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PHOTO (permalink) 12.24.2008
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
December 2008

PERSONAL (permalink) 12.19.2008
given that it's the holidays i guess it's only fair to make the following disclaimer should you find yourself celebrating at my home.

not only might you be asked to drink out of a plastic cup you had to write your name on with a sharpie, you might also be asked to do so after scratching out the name of the last guest that used that plastic cup at a previous party. if you're good with that, we're good with you. marty is at least.

QUOTES (permalink) 12.18.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

GEEK (permalink) 12.16.2008
i'm wearing boxers and a half-shirt. what are you wearing?
no the nipples are there and they look fine.

these are the scintillating words i got to say to a strange woman last night. over the phone. while sitting alone in my office. why i got to talk nipples with a lady i've never met is because earlier in the day anthony pulled the spacebar off my laptop's keyboard. that would be my $3,000 laptop's keyboard. most of anthony's life is about nipples so i don't know where he finds the time to break my shit. and while initially i get to say naughty words to some raspy-voiced christmas help at the apple store, i'll next have to say those same naughty words to some pale and skinny apple fanboy at the genius bar when i take my computer in for repair. why couldn't he have taken the shift key? i never use that one.

SOCIETY (permalink) 12.15.2008
why the phrase 'no shit sherlock' was created
i read in the news that some guy threw his shoes at president bush during a press conference in iraq. the journalist took a sentence to report that "In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt."

is there a culture where chucking shoes at people is a sign of adoration and support, aside from the elementary playground at least? sheesh.

KIDS (permalink) 12.12.2008
in-house paparazzi
it was alex who woke me up. i had spent the night in his bunk bed. he had slept in my spot next to marty.

he told me it was saturday. he told me it was time to get up. finally relenting and beginning to move he told me that when i got out of bed he would be able to see my underwear. i agreed adding that the only reason he would see underwear at all is because i slept in his bed and not my own (i'm not devoid of respect). so the first thing i did on this particular saturday was awkwardly climb down a miniature wooden ladder while being taunted with a chant of 'i can see your underwear. i can see your underwear.'

what little energy i possessed at the moment was spent safely navigating the indiana-jones like ladder. once down the chant followed me as i groggily ambled to the bathroom. at some point i decided to see how long it would take for the taunting to die on it's own, naturally.

i thought using the restroom might put me over the hump but all that achieved was having alex pause to lean around to watch me pee. then the lambasting changed from 'i can see your underwear' to 'i can see your penis'. my penis was surprised by this early-morning audience. it certainly hasn't happened enough in its meager opinion. the cry continued until my penis went back into its quiet house on its even quieter cul de sac. back to the underwear chant.

things surely got to the point of intervention. i wanted to. needed to. three minutes in the morning are like two hours after seven pm. but i gritted my teeth. then i brushed them. and before my electric toothbrush pulsed marking the end of my brushing time, the chant was magically done too.

i was off to a good dad day.

KIDS (permalink) 12.11.2008
you better not clean up that room!

from the moment he thrust the envelope into my hands alex was bristling for me to open his birthday card. as soon as the card unfolded he burst into an excited explanation about his colorful composition. he pointed to the figure on the right and said it was me. he then pointed to the figure to the left and said that was him. he then said that i was being super freaked out by all the smart things he knew, which was represented by the blizzard of chaos swirling around us.

the reason my child would say i'm freaked out by his intelligence stems from a game i play in the house. i, on occasion, will act mad when they do things like learn something new or laugh extra big or outgrow clothing or say something smart. i cite house rules like 'there will be no laughter in this home! i forbid it!' or 'that's it, you can't go to school anymore!' or 'no more exercise for you. you're getting too strong!' to these outburst the children titter and coo and threaten to learn two things at school tomorrow or to eat more fruit the following day to which i act more irritated and refer to the unspeakable punishments they'll receive if they choose to defy me and become smarter, stronger or happier than their father. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a little hopeful that i can milk this tactic through their college years.

GEEK (permalink) 12.10.2008
attention all newlyweds and geeks
the advice i give to young technologists who work with me.

there are two things you never want to be exciting: your marriage and your technology. if either of those ever get exciting, bad times are ahead.

PERSONAL (permalink) 12.09.2008
i began my first day of forty sick. i'm not in tune enough with my body to know if it was rebelling against leaving my thirties or being pissy about entering my forties. either way, the coughing and hacking kept me home. i wasn't about to go in public on my first day in a new decade sounding like a feeble old man.

marty spent much of her day out and about giving me an unusually quite house to recuperate in. i puttered about trying to catch up on my chores which piled up given my on-the-couch state the day before. intermittently i sat down at the piano. i'm learning to play jingle bells so i can support alex while he sings 'jingle bells, batman smells' on christmas day.

my folks were coming down for dinner. when they arrived marty and the children were still out. we sat and caught up for a bit. when marty and kids did arrive my dad told bella that it was thirty-nine years a some months ago that they went to the pound to get me. i added it was good they were ok with taking home a mutt. bella gave the two of us a practiced eye roll.

we went to my favorite eatery at the moment. it's a persian place on south grand called kabob international and their food is ridiculous. the maternal owner seems smitten with our children and dotes on us like we were kin. anthony was drawn to a ramp connecting two rooms that had beads hanging in the doorway. he kept animatedly running through them with his arms waving until he lost his balance and face-planted into the bar. also eating there was a neighbor with his two sons (a week earlier i saw his wife eating there as well). we exchanged pleasantries and our adoration for the food. when i said i was here for my birthday he said he was here a month earlier (nov 7th) when he turned forty. crazy little world.

for dessert we went to ted drewes. drewes sells custard year round and custard and christmas trees during the holidays. the place is a scene straight out of christmas story with old-school traditionalist on the hunt for that perfect christmas tree. they have everything but the barrel-fire to keep the workers warm. no matter how cold or late it is our kids always fight to eat their various concrete mixtures in the parking lot, lazing about on the car. this night we went home.

when we walked in the door the house was richly decorated with helium balloons. there were scores of them throughout each room. they weren't there when we left. marty and the kids had spent much of their day down the street at a friend's house. they were drawing my cards and readying these balloons which the mom agreed to decorate our house with while we were at dinner. these are the touches in life that let you know you are part of something.

after eating dessert and sending grandparents home and getting children to bed, i called my friend snake in colorado. he had sent me an email earlier in the day and i was months overdue in returning a call to him. we caught up and compared our thoughts on the boons and bites of aging. i ended the call by saying "see ya dave" which is probably the first time i haven't called him by his snake moniker since our friendship began some thirty years ago. this could be one of the bites of forty.

marty and i then sat in front of the fire, each looking minutes from bed. instead we held our comfy spots and talked for over two hours about when we were young and re-visiting how we met and the nuances and fortunate twists that surrounded our coming together. this more than any other component of my life makes being forty not only ok but actually better than being thirty-something or twenty-something. i think i'm going to be ok with this leg of the marathon.

HEALTH (permalink) 12.08.2008
suck sick
today i begin my fifth decade of life on this planet.

and i do so in illness. i hope this isn't representative of the decades to follow.

KIDS (permalink) 12.05.2008
bella's farewall card to her student teacher

MUSIC, WEB (permalink) 12.04.2008
i just love this stuff

KIDS, FILM (permalink) 12.03.2008
when you're a big brother the old man tales start early
marty had the boys up to the library. she was flipping through some dvd's searching for our next movie night candidate. she spotted alex eyeing a rack of video tapes thoughtfully. anthony was next to him watching him stare at the tapes. after a moment alex turned to anthony, motioned to the rack of videos and said ruefully, "i watched these in the old times when we had a BCR."

KIDS (permalink) 12.02.2008
a movie so good you'll wet yourself to not miss a moment
over the weekend, we watched a movie from my youth, savanah smiles (Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear). it is one of those comic and heartfelt products of the 80's and leaves most normal humans welling up at the end. we watched it late on sunday afternoon at the tail-end of the multi-day thanksgiving break. a fire was warming the room and several neighbor girls were over. when marty announced the matinee was beginning, everyone raced to the living room and crowded onto the futon.

with less than ten minutes left in the film, and about two minutes from the tear-jerking climax the writers and directors had spent the last hour and a half working towards, one of the girls announced she had to go pee. the movie was paused and the girl ran with heavy and hurried feet up the stairs (i do think she tried to wait it out but nature prevailed). a moment after she was gone bella announced she had to go to and jetted up the stairs. then anthony fearing he was missing something, charged after both of them. some five minutes later muffled cries were heard from upstairs.

i went up. when i passed the kids room anthony was sitting on the floor playing with a puzzle. the muffled cries were coming from the bathroom. it seems anthony had swung the door closed on the girls locking them in (the door has no handle ... a victim of one of our three children). through the door i instructed bella on how to get the door open. after getting the door open bella loudly announced that the excitement caused the first girl to pee on her pants, the floor and herself. with this the girl stepped forward wearing the wet pants and looking sullen. she asked if she could go home to change. i said of course. she asked if we would wait to start the movie until she came back. i said of course. twenty minutes later we were all back on the futon ready to finish the movie. the heart-wrenching moment came two minutes later and surprisingly still hit its mark with marty and i. as for the kids, all of them were just curious why the characters in the film and the two adults in the room were teary. i told them it was because of the puddle of urine on the bathroom floor upstairs, an answer they accepted more easily than if i had told them the truth.

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 12.01.2008
shouldn't there be trumpets, streamers and shit?
once again it is not with a boom but with a whimper that the everyman sounds its annual roar.

more sadly yet, scillions of 1's and 0's screaming down a broadband flume doesn't even rate a whimper. how anti-climactic that.

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