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PHOTO (permalink) 11.30.2007
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
november 2007

PERSONAL (permalink) 11.29.2007
it was so personal, we didn't even wear name-badges
yesterday i went to a fabulous luncheon. it was the first meeting of an advisory board i have been asked to be part of. the lunch took place in this stately manor that has been converted to a formal dining hall. i was the first to arrive. the others slowly and uncertainly entered the private room, as i had done moments before. a point came where there were five of us standing around the table. none of us knew one another and we were all from very different industries. a local entrepreneur. a retired newspaper editor. an ivy-league university representative. and an old-school college professor. and me. in the quiet, i commented that this felt like the beginning of an agatha christie novel. the professor plum looking guy ominously added, "you all had reason to want the victim dead, but which of you enough so to do something about it." i loved it.

for my meal i ordered a bacon-wrapped fillet. when the plate arrived it had the small fillet, a square potato casserole thingy and three long asparagus stalks. i don't eat asparagus. i don't have the enzyme. if you don't know what it means to not have the asparagus enzyme, ask around. only i seem to be doubly afflicted. even so, yesterday i ate the asparagus. i can't fully explain why and i'm not sure i did it for the right reasons but i did and since then have been suffering from my enzyme deficiency.

as for the advisory board, it's nice to have your opinions sought in ways out of the norm. i mean we're all subject matter experts in what we know. it's just nice to not have those questions always be should i use a top or side navigation for this site, or "why can't i wipe my bottom with my shirt? it's soft enough. and you can wash it."

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 11.27.2007
why one is the messiest number
alex is peeing standing up. in watching him feel his way through this transition, one side of me wants to step in and counsel him on how he could do things better. another side of me sees how little i've come in 35 years of peeing upright. my own lack of progress keeps me both quiet and humble. truth told, there is really only one mistake he routinely commits that i never do and that is resting his penis on the rim of the bowl while he goes. of course the only reason i never do this is because my stuff doesn't reach the bowl. if it did, i'm sure i would take, and i don't think i'm alone here, the occasional break from hefting my phallus through the daily and arduous affair and just let it laze about on the cold porcelain while it does its deed.

people who own them and women who are married/living with them know of the variety of potential urinary misfires. i liken their haphazardness to those strobe light balls at dance clubs that randomly shoot multi-colored lights out of a spinning orb? when urination goes wrong it is a bit like that. but, instead of light they shoot fluid and instead of different colors they shoot variant types of streams (i.e. hissers, splitters, arc-ers). it's hard to get on a kid about this because it happens to grown men as well. when it occurs the best i can do is tell him to shake it, or whip it, or hit it, or tug it. while the approach seems mildly unscientific, it is the best we've got. reason is, penis flakiness happens with such pure unpredictability it's virtually impossible to study proper. so when it occurs your mind simply reacts and thus the shake, whip, hit and tug approach.

at a dinner party last weekend i mentioned our home's new kid-trauma to a fellow father. he has two older boys and asked if my son and i had yet crossed streams. i looked at him a little askew wondering if he forgot what a piddling four-year old was like because at the moment if i'm in the same room with him when he sets up, it is a mistake or an oversight on my part because i need a doorjamb between me and him until his reaction time is a little more in the sub-second range. i told the guy i hadn't yet had the pleasure. he looked at me nodding slyly and said "it's pretty cool the first time you cross streams with your boy. it's pretty damn cool."

something that makes all the random sprays and mystery puddles worthwhile is one of alex's more unique rituals. when he's done, he reaches to his left grabs some toilet paper, dabs the tip of his penis, drops the square in the water, pulls his pants up, runs his mits under the water, dries them on a towel and proudly exits the bathroom. what makes his routine unorthodox is that he doesn't tear the toilet paper square off of the roll before pulling it over to blot his penis, meaning that the next person to use the bathroom finds the toilet paper elegantly draped from the wall holder and into the bottom of the commode. you just gotta hope you've arrived on the scene before the toilet water has leached its way up the paper strand and into the full roll. admittedly, if the moisture does reach the source and i'm the first on the scene, i'm going to quietly make my way out of the house and ask the neighbors to use their facilities so i don't have to be the one to swap out the soggy roll in our home's only bathroom.

PHOTO (permalink) 11.21.2007
smile today ... and tomorrow.

KIDS (permalink) 11.20.2007
living in the red-light district
when we drive away from our home, alex turns in his seat to get a quick final glimpse of the house and spiritedly calls:

goodbye our house. goodbye trees. goodbye della. goodbye mommy. goodbye anfunee. goodbye.

it's all very sweet except that the first goodbye comes out sounding more like "goodbye whore-house" than it does "goodbye our house" which slightly soils the cuteness of it all.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 11.15.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

PERSONAL (permalink) 11.14.2007
impulsiveness, family-style
it was a little bit after nine and all the kids were asleep. heading downstairs for a drink, i found marty at her desk lazily browsing the web. i stepped behind her, leaned down and softly kissed her neck. her body softened at the touch, her shoulders falling in relaxation. i kept on. after a few minutes she spoke in a slow and soft way, "i have to put the beef stew away." my mind twisted wondering what this bizarre quip meant. it sounded new. it sounded kinky. then i remembered we had beef stew for dinner. i stopped and stood up. she immediately turned to me, apologizing but said she really needed to put the stew away or it would go bad. she told me to go to the bedroom and she'd be just a minute.

i laid in the dark room remembering the scene in american beauty where lester got scolded for almost spilling beer on the couch. with me still grinning from the similarities, marty appeared in the doorway, backlit by light from down the hall. she began a sultry striptease and lester burnham quickly left my mind. she slid her hand down her leg to remove her shoe. i heard the loud rip of velcro tear through the otherwise silent house. i listened for a child to stir. none did. other shoe, more velcro. still lucky with the kids. her shirt came off next and while i waited for her to cast it to the side the hand holding it reached to her left behind the wall. i thought she was getting some hidden surprise but then realized she was just looking for and then fumbling with the small door of the laundry chute.

lester burnham was back.

but not for long.

GEEK (permalink) 11.13.2007
get a room
i received a shiny new apple laptop today so am slightly distracted. you should feel fortunate i looked away from it long enough to type even this paltry note.

for those who aren't part of the apple nation, this may help expose some of the zealotry. years back a friend, who i'll politely keep anonymous, likened his first experience opening an apple product to that of undressing a beautiful woman.

while i never voiced it so, i knew exactly what he meant. and few would argue that their offerings don't become all the more fetching every year. it's quite ridiculous really.

KIDS (permalink) 11.08.2007
marty and i do demand excellence
our house has been caring for a one-legged cricket named jumpy. bella found him struggling along while she walked home from school. once home, she and alex prepared vast accommodations housing him in a large glass aquarium (suitable for a guinea pig) with cardboard huts, tunnels, water dish, and vegetable pieces. i dislike these sorts of games because of the kids perfect record in caring for living things. and that is perfect as in mortician-perfect, not hospital-perfect. a few weeks passed and jumpy was doing well. this was for sure a new milestone. he had even moved to the kids room and sat atop a dresser because, i was told, he got lonely at night having to sleep in the breakfast room all alone.

the other night bella and i got into a familiar spat about bedtime, the spat being it was bedtime and she did not want it to be bedtime. as she resistantly headed for the stairs she knocked some coats and backpacks off a coat-rack. i made her stop and hang them back up. she paused from her frustrating task long enough to say to me, "jumpys dead. i wasn't going to tell you because i know you don't like it when life dies, but he did so there."

i silently took this news in. i was silent because as a parent it is the right thing to do with a child's rage and because i was a little sad to hear of jumpy's demise. i was starting to like having him around. but i guess it was either that or the kids' perfect track record which is long enough now you sorta hate to see it get marred.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 11.07.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 11.05.2007
hope you have fresh batteries in your wireless mouse
on mondays i usually post a picture of either anthony or alexander. on this monday i'm instead posting 8,000 pictures of people who aren't anthony or alexander so it may take you a few more minutes to go through them.

so for those who complain that i don't post enough, it's payback time. i hope you find some entertainment in the 2007 everyman.

PERSONAL (permalink) 11.02.2007
the wedding
i've recently talked a few times about the day we went to a wedding a few weeks back. i was just sent a link to a bunch of the images from the event and found some share-worthy. first, here is a picture of bella doing her thing after the ceremony.


here's walt and i at the reception before the music started.


and here's walt thirty seconds after the first song of the night.


and here she is sixty seconds after the first song of the night, and up two dance partners.


and here's a lucky picture of the first drunk guy i've ever enjoyed in my life.


he was spectacular.


and the later it got, the more entertaining he became.


at one point in the evening i commented to marty that had she married the dancing, drunk guy instead of me, she might actually have problems adjusting to someone who could outdance her at a wedding reception. this guy never once left the dance floor (wether it was empty or not). marty shot me a look that told me this was the most daft thing i've ever said to her. i stand corrected. and if i were the hot pants dancing guy, i'd stand on my head corrected.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 11.01.2007
for those who thought halloween was frightening
As the audience filed back in, I began, cartoonishly, to envisage the fatal malady that, without anyone's recognizing it, was working away inside us, within each and every one of us: to visualize the blood vessels occluding under the baseball caps, the malignancies growing beneath the permed white hair, the organs misfiring, atrophying, shutting down, the hundreds of billions of murderous cells surreptitiously marching this entire audience toward the improbable disaster ahead. I couldn't stop myself. The stupendous decimation that is death sweeping us all away. Orchestra, audience, conductor, technicians, swallows, wrens - think of the numbers for Tanglewood alone just between now and the year 4000. Then multiply that times everything. The ceaseless perishing. What an idea! What maniac conceived it? And yet what a lovely day it is today, a gift of a day, a perfect day lacking nothing in a Massachusetts vacation spot that is itself as harmless and pretty as any on earth.
excerpt from Phillip Roth's The Human Stain

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