Thursday, April 30, 2009

Zoey vs. Derek Jeter...

Bri-June-Zoey - Comerica Yankees game April 29-09

Zoey doesn't hate Derek Jeter, she's being brainwashed to hassle the guy whenever she sees him. First she got all over his case in Toronto at the World Baseball Classic...and now in her first trip to Comerica Park in Detroit she heckled the guy again...It was mostly a lot of crying and then some snoring but it was all aimed at #2 in the grey uniform.

It was a little cold...the Tigers played a little crappy...and Joel Zumaya looks like he lost 25 lbs...everything considered it was a solid first night at the ballpark for the Zedder. We did learn a few things...

Day games might be more Zoey's kind of thing...

Despite advertising $5 Skyline seats there aren't any...ever...maybe never...

Even bigger strollers are allowed in there! Or so it seemed...

Two Miller Lites and a bag of peanuts costs $20 US if you tip...whoa.

Zoey is pretty infatuated with the jumbotron...and other people's conversations.

If you subtract the whole "playing crappy" part from the Tigers performance tonight Zoey would have gotten a pretty nice first night at the ballpark...if you factor it in well she's just happy she got to go with Uncle Ian too.

Ian-Zo-Yankees game April 29-09

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

10 Run Innings vs. multiple Game 7s

Daddy likes baseball, so what? Daddy likes baseball so much that he doesn’t watch playoff hockey. He doesn’t care what you think, not really. He’s annoyed at your snobbery, or by your admonishment each and every time he tells you that he doesn’t care, because the truth is, well, he doesn’t. Game sevens schmevens, so what? Instead he watched the Tigers implode in the 7th inning and give up ten runs to the thus far hapless Yankees and look a lot more like last year’s Tigers than this years. According to the Elias Sports Bureau no team had broken up a scoreless tie after the sixth with a 10-run inning since the Cincinnati Reds scored 10 in the top of the 13th against the Brooklyn Dodgers on May 15, 1919. This wasn’t an extra inning fade though, no, this was a seventh inning collapse and Dad watched all of it. Sure he missed New Jersey scoring two goals in 1:10th of a millisecond and sure he missed the Rangers fall apart to lose a series that once seemed over. Sure he missed all that but here’s the kicker…he doesn’t care.

Sheesh…you’d think a guy wouldn’t have to explain that.

I dunno what happened to me and hockey, we used to like one another, but somehow over the years I started to care less…somehow over the years the game itself shifted and changed, as did I, and the television rarely tuned in, I found far fewer ticket stubs in my pocket and on my desk, and I even stopped venturing to the arena even when I was getting paid to do so. Somehow I just stopped caring. I especially stopped caring once the baseball season started.

There’s a lesson in all this…maybe?

Zoey…just do what you do…like what you like…find fun and excitement in whatever provides you with the kind of fun and excitement you’re looking for. You know, make sure it’s legal and all that…don’t ever hurt anyone seeking the things that you seek, but do what you want, when you want, and how you want. If you’re making mistakes you’ll hear about it. If you’re messing things up, someone will let you know, but don’t let other people influence your discretion, independence, or curiosity. Why? Mostly ‘cause other people suck…not that you’re any better, in their eyes you probably suck too… but those sucky other people don’t have your particular individual experiences and perspectives and hopes and…and…and…so you just do what you do and don’t worry about the rest.

Why the unsolicited advice?

Well, first, you’re much too little (and lacking of language skills) to ask for it.

Secondly, I’ve crossed paths with an inordinate number of people today who are judging me and subsequently hassling me because I didn’t watch either Game 7 last night (were the Detroit Red Wings or Edmonton Oilers playing last night? Nope, so who cares) as if it were mandatory for all voting Canadians, and so it crossed my mind that I should release all of that negative energy back into the universe with a subtle and very sneaky behind-their-back dump on them in a public forum.

Lastly, I’m trying to avoid some of my responsibilities at work this morning.

How’s that for why?

As I sit here this morning, here are the most popular distractions in my head as I waste away a perfectly good week in late April.

1. Zoey’s been changing an awful lot. She’s bigger. She doesn’t necessarily want to backstroke laps around the house with Dad anymore before she slips off to sleep. She’s happy to converse and reach for things and sit idly when idle sitting is required. She likes to rouse Mom early in the morning now, and for no less than 45 min. at a time. Like David Bowie said…Ch-ch-ch-changes…

2. My wife is practically perfect…like Mary Poppins but better.

3. Our house is starting to look different because we’ve decided that a decade is way more than long enough to be uncomfortable and apathetic.

4. The Tigers don’t suck, and the Red Sox are crazy-exciting to watch still, and the Dodgers experiment isn’t working out so good.

5. Can we possibly string together more than two nice days in a row?

6. I really need to find some balance between obligations and attentions at work.

7. The Lions draft seemed to suck but what do I know and why do I care?

8. The Federal Government are taking an awful lot of money from me.

9. I gotta get in better shape or Zoey is gonna kill me when she starts running around and weighing upwards of 20 lbs.

10. Where did all our friends go?


274. Swine flu

275. Kim Jung Il

276. American Idol

277. NHL playoffs that don’t include the Detroit Red Wings

Monday, April 27, 2009

Peace and Glory...Let Me Follow You

Zoey looking over Moms arm Apr 09

My new favorite thing on the planet is "Look at You" by My Morning Jacket...I can't stop listening to it, and similarly I spent the post-work hours playing with the Zedder to an MMJ soundtrack with tears in my wussy eyes...I'm such a sap (sap sounds better than wuss) but I can't seem to stop with the disgusting sentimentality.

BTW...If you're not listening to this song you just discussion...really, none.

On a far less accusatory and self-righteous note...a friend of mine, let's call her Stacey, showed me some pretty amazing photos of her kids today and I was genuinely interested and sincerely impressed which I never, ever would have been in ever, ever, ever...but now, well, I just get it. It helps that her kids are absolutely paralyzingly beautiful but now I understand the whole infatuation thing. When they're yours they're perfect, and oddly sometimes even when they're not yours they're perfect. Nice job Stace, awesome DNA and chromosomal input...I'm impressed.

On more self-righteous note I really meant it when I said that if you're not listening to "Look at You" that you suck. Sorry, I did mean it and sorry, you really do just suck.

Smiles, Squints, and Squeals can be beautifully distracting

U2 needs a solid punch to the midsection but I could probably listen to, ”It’s a Beautiful Day,” about a hundred times right now ‘cause it is (this admission in no way constitutes an affection for the band, not in any way, shape or form unless of course it’s 1986 again). Obviously it’s a Monday because it couldn’t be otherwise for the day to be so good. A high of 80-something degrees today and the sunshine shining as the song says. It’s gonna be a beauty day to spend eight hours inside at work.

Regardless of the day ahead I spent the morning hours thinking of the days behind and I still can’t wrap my head around the notion that I’m a parent, that we are responsible for another life, and a cute-as-hell one too. In the midst of changing diapers and missing Jacoby Ellsbury’s straight up steal of home last night I was fiddling with outright fascination with Zoey. She was just looking up at me all smiles, squints and squeals and I’m enraptured by her unrivaled coolness.

I know every parent thinks their child is beautiful, you’re supposed to, it’s the law, and naturally I’m no different. From my vastly biased perspective this kid is downright beautiful, not just cute, but gloriously beautiful. I know that such a cursory and impermanent asset is going to come back to haunt me some day, it has to. There’s absolutely no way that this kid can pull off beautiful and wicked smart and super successful at the same time across the distance of her life…no way. Of course I know that she’s not even grown and that a lot can happen in a short period of time…cute kids develop bad teeth, adorable morphs into awkward and precious turns into precocious awfully quick but the kid’s got a nice head start. I look at her and am floored by everything from the shape of her head to her skin to her eyes and it gets me to wondering how many boys I’m going to be required to fend off or befriend over the course of her life?

I get to thinking all that stuff and then I rattle my head back to reality, remind myself that this kid is 13 weeks old and try to get back to the baseball game. You can neglect an entire baseball season just by staring at your own child and musing ignorantly and unfairly. All that and you can miss a once or twice in a lifetime thing like a guy stealing home.

I think Nick Cafarto from the Boston Globe summed it up nicely when he mused that, “You've got to have guts, a great sense of timing, and a little larceny in your heart to pull off what might be the most exciting play in baseball.” Ellsbury's theft was the first straight steal of home by a Red Sox player since Billy Hatcher turned the trick back in 1994 and you know how it goes, when something happens about once every fifteen years you’ll inevitably be not paying attention when it happens. It turns out you’ve got to have guts, a great sense of timing, and a little larceny in your heart to pull off this parenting trick too, at least when you’re ring deep in poop, missing the game, and daydreaming about a little girl’s future when she’s just barely older than the baseball season so far.

She is pretty beautiful though isn’t she? Worth missing Ellsbury’s steal I think…yeah, definitely worth it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Sunday Sweep at Fenway while Zoey roars through diapers

Zoey new change table Apr 09

What started out as a soft Sunday...a weak one with few prospects...turned into the most eventful Sunday since was both the NFL and church were invented. We got rolling early and headed for IKEA down in Canton, MI. It was 12 degrees C when we left Sarnia and 28 by the time we got to Canton, a whole hour away. We dumped some money on "the man's lap and bought Zo a new kick @#$ change table and high chair, and scored ourselves a new el cheapo table for our much-too-large TV to make room for the much-too-large sectional sofa we found just a week ago, again el cheapo...that's a disturbing trend in the DeWagnerelli household...but that's how we roll.

Then we get home and settle in for a wide awake Zoey and a Red Sox sweep of the Yanks...there's been worse when Sunday school was invented. That Sunday sucked.

My favorite part of the day was when Zoey ripped through about four diapers in five minutes while Dad did his best to keep up and Mom built Ikea furniture...role reversals aren't really much fun when one of the roles involves copious amounts of shit...I mean poop...nope, I meant shit. So while the Sox' Jacoby Ellsbury (one of Dad's favorites) was stealing home Zo's uber-patient Dad was knuckle deep in yellow goey poo...awesome! There'll be highlights eventually right? Of the steal not the poop.

Anyway, check out Zo's new crap table...

Change table

And her new food spilling receptacle...

High chair

And here's our new sectional sofa that neither us or Zoey should be crapping on or using as a food receptacle even though we know it'll be both eventually...BTW...that's not our house. Our house is a very very very fine house, with two swings in the yard etc...etc... but that's not our house...

sofa 1

And just because we's what we missed while mining for poo in our daughters diapers...

Fourteenteen Sunday Morning Songs...for you...for free

Have you discovered iMeem yet? You should really go check it out. It's how we embedded this playlist. Just hit play and you can groove to what Zoey's grooving to...or pooping to, or spitting up to, or farting to, get the drift.

Get your own imeem grooves etc...right here

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sunny Saturday morning with ZERO obligations...bummer.

Zoey w lake background Apr09's Saturday! We've got nothing to do which is both good and bad but we're leaning on the good side because we don't want to be negative types. When feel like being a negative type I'm really going for it, not wasting it on a bored Saturday sentiment.

Ian's home...although probably hungover and sleeping under a picnic table on Barney's patio in London as I type this.

The sun is out...although rain is expected.

Zoey woke up smiling and is pretty relieved that the CAW reached a tentative agreement with Chrysler.

Dad feels like going off in search of:

A/ A good bookstore

B/ A cool new record store

C/ A place to buy old baseball cards

D/ Some place that will just give him free money

If you know of any places like that in the greater Detroit Metropolitan area get in touch. We'll be the people with the disgustingly cute kid and the somewhat eager but bored looks on our faces....we might be dragging a half-Japanese looking hungover mess of a man with us too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More rules from the guy that shouldn't be making them...

Unsolicited advice is a fathers right for enduring no less than 3 months of virtually not existing at the beginning of his child's life (that's an exaggeration, naturally) and so here you have rules #11 through 20.

Rule No. 11
The good news is that you are really only operating at a fraction of your true potential throughout most of your life, so…

Rule No. 12
You will never be as impressed with your Dad’s collection of sports memorabilia as he is, but're going to inherit it.

Rule No. 13
A male boss will usually notice who does the best job but a female boss will acknowledge that AND she'll always notice your shoes. Sometimes the shoes will impress as much as the work. Don't think that she's not noticing a guys shoes either 'cause she is.

Rule No. 14
You should be done with washcloths by the time you’re a teenager…girls get an extra couple of years use out of them but no one knows why?

Rule No. 15
Boys…guys…men…shouldn’t make you cry…ever. Write that down.

Rule No. 16
Never trust someone with really memorable hair…I’m not joking.

Rule No. 17
Once you pull yourself out of the hole that is adolescence aspire to be the kind of person your grandparents think you are.

Rule No. 18
Men are overwhelmingly either full of shit or often much less than they portray themselves to be. If a man is everything that people say he is you better know his name.

Rule No. 19
Style not fashion.

Rule No. 20
James Dean gets remembered but Paul Newman gets mourned. There's a lesson in there somewhere...

At least Hank Zetterberg never sucked a booger...that we know of

Zoey Dad April 21

Watching the Red WIngs playoff game with the Zedder and she insists on referring to Henrik Zetterberg as "Hank Zedderburg"'s kind of funny, especially 'cause she can't really talk at all and Dad's just making this crap up.

Zoey has developed a bit of a fascination with televised sports...more so than all that CSI or American Idol type junk. We know it's just the contrast of light and dark and the movement etc...but we like to pretend like she knows what she's watching. In fact just the other day we interpreted her googly nonsense to be a complaint about the kind of basketball coach Michael Curry is. She might be right in her assertion that he's not the right guy for the Pistons job. She also thinks Matthew Stafford is a tool and not the right pick for the Lions, and just tonight she spit up her two cents on Colin Campbell's disciplining saavy in the NHL...she mostly thinks he's a pushover, lacky for the owners...mostly. She was on Ron MacLean's side of the argument the other night.

Anyway...the Zedder is all fine and dandy, and she really must be for Dad to use a term like "Dandy." She's jamming everything in her mouth, leaning and reaching for things she wants, and struggling to get rid of the last remaining vestiges of her cold...As adults we rid ourselves of mucus pretty easily, not her...she doesn't even know what mucus is. She hates Mom for invading her nostrils with the odd saline dipped Q-Tip and loathes Dad for that saline squirt she inhaled from no less than four inches from her nostril (nice aim Dad) so she's running out of parents to dole love and concern out on her. If she stays resistant to efforts to combat mucus she's gonna have to move in with the neighbors.

In the grossest story we've ever heard Zo's Baachan told us how her father in Japan used to jam his mouth over the kids noses and suck the goods out...WHOA!....That sounds nuts! Who does that? June's Jiichan that's who! Here I am typing nonsense about Zoey's make-believe butchering of Henrik Zetterberg's name and there he was fifty or so years ago sucking boogs out of his kids noses. Some people might interpret that as good, selfless parenting but I think it's just asking for a stomach full of snot. Different strokes for different folks I guess...I shudder.

Footnote: After reading this post June admitted that she even considered the old Japanese nose suck in a moment of desperation...she just couldn't do it. Are you kidding me!? Who is this person I married? If she had ventured into that weirdest of ancient Asian mucus removal techniques I'm pretty sure we'd never be able to kiss ever again. I know it's my own kid's boogs and all, but they don't naturally develop on the roof of my mouth like stalactites do they? No, they don't, hence they will remain either in my child's nose or swallowed and in her belly, or on the end of a Q-Tip...never in any moment of weakness will they ever end up in my mouth nor should they find the same fate in June's mouth. There's a reason why every previous generation lived shorter lives than we do...and I'm betting baby booger sucking had something to do with it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random Sunday Randomness with a side order of random stuff

I know the rules...I should really be sleeping when I have the chance but, like Zo, there's far too much to distract me. Like waking up at 7am on a Sunday just to make a morning playlist, you know, something to make the coffee work correctly.

I could hear Zed awake in her room all coos and cahs and boring her bear with a pretty one sided conversation...not so much because the bear doesn't really talk but because Zoey doesn't really stop to allow for any bearservations or beardeas to rise to the surface. She just talks and talks and that damn bear can listen or she'll get a new bear, I guess. Not a word in edgewise for that poor bear. While we're right here and the word is still right there in the rearview mirror, what the schmanck does "edgewise" mean anyway? Dunno why it only took three decades for that particular curiosity to bubble up to the surface but it really makes no sense...edgewise? Hmmph? (insert head scratch here)

It's a crumby looking morning, especially after an amazing looking yesterday, so it might take some rallying to accomplish anything in today's post-beautiful day fog. There's no plan in place for this bummer of a weekend ending (that should really be just one word -- either an official but awfully misleading sounding weekending or the awesome-incredible sounding weekendending, kind of like schfourteenteen -- I vote for the second one) and so we'll have to wing it. Something dumb sounds fun, but what? Better get that coffee brewing before Zo's all talked out.

What You Might Expect This Week

- More Daddy Rules

- a largely pointless rant on the confusing intricacies of assumed friendships and the vast impact of not really giving a #$%&!

- With luck, some hilarious kid photos from the Brian & June archives

- The Semi-Official Brian & June timeline (a printable fold out poster if you happen to be stalking us)

- the Oh-so Official Em Cooper sketchbook and idea smorgasbord

- Probably more unsolicited pictures and playlists

BTW...every ounce of music spewing from Band of Horses is probably going to consume me for weeks. It's gonna be ugly.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kirk Gibson my a$$...nice try though

Zo outside April 18-09

So we pack up in three seconds and fly on down to this yard sale with Tiger memorabilia only to discover that the guy was SO full of shit...fella tells us that a plastic first ten thousand thru the gates crappy batting helmet was worn by Kirk Gibson! Are you f#$%ing kidding me loser boy? It says right under the brim "not to be used as protective head gear you idiot! Nice try...same with the autographed baseball by two random 1985 Tigers that I'd never heard of. Mihoko called to tell us about all the goods and she was genuinely excited...thanks a lot for lying to a first generation North American with sweet and sincere intentions you arse plug.


We got a medium sized visit in with Grandad and Baachan anyway...scooted back to the lake and got to score a Record Store Day stop in between. Dad made out like a bandit with the one day only release of My Morning Jacket's "Celebracion de la cuidad natal", a Gomez single and MMJ's Evil Urges on vinyl...all that AND we got to soak up some sun in the Kevin Bergquist-less backyard. June and the Zedder were killing me with their uber-sweetness...sunny days look good on this family!

June Zo Lake April 18 -09

Zo was as cool as Paul Newman all day and once the sun went down we settled into some Dave Matthews Band Live at Piedmont Park on DVD. Zo was quite smitten with Stefan Lessard and who could blame her. She watched intently from her Bumbo chair without as much as a peep for an hour. I'd bet a Gretzky rookie card that she ends up making up for all this mega excellence with absolute bard-like behaviour at age 17...You know, wreckin' cars, bringing home the wrong guy, flunking out of community college, etc...She's too good right now not to pay us back tenfold.

Zo watching DMB

Zed even got a quick visit in with Grandma and Grandpa today. They stopped on their way thu town and doled out some love for the Z-girl. She appreciated it and then quickly went inside and fell asleep without remorse.

Good Morning Saturday...Happy Record Store Day!

Zoey Michigan Blanket

Zoey and Dad woke up with big expectations today. It's Record Store Day and we're taking a trip downtown to peruse the racks, surely an enterprise Zoey will never, ever enjoy as an adolescent. So goes the business of uber-quirky and hip but rapidly disappearing record stores. I feel bad for her...but she gets to hang out in one today and there could be worse ways to spend a sunny Saturday morning.

Our agenda today is to find Van Morrison - Live at the Hollywood Bowl and buy the bugger, then grab a few other enjoyables with our own hands, no web browser needed, and scoot home for some sun and waves and blue skies, some grass between our toes, some sand too, and that smell of charcoal and burnt animal tofurkey burgers here. There'll be meat on the grill to accompany our newest musical indulgences and all that sunshine.

Speaking of sunshine, and looking out the window at a lake that might as well be an ocean (for those people who wouldn't know otherwise) it strikes me that we need to get Kevin Bergquist shirtless and squeeling across the sand this summer as I recall he's a bit of a beach freak and that Southern Illinois does little to quench that insatiable thirst for sunscreen mixed with sand and wet clingy shorts that find you grabbing and stretching fabric that shouldn't be so clingy and...well, we could go on forever. We're outta here from mid-July to late August so we'll have to co-ordinate something with Kevin's people (that means Aimee, Harmon and the Simonator). If the world works the way I think it does this feat will be nearly impossible considering conflicting schedules, unpredictable and often times sketchy Great Lakes weather patterns, reality, and Murphy's Law....but we'll try.

Whoa...gotta go. Just fielded a phone call about a yard sale with a bunch of autgraphed baseballs and an old game used Tigers batting helmet! Sorry to be so abrupt but c'mon!

Back soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Get out tomorrow and participate in Record Day. What exactly is Record Store day?

This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Franscisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.

A Record Store Day participating store is defined as a physical retailer whose product line consists of at least 50% music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70% located in the state of operation. (In other words, we’re dealing with real, live, physical, indie record stores—not online retailers or corporate behemoths).

There aren't many options here in Sarnia, ON but there is at least one. We;re headed to the Cheeky Monkey to spend some loot and do so with a clean conscience. Then it's sun and music, sun and music, sun and music...surely a tragic turn of events for any Saturday afternoon.

Have fun! Zoey might get her first CD tomorrow! Any suggestions? Dad wants to invest in this mind blower of a purchase.

Friday Freakdom with a side order of sunshine

It’s hot out! Holy mother of Jeffrey Jordan it’s nice outside. Naturally Dad’s at work, but he’s counting down the hours until he can break out of this joint…typing government reports today and the only thing worse would be if he was reading government reports today. Zo and Mom are surely out enjoying the afternoon…spoiled rotten princesseseses.

The Zed seems to have shaken her cold and has rallied into her usual full-on happy self, which of late could be defined by:

- Playing coy when you get her to smile
- Freaking out when she, ahem, soils herself
- Sitting up in her Bumbo chair and watching baseball…a habit we probably should break
- Sleeping for giant, glorious 8 and 9 hour stretches..a habit we think we’ll keep
- Riding comfortably and more importantly peacefully in Mom’s homemade wrap
- Cruising silently on road trips
- Eating at the Kaede June Café almost exactly every hour and a half
- Falling asleep with Dad via endless laps of the house and fruitless conversation
- Happy, smiley floor time

She shone through this whole sick thing like a champ…of course, it helped that she had absolutely no idea what was happening to her but she rolled on admirably.

Now it’s nice weather and time to plan for the first ever Summer of Zed. The plans could be summarized as thus:

- Find a cool place to live with cool things to do from mid July to late-August
- Scoop as many outdoor concerts as possible since neither Zo nor her parents are up for the ridiculousness of dragging an infant to an indoor event.
- Establish a solid and easy peasy baseball game ritual so that we can attend without undue duress.
- Get a baby Zoey beach set-up organized so the Zed can enjoy her own backyard in what is surely one of the few remaining summers she’ll have there.
- Manage a visit up to Penetang to see the Samsquench and his rentals
- Get to Wrigley Field

Is it 4:30pm yet? C’mon's like 70 degrees outside. Uhhhhhh...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Newest Favoritest Links on the Inter-Web

When Dad's not zoned out by streaming HD MLB video from Chavez Ravine and Mom's not downloading the latest Ellen inspired dance tune, they're rooting through these websites...

Cool Dad Central

The UnMom

Irony Central

We recommend that you find your own damn websites to peruse but if you must use ours please do so with full credit disclosed, unless of course you don't dig these websites then you didn't read about them here.

If you're not into parent-centric web browsing then please feel free to continue watching American Idol or whatever poison it is that you chose to rot your frontal lobe away with. We choose laptop radiation.

A Word of Warning...

This is what happens when you go to Baby Gap...

Rock star Zoey April 09

Alright...I suck...

Can I bribe you with a super sweet photo? The past week has been a blur of work and taxes and life insurance and a sick baby and occasional sunshine...more importantly it's been a blur of me not posting anything.'s a beauty pic for your trouble:

Zoey Floor Easter 2

Zoey Floor Easter 09

Zoey Floor Stare - April 09's that?

Not nearly enough I know but it's all I've got. I was sick last week, and Zo just happened to fall ill this week, and there's just been no ambition to document the whole thing. In an effort to be brief and simultaneously entertaining we're going to give you a little lightening round of this weeks activity...

Zo sick but an absolute champ...MLB.TV saving my life...amazing positivity at work and unbelievable bummers...some sunshine...a full inch or more growth for the Zo and endless baseball conversations every night between Dad and the Zedder...the 2nd "cycle" ever hit in Dodgers history and Justin Verlander isn't a putz after all (whew!)...Easter came and went...Grandad maybe retiring...maybe...and Cleveland Indian tickets that arrived a full three days after the game...all that and then Greg Paulus thinks he can play football at Michigan. Oh, and Mark "The Bird" Fidrych died. Yeah, it's been that kind of week.

The Zed is a talking machine these days, she freaks every time she's got some heavy pants and we're absolutely silly with smiles about that turn of events. There's a Bumbo chair in our living room now, along with this crazy Eddie Bauer Pack 'n Play thing that looks better than my first car, and to our chagrin Zoey has discovered television...She especially likes baseball games. Oh yeah, and as you may have noticed Zoey Blog aesthetics have changed...Why? Why not?

Uhmmm, thats about all. ...except for this mondo excellent pic of Dad and Zo watching the Cubs Sunday Night baseball game at Grandma's house. Zo's got enough core strength to lean and look since Dad can sometimes make a better door than he does a window...I'm guessing that Zos gonna be the kind of girl that yells, "down in front," at ball games...atta girl.

Zoey Easter Cubs game

Friday, April 10, 2009

Opening Day in Detroit & Aunt Netta's lovin' up Curtis Granderson

Netta and Curtis Granderson FAKE

Good morning Opening Day. How are you? I'm fine. I'd be better if you provided Detroit with a win today. That'd be awfully nice of you, downright philanthropic considering the Tigers first week of the season.

Things are looking good for the day...there's no snow, just a tiny bit of wind that all those empty downtown buildings will surely dampen and dissipate, it's 9:50 am and I'm not at Cheli's drunk and fleeced of $50 already, with nothing more than a crappy clipboard for my troubles (long story)...and Aunt Netta's already manhandling Curtis Granderson. She is, and it's shameless...of course it's really just Zoey in a Granderson jersey tee but it's fun to imagine Netta hanging all over the real Curtis Granderson. She'd be in jail this morning for all of the hugging, kissing and fondling type behaviour this fake Curtis Granderson is getting from her Aunt. There'd be restraining orders and the whole deal, so naturally were also feeling very fortunate this morning that Aunt Netta isn't a real life honest to goodness stalker with absolutely no sense of personal space or appropriate social behaviour. She's allowed to get all touchy with you, you're her niece. We are, however, making it perfectly clear to Aunt Netta that this kind of behaviour is only tolerable in our living room and not with the real Curtis Granderson. I think she understands.

Anyway...Opening Day! Woohooooooo! And we don't even have to lie to get out of work! I think it's Good Friday or somethin'?

We got to wake up to a leisurely morning of monster poops, unfathomably giant & gross barfs and June's weird indecisiveness at breakfast time. Neither Zoey or myself have ever seen her so befuddled over the usual banana or muffin conundrum. Perhaps she's just thrown off by the whole Opening Day thing...even though this year "Opening Day" is closely resembling every other day at our house. Not much of an explanation for June's odd nutritional paralyzation but it's all we got.

Breakfast June

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good Friend...Bad News...Sincere Sentiments

Aside from the sickness that's consumed me these last few days just about everything in my life is rock solid, so it threw me for a bit of a loop to discover in the most unlikely of ways that a very good friend's Pops had passed away several days ago. "A bit of a loop," is probably not accurate enough of a statement.

Our good friend Dustin is one of those first rate fellas, the kind you wish you could have inhabiting your every day and week for several decades, if not an entire lifetime. He's easily one of my Top 5 Favorite people to just "be around," and I think if you were to consider the significance of just wanting to be around someone you'll have, perhaps, a distant approximation of how I feel about Dustin. Just a friend of a friend of a friend who turned into a Top Fiver without much effort at all. Boyo just slipped into the Top Five as easily Emmitt Smith used to slip out of the back field. He's a keeper. It was a blow and a half to hear the news and we here in this household have nothing of any value to offer or utter. I can't imagine the loss.

Tonight I go home to a lot of amazingness. It's a good house full of everything a person needs. Maybe some of it could rub off, so D-Funk and Kel...anytime you need sand and waves and unabashed affection, you know where we live. Zoey would be excited to meet you, I'm sure of it. I'm pretty biased but those blue eyes of hers fix just about anything.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Thunderous Train of Air...for free

This explains a lot...or at least offers up an idea that might possibly explain a lot.

I'd like my daughter to see this someday because she won't get this at PS 193 or H.W. Burgess Elementary or any other educational institution until it's far too late and she's had to pay for it. This kind of stuff should be free, so here it is...enjoy.

Elizabeth Gilbert - A different way to think about creative genius

On a remarkable post note a quick Google search found that PS 193 in Brooklyn is the Gil Hodges School, a public elementary school for gifted, those funsters would likely hear this sort of thing without having to wait until their tuition cheque clears.

By the way...our new favorite words around here are "Odious" and "Capriciousness"...when used correctly, smile inducers, both of 'em

Sick...and tired. Parenting with a cold sucks the mustard

Parenting is a tough job under normal circumstance but when you've got a nasty, beating UNC at Ford Field is easier. Thank God for June, the godsend gift of a partner, parent and immunity factory. Both June and Zo are fine, it's just Dad who's falling apart. It started as a congested chest on Sunday, then morphed into a really congested chest by Monday, then started spreading to my head on Tuesday and is now a full on hammerin' kind of cold. I'm not dying, but I'm sure not doing any kind of decent job livin' either.

As we speak Zo is having a good time playing and Mom is showering for another lng day of picking up Dad's slack, and I just thought I'd get blog a little, you know, ease the congestion.

It's not working.

Top 10 Things that are easier to do than parent with a cold

1. Beat North Carolina at Ford Field.

2. Free Leonard Peltier

3. Discover the true identity of the Zodiac Killer

4. Get Manny Ramirez to cut off all of his dreads.

5. Earn a save from the Detroit Tigers bullpen

6. Breast feed if you're a man (vastly more difficult than if you're a female)

7. Legalize pot

8. Save General Motors

9. Predict the weather in southwestern Ontario or Southeast Michigan

10. Get people to shut up about that whole Appalachian State thing...let it go people.

Absolutely Hilarious Nick-of-Time Footnote:
Aimee just sent this over and I nearly died laughing...loosened up quite a bit of the goodies in my chest and throat. "A Man Cold," that's hilarious. I'm sure I've been there before but this one isn't manifesting itself in such a way as to make me look like a complete git. Still, funny as hell though..the video, not my cold.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Let's Play Ball - Opening Day 2009 - There's no snow in San Diego

Dad Zoey Dodgers Opening Day

Today was a day of snow and wind and sickness and coughs, coughs, coughs...some phlegm, if that's how you spell it...and Dad and Zoey settling in to watch the Dodgers season opener at San Diego. That's right...the Dodgers...Daddy's gonna try his best to invest in another MLB team this year...for fun, as an experiment, and because I can. That team happens to be the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zoey seems to like them. Better than watching Justin Verlander donate 4 first inning runs to the hapless Blue Jays....brutal. Almost as brutal as the weather and this chest cold that's rendered me Coughy McCough.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Roll baby roll...We're starting to get worried

Apologies for blitzing you with Zoey's accomplishments but this rolling thing is starting to scare us. She practically does it on cue now. That's bad isn't it? June hardly had time to get the camera on.

Looking for a perfect baby...

Fake Baby Ad

We don't in any way, shape of form believe little Zoey to be a perfect child, but when she sleeps for 7 or 8 hours four or five times a week we start to wonder if we could have placed an ad and made out any better.

Last night Zo went to bed at about 10 pm after some fussing and failed attempts earlier and slept straight thru until 6 am when we woke her to eat. When she slipped back into sleep some 30 minutes later she cruised through another two and a half hours of slumber at which point we woke her up again. As if that wasn't enough of a reason to joke about her seeming perfection at this stage of her life the little girl rises into almost every morning all smiles and laughter.

Apologies if this kind of thing makes you rankle with anger but if we were being honest we'd tell you that such a response was exactly what we were going for when we started this whole journey. Call us shallow if you like but you can't call us fatigued.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

State Wins! ...and it really doesn't bother Zo very much.

Zoey Final Four State Wins

Thank the good gods of Saturday silence...Zoey, for the most part, just chilled and watched the Michigan State - UConn game. We hunkered down in the bedroom, all comfy-like, and watched State take it to the Huskies and give all of Detroit and the entire state some semblance of hope in what's been a tough year. Under these circumstances it doesn't take much prodding to pull for the Spartans. The entire state of Michigan needs this. It doesn't make it feel any less strange though, in fact, I think I feel my throat constricting and my eyes are burning.

Zoey was an eager fan tonight. Mostly smiles and giggles and totally cool with Mom and Dad's unapologetic pre-occupation with the television. The only problems that she had was watching Thabeet and Adrien acting like complete jerks...mostly Adrien but she lumped Thabeet in there just for safe measure. Adrien, according to both Zo and Dad, should have been chucked a technical for his stupid flagrant non-foul in the first half. He wasn't, but both Zo and her Dad are convinced that it wasn't a very good idea to pretty much "call State out" right there in their backyard. On your average day I have a healthy disdain for all things Michigan State and I certainly wouldn't call those kids out on what is basically a home court. UConn seems draped in conceit and it felt good-ish to watch the Spartans advance.

Michigan State in the National Championship...Wow...and us watching kind of sort of happily...double Wow! On that note, it's either a sh!tty diaper I smell or UConn's integrity. We'll find out soon enough. Of course it could be the putrid smell of the Wolverine's EVER collecting another in-state recruit after all of this green-ness? That part stinks pretty badly.

Super Sunshiny Laid Back Final Four Day...spent inside.

Zoey mom knee 2

It's Final Four time! Even Zoey knows it...she's been all jacked up all day. She's been hanging out in front of the TV waiting for MSU and UConn at 6:00 pm. There's been floor time, playpen time, shoulder time, couch time and now knee time. The latest thing has Zoey chillin' out on Mom's knees just checking out the action. She's a pretty strong kid and she'll hold her head up forever just taking in the scene. Today's action just happens to be the Final Four.

Pay attention 'cause you might never hear me say this again...Go State.

Wow...I hope Zoey never reads this.

It's a beauty, bright day outside...and we'll enjoy none of it save whatever slips through the window. It's Final Four day...what are you doing outside?

Friday, April 3, 2009

What you missed while you were working

I go to work everyday and miss more and more. That's how it goes so I won't complain...Hey, Aimee would have sacrificed several hundred goats to have stayed at home as long as June will be at home but even she had to go back to work. I use that to put things into perspective, I mean it was both her and June's respective bodies that sacrificed for Kevin and my own "come home from work" fun. There's still no replacing missing the good stuff though...stuff like this:

Apologies for the nudity but we felt that the "roll over" was more important than her 10 week old modesty. Besides, if there are creeps out there checking out random baby blogs for some cheap, anonymous thrills we'll be proud to be part of the evidence that puts them away forever. In actuality, this particular video will only be posted for 10 days and then it will be prudently removed. So chill out all of you overly sensitive types...we got it covered.

Too much thinking...Not enough Mo Willems

Time plays terrible tricks on us. What we used to believe fades into twilight and a new sky appears only to be brightened by another shortly afterward. All things are transitory, that’s for certain, and my-oh-my was that an overly dramatic intro.

I stumble into something so shamelessly philosophical only because parenthood has rendered me annoyingly thoughtful. Fatherhood has made me remarkably aware of the golden moments that rush on past us while our focus falls on something else, or of the interminable nature of change. Both occupy a corner of my every thought these days. Of course, those sentiments aren’t always negative or regretful, not at all. In fact, more often than not they are hopeful or enlightening at worst.

Today I tripped on my past and fell headlong into a daydream of the future. Today I read stories from my past that didn’t quite fit anymore. I read a story about the legacy of Len Bias, a tragedy that most my age would remember, albeit erroneously perhaps. I read the story and waves of memories flipped past…the innocence and naivety of youth -- I was 15 years old when Len died – and the enormity of influence our culture can have. At a distance of 23 years not a single part of the Len Bias legacy feels familiar. From this distance of decades the story is much more simplistic. A bright young man with unlimited potential died from drug use, that’s it, that’s all…no dramatizing it, no romanticizing it, no nothing…Len Bias died from excessive drug use, that’s it, that’s all. It was stupid.

I also read a story about Michigan's Fab Five, a group of five freshman at the University of Michigan whose charisma made me, along with several million others, shamelessly swoon. The memories weren’t what I had expected them to be. My feelings and opinions had changed, as they naturally should have. Those five young men were largely a figment of our collective imagination, helped along by the dream makers that surround us. They were just young men, spoiled and sheltered. They were as incendiary as they were iconic, hardly “Fab” at all. My memories hadn’t served me as well as they should have. They were much less than I thought they were.

Both stories have nothing to do with Zoey and both are of very little interest to anyone else but I needed to linger over them. They struck me strangely and I’m still balancing out the emotions inspired by both. Neither memory felt familiar. Neither made the kind of sense that they once had. Neither story occurred as I remembered they had. Both stories were nothing as they had seemed. I only bring them up here because I wonder, more often now than ever before, what time will prove as false and what feelings will feel unfamiliar as years pass. Both stories made me realize that it took 37 years to even begin to understand some things. Clarity takes time and distance, understanding takes even longer.

So it strikes me as surreal what parts of me I’ll find false in the coming years…what pieces I’ll pass on and what messages I’ll have failed to interpret correctly or deliver appropriately. It resonates across every inch of my curious nature what parts of the story will change with age. Right now I feel more capable of differentiating the fat from the fact but I’m not always as savvy as I might think, in fact I’m often nowhere near as savvy as I think. So just what stories am I skewing as I try to raise this little girl right? I know that as little as 23 years ago I believed that Len Bias died because of an accident, a fateful error in judgment that cost him his life rather than a stupid choice that seems now in no way isolated or surprising…or that those fabulous five young men in their black shoes and socks and baggy shorts were collectively shaming even the most shameless of us. What other stories have I or will I skew…will I remember wrong? What other things in my life will time prove to be nothing like what I had remembered? Maybe more importantly – certainly more important than old basketball stories – is how do I teach my daughter to see more clearly than I? I think it’s our destiny to be duped – all of us -- on some level and to a certain degree, but how do I teach her that not everything you see or believe is true?
Perhaps instead of reading her nothing but Mo Willems books and helping her with her homework or driving her to swim practice I should tell her about the day Len Bias died, about what I thought and about what I later learned. Maybe we talk about the Fab Five and all of the things they did that couldn’t be undone…how enamor melted into embarrassment and how nothing, absolutely nothing is as it seems.
Maybe I’ll tell her all of those things in time, but first I need to stop thinking so much and read her more Mo Willems. The legacy left by Gerald and Piggy will, with luck, never disappoint. Today I’d like less disappointment and more Mo Willems.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Rules according to the last person we need making them.

Here’s something new for you. We’re slowly discovering that there are rules to this parenting thing, subtle, often times lenient rules, but rules nonetheless.

Here are a few to begin what will eventually be the longest in print compilation of Daddy’s rules ever in print. Take ten to start and the rest will trickle in here and there…

Rule No. 1
Life isn’t fair except for those instances when you can drag everyone else down with you.

Rule No. 2
Even if you're exactly the person that you want to be 95% of the time you will invariably look like an asshole the other 5% of the time.

Rule No. 3
Patience is an awfully relative term.

Rule No. 4
If you say, "I've got some bad news," somebody better be dead.

Rule No. 5
Men and women see the world differently...Oh-so differently.

Rule No. 6
For men the word partner is both a noun and a verb but for most women it is just a verb.

Rule No. 7
Parenting is both more and less complicated than anyone will have told you.

Rule No. 8
Letting that call go to voice mail is never overrated. Answering the phone and taking care of business is prudent but it’s never all that much of a relief. If you want the sweet sensation of relief without farting or ridding yourself of waste or unwanted company let it go to voicemail.

Rule No. 9
You will want that $40 tee will buy that $20 rattle. The tee shirt will stay at the store and strangely you will be okay with owning a rattle.

Rule No. 10
Something changes in a person when they're suddenly willing to root their finger around in a diaper to check for shit...something terrible and profound occurs and you are forever changed.

If there are rules you would like to suggest that we add, please, chuck 'em our way. Your rules might be the same as our rules or perhaps your rules are rules that we didn't know were rules and so our rules weren't the best possible collection of available rules, and really in the end the rules that we want are simply just the best rules.