23 October 2009

Milestones, Myths and Naked Ladies

You have probably imagined me trapped beneath something very very heavy, unable to reach my keyboard to tweet for help? Or banned from any more screen-time until I have finished my chores? or perhaps, rather less plausibly, snowed under at work and too busy to blog?

The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the earth by harold.lloyd
Well the truth is I temporarily mislaid my blogging mojo1

Look, it can happen to anyone perhaps it's old age, perhaps its something else.

Not that I haven't been busy, mind; I have been. And not devoid of bloggable experiences either: why, just in the last three weeks or so I have:
- seen my eldest daughter pass two lifetime milestones
- tackled, in the den, a whole barrel of naked ladies
- been present at the birth-throes of a new, national, political party
- unaccountably failed to award a clear penalty try, and
- seen, in the flesh, but failed to photograph, an animal I've previously believed was entirely mythical.

You're wondering about the naked ladies,aren't you?  Sigh, I guess every blog gets the readership it deserves.

Well anyway it was like this: red centre broke clean through on his own 22 and sprinted all the way to the line pursued by two blue players and a puffing, sweaty referee. Just before he got to the line red was brought down by a tackle round the neck, hit the deck and managed to ground the ball for a try.

Well, he sort of grounded it. Sort of fumbled it a bit as well. Indeed, someone2 idly watching from the touchline just might have go the impression he dropped it in the course of being nastily high tackled as he crossed the line.. . I did award a try, mind, but .... not a penalty one....... and I did speak crossly to blue 9 (it's always blue 9) but hmmm... the try I awarded was in the corner and the conversion was missed and.....

Anyway the naked ladies...  it was Mrs Botogol's idea actually, but to us both, it was totally normal for a large party like that. However it turned out that, despite all the parties the eldest Botogol child and her ilk have attended in the last few years, this was the first time they had seen anything like it.  Mrs Botogol and I were quietly chuffed, but surprised - in our day everyone always got a barrel in.

You are wondering about the milestone? Well if there is a lifetime milestone more important than the passing of a driving test I have yet to hear of it3. We have a chauffeur!  Yes, it does make you feel old when your children drive... but hey! the family finally has a long-term designated driver!  Mrs Botogol and I didn't waste any time cashing in: we arranged to be picked up and fetched home from a dinner party last Saturday night, at 11:30. This was an opportunity too good to miss..
- at 11:25 we texted to say we weren't ready yet, could she give us an hour
- at 11:45 we texted to say was it OK if she also took our friend home on the way? Wandsworth, actually, but, look, her bf has gone off without her, so
We spared her the snogging in the back seat.

But we did regale our sober driver with incredible stories of a mythical beast. A beast not just glimpsed... but watched for several minutes in the back garden of our hosts; for we saw last Saturday night, in a suburban street near Kingston, an animal that even Outside Jane herself has never seen, an animal I was convinced was a masive hoax, an invention of the BBC...smaller than a great dane, bigger than a fox....

...a badger.

No, the elder Botogol daughter didn't believe us either.

1  I retraced my steps. 
2 someone like, for example, red coach.
3 except, well,, the birth of your first child would be one...a milestone which, in the case of Mrs Botogol and I, happened eighteen years ago this month.


Burgin Streetman said...

old age. humph.

outside-jane said...

Did you really see a badger?! I'm not entirely convinced they exist either. But if you assure me that you have *personally* seen one... perhaps I will concede... perhaps!

Botogol said...

I am still toying with thepossibility that it was an amnitronic remote-controlled badger....

M4GD said...

Well, isn’t that lovely? Welcome back! And without any further ado here is your warm welcome in the form of long winded comments:-)
And get this - It ain’t a myth!

**The loss of blogging mojo:
I don’t remember who wrote this I think it may be Joseph Campbell: ”Writer’s block results from too much head. Cut off your head. Pegasus, poetry, was born of Medusa when her head was cut off. You have to be reckless when writing. Be as crazy as your conscience allows.” :-)

a. Young Age: Message to Mr and Mrs Botogol’s daughter: Congratulations on the driving license. Enjoy your new found freedom wisely. And WATCH OVER YOUR ILK i.e. avoid at all cost any sneaky attempts by Mr and Mrs Botogol to write a third sequel to ‘Meet the Parents’ or ‘Meet the Fockers’ :-) I’m kidding. You’re lucky to have such a lovely couple for parents.
b. Old Age: Scott Peck in his book ‘In Search of Stones’ wrote: “It would be unnatural to actually welcome aging. It is a process of stripping away. Eventually a stripping away of everything. Ultimately, however, it is our choice as to whether or not we are going to be willing to be stripped away.”
How true! It’s never easy though but we must go on. Life is a true gift (without Botox – Try the natural ‘Frownies’ instead ).
I often quote a sentence from one of John Gardner’s speeches that I had the great fortune of receiving it hot off the press from a mentor in 1990. Early this year I found an electronic copy of it floating on the web and I’m happy to share its full text here today to give you more context rather than just the same quote again. Gardner was the epitome of Self Renewal. His speech “deals with the decay and renewal of societies, organizations and individuals.” It’s an absolute ‘pick me up’ in times of doubt. Enjoy!

M4GD said...

A remote-controlled badger? Nice one. How about may be they were two raccoons on a date and you’ve mistaken the two for one badger?!:-)

Okay…Since Mrs Botogol is involved in the Badger’s sighting, we shall give you the benefit of the doubt and say ‘You are not pulling a Pinocchio on us’
I wonder What does the Badger represent? And if the timing of your and Mrs Botogol noticing its image renders any significance?
To illustrate: In his book ‘The Mythic Image’ Joseph Campbell shares a beautiful story about Kuan-yin, the Chinese Buddhism Goddess of Compassion (this is also following your dragon wing pic theme) - here it goes:
“It seems that Kuan-yin realized in a certain part of China, out in the rural areas, nobody has ever heard of enlightenment. They were all interested in horse racing and all this macho stuff. So she turns herself into a gloriously beautiful girl, comes into town with fresh fish from the river to sell, and when her basket is empty. She disappears. Early the next day, this beautiful fish-selling girl is there again, and then once again she disappears. This daily pattern continues, and soon all of the men have become enchanted by her. One morning, when she appears, about ten or twenty of them surround her and say,”you have to marry one of us.” “Well.” She says, ”I cannot marry twenty men, but tomorrow morning, if one of you can recite by heart the Sutra of the Compassionate Kuan-yin, I will marry that man.” The next morning, a dozen men know the entire Sutra by heart, so she says, “Well, I cannot marry all of you, but I will marry the one who can interpret this Sutra to me tomorrow.” The next day, there are four men who can interpret the Sutra, so now she says, “I am only one woman, and I can’t marry four men, but if one of you has experienced the meaning of this Sutra three days from now, then I will marry that man.” Three days later, there is but one man waiting for her. Now she says, “My little house is down by the bend in the river. Come there this evening, and you will be my husband.” So that evening, he goes to where the shore bends and comes to a little house. An old couple is standing outside, and the old man says, “Oh we’ve been waiting a long, long time for you. Our daughter is inside.“ But when he goes into the room, it’s empty. She isn’t there. So he looks out the window and sees footprints, which he follows down to the river, where he finds a little pair of shoes at the water’s edge but no girl. Then as he is standing there, with the reeds blowing so and forth, he realizes that all the reeds and everything else is she. Through her allure and charm, which is what the female figures represent in these Mahayana images, he realizes the nirvanic grace of beauty in the universe. Having understood the Sutra, he knew what he was experiencing, and he received illumination.” End of story

So M4GD what‘s your point? Well, The Wise Owl says to the Botogols: my children retrace your steps and go search for the Badger! Get us the evidence get us the message! :-)

**Naked Ladies
a. Well, we covered this with a bit of stripping in Peck’s quote under Old Age
b. “What he requires in his heart of hearts is that this struggle remains a game for him. While for woman it involves her very destiny. Man’s true victory, whether he is liberator or conqueror, lies just in this: that woman freely recognizes him as her destiny.” Written by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex.
c. Just received: ‘The East, The West, and Sex: A History of erotic encounters” by Richard Bernstein a columnist for the International Herald Tribune and a Contributor to the New York Times. Sorry to disappoint you folks, please note that it is a HISTORY book i.e. it ain’t a Playboy magazine. I have read few pages and it is well written.

M4GD said...

Don’t you just love London…it’s raining art again and lots of American Art this fall. Three favourites are in town:
1. Citizen Kane. I love this classic.
“Orson Welles' masterpiece Citizen Kane is finally back on the big screen - from 30 October at BFI Southbank, London, Filmhouse Edinburgh, Glasgow Film Theatre and Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle.
Watch the original trailer here:
from 30 October 2009”
2. Inherit the Wind. Another favourite classic. I loved Spencer Tracey’s performance in the film. Never seen the story in a play before but I’m sure Kevin Spacey will spice it up even more.
“At London's Old Vic Theatre Trevor Nunn directs an outstanding cast including Kevin Spacey in Lawrence and Lee's gripping, relevant drama, one of the great American plays of the twentieth century. Inspired by the famous Scopes 'Monkey Trial' this fascinating slice of American history is played out in a thrilling courtroom drama. 18 September 2009 – 20 December 2009 “
3. Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting
And oh my oh my Guess what? the great Ed Ruscha’s work is coming to town too. Really Exciting!
“The first major UK retrospective to focus exclusively on the paintings of the Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha, one of the most influential and pioneering American artists of the past half-century. Venue: Hayward Gallery, SouthbankLondon
14 October 2009 – 10 January 2010
Check out:
http://www.edruscha.com/ “

PS Sorry Botogol for taking the liberty to post something about these events here but blame it on London and the love of Art:-) Besides me thinks my posting passes muster re being GI green friendly anyway as they contain film, theater (even a Darwin friendly one), and modern paintings! And nothing about meat eating or dogs!:-)

M4GD said...

So...How’s the hibernation project going? Should we send more ‘nuts’ or you have enough supplied by the bank? Have you made friends with the Ground Hog? Should we expect to see you out on February 2nd or do you forecast a long cold blistery winter…?;-)

M4GD said...

Wow gorgeous shock and awe re the Martian Landscapes pictures…some look like paintings, some look like magnified samples of microorganisms, and some like cavemen carvings...so which one do you think it is?
And the storks in a row...oh makes sense!

M4GD said...

Okay with a slew of back to back M4GD comments, it shows I’m having a conversation with myself. Crazy?! I don’t think so, I need to add one more! The cool Side Bar entry - Stumbling and Mumbling: A Feminine Economy? The question is: will this feminization of the workplace continue?
Clearly, it is not a straightforward question. However, I liked the posting and agree with you re Phil’s comment. If you are interested to delve more I think James Heckman (An American Economist who won the Nobel Prize in December 2000 with Berkeley’s Daniel McFadden – I think Heckman may be teaching in London now) has done an extensive body of work on women in the labor market and measuring the economic activity of individuals in general for decades. He is among the firsts to state based on empirical evidence that ‘it’s in companies’ self-interest to hold on to and invest in their women workers.’ In the late 70s he wrote: ‘If such women can distinguish themselves to prospective employers, their wages should be identical with those of men’ I could not agree more:-) He was also among the first economists to predict that one day a Female Economist will win a Noble Prize and it sure did happen and will happen again!!
In 2001, I read an article covering an interview with him after his Nobel Prize win (I still have a dog eared copy of it) I cite here one of the questions and answers I liked:
“Q: Were you surprised to be awarded the Nobel?
A: I never expected to get this prize this year. I was telling you about a quote from (John Maynard) Keynes, which goes, ”If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people like dentists, that would be splendid.” I think he meant that dentists do something practical and contribute to the benefit of human life in a relatively anonymous way, one tooth at a time. Well, I don’t think the work being discussed is dentistry, but there’s a sense in which it explains the real world, whereas a lot of prizes in economics have been given for pure theory.”

Also, I thought you may enjoy watching this interesting lecture by him on Education.


I, Like The View said...

whenever I lose my blogging mojo, I delete my blog and open a new one


Botogol said...

@ ILTV - I know you do :-)
@ MGGD - NASA was superseded on Martian History last week - by Dr Who :-) :-) (I remember the ice warriors; my kids don't care).

@ all my readers - sigh, I will endeavour to be back this weekend in a post in which I will describe how compted in a Montain Bike race and was called 'dad' by a feloow competitor, and how I was named-checked on the front page of a well-known political blog by use of pedantry alone.