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HYGIENE (permalink) 03.30.2007
those aren't butterflies, hershey kisses and shiny nickels in that bag
i was in a conversation with someone who expressed shock that i didn't have my work-shirts professionally laundered and pressed. i expressed equal disbelief they could. when asked why i would ever bother with such a pedestrian task when an affordable option was available my response was quick and short; i have no interest in a bunch of random humans touching my shit.

and let's say that through years of counseling we were able to bring about a total re-alignment of my thinking so the mere notion no longer made the back of my throat itch, another problem exist. i have no interest in other peoples' stuff even touching my stuff, especially when the other peoples' stuff is sometimes their bacon-stained, tighty-whiteys. i know what goes on at the dry cleaners. i've seen the leased bmw's slice into the saturday morning parking lots. people aren't just dropping off their pinstriped oxfords and starched khakis. i see bursting santa-claus like nylon sacks getting hoisted onto the counter with a grunt, the drawstring straining to keep the soured garments (and stench) contained. while i don't claim to know exactly what is in those bags i can claim to know i want nothing to do with any of it.

KIDS (permalink) 03.28.2007
sometimes there's just no justice
for the record:
waking bella is like quelling a prison riot.

waking alex is like performing twenty minutes of cpr on Resusci Anne.

and a whispy fart let go three rooms away is enough to pull anthony from the deepest slumber.

WIFE, FOOD (permalink) 03.27.2007
red-handed and red-cheeked
i'm a popcorn snob. i use redenbacher, maybe newmans, but always someone who is passionate and gifted at the craft. i make it over a flame, such as a gas stove-top or open fire. i always use the same pot. i always use real butter. and i always make a tasty bowl of corn. and i do it a lot. marty knows all this. i shared it early in our dating relationship right after my positions on religion and children. given the reveal, by marrying me marty accepted this character trait. this is why our marriage works. she deals with my three flaws and i accept her sixty-four.

the other day while passing through the kitchen i caught marty, fresh back from the grocery, pouring a bag (a clear-plastic bag like we were simple heathens living in the forest) from some no-name maker of popcorn through a funnel and into an empty redenbacher container. i stopped and eyed the woman. she looked like alex when i found him unwinding a full roll of toilet paper into the commode. words weren't necessary but she said some just the same.

i bet you wouldn't have even noticed.

don't test me marta. not you. not you of all people.

i don't want to call it a divorcable offense but it just may be the closest we've ever come to seeing one.

KIDS (permalink) 03.23.2007
was the irs here hon?
bella had a homework assignment. in it she was to go through her house and count things. things like doors, windows and such. the last page of the assignment was left open. here she was free to pick the object she would count. she chose picture frames. after dinner i ambled through the dining room and found this.

click to enlarge

it seems that bella kept losing count so devised this error-free numbering system for conducting her inventory. and, should you be curious, we have 132 picture frames in our home. and at least 132 post-it notes as well.

QUOTES (permalink) 03.22.2007
that's some good ole american advice right there.
it's like my husband always says, never trust a man in a suit who has a tan.
a neighbor-lady speaking about a business transaction that almost happened

KIDS (permalink) 03.21.2007
am i under video surveillance
during one of our bedtime story-tellings i shared with bella and alex how i once used an outhouse when i was a little kid and staying in a relative's hunting lodge. three days later bella told a table-full of dinner guests that her daddy pees in a bucket in the garage. i didn't hear this first hand because i was in the kitchen getting something for the meal. it was only later when one of the guest pulled me to the side and asked "do you really urinate in a pail in your garage?" the saddest part of this is i was a little uncertain how i should answer that question.

FRIENDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.20.2007
whatever the trespass, i capitulate. i capitulate fully.
do you remember me talking about juju?
it began when i came into work with a zit, bookguy promptly and expectedly said something along the lines of 'nice zit'. two days later he had a festering carbuncle on the tip of his nose four times the size and three shades darker than my own. this trend oddly continued, meaning anytime one of us would harangue the other over something we knew they would be insecure about, mother wrath would deliver a much worse malady upon the offender. we termed this phenomenon as juju, bad juju specifically. the juju proved so reliable we actually reached a point of maturity, if even maturity through fear of consequence. if you had a blemish you could see the other staring at it, the rolodex of insults spinning in their brain but knowing they wouldn't pluck a card out lest they suffer a retort from the juju god.
i thought i was on my best behavior in utah. i swear. but by the looks of the blemish that has taken over the region above my left eyebrow it appears the ju-ju gods believe i took an aluminum bat to bookguy while he slept.

it began in the form of a small bump shortly after our return. then it started to show its teeth, growing in diameter, height AND darkness. saturday night i eyed it in the mirror, turning my head from left to right seeing how it looked from various angles. all told it remained quite innocuous but i let the fact that people were coming for brunch in the morning cloud my judgement and i threw down. two minutes in i knew the right move was to cut my losses but i had made some ground. eight minutes later i was waving the white flag, in this case a balled-up kleenex. i not only lost the war but took quite a thumping in the battle as well.

the next morning i studied the zone. there was no way to call it anything other than bleak. but i shook it off, i'm a grown man. what do i care if it looks like someone spot-welded a red bouncy ball to my forehead? i'm bigger than all that mess. in the midst of my self-pep-talk, i heard a knock at the front door and responded. it was a close friend of marty's. as she stepped into the foyer she made big, wild eyes and brightly said "ohhhh! what happened there?" and waggled a finger around the bouncy ball. i bashfully lowered my eyes and said i think i beat my friend with a bat while he slept.

FILM (permalink) 03.16.2007
as chris rock says, men are only as faithful as their options.
i watched mr and mrs smith last night and can confidently say one thing about the film; it's apparent that jenifer aniston did not read the scripts her husband accepted. i don't want to say that brad and angelina flying away together was inevitable, but there really isn't another word in the english language to define what was bound to happen. you could have shown me nothing but the film's first five minutes and i could have picture-perfectly drawn the next six months in those people's lives. i mean from the word action they had angelina flitting around in a sheer white, see-through dress and then they made it rain. game, set, match and marriage.

another thing that struck me is how uncharacteristic this role was for pitt. combining this man's charisma and the young age he entered the industry, he's proven quite selective and diverse with parts, reminiscent of a young nick cage. seeing the lack of creativity and innovation in this film, i'd put money behind pitt (a) taking this role purely on the angelina-factor and (b) never having any intention of returning to aniston when the work was done.

aniston's mistake was that she didn't sit her ass on that movie set like a doting girlfriend. i know it seems insecure but consider who she's married to. i mean not everyone can be as confident in union as, say, marty, even if her faith doesn't stem from thinking i will never leave her as much as it stems from faith that no other woman would ever take me.

FAMILY, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.14.2007
you can squeeze it all you want, just don't get it wet.
bella has this funny habit when she finishes a roll of toilet paper she takes the cardboard tube off the holder and drops it into the bathtub. seems minor but when i shower in the morning i just reach in past the curtain and turn on the hot water to let it warm up. then moments later when i step in, i see this water-logged spool soaking in the middle of the tub. from this i've come to learn i don't like touching wet cardboard (probably the most predictable thing i've ever learned about myself) which means i leave it there for someone else, which in our house can also be pronounced 'marty', to deal with later in the day/week.

i asked bella why she threw the roll in the tub and not in the waste basket. she shrugged her shoulders and said 'no reason'. i asked her if she would stop doing this and she unaffectedly said 'sure'. a week or two would go by sans shower surprise when one morning there it is, again rolling around against the spray of the shower jets. after thinking on it some, it occurred to me that i just assumed bella was the one doing it and that i've never actually seen her make the maneuver. this may explain why they keep showing up. with my luck marty is the one doing it in protest of our decade-long battle over wether the toilet paper should come out from the top or bottom of the hanging roll. she and i have persevered through children, financial crises and other significant life changes yet an agreement on how to hang the toilet paper in our home's only bathroom eludes us. looking at this in print, i'm seeing how petty the matter is, but what are you going to do when you're married to someone as stubborn and convicted as marty. i will confess though, if she is behind this secret and this is her tactic of choice in settling our feud, she just may come out on top this time.

BOOKS (permalink) 03.13.2007
i can now say a bona-fide celebrity has slept in my home.
one of my brother-in-laws wrote a book. like a for real one. real enough that as i'm leafing through the sunday times book section, i see them talking about it. i must say that it is pretty stinkin' cool to be reading the sunday paper on your porch during the first spring day and seeing someone you've shared holiday meals with written up in the ny times.

i'd be much more covetous of this achievement had i not heard about, even on the periphery, the many years of labor that went into the effort. i absolutely marvel at folks with the perseverance and patience to bring such an ambitious endeavor to fruition. well done and congratulations michael.

PHOTO (permalink) 03.09.2007
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
march 2007

HEALTH, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.07.2007
HEY RON! call me once you've van der putten your damn clothes back on.

what the associated press had to say about this happening:
The first clothing-free workout session at a Dutch gym went ahead as planned in Heteren, eastern Netherlands, Sunday March 4, 2007, and participants and observers said it met expectations. Around a dozen middle-aged and elderly men braved the glare of nearly twice that number of journalists, including reporters, photographers and at least five television teams, to fulfill their dream of exercising naked. 'There are things that you like to do, and for a nudist, it just feels better to do them with your clothes off,' said Ron van der Putten, left, who drove for more than an hour to take part in the first session, dubbed 'Nudifit'. 'You feel more free.' (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
and what troy had to say:
i'd watch titantic, shop at walgreens and hang a poster of keanu in my office before i'd follow that guy on the exer-bike.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.06.2007
a common sort of bella-ism
some people think little brothers are an ache in the neck but i don't think that. alex and anthony are a love in my neck.
isabella, who turns six today, speaking randomly during bedtime rituals.

TRAVEL, PHOTO, SPORTS (permalink) 03.05.2007
for those who guessed salt lake city, utah, you were spot on
in reviewing the photos from this year's ski adventure (none of which were taken by me), i pulled a few out of the stack that i thought made this trip unique. in what i suppose is not an unexpected move, of all these photos, the last one is my absolute favorite and is oddly the one that takes me back to the mountain more than the others. the mind is a curious, and sometimes twisted, thing. you can click on any of the images to enlarge.

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