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MUSIC, VIDEO (permalink) 03.29.2013
guess again pal.
for any who might have thought i was serious about wishing to be don johnson, worry not, i outgrew that desire in 1985. my more mature answer would be ben franklin (less 50 pounds) or the blonde trumpeter in the below video.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.28.2013
suddenly my miami-vice-era don johnson answer seems less impressive
the dinner question of the night was 'if you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?"

while most were naming inventors, explorers, and celebrities (12 year old girl and all), when six year old anthony's turn came up he answered "the saddest person in the world".

the whole table looked at each other surprised at his reply. certain he misunderstood the question, we restated it. casually, he said he understood the question just fine. when asked why he would then choose what he chose he replied, "so the person who was the saddest person doesn't have to be that anymore. and then the world would be a better place."

i began the dinner question-ritual in hopes of stimulating thought and reason in my children, yet time and time again, i find i'm the one challenged and bettered by the exercise.

SPORTS, TRAVEL (permalink) 03.26.2013
a day of firsts
friday offered many firsts for me.

on friday i skied down a mountain slope with my entire family for the first time.

on friday i skied down an intermediate blue run with my boys for the first time.

on friday i visited the first aid center of a mountain resort for the first time.

on friday i was told i didn't dislocate my shoulder or break my collar-bone (and only experienced a blunt-force trauma to my shoulder) for the first time.

it turns out tuesday has a first or two in store for me as well. like, having to lift my hurt arm onto my desk with my good arm to type the sentence you are now reading.

and i reckon tuesday will also involve a concerned call with my mancation partner who i'm slated to ski with in two weeks.

KIDS (permalink) 03.22.2013
our resident handymanboy
we're staying with friends this week. one post-skiing afternoon we were strewn about the house recovering in different ways. as alex passed through the kitchen he noticed a large industrial grade pencil sharpener with eight different sized pencil openings and a sizable shavings bin had appeared on the counter. it turns out, our hostess, had brought it home because one of her third grade students had lodged a stubby pencil in one of the holes, a hole not large enough for the pencil crammed in its space. a mechanically curious alex examined the new object (i can just imagine him sizing it up, taking it in from various angles and depths). alex's keen eye quickly spied the stuck object. without thought, he went to his bag for his swiss army minichamp, returned to the kitchen and carefully extracted the pencil from the slot with the scissors attachment on his knife.

later in the day, alex mentioned to me what he did. i asked him if he talked to anyone about it and he said no, no one was around. i considered chastising him for messing with other people's stuff and that until he knew what the deal was, he should leave things alone but chose to hold my tongue until learning more (seasoned parent at moments and all ya know).

over dinner my friend, our hostess, looked at the sharpener, sighed and commented that she has a student in her third grade class that breaks something every day and this day he broke her favorite, super-awesome pencil sharpener. i told her that alex may have fixed it and i hope it was ok that he messed with it because he didn't ask. her face brightened. she asked if she heard me right. i told her how alex had noticed there was a pencil stuck in there and was able to get it out and i'm sorry that he messed with her stuff. she exclaimed, "mess with my stuff? mess with my stuff? he just made my day!!!"

the next time alex passed by she scooped him up without warning and gave him the giantest hug and loud-smacking cheek kiss i think his small frame has absorbed in quite some time. and so goes the quiet but impactful existence of our wild-haired child aleo.

KIDS (permalink) 03.21.2013
too sexy.
anthony dashed through the kitchen wearing only his new under armor ski tights. he shook his bottom around a few times before running out. the next time he passed through he was completely naked. he ascended the stairs and once at the top screamed "i'm sexy, i'm so sexy" to which you heard a horrified bella scream "Noooooooo!" as if someone were about to dash a kitten against a rock.

it's hard to imagine days ever being nearly as interesting as when you have small humans making their unscripted contributions to your world.

TRAVEL, QUOTES (permalink) 03.20.2013
our travel pundit.
while walking out of a gas station, anthony grabbed the handle on the door and pulled. the door didn't move. marty said the sign says PUSH anthony. he did and we exited the store. as we walked to the car anthony, our six year old, asked, "why would anyone put a handle on a door you have to push?"

marty and i exchanged silent expressions and she said, "i don't know anfer. i don't know."

now before we celebrate a mind as keen as anfer's just yet, allow me to share this second conversation.

look, there's church butte road.

church butte road. ohhhh!

yeah, does that mean there's like a church with a giant butt?

it's not that kind of butt anthony.

oh! then it's the kind of church that butts in line in front of other churches.

TRAVEL (permalink) 03.19.2013
bella, a better kinda rock star
we're out west right now for spring break. in planning the trip, given the distance we were looking at, i assumed we would fly but two things got in the way. the first arose when i booked our flights and was asked to select seats. as i scanned the small craft (as that seems just about all that leaves our once mighty airport anymore) for open spots a thought surfaced: now that everyone is using these smaller planes, what happens when a family of five gets bumped from a flight. i thought back to times my flights got cancelled and how desperate and flimsy the search for new arrangements typically seemed. and that was for one human. one human that doesn't completely crumble emotionally when deprived of their proper bedtime. the thought of finding a new route home for five people left me staring at the screen in a paralysis of sorts.

the second hurdle of merit was the pricetag. once i'd selected the round trip option and the litany of fees (seriously!) were added, we were looking at about a three grand burn before even leaving the zip code. i knew this would tax marty's ability to enjoy our ambitious adventure and rightly so since we just recently re-entered the ranks of dual-income homes and have a bit of digout to go yet from our single-income decade.

the morning after i uncovered this travel dilemma, bella and i were waiting for the bus. sensing my distraction bella asked what was wrong. after apologizing for my stupor i explained the above two things to bella. with barely a pause for thought she began:

why don't we just drive?

uhh. because it would be like twenty hours in the car.


so, i didn't think anyone would want to spend that much time in the car.

dad, it's vacation. we go on vacation to be together right. and when we're in the car we're together. and, we don't have any distractions like work or school. isn't that what vacation is about.

so we drove. and i gotta say, it was beyond awesome.

KIDS (permalink) 03.14.2013
same time, same place, same caliber tomorrow.
yesterday i mentioned a ritual i do with the boys to end the day. there is another ritual i've been doing with bella first thing in the morning. after she gets on the bus, and drops into her seat, always the same one, i pantomime something as the bus drives off. my four second skits have included things like pretending to pick up poop (when we're dog-sitting and i'm about to walk the pup), or downhill skiing (when we have a pending ski trip), or struggling to pull up tight pants (when she had to pull half-dry pants out of the dryer), or doing an animated singing solo (when she has a choir performance in the day). the reward for me is to see her brightly look out the window before the bus starts moving for her day's mini-show. then seeing her throw her head back in a hearty guffaw at the daily choice as she slides out of view is more meaningful to a father from his daughter than would be a standing-o from a packed carnegie hall.

and please note, that while she would never admit it, she too is tickled by a good poop joke. the difference between she and her brothers is she has a one a day limit, or week even, where the boys would gladly take one a minute for a week.

KIDS (permalink) 03.13.2013
eminem better watch his -beep-
the boys and i started a new bedtime game, especially after we've read shel silverstein. what i do is as we're approaching bed, i take a random sentence they say and then try to make a shel-esque poem out of it. as you'll see from last night's sample, the more bodily fluid and organ references that can be made, the better. the one below had them in hysterics (not the smartest pre-bed move) so much so they demanded a re-telling before they would go to sleep.
my son asked if you would cuddle me

but i said no, i have to go pee

in the backyard on a giant tree

but in the way got a flea

his name was lee

so mad was he, he flew up my weenie

making me fall backwards on my hiney

not mercifully

and off flew lee, most gleefully

WIFE (permalink) 03.12.2013
your attention please
each year before exiting from marty's birthday brunch i say a few words to marty and the guests. the first year, if memory serves, i shared how important marty was to me and i knew how important all of the ladies in the room were to her so it made perfect sense to devote a day to all of these people who are special and meaningful to one another.

this year held more of a "we've been here before - you know the drill" vibe that went something like:
thank you for coming again. after seeing the way marty lit up last year i didn't see how the day would be any less meaningful this year. and while i do know each and every one of you know the rigors and trials of motherhood i don't know that you know the rejuvenating power you provide to marty. no matter what might be happening in our home be it kids chirping and bickering or dealing with feces smeared on a wall, the second the phone rings and is answered and it is one of you, marty sends out a bright hello that would make you think she had just been running through a mountain meadow moments earlier. your friendship to her is like water to a desiccated plant. reviving and restorative.
later that night after the kids were down and the day was minutes from done, marty thanked me (again) for the day and said.

i liked your speech today.

speech? it was like three sentences long.

well, it was a good three sentences.

that may be the first time a speech that included the words 'smeared feces' ever received such a praise.

WIFE (permalink) 03.11.2013
it's not about how you start the game but how you finish
i botched marty's 40th birthday. i forget why but i'm sure any excuse i could recall or fabricate would be poor and baseless. a year later i attempted to redeem myself. for this, i arranged a surprise brunch that included her mother, her three sisters (one from new york and one from chicago), and her closest friends. i took care of all the food and once the guests arrived i packed the kids in the van (and the three kids of one of the friends) and ushered them out to my dad's place in the woods for the day. for all the kudos and praise i received from the girlfriends, the hateful sentiments i received from their spouses balanced any over-inflation that may have happened for my good deeds.

yesterday, i repeated the birthday brunch. i was less careful about protecting the surprise and less lavish with the eats and this year i plotted a better day for the kids and i (oz movie, skating at rollercade, and then dinner out). but even though marty had a notion what was going down and i didn't catch a tear of emotion like last year, i do think she and the ladies had a famous afternoon.

and, a sign of the good karma i earned, there were still some cinnabons left when the kids and i returned home. that's some good and right living there.

happy birthday walt.

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