mono as in one or me. rail as in to vent or complain. thus monorail.


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QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 12.19.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 10.12.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.16.2017
i may give out but i won't give up.

- mr. tom overton, age 109 and the oldest living wwII vet

love people and use things.

- minimalism documentary.

wondering if you're happy is a great shortcut to being depressed

- 20th century women quote

A sage has said, "This is the oldest we have ever been." and also "We will never again be this young!"

- a xmas card from former neighbors (wally and norma)

be good first and first second.

-grant tinker

If I only did what I was qualified to do, I'd still be pushing a broom.

- Naval Ravikant

QUOTES (permalink) 02.15.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, WIFE (permalink) 01.12.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 11.01.2016
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, BOOKS, LIFE (permalink) 09.02.2016
so true. so obvious. so ignored.
Even if all the bright intellects who ever lived were to agree to ponder this one theme, they would never sufficiently express their surprise at this fog in the human mind. Men do not let anyone seize their estates, and if there is the slightest dispute about their boundaries they rush to stones and arms; but they allow others to encroach on their lives--why, they themselves even invite in those who will take over their lives. You will find no one willing to share out his money; but to how many does each of us divide up his life! people are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy. So, I would like to fasten on someone from the older generation and say to him; "I see that you have come to the last stage of human life; you are close upon your hundredth year, or even beyond: come now, hold an audit of your life. Reckon how much of your time has been taken up by a money-lender, how much by a mistress, a patron, a client, quarreling with your wife, punishing your slaves, dashing about the city on your social obligations. Consider also the diseases which we have brought on ourselves, and the time too which has been unused. You will find that you have fewer years than you reckon. Call to mind when you ever had a fixed purpose: how few days have passed as you planned; when you were ever at your own disposal; when your face wore it's natural expression; when you mind was undisturbed; what work have you achieved in such a long life; how many have plundered your life when you were unaware of your losses; how much you have lost through groundless sorrow, foolish joy, greedy desire, the seductions of society; how little of your own was left to you. You will realize that you are dying prematurely.

So what is the reason for this? You are living as if destined to live forever; your own frailty never occurs to you; you don't notice how much time has already passed, but squander it as though you had a full and overflowing supply--though all the while that very day which you are devoting to somebody or something may be your last. You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all the you desire. You will hear many people saying: "When I am fifty I shall retire into Leisure; when i am sixty I shall give up public duties." And what guarantee do you have of a longer life? Who will allow your course to proceed as you arrange it? Aren't you ashamed to keep for yourself just the remnants of your life and to devote to wisdom only the time which cannot be spent on any business? How late it is to begin really to live just when life must end? How stupid to forget our mortality, and put off sensible plans to our fiftieth and sixtieth years, aiming to begin life from a point at which few have arrived.
from seneca's On the Shortness of Life - life is long if you know how to use it

hihglighted passages represent my notes

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 07.15.2016
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 05.25.2016
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.26.2016
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 10.21.2015
reminds me of the beaver.
a few kidisms i've recently enjoyed:

we have some new neighbors. they are very much like marty and i were when we first moved into the community. early thirties. just starting their family. the guy is very young at heart and it is not at all uncommon to find him doing flips on the tramp with the kids or crouched behind a bush set to nerf-ambush someone. the other day he was out watering plants when alex walked by. he snapped the hose in alex's direction sending a quick spray of water over alex. to this alex said, "jeff, you can't spray me. these things i have are highly flammable." the men chuckled at this defense. but the moms took the time to explain the hole in the logic.

then a few days later anthony showed his own verbal creativity when he excitedly described a book he was making at school. he stepped through all the real-book parts it was going to have. a cover. a binding. pictures. and, even, a Table of Contests.

QUOTES (permalink) 10.19.2015
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.25.2015
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 08.07.2015
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.17.2015
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
what are you, a comedian?

QUOTES (permalink) 05.12.2015
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
you're what?

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.04.2015
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
awesome II

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 01.30.2015
low and slow bro
photo credit goes to
On this trip I think we should notice it, explore it a little, to see if in that strange separation of what man is from what man does we may have some clues as to what the hell has gone wrong in this twentieth century. I don't want to hurry it. That itself is a poisonous twentieth-century attitude. When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things. I just want to get at it slowly, but carefully and thoroughly, with the same attitude I remember was present just before I found that sheared pin. It was that attitude that found it, nothing else.
excerpt from Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 01.29.2015
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 01.16.2015
it this doesn't get you taking steps towards any goals you've been sitting on, it just may not happen
For the heart, life is simple: it beats for as long as it can. Then it stops. Sooner or later, one day, this pounding action will cease of its own accord, and the blood will begin to run toward the body's lowest point, where it will collect in a small pool, visible from outside as a dark, soft patch of ever whitening skin, as the temperature sinks, the limbs stiffen and the intestines drain. These changes in the first hours occur so slowly and take place with such inexorability that there is something almost ritualistic about them, as though life capitulates according to specific rules, a kind of gentleman's agreement to which the representatives of death also adhere, inasmuch as they always wait until life has retreated before they launch their invasion of the new landscape. By which point, however, the invasion is irrevocable. The enormous hordes of bacteria that begin to infiltrate the body's innards cannot be halted. Had they but tried a few hours earlier, they would have met with immediate resistance; however everything around them is quiet now, as they delve deeper and deeper into the moist darkness.
opening passage from karl ove knausgaard's My Struggle (book 1)

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 12.18.2014
he may not have all his teeth, but he does have all his marbles
how could i let a week go by without an anthony quote:
i think i could set a world record for finding something in a messy room. i'd do better than clean people because they expect things to be where they go so they don't know what to do when they're not there.
i'm often struck by how obvious the world comes off to young, sharp minds, minds that are free of the clutter and nonsense (oftentimes) we adults allow in. anthony's good for two to three of these observations a week. that said, and for the record, anthony is quite terrible at finding things. i might say he was the worst at it if it weren't for his brother who seems remarkably gifted in his inability to find something that isn't where it is supposed to be game (he's surprisingly terrible at locating things even when they are where they are supposed to be). and their room is a wreck. now, i feel these points, both of which go against anthony's theory, do not soil the acumen of anthony's observation because i am a solid example of the syndrome anthony describes above. anthony and alex just are not.

QUOTES, SOCIETY (permalink) 12.17.2014
modern-day prophet.
except from a chris rock interview (source).
Q: What would you do in Ferguson that a standard reporter wouldn't?

A: I'd do a special on race, but I'd have no black people.

Q: Well, that would be much more revealing.

A: Yes, that would be an event. Here's the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.

Q: Right. It's ridiculous.

A: So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be president. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship's improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, "Oh, he stopped punching her in the face." It's not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner's relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn't. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let's hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

Q: It's about white people adjusting to a new reality?

A: Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it's unfair that you can get judged by something you didn't do, but it's also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn't work for.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.19.2014
life with anfer, part 2
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
keep your hands where i can see 'em

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.18.2014
life with anfer

are you ready for another beautiful day on planet earth?

we're nothing compared to jupiter.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.23.2014
new math
while sitting in the car the other day waiting for the boys to get in, i noticed our neighbors had a walk-out deck above a first floor sunroom they had. the porch had a brick wall surrounding it that came up between the knee and thigh. the weather this particular day was crazy-lovely and i was thinking how neat it would be to have a setup like that where on nice weather nights, you could sleep outside in the night air and looking up at the night sky through gently swaying tree branches (akin to this experience). when the boys got in the car they noted my reverie.

ALEX (11)
whatcha lookin' at dad?

that porch. see over there. look above that room. you can walk out on there. do you see it?


i was thinking on nice days like today, you could pull a sleeping bag out there and sleep outside. because you're high up no one could see or mess with you. doesn't that seem like it would be cool?

yeah it does.

i would sleep out there all the time if we had one of those.

you should have one built on the back of our house.

yeah. i was kinda studying that thinking if we could.

but dad. if you did that, that would be like a thousand cuddles.


if you and mom built one of those on the back of the house, we would lose a thousand cuddles because you'd be busy.

you know anthony. i think you're right. that does look to be about a thousand cuddle project.

in giving this some thought i don't think we have nearly enough CUDDLE-ACCOUNTING in our society or personal lives as we maybe should. every life commitment (e.g. home improvement, continuing education, job change, home upgrade) should have a new line item added to the ledger sheet that reads LOST CUDDLES.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.18.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
a phase

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.03.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 08.20.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 08.13.2014
problem handled
the dinner table question of the night asked what you would do if someone kept calling your house in the middle of the night. they are definitely dialing the wrong number. you tell them this but they keep calling. i asked the table how they would handle this. as we rounded the circle people had very curteous and patient responses they'd use on the person which in their scenario would solve the problem without difficulty (dreamers). when it got to anthony, he looked up from his plate as if he had only been only half-listening and said he would say, "shut up. it's 1 in the morning in my city." and hang up.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.16.2014
as anthony passed marty and i on the porch, marty called him back, saying there was something on his nose and asking what it was. without reaching up to feel it or asking to consult a mirror, he flatly said, "scabs and dirt" and not waiting for a response, continued his march into the house.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.15.2014
may i be frank
the day before fourth of july, which kindly fell on a friday this year, served up the most spectacular day of weather i can ever recall seeing in a usually hot and humid st. louis. work that day proved quiet and productive given many people chose to take the day off. staff was released at noon but i took advantage of the silence to get a few more things done, leaving at 3:30. i strolled along my walking commute staring at the magically blue sky which had crisply lined clouds slowly floating by. they were so pristine they looked near-animated, like miyazaki himself sketched them above us.

between this weather and my early jump on the three day weekend and my walking commute i near floated home. as i turned the final corner towards my house bella and anthony came towards me on roller blades. upon seeing me, their already large smiles grew bigger and they spread their arms wide before them asking (shouting) why i was home already.

throwing my own arms wide, i proclaimed, "i'm naming this the most beautiful day of the year and in honor of that, i'm coming home early to enjoy it with my family."

with them riding a scooter was an adorably cute neighbor girl of about six or seven years old (imagine how cute a huge-grinning, near-toothless anthony is, but then make him even cuter and give him lopsided, pigtails). after my proclamation, all three kids looked up and around, not having seemingly noticed the magical mood of the temperature or the cloud-dotted sky or relaxed state of our community. they consented that it all did seem pretty nice. i introduced myself to their friend and we chatted about the day briefly. as we parted bella stopped and yelled back to me that my pants were very blue. the pants were my new light-weight summer pants from jCrew and were a pastel blue (they were my favorite cut (urban-slim) and summer-time fabric (oxford-cotton) AND were on sale for 50% off BUT only in this color AND were part of the very necessary post weight-loss wardrobe re-fresh). I yelled back my thanks and that they were my homage to this beautiful day. bella flashed me the smile she uses when i say silly, fatherish things and turned to catch up to the others.

later, when bella and anthony returned home from roller-blading, bella told me that after our exchange about my pants, when she caught up to anthony and the new girl, the new girl said to her, in an understanding tone, "it's ok bella, my parents aren't very classy either".

just when i thought the day couldn't possibly offer me more.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 06.27.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 06.25.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 04.25.2014
short, sweet, and clean-smelling
the most profound quote, for me, from this year's mancation:
cleaning your room is work.

keeping it clean is not.


QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.16.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
jack, you're in

QUOTES (permalink) 04.04.2014
"Trust those who seek the truth but doubt those who say they have found it."

André Gide

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.03.2014
the night before i went on my mancation ski trip this year, alex and i spent a few quiet moments together before bed. out of nowhere he reflectively said the following:
it's hard on me when you travel.

at delmar harvard i remember i used to slide into my seat at lunch time and the last time you went skiing, i didn't slide in like i always did because i was sad and everyone (at the table) noticed (i didn't slide in) and then i started crying.

but that is the last time i cried at school about you traveling.
what he doesn't know is when he starts traveling, like for college, life, and marriage, i'll be the one not animatedly sliding into my seat and maybe even crying a bit. i hope i come to terms with it as quickly and maturely as he has.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.01.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
slackers need not apply

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.25.2014
a kind of mystery science theater
we were at a theatrical production of les miserables in salt lake city. our family sat in the last row of the hale's intimate circular auditorium. this would be my third show at the hale and my family's second. during one particular scene, the necessary prop was lowered from the ceiling. it stood in the center of the round stage as one of the most scant arrangements used through the night containing only a metal gate supported on either side by two stone pillars. in the scene two star-struck lovers stood on either side of the locked gate longing for one another through their drippy sentiments exchanged between the gate's bars. in the middle of the heated scene my seven year old leaned into me for the following whispered conversation:



why are they talking through the gate?

because she is locked in her house and he is on the street.

but why doesn't he just walk around?

(muffled laughter)

i mean, can't they see the fence doesn't go very far and they could just walk around that stone part?

well, because ...

then they wouldn't have to talk through those bars.

later in the show when they brought out a grown up and highly decorated Cossette, anthony quietly asked why little bo peep was in the show. this one caused laughter by a small circle of seats surrounding him.

so, if you ever want to make a high-brow show more entertaining, i reckon for the right price (some sweets from the intermission stand) you could have anthony accompany you and ask the questions that need to be asked.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 03.13.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
how does this work

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 03.12.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

WIFE, QUOTES (permalink) 02.28.2014
i'll let you guess who wears the pants in this arrangement
the email i received from marty after she read the family gallery posting (trapped) about her choosing to quit work and stay home with the kids.
It's amazing how you can write like a woman.
that was the message in it's entirety. no hello. no thanks. just, you write like a girl. i reckon the most appropriate response would have been:
and, it's amazing how much you write like a man.
but instead of sending that response, i went to the kitchen and did the dishes.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.07.2014
a young friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer. it arrived with a suddeness and ferocity that is hard to comprehend, let alone understand. the manner in which this young man, sam, has shouldered this dark card in his deck is as hard to comprehend as the event itself. i have twenty years of life experience over this fellow and even had the privilege of once calling myself his teacher, and he has faced this moment with a maturity and courage i don't think i've ever witnessed first-hand, like ever. suffice it to say i often feel as though i'm the one in the auditorium looking up at him standing tall and confident at the lecturn. to give you a taste of this young man, i share his latest broadcast from his company web-site:
When I got my cancer diagnosis in November I was completely blindsided. I went in on a Friday afternoon to get a lumpy piece of my chest checked out and the doc, calm as a hurricane eye, stepped back from the table and crossed his hands.

"You' old?"

"I'm 23."

"This is going to... sound strange. I'm nearly certain that this is cancer. You'll need to get it cut out as soon as possible."

I went out to my car and had an earthshattering bawlfest that lasted a brief 4 minutes. Then I called my brother Seth, the programming half of our studio.

We are a two-man team, doing everything from inception to launch on the games we make. In telling him about the diagnosis I admitted I was terrified that this cancer would take our fledgling indie studio and throw it under the ground, as it may throw me. Seth reassured me and became my chauffeur for the next week as we went up to Iowa from St. Louis to do surgery, get the diagnosis complete, and figure out treatment.

It was Stage 4 lymphoma. It was on my spleen, my liver, my pelvis, my entire lymph system. The docs at the time said it might even be in my spinal fluid. A PET scan showed that my insides, rather than consisting of nice fleshy pinkness, were a coating of tumor. Despite how aggressive the cancer was, I was given a 65%-ish cure rate. Chemo was to begin the next week before I decided to up and die from tumor load. 

The two weeks between diagnosis and treatment was a true whirlwind of activity and emotion. It wasn't until after I received my first chemo infusion that my anxiety settled and Seth and I sat down to begin again on our project at the time, Extreme Slothcycling.

As we began to plan a wry feeling started bubbling up from my chest. Something about this was wrong. Hysterically wrong. I interrupted Seth as he was in mid marker-swing across the whiteboard.

"Seth. I don't want Extreme Slothcycling to be the last game I make before I die."

you can follow the adventure, and get plugged into their next game which my alex is feverishly awaiting, at their website butterscotch shenanigans.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.03.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.29.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
christmas story

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.23.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.21.2014
not noted in the advertisement
when the boys come into the bathroom when i'm showering i have to hide behind africa until they leave.
this quote from bella quickly illustrates the downsides of having, aside from including a sprawling map of the world, a transparent shower curtain. our last shower curtain, which also possessed a clear background, portrayed the periodic elements (in honor of marty's return to teaching high school biology) which shielded, i'm told, much more of the human body from the occassional passerby.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.15.2014
the good side of aging
during thanksgiving week the nfl ran videos of players and coaches saying what they were thankful for. most of them included the player's family and had the expected and tired phrases. after watching a few i tended to fast forward through them but one caught my eye. first off it was an older guy sitting alone. as i slowed it down i saw it was dick lebau, the famed and long-time defensive coordinator of my pittsburgh steelers. he is 76 years old has been involved in the nfl for more than fifty years and is said to have the crisp mind and vigor of men half his age. i've only ever seen him pacing the sidelines with a intent look on his face and had never heard him speak. in this video he addressed the camera in a measured and methodical drawl, answering the question of what he was thankful for:
I'm very thankful that i was born in the great old USA. I was born to a mother who was just about the greatest woman a man could ever want to be around and into a great family. They taught me that service to your fellow man is a great thing. We're not the only people on the planet. It led me to a life of teaching and sharing. I hope you'll all help somebody and remember what you're thankful for on this great day.
the commentators, al michaels and chris collinsworth, on returning from the break commented on his spot. during this al michaels mentioned lebau's golf game and the advice he routinely offered, also in that quiet, easy tone:
take it back low and slow bro. low and slow.
i find a simple beauty to this and reckon it, like all the best bits of counsel, could be applied to numerous facets of life.

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 01.10.2014
mr jason kottke, my digital-hero, recently wrote an article about the death of the blog. the subject obviously caught my eye and i quickly clicked through. as i read i felt more old and more out of touch until i came to the line that read:
Blogs are for 40-somethings with kids.
and i instantly went from feeling totally disconnected to being exactly right where i'm supposed to be. and i can for sure count on one hand the number of times that has happened in my life.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.08.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
house rules

LIFE, QUOTES (permalink) 01.06.2014
2013 dearmitt-household quote of the year
mom still owes me twenty dollars for calling me the c-word.
i will bet you a boat-load of money this phrase, casually uttered to me by a twelve-year old bella while walking to the bus stop, did not pass before you in 2013, any year prior, or any future year you may be fortunate enough to enjoy.

i'm tempted to let the quote stand on its own without explanation just to let your mind dash madly from scenario to scenario, opening doors and looking behind boxes in search of the event that would lead to such a statement. i imagine the wayward paths your mind might travel down, the stories unfolding with the exciting unusualness of a tarantino narrative would be far better than the actual context, and marty swears there's always context.

i'm equally tempted to explain what led to the exchange because i like you and even if i didn't like you a whole lot, well, i'm not a complete ass-face. not most-times at least.

when i'm torn between two viable options i tend, like most reasoned folks, to act conservatively which in this case is to let your minds imagine how such a moment could develop between a mother and daughter. this path can be reversed, the other path cannot.

oh, and, happy new year. i'm infinitely thankful and excited to be sharing this shiny fresh-out-of-the-box year full of minutes and potential with you. in fact, i'm bristling just like alex did before falling to sleep the night before christmas.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 12.17.2013
broken record
things i say a lot to my kids:

in the morning when i first see them:
welcome to another beautiful day on planet earth.

when i say goodbye to them:
do good.

when i announce we're about to leave:
wheels up in five.

when it's time to go to bed:
shut it down. brush, potty, and bed.

when they do something i deem foolish:
oh c'mon. you've gotta have more sense than that.

when i'm in mush mood for them:
you know i love you big, right?

SCIENCE, QUOTES (permalink) 12.13.2013
and i can barely keep a shirt tucked into my pants through a workday
DNA possesses genes, small snippets of biological instructions, that guide everything from how tall you become to how you respond to stress. A lot of genetic material fits inside that yolk-like nucleus. Nearly six feet of the stuff are crammed into a space that is measured in microns. A micron is 1/25,000th of an inch, which means putting DNA into your nucleus is like taking thirty miles of fishing line and stuffing it into a blueberry. The nucleus is a crowded place.

One of the most unexpected findings of recent years is that this DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is not randomly jammed into the nucleus, as one might stuff cotton into a teddy bear. Rather, DNA is folded into the nucleus in a complex and tightly regulated manner. The reason for this molecular origami: cellular career options. Fold the DNA one way and the cell will become a contributing member of your liver. Fold it another way and the cell will become part of your busy bloodstream. Fold it a third way and you get a nerve cell—and the ability to read this sentence.
excerpt from Brain Rules by John Medina

QUOTES (permalink) 11.26.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.12.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.08.2013
love it or leave it
In design, where meaning is often controversially subjective or painfully inscrutable, few things are more apparent and lucid than the presence of passion. This is true whether the design of a product delights you or leaves you cold; in either case it's difficult not to detect the emotional investment of the hands that built it.

Enthusiasm manifests itself readily of course, but indifference is equally indelible. If your commitment doesn't encompass a genuine passion for the work at hand, it becomes a void that is almost impossible to conceal, no matter how elaborately or attractively designed it is.
i recently shared this Khoi Vinh quote with a young man who works for me that has been in a bit of a funk recently. i told him that this was something i read every morning before starting work to remind myself of the import of my daily effort. i then added that as i've gotten older i've discovered that a lot of design and technology theory seems to be fully relevant to our personal lives too (and near-surely any industry you can imagine). i find the above example to be abundantly and beautifully evident of this observation.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.01.2013
something for everyone
if you prefer something with some meat on it:
We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood—it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late."

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence
New York City, April 4, 1967
and for those who are more hankering for a chicken mcNugget:
Wife texts husband on a cold winter's morning: "Windows frozen, won't open."

Husband texts back: "Gently pour some lukewarm water over it."

Wife texts back 5 minutes later: "Computer really screwed up now."

- author unkown

QUOTES (permalink) 10.14.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 09.30.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 09.16.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
cool & sophisticated

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 06.17.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
new game

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 05.21.2013
ohhhh! you got faced.
you look good in those pants troy.


yeah, too bad you chose to wear that jacket with them.

ohhh. nice one bay.

thanks. i try.

you can thank the bus for that quick wit.

for all of the hours bella spends in the classroom and on homework, marty and i have found the bus to be one of the most truly educational spaces she occupies, and especially on afternoons when she stays late for some extracurricular affair because then all the club and detention kids ride together. for her age and given the diverse world she occupies, i'd say it's near equivalent of doing post-graduate work.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 05.20.2013
give me a sign
we received this message from a neighbor mom while anthony was down playing at her house.
Ben and Anthony were trying to decide what to do. They didn't like my suggestions, so Anthony decided to call upon God for advice. He yelled, "God! What should we do?"

Not sure if he or she answered, but they are on the trampoline now!

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 05.06.2013
takin' care of bidnez
a neighbor boy came over to play with anthony. he's a little older but the two boys visit one another often and without invitation. they will at times play for hours and hours without supervision or issue. during the boy's visit this last weekend, he and anthony were butting heads about something. in response, anthony took the initiative to call the boy's home where his mother answered.


ben is being mean.

oh. anthony. hi. uhm. well i'm sorry.


i guess you should maybe send him home.


without as much as a goodbye, thanks or grunt of acknowledgement, anthony hung up the phone and yelled out, "ben. you have to go home."

that is the sort of self-sufficiency marty and i can surely get behind.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.28.2013
suddenly my miami-vice-era don johnson answer seems less impressive
the dinner question of the night was 'if you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?"

while most were naming inventors, explorers, and celebrities (12 year old girl and all), when six year old anthony's turn came up he answered "the saddest person in the world".

the whole table looked at each other surprised at his reply. certain he misunderstood the question, we restated it. casually, he said he understood the question just fine. when asked why he would then choose what he chose he replied, "so the person who was the saddest person doesn't have to be that anymore. and then the world would be a better place."

i began the dinner question-ritual in hopes of stimulating thought and reason in my children, yet time and time again, i find i'm the one challenged and bettered by the exercise.

TRAVEL, QUOTES (permalink) 03.20.2013
our travel pundit.
while walking out of a gas station, anthony grabbed the handle on the door and pulled. the door didn't move. marty said the sign says PUSH anthony. he did and we exited the store. as we walked to the car anthony, our six year old, asked, "why would anyone put a handle on a door you have to push?"

marty and i exchanged silent expressions and she said, "i don't know anfer. i don't know."

now before we celebrate a mind as keen as anfer's just yet, allow me to share this second conversation.

look, there's church butte road.

church butte road. ohhhh!

yeah, does that mean there's like a church with a giant butt?

it's not that kind of butt anthony.

oh! then it's the kind of church that butts in line in front of other churches.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.14.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.08.2013
what's a bedtime story without some tears from dad in the mix.

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"
The clock man asked the child.
"not one penny," the answer came,
"For my days are as many as smiles."

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"
He asked when the child was grown.
"Maybe a dollar or maybe less,
For I've plenty of days of my own."

"How much will you pay for an extra day?"
He asked when the time came to die.
"All of the pearls in all of the seas,
And all of the stars in the sky."

From Shel Silverstein's final book Every Thing On It

QUOTES (permalink) 02.04.2013
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
a hole

QUOTES (permalink) 12.19.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.30.2012
i'm beyond good being on a need-to-know designation.
lick your finger and push down on it
these were the first words i heard coming out of sleep on the morning of friday, november 16th. marty spoke those possibly scary words. they were directed, i assume and hope, towards one of our three children. i'm not sure which one. i've been a parent of miniature humans long enough to know that you not only have to pick your battles but you also have to pick your details. there's only so much granular kid-centric data the average man can shoulder.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.29.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.28.2012
the one-twitter challenge
were i to use twitter i would not only be brief in characters (as mandated by them) i'd also be brief in contributions (as mandated by myself). after some thought, i've concluded my one and only contribution to the twitter morass would be the following.
in life, always:

1 act with respect.
2 make mature choices.

honor those and you will sleep well and hit life's end line content and grinning.

the above text is taken near verbatim from an email exchange with a former student, who is now graduated and i need to just start calling a friend given our ongoing relationship. he and i have shared two lunches recently. the first to celebrate a new responsibility given to him at the dream job he secured six months ago. the second lunch, just a few weeks later, focused on how he could depart the company. it turns out the owner, who at first seemed to be a warm and patronly mentor is mildly, but not quietly, deranged. when sam explained what had gone on, i expressed surprise that he hadn't left already. one week after the second lunch i received an early morning email from sam announcing his plan to put an end to the crazy job this day. usually i'm not a spry mail responder (like, that happens at nine, ya know) but given the import of the moment, i took a minute to dash off a quick reply, hence the brevity of the message. the only bit removed involves a statement that no matter how the world around you (e.g. shitheel boss) behaves make sure to conduct yourself with grace and aplomb.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.16.2012
he's probably a quicker wit than most in his zip code too.
from a bill murray interview. when asked if he thought he was a gifted actor, he replied, "i'm pretty good at what i do. i'm as good as anyone in my neighborhood."

what a great answer to a really un-great question.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.15.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
got religion

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.09.2012
what a great exercise, thoughtfully and thoroughly done
Yes, the relationships with our children matter most, but I found myself wondering if my son had learned enough from me, whether he was prepared. So what do I want him to have learned as I send him on his way, off on his own? What do I want him to understand about life? What will help guide him through any difficult times? If I could only just tell him.

Hey wait! I can!

Here is what I want him to know; some words of wisdom that will guide him reasonably happily through life.

Always know that—
  • No matter what happens to you in life—no matter what ups and downs life may bring—you have all the health and well-being inside you that you will ever need, it can never be destroyed, and it contains the wisdom and common sense to guide you through life.
  • All you need to do to hear it is to quiet your mind or clear our head (which you can do in any way that suits you), and it will speak to you in the form of common sense thoughts popping into your head—so all you need to do is trust that it's there.
  • When you feel frustrated or angry or irritable or down or bored or lazy, or any of those emotions, the more you know that those feelings are coming from your own thoughts, and those thoughts are coming only from the way you're seeing things at the moment—and that can change—the less you will be controlled by those emotions. The more you notice and are aware of what you're feeling at those times and the less you take those thoughts too seriously because those thoughts are just tricking you by giving you faulty messages, the less you will be controlled by those emotions. The more you can't let go of something, the further way you are from that healthy, but you're the one making it up—inadvertently.
  • The more you understand that everyone sees the world in a completely different way from everyone else because of their own way of thinking, and their world makes as much sense to them as yours does to you, and you can't talk anyone out of their world any more than they can talk you out of yours, the less you will be bothered and troubled by others.
  • The more you recognize your moods, and that you think differently about the same situation depending on your moods, and the more you wait until your mood rises before acting or saying anything, the better off you'll be and the better people will respond to you.
  • If someone does you wrong or treats you badly—it's just that he's lost—his world is telling him to act that way, and he is just doing the best he knows how to do at the time, given how he sees things. If you can see him as innocent because he can't see a better way at that time, and if you see him with compassion because he must be hurting to be taking it out on you, and if you don't take what they do or say personally, you will be protected emotionally from what he and others do [Note: This does not mean not taking appropriate action, when necessary.]
  • Whenever you're down in the dumps or caught up in your emotions and you can't seem to change your thinking, all you need to remember is that your thoughts will eventually change and, with them, you will see your situation or that person differently. What you see as "reality" or "the way it is" now will change as your thinking changes—and it always does. So you don't have to get so caught up in the way you think it is now—because how it looks now is guaranteed to change, eventually.
  • The way you treat others creates what you get back in return.
  • People who achieve what they want in life believe they can do it, trust that what they want will fall into place for them, if they work hard to get it and don't give up. And if it doesn't work out, have faith that you will be okay—it is all unfolding perfectly—no matter what.
  • We will always be there for you if you need us.
  • We will always love you no matter what you do!
excerpt from parenting from the heart by Jack Pransky

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)

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.26.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.21.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
i can read

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.07.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
so ya' know

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 08.24.2012
what passes for discourse in our home.

I'm the king of the world!

no. you're the king of your anus.

QUOTES, WIFE (permalink) 06.06.2012
if you're not laughing routinely, you're not listening hard enough
"i had to ride my bike home with a stapler in my underwear."

marty's response to the question of how her day went.

there's a saying that kids say the funniest/darnedest things. there should be another saying that says kids make parents say the funniest/darnedest things.

QUOTES (permalink) 05.22.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
don't walk

QUOTES (permalink) 05.08.2012
name, rank, and ssn please.
we got a report from anthony's teachers that while walking down the hall he bumped into a girl with his shoulder. after the girl reported this to the teachers they called anthony over an asked him about it. first he said he didn't remember it happening. they challenged this saying it just happened and he must remember it. his demeanor stiffened and he said to the three teachers,
look, all i have to remember is my name and my password. that's it.
the teachers told us they didn't proceed after that because they were trying to stifle their laughter and couldn't press him further. before the circle broke anthony added that maybe he was blinking (and in his retelling he began blinking wildly) and maybe he didn't see the girl given his blinking attack and maybe he accidentally, gently, sorta, kinda bumped into her.

i don't know if i'm more excited or anxious to hear what these stories sound like when he's sixteen instead of five.

QUOTES (permalink) 04.24.2012
think it - be it
Neither the woman on the plane nor my friend Elizabeth was in denial about her feelings. Neither of them was pleased with what was going on, but neither of them had a choice about it. The only choice they had was the style they selected for passing the time. Having the ability to choose a style seems to me to be a great liberation. Perhaps it is the ultimate meaning of "freedom of choice."

Right Aspiration is what develops in the mind once we understand that freedom of choice is possible. Life is going to unfold however it does: pleasant or unpleasant, disappointing or thrilling, expected or unexpected, all of the above! What a relief it would be to know that whatever wave comes along, we can ride it out with grace. If we got really good at it, we could be like surfers, delighting especially in the most complicated waves.

What Right Aspiration translates to in terms of daily action is the resolve to behave in a way that stretches the limits of conditioned response. If i want to build big biceps, I need to use every opportunity to practice lifting weights. If I want to live in a way that is loving and generous and fearless, then I need to practice overcoming any tendency to be angry or greedy or confused. Life is a terrific gym. Every situation is an opportunity to practice.
Excerpt from It's Easier Than You Think by Sylvia Boorstein

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 04.06.2012
and how.
a friend of mine who is a university philosophy professor recently asked me to pre-read a book he wrote on happiness. i think i came to mind because i've probably read more books on positive psychology and happiness than most. of all the great points he illustrated in his book, my favorite line was, "One should not be an asshole in the pursuit of happiness." while it might seem overly obvious, i reckon we've all bumped into a soul or two who would benefit from such counsel.

QUOTES (permalink) 04.04.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 03.28.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
potty words

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.08.2012
i wish more people were preaching this message
Ritual, Willpower, and the Final Push
When writing his most recent book, Be Excellent at Anything (2010), Schwartz structured his day into three ninety minute writing bursts that allowed him to complete the book working only four and a half hours a day for three months. Our brains, Schwartz discovered, become easily fatigued. They need breaks in order to refuel, to be able to refocus, create, and produce. When we don't give them the needed time to refuel, they more or less start to shut down and ratchet up the mood crank factor until we have to listen. By then we've often spent hours at work, without actually accomplishing a whole lot of work.

But it's not just the lost creativity, cognitive function, and productivity that take a hit when we don't stop to refuel on a regular enough basis. Willpower is annihilated and fear and anxiety run amok when you don't give your brain a chance to refuel.

In his book How We Decide (2009), Jonah Lehrer points to the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as the seat of self-control or willpower. The problem is, the PFC is easily fatigued.


Willpower, it turns out, is a depletable resource. Tasks that involve heavy thinking, working memory, concentration, and creativity tax the PFC in a major way and ... it doesn't take all that much to draw your willpower tank down to near zero.

Why should you care? Two reasons. What we often experience as resistance, desire, distraction, burnout, fatigue, frustration, and anxiety in the process of creating something from nothing may, at least in part, be PFC depletion that reduces our willpower to zero and makes it near impossible to commit to the task at hand—especially if the task wars with our creative orientation. In addition, what so many creators experience as a withering ability to handle the anxiety, doubt, and uncertainty as a project nears completion may actually be self-induced rather than process-induced suffering.

Think about your own process. As you near the launch of a new venture, the completion of a manuscript, or the creation of a collection of artwork for an upcoming show, you tend to put in more hours. You work for longer periods of time without breaks. You sleep less and do so more fitfully. You stop exercising, meditating, listening to music, and creating deliberate space in your day. You eat like hell (or don't eat enough) and push away conversations and activities that take you away from your endeavor because you just don't have the time (or so you think). You abandon your more humane creation routine and rituals in the name of getting it done.

What happens? All those things stack on top of each other to systematically juice your PFC and empty your willpower tank, then keep it empty. You'll very likely experience that loss of willpower and hit to your ability to self-regulate your behavior as the evil, nasty resistance getting stronger as you get closer to completing your endeavor. In reality, a series of subtle shifts in your own behavior are causing much of the distress.

If you're someone who creates largely in a vacuum, as you get closer to the end of your endeavor you're also starting to get to the place where you've got to go public or at least reveal your creation to the first line of your potential "judges." Exposure to judgment and risk of loss begin to become far more real to you. That kicks the amygdala's fear and anxiety responses into high gear at a point when your PFC is too wiped out to do much to counter it.

Well-planned, burst-driven creation rituals with recovery periods go a long way toward taming the evil nasties that arise as a project progresses by allowing the PFC to refuel along the way. I experimented with this when writing this book. When I wrote my earlier book, Career Renegade, I spent the final week slumped on the couch in the tattered remains for an extra-heavy Champion sweatshirt from college-writing, sweating, thinking, muttering, spinning, and randomly cursing for the better part of sixteen hours a day. Not fun. I felt a bit like I was waging creative warfare.

This time around, I committed to a ritual that was much closer to Schwartz's. I still donned the ancient sweatshirt. And the week before the manuscript was due, I still had a ton of work to do on it. But i stuck to my bursts, took breaks to meditate, eat, play guitar, walk outside, play with my wife and daughter, and talk to friends. Amazingly enough, the work still got done, the the process became substantially more humane. lesson learned.
excerpt from uncertainty by jonathan fields

QUOTES (permalink) 02.28.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.14.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 02.10.2012
evidence of why he's special
imagine if you were asked to write about a runaway horse crashing into a family's wagon on a narrow wooden bridge. would your rendition be close to this?
the horse still galloping, galloping its shadow into the dust, the road descending now toward the creek and the bridge. It was of wood, just wide enough for a single vehicle. When the horse reached it, it was occupied by a wagon coming from the opposite direction and drawn by two mules already asleep in the harness and the soporific motion. On the seat were Tull and his wife, in splint chairs in the wagon behind them sat their four daughters, all returning belated from an all-day visit with some of Mrs . Tull's kin. The horse neither checked nor swerved. It crashed once on the wooden bridge and rushed between the two mules which waked lunging in opposite directions in the traces, the horse now apparently scrambling along the wagon-tongue itself like a mad squirrel and scrabbling at the end-gate of the wagon with its fore feet as if it intended to climb into the wagon while Tull shouted at it and struck at its face with his whip. The mules were now trying to turn the wagon around in the middle of the bridge. It slewed and tilted, the bridge-rail cracked with a sharp report above the shrieks of the women; the horse scrambled at last across the back of one of the mules and Tull stood up in the wagon and kicked at its face. Then the front end of the wagon rose, flinging Tull, the reins now wrapped several times about his wrist, backward into the wagon bed among the overturned chairs and the exposed stockings and undergarments of his women. The pony scrambled free and crashed again on the wooden planking, galloping again. The wagon lurched again; the mules had finally turned it on the bridge where there was not room for it to turn and were now kicking themselves free of the traces. When they came free, they snatched Tull bodily out of the wagon. He struck the bridge on his face and was dragged for several feet before the wrist-wrapped reins broke. Far up the road now, distancing the frantic mules, the pony faded on. While the five women still shrieked above Tull's unconscious body, Eck and the little boy came up, trotting, Eck still carrying his rope. He was panting. "Which way'd he go?" he said.
excerpt from William Faulkner's The Hamlet

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.09.2012
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
bathroom words

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 12.14.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
acting out

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 11.29.2011
you get to field this call from the school when it comes.
it began with a jokey comment made by a five-year old anthony to marty in front of me. he leaned in on her and intentionally said loud enough for me to hear ...

i love you more than i love daddy.

well yes, that is true right now but it will change soon enough.

ANTHONY (perplexed anthony raised up)

MARTY (without looking away from her paper)
there will come a time when you will look to dad to teach you how to be a man and when that happens, he will become more important in your life.

and you can't tell me how to be a man?

well no, i can't because i'm not a man. i'm a woman. it's my job to teach bella how to be a woman. what i can teach you is how to be a man that women would want to be with. but it's your dad's job to teach you how to be a man.

without even throwing a brotherly or conspiratorial nod my way given this newfound bond between us, anthony turned and walked off calling for his ten year old sister.

bella? bella? where are you bella?

BELLA (calling back)
i'm in the kitchen anthony. what do you want?

ANTHONY (yelling out as he walks towards the kitchen)
bella, did you know mom is going to teach you how to be a woman ... and dad is going to teach me how to be a man?

MARTY (to me)
that sounded a lot more innocent when it came out of my mouth.

QUOTES, KIDS, FOOD (permalink) 11.23.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
got milk?

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 11.22.2011
it's sad that you're the one asked and expected to hand your child the needle
bella recently asked me to establish an email account for her. i told her that i would under the condition that her first ever email be sent to me. she readily agreed.

here's the first ever email she received:
On Nov 20, 2011, at 9:24 AM, Troy L DeArmitt wrote:
welcome to the world of email.

may it not overtake your life.

and the first ever email she sent:
On Nov 20, 2011, at 9:35 AM, Bella DeArmitt wrote:
Dear Dad,
Thank you so much for setting me up an account. i'm sad to say that this will probably, sadly, overtake my life and I will use it as an excuse to get onto the computer, thanks for giving me the account.
it's hard to not appreciate a healthy dose of self-awareness and candor.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 11.21.2011
all i want for christmas is my sister's two front teeth.

anthony, is there anything you would like for christmas?

i would like bella to be called pinhead.

obviously i caught him in a moment of angst, an occasional artifact of living big. while i would contend we need to return to the well for another option, i fear marty's going argue for the name change because we can actually afford that.

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.09.2011
i'd like you to find a stronger review for any book, anywhere.
an anthony reflection.
i wish half the world was made out of candy and the other half was made out of amulet books.
the amulet is a graphical novel which is quite good, especially if you liked the Bone series.

QUOTES, SPORTS (permalink) 11.02.2011
loud and proud
i may have been the only guy in st louis who was hoping texas would win game seven. my logic, the cardinals got game six, it only seemed fair and just to give the series to the never-won rangers. that way everyone walks away with a positive. but it was not to be. in honor of their effort, allow me to share my all-time favorite texas-related string of words. it is a bit of advice from a texas father to his boy.
Son, it is very rude to ask a man where he is from. If he is from Texas, you will find out, and if he's not, don't embarrass him.
from a 1944 pro-texas booklet called Texas Brags that was put together by a fella named john randolph. i came upon it in a recent new york times magazine.

KIDS, QUOTES, MUSIC (permalink) 10.25.2011
not exactly how you hear the disney djs calling it

this is the last album she made before she hit the wall of puberty.

bella commenting on a miley cyrus disc she slid into the car stereo.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 10.12.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 10.05.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.23.2011
food for thought. a supermarket's worth of food
Old age can be both miserable and joyous. It all depends on the facets we choose to examine. But one thing we do know is that positive aging must reflect vital reaction to change, to disease, and to conflict. Thus, perhaps there is a third way for us to view old age - one that does not try to paint old age as either black or white. A 55-year old Study poet underscored the dignity even in dying. He rhetorically asked, "What's the difference between a guy who at his final conscious moments before death has a nostalgic grin on his face, as if to say, 'Boy, I sure squeezed that lemon' and another man who fights for every last breath in an effort to turn time back to some nagging unfinished business? Damed if I know, but I sure think it's worth thinking about."
excerpt from Aging Well by George E. Vaillant

QUOTES (permalink) 09.22.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
totally awesome

HEALTH, QUOTES (permalink) 09.20.2011
you're not going out in that are you?
i walked into my room for a pair of socks at 9pm. bella sat upright in the bed reading by the light of a lamp on the nightstand. i was basement-bound to do my night's biking/spinning. she glanced at me in the dim light. i stood by my dresser shirtless and wearing only my bib-style biking shorts. she placed her open hand flat on the page of her book and asked:

what are you wearing?

oh. these are my biking shorts. this kind is called a biking bib and they're kinda like overalls to help keep them up and in place.

well ... i'm going to have nightmares from your biking shorts.

yeah, they do look a little funny before i get my shirt on. after i get a shirt on they look pretty normal.

i gotta say it is definitely not eye-candy.

and i gotta say bella's dress-down of me standing there in nothing but a pair of bib-style biking shorts planted several flags into my gelatinous esteem as i found myself pushing a little harder than usual that night on the trainer. in fact, so good was the workout, i'm considering letting bella verbally abuse me before every aerobic endeavor. if she gets good enough at it, she could possibly become a new sort of fitness trainer that does nothing but berate her clients into action.

QUOTES, LIFE (permalink) 09.16.2011
drip-drop, drip-drop.

Each year one vicious habit rooted out,
In time might make the worst Man good throughout.

my man B Franklin as Poor Richard.

QUOTES (permalink) 09.08.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
dry meat

FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.07.2011
friendly-ish nudge
my favorite get-off-your-ass email when i didn't return promptly on september 1st (or 2nd or 5th).

Hey jerkface, August is over.


Sent from my Chinese imitation Iphone

QUOTES (permalink) 07.22.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
the c-word

QUOTES (permalink) 07.08.2011
Only one I in the whole wide world
And millions and millions of you,
But every you is an I to itself
And I am a you to you, too!

But if I am a you and you are an I
And the opposite also is true,
It makes us both the same somehow
Yet splits us each in two.

It's more and more mysterious,
The more I think it through:
Every you everywhere in the world is an I;
Every I in the world is you!

Poem by Mary Ann Hoberman from the book named The Tree that Time Built.

QUOTES (permalink) 07.05.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 06.08.2011
yeah, 'we' don't because 'you' don't have one mom
"anthony, we don't close our penises inside library books."

the most interesting part of the story is not that marty had to tell our four year old to stop closing his penis inside a library book but that she had to go on to explain why.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 06.07.2011
just imagine the list she could surely spew forth now.
back when bella was about four or five years old, she and alex would occasionally stay the night at my folks house. on such weekends we would meet my parents at a mcdonalds that was halfway between our homes. there was a period where bella was saying the word "god" a lot, as in "oh my god!" if surprised or wowed. this was definitely gotten from her mother as i was trained young to never play around with the lord's name, even in any of its derivative forms like gosh or lordy or jeezo and the like (from my own mother). oftentimes on the drive to meet my folks i would remind bella that grandma didn't like that word and she should say something else when visiting. my dad recently told me, through great laughter, that at one of those pickups bella excitedly ran to the table my parents were sitting at and slid into next to them. before saying hello or anything, she animatedly said:

i know the thing i'm not supposed to say at grandma's house.

oh yeah. and what's that?

'oh my god!' because grandma doesn't like it.

this was one of my folks favorite grandkid stories to tell to any who would listen.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 06.03.2011
a crazily quote-worthy book
Next I followed a practice learned from the best officer I ever had. He was Charley Edwards, a major of middling age, perhaps a little too far along to be a combat officer but he was a good one. He had a large family, a pretty wife and four children in steps, and his heart could ache with love and longing for them if he allowed it to. He told me about it. In his deadly business he could not afford to have his attention warped and split by love, and so he had arrived at a method. In the morning, that is if her were not jerked from sleep by an alert, he opened his mind and heart to his family. He went over each one in turn, how they looked, what they were like; he caressed them and reassured them of his love. It was as though he picked precious things one by one from a cabinet, looked at each, felt it kissed it, and put it back; and last he gave them a small good-by and shut the door of the cabinet. The whole thing took half an hour if he could get it and then he didn't have to think of them again all day. He could devote his full capacity, untwisted by conflicting thought and feeling, to the job he had to do—the killing of men. He was the best officer I ever knew. I asked his permission to use his method and he gave it to me. When he was killed, all I could think was that his had been and good and effective life. He had taken his pleasure, savored his love, and paid his debts, and how many people even approached that?

another excerpt from John Stienbeck's The Winter of Our Discontent

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 05.27.2011
wordsmithyan footwork
Communities, like people, have periods of health and times of sickness—even youth and age, hope and despondency. There was a time when a few towns like New Baytown furnished the whale oil that lighted the Western World. Student lamps of Oxford and Cambridge drew fuel from this American outpost. And then petroleum, rock oil gushed out in Pennsylvania and cheap kerosene, called coal oil, took the place of whale oil and retired most of the sea hunters. Sickness or the despair fell on New Baytown—perhaps an attitude from which it did not recover. Other towns not too far away grew and prospered on other products and energies, but New Baytown, whose whole living force had been in square-rigged ships and whales, sank into torpor. The snake of population crawling out from New York passed New Baytown by, leaving it to its memories. And as usually happens, New Baytown people persuaded themselves that they liked it that way. They were spared the noise and litter of summer people, the garish glow of neon signs, the spending of tourist money and tourist razzle-dazzle. Only a few new houses were built around the fine inland waters. But the snake of population continued to writhe out and everyone knew that sooner or later it would engulf the village of New Baytown. The local people longed for that and hated the idea of it at the same time. The neighboring towns were rich, spilled over with loot from tourists, puffed with spoils, gleamed with the great houses of the new rich. Old Baytown spawned art and ceramics and pansies, and the damn broadfooted brood of Lesbos wove handmade fabrics and small domestic intrigues. New Baytown talked of the old days and of flounder and when the weakfish would start running.
excerpt from John Stienbeck's The Winter of Our Discontent

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 05.20.2011
that there be some mighty fine storytellin'
He didn't take the Spettle boys with him, for he had brought no spare horses. But the boys started at once for Lonesome Dove of foot, each of them carrying a blanket. They had one pistol between them, a Navy Colt with half its hammer knocked off. Though Call assured them he would equip them well once they got to Lonesome Dove, they wouldn't leave the gun.

"We've never shot airy other gun," Swift Bill said as if that meant they couldn't.

When he took his leave, Mrs. Spettle and the six remaining children scarcely noticed him. They stood in the hot yard, with a scrawny hen or two scratching around their bare feet, watching the boys and crying. The mother, who had scarcely touched her sons before they left, stood straight up and cried. Three of the children were girls, but the other three were boys in their early teens, old enough, at least, to be of use to their mother.

"We'll take good care of them," Call said, wasting words. The young girls hung onto the widow's frayed skirts and cried. Call rode on, though with a bad feeling in his throat. It was better that the boys go; there was not enough work for them there. And yet they were the pride of the family. He would take as good care of them as he could, and yet what did that mean, with a drive of twenty-five hundred miles to make?

He made the Rainey ranch by sundown, a far more cheerful place than the Spettle homestead. Joe Rainey had a twisted leg, the result of an accident with a buckboard, but he got around on the leg almost as fast as a healthy man. Call was not as fond of Maude, Joe's fat red-faced wife, as Augustus was, but then he had to admit he was not as fond of any woman as Augustus was.

Maude Rainey was built like a barrel, with a bosom as big as buckets and a voice that some claimed would make hair fall out. It was the general consensus around Lonesome Dove that is she and Augustus had married their combined voices would have deafened whatever children they might have produced. She talked at the table like some men talked when they were driving mules.

Still, she and Joe had managed to produce an even dozen children so far, eight of them boys and all of the them strapping. Among them the Raineys probably ate as much food in one meal as the Spettles consumed in a week. As near as Call could determine they all devoted most of their waking hours to either growing or butchering or catching what they ate. Augustus's blue pigs had been purchased from the Raineys and was the first thing Maude thought to inquire about when Call rode up.

"Have you et that shoat yet?" Maude asked, before he could even dismount.

"No, we ain't," Call said. "I guess Gus is saving him for Christmas, or else he just likes to talk to him."

"Well, step down and have a wash at the bucket," Maude said. "I'm cooking one of that shoat's cousins right this minute."

It had to be admitted that Maude Rainey set a fine table. Call had no sooner got his sleeves rolled up and his hands clean than supper began. Joe Rainey just had time to mumble a prayer before Maude started pushing around the cornbread. Call was faced with more meats than he had seen on one table since he could remember: beefsteak and pork chops, chicken and venison, and a stew that appeared to contain squirrel and various less familiar meats. Maude got red in the face when she ate, as did everyone else at her table, from the steam rising off the platters.

"This is my varmint stew, Captain," Maude said.

"Oh," he asked politely, "what kind of varmints?"

"Whatever the dogs catch," Maude said. "Or the dogs themselves, if they don't manage to catch nothing. I won't support a lazy dog."

"She put a possum in," one of the little girls said. She seemed as full of mischief as her fat mother, who, fat or not, had made plenty of mischief among the men of the area before she settled on Joe.

"Now, Maggie, don't be giving away my recipes," Maude said. "Anyway, the Captain's likely et possum before."

"At least it ain't a goat," Call said, trying to make conversation. It was an unfamiliar labor, since at his own table he mostly worked at avoiding it. But he knew women liked to talk to their guests, and he tried to fit into the custom.

"We've heard a rumor that Jake is back and on the run," Joe Rainey said. He wore a full beard, which at the moment was shiny with pork drippings. Joe had a habit of staring straight ahead. Though Call assumed he had a neck joint other men, he had never him use it. If you happened to be directly in front of him, Joe would look you in the eye; but if you positioned a little to the side, his look went floating on by.

"Yes, Jake arrived," Call said. "He's been to Montana and says it's the prettiest country in the world."

"It's probably filt with women, then," Maude said. "I remember Jake. If he can't find a woman he gets so restless he'll scratch."
excerpt from Larry McMurtry's LonesomeDove

QUOTES (permalink) 05.12.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 04.26.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 04.19.2011
the wacky thing is he thinks marty gave birth to me too.
anthony's go-to insult when he's mad is to, before turning and stomping away, yelling:

you're a stupid penis.

or the more granularly/glandularly specific

you're a stupid penis-head.

pretty sure he picked that up from the older siblings. i'm also pretty sure he's dropped the penis-bomb at school. such realizations make one worry for their child and how much you're reaching them or how they compare to other kids their age. and just when you might start losing hope in your progress, he'll turn around and with a cocked eyebrow ask:

dad, where is the future at?

or the nice twisty one anthony asked marty while her mother was visiting the house:

wait, since both of you are adults, how could grandma be your mom?

what makes that one surprisingly hard to explain is that anthony thinks there are four kinds of people in the world: beebies, little boys, kids, and old people. when you lump everyone fifteen and older into one category, such distinctions get quite blurry.

QUOTES (permalink) 04.14.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
good to know

QUOTES (permalink) 04.12.2011
who the heck sets up an easter egg hunt for grown folks?
after sharing my notions about prefacing things with the word ADULT and what exactly it implies, i didn't want to be presumptuous enough to say that you would never see the use of the word the same again but in support of that possibility i present this message i received from my friend jen last week. it read:

Just thought of you as i drove past the the brentwood community center ... they have a sign up that says "Adult Easter Egg Hunt". Seriously.

get your baskets kids, this year we're not visiting the cousins, we're looking for eggs in someplace called brentwood!!!

QUOTES (permalink) 04.06.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
adults only

QUOTES (permalink) 03.18.2011
gives new meaning to holding it.
i received the greatest book quote from buddy james. from his email:
i think you guys would appreciate this. i'm listening to this audio book during my commute right now called 'little heathens', a memoir about this woman recounting her childhood growing up during the depression on an iowa farm.

...and, naturally, the topic of outhouses comes up...about how they, especially the kids, would try to get their bodily works on some kind of reliable schedule, so as not to have to trudge outside to use the outhouse at night and in the dead of winter.

but, in times of emergency, they kept a chamber pot at the top of the stairs which then had to emptied, cleaned and replaced the next day. a chore no one liked to do.

the kids called the chamber pot "the piss pot"...seems logical enough....the older men called the chamber pot "the thunder mug"

now, i don't know if you guys have ever heard that term before, but it was a new one for me and i almost crashed my car from laughing so hard.

the question now is -- will i ever call a toilet anything else?

in my response to him i shared that because of my age and a primitive hunting cabin in the hills of pennsylvania my family has ties to, i can claim experience in both an outhouse (a two-seater one at that) and a chamber pot. sadly i think i was too young to hear the more colorful descriptions it may have had.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 03.10.2011
i could have really tripped some people out in late night dorm talks with this one
If we equate the age of the earth to the period of our familiar twenty-four-hour day, the time that elapsed prior to man's appearance equals twenty-three hours and fifty-eight minutes. And of the two remaining minutes, representing man's time on earth, the period of civilized man is less than the last half-second!
Two sentences from Thomas H. Greer's A Brief History of Western Man, a book that has many, many more that are almost as tantalizing.

PERSONAL, QUOTES, LIFE (permalink) 02.15.2011
happy birthday momma
after my mom died, i found the below card among her things. i don't remember how old i was when i wrote it. more truthfully, i don't even remember writing it. that said, i can tell you that seeing i wrote it, and that she kept it, has spared me untold agonies. i would suggest, if you have things to say you haven't said to people you deem dear, get them said. and after you do that, keep doing it. because even though i felt infinite relief at this discovery, i still carry the regret that i needed it to remind me i said it in the first place.

click to enlarge


dear mom,
i hope this got to you in time, sorry if it didn't. i hope you are having a good day (or had). lately i have been hearing a lot about adoption and i hear girls talk of insecurities they would have in adopting children. they think that the kids would want to find their biological mom. and i hear adopted kids say they want to find their mom. i hope you don't have any such insecurities regarding me, because i assure you, you don't need to. to me i have only one mother and she it the greatest mother in the world. i love you very much and feel very fortunate to have been blessed with you. thank you for everything and never forget that i love you very much. thank you for everything mom - i love you.

your son,


QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.11.2011
i can't help it that the boy is a walking sound byte.
i keep trying to sleep but i just can't get the hang of it.

anthony to me the morning after i had problems putting him to bed

QUOTES, SPORTS (permalink) 09.29.2010
i think he could safely expand who he claims could benefit from such advice
he's been a consummate professional and team player and good things usually happen for those kinds of people. i think that's a lesson a lot of young people in our locker room can learn.

steelers coach mike tomlin addressing the performance of his 4th string qb, charlie batch

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 09.24.2010
only honest boys get candy
Years later Nordstrom pondered the degree of accident in human affection as do all intelligent mortals. What if it hadn't rained that Friday? How tentative and restless an idea: he ended up marrying Laura because it rained one Friday afternoon in May in Madison, Wisconsin. The rain led directly in specific steps to the Sunday afternoon which began in a light rain and a drive in her car into the country with a half-gallon of red Cribari wine. Then the rain lightened and it became warm and muggy and they walked through a woodlot into a field of green knee-high winter wheat. At the far edge of the field he spread his trench coat at her insistence and they sat down and drank the wine. She wore penny loafers, no stockings, a brown poplin skirt and a white sleeveless blouse. Sitting there while she laughed and talked he felt totally lucky for the first time in his life. Her legs were brown because she had gone to Florida for spring vacation. She stared upward at the marsh hawk skirting the field in quadrants. He was transfixed and wanted to lay there until the green wheat grew through him.

"You're looking up my legs," she said.

"No I wasn't."

"If you're honest you can kiss them."

"I was."

He kissed her legs until neither of them wore anything. And the hawk now perched in a tree in the woodlot could see an imprecise circle of flattened green wheat and two bodies entwined until late in the afternoon when it began to rain again. The man tried to cover the girl with the coat but she stood up, did a dance and drank more wine.
excerpt from Jim Harrison's novella The Man Who Gave Up His Name

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.20.2010
while getting ready for bed, anthony pleaded, as he often does, for a quick round of ogre or pillow wars before having to relent to sleep. to raise the stakes, he added the following details:
let's play ogre in the bed and you're the ogre and i'm the food. my head is orange juice. my legs are ketchup. my belly button is m&m's and my stummy is gummy bears.
it's hard to say what's more twisted about this little guy, his creative spirit or his culinary proclivities.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.15.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
enjoy your anger

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.07.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
cyrstal clear

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 08.10.2010
a wise man child once said
the piece of advice i've given more than any other in the last six months is this:
if there is one thing my daughter isabella has taught me, it is to never, ever act or make decisions when you're angry. nothing good ever comes of it.
in fact, i dispensed that very bit of advice three times, to three very different people, for three very distinct scenarios just last week. there was even one moment where i could have better used the advice myself.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.27.2010
people never knew the fountain of youth was actually just a pond, and in their own back yard
saturday bella ambled down for breakfast around 10:20 in the morning. she took her spot at the breakfast bar and professed to me, "i like sleeping late, reading for an hour and then eating breakfast five minutes before its lunchtime."

after she finished her proclamation, i stopped what i was doing to look at her. she could have passed for a preacher, prophet, philosopher, and truck driver, or all of them wrapped up into one which obviously looked peculiar coming from a well-rested, and mid-summer sated nine year old girl wearing pink pajamas with prancing horses on them.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 07.14.2010
move you ass!!!
"A textbook case. Trust you me, young man. Go after your girl. Life flies by, especially the bit that's worth living. You heard what the priest said. Like a flash."
"She's not my girl."
"Well, then, make her yours before someone else takes her, especially the litle tin soldier."
"You talk as if Bea were a trophy."
"No, as if she were a blessing," Fermin corrected. "Look, Daniel. Destiny is usually just around the corner. Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it."

excerpt from the shadow of the wind by carlos ruiz zafon

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 07.07.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
pint-sized pi

QUOTES (permalink) 05.25.2010
it's those pesky little things, the very little things.
Human felicity is produc'd not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day. Thus if you teach a poor young man to shave himself and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a 1000 guineas. The money may be soon spent, and the regret only remaining of having foolishly consum'd it. But in the other case he escapes frequent vexation of waiting for barbers, & of their sometimes, dirty fingers, offensive breaths and dull razors. He shaves when most convenient to him, and enjoys daily the pleasure of its being done with a good instrument.
excerpt from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 05.20.2010
fact once again schooling fiction, even internationally best-selling fiction
excerpt of an email i received from a second year law student and in regard to my Girl with the Dragon Tattoo review:

I had never heard of Stieg Larsson or his novels until I wrote a paper about him earlier this year. He died intestate and his live-in girlfriend of 30 years received nothing from his estate. Everything went to his "estranged" father and brother (at least his girlfriend claims they were estranged). Larsson was a heavy smoker and died of a heart attack after walking up five flights of steps because the elevator was broken. He died before any of his novels were actually published so he never lived to see literary success. His fourth and final novel is on a laptop that his girlfriend is holding as ransom. So maybe it's only fitting that the technology reference probably references the computer that holds Larsson's last novel.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 05.11.2010
What the hell happened to all these sons of the rich in Wally's generation, these well-brought-up boys who went off to the private schools? These damned schools were producing a new kind of scion of the elite: a boy utterly world-weary by the age of sixteen, cynical, phlegmatic, and apathetic around adults, although perfectly respectful and maddeningly polite, a boy inept at sports, averse to hunting and fishing and riding horses or handling animals in any way, a boy embarrassed by his advantages, desperate to hide them, eager to dress in backward baseball caps and homey pants and other ghetto rags, terrified of being envied, a boy facing the world without any visible signs of the joy of living and without ... balls ...

excerpt from tom wolfe's A Man in Full

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 05.04.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
good thinking

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 04.26.2010
let's call it my winter coat
on wednesdays i try to eat lunch with bella and alex. unfortunately for my time efficiency, bella and alex have different lunch and recess times. how this plays out is that i have lunch with alex, and then recess with his class, and then i have lunch with bella and then recess with her class. it is worth noting that at their recesses i play ogre. ogre in this scenario entails one 41 year old dude chasing thirty plus running, climbing, sliding and screaming elementary age children around a wood-chipped playground for twenty break-free minutes.

this last wednesday while having lunch with bella's class, bella's best friend, a girl named fautou, saw me walking to the table and called to me. when i leaned down to her she said the following in a stumbling and hesitant manner:
i'm not saying you were fat before but you look less fat than you used to. i mean you look skinnier than you used to. but i'm not saying you looked fat before.
smiling at her struggle to get the observation out, i told her that that was the nicest thing anyone had said to me all week and i appreciated her taking the time to share it. and i do believe her compliment put a little extra bounce in me for that days round of ogre with her and bella's class.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 04.23.2010
yeah, mine too kid.
after getting the boys ready for bed, i read them books alternating between ones each of them have picked out of their book bins. at 8:00 i say lights out, turn off the bedside lamp and we all hunker down, snuggle up and close our eyes. sometimes the boys try goofing around playing tunnel and touching each other with their feet but i'm quick to squash such nonsense telling them the days over and it's time for sleep. i'm quick to protect this time because most nights i take this moment to catch a twenty minute nap which works well for modeling because i'm usually the first of the three of us to fall asleep (i set an alarm for 8:30 to prevent my naps from going until 3am). last night as i was drifting to sleep anthony brought me back with the following.


yes anfer.

my penis feels like metal.

stop touching it and go to sleep anfer.

it is rare that one gets to feel like such an authority on matters as when it comes to fathers advising sons on their penises.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.20.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
i get your wieners

TV, QUOTES (permalink) 04.15.2010
that's how you do more than just tv mr fitzsimmons
i'm not mad at jay that he went to 10:00. i'm mad at the guy that runs nbc that decided to take prime real estate that puts thousands of people to work and said we crunched the numbers ... you don't crunch numbers in entertainment ... you have balls ... you have a soul. guys like brandon tartikoff that used to exist. they would look at shows and they had a vision and they believed in talent. hbo, when they looked at larry sanders and said, you know what larry, do a show, here's the keys, lockup when you're done. do twelve episodes. if it's good we'll do another season. that's how you do tv.

comedy writer, greg fitzsimmons, speaking in an interview on the recent-ish late night host debacle (and the state of television in general)

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 04.06.2010
no smoking food or drink!
most guys obsess about fried food, hollywood starlets, first-person shooter games, fast cars and/or fantasy football. i used to work with a guy who obsessed about grammar, or more accurately, broken grammar. for this guy my site and its quickly penned material was like porn of the highest caliber. most correspondence i receive from him contains a bulleted list of errors he's found in my ramblings. that said, the latest message i received from him surprisingly did not contain a litany of my blunders.

I saw something that, for reasons I can't figure out, reminded me of you... or at least struck me as something you'd have liked. It was a SUPERB example of the importance of punctuation, particularly commas (the prime example is "Let's eat Grandma!" vs "Let's eat, Grandma!". It was on a blog (a technical forum, not that it matters). There had been some good-natured back and forth banter and one person had thought the level of ribbing was not up to par, so he posted "C'mon! We can do better guys". And not two minutes later someone else posted "What's wrong with the guys you're doing now?"

first off, he's going to have a hard time convincing me he didn't pen that retort. and secondly, i for the life of me can't imagine why that banter would lead him to me.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 04.01.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 03.23.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
oh yeah

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.19.2010
Now you take that diaper off your head and you put it back on your sister!
we're dog-sitting this week. the biggest change to our home is that i say the phrase, "anthony, stop eating the dog's food" more often than i would during a week we weren't dog-sitting.

QUOTES (permalink) 03.11.2010
the fine line between charm and irreverence.
marty answered a knock at the door drying her hands on a dish towel.

hello ma'am. my name is carl and i clean gutters.

oh thanks but i already have someone who does that.

CARL (glances up at our leaf filled gutters)
are you afraid to call him?

due to carl's rich and engaging personality, we now have a new gutter-guy.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.10.2010
and he was right.
your hair looks like a letter M.

what alex said to marty just after she get out of bed one morning.

GEEK, FRIENDS, COMPUTER, QUOTES (permalink) 01.29.2010
there's a large contingent of folks who have me pegged as this apple zealot when in actuality among my circle of folks there are many more ravenous mac consumers than myself. fact is, i'm probably one of the most technology skeptical people around, although given my profession, it is a detail about myself i'm reasonable good at chesting. but this skepticism, ironically, also makes me reasonably good at what i do.

still, every time apple releases a new morsel, all sorts of folks i've known come out of the woodwork to pick fights, debate nuances, compare thoughts, and consider implications. this is a role i typically don't mind, even enjoy to a degree, but for some reason this last round about the iPad got me gassy by day's end. i think my angst comes from the fact that many people act like we've been wallowing in our own urine for centuries waiting for such groundbreaking technologies so we as a people can advance to some higher plane when in fact this iPad device and others like it will actually do much to undermine the act and art of reading.

my cumulative sentiment can probably be satisfactorily gleaned through this email excerpt from an exchange i had with bookguy yesterday (and in the name of full disclosure, i contacted him given a surprising post made on his web site)

our office was immensely non-plussed by the announcement. for andrew to not be first in line for a new apple technology is wholly unprecedented and says quite a lot about the offering.

i find it to be a totally uninspired and non-compelling bauble. but i also feel it is an absolutely necessary step to get these eReaders and tablet devices to a place where like technologies need to be. you could liken it to the mac cube which was commercially a flop but instrumental to subsequent innovations.

the kindle is a way more thoughtful and practical eReader device, and even it is still not where it needs to be and has many game-ending shortcomings. the touted 10 hours of battery on the iPad is laughable. first off, you probably only get that 10 hours if you have all functions and features turned off, the screen dimmed out and are just looking at it. if you're actually using it (with its features in play) i reckon you get less than half that advertised duration and this in something designed to be a mobile/portable object.

and people talk about it being smaller and a more compact technology solution. this would be true if you could dump all of your other machines and devices but you can't and since you can't you're actually broadening your tech footprint and adding exponential complexity to your tech dependencies and cost.

for that same money you could fund a close friend to travel to your city, play a round or two of tennis, and treat him to a fine steak dinner which i feel would, in the end, be a more enriching and satisfying use of your finances. especially when that friend is me.

why i haven't been invited to do technology reviews for numerous publications yet is well beyond me.

GEEK, HOW-TO, COMPUTER, QUOTES (permalink) 01.28.2010
i was kicked off AOL 32 hours after opening the account
when my boss interviews technology people, there is a question he likes to ask towards the end of an interview. if the conversation is going well and he's liking the candidate, he will ask them, "what is the most fun you've ever had with a computer?" then after a pregnant pause and gauging their initial reaction to the question, he adds, "that you can talk about in a job interview."

one of my personal hobbies is collecting thoughtful thoughts. i don't care what the focus or the nature of the thought is, only that it was born out of thoughtfulness. this interview question is one of my collection favorites.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.13.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
shame on you

QUOTES (permalink) 01.06.2010
the fourth guy to make me think getting old just might be fun
i recently overheard a story in the office about a young woman who had just earned her phD and was getting ready to embark on her first job. she was understandably nervous about the transition from student to professor and consulted one of her mentors for advice. he was one of the older faculty members on staff and very near retirement. when this skittish girl in her mid-twenties came to him for counsel he said to her ...
to be a college professor you just need to remember two things: make sure you always have a box of kleenex in your office and never scratch your balls with chalk in your hand.
has a young woman entering professional adulthood ever received more inspired advice? i confidently think not.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.05.2010
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
street credit

QUOTES (permalink) 12.11.2009
the irony of giving
if you wanted to give a dozen oranges to your neighbor as an expression of love, you obviously would need to be in possession of twelve oranges. if you intended to purchase a new automobile for you parents to show your gratitude to them for putting you through medical school, naturally you'd need to have the funds to do so. likewise, you can't give love away to others if you don't have any for yourself. you can't show respect for others if you lack self-respect. you can't give happiness away if you feel unhappy. and of course, the reverse is true.

you can only give away what you do have, and all that you're giving away each and every day are items from your own personal inventory. if you give away hatred, it's because you've stored up hatred inside of you to give away. if you give away misery, it's because you have a ready supply available from which to select and distribute.
quote from dr. wayne dyer's 10 secrets for success and inner peace

BOOKS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.13.2009
a dressing down to rival all dressing downs since the inception of the dressing down
what follows is a two-paragraph excerpt from philip roth's indignation. the latter paragraph quickly became my favorite all-time, ever paragraph ... and i've read a fair share of paragraphs.

Never before had I witnessed such shock and solemnity—and fixed concentration—emanate from a congregation of the Winesburg student body. One could not imagine anyone present who even to himself dared to cry, "This is unseemly! This is not just!" The president could have come down into the auditorium and laid waste to the student assemblage with a club without inciting flight or stirring resistance. It was as though we already had been clubbed—and, for all the offenses committed, accepted the beating with gratification—before the assault had even begun.


"Does any one of you here," President Lentz began, "happen to know what happened in Korea on the day all you he-men decided to bring disgrace and disrepute down upon the name of a distinguished institution of higher learning whose origins lie in the Baptist Church? On that day, U.N. and Communist negotiators in Korea reached tentative agreement for a truce line on the eastern front of that war-torn country. I take it you know what 'tentative' means. It means that fighting as barbaric as any we have known in Korea—as barbaric as any American forces have known in any war at any time in our history—that very same fighting can flare up any hour of the day or night and take thousands upon thousands more young American lives. Do any of you know what occurred in Korea a few weeks back, between Saturday, October 13, and Friday, October 19? I know that you know what happened here then. On Saturday the thirteenth our football team routed our traditional rival, Bowling Green, 41 to 14. The following Saturday, the twentieth, we upset my alma mater, the University of West Virginia, in a thriller that left us, the heavy underdogs, on top by a score of 21 to 20. What a game for Winesburg! But do you know what happened in Korea that same week? The U.S. First Calvary Division, the Third Infantry Division, and my old outfit in the First War, the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division, along with our British allies and our Republic of Korea allies, made a small advance in the Old Baldy area. A small advance at a cost of four thousand casualties. Four thousand young men like yourselves, dead, maimed, and wounded, between the time we beat Bowling Green and the time we upset UWV. Do you have any idea how fortunate, how privileged, and how lucky you are to be watching football games on Saturdays and not there being shot at on Saturdays, and on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays as well? When measured against the sacrifices being made by young Americans of your age in this brutal war against the aggression of North Korean and Chinese Communist forces—when measured against that , do you have any idea how juvenile and stupid and idiotic your behavior looks to the people of Winesburg and to the people of Ohio and to the people of the United States of America, who have been made aware by their newspapers and the television of the shameful happenings of Friday night? Tell me, did you think you were being heroic warriors by storming our women's dormitories and scaring the coeds there half to death? Did you think you were being heroic warriors by breaking into the privacy of their rooms and laying your hands on their personal belongings? Did you think you were being heroic warriors by taking and destroying possessions that were not your own? And those of you who cheered them on, who did not raise a finger to stop them, who exulted in their manly courage, what about your manly courage? How's it going to serve you when a thousand screaming Chinese soldiers come swarming down on you in your foxhole, should those negotiations in Korea break down? As they will, I can guarantee you, with bugles blaring and bearing their bayonets! What am I going to do with you boys? Where are the adults among you? Is there not a one of you who thought to defend the female residents of Dowland and Koons and Fleming? I would have expected a hundred of you, two hundred of you; three hundred of you, to put down this childish insurrection! Why did you not? Answer me! Where is your courage? Where is your honor? Not a one of you displayed an ounce of honor! Not a one of you! I'm going to tell you something now that I never thought I would have to say: I am ashamed today to be president of this college. I am ashamed and I am disgusted and I am enraged. I don't want there to be any doubt about my anger. And I am not going to stop being angry for a long time to come, I can assure you of that. I understand that forty-eight of our women students—which is close to ten percent of them—forty-eight have already left the campus in the company of their deeply shocked and shaken parents, and whether they will return I do not yet know. What I reckon from the calls I have been receiving from other concerned families—and the phones in both my office and my home have not stopped ringing since midnight on Friday—a good many more of our women students are considering either leaving college for the year or permanently transferring out of Winesburg. I can't say that I blame them. I can't say that I would expect any daughter of mine to remain loyal to an educational institution where she has been exposed not merely to belittlement and humiliation and fear but to a genuine threat of physical harm by an army of hoodlums imagining, apparently, that they were emancipating themselves. Because that's all you are, in my estimation, those who participated and those who did nothing to stop them—an ungrateful, irresponsible, infantile band of vile and cowardly hoodlums. A mob of disobedient children. Kiddies in diapers unconstrained. Oh, and one last thing. Do any of you happen to know how many atom bombs the Soviets have set off so far in the year 1951? The answer is two. That makes a total of three atomic bombs altogether that our Communist enemies in the USSR have now successfully tested since they have discovered the secret of producing an atomic explosion. We as a nation are facing the distinct possibility of an unthinkable atomic war with the Soviet Union, all the while the he-men of Winesburg College are conducting their derring-do raids on the dresser drawers of the innocent young women who are their schoolmates. Beyond your dormitories, a world is on fire and you are kindled by underwear. Beyond your fraternities, history unfolds daily-warfare, bombings, wholesale slaughter, and you are oblivious of it all. Well, you won't be oblivious for long! You can be as stupid as you like, can even give every sign, as you did here on Friday night, of passionately wanting to be stupid, but history will catch you in the end. Because history is not the background—history is the stage! And you are on the stage! Oh, how sickening is your appalling ignorance of your own times! Most sickening of all is that it is just that ignorance that you are purportedly at Winesburg to expunge. What kind of a time do you think you belong to, anyway? Can you answer? Do you know? Do you have any idea that you belong to a time at all? I have spent a long professional career in the warfare of politics, a middle-of-the-road Republican fighting off the zealots of the left and the zealots of the right. But to me tonight those zealots are as nothing compared to you in your barbaric pursuit of thoughtless fun. 'Let's go crazy, let's have fun! How about cannibalism next!' Well, not here, gentlemen, not within these ivied walls will the delights of intentional wrongdoing go unheeded by those charged with the responsibility to this institution to maintain the ideals and values that you have travestied. This cannot be allowed to go on, and this will not be allowed to go on! Human conduct can be regulated, and it will be regulated! The insurrection is over. The rebellion is quelled. Beginning tonight, everything and everyone will be put back into its proper place and order restored to Winesburg. And decency restored. And dignity restored. And now you uninhibited he-men may rise and leave my sight. And if any of you decide you want to leave it for good, if any of you decide that the code of human conduct and rules of civilized restraint that this administration intends to strictly enforce to keep Winesburg Winesburg aren't suited to a he-man like yourself—that's fine with me! Leave! Go! The order has been given! Pack up your rebellious insolence and clear out of Winesburg tonight.
excerpt from indignation by philip roth

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 10.30.2009
if you can't see it you're not reading it
The stairway leading up to Doctor Reefy's office, in the Heffner Block above the Paris Dry Goods Store, was but dimly lighted. At the head of the stairway hung a lamp with a dirty chimney that was fastened by a bracket to the wall. The lamp had a tin reflector, brown with rust and covered with dust. The people who went up the stairway followed with their feet the feet of the many who had gone before. The soft boards of the stairs had yielded under the pressure of feet and deep hollows marked the way.

At the top of the stairway a turn to the right brought you to the doctor's door. To the left was a dark hallway filled with rubbish. Old chairs, carpenter's horses, step ladders and empty boxes lay in the darkness waiting for shins to be barked. The pile of rubbish belonged to the Paris Dry Goods Company. When a counter or a row of shelves in the store became useless, clerks carried it up the stairway and threw it on the pile.

Doctor Reefy's office was as large as a barn. A stove with a round paunch sat in the middle of the room. Around its base was piled sawdust, held in place by heavy planks nailed to the floor. By the door stood a huge table that had once been a part of the furniture of Herrik's Clothing Store and that had been used for displaying custom-made clothes. It was covered with books, bottles, and surgical instruments. Near the edge of the table lay three or four apples left by John Spaniard, a tree nurseryman who was Doctor Reefy's friend and who had slipped the apples out of his pocket as he came in the door.

At middle age Doctor Reefy was tall and awkward. The grey beard he later wore had not yet appeared, but on the upper lip grew a brown mustache. He was not a graceful man, as when he grew older, and was much occupied with the problem of disposing of his hands and feet.
excerpt from sherwood anderson's winesberg, ohio

QUOTES, FAMILY (permalink) 10.27.2009
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
get your ass out here

QUOTES (permalink) 10.21.2009
i can only guess his position on lounge pants, which are less than one step away from pajamas
i cannot trust someone who is too lazy to wear something other than sweatpants in public.
passing comment made by one of my brother-in-laws

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.24.2009
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, WEB (permalink) 09.22.2009
life is far simpler than we're being led to believe
before you can be good you have to stop sucking.

from merlin mann's inbox zero talk delivered to google employees

merlin is also responsible for something that stands as one of my favorite-ever internet reads titled simply Better.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.21.2009
proceed with caution
alex had some friends over to the house and we were playing ogre and chase and rough-housing. at one point in the mayhem, one of alex's friends stopped his play, turned to the side protectively and said with a serious urgency to one of the other boys:
watch out, you almost hit my tenders.
that is probably the most accurate, heartfelt expression i've ever heard for a guy's junk, like, ever.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 08.21.2009
are you the user or the used?
The conviction was growing in me that the besetting problem was our culture's blindness to the distinction between the tool and the automatic machine. Everyone tended to treat them alike, as neutral agents of human intention. But machines clearly were not neutral or inert objects. They were complex fuel-consuming entities with certain definite proclivities and needs. Besides often depriving their users of skills and physical exercise, they created new and artificial demands - for fuel, space, money, and time. These in turn crowded out other important human pursuits, like involvement in family and community, or even the process of thinking itself. The very act of accepting the machine was becoming automatic.
excerpt from eric brende's Better Off

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 08.13.2009
a hemingway moment
yesterday was bella's second to last day working at the horse farm this summer. before leaving the house we were fighting, unsuccessfully, with the zipper to one of her riding boots. she told me i should use a pair of pliers and that's what the boy at the farm did. what boy is that i asked. she said it was julie's son. i asked who julie was. bella said
she is the blonde woman who drinks coffee and smokes and is afraid of horses but is trying to do something about it.
i paused from my work on the zipper to look at bella. i told her that is one of the finest descriptions of a human i've ever heard, that wasn't in a book at least. bella just shrugged her shoulders and looked back to the zipper. then i did too and that was that.

QUOTES (permalink) 07.15.2009
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
daredevil's club

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 07.10.2009
possibly why it's good to move away from where you grew up
Perhaps by definition a neighborhood is the place to which a child spontaneously gives undivided attention; that's the unfiltered way meaning comes to children, just flowing off the surface of things. Nonetheless, fifty years later, I ask you: has the immersion ever again been so complete as it was in those streets, where every block, every backyard, every hour, every floor of every house — the walls, ceilings, doors, and windows of every last friend's family apartment — came to be so absolutely individualized? Were we ever again to be such keen recording instruments of the microscopic surface of things close at hand, of the minutest gradations of social position conveyed by linoleum and oilcloth, by yahrzeit candles and cooking smells, by Ronson table lighters and venetian blinds? About one another, we knew who had what kind of lunch in the bag in his locker and who ordered what on his hot dog at Syd's; we knew one another's every physical attribute — who walked pigeon-toed and who had breasts, who smelled of hair oil and who oversalivated when he spoke; we knew who among us was belligerent and who was friendly, who was smart and who was dumb; we knew whose mother had the accent and whose father had the mustache, whose mother worked and whose father was dead; somehow we even dimly grasped how every family's different set of circumstances sent each family a distinctive difficult human problem.
excerpt from american pastoral by philip roth

QUOTES, MUSIC (permalink) 05.19.2009
how i've been feeling lately
if i'm so happy, i've got everything to lose
excerpt from i want to hear what you've got to say by the subways

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 05.05.2009
do or die
Why did football bring me so to life? I can't say precisely. Part of it was my feeling that football was an island of directness in a world of circumspection. In football a man was asked to do a difficult and brutal job, and he either did it or got out. There was nothing rhetorical or vague about it; I chose to believe that it was not unlike the jobs which all men, in some sunnier past, had been called upon to do. It smacked of something old, something traditional, something unclouded by legerdemain and subterfuge. It had that kind of power over me, drawing me back with the force of something known, scarcely remembered, elusive as integrity—perhaps it was no more than the force of a forgotten childhood. Whatever it was, I gave myself up to the Giants utterly. The recompense I gained was the feeling of being alive.
excerpt from a fan's notes by frederick exley

QUOTES (permalink) 04.28.2009
your reputation is what you're perceived to be but your character is what you are.
never mention winning. my idea is that you can lose when you outscore somebody in a game and you can win when you're outscored. i've felt that way on certain occasions at various times. i just want my kids to be able to hold their head up after a game. i used to say that when a game is over and you see somebody that didn't know the outcome that i hope they couldn't tell by your actions wether you outscored and opponent or if an opponent outscored you. that's what really matters. if you make your effort to do the best you can regularly, the results will be about what they should be, not necessarily what you'd want them to be, but they'll be about what they should be.
excerpt from john wooden ted talk titled Coaching for people, not points

QUOTES (permalink) 04.02.2009
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.25.2009
nor did i ask for clarification
so your buttcheeks are sticking together?
this was the third thing i heard in my house yesterday morning. and it wasn't said by, to, or about me.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.10.2009
a step towards happiness; enjoy the small marvels
our house is bad at checking messages. the last time i checked them their were nine, the earliest of which was from five days prior. as i saved and deleted my way through them, one in the middle went like this:
hello, this is bella dearmitt. i was calling to see if bella would like to come play at my house tomorrow and if she would like to come to my house on march 6th for my birthday party. ok. again, this is bella. bella dearmitt. thanks. goodbye.
i mentioned this to marty. she casually said that when she checked the other day there were nineteen messages, six of which were from bella inviting herself over to play.

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.06.2009
the single biggest perk to working in the IT industry ... the people
there's these two guys. they work together. one day while standing around talking, these two guys make a bet. the bet is for one dollar. the following day after the results of the bet are known the guy who won the bet went by the desk of the guy who lost the bet.


oh, hey.

so you got my dollar?

LOSING GUY (patting pockets)
uhh. i don't have a dollar on me right now.

what? what do you mean you don't have my dollar?

yeah. i'm tapped. sorry. i'll get change at lunch.

if a man makes a bet, that man should be able to cover his bet. if he can't, maybe he shouldn't have made that bet.

dude. what are you talking about? i've got a dollar. i just don't happen to have one on me right this second.

and forget the fact that i had to come find you. i sorta thought you would have been at my desk this morning waiting to pay me.

i said i'd pay you. i don't have a dollar on me right now. i'll get one at lunch.

i'm just saying a man who can't pay his bets in a timely manner should perhaps not make bets.

LOSING GUY (standing up)
are you saying i'm not good for a dollar? that you don't trust me to pay you a dollar?

from where i'm standing right now, i'd say that's how it looks

LOSING GUY (steps closer)
you keep this up you run the risk of offending me.

yeah, you're going to want to take a step back. at least until you have the dollar you owe me.

the losing guy did not get the dollar at lunch. or if he did, he didn't settle the bet that day. for the next few weeks every time the two would pass each other in the halls, one would ask 'where's my dollar?' and the other would walk on, eyes forward and jaw clenched.

one morning the winning guy arrived at his desk to find sitting in front of his keyboard a shiny susan b. anthony coin. he held it up in the light, spinning it from front to back, studying the pictures on each side. he then lowered his hand, dropped it into his pocket and walked away. a moment later he was leaning against the cube wall of the losing guy's desk. he begins speaking before the cube's occupant has turned around or knows he's there.

so you got my buck?

LOSING GUY (shoots from chair and turns to face the speaker)
i put a dollar on your desk this morning!

WINNING GUY (pulling coin from pocket)
oh this. yeah i found this on my desk this morning. but it didn't have a note or say who it was from. how am i to know it came from you?

in life, you get to choose how to paddle your canoe through the daily waters. since you have to paddle, i suggest moving with the current. you're just going to wear out too soon otherwise.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 02.03.2009
just think how your mother feels
the first thing bella said to me monday morning.

i don't want to be mean to anthony but can we gag him in the night? when he wakes up he is like two buildings falling on each other and wakes me up every time. and i gotta get my sleep. i'm exhausted.

while bella does have a knack for dramatic portrayals of everyday things, she is spot on in this particular assessment.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 01.27.2009
early jump
is today a school day?

yes it is.

ah dammit.

from his tone and the easy way it rolled from his five year old mouth, you'd think he had to take an obnoxious client to lunch or deliver bad news to a subordinate on this day.

and these are still coming from marty's camp. when i become the source of their swears i'm confident calls home from school with threats of detention will be part of the discussion.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.13.2009
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

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

QUOTES (permalink) 11.21.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
once upon a time

QUOTES (permalink) 11.19.2008
i think i used to work with this guy
he's known for using the f-word as a comma.
comment made on the radio about obama's selection for chief of staff, rahm emanuel.

interesting and seemingly pertinent fact: rahm's brother ari emanuel is a talent agent in la who inspired the ari gold character in entourage.

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

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

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

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, QUOTES (permalink) 08.28.2008
big-bad world
the girl made her hand into a ball and threw it at another girl's face. and blood came out of her nose.
a child's awe-struck recounting of an event at her first week of kindergarten.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 08.22.2008
and a dinner-party was born
alex had playdate yesterday. it was a girl who is four. we don't know this girl too well and she's never been over before but she will be in alex's kindergarten class next year and marty's trying to get some familiar faces for him so the transition will be less shocking. they picked the girl up after dropping bella off at school. upon returning home marty got them playing and went upstairs to get dressed in some more official gear (bella usually gets dropped at school by people still wearing pajamas). after putting on underwear marty turned and found the girl standing outside the door looking at her. slightly startled she stood up straight. the girl asked marty:

were you going commando all morning?

uhhm. no.

do you know what commando means?

uhhm. yes.

it means you're naked under there.

it is not possible for me to want to meet this small child's parents any more than i do at this precise moment.

QUOTES (permalink) 07.29.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 07.08.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
keep it down up there

QUOTES (permalink) 05.23.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
little things

QUOTES, SCIENCE (permalink) 05.01.2008
one of the best bits of banter i've run across
The Coolidge Effect is a phenomenon whereby males exhibit high sexual performance given the introduction of new willing females.

It earned its name many years ago when President Coolidge and his wife were touring a farm. While the President was elsewhere, the farmer proudly showed Mrs. Coolidge a rooster that "could copulate with hens all day long, day after day." Mrs. Coolidge coyly suggested that the farmer tell that to Mr. Coolidge, which he did.

The President thought for a moment and then inquired, "With the same hen?"

"No, sir," replied the farmer.

"Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge," retorted the President.

via kottke ... via defective yeti ... via reuniting

QUOTES (permalink) 04.01.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
eighteen years

QUOTES (permalink) 03.26.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.22.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
old (part ii)

QUOTES (permalink) 02.06.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.29.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
no secrets

QUOTES (permalink) 01.23.2008
this one's for all the ladies out there, all those who ever lactated at least...
i sat in the grass at the back of the house with my baby in my arms. the white clover smelled of honey: it was the time in the afternoon when it is easy to drowse and slip into light summery dreams. i fed my baby until she fell asleep on my breast. her lips let go of the nipple and her head tipped backwards a little on my arm. her mouth was slightly open with a thin trail of milk at the corner. i wiped it away with my finger. i ran my little finger over her soft gums and felt the tips of the two new teeth, like embedded grains of rice. her eyelids were closed, the finest film over her black eyes. they fluttered now and then and her lips quivered in fleeting secret smiles.
excerpt from linda olsson's Astrid & Veronika.

i've never breast-fed a child yet this passage spoke to me. and judging from marty's response, as she read it to me at the dinner table last night after the kids were off and playing, it spoke to her as well. stirring stuff.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 01.17.2008
my sentiments, quite exactly.
alex stood quietly, watching me peel potatoes for dinner. the potatoes were wet and i was fumbling them in my hands. i started getting frustrated. i took a breath about to mutter something when alex spoke up:

aahhhh. you gotta be kidding me.

i looked at him and smiled. that is definitely something i mutter on a near-daily basis. he never took his eyes of my hands and continued to watch me struggle. after a few more minutes of slippery spuds i drew another breath and alex shot out:

son of a beeeeaaaannnn.

you see i usually catch myself before i finish that one and it would seem alex has surmised the word i've been omitting is 'bean' given the way i end up elongating the letter B. when the kids are a bit older i bet we could make a sporting game out of guessing the swear dad or mom would use given various scenarios.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 12.20.2007
for those resolutions you'll be penning soon.
First, how many minutes a week does the average father spend with his children in on-on-one conversation? According to a study done a few years ago, the number is seven minutes - seven minutes in an entire week! Is it vital that we spend time with our children, one-on-one? I think everyone would agree it's vital; it has great value. But is it urgent? No. Why not? Because the child is always there. We can do it anytime we want. So we tend to put off the highly valued task because we're dealing with urgencies all day.

Second, how many minutes a week do the average husband and wife spend in one-on-one conversation? According to the study, the number is twenty-seven minutes. Is it vital to spend time with your spouse? I think we'd agree, it's vital. But is it urgent? No. Why not? Same problem - the spouse is always there.
excerpt from hyrum smith's ten natural laws of successful time and life management ... a book i've read this time of year for seven years now.

QUOTES (permalink) 12.12.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

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

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

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

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 10.24.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
new mom

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 10.23.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 10.11.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, SOCIETY (permalink) 10.05.2007
preach it.
Excessive wealth engenders self-satisfied mediocrity.
Leon Botstein, President, Bard College

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.25.2007
actually, a dog-training suit may be more prudent

i feel sorry for the first guy to break bella's heart.

yeah, i hope he wears a cup to the discussion.

an exchange between a neighbor lady and myself while watching bella handle a surly playmate.

QUOTES (permalink) 09.20.2007
now the first hour (of the interview) was all pre-intercourse information and then he would ask you if you ever had intercourse. if your answer was yes you stayed another hour. boys on campus figured out girls who stayed two hours had had intercourse and so they would sit out there. if you came out after an hour they were not interested in you. if you came out after two hours they made a pass at you.
excerpt from american experience's documentary on sex researcher, alfred kinsey. here, alice ginott cohn talks about her memory of being interviewed by kinsey.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.19.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.12.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.07.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
calling home

QUOTES (permalink) 08.30.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 08.21.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
flavored and scented

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 08.10.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
try again

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 07.12.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
just a child

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 06.26.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
a pack of lies

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 06.05.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.27.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
i'm not sleeping there

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.12.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
smart, smart girl

QUOTES (permalink) 03.22.2007
that's some good ole american advice right there.
it's like my husband always says, never trust a man in a suit who has a tan.
a neighbor-lady speaking about a business transaction that almost happened

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.06.2007
a common sort of bella-ism
some people think little brothers are an ache in the neck but i don't think that. alex and anthony are a love in my neck.
isabella, who turns six today, speaking randomly during bedtime rituals.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 02.14.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
don't feed the animals

QUOTES (permalink) 02.13.2007
only one of my 93 blocks of highlighted text
I never tried to hurry anything all summer. Not in the porch swing, or in the pine woods, or on the float at night when we swam out, or in the roadster. Everything that happened came to happen as simply and as naturally and as gradually as a season coming on or a plant unrolling a leaf or a kitten waking up. And there was a kind of luxuriousness in not rushing things, in not driving toward the hot grip and awkward tussle and the leer for the boys back in the dormitory when you got in, a new sensuality in waiting for the massive current to take you where you belonged and would go in the end. She was young — she seemed younger to me then than she did later on looking back for that summer I was so sure that I was old and jaded — and she was timid and sensitive and shy, but it wasn't any squealing, squawking, pullet-squawking, teasing, twitching, oh-that's-not-nice-and-I-never-let-anyone-do-that-before-oh kind of shyness. Perhaps shyness is the wrong word for it, after all. Certainly it is wrong if back behind that word there is any implication or color of shame or fear or desire to be "nice." For in one way, she seemed to be detached from her very slender, compactly made, tight-muscled, soft-fleshed, golden-shouldered body, as though it were an elaborate and cunning mechanism in which she and I shared ownership, which had suddenly dropped to us out of the blue, and which, in our ignorance, we had to study with the greatest patience and most reverent attention lest we miss some minute, scholarly detail without knowledge of which everything would be wasted. So it was a period of the most delicate discrimination and subtle investigations, with her seriousness mixed with a graceful gaiety, ... a gaiety to which the words didn't mean much but the tune meant everything, a tune which seemed to come from the very air as though it were full of invisible strings and she simply reached out at random in the dark to pluck them with an idle familiar finger.


We went quite a long way, that summer, and there were times when I was perfectly sure I could have gone farther. When I could have gone the limit. For that fine, slender, compactly made, tight-muscled, soft-fleshed, golden-shouldered mechanism which fascinated Anne Stanton and me, which had dropped to us out of the blue, was a very sensitive and beautifully tuned-up contraption. But maybe I was wrong in that surmise, and maybe I could not have hurried the massive deliberation of that current in which we were caught and suspended, or hurried Anne Stanton's pensive and scholarly assimilation of each minute variation which had to be slowly absorbed into the body of our experience before another could be permitted. It was as though she was aware of a rhythm, a tune, a compulsion, outside of herself, and devoutly followed it in its subtle and winding progression. But wrong or not, I did not put my surmise to the test, for if I myself was not truly aware of that rhythm and compulsion which bemused her, I was aware of her devotion to it, and could find every moment with her full enough. Paradoxically enough, it was when I was away from her, when I was withdrawn from her context, back in my room at night or in the hot early afternoon, after lunch, that I was savagely impatient of the delays and discriminations. This would be especially true at those times when she wouldn't see me for a day, the times which seemed to mark, I came to understand, some stage, some milepost, we had passed. She would simply withdraw herself from me, as she had done that night after we first kissed, and leave me, at first, confused and guilty, but later, as I came to grasp the pattern of things, merely impatient for the next day when she would appear at the court, swinging her racket, her face so smooth, young, healthy and apparently disinterested, though comradely, that I could not equate it with the face I remembered with the eyelids drooping and the damp, starlight-or-moonlight-glistening lips parted for the quick, shallow breath or the unashamed sigh.
excerpt from robert penn warren's All the King's Men

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 02.02.2007
i love me some purty words
i have been quite neglectful of my reading commitment for almost a year now (new job + new baby = no read). for about the last ten years, it has been my personal goal is to read 25 pages a day (and 50 on weekends). back when i used to ride the subway to work, this was easily achieved. my subway ride has been replaced with a walking commute and three children, so, i've slipped, drastically. but beginning this month, i'm dusting off the precariously tall stack of books sitting on my windowsill and committing to getting back in the game.

additionally, i've decided to raise the stock of what i choose to read. i've always justified plugging lots of tripe into my reading rotation by saying i needed the fluff pieces to give my mind some downtime. then i considered all the terrible television and film i subject my ever-softening brain to and feel it is already spoon-fed generous quantities of pointless information and would benefit from being forced to get off the couch with a little more frequency. also, i liken reading authors who know what the hell they are doing to listening to the amelie soundtrack in a dark and quiet room. in example, here's a few bytes from my current tome, All the Kings Men:
There were a good many folks in the store, men in overalls lined up along the soda fountain, and women hanging around the counters where the junk and glory was, and kids hanging on skirts with one hand and clutching ice-cream cones with the other and staring out over their own wet noses at the world of men from eyes which resembled painted china marbles. The Boss just stood modestly back of the gang of customers at the soda fountain, with his hat in this hand and the damp hair hanging down over his forehead. He stood that way a minute maybe, and then one of the girls ladling up ice cream happened to see him, and got a look on her face as though her garter belt had busted in church, and dropped her ice-cream scoop, and headed for the back of the store with her hips pumping hell-for-leather (*) under the lettuce-green smock.
or this example:
   I took the card out of my pocket and gave it to him. He looked at the card for a minute, holding it off near arm's length as though he were afraid it would spit in his eye, then he turned it over and looked at the back side a minute till he was dead sure it was blank. Then he laid the hand with the card in it back down on his stomach, where it belonged, and looked at me. "You done come a piece," he said.
   "That's right," I said.
   "What you come fer?"
   "To see what's going on about the schoolhouse," I said.
   "You come a piece," he said, "to stick yore nose in somebody else's bizness."
   "That's right," I agreed cheerfully, "but my boss on the paper can't see it that way."
   "It ain't any of his bizness either."
   "No," I said, "but what's the ruckas about, now I've come all that piece?"
   "It ain't any of my bizness. I'm the Sheriff."
   "Well, Sherriff," I said, "whose business is it?"
   "Them as is tending to it. If folks would quit messen and let 'em."
(*) on the first excerpt, while i've heard it used, it occurred to me i hadn't the slightest notion what 'hell-for-leather' actually meant. even so, my mind could somehow picture the vigor behind that hip-charging woman. but, remaining mystified by the the phrase, i located the following explanation:
Hell for leather is a statement that is often confused with "Hell bent for leather". Hell for leather, in American vernacular, refers to an arduous walk that may have been strewn with difficulties and was a strain on footwear. A long and difficult walk, such as over rough terrain, might be referred to as hell for leather because of the abuse the leather footwear sustained during the walk.

"Hell bent for leather" has many uses and the most popular american use goes back to the 19th century american west when a particular livestock animal, such as a cow, bull or horse would be particularly difficult to handle. One of these troublesome creatures would cause their handler so much trouble that the owner or handler considered slaughter of the animal and turning the carcass into leather. When a horse or cattle became difficult to handle they were called "Hell bent for leather" meaning that the animal was hell bent to become a leather good.
source :
oh, it feels good to be off the bench and on the court again. i can already sense the irregular dance-steps of those neurons moving about.

QUOTES (permalink) 01.26.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
free pizza

QUOTES (permalink) 01.25.2007
in another 200 years, your dinner table will seem equally archaic
My fictional character Sarah lived in Pennsylvania in the early 1700's, when families living on farms had to raise, grow and make almost everything they needed to survive. Most colonial homes were a single room, often with a sleeping loft for older children. Parents and younger children slept on the ground floor in front of the fireplace, and almost everyone slept on mats of rush or feathers, which were rolled up during the day.

Chairs were expensive and were usually used only by the father of the family — everyone else sat on benches or stools. But during meals, children were not allowed to sit, and they were NEVER allowed to speak while eating — for any reason at all.

The women of the house did the cooking, and in those days, many young women died from their clothing catching on fire. Spoons and knives were the only eating utensils, and often just one mug was passed around from person to person. Water was considered unsafe to drink, so everyone drank beer, including babies and children. (It was brewed to be barely alcoholic.)

New clothing was almost all handmade, and it was a very time-consuming process. A girl would wear her only dress every day for as long as it fit, even it is was a year or more. It was an exciting day when a girl got a new outfit to wear!
Author's Note from Homespun Sarah by Verla Kay & Ted Rand

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.11.2007
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
the bedtime story

QUOTES, TV (permalink) 01.10.2007
and now you know how i feel
how come you never told me you won a beauty contest?

every day i walk out of my front door i win a beauty contest.

excerpt from season one of my name is earl

QUOTES, KIDS, FAMILY (permalink) 12.08.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

QUOTES, HEALTH (permalink) 12.06.2006
a book that is slowly becoming my scripture
No set of discipline techniques will give you a good relationship with your children.

Discipline techniques are only fine-tuning mechanisms. As on a television set, the fine-tuning knob will only work when the signal is strong enough. The feeling is the signal.

The feeling is what we feel in our hearts, and the relationships we build ... If the right feeling is not present, our discipline will not work. At best we will get temporary, begrudging compliance.

In essence, two understandings lie at the heart of parenting:
  1. Our children always carry within them all the mental health and well-being, wisdom and common sense they will ever need. It only needs to be drawn out and nurtured in the kind of loving environment that will help it flourish.
  2. Our children can access this innate health and wisdom by understanding that they have it, by seeing how they think in ways that keep them from realizing it, and by quieting or clearing their minds of such thinking so their health and wisdom are unveiled and available to guide their lives.
The same is true for parents. We can access our health, well-being and wisdom at any time to guide our parenting.

As trees in a forest naturally gravitate towards the light, when we create the kind of environment that draws out this natural health and wisdom, we naturally guide our children in healthy ways and away from unproductive feelings and disruptive behaviors.
excerpt from Parenting from the Heart by Jack Pransky

KIDS, WIFE, QUOTES (permalink) 11.28.2006
put your brother down and go to your room
no biting, no kicking, no pinching, no hitting. alex, no hair-pulling. bella, no bear-hugging.
this gets said, by me, at least once a day in our home and an easy twice on weekends. being an only child has in no way prepared me for witnessing how two siblings can interact. i mean they adore one another. really. i've seen it. but man can those waters of affection turn acerbic if the most minor of things goes sideways.

it starts with a thud in some distant room of the house. next you'll hear a raised or strained voice and then scuffling. i move quickly, far more quickly than marty, to the disturbance point. i'll find bella and alex locked up on one another. peeling them apart is about as easy as separating folded over packing tape, especially when cradling a three-month old in one arm.

afterwards i turn to marty, expressing my shock. but instead of words of consolation or empathy i get the equivalent of a college scouting report on how quick and strong alex seems to be and even with a hint of pride she may use words like 'gamer' or 'scrappy' to describe his art of self-defense. then she, the sixth of seven children, will go about her day, leaving me alone in my quiet disbelief.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.21.2006
smart, smart girl
before running out the door one morning i was sent upstairs to get a replacement dress for one that got soiled during breakfast. once upstairs i couldn't find the particular garment i was told to retrieve.

TROY (calling down steps)
hey bella, do you know where your red dress is? it's not in your closet.

BELLA (calling up steps)
uhhhm ... try checking in ... uhhhm ... did you look in ... uhhhm ... just try looking harder dad.

would you believe, her suggestion worked.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.03.2006
your slippers sir
i was brought out of my sunday morning slumber by getting pushed on the shoulder by bella and told:
dad i brought you your underwear. i need you to get up and fix the dvd player.
i guess we've left the everyone-can-be-naked part of our life. or perhaps we've just left the dad-can-be-naked part of our life. i see a plush terry cloth robe in my near future.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.02.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
you should know

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.29.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
dinner-table biology

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.06.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
dad has to go

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 08.22.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
three shows

KIDS, NEWS, QUOTES (permalink) 08.09.2006
any of you catch the latest round of women against public milkings? my favorite quote was from this en-lighted pioneer of human rights out of kansas ...

I was offended and it made my husband very uncomfortable when I left the magazine on the coffee table.

which was almost trumped by ...

Another reader said she was "horrified" when she received the magazine and hoped that her husband hadn't laid eyes on it.

i assume by these women having this magazine in their home they are about to become or recently became a mother, which makes the reaction all the more surreal. i mean if this is your position on the matter shouldn't you be in a confessional asking forgiveness for the tingling sensations you occasionally experience 'down there' instead of pining your time away educating yourself. and, perhaps your husband's discomfort stems more from the fact that you never leave the house, granting him ten minutes alone with your bleeding-edge girlie mag because i'm going to go out on a limb and say these men just may not be receiving an adequate amount of intimacy in their life. but then again, leaving the confines of your safe and always dressed home may expose you to someone wearing a strapless halter or biking shorts thus casting you further into your psychological tailspin.

i'm finding it hard to go on too much about the never-naked ladies cited in this article because i out-loud laughed more in reading it than i did watching four hours of kevin smith candidly answering questions from college kids. well that's not true, but i did laugh quite a bit, alone in my office and was thankful no one popped their head in to ask what was so funny because lord knows what ogling such outrageous pornographic materials in the workplace would do to my career path.

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 08.02.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
remedial self-help

QUOTES (permalink) 07.24.2006
not exactly the report i'm looking for
it's not a kid show but i'm a kid who watches it.
what bella said after returning from a play-date at a friends house. based on bella's description of what happened, i believe the non-kid show in question was ER, even though bella repeatedly referred to it as PM.

QUOTES (permalink) 07.21.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
the last word

QUOTES (permalink) 07.07.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
look before you leak

QUOTES (permalink) 06.23.2006
i'm sure he won't miss just one
remember what you did when you were in school and you were too tired and/or lazy to do your own work? you stole it from someone else.
i used to exercise and work around the house til exhaustion, now i'm pretty much just awake til exhaustion.
you know the difference between being in school and being a mature adult? you actually give credit to who you stole from, in this case my friend bookguy.

and it's really not that i'm mature now, it's just that i'm also too lazy and tired to even steal right.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 04.11.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
a gooder name

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 03.30.2006
i might need to get me some hbo
instead of using my scheduled writing window to write, i got caught up reading this post (excerpted below) from dooce and its accompanying comments, a portion of them at least.
The founding prophet of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, started polygamy because he said it was a revelation from God. And so he and other elders in the church took dozens of wives, many of them in their early teens ... the only reason the church stopped sanctioning polygamy was because the government told them they had to. So? God was wrong? God answers to the American government?

Mormons believe that polygamy will be practiced in the afterlife ... If Mormons truly believe their religion they have to believe that polygamy is their destiny, so why are they always trying to distance themselves from it?
i'd recommend the full posting along with reader comments if you are as intrigued with the topic as i am.

KIDS, FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.29.2006
what, little ole me?
this is an excerpt from an email i received yesterday from a lady i worked for many years ago. i love her dearly. my convictions and peccadilloes baffle her madly though.
I thought of you today when a young man started telling me about why children had to wait. Part of the reason had to do with money, which made some sense, although no one will ever have enough money to have kids. Then, he told me that a little girl "tossed her cookies" in church, yesterday. It was "nasty", he said. I sent him the link to your site, and told him to come talk to me after he'd taken a look at the babies of an avowed .... What? .... Perfectionist? .... Wild-eyed crazy? .... Idealist of the first order?
i prefer to think of it joann as someone with a keen sense for the annoying.

and, like there's something in the annals of this site that would deter a sensible human from choosing to sire and raise other humans. i mean it's not like they are going to eat feces off the bottom of their shoes or something, now is it?

PERSONAL, FILM, QUOTES (permalink) 03.23.2006
keep that eye on the ball
several folks asked about the subject line of yesterday's post:

michael, why are the drapes open?

the (i guess obscure) reference is from The Godfather, second installment specifically. this is what kay said to michael corleone moments before bullets rained through their bedroom window in an attempt on his life. the phrase has come to be synonymous with the importance of noticing the little things and how subtle shifts in these seemingly innocuous details can portend matters of great and grave consequence.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.20.2006
oh my gosh won't fly either
this weekend, bella and alex had a spend the night at their grandparents. when we dropped them off bella said to my mother in a very serious manner.

grandma, i'm going to try real hard to not say 'oh my god!' while i'm at your house because i know you don't like it when people say that.

well that is true bella. i would appreciate it if you did not say that at my house or ever. i think there are better things to say than that.

yes i know, father told me. so instead we've been practicing saying things like 'oh my goodness', 'oh dear' and 'oh bother'. but sometimes i forget and still say 'oh my god' but i will try not to.

well, i guess that's all i can ask.

upon getting the sunday report, bella didn't say it even once the whole weekend. and when she saw the one-legged man at the nursing home while visiting her great-grandfather, she didn't even ask him where his other leg went. so far, five seems way more mature than four.

QUOTES (permalink) 03.17.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
can i keep this?

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 03.01.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
missing keri

QUOTES (permalink) 02.16.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
three percenter

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 02.07.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
things that are yellow

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 01.24.2006
i judge happiness by how easily i can concentrate on the book i'm reading
First, let no one rule your mind or body. Take special care that your thoughts remain unfettered. One may be a free man and yet be bound tighter than a slave. Give men your ear, but not your heart. Show respect for those in power, but don't follow them blindly. Judge with logic and reason ...
excerpt from eragon by christopher paolini

QUOTES (permalink) 01.05.2006
one would think this to be an obvious postulate
you can't be a leader if you don't know where you're going.
john locke from the first season of Lost

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 01.04.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
adopt you

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 12.08.2005
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
37 years in 5 minutes

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 11.21.2005
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
finish pooping please

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 11.09.2005
you're young, you got your health, what you need with a job?
If there is a recurring theme in (President James) Garfield's diaries it's this: I'd rather be reading. That might sound dull and perfunctory, but Garfield's book fever was a sickness. Take, for example, the commencement address he delivered at his alma mater Hiram College in the summer of 1880. Traditionally, these pep talks to college graduates are supposed to shove young people into the future with a briefcase bulging with infinitive verbs: to make, to produce, to do. Mr. Loner McBookworm, on the other hand, stands up and breaks it to his audience, the future achievers of America, that the price of the supposedly fulfilling attainment of one's personal and professional dream is the irritating way it cuts into one's free time. He tells them,

It has occurred to me that the thing you have, that all men have enough of, is perhaps the thing that you care for the least, and that is your leisure - the leisure you have to think; the leisure you have to be let alone; the leisure you have to throw the plummet into your mind, and sound the depth and dive for things below.

the only thing stopping this address from turning into a slacker parable is the absence of the word "dude." Keep in mind that at that moment Garfield was a presidential candidate. The guy who theoretically wants the country's most demanding, hectic, brain-dive-denying job stands before these potential gross national product producers advising them to treat leisure "as your gold, as your wealth, as your treasure." As Garfield left the podium, every scared kid in the room could probably hear the sound of the stock market crashing him back to his old room at his parents' house where he'd have plenty of free time to contemplate hanging himself with his boyhood bedsheets.
excerpt from sarah vowell's assassination vacation

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 11.02.2005
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 10.13.2005
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
warrior, part II

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 10.05.2005
a typical work conversation
yes there was a hiccup and the archives didn't happen for about four months.

four months! that's one hell of a hiccup.

true enough. let's call it more of a wet belch.

QUOTES (permalink) 09.29.2005
geez, really?
wow, you have really ... ethnic hair.
uttered by the fourth person to cut my hair since the departure of the great one.

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 09.27.2005
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
go hide

FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.22.2005
if you don't know me that well you may need an interpreter
i have a friend who moved recently. i wrote asking him how he was liking his new digs. he wrote:
last night was a troy commemorative evening. stopped at the asian market 2 miles away to pick up a tin of cafe du monde. warmed up the barbecue while brewing a tall glass of the delicious liquid crack. tossed a couple of porterhouse steaks on the grill for just the right amount of time and plowed through the whole thing. one hour later, an appetite refreshing no-wiper followed up with a bowl of ice cream on the deck.

now i feel like i'm at home.
cafe du monde, liquid crack, porterhouse, ice cream and no wipers. i only wonder if he's ready for me to move in.

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 09.12.2005
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
be a warrior

QUOTES, SCIENCE (permalink) 09.01.2005
yes, as a matter of fact, i am taking a poll
i met a new girl recently and asked her the question i ask all new girls i meet; has she ever seen an uncircumcised penis? her response:
oh no ... i don't think so ... well maybe once ... in college ... but i was drunk ... and trying not to look ... or trying not to notice at least.
i feel as though if i could have gotten her to continue for seven more seconds she would have told me that she, herself, had an uncircumcised penis.

and god knows what i would have gotten with fifteen more seconds, the opportunity to see it for myself perhaps?

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 08.31.2005
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
you rang

QUOTES (permalink) 08.23.2005
i have a dream, a dream i plan on making happen
Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me -
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.
shel silverstein's LISTEN TO THE MUSTN'TS

QUOTES (permalink) 07.26.2005
i have more in common with this guy than i don't
All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are. I'm meant to say that they have learning difficulties or that they have special needs. But this is stupid because everyone has learning difficulties because learning to speak French or understanding relativity is difficult and also everyone has specials needs, like Father, who has to carry a little packet of artificial sweetening tablets around with him to put in his coffee to stop him from getting fat, or Mrs Peters, who wears a beige-colored hearing aid, or Siobhan who has glasses so thick that they give you a headache if you borrow them, and none of these people are Special Needs, even if they have special needs.

But Siobhan said we have to use those words because people used to call children like the children at school spaz and crip and mong, which were nasty words. But that is stupid too because sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we're getting off the bus and they shout, "Special Needs! Special Needs!" But I don't take any notice because I don't listen to what other people say and only sticks and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self-defense and i won't go to prison.
excerpt from the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by mark haddon

PHOTO, QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 07.19.2005
your father acts like he's never done this before

do you want me to roast a marshmallow for you father?

uhm. no bell. i'm good.

(short pause)

bella, your dad thinks it weird that his family is sitting around the stove in the middle of july roasting mini-marshmallows over one of the burners.

why does he think it's weird?

he just does. what he doesn't know though is my sister, your aunt cheri, once roasted marshmallows over an electric skillet so this is not nearly as odd as he may think it is.

i'm not completely sure if marty is trying to refute or support my position on this matter.

nor am i entirely certain how it is that i remain to be considered the odd one living in this home, especially after i repeatedly document tendencies such as this.

WEB, FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.07.2005
a binary ziggurat
there's a lot of words floating around this here internet. of the loads added daily, the ones this guy is stringing together make me smile more often than most.

and i quote, haphazardly ...

somewhere outside of hillsborough, i realized that i was in a really good mood. it was that same kind of clarity, that surprised self-awareness, that babies and hippies get when they discover their hands.

the last few frames of FISH! flickered across the screen and the consultant, hired for the day to talk to us about how we could incorporate fun into the workplace, felt his way across the back wall in the darkness, his meaty paw pat-patting for a light switch.

i met a boy named fate yesterday. as so often happens when i think of something to write about in the middle of a workday, i scribble the idea down on a slip of paper and stuff it into my pocket.

for the rest of the day, i thought about how interesting it would be, if i were in a car accident or run over while crossing the street, for the medics to arrive and, while searching my pockets for identification, they would find a single piece of paper that just had the word FATE written on it in block letters.

and i know this guy.

i've sat on his bed.

i've used his bathroom.

i've made sweet music with the dude.

he once even said nice things about me

hell, my daughter's even broken bread with him ...

as my old friend big dog would say, i thank you for the humor buddy james.

QUOTES, HOW-TO (permalink) 06.22.2005
a shiny new laptop would be inconspicuously sexy
Considerable evidence suggest that if we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of certain inconspicuous goods - such as freedom from a long commute or a stressful job - then the evidence paints a very different picture. The less we spend on conspicuous consumption goods, the better we can afford to alleviate congestion; and the more time we can devote to family and friends, to exercise, sleep, travel and other restorative activities. On the best available evidence, reallocating our time and money in these and similar ways would result in healthier, longer - and happier - lives.
excerpt from How not to buy happiness by Robert H. Frank as published in the MIT Press.

QUOTES, BOOKS, FAITH (permalink) 06.01.2005
i just can't get enough of this stuff. never ever.
During pretrial hearings, Ron's behavior in the courtroom served to underscore his lawyers' contention that he was mentally incompetent. He appeared with a cloth sign attached to the seat of his prison jumpsuit that read, EXIT ONLY; his attorneys explained that he wore the sign to ward off the Mormon angel Moroni, who Ron believed was an evil homosexual spirit trying to invade his body through his anus. He believed that this same sodomizing spirit had already taken possession of Judge Hansen's body, which is why Ron made a point of shouting profanities at the judge and addressing him with such epithets as "Punky Brewster" and "f*cking punk."
excerpt from Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

QUOTES, BOOKS, FAITH (permalink) 05.18.2005
do you have faith? this guy does.
Under the new rules, Matilda was no longer allowed to drive, handle money, or talk to anyone outside the family when Dan wasn't present, and she had to wear a dress at all times. The children were pulled out of school and forbidden to play with their friends. Dan decreed that the family was to receive no outside medical care; he began treating them himself by means of prayer, fasting, and herbal remedies. In July 1983, when their fifth child was born, a son, Dan delivered the baby at home and circumcised the boy himself.

They began raising much of their own food, scavenging the rest from dumpsters behind grocery stores, where stale, unsold bread and overripe produce were regularly discarded. Dan turned off the gas and electricity. No publications of any kind were allowed in the home, except Latter Day Saints books and magazines. Dan even got rid of all their watches and clocks, believing the should "keep time by the spirit." When Matilda disobeyed Dan, he spanked her.

Spank was the verb Dan used. According to Matilda, the blows he delivered felt more like "thumps". And when he thumped her, he often did it in front of Dan's mother, his brothers, and all their children. Afterward, he warned Matilda that if she continued to disobey, she would be forced out of the marriage without her children - who, according to the principles elucidated in The Peace Maker, were the father's property.

Dan also announced that he intended to engage in spiritual wifery at the earliest opportunity. And the first woman he proposed taking as a plural wife was Matilda's oldest daughter - his own stepdaughter.
excerpt from Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

QUOTES, KIDS, PERSONAL (permalink) 03.30.2005
holding the line and staying the course
marty abandonment update:
day three went swimmingly, one might even say spectacularly.

i attribute this success to the single-best piece of parenting advice i've ever received:

'you just have to be smarter than your kids.'

the source of this sage insight, my father-in-law, who by my estimation did a pretty bang-up job.

thanks for the bail-out papa ken.

QUOTES, KIDS, FAITH (permalink) 03.04.2005
in a box in the basement
hey, where's jesus and all his people.
bella on observing grandma's natvity scene had been put away after the holidays.

TRAVEL, QUOTES (permalink) 02.22.2005
steamboat : reflections
after the super bowl, everyone debates the best commercial. after the annual ski-boondoggle, the participants ponder the best piece of banter. i'm naming the alpha quip from this year's steamboat trip to be ...

setting : bookguy is leaving a message for his boss one morning before we headed up the mountain.

how funny would it have been if i had said, 'matt, come back to bed' while you were leaving that voice mail to your boss.

since saying that would have involved you getting up off the ground, i'm pretty confident it wouldn't have happened.

(now that is what i heard, but in rehashing the moment, bookguy swears he didn't say that but instead, 'since saying that would have involved you getting out of bed, i'm pretty confident it wouldn't have happened'. the fact that each option is equally applicable is not a small testament to how well we know one another.)

and a trip with bookguy would never be the same without a backwards kudo which can be seen in the runner-up conversation ...

setting : bookguy and i are driving to the yellow sub with snake

i still think the most sincere thing you've ever posted on your site was the anniversary note to marty.

it's interesting you'd pick that out of everything.

it just wasn't the typical troy bullshit.

do you mind if i use that as an advertisement for my site.

what's that?

dearmitt dot com, just a bunch of typical troy bullshit. i think it has kind of a smart quality to it, not to mention, very flattering to the ear.

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.11.2005
i'm still sleeping, aren't i?
these were the first words said to me after waking up yesterday morning ...

my high school was doing a production of the little mermaid. i was the mermaid but was replaced when i became too difficult to work with.

and, here is the second thing said to me after waking up yesterday morning ...

ivana from the apprentice was there but i couldn't remember her name so i kept calling her maggie.

and, this was my first thought yesterday morning ...

i would pay some serious jack to have marty and ivana in the same room getting haughty with one another.

you just don't know how a day that begins with such beautiful randomness is going to turn out. life excites me.

WEB, QUOTES (permalink) 02.09.2005
what i meant to say was that ...
a guy i know listed me as a reference for a job he is applying for. when talking with his potential employer on the phone yesterday, this memory kept creeping into the room making me neurotic about all of my word selections.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.08.2005
this may explain my behavior as of late
so i think i may have hit the wall yesterday.

what? you? you mean you call falling asleep in the middle of a party with 10 people in the room and the super bowl blaring on the tv, hitting the wall? no, that's totally normal behavior.

QUOTES, MUSIC (permalink) 01.20.2005
four more years of this charlatan? damn.
Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
While the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

bob dylan's masters of war

while you may believe this song was written in the last 5 years, it was actually penned over 40 years ago. i don't know what's more evil, that it was divined then or that it still applies today.

QUOTES, WEB, KIDS (permalink) 01.05.2005
i remember when i was this honest
i believe to get a representative feel for what life is like somewhere you have to capture the unceremonious words and images around you. the following snippet i overheard between marty and bella offers some insight into life in our home.

can santa say words like dammit and stupid?

i imagine he can but i bet he chooses different words.

i bet he doesn't choose different words and does say dammit and stupid. a lot.

and, in the event you're still a little fuzzy on the scene, this conversation might sharpen the picture a touch more.

QUOTES, WEB, FRIENDS (permalink) 12.07.2004
the dutch has always had a way with words
With my pride in one hand, I walked balls first, brains last, into over extending myself.
dutch engelbrecht

(what with my brain's workers still on a full work-stoppage given their mistreatment over the last few months, i thought i'd share the words of someone whose cerebral employees have not left him in a lurch.)

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 09.02.2004
will you please repeat what you just said, i just want to hear it again.
he stopped to return some unused clay pigeons from the bear gap pig roast.
the new guy's wife

(this definitely qualifies as a string of words i never expected to be said to me in conversation. it also qualifies as one of the most amazing string of words ever said to me in conversation.)

QUOTES, MUSIC (permalink) 08.20.2004
my favorite song lyric ever
shake it.
sh-shake it.
shake it.
sh-shake it.
shake it.
sh-shake it.
shake it.
sh-shake it.
shake it.
sh-shake it.
shake it like a polaroid picture.


(repeat again)

(and repeat one last time)

from the chorus of Hey Ya! by Outkast

when i was telling marty about this, she thought for a moment before replying "well, those polaroids were a pretty neat technology".

QUOTES, WEB (permalink) 08.13.2004
it's an all-day laugh-riot around here
here's the short sound bite:
dad, come here and smell my diarrhea. it will die you.
and, here's the longer sound bite:
troyscript : the lie

QUOTES, STORYTIME (permalink) 08.12.2004
would you care for some perspective
while waiting to get clipped by the super-barber, i had an interesting conversation with the guy in the chair. he was a vietnam era refugee from laos. between my addled hearing, the hair clippers and his thick accent i missed much of the conversation. here are a few of the snippets i recall:

you could hear the explosions on the mountains at night when you slept.

i knew there was trouble when the bodies started floating down the river.

my family hid in the forest for many months.

when i was caught they just kept pointing the gun at my head shouting "tell me why i shouldn't kill you right now. tell me why i shouldn't shoot you in the head. tell me why i should let you live."

there were hundreds of us in the prison and they didn't give us food or water. people were dying.

my father owned the sawmill and they didn't have anyone who could use the equipment so i got out of the prison to help them.

my family snuck into thailand.

i had to say that all of my relatives were dead so i would have a chance to come to the united states.

i said the only place i wanted to go was the united states and i didn't care where they sent us within the united states.

i was in san francisco for 10 days and then i came here (saint louis).

to feed my family i sold buckets of water for ten cents each.

we couldn't afford the meat so we just got the chicken bones and made soup from them.

i had to feed my family.

if this doesn't fix over half of your perceived issues, you may be beyond salvation.

QUOTES, BOOKS, SCIENCE (permalink) 08.03.2004
one of the most enticing book openings i've EVER read
Welcome. And congratulations. I am delighted that you could make it. Getting here wasn't easy, I know. In fact, I suspect it was a little tougher than you realize.

To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once. For the next many years (we hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft, cooperative efforts necessary to keep you intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally under appreciated state known as existence.

Why atoms take this trouble is a bit of a puzzle. Being you is not a gratifying experience at the atomic level. For all their devoted attention, your atoms don't actually care about you - indeed, don't even know that you are there. They don't even know that they are there. They are mindless particles, after all, and not even themselves alive. (It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.) Yet somehow for the period of your existence they will answer to a single overarching impulse; to keep you you.


Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly - in you.
excerpt from the introduction of bill bryson's, A Short History of Nearly Everything. detail here

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 06.03.2004
what does that mean?
The Wart did not know what Merlyn was talking about, but he liked him to talk. He did not like the grown-ups who talked down to him, but the ones who went on talking in their usual way, leaving him to leap along in their wake, jumping at meanings, guessing, clutching at known words, and chuckling at complicated jokes as they suddenly dawned. He had the glee of the porpoise then, pouring and leaping through strange seas.
excerpt from t.h. white's the once and future king

PERSONAL, QUOTES (permalink) 06.02.2004
what did you just say to me?!?
after watching sleeping beauty for the first time, the following conversation took place between bella and marty in front of grandma nat ...

lay down on the bed mom and i will put a prick in you.

excuse me.

i said, lay down on the bed and i will put a prick in you.

and, that would be what i thought you said.

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 03.11.2004
i think bush and this guy have the same agent
How the agent explained his plan to me was, we weren't targeting the smartest people in the world, just the most.
excerpt from Survivor by chuck palahniuk

FRIENDS, QUOTES, SOCIETY (permalink) 01.21.2004
i'd say more but i'd just wreck it
marty and i know a young man. i find him to be quite spectacular because he is unlike most people his age. perhaps my affinity to him comes from sharing a proclivity for never fitting into the peg we're told we're supposed to fit in, by the society around us at least. but he ... he is one of the most introspective and beautiful people i know from and because of it. below is an excerpt from an email he sent to marty. and, for once, i am posting it with his permission, albeit anonymously.
as life goes on, things happen that we don't expect and that we can't control. all we can do is learn from it all and try to understand ourselves better.

i think a lot about life and relationships these days. reflecting on the way we all relate to one another, i come to this conclusion: please try to see your kids for something more than their pretty faces or their hungry stomachs. please try to see them for something more than their minds or collection of thoughts.

when i look back to the way i was raised, i feel abused and neglected. i feel cheated. my parents gave me everything in this world - money, food, clothing, car, school, kisses and hugs. but they never saw me for that person within it all. i was never seen for what i truly am.

looking back, i don't think i was ever loved. and because of it i don't know how to love today. i'll probably never marry and have kids because of the fear i would do it to them. it's sad.

please do more for them then put clothes on their backs. with whatever time you have in this life, please try to see them as something more. my life has been damaged because my parents didn't have the strength to try - somehow.

please don't do that to your kids. please just try somehow. i'm not trying to tell you to be religious or spiritual or whatever. i'm not. i'm just saying, i lost about 20 years of my life because i was never shown anything else. they just raised me to eat, sleep, drink and defend my property. and expected me to find it all out on my own.

maybe i'm coming closer to my answers, but i lost a lot of time and i shed a lot of blood trying.

QUOTES, MUSIC (permalink) 01.13.2004
good art speaks to the past, present and future
i feel hot and red and wired
i feel burned out like i've expired
freaky dreams and you are there
with glowing eyes and burning hair
and i am even dreaming violent

every nerve and every cell
they've got to fight to stay alive and well
i'm in a world of chronic discontent
screaming metal and burning rubber
always shoving and raping and cursing each other
exploding into violence

try some, buy some, wheeling dealing
buy it or steal it if it makes you feel it.
we want it intense, we want our violence.
get ready to take it all the way
the things they do, the words they say
it's all so ready to get violent

wedding bells are pink and white.
chocalates and candlelight.
you and me and we make three.
like a comedy that never played quite right.
it's seems so easy and it looks so clean
all the shiny happy people in the magazines
but nothing seems to mean what it meant.

a flood of blood and a burning pain
broken hearts and throbbing brains
a message has been sent and it's violent

concrete blonde's violent from their group therapy album

QUOTES, FILM (permalink) 12.12.2003
the man has got a way with words
you could have heard a rat pissin on cotton.
melvin van peebles speaking to how quiet the theater was during a showing of his movie sweet sweetback's baadasssss song.

QUOTES, NEWS (permalink) 10.13.2003
Happy Indian Resistance Day
Christopher Columbus was the spearhead of the biggest invasion and genocide ever seen in the history of humanity.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urging Latin Americans on Saturday not to celebrate Columbus Day, saying the 1492 discovery of the Americas triggered a 150-year "genocide" of native Indians by foreign conquerors who behaved "worse than Hitler.

QUOTES, TELEVISION (permalink) 08.07.2003
absolutely one of the coolest humans on the planet
when you interrogate him i'd like to sit in.

then what you will be privileged to witness will not be an interrogation but an act of salesmanship as silver-tongued and thieving as ever moved used cars, floated swampland or bibles. for what i am selling is a long prison term and to a client who has no genuine use for the product.

frank pembleton (andre braugher) from pilot episode (gone for goode) of homicide: life on the street.

QUOTES, HUMOR (permalink) 06.19.2003
i'll be out in the garden dear
sleeping with calista flockheart would be like having intercourse with a bag of rakes.
howard stern

QUOTES, FRIENDS, COMPUTER (permalink) 06.05.2003
introducing a new member to the cast
apple computers are like sleek shiny sports cars w/ bubbly shapes and way too sensitive stick shifts. even if they rule the universe, i'm more of a stubborn, beat-up millenium falcon why-the-hell isn't the hyperdrive working-again? kinda computer lover.
email excerpt from the way-with-words-girl

QUOTES (permalink) 06.03.2003
sweet nothings
all the wash u college students left over the last few weeks. this begins our quite season. during this period, there's all sorts of folks trolling the alleys scavenging for the goods rich kids don't feel like carting back home. just another luxury of those who don't have to pay for what they have.

as for me, their used and soiled housewares hold no appeal, but that is not to say i don't take advantage of the mayhem. it's more than typical to stumble across some morsel that is curious not for it's monetary value but for other, better reasons. and, i have come to ritualistically look for one memento each year to remember the esteemed students by. this season's trinket was a note i found on the sidewalk while walking home one night. it reads.

----------< begin note >----------
Hi Just, here's the hey. See you soon!! Tess.

(the above words were written in very big text at somewhat of an angle and there was an elongated heart in front of the 'Tess'.)

Just in case and b/c my mom is making me, here's our address:

(address inserted here)

if you take a taxi tell them to take 91st st on the south side of edith dr to get to greenbelt. you'll recognize the house. oh! and here's bo's cell phone which my mom is also making me give you:

(phone number inserted here)

mine is:

(another phone number)

much love!

be safe!

(next to the above two lines is a drawn box and inside it is written 'We're on a mission from God'.)


oh! and there will also be a hidden key which i will tell you about.
----------< end note >----------

it is quite fortunate this scrap wasn't found by some freak who would:

a. pick it up and put it in his pocket.
b. later read it while sitting on his front porch, twice.
c. post its contents on his website.
d. or call the number pretending he's 'Just'.

now i know you're thinking the last item might just be a little risky. i thought the same given caller id, star 69 and the constant fbi surveillance i'm under, so that's why i made the call from e-love's house.

toodles jen and justin. i'll call before i arrive. and i'm axiously awaiting my 'hidden hey!'.

QUOTES, SOCIETY, BOOKS (permalink) 03.13.2003
i think i'd get my hate on
My mother's mistress had three boys, one 21, one 19 and one 17. Old mistress had gone away to spend the day one day. Mother always worked in the house. She didn't work on the farm in Missouri. While she was alone, the boys came in and threw her down on the floor and tied her down so she couldn't struggle, and one after the other used her as long as they wanted for the whole afternoon.

Mother was sick when her mistress came home. When the old mistress wanted to know what was the matter with her, she told her what the boys had done. She whipped them and that's the way I came to be here.

Mary Estes Peters, former slave

i've often heard people comment on the 'misdirected' hate of our oppressed towards the living ancestors of these evil-doers saying things like "i didn't do it" or "you can't hold me accountable for what someone did a 100 years ago". i may have even uttered this a time or two myself. that said, if this happened to my mother or grandmother, etc i think i may harbor some ill-will, however ill-logical it may seem to someone who doesn't have this as part of their family tree.

the un-correctable nature of this history totally sucks. but the even sadder fact is that this history is still being written.

QUOTES, TELEVISION, FRIENDS (permalink) 01.15.2003
that's my girl
ok, now let's see some men cry.
marty while watching the bachlorette.

QUOTES, BOOKS, HUMOR (permalink) 12.12.2002
it's not just me that talks about em
Like anyone else, I maintained a healthy interest in farts, all ten varieties - the silent but deadly, the slow leaks, the hissers, fizzers, poppers, croakers, bangers, cheek-flappers, tail-gunners, and cargo farts, the ones that deliver a load - and this one was in a class all its own. A small dark cloud of a fart such as an alien from outer space might deliver to Earth, necessitating the evacuation of cities.
excerpt from garrison keillor's Lake Wobegon Summer 1956

QUOTES, BOOKS, KIDS (permalink) 10.02.2002
what it's all about
He was remembering the nights he'd sat upstairs with one or both of his boys or with his girl in the crook of his arm, their damp bath-smelling heads hard against his ribs as he read aloud to them from Black Beauty or The Chronicles of Narnia. How his voice alone, its palpable resonance, had made them drowsy. These were evenings, and there were hundreds of them, maybe thousands, when nothing traumatic enough to leave a scar had befallen the nuclear unit. Evenings of plain vanilla closeness in his black leather chair; sweet evenings of doubt between the nights of bleak uncertainty. They came to him now, these forgotten counterexamples, because in the end, when you were falling into water, there was no solid thing to reach for but your children.
excerpt from The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

QUOTES (permalink) 06.20.2002
you wouldn't like her when she's mad
You stupid, stupid, stupid bastard.
Hillary Clinton after the hillbilly confessed to his monica transgression, as heard by some staffers

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 03.27.2002
all facades one day crumble
And, in that moment Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later. For the first time he realized that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps, love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. And now that boy, that good actor, had grown old and fragile and tired, wearier than ever at the thought of trying to hoist the Protector?s armor back onto his shoulders again, now, so far down the line.
excerpt from The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

QUOTES (permalink) 03.15.2002
no wonder i have so much energy
Ambition is exhausting. It makes you friends with people for the wrong reasons, just like drugs.
carrie fisher (actress, writer)

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 03.06.2002
there's a new unabomber in town, or more appropriately, outside of town
i'm about three paychecks away from packing it up and heading into the mountains for good.
(and no one thought you would really do it. enjoy your faux retirement brother.)

and, oh yeah, happy birthday B.

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 01.30.2002
wonder what that specific zone is?
i think i only have one erogenous zone.
e-love on the complexities of his sexuality

QUOTES, HUMOR, FAITH (permalink) 01.24.2002
even when i go to the bathroom
the first thing they teach kids is that there?s a god -- an invisible man in the sky who is watching what they do and who is displeased with some of it. there?s no mystery why they start that with kids, because if you can get someone to believe that, you can add on anything you want.
george carlin on things he has learned

QUOTES, BOOKS, HUMOR (permalink) 01.07.2002
i won't have it
The woman in charge of costuming assigned us our outfits and gave us a lecture on keeping things clean. She held up a calendar and said, ?Ladies, you know what this is. Use it. I have scraped enough blood out from the crotches of elf knickers to last me the rest of my life. And don?t tell me, ?I don?t wear underpants, I?m a dancer.? You?re not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn?t be here. You?re an elf and you?re going to wear panties like an elf.
excerpt from Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

FILM, QUOTES (permalink) 12.19.2001
damn, man! this guy will knock you on your ass!
There IS NO tomorrow!
There IS NO tomorrow!

Apollo Creed to Rocky Balboa in Rocky III

MUSIC, QUOTES (permalink) 12.13.2001
happy holidays
i told the preist don't count on any second coming
god got his ass kicked the first time he came down here slumming
he had the balls to come, the gall to die and then forgive us
no i don't wonder why, i wonder what he thought it would get us
excerpt from Concrete Blonde's 'Tomorrow Wendy'
off the Bloodletting album

QUOTES (permalink) 12.11.2001
i'm definitely talking to the wrong guy here
?blah, blah blah Blah, blah blah Rumple Foreskin blah blah BLAH, blah blah?
anonymous speaker
(something i overheard at a christmas party last weekend.)

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 10.11.2001
another sucky day at the office
At the Chatelet de Paris there was a long, wide cellar, which was eight feet below the level of the Seine. It had neither windows nor ventilators, the only opening was the door; men could enter, but not air. For a ceiling the cellar had a stone arch, and for a floor, ten inches of mud. It had been paved with tiles, but, under the oozing of the waters, the pavement had rotted and broken up. Eight feet above the floor, a long massive beam crossed this vault from side to side; from this beam there hung, at intervals, chains three feet in length, and at the end of these chains there were iron collars. Men condemned to the galleys were put into this cellar until the day of their departure for Toulon. They were pushed under this beam, where each had his irons swinging in the darkness waiting for him. The chains, those pendent arms, and the collars, those open hands, seized these wretches by the neck. They were riveted, and they were left there. The chain being too short, they could not lie down. They remained motionless in this cave, in this blackness, under this timber, almost hung, forced to monstrous exertions to reach their bread or their pitcher, the arch above their heads, the mud up to their knees, their excrement running down their legs, collapsing with fatigue, their hips and knees giving way, hanging by their hands to the chain to rest, unable to sleep except standing, and constantly woken up by the strangling of the collar: some did not wake up. In order to eat, they had to drag their bread, which was thrown into the mud, up the leg with a heel, to within reach of the hand. How long did they stay this way? A month, two months, six months sometimes; one remained a year. It was the antechamber to the galleys. Men were put there for stealing a hare from the king.
Excerpt from Victor Hugo?s Les Miserables

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 08.09.2001
And, I thought this book was a comedy
If anything is horrible, if there is a reality that surpasses our worst dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of manly vigor, to have health and joy, to laugh heartily, to rush toward a glory that lures you on, to feel lungs that breathe, a heart that beats, a mind that thinks, to speak, to hope, to love: to have mother, wife, children, to have sunlight, and suddenly, in less time than it takes to cry out, to lunge into an abyss, to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed, to see the heads of grain, the flowers, the leaves, the branches, unable to catch hold of anything, to feel your sword useless, men under you, horses over you, to struggle in vain, your bones broken by some kick in the darkness, to feel a heel gouging your eyes out of their sockets, raging at the horseshoe between your teeth, to stifle, to howl, to twist, to be under all this, and to say, ?Just then I was a living man!?
Excerpt from Victor Hugo?s Les Miserables

QUOTES, BOOKS, HUMOR (permalink) 07.20.2001
There is beauty in all things
It was Easter Sunday in Chicago, and my sister Amy and I were attending an afternoon dinner at the home of our friend John. The weather was nice, and he'd set up a table in the backyard so that we might sit in the sun. Everyone had taken their places, when I excused myself to visit the bathroom, and there, in the toilet, was the absolute biggest turd I have ever seen in my life - no toilet paper or anything, just this long and coiled specimen, as thick as a burrito. [more]
excerpt from Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

A fortunate few of you have already heard tell of my similar experience while visiting the nearby and ominous Amish country, mid-west chapter. For those who questioned my motives for sharing this taboo yarn, I now present the academic work of Mr. Sedaris as my evidence that it is noteworthy, it is interesting, and it is very, very funny.

The word 'turd' appeared six times in this short story. I actually had to add it to my word processor's local dictionary for convenience.

While Microsoft Word does not recognize the word turd, it can automagically change "Ameria" to "America".

Nicholson Baker, in his work the Fermata, referred to the male member approximately 67 times and never used the same descriptor twice.

QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 06.19.2001
You da man!
The only man keeping you down is the one you look at in the mirror every morning.
Matthew Feldt
(Matthew is credited for many quotes which are not his own. Here I?m glad to offer one he can actually claim.)

QUOTES, SCIENCE (permalink) 06.10.2001
before it was AIDS
If I had written this a month ago, I would have used the figure ?40.? If I had written this last week, I would have needed ?80.? Today I must tell you that 120 gay men in the United States ? most of them here in New York ? are suffering from an often lethal form of cancer called Kaposi?s sarcoma, or from a virulent form of pneumonia that may be associated with it. More than 30 have died.

The men who have been stricken don?t appear to have done anything that many New York gay men haven?t done at one time or another. We?re appalled that this is happening to them and terrified that it could happen to us. It?s easy to become frightened that one of the many things we?ve done or taken over the past years may be all that it takes for a cancer to grow from a tiny something-or-other that got in there who knows when from doing who knows what. This is our disease and we must take care of each other and ourselves.
New York Native (nation?s most influential gay newspaper), August 24, 1981
Warning to the gay community from columnist Larry Kramer after the first AIDS cases, yet to be named such, were being reported around the country.

QUOTES, TELEVISION (permalink) 06.05.2001
the beginning of a dynasty pal
5003 corners in greater Miami and gumby here has gotta pick ours.
Sonny Crocket of Miami Vice (first line of the series)

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 05.15.2001
The New Tony the Tiger
Isabella Walter DeArmitt

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 02.08.2001
And, you thought you were having a bad day II
Think of it - think of that black slave man filled with fear and dread, hearing the screams of his wife, his mother, his daughter being taken - in the barn, the kitchen, in the bushes! Think of it, my dear brothers and sisters! Think of hearing wives, mothers, daughters, being raped! And you were too filled with fear of the rapist to do anything about it!
excerpt from The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 01.16.2001
And, you thought you were having a bad day
We crouch behind every corner, behind every barrier of barbed wire, and hurl heaps of explosives at the feet of the advancing enemy before we run. The blast of the hand-grenades impinges powerfully on our arms and legs; crouching like cats we run on, overwhelmed by this wave that bears us along, that fills us with ferocity, turns us into thugs, into murderers, into God only knows what devils; this wave that multiplies our strength with fear and madness and greed of life seeking and fighting for nothing but our deliverance. If your own father came over with them you would not hesitate to fling a bomb at him.
excerpt from All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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