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WIFE (permalink) 09.30.2008
language of love
if marty asks me to do something, there is always a silent "right now" tacked onto the end of her request. conversely, whenever i ask her if there is anything i can do to help, there is always a silent 'within reason' placed at the end. marital life together was more tumultuous before we learned this bit about one another. and, to be fair, marital life can easily get re-tumultuous when when one of us chooses to forget, ignore or blatantly disregard the policy.

PHOTO (permalink) 09.26.2008
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
September 2008

QUOTES (permalink) 09.23.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 09.22.2008
instead of dessert
it started with a post-dinner, pre-bath diaper change. of the number two variety. in some regards this (pre-bath) is the ideal time to change a diaper, but in others (post-dinner) it is the absolute worst.

i stomached my way through the turgid mess just like you'd expect from an involved father of three. i tossed the diaper in the bin, stood anthony up and pointed him to the bathroom and his running shower. but instead of turning left as he should of, his naked buttocks turned right, went into my room and slammed the door. it seems he was interested in an impromptu round of hide and seek. i checked the water in the bathroom and then went to my bedroom door. just as i started pushing it open i heard his tiny voice excitedly call out "poopf! poopf!" as i've discussed previously, poopf means one of two things; book or poop. i cautiously swung the door open hoping anthony would be holding a raised book to me. no book.

the good news is that human feces is essentially the same color as natural-stained oak wood flooring. but this is one of those rare situations where the bad news is the same as the good news. wooden floors in old homes are chock-full of seams and crevices and cracks. while the residual cudgel blended nicely with the floor's color as i scooped up what i could, i knew there would be a later price.

after picking the freshly-fallen toddler-fudge off the floor i agitatedly picked anthony up by the armpits and carried him to the bathroom holding him out in front of me like he might shoot a fecal dart at my chest. i stood him in the pedestal sink and told him to hold still. i pulled a fresh wipe out, wrapped it around my fingers and turned him so i could clean up the fun that remained before placing him in the tub. i learned something about the human buttocks in the next ten seconds. when someone is standing their butt cheeks are much more firmly clamped together than when they are laid out flat. so much so that if you try to run a delicate towlette through the small crease it will tear and rip leaving the end-user unprotected. thus, when my fingers re-emerged from that hidden crevasse, that is exactly what i saw, my fingers and not the thin, cloth material i had covering my fingers. i never knew this detail about the human body before. and i'd like to say the world was a less scary place when that was the case.

WEB (permalink) 09.19.2008
i'm entering my masochist period
sorry for the quiet week. it is everyman season and i've got seven more balls in the air than usual.

QUOTES (permalink) 09.17.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
sleeping naked

KIDS (permalink) 09.16.2008
i say go, you say team. go! team! go! team!
a friend of mine who teaches second grade in colorado sent out an email a few weeks back sharing some results of a test she gives her incoming kids. this particular test evaluates the students giving insight to what kind of year she has ahead of her. i thought about giving the test to bella but the other night at the dinner table she used the word 'tavern' in a story after which i asked her if she just used the word 'tavern' to which she said yes. i then asked her if she knew what a tavern was and she exasperatedly said that of course she knew what a 'tavern' was ... father. i'm not looking for any more reasons to document how bella is going to be far smarter than me before she's driving a car, so no unnecessary testing for her.

this question/answer bit also reminded me of how much i adored (and now miss) the old candid camera interviews allen funt used to do with elementary kids. truly wonderful.

note: (my friend's comments are in the parens)

Question: Don't cry over____________________.
Hoping for: "spilled milk"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • who gets to go first
  • the rodeo
  • "hoo took the last cookee" (the spelling made it funnier to me)

Question: Keep your____________________.
Hoping for: "fingers crossed"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • hands to yourself (most common)
  • shirt tucked in
  • hair neat
  • backpack zipped

Question: Two heads____________________.
Hoping for: "are better than one"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • over one head
  • make two
  • bumping
  • are funny
  • looks weird
  • is a double
  • better seeing

Question: Eaten out of____________________.
Hoping for: "house and home"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • eggs
  • the wrong plate
  • a bowl
  • a bag

Question: Better late than____________________.
Hoping for: "never"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • ham (???)
  • than early
  • than sorry
  • for the train
  • "I always say"
  • nothing

Question: You can't teach____________________.
Hoping for: "an old dog new tricks"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • a chicken
  • someone how to eat
  • a teacher when they're teaching you (deep)
  • fish
  • a wild bull
  • yourself
  • "divizzinn" (division)

Question: Where there's a will____________________.
Hoping for: "there's a way"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • there's a will not (my favorite)
  • there's a pill (hmmm?)
  • there's hope
  • there is happiness
  • there's a try

Question: Don't judge____________________.
Hoping for: "a book by its cover"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • fair people
  • talent
  • a judge

Question: Easier____________________.
Hoping for: "said than done"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • than pie
  • is good
  • than harder
  • than going to bed
  • to play
  • the better
  • is easier than hard

Question: Turn over____________________.
Hoping for: "a new leaf"
Instead, some of the responses:
  • and roll
  • and wake up
  • the pancake
  • papers
  • on your side
  • and turn around
  • your life

KIDS (permalink) 09.12.2008
sidewalk friends
a gaggle of neighborhood girls rounded the corner down the way, marched right up to my front door, passing me reading a book on the porch, and started walking into the house.

whoa. whoa. where are all of you headed?


who do you want?


she's not there. she's next door.

then we want to get something.

what is the something you want to get?

(the girls pause and look at one another.)

just something.

you ain't going in until you can be more specific.

ok. bella told us that we should come down here and get her diary.

(they again turn to go in.)

whoa! whoa! for something like that you need a wax sealed note from bella in her handwriting telling me that is what you need. and without that you can't go in or have her journal.

after looking to one another for inspiration and finding none, they about-faced and storm-troopered back around the way in as stately a fashion as they had come.

that night at the dinner table i told bella of my encounter. she was vexed at this near violation of her personal space and quickly announced her rules for who could look at her diary:

nobody but you or mom can look at it. not even alex. not even friends i heart and write sidewalk notes to.

in a hundred days i could not have expressed her criteria more eloquently or succinctly myself.

MUSIC (permalink) 09.11.2008
two very soulful, yet disparate, samples of music

kottke is to thank for stevie's sesame street superstition and darkman gets the kudo for pulling some spiritual ska out of the cyber-well.

QUOTES, KIDS, ART (permalink) 09.10.2008

square 1: this is my dad
square 2: and this
square 3: plus this
square 4: but this is my real dad

my dad is the best dad in the world. my dad is a goofy guy. i like when he plays ogre. it is fun. you have to run away from my dad. if you are caught the other people try and save you. he tickles you sometimes and then you are in jail or the other thing is that he just tags you and you're in jail. my dad is awesome and jokes around a lot.

art and copy by bella, my new marketing manager

KIDS (permalink) 09.09.2008
like gay porn but with many more penises
while neighborhood kids were rampaging about the sidewalks last weekend, a lady from a few doors down pulled me to the side to tell me that her son and daughter (both of which are good friends of bella and alex) had a conversation at their dinner table about how long alex's penis is. after apologizing for the topic, i explained that this misperception is nothing more than an illusion of length given alex's healthy and present foreskin.

as for why alex's best friend knows what his penis looks like, it seems they have come to that brief age where showing your penis to a friend is good fun. as for why the girl knows i'm not too sure in that neither of the boys seem to yet be at that not-so-brief age where they enjoy showing their penises to girls instead of boys (should that be the side of the fence they happen to fall on).

and, after recently catching alex with his hand in the cookie jar, marty asked him if he was ok, in that wonderful 'i'm not judging you' tone only moms seem good at. he said he was fine. marty added that the way he was rooting around in his pants she was afraid he may have lost his penis and we'd have to get him a new one. he assured her he hadn't lost it but added that if he does he wants one that looks like his friend's. i don't know that a higher compliment from one pal to another pal exists.

KIDS (permalink) 09.05.2008
the early rat-race
last weekend i spent some time with bookpimp's son peter who turned two on sunday. peter and anthony are just a week apart so it's interesting to see another child so close in age. people say children develop either cerebrally or physically first, but not, or rarely, both. peter is a mental kid and anthony, well anthony likes to do swan dives off bunkbeds.

my favorite peter-mannerism happened when i first met him saturday morning (he was asleep when i arrived the night before). when i finally woke and came down the stairs, peter's mom announced me by asking him who was here. peter immediately scurried to hide behind his father's leg, eyeing me suspiciously. when i said hello he raised one hand cupping it over one eye, kind of a half-peekabo move. he watched me with his free eye for a few moments before the toy he was playing with re-attracted him. i seemed to be considered ok enough from then on.

peter's favorite word is yes which he answers to just about any question posed to him. knowing this proclivity bookpimp likes to ask him things like (in a deep, ominous, churchy voice) 'peter. do you renounce satan, his works, and all of his evil deeds?' to which peter will say 'Yes!' as brightly as if he were just asked if he wanted another piece of candy.

conversely anthony says no to just about any question asked of him. knowing this proclivity i like to take him on conversational passages like 'anthony, is there a better father in the world than yours?' to this anthony gives an adamant No! i will follow by asking him if he thinks his mother is doing a good job making lunch. this earns an equally convincing No! as well as an ever-ready eye roll from marty.

anthony's third favorite word, behind no and mama is 'poopf'. poopf used to solely refer to his bowel movements but somewhere along the way has come to also refer to books. the only way to tell which he means at any given moment is wether he is pointing at his bottom or at a bookshelf. although he sometimes points at me when saying it and i hope there is a third, as-of-yet undiscovered meaning because i don't look or smell much like a oversized dr suess book.

TRAVEL (permalink) 09.04.2008
the airlines give pretzels, if you're lucky
i had just come out of the smokey mountains into tennessee and needed gas. i veered onto an exit advertising a BP station. i couldn't see the station but the sign pointed to the left saying it was .5 miles that way. i wended my way through a few turns in the still hilly region and when i still didn't see it i started feeling duped and wondered if i was being sent into some neighboring town. i passed a wood sign that announced in painted-cursive letters that i was entering cocke county. i was about to turn the car around but got distracted by wondering if the name was pronounced cook, coke or cock and by the time i put a foot on the brake, i saw the clearing and then the pumps.

the building had a stone foundation and dark brown timber walls. aside from the few recently hung BP signs, this was an old general store which has surely been on the side of this country road for a great while. after getting the gas flowing i stepped inside to ask about a bathroom. while the majority of the store looked like your standard stop and go station, one corner sported a full sized deli operation. on the customer side of the counter sat three tables that looked like they came straight out of a nearby resident's breakfast room. the only people in the store were three people sitting at one of the tables. an older man reading a paper, an older lady wearing an apron and a younger woman who looked at my kindly.

the youngest of the crew asked if she could help me with anything. i motioned toward the menu board hanging over the deli asking what people liked. the girl told me that people liked everything but she liked the club sandwich most. i said i'd like to try one of those. the older lady immediately pushed back from her chair and moved to the other side of the counter and began working.

after using the bathroom and moving my car away from the pump, i poured a fountain drink and took a seat. the young woman seeing another car pull up moved behind the register. two shirtless men walked in the front door and greeted her by name. she asked how they were doing and one of the men stopped at the counter to say he was ready to do some cuttin' and would be working down by the riverbed today. the other man moved back to the refrigerated section and returned with a carton holding six bottles of beer. some more people walked in and more names were exchanged. when people's eyes found me they studied me sitting in the chair at the empty table before giving me a quick nod of their head.

a girl wearing a home-made shirt that said 'compromise' in neon, air-brushed letters came in with a heavy set guy wearing a shirt that didn't quite cover his stomach, shorts and cowboy boots without any socks. the girl moved to the deli counter but the guy held up at the register. after greeting the girl, the boot guy said he mangled his foot earlier in the day and he would show her but he didn't want to take the boot off, adding that it was quite gory inside. the girl asked him if he was going to law school this semester. he said "while it would be an honor and privilege to" he didn't think it was going to work out because of finances and he hoped to start up in the spring semester. the girl he came in with was waiting at the counter. the deli-woman broke from my meal to ask what she wanted. the girl said, "four hot dogs, all the way". i took this to mean four hot dogs with everything on them and wish i knew to order my food with such knowledgeable flourish.

moments later the woman got my attention and handed me my food on a ceramic plate. the sandwich was not like what your mom would have made you, but like what your grandmother would have made you. it was fat and cut into four pieces. each wedge had a toothpick stuck through. and it was quite delicious. or perhaps i was just heady from studying the stream of people and listening in on their comfortable and friendly banter.

upon finishing my meal, leaving a 100% tip and walking out the door with a wave of thanks i realized i obtained more culture, education and curiosity in this out of the way service station than i have in every previous interstate-exit fast food experience i've ever had ... combined. it will be interesting to see how this goes over when i've got the rest of the family with me.

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