| |
Thirtysomething (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

Right in the heart of my high school years, there was this show on television called Thirtysomething which everyone watched and pretty much loved. In a lot of ways it was the first of its kind, and you can still see its influence today in a lot of television programming. I was nowhere near thirtysomething at the time, but I loved it, too.

When I was in high school, I had this recurring dream that I was a young professional, a father and a husband, right in the middle of a season when we should be living the average everyday suburban dream, and yet somehow utterly unable to support my family. When I was 16 and 17, it was probably the single biggest thing I was afraid of. I think it boils down to this one question that I just couldn't get out of my head: "will I be able to make it out there, in the real world?"


There was a moment yesterday when all five ladies were sitting on the couch--at least, all five ladies who don't live full-time in a flight cage. The two birds were behind bars, of course, so I'm talking about Amy, Zoe, Fina, Jota, and Bella. There they all are, reading a book on the couch, and here's the thing: it hasn't been easy, but it's been nothing like I expected.

That nightmare about what was coming didn't dissipate in one instant--it wasn't gone immediately after Amy and I got married or the moment after Zoe was born. It's not like I was wondering about it, though, worrying. There's just a point in life when you just start living it, when you just buckle down and go right ahead doing whatever it is you need to do to keep everything moving forward, in the right direction. And I guess that's the lesson I'm thinking about now that I'm right smack in the middle of my own thirtysomething.

It's not that it's easy. No one in their right mind would tell you that. But it is good. And the secret--like the secret to most good things--is to just keep working at it, day after day. There's no magic, no special sauce. Just keep at it.

Uncommon Experiences

| |

So my stay in Bangkok is short-lived, like every other stop on this trip. I've got work to do, so it's not really about seeing the sights.

But you know me. I'm doing my best to get a little taste of every place--making my best guess at where to go and what to do.

Here in Bangkok--which is an overwhelmingly huge city, with no discernible city center--I just rode the skytrain to a gargantuan mall (very very Bangkok) and wandered around the indoor canal, staring unabashedly at the incredible burgeoning Thai middle class.

And then I rode the train back to the hotel (short trip, remember) and jumped in the huge pool. It's dark out and there are plenty of bugs (we may be in a huge city, but we're still in Thailand) so there are bats out there, and there were several--maybe four or five--who were flying around just above the waterline, buzzing around my head and hopefully catching the majority of the bugs who were probably hunting me.


| |

love.jpgSingapore surprised me a bit. I was expecting a very nice, clean place, but what I wasn't expecting was the vibrant (if a bit tame) art scene there. Whatever the reason, S'pore is really deeply in love with art, and that is celebrated pretty much everywhere you look.

Taxis take credit cards and use a strict metering system, and the public transportation there rivals what I saw in Hong Kong: it's cheap and efficient and easy to use.

The only thing they're missing there is some kind of equivalent to the Octopus Card, which is one of the best things about HK.

singapore.jpgS'pore also has some of the craziest architecture I've ever seen, including this building. That boat-like thing on the top of those three towers is the "park" and pool connected to the "resort" (read: casino) in that complex. Those little stubbly things at the very top are palm trees. People are wandering around up there. It makes me a little sick to my stomach just thinking about it, but I also find it fascinating. If I'd been in S'pore for any longer, I'd have tried to get up there.


| |

Hong KongI was really nervous about travel this time around--which isn't normal for me. But it's been a while since I've been on the road alone, and while the parts of Asia I'm visiting have pretty sizable English-speaking populations, I have this fear of being alone in an airport, completely unable to get myself to a hotel or on a plane or anything at all.

That fear isn't totally unfounded. It almost happened to me earlier this year in Villavicencio, Colombia, where the plane I was supposed to catch to Bogotá was canceled, and no one in the entire airport (if you could even call it that) spoke English. I got myself a juice at a little cafe and patiently (and hopefully) called the team I had been traveling with. Fortunately, they were still around and I just joined up with them and headed home. But the thought of negotiating a new plane flight in Spanish (which I speak, but not very well . . . certainly not well enough to arrange that transaction) was more than just daunting--it was terrifying.

I haven't felt that alone in a long time, and it was the worst kind of alone--alone, surrounded by people.

There's this girl named Carly who was recently in a serious accident and who is recovering amazingly (miraculously, even) but who cannot communicate yet with her family. She is an old, dear friend of some of the finest people I know.

I don't know her, but I think that moment in Villavicencio--when I was surrounded by people who wanted to help me, but we couldn't seem to get the words to mean anything to each other--that moment is probably something like what she is experiencing now. It's the experience I don't want to have in Singapore, or Chiang Mai, or Shanghai.

Traveling is an adventure. It's a privilege that I get to do it at all, even though I miss my family fiercely while I'm away. But it's also a challenge, and there are moments that are utterly terrifying. I wouldn't trade the adventure to avoid the fear, though. I guess that's just how it is.

Fina is walking

| |

Sarafina spent the whole day wandering around the house, clutching a Curious George stuffed doll. She pushed up against walls and hung onto the edges of tables when she could, but she spent a lot of time right out in the open, shuffling along and grinning at us.

It's amazing how fast that happens. She's been standing for some weeks now, but a few first real steps happened just a couple of days ago and now it's not even worth counting, she's on her feet so much.


Today I'm just amazed at all of the ways we get to create and share beautiful things with each other. Considering what a gift that is--what a rare honor--it's too bad we don't do it more.

Overcast Beautiful


It's been cloudy and a bit dreary this last couple of days, which is very unusual in South Florida. For me, it's been hard in some ways. I'm seasonally affected, and dealing with dreary days for me sometimes feels like it requires a regular working out. It's not getting that workout down here, which is mostly a very good thing.

But it has also been really amazingly beautiful. Overcast skies create such amazing, even, beautiful light. They're a photographer's dream. If I had time to be taking pictures, I'd go do it.

It also makes coffee taste better, books easier to read, and relationships deeply important. Just saying.

Fina, Zoe, Bubbles, Beach


Fina, Zoe, Bubbles, Beach from Jeremy Varo-Haub on Vimeo.

Shot on my iPhone 4 and cut together simply in iMovie today.
The song is "A Little Opera Goes a Long Way" by Sky Sailing.
Adam Young is now Owl City, which is also absolutely worth a listen. You'll see.

It's just my way, I guess.


I've preached twice in the last three weeks. This is not normal for me. In fact, it's downright terrifying. But it's also a little exciting. When I get deep into the Bible (which I do--with desperation--when I preach, because except for an excellent class on the Gospel of John I took when I was a freshman in college, I have no formal theology training) I always come out of the experience enriched.

Those of you who aren't Christians, trust me on this one (and all of you Christians who don't read your Bibles, you too). Spend a little time in there meeting all of the flawed people who aren't much different than you or me.

And if you're lucky, you'll be surprised by the character of Jesus. He surprises me at every turn, and it's His example, His character, His sacrifice, and His deep love that bring me back to my faith, even when I'm ready to walk away. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it's right that I'm a Christian because of Christ, and Him alone.



pink, originally uploaded by varohaub.

It has been raining an incredible amount this summer, which is a nice change from last year, when it didn't rain much at all. We need it.

There's a little patch of grass in our front yard that has been brown for a good while. For all intents and purposes, it was dead. But a week of monsoon-like rains has come and gone, and the patch is almost completely restored. You wouldn't know where the spot was unless I pointed it out to you.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Recent Assets

  • 62236_10150273043150204_897840203_14837800_6734467_n.jpg
  • love.jpg
  • singapore.jpg
  • Hong Kong


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 4.34-en