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PHOTO (permalink) 01.31.2008
imagine what he/she could do with some duct tape
a disappointment regarding this month's gallery photo is that my image does not reveal that the figures on the wall were made out of nothing more than masking tape. in posting i had to choose between showing the whole scene or a detailed shot which would better reveal the artist's medium. obviously i opted for the full display but in doing so felt the need to still share the uniquity of the technique. so here are a few images that better represent, or at least more honestly represent, the work:

PHOTO (permalink) 01.30.2008
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
january 2008

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.29.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
no secrets

TRAVEL (permalink) 01.25.2008
below shows the supposed temperature in chicago today


it only takes one short stroll down michigan avenue to and from dinner to know someone's gauges are horrifically broken because there is no way it is only -3. absolutely no way. i can't remember when i've been as cold as i was on this brief walk. in fact, it was so icy, my scalp ached. between the traffic and the weather, i'm quite perplexed why anyone would choose to call this city home.

the last time i've been this cold i was on top of a mountain in stowe, vermont in their arctic january.

KIDS (permalink) 01.24.2008
Ed Okin can't sleep
it was 12:30 at night. marty was reading in bed. her hand lazily reached to her right softly scratching my back as i drifted towards the ether. in the night silence came a wooden thump on the other side of the house. and then another. and another. they were steps. heavy, labored steps that neared our room. i opened my eyes to see the sweet tea in the mason jar on my bedside table dancing like the puddle in Jurassic Park moments before the t-rex arrived.

in our doorway appeared a sleepy isabella, pushing wild hair out of her face and rubbing her eyes. once her face was fully visible, she said ...

Mother! Go To Sleep!

she then turned and heavily-marched back to her bed. you could hear her collapse into bed two rooms away. back to silence.

the next morning alex reported having a dream where his toes got cut off with a pair of scissors. i said it was a weird night all around. i asked him who cut his toes off. he said in an exasperated voice ...

i told you already dad, my dream did.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.23.2008
this one's for all the ladies out there, all those who ever lactated at least...
i sat in the grass at the back of the house with my baby in my arms. the white clover smelled of honey: it was the time in the afternoon when it is easy to drowse and slip into light summery dreams. i fed my baby until she fell asleep on my breast. her lips let go of the nipple and her head tipped backwards a little on my arm. her mouth was slightly open with a thin trail of milk at the corner. i wiped it away with my finger. i ran my little finger over her soft gums and felt the tips of the two new teeth, like embedded grains of rice. her eyelids were closed, the finest film over her black eyes. they fluttered now and then and her lips quivered in fleeting secret smiles.
excerpt from linda olsson's Astrid & Veronika.

i've never breast-fed a child yet this passage spoke to me. and judging from marty's response, as she read it to me at the dinner table last night after the kids were off and playing, it spoke to her as well. stirring stuff.

KIDS (permalink) 01.22.2008
no, he's not drunk, he's just trying to get his shirt off.
alex hates changing clothes. at night, he battles to sleep in what he wore to school. come morning, he fights to wear to school what he slept in. it's quite easy to see what a sinister cycle this is and we've yet to find a loophole in his logic. he's got all his bases covered and you simply have to hope for a serious spill in the kitchen or some mud-sport in the backyard to soil his outfit to the point that even he doesn't want to wear it anymore.

one downside of alex's war is he's not very good at dressing or undressing himself because he's only got a quarter of the practice/experience a boy his age should have. one upside of his obsession is i could watch him try to take a long-sleeve, pull-over shirt off for hours. you just have to keep him clear of the stair-case.

SCIENCE, HEALTH (permalink) 01.18.2008
your leg shouldn't do this when i do this
when i was a senior in high school i blew my right knee out while playing flag football in gym. when it happened i had a sense for what occurred but my gym coach told me i simply twisted my knee and to walk it off. that's just what i did, finishing out the school day and then working a night shift schlepping yogurt on CSU's Campus West. when i woke in the morning i was unable to move my leg at all and the knee joint was the size of a grapefruit. at the time i was living alone in my parents house, my folks having already relocated to saint louis. using the cord, i pulled the phone to my bed and called the neighbor lady who was charged with helping me in the event of trouble. she was a nurse. she was attractive. and i was naked. but she came over, let herself in and with averted eyes helped get me to the hospital.

my dad flew in for the surgery which was deemed a success but my knee never worked the same again. in the fifteen years since i've had a number of minor traumas to it and have seen many doctors many times. they all did the same thing, flex my leg this way and that and tell me some rehab and muscle work would fix my woes. being the one experiencing the failing joint, i've long known this could not be the case. this last summer the debilitation reached new heights and for every hour of tennis i would play, my knee required three days of rest. so i did some research into sports medicine orthopedist in the area and found one who does work for the saint louis rams and blues. i had my appointment yesterday.

first they took several x-rays of my knee. next, two resident interns came into the room for a preliminary examination. the lead guy asked me a few questions before putting me through the paces every internist before him had. in the end he clapped his chart shut and said he was confident some rehab would do the trick. they excused themselves saying the doctor would be in momentarily. i sat up dour. my mind churned frustrated thoughts.

the door opened again. a large, handsome man walked in giving me a firm handshake, the two toadies trailing him. he asked me about ten minutes worth of questions then had me lay back. he had a bunch of extra motion-tricks in his bag and after a few minutes said, "i think i know why your having so many problems, you have a torn ACL." i looked at the resident in time to see the blood rush from his face. the doctor seeing this, turned to him and jovially asked, "you saw this right? i mean look at this thing." the pale-faced youth managed a choked, "well yeah ... i mean no ... i mean he didn't say all that stuff about the buckling." dude, why the hell do you think i'm at an orthopedic surgeon!?!? and please note the bonus eight minutes your elder took to ask the guy he's never met about a fifteen year problem. trying to put his miss on me ... arrogant prick. the doctor turned the dropped ball into a teaching moment, showing them what a failed ACL looks like. the three of them took turns manipulating my two legs. the doc was smiling. i was smiling. and why wouldn't i be, this was my first group action ever. i could have kissed that tall, nordic god square on the mouth.

to the cutting board i go, delirious with joy!

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 01.17.2008
my sentiments, quite exactly.
alex stood quietly, watching me peel potatoes for dinner. the potatoes were wet and i was fumbling them in my hands. i started getting frustrated. i took a breath about to mutter something when alex spoke up:

aahhhh. you gotta be kidding me.

i looked at him and smiled. that is definitely something i mutter on a near-daily basis. he never took his eyes of my hands and continued to watch me struggle. after a few more minutes of slippery spuds i drew another breath and alex shot out:

son of a beeeeaaaannnn.

you see i usually catch myself before i finish that one and it would seem alex has surmised the word i've been omitting is 'bean' given the way i end up elongating the letter B. when the kids are a bit older i bet we could make a sporting game out of guessing the swear dad or mom would use given various scenarios.

KIDS (permalink) 01.16.2008
they're not hairy either
when i stepped out of the shower i heard marty and the kids leaving for school. in the mornings i either take bella and alex to school myself or give hugs and kisses to them as they leave for the day. today i was wet and in a towel when i heard the front door slam. i ran to an upstairs window, opened it and shouted goodbye as they walked towards the car. alex returned the sentiment and bella turned paused and then shouted, loudly, "will you please shut the window! i can see your big, fat nipples!"

i can say with the full confidence that my nipples are neither big or fat. i just don't know how to say it with confidence to the neighbors who surely heard bella bark the information through the quiet morning street.

KIDS, PHOTO (permalink) 01.15.2008
more from the lens of alex's new camera
i call this two-shot series photographed by alex "EVIDENCE".

KIDS (permalink) 01.11.2008
most flawed plans have quite simple fixes
alex had a playdate to the house yesterday. when the boy's mother came to pick him up she asked alex if he would like to come and play at their house. alex said that he wouldn't need to come to their house because he wasn't going to let the boy go home. the woman smiled at alex's cuteness and continued her departure. minutes later as she ushered her son to the car, alex stood on the front porch and screamed, "if he leaves, i'm going to take my penis out!"

i gotta say, i never had great luck with that threat either. i think a smarter approach would be to take it out and threaten to only put it away if your demands are met.

PHOTO (permalink) 01.08.2008
it's all about the angles
alex got a fisher price digital camera for christmas. on christmas day he took 231 pictures. since then it's been like living with a three foot tall paparazzi. it also makes me sensitive to how often i'm naked. and he could not be a worse height to be taking pictures of me naked.






PHOTO (permalink) 01.07.2008
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
december 2007

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