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FASHION, KIDS (permalink) 10.31.2012
close call
bella has an enviable stance on fashion. thankfully, her brain hasn't yet gone numb like some of her peers in regard to blindly following what they see others doing. i'm not entirely sure what has held this moment off as she's imbibing the same sort of music and media as her peers. but still, she routinely says things like "that looks funny" or when she sees the fancy stuff in a store will say "that seems like a lot of money. why wouldn't people just get something at goodwill?". in the end i'm confident we're seeing another show of marty's fine work.

a few nights back marty and bella went out to get some pants for a school concert and came home with, in addition to the black pants they needed, a pair of skinny jeans. the next morning bella happily sported them in the kitchen striking poses in her new fancy wear. as she vogued out, i thought of this quip i had just read in men's health:
Nick Fauchald sticks with straight-leg jeans. "Boot cuts, wide legs, skinny jeans—all have been or will become regrettable garments. I sleep better at night knowing I've never owned any of them. With the classic profile, I never get caught in a fad." Translation: 1950's James Dean and Paul Newman = timeless.
as bella continued the exhibition, i feared "the change" had arrived and i quietly mourned the moment over my oatmeal. then not ten minutes later at the bus stop bella dropped a pencil and after effortfully bending down to retrieve it said, "i think i just found a difficulty with my new jeans." thankfully through the day she discovered more difficulties, like the need to keep them from falling off her backside while running after someone down a school hallway. so the cry of wolf may have come too soon as my girl still seems to have enough tomboy and tomcat in her to keep her out of the high weeds of adolescent confusion and nonsense.

KIDS (permalink) 10.30.2012
my father dined with us saturday night. he brought a lady friend, miss jackie, along he's been seeing for a few months now. over dinner my father joked how he and jackie don't like any of the same things. she likes it hot. he likes it cold. she eats this. he eats that. she sleeps in. he's up early. he drew several illustrations of how none of their likes matched up. after my dad stopped speaking, and a brief pause in the conversation anthony, age six, broke the silence.


yes anthony.

do you like living?

uhhh. well. yes, i like living.

miss jackie.

yes anthony.

do you like living?

ohhhh! yes anthony, i like living very much. it's wonderful.

so you were wrong grandpa.


you were wrong about you and miss jackie not liking any of the same things. you both like living.

a long silence blanketed the table as we all looked at anthony who barely looked away from his plate to ask his questions. my father turned to me as if for an explanation. all i could think to ask him was how it felt to have an argument so easily picked apart by someone seventy years his junior.

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 10.26.2012
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

FAMILY (permalink) 10.25.2012
the second installment of bacon and bikini wednesday never properly got off the ground. first off, we didn't have any bacon. secondly, we didn't have any bikini underwear. and thirdly, bella informed me the night before that i would have to "serve her" earlier as i almost made her miss the bus the previous week. granted the source of the delay could be either how long it takes to pan-fry a pound of bacon or how distracted i was by all the naked flesh in my kitchen. hard to say.

KIDS (permalink) 10.24.2012
such a short amount of time between the only one and the only one this week
a few weeks ago anthony told his female speech therapists about a girl he likes at school. when they asked about her, anthony said she was so beautiful he couldn't even look at her. the two college age girls swooned at the loveliness of it.

then this morning, anthony informed alex and i over breakfast that there were two girls in his class he wanted to marry with. i imagine his speech therapists would be less smitten with his latter comment. anthony better hope the mormons get serious about lifting their ban on plural marriage.

FAMILY (permalink) 10.23.2012
if a train traveling 80 miles an hour hit your wooden hand ...
marty took me by the hand into the bedroom. she was hoping to steal a saturday afternoon moment. presently our bedroom door doesn't have a doorknob on it. now that i think about it, it hasn't had a doorknob for probably over five years. point is the door doesn't latch and anthony and alex were playing in the hallway just on the other side of the door. anthony had a wooden dowel sticking out of his long-sleeve shirt pretending he had a wooden hook for a hand. during our moment we had to listen to anthony list to alex the things someone with a wooden hook for a hand could not do. you can't pick up a toy like this. you can't pick up a shoe like this. you can't itch your eye like this, or at least, you probably shouldn't.

while there was a time in my life i'd think of chores or math problems to ensure i didn't outpace my partner, i never thought of how impressively having a six year old animatedly enumerate the ways life with a dowel for a hand would suck could replace challenging division problems.

MUSIC (permalink) 10.19.2012
and yes, of course the pink floyd shorts made an appearance
last night the south african band die antwoord was in my neighborhood and i went to see them. i posted their breakout video a few years back. a young guy i work with planned on going and offered to get me a ticket. in that i find this small group to have a phenomenally singular and alluring style, i signed up. anyone i told i of my plans said the same thing, "you're going to see them? why?". then they'd say they were weird or strange or odd. i'd say yes they are all of those things which is exactly why i wanted to see what they'd do onstage. in short, it was the most energetic and charged music show i've seen since the secret cajun band were in their heyday. what made the show so special was that you got the sense these guys were thrilled to be performing and immensely grateful for the large show of support. it is my experience that not all performers possess such gratitude towards their craft and/or success. sad and sucky.

i snapped the below image towards the end of the show. what you unfortunately don't see in the photo is the pulsing of the crowd which ninja and yolandi had worked up to a crazed frenzy. really cool to see. in fact, through the show people were throwing things on stage, things like shirts and hats and bracelets. during the peaking crescendo some dude threw his wallet on stage. or perhaps what happened was some guys wallet that fell out of his pants got thrown on stage by someone else. hard to say. either way it is a marked show of support.

FAMILY (permalink) 10.18.2012
that's the fastest i've seen marty move in quite a while.
after taking over the morning duties when marty returned to work, the kids informed me that mom made them a hot breakfast (e.g. french toast, pancakes) every morning. under raised brows i asked, "really?". the children amended their estimate to once a week. i quickly committed to matching that routine as i didn't want the kids to feel the parental downgrade that was happening in our family version of corporate downsizing and mergers.

i named wednesday hot breakfast day and it soon became known as hot breakfast wednesdays. that is until yesterday morning when, as i tended my bacon, marty dashed through the kitchen to grab a piece of fruit wearing nothing but bikini underwear and a bra. the dashing part was i believe on my account because she knew if she lingered too long the kids might be mourning a platter of burnt bacon.

but she did remain long enough for me to rename our mid-week breakfast from "hot breakfast wednesday" to "bacon and bikini wednesday".

LIFE (permalink) 10.11.2012
this is turning out to be time-week.
in a recent family meeting talking about what and wasn't getting done in the house, marty confessed that she didn't know how i, their father, is able to get his stuff done and be calm and have leisure time when she's struggling on all fronts.

i was readying my dissertation on my methods and strategies, yesterday's regiment being part of it, when alex beat me to it. without even lifting his head from his plate flatly said, "it's because of coffee and tea." the whole table looked his way as we absorbed his unusual contribution.

not only was i surprised by his agility to so rapidly connect the two, i was also embarrassed that his answer was far more insightful, to the point and more accurate than my own.

PERSONAL, LIFE (permalink) 10.10.2012
my band-aid against that relentless foe: time.
the latest installment of my weekly regiment. the fall 2012 schedule has more change than any update in the past. the factors inducing this include:
  • marty's return to work
  • bella's starting middle school
  • my commitment to addressing some long-tabled house work.
  • because i have to get up earlier, i had to move the lion-share of my workouts to earlier in the day.
  • my enjoyment of swimming has grown to where i'm now doing it twice a week.
  • a new friend recently turned me on to a high intensity strength program called tabata.
another factor not entirely evident on the schedule is my new commitment to sleep. i've hit some point in my adult life where proper sleep has a profound impact on my productivity and effectiveness. of course it's possible this has always held true but i'm just now paying attention enough to realize its effects. either way, i ravenously protect my seven hour sleep window, giving it priority over virtually all else.

or view the five year evolution...

click to enlarge

PERSONAL, FAMILY (permalink) 10.09.2012
the only thing that makes light speed look pokey: time.
do you remember when i posted my family countdown back in july?.

well, today the countdown reads 100 days less than the day i posted it, even though it seems like i posted it seven minutes ago.

25 more stretches like that--from when i posted it in july until this moment in early october--and my daughter no longer lives in my home.

twenty five.

that's it.

twenty five more blocks of time like this recent block and she's gone.

100 days from now it will be twenty four.

i want to say a string of really bad words.

but, instead i'm going to go read shel silverstien with my six year old ...

then play monopoly with my nine year old ...

and then watch some music videos with my eleven year old.



KIDS (permalink) 10.05.2012
a curious distinction between my kids in regard to scary movies.
in regards to scary films, both bella and alex will say, "this is a scary movie", whereas to the same film anthony will half-way through ask, "is this a scary movie?". in fact i think he, at six, may already be ready for the likes of the original halloween, blairwitch, and paranormal--he was the only one of my kids to request and subsequently see, paraNorman.

and i'm sadder to report, anthony seems to be trending in the same direction with amusement park rides asking why he is too short to ride some of the scariest rides i've ever witnessed.

KIDS (permalink) 10.04.2012
if you have more to sort than jorts and lacoste polos, i can't be held accountable for matching errors.
in our house, i wash the laundry. i'm also the one to fold the laundry. when i'm done marty steps in and puts the folded stacks away. every now and again i'm the one to put laundry away just as every now and again marty is the one to wash and neatly fold the clothes. when i do the putting away, i usually botch a few things, that is, i mix up which clothes go with which human. as the children have grown in size and their wardrobe has grown in number of articles my error rate has grown alongside them. though, that i'm making more mistakes isn't nearly as interesting as the reaction my family has to my mistakes.

the girls are both quick to let me know not only that i made mistakes but also to show in some way the number of mistakes that occurred. bella's play is to appear in my office with the garments in question. after raising her hands to showcase the items--and jutting a hip to the side for emphasis--she tilts her head down and glances at me under a raised brow saying only, "really dad?". to this i'll sheepishly reply, "oh those aren't yours?" or "i thought i saw you wearing that" to which bella will follow up with a "me? this? really?". marty's far more subtle and respectful. for her she might just quietly pass me in the hall with a small stack of mis-filed garments clapped between her hands giving me a polite smile as we pass.

now the boys. the boys still let me know of my error but they do so in a totally different manner. how i know if i put something belonging to alex in anthony's drawer is anthony will come downstairs on a school day wearing the item. in example, anthony came down for breakfast the other day wearing a pair of alex's boxer briefs. if you're wondering how obvious the error should have been to him, the underwear is snug enough but it travels down slightly below anthony's knee and could easily be confused for a certain sacred garment. when i ask anthony if he noticed anything funny about his underwear (which should be a non-question since anthony's full line of underwear are still superhero branded tighty whiteys), he'll look down and then confess no, he does not notice anything funny about his underwear. he'll then ask if he should and i'll defeatedly reply, no he should not. truthfully marty and i are just thankful he wears underwear as his tendency to travel commando has been the number one complaint of his school teachers over the last few years (and no it doesn't help that his tiny business is essentially spot welded to his lean frame and not flying, spilling, or sagging about all that much). and alex, while similar is different enough to warrant his own sentence or two. for aleo, he will bounce down the stairs for school wearing a pair of his six year old brother's pants. i'll pause whatever i'm doing to take him in. from the waist down he most closely resembles mary tyler moore's laura petrie character from the dick van dyke show in a pair of her style-setting and form-fitting capris. when i ask alex if he noticed anything funny about his pants, he'll look down and then confess no, he does not notice anything funny about his pants. often, he will ask if he should which, yes you guessed it, i say no he should not. truthfully marty and i are slow to correct him because even in his gender-bending ensemble he pulls the look off better than most of us would and surpasses the dress caliber of his father by gravity-defying leaps and bounds.

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 10.03.2012
courtesy call

PERSONAL, QUOTES (permalink) 10.01.2012
two years.
Two of the most valuable things we have are time and our relationships with other people. In our age of increasing distractions, it's more important than ever to find ways to maintain perspective and remember that life is brief and tender. Death is something that we're often discouraged to talk about or even think about, but I've realized that preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.
excerpt from candy chang's "before i die i want to ..." ted talk (link)

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