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VIDEO, MUSIC (permalink) 01.31.2007
if i could do this, i'd never leave my kitchen table
if you found the videos from yesterday's post at all compelling, this one will topple you. one thing to know before watching ... the slow-mo deal about mid-way through is not the camera, it is the guy.

Reggie Watts: Out of Control
click to jump

VIDEO, MUSIC (permalink) 01.30.2007
i could watch this guy all day long ... and sometimes do

click to jump

and if you liked that, here is another one by the same guy.

click to jump

QUOTES (permalink) 01.26.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
free pizza

QUOTES (permalink) 01.25.2007
in another 200 years, your dinner table will seem equally archaic
My fictional character Sarah lived in Pennsylvania in the early 1700's, when families living on farms had to raise, grow and make almost everything they needed to survive. Most colonial homes were a single room, often with a sleeping loft for older children. Parents and younger children slept on the ground floor in front of the fireplace, and almost everyone slept on mats of rush or feathers, which were rolled up during the day.

Chairs were expensive and were usually used only by the father of the family — everyone else sat on benches or stools. But during meals, children were not allowed to sit, and they were NEVER allowed to speak while eating — for any reason at all.

The women of the house did the cooking, and in those days, many young women died from their clothing catching on fire. Spoons and knives were the only eating utensils, and often just one mug was passed around from person to person. Water was considered unsafe to drink, so everyone drank beer, including babies and children. (It was brewed to be barely alcoholic.)

New clothing was almost all handmade, and it was a very time-consuming process. A girl would wear her only dress every day for as long as it fit, even it is was a year or more. It was an exciting day when a girl got a new outfit to wear!
Author's Note from Homespun Sarah by Verla Kay & Ted Rand

PERSONAL, SCIENCE (permalink) 01.24.2007
dispensing inordinate quantities of unused advice
at a housewarming party last weekend, a fellow adoptee pulled me to the side to talk about an opportunity he was presented with to find his biological parents, the mother at least. he asked what i felt about the practice of adopted children finding their birth parents.

i told him about a guy i met through work several years earlier. this fellow was about my age, well educated and impressively accomplished in his field. i liked him quite a bit and would lunch with him when he was in town. on one of these outings he told me about his search for his birth mother. after revealing the mechanics of the quest, he went quiet and stared off for a long moment. i asked him if he ever found her and he said he had. i asked him if he got to meet her and he said he had. i asked him what it was like and while still looking away he sedately said 'you can never take it back'.

here's the deal, in youth adopted children assimilate what it means to be adopted (obviously, i'm talking about children who know they're adopted). part of this process inevitably has them create some mental representation of a biological parent. in my fanciful vision, my birth mother was young, empathetic, kind and the victim of dumb luck. my introspective lunch date had far more grandiose notions regarding his lineage. he had a quick mind, athletic physique, winsome charm, basically a lot of positive and innate qualities were handed to him and he, quite logically, transferred larger versions of these inherited traits onto his mind's version of his parents. when he finally came to meet his birth mother he learned she was a truck stop waitress, living in a broken-down trailer, dealing with numerous health issues and had him after a short-term, abusive fling with a guy who didn't shower a lot. many decorative vases lining glass shelves in his mind toppled on this day. and as he continues to reflect on what he has come to learn and compares it to what he long believed, as he appeared to be doing even while simply talking to me about it, these fancy pieces of brain-crystal continue to unsteadily wobble.

after telling this story to the house-warming guy, i watched him as he considered my friend's journey. during these seconds, i recalled that this same house-warming guy came to me years earlier about wether or not he should circumcise the son he was about to have. let's just say i think a certain head-hunter is about to be asked to name and locate the uterus my contemplative friend once slid out of. oh well, this is just another reason it's fortunate i like the sound of my own voice.

FAMILY (permalink) 01.23.2007
pre-dawn ambush
sunday morning is 'big breakfast' day in our house. on big breakfast day we make our one stovetop breakfast of the week. typical offerings include pancakes, waffles or french toast, bacon, omelettes, sometimes sausage, fresh fruit and occasionally hand-cut hash-browns. about once a month we look to invite another family over to share in our weekly debauchery. those gatherings are always pajama-friendly and never begin before 11am.

big breakfast is my favorite morning because in addition to lavish vittles this is the one day of the week where i am naturally drawn from sleep by the sound of birds or smell of cooking food. sometimes, on bird days, i might begin to wake and sense marty next to me, warm, close. i might hear bella and alex quietly engaged in a made-up game down the hall. it is here i viscerally know the value of my home.

big breakfast last weekend did not start in this fizzy way. on this day, the first thing i sensed was having my toasty flannel sheets and layered quilts harshly flung away from my resting frame. while my body tensed against the cold morning air and before i could open my lead-heavy eyes, bella excitedly screamed from the side of the bed, "DADDY! DADDY! I CAN SEE YOUR PENIS! I CAN SEE YOUR PENIS! I CAN SEE IT DADDY! ALEX, TELL DAD YOU CAN SEE HIS PENIS. GO ON, TELL HIM!" to which i hear my son obligingly, albeit less animatedly add, "i can see your enis daddy". not birds, not the neighbor's wind chimes and not wafting flapjacks, but instead taunts and heckles at and about my lifeless manhood. and i would say that on this day, at this moment, i also viscerally knew the value of my home which is seemingly about as predictable and hostile as the american stock exchange.

SOCIETY (permalink) 01.19.2007
some days i'm a lonely adult too
in visiting with the hair-girl today she told me that growing up she thought the proper term for children with no siblings was 'lonely children' instead of 'only children'. throughout the afternoon my mind kept returning to that thought and i've since concluded that her usage is way more apt, appropriate and concise the what has always been used. and starting today, it is how i will refer to the country's growing phenomenon of lonely children.

FASHION (permalink) 01.17.2007
living on the bleeding edge of the fashion curve
and a word about the cut-off shirt mentioned in yesterday's post. when marty says i'm wearing a cut-off shirt, it's not like the eighties-style top you're probably imagining. eighties-style being defined by one's full gut and navel being exposed. my cut-off shirts are a product of how ill-fitting todays basic t-shirts are for me. they wear more like a tube-sock than a undershirt. they hang several inches below my groin. they don't quite pass my knees, but obviously i look quite ridiculous. and if i tuck them into a pair of pants, i end up with all this bunched up material just below my belt-line and the last thing i need is more padding sitting anywhere near my ass. so the last time i bought some shirts, i got totally disgusted with how low they were hanging. so i took them off, got a pair of scissors and cut six inches of material off the bottom so the damn thing would actually end somewhere near my waist instead of three inches below my crotch.

my idea was gold excepting two details;
1. i'm not garment savvy enough to project how much a shirt will shrink, so a few of the first shirts i did this to have shrunk so much i can no longer tuck them into my pants. if i keep them long enough i reckon they may soon qualify as an eighties-caliber cut-off, but this is not in any way intentional.
2. when you scissor-cut a cotton shirt and don't stitch the wound, it rolls up like a severed achilles tendon. no matter how much you flatten it with your hand, it rolls right back into its tight curl. at first i wore the shirts inside out so the roll was inside towards my body, but then the label faces out and everyone you pass asks if you know that your shirt is on inside out. so, i stopped doing that and in time have grown to like this added flourish. in fact, it strikes me as a smart addition to something that is otherwise, a dull, flat and boring shirt hem. you just wait, in ten years time, this is how all shirts will be manufactured. granted by that point mine will have shrunken so much they will stop a few inches above my nipples, and unfortunately that trend won't catch on for an additional ten years.

WIFE (permalink) 01.16.2007
forget pulled punches, she's got a roll of dimes in her balled-up fist.
see, i told you if we moved your desk over there, you'd be able to see the tv while you work.

you didn't tell me anything.

though, the one downside is now you don't get to see me riding on the bike trainer at night.

yeah, missing you biking in your swim suit with a cut-off t-shirt and flip-flops leaves a real void in my day.

marty's newborn-fatigue is nearing the five month mark. in this advanced state, she ain't exactly the best sweet-talker in town. then again, she's never really been known for sugar-coating a message, even with a full night of sleep.

PHOTO (permalink) 01.12.2007
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
january 2007

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.11.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
the bedtime story

QUOTES, TV (permalink) 01.10.2007
and now you know how i feel
how come you never told me you won a beauty contest?

every day i walk out of my front door i win a beauty contest.

excerpt from season one of my name is earl

SCIENCE, HEALTH (permalink) 01.09.2007
no one needs an industrial-grade fan for moist feet
marty told me of a news report she heard discussing open-flatulence policies. as we know in america, public and especially audible dispersal of one's bowel-air is collectively frowned upon. but, china, marty tells me, is a country that believes holding one's gas in is an unhealthy practice and they have, as a society, agreed that any pent up air is to be loosed on the room without reservation.

first off, i agree it is unhealthy for one to sit on a giant ball of methane for a workday, but can one not argue that it is also unhealthy for others to breath what was just in someone else's colon? i reckon the studies have not been done, but i gotta think too much second-hand ass has some real down-sides. why is something so unfit for your rectum so ok for my nasal passages and lungs. a part of this logic is escaping me. furthermore, i'd like to say it is clear that none of these folks in china have ever worked with some of the system administrators i have because i know a couple of fellas who could single-sphincterly change a nation's politics and do so in short order.

lastly, let me share a friendly life-lesson i've picked up in my travels; if you meet a guy with an oscillating fan beneath his desk, pointing outward, get the hell out of there because trouble is a brewing. this warning goes double after lunch.

KIDS (permalink) 01.08.2007
i found four 4 hershey kisses behind a picture on a shelf above our toilet
bella has candy hidden all over the house. if we serve a meal she is not interested in, she will sit down at the table, make a face and oftentimes groan in some exaggerated way. soon after this she will ask to be excused. we offer her an alternative such as yogurt, fruit or a muffin to which she will many times decline. we remind her that this is dinner and the kitchen is closed afterwards. she nods in understanding and repeats her request to be excused. we thank her for joining us and send her on her way.

then in-between conversation points you may hear from the next room cellophane being opened or paper being torn. this is bella hitting one of her many candy stashes. we call her back to the table. when she arrives the smell from her sugar of choice is in the air. we explain that eating candy in private is not a healthy or honest choice and that if she is hungry she needs to eat something more substantial. after tolerating the advice, she smiles broadly, claims that she has had enough dinner and confidently asks, can i have dessert now?

KIDS (permalink) 01.05.2007
christmas recap (part 4 of 4)
last year we had a santa mis-step. bella had left him cookies, eggnog and a note. in the morning the cookies were chomped, the eggnog chugged and the note held a quick scrawl from the man himself. it was something simple. something like a short hello and thanks for the eats. it seems bella had it in her head he was supposed to take the note. that he did not was an egregious trespass. one year later she had no intention of letting him forget anything when he left.

her solution was to put the chair and table that held all the goods directly in front of the fire ensuring he wouldn't miss anything this time. i told bella that he was kind of a big guy and she may need to give him more room to get out of the chimney and her setup may be too close. she explained that if he could fit down the chimney he should have little problem getting by the table and chair. as it turns out, he was able to successfully navigate the space although the agile santa didn't see fit to leave me better reasoning skills so i could stop getting schooled by my kindergartner. sees everything my ass.

KIDS (permalink) 01.04.2007
christmas recap (part 3 of 4)
i recently built a bench at the foot of our basement steps. my intention for the seat was to provide a place where kids could undress after playing in the snow/mud before tramping through the house. before the bench could be used a single time, bella commandeered it as her own. and not as a mutli-function and utilitarian staging area but as a long worktable to accommodate her most recent project, dissecting each and every block of styrofoam in our home and surrounding community, one squeaky nodule at a time. she has twelve mason jars lined up on the nearby shelves which she intends to fill with the small white balls and then walk the country feeding hungry animals. when i told her that i didn't think animals ate styrofoam, she made a quizzical face and wordlessly walked away which is pretty much how people at work respond to my insights also.

here she is seen with the new neighbor girl who moved in three days before christmas. it took bella all of three hours to recruit her for the task. the first day the new girl, sofia, came down she was at our house for six hours, five of which was spent toiling at bella's makeshift workshop. listening from the top of the steps, they sounded like two waitresses working the night shift. while much of the banter centered around the pending christmas holiday, sofia at some point informed bella that she was mispronouncing the word breakfast (bella has always called it bresfast). in that this was one of my very favorite bella-isms i was a little miffed that my bench was the glue that made that learning moment possible. oh well, i still have bagina.

KIDS (permalink) 01.03.2007
christmas recap (part 2 of 4)
growing up in colorado i was taught the importance of layered clothing. somehow i genetically passed this insight onto my eldest son because getting alex dressed in the morning is like preparing an arctic explorer for a month-long expedition. his goal is obviously not warmth or comfort but simply one of wearing a multitude of his colorful shirts. so instead of settling he slowly moves through each item in his drawer holding them up, studying them, choosing items based on some internal measure. on average he will select three to four shirts. and given his slight frame he is easily able to accommodate multiple garments. some parents may be inclined to step in the way of such a childish obsession, but marty and i place it in the 'doesn't matter' column alongside making messy bubbles with straws and urinating in the back yard.

this year alex wore three shirts to our christmas celebration with marty's side of the family. when he opened a 3-pack of white t-shirts he elatedly ran to me requesting i help him put them on, all of them. i unquestioningly did so. three presents later he ran to me with three long-sleeve rugby shirts repeating the request. the kid already had six shirts on so i said i thought he should save these so he would have some clean ones to wear tomorrow. my suggestion was quickly called a bad idea and dismissed. on they went, albeit not as easily as numbers four, five and six. but he wiggled and i wrangled and sure enough, alex set a personal best of nine shirts, five of which were, impressively, long sleeved.

add to all of this the detail that if alex likes an outfit, and he inevitably likes them all, he refuses to remove it at night. this would be another arena marty and i elect to not engage. and don't think the efficiency-zealot in me doesn't see the time gains in just peeling a layer off a child each morning. doing this, we'd only have to get him dressed once a week. problem is, he's even less generous in the morning about changing than he is at night, so once they go on they in many ways become hermetically sealed to his frame. the above picture shows alex in his nine shirts. at this point they've been through two nights and are working on their third day.

and yes, i get that he may be a tad gamey under all that cotton and twill but i figure there's eight layers of insulation between his clammy skin and me. i'll take those numbers any day. in the end, i didn't see a real downside to all this until one of marty's brothers commented that alex, artificially bulked up so, looked like a miniature lou ferigino. my good parental mood was momentarily fouled until i reasoned that without the shirts he may instead look like a dark-complected erkel. and i'll take a little-ferigino over that any day ... and twice on bath nights.

HEALTH (permalink) 01.02.2007
christmas recap (part 1 of 4)
the last two weeks of the year are my low-tech, high-slumber days. in this time, i try not to look at, think about, touch or dream of my computer. another thing i do during this block is to actually go to sleep when i'm tired. marty calls this listening to your body. i don't listen to my body too much the other fifty weeks of the year. over the last fourteen days, i went to bed anywhere from 8pm and 4am. additionally, i slept anywhere from two to thirteen hours a night. this is another way of saying, i'm quite screwed up right now and have about seven hours to get my game face back on since i'm expected back to work in the morning.

sleep-aside 1: in the days leading up to christmas, bella and alex drug anthony's crib mattress (as of yet unused by anthony) from our room and dropped it at the foot of their beds. i wasn't sure how this smaller makeshift cot was superior to their already touching beds but they both seemed quite certain of the change. after getting some covers in place, they crawled under the sheets and snuggled close, facing one another. you could hear them talking quietly of the pending christmas morn. they were quite bristling. as sleep approached, their voices got softer and then their words started getting elongated and unrecognizable until there was the beautiful sound of children being good body listeners.

sleep aside 2: marty and i have real different notions on sleep. since having kids, it is something we 'chat on' quite extensively. one of the suck parts about it is in just watching my kids, i believe one's sleep proclivities are greatly genetic. no matter what time alex goes to bed, he naturally wakes up at 8:37 each morning. no matter what time bella goes to bed, she sleeps exactly eleven hours. and excepting four occasions, anthony refuses to sleep more than two hours at a time which means that excepting four occasions marty has not slept more than two hours in a row over the last four and a half months which makes her a much less friendly debate opponent because if she does not get a consistent and continuous eight hours, her demeanor gets all sideways and hostile. personally, i think she just gets surly with me to demonstrate the import of sleep. fortunately for me, i'm too fatigued to make the connection.

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