Tuesday, March 26, 2013


pho·to·gen·ic [foh-tuh-jen-ik]
1.  forming an attractive subject for photography or having features that look well in a photograph: a photogenic face.
I just like looking at these people.  Whoever they are.  And wherever they come from.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Quick Hits and the Art of Saying No

I've always taken pride in being sort of a cross-discipline kind of dude, but this is getting silly.  

For us, usually one area is nuts, and then it calms down in time for something else to blow sky-high.  Not this year, man.  So much has been going on with us, in fact, that there's absolutely no way to fill You People in on all of it.  Maybe we can shoot for a rough 'n tough 20%.  15%?

Winning Bread
I've hit my very busiest time of year at work, and yet somehow let myself be Shanghaied into going to a pointy-headed work conference, to boot.  Lessons learned:
  • Running-wise, Atlanta, Georgia has brutal hills, and actual seasons.  'Bout froze my tookus off.
  • Never go running in a hilly place without a ready supply of chocolate milk.
  • I felt sorry for my poor, poor fellow panelists.  I mean, I would HATE to be stuck on a panel with me.  Because I'm nuts.  To loosely quote Groucho Marx, "I don't want to be part of a club that would have me as a member."
  • I should look into saying "No."
The Good, the Bad, and the Bloody
Some neighbors have been pestering me to replace our back fence for a few years.  The fence is ancient and crumbling, and when holes and chinks in it appear, as they frequently do when little boys take the balsawood pickets right off, bits of bricks, sticks, pottery, plastic, old lumber, and yard implements appear almost immediately to plug up the offending space.  I'm not sure if they're keeping the crazy in, or keeping it out.  Hmm.

These are the neighbors that don't like me much.  So this is the best part - they don't like me because they don't realize that a different family moved in about 3 years back.  Right.  Apparently the previous folks really Butch Waxed people's fur the wrong way.

Oh, and the very bestest part of the conversation with the neighbor lady?  "I remember the day that fence was built...  but you were only a little boy, then."  The call ended shortly after that.

So before the heat got here, my awesome neighbor (different one) and I decided to work on the fence in question while Majesty and the chilluns were over in Alabama for a week.  Anyway, you can barely see the finished product in the photo below.  Lessons learned:
  • While my skull is harder than a stubborn 4x4 pressure-treated post, my scalp is not.
  • You should always have large amounts of gauze and Betadine at your house.
  • Office jocks should stay well away from manual labor.
  • You can be sore in places you didn't know you had... for an entire week.
  • I should tell people "No."  Especially people that think I'm somebody else altogether.
Sixth String and Loving It
And there's the Bible class I somehow got hornswoggled into teaching.  It's really fun, and I learn just oodles of stuff, but...  Lessons Learned:
  • Apparently there's a desperately critical shortage of Bible class teachers at church.
  • It's nearly impossible to say "No" at church.
Spring Hurts
Spring here usually shows itself quickly, with azaleas, redbuds, and an incredible amount of greenish yellow pine pollen coating every possible exterior surface.  The pollen is everywhere, and causes hilariously awful and yucky uh... boogers.  There, I said it.

I was greeted by Spring in another, completely unexpected way yesterday.  It was dark upstairs, and I was just about to open up The Curl's door to rescue her from a nap.

At first, I thought I stepped on a nail, but then I saw something black slowly crawling away on the carpet.  "Pleasedon'tbeablackwidow!" was all I could muster.  Nope, it's a WASP.  It's like a philosophy question:  How does one step on a flying insect?  I have no idea.  But it hurts, man.  It couldn't have even zapped me on the caloused part.  That little turkey (may he rest in pieces) got me in the soft little sissy space between my toes.  I haven't unsuccessfully tangled with a wasp, bee, or scorpion in probably 25 years.  But I step on one on my own darn carpet in my own darn house.  Lessons learned:
  • In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny (Groucho, too), "Of course, you know this means war."  Every wasp on my property better be flying a tiny Swiss flag by Saturday.
That's Like, Totally Tubular
After fighting chronic ear infections and our nasty, pollen-filled, barely-can-still-call-it-air air, The Ittybitty is getting tubes.  Like I even know what that means.  I'm imagining those old vacuum tubes in the back of big teevees.  At this point, if it gets this chick well and sleeping through the night, I'm fine with implanting the whole television.

Hi, I'm Functionally Literate, How Are You?
Jack's uh, buzzing through his reading lessons these days (see photo).  I heard him read an entire little story about some dude hunting a deer.  The man gets into this extended conversation with the deer he's hunting but I didn't catch much of the gist.

Jack finished up the story and said simply, "The deer talks!"  Knowing how complicated language is, and how tricky English itself can be, it's truly astounding to watch him blow through words and sentences.  I now have zero doubt he'll love books more as he ages and will keep them in his life.  Lessons learned:
  • Since we can't spell stuff around him anymore, I've resorted to teaching Majestad some EspaƱol.
Quote of the Week
Jack, examining my forehead with a toy powerdrill:  "And that's your four head..."
Jack, moving the drill to the top of my head:  "And this is your five head..."

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dispatches from the Front

Majesty sent this email today:
"Mommy, have you heard of a word called 'justice'?  It's a church word."

We talked about that a few minutes.  He thought about it for a minute then I hear...

"Mommy, I got another one... What about the word 'popular'?"

Vocabulary words for today- check!
Gratuitous Bonus Material from a Band I discovered Approximately 22 Hours Ago
1.  Stick with the low sound for a bit.  You'll be rewarded.
2.  Guitar Dude is now my new official Hair Idol.  I salute you, sir.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Tale of Two Weekends

If I were a good father, I would do this expansive post on Caroline's first birthday party.  Because it was awesome.  Awesome.  I say that because I had a great time.  Now, I have no clue whether anyone else did or not, but I had a blast.  That's apparently my measuring stick on kids' birthday parties.

And if I were a good father, I would post the video of Caroline systematically demolishing a pretty little orange - sorry - (allegedly) pink cake.  She looked at it, then she looked at the twenty or thirty some odd people staring at her, and she took her right hand and coolly dug a clod of icing right out and stuck it in her mouth.

So no video.  It's still in the digital guts of the camera at home.

Jack, for those of you that still remember 2009, had no idea whatsoever what to do with the big frosted thing in front of him.  He sort of pawed at it and ended up taking the top off of the giant blue cupcake.  Not Caroline.  Nope, Little Ponies can put a whoopin' on some cake.  Then her Uncle Blake decided that spooning an entire little cup of chocolate Blue Bell into her mouth would be a super way to wash down all that frosting.  More on that later.

Waaaaaay more people showed up than we expected, and we were actually really glad.  It was fun.  Thankfully, weather that was supposed to be pretty gnarly instead was very, very good.  Like San Diego good.  Apart from the darn pollen choking us, it was perfect.  You take what you can get in Houstonistan.  Anyway, we had my family, her family, church family, former church family, and a former church family that flew in from Perth, Australia.  My Favorite Nigerians weren't really in the States just for Caroline's birthday party, but we're spreading it around as gospel truth, anyway.

The theme - I'm told you have to have a theme at these sort of things - was hot air balloons.  You'll recall that The Curl's room is decorated with them.  So Chinese lanterns with little baskets tied to them are still hanging all around my house this very minute.  That'll probably be the case in 6 months.  'Cause hey, they're festive, man.  There was also this huge wicker basket that had balloons tied to it.  It was for taking pictures, but it ended up being a really classy looking playpen, truth be told.

We drank lemonade, ate hot dogs, and cake, and many, many little cups of Blue Bell, and then wished all the wellwishers well.  We sat in our dining room eating garish colored junk food and listening to Gringo Honeymoon.  There's no topping that.

However.  There's always a however.  Caroline decided that the day was so awesome that it probably shouldn't end, and stayed up all night screaming.  About four o'clock, I pick my head up from my pillow only to hear this deep, trademark, "HEY."  Oh, boy.  I stuck it out for about a half hour, but eventually realized that every time I moved I got another HEY.  I ended up in a sleeping bag on my own living room floor with a spectacular chest cold.  It felt like I had inhaled a chinchilla.

Listen, when you're the dude that pays the mortgage, sleeping on the floor is considered poor form.  But then again, I didn't have it near as bad as Majesty.  She had to snuggle with that little maniac.

And Caroline is now (officially) one year old.  Wow.  A phrase I've been using a whole lot lately:
"This is freakin' me out, man."