Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorialize This

So this is the way my weekend went. First, there was the terrific LeakyCon with John Green, which John Green himself sums up nicely here:

The last song on the video is the Harry and the Potters anthem "Dumbledore," and what you see in the opening bars is most of the 500 or so people in the room, having spontaneously formed a large circle with arms around each other, equally spontaneously running to the center of the circle and rocking. It set a new standard for epic Potters shows, and I fully support John's closing gauntlet to the Twilighters.

Then I flew to central New York to see my cousin Hans receive his Master's in landscape architecture from Cornell University. When we arrived, we noticed a banner on a back wall that read "WE LOVE YOU DOWLBO! CONGRATULATIONS!" But that was later topped by this --

-- dragged behind a plane that circled the Cornell stadium. We couldn't find a "Dowlbo" in the list of graduates (though granted, there were 5,000 of them), so we speculated among ourselves who Dowlbo was and why someone might have splurged on him: a message from a relieved wife to a ninth-year graduate student who finally completed his Ph.D.? A love letter from an narcisstic Dowlbo himself? Simply a proud family? That's certainly the most likely option, but also the most boring, when there are so many other interesting narrative possibilities. Any other ideas?

And then, speaking of proud, crazy families:

We held one of our semiannual battles for the honor of hosting the Frog, which had dwelt for far too long with Hans and Megan in Ithaca. While family friend Josh Shields completed the course first, the game is called Killer Klein Croquet, so we hastily invented the Shields Clause to grant the Frog to the first Klein-family finisher. And thus my aunt Carol (brown shirt and glasses in the middle) will take the Frog back to Iowa until we meet again.

And finally, we saw Niagara Falls. Quite beautiful; quite cold; quite glad I don't have to go over them in a barrel.

The entire weekend was thoroughly, thoroughly awesome -- my love and thanks to all involved.


  1. That John Green video is awesome and Im so excited you were at Cornell! That's where I graduated from!

    Thanks for posting:-)

  2. "a message from a relieved wife to a ninth-year graduate student who finally completed his Ph.D.?" Sigh... Where can I get one of those airplane banners, again?

  3. J, a Rules LawyerMay 28, 2009 12:53 AM

    So does that mean that because of the Shields Amendment, your sister technically can't win the Frog in Killer Klein Croquet? Or is the thinking that once you're in with the Kleins, you can't get out?

  4. In answer to J, a Rules Lawyer:


    Once you're 'in' with the Kleins there is no way out.

    Carol, current keeper of the Frog

  5. Frog Update: The Frog is liking Iowa a great deal. He is going to assist with our Habitat for Humanity house build on Saturday. His job is to reduce the number of flies surrounding the ample picnic table spread set for volunteers.

    Uncle John

  6. yeah truly a great site.I really enjoyed my visit.

  7. I'm Dowlbo :)