cool too, she really tried to flirt.  [chuckles]  But you know what I’m sayin, everyday it was always something different with them cause it was like, what you want to listen to?  Everybody got something different to listen to.  And then when you got this white dude named Dave, you know what I’m sayin, he kinda special, but he listened to the lyrics so good, he like, yea, I want to listen to P. Diddy, I wanna… but if you heard him talking you were like, come on, you don’t know nothing about no P. Diddy, man.  You’re like, man, put on P. Diddy, and like, you all agree to that?  And then you got Leslie like, nah, I wanna listen to some Christian music, alright, alright.  And you hear the other one like, no, I wanna listen to some Mariah Carey or I want to listen to some type of rap, you know what I’m sayin.  And I’m like, hold up man, what was that?  Lean with it, pop, lean with it, you know what I’m sayin, that song came on the radio, you shoulda seen them in the car trying to do the dance.  And I was like God, ya’ll, serious, y’all killing me.  But they voted me the best driver though, they had, it was cool because the people at the head injury place when they met me they were like, him be very interesting, everybody liked me, you know what I’m sayin.  When I bring them, get ’em there on time, they love it when they there on time. So they like, we get there, they go tell the teacher all about me. J, J, they called me J, they supposed to call me like, Mr. McDowell, and I’m like, man, call me J, man, you know what I’m sayin.  We gonna kick it, you dig, so it was cool.  So that was the best time of my life right there. Being able to go pick them up in the morning, you know what I’m sayin, and get them there, where they need to be at because it was very important to them.  They love going there, they showing their independency, you know what I’m sayin.  Okay, just because I’m mentally disabled doesn’t mean, you know what I’m sayin, I’m a lost cause.  And they wasn’t.  A lot of people look at these people like, uuuh, that’s retarded, and hold up man, I bet they probably smarter than you.  Bet you that.  So, I learned from all of that right there.
  • Then I was doing road-side assistance after that. He got another bid cause we ended up losing that, that transportation with them because me, I didn’t have no license. And one day I ran out of gas, right there in front of the police, right there, he was on his way doing a, his lights came on, and I ain’t even see him, he come from on the shoulder, on the shoulder somewhere, you know what I’m sayin, flying. And my car just ran out of gas and I went over to the shoulder side and here he comes flying, almost running into the back of us, so… I had a blind white lady in the car with me, uh, two more other white Caucasian kids in there, disabled as well, then this black girl, like she disabled. He was like, hold up, what the hell you doing with these peoples in the car with you? I’m like, man, I’m going right across the street over here. Honestly, I’m not supposed to be driving, I’m the auto mechanic, but the people, the guy who’s sposed to been coming to pick them up and it was what me and my cousin had already thought of. If I ever get pulled over, I’m the auto mechanic and I’m just dropping them off. See, he was trying to keep me out of trouble just as well as I was trying to stay out of trouble. But I was a good driver, you know what I’m sayin, that was the only mess up I had through our whole thing. I was there on time; I got them there on time, you know what I’m sayin, and when it was time to go pick em up and take em back home, I got em back home on time. Everything, it was never Mr. McDowell late, he did this, he did that. None of the kids, they didn’t complain about me. I was the top one. So, I’ma like okay, we lost it though because what I did, that incident right there.
  • So the next thing he got up with was road-side assistance. I aced that cause I love…I help all peoples anyway, so that right there was a blessing as well. I did road-side assistance with no driver license, I kept my girl with me, she did the book work, the paper work, you know what I’m sayin, while I got the people’s cars fixed for them or got it started. I helped peoples on the side of the highway while it’s raining, female with 4 or 5 kids in the car, and they were stuck. And then I tried to helped this white lady, I did help her. Know what I’m sayin, she got hysterical. Said her phone was dead, it was raining outside, car stopped, I stopped to help her and she think I’m trying to rob her and I’m like, nah, here go my cell phone. I put my cell phone on top of the car and walked away from the car. I said, just use the cell phone and call for your ride or whatever. And I walked, jumped in the car and drove halfway down the highway, and she was like, [chuckles] stopped there and got the phone and used it and she like, put it where like when she got out the car, she waved me back to come back to the car and stuff, so when I came back she like, oh, thank you, thank you. I’m like it ain’t nothing, I ain’t doing nothing, is your people on the way he is on the way, the tow truck people are on their way, so I got my phone back and sat in the car until the tow truck people came and then I left with asking for nothing. That’s…I did that for road-side assistance. Man, I did a lot, you know what I’m sayin, I’m proud of.

I can’t tell you how many times I have remembered this interview and this particular monologue.  There are so many beautiful things in it . . . I’m sure I couldn’t do it justice to try and point them all out.  This guy is a people person to the core; he wants to help people, he wants to put them at ease, he wants to learn from them, and teach them a lesson or two along the way, often about judging by appearances.  What I hope for him is that after he served his time (he was on his way to state prison shortly after our interview), he found new ways to help people (preferably that don’t involve driving since it may be some time before he has a driver’s license :)).

*As always, the names have been changed.

Drunk walking, and other critical information

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 5:02 am

Last week was a good week for my blog; it got a lot of love.  This week, not so much.  But that probably means I am doing good, productive things.  Probably.

I have taken some adorable videos of Addison lately; I had to since Brandon and his sweet girlfriend Katie (whom I’ve never met but am quite certain she is at least as nice as Brandon) once again sent some cute gifts for Addison’s birthday.  Silly Brandon, I told him I’ll have to keep embarrassing him via the blog as long as he keeps being so darn generous.  He’s really vying for the favorite uncle label — all my brother, the blood relative, does is question if she’s bow-legged and marvel at her ginormous teeth.

Have I mentioned that, by the way?  Addison has two large, pretty-much adult-size front teeth.  They are the cutest thing in the world!  But huge.  Seriously.

But back to the video thing . . . it seems that I have to pay to post videos on here.  I think . . . I haven’t explored it too closely.  Anyone know about WordPress and videos?

Since I can’t post the videos of Addison’s adorable walking, which by the way has exploded (in a good way) over the last week, I was trying to find a youtube clip that would give you the gist.  Unfortunately, there are no youtube clips (or perhaps Dan Carter could find one since he is so good at the internet that he solved my mystery last week — thanks again!) of the scene in the movie E. T. where E. T. gets drunk off beer.  Picture that, except with a shorter neck and fingers and less visible ribs.

March 18, 2011

Two things you should know . . .

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 2:41 am

First, when I bought the $4 “obstructed view” ticket to Persuasion, I wasn’t sure if that was a mistake (regular tickets for last night were $8 because it was a preview/dress rehearsal night).  The ticket seller informed me that the reason they had half-price tickets is that from my location I might be able to see people in the wings or prop movers working, and it might distract me and reduce my enjoyment of the performance.  Well, let me tell you, I will always ask about “obstructed view” tickets from now on!  My seats were great and I maybe saw someone or something about 3 times in the whole performance.  Totally worth it . . . as was going to see the play in general; I didn’t love everything about this adaptation but it was funny and totally enjoyable.

Second, this might be one of the cutest, funniest videos EVER.  Check it out, and watch it to the end!

March 17, 2011

Thesis Thursday: Stymied . . .

Filed under: Incarceration research — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 12:00 pm

Can you help a sister out?  I need to pool some collective knowledge here.

I’m reviewing the transcript of one of my interviews — one of my favorites (which I say about 9 out of 12 of them, so take it for what it’s worth) — and although there’s tons of good stuff in there, it has been majorly frustrating: Start with a fast-talker.  Mix in the fact that he likes to talk for minutes at a time without breaks, seamlessly moving from one topic to the next.  Top it off with his own unique pronunciations.  And I am getting seriously stuck.

Especially on this one particular word, which is, in fact, critical because he’s telling me what he’s planning to do with the rest of his life once he’s released from jail.  And for the life of me, I can’t figure out what he’s saying, nor remember what I must have thought he was saying during the actual interview.  Ah, the joys of qualitative data collection.

So although you can’t listen to the actual recording, I’m counting on someone with a bright idea.  Everyone loves a good detective game, right?

Here’s what he said, with the word/words in question highlighted:

  • So when I met the guy, he was cool, know what I’m saying, so, as time prevailed or whatever, we got to know each other, I worked with him, and now I do top point (?), he taught me how to do brick mason and stuff.
  • I was supposed to open up my own store, start up my own ten point (?) this year. That $1500 dollars I messed up, that was for my truck and my tools straight up, so.
  • I already told ya. I’m starting my own ten point (?). You want to see jumps, construction, and ten pointing (?) [Note: This reference is really funny because he says it in an exaggerated way, like it’s a superpower or something; makes me smile every time.], handyman. I wanna be self-employed, that ten point (?) off the ground, solid. Where I could become my own contractor, where you call me and okay, okay, that’s what you need done, well, I’ll send these two guys over there and take care of that, your fee will be so and so. Within 48 hours, the job would be done at your suspense, so… I’m going to be uh, got to have it, man. Just bout all, my plans are simple, easy. I tell you, you could do this tomorrow, in two months for real, I could get a loan, if I get a loan, I could get the ten point (?) business started and then get the apartments at the same time, cause they sell a dollar.It’s easy, man, ten point (?) I could make $1500 dollars on a job in ten point (?). Get paid $20 dollars an hour.
  • I’m not thinking about specific amounts. I’m thinking about first go, I need to get me a truck, first though I have to get my license, get a truck, get some tools, some ten point (?) tools. Then once I reach that right there I can go ahead and call the people that I know that could get me jobs I could do to make money. . . . So if I start out with my ten point (?) first, get off on my feet real good on that, financially wise I be taken care of. Once I get financially stable then I can move to the next step and that is to get the building. Because I already know where to go to get the dry wall, get certain contracts for home improvement. They give you so much material for the low, low, I’m like cool with that. I just got to start. Get my card out and start a ten pointer (?), a union worker now. That is my whole thing right now that is off the case. So.
  • I like working with my hands, so why not do construction work or something, then I found myself doing more construction work. I’ll be driving down the street and see someone working on the house, I stop and ask do you need some help. I won’t charge much. You give me $150 bucks and I’ll help you. Serious, all right come on. This white dude he was ten pointing (?) on top of this building, it was an old building. He had a nice little had to go on it and I told him, I do that too, man. How much you charge, and I like, man you give me like $10 an hour and I wouldn’t even trip. He said I got something better. I’ll pay you $15 dollars an hour if you can start right now. Bam, let’s go. I was in my clean clothes and everything. My tennis shoes and I had to go, I dirtied up all these. No but, you don’t got a lot of people like that. A lot of people want things easy, really easy. I seen more dudes in here with soft hands and nice pedicure hands than I have ever seen in my life. What do you do up in Champaign, what do you all do, nothing. Man, I can’t do it. I got to work. I have to, I have to do something constructive with my time, if I don’t I will be in trouble. I will be in trouble, but I’ve got to do something constructive. I work on cars, I work on winter-time, I learned how to ten point (?) in the winter time. Cold up there on the ladder, chisel those bricks. You try chiseling bricks, it is cold, my hands froze. Got to get it done, so.

So what have we gathered?  It involves bricks and chiseling.  You do it, at least in part, on a roof.  It can be a noun, a verb, an adjective, a gerund.  At different points, it sounds like any or all of these:

  • ten point
  • tum point
  • tumpointing
  • top point
  • tough point
  • toughpin

Anyone know anything about brick masonry/construction?

(And Brandon, feel free to step in and save the day since you were with me on this one!  But no pressure . . . okay, maybe a little pressure.)

I just bought tickets . . .

Filed under: Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 1:00 am

to see this:

in about 30 minutes.

Am I taking this have fun thing a little too far?  Perhaps.  But I remembered that I used to have fun being spontaneous, so really, I had no choice.

(At least spontaneity was cheap since an “obstructed view” is only $4.)

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