Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bunny Directives

The boys like the Easter Egg hunt around here, but, they think he (is the Easter Bunny a he or a she?) should hide them better this year:

He will hide them in the basement this year, and he will leave a note as to where all of them are.  Nothing worse than a lost Easter egg, if you know what I mean.

Easter always makes me sad, I guess because of the suffering, you know, the Passion.  But Resurrection comes and we are all reborn.  I hope I don't waste that beautiful opportunity.

Happy Easter, and thanks for stopping by.

From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

Z: "You feel my pain, buddy?"

N: "No. Not really."



Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Yeah, it is Spring Break around here, a chance to catch up with the boys, spend some quality time together, bond, have meaningful conversations... or not.

It is a good time to clean out their school backpacks, which leads me to this:

I do not know who these people are.  Not at all, not even a clue.

Oh wait, there is some information an the back. Well this clears it all up:


Sofiy:  Will live with the queen of ingland

Well that's nice...

Queen:  Will let sofy live with her

Super.  Long live the Queen.

B.F.G.:  Won't have to eat snoscombrs.  Will be a hero.

Good.  Great.  Everyone loves a hero.

Other gients:  Thay will have to eat snoscombrs not humens.

Well, thank heaven for that.  Wait... what the HELL are "snoscombrs?"

From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

"That was this morning, when I was a monk."

Good times, good times...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rube Goldberg Called

Here is the plan, it's a two part plan:

We'll meet at the finish line.

from Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

*hands clenched*


(pause, then calmly) 

... No, I don't."

He was kidding, I hope... 

Friday, March 22, 2013


I have been sick the past couple of days, a stomach bug, imagine that.  I'm feeling a little better today but I am feeling weak from not having eaten anything for a couple of days.  When I am weak like that, I sometimes feel sad.  When I feel sad I  think too much...

I opened a drawer the other day to get something for my wife, as I rifled through it I found this:

It's the boys' old soothies, binkies, pacis, whatever, we called them soothies, and, for a while they were of the utmost importance.  I remember time after time searching the beds and floors for them, frustrated and irritated at having lost them once again.

Our boys were good about them, after their infancy they only used them at bedtime.  They never went out in the car with them, or to the store or any of that.

I still don't want to throw them away.  Am I the only one like that?  I'd be embarrassed to admit the number of things I have saved of theirs because I didn't have the strength to just throw them in the trash:  wooden cut out giraffes, well worn and chewed up wooden screwdrivers, a couple of Old Navy sweatshirt onesies, a cape or two, a giant whiffleball bat, first soccer jersey and baseball unis, lots of other stuff.  Things that seemed so important that they won't even remember.

I didn't throw them away...

From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

Boys: "He started it!" "No, HE started it!" "NO! HE started it!"

Mom: "I don't care who started it, who is going to be man enough to STOP it?"

Boys: "I stopped it!" "No, I stopped it!" "NO! I stopped it"


I never know what to think around here...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wrapped Gift Post

I often wish that people would say "good job" or some other words of encouragement to me as often as I offer them up to my boys. 

"Nice snag, Zack."

"Great pass, Nick."

"This is a beautiful picture of, uh, the inside of a bird."*

"Thanks for reminding me that everything will be alright."

"Wow, you read that all in one day?  Nice job, Nicholas."

"You opened that new track on Mario Kart without any help?  Good job, Zack."

"Why yes, I do like your bunny magician and his hamster assistant, Zachary."*

"This is a great poem, Nick.  Really great."

And it is a great poem.  Here is the original rough draft (the last line is on the back, which I forgot to scan):

 Here is the way he submitted it to his editor teacher:

This is what I did with it, so he could take it back to school:

When I was in my twenties I tried to write a few poems, I even made a little booklet of them (it seemed important at the time), I remember thinking:  how hard could it be?

Here is one of the drafts I found in an old file drawer:

Yeah... his is better.

Which, for once, brings me to my point.  I wonder what I should be encouraging.  I mean, what if someone had encouraged me to continue writing poems, which I had secretly been doing since I was fourteen or fifteen probably?  Would I have majored in poetry?  Would I have had a successful career as a poet making dozens of thousands of dollars a year?  Perhaps I would have?  But, I wasn't really very good, was I?

As an adolescent and teen what was encouraged in me was my athletic ability in, of all things, football.  People told me I was good, encouraged me, supported me and, well, I didn't really care about football.  By the last year I played, my Junior year of high school, I pretty much hated it and was doing it only because my friends still were.  So, I was good but I didn't really want to do it anymore.

My senior year of high school, I was cast as the lead in "Our Town" and I was excited.  Up until this point, I'd been able to play ball and be in the play which rehearsed later in the evenings and ball practice was directly after school.  However, this role was big and there was a lot to do and, I wanted to do it.  I quit football, much to Coach Funk's surprise, and hardly ever picked up a ball for thirty years.

No one as much said to me "you have a gift" for football or for acting or poetry or singing or, as I look back on it, much of anything.  And, I am glad for that.

People encouraged me, mind you, but no one specifically called me out on one particular skill or gift.

A better blogger than I, Rachel, at Hands Free Mama, recently wrote a post called "Voicing the Gift" in which she eloquently extols the positive impact which telling a child they have a gift can have on that child.  A specific gift.  Their special talent.  It's a beautifully written piece, as all her posts are, and I could not argue the impact that she made on the children she mentions.

It certainly made me think, which I have done, and, I've decided I don't want to do that for my children.

Not because I don't see their special talents.  Not because I don't want them to be something I could encourage them to be; be it artist, actor, singer, sage.  Not because I fear for them the road they might have to travel to use their gifts.  Not because I don't think they should be anything they want to be.

No, honestly, I am afraid I'll get it wrong.  Just as folks would have been wrong to discern that football or poetry was my gift, I am afraid I'll point them down the wrong path, away from their passion, away from their heart.

For some of us, determining our gifts and talents is a life-long endeavor, a journey of meandering hopes and dreams, fraught with missed turns and missed opportunities.  I would say that, as I write these words, I am still not sure what my gift may be, or yours, or my boys.  I feel that it simply must bubble up from within them, within me; I feel they must find their own paths; I feel I must show them this life, point out their talents, and leave it up to them; I feel that it must be a decision they make.

You know what?  I am probably wrong.  Probably... but I'm going with my gut on this one.


*Here is the drawing.  From what I gathered from Zack, the image on the left is the insides and that sort of exploded view there on the right is the skeletal system.  If you look closely, through the guts and gizzards and intestines and such, you will see... a little heart-shaped heart.  God, I love them...

*This is Niglee, the aforementioned Bunny Magician.  He's supposed to make the cake float but has only managed to levitate himself.  There is a platform for the hamster.

Maybe my gift is these words to you, perhaps Zack will learn anatomy and Nick will chase words.  The blogger, the butcher and the dream chaser.  I just don't have enough to go on.

Thanks for stopping by today.

From Marci's  "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

Mom:  "Boys, stop hitting each other."

Boys:  "But we're ninjas."

Mom:  "You can be ninjas without hitting each other all the time."

Boys:  "But then what would we do with our ninja skills?  Open a lemonade stand?"

... yes we have embraced sarcasm...

I really shouldn't call him out but, Nick said it...

Monday, March 18, 2013

"R.I.P. to a Trogen Wareor"

(I have to make up a name, uh, let's say Mistyanna.)

I looked at Facebook today, which I have been trying to do less frequently than I used to, and it was fine.  I was led to a couple of great blog posts by some really great guys; I saw a couple of nice pictures and a couple funny memes; I learned some Irish, which is lovely to look at, and there was this, twice, up there on the "ticker" I think they call it:

 "Mistyanna likes her own photo."

I laughed aloud and, my heart cracked a little.

I'd like to tell you that my heart hurt for her, Mistyanna, but it didn't.  I'd like to tell you that my heart hurt because she seems so lost and sad swimming in the sea of self, but it doesn't.


My heart hurt because I don't know how to steer my boys away from the path of narcissism and selfishness that social media, the Internet, video-gaming, texting - hell, even blogging - make so damned appealing.  It's is all so immediate and vivid and and self-serving.

Lord knows that by many people's standards we are positively medieval in our use of technology around here.  We have a dying laptop and a noisy Dell tower, mired in cords and codes and all that stuff I don't understand.  But that doesn't change the content of the cyber-world around us.  Facebook's self-aggrandizing nature, Pintrest's impossible perfection, blog after blog of look-at me praddle (my own included) make me sometimes wish I'd never seen any of it.

There are times that I wonder what exactly I, we perhaps, did before there was this thing called the Internet.  Personally, I read more, I played more music, I tried things, I thought, and, I had friends, real friends.

And, I was lonely.

Today, I can troll around the innerwebs, chat with an acquaintance, find an old friend, catch up with family and friends, listen to new music, read blogs and...

I'm still lonely.

Social media is neither good nor bad I guess.  It passes the time, but it doesn't fill the void.

(I am worried about this post, it's not doing what I want it to do.)

The void that social media doesn't fill is shaped differently in all of us.  For me, the void that I long to fill is my God-shaped hole, my spirituality.  It is stupid to look around here for inspiration.  So often all I see are people liking their own photos, people looking for attention.  I see snarky status updates; I see mean-spirited humor; I see people posting picture after picture of themselves and theirs, to no discernible end; I see irrational rants about this policy and that dated ideology; I see...

(Dammit!  This is not going well...)

Listen, I want this post to show how dangerous all this crap on the Internet can be, how mindless and isolated it can make us, how shallow and soulless it all seems, but... it's not always.

I once guest posted on a blog called Daddy Knows Less, in fact I think it's the only guest post I've ever done.  I just read it again, here, and it pretty much negates everything I have said up to this point.

(Some posts are just not meant to be.)

I follow his blog and a few others, some I have listed over there on your right, "Some Better Bloggers" I call them.

Daddy Knows Less' post today impacted me right in the spot I just said above that the Internet could not affect.  I am wrong a lot.

It is called An Instrument of Peace and you should read it.  Right now.  I'll go get a cup of coffee and we'll meet back here.

You came back, thanks.  That was nice of you...  It's a good post, isn't it?  He has such an easy style and such a palpable love for family and life.

For probably the last decade of my career as a waiter, I carried prayers in my waiter book and the one I most frequently considered was The Prayer of St. Francis.  If one phrase could help me, calm me down, open my heart, free my soul, it was, "Make me an instrument of your peace."  I'd forgotten that.  Oh, I've seen the prayer since then, and I think of it sometimes but, I'd forgotten that I carried it with me, literally and figuratively, for all those years.

I have been recently struggling with a difficult decision I have to make.  The details aren't important, but the words that DKL wrote are a big help to me.  The reminder of that simple, pure prayer was exactly what I needed today.  I want to thank him but I don't know how.

(Well, if ever a post didn't work out it was this one.)

(Must attempt redirection from the pointless ramblings above.)

Hey, how about a couple of cute pictures and a snarky comment or two?

Zack made this one.  The math is fine.  I can't tell if those are birds there, and if they are, are those the bird's guts there?  Is it a page from an anatomy of birds book?  What does the price refer to, perhaps it is two birds?  I am not sure I want to know what this is about.

Now here on Nick's I did get a little information.  In fact I got too much information.  It's dead dude, sort of mummified.  Yes, that is his ribcage and those are his bones showing through on his arms.  He seems to have some sort of mask or headcovering over his head.  His eyes are utterly devoid of feeling.  It says: "R.I.P. to a trogen wareor."  A Trojan Warrior - of the Bunny Order, judging from his head gear...

Sometimes the stuff they make really creeps me out.

From Marci's "things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

Zack:  "This is what you get when you take the 'dodge' out of dodgeball."

(Cue ball thrown *hard* at Daddy's gut.)

Dodgeball is not a two man sport there... ouch.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saint Paddy's Post

Here's what you need to know:

"He yusd clovers to git the trinidy well known."

Yep, sometimes it is that easy.

 From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

"Bacon heals me."

Well, duh...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bithday Post

I may have mentioned before that my mind is a sort of cartoon land.  Anything silly and nonsensical is the first place my mind goes.  Even at times I don't want it to, like in church when the Pastor says 'duty' and I snigger; or when a child tells a complicated story and I am making a note of how funny his facial expressions are and realize I haven't heard a word he's said; or when I dislocate my arm and remember it as a Looney Tunes fall, complete with stars and in slow-motion.

Today I am fifty-two years old and, honestly, feelin' every bit of it.  When I wrote out the title above I imagined one of those poles with city names, in this case 'past' and 'future,' on it and the mileage they are away from that point, you know a 'birthday post.'  I always seem to run smack into my birthday post, it seems to come out of nowhere and block my path.

I never really cared about my birthday when I was younger, sure, it was a reason to party but, uh... I never really needed a reason to party.  I was a lifer in the restaurant business in my later years and no one really cares that you want off on your birthday in a restaurant.  I guess it gave me a reason to throw back a few after work with my mates but, uh... I never really needed a reason to throw some back.  Now, as I approach and older eon I realize that birthdays are a good reason to examine and judge and overthink your life but, uh... I never really need a reason to... oh you get it.

I wonder if you reach a place, perhaps in your thirties, where you are even, balanced?  I ask because for much of my younger days I looked at birthdays as a way to see how far I had to go on my journey, I looked ahead.  Now, in my later years I look back, regretfully perhaps, and wonder where I've been.  I wonder if there was a day where I stood up and said:  "This is the perfect day, this day I am hopeful for the future and pleased with my past!"

I doubt it.

But maybe you come close.  The other evening I was playing guitar and my hands were hurting and I stopped and put my head down and, well, a wave of melancholy sort of hit me.  I sighed.  I felt a small hand on my knee and looked up into Nick's big blue concerned eyes.

"What's wrong Daddy?" he asked.

"Sometimes my hands hurt really bad and it makes it hard to play guitar.  And sometimes I feel like no one is listening and I wonder why I still bother."  I told him sort of startled into honesty because I didn't know he was there.

"And that makes you sad."  A statement, not a question.

"Yes, son, it does."

"Well, I like to hear you play, and so does Zack,"  he said, his hand patting my knee.

"Thanks, Nick, that means a lot."

I smiled and he touched my face and turned to go back to his LEGOs.  He then turned around and looked at me with a knowing look, a look of sudden insight, as though he'd just remembered something.

"Well, God likes to hear you play, too."

Right then, in the midst of my sadness and regret and, to be honest, self-pity, I was reminded, by a child, my child, of the love and joy that this journey is supposed to be about.

Maybe there is a point of balance, maybe there is a place where the past and the future intersect in perfect unity and maybe, just maybe, it's all the time.  Maybe, just maybe, it's right now.

So, I'm gonna stop feeling sorry for myself.  I wondered what I posted last birthday and, hoping that it wasn't maudlin and self-serving, I checked it out.  Here is the link to it, it's cute, and happy.  I am glad I was happy a year ago.

I like to write like you are right here in the room with me, it leads to grammatical errors, but, it is how I hear it in my head.  The actual truth is sometimes I wonder wander off and get a cup of coffee, or I have a bite, or do laundry or sweep or, as is the case today, split some wood.  It is a cold day and I know it's so much easier to split when it is cold.  As I was cleaning up an old acquaintance of mine passed by.  He turned around, pulled into the driveway and we shot the shit, leaning against a couple pickup trucks, as boys from rural Ohio are bound to do.

His life has been hard, I'll spare you the details, but I do know that he's been homeless and incarcerated and is a recovering alcoholic.  He cooked in a restaurant I worked in about a hundred years ago.  He's a pretty sweet guy, but, he was sort of a dick when he was drinking.  He's a good-ole-boy, and we spoke of camping and hunting and firewood and mothers and hard work and sons and trucks.  Finally, the wind kicked up and he said he had to get going.

He turned to go but turned right back around and he had the same look in his eyes that Nick had had.  A look of insight and remembering.

"You gotta a pretty good life here, Bill, don't cha?  Mind them babies, they grow up fast."  He hopped in his beat up F150 and was gone.

He's right, you know, I do have a good life.

It is a bright, cold day and the sun is shining:

The manatees birds are singing:

I have a beautiful loving family:

There is a happy bunny in the backyard:

We have a cozy home with warm beds:

There is plenty of good food on the table:

I have a late model truck that runs great and is paid for:

We are able to got to the doctor and the dentist when we need to:

In fact, I have everything I need.  Everything I need for my body, for my heart and for my soul.  In fact, I feel like a king:

Thanks for stopping by today, I feel better than I did when I started this post.

"Mind them babies, they grow up fast."  Best exit line ever.

(Also, what is up with that picture Z did of him brushing his teeth?  I mean, it's a picture of him, in a mirror, like all in perspective and architecturally correct.  Gimme a break, dude.  Oh, and I've ordered "I heart tethe" shirts for everyone.)

Monday, March 11, 2013


You begin to run out of ways to tell a story.  I have noticed this over the last fifteen months here on the web.  I have also noticed it over the years of my life.  Anyone who has had the notion that they could write, tell a story or spin a yarn knows you have to think about things like tense and voice and the like.  But, and here's the kicker, you have to consider your perspective, your own, mind you, not the story receiver's, you, the storyteller.

I can think of stories I've told where the whole damn point of the thing changed from one telling to the next.  As an example, I used to tell a story about me and the neighbor kid growing up.  We got it in our heads to "run away" not, as I recall, because of some egregious act perpetrated against us, not because of some ideological parent/child rift, not because we were angry at the injustice of childhood, no - we were just bored.  I'd guess I was maybe ten, he eleven.

So, we got some peanut butter, stole some home-made jars of pickles, snagged a frozen loaf of bread, filled a couple canteens, grabbed a couple sleeping bags and headed off, thinking no one would be the wiser.  I think all and all a good two dozen people knew we were sneaking off, and, of course, indirectly so did our parents.  It was a muggy night in August and we went to our favorite pine grove, off the road a bit and settled in.  Well, just add mosquitoes and ants and DARKNESS and low batteries - those giant twelve volt jobbys - and a lightning show Wagnerian in pitch, we, well, we got scared.

We could smell the rain in the wind as it began to whip through the white pines above us and we bugged out.  We were maybe a mile and a half from home, most of it on the road but the first part was down a farmer's path, rutted and uneven.  We tripped and plodded our way through the raspberry brambles and thistles by the light of the fainting battery lantern; chiggers at our ankle and mosquitoes at our necks.  There was a rise just before the farm path met the pavement and before we could see the road we heard low voices and I could smell the cigarette smoke in the air.

I doubt we could of slowed our momentum as we charged up the hill and we nearly crashed into the taillights of a station wagon flanked by the glow of a couple Camels hanging in the hands of both our dads.  We were relieved and more than a little afraid of what kind of trouble we were in.

Now, here is where the story road diverges, right there on that yellow road.  I used to tell that story from the perspective of that ten year old kid who got busted, grounded and given extra chores for doing what he shouldn't have.  I'd paint a picture of those angry dads and I'd get a laugh or two, leaving out the terrified dash down the lightning lit path and the ants and all that.

But now, now that I am a dad I see it as the act of love and dedication it was.  My dad mentioned it a couple times when I was older and apparently they'd thought it a lark, laughing and enjoying the storm and the wind as they waited for their wild sons to come screaming from the woods, as they knew we would.

They knew we were not being stupid or rebellious; they understood that we'd left enough hints as to where we were going should we need  rescued.  They knew we needed to do what we did, they understood that, they remembered being the boys they once were. They also knew, as that summer storm came up, that they should go get us.

As they lectured about pickles and responsibility and fresh batteries and the ways we weren't prepared, I remember getting into the car, glancing into the backseat and seeing the flashlights and blankets and even some flares and the corner of a first-aid kit sitting neatly on the backseat.  They were prepared to go in and get us, more than willing to, I'd guess.  They probably saw our faded light and heard us flailing down the path and just decided to have us come to them.

I reckon we got in more trouble for stealing the damn pickles more than anything else, Mr. B loved those pickles.

So, you see, you can come at any story a number of ways.  In a favorite post of mine, "My Your Song Always Be Sung," I touched on the different interpretations of one particular Bob Dylan song I have played over the years.  A different understanding, a different perspective, with each playing.

I must have a point here, and I do, but it is a bit difficult to articulate.  I have something I want to show you, but I don't know which way to go with it.  It is simultaneously touching and sweet and really, really odd and...

Here, I'll show you:

In concert with "The Fuzzy Roundups"

Backstage dressing area

Equipment check

Band parking under the stage, mod bugs and a monster truck

The drummer

The keyboard player with a dancer in the foreground

Honestly, what I am inclined to do here, is just be cute about all this.  I mean how deep can I go with this.  It is a diorama of a pom-pom-googly-eyed-pipe-cleaner-band.  It is silly, beyond silly even, absurd.  And the conversation that went on for the maybe ninety minutes they worked on this was so earnest and comical:

"Hey, they're gonna need a spotlight on the dancers."

"I'm on it"

"Hey, how many dancers can I get in these beetle cars?"  (An age old question.)

"I dunno, all of them?"

"Do you think this drum set looks alright"

"Dude, it's awesome!"

"Where's the stage-manager gonna park her monster truck?"  (Another question for the ages.  I'm sorry but that's just funny in about ten different ways.)

"Do you think this speaker is big enough?"  (Never.)

"Oh yeah, there are some hanging too."

So, that's one way I could go with this.  Actually, a couple of people have asked me if I was making fun of Nick and Zack in some of these posts.  I worry about that, I am never mean-spirited here, on purpose at least, but I could see how you might think I am.  Honestly, it would be a lot of fun to do that, but, it doesn't feel right.

Mostly, I want to show you them or, as I've said before, "show them them."  Show them the spark that they once were, show them the fun they once had, show them the silliness and whimsy that is childhood, so easily forgotten.

I know I will look back on this and remember that hour and a half, fondly.  And, I must add, I probably never would have remembered except I wrote about it here.  Perhaps the simple earnestness of this will move me to tears one day.  Perhaps they and I will remember that it was this simple and beautiful and loving and silly once.  Once a upon a time, when The Fuzzy Roundups came to town.

From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

"Did Shakespeare write the book Harry Potter?"

You know, I've been wondering that myself...

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Big Boy" and Fireboy (or Milestones)

The other day, Tuesday I think it was, I posted about Donut Boy and a badger.  I actually had some more about superheroes that I didn't have time to get to.  ( which I didn't have time to get; what an awful sentence.)

The boys had a "Cape Day," which had nothing to do with windswept beaches or South Africa, at school the other day.  Their capes were at the cleaners, so they had to wear pillowcases, star pillowcases to be precise.  We clamped them on with those paper clippy thingys, what are those called, the kind that sort of fold open, clip and then close?  Note to any new parent, "safty" pins are anything but.  They had a fun day and brought home these jewels:

They designed their own superheroes.  Zack's says:  This is a picture of me.  I am a super Hero! I have saved many People.  My power are to throw fire and run very fastAnd I can also walk throught (I have made that same misspelling of through) fireonce a villien trided (tried) to throw me into            a     bonfire I could just walk thew (through)  it  This is a house I made it is made of many things and I built it myself.

Here's a nice detail of him as, what shall we call him, 'Fireboy'.  That's a sweet flaming cape there; he's got a weapon, a fire-shooter of some sort, no doubt; and a really tricked out car, with a rocket assist and a a cool paint job.  It's unfortunate that his super hero ride is a SmartCar, but, even super hero budgets get a little thin these days.

Now here's Nick's.  There is a lot of information here so try to keep up...  My superheros name is Big Boy. He has the power... well look at the pichir (picture) and youl see his power.  (I had to ask, it's his unnaturally large fists.)  He lives in a 10 room apartment-bilding! he is fiting (fighting) somwon (someone) that has lazor-vishun (not the guy from 'Fiddler,' laser-vision) and chans (chains) with spiky-balls.he is fitinen (fighting, again, misspelled differently) for the rar (rare) cind (kind) on dragon that she has capshrd (captured).

I must share some details from this on as well:

I really gotta say it, those tights are little, well, too...  That is a nasty-lookin' villain but that rare dragon is sure worth saving, although we might need Fireboy to handle it, with the fire-spewing and all.  And, I just gotta say it; Zack's flaming SmartCar's got nothing on Nick's bubble-encased, multi-controllered, radar enhanced "flying Vehikle."  I just don't see how he can handle it with those freakishly overgrown hands.

So, that's what I didn't get to last time.  However, there is one more thing, if you've got a second.  There's always one more thing, isn't there?

Believe it or not, this is my two-hundredth post.  It's been about fifteen months and I have dropped a conservative estimate of a quarter-million words here on the innerwebs, I hope permanently, but, I'm not really sure about that.


I considered leading with that, telling you all about my accomplishment, celebrate it.  That's what you do when you reach them, right?


I reached a milestone I thought I'd never...


Nope, it just doesn't feel right.  I hate when sports figures celebrate a TD or a basket; that's probably why I am a baseball man.  I get tired of dads who want to be lauded for parenting and moms who seem to think they deserve a glass of whine (intentional) for picking the kids up from pre-school.  It seems to me like they are celebrating what they are supposed to be doing; you remember, your job, your purpose, whichever.  It seems like that would get a little old and hollow after a while, celebrating the things we are supposed to do.

So, I am not going to use exclamation points today, or bells and whistles.  I'll avoid self-congratulatory adjectives like pleased and humbled and surprised.  I should thank people like my wife and my relatives and the few friends who look in on us here now and again, but I won't.


Here's the thing (when I say that to my boys they know I am being serious, on the level), I set out to do something and I did it.  However, I did not know how much I would learn from this.  I set out to be entertaining and a little silly, snarky, cute, but, I quickly learned that, as I examined our life here, really looked at the stuff they create, looked into their hearts and souls, truly looked into my own, I was the one who gained something. Something remarkably important and, sadly, rare - insight.


I just realized I did sort of celebrate my one-hundredth post with a wordle of a hundred words I like and, and, uh, huh, well actually it has been one of my most popular posts... oh, bother.  I am still not gonna lead with it.

Because, one of the things I learned from doing this is that I am not doing it for me.  I guess you may not believe that.  I am sure I am not sure, but, understanding motives is a tricky hill of gravel, if you know what I mean.

The pretext here, the device I am using to reach across time and space is this blog.  I keep my readership in mind, I try to be interesting, amusing at times, but, honestly, I have a strong sense, a supernatural sense, a sacred sense, that this is not for me, not for you.  Perhaps it is not even for my sons.

Simply, I sense that I am supposed to be doing this.  That's why I don't feel like celebrating.

As I consider the next milestone, or milestones, I wonder what direction I will take.  Twice before I have been tempted to close up shop, as I am today.  Both times I decided to move ahead.

But, I still worry about, feel guilty about the time I spend here.  Maybe that's a part of the whole thing.  Looking - seeking even - outward has led me to an inward journey.  Perhaps the inverse is true and looking - hoping even - inward will lead me to places unknown, surprises and joys undreamed, hopes not yet imagined.

Looks like I'll be around for a while.

Thanks for stopping by, oh and one more thing...


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Real Donut Boy

I really do shy away from controversy.  I don't post about religion except in a vague Hippie-God sort of way; I don't talk about politics except that I think we should respect each other and some seem to do that better than others; I loathe talk of sex, not because of its tawdriness or unsavoriness, it's just that it is private and should be, at its core, sacred - oh and it's way too easy to talk about it and write about it, it seems pedestrian in my opinion.

Also, there are all the popular daddy blogger subjects I try to avoid, not because they aren't important, valid topics it's just that I, well... I don't find writing about how the media portrays men in advertising, or how dads aren't respected as parents, or the awkwardness of play-dates and navigating PTAs and school volunteering and the like, I don't find (which is where this sentence started, a while back now) writing about what bothers me really serves my boys sometime in the future, or frankly, you now.  Do you know what I mean?

I do rant, although you might remember I now have a widget that warns me when I get preachy, and I do have opinions and I do get my feelings hurt and, I'll probably continue to tell you about some of that.  But today, today I am going here...


A lot of folks are confused about a new guy, Donut Boy.  Here's what I could find out:

This is his actual file from the World Federation of Superheroes' Registrar's Office.

It's in code, I'll need the ring:

Abaut (about) Donut Boy:

1. Sidkik (sidekick) is a pes of collaflower (piece of cauliflower).

2.  archenamy  (Archenemy)is a can of soday (soda).

3.   Frend (Friend) is a sintest (scientest) that made franken-stin (Frankenstein).

4.  (There is, suspiciously, no 4.  Or was there and this file has been censored?)

Down below there, below that sinister image of Donut Boy and the soda-can-arch-villain-who-goes-unnamed, is a list of the "charichrs" (the decoder ring nearly blew a circuit on this one, characters it turns out):  Donut boy, soda bom,  frind Bod (friend Bob) sidkik (sidekick), sintest (scientist), oh, and above Bob there is a picture of the "frankinstin sintest made" in case you weren't clear on that.

The profile is sadly vague isn't it?  We can only guess at Donut Boy's powers.  Will we ever learn how Donut boy met Bob his cauliflower sidekick, whose image is clearly a piece of broccoli, an alias or secret identity?  Was there a radioactive incident in the grocery store?  Does that explain why the soda can is shaped more like a bottle of syrup than a can?  Is 'soda bom' possibly the villains name?  Why is his scientist friend so happy?  The monster is happy, too.  And clearly dead.

As you all know I find this sort of thing very amusing.  I also find it very inspiring.  Seeing creativity is always very inspiring to me.  But sometimes, well, I gotta laugh... for instance "charichrs."  Honestly, I can't think of a way to misspell that any worse than Nick did.  It's like he sensed there was a 'ch' in it somehow but, yeah, he missed it.  I love "sintest" too.  I mean he didn't even try on that one.

Just one more thing.  While Nick was telling me a little more about Donut Boy, Zack was working on this:

I defy you to tell me WHATTHEHELL this is.  Is it a bird, a skunk, a squirrel, an alien, a chipmunk?  Is it a Masonic symbol of which I am not familiar?  Is it floating on air, in water, underwater?  Is it even of this realm?  It's really creeping me out...

"What's that, Zack?"

Oh, it's a badger in his nest.  Well, there ya go.  It's still creepy.  I did not know that badgers nested in trees, that's even creepier.

from Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

"I think Santa should come every 6 months. That would be fair."

*Excuse me, fair for who?!?*

In all fairness, fair is relative...