Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Ian travels a lot for work.  Sometimes we get to tag along. Last week he had a conference in Garmisch, so Nicholas and I trained down over a couple days he had off school.

Our train left at midnight. So, you know, McDonalds.

We each had our own row. Which should have
meant a nice sleep, but alas, 6 hours is still

Free Guitar Hero!

Pretty Garmisch

More pretty Garmisch

No skiing or snowboarding.
Just some serious sledding.
First, the 12-minute gondola up the
Austrian Zugspitz.

Dinner at the restaurant at the top.

Thankfully we sat right next to the fire.

Because we were Soaked Through!

Getting set for our last run down.

All the sleds waiting for people to stop eating.

Ice covered face.  Even without face planting
(which he did), the sleds shot up waves of snow
that coated our entire beings.
At some points, it prevented seeing, feeling our faces,
and breathing.
Fun stuff on a mountain with edges.

Clever way to keep a fire going in a tree trunk.

On the way home we stopped in Munich to
see some old friends from Chennai.
This lovely memorial to The King of Pop
was just kind of... there.

Hi Woodards!

Ready to get home.

Enjoy the snow while we can. Frankfurt doesn't
get much.

A year ago...

Our family has a bet going. If the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup, we all get matching tattoos. Since the Cup hasn't come our way yet, the bet continues. Year after year after disappointing year.

Last year we moved a step closer when Katherine drafted a design for our (impending *cross fingers*) big win.

Let's go Caps! C A P S, Caps Caps, Caps!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I see a lot of "Why?" and a shake of the head from people who didn't get the march.

Actually, the Why? was followed by a simplistic explanation that usually boiled down to "there is no message" or "it's just about abortions."

I marched yesterday in Frankfurt, Germany, my girls marched yesterday in Savannah, Georgia, and Washington DC. Each of us marched for very different reasons, and none of us marched about abortions.

And that was the point.

This March was for women's rights.

And Human Rights.

And Gun Regulations.

And clean water.

And reproductive choices.

And health care.

And immigration reform.

And safety in schools and on college campuses.

And LGBTQ equality.


What people don't seem to understand or accept is that the tying theme to this whole thing wasn't a particular politically recognized issue.  It was that WOMEN care. WOMEN organized this.  WOMEN matter. WOMEN have a voice, and the ability to make change.  Women of all shapes and sizes and color and religion and origin and orientation.

Women around the world marched.

Do you think the women marching in Nairobi were out there because of Planned Parenthood?  They marched for equal pay for equal work. And so. much. more.

Do you think the women in Glasgow marched for abortion rights? Abortion is legal there and not under threat. They marched against the new American leader and his voiced opinions that are sexist and racist. And so. much. more.

Do you think the women in Antigua marched because pink hats are cute? They marched for climate change science and protecting the earth's resources.  And so. much. more.

Do you think women in Chennai marched because of gun violence? Guns are not their primary issue, rather being able to walk down the street freely and be in public spaces without fear. #IWillGoOut

Don't try to pigeonhole these 3 million women and their supporters around the globe.

From every background, they marched for what matters to them... education for their children, healthcare for their pre-existing conditions, air to breathe, the arts, safety when walking alone.

And so much more.

I saw somewhere else the question, why march at all? You're just whining and nothing has been lost.

Aside from the obvious fallacy of that statement (Trump is already dismantling the ACA, and disintegrating federal support for our LGBTQ family and climate change science) I'll still add on my own "yet."

If you see a storm brewing, do you wait until the clouds have broken before you take precautions with your rain gear and your home?

If you see someone sidling up to your car with a crowbar, do you wait until the windows are smashed and the radio gone before you call the police?

Do you allow babysteps of erosion to your rights and freedoms to "see what happens" or do you take someone at their word that they will whittle away your way of life and the freedoms you have and tell them No right from the beginning?

Do you watch a war brewing from afar, watch it take out a person on your left and a person on your right, and simply wait for it to be your turn? Or do you look at those people, lock arms and say to the aggressor "they're with me.. and if you try to come after me, they have my back."

Women united are a powerful force.

Women brought their daughters to show them what millions of voices together sound like.

Women brought their sons to show them that human rights belong to everyone.

Women brought their husbands and boyfriends and uncles and grandfathers, to stand together in unity through our diversity.

To those who none of this applies, yeah, I get how it sounds like whining.

If you've never been, and more importantly never will be, a victim of sexual assault, it's pretty easy to dismiss the concerns of others, and the talk of the current president perhaps does seem quaint and harmless.

If you're not a race minority or an immigrant and there's no chance you'll ever be mistaken for one and treated as such by an administration that doesn't like them and wants them gone, then of course it seems reasonable to build that wall and enact harsh immigrant laws.

If you've never lost anyone to gun violence.

Or suicide.

Or drugs.

Or a disease that should be cured with drugs that are available but not affordable.

Well, there's really no way to explain how you should care about that. I don't wish for anyone to experience it, but there are many who don't get why something matters until it specifically happens to them.

The women's march was about people and their own situations, but more than that it was people recognizing the greater world.  That not everything is about me, even if some of it is about me. Healthy women in Uganda, female political representation in Brazil, clean rivers in India, gay rights in Jordan.

It all plays a part in who we are as humans.

As Americans.

As women.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

So in awe - Representation

Frankfurt - Michele & Ian

Savannah - Becca

Washington DC - Katherine

So proud of my family.  Wish the boys had come along, but they'll find their social justice calling in time. My girls... go out and take on the world.  Stand up for what you know is right - love for all.

"Green Day" or "I Think I Can Hear Again"

There are a few groups I really like, and Green Day is one of them. Thankfully Mannheim is only an hour away.

Billie Joe Armstrong is a fun entertainer and played a mix of all their albums. The audience participation, besides the typical "wave your hands in the air" included bringing up someone to sing a song who then stage dove into the crowd, and another person came up to play on a guitar - that he then gifted to her. The best part though was the final song, a quasi-acoustic version of just him and audience singing "Time of Your Life."

I think even Jonathon enjoyed it.