Sunday, May 31, 2009

Le Zed has herself a decent ear...and she loves her some James Brown

Zoey loves her some James Brown

Zo's newest favorite song is, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," by the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James's true. SHe absolutely digs that song, perhaps because June dances around with her whenever it plays but whatever...there's plenty of other tunes she hears all day, every day and never responds too. I think it's the real deal, and if that's the case, well, this kid's got some serious taste.

THe last thing she took any kind of liking to was Badly Drawn Boy's, "I Love Nye," and she paid extra attention to the Yo Yo Ma that Uncle Skitter sent over for her but there's been literally thousands of songs in and out of her ears in the last four months and somehow she latches onto two. I'd say her affinity for James Brown is fo real.

My niece, Avery, had this crazy Bob Marley thing when she was just a toddler. Whenever she was wicked pissed Brad and Head would slap some "Redemption Song" on the stereo and BLAM...instant happy baby. It was the weirdest thing. Now Zoey's doing the same, well something similar, but with James Brown. And we're cutting music programs from schools? Are you kidding me? This kid is all soul already. We're introducing her to Otis Redding at breakfast tomorrow. I'll be damned if she goes without the sheer blessedness of "The Hucklebuck."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Zedder gets a good eat on sans's really quite impressive

I never thought I'd be the type of guy to post photos of a messy kid munching watered down rice cereal but it turns out that I am that type of guy...and unabashedly so to boot.

Zo got her feed on this afternoon with some rice cereal and dug it. She really liked the stuff which surprises the hell outta me 'cause it looks awful. It's a big moment for us 'cause with any luck she takes to it good and hard and can last a little longer between munches. Doesn't sound like much but try being June's boob for a day. You'd appreciate it then.

Zo w cereal 6

Zo w cereal 3

Zo w cereal 1

Zo w cereal 2

So what does this potentially mean? It means that we can maybe go see a means that we might be able to get through an entire Tigers game without the entire bleacher section seeing my wife's means maybe we can get a whole concert in without breast feeding during the means Zo might fall asleep a little means Dad can feed the means a new and different looking kind of poop in all those means that I'm the type of guy who takes photos of messy babies eating cereal and then shares them with the world as if anyone else might care. Of course, it might mean something else to you entirely but I bet you're going with the last one.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


So tonight while bouncing between the Cavs-Magic game and 30 Rock while also sweating profusely on a stationary bike I heard just about the greatest thing I've ever heard and it came from the mouth of the infamous Jack Donaghy. That's right, Jack Donaghy. I'm slowly learning that the whole world would be a better place if we just listened to Jack Donaghy more.

So just as I'm digesting this notion (and getting a leg cramp) I hear the best combination of three words I've ever heard, well, excluding when my buddy JP used to say, "dirty sum b!t@h"...Jack Donaghy, the great Jack Donaghy said that he'd been hiding behind "sex and awesomeness" all his life. Sex and awesomeness!? Isn't that the greatest thing ever?

What does this have to do with Zoey? Well, nothing. I did Photoshop Rarrrrrr into that photo with Alec Baldwin though. That's kind of something Zoey-esque, isn't it? Not really I guess. I mostly just wanted to tell you that if you don't listen to what Jack Donaghy has to say you're going straight to hell.

In case you're not cool with a post that has nothing to do with Zoey or with me telling you that your ignorance could cause you eternal damnation, here's a random adorable photo of the Zedder sleeping...please forgive me my enthusiastic distractions from my daughter.

Zoey sleepin on futon May09


There will be no announcements at this Game 5...nope, none

Last year at around this time June and I broke the news of Zoey's impending arrival to some people with a fun photograph taken at Joe Louis Arena during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. This year we'll be at Game 5 once again (thank god for living within an hour of an NHL dynasty) but there will be no birth announcements. We're still shaking our heads that we're parents of one little beeb.

So we've got a room at the Doubletree right there near Cobo Arena and Joe Louis...we've got a two bed, two room suite and we'll be dragging a Grandma or a Baachan along with us to help (free day in the city on our dime). The plan is to stick to Zo's normal bedtime routine except to do so in our suite at the Doubletree. Usually Zoey is asleep by 8pm and typically stays asleep. Once she's down and out we'll bail for the "Joe" and the game. June is such an amazing woman that she even insists that if Zo isn't complying by game time Dad can scoot and grab our seats to catch the game's entirety and she'll follow up as soon as Zo hits the sheets good and solid. She'd likely only miss a portion of the 1st period. Now that's a stellar human being!

So if you exclude last Sunday night's quick jaunt out for a bite to eat thanks to Grandma Cathy, this will be our first heavy duty night out sans Zo. It's just extra awesome that it's a Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. What's hilarious is that this will be only June's second NHL game ever, and the first was last year's Game 5. Can you spell the word "spoiled."

Cross your fingers for a baby that falls asleep deep and fast, and then cross the fingers on your other hand that June and I get to watch Lord Stanley's Cup get hoisted on Saturday June 6th.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Holy Moley Very First Birthday you Silly Samsquencher!

Sammer and Scott

That kid on the left...your left...yah, he's one year old today! Sure whole entire year. I can't believe it! See that kid on the right...yup, your right...he's had a lot more than just one birthday but he knows a good party when he helps conceive one.

Happy Very 1st Ever Birthday to the Samsquench...Sammer "the Hammer" Cooper.

Just for of my most favorite cartoons from when I was a kid...gotta get you started on the good stuff early. There are way too many better animated, less awesome cartoons available but none that can match "The Tijuana Toads!"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunsets and sneak-aways, sponsored by Grandma

The sun's going down over a cold lake and the living room walls are all orange and crisscrossed with shadows. Grandma is hanging out for the night and sponsoring a "night out" for June and I, if we can get out the door. Our plan was to get Zo to sleep and then sneak out the back door with our fingers crossed. Once the Zedder is down she's typically down. The rule has been if you can get through the first fifteen minutes then you're set...but not tonight. Zo's working on her third wake up in a little over an hour and the "night out" is slowly slipping away. We'll manage it. We have faith.

Now we just need to figure out what we'll do on a Sunday night at 9 pm without a baby as an extra appendage?

A late dinner out?

A movie?

Drinking copious amounts of white russians while bowling in stanky rented shoes, scooping up as much swine flu virus from communal balls...bowling balls?

Escape the country and head straight for Rudy's Bar & Grill on West 41st and 6th?

Get stupid drunk in a dive bar watching the Cavs-Magic game?

Find a fake sushi restaurant and eat bad California rolls made by a Korean guy?

We'll figure it out.

Zo's 1st Swim...polka dots, purple lips and scholarship implications

1st swim - YMCA May 24-09

The sun is out but it's as cold as the United Center's reception for Niklas Kronwall this afternoon, too cold to play that's for sure, so we went in search of warmer fun. Today was Zoey's first swim, ever! She didn't really know what to think. The pool at the YMCA was a lot bigger than the bathroom sink at home and usually Mom and Dad don't take baths with the Zipster so she was a little concerned with all the fuss and company. She loved it once she got comfy and she floated around with her "rents" like it was an everyday thing. She played with a rubber duck that the lifeguard had given her and she had the entire pool to herself. This could be a regular Sunday thing, well, until football season.

Grandma Cathy came to visit and watched from the visitors deck. Now if Zo grows to be 6'1" and earns a spot on the Canadian Olympic Swim Team Grandma Cathy can say, "I saw her in the pool for the very first time." She'll surely swim better by then, you know, without the "Little Swimmers" diapers and all. Cross your fingers. We're sending a video from today's pool time to Jim Richardson, the Women's Head Swim Coach at Michigan. We're not sure how early the recruiting process can begin but it doesn't hurt to let him know that Zo's a gamer.

1st swim - YMCA May 24-09
Mom and Zo at the Jerry McCaw Family Center - YMCA

The water at the Y was on the coolish side of the "warm" it was supposed to be and Zo had some chattering teeth, well, gums...and some pretty purple lips. We didn't swim long, maybe 30 minutes, and Zo was game for more but her purple, quivering lips were making us feel a little guilty. We wrapped her up in a towel and scooted home. Zo's gonna be a regular at the Y, I think, you know, start her Olympic training early. Next week Mom says, "she's goin' under," and she'd better believe it. Mom doesn't mess around with that stuff being a former swim instructor and lifeguard herself. Zo is doomed to smell of chlorine until she's at least 18.

Post-YMCA swim nap May 24, 2009

It was a big day for the Zedder, so big that she got home and crashed right out with her third best buddy, Debu. He rates right behind Cowraffe and Target, naturally, but he needs cleaning up after. Now we'd never just let Zo sleep on the same bed with Debu but in this particular case both were out cold and we were watching. Pretty cute, you know, except for all the poo tangles and spit-up. We remember when Debu didn't want anything to do with Zoey, now he's all about hanging out with a human being that he could eat if he wanted to.

*Sorry there's no in-pool photos but cameras aren't allowed on the pool deck. Mostly because of all of the old men in speedos, I think.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life isn't Black &'s way cooler than that

BW Zo feet backyard 2

If I'd have known how awesome it was to be waking up to a smiling daughter everyday I'd have...well, I probably wouldn't have done anything different, but figuratively speaking I would have embraced the notion of fatherhood much sooner. In the real world, you know where the government taxes the hell out of you and vinyl is making a comeback, I would have done things exactly as I have done them, no changes, no big ones at least. There are a few people I could have been nicer to or a few times I should have just shut up and listened but those are speed bumps not giant gaping canyons of regret.

Zoey wakes up every day just smiling her wee little tiny ass off and is more than ready to just hang out (mostly 'cause that's all she really can do aside from eat, sleep, and soil herself). I wish I could be so social so early. All I want is coffee and if it's the weekend some time to listen to some music. Zoey is usually pretty accommodating. Today is no different and because of that kid's courteous Saturday morning attitude I've been able to soak up my new Josh Davis Band albums. The music floating up around my ears is so good that I think I owe Zo a good this or chilling out this early AM she's allowed me a new, awesome obsession. These guys from Iowa are #$%&ing great! Now this is exactly what Saturday mornings are for...I mean, once you get to the stage where being hungover sucks hard enough that you don't donate 51 or so Saturdays a year to it.

The sun is starting to warm the place up a bit and I've somehow stolen an entire hour to soak up these records. My favorite tune so far is this track titled "June"...check it out. Me loves it long time.

June - The Josh Davis Band

I hope life can always stay this simple...just nice and blurry 'round the edges, perfectly grey and easy peasy...We duck when we should duck, we weave when we need to weave, and we wake up early and listen to great music when we get the chance...then sometimes we don't get the chance but that's okay. Sometimes we just get morning Zoey smiles and that's enough. I know life can get pretty complicated but more often than not only if you let it. Every day is about decisions and then chuck the odd "out of your hands" item into your cart and there you have it...a pretty simple formula for getting by. Make good decisions and roll with what's rollable...done.

In the immortal words of Ebby Calvin Laloosh, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains," think about that while I cruise into another day with Team Zedder and a soundtrack of good Iowa guitars thanks to Josh Davis and his merry band of miscreants.

Happy day all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The shortest note ever written on fatherhood...

Dad Zo new couch 2

I just want to be really good at this...that's all, just this one thing.

Dad Zo new couch

...just this one thing.

New Photos...New Haiku's...Haiku's?

It's been an eventful week...mostly for Dad but Zo's had some noteworthy events too. It seems as though she does more than simply change every day. She obviously learns something new every minute of every day but the changes seems so obvious every time I stop and stare.

The latest:

Zoey's developed this growl, this deep, throaty grrrr of a thing. She started doing it for no reason whatsoever but then quickly realized how much it entertained us and now we can't get her to stop! It's pretty ridiculous, but funny.

Zoey likes Debu even more now that she's discovered that she can reef on his furr and he'll just purr and endure her torture because he likes her right back.

Zoey's not a very big fan of in NO wind at all or she gets all prima donna diva-like.

Zoey is trying formula every now and again but hating every slurp of it. She's gotten the nod to get into the juice now too so look out! (by juice we mean actual juice, not steroids)

The Zedder is slowly becoming very obviously ticklish.

There's a race many mornings to see who gets to greet Zo after she's wakes 'cause it's the biggest smile of the day.

I'm sure there's plenty more but I'm also sure that you're patiently waiting for an explanation (or example) of those previously mentioned haiku's. It's a funny story. Sure, we'll tell it. The Tigers had a day game and the Wings don't play again until tomorrow night so what else are we doing? But first some new pics for the fam...

Smiling Zo in car seat May09
I'm not sure what was so funny but Zo was losin' it. When she gets to smiling really hard her whole face disappears into those squenched up eyes

Freaked out Zo close up May09
Similarly, when she's freaked out boy she's freaked out.

Zo close up pink May09
...and when she's all sweet and curious I double dog dare you not to swoon.

Zo close up May09
And she can be more fun than a hockey rink all to yourself, pucks included

Now...those haiku's...

I went flipping through some old legal pads full of scribbles and found a bunch of these ridiculous haiku's that I scribbled out of boredom once...I think I had read about some fella who was always scribbling haiku's and they were hilarious so I thought maybe I'd try that. Of course first I had to look up the rules for haiku-ness. Once I got those down the stupidity just started flowing. Most of them were written in the margins of Tiger scorecards, which makes them even more funny. Envision a hapless haiku poet marking a 6-4-3 double play onto his scoring sheet while simultaneously trying hard not to extend too many syllables into the margins. After flipping through all those scorecards and reading all those horrible haiku's I envisioned some of my more creative and enthusiastic friends (and ones who share very much the same odd sense of humor as I do) pumping out their own. It's stupid and pointless and so kinda worth doing...not sure why I was doing ti at the ballpark though?

Here are some of the hilarious pencil scratches that I found. Someday Zo's going to be so embarrassed by her Dad that she changes her name. Might not be a bad idea.

Magglio at bat
even with a runner on base
it's all about the hair

...or how about this beauty...

Chase Utley is good
and Ryan Howard is good
but still I don't care

...and this one...

Comerica Park
has a ferris wheel for kids
and a bar for me

If this next one isn't good it's at least accurate...

Four-twenty in center
and three-thirty down the line
I can't hit either

What about this horror of a haiku...

Vlade Guerrero
an Angel with a good bat
but he ain't got wings

Of course even haiku's can get nasty...

That damn Santana
he is pretty f#%king awesome
but I still hate him

..and I'm especially proud of this last one...

If you need to poo
try to avoid the ballpark
because that's just gross

I think I'm going to start writing more haiku's. They're fun, and inexplicably they make people think I'm an idiot and I've always felt as though that was an underrated label to shoulder...especially if you could prove otherwise at your own convenience. I have no issues with being considered an idiot. I've got me some mad haiku skillz and a beauty daughter so I'm not too concerned.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Zoey says, "If you're not listening to Cage the Elephant, well...

June and Zo found this great new band today and I came home to a new musical distraction thanks to my loving family. That's pretty much the best way to define a "loving family"...that and the fact that they actually "love" you...

If you're not listening to "Cage the Elephants then you're no friend of Zo's...or so she says...I heard her and she sounded like she meant it.

Check 'em out!

Monday, May 18, 2009

If you build it they will come...and if you don't, well, whatever I guess

No long weekend is a write off if you can score a day at the ballpark, especially if your team wins, and especially if they come back from a 5-0 deficit after the two thirds of an inning (Nice job Armando Galarraga)...even more especially (can you say that?) if the sun is shining and your daughter is giggling and the Red Wings are playing Game #1 of the Western Conference FInals just a few blocks away.

We might not have heard our telephone ring once this weekend (which is bull#$%! by the way) but we saw a great ballgame. To make the weekend that much better, the Celtics lost their Game 7 while the Lakers won theirs...if you add all that up who cares if every one we know sucks...We can officially say such slander since I can guarun-damn-tee you that almost everyone we know got busy doing something this weekend...What? I'm just saying. I'm allowed to just say aren't I?

Anyway...we had a good day...and there's still an empty and sunshine filled Monday to enjoy.

Naturally when one gets to wondering what they're going to do for new friends the ideas get pretty weird. Brian decided that he's starting a Wiffle Ball League...that's right, a Wiffle Ball League. He's bound to meet cool folks playing Wiffle Ball...especially if he hand picks 'em via an official draft into the newly formed "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". He gonna build a ballpark too. Just like this one.

That oughta do it. Don't come cryin' to Zoey's Dad when your next long weekend is empty and there's a rockin' Wiffle Ball park with a lake view shakin' all over the place. Then we'll see whose phone rings. At least, that's how Brian's plan goes. Brian has a lot of plans.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Giggle me this, giggle me that, etc... blah, blah, blah, etc...

The Zedder has giggled before but she's never just flat out laughed. Apparently she thinks mom's sneezes and dad's frustration fixing a lawnmower that looks as gong show as it runs is quite funny. We LOVE her new laugh... but dad is still pissed off about the lawnmower.

Zoey & the Ducks vs. the Red Wings & Mom

So the Red Wings win Game 7 and Zoey refuses to go to bed. She refused a long time before Dan Cleary chipped in the game winner with a little more than three minutes left in the Wings 4-3 Game 7 win against the Ducks, in fact, she started refusing before the game even started. She refused all through the first period and through “Coaches Corner” and into the second. She refused all throughout the third period and then long after the post-game pressers were done. She refused long after Daddy went to bed and she refused much longer than Mom wanted to deal with. She refused through boobs and walks and baths and running water…that kid just flat out refused. Then she woke up this morning with a huge smile and a well timed giggle and her Mom melted. Dad felt something akin to watching his best slugger slip out of a slump by whacking a game winning Grand Slam and then tripped off to work happy and OH-SO impressed with the fortitude, patience, strength and perseverance of his wife. And you thought the Red Wings depth was impressive, you should sit back and watch the absolute wonder of a Mom’s love/patience combo in action. You’ll feel two inches tall.

I couldn’t do what June does, just as similarly Scott couldn’t do exactly what Stacey does, or Kevin accomplish what Aimee manages, or Arvin tackle all that Sam wrestles to the ground etc…mind boggling etc…Mom’s are just, I dunno, impressive beyond all measure. It’s been the privilege of watching June in action that’s convinced me of the differences between men and women (a broad, sweeping generalization), and the arguable superiority of the gender in many not too surprising ways.

I haven’t the patience June has.

I haven’t the capacity to put things in perspective as she does.

I don’t often see things as simply as she might.

It’s unusual for me to manage more than a few dozen minutes with an upset child while June tackles entire hours.

As a father I’m sure I could be better but as a mother I’m sure June is delivering the goods in an unfathomably impressive manner. I know that, at the very least, I’m not as good of a person as she, not in this regard…not when it comes to giving yourself over wholly to the task at hand. Watching June parent humbles me a little and I sometimes wonder if that’s the normal way of things. Is that the father’s path? I know that there are many things that I do right and good and maybe even, at times better than June…but I also know that she notches up many more. I’ll even throw into the equation my time away from home and it’s imbalance with her time spent with Zo, but the ratio still doesn’t explain away the absolute power of her presence with our daughter. Zoey loves Dad’s voice and she likes to play and is distracted by my very presence…I think when she’s older, when she’s walking and talking and fully capable of following and clinging and attaching herself to her father that I’ll be knee deep in daughter, and I know that I’ll be a dangerously effective Dad, but right now she’s the profound by-product of a mothers love and attention. I haven’t been quite so absorbed by a single person in my entire life, and it surprises a great many that it’s not my daughter. June’s capacity for inspiring love and awe in me is interminable. I’ve said it a dozen times here if I’ve ever uttered it once.

June missed the entire hockey game last night, as any parent knows they might, and as surely as I would have too, but she did it with a grace and ambivalence and an attention to her daughter that I might have struggled with, no, that I certainly would have struggled with. I’m sure that says a lot about me but I know that it says more about her. Last night Zoey refused to give in but her Mom refused more. It was more impressive than the game on TV.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dem damn pilots is so libidinous...but midwives?

Ian smooching Zo Apr09

So apparently unbeknownst to me Uncle Ian was asking about a certain midwife we know when he was at home...I laugh since it was all just some good fun, the notion of hooking Val and Ian up, but it seems this Uncle caught a photo or two of the girl...liked what he saw and also enjoyed the idea of the kind of person who embraces such a unique job and lifestyle and subsequently asked his sister about Zoey's favorite midwife. Hmmm...can you ever really trust a pilot? No matter, the kid's way up in Red Lake flying float planes full of fisherman and suicide victims (not at the same time silly) and won't be home until September...

Why am I typing all this...

First, I had this great photo of Zo and Ian that I wanted to use...

Second, it's a funny thing to do to helpless Ian way up north...

Third, Val might read this and laugh and then think, which point I'd laugh at these two yoots in careers that don't exactly reward the vibrancy of youth and all the libidinous loveliness that goes with it...youth that is, not flying airplanes or delivering babies, there's just no room for a healthy libido in those fields.

Naked Bums and a Dontrelle Willis Home run

Cute little naked baby bums are beautiful...Dontrelle Willis giving up a home run in the first inning to Justin Morneau tonight isn't so's quite ugly in fact.

Naked Zo sink bath-May09

I'm going to watch the rest of the Twins-Tigers game tonight but my hopes of Dontrelle Willis turning in a performance as heartwarming as a baby's bottom is a dim, dim prospect I think.

Blame it on the rain...and Harmon's bottomless gut

I don't really have any need to blame anything on anyone let alone the's just that it's raining outside and it seemed like a great chance to use a Milli Vanilli song title...that's really it. Weak, I know, but strangely fun.

There's so much catching up to do on this thing that I can barely get myself set in the starting blocks...I keep false starting, or bending over and farting which, you know, could be worse in many track and field circles. I dunno, I never ran track? When you're 6'3 and 220 lbs in high school you tend not to run track. I fought off football coaches, enraged hockey coaches, often ignored my lacrosse coach and was obedient as hell for both my basketball and baseball coaches...but track, no. I lumbered, often very swiflty, but I didn't run, no not I. Something like the Milli Vanilli reference, I just wanted to use the track and field felt right, ya know?

Anyway...there are Zoey events I've missed and general universe type things I've missed and it's about time I got to them all...

The biggest thing to happen in Zoeyville in about a hundred years, well, 4 months, is her newest distraction from us...The girl got a Jolly Jumper and it might be just the kind of thing our abdominal muscles needed in terms of a new work out routine. Chuck this little girl in a Jolly Jumper and she's a thousand laughs a nanosecond...certainly more freak than even we had anticipated. Here's a Zotograph to peek at and then a video will follow promptly...precious...hilarious...pick your term of endearment, mine just happens to be freak but you can refer to it any way that you like.

Zo-Jolly Jumper May09


Away from Zoey 90210 there has been a bucket load of news that deserves mention here...

First, our friends Chantelle and Adam...occasionally referred to as 'Telle and Bruce...are expecting a little bugger of their own and the news planted some serious smiles on our faces. Dem two kids been itchin' to be parents and that's gonna be one lucky funster.

A friend of a friend of mine who I just plain and simply consider a friend of mine is expecting any day now and everyone on planet Betzy was waiting for the soon to be newest citizen of NYC to flip around and get off the breach wagon...and the almost brand new minion of Michael Bloomberg did that very thing today so now Betz can go and get this birthing thing done right...Go Betz, too kid.

I'm not sure if that constitutes a bucket load but it's all good stuff right? I could add the fact that Kevin and Aimee's little gruesome twosome are eating them out of home and any kind of financial security so we've decided that they can live here instead of the shelter if that means anything...of course Simon will have to cut the grass but it's a riding lawn mower so no worries there. He won't have to push a damn thing. Then, of course Harmon will need to somehow extricate the filthy squirrels from our garage but I can lend him a pellet gun and a lawn chair so he should be able to manage that. I can even throw in some goggles in case the neighbors are watching and want to call the cops or somethin'. Kevin and Aimee will be busy busking for food money but they'll all have a roof over their heads. Why do Kevin and Aimee have to busk for food money? Weren't you paying attention earlier? Their kids eat more food than Michael Phelps. I'm not feeding that gang of vultures. I'll keep 'em safe but keeping those two boys fed is another matter perhaps better handled by Unicef or the World Bank or something...not me.

What else?

Oh yeah...the Anaheim Ducks aren't very nice but I suppose everyone already knows that, right?

Oh, and did you know that Magglio sucks? I didn't...Turns out he does though. It's quite the bummer.

Also...since my LA Dodgers experiment failed so miserably I thought I might try my luck with either the Padres or Giants, you know, just to be a jerk.

Excuse that a beard on your head?

Gerry Zo - May09

For some reason that will frustrate Dad when Zo gets a lot older, she digs the dudes...she does. She likes the sound of a man's voice, likes to play and talk to Dad or Grandad or Grandpa...the girl is just really into guys. The only exception is when guys rub their beards onto her scalp. She's not so cool with that. What I'd like to know is how that might help me when she's fifteen years old? I suppose it's great that she doesn't dig the "beard rub" but how many fifteen year old boys have full beards? I mean, besides that one kid we all went to school with who was driving in the 8th Grade.

Zo is typically pretty smitten with her Grandad but tonight she was mildly not cool with the beard on her head. I don't blame her. Gerry has more hair on his face than she has on her whole head...she's probably just jealous. I know I wouldn't be very cool with Gerry rubbing his beard on my head. He'd probably second that notion> I don't want to put words in his mouth but I'm sure he'd be comfortable with this one assumption.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Zoey can bring this kid home anytime!

If you didn't see "Ellen" today (it's a given that June did) then you missed Yuto Miyazawa. He's a nine year old guitar prodigy from Japan who worhsips at the altar of Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhodes. He's been an internet phenomenon for awhile now. The kid is unbelievable and we've decided as a family that Zoey is allowed to hang out with him whenever she wants.

And just cause we've got a good excuse, check out the real deal...check out Randy's guitar stand in the background...little Yuto even rcks the same flying V as Mr. Rhodes did...awesome!

Our favorite has to be the stacks of Marshall amps behind Ozzie (we dreamt of them as small naive children) and the extra fun bass player in red...he's particularly impressive.

Mothers Day x 3...minus one plus an Aunt.

Mothers Day was a busy day around here...Aunt Netta visited...Zo slipped down to Baachan and Grandad's, and then over to Grandma's place to see no less than everyone...Pops, Uncle Brad, Avery, was a big and busy day! Too much to type so here's a few pics to give you the general idea how it all went...Baby visits, baby gets lots of attention, baby is mostly good with some rough spots thrown in just for fun and then baby goes home extra tired that she spent half the night awake talking to herself in her room...yup, freak...all we could hear through the monitor was goos and gahs, some spit bubble blowing (her newest favorite thing), and the odd little I said, freak.

Aunt Netta slips down to the house on the beach...

Zo June Netta - May 9-09
Zo with Mom and the Netter

Zo June couch May 9-09
Zo and the Momster...nice look sans pants Zo, weirdo.

le Zo with le Baachan (are you allowed to mix French & Japanese in one dumb sentence?)

Zo Mihoko Mother Day
Close up of the Zedder on Baachan's lap...not crying and thus shattering Mihoko's heart as she has been

Zo Mihoko - Mothers Day 1
Baachan and Zo brewing up some smiles.

A visit to Grandma Cathy's...a busy visit

Cathy Zo - Mothers Day
Grandma and Zo chillin' in the kitchen, away from the fray of a full house

Brian Sr. Zo - Mothers Day
The Zipster with Pops, protecting her from her freakshow cousin Reece.

June Zo sink bath - Mothers Day
Time for a bath and then bed at Grandma's...and she tackled both too!

Sleeping Zo - Mothers Day
...and Mother's Day is finally over. The first one was a long one...crashed out cold at Grandma Cathy's

By the end of the day I was pretty happy to have the three women I've got around me...June has been the most incredible Mom my feeble mind was capable of conceiving and watching with every smile and cuddle or cradle and my stomach flips like we just met...and Mihoko, June's Mom, reminds me exactly why June is who she is, and I love her...and my own Mom, who gave me more than I realized at the time and did it all times two. There are entire chunks of her that are missing because she gave them to us. Zoey's got three examples to watch and learn from...Zoey and me both.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day...might as well start early!

Zo star hoodie

Mothers Day began at about 4:30 am in this took an intermission from 5 am until about 7:30am and it's been on full speed ahead ever since. No problem, it just means more hours of motherly motherness for Junie...and Baachan...and we make our rounds today. We gotta get this funster into a car seat and get gone. There's Moms out there!

Happy Mom Day quit reading this blog and go pay attention to a Mom, preferably your own Mom. Leave other people's Mom's alone unless of course they solicit the attention then chuck it at 'em and know that you were just doing your part.

There's sentimental crap I should probably write here but I'll save you the sappiness and just say that the Moms in my life are practically perfect in every way, like Mary Poppins except without the accent or bottomless handbag.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Summer Abroad...California here we come


Our summer address will be significantly different from our winter one this year. We'll be living in Idyllwild, California this summer after several weeks of enthusiastic wandering. We'll likely be splitting time between San Clemente and Encinitas before slipping up to the mountains above Palm Springs and Joshua Tree for the remainder of the summer.

Sounds like a rough life huh? It is.

We'll get everyone our address as they require it and for those of you who don't, no offense but it'll feel good to disappear with whereabouts unknown.

It's a good story how we ended up in that involves a wonderful woman who has treated us with the sort of sincere kindness that you just don't see anymore. We can be super thankful that we have the life that we have and that there are people on the planet who give more than they take.

Sun, sand, ocean, and rock..pines and abalone shells all in equal proportions. I know, I know...I've heard it a hundred and twenty times...smell like roses, pile of poop, blah blah blah...but have you ever considered that we dodge the piles of poop with the most deft skill and agility ever? Maybe we smell like roses because we never found the bottom of the pile in the first place.

Now...who wants to go climbing in August?

Morning Mopery warded off by Curtis "Holy Moly" Granderson

Dad Zo Tigers gear Apr09

If you can't stand watching baseball on television, first, what's wrong with you...second, we probably wouldn't like each other very much, and lastly you would have missed Curtis Granderson make the most stupendulous catch ever off of the bat of Grady "can't stand ya" Sizemore. It was a towering shot that would have won the game for the Indians in the bottom of the ninth at Jacobs Field (sponsorship smonsorship...I'm calling it Jacobs Field forever) but Zoey's favorite, Curtis Granderson, leaped high on the wall, reached up and over and snatched the win away from the Cleveland Indians and handed it over to Justin Verlander.

Granderson catch

Even Zoey knew it was a huge moment...she pooped her pants right after it happened, I swear. Now, we know that she poops her pants quite often and typically even more randomly than often but's not difficult to imagine Granderson's catch and Zo's squishy response to be connected is it? I guess it is but give us some simple, harmless pleasures.

It's a rainy morning and instead of music we're basking in the lingering glory of that Granderson catch. Seriously, it was that good. We'll move on and manage other things today, or maybe not, but waking up with that was pretty good. Zoey pretty much forgot about it as soon as it happened but we're working it for all it's worth.

On this particular Saturday we're making lists of the things we like and the things we loathe, not in general but at this particular like, 11:29 am Saturday May 9, 2009...They are amusing as you can see...

Like List

1. The huge multiple photo picture frame we bought about 6 or 7 years ago that we only partially filled and still has some spots occupied by the fake photos that came with it. Once someone even observed how nice looking some of our friends were, "they look like models!" they said. Ahmm, that's cause they are. Right now it's made its way up on the wall behind our new couch and it looks good there except we still haven't filled it up with all of our own photos and there's still that hilarious "Our Vacation" spot left unfilled right there in the middle of the frame. We laugh every time we look at it. The best part is that now we've got it turned horizontally rather than it's previous vertical placement (it looked better on the wall that way) and now the few photos we do have in it are sideways. We might not ever change it just cause it's so funny and it confuses people so much. Boyo, it sure looks ridiculous though.

Sideways frame

2. Morning rain that wakes you up then goes away before the coffee is cold

3. Understanding friends

4. Our framed and mounted Dave Matthews print from the Toronto show last summer.

5. How Zoey is all into this playing coy and shy stage where she sees you, smiles and then buries her head in her mother's chest to hide her grinning mug. That's an especially likable thing.

6. The notion of a summer in Southern California, and the realization that wildfires could do us in if we're not careful.

7. The phrase, "do us in," because it just sounds funny. What the hell does it mean? Well, we know what it means but why is it phrased like that? It's strenge...that's right, strenge...that's like strange but in a more curious, unanswerable way. Actually it was just a typo that I ran with.

8. The fact that I barely escaped Dodger fandom without buying a Manny Ramirez jersey...close one.


10. June fast approaching and very first "Mothers Day"...we get a kick out of that one.

11. Chantelle and "Bruce" shooting June an email 'bout a Father Day weekend visit. Awesome amazingness x 4... AND that there's a strong probability that we'll be at the ballpark on the same day...we already have Father's Day Brewers tickets so look out scout!!

12. The Los Angeles Lakers

13. Coffee from Timmy Ho's when you still haven't washed out the coffee press from yesterday.

14. Making June a 'Jack and Coke' last night with just a barely taste-able (that should be a word if it isn't) percentage of Coke, and then forgetting that I did it and asking her why her Coke tasted so funny.

15. Stumbling into Kevin and Aimee's blog post about Oliver Jeffers books and how they bought up the entire world's supply for Harmon and that the little feller's hogging them back like they wuz free hot dogs in the press box.

The Loathe List

1. Being too tired to watch does that happen? How can you possibly be too tired for television?

2. Lawn work that's been avoided.

3. Manny Ramirez

4. Alex Rodriguez

5. Egocentricity and the almost always attending obliviousness.

6. Wet hammocks

7. Spilled coffee

8. Strangely, Adam Duritz just popped into my head. We like the old Adam Duritz just fine but this new damp rag is annoying.

9. Bra-less Deadheads...weird, I know, but c'mon, as random as the observation is it's undeniably true.

10. The sound of waves smashing onto the beach...we hate that. Who doesn't?

11. Brett Favre

12. The lost significance of "roles" and knowing your place. It mattered. That's why we have global warming right now, that's right...if people knew their place and their role in society there'd be no melting glaciers. We also think that the phenomenon is responsible for the new Yankee Stadium and the child slave trade. That's what we said. If just one less person colored outside of their social and emotional lines there'd be less world hunger and CSI shows.

13. The Detroit Pistons current embarrassing incarnation.

14. Receding friendships.

15. How some Tim Horton's staff carefully count the number of Timbits that they put in your if 21 Timbits as opposed to 20 Timbits would represent a significant loss to that particular franshise. Yeah, we understand the whole cumulative thing but they give 'em to dogs for free for @#$%& sake.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Just about the funniest thing we've ever seen...

I got home from work today and June was giggling silly still from a video she had watched on the Ellen show 6 or 7 hours earlier. Here it is, and I double dog dare you not to laugh.

This kid is hilarious albeit not so smart. Zoey can hang out with guys like this I just hope she doesn't date 'em.

Reasons and Recommendations

I could be described in a lot of ways, some flattering, most not, but more recently the term “neglectful” would do the trick quite nicely, at least with regard to keeping this blog current. It’s been a busy couple of weeks and posting hasn’t been my priority…Here’s what has been:

- Paying the government what I owe (that I earned and they took)
- Organizing the house into a much more manageable “move out” mode
- Negotiating rent contracts in California
- Cleaning up the @#$%ing yard
- Getting my finances in order for two months of fun sans pay cheques
- Waiting for Pearl Jam’s tour dates to be released (all of them)
- Mourning the loss of several Zoey habits I had come to love (laps of the house at bedtime)
- Juggling YMCA and school board commitments and clients
- Finding music to get me through each day

Looks busy huh? Well I can assure you…it shouldn’t paralyze me as it does. Anyway, I promise to post more, include more nonsense, and generally wreak more creative havoc on that chunk of cyber-whatever that this occupies. How’s that?

Leaning less towards self-admonishment and more towards the interesting and beneficial, I mean, you should get something out of dropping by here shouldn’t you. Just reading random crapity crap about someone else’s life doesn’t seem like reward enough…So, how ‘bout some of this…

If you haven’t seen either Pearl Jam, “ Immagine in Cornice or Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, “Live at Radio City Music Hall then you obviously hate music or you may have several undiagnosed disabilities. The Pearl Jam DVD is one of the coolest shot live music films ever with plenty of off stage footage and just about the coolest visuals ever. According to this DVD concert venues in Italy tend to be thousand year old stone roman stadiums and if Immagine in Cornice doesn’t bowl you over you weren’t capable of being bowled over. As for Dave and Tim’s latest partnership you couldn’t find a better example to two musicians in complete and joyous synchronicity with each other as ”Live at Radio City Music Hall”. Songs you were indifferent to before come alive and stamp themselves clean and legibly on your heart. The stories that Dave litters between songs are fun and insightful and a live recording enthusiasts very reason for recording. That’s not even mentioning the guitar genius that Tim Reynolds obviously is. Like Dave or don’t like Dave but if you like music you should own this.

With Manny Ramirez’s 50 game suspension for substance use fresh on the front pages I’ve officially resigned from Dodger fandom. It wasn’t just Manny. I was having a hard time with the conversion anyway. There’s way too much ‘Michigan and Trumball’, and Yawkey Way weaved in and out of my heart and soul. Manny being Manny just sealed the deal. So on my way back to Red Sox Nation I stopped by “ The Red Seat” for a purchase or two. You should too. In the immortal words of Wooderson, “you’d be a whole lot cooler if you did.

Download, buy, borrow, steal the following:

Van Morrison, Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Atherton, Atherton

Chris Isaak, Mr. Lucky

Ray LaMontagne, Live Sessions, an iTunes exclusive

Sara Bereilles, River (Live) an iTunes Single

Also…whether you like Bruce Springsteen or not get your arse over to his website and check out the coolest thing I’ve ever seen (well, close). After every show Bruce not only releases the set list rather promptly but he also posts a PDF of the actual piece of paper the handwritten setlist was penned on. Yikes…how #$%&ing awesome is that!

I’ve decided that now is the appropriate time to brainwash Zo with as much good Bruce Springsteen as possible since I was robbed of the pleasure for at least half of my empty, aimless life. I started her off with this beauty from Max’s Kansas City in 1972:

The grey van...

That's how every story started, with the grey van, and they were good stories -- are good stories still. We were young when we met but not oh-so young, not pre-school classmates young or the kind of young that fills photo albums with faded polaroids of childhood vacations. No, it was more the young men kind of young, not young boys. It was young enough that although we wanted to be older we still had no concept of age.

I think I met John in the 7th grade, when I flipped schools maybe, or it could have been via hockey but even so it could have only been a year or two earlier. Either way we met just when the best friends of your life tend to meet, those early teenage years when everything is taking shape and forms are starting to stand out from the fog of childhood. When you’re thirteen years old your friends start to chisel away at you until adult contours start to appear. Back then it was John who had the hammer and chisel and both my brother and I represented the kind of raw materials that best friends do for each other.

John’s family owned a grey van and it was that part of our universe that we orbited around. Across a seven day week we found some serious fun in that van, or at the end of one of its aimless drives at least five or six days. It was the Trojan horse of our so-called junior high years and almost every story starts out with that grey van.

I only ramble on about the van because it’s easier and significantly more manly to wax poetically about a machine than another man, but Johnny deserves a nod of easy attention in the timeline that trails me. He was also the first the drift unassuming words of been there, done that my way when the world seemed to be receeding faster than I could advance. His comments are posted below and they’re what I awoke to this morning. With only a Red Wings win and a decent night’s sleep in between posting and then publishing his reply I was gently and affectionately reminded of the power of friendships, the reality of life, and the transitory nature of just about everything. If his soft and sincere admonishment was a lawn dart (how hilariously inappropriate of an analogy) it landed straight in the center of the hoop, or perhaps directly in my foot helping to remind me that sometimes that’s just how things go. Not every lawn dart finds it’s mark (I’m falling over laughing at the cheek stretching humor of this ridiculous reference).

The world is changing because it does, kind of like how game tying goals are sometimes blown off and not counted in Stanley Cup playoff games. It’s not cool, but it’s just how things happen sometimes. See how I slipped that hockey reference in there too just to add to the manly manliness of this whole thing? Yeah, I thought it was sly of me too.

Blah blah blah…I still wonder what happened to everyone but it’s nice to know that whatever was cookin’ in that grey van is still being served up 20 something years later. That feels really good even if it would probably taste really bad. You should have seen the inside of that van.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Shout Out to the Infinite Emptiness

Where the schmanck did everyone on the planet (our chunk of it at least) go? It seems like we've misplaced most of the people we know...

I know what you're saying..."you had a baby, you're not out and about as often as you once were," to which I'd respond, "are you high," and I wouldn't be kidding. We've done more with a three month old than some of the people we know do all year...what!? I'm just saying.

This feels strangely unique. I'm sure most new parents see a drop off in the people they orbit around but in this house it feels as though nearly everyone we know is living 5000 miles away. We see no one, we can talk no one into a game or a road trip, and we're finding that in moments of know, help, favours etc...we look to the bench to make a substitution and the pine is embarrassingly empty. You think I'm exaggerating. I'm really not. Everyone on the planet is so insanely wrapped up in surviving their own lives these days, and that makes sense as much as it sucks. We're looking at another relatively intrusive move out of the house again this summer and are embracing the notion of a 6 week we're researching places and options and etc...and although we've asked about elevendy million people to keep an eye out for something cool, or to reach out and get in touch with a contact that they have here or there that might be able to point us in a good direction they inevitably we're asking them to pop pimples on our backs? It's frustrating, annoying, and disappointing all at the same time. If elevendy million people called me up and said, "Hey, Bri...can you lend me a hand. You won't sweat or have to lift stuff?" I'd say, "hang on a minute chip 'n pepper...let me fix me gitch and get busy"...'cause, you know, they asked 'n stuff. The only time I wouldn't do that for someone is if I think they're a complete loser...Are you seeing the equation on the chalkboard? Disappearing friends, not a trace of eagerness to help a fella out...Yeah, I think we're the previously mentioned complete losers. In fact, I'm almost sure of it.

I'm not exactly sure how we became that though?

I won't ramble on about my tendency to talk too much, or the absolute voracity of my opinions and beliefs...or my unabashed arrogance...and I wouldn't think of wasting your time talking about June's hesitancy to commit to very many relationships because, well, most people, disappoint...but I will mention that although it feels like we gained the best little human being on the planet in this deal it sucks the mustard to feel like we've misplaced everyone else, and perhaps by our own doing...maybe not, but maybe?

Again...don't assume that we've changed that much and that's the reason behind our sudden social leprosy...we go to Tiger games...we drove all the way to KC for a couple of basketball games...we even bought a brand new damn couch so our home didn't feel like a college flop house porch and people could be comfortable...we light the fire and have beers to the sound of waves sloshing against the beach...we have concert tickets on the fridge...I'm telling you, it feels an awful lot like it always has...where's the obvious difference? Our team's disabled list numbers in the dozens and we're playing the game with three people. It sucks worse than liver paste...pate...whatever. I'm putting this out into the great universe like this blog was a giant and far reaching milk carton missing persons ad...Messages to the many people we either used to see and now don't...or the people we don't see enough...If you see your name here or identify with the reference...reach out and touch someone...Bell telephone style, not sex offender registry style...we want to see you and hear from you and do things with you and love you (not in the literal physical sense) because you've earned it. We miss everyone. We feel like a couple of less sweaty Charlton Heston's in Planet of the Apes...all alone surrounded by a bunch of monkeys. Here's a look at the milk carton:

Everyone I've emailed in the last three months who either haven't found the time to get back to me or chosen not to...c'mon...I emailed you and didn't email a million others, there's something to be said for that.

All you people who are planning on hassling me because you didn't get a birth announcement or a call to say, "Look at us,"...First, look at us feels awkward, and second, we just got around to thank you/birth announcement stuff this week...also, if it mattered very much to you at all we'd have already heard from you. the top of my head...Uncle Larry and Jean, we really have to connect and yap and visit and a lot of overdue etc...Uncle Morty and Aunt Carol, same...Scott and Stace, there's way too much time and space between these two yoots and it bums me out...Uncle Alan and G, ditto...Kev and Em...same...

To all you people who do awesome impressions of wanting to include us but only when and if your schedule and priorities suit you best...well, that sucks that crappy kind of peanut butter with all the oil on does. Go ahead and live your life but don't falsely prop us up to 2nd or 3rd on your depth chart when we're really 5th...We can slip down to Comerica Park on a weekend instead of sitting at home and hoping social interaction will fall out of a tree and land on us.

Everyone who said they'd ask around to help us out with our summer didn't and I feel like an ass for asking.

Corey and Steph infection...we see you more than most but not enough, and you email and call and we wish crowds and random road trips to concerts and games sat better with your independent sensibilities...but we get it...

Joe, Julie & JJ...we never see each other enough...

Stu and Anne and that funny Liam've got some seriously busy too but that excuse sucks steamed weiners...

Joe C and Mrs. Walter Payton...we'd kick out our neighbors if we could and you would move in...sadly we like our neighbors just not as much as you.

Birdie...did you move back to Trinidad? I own part of that 'cause I got your number too but we gotta get on this...before the kids go away to college.

D-Funk and should live in hammocks in our backyard. There are no kids getting kidnapped here and the beach is nice.

Ian...Red Lake is way too @#$%ing far away.

Debu...quit pooping outside of your litter box and we'd really appreciate it if you didn't have such a drinking problem or bring home so many different women...after all, you don't pay a dime in rent.

Ahmmmm...that's about it I guess. If you're out there and you aren't dyslexic, missing your reading glasses, absent of all forms of communication, or you've fallen and can't get up, track us down and make us feel less like complete losers and more like everyone else in a struggling economy juggling life and as much garbage as we all are.

I've watched far too many games alone and backyard fires aren't as fun without drunken moron friends. C' can bring your green hat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Splish splash and a naked shout out to everyone in Japan

Just to be clear, it's Zoey that's naked, not case there was any confusion when people translate this into Japanese. You can never be too careful, you know.'s the Zoemeister doing her nightly bath the sink, yup, that's how she rolls. The still shot is cute but the video is heart melting...beautiful little kid splashing around in a sink...are you kidding me? A melter for sure.

Zoey bath in sink - Apr09

Now watch the video and try not to grin...of course, you're allowed not to. With the exception of a few people's children...the Samsquencher, Harm and Sime, Liam, JJ, etc...I typically don't give a @#$% either. Call me callous. I also don't much care about recycling or making sure I see all of the Oscar nominated films each, I'm a bad person. Anyway, grin if you feel the urge, don't care if that's what strikes you, I'm not all that worried about it. I'll be posting splashing little Zoey 'til my fingers are raw...parents are supposed to do that stuff, I think.

Zoey's new friend...part Hippo and part rhymin' machine

So Earth Day came and went around here without so much as a post or rambling to acknowledge it...however, in the real world, which is barely bloggable I'm discovering, le Zo benefitted from all that tree-hugging with a new little organic beauty we like to call "HipHopapotamus" means nothing to Zo but it makes us giggle like crazy. Are you supposed to give earth day gifts? I'm guessing no...especially not stuffed hipopotamus' with mad rap shizzle.

Zo w Hiphopappotamus

I'm also guessing that this Dad can do whatever he wants whenever he wants...if that means buying my daughters love then so be it. I'm not above that kind of cheapo parenting.

The Zed wears the hell outta M Smith's Hoodie

The Zedder looks like "the bomb," as Trent would say, in M. Smith's hoodie. That's right...tha bomb. She rocks that dusty rose-like color better than any 3 month old I know...she's actually the only three month old I know.

Zoey in M Smiths hoodie - Apr 09

Of course, she can also make that sweet gift of a hoodie from super almost Aunt Michelle look pretty stupid too...mostly when she lobs out her confounded this:

Zoey M Smiths hoodie 2

Yup...that's our little girl...freak.