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KIDS (permalink) 10.31.2008
a tough room
while reading to the kids one night, bella grabbed up a notebook and started making notes. shortly after this began alex realized bella was writing in one of his notebooks. alex tore the pad from bella's lap and immediately scolded her for the trespass. seeing how upset he got bella took the notebook back from alex saying she could fix the problem. her solution was to tear the page she used out so it was as if she never touched it all. it became apparent to both bella and i, slightly too late, that this was a far from acceptable solution by alex's estimation. his state worsened.
the next evening on my way home from work, i stopped at a bookstore and got alex a brand new notebook. it had dividers and pockets and a flashy cover (i'm very interested in supporting alex's newfound interest in drawing and writing). coincidentally, this was also the day alex got five shots at the doctor, so the timing worked out nicely in that the much spoiling happens for the kids on the one day in their life they have to shoulder five shots at the doctor's office. upon walking in the door he saw the new notebook sitting on the foyer bench. he picked it up and asked me what it was. i told him it was his brand new, very own notebook. he hooted, raised it in the air and ran from person to person showing off his perfectly pristine writing journal. when he came to bella she turned dour.

that's not fair. i don't have a notebook as cool as his.

it's ok hon. we'll get you one. but today he needed one.

well then that's not fair because now we have just the same amount and if you get her one then she will have more than me.

alex, she's older than you, you will find she often has more than you.

uhhh! not fair.

but what you have to realize alex is that is both good and bad. that means she has also had more pee than you, more shots than you, more poop than you, more choke-ups than you.

this fixed alex's funk but did not do bella's mood any favors. somedays this all seems rather un-winnable.

SOCIETY, KIDS (permalink) 10.29.2008
those ears may be little but they work just fine
someone recently asked bella who she would vote for if she could vote. she lit up and quickly said obama. when asked why she would vote for obama said that that mccain guy kills animals.

meanwhile, in another house in our neighborhood, a girl asked her father who he was going to vote for. knowing he held a minority voice in the community he broke into a long-winded explanation about all the things he considered when making the such an important decision and after taking everything into account he felt mccain was the right choice for him. after quietly shouldering his lecture and hearing his choice she asked him in a concerned voice if mccain won if they'd have to move. surprised he asked why she would think this and she said that all the mommies and daddies at her school say that if mccain wins they have to leave the country.

PHOTO, WEB (permalink) 10.28.2008
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
October 2008

SOCIETY (permalink) 10.27.2008
isn't it time we got a little more medieval with these folks
over the weekend, i talked to a guy who works a federal job responsible for catching child predators. oh, and when he's not doing that he oversees child abductions. of those he said if you remove kidnappings that involve a parent or incidents that were actually homicides, there are less than fifty traditional kidnappings a year in the United States. after a few minutes of discussion the first thing i could think to say, facetiously mind you, was, "you surely must sleep well at night."

after that embarrassingly lame comment i managed to ask how he dealt with such a gruesome and emotionally demanding job, admitting that immersing myself in such matters would make me jump out of a high-rise window. his answer was precise, "someone's got to go after these twisted assholes." right he is.

the most striking thing he said was his description of a typical offender. he said people typically think of pedophiles as vile and disgusting creatures with outward signs of their illness. this couldn't be further from the truth. he described these folks' proclivities as being hard-wired and they could not define or control their attractions anymore than the average person can re-define their attraction for males or females or blondes or women who like network gaming parties. they all know their interests are societally unacceptable and for this reason they have become very good liars, this being one of things that make them quite hard to catch. in time they essentially become grifters and as all good con-men do, they learn the arts of deception. he said he never interviewed the family of a single victim that said, "yeah that guy was a real slimy asshole." instead they say stuff like he was one of the family, we've known him for decades, he was my best friend, i'd trust him with my life and the life of my children. by this day and age, this point should be far more obvious.

another thing that struck me was he said if he had to run into a burning building to save people and had his kids with him and had the choice of leaving them with four men in suits or a homeless crack-whore, he'd give them to the crack-whore every time. i thought to say that the crack-whore might sell his children to the four men in suits. believe it or not, i refrained from making the comment ... and did so for about seven reasons. such on the spot reason is rare for me but probably couldn't have appeared at a more opportune time.

i for one wish this man and all like him every professional success.

SOCIETY (permalink) 10.24.2008
preach on little people
marty and the kids we're picking up dinner at a gyro house near our home. standing by the register waiting for his already placed order was a man super-rife with tattoos and piercings. in our neighborhood these sorts of folks, and there are plenty of them, are known as loop-rats. while such scenes are reasonably commonplace, you do run into the occasional over-the-top variety and marty had said this guy was that given a variety of sprawling tattoos, some running up into his face and metal balls and hoops hanging from places that didn't seem able to accommodate such artistic and weighty objects.

after ordering marty and the kids sat down at a table to wait for their food. wordlessly, bella and alex continued to look at the man. fact is they'd been gazing at him since they walked in the storefront. finally, alex leaned into marty and in a soft and concerned whisper said, "mom, i think that boy over there is a pirate." alex's serious tenor made his remark much more comical and marty fought back the release of a deep guffaw. just when she thought she had it controlled, bella leaned in and said, "no alex, that boy just made a lot of bad choices."

my kids just may be brighter than i give them credit for.

some other pirates of our time. it's impossible to cite one favorite from the terrible tatts slideshow. the best caption for sure would have to go to "Backfat Wars: We feel a great disturbance in the force"

KIDS, PHOTO (permalink) 10.23.2008
the ever shrinking everything

no one is going to accuse the bomb pop people of shaving the size of their product from year to year. if anything, the bomb pop may be the only commercial item that is actually getting bigger over time. i recently noticed that breyer's changed the shape of their ice cream containers. i haven't taken the time to compare the ounce count between the old and the new but this move has surely given me the sense that i'm getting less than i used to. so if the container's seeming dimensions are nothing more than a mirage and they aren't ripping me off, the new design choice is a rookie move because it's surely sending the wrong message. lucky for them their rocky road kicks the ass of everyone else's rocky road. and lucky for me bella doesn't like the chocolate covered nuts that are part of the mix and spits hers into my bowl whenever one makes it into her mouth. granted most that i get from her are bitten and broken and come with bonus food debris clinging to them.

KIDS (permalink) 10.22.2008
and now the great anthony will amaze and astound you by ...
anthony's latest and greatest physical quirk (someone recently reminded me of his earlier ways) deals with how he gets down off things. unless he is really high up in the air, like say on the top bunk of a bunkbed or sitting on a radiator, anthony doesn't jump off things, instead he just walks off the edge. the greatest example of this is if he's standing on the couch or a coffee table and wants to get down, he doesn't move to the edge and jump to the floor like most normal two year olds, he just starts walking to the edge and doesn't stop. once he hits the air he just kind of walks through space. when he hits the floor there is a little wobble but he mostly doesn't fall down. he just gets his balance back and keeps on heading where he's heading. it's very much like those old mister magoo comics where magoo walks through dangerous cities and construction sites and his path is always preserved by coincidental and happenstance events around him.

the best though is certainly when mothers not used to anthony's ways are over and see him about to walk off of something. upon witnessing the pending event their eyes grow big and they shriek and rush towards him to save the fragile innocent. by the time they get close he's already got boots on the ground and steadying himself as he jets past them as if nothing peculiar just occurred.

KIDS (permalink) 10.21.2008
the vices may be different but the thirsts are the same
if beer and porn are the staples of a young college male, candy and shows (tv) are the staple of a two-year old male.

QUOTES (permalink) 10.15.2008
ahhh, hell peanut.
There was a time when I thought I was all green coast and fertile marsh, that my interior lands were bounded by the Appalachian mountains, the skyline of Savannah, the citrus country of central Florida, and the eroded beaches on barrier islands threatened by the moon-swollen tides of the Atlantic. But as I grew older and explored my own starker regions more assiduously, I kept stumbling across pyramids, Mayan campfires, the rubble of Huns - civilizations that had no right of access to the terrain of a Southern boy's soul. I wanted desperately to find out why I felt different from the other boys at the Institute, why I felt more like Poteete than the rest of them. I wanted to find out why I was lonely and why I never felt lonelier than when I marched with the regiment, in step with the two thousand. When I picked up the yearbook on my desk, flipped through the pages, and looked at the faces of my friends, I thought I was looking at a field guide to ruined boys. That was not true. The Institute had helped many of those boys to find themselves. But as I turned to my own photograph and stared at the immobile smiling stranger who shared my features and my name, I realized that only one boy had been ruined. My task for the year was clear: I had to discover why the boy in that photograph loathed himself so completely and so violently.
excerpt from conroy's the lords of discipline

PHOTO, KIDS (permalink) 10.14.2008
anfer's latest antic
it begins with a full-frontal flash of any college co-ed's walking by our house.

then, the freefall.

nothin' but air baby.

the revelry

the recovery

verify audience acknowledgement

the return

wave to the fans

invite your father to disrobe and join you

flex for the cameras



KIDS (permalink) 10.10.2008
imagine her poor teachers
bella and i got into a row before school the other morning and were exchanging snarky comments from different rooms as we both got ready for our day. having had enough of this early hour angst i left the bathroom and stood at her bedroom door going into full-lecture mode. as i was talking i looked around the room trying to figure out which cranny she was hiding behind. three sentences into my tirade bella's voice magically appeared behind me as she emerged from my room headed into her room. as she passed me she mockingly said, "i'm not even in there, dude."

and once again, this physically diminutive girl stole all the wind from this grown man's sails. just imagine how screwed i am when she's not so diminutive.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 10.09.2008
what you've come to expect
in tumult of everyman season it has been days, possibly even weeks, since i've been able to talk about pee, poop, choking up or bodily excretions of any sort. so, recognizing this, lets get it on.

last weekend we went camping. alex used a true outhouse for the very first time. and i'm not talking about one of those city-park, johnny-on-the-spot deluxe models but a full-fledged, hole in the ground, shanty outhouse. marty walked him in and he slid up on the seat. seconds later his face screwed up and desperately looked to marty exclaiming, "ohhhh mom! what is that horrible smell?" marty gave him the dope. alex lifted a cheek and looked down the well, staring right into hades itself. after that, alex moved his bowels in record time.

on the walk back to the campsite, alex asked how outhouses were made. marty detailed the obvious process. you dig a hole. you make a seat with an opening. and then you cover all that with a wooden shack. alex had great concern for the person who dug the hole. he feared it may have been a one-way trip. while i would have ran with that, marty explained how they probably have a system to get the human out of the hole before it's all put to use.

the next day alex scurried up to me saying he had to go. i knew there where real brick and mortar accommodations with running water a few miles away. i borrowed a bike and carrier from one of our camping mates and raced alex to these nicer facilities. after selecting a stall he stopped at the commode and pointed at two (clean) squares of toilet paper floating in the water and said this one was ucky and he'd need to find another. it's nice to see he's inherited my uncompromising and unmovable demand for standards. although the 50's dad in me was tempted to throw him back in the bike and make him use the satan-toilet again.

meanwhile, back in our neighborhood, alex's two primary playmates were eating mushrooms they found in the front yard of one of their homes. after learning of this trespass, their mothers called the doctor and were instructed to give the boys the throw-up medicine. after a quick run to the store, the two boys spent the next few hours of their saturday sitting together on a front porch puking into buckets in some grotesque community production of stand by me. unsurprisingly, alex was sorry to have missed this unique moment with his friends.

and then after returning home, bella called out in the night to report an accident in her bed. it was the classic thought i was going to pass gas and got more than i expected sort of episode. marty cleaned her up and changed her sheets. two hours later it happened again. while marty was cleaning up round two i approached bella while she was on the toilet. she looked up to me beaming with elation. when i asked why she was so happy she said mother never made her go to school if she might poop her pants.

and lastly, while standing in the tub for his bath last night anthony peed at his own will. i don't know who was happier, his parents or him.

i think that should get you all up to speed on life in my home. as you can see, it's just business as usual.

WEB, MUSIC, VIDEO (permalink) 10.08.2008
i'm handsome either way
here's something to appease/entertain you while i continue to recover from my everyman binge. in explanation, this is a re-version of this all-time great video (my opinion) that changes the lyrics to match what is actually happening in the video. super-neat.

and man do i wish i could draw like that.

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 10.06.2008
once again
the 2008 everyman games are underway

SOCIETY (permalink) 10.03.2008
buckle up

as i mentioned the other day the vp debate took place where i work. yesterday, the day of, campus was a circus. nbc did a twelve hour live-broadcast in the main quad. familiar reporting faces were walking the grounds and every fifth person had either a camera-strap looped around their neck or a video-camera perched on their shoulder. auditoriums and common spaces were converted to full-fledged theaters to televise the event. in my particular school, a two-story projection screen was erected with seating for hundreds. they also arranged for speakers to analyze the moment, one of which was formerly legal counsel for al gore during his vice-presidency and election run.

in classic american fashion, the people were out en masse given the smell of blood. the forum was every bit as bristling as any high-stakes sporting affair. but as is so often the case these days, the underdog had more game than people had given them credit for. palin rawked the house sadly muddying the already murky waters. all i can say is it looks like we got another nail-biter at hand folks.

UPDATE: i don't mean to imply that palin whooped biden last night. my inference was that palin outperformed the expectations placed upon her. which i would say she very much 'darn-tootin' did since i thought she wouldn't make it through without hurling, defecating, urinating and crying. and i don't mean just one on those, i mean all of those. as for who won i think it was more of a matter that neither of them lost. for me, the most compelling point was that mccain has yet to define or demonstrate how his operation would differ from george's. not only do i not think our country can't withstand an additional four years of bush-like decision making, the current state of this country makes you wonder if we can shoulder another four months of it.

SOCIETY (permalink) 10.01.2008
now i'm pissed.
for the most part, and by most i mean 98%, i steer clear of political battles but enough is enough. palin and her supporters have crossed a line i cannot forgive. i came to know this after running into a friend at lunch. he was walking with another gentleman and after being introduced the man i didn't know commented that i and sarah palin have something in common. assuming he wasn't talking about my creamy, stemlike gams i asked what that might be. glasses he said. it seems we share taste in the same designer. i'd like to go on record and say that i've worn the same model of glasses for nearly ten years, own two pair, and have only once met someone sporting a set from the same maker. pre-palin the maker sold 12,000 of her frames world-wide. in the last ten days they've received 9,000 orders from the us. embarrassing.

tomorrow's debate is happening about 100 yards from my office and while i don't know biden that well, based on the below video, if the result of their verbal fencing proves anything short of tarantino-like bloodletting, i'll be legitimately appalled.

huh? were you saying something? or was that a story? or a made-up language? this could explain the naming of her children. she really meant to name her son 'john' but when she opened her mouth and it went through the palin-filter, the word 'track' came out.

and as this reporter so aptly states, we are one 72-year old's heartbeat away from this woman becoming president. and, by this woman, i mean this woman.

i've dated girls with more presidential potential than palin. and as one friend noted, what a great slight to give a guy, "wow. troy. your new girlfriend is, uhm, very, uhm, presidential." i love it.

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