Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Stuff Challenge - Budgies

Getting rid of stuff. Like pets. I know this isn't really fair since I need to get rid of the birds and they aren't technically mine but it was my idea to get them and I tend to look after them so in some ways they are mine and I do like them.

Garrett is too small to truly appreciate what he needs to do to look after them. They are truly beautiful creatures. They are lively and remind us of spring (but not at night when they sleep!). Lots of good but they can't come to Princeton. Anyone interested?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No Pregnancy Pact

In my recent class with some parents here at St. Andrew's the issue of teenage imitation of movies came up. Specifically, the "Juno" effect of teens wanting to get pregnant like her (as if getting pregnant would make them as witty and funny and loved as she was portrayed). One parent mentioned the Gloucester pact which apparently didn't even exist.

Reminds me of the Lost Children of Rockdale County piece that Frontline did a number of years ago. Seems to me that the excitement about "rainbow parties" was significantly exaggerated, just as the "pregnancy pact" was exaggerated. The generalizations from a small sample to a national epidemic makes for great Oprah but very bad actual decisions regarding adolescent sexual behaviour.

I wish that I could find a comment from Mark Regnerus on this topic as his book Forbidden Fruit was very revealing and statistically significant.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I love this campaign because vocation and young people's decisions about their lives are so near and dear to me. Definitely will be making an appearance in any vocation PowerPoint I make.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Young Swimming Phenom's Sister

SI had a bit about young athletes. Garrett at the moment is not particularly athletic. It doesn't stress me out. He can swim and likes people. I'm not going to ask for much more. I automatically think of him when it comes to sports because he is my only child old enough to participate.

What I found interesting about the article however was its exclusive focus on the parents and the young phenom. What of siblings? If Garrett becomes a world class swimmer (not likely but let's just go with that) what does that mean for Sage? We spend all of our time and money on Garrett, how could it not change our relationship with our other child? Or the relationship that they have?

All parents must maintain some balance but when something like professional sports enters the picture, I'm sure that messes things up. The article didn't strike me as particularly profound but it was worth reading.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Illegal downloading

Not entirely sure what the implications of this but I find it fascinating that while people could get the music for free via download they chose to it. I'd be interested in the demographic. How many young people, say under 25, actually like Radiohead enough to download their album? The big news to me seems to be that a band that has been around for 15 years (Pablo Honey came out in 1993) and likely has a fan base largely made up of 30-40 year olds (initial fans likely being 15 to 25 when they first heard "Creep") still embraced a newer technology more significantly than expected. I can imagine the Jonas Brothers as a hit but not as much Radiohead.

For the record, I downloaded it from the website.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Moving and stuff

Amidst the chaos of the past few days Vivian and I have really started to pack for the move to Princeton. We are significantly downsizing - almost 2000 square feet less space in Princeton than in Brampton. Vivian is the tosser and I'm the hoarder in the family and so I've been challenged to get rid of stuff. I'm starting to get into it however.

I'm partly inspired by this guy. He wants to reduce his personal things to 100 objects. He has some rules for himself since it is his own challenge. Fair enough. I'm contemplating making a similar challenge for my self.

He defines personal very sensibly - stuff that isn't communally used or owned. I can go for that.

He has a memorabilia clause where he can keep family keepsakes etc. in two storage boxes in the garage. I have letters etc. and some other keepsakes that I don't use often but would like to keep. I'll create boxes as well but the challenge will be deciding what is really valuable enough to be a keepsake.

The book clause is essential for me. I'm not only an avid reader but I make my living by reading. I've significantly reduced the books we are taking to Princeton but there is no way it will get under 100. I'd be lucky if it was under 800. Not personal but professional items.

He has tools. I have some but I don't consider them personal. I use them to work around the house. Not personal.

He has trains. I have vinyl records. Hundreds of them. They are going to a friend's house and we'll see how I do without them for four years.

Finally, he groups things together sometimes eg. socks. Socks are not a huge issue for me but I'll consider some things in groups.

More posts to follow.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Co-habitation: Once ok but twice is bad

Goodstein also points to this USA Today article on co-habitation.

As a minister I often see people who come into my office wanting to get married who share the same address. This stresses me out and I mention it to them because the data I've seen before indicates higher divorce rates for co habitaters. According to the article my stress is only partly founded. It depends on what kind of co habitater you are that matters. Women who live only with their eventual husband have a better chance of not divorcing than those who have serially co habitated and those who don't co habitate at all. Those who serially co habitate don't do well so the question I should ask is, "How many times have you co habitated" not "Have you co habitated."

I will need to get the study because I've got to wonder why this is true. I'm assuming it has to do with commitment levels. Those who are engaged are just starting their marriage early by co habitating. This has some historical precedent where marriage was a two step process that involved the marital bed and some sort of public recognition. Engaged co habitaters are simply consummating their marriage privately before making the public pronouncement. Serial co habitaters on the other hand, could be "testing" each other out with the option of either leaving or staying. When it doesn't "work" the first time they leave and go on to the next "test" until someone finally passes. Then, a few years later, it isn't working and so with a clearly established pattern, they leave the relationship to find one more fulfilling elsewhere. That's my guess but I'll have to find out.