Several years ago I wrote a post introducing my family. It seemed like now might be a good time to update that post.
I'm A Random Stranger, a graduate student in an economics doctoral program. I teach economics at an English-language high school in Beijing, China. I enjoy reading, writing, blogging, running, soccer, cartography, politics, economics, and travel (and, if we're being honest, I also enjoy sleeping, eating, and having sex), and so my blog tends to focus on those things. Our family is Mormon, or (more accurately) members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of my blog posts are about Mormon items, too. (The picture of me is from a home photo shoot we had to do so my then-employer could put pictures on the company website (which never happened). I believe I was wearing pajama pants when that photo was taken.)
My wife used to have a fun blog nickname, but then it got old, so I was going to replace it, but I never got around to it. It turns out that the phrase "my wife" does the job well. I toyed with the idea of making her blog nickname be My Wife, but that seemed sort of lame.
Anyway, my wife was my high-school girlfriend. We got married about five years after graduating. She has a bachelor's degree in English teaching (like reading Billy Budd and talking about its meaning, not teaching English to people who don't know English). She likes reading, writing, blogging, photography, being hot, and crying over barely-sad movies. She homeschools our children.
Crazy Jane is our 12-year-old daughter. She loves reading, writing, and drawing, with a special emphasis in cartooning. She would love to grow up to be a cartoonist. She is excellent at math but tries her best to pretend otherwise. If she could go back in time, she'd marry Nathan Hale.
Articulate Joe is 10 years old. He used to be called Mumbly Joe because he had delayed speech, but then he learned how to talk. (That doesn't mean he likes doing it, though, and he tries his best to get through like making inflected grunts, which can be surprisingly communicative.) He likes all sports, playing with Legos, shaved ice, auto racing, architecture, and learning about machinery and public works projects. A trip out of the house is fantastic in his book if he gets to sit in the seat next to the bus driver or stare at the subway drivers through the door at the front of the train. He wants to grow up to drive a fork lift. I keep trying to get him interested instead in designing fork lifts.
Jerome Jerome the Metronome got his name because he was born with a bum heart, but his doctors did a kick-ass job and he's been a regular kid ever since. He's six years old now. Anything that interests him he can learn with no effort at all. He's been reading since he was three. Since Articulate Joe under-performs in reading and Jerome over-performs, he often reads library books that Joe abandoned. Jerome loves making lists and learning about animals, particularly African wild dogs. His crazy-ass talents extend to sports, where he quickly becomes the best kid on his team. Because of his heart, we've been prepping him his whole life that he might have to sit out some sports or stop competing when it becomes too intense. He's left-handed, and perhaps as a result, he's always loved the evil characters in books and movies. He was Darth Vader for Halloween a few years ago.
Screamapilar is two years old. He spent the first 4 months of his life screaming all the time, even in his sleep. Then he cut back to just screaming 12 hours a day. He is beginning to display some of the same delayed-speech traits Articulate Joe had, which sucks, because it means more screaming.
In August we moved to China. We've had a series of small technological issues that have messed with my blogging, but we seem to have those fixed now. Full speed ahead.