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VIDEO (permalink) 03.28.2014
watch this. if you don't you might regret it.

KIDS (permalink) 03.27.2014
hey you!
a few of the hand-crafted flyers bella made last night which she plans to hang up on poles and in bathrooms around our community on her day off school today. my memory might not be what it once was but i'm pretty sure i never spent a day off school making and posting signs in hopes of raising people's self-esteem.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

KIDS (permalink) 03.26.2014
uncle, uncle!
the biggest problem we have with our two sons is they laugh so often and so loud they annoy and wake their sister with great regularity. watching them play and read and cuddle and rough-house and build together, at times for hours on end, has proven to be a magical combination for us. recently marty and alex had to go away for a few hours on saturday morning, a time i usually do my weekend chores and a time alex and anthony usually hang out. anthony was all over me with an attitude of, "c'mon dude, entertain my shit". his presence was so heavy i imagined how different life would be if he were our only child or if his older brother wasn't as open and engaging as he was and i had this urge to buy alex ten presents, some of which he really wants and some that he doesn't even know he wants in gratitude for how awesome he is to his little brother ... and by extension to me.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.25.2014
a kind of mystery science theater
we were at a theatrical production of les miserables in salt lake city. our family sat in the last row of the hale's intimate circular auditorium. this would be my third show at the hale and my family's second. during one particular scene, the necessary prop was lowered from the ceiling. it stood in the center of the round stage as one of the most scant arrangements used through the night containing only a metal gate supported on either side by two stone pillars. in the scene two star-struck lovers stood on either side of the locked gate longing for one another through their drippy sentiments exchanged between the gate's bars. in the middle of the heated scene my seven year old leaned into me for the following whispered conversation:



why are they talking through the gate?

because she is locked in her house and he is on the street.

but why doesn't he just walk around?

(muffled laughter)

i mean, can't they see the fence doesn't go very far and they could just walk around that stone part?

well, because ...

then they wouldn't have to talk through those bars.

later in the show when they brought out a grown up and highly decorated Cossette, anthony quietly asked why little bo peep was in the show. this one caused laughter by a small circle of seats surrounding him.

so, if you ever want to make a high-brow show more entertaining, i reckon for the right price (some sweets from the intermission stand) you could have anthony accompany you and ask the questions that need to be asked.

WEB (permalink) 03.17.2014
that good life
stepping away again. be back on tuesday, march 25th.

LIFE, WIFE (permalink) 03.14.2014
while beautiful as heck, the girl is awfully hard on a set of dishes
marty believes that if you make it fifteen or twenty years in marriage you should get to have a second wedding shower namely to replace the things you received the first time because after a decade of use, many of them are starting to wear out or are broken or are way out of style. while i chortled at her suggestion when she initially floated out there, holding one of the struggling items up in example as she spoke, i must confess the notion has been rolling around by brain long enough now that it has nice rounded edges and the sheen of a glassy marble, which is the look all our best thoughts take on in time—in my metaphorical world at least.

granted this time through i think marty would kindly request to swap any suggestive lingere purchaces for a more practical set of wool socks. and sad as it is to report, i would support the request. you would too if you ever had her ice-cold feet graze against your calf at 2am on a winter's night.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 03.13.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
how does this work

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 03.12.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

WIFE (permalink) 03.11.2014
43 years strong, savvy, sexy and smart
today is marty's birthday. several months back she dropped the hint, and by hint i mean she just came out and said, "all i want for my birthday is a working dishwasher". well i, wanting to add master gift-giver to the list of things i am known for, made an indelible note on my mind's whiteboard.

in getting an impressively mature/early start on the endeavor i recalled that getting a new washer involved new and expensive plumbing work to meet code. i then iterated through the notes made by the repairman about the machine as well as the litany of work i had done to date. with about six weeks till today i started studying the problem in hopes that i could figure out why the machine was not doing what it was built, solely, to do. i crossed the finish line on saturday, with three days to spare, by having our dishwasher clean its first set of dirty dishes in better than two years. marty was over the moon and i beamed with a genuine pride reserved for young men who solve seemingly unsolvable problems, given their meager abilities at least.

and now, in addition to providing marty with the one birthday present she wanted most, i have a professional fall-back plan if my I.T. gig doesn't pan out as a dishwasher repairman because i know way more about these animals than any one man who isn't a repairmen should.

LIFE (permalink) 03.07.2014
holy dang
i just got tunred onto this ted video (by super-sam). i have no idea how i haven't seen it before now as it looks to have been out a few years (7 million plus views long at least). what a presenter! what a delivery! what a message! super strong all around. i watched it last night with marty and bella. when he talked about our need to stop teaching to the average and start raising the average, marty shouted and clapped as if she were in the original auditorium. when he talked about the ingredients to a healthy day (e.g. gratitudes, journaling, exercise, meditation, targeted kindness) bella backed away from me a little bit as she knows these are part of the metrics i track everyday. she knows this well because she has mocked me several times for my little LIFE spreadsheet i'm often found to be obsessively pouring over, by her telling, like gollum over his precious. obviously, i would like to describe it differently but it is close enough to the mark i'm left a mildly impotent to paint a more reasonable picture.

LIFE, FRIENDS (permalink) 03.05.2014
caffeine, way optional
my young friend that recently shouldered a cancer diagnosis goes in for his final treatment this afternoon. after that, all involved expect to place him in the 'in full remission' category. but as they say, once a survivor, always a survivor which means the big C knows where you live and you'll never again live without the fear of opening the door and seeing its grim face staring back at you.

in our most recent coffee outing, which was our first to come in under four hours, he spoke of the positive impacts this experience has had on his life. the first thing he said, in example, is he could sit in this chair, stare out this window and see the wonder and beauty of the slush-filled road and its surroundings, and he could do so for hours without getting bored of it. i asked him if he thought the feeling would ever go away. he said he could see it subsiding in time but doubted it would ever leave fully.

he then spoke of a new ritual he has adopted. he now greets mornings with a new respect and gratitude. the first thing he does after waking is not go back to sleep as he would in the past (i mean the guy is 23 and fresh out of college). the second thing he does is walk through his apartment and slide each sun-blocking curtain open wide, letting the sunlight flood each room. third he does some sort of full-body stretch. lastly, he makes his bed. once that is done he begins his day with an appreciation few hold.

i think i've discussed how in recent years i've converted to being a morning guy. my only personal sadness is i didn't do it decades earlier. already, i have my own set of rituals i partake in the morning, rituals meant to prepare for and give thanks to the day ahead but in hearing sam describe his morning routine, i see my own practice lacks the reverence i feel in sam's approach. i'm left wondering if the only way to enter our days with like gratitude is to have been part of a medical guessing game of how likely it is you will be around for the planet's sunrise this time next year.

KIDS (permalink) 03.04.2014
it makes dirty clothes on the bathroom floor seem tame, maybe even welcome
i found a pair of bella's underwear in the dining room.

when i opened the silverware drawer in the butler's pantry, i found a pair of anthony's pajamas stuffed towards the back.

no comments were made though until we found one of alex's socks pulled over the doorknob of our home's front door. marty pointed at the sock and asked me if that meant one of the boys were having sex upstairs and we should proceed with caution.

i thanked her for suggesting it was one of the boys and not my only daughter.

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