Saturday, November 28, 2009

We've got a pretty nice little Saturday planned...not really

Rarrr leaves
Rarrr earning his keep. Raked up about thirty bags of leaves which is a lot for him.

Waking up at 5:30 am on Saturday morings is starting to feel pretty standard. I actually kinda like it provided I didn't get into the sauce the night before. Breathing Jim Beam on your daughters face first thing in the morning is kinda, well, irresponsible at best...jut plain sad at worst.

We have nothing planned this Michigan football misery, no yard work to do (lie), no visiting on the agenda, no nuthin'...Yesterday was Black Friday over in the States so a shopping day could be in order today but we dunno. I was gonna go and sneak another tattoo in but since it's not eactly like sneaking a cookie from the jar I might hold off on that one. It was a nice little June deal but it might just have to become a reality a few weeks from now instead.

The family is headed back to New York for Christmas...well, pre-Christmas...we'll be leaving on the 13th me thinks and headed back East. This time 'round we're staying over in Weehawken, got a place right there by the Lincoln Harbor Ferry over to Manhattan and we're absolutely stoked about the mid-town Manhattan view. It'll be a beauty way to usher in Christmas, that's for sure. Then we'll shoot back home in time for Christmas Eve and Dad's tradition of "It's a Wonderful life" even if sometimes it isn't. But that's all weeks away, for now we need to fill up this Saturday...

My 6 am quicklist of options...

- Head Stateside and get some Christmas shopping done and out of the way...

- Go get a tattoo

- Call Corey and Steph and see what's cookin' tonight...

- Do nuthin' and then regret it later...

- Turn the basement into someplace we'd actually like to hang out in...

- Blog some...then be bored...

- Drive to Toronto and check out that weird independant artists show thing...

- Go buy some records...

That's about all I can think of right now.

Penetang wang pu tang...Photos from the photo-free weekend

The DeWagnerellis and Cooperiffics strike a family pose while Zoey tells the world we're #1.

Scott and Stace posted some of the photos from our little road trip to Penetanguishene and they're so cute that I puked...I did. I was overwhelmed with bile launching swetness and an absolutely all dizzying sense of affection. Then I stole 'em, posted 'em on my wn Facebook (with photo credit, of course), and chucked 'em up here. I didn't even ask. I figure their attorney can call my attorney and we'll all get down if need be.

Samsquench offering up some drinkables to the Zo...she declined. Never know what's in it I tell her.

It was a beauty weekend and I wish we could sneak more of 'em. Driving four hours to hang out randomly is a bit much on a regular basis though....unless you drive a truck for a living or maybe have really bad short term memory loss, then it wouldn't seem so bad. It'd seem like forever since you'd seen one another each and every time.

The Squencher reading some James Joyce for the Zedder. Dubliners I think.

We were pretty excited to recieve the pics. We knew there'd be a few doozys (should doozy be pluralized with" ies" or just "ys"?) and we got 'em up here pronto. You know, to share with the rest of the world, in particular whoever it is who casts child models for J Crew catalgue shoots...or creeps tat float around the net looking for cure baby pics...whichever.

The mandatory double kid bathtub shot. Why do we always do that? Manipulative grown ups.

We're hoping to see Sammer, Scott and Stace again before Christmas but who knows...June's got that whole transplant thing happening, and I've got at least three appointments with the doctor who's going to perform the cosmetic surgery, and even Zo is booked into the Cabana Room in Weekawken through to New might not happen.

If this picture isn't enough to make you nauseaus with cuteness then perhaps you have no soul.

The Cooper Family Christmas is falling to earth on December 12th, I mean, from what I read in some bathroom stall at a Hwy 401 truckstop, and so with luck we can get up there and commiserate with the masses of loved ones whilst most of the people we loathe are elsewhere. If that's the case then we can see Scott, Stace, and Sammer nice to see Uncle Larry & Aunt Jean's been awhile. Zoey can get a peek at her relatives so she'll know where the bags under her eyes came from, and then we'll hope for some more pics from the camera of Double Scoop Photography. Them yokels is goood.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lots of Stuff To Be Thankful For...

Dad daughter tiger hats Nov09
As I type this...81 days, 11 hours, and 35 minutes until Spring Training...but who's counting?

Happy Thanksgiving 'Murica...hope you have a good one. I miss the days when I got to celebrate both Canadian and US Thanksgivings...maybe I'll grab a turkey sandwich today? It's so weird that it's Thanksgiving literally a mile away from my house, that it's arguably thebiggest holiday in North America and I can see it from my back yard but I can't enjoy it. Regardless, I've got lots of stuff to be thankful for all this stuff...

One helluva happy, cute and seemingly healthy and intelligent child...

The most kick ass wife ever...

Reconnecting with so many great friends this year...Kevin and Aimee, Johnny Teetemstein, etc...

A family that keeps it's legs pumping like Tshimunga Biakabatuka circa 1995...

In-laws that I love...

97.1 The Ticket...Detroit sports radio.

The strength and fortitude to give up my basketball tickets...

A month in Hawaii...

My Clark's Desert boots...

Mileage cheques...

Mia Graffam's kick ass tattoo artistry...

A backyard that's a beach...

That ridiculous but oh-so handy charcoal BBQ flame thrower my brother fabricated to scare city folks and light my grill...

Zoey and Grandma pics from Bryant Park...

Tiny little Tigers caps...

An LA Lakers World Championship...

Mill Street Brewery finally making it's "Organic" brew in 241 ml bottles...

"Tambourine Girl" by The Josh Davis Band

Grace Kelly in Rear Window...

Steak on the grill, Stella in hand...lake to look at...

Standing room on the railing in front of the statues at Comerica Park...

My record player and how good My Morning Jacket's "Where to Begin" sounds on it...

Paul Theroux's book, "Hotel Honolulu"...

Lots of Zoey pics...

Health...happiness...and serendipity...

My new Ray Bans...

Every Magnum PI Season on DVD...

Memories of Alan Trammel and Sweet Lou...

Over 15,000 Zoey Blog readers...I'm serious. I should be selling crap on here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AWESOME x 10...okay, 5, but still... how much do fifth graders rock? A lot, that's how much.

My favorite is the heavy kid in the white tee, third row from the back on the right side of the aisle...he thinks he's Al B Sure.

How Long 'til Spring Gets Here? Pre-Winter Ramblings 'n Such

Summer trees
Some trees that I stole from the top half of another photo...made me want summer back.

We're lounging on the bed, June and I, listening to the classical station on the satellite, with a baby sleeping soundly somewhere, and pouring over the "interweb" in the sweet and safe comfort of one another's laptop distractions. We're positioned so that I can lean my head against June's arm and sigh at my own leisure. We're dreaming wistfully of skipping winter altogether and jumping straight into Spring. We're perusing Joel Flory's website...our almost wedding photographer until June got almost shipped to India pre-wedding. That's right...we were supposed to get married in San Francisco but TD Canada Trust messed it all up...we forgive them and all but once you get a gander at Joel Flory's pics you'll understand our regret. No biggie...New York was okay, I guess :)

We've decided that we're getting re-married, probably with our best good friends Scitty and Roo (even though we've never mentioned it to them) in Mexico at a little UNBELIEVABLE place called Verana. Serree and Mike can come too.

I think we'll move to San Francisco for a year, figure things out. You think I'm kidding.

This picture of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward makes me happy.

This picture makes my heart swell up so big my chest hurts. It's what I was thinking when I said "I do."

Serendipity is all cued up on YouTube because I feel like some Jeremy Piven - John Cusak friendship now.

I'm rockin' this wicked new Rangers jersey I just will become my Christmas morning staple from this point on, I think.

The headache I had earlier is gone thanks to a super selfish nap that saw me miss Zoey's bedtime.

I have the urge to hear O' Tannenbaum from Charlie Brown's Christmas.

Trying to sketch out my next tattoo that I've got less than two weeks to suss out before the tattoo gun in NY starts to buzzing.

Gonna spend my birthday at The National Baseball Hall of Fame...yeah, life sucks!

I need to buy more records.

My daughter is awfully cool, almost as cool as this Johnny Mercer beaut done right by The Chairman.

How's that for random rambling?

Whatever....I'm not listening.


ア イ ウ エ オ ...Baachan's breaking out the flash cards, for real.

Zo Baachan floor with cards
Baachan and Zoey studying Japanese on the kitchen floor, or playing, whichever.

It only took her ten months but Zedder is going to Japaenese school already...sure, informally, and on Baachan's kitchen floor, but it's learning just the same and she's up for it. In fact, she gets pretty excited about it. Yeah, it's time with Baachan, and sure it's fun playing with all those flash cards, but she's learning nevertheless, and her Baachan is happy to be facilitating it. We always had plans of Zoey working on her Japanese as she grew but Baachan's getting an early start.

Baachan already speaks to her in Japanese quite frequently, and Zo has a definite affinity for the sound of her grandmother's native language, but we smile at the language school rapidly growing out of the kitchen floor at 204 Running Creek. The tuition is affordable and Zoey gets hugs instead of gold stars, even if right now she doesn't know what's afoot. The best learning happens when you aren't paying attention.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Here she comes to save the day...

Super Zo - Nov09
The bath tub is Zoey's phone booth...Supergirl? I'd say so. For me at least.

Sometimes a day spins out of control and you can barely get a grip on it (like when you lose to Ohio State for a record setting sixth straight year), and then sometimes a little girl saves you. It's pretty hard to stay bummed when you've got a squealing, giggling little girl flopping around in the bath. It's even harder still when she comes up for air and has a hilariously serendipitous letter "S" stuck to her chest. That's right, just as my Michigan funk was fully finding it's place in my head and heart, little Zoey steals both. Supergirl? She sure is, and for the rest of my life.

This isn't something I want to get used to...

Ugh -- being a loser sucks. Good thing all of this is incomprehensible to the Zedder. It's funny because it shouldn't really affect you all that much, but it does. It sheds some light on the importance of surrounding yourself with positivity. It sure makes you realize what you took for granted for so long. It's just a game, sure, of course, but this is also about faith and belief and tradition. The game only helps to define those people playing in it, but that other stuff, well, having something external to believe in is nice...not necessary, I know, but nice.

Ohio State 21 - Michigan 10's a long time until September comes back around isn't it?

Desperation doesn't feel so good...


I wondered aloud last night if this was what desperation feels like, June nearly choked. Since 1995 I've never known the word, not in any sporting sense, and now suddenly 2009 has brought me heaping piles of the stuff. Whether it was the Tigers dropping to their knees and submitting to the Twins in extra innings of an extra afternoon of regular season baseball, or these lonely Wolverines clawing at the feet of the Ohio State, roses clenched firmly between Buckeye teeth. Satisfaction has never felt so illusive. THere has always been something to brag about until 2009.

THe stakes are high today -- as they are every Saturday in the Fall --but this isn't every Saturday, this is Ohio State and Michigan and it matters, maybe now more than ever despite what some people might say.

A good friend of mine, Aimee, once wondered why she had to care so much about this stuff, and I'll call her sentiment even as I'm sure that I could never raise.

Please win today Michigan...please, please, please win.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuckered out before she had a chance to tucker in the first place

Zoey sleeping coat and floor -Nov09

Someone fell asleep today before she even got the chance to leave the house. I guess just thinking about playing outside is a tiring enterprise.

This may be the sweetest thing she's ever done.

Just for the record, we know that the coat is too big but we like it...tough beans for all you arrogant sartorialists. She practically dresses herself...she's like a cute magnet and all these amazing clothes just stick to her. You can't even take her shopping or cool stuff just flies off the racks and hits those boots. She was practically born with 'em that's how cute she makes 'em look.

Little sleeping Zo...sigh...too cute...waaaaay too cute. She almost made it outside...almost.

Turds of the world unite...and then leave me alone

As I type this I’m listening to a couple of dorks talk “jail” in their best whitey gangsta verbiage outside of my office…I totally just heard the phrase, “Prosecutors are always dicks,” to which I nearly blurted, “No sh!t ,” and hit one of them over the head with some brains and perspective. Half of the duo was sent away for possession of a gun and some Molotov Cocktails while the other is a little turd who sells dime bags and knocks teenage girls up for fun. Both are shining examples of the failure of parenting, society’s institutions, and genetics. They annoy me.

Similarly my office has been regularly overrun by teachers on the lam from responsibility this afternoon and between listening to conversations about how one of the teachers once knocked an old grey-haired man out after a hockey brawl spread into the stands, and run ins with random strippers I’m just about done with turds for the day. The ironic thing has been that they’ve been overflowing from both ends of the socio-economic spectrum this afternoon, jailbirds and educators alike and its mind boggling. I guess douche baggery knows no bounds.

I’m going to go home, hug my wife and daughter and enjoy my Friday night plenty in case Saturday sucks pudding. It very well could with Buckeye Nation invading Ann Arbor by the no toothed truckload. Funny that even as I complain about turds it happens to be Ohio State weekend when turds are in abundance, all decked out in scarlet and grey. The whole thing has inspired me to make a list of some of the things that I will find generally repulsive in any boy Zoey brings home…

Please, please, don’t ever bring a Buckeye home. They’re arrogant and rude and so generally off-putting that congeniality would be tough. Bring home a Spartan, I couldn’t care less. I don’t hate Sparty…I don’t enjoy myself some Sparty but I’m not opposed to someone dressed tastefully in green and white. Tom Izzo is amazing, and Magic Johnson was a Spartan, Kirk Gibson too, so I could handle it, but a Buckeye? No.

Avoid both football and hockey players. I played hockey, a lot of it actually, and I know first hand what those guys are made of…turds approximately 70% of the time. Football players are worse. Sure there are good ones in the bunch, but remember the 70:30 split if you wanna remain turd free. It’s easy math Zo…basically, if there are ten hockey players in a room and you can obviously recognize three nice ones and none of them are there with you, you’re hanging with the wrong guy.

Cops, Bouncers, Phys. Ed. Teachers, Lead Singers, Volleyball Players, and some Farmers. Turds…all of ‘em. No need to explain further, just take my word for it.

Guys who drive giant pick-up trucks, stupid little almost sports cars, or crotch-rocket type motorcycles. Turd, turd, and turd…unequivocally, without debate.

Guys with subscriptions to Maxim magazine. At least Playboy has a history of literary credibility, Maxim actually makes you dumber. I understand that young men have libidos…but add a brain to the mixture and I’ll respect you more.

Criminals. Uhmmm, obviously.

There’s probably a dozen more but that’s what floats to the top of my head. Be a decent guy and I’ll let you in the door. I’m completely willing to accept your Joe Average guy flaws, but if you reside anywhere in the “Turd Spectrum” (see below) then please, leave my daughter alone.

Turd Spectrum

I'm sure that there can be some anamolies, admittedly there are good people throughout the "turd spectrum" but the odds are decidedly stacked against them. It's wise to steer clear of hockey parents and high school football coaches etc... unless, of course, you are able to deflect the bulk of their turdness. I just hope that Zo can escape the clutches of the turds. They eventually intersect with all of our paths. It just seems particularly weird that so many intersected with my office this afternoon.

The Bolzon Theory a.k.a. Bruce's Flub

Go Blue Bruce
Bruce making amends with the universe...getting things right

And here it is…The Bolzon Theory, or as it may more commonly be referred to from this point forward…”Bruce’s Flub.” It might not be valid at all, I mean consider the source – me – but it’s a theory and it’s the one I’m sticking with.

This is Michigan - Ohio State week (and the order in which you make reference to each school is wildly important, if only just to annoy Buckeyes), and hardly anyone is talking about the significance of Bruce Springsteen’s flub at The Palace of Auburn Hills, MICHIGAN last Friday night. Depending upon how you want to define a week, you know when one ends and the next begins, the Boss dropped a bomb on the sweaty, geeked out crowd of middle aged “Nebraska” fanatics by referring to the locale as Ohio just as the rivalry week was about to begin. That’s not cool.
June and I have some good friends, The Bolzons, and they’re about as cool a family as you can imagine. They were there at The Palace that night and so we’ve named this theory, in part, after them (that way we can blame them if it isn’t valid).

The theory is that the inevitable karmic balance of the universe is at risk if the Wolverines don’t defeat the Buckeyes in response to Bruce’s flub. You know, balance the ledger, if you will. As Bruce repeatedly referred to the Palace crowd as Ohioans the odds were stacking up in the Wolverines favor as the world was slowly tilting on its axis from such a sensational gaff -- only an unexpected win over the much favored Buckeyes this Saturday will right the wrongs perpetrated by the Boss before all of Michigan and his vaunted E Street Band. For Christ’s sake, even Max Weinberg knew he was less than 100 miles from Ann Arbor. The universe is out of whack and only a stunner on Saturday will right it. I bet you couldn’t even find the big dipper in the night sky now that Bruce has gone and knackered up the orbit of all that is normal. It’s not just us here in Wolverine Nation that need this win on Saturday…the universe itself is desperate for it.

If the theory is wrong we’ll just regroup and call for Rich Rod’s head…that seems to be what everyone else is doing even as Bruce Springsteen walks away unscathed. The humanity…

Missing the forest for all those damn trees...and leaves


Sometimes you get so busy that you forget all of the little stuff that happens, all of the important little details that make up every day, and before you know it the stories are gone... the memories passed away, and the only way you can shed any light on them is by waking up at 5:30 in the morning and reminiscing over a random sheet adjustment. I think we need a higher thread count or a sleep apnea clinic.

Here's a quick list of Zoey-centric happenings that we may have forgotten to mention:

Zoey has eight teeth now...eight! Four on the top and four on the bottom...

Zo's been sleeping through the night for a week now...

She's been an absolute chatterbox lately. There's hardly a minute out of every day that she isn't yapping to us or herself...

Zoey smashed her lip on the edge of a cardboard box and got her first fat lip. It looked kinda cool if you ask me...

The Zedder dropped a poop in the tub and it freaked her out completely...

Somehow Zo's established some etiquette around Debu...she's actually quite gentle with him now...

She can now climb on top of rubbermaid containers and other assorted things and is smart enough to turn around and back herself, feet first, off of things...including the couch. It freaks us out.

Just yesterday Zoey went and grabbed her diaper bag and handed it to June. She wanted her diaper changed...meanwhile, June wanted an explanation for the precociousness of her first born...

She's mastered the first couple steps of the walking without support routine but she bails out after a couple of steps and opts for the crawl and scootch method expediate her trip perhaps...

Just like Debu, if the fridge is open she HAS to come over and check out what's inside. The difference is that she has opposable thumbs and wants to pull things out...

Her hair seems to have frozen in time...

She likes the taste of fallen leaves...

She likes watching the geese fly by outside. She'll point at them and ramble on, complaining about how she wished she had a gun we assume, or something about all of the goose shit on the beach...either/or...

I'm sure there's more but I hear shuffling coming from the funster's room and it's probably time to ogle Ann Curry anyway.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sweet Dreams Little Girl

Sleeping Zo 6 - Mar 28-09

Sometimes there are such sublime moments in this parenting deal that it's hard to explain unless you'ev been there and done that. Occasionally I think it's even more difficult to articulate if your new name is, "Daddy." Letting the unsettling twinge of indescribable bliss bounce around your noggin' and then come out all sweet and swoon inducing on the other side with any kind of skill is damn near impossible if you're sporting the XY chromosome combo. What I mean is just try and explain to someone what it's like when third place turns into first and it's Daddy that eases daughter into sleep. It's hard.

On a few occasions now Zoey's weary head found Dad's shoulder to fall asleep on and it's been a little indescribable...she hasn't made a regular habit of that since she was more than just a few months old. In the beginning she couldn't fall asleep unless Dad cradled her all Heisman-like and did laps around the house singing whatever his mind might manage to make up, but at some point she grew up just enough to not need or want that. Now, nearly a full ten months later and we've found some common ground again. The boob that once divided us has fallen away and now Daddy gets to feel what Mom did on a regular basis...a tiny little (oddly) almost hairless head that trusts you enough to lay itself on your shoulder and drift off to sleep all safe and sound. I'll take it. In fact, I'll take it over 98.3% of everything else I know.

What comprises that remaining 1.7%? A Michigan win over Ohio State this weekend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The impending doom of day...and Zoey's indifference.

Absolutely nothing good can come of blogging at 7 am...nothing. First, I'm essentially sleep-blogging with almost no comprehension of what's coming out of my head. Second, when the better part of your day is preceded by irrelevant cyber-babble it really doesn't set a good precedent. If you're going to do anything at 6am it should be something more productive than aimless meandering. RIght now I'm typing with absolutely no direction and very little concern for integrity or entertainment.

Today is a semi-big day, which leads to me to believe that if you can refer to a day as a "semi-big day" then it's probably not. Got a Federal audit type visit from a Federal audit type lady first thing this morning. Thank God it's in the AM that way I can get back to my day sucking before lunch.

Zoey's sleeping peacefully on her mother's chest right now with no concept of the sucky day ahead. She woke up at 6:30 am and June slipped off to comfort her back into hibernation using an efficient combo of soothing voice, rocking motion and boobie. That never happens to me. I just wake up, have to pee and then I start my day. Who's the lucky one here. Sure she shits herself but c'mon...this is some pretty easy math. There's no Federal audit in Zoey's near future. She's gonna awake up smile, like she always does, then she's going eat a little, then play, and then eat some more. Eventually she'll take a nap, and watch some Sesame Street. I think she may even be going shopping today. Are you kidding me? If you told me that all I had to do to earn that day was sit in my own excrement for an hour I'd sign up seven times.

Instead, today I get to entertain Mrs, Audit and then maybe if I'm lucky I'll hear about how little #$%& steals his Dad's medical marijuana but can't stand living at home because they don't understand him, and at 14 he'd like to move out. Aside from the crapping himself part I don't think little #$%&'s life is all that much different from Zoey's so someone needs a talking to about the intricacies of living.

I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong, I love my life and my job...I'm just using humor and irony and perhaps a little avoidance so that I don't have to get out bed. Unfortunately, I have to pee and that's where the whole day starts to slip downhill. Oh well, no worries...I'm not ridding the world of cancer, just assholes. It's an uphill fight so I'd better select appropriate footwear today.

Hello if you'll excuse me I'd like to start the day by ridding my body of excess fluids. Some informative blog post huh? See what I mean about blogging at 7 am?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FREE attitude adjustments. The line starts here...

I got me some fresh sheets and a bad attitude. It's a quarter to one on the morning and despite her relative attractiveness January Jones is ruining the early hours of my Sunday. She's a hack, and Lorne Michaels deserves a hemorrhoid for hiring her to guest host SNL this week. Brutal...just brutal. In order to quench my insatiable need for late night humor I've been scanning the internet for Rich Rod rumors but there are few. To top it all off, watching Ohio State celebrate a pre-maturely punched ticket to Pasadena sucks the mustard right outta the bun. There are leaves piled on top of leaves outside my window just waiting for me to rake and bag, and Curtis Granderson is damn near a traded man. All of that nonsense and I'm still managing to smile. Why, because I put Zoey down to sleep tonight and when your daughter drifts off through tears with a little help from her Dad, well, to hell with Curtis Granderson and Michigan football. To hell with January Jones, Lorne Michaels and Ohio State. To hell with the Black Eyed Peas while we're at it, and Fergie too. She deserves her very own disdain. Lumping her in with the whole band does a disservice to how much of a skank she is all by herself.

Look out world, I'm on a roll. Now it's time to go to bed and kick my subconscious's ass with unbridled negativity bordering on nihilism. I can do it, I know I can. I'm committed to the effort.

However crumby my afternoon was as it melted into evening and then night I did indeed rock my girl to sleep tonight and even if Kim Jung Il were to move into my basement I'd still be a happy guy.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marriage made simple...two awesome people and one Zedder

D-Funk and Kelly...Zoey's latest brush with marital bliss. Two great examples.

Checked messages today and our good friends Dustin & Kelly dropped us a note to ask if Brian would serve as MC for their upcoming wedding, which is super nice as it will put him second on the list of all-time MC jobs, right behind Bear Bryant (I just made that up and if you didn't realize that then stop reading this right now and go get some perspective and a sense of humor) and it just confirms what he had always suspected, that he and Dustin share a pretty great connection.

Elvis and Waldo also asked if Zoey would take on the duties of flower girl which is even cooler yet. Of course, we'll have to check with her union rep. and the Screen Actors Guild but we're pretty sure it's cool. Now our new goal is get Zoey some hair before their wedding. We've got until next fall so we're crossing our fingers that the Zedder can be rocking some pig tails by then. It would be embarrassing for everyone if all of the guests thought that the flower girl was a boy.

Dustin and Kelly are absolutely two of the best people we know and we wished we lived closer to them. Brian and Dustin clicked better than most and Kelly is sweeter than maple fudge except not as brown. She doesn't cause cavities either so that's encouraging. We love them both and we're pretty excited at the chance to be involved...really excited in fact. We've done this a lot and this one ranks really high on the excitement scale.

Dustin...Kelly...we promise that Zoey will grow some hair, and that Brian won't swear too much in his speech. He might not wear pants though so just count this as a disclaimer.

Leaves, leaves, Wisconsin game, & then more leaves

Zo bundled with leaves - Nov09
Zo bundled with the leaves she's come to call her friends.

Got a nice little Saturday Home Depot, or Bed, Bath and Beyond or anything like that...just 60 degrees and sunny with some leaf raking (lots of leaf raking) and the Michigan - Wisconsin football game. We're looking at a potential clean yard by the end of the day and Michigan Bowl eligibility...or a half raked yard and more Rich Rod needs to get fired talk which would suck giant pots of greening cheese curds. Well, at the very least it'll still be 60 degrees and sunny regardless of leaves of losses.

Zoey has become pretty enamored of yard work...good, she can take it all over the minute that she can lift a rake. I might even teach her to operate the riding lawn mower this spring. Relax people...I'll buy her a helmet. Chill out. It's not like I'm asking her to change the mower blade while it's running. We'll just strap her into the seat and watch her cut the hell out of every lawn within two kilometres. We'll douse her in sunscreen too. We're not animals.

The first step is the deepest...or somethin' like that...

I was always pretty worried about being gone to work when something really good happened with Zoey but then this morning guess who goes and takes their first solo step? Zedder, in case you needed that laid out on a platter for you (who the hell else could it have been?). She was hanging out with Mom and Dad and just decided to stand up, turn around, and take a giant, bold, unassisted step towards Mom. Sure it was only one step but like Neil Armstrong said, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," except, you know, it's just a little girl and the rest of mankind couldn't possibly care less. Fortunately, I don't care much about mankind either so I'll maintain that it's a big deal and ignore the indifference of society in general.

Zoey took a if Michigan football can do as much today maybe it'll be a stellar Saturday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zo leaves waving

We've got a little girl on our hands that pretty happy to do just about anything. There isn't much that she doesn't like, except putting on her pajamas maybe...and as of late, changing diapers. She's a gamer, very much like her Mom. It certainly makes the puzzle that is trying to figure this parenting thing out a whole lot easier. There's usually not much of a discussion as to whether or not Zo will like something. We just thrust her into it and she's more often than not pretty cool with it.

Until today, Zoey had only sat in a swing once. She didn't like it all that much. Today, June tried it one more time and guess what? Zoey liked it...yup, surprise, surprise.

Swings make Dad puke.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finding your way when you aren't even looking

Zoey's peruvian friend and llama
This is who Zoey is going to be hanging out with in Peru.

George Bailey said it first..."I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world," and I always felt as though I had a bit of a kinship with George. He certainly had it right. I've always wanted to go to Peru, well, that's not completely accurate. I've always thought that going to Peru would be really cool and so when the chance to go fell out of the sky like one of those Joe Dirt poo-meteors we took it. We're going to Peru!

"Huh," you say, with such a rapid head jerk that the snapping of vertebrae in your neck is audible.

"Yup," I said..."Peru, as in Amazon jungle and Machu Picchu."

Is Zoey coming? Well, of course she is. Don't ask such ridiculous questions. It's not the Afghan Karakoram, it's Lima, Peru for Tim Biakabatuka's sake. It's a city in the desert, right beside an ocean, and they speak Spanish there...basically it's LA except in the southern hemisphere. Chuck in a few llamas and that Machu Picchu place and BLAM...Peru. We're pretty sure that there are babies there, at least I think there are. I can check, but I'd wager, yes, there are. We'll be fine.

How'd we spin the globe and land on Peru? That's a weird story. Like I said, we've always thought that Peru was cool, and seeing Machu Picchu was always on the life list, but the whole thing really just fell in our laps. The strangest part is that our friends Serree and Mike were just talking about going this Spring and then WHAM, we find the best deal ever. Here's a point by point summary of the turn of events...

- Mike and Serree drop by to visit and mention going to Peru in May 2010...

- Mike and Brian talk all afternoon and plant the seeds of future adventures...

- Brian is scanning the internet for Christmas vacation deals and drops by Travelzoo to look for ideas...

- Brian spots a NYC to Lima flight sale with fares starting at $200...He stutters a little and then passes out.

- Brian turns into George Bailey almost instantly...except not as skinny.

- Brian exitedly shows June the fare and both agree that the time off and money spent could be directed elsewhere...

- Brian waits a few hours and then reconsiders, booking the flights and then staring at the breakdown...

2 Adults & 1 Infant... Return airfare from NYC - Lima, Peru departing NYC June 17, 2010 and returning July 1, 2010, all taxes included = $630.30...practically cheapy free if you've got a calculator handy.

- June tells Serree to get her and Mike's arse in on the same deal then calls her Mom

- Mihoko, whose dream trip is Machu Picchu, politely declines the chance to go because she's scared of terrorists

- Zoey goes to sleep that night singing Machu Picchu to herself in a voice so sweet she could put llamas to sleep.

And there you have it...that's how this family fell into a trip to Peru. Good story huh? Wait 'til we work on finishing it. Problem is we still don't have anywhere to go at Christmas yet...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What I want to be when I grow up...

B&W Zo and Dad bedtime floor 2

Analogies are undervalued. I don't know too many people who can articulate what it feels like to know you have to step outside and get in fight, and know unequivocally that you're going to lose that fight...that's fear and courage all mashed up together, and it's easier to explain that feeling using that example than any other way. Similarly, how do you explain what an honest, open and vulnerable conversation is to someone without asking them if they've ever had a 2 am talk with their Mom, maybe sitting at the end of her bed in the dark 'cause that's how it should feel. I spent the day today abusing analogies but finding them working. I was hopelessly inarticulate over the course of a number of situations and when I reached down into my bag of tricks all I came up with were analogies. Fine by me as long as they get the job done but it made me think a little. Those timely analogies and those sad situations made me think about how I'll interact with my daughter. I hope it's with some semblance of skill and sensitivity. I hope we find common ground.

One of my conversations, and inevitably one of my analogies, today orbited around fathers and sons and it struck me like a fastball that got away. Why is it still so difficult for fathers and sons to connect? Sure, I know plenty of fathers and sons who are healthy, or so it seems, and I know some that are growing into whatever they'll become, but so many people struggle with that both directions, across dozens of cultures, and without discrimination. If you could figure just a piece of that puzzle out you'd be a rich man.

It strikes me that where the problem rests most comfortably is in that gap of communication between men and other men, particularly the ones that they love. I'm sure that there are lessons unlearned, and perhaps even more lessons that need to be unlearned, but mostly there is silence. Men don't talk, and boys especially don't get the chance to speak openly with the men they see and trust to be exactly what that definition implies. I'd venture to say that being a man right here and now on the very edge of the 21st century is something very poorly defined. Eschew all of the traditional criticisms of the role as we know it now, ignore all of the theories that men's roles have changed, as have women's, and accept that they may all indeed have merit...but open yourself up to the notion that perhaps our definition of what a man really is may have never been correct. If so then all of the theories in the world mean nothing. If all we've ever known a man to be defined as is wrong then how might we ever come to any conclusions about what he should be? It's a tough thing to wrap yourself around.

All this conjecture falls from the analogy of that 2 am talk with Mom...I have no "2 am talk" story whose cast enlists anyone other than my mother. I've never had that kind of talk with my father and it's much too late now. I'm almost completely formed, a father myself. Most men I know have no story that reads any different from my own. Of all the advances we've made across the centuries it seems as though fathers and sons should have been able to build some kind of bridge between them. They haven't. Fathers and daughters seem to be a very different story, but fathers and sons...well, no one's forced that issue and analogies are hard to come by.

No one wants to be bad at something, similarly, no one, not any father I know, wants to be that far removed from the love that wrapped themselves and their children up so tightly when everything was brand new. I don't know one that wanted to mess that deal up, but they do. It's the saddest thing I've ever heard, and I hear it every day. I think a lot of it has to do with what we've learned from our own fathers, and some of it certainly has to do with the unique influences that we've experienced all by ourselves over the years, but most of if bows down at the alter of communication and definition. If we don't talk, and we don't know about what or even how to talk then we're doomed to failure...doomed, and the term is nowhere near too dramatic. This is the most important thing we do as a species, and if you're doing it right there's nothing you'll ever accomplish with more obvious value. It should all add up to amazing.

I've spent a lot of time here on this blog pouring over the beautiful merits of motherhood, laying praise at the feet of the women who inhabit our lives, but I've rarely acknowledged the men. I assure you, from this odd vantage point I sit on each and every day, to the one I scaled and peeked out from behind as I grew older, if you're doing this job right -- not fatherhood necessarily, but the odd and intricate task of being a man -- you're doing something special.

I think about it a lot now, about how right now I can be any kind of man I want to be. I want to be the kind that you can cast in 2 am talks. I couldn't imagine aspiring to anything else but a lot of men never manage to be all that they hoped once, maybe when they were young. I don't know why, and all of this pondering started from a silly little analogy in what was a pretty big talk with another man, a sixteen year old man, but a man nonetheless. I hope it meant something to him. It meant enough to me that I wrote this. It sure got me thinking.

I might not know how to best define what it is to be a man but I hope that I'm doing an okay job approximating what I think the job requires me to be. I only know two other men, John and Kevin, who venture to blog their hearts right out into the open. Maybe there's hope yet? There's always the chance, I suppose, to build better men out of the sturdy raw materials we've found ourselves left with after a few centuries or so. I hope so. I know what I want to be when I grow up and it doesn't look like anything I've seen yet.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Raking leaves is for we had a baby

Zo leaves 3
Leaf piles and small children are like peas and carrots except not as gross.

Zo and Mom got outside and raked some leaves while simultaneously snapping something like forty pictures which makes me wonder how much leaf raking they actually managed? No worries 'cause Zoey looks cuter than the last Timbit in the box. Wait, that didn't make any sense. She had a blast chucking leaves around and occasionally eating them. Whatever gets 'em off of the ground, I guess.

Leaf head Zo
Nice hat Zo...grab a rake and quit screwing around before we kick you out.

I was so attentive and considerate that I didn't even notice the pile of leaves that Zedder and June slaved to build and then not long after I got home the wind got to whipping pretty hard and I'm pretty sure that whatever pile they made ended up in the exact spot they raked. We've still got some pretty great pictures though.

Zo leaves 6
Helping pick up leaves any way she can.

It's funny that the girls got out and raked some leaves today 'cause I was just thinking that if Zoey doesn't start pulling her weight she's outta here. I mean, it's ridiculous how she just expects us to support her until she's grown. That's what day care, school teachers and Sesame Street is for. It's been almost ten months of footing the bills and taking all of her crap and we're pretty sure that we read something somewhere that said babies grow up fast...well, not that fast it seems and we're not doing her any favors by coddling her.

Zo leaves 9
Leaf blowers, landscapers, raking...whatever, we're just gonna get Zo to eat them all.

It's not our plan to raise a completely spoiled rotten daughter who hasn't the first clue what work is like, or how it feels to contribute to the household. We want Zoey to understand that Mick Jagger was right when he said, "You can't always get what you want," and so we try to explain to her every day that if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need. I don't think she's getting it though.

Zo leaves 10
Cuteness could probably be best defined by children playing in leaves...and a dictionary would work too.

When it's all said and done we're pretty sure that Zoey learned a valuable lesson today...First, have children if you want help in the yard...Second, eating leaves won't kill you...and third, if you're taking a lot of pictures you're probably raking very few leaves.

We think Zoey is really Serree and Mike's illegitimate love child...

Serree Mike Zo
Serree, Zo, and Mike pretending to be one happy biological family.

So June and I are convinced that Zoey is really the surrogate love child of our friends, Serree and Mike. She looks like she fell straight outta their blond and beautiful gene pool and if that's true then I'll be damned if I'm paying for college. I also won't pay for the following items:

- braces
- a separate pair of gym shoes
- haircuts
- summer camp
- her first speeding ticket
- school photos
- Kwame Kilpatrick-like excessive text messaging bills
- hot dog days
- prom dress
- any Scholastic Book Catalogue orders in elementary school
- field trips
- the return flight home from Italy in the summer between her sophomore and junior year of college
- Spring Break (I was going to bribe her away from that anyway)
- excessively expensive shampoos
- internet
- pedicures or any stupid appendage vanity

If she is indeed Mike and Serree's immaculate love child then I'll also have to demand financial restitution for all those stupid baby books and that awful breast pump. It's only fair.

Self-portrait Zo and Serree - Nov 8
Zoey and her real Mom taking self-portraits in the sunshine.

We hope that she is indeed ours after all this time and especially after all of the abuse June's breasts have endured. It would be a major bummer if it turned out that Serree and Mike were actually Zo's real parents...I mean, they'd be great, and I can't imagine anyone I'd want raising Zedder ahead of Serree, but I've got nine plus months in of feeling inadequate, at wits end, and stupid tired...frustration would barely describe my disappointment. All that plus her Grandpa Rick would absolutely ruin her with all that Montreal Canadians crap he's got oozing out of his pores. A kid just can't recover from that kind of abuse. She'd need therapy for sure, and that's one more thing I'm not paying for.

Serree Zo camera
Serree wastes her time trying to show a 1/4 Japanese kid how a camera works...she's part-Partridge, c'mon.

We really don't have a plan if we find out that Zo really isn't ours. We were mostly just thinking that we might ignore it and quietly hope the embarrassment of it all just goes away. It's quite possible that Serree and Mike don't even want their illegitimate love daughter and in that case we call dibs.

Cuteness counts if your keeping score...Dad is.

Zoey close up - Nov 9
Zo up close where you can't ignore her insidious cuteness.

That's our daughter right there..yup, the one with her face all jammed into the camera. She looks a little like Cindy Lou Who in this photo, and if you knew her, even just a little you'd think that she kind of acts like her too. In this new world of ours, the one populated with more poo filled diapers than sunny days we're hyper-aware of her cute factor. It's foremost in our minds most days.

Zo hands clasped floor
A quiet, attentive Zo watching Sesame Street and tricking her father into trusting her.

She's gonna be a bit of a charmer we think. She'll certainly have a serious case of the cutes and that's something we're going to have to deal with whenever bustin' her chops is the special of the day. She's gonna be more than capable of making Dad swoon and I think she's well aware of how deeply smitten her Dad is already. She does these random hug things that I just know are tiny little investments into future "get out of jail free cards"...

I'm in a lot of trouble aren't I? Don't answer that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Khaki pants, Mini-vans, and a vortex of writhing sinners


I just read this post on a blog I read regularly and nearly shart me is perhaps the best definition of 30-something and anointed with child. We all get older but does it have to feel so...pathetic...

I stopped in an Ann Arbor record store after doing the u-pick strawberry thing yesterday. I like this one because I can usually put the baby down to crawl all over the owner's mild-mannered black lab while I thumb through records and pretend I remember what it feels like to care about something other than the purported merits of child leashing. My son had so much strawberry juice streaking down his jowls he looked like a chupacabra freshly yanked from a goat carcass. The dog felt sorry for me and decided to make me look like a better parent by licking the juice off my son's face and I was all, What up, dog! giving him a heartfelt thumbs up.

The record store was crawling with college-aged hipsters and I had no business being in there. It has been many months since I even looked at any of the music websites I used to spend whole workdays reading before kids, scouring the net for much-ballyhooed upcoming releases and trying to schedule as many live shows into every week as possible. I don't have a demonoid account. I don't even know where to begin illegally downloading music anymore. So instead I buy Check Your Head on 180-gram vinyl, drop the needle, and lose myself in the soundtrack of my fifteenth year on earth.

In the record store, I gingerly clutched a couple re-issues of beloved old albums, and some hipster holding the new Dirty Projectors record looked at the vinyl in my hand like I was waving around my wife's dripping placenta. You'd better watch out, pal, I thought. Don't ever lose your sense of irony or fall in love and become enslaved by biological imperative. Keep smoking your American Spirits and wearing those sperm-killing jeans and maybe you'll get lucky and die a poetic death before fate ever transforms you into a sad sap with strawberry juice all over his t-shirt buying an album released before you were born. Then I brought my reissues up to the counter and faced that character even more intimidating than the judgmental-aisle hipster: the record store clerk, whose job-mandated scrutiny of your purchases is flavored by minimum-wage bitterness and followed by guffaws indicating failure, or, if you are deemed worthy, a gruff, "That album's pretty decent."

But this guys says to me, Do you still have any use for CDs, buddy?

Not really, I reply. I'm trying to replace my old CD collection with vinyl.

Oh well, he says. I have all these promo Dave Matthews CDs, thought you might want one.

Just then a flaming minivan pulled by hellhounds clatters into the store and a dozen shrieking hellwraiths wearing pleated khaki pants and tucked-in polo shirts grab me by each of my limbs and drag me screaming and howling into the everlasting hellfire engulfing their Town & Country which then drives into a vortex of writhing sinners venting the cackles of Moloch in Pandaemonium and the barking of hellhounds returning to the womb of sin to gnaw at her entrails. . .

I'd tell you the blog name but then I can't hoard it all to myself...that, and I'm also smart enough to realize that if you've got any kind of computer chops you'll just Google a sentence in it's entirety and find the blog anyway. I'm not so old that I'm stupid...not yet.

This post is officially dedicated to my friend John and also my agent, Scott...both old bastards being judged on a regular basis, respectively, for their Cheap Trick - Live at Budokan and their Elvis Costello - Live at the El Mocambo vinyl purchases. Heads high fellas...heads high. Someday your children will be proud.

This is Zoey's Thingamajig...She loves it

Zo w Playworks

Zo is getting to that age where she wants some stimulation, wants to figure things out, needs to fiddle with stuff so that means we can probably clean some of the junk out of her toy bins...She doesn't have much interest in her old shoes anymore, or that potato chip bag that June taped closed (seriously)...She's getting intellectually sophisticated. Just this morning she asked me what the difference was between sine and cosine. I told her size and color...I dunno.

June found Zo's box of knick-knacky goodness at a second hand baby junk shop...I think that was it's actual name too...The Second Hand Baby Junk Shop, except they spelled shop with that extra "p" and an "e" at the end, you know, to seem metropolitan. It worked I guess 'cause June wandered in and scooped up the thingamajig for practically nothing. We just spent nearly double on a stupid plastic sensory thing a few days earlier, and it sucks the mustard.

Lesson don't need new stuff, and if you can find a place that spells shop with that extra "p" and an "e" at the end...well, you're probably shopping in the right place. You're at least pseudo-metropolitan which is kind of like being only half an asshole.

We're gonna use the thingamajig story when Zo gets to be older and wants a car...I hope Ford Pintos aren't that hard to find in 2025.

Where the streets have no names...


At 6 am this morning I heard the term "les chemins du désir" or in plain old non italic English..."pathways of desire". It sounded, well, kinda sexy, until you realize that it's in reference to the unusual pathways made by us when we eschew what the planners of space and concrete have laid out for us and have gotten busy creating our own, out of both convenience and desire. Not so sexy then, but cool as hell, I think. Even without the sexy tag there's still an undeniable element of gut strong affection for such an notion. There doesn't seem to be anything that is any more innately animal than finding our own way and then finding that it has established itself as a standard amoungst all of the animals in the so-called jungle (that's symbolism right there) all on it's city planner just is. I don't now about you but I like that. There's a magical freedom in that phenomenon.

If I lost you immediately after the stupid french words, what I'm talking about is the basic path worn into the grass...the shortcut. It doesn't seem like it deserves all that much attention does it, but it does. There is something so elemental to us all as human beings about the practice of ditching the prescribed and doing it yourself. It's why Dad builds an addition onto the's why Mom couldn't give you the recipe for her meatloaf. It's why you went to this college when everyone you know went to that one. It's why whenever your parents called John's house because they needed you home right away, and since you'd already left and were walking home they thought they could just meet you halfway and chuck you into the car on the way to grandmas... but they coudn't find you walking down Dora or Hilda, or Greenbriar Trail even...They couldn't find you on Dundas Street, or Park or Main Street or Margaret either. They wondered where the hell their kid was if he had just left John's house and was headed home. They couldn't find you because you cut through the Optimist Park off of Larkwood Street and then scooted back near the First Baptist Church on your way up through Steinhoff Park and maybe they could have caught you crossing the Dundas bridge because it was the only way across the river but they sure weren't going to have any clue that you you scooted through every backstreet north of Dufferin Ave and then cut behind the high school on that well worn path beside the football field and out onto Selkirk Street before sneaking onto Colwell and walking past five houses from the corner and up the gravel driveway only to see no car and find no family. They were out looking for you, you know, trying to speed up the process of you getting home. They had no idea who Gaston Bachelard was or why that crazy french philosopher even gave a shit about "les chemins du désir." They'd never walked that walk themselves and so had no concept of how much easier it was following your path than the one city planners laid out. They were paths that weren't designed but eroded casually away by people finding the shortest distance between where they are coming from and where they intend to go. Pathways of's what made you late for dinner at Gramfufu's that day when no one could find you.

"Les chemins du désir," a pretty cool idea huh? Every single one of us is familiar with them. Just Google'll see exactly what I'm talking about...

It is an urban legend on many college campuses that many sidewalks and pathways were not planned at all, but paved by the university after students created their own paths from building to building, straying from those originally prescribed. Cool huh? I love it. I hope Zoey's whole life is full of "les chemins du désir."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Full moons keep rising even after we've stopped noticing

Paul Bowles once wrote, "Everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

That's some heavy @#$% for an quiet and empty Friday evening but it's a beaut as far as random and obscure literary references go. It's real nice. What struck me was how applicable those words are to this stage of our lives. Everything Zoey does has a finite quality to it, and the trick is to comprehend that each and every time. I feel as though I do that with much less skill than June does. In fact, I more often than not feel as though, as a father, those moments rush past me at a much faster rate regardless of whatever commitment to acknowledging them that I have. Maybe it's just me but there are times when I feel like a pretty big fool in the company of mothers and daughters. There has been nothing natural about my connection to this experience, although it's undeniably the best thing I have ever been near I feel more Spike Lee than David Lee. Sometimes the best seat in the house really isn't. Metaphorically speaking the best seats are full of Knicks asses and even Spike don't get a shot at sitting there. You see what I'm dribbling around?

I've been trying to pay attention to all of those things that I know will only be here for a short time but I'm not always so good at it. Some days I'm selfish, some days I'm tired, some days I'm damn near combustible with the dry tinder of my day and I'm not always the best Dad I can be...but sometimes I am. Sometimes I laugh and explore and play with her on the floor. Sometimes we read and sometimes I can carry her forever and my patience and commitment to "for you anything," as the tattoo indicates is limitless. Yet sometimes I stare at June and our daughter and feel totally on the outside looking in, not because of anything anyone does but because of things I feel as though I should be doing. After all, Zoey's only going to take so many baths with her Dad's help, and Zo's only going to mess up her Dad's hair and climb all over his back so many times before she never does it again.

I wish I was better at this, but then who doesn't?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Our life story is kinda like "Meatballs" but without Bill Murray


I met my wife at summer camp. I did. We found a friendship somewhere between swimming lessons, games of KJ KJ, and campfires. That friendship brewed over three or four years until foreign places -- Japan for June, and California for me -- found us missing one another more than we had imagined. There was a little more water that passed under the bridge before the flooding began and in 1999 we ran away from home and moved in together. Now, ten years later, it still feels an awful lot like summer camp.

We were engaged in San Francisco, CA...we married in New York City...and we slipped through a few dozen places in between, somehow always finding ourselves back in California or wandering around Manhattan, somehow always finding the sunshine from that same summer we met. In ten years we chased blue skies and found them every time we stopped to look up.

Zoey was born on January 26th, 2009, but she became a bit of a reality in March of 2008. That's when the first idea of her slipped into the air in San Clemente, CA. We flew home that month with a baby in our plans. Almost eleven months later we were parents, and now every day feels like summer.

I don't why I'm writing all of this...maybe I got to feeling sentimental today, or maybe it's just the sort of thing that should be said more often? I dunno. All I really know is that I met my wife at summer camp, and the sun has been shining ever since.
Parentl warning


Children may cause you to lose sleep, may be responsible for anxiety and have been identified as the primary triggers of perpetual fatigue syndrome...a disorder that adversely affects your performance and perspective in all other facets of your life.

Children may be responsible for the early onset of apathy in the workplace. They cause financial stress and strain, and immeasurable health concerns including a substantial increase in one's tolerable gross factor.

Children have been identified as the most significant factor affecting adult social activities including, but not limited to, getting blind drunk at concerts, bonging beers at tailgate parties, and the general practice of simply forgetting to come home.

Children cause scurvy (not substantiated my actual medical research)

Children make parents do stupid stuff like write blogs, get tattoos, and take 6 am Photo Booth pictures on finger smudged Mac laptops.

Children are responsible for the economy.

Children also wake up smiling and make your day feel tolerable before you even get out of bed, at least, that's what Zoey did this morning...but be careful. In the words of the great hobbled prophet Shannon, "guns don't kill people...cute daughters do"...well, cute daughters AND LaMarr Woodley, I say.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grandma's and Granddaughters...Something Special

Baachan Zo kitchen floor
Zoey and Baachan playing on the Partridge kitchen floor - Halloween 2009

I think I could watch Zoey with her grandmothers forever and ever. It's something pretty special to watch, and something you never consider until it's right there in front of you. Their baby just had a baby and it's a pretty mind blowing process to witness. It's been funny to watch Zoey's relationship grow with each of them.

Zoey is Mihoko's first grand child, and she wears that blessing like jewelry, meanwhile grandchildren are nothing new to Cathy but she's got herself another little girl to follow Avery as she grows and that's got her swooning like a school girl herself.

BW Grandma Zo plane
Zoey and Grandma staring out the plane window on the flight from Detroit to New York City

You don't think about the impact your children will have on your parents, at least we didn't, not really. She's pulled clouds away to reveal blue sky and bent all the flowers in her direction just by being born. It's something you can't describe. It's much more than pride and something different than parenthood. I imagine that it's something akin to writing a song and then hearing someone play it and in doing so add another layer of love to what you already swelled with affection know, only multiplied by a billion. That might be the worst analogy you've ever heard.

A Zoey-free night of sappy pop music and dirty Detroit rock 'n soul

Train has been giving us something to lose our voices to for a decade now

Train with Special Guest Uncle Kracker at the Royal Oak Music Theater on a random Tuesday night in November is just about the best thing for feeling like you actually got a break from parenting for a night.

June and I slipped off to see Train and Uncle Kracker last night and enjoyed ourselves beyond what should be expected from your average debaucherous Tuesday night. Grandma babysat for us and slept over while June and I drank $6 Jack and Cokes and sang along with Pat Monahan and bounced in place like groovin' fools to an unexpectedly uber cool Uncle Kracker in the oh so pleasant Detroit suburb of Royal Oak.

Uncle Kracker
Uncle Kracker was a surprise that lent credibility to the idea that surprises aren't always bad

We first saw Train almost exactly ten years ago when we moved in together. The show was at Call the Office on York Street in London and we've slipped off to enjoy them on a bunch of occasions since. It just feels so cool to know that we were just stupid kids then and now we're stupid parents. Time flies when you're listening to commercialized over-played by radio pop music.

Train was great, as usual, and Uncle Kracker was better than we ever imagined...Zoey survived and we emptied our pockets on over-priced liquor and sang ourselves hoarse. Life is good, and in the shameless words of Uncle Kracker, damn it's good to be me.

A whole lotta Zo...this and that plus some other stuff

Zoeys first arrowroot 2\Zoey getting a taste of her very first Arrowroot's good @#$%

In a bit awfully similar to George Stromboulopoluaplfjsdsmases 2/20 feature on CBC's The Hour except without the two minute timeline or the twenty questions, we're gonna blitz you with some Zoey info, and never mind the thinkin'...

Zoey seems to be literally weeks away from walking...she stands around all by herself doing nothing but contemplating why she's actually upright and what the hell she's supposed to do with that skill. She's been upright and scooting around beds and couches since Hawaii but now she's cool to just stand around sans assistance. Some people call it healthy child development, I call it loitering.

Zoey hugs everything that moves now, and even some things that don't. He favorites are (in this exact order):

1. Mom
2. Mathilda, her stuffed Hippo
3. The couch pillows
4. Dad
5. Debu
6. Grandma/ Baachan

Zo and Debu are inseparable.

Zed's favorite dinnertime activity now is "hide and scare" with her involves hiding behind her chair and scaring her by peeking out from side to side, but mostly it involves Dad not eating much.

Zoey got her H1N1 vaccination and performed like a champ.

Zedder likes these foods in this order:

1. June's boobies (sorry, I just wanted to type the word boobies)
2. Cereal
3. Those tasty puff snacks
4. Fruit flavoured baby food
5. Tie - Mashed up carrot and sweet potato
6. Pickles
7. McDonald's Big'n Tasty's, hold the onion.

Zo ate her first pickle and hasn't stopped mixing Bloody Caesars ever since.

Zo first pickle 2
Zo tackles a pickle and gets some serious stink hands, enough so that Dad gags

Zed and Dad already had both the "drug" talk and the "sex" talk, you know, get it out of the way now.

Zoey's been a pretty damn good kid when either Grandma or Baachan has babysat at night...whew.

Dad has already found Zoey an agent thereby making her ineligible to participate in collegiate athletics by current NCAA standards.

Zoey's hair is growing slower than the US economy.

Dear Russell...In the words of David Cassidy, "I think I love you"


Zo has herself a new book. To be more specific, Zo has herself an awesome new book. If we got busy breaking the whole thing down to it's lowest common denominator we'd say that Zo has herself an awesome new book that she LOVES!

Russell the Sheep

If you're not familiar with Russell the Sheep it's a great book by Rob Scotton, the same author that gave us Splat the Cat. He's a pretty incredible guy, and his books are similarly incredible.

The story of Russell the Sheep is one about barnyard insomnia and one sheep's quest to cure it without the help of Ambien...I mean, that's basically the plotline, except you know, funsterfied.

The book is full of sheep but strangely introduces us to a frog too...a frog that does nothing save add some fun to the whole thing. Zoey's gotten so that she can find the frog on each page and loves that little bugger more than Russell himself. It's just about the cutest thing you ever saw...even cuter than a 9 month old Ernest Hemingway get-up.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So far Daylight Savings Time sucks the mustard big time


So it seems apparent that no one has taken the time to explain Daylight Savings Time to Zoey. She normally crawls out of bed between 7 and 8 AM which translates to 6:30 AM today. So now every time I hear someone say something about getting an extra hour of sleep I'm gonna punch them right in the face.

I think the time shift is going to be good for her. She's been a little off lately, but it's going to take a few days before she adjusts. She managed the six hour shift between home and Hawaii better than this one hour crap.

As I type this June's in the kitchen with Zed, they're mixing up a bottle and June figures that's a safe enough distance that I can't get a hold of our offspring. My only comfort is that we don't live in Saskatchewan. They don't practice DST there...weirdos. Of course, they all have tails and the same last name there too.

ハローウィン ... Happy Halloween Etc...Spooky Cute Etc...

Zo Halloween Grandmas floor
Zoey dressed up like Ernest Hemingway circa 1961

Halloween came and went without so much as a whisper but it was fun anyway. There's not all that much for a 9 month old to do when the kiddies get to tricking and treating. She's mostly just a fun toy for us to dress up and laugh we did.

Zoey spent her first Halloween dressed as Ernest Hemingway, circa 1961. Tasteless...perhaps, unoriginal...certainly not, on purpose...not really.

Zoey was supposed to be a number of different things (sushi, a garden gnome, etc...) before we stumbled into this kick ass hunting hat and decided that Zo HAD to be a hunter. We rounded out her costume with a toy gun and a borrowed vest from our friend Stacey, before you knew it she had the barrel of the gun in her mouth giving it a good chew and BLAM (symbolically) she was Ernest Hemingway. We'd have had our ability to read stripped from us if we didn't make that hilarious connection. We also jammed Zo's stuffed elephant into a reindeer costume just for that extra little bit of authenticity. It was a beauty first costume.

Zoey as Ernest Hemingway-The Idaho Years
Sure, it was accidentally tasteless, but Zo had to be the only Ernest Hemingway in town tonight.

It was a relatively eventless first Halloween for Zedder...a quick visit to Baachan's...a short hallooo at Grandma's house...and a sleep drenched drive home. It can only get better from here, maybe not costume-wise, but as far as the overall experience goes there's no place to go but up. Next year she'll be able to walk and that lends a tad bit of legitimacy to Trick or Treating.

We'll post more pics later...tired and shameless right now. Must sleep off all this poor taste and cheap chocolate.