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PHOTO (permalink) 07.31.2009
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
July 2009

TRAVEL, PHOTO (permalink) 07.30.2009
summer vacation 09 pics and notes 3

the family we were staying with were going away for the day. we asked if we should lock up if we left the house.

we'd prefer not because we don't know where our house keys are.


actually we're not even sure we have house keys. we didn't realize that until we went on a trip to new mexico.

and you left the house open for the weekend.

no, we left the house open for the week.


i guess that's mountain life.

TRAVEL, PHOTO (permalink) 07.29.2009
summer vacation 09 pics and notes 2
on our second day on the road we gave nicknames to the children. they fell out as follows.
  • bella 'really' walter dearmitt because of how she always says "really" after people say things to her she doesn't like or believe.
  • alex 'no funniness' walter dearmitt because of how he always screams I WANT NO FUNNINESS when you try to play/mess with him when he's not in the mood for it.
  • anthony 'showpop' walter dearmitt because of how he walks around the house all morning, day and night saying "showpop now. i want showpop now" which is what he calls my stovetop popcorn.

our first destination had a house-load of kids before we even arrived. most were teenagers and i learned the tenet of teenagers not finding younger kids cute was still alive and well with this current generation as could be confirmed by a conversation overheard by marty between two of them.

man those kids are loud.

yeah, and what's up with them. one is, like, american and the other one is, like, arabian or something.

poor aleo. and kids who have dogs look quite oddly upon kids who don't have dogs and like playing in the dog crates.

and we also got a taste of our future by watching a fifteen year old girl in summer mode, listlessly move about the house. one morning, or early afternoon, i overheard the following after the girl stumbled downstairs after waking up:

i feel like it's incredibly early

it's 11:30

marty commented on the grace with which the parents shoulder the teenage daughters angst, which is another way of saying it was impressive that they didn't jump all over her when she said things like the above. the dad said that there were a few hard years, especially for the mother and the daughter. one day after observing a battle between the two the dad said to the wife, "you're working too hard. your job is not to run their life, it is to guide them and point them to opportunities." this notion went on to make a large difference and is probably something most parents could be reminded of time and again.

TRAVEL, PHOTO (permalink) 07.27.2009
summer vacation 09 pics and notes 1
we're holidaying. it looked like we were going to skip this year and then a few things came up and now we're not. so as i'm able, i'm going to give you glimpses into our days as they happen so in case you are skipping this year's vacation like we planned to, you can live a bit through us.

a vacation ritual of marty's is to get a couple entertainment magazines, like Us, People, or Entertainment Weekly. then during a week of vacation, she'll methodically pour over them until they're entirely tattered and torn. you'd be surprised how comical it is to watch someone attempt to stay abreast of such free-flowing information only once every 12-14 months. for instance, such a discontinuous regiment fosters comments like from her:

i thought she just left him but here it says she's been artificially inseminated. but it doesn't say by who.

man look at this guy. he used to be pudgy. he looks pretty good now. but jeez, i think my treasure trail is more prominent than his.

we checked into the hotel at about 1am and immediately went to sleep. in the morning, we rose and packed getting ready to leave. as soon as the kids realized we were preparing to get back in the car, they freaked out thinking we were leaving without letting them watch any television. marty, reactionist extraordinaire, took the kids out to the lobby, got each of them a travel cereal boxes and marched them back to the room, each of them balancing their milk laden bowls. she then pulled a table to the end of the bed directly in front of the television, lined them up sitting on the foot of the bed, cereals in front of each and grabbed the remote. when she turned the television on, there was an image of an untanned meat-back flexing his oiled muscles in front of the camera sans shirt. that was all that was happening. nothing in the background, no sound, no voice-over, no nothing. just this smirking guy from the waist up. all five of us just sat mesmerized by this image that invaded our room for about ten seconds. then the inanity of the moment hit me and i started belly laughing. what struck me as so funny was not that this was on television (nothing will surprise me there) but that this is the the first glimpse of television my family got dealt on this vacation. after i started laughing, marty depressed the channel button. the next channel had just started credits for some animated dog show. alex immediately said, "oh i love this show" even though i'm quite certain he's never seen it before. so marty set the remote down, got her people magazine out and i opened my laptop and started typing this note. after about ten minutes we looked up to find all three children completely transfixed. bella's cereal was gone. the boys' was untouched. it looked like a scene out of one flew over the cookoo's nest. it took three calls of alex's name for him to even acknowledge anyone else was in the room. there's little doubt that marty and i could have been half way across the state before any of children even noticed or cared they'd been left behind.


and, in case it wasn't apparent enough in the pictures above, alex is wearing a tie. a tie he chose and tied himself.

WEB, HUMOR (permalink) 07.23.2009
i see it NOW! no NOW! NOW!
i just found out brian regan is coming to town september 12. i became smitten with him after someone (sa) told me about this eye doctor bit which used to not be on youtube but is now.

if any local folks are going to the show, let me know so i can keep an eye out for you.

WIFE (permalink) 07.22.2009
one day down, one to go.
it was tuesday morning, a little after seven. marty and i were just stirring from sleep. the house was still, the boys obviously still asleep. this was the first morning that bella was away. she was due to call in the next twenty minutes to say how her first twenty fours had gone.

as marty and i drifted from slumber and waited for bella's call, marty began recalling a time she spent a week with this same aunt. marty was twelve or thirteen. this aunt, aunt cyntha, had two daughters, rachel and melissa. rachel was a few years older than marty and melissa was several years older. both of the parents worked, one as a fireman and the other as a hair stylist. when the girls woke up in the morning, there would be a chores list on the counter. come the end of the day, if the items on that list weren't done and done well, there'd be trouble in the evening.

many years later aunt cynthia explained to marty that she was a believer in physical labor, both for chores and punishment. she felt it worked towards a tangible work ethic. her favorite punishment was to make a misbehaving child scrub a toilet with a toothbrush. one time cynthia's husband came up from the basement saying he could barely get the freezer door closed and asked if they had plans to defrost it. cynthia said there was a plan but that rachel, their youngest and more incorrigible child, was having a streak of good behavior and that the freezer would be defrosted after her next mis-step. cynthia admitted such a system required patience. fortunately she had it.

marty also remembered her cousin rachel had become interested in boys and marty not so much just yet. given her cousin's pre-occupation, their days involved biking around the community to pools and tennis courts, namely to meet girlfriends and an inevitable clot of boys. marty deflected most of the attention sent her way spending most of the time wishing the boys would stop talking to the girls so the girls could resume their games of tennis.

another, and more vivid, detail marty recalls was that she had her second ever period during this week at her aunt's. it took a day or two to work up the courage to ask her aunt for supplies. consequently she burned through her stock of underwear much faster than expected ultimately leaving her with only one pair of gangly and tattered briefs. during those days, over her hand-me-down underwear obtained from her sisters, she wore hand-me-down soccer shorts obtained from her brothers. these were the thin nylon colorful shorts that wore loose. during one of the tennis court pow-wows one of the boys looked at marty sitting on the ground and said to her derisively, "nice underwear" in reference to her ragamuffin briefs that were visible through the short's gaping leg holes. to this day the boys' sneer and tenor has stuck with marty.

the suck part of that story for me is that had i been one of the young men standing on those courts with marty, her cousin and her cousin's friends, it's unlikely anyone would have beaten me to that observation and subsequent remark about marty's ratty underwear. fortunately, i was safely hidden away three states to the west and by the time marty and i finally met, making fun of girls' underwear was long behind me, by several months at least.

oh, and bella's first day went swimmingly. so much so, it's questionable how we're going to ever pry her from in-house cable, forty horses and a deep-county farm.

KIDS (permalink) 07.21.2009
Q: when does a house with two children seem quiet? A: when there are usually three children in the house.

marty has an aunt that works at a farm rehabilitating horses. last year she offered to let bella come out for a day. the farm attracts a lot of young kids who want to experience the life. for most, this translates to wanting to ride horses. not wishing to run such a business the keepers of the farm operate under the policy of if you want to ride a horse you have to do all the things relevant to this experience, because they are running a farm, not a petting zoo. as for what all things relevant entails, it seems it's the routine matters that happen on the farm: mucking stables, collecting eggs, brushing horses, cleaning hooves, exercising horses. after paying some dues you then get to do what you came to do, ride a horse.

bella's first day out, or more aptly, bella's first ten minutes out, she was handed a scoop and a rake, pointed to a stall and told to clean it out. bella struggled with the large scoop and lugging the buckets out to a rear paddock and dumping the waste, but she did it. when she was done, she moved to the next stall. seeing this her aunt told her she only had to do one and could now move onto another chore. conflicted, bella looked into the second stall and said that it was dirty and needed to be cleaned. her aunt said someone else would get it. that someone else was bella. and, it was bella for four more stalls (or every one in the barn). she gets this obstinance and love of cleaning and organizing from her mother. given this adoration for chores, bella became a quick hit at the farm.

that was last year. this summer bella has been spending a couple days a week at the farm. this morning we took bella there for the day but this time she has been invited to stay a few nights with her aunt so she could get some extra time in. bella was thrilled. marty and i were moderately apprehensive at having our girl away for such a period. alex was concerned at losing his sister. anthony is just glad he gets the legos to himself. we woke up at 6am in preparation for the one hour drive. when i walked by the kids room, i saw alex hand bella his christmas snow globe. this is one of alex's most prized possessions and is his forth such snow globe and more importantly the first to survive more than four days in his care. this particular globe was a present from my mother and was obtained at a flea market. the scene inside is of an indistinct city skyline but is so old (and cheap) that the paint is coming off making the water inside murky looking and hard to see through. bella held the globe to her chest, thanked alex for it and promised to take very good care of it. i think everyone in the house was feeling a bit like alex at seeing bella go. alex was just better at showing his feelings than the rest of us.

when bella and i arrived, the farm was in full motion. two other young, local girls who work there were helping bring the forty plus horses in from the pasture. bella immediately put her bag in her stable locker and took a nearby spot at the ready. another girl who i would guess was about ten was told to take the tractor and close the upper gate. the girl left the barn and pulled herself into john deere's version of a golf cart. bella's aunt turned and told bella to ride up with the girl. bella quickly took the seat next to the young driver. the girl backed the cart up and off they rode into a pasture and out of sight. not having said goodbye to bella i milled about. the aunt saw me standing to the side, gave me a wave and said, "see ya troy. i'll have bella give you a call before she goes to bed tonight." i thanked her and moved towards my car. i looked into the rolling hill bella and the girl disappeared into. i wasn't sure how far away they were going or how long the task would take them. i waited a few minutes. still no sign of them. the aunt saw me again and asked if i needed something. i said i wanted to say goodbye to bella before leaving. she took an apprising look into the distance and said they should be back any minute. a few minutes later i heard the tractor chugging and then saw it round the corner and the two miniature farm hands rumbled in like they'd been doing that particular task together for better than five years. the girl stopped the tractor, took it out of gear, put on a parking brake, hopped out and walked back into the barn and out of sight. bella slid out of her seat, walked wordlessly to me, wrapped her arms around my waist pressing her sideways face into my chest, giving me a tight squeeze. she then loosened her grip, said, "see ya dad", turned and followed the first girl into the barn. as i watched her walk in her confident strides out of view i realized that one day that moment will be the real thing and she won't be leaving my house for three days but three months, or better. i hope i'm more prepared then than i am now.

WEB (permalink) 07.20.2009
my wish list doubled in less than three minutes.
while searching for something called a bike bra which is a protective cover used to shield a roof-mounted bike from bugs on long road trips, i learned a new thing about the world we live in: amazon has porn.

click to enlarge

something about myself i'm confident has always been true is that the phrase, "Fishnet Open Bust 3 Piece Set Garter Top, Thong, Stockings" would have always gotten my attention. i mean that's a scintillating mouthful. even if the fabric comprising the collective ensemble is not.

say "Fishnet Open Bust 3 Piece Set Garter Top, Thong, Stockings" five times fast and you have a good old school tongue twister on your hands.

"Fishnet Open Bust 3 Piece Set Garter Top, Thong, Stockings" sounds like the title to a feature song in the music man or chitty, chitty, bang, bang, or high school musical 3. and while we're on the topic, the movie chitty, chitty, bang, bang is a title that seems to have some cross-marketing possibilities as well. and with the high school musical franchise, if it hasn't already happened, it's only a matter of time.

"Fishnet Open Bust 3 Piece Set Garter Top, Thong, Stockings" is going to be my new password with all merchants that make me open an account with them. as an added plus, the phrase has both a numeral and piece of punctuation for the password sticklers.

if i owned a diner and had a special sandwich, it would be called a "Fishnet Open Bust 3 Piece Set Garter Top, Thong, Stockings" and would contain bacon somewhere in the mix. without doubt.

in closing i'd like to say, when i was fourteen, amazon was a long blue line drawn in the over-sized atlas in the family bookshelf. today it is a bountiful treasure trove of scantily clad women. if there is a good bit of news in the fishnet covered crannies of this discovery it is that when i was fourteen, women still had nipples.

** UPDATE **
it wasn't until after i made the post that i realized the item has 30 customer reviews!

N RAMJOHN wrote:
I bought this item a few weeks ago, and boy did I have a hard time in trying to figure it out. Its very delicate material, and if you have jewellery on, it could get caught up in the meshing and also make some pulls in it. the stockings are too long, the thong is a bit small, but I dont bother to wear the thong better half loves it though....he likes to see me in it...and has me wear it regularly! what a good buy though...of all the other lingerie sets I have purchased in the past, this is the one he likes best!?

my favorite part of that comment is the line stating that the "stocking are too long and the thong is a bit small". sounds like someone should read the sizing charts with a bit more precision.

i challenge anyone to find more entertaining comment threads anywhere on the internet than in the amazon lingerie product pages. it just ain't gonna happen.

HEALTH (permalink) 07.17.2009
i'm considering trying out for the pom squad
i must apologize for not being more involved or entertaining since returning from my sabbatical but i've been distracted. as for what has caught my eye it would be my new knee. this would be the knee which received reconstructive surgery in april of 2008. while the full rehab took better than a year to complete, the restoration of my knee was in a word complete, completely beautiful. completely restorative. simply complete.

when i first met with my super-surgeon and he recommended the reconstructive course of action, i asked him to guess my rate of performance after going through with the procedure, and would my knee perform at, say, 50%, 80% or better. he looked at my like i had asked him if we would be sleeping together before or after the surgery. after shaking the ludicrousness of my question off he said, without pause, "your recovery will be 100%. it will be like your knee was never injured. your rehabilitated knee will out-perform your knee that was never injured." i then asked him what other parts of my body he could augment similarly.

before my surgery if i played 1 hour of tennis, while wearing a brace, it would be three days before i could climb a flight of stairs or get out of a chair without wincing. and i would have to wait at least a week before even considering going out on the tennis court again. this ongoing debilitation was largely what sent me shopping for a doctor in the first place. now with my fully rehabilitated knee my weeks look much different. tuesday night i did an intense, thirty-minute, interval routine on my bike trainer. wednesday night i played two break-free (and brace-free!) hours of tennis with e-love. and last night, thursday, i biked 25 hilly miles maintaining a 14mph average speed. and in the last few weeks, i'm down more than a full belt-loop.

so, i'm sure you can appreciate this infatuation with my new body. i mean it's not like i sit up at night rubbing on my knee and cooing at it softly. i can do that during the day at work, i'm too busy having fun with my knee out and about at night.

thanks in advance for your understanding.

FRIENDS (permalink) 07.16.2009
i myself would have said 'tingling' instead of 'tickling', but that's just me.
two guys i used to work with ten years ago were recently exchanging emails.

after one guy typed:
... i got a tickling feeling in my colon each time i ran the command that was a bit disconcerting but now that you've explained it ...

the other guy responded to the comment by saying:
I see you stay in touch with Troy!

if you're going to be known for something, i guess there's worse things to be remembered for than colon-centric conversations.

and yes, sure, there are better things one could be known for and my mother would be the first to point this out, but there are also worse things to be remembered for. that's all i'm saying.

QUOTES (permalink) 07.15.2009
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
daredevil's club

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 07.10.2009
possibly why it's good to move away from where you grew up
Perhaps by definition a neighborhood is the place to which a child spontaneously gives undivided attention; that's the unfiltered way meaning comes to children, just flowing off the surface of things. Nonetheless, fifty years later, I ask you: has the immersion ever again been so complete as it was in those streets, where every block, every backyard, every hour, every floor of every house — the walls, ceilings, doors, and windows of every last friend's family apartment — came to be so absolutely individualized? Were we ever again to be such keen recording instruments of the microscopic surface of things close at hand, of the minutest gradations of social position conveyed by linoleum and oilcloth, by yahrzeit candles and cooking smells, by Ronson table lighters and venetian blinds? About one another, we knew who had what kind of lunch in the bag in his locker and who ordered what on his hot dog at Syd's; we knew one another's every physical attribute — who walked pigeon-toed and who had breasts, who smelled of hair oil and who oversalivated when he spoke; we knew who among us was belligerent and who was friendly, who was smart and who was dumb; we knew whose mother had the accent and whose father had the mustache, whose mother worked and whose father was dead; somehow we even dimly grasped how every family's different set of circumstances sent each family a distinctive difficult human problem.
excerpt from american pastoral by philip roth

HUMOR (permalink) 07.08.2009
from the mailbag
religious folks spreading joy through accidental church bulletins.
  • The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
  • The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
  • Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
  • The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.
  • Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
  • Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
  • For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
  • The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: 'Break Forth Into Joy.'
  • Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
  • At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
  • Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
  • The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
  • Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
  • The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
  • This evening at 7 PM there will be hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
  • Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.
  • The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
  • Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
  • The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
  • Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
  • The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours!

HEALTH (permalink) 07.07.2009
i even showered before leaving
i went to my doctor yesterday. it was my first post 40 visit. i told marty i'd go. i told myself i'd go. i made the appointment in a moment of conviction. i steeled myself for the day. i promised myself i wouldn't balk. or argue. my doctor of sixteen years walked in and sat down. he asked lots of questions about the last three plus years since he'd seen me. he reviewed my bloodwork in detail. he had me take my shirt off and lie back on the waxy paper. he poked and prodded me above the waist for a bit. he then handed me my shirt back, said everything looked good and to keep doing what i was doing. then he shook my hand and left.

i think it's fair to say that worrying about a digital prostate exam has probably taken more days off my life than an unhealthy prostate ever would. it looks like i can breathe easy for one more year. i'm sure you're as relieved as i am.

HYGIENE (permalink) 07.06.2009
all that was missing was a finger-drawn picture in the steamed-over mirror
marty just stepped out of the shower. i was there and ready to go in next. alex just had his morning pee. marty bent over to dry her legs. alex was standing behind her. i saw his eyes lock onto her backside. they widened. marty stood up, snapped her hair back over her head and walked out of the room. alex called to her, "mom! mom! come back here. you have floss stuck on your butt." when he saw her continue walking he bolted after her.

from around the corner i faintly heard marty tell alex that what he saw wasn't floss. the boy wasn't having it.

the conversation developing in the next room made me think of the scene from planes, trains and automobiles where steve martin and john candy shared a bed together. in the morning the two characters awoke snuggled into one another and martin's character asked candy's character where his hand was. candy replied that it was between two pillows and martin told him, shriekingly, that those weren't pillows.

this felt like that. only with the potential of being way more disgusting. given this, i stepped into my shower before marty's explanation got too scientific (ex-biology teacher and all). i was afraid if i waited too long, her anatomically accurate account would scar me more than it would alex who sports the significant benefit of not knowing what all the words mean. that and i didn't want to wreck my perky morning grin brought on by the cruel imagining of marty in the next room trying to sidestep an early morning menstruation lesson to her six year old son while wearing only a bra and an alleged piece of floss stuck to her naked rear. in the world of motherhood, that's called a day-breaker before you're even down the stairs.

it's good to be back. i've missed talking at you.

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