Sunday, February 27, 2011

Throwing you a bone...

Since I've been so busy this past week and weekend, and since I feel so absolutely guilty for not having much of a web presence, I'm tossing you this little bit of crazyamazing as both overdue entertainment, and to appease you with the gift of awesomeness. Oh, you're back to my work.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Distracted, to say the least...

So I've been a little distracted lately...not exactly the blogging machine I've been so proud to be over the last few years, but I've got a lot going on right now...

Work with the Y has fallen away, while school board commitments have seemingly doubled...

I'm wrapping up a long and frustrating education in Addictions Counseling...

I have to deliver a paralyzing 1 hour presentation next week to 200 educators on the boundless power of compassion...

We've gotten ourselves pre-approved for a mortgage and will be spending the next five months creeping real estate listings...

I've got to somehow focus some attention and resources on the National Gang Symposium in Orlando, FL this Spring...

Then I've got to somehow finagle some time spent with the Grief Recovery Institute in Sherman Oaks, Ca...

After that I desperately need to find a way to manage Gang College...that's right, I said Gang College, at the National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago...

Somewhere in there we need to move...

I still don't know if I'll be working this summer or sweating through 60 days of waiting for September...

That's a lot of distractions. Sorry I can't be more attentive but at the moment I'm still sort of grieving Michigan's loss to Wisconsin last night, Miguel Cabrera's DUI arrest last week, and all the balls and chainsaws I've got flipping through the air above my head. I'll make it up to you, I promise.

How 'bout this...

Someone could sing "Jingle Bells" year 'round.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monster Negotiator Extraordinaire

Zoey and Daddy have stumbled into a new game that Mom has labeled Monster Negotiator. Oddly enough, we created the simple game in the bath tub, although the bath tub really has nothing to do with the game...don't need water...don't need suds and just need monsters, and not even real monsters. We take turns being the monster. We also take turns being Zoey, which sounds weird.

The game is entirely about how to get a monster to go away just by asking nicely...and surprisingly enough, in our dramatic bath tub re-creations it works every time. It goes something like this...First Daddy looks away and gets into character...he may even stretch if the performance seems to merit the effort.

Daddy: Turning and growling like a scary monster...claws bared...grrrrrrrrrrr.

Zoey: "Could you please go away Mr. scary monster?"

Daddy: Still growling...grrrrrrr..."Uhmm, okay."

Zoey: "Thanks."

Thats it. Then we flip it and I play Zoey and Zed plays the monster. Sometimes Zo demands certain types of monster, like quiet ones, or funny ones but usually your run-of-the-mill generic monster type will do. Done, that's it. nonsensical. I don't even know why we started playing it, but now it's a staple of our foolish back and forth shenanigans, and I love it. AND, if you can be super polite to a monster, well, you've kind of got the world by the ass when you grow older, don't you? Those are some negotiating skills.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Easy Like Sunday Morning...No Wait, Saturday Morning

This morning is slow, and of course, fairly empty without Zed...and although the night alone was mucho necessary, and the extra sleep was nice, it always feels like an empty house when she's not around. Grandad and Baachan are soaking up the Zed as I type.

The sun is out, the wind is whipping up whitecaps on the lake...that's right, I can see actual open lake now. The ice is nearly all gone. I have coffee. We have a brand new Apple TV that arrived yesterday. I am clean and shaven. My feet aren't freezing, and it should all add up to a nice morning...except there's no Zed.

So I've taken to finding things on the world wide webland that excite me. Like this...and this. Man, I dig me some cool stuff. Et tu? Here's some more...

There's this amazing Filipino artist, named May Ann Lucidine that I really can't get enough of. Watch this.

Want one.

Want two of these.

Watch this cool memorial to Robert Culp. When I was a kid it seemed like he was co-starring in everything. Then check out his educational history over at that was a cool guy.

Best advice ever in the history of the planet was uttered by this dude, Heinie Manush, to this dude, Johnny Pesky. When Pesky reported to Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the Red Sox Class B affiliate, and was pushing himself just a little too hard, Manush said...“Accept who you are. Maximize your strengths, minimize your weaknesses. Don’t try and be what you’re not." I'm gonna tell Zoey the exact same thing someday. Sooner than later.

I just learned a new word and I love it.

You know Dalton Trumbo? He wrote Johnny Got His Gun. He was one of the blacklisted writers back in ' of the Hollywood Ten. Spent time in prison. Lost everything. Got everything back. Amazing guy. Amazing. I read an interview with Donald Sutherland in which he said that the last words he ever heard Dalton utter were, "Don't forget to be happy." Second best advice in the history of the planet.

I heard the name Truly the other day, and it resonated deeply with me. I loved it. It was the character's name of the female lead in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I'd forgotten what an amazing film that Sometimes you forget the best things in your life while you're still busy looking for them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welcome Home Daddy!

Welcome Home Daddy!

This is what I come home to every day. By the time the door has slammed shut Zo's at the gate smiling. She's typically excited and already making requests. Daddy, we're gonna play with Woody...Daddy, we're drawing now...Daddy, I want to dance with you. It's sickeningly cute, and it makes me kinda wonder what I did when no one met me at the door.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fly Me To The Moon...or Red Lake

Thunder Chicken
Photo by Morgan Swant...he's one talented dude.

This is Zoey's Uncle Ian. He's a pilot. He flies boats...sorta...I mean, you know, basically. He's a pretty bad ass dude...and Uncle. Zoey likes him...Us too. He lives in Red Lake, Ontario, with a lot of mosquitos and some fisherman...and the odd, drunken, belligerent homeless dude too.

The Leaders and Best...

Avery Lyons

This is our friend Beth's brand new daughter, Avery. Avery's grandfather, Brian, was the captain of the 1972 Wolverines hockey team and is surely a proud and doting Grandpa. When I first met Beth, his daughter, at summer camp, I don't think that I had any idea of her father's past in Ann Arbor. I was just freshly returned from Ann Arbor that year myself, and it makes kind of karmic sense that all these years later we're still connected.

I guess it's true what they say...those who stay will be champions...or or the other.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Valentine's Day

According to our good friend, Chantelle, February 14th means nothing when you're awesome all the time...and I unabashedly concur. Fortunately, I can still spoil my daughter rotten with random Dollar Store princess things just because the calendar is kind enough to tell me to.

On this particular Valentines Day...her third, despite her age of approx. only two years...Zedder got:

- a card from her Dad with lots of things written in it that she can't read yet but someday will.

- a princess' tiara

- a magic wand

- some fairy wings

- a heart shaped box of Smarties


Pretty good haul for a day that doesn't do anything to distinguish us as any more awesome than we already are (thanks for the stellar line ''s brilliant). I like to think that Valentines Day is 24 hours of remembering how awesome it is to love and be loved and if it takes greeting cards that cost $5.99 and heart shaped packs of Schneider's Red Hots to do be it (BTW...I only WISH they made heart shaped packs of Schneider's Red Hots, sadly they don't, but you can get eighteen different shaped boxes of Lindt chocolates).'s just a nice and easy day dedicated to affection, and we could all use a little more of that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just call me Hawkeye...or Random Observation Guy

TC chopper Fantastic Mr. Fox

While I was watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox and minding my own depressing Sunday business, I spotted the most random thing ever...

Why is TC's Island Hoppers helicopter featured in the film? It's in Ash Fox's bedroom hanging at the end of his bed (circled in the top left of the above photo). How weird is that? It's a great film to begin with, but now I think I love it about twenty times more. Who was the producer, creative director etc...who decided that TC's Hughes 500D chopper from the most ultimate TV series ever, Magnum PI, just had to be featured in a random scene from an oddly animated feature film some twenty years after the original series aired? Whoever it was is a damned genius!

Now, if you'll forgive me, I'd like to focus my unfathomable eagle eyes back on the movie. I just had to tell somebody about my pride swelling discovery. TC's chopper in The Fantastic Mr. Fox...that's awesome!

Nothing Says Love Like Streaming Video...

Hey...tomorrow's Valentine's Day and I think we've decided to only be semi-sweet by investing half of that sweetness that Valentine's Day demands on some Apple TV. I guess it's only romantic if you can mine the excuse that it will allow us to spend more time together cuddled up on the couch watching torrent movies that we've unabashedly stolen and more than your fair share of MLB.TV...if you can squint and see it through that awfully optimistic lense then it's for sure at least 50% sweet. We can meet the other 50% sweetness demands of the day with heartfelt cards and other tidbits...but for $50 each Apple TV sounds like a nice little February 14th "I love you" gift.

We know people who refuse to celebrate Valentine's Day, which sucks moldy lemon skins. Sure, it's a Hallmark Holiday, and yes, it's not up to a calendar to tell us when we feel romantic, but it's a nagging bummer to not celebrate it. Bring home a cheesecake (that's what I officially call the Bergquist Maneuver), or go to a movie. Sneak away for coffee and giggles, or buy a something, otherwise we let the anchors all around us win. That's right, I said anchors...there's plenty of them, just look around. They're the people who want to tell you that birthday's aren't important, that Christmas is too commercialized, that Thanksgiving is no big thing...Shame on those people. Shame on them. Life's too short to not make a big deal out of some things...Valentine's Day is one of those things.

Apple TV...maybe it's not skating in Central Park, or making a surprise visit to Tiffany's, but it's's an acknowledgement that Monday February 14th isn't just your average day. So rather than spend money unnecessarily on one another we'll use the better part of our investment in romance to score us some Apple TV, and the rest to score us some cheap and sincere sappy crap. Ahhh, the sentimentality...

Something Isn't Right...

Something's missing

After saying goodnight to Zo last night, and sneaking back out into the kitchen to finally get a chance at eating some dinner, I noticed that something was a little out of sorts with our pizza. Looked like June couldn't wait until Zoey was fast asleep before she got even a smidgen of her munch on...makes me wonder just how much one bite of pizza keeps your hunger at bay?

Oh June.

Who's Idea Was This Sleep Thing?

It's difficult to focus on a blog post when the Red Wings and Bruins are shaking my television off it's supports. Kinda wishing I was at Joe Louis Arena and not propped up on a couch typing into the void. I feel on auto-pilot today and I don't like it one little fraction of a bit. It was a long night with Zo wide awake at 3 am again...unwilling to go down for Mom...similarly stubborn for Dad...finally I made peace with the notion that I was going to have to hunker down with Zed until she drifted off. I spent 3 hours squished into a tiny bed with Zoey's funky night breath whispering onto my cheek. It was equal parts sweet and exhausting.

"Are you happy Daddy came to lay down with you?"

"Yes. I love you Daddy."

"I love you too, but we have to go to sleep. It's the middle of the night. We have to try to fall asleep."

"Okay Daddy."

"Will you close your eyes and try?"

"Yes. I will close my eyes and try. I will sing too. You wanna sing?"

"No Zo...I want to sleep."

"Okay Daddy, close your eyes and try."

Zoey does this thing where she can turn a conversation back into you so that it all sounds like her idea in the first place. It's incredible. Six feet three inches was not squished into five feet of bed so that I could try to sleep. The issue with sleeplessness was only mine in a secondary sense. Zed was the one not sleeping. THis discourse went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth until suddenly, at 6 am, I stumbled bleary eyed out of Zo's room. I caught another three hours and then it was time to go swimming.

Parenting lesson # 473...Swimming at the Y takes precedence over catching up on sleep EVERY time. You're best served by enthusiasm and a short memory.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Seeing Lebron...

Pistons - Heat,  Feb 11, 2011

Grandad and Baachan hung out with Zed while June and I finished off a pretty good week by sneaking over to the Palace of Auburn Hills to watch the Pistons welcome Lebron James into town. It wasn't much of a welcome as the Heat dismantled the Pistons by twenty. We did see Jesse Jackson and Aretha Franklin though...and now we can say that we saw King James play. Mostly we ate popcorn, drank Coke, and chilled out with 20,000 other people.

While we did that Zoey forced Grandad and Baachan to watch Ice Age and Pinocchio for a somewhat less exciting Friday night. They're typically thrilled enough to just hang out with Zed 'cause they kinda, sorta like her. It's awfully cute, and of course, a grandparent's job, but we can't help but feel badly that they don't get the opportunity to kidnap her more often, and with more ease. We're ridiculously appreciative and Zoey is five times the little girl with the influence. I have a pretty good feeling that us seeing Lebron isn't half the thrill as it is for Grandad and Baachan to see Zoey. The popcorn is probably cheaper at the Partridge house too, and Ice Age and Pinocchio probably make for better entertainment than the Detroit Pistons these days.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lasting Lessons...Meaningful Moments

Zo helping Dad with his homework. Look at that pencil grip...not bad for 24 months old.

Tonight Daddy had homework to do. He's wrapping up some addiction studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary and has significant chunks of homework to tackle, naturally Zoey wants to help. So tonight this precocious little girl grabbed her pencil crayons and sat on Dad's lap to help him with his school work. She explained how she was going to go to school one day and so it made perfect sense that she get an early start, I guess. Her Dad was happy to encourage her curiosity. Blank canvas and all that...

Getting comfy with Dad as a professor lectures online from a distant campus in Alberta.

It was the most ridiculously cute thing ever. Zo grabbed her tin full of crayons and pencil crayons and crawled up on Dad's lap to start scribbling all over his notes. First she drew purple waves, and then she did her best to draw Alex from Madagascar. In the end it all looked a lot more like scribbling than anything, and Dad could barely read his quickly scratched notes (oh well, copying them out all over again translates to good study habits, right?) Zo had all the patience in the world, and was just happy to be hanging out doing schoolwork with Daddy. Did you hear that? That sigh I just breathed affectionately into the atmosphere? I think I'll study forever and ever if this little girl is this interested in sharing whatever it is that I find faith in. I'll gladly share an affinity for school work, if she's so inclined to latch onto it. It makes me swoon. Her cousin Avery always loved school and it always made me proud to see her embrace it so excitedly. Maybe, if we're lucky, and if we leave enough paint out near that wide open and empty canvas, she'll do very much the same thing. Her Father could be a worse influence than to find profound purpose in education, thats for certain.

Taking a break to doodle a little with a doting daughter. This is how education looks now.

It seems strange to be simultaneously parenting and studying, and it reminds me of what others endure at a much younger age than I am attempting to juggle it now. It's not lost on me that I or we serve as examples for her to look up and find inspiration in. I want Zo to see me doing homework and juggling responsibilities and still finding time for her and for her Mom and for myself. I want her to find nothing unusual about a household that finds any member of it spending their time with an assignment or reading or doing whatever it takes to keep the learning going. It's a different world now, and education truly has to be a lifelong experience. A twenty year old degree doesn't mean much anymore, not in the uber-competitive world of specialized skills and short term contracts. I just want Zoey to not find anything foreign about cuddling up on the couch with some school work, or pulling a chair up to the kitchen table to do homework in the company of others. That's important...very important, and it makes me happy that she's so eager to tackle any kind of connection to it so young. I hope Zoey can watch her Father cozying up to his potential and to whatever opportunity presents itself, and maybe, just maybe want much of the same. Of course, if all she wants to do is color Dad's notes then that's fine too, at least she's in close proximity to all the paint and brushes her little canvas can handle.

Mission Accomplished

JuneBri Rangers Game

Game over...mission accomplished had...Wings won...Dad is getting sick again.

Observations from the evening...

- Sean Avery is a tiny little turd.

- Pavel Datsyuk is awesome.

- Drunken men away from their wives are idiots 80% of the time, every time.

- Cobo Joe's isn't all that great.

- There just aren't that many fights anymore.

- I don't know how power plays or penalty kills affect a players +/- rating.

- The banners hanging high above Joe Louis Arena are impressive each and every time.

- This is the Red Wings 84th season...whoa.

- Glen Sather was in the building somewhere tonight and I would have liked to have tripped over him.

- We missed Zoey.

- The Rangers third jerseys are pretty awesome.

- You always run into people that you know at Joe Louis Arena.

- June understands hockey pretty damn good.

- I have to go back to the chiropractor.

- My immunity sucks this winter.

- 5 on 3 hockey for the last 44 seconds of a 3-2 hockey game is exciting stuff.

- little boys at NHL hockey games are hilarious.

- downtown Detroit is a ghost town after 6pm.

- The Tigers left for Spring Training today which means that every day is four or five times more worth living from this point on.

- I need a haircut.

- When you get up close to a bald dude who shaves his head you can still tell that he's a bald dude.

- There was either a lot of young people at Joe Louis Arena or we're older than we think.

- Henrik Zetterberg has tiny little garden troll feet.

- Sec 227A Row 5 are pretty awesome seats.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A One Night Violent Vacation


Tonight there will be Red Wings and Rangers and popcorn and Cobo Joe's and no toddlers in sight...nope, not one. Zo will be chilling with Grandma at home while her Mom and Dad enjoy the liberal and unapologetic violence of a professional hockey game in Detroit. Zed is still kinda sorta feeling dumpy, not terribly so but enough that she's going to see the pediatrician on Tuesday and see if there's anything that he can do for her, or that he might be concerned with as this cold has lingered a little. She's stuffed up, and still coughing a little, and the runny nose, oh the horror. We'll see if she needs any more attention than just time, fluids, and giant doses of affection.

A date night? Wow...and on a Monday. We're so rad it hurts.

Thanks G-ma...the chance to go enjoy ourselves is mucho, mucho appreciated. You're awfully rad yourself, you know.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wisdom With a Shovel

Today, while I was shoveling snow, I was surprised by our neighbor, Murray. He's a good old guy, a great old guy, in fact, and the things that fall out of his mouth make me smile...not as in dentures and food falling out of his mouth, but words. The words that fall out of his mouth make me smile. He's a smart fella, simple and to the point. Today he asked how Zoey was doing, and I told him that she was sick. I added that it was the first time we've really had any need for concern in two know, just small talk. Murray stood upright, smiled that wide Murray smile, and said, "You can't complain about that, can you? That's about all you can ask." He turned and went back to sweeping the snow from his porch. I thought about what he said, and as always, I smiled. He's right. We're pretty lucky people.

Aside from a few small fevers from teething, and one disconcerting but obviously now in hindsight, harmless one in Brooklyn, we've had nothing but a healthy little girl. She's been sick to her stomach just once in that time, and even that seemed a surprise. She's had maybe two or three colds, including this lingering doozy, but this lingering doozy took out even her parents. The only time she's been to the hospital was to visit her ailing Dad in a Newark, NJ emergency room. There have been surprisingly few rashes and scrapes. Bruises have been mild and even more rare than the rashes. Truth be told, we've got a healthy, strong little girl on our hands, and we are, indeed, lucky.

Before Murray and I both retired the shovels this afternoon and returned inside, Murray added a random thought that must have been bouncing around his head.

"That's a fine little girl," he said, "yes sir, a fine one."

Once again, a smile. Thanks Murray. Right, as always.

Random Runaway Thoughts...

It's snowy outside...and it's still awfully early...It's warm under these blankets but I've got the urge to get going...I have a plan, to go out and buy the house coffee (and treats)...'cause that's what fun Dad's do, and today I feel like being a fun Dad to compensate for all the grouch and slump and sniffle and lump and bummer I've been...I'm feeling newly perspectivized, that's right perspectivized...had a major early morning darkness revelation that has me thinking differently...that has me smiling...that has me feeling good, and smart, and in the right place at the right time and ready to make this change or that one and less inclined to see the world as a crowded, ugly, one dimensional place that doesn't do me as many favors as it does throw me things to sweat over...oh yes, great void of a keyboard, a computer screen, a blog, and a faceless, vastly unknown audience...I as though I had tickets to the game but I've been reading the program instead. This morning I feel as though I have something new to say...a new heart to wear firmly on my sleeve, and in the middle of all that I just realized that I need a haircut, and that my yearning for coffee made by someone else is now approaching a desperation.

All that and I forgot to wish the lovely little Elle a happy, happy 2nd birthday. She's a beautiful little girl made by rather beautiful big parents, and Zoey likes her an awful lot. I wish it was a warm summer morning in Carroll Gardens Park in Brooklyn right now, with two little squealing girls running around the place gathering up smiles and sighs as they go...that would kick the hell out of coffee.

Congratulations Netta & Mark

Netta Mark

Aunt Netta got engaged! That's right...probably the worst kept secret in Partridge family history. Everyone knew it was coming, even Zedder. That's not true. Zedder had no idea. Zedder got distracted by a pink bike and couldn't have cared less who was doing what anywhere after that.

Congratulations and all that sappy crap.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

White Weather & Wooly Sweaters

Dear Winter

I've grown tired of you, of your runny noses and coughing fits, of your icy North winds, thick socks, and frozen fingers . I'm tired of dry skin, and dry noses and and wet hemlines on my pants. I've grown weary of your dark mornings and early evenings, of your cold floors and heating bills. You're awfully high maintenance Winter, terribly high maintenance, and nobody likes a high maintenance friend. You require attention to detail - a blanket packed in the car, candles, a shovel, extra gloves, a hat - and you demand respect where most friends would much rather just choose to dole that stuff out at their own discretion. You don't even give us the chance to choose. I want friends that I can decide whether or not I want to respect them, because they've earned my attention, not just simply absconded with it.

I'd like to say that there are parts of you that I enjoy, but there aren't many, certainly not enough to merit listing here. You're just not that fun anymore. If there were a mountain right here in my backyard, sure, or if you're wily ways could be counted on to be relatively consistent, but they aren't and so you can never be depended upon. You're flat out unreliable and then simultaneously punishing for those of us forgetful of your frightfully fickle ways. You're kind of just a prick, at least around here, at this longitude and this altitude. Your vindictive, unrepentant, unforgiving, deliver the same heinous goods each and every year, with very little regard to variety or uniqueness. Truth be told, it's all getting so, so old. You flash us some blue sky, maybe offer us a few windless, warm days, and then whip in with your warped sense of humor. No wonder you're never invited to any of our parties. I wouldn't want you at my party. You're a jerk.

If you could find it in your cold, cruel heart to spare us the torture that the next month or so typically delivers it would be an incredible gesture towards reconciling with us, towards mending relationships, and building trust. In case you weren't paying attention, it's just a few short weeks until Spring anyway, and why leave on such bad terms. Like most people, I get excited for white weather and wooly sweaters each and every Autumn, but not the way you've been behaving of late. You're just being selfish, and I'm nearly through with you. Trust me, you don't want to spend December through February alone. It makes for a miserable experience. Lighten up and solicit some kindness every now and again, why don't you? In fact, why don't you start right now? Throw us a bone, limp on off into March and fizzle out a good couple weeks early and see just how excited we all are to see you again next year. It's an easy treat us right and we treat you right. It's not so hard.

This was a good talk. I hope that we can still be friends when it's all said and done, but I've gotta be honest, if you're hell bent on punishing us for six or seven more weeks then I'm done with you. I'll go find a new friend.

Keep selfish son-of-a-b!%#h. Thanks for your time.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

That old familiar face...


We have a happy little not-so-sick girl on our hands today. It seems her fever broke and aside from being tired and just plain wore out, she's back on track to consuming our every moment in less stressful, worrisome ways.

This is called "Winter Camping" the kitchen, where it's warm, with Mummy playing along. Man, it's good to see this kid bouncing around again. I much rather prefer the Tigger Zoey to the Eeyore Zoey.

Random Ferris Quote and The Story That Goes With It

There's a first for everything.

Today I drove to a kid's house, rang the doorbell, told him to grab his crap, get a coat on and get in the car. He had two exams to write and some course work to hand in and he'd graduate, but it had to be done today. So I drove to his house, literally Shang-Hai'd him, and pushed him into the classroom...respectfully.

I've never done that before.

I don't really have a specific approach to the work I do, not really. I'm not too tough on these kids, and I'm not a pushover. I'm a bit like Silly Puddy in that I mold to whatever shape I'm pushed up against. I like to think that I do what it takes, not what is expected...that I give you what you need, rather than what you might want...I do what I have to do. Today that meant kidnapping an unsuspecting funster who was either going to graduate from high school today, or go to jail next week. He can thank me later, that is, if he even remembers my name.

I never know if they do, you know. In so many cases I'm so in-and-out of their lives, and so quickly, almost efficiently, like a knife cutting through soft butter. It sounds funny, but it's true. Oh shit, you've got a big Brian. Blah be blah be blah be hocus pocus...we're doing something about it. We might not be fixing it all the time, but we're doing something about it. Of course, sometimes there are significant relationships that last for months or even years, and where the substantial influence and impact is obvious...and then there are scenarios like today.

"Get your #$%& and get in the car."


"Get your #$%& and get in the car, I said."

Two exams later and that kid's not going to jail, and will soon enough, I mean, as fast as someone can produce it, have a diploma on their wall. Life changes that fast, with that much force...that much critical mass. It's just that sometimes, some people, need some one to knock on their door, tell them to get their damn coat on, and plunk them down on destiny's doorstep.

Like I said, I've never done that before, but now that I have, I'd do it time, and the time after that, and the time after that too. I hope someone does that for me someday. I hope that someone does that for Zoey someday. I hope that someone would do it for you someday.

Like Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Sometimes it helps if someone makes you look around.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find a good friend's Grandson and put him in a headlock until he screams, "I give," and stays in school. Adios muchachos.

Define "whackjob"...uhmmmm, Alright


In case you were wondering...this is a "whackjob.".

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Relax: Apocalypse probably not happening

That was a headline I read today. It's probably good advice, that whole relax part, regardless of whether there's an Apocalypse coming or not. It's comforting to know that there's no impending Apocalypse though. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. I suppose that there's the whole matter of that "probably" part but the whole damn thing sounds so dismissive that I'm not gonna sweat it too much. Apocalypse schmapocalypse...I'd lay a bet down with the best Vegas book that it's nothin' to worry about. Why? 'Cause I read it in the paper...that, and there's not a damn thing that you can do about it either way.

I've got to start feeling that way about more things...especially as those things relate to my daughter.

Sigh all you that cute little head tilt and simultaneous squeal, "awwwww," but I love my daughter and it bothers me a great deal when she's upset or in discomfort etc...the problem is, often enough, there's very little that I can do about half the things that affect her. This fever, aside from being diligent, cautious, and attentive, there's very little I can do beside wait for it to subside. I don't manage that very well.

What's the secret to poise? Can I buy a book? Meditate? Chant something? I have remarkably low levels of cool when it comes to the health of my wife and daughter.

Here's something for you, and it's excluding my immediate birth family...these girls are the best thing I've got...the best...I'm much less of a person without them, and although the odds are against the possibility that I'll ever lose one of them randomly, I'm also experienced enough and smart enough to know that the smallest things can change your life...the absolutely most mundane things can forever alter the way that we filter the years left on our calendars.

When I was ten years old I went to pay a friend for watching our dog while we were away and I nearly died.

When I was in college a classmate and some friends were walking home one night when a drunk driver swerved off the road, onto the sidewalk and killed her boyfriend. Not another soul in the group was injured, but her boyfriend was gone before anyone could even make a gesture in his direction.

A recent re-connection with an old, old friend helped me to learn that the reason that he and his family moved away in elementary school was that his mother died over the summer. No one knew that. I didn't have any clue. In June we were close friends, and in September he was no longer around.

Things happen fast, and the truth is that there's not much that we can do about them, and as much as I wish I didn't feel the fragility of my life as strongly as I do, I'm also happy that I've got a life that reminds me to be thankful of what I've got. I'm reminded every day how quickly the things that you have can change. I know that most of my living days won't be marked with such drama, but moments before life changing moments occurred they were just ordinary moments.

So the Apocalypse probably won't be happening, and Zoey will probably ride this fever out and come out smiling on the other side of it all, but I can't help but worry that tomorrow won't look the same as today, and as much as I like to reassure myself that such a thing is very much a positive, it's always in the back of my head that it might not be. Sometimes you're pretty desperate for the "probably" part.

An Admission...

This is my moment of vulnerability.

I just want things to go away. When things get hard, when things get unnerving, when there's actually something there to be scared of...I just want it to go away. There's no uber-masculine, take the bull by the horns, dripping with poise approach to anything difficult...there's just the desperate hope that it just goes away.

It's probably a pretty common thing for a parent, but when Zo gets all feverish and watery eyed I just melt into a goey pile of anxiety and concern. She's just so little, and it's all so hard for her to grasp. She just feels awful and wants to feel better. Last night she was burning up, and June spent most of the night tending to her...Super Mom...never flustered, full of poise...not me. I can't sleep. I worry. I want it to go away. June could very likely attest to my unnerving. It's almost embarrassing. Zo gets sick...Dad gets upset.

It wouldn't bother me so much except for I see the trend...wishing things away doesn't make them disappear.

Zo still had a fever this morning, although slightly less, and she was still coughing and having trouble breathing through her nose, but the temp was down first thing and that's what typically unsettles me. She's terribly listless this morning, and awfully cuddly, as close to miserable as this little girl ever gets, and as the snow drifts higher and higher outside we're hoping things get better inside as the day progresses. Poor girl. Poor Daddy, this stuff unnerves me silly.

Under Pressure...

Have you seen "It's Kind Of A Funny Story" yet? You should. It's sweet. It's, at times, fairly profound, and Zach Galifinekas is brilliant. If you can't laugh a little, or a lot, during the film then I feel sorry for you.

It's about stress, and strain. It's about expectations, and unrealistic attempts to avoid disappointment. It's about every one of us, and it's about the sadness that overwhelms us all but that so few ever address. It's about living.

Watch it.

I took some time this afternoon, while Zoey was sleeping, and when I should have been, to watch it, and it left me grinning so widely I felt manic. I was feeling horrid puke awful, and then there was a giant impossible to suppress smile. Nice work Mr. Galifinekas...nice work.

Sick and sick

sleeping Zo

Daddy has a partner in sickness now, and although it's awful feeling, and a little stressful, it's pretty cute.

Some Sick links...literally

This is what I found while wallowing in my own sweaty sickness...enjoy.

Brooklyn resident, Alexander Chen, built this cool, melodic web page that represents New York subway lines as ever-growing strings that are "plucked" by intersecting trains. Best of all, it's built off a live feed of actual train data. Cool huh?

Saw "Hard to Kill on the TV schedule, giggled to myself, did a quick wiki check on Steven Seagal, and laughed for approximately 42 minutes.

I would like one of these.

Sometimes you just have to pay tribute in the only way you know how. There's no explaining a fan.

Thank you, once again, Patagonia.

I would like to live here.

Really excited for this. Everything Stacy does is gold.

If this kid is your neighbor, be worried.

There once was a time.