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Friday, August 31, 2012

The First Decade

What were you doing on August 31st, 2002?  Don't remember?  I know for darn sure what I was doing.  Getting hitched.  Legal.  Respectable.  Being made an honest man of.  Tying the knot.  Matrimonialized.  Married to, as it happens, the beautiful, kind and feisty little soul that I love more than my life.

This isn't a wedding photo, because there is absolutely zero chance I would be caught dead tearing out photos from the Imposing Big Black Embossed Wedding Album.  You remember wedding albums, yes?  This is like a 1,000 years ago, before Facebook.  Heck, before Picasa.  May have been 1,500 years, even.

From the archives, ladies and gentlemen, I give you... THIS.


That is one smoking hot chick.  No idea who the dude is, though.  Friend of mine, probably.  Looks trustworthy.

So what do you talk about at breakfast after ten whole years of marriage?

Her:  I'm going to Trader Joe's to get dessert for tonight.
Him:  Nah, I'll go over there.  Whatcha want?
Her:  No, you're already getting sushi.  I'll do it.
Him:  Well, that's where I was going to get your flowers.  Get yourself some flowers, then.  They've got really good flowers.
For the record, she thought my being a pragmatic jerk was funny.  Because, after all this time, that's how the woman copes.

UPDATE:
"Thank you for my beautiful flowers!" 

Monday, August 27, 2012

One Trip, Two Relatively Harmonious Perspectives

Our Pacific Northwest trip is long gone, but we're just getting around to the obligatory post.  And I mean 'we' literally in this case.  Inexplicably, even incredibly, H.M. has been writing a bit.  It's all the free time, right?  Actually, it's not that hard to believe at all.  I've been near AWOL from CJMP lately, and I think she feels obliged to take up the dang slack.

Men.

Here's Majesty's take:

We are back from our first trip to the Pacific Northwest.   I am hoping this will be an annual August trip, but next year I hope we can plan it so that we see El C a little more.  He was mostly tied up in meetings and seminars, horseback riding or suicide rafting. Things weren’t as exciting on our end but we sure had a good time!  With highs in the mid 70’s with a bit of a breeze, we spent the majority of the week outside.

First off, I have to praise the babies; they did fabulously on the 4.5 hour plane rides!  Jack only watched about 20 minutes of a movie and then spent the rest of the time on an Avengers look-and-find book, playing tic-tac-toe with me, doodling with Daddy, or just talking about the clouds and whatever else he saw.

We landed in Portland, loaded up the rental car and headed up to the lodge in Washington.  We did a few little hikes, found a playground, a swimming pool and a riverboat.  We also celebrated Jack’s 4th(!) birthday with an M&M cake and a bird show.  Got to see an eagle named Patriot, some hawks and owls up close.

Jack will tell you his favorite thing was the paddle boat ride on the Columbia River.  He spent about 45 minutes of the 2 hour boat ride in the captain’s chair with Captain Tom.  Captain Tom is about on par with Santa Claus.  He taught Jack to drive the boat and let him push almost every button on the dashboard (or whatever you call it on a boat) and patiently answered all 170 of Jack’s questions.

On the way home we took a later flight, which was maybe half full so we had plenty of room to spread out.  Jack especially had a nice flight (see picture).

My brief take:

Suicide rafting is a bit strong of a term.  Yes, there was a fatality on that river this year (kayak).  Yes, we did talk our guide (the rafting company owner's daughter, of all people) into going down a notorious Class 5 waterfall.  Yes, the boat in front of us flipped clean over.  We didn't.  No problemo.

I won't even annoy you with talk of hospitible (non-Houstonian) weather, which I still covet deep in my shriveled little heart.

It was the weirdest week.  Great, but weird.  It was like the family and I had booked completely separate vacations, but everyone coincidentally settled on the same destination.  I would see work folk, and then spy Jack sprinting through the lobby.  I would be talking with someone, and hear Caroline screech.  Pretty entertaining.

On the upside, I came through on the pledge I made last year, sitting on an airplane:  ONLY BAD FATHERS SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THEIR CHILDREN FROM COACH.

And, as Majestad mentioned above, we've finally solved the mystery of what Santa does in the off season.  Yes, Virginia, Santa's a paddleboat captain on the Colombia River.  Yeah, he goes by  "Captain Tom," but he's not fooling anybody, man.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Revealed: Where Butter Really Comes From

WHO KNEW?
I'm reading through the Good Book again this year.  As usual, I like to make things exciting and start about 5 months late, leaving myself almost no chance of finishing.  My handy dandy howmanychaptersmustIreadperday.xlsx spreadsheet says I have to bang out something like 6.6 books chapters a day to make it.  Pressure aids performance, kiddos.  True statement.

Anyway, I took the NT first, and am now in Genesis, where you learn the origins of all sorts of stuff, like women (whoa!) and NBA players (the Nephilim, look it up) and Californians (antediluvian vegetarianism) and talk radio gold bullion dealers (the land of Havilah).  Learning where everything originates is neat, let's just acknowledge that.

Speaking of origins.  So last night at dinner, we somehow got on the subject of butter.  That's right, E.C.'s favorite aid to arterial lubricity, good old mantequilla.  The conversation:
E.C.:  Jack, how's that rice?  Butter makes it taste good, right?
Jack:  *mumbling, barely audible* Yah...  Yessuw.
Majesty, from the kitchen:  Jack, do you know where butter comes from?
JackYes.  Butterflies.
It was just spectacular.  Groucho couldn't have pulled off the line any better.  No hesitation whatsoever.  I got this fleeting image of a bunch of tough-looking, unionized butterflies with tattoos on their wings, crowded around Stanley lunchboxes down at the butter plant.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Majestad literally lay down in the kitchen floor, almost in tears.

I almost forgot.  H.M. went on to say that one "stirs" milk to make butter.  While I was harassing her for slandering the butterflies in the agricultural products industry, Jack had gone to the kitchen, returned with a small pink spoon (for stirring), and was busying himself at unscrewing his cup full of milt.  "Churning" was then discussed.  And he didn't have the foggiest as to which utensil might do something like that.

In other homophone, heteronym, and polyseme news, Jack is learning the difference between handsome and a hansom (cab), tunes and tombs, and the various uses of the words bank.  It's confusing as all heck.

Three things, here:  (1) English is hard; (2) drawly pronunciation apparently makes English even more daunting to those trying to learn said English; and (3) C. S. Lewis is fifty five kinds of brilliant.  I've essentially got an Oxford/Cambridge professor reading to my child every night for like six months straight.  Narnia, baby!

We just returned from the Pac Northwest.  When we actually can get everyone back on our beloved Central Daylight Time, maybe I'll have enough energy so as to actually write about the trip.  Till then?  No.  Jack did turn four, a fact that we just can't change now.  No matter how much we try.

Butterflies.  C'mon.