Thursday, April 24, 2008


Parker 4.22.08
Parker 4.22.08,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Look at this beautiful face. How did Jim and I get so lucky? We ask ourselves this question almost every night after the hustle of the evening has quieted down for the moment. We have gone through the nightly routine and can't believe that we have the joy of being this little boy's parents! He does everything with such gusto and greets the mornings with a great "beautiful day" as we walk outside. I have a feeling we will always be asking ourselves how we got to be so lucky - or at least I hope so, because I know that we truly are!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lots to Celebrate

The Roach family had lots of fun and excitement this past weekend.

  • The weekend started on Saturday as the Roach kids threw our Dad a surprise 75th birthday party. George and his girlfriend Dawnielle (more on that below), and Cathy and I have been planning the party for the last couple of months. This is the biggest "milestone" birthday since we've all been out of college and more or less "adults" so we thought we'd make it a good one for Dad. All his brothers and sisters and all but one of Mom's brothers and sisters were able to come, from as far away as Maryland. We had it in the old Stokes Elementary school building in Lebanon. The last few years the building has been used as a community center, housing a day care center, a church, and several social service organizations. Cathy said the building hadn't changed much since she was there nearly 20 years ago. Mom works at the daycare center and got us a great deal on the room. About 85 friends, family and neighbors packed into the cafeteria and gave Dad a big surprise. He said that it was his first big birthday party ever. Well, it was about time. Happy Birthday Dad!
  • After leaving Dad's party, we headed over to Montgomery County for Parker's cousin Jake's 4th birthday party. Parker loves to play with his cousins and had a blast even without a nap all Saturday. And he even left the party with a free hand-me-down bicycle. Win-win. Happy Birthday Jake!
  • The celebration continued on Sunday as we met Mom, Dad, George and Dawnielle for lunch in Indianapolis. Those two crazy kids shocked us by announcing their engagement! Everyone was ribbing them about getting married all day Saturday, but George kept a straight face. He probably had the ring in his pocket the whole time. He popped the question at Eagle Creek Park in Indy before lunch then we followed them back to the park to take some pictures for them before they heeded back to Chicago. Congratulations George and Dawnielle!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Little Earthquakes

Cathy and I were woken around 5:37 this morning with the house shaking. Cathy knew immediately it was an earthquake. I however rolled over and went back to sleep. The 5.4 quake was centered in West Salem, IL, about 40 miles north of Evansville, tied with the biggest on record in Indiana with a 5.4 quake in 1968. Of course both pale in comparison to the estimated 8.0 New Madrid earthquakes of 1811/1812 that forever changes the course of the Mississippi River.

I remember the 5.1 quake in 1987. I would have been Middle School then. What I remember is sitting on the floor and trying to stand up at the same time the quake hit and being very disoriented. I also remember another one either when I was at Ball State or maybe soon after moving to Bloomington. It must have been the 2002 4.6 quake centered in Darmstadt, Indiana. Not quite the Pacific Ring of Fire, but our fault line is anything bu quiet. In honor of the force of nature that was the earthquake, I had to listen to Uncle Tupelo's "New Madrid" this morning. Seemed appropriate.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Free Comic Book Day!

I've always missed "Free Comic Book Day" since it was started in 2002. Well, this year, Parker and I as going! What is Free Comic Book Day? According to the web site: "Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores." It's really a way to introduce comics to a new generation, like Parker, and reintroduce them to old fans, like me. Parker loves Spider-man. We're not really sure how or why. When I got back from New Orleans last year, he could pick out Spider-man in Kohls and now he goes around webbing people and singing the 1960s Spider-man cartoon theme song. Ok, I'm to blame for the theme song, I admit it. He's been begging to watch my Spider-man DVDs. We tell him he can't because they're for "Big boys." That's just backfired on us. Whenever he accomplishes something and we tell him how big he is, he says "I watch Spider-man now?!"

So, Free Comic Book Day, May 3rd, 2008. Be there. Parker and I will be going to Vintage Phoenix Comics in Bloomington. You can find a participating comic shop near you by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Obama in Bloomington

Originally uploaded by Barack Obama.

Well, we missed Sen. Obama's visit to Bloomington. Cathy was in Muncie at a conference and I was chained to my desk at City Hall. Even if I had more notice, I probably wouldn't have gone to see him. He didn't give a speech, but instead just stopped by at the Women's Little 500 race. The proverbial shaking of hands and kissing of babies. After leaving the race, he walked up Kirkwood Ave. and stopped in Nick's English Hut. I heard it was a madhouse. This is just a block or so from Cathy's Office. If she had been in town, she would have just had to stick her head out the window to see him! Maybe he'll be back in the next few weeks to do a real campaign visit.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Vote Early, Vote Often

For me, the 2008 Primary season is over. I took the "vote early" option and voted to day at lunch. A block walk to the Clerk's office and 5 minutes later and I've cast may votes for Barack Obama for President and Jill Long Thompson for Governor.

Bloomington is all abuzz about a possible visit by Senator Obama on Friday. No details are coming out yet but the IU and Bloomington police departments are preparing for it. I'd like to clear my calender, but another 5 hour political rally maybe more than I can handle. He's on a three day bus tour of the state with stops already confirmed in South Bend, Gary, Muncie and Lafayette.

Cathy is in Muncie on Friday. Hopefully she can make it back in time.

Friday, April 04, 2008

40th anniversary of MLK's assasination

Robert Kennedy's speech in Indianapolis on the night Martin Luther King was assassinated, 40 years ago today.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bill Clinton in Bloomington

Cathy and I had the privilege of seeing former President Bill Clinton yesterday at Assembly Hall at IU. President Clinton was in town stumping for his wife Senator Hillary Clinton in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now I've pretty much made up my mind I've voting for Senator Barrack Obama come May 6th, but we couldn't turn down an opportunity to hear an Ex-President speak. The things that immediately struck me about the event were the big crowd, about 7000 people, the bootleg t-shirt and button venders (It reminded me of the old days of going to concerts at Deer Creek), and 3-4 protesters, some supporting Republican Ron Paul. Pres. Clinton was a good 2 1/2 hours late to the event after speaking in Seymour, Columbus and Bedford earlier in the day. Fortunately, Cathy's Mom and Sister agreed to watch Parker so we could go.

After the excruciatingly long wait and having to endure through a group of IUPUI students doing cheers and a guy in front of us with terrible B.O., Pres. Clinton was finally introduced by State Senator Vi Simpson. The main focus of his remarks concerned inequality, insecurity that accompanies the threat of terrorism and instability because of global climate change. He also talked about changes to "No Child Left Behind," high-tech/green manufacturing, alternative energy, ending the war in Iraq, and Sen. Clinton's plans for health care reform.

While Pres. Clinton didn't sway my vote, it was great to see him speak. He was funny, dynamic and genuine. He shrunk Assembly Hall down to the size of a living room. I agreed with probably 89% of what he had to say.

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds will be in Bloomington on Sunday playing a free concert in support of Sen. Obama's campaign. I'm still hoping for a visit to Bloomington by the Senator. Cathy and I missed his last appearance in Indiana a couple of weeks ago. This next month leading up to the primary should be fun!