Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Commitment to the Greater Good (& the vast void of hope)

This morning out of sheer boredom I was walking down the street and felt the need to chuck a dollar...that's right, chuck a dollar. So I did. In Canada it's much easier than a mile west of here, in the United States of Confusion where a good wind makes it infinitely more difficult to chuck a dollar in any direction other than where the wind wants it to go. Someone, in their great and grand wisdom, turned our paper dollar into a coin a few years back and with that one simple gesture allowed me the privilege of chucking dollars with deft accuracy.

Today I chucked a dollar because, well first, I felt like it, and second, I thought it would be a nice exercise in randomness and very, very, oh-so very miniscule kindness. Some chump is gonna find that dollar -- hopefully a broke nine year old chump -- and it'll make his day. I didn't need it, otherwise I wouldn't of chucked it ( I know that proper English demands that I use the word "have" right there but I felt like doing my best Grade 4 impression and "wouldn't of" is what you get).

I suppose I could have saved it, maybe tucked it away for Zo, but I think that even the Zedder would have wanted me to chuck that damn thing. Zedder will get her dollars, no worries, in fact, she's already got a hundred or so of them because Dad's been saving his US dollar bills for her. Zoey's got loot comin' out her diapers, often more dough than her Mom has on maternity leave. No, I wanted to chuck that dollar where someone else might benefit from it. Maybe they put it in their pocket and went home to give to their daughter? Maybe they used it to buy a Slurpee (which would be a wise, wise decision)? Maybe they walked right past it and didn't even notice it's dull golden goodness sitting right there beneath their feet? Either way I was happy to chuck it and I think Zoey would have approved.

In the end I don't really know what inspired me to chuck a dollar into the great void of hope out there? Most days I'm not really sure why I do anything. If I gave much thought to the phenomenon I'd probably be more proud of the fact. You know who would have chucked a dollar without even thinking about it? My friend Chantelle would have lobbed that dollar out into the great asphalt nowhere without the faintest hint fo regret or understanding why she did it. 'Telle always did stuff like that. There are a few others that may have ventured into the "ubiquitous stupid" as I call it but mostly the folks I know would have held onto the buck and used it for their own benefit. On most occasions I might have as well, but not this one. This time that dollar is going where fate wants it to go and that's fine by me.

I feel pretty good now, like I just won a race on "Play Day," you know, when there were no stop watches and everyone in the whole damn school got a green "participant" ribbon because no one was really keeping track of winner and losers. Everybody won on "Play Day." Today feels like that now.

I'm gonna teach Zoey this trick when I get home. She can't really throw worth a damn and, of course, she doesn't wander very far from the house so chances are I'll find her dollar and go get me a Slurpee.

(I've also decided that when I get home I'm going to make a sandwich and name it after myself)

The definitive quicker picker upper

Perhaps one of the sweetest things I've ever stumbled upon. Sweet may not even be the proper adjective, in fact, it might take a collection of ass-kicking adjectives to define this.

The Napkin Drawings

I double dog dare you to string together the appropriate adjective combo to adequately describe this.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Zoey's new mantra...Sleep is for the weak

week 22 - are you looking at me!?

We're convinced that Zo is the Viet Cong of infants. She's one with the night, and sneaky. She's a lot less dangerous, I suppose, but no less skilled at outlasting her opponent.

After an awesome day of sun and what should have been tiring activities Zoey wasn't all that tired. Well, she was indeed tired, le tired in fact, but there was no way she was going to go to sleep. We tricked her into a nap late in the day (Mom had to crash out with her on a blanket outside) but then we watched her bedtime slip away with the sun. She was happy just to hang out with Mom and Dad while we ate dinner and prepared to settle in for a quiet fire on the beach...a quiet fire that didn't include the Viet kid.

week 22 - what's she gonna do...
Zoey does her weak version of high maintenance on the picnic table with Mom.

So while we enjoyed some killer turkey burgers with some Pumphouse Ale and a stellar view (can we sound any more gastronomically hipster?) the Zed was doing her best to distract us (not an easy task when you've got the wicked pissah combo of Lays Sweet Chili chips alongside of freshly grilled turkey seasoned with Clamato Caesar Rimmer...Yikes, get on that!) She was mostly a kid with perfect table manners and a crapload of charmisma...that's the babyfied version of's like charisma but doused in sweet, silly baby goodness. Zoey is smart enough to know that if she's going to stay up late she's going to be a perfect angel while doing it so no one has any good reason to send her packin'. She's going to be fun and bursting with smiles and giggles and then no one on the planet can send her to bed. See, the Viet Kid strikes again.

week 22 - she knows where the spoon is supposed to go! :)
Watch how fun I can be while distracting my unsuspecting parents into a trance of love.

It was well past 8 pm when she even started to show signs of weakening, by then Dad was far less observant than he could have been thanks to two or three Pump House stress looseners, and Mom was tired of trying to wait her out. As usual, Zoey got to that place where everyone needed her to go almost without any help. There's not much use in forcing things on a 5 month old...oh, we try 'cause it's important that we do but in the end we know which battles are worth fighting and which aren't. It's also important to know your enemy, they say, and it's wise not to mess with the Viet kid in her clovers, snails, kangaroos, and cats, swans, butterflies, deer, rabbits, and bird covered pajamas. You'll lose.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What's all this macho nonsense? And who says "fornicate"?

Macho spam???

So I get up early today to do the usual crazy early things -- relieve myself, grab a drink of water, solve the world's water problem, check my e-mail -- and after I get my mouth tasting all extra-awesome fresh I see that I've gotten an email from Fannie Livingston, whom I've never met. I also see that ol' Fannie has some serious language issues and probably a dirty little devious mind.

Fornicate like a macho, the email title read. Huh? First off, who says the word fornicate other than traveling preachers who spend their days sweating and screaming in tents across the entire midwest, and those hilarious old hollywood devil characters in B movie horror classics. No one says fornicate, not even God. Fornicate is so yesterday, like "rad" or "gnarly," although I do feel an overwhelming need to bring "gnarly" back into the mainstream vernacular. I heard a guy say that at a Starbucks in San Clemente last winter and it made my head twist at an odd angle to locate the perpetrator. He was a skunky lookin' 40 year old dude with a beat up old Nick Cave concert tee on, a goatee, and tattoos that matched his skateboard's deck graphics.

Anyway, the other interesting feature of Fannie's odd email is the macho part. I mean, I know what "macho" is, you know, the definition of "macho" but I don't quite get what exactly "a macho" is? I'm thinking that it's something like Lamont's friend, Julio, on Sanford & Son, and if that's the case than why would I want to do anything like Julio, let alone fornicate?

What's this got to do with Zoey? Nuthin'...but I'd like to know who this Fannie Livingston guy is so we can make sure the dude is nowhere near us for the rest of our lives. We don't need any fornicating neighbors with bad english skills. The key ingredient to our tolerance being decent english skills and all.

Zedder goes visiting...and meets some awfully dumb kids

week 22 - drooling

June and Zo slipped up to London today for a get together with some of June's co-workers at her new boss' house. Zo was super popular with the "groan ups" and got to meet some pretty dumb kids (they really weren't dumb at all, it just sounds funnier when I say that) who asked her what kind of milk Zoey drank when she was breastfeeding...1% or 2%?? They also kept calling her a him and eventually June had to punch one of them in the face while the other one watched. Bet those little guys don't ever get a girl mixed up with a boy again unless they look in the mirror. I'd type more but I'm laughing too hard...

Whew, that was pretty funny...wait, I'm still laughing.



Alright, I think I'm good. The kids were very sweet, June said, and they couldn't get enough of the Zed. They were also wickedly smart she added (but I think she's just sucking up after having punched one of the little rats right in the lips) and wildly interested in Zoey. The girl was surrounded with dudes today and from what I understand she loved every second of it. That's bad isn't it?

Zo had a good day...first all smiles and then all snores. Those are the best kinds of days...

Zo cow seat

She digs her new car seat (way more comfy and oh-so Zoey) and has already on occasion been misidentified as a cow which I suppose is worse than being called a boy...far worse. She seems to be handling it all with a bright and shiny grace.

No children were harmed in the making of this post...I swear. All of the children harmed were harmed way before I wrote anything down and then, of course, not by me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A sink full of dishes doesn't wash Erin can do it


Just for funzies I thought I'd note that while Zoey's Dad, that's me, was enjoying a pretty awesome Wednesday night Cubs-Tigers game his good friends Erin and Joe were making bets about who would take two of the three games in the series. The Tigers took the first one and Erin was feeling super confident that Jim Leyland's boys wouldn't take another one. She was feeling so confident, as was her uber-Tiger boyfriend, Joe, that the two of them made a bet that involved washing the dishes all week if their respective team lost the series. Nice bet.

While such wagering was being tossed back and forth the Detroit Tigers went and slapped the Cubs a Game 2 loss and it was all I could do to keep Erin from decapitating her best buddy BFF/boyfriend, Joe. As fun as it is to watch such shenanigans it's WAY more fun to see yourself on the night's highlights when you get home. Zo, check out Dad...woooooie!

Laird HR - vs Cubs

Gerald Laird hit himself a solo home run to left-center field to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning and as you can clearly see Uncle Joe is standing on the railing's ledge making wildly antagonistic arm gestures into the air. What you might see less clearly is the shrunken ball of powder blue tee'd dashed hope beside him. That's Erin. Dad is the white blurry blob to Uncle Joe's left.

This post really had no relevance to you, Zoey, at all but I wanted to take this time to get a good but loving dig in on our fine friend Erin and maybe, if we're lucky, teach you a lesson in the finer, more gentle art of denegration, the kind your Dad practices, not the overly enthusiastic, antagonistic kind that Uncle Joe endorses.

I guess in the end it all means the same thing...Erin's washing a lot of dishes. If you throw in today's Tigers win then the Cubs left the Motor City shameful and winless. Sorry's just that this whole thing is so highly bloggable. It was nice to see Alan Trammell again though. Thanks for that.

Two and three quarters Japanese people vs. the Chicago Cubs

week 22 - driving!... don't worry, she's not for real

While Dad was at the Tigers-Cubs game yesterday Zo took her Mom for a joy ride to Toronto. It was her first time driving and, well, the car made it home in one piece so obviously le Zedder managed the trick. June said that it got a little sketchy in the heavy traffic around Pearson Intl. Airport but other than that the Zed did just fine. She did happen to mention that Zo has a dangerous habit of not paying any attention to where she's going but for the most part she's a cautious and diligent little driver.

week 22 - at a pit stop practicing her driving skills... she's not very good yet

June and Zo scooped up Baachan along the way and shot up to T-dot to hook up with Aunt Netta and then pick up a friend, Yuka, who was flying in from Japan. If you do the math that means that on the way home from the airport there was officially two and three quarters Japanese people in the car (two native Japanesers, one half Japaner, and a little quarter Japaleno, Zoey). They were driving a German car and speaking English, or at least two of them were speaking english. Yuka is still learning and no one understood a word the Zedder was saying so it doesn't exactly count as english per se. In fact, Yuka maybe had the best odds of anyone of actually understanding Zoey since she's less encumbered by conventional anglais (see how I mixed a little french in there to make this truly a multicultural blog post). Regardless of who was speaking what little Zo loved the trip into the city and was as happy as a puppeteer with 12 fingers.

week 22 - road rage

They made the trip in good time and got home just as I was sweating away my soul and about 14 lbs down at Comerica Park in Detroit. With a night free for the funifying I bolted for the second game of the Cubs - Tigers series with our friends Joe and Erin, and soaked in my own sweat and the sheer unencumbered joy of harassing a native Chicagoan as your Tigers take two of three to make all that sweat worth while.

It felt pretty weird to be down at the ballpark without June and Zo but probably not as weird as it would have been to be the only occupant of a car filled with Japanese people of varying levels of heritage. There'd have been an awful lot of Japanese baby talk going on that I'd have suspected was belligerent talk about me behind my ignorant out of whack back. There was a lot of hanging out at the airport that I suspect I wouldn't have enjoyed very much, but the girls made the most of it while waiting for Yuka.

week 22 - hanging out at the airport

Zoey kept it together for most of the trip and seemed to have a damn good time at the airport June said, so good of a time that she wasn't the least bit upset when all two and three quarters Japanese people jumped in that German car and headed home without Zoey behind the wheel. Yuka's here in Canada for awhile so we're going to enjoy her company, let her influence Zoey as much as possible and then maybe let Zoey show her around a little as long she promises not the wreck the car.

mom and yuka

It was a long day for everyone. By the time I got home from the ballgame I was a sweaty, stinking, tired mess, and June and Zoey had driven approx. 6 hours to end up exactly where they started. In the words of the immortal Harry Caray, "Cubs win! Cubs win!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A recipe for disaster...oh-so lovingly averted

week 21 - zo's happy its father's day

Before I met June I was an ugly gumbo of commitment issues, restlessness, and instability, and that's a gentle version of the story. I was pretty much resigned to the idea of never marrying, achieving a kind of self-induced downward spiral, and dying young in some dramatic accidental alcoholic suicide that involved lots of cops and helicopters. Not that I was any kind of gongshow individual, in fact, I was always quite responsible and kind, but I was long overdue for some decadence. I was a ticking time bomb of long repressed bad decisions. Then I met June, jumped on an airplane or twelve, wandered the pacific coast like a mescaline crazed fun preacher and settled into falling in love immediately after we punched our respective return tickets home.

We let our lives fall into place as only nature can allow, didn't rush a damn thing and then one day we were living together, then we were engaged, then married, then talking about kids as we slept in a cheap hotel room just off the 5 freeway in San Clemente. The last piece of our current lives is Zoey. When she was just two days old we set her on the bed, wondered what the hell to do, and then just watched the subtle construction of who we would become cooing and wiggling right there before us.

Of course we have careers and cars and problems and all sorts of other things like our parents used to have, but now there's this beautiful little bundle of startled love and a nearly inconceivable future with this little baby girl. The gumbo of impending disaster that I once was tastes a whole lot sweeter. My god Zoey, look at what you've done.

Father's Day Fall Out with a Side Order of Reflection

I come from a busted up home like the rest of us (sorry to lump everyone in with me but generalizations are the preferred method of communication for us lazy people), which is probably just the universe working hard to remind us that we’re really all just animals and no good at half of this upright walking and abstract thinking shit let alone relationships and other important junk. Basically half of all marriages end in divorce these days so Father’s Day probably should be a really screwed up event for approximately half of the people we know. Not me.

I grew up fine. I have no significant problems with the manner in which I was forced to grow up because the truth is I didn’t know any different (although I did always want one of those Brady Bunch family camping trips to the Grand Canyon. That would have been cool). My father did his best, or at least what seemed like his best, in the context of every scenario. My Dad used what he knew and, naturally, tossed in his own spin or two. No matter how you dice it up both he and his sons did things the only way they knew how and life played out the only way we knew. Sure, his relationship with my Mom could have been better, maybe handled entirely differently, but even that, as unfairly as it might seem, is what it is. It’s all we ever knew and so I’ll take it. In the end those things, those years weren’t what carved the details into who I am now, they wittled me down to a workable size, but the finer points were cultivated outside of my home.

I’ve spent the day dealing with kids who didn’t celebrate on Sunday. I don't know why half of all marriages fail, but you won't catch me blaming my problems on it. The idea of the family shaping who we are is kinda tired and boring (despite its super frustrating accuracy). My problems come mostly from cool shit like restless spirits and trickster demons. I don’t go much for that “my parents screwed me up,”stuff, although I see it all the time and I know it exists. I’m a devout believer in the infinite power of self, well, that and a disciplined routine of self-medication. If you believe in yourself and only feel the need to numb your brain every now and again rather than constantly then I think you can make something of yourself in this world. Besides, there’s no benefit in blaming others when no one else can serve your jail sentence or pay your alimony etc… Blaming others is a crap deal. Restless spirits and trickster demons is a far more impressive way to rationalize.

Zoey, I hope you learn the basics at home but discover the wondrous rest on your own. I promise to do the best job that I can but the rest is up to you kid. Try hard and be a good person…done, that’s it. That’s the secret. Doesn’t seem nearly big enough to get its own blog post does it? Restless Spirits and trickster demons do though. You don't mess with that stuff. If they want a post you give 'em one.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy First Father's Day with the Brewers and Bergquists

Bri-Zo-Comerica Father's Day09

First Father's Days aren't unlike first Mother's Days in that they're brand spankin' new and all a guy can do is go about his business as he normally would and then just hope that every once in awhile he gets a beautiful reminder of what the day really means. Today I got about a million beautiful reminders that it was Father's Day.

We started the day with some hesitation about slipping down to the ballpark in Detroit like we had intended to. A quick email check reminded us that our friends, Kevin & Aimee were headed over to Comerica from Ann Arbor and we quickly re-evaluated. We shot down I-94 to the Brush Street exit and snuck into the ballpark in better time than most days when we have every intention of going.

Mom-Zo-Comerica Fathers Day09
June and Charlie Brown hunting for shade and a good view of Prince Fielder

Mom-Zo-Comerica Fathers Day09 2
Zedder has more fun at the ballpark than any 5 month old ever, I think

We caught the Brewers and Tigers with Justin Verlander pitching and the Bergquists somewhere in the crowd of 41,000. It turned out to be a beautiful day to be down at Comerica and we stumbled into Kevin, Aimee, Harmon and Simon with almost no effort. Zoey got to meet her eventual college crush and we got the chance to catch up a little with Kev and Aim while Harmon drank his popcorn (odd explanation that includes your average young boy's propensity for not caring what falls out of their mouths and into their beverages). We missed most of the game just sitting there on the concrete with the scoreboard in sight, but it was a beauty day anyway. It was SO cool to just casually chat with Kev and Aimee (we worked together in Sports Information at the University of Michigan) and it made Dad's day to just loosely yap with Kevin and watch June and Aimee get along as if they'd known each other for a dozen years. Zo and Simon connected just fine, aside from some Bergquist barf and some excessive Zoey exuberance, and now I can't wait to see them all again.

June-Aimee Comerica Fathers Day09 2
June and Zed with Aimee and Simon...little do those two little funsters know that they'll be dating in 18 or so years

Simon-Zo Comerica Fathers Day09 2
...or wait, maybe they do know somethin's up?

Zo-Simon Comerica Fathers Day
Either way Zedder's damn happy about today's meeting

Simon-Zo-Comerica Fathers Day09 4
Maybe too happy...settin' herself up for a heartbreak

We snuck home in good time and tossed Dad's flame thrower at the charcoal to cook up steaks that were actually wrapped in butcher paper ( a reminder that we need to do that more often) and accompanied the grilled beast with some pee-stinking asparagus and some shrimp well drowned and drenched in butter. Dad got his hands around some Pump House Red and then a few glasses of a 2005 Cellier Du Dauphins Carte Noir and settled in to watch the Dodgers and Angels.

Bri-Fathers Day BBQ 09
Brian loves himself some butcher paper and beers...Impressive transition from Tigers gear to Dodger blue don't you think?

I double dog dare you to ask me if I can think of a better day.

Mom and Zo gave me a card that made me cry...

Got to catch up with two people I quietly and from a distance adore...

Hung out with my smiling and giggling daughter who smiled and giggled all damn day...

Hugged and kissed my smiling, sun-freckled, girlfriend who just happens to also be my soft-lipped, brown and green eyed, beautiful wife...oh-so lucky me...

Kinda sorta saw JV pitch 7 3/4 innings of his 8th win...

Introduced Zoey to her eventual heartbreak kid (and that he is...Kev and Aimee have disgustingly beautiful kids)...

Ate and drank like I earn waaay more money than I actually do...

Played with a happy, healthy Zedder until long after her bedtime...

Life is pretty damn good. I could get struck by lightning tomorrow but it kinda feels like I already did today...I mean, if lightning strikes can make you the luckiest man alive.

Happy Father's Day Johnny T...circa 1948

Teets and Emelia

This is my best friend from high school, Johnny T...he's celebratin' Father's Day with his beauty daughter, Emelia, the way any dad from 1948 would be proud. He looks like he fell out of a Miller High Life commercial and it makes me damn proud! Obviously, John, Danielle, and Emelia are livin' the "High Life," obviously...Father's Day's were practically invented in Eisenhower's America, the kind that Johnny's sportin' proudly....

Happy Father's day J. Teeteumstein...hope you remembered where you parked the Studebaker. Stay Classy fella.

Thursday, June 18, 2009



Zo soaked up every little bit of her Aunt Serree today. Our awesome old friend came down to the beach to hang out with the lovely June and the stunning Zo...together the three of them were probably the most beautiful women walking this particular stretch of shoreline today, maybe ever.

June gets pretty excited when Serree's coming...we love her a lot, and never see her enough. Of course, she's oh-so kind enough to slip down to the beach and we owe her about a billion visits in London but we'll selfishly absorb all of her kindness without loading Zo up for the trip east while we can. Besides, a walk on the beach is WAY better than Richmond Row.

The girls began their slow brainwashing of the Zedster with regard to East Side Mario's and regular lunch dates made easy and scrumpdicilous with those menus. Those girls should get frequent flyer miles for pasta consumption.

I didn't get to see Serree for much more than a half hour or so by the time I got home from work but some Serree is better than no Serree and now we just have to get Mikey down to the beach.

It was a good day, and Zedder loved every minute of it. They sure wore the hell out of her 'cause she crashed hard tonight not much less than an hour or so after Serree left. Zo is probably dreaming of her Aunt Serree right now, either that or the Lakers World Championship.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blue eyes cryin' in the rain...not really

week 21 - bright blues!

No one is actually crying but it is raining, like a monsoon, at least where I am. My days find me in places I never thought I'd ever tread but that's the job and you roll with it. A kid that's messed up in the middle of nowhere is no less messed up than a kid in the very center of somewhere, right? Well, kinda.

The Zedder and June are off visiting Baachan while I'm trudging through the day on my way to a high school graduation tonight and an uber-cool girl's Valedictorian speech. Once business is done in this part of the screwed up world I've got to scoot home, change my clothes and shoot to the school for some funster's graduation night...some funsters who never imagined they'd graduate. My favorite of which is Rachel. She was ready to give up but a few good breaks kept her going and BLAM...graduation...KABOOM...Valedictorian. Her speech better be short, sweet and funny as hell or I might get all soft and girly with my emotions...I know, it doesn't take much but until you've been to the edge of failure, grabbed hold of something and pulled yourself back then you don't get it.

I wish Zoey was old enough to catch a glimpse of some of this stuff, she'd learn an awful lot. I know I am. Every time I stare into those blue peekers of hers I wonder what we're in for. Will she cruise through it all, will she need to find some luck, help and hope like Rachel, or will we ruin the kid? I'm sure it'll be a combination of all three. I just hope she's got a conscience, some pluck and luck, and the ability and eagerness to learn about the world long after everyone else has stopped trying. Tonight I'm going to watch kids graduate who probably think they learned a lot on their path to accepting that diploma, what's funny is I think I learned more.

No worries Zed...I'll come home and tell you all about it. That's something I promise to do forever and ever. I'm gonna come home and tell you everything, even if I have to wake you up to do it. Sorry Mom, I think it's important (More important than sleep you ask?). Zoey would love to hear all about Rachel's night, I'm sure, so I'll tell her. Tonight a girl graduates who didn't think she would. If it's still raining at eight o'clock tonight there very well could be blue eyes crying in the rain as I make my way home. It means a lot to me that Rachel is graduating. It reminds me how important it is to reach out for help and then use it to beat the hell out of whatever it is that you want until you get it. I'm sure there are more articulate ways of saying it but I like it that way.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Meet Squish...She's extra hip

week 21 - a quick visit with brander and squish (aka delilah)

Brander Martin stopped by the beach real quick tonight so we could meet her little beaut, "Squish, before they sneak off back to Red Deer, Alberta. Squish's real name is Delilah and she's one of the coolest babies we've ever met...she's got a Bowie shirt! I swear! She's sporting the G'NR tee here but kiddo has a Bowie tee. Aside from those ears that Brander is oh-so proud of this girl is swimming in hip.

A Bowie tee? Awesome.

One toothed wonder child

week 21 - first tooth!

The phone rang and I excused myself at 11:11am to answer what would be the coolest call I’ve ever gotten at work.

“Zoey has a tooth coming in,” June exclaimed!

At first I thought, “How is that possible? She’s only four and a half months old,” but there it is, peeking through the pink and just waiting for years of inappropriate use, abuse, and difficult food processing. Zoey has a tooth. This is crazy.

I asked June if she took a picture of it before I even realized the ridiculousness of that remark, although if you knew June’s extra appendage with the Canon on it you might have asked the same thing.

Zoey has her first tooth. Whoa.

week 21 - first tooth!

BTW…how cool is my wife to have called me to fill me in on this Zoey milestone? Cooler than a Shaq tweet I think. I suppose almost anything is cooler than a Shaq tweet though, isn’t it?

Can’t wait to go home and see the one toothed wonder woman that’s all wrapped up in the body of a four month old.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sun, sand, smushed up cereal and a World Championship

Kobe kisses daughter, Gianna

I really shouldn't be posting anything until the excitement subsides, but that might take days. Kobe and Co. did it again for his 4th NBA title, the team's 15th, and Phil Jackson's 10th. Zoey's been restless throughout, like she knows she's missing something. It was a busy day of sun and sand and more sun so she should be down and out...nope. It's after 11pm and the fusnter is still rooting around. Some nights she's all punk, others a princess, but tonight she's all "never mind the bollocks" instead of the "easy like Sunday morning" we were hoping for.

It's probably not nearly appropriate making Sex Pistols references alongside Commodores ones but I told you I was all excited and silly as putty.

Zeddie Vedder had herself a good today...and now Dad can slip off to sleep smiling too. The Lakers are World Champions once again! The sunburn I earned today stings a lot less watching Kobe and his daughters celebrate this title. I feel fourteen again!

It was a long day today, one that started at 5am and still isn't over. It had naps and grass between baby toes, rock picking on the bottom of Lake Huron, grass cutting, visiting with Murray next door (the Cap'n for almost 80 years now), and a visit from Zoey's favorite midwife, Val. Zedder get her eat on with some more cereal, she saw Grandma for a quick visit, and she giggled her tiny little ass off all day long.

The only person on the planet who's got it better this Sunday is Kobe Bryant...maybe.

Sunday Sunny Sunday ...snap, snap, snap!

the backyard today... beauty!

Le Zed was a photo magnet today. It helps that her Mom is well endowed with photographic "know how" (from now on I'm saying "know who" instead of know how) and enthusiasm. Zedder sees the front of June's cameras more often than her own feet!

week 20 - happy girl after her nap

week 20 - shots from the carrier

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good Morning Zoey Sakura...Au Revoir Lord Stanley

week 18 - look at that cute face :)

Game 7 is a bummer regardless of the ending. The hockey season is over and you no longer have a legitimate reason to yell at the television until September when college football is in full swing. Baseball is a fine thing but barely ever garners screams and coffee table kicks. The NBA Finals are a favorite but you can't chuck things around the room in the same manner as hockey inspires you to. The end of hockey season means it should be summer but when you look out of your window and it's a chilly 55 degrees, cloudy and unbelievably UN-summer-like then Game 7 stings.

Zoey crashed out through the entire game with Grandma keeping watch so that Mom and Dad could go out to watch and either celebrate or come home quiet. We came home quiet. Pittsburgh looked great. Detroit looked nothing like the Detroit we've come to expect and now Zoey will wake up to a Hockeytown without the Stanley Cup. Boy will she be bummed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Zoey Sakura Sans Friends = Her own Damn Fault

Zoey computer

According to Zoey’s calculations there are exactly 39 days left before she gets to tell all her friends that she lives in California. The funny part about that is the part where she tells all ZERO of her friends that she lives in California. Sometimes Zoey exaggerates and then sometimes we just really wonder if we expose her enough to other children. I mean, really ALL of her friends? C'mon Zedder.

She sees other kids at the Y when she’s swimming. She occasionally bumps into a baby on the street or at the mall. She’s met Sammer and Liam and…I guess that’s about it. Our kid might be socially dysfunctional unless we get all over that. Of course there is the argument that she is only 4.5 months old and just how many real friends can she possibly have, but we’re not an excuse type of family. We take great pride in just saying what we think, and right now we think Zoey is friendless. Sounds harsh but it’s true. Hey, we can't be responsible for everything. At some point this kid has to cut the friggin' cord and get our there and make some friends all by her damn self.

She is getting more and more into online social networking though so maybe that’ll help?

Zedder's First Lesson on Boys Compliments of Dad


Zoey loves herself some OT three pointers…just loves ‘em.

The Zedder let out a squeal this morning when I told her that Derrick Fisher sealed the Lakers Game 4 win with a super schweeet three as the clock wound down in overtime. She was a little upset that she missed it but then we distracted her with June’s breasts and she forgot all about it. It didn’t take long for her to start yammering on and on about tonight’s Game 7 between Detroit and Pittsburgh for the Stanley Cup though.

ZO: I can’t believe you didn’t take me to Game 5 Dad. Some people would consider that child abuse.
Dad: Child abuse is if I let you be a Yankees fan or go to college in Ohio. Missing Game 5 is not child abuse.

ZO: What happens if Pittsburgh wins tonight Dad?
Dad: People will think that Sidney Crosby is cooler than he actually is.

ZO: Dad, will everyone shave their beards when the game’s over?
Dad: Yup, even Chuck Gaidica

ZO: Why do they grow beards in the first place?
Dad: That’s because hockey players have terrible hygiene honey. Remember that, hockey players have terrible hygiene, and they’re mostly gross and stinky. Can you remember that until you’re 18 years old?

ZO: I think so. Is it important that I remember that?
Dad: Yes, dear, it’s REALLY important. If you hang out with hockey players your hair will fall out and you’ll go blind. Did you know that?

ZO: What’s hair?
Dad: Whad’ya mean “what’s hair,” that’s what beards are made of…that’s what’s on people’s heads, you weirdo

ZO: Dad, I’m only 4 months old.
Dad: Almost five…

ZO: Still.
Dad: You’re right.

ZO: Hey Dad, if Detroit wins Stanley’s Cup what will Stanley drink from?
Dad: Stanley isn’t really a cup, honey, it’s a trophy.

ZO: Then why do they call it a cup and why do they drink from it.
Dad: ‘Cause hockey players are dumb honey.

ZO: Hockey players are stinky AND dumb?
Dad: That’s right.

ZO: I don’t think I like hockey players.
Dad: That’s good sweetie. Me neither.

ZO: Didn’t you play hockey Daddy?
Dad: Nope.

ZO: Mom said that you played hockey.
Dad: Mom is a liar.

ZO: Mom’s not a liar. Is she?
Dad: Yup, she is. Ask her if she’s cooler than me.


ZO: She said that she’s definitely cooler than you.
Dad: See, liar.

ZO: Dad, when do the Lakers play again?
Dad: Saturday, I think. Why?

ZO: I like the Lakers. Basketball players aren’t dumb and stinky too are they?
Dad: They're worse.

ZO: Are all boys dumb and stinky Daddy?
Dad: Yup...all of 'em.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Zoey Likes Zac...or at least the idea of too

If you're not a regular visitor over at, or if you don't happen to subscribe to that same unabashed sport media monopoly's print magazine then you may not have seen or heard about Zac Sunderland yet. You're missing out.

Zac is a sixteen year old home-schooled California kid who is sailing around the world solo...that's right, solo. Oh yeah, and in his own boat...the boat that he just so happened to buy with his own money...the money that he quite simply earned all by himself. Zac's an impressive young man.

This week's ESPN, The Magazine has Zac on the cover, that's how we stumbled into the impressive but oh so humble phenom. It was a quick scoot over to Zac's blog for some more reading (his Mom updates the blog with regular, or semi-regular at worst, communication with Zac) and some even more jaw gaping awe. This kid is probably not going to go to college like everyone else or ever...EVER work in a cubicle. If you get the chance, sneak over to your computer desk and get knee deep in Zac. You won't regret it.

What's most important about all of this is that a sixteen year old kid can inspire you...not a kid with a terrible disease or disability, not a kid who's overcome horrific abuse or trauma, but a regular sixteen year old kid (that's debatable I suppose) who's chosen to take his own path and do his own thing, a rather enormous thing. It inspired us to make some plans for the future, or re-visit plans, I should say.

At one point we talked about living the kind of life that made us shake our heads, that made others smile and shake theirs, and that we could never retreat from with any kind of feeling of regret. We talked about working abroad, or traveling around the world...of helping out in someplace that was desperate for the helping, or of just up and moving somewhere for a full year or so to absorb things, change and grow. We talked about doing these things, wisely, before Zoey is ready for school, and before baby #2 is embraced. We talked about a lot of things but Zac reminded us to keep talking and do our best to not just kiss one another goodnight and fall asleep without challenging our imaginations (someone told us that's how baby #2 comes which made us giggle) and capacity for wonder. Zac put those ideas back in the forefront of our minds and not on some back burner.

I once met a couple and their infant son who taught sea kayaking in Alaska all summer and Baja Mexico all winter.

I knew a family who's children had ridden on the backs of elephants in Thailand before they had sat on their own bikes.

One of the smartest kids I have ever met was in a port in the Bahamas, being home schooled on his boat and making friends around the world.

The smartest kid I ever knew had a Mom who studied elephants in Botswana and she spoke three languages before most kids have a grasp on one.

All we want is a small piece of that, not the whole freak show. I'm not even sure if we believe in the extremes of the freak show, in fact, I'm quite sure we don't. We have a healthy disdain for the "norm" and a substantial respect for it in the very same breath. As Mark Twain said, we just wanted to "live an extraordinary life, to believe that something larger is waiting," if we just step out our back door and get busy looking.

Anyway...Zoey's on board with the idea, or so she squealed, and we've got until September 2013 when Zo starts Jr. Kindergarten to manage something. That gives us almost four years to come up with a plan. Brian won't likely be sleeping now until 2013.

Damn you're awesome.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Curious Case of Courtney Lee (and the lay up that almost was)

Zoey and Dad pouring over Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Why is Dad wearing a Montreal Expos jersey?

Zoey has some serious questions about Dwight Howard's basketball IQ, and Jeff Van Gundy's all around intelligence so we scooted over to to see what everyone had to say about last night's Game 2. When that wasn't enough we shot on over to the LA Times for a different angle on the same events. Although the Lakers pulled the win out in OT Zoey wasn't at all impressed with what she was hearing. She may be getting a little too opinionated for her diapers.

Naturally, she missed the entire game last night because a four month old has to sleep regardless of the NBA Finals and so Dad filled her in first thing this morning. She waited patiently for Dad all day and then eagerly sat down with Dad when he got home from work to watch a replay of the game on the computer. She was happy enough with what the scoreboard read at the end but she had a number of questions that Dad did his best to answer:

ZO: Dad, does Kobe always look that scary?
Dad: No, he usually looks bored.

ZO: Dad, is Phil Jackson really in the hall of fame?
Dad: Yep, weird huh?

ZO: Was that Greg Oden playing for LA?
Dad: No sweetie, that's Andrew Bynum

ZO: I think I like Hedo Turkoglu but I don't know why?
Dad: Maybe you just feel sorry for him more than anything?

ZO: What's the deal with Bynum?
Dad: Well Zed, if you take the value of his contract extension, $64 Brazilian dollars, and divide it by 7 Trillion you have his vertical leap measured in inches. Does that explain it or no?

ZO: No
Dad: Uhmmm, okay.

ZO: Dad, can Lamar Odom be my Godfather?
Dad: He's everyone's Godfather honey.

ZO: How come Pau Gasol is so good Daddy?
Dad: It's kind of like god's gift to him for being so ugly.

ZO: What's "god"?
Dad: Don't worry about it, honey.

At this point Zoey just shrugs and asks for June's boob. In between disgusting sounding slurps (it stopped being cute after about the first month or so, now it just sounds gluttonous) she kicks out more questions.

ZO: I've been out of the womb a whole 4 months now and even I know that you can't leave your feet and then make decisions with the ball? How come Kobe does it all the time?
Dad: He's really just a hologram designed by Disney to David Stern's strict specifications. Holograms are allowed to leave their feet.

ZO: Dad, what's a hologram?
Dad: one really knows

ZO: Do the referees hate Orlando Daddy?
Dad: No honey, they just love the Lakers, that's all.

Zo switches boobies...and begins slurping ravenously again. The questions are pretty tough to distinguish between gurgles but to be perfectly honest I mostly just wanted to type the word "boobie" in there.

ZO: Daddy, you said that in college Redick was good?
Dad: He was, sweetie, but he went to college at Duke know...

ZO: I do?
Dad: You will.

ZO: Dad, why are my pants so baggy?
Dad: Shut up and watch the game kid.

ZO: Why are you laughing at Rashard Lewis?
Dad: I'm not baby. I'm laughing at Seattle.

ZO: Dad, how many steps can you take before it's travelling?
Dad: If you're a Laker, five.

ZO: Dad, what happen's if Courtney Lee makes that long tossed lay up?
Dad: That's that "god" thing you were asking about earlier.

The questions started to trail off as the Zedder slowly slipped into a satisfied sleep. I'm glad she didn't ask me any questions about Rafer Alston or Stan Van Gundy. I'm not sure how I'd have answered them.

Zedder Rocks Tupperville...well, not really, but she did visit it


The Zedder made her debut appearance in Tupperville on Sunday...why Tupperville? Why not?

First, Dad's cousin "Nayber" lives there...

Secondly, Dad grew up there, well, just outside of "there"...

Thirdly, we thought that Zoey should get a little more "middle of nowhere" experiences since she hasn't had one since she left Iowa a few months ago...

Fourthly (that just feels fun to say), Dad's other cousin, Al, was scooting in from Edmonton and would be appearing for one afternoon only at the Tupperville baseball field, reinforcing W.P. Kinsella's axiom that, "If you build it, they will come,"...or in this particular case, "If you leave it to grow fallow and shamefully waste all that beauty imported red Georgia clay that had no business on a crumby middle of nowhere baseball diamond infield in the middle of rural Ontario, they will come".

So Team Zedder got to meet some family, like Nayber and Christina...Al and Lindz (aka, Lenny)...and Aunt Cheryl (Grandma Cathy's little sister)...AND Dad got to play some catch on the baseball field of his youth with two of his favorite family members this side of Kelly Clarkson (Dad's really not related to Kelly Clarkson, thank god, but his hands just got busy typing and that sounded funny he just had to chuck it in there).

Anyway, we snapped some pics, ate some grilled goods and played us some catch. We also pumped a well...that sounded weird...the same well that Dad used to dunk his ball cap under when he was a little kid...and caught up with everyone. Nayber and C just bought a new house, Lindz just got into Med School, and Zoey just learned how to giggle when she farts so there was a lot to talk about.

Lenny's talkin' fancy med school crap with Zoey and she's getting frustrated by all the nonsense. Lenny doesn't get out much.

We established that Len and Zo have exactly the same skin tone...translucent.

Once they had that in common they were cool...

In fact, they were more than cool...Lenny and Zo are buddies now. Zedder seemed to like Len a lot

We discovered once we got home that we didn't have a single pic of Zo with Nayber or Christina so I guess it's back to Tupperville someday soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Let sleeping babies sleep...even when you really want to play

week 18 - playing with daddy

Neither Mother or daughter slept very well last night, in fact they both sucked at sleeping which was mostly Zoey's fault. June was doing her best but just couldn't manage the feat with the sleepless baby accessory she was sporting. The two were up and then down and then back up again about seventeen times. It was exhausting to watch, I can't imagine if I'd have played a role.

Before you go and chastise me for being a crappy Father I double dog dare you to stifle June's motherly urges. You'd have to tie her down to the bed and well, we've just never been into that sort of thing. That's how little "Goth" babies are born we've heard. Don't tie one another up. That's just bad. Anyway, as I sit here and ramble away at 7:30am there's a sleeping Mom and funster combo to my left and neither looks very comfortable.

I think June just said something to me about, "how tired she is," but I was ignoring her and all that incessant complaining...sorry, that line was just to see what people's reactions would be. I'm betting it's hilariously offended which is just what I was kinda going for.

The two look head swimmingly awesome right cute I'm embarrassed to uglify the situation with my morning mouth and bed head. You Mom's got yourself a tough jog being the end all, be all and stuff but, man, that's a cool gig. Zoey doesn't fall asleep on me anymore and I miss it. The Zedder and her Mom are pretty tight.

week 18 - i love those smiley eyes

I'm looking forward to the day when you can't take your eyes off of me and it's Dad who swings from clouds and hangs off of rainbows...when just a few words from my stupid mouth can turn your face into a shiny carnival of stars and butterflies and fireworks. I can't wait for the day when no one can fix things for you but me, and although it may only last a short time before you figure my ineptitude out I'll scoop it all up and live off of it in those moments you don't see through me.

If you only knew how carefully I hug you for fear that I might accidentally grind your little Zo bones into a fine, fine dust from the strength of my love alone. How will I ever make you understand? I know, I'll just tell you all about it the instant you understand a single friggin' word that comes outta my mouth, and I'll keep on telling you for the rest of your life...even when I'm gone you'll still be able to hear my voice saying such sweet things. I'll say them so often and I'll say them exactly the same way every time so that you can remember them really easy. I'll say them even when you don't deserve them and I'll say them even when I'm not thinking them...but who am I kidding, I'll always be thinking them.

I want to wake you up right now to tell you but that's just dumb. You and Mom got a good thing going and sometimes Dad's are smart enough to know when to leave things alone. Zoey will probably be embarrassed by what I write here. Tough shit. She should've seen my Dad's sweatpants.

Introducing Luther Lovewright...Get Used to His Awesomeness

I've decided that just for some extra odd fun that I needed an alter-ego...that's right, an alter-ego, and since the name "Colt Seavers" had already been used (and used oh so well), I settled on Luther Lovewright. It's not as tough sounding but it sho does sound sweet don't it? (Must be said in a tone reminiscent of "Shady Grady" from Sanford & Son)

Luther's been stuck on cool since the day he was born. Luther never wet the bed when he was a kid and he was flat out poddy trained when he was just nine months old, THAT's how cool Luther cool you can just drop the "L" off the word and he's just plain old "coo..." maybe even with a "k"...yup, that's right, koo with a "k"

Why am I telling all of you this? 'Cause it's 2 am and I'm tired senseless.

Do yourself a favor and get to kow Luther while the gettin's good. Just who is Luther Lovewright....good question.

Luther Lovewright has perfect cursive and never uses abbreviations. Never.

Luther Lovewright doesn't look like he's from around here but everyone stops and asks him directions anyway.

Miller High Life is still in a clear bottle because Luther says so.

Luther Lovewright invented the t-shirt.

Luther Lovewright doesn't even flinch when you say the word "vagina."

You're gonna love us.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Turn on, tune in and drop out...then buy some stained glass

week 19 - me and zo at artwalk

Today was “Artwalk” in Sarnia and aside from a fun day in the sun surrounded by creative, energetic and far from bashful sorts it served as a reminder why we’re still here. Ten years ago we had no intention of sticking around the area. We were eager to get gone and find greener pastures but then events of exceptional nature kept us relatively “local” and when you sit down and pencil up the math it makes perfect sense. What doesn’t make any sense is how we’ve somehow managed to not engage ourselves in the more fun and social parts of the community in the four years we’ve been here.

Over the past decade we’ve become more inclined to lean towards the arts when we might have sat solely in stadiums in previous years. It’s funny because we’re both significantly creative people but somehow over the years we’ve allowed an inexplicable distance to slip between us and the kind of activities and people that an event like Artwalk attracts – musicians, artists, & organic types – and it’s been a bummer. Wandering the streets today was a quiet, sunny reminder of all that we’ve been missing.

There were some weirdos wandering around fo sho including fat girls belly dancing along with a dude in a dress but for the most part the streets were filled with unabashed coolness. Glass blowers, photographers, quilters and assorted hippy types…and we loves us some hippy types on occasion. Who doesn’t?

We had Stanley Cup Finals tickets for tonight (Game 5) but we sold them when the prospect of dropping $1000 US in one evening made my knees shakey. Instead we blew J's with graffiti artists and a couple of lesbian henna artists. It was awesome, and way cheaper. Zoey even got a tattoo.

Man, I can't believe we've hidden ourselves away in our backyard just playing on the beach, drinking beer, and grilling every weekend. From this point on we're tye dying our own overalls and learning how to walk on stilts. We just might be here to stay and why not dive right into the community, right? I was even thinking about learning to play the bongos, or maybe the "rain stick" or didgerydoo thingamajiggy...whatever? Either way I'd have to make it myself so as not to sell my soul to the consumer establishment.

How long 'til Mariposa?

If I can somehow manage to stop screwing around and taking advantage of the easy pickings that hippy types are I can post some new pics of le Zed. What might be the most hilarious part of this entire post is that I'd rather hang with all them patchouli stinkers then half of Joe Louis Arena tonight, I really would. I joke because I can...and I might still be wicked high from all the buckets we toked today.

week 19 - my fav! - sunglasses
The Zipster chillin' in the car post-Artwalk and boobie feast

week 19 - smiley
We had a pretty happy baby on our hands after a day of ingesting patchouli stink and incense

week 18 - more sitting
Bedtime came with Zoey's own anti-indie protest, sporting her GAP sleeper and Macbook (which she uses to buy eTrade stock online)...that's also an IKEA bed she's lounging on.

You do realize that this whole post was mostly a giant joke, right? We actually love the smell of patchouli, and we totally dig tye dye and dudes on stilts. We didn't actually smoke any doobage, or hang out with any lesbians although I'm sure we were in the vicinity of some. We'd gladly drop out and join the freak parade if we weren't so inclined to smell nice and hadn't grown so accustomed to money.

Zedder Rips Off a Few Laughs with Grandma

Zedder tore it up with Grandma this week. It was sweet and hilarious, and totally reinforced the idea that she isn't actually allergic to anyone other than her mother. Grandma was getting worried.

week 18 - chatting with grandma

week 18 - chatting with grandma

week 18 - chatting with grandma

week 18 - chatting with grandma

week 18 - chatting with grandma

week 18 - chatting with grandma

See Grandma, we told you...but I'd plan on some kick ass gifts for the first few years just in case.