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KIDS (permalink) 04.30.2009
the best dressed boy in town turns 6 today

QUOTES (permalink) 04.28.2009
your reputation is what you're perceived to be but your character is what you are.
never mention winning. my idea is that you can lose when you outscore somebody in a game and you can win when you're outscored. i've felt that way on certain occasions at various times. i just want my kids to be able to hold their head up after a game. i used to say that when a game is over and you see somebody that didn't know the outcome that i hope they couldn't tell by your actions wether you outscored and opponent or if an opponent outscored you. that's what really matters. if you make your effort to do the best you can regularly, the results will be about what they should be, not necessarily what you'd want them to be, but they'll be about what they should be.
excerpt from john wooden ted talk titled Coaching for people, not points

KIDS (permalink) 04.27.2009
anthony's latest.
when marty first saw it, she said she felt she knew what people with difficult pets, like marley (?), must feel like.

moments later she added if anthony were a dog she'd get rid of him.

i asked how she'd do that. via a dog pound or a country road.

she said a pound.

as she started getting into the real messy parts of it, i said i didn't believe her and thought she'd go the country road route.

she didn't respond.




if there's a silver lining, because it is during moments like this you most need to look for silver linings, it is that now when anthony gets wet, because of the non-water-soluble, expensive, medicinal (for exema) lotion he smeared all over himself, water now beads up on his skin like he were a newly waxed sportscar.

this is especially true of the foot that is sitting inside the tub. when i first saw his foot submerged in the container i thought why would he do that. then after pondering it a moment i thought, at this point why the hell wouldn't he do that.

HEALTH (permalink) 04.24.2009
at any cost
traversing life successfully usually means doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. living in saint louis, there is extra truth in this statement twice a year. the first is doing what needs to be done to stay cool in august and the second is doing what needs to be done to get through allergy season.

SPORTS (permalink) 04.23.2009
what you could be doing instead of manscaping

HYGIENE (permalink) 04.22.2009
i guess
some latent observations about yesterday's post dealing with male grooming:
i guess i may be the last guy walking around who didn't know that male grooming is better known as manscaping.

i guess it's only fitting that the girl who cuts my hair be the one to tell me that.

i guess i shouldn't have been surprised when i googled manscape that a word like 'boyzillion' would appear in the results.

i guess i should have remembered sooner that when bookpimp got married, as a wedding gift to his wife, he got his back waxed. when the hair lady looked at his naked backside she explained that what he paid her wasn't enough to do the whole thing and asked if he wanted to pay more or wax less. the wife was still touched that her man got a large rectangle of hair removed in her honor.

i guess i should have known an images search on the term manscape would have produced something as depressing as this.

i guess after seeing that photo my advice to hair-conscious men everywhere would be stop shaving and start running.

HYGIENE (permalink) 04.21.2009
shortly before i stopped being a corporate whore, i had an unusual-ish lunch. two things made it odd. first off, i went with five guys, colleagues, i didn't know all that well, only one of which would have even rated as an acquaintance (i usually eat lunch alone or with one or two people i like pretty well). the second curiosity was the conversation itself. it dealt with, of all things, male grooming. when the topic was first floated, and it was not raised by me because such matters aren't even on my radar, i scanned the table thinking in a group of people who push ones and zeros around for a living this subject might have a life-span of 36 seconds. but as i studied the five expressions i didn't see disdain and disinterest but instead mild intrigue and readiness. i almost yelled at the whole lot of them saying they can either like network gaming parties or shaving their genitals but not both.

seeing the subject had legs i turned my attentions to the conversation's sponsor. you groom? down there? unabashedly he said he did. he then asked me. you don't? at all? unabashedly i said i didn't. he asked me why i cut the hair on my head. i said because it would be unprofessional not to. he asked why i shaved my face. i admitted that even though i was still as of yet unable to grow cheek hair if i could i would still shave because i felt face pelts were also unprofessional. he then started asking about marty. and if she shaved and groomed. i said she did but certainly not at my demand. and frankly, i could care less if she did or not. the whole table groaned loudly and recoiled like slugs to salt. what's the big deal i asked. are they afraid of a natural woman? it seems they were afraid of the potential. a few of them had seen movies and were witness to what was in fact possible.

seeing i was getting nowhere with the first guy, i sought support from the rest of the table. one by one i asked them if they owned a male epilady or some such device and one by one they confessed they did, my acquaintance included. i saved my sure bet for last, a contractor straight from the india homeland, arranged marriage country and all. he said to me in the most classic and quintessential accent, "i am sorry troy, but i am unable to help you here." even the indian guy was sitting on the closed-lid toilet, with his knees flayed apart, tweezing groin hairs with his free time. does he know how to tie a slip-knot? has he read the the count of monte christo? can he spin a pencil in crazy ways on his hand? no, but he doesn't have a body hair on the outside of the elastic leg band of his underwear. how admirable is that? as weak as it may appear, that last guy really took the wind out of my sails and in the end, i quit the fight. there were too many of them and they proved immune to any powers of persuasion i thought i may have had. sad to find myself spending time with such a lot, i became morose.

perhaps my despondency drove the guy who started the whole preening debate to share the following story about a friend of his who was uber-manic about his hair removal. it seems this guy's appearance was a real house of cards given his hirsute genes and required more routine care than a fertilized lawn in portland. after he moved in with a girl he'd been dating, he was finding it difficult to find enough private time to keep the hedges at bay. he was having to go to work late or come home for lunch to get his primping time in (sheesh!). one day his girlfriend wasn't feeling well and left work early. after walking in the door and setting her keys and purse down she heard something coming from the bedroom. she moved to the door, listened for a moment and then opened it. she saw her boyfriend lying on the floor, on his back, naked, and with his legs pulled over his head. he had an electronic thing in his hand but she didn't have time to make out what it was or what he was doing with it before he sprang forward into a sitting position, and started yelling at her through bugged-out eyes to get out of the room. she slammed the door shut and stood there with one hand still on the knob and the other covering her mouth. some minutes later he came out of the room fully clothed and aside from a huffiness about him, acting like nothing had happened. seeing that he wasn't going to volunteer an explanation she asked him what he was doing in there. he exploded saying it was none of her business and she should learn to knock on closed doors before entering rooms (her own bedroom included it seems). he never told her he was shaving the hair from between his buttocks and she never recovered from not being told that he was shaving the hair from between his buttocks so they broke up shortly after the incident. if i recall the story correctly, she let him keep the apartment.

i rebounded from the evil outing by imagining the guy in the story was the guy pushing the topic at my lunch table (he was reasonably hirsute). i had to do that because that meal happened four years ago and i still hold an image of a slightly overweight naked guy rolling around on plush carpeting contorting a braun razor in his hand fighting for the last, perfect angle. typically, i'm the stamper of such imagery and not the one having uninvited images pressed into the walls of my brain. call me a sore loser.

KIDS (permalink) 04.17.2009
equal-opportunity employer
at a recent family gathering, anthony walked by his fifteen year old cousin, emma. she was wearing a skin-tight, vintage-looking rolling stones t-shirt with the gaping mouth on the front. as he jetted by, she snatched him up and placed him onto her knee. she greeted him brightly. he looked at her face, then he looked at the large graphic on her shirt. he then raised his hand placed it under her right breast and gave it a few light lifts as if appraising its heft. after just a second of awkward looking at one another, emma lifted anthony off of her knee set him back on the ground and he resumed his journey as if nothing had ever happened.

it appears anthony is a believer in the "it doesn't hurt to ask" philosophy. i'm of the same ilk and have historically had about the same level of luck.

SOCIETY (permalink) 04.16.2009
it seems nick-naming everyone may have a genetic component in that bella has taken to applying monikers to her own world. most notably last week a group of kids at school she calls the hannah montana girls. and for added bite, not all of them are girls.

recently bella made a comment about going to another school. when marty asked why she wanted to change bella said it was to get away from the hannah montana girls. marty paused from what she was doing, turned to bella and explained that there was no getting away from the hannah montana girls because every school had them. they are everywhere. by the dour look on bella's face you would have thought marty just told her there was no santa, cuddly puppies, or music-playing ice cream trucks. she was struck completely dumb.

and as i think i've noted before, bella calls grown up hannah montana girls, decorated ladies. and like their younger counterparts, there's no getting away from them either.

PERSONAL (permalink) 04.15.2009
please allow me to elaborate
for the person who commented on my easter day silence while dealing with anthony as well as for any others who may have lacked the testicular or ovarian fortitude to comment on my easter day silence, allow me to address why i didn't take a moment during anthony's trespasses to share a teaching moment with him, kneeling down by his side, putting an arm around his shoulder and chatting with him in soft, loving tones while my hands floated through the air accenting my message. as children we're taught if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything. the parental version of this tenet states if you can't say what's on your mind without bouncing your child off a plaster wall, it's probably best to keep your notions to yourself, however illuminated or educational or necessary they may prove in the end. but now that we have some ticks of the clock between then and now, let's revisit the points one at a time.

the first incident where anthony presented himself to me looking like a medical doctor about to perform an invasive exploratory procedure or like some deviant about to engage in a sexual act illegal in thirty nine states. this item falls into an area of human interaction i call the too late-too soon bucket. that is, if i have to say it or comment upon a certain obvious behavior, the person is beyond assistance, either because someone already missed the boat with them, or in this case, because they are not yet ready to be helped. and we all well know what they say about helping people before they are ready.

as for the laundry chute. i had just sorted laundry and more than half of what was in the basement receptacle did not qualify as clothing or things that should have been transported to the basement via the laundry chute. additionally, the last thing i threw down the chute before the bike bottle was deposited were my five brooks brothers work shirts. i throw them down separately from the rest of the family clothes given they are wrinkle free variety and reasonably expensive. as such, having random things and liquids thrown on top of them does not really fit into my plan of preservation.

and the kitchen. yes, my kitchen. my kitchen which looked more like a crime scene that a room where a two year tried his damnedest to make some show-pop for the movie his family was watching upstairs. there were just a few missteps in his process, like, for instance, i typically pour the popcorn kernels into a pot and not onto the floor. relatedly, i usually don't empty the whole bottle out at once, into the pan or onto the floor. and the same goes for the oil, meaning the whole container was not necessary, and it's not the olive oil i use but instead the vegetable oil. but if there is a good side to what went down in the kitchen it is that he did use the olive oil because that container was only about a fourth of the size of the vegetable oil thus making that the only positive thing that happened down there.

so this might give a little more insight into my lack of verbosity when dealing with anthony during this twenty minute span on easter sunday. i assure you if i did choose to speak, and you lived within three zip codes of me, you would have known i had chosen to speak.

PHOTO (permalink) 04.14.2009
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
April 2009

GEEK (permalink) 04.10.2009
riddle me this
you're in a room with two doors. if you walk through one, you'll die. if you walk through the other, you'll live. there's a man in front of each. one of them always lies. one of them always tells the truth.

you can ask one question.

what question can you ask to figure out which is the safe door to walk through?

i.e. what color is your shirt would work to figure out which one is honest if you could ask two questions. but since you can only ask one, you need a question that is more encompassing/revealing.

and, don't bother asking me for the answer. i don't know the answer. this morsel dances into my head for a few minutes every few months to tantalize the workers in my brain. while it's there they all lean on their shovels and push back from their desks and look at the show until they get headaches. then they resume the ditch-digging and paperwork causing it to leave the room. now i pass it on so your brain's workers can be occasionally distracted (and annoyed) too. no need to thank me. i can see it in your eyes.

FAMILY (permalink) 04.09.2009
will you pause this so i can go stuff pop-tarts down my pants
a few sundays back we had brunch at a friend's house. in addition to the usual fixings, the host made a two pound platter of bacon that was wicked good and that my people fiended on like we had never seen the food product before. that night while doing laundry, i found a soggy piece of bacon in the bottom of the washer that one of our children had stuck into their pants pocket. i was only mildly surprised because the week before i found the decimated remnants of three strawberries after doing a load of darks.

the one thing that saves marty and i from having everyone think we are starving our children is that they, our children, don't steal more food from people's tables and pantries because they are too glued to people's television sets to make the effort.

remember, not having a television doesn't make marty and i better parents, it makes our kids better kids.

TRAVEL, PHOTO (permalink) 04.08.2009
while we're on the subject

click to enlarge

in stumbling upon the latest anthony pic (beach tough), i found the above image of the family at the beach last summer which somehow never got pinned to the wall. and given these teasing glances we're getting at warm weather, it felt doubly right to share now.

PERSONAL (permalink) 04.03.2009
doing more before 8am than the army, navy AND marines
1:30 i stood up from my desk to go to bed. marty was sleeping diagonally on the ping pong room futon. anthony was sleeping diagonally in my bed. i chose my bed. anthony is easier to push around than marty.

2:22 i woke up to anthony lifting my head with great effort and saying, "no you! ma-ma. no you! ma-ma." squinting my eyes, i lifted my head and had the following conversation with my blonde-headed 2 year old.

anthony, what are you doing?

no you. mama.

no me? no you. i'm sleeping here. mom is in the ping-pong room. if you want to sleep with her, go there. (with this i laid my head back down)

(anthony starts wailing and continues trying to push my head out of the bed) no! mama. mama! MaMa! MAMA!

i get up, carry him like a sack of potatoes under my arm to his crib and leave there wailing. i return to my bed, collapse in and am back asleep within 20 seconds.

2:50 alex whispers in my ear. he says he scared in his bed. wordlessly i lift the covers inviting him into my bed. he crawls in and snuggles into me.

3:43 alex wakes me again and says he really wants to sleep in his bed. i tell him to go sleep in his bed then.

3:47 alex wakes me again and says he still really wants to sleep in his bed but he's scared to alone and wants me to sleep in his bed with him. i tell him i can't because i'm already sleeping in this bed.

3:53 i'm climbing a bunkbed ladder with a sheet and comforter draped over my back like a deranged batman.

7:40 i stir to the sound of bella asking why she doesn't have any shorts in her drawer. as i open my eyes i realize i'm not lieing flat on my back. alex's head is under my right shoulder blade causing a large void beneath me and leaving me propped at an angle and pinned to the side safety railing of the bunk bed.

7:47 i gingerly rise to a sitting position and feel bones i never knew i had in my back rub together abrasively. a new day is underway.

QUOTES (permalink) 04.02.2009
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

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