Monday, December 29, 2008

You Deserve This Video...Everyone Does

Her name is Laura Izibor and she's from Ireland...oh, and she's pretty awesome. Her first full length release is out in just a few weeks, early in the new year, so look for it so you can complain later when everyone else loves her that you've been listening to her for impossible ages and they should shut up.

A post-Christmas gift...from me to you...Elli better like this stuff or she's headed for Kijiji. I'm obviously kidding. Don't be so bloody sensitive and just listen to the song already.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Some Fun and Dumb Without a Permit

It's 10:00pm, Monday December 29, 2008 and we've just created something fun and dumb which is probably the best combination of things on the planet unless, of course, you're talking about decisions or people, and then it's a pretty crappy combination. In this particular circumstance...or would it be in these particular circumstances?...whichever, it's an absolutely wonderful a twisted kind of way, but then even twisted is a direction, right?

My hand inexplicably hurts, I'm listening to "Drive All Night" by The Boss, my feet (and nose) are cold, and the ink in my new pens is starting to run thin...the sad inevitability of doodling and ink pens...all of that going on and somehow Smidgen & Scoatch were born. Not sure exactly what I'm going to do with them but I like them plenty already. I think they'll probably have some good adventures together and that's fine as long as I can come along too. I hope they'll entertain Elli...and maybe even Sam...and whoever feels the urge to be entertained by relatively uninspired ink...uhh...somethings. It's just dawned on me that I don't even really know what they are. I think it's best that way.

Anyway...there you's not like there was a manger or anything, or you need to bring Frankenfeffer or any Goalies or Murray for that matter, you really just dropped by for a quick "hows she going" and BLAM! you bore witness to the birth of fun and dumb...or Smidgen & Scoatch in laymans terms. While we're at it what the #$%@ is a layman anyway, and why are we so lolo about histerms? Seems to me that I'd like my own terms, thank you very much.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post-Christmas Blahg

After three whole days of gluttony, unnecessary and often misguided gift giving, and complete displacement of our typically normal (depending on your definition) routine, we have managed to make it home alive. Christmas is rough. Too much food, too much drink, too much spending, too much company, too much...too much...too much.

Surviving Christmas with a small child may require us to get a little creative, at the very least, firm in our expectations and loose with our obligations. Ideally, post-baby Christmas' would be enjoyed in warmer climes with family and whatever friends are brave enough to shirk expectations and opt for sand between toes instead of wrapping paper. We're not so very good with infringements upon our independence (and for all of you people who laugh and make some ridiculous comment about lives changing and baby's demands can sod off. We're making that statement well aware of the natural demands of a newborn child and then are placing that knowledge in context within that stop laughing or stop reading, one or the other). We want what we want and when we want it, not unlike anyone else, with one shimmering exception in that once this child is born we're holding tight to the reins of our lives. Babies can be portable, be walked down distant city streets and sleep on blankets in the sand...that's all very possible despite the bulk of unsolicited opinions out there. We understand that sixth row seats at "Who" concerts is a phenomenon much less possible now than it may have been previously but we're also quick to understand that there are plenty of babies crawling through the grass in Central Park too. Anyway, we've gotten a little sidetracked here. Back to the ghosts of Christmas future.

The plan, barring any odd circumstances is for our stockings to be hung by the palm tree with care next year. Come or stay, your choice, but we're packing our flops already. Next year there'll be three stockings instead of two...giggle...and Elli can get a bikini for her first Christmas gift ever. There are worse things.

Start saving folks...'cause next Christmas will more closely resemble a Jimmy Buffett song than any Burl Ives baritone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Heartburn Kid aka the cursing preggers girl

June's newest hobby seems to be heartburn. She's really into it, and is getting pretty solid at hosting the "burning heart" as we call it here. We don't actually call it that. It just sounded fun to slap that in there. June mostly calls it "#$%&ing %@?#ab!^ch neck screamers." Sometimes she isn't even so nice about it. I try to just sit there and not catch it by some weird osmosis type thing and try to be quiet and invisible until the "burning heart" goes away.

June used to be able to eat just about anything (she didn't, of course, she has superior sustenance skills, some discipline, and can be picky as a cactus) but now there's a growing list of things she won't venture for fear of the #$%&ing %@?#ab!^ch neck screamers. Things like:

- Tomatoes

Uhmmm, that's about it off of the top of my head. There's probably more but I'm only kinda half observant about that kind of stuff. When little Elli is kicking I knock shtuff over trying to get a hand on that tummy but when the randomness of inexplicable pregnant-ness gets to really hummin' I call time out and head for the sideline to consult with the coaching know, make sure I got my signals right and that i have the right play called. I usually don't.

Juney's been pretty stellar about this whole deal...swollen apendages, whatever...can't sleep, alright...tuckered out pretty easy, no worries...The whole response to massive physical trauma has me thoroughly impressed. Wait 'til she rides out Hurricane Elli in a few weeks...I'll be performing prostrations and sacrificing live animals in her honour. The girl doesn't even flinch at the notion of that junk. Kay-friggin-sarah-sarah it seems. I'd be passing out in advance just for the practice. No matter what we're talking about this funster I'm married to impresses the Nikes right offa my feet.

Not really sure what to do about the heartburn though.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nothing To Do With Anything...

This post has absolutely nothing to do with Elli or June or me or anything else except I like it and I wanted to share it with I think that you should really check out Dallas Clayton's web site and peruse that bugger a's really great.

Lately people have been coming over to my house and noticing my skateboards in the corner and kinda of looking at them funny and then looking at me funny and then forgetting than fun is kind of age-proof. Mostly I shrug them off, sometimes I call them #$%&ing jerk pots with a safety first inner monologue and then other times, well just this once, I write blog posts.

Man, I hope Elli doesn't think I'm least not until she's 15 or so.

Now read this or the guy at the computer gets it... Dallas Clayton

You should learn to skateboard.
It is cheap and fun.
It is something you can do when you are alone
or with friends.
Once you learn, you can hang out late at night in parking lots for hours and hours
(and you don’t even have to be high).
Also you can talk to others about skateboarding
and it will make them think you are cool
and they will give you things
like free stickers, or invitations to parties
with lots of guys at them.

If you get good
you can jump over all sorts of things
like cars, and European streets, and statues, and off small buildings.
and people will take pictures of you
which is nice (for later, to show your kids).

If you get really good,
maybe someone will pay you
to take pictures, and make videos of you jumping off all sorts of crap
and they will put you on billboards
and benches where homeless people sleep
and your name will be on thousands of pairs of shoes.
Maybe you will have a video game with you in it
or a TV show where you shoot your friends with weapons.

Or maybe not.

Maybe you will just keep doing it and no one will really care how good you are
and you will just use your skateboard to ride down the street
to buy some beer
when your “old lady” takes off with the car.

It’s up to you I guess.
Like anything else.

But you should definitely learn.
It will be worth it
in the long run.

I promise.

Hopefully I won't ever have to write a blog post again about those awkward looks my skateboards and me get.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Elli's First Boyfriend...Daddy Approved

Check out this little fella.

His name is Eli...he's 10 months old and cool as hell (how ultimate cheese is that if a couple is named Elli and Eli? Completely aged cheddar fo sho).

Check out that sweet Solitary Arts deck he's slippin' and slidin' around on...The little fella is A-Okay in Dad's books and officially sanctioned to date little Elli when she finally arrives and you know, eventually walks and garners positive social relationships.

Eli belongs to Jeremy and Claire Weiss of Day 19 Photography and he's totally Daddy approved. You should see the kid with his toes on the nose! Boyo rides like a champ. I can't wait to see him when he's finally walking!

Scoot on over to Day 19 Photography's site if you get a chance. Eli's folks are some seriously talented rents.

Uncle Scotty Loves Him Some Slayer...Kinda

This isn't really my cousin Scotty...but if he was a kinda scarey and skungy mad, mad Slayer fan...waaay out of shape and more inclined to facial hair, bad tattoos, and awful, embarrassing, 1985-esque sunglasses he might look a little like this.

It really has nothing to do with anything I just thought it was kinda funny...kinda...maybe not really...but kinda.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Magical Midwife Makes it Snow! Seriously.

We had a midwife appointment of those "holy shnit, it's almost time" type deals...and when we arrived it was cold and dry outside but when we came out of that informational blitzkrieg there was an inch of snow on the ground and great big gobs of more was still falling. That Cynthia (our uber-fun and kind midwife) is magic! Magic, I tell ya.

I was thinking that the change in weather was very symbolic of the obvious change we're about to welcome into our world, you know...all clear skies and easy going, then some suddenly some slippery steering but nothing that isn't manageable if you're paying attention and careful with what you're doing. Sounds pretty good huh? Yeah, well I never really thought that. I just made it up right now as I was typing. Sounds pretty damn good though, doesn't it?

All is well with Junelli...June is happy and healthy, measuring just about right (previously we were a little pre-occupied that le bebe was going to be big but our concerns were eased a bunch tonight) and Elli seems to be making all the right moves and matching Mom step for step in terms of health and happiness. She's awfully comfy in there despite the squished quarters. She's certainly not going to be a little 6-7lbs here but she's not the WNBA athlete we were envisioning either.

Here's the crazy it seems June is officially "at term" anywhere from December 28th onward...WHAT? Meaning if little Elli wanted to come meet her parents a little earlier than expected she'd be fine to do so. That's two freakin' weeks from now! That's crazy! On the flip side she'll be no later than January 28th either. If she decides to stick around in uteral comfort (uteral should totally be a word) well past her January 18th due date then June'll have to be induced no later than the 28th of Jan. So it seems we've got ourselves a little better timeline of what's to come. That doesn't explain all that snow though. I tell ya...magic. I'm not sure how she did it but I trust the hell out of her now. That's some crazy trick.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

33...One of My Absolute Favorite Numbers

We're just wrapping up week #32 and are just a few days away from week #33. The typically uneventful week has me a little excited because I loves me some #33.

Patrick Ewing wore Georgetown and with them frustrating Knicks. Yeah he did, and I loves me some Patrick Ewing. Who doesn't, really? Well, lots of people actually, but who doesn't love a little Marty McSorley? Everyone...well, no...not everyone. Seems it's mostly all about Patrick Ewing. We just won't forget to mention the Marty McSorley's and Larry Birds of the world...maybe even the Scottie Pippens know, just to be inclusive.

Speaking (typing actually) in more selfish terms...we're sneaking into the 33rd week of this pregnancy...well, mostly June is...I'm just hanging out near that big belly...and we're getting a little hyper about it all. I've spent approximately $3,600. 76 on books, and we' have something like 456 onezies in her closet. Since we're mentioning the "her" part, we just finished with another ultrasound since Junie was measuring a little ahead of schedule. So le midwife books us another ultrasound to check fluid levels and baby size etc...Seems like all is well...still a girl (hamburger bun not a turtle) and she's got a rather large head...pretty long femur too...uh oh. I apologized to June and crossed my fingers that if she hits six feet tall that she can, at the very least, swim her long, tall ass off...She'll have an instant coach in Aunt Netta and the whole scholarship thing will work out handy come post-secondary time.

Can't do much about that big head though.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dice K...Okajima...Tazowa...Elli... Huh?

Sure it takes an imagination but we've got that in spades (whatever that term means?) and yeah, we're well aware that a woman has never played Major League Baseball...blah be blah blah blaaah...but we're talkin, what, 18 years from now? Pfshhh...lots of time for the world to change. Cripes, that's all Barack Obama talks about and we trust the heck outta him. Besides, the little girl isn't even born yet so what's to worry about. They say that if you're good they'll find you. My guess is they won't find you where Elli's playin' right at the moment.

The girl's gonna be an Ellsbury fan, I know it, and that's alright. There's that whole name thing AND he's wicked awesome. She could do worse. When I was a kid I worshipped Dwight Gooden...sheesh.

Mo Willems and Me (Elli too I suppose)

If you can't find something unique and cool in NYC then you're not trying. I can flip from bookstore to bookstore, block after block, from 77th all the way down to Washington Square and duck into no less than two shops per block. If you're looking for something great then NYC is your place.

In September June and I discovered Lucky Wang over in the upper East Village and just a few days ago I was knee deep in Mo Willems books up at Broadway and Amsterdam. BAM...another lovely NY find. So now whether Elli likes it or not she's part of the Gerald and Piggie Fan Club. You might be familiar with Mo's Knuffle Bunny books, or "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus," but this weekend we fell in love with Gerald and Piggie...How could you not? As the back cover describes the two...

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

How's a guy supposed to stay all cold, unsentimental and manly in the face of that kind of putrid cuteness? It's bloody well impossible. I think I'd like to be my very own version of Mo Willems. He's cooler than those extra long back brushes in the shower...maybe even cooler than those hats with the ear flaps...maybe? Am I capable of such overt coolness? Probably not. Am I capable of dreaming about it...yup.

Girls, Girls, Girls...and More Girls

Ever hear of The Girl Effect? Shame on you. Get more info here, and watch this.

It's true. It all starts with girls...including my new life as a parent it seems. Girls are more important than you'll ever learn in any mainstream western curriculum. It's not about equal rights or human rights for that's science, sociology, and plain old anthropological truth...girls are vastly more important than the world has ever acknowledged. Think about it. Even if you are a girl, even here in the western world, you've almost certainly handed over your own personal power and independence to a man at some point. You've assumed that your history lessons have told the absolute truth. You've trusted the government, the legal system, and every social etiquette you've ever practiced or trusted to uphold your rights as an individual when nearly every one of those institutions have systematically stripped you of those rights at one point or another. As a girl (woman, whatever) the discrimination you have faced throughout your life is systemic and so subtle that you've hardly noticed it, right? Of course it is. Now, subtract all of the western privileges that you've enjoyed and dump a lot of the assumptions that we embrace as comfy and safe first world consumers and wealth hogs and break life and womanhood down to it's lowest common the math any way you like, and talk all you want in those cyclical which came first the chicken or the egg arguments but it all comes back to women, to girls. Educate, support, empower, and entrust...and the world is a better place...period.

Why am I the one telling you this? Because I'm about to have a daughter that I hope is capable of changing the world. We gotta start somewhere, one girl at a time is nice but how about just one single idea at a time. I'm man enough to embrace the notion. It's about girls...women...that's it.

My good friend Stephanie lived and worked in Guatemala and Poland and she'll tell's girls.

My cousin Kristy spent a year in Kenya working in the country's largest refugee camp and she'll's girls.

I've spent my entire adult life working with children and youth living in poverty and at-risk right here in our own backyard and I'll say it out loud each and every's girls.

It doesn't take that big a shift in the way that you think to imagine a world in which girls are the answer. Try... read more, ask more questions, listen, open yourself up to new ideas. It's girls. Remember that we told you that, in fact, write it down. By the time Elli is old enough to remind you of our assertion you'll already be expecting the I told you so speech that we'll unabashedly lob your way. It's girls...just wait and see.

We're Not in Kansas Anymore...we never were

I'm predicting right now that Elli will be able to do this before she's twelve years old. You think that this kid's in the zone? Wait until you see Elli give 'er, you'll think she's on performance enhancing drugs.

I'm just kinda wondering what a kid her age is doing listening to Kansas? Probably Grandad Gerry's influence.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Top Ten Unreasonable Hopes From an Almost Dad

1. I hope and wish and hope and wish and hope that she's healthy and happy and never sick a single day in her life.

2. I hope she's beautiful...I mean devastatingly shatter the hearts of boys and men alike place your hand to your chest and sigh beautiful, and to everyone, not just me. I hope that she's the most beautiful child and woman ever.

3. I hope she's as smart as she is beautiful...head shaking smart...real world smart...big picture smart...too smart to fall for things smart that the world will never be able to twist her around for long.

4. I hope she's humble, selfless and kind. So far she's practically perfect, I know. This post does have the term "unreasonable" in it so ease up.

5. I hope she makes her Mom proud. I hope she makes me proud too but I especially hope she makes her Mom smile a lot. There'll be more love there than I can comprehend.

6. I hope that she sees things differently than everyone else around her...that she goes places and meets people...just as long as she comes back.

7. I hope that she changes the world.

8. I hope that she helps people.

9. I hope that not a day of trouble ever finds her.

10. I hope that she loves us every day of her life, even when we're the worst parents on the planet.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Carl Jung makes some kick @#$ kids books...

So we're innocently perusing children's books 'cause, you know, that's what we do around here these days, at least when baseball season is over and a baby is on the way...and we spot this really great artwork by Seonna Hong, I mean beautiful artwork in a kid friendly kind of way. Turns out that artwork belongs to a really great book titled "Animus" about a young girl meeting her fears and navigating her way 'round a seemingly vicious dog. It embraces the notion that some bullies are destined to remain bullies no matter how hard one tries to change them and that information alone, especially as accessible as it is made here is worthy of a sigh or two. The book is the coolest pop-up book we've ever seen and the story is both sweet and super educational. All cucumber-esque in it's coolness right? But the gnawing knowledge that "Animus" is what Carl Jung defined as the archetype in a woman that represents her male alter ego is a little off-putting. Animus is the personification of the masculine qualities in a woman's psyche according to Jung. How'd we know that? Don't ask, we've got some wandering interests outside of the Boston Red Sox, the Edmonton Oilers, and Dean Martin roasts...regardless of how we knew that little bit of arcane information it does seem somewhat strange that one of the cutest children's books we've come across in our most recent fixation with children's books is all twisted up in analytical psychology. A little odd.

That kinda weirds us out and so although we'll more than likely purchase the book we may also spend a great deal more time pouring over the pages of Curious George books. There's no connection between the man in the yellow hat, a monkey and any psychological theory or school of thought as far as we know. There are certainly questions to be posed with regard to why Curious George became such a treasure and a staple in the literary diets of children all over the western world ('cause every one of those Curious George books sucks) but there's no direct and overt connection to late twentieth century Swiss psychologists and that comforts us.

We sure wish we could get some Seonna Hong art for Elli's room though, even if she does write subversive children's books laden with subliminal psychological references, she's still a pretty kick @$% artist, certainly not as good of an artist as Carl Jung is at writing children's books but close.

By the way, no matter how many times we read it we always pronounce "Jung" exactly as it's printed and laugh out loud..."Carl Yung my butt...that #$%& is pronounced J-U-N-G... oh man, that's funny.

It's almost like people hate miracles...

This is easily the funniest thing since Canada's last election. We had to post it.

Around here we're decidedly "pro-miracle" but it seems that out there in the real world, you know, everywhere other than our beach abutted backyard, there are some pretty "anti-miracle" people, a negative almost rogue-like anti-miracle element hard at work to erode our faith in spirituality and chocolatey goodness. Well, not that "chocolatey goodness" part, we just made that part up and it sounded pretty funny, but the spirituality part is true enough...I mean, as far as you know.

Oddly, as we type this our cat is a mere inches away from our ears snoring. WTF...we gotta get him some of them Breathe Right strips...that kid can snore his #$$ off.

Both June and I are gunnin' for an 8 month walk time. We're pretty sure that with a serious rolfing regimen, a lot of stretching and some top secret but proven Pavlovian techniques we can get this little girl up and truckin' in no time. She'll be racing her cousin Silent Sammy Gamgee Sosa Malone Shepherd Cooper the 2nd before the fourth of July. You can bet on it. Not sure what the over and under will be on that but as far as even-steven goes you can get your money out of those shallow, sweaty pockets.