This and That - 2006
At a rugby party, 1/14/06 - That's me in the middle in the El Santo ("El Enmascarado del Plata") mask, with pals Kelly Watkins at left and Kermit at right. Most people at the party didn't get the reference, I'm afraid. They probably thought I was trying to look like a terrorist rather than a famous Mexican wrestler. It unnerved one busboy, who took a quick, passing look and jumped back startled.
Meredith's bedroom. The scarcity of photos on this page is explained by the fact that I've been Mister Home Improvement in the past couple of months, creating storage space in the attic above the garage, painting and fixing up recently-vacated kids' bedrooms, completing the Bathroom from Hell Project (about two years in the making), etc. I just finished Meredith's room: new paint (she chose the yellow), new mirrored bi-fold doors and new laminated flooring, which I installed myself, I am pleased to say. It looks better than I had hoped! Now I rate my Flooring Merit Badge - if such a thing were given to adults. By the way, I learned an important lesson about flooring installation: wear knee pads. Note Napoleon Dynamite in the corner, a past Christmas gift from Meredith's artistic friend Katie.
I turned fifty on 4/27; Cari and I visited the Pamunkey Indian reservation, which was interesting, and went out of our way for a mediocre lunch at a tavern that used to be pretty good. That evening we had a disappointing dinner with some friends after a rehearsal of Meredith's musical. A rather underwhelming day, really! (What does my rugby club think about my turning fifty? This.)
Meredith's spring musical at high school is "The Little Shop of Horrors." She plays a member of a do-wop threesome who act as a sort of Greek chorus. Photo one: singing. Photo two: with Seymour Krelborn and the other girls. Photo three: looks like an album cover. Photo four: my personal favorite moment.
My band ("Josiah's Legacy," for which I play bass) played at the Reston, VA cancer "Race for the Cure" event on 5/20/06. Here's a photo.
Julie the Zombie - Done for a class at college. She's sitting in the trunk of my car.
Summer 06: Ethan dyed his hair black. Why? I don't know. To look more like a comic book character, perhaps.
Our friends the McDaniels came to vist, and I took a few days off show them D.C. and its environs. This is the traditional front porch shot.
Ethan Jumping Guitars in Rexburg. (There isn't much else to do there.)
I went surfing while on vacation in Los Angeles! While out there we had dinner with the McDaniels at the Smoke House, went to Tower Records on Sunset (been doing that since 1971), and had lunch at the Madonna Inn, where we had our honeymoon nearly 26 years ago.
A trick I learned in Nikon School. (I didn't write "a useful trick.")
We braved high winds and strong rains to once again have Thanksgiving in Nag's Head, NC with the "Five Families" (families we know via the Lee High School drama program). The Nor'easter destroyed the wooden deck and steps that led down from the sand dune behind the rental house to the beach. Our rental house. Thanksgiving dinner. Us, posing on the dune behind the house. Meredith, Julie and a bearded Ethan. At the Bodie Island lighthouse. Cari and Julie at Nag's Head.
It's Christmas Time! Me at Tyson's Corners, the local mega-shopping mall. I'm a sucker for anything that changes colors. The kids, the tree. Julie and Meredith make faces. Blurry Meredith. Me and Cari at the D.C. LDS Temple, Christmas Eve. Julie at the manger display (D.C. Temple Visitor's Center). We had a great Christmas... with the kids getting older and having schedules of their own, it's wonderful to have the family gathered at Christmastime!
The nearest thing I have to a blog is the "What's New?" page on my rugby club's website. It's here. "Brigham?" It's what the rugby guys call me.
Click here for my list of which family-friendly films to rent and which to avoid. Many years in the making... I don't update this much anymore. I leave it here primarily to assist parents to avoid that fidgety feeling with recent entertainment.
Click here to see scans of old family photos. For extended Clark family members only, I would think.
My famous relatives. I have no doubt that there are more, but they are as yet undiscovered.
Genealogical New Year's Resolutions - Sort of nerdy and of main interest to genalogists, I guess. Having run into nearly all of these things, I find this very funny.
In Summer 2005 I had a genealogical breakthrough with a YDNA test I ordered as a birthday present. It links me to a family of Clarks who are descended from William "the Quaker" Clark (b. 1604 d. 1650). He was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and died in Massachusetts. Now, all I have to do is to figure out the connection between my earliest documented Clark ancestor (my great-great grandfather Wesley H. Clark, who was born c. 1818) and this William. There has to be a link somewhere - my YDNA assures me of it!
The YDNA test links me to a Methodist minister of note, Adam Clarke. He wrote a famous Bible Commentary.
Quakers, Methodists... nothing in my upbringing would cause me to suspect that I am descended from fervent Christians on both sides (Mom's family were French-Canadian Catholics who left parish records all the way back to the late 1500's), but it is so. I suppose my becoming a Mormon could be seen to have been a foreordained thing...
Cool baby shot - I wish I had thought of this pose when my kids were babies...
"Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer." I get a kick out of Horkheimer's jolly speaking style. Cari is convinced that he's going to chortle himself to death some day.
Missed Tributes - Why I never bother watching the Oscars, and generally hold entertainment celebrities in low regard. But Winston Churchill said it best: "Can a nation remain healthy, can all nations draw together in a world whose brightest stars are film stars?"
Life continues to teach and illuminate me. Ever since I started to become interested in classical music, back when I was sixteen, I was aware of the Richard Strauss opera Der Rosenkavalier. To date I have not yet heard it. (Opera prices being what they are, I will probably never see a live production of it.) But I have always been curious about one of the characters, the Marschallin. A plum role for an older woman, I have always dimly glimpsed that there were overtones of wistfulness and aging about her. And I have also always wondered, "What's a 'Marschallin?'" Seeing a film of Elisabeth Schwartzkopf singing the famous aria about aging on the Classic Arts Showcase channel the other night, I did some Internet investigations and arrived at this excellent article. Turns out that a "Marschallin" is the wife of a Field Marshal. But more to the point, she seems to be a kindred spirit to me; she's a person who is over-aware of the constant passage of time. So much so that she gets up in the middle of the night and stops the clocks. (I have never done this myself, but I certainly understand the motivation.) I see some Internet references to psychoanalytical articles about a "marschallin complex," which I suppose to be an over-awareness of the passage of time - perhaps I have this. (It seems to have gotten more pronounced in me as I age.) Whatever it is I have, I once wrote an article as my Civil War reenacting nom de plume Jonah Begone about it, entitled Time's Arrow. Clumsy and amateurish compared to the Strauss opera, I guess now I can call it my Marschallin Essay. ...and I need to hear this opera....
Ethan tells me he's forming a new band called "Hankerchief Moody," after an article (and specifically, an image) in a book I own. The image reportedly spooked his friend when younger. The book article is here. The new band name is commendably obscure.
The Oath of Enlistment. When I entered the Marines in 1974 I took an oath more or less like this one.
It may just be me, but I find this ad to be disturbing.