January 19, 2007

bunk beds

Another example of quality writing, and not only because he mentions me....


My boys all sleep in the same funky stinky snorey room: #2 on the top bunk where he has built himself a little old lady's cocoon of pillows and blankets, stuffed animals and special treasures, library books we can never find, and 83 dirty socks... another few years he'll have a wet bar, hot plate, cheerleader -- we'll never get him down; #3 has the bottom bunk, kept clear and clean due to the nightly Moses impersonation, parting the sea of legos, cars, books and blankets to the floor to be stubbed/kicked/stepped on by me at 7am the next morning or into the crack between bed and wall, where they disappear into the chasm never to be seen again... unfortunately, another likely location of many library books; #1 isn't a full-time resident, so now that he he out-grew the dresser drawer, we slide him underneath the bunk bed.

...and they talk. They talk and talk and have great important discussions in the dark. Or not so important, but the sillier they get the louder the giggles get, so I can give the special Father voice, the deep, grave, ominous "Boys..." for them to settle down. #3 usually provides some ambiance, a little mood lighting from his collection of my lost flashlights, or from the view master projector, or maybe with a light show with the 250 laser pointer/key chain/tire gauges my Dad has given him over the years. I don't let them stay up too late, I want them to grow strong and healthy plus I don't want them grumpy the next day, but often I will sit at my desk and simply listen to them, listen to the low hushed voices in the dark, listen to the murmurs slow, quiet, and drift away. I don't hear or understand most of what they say (yugiohbionicle what huh?) but what is important is that they are together, healthy and safe, growing and building memories of how special is to have, and to be, a brother. They might not think of it for another 30 years, but maybe on a night such as tonight, they will, and it will be good.

And, as if on cue, one of them has started snoring. I love my boys.

January 18, 2007

What Would Jack Do?

Ok, no one told me BEFORE we spent all summer watching season after season, disc after disc after disc, explosion after explosion, corrupt deceitful mole after corrupt deceitful government official, rising body count after rising body count of everyone he knows/meets/sleeps with... etc. after etc. ...that 24 was on Monday nights?!?!?!? How can I watch Heroes and 24?

Actually, unless Heroes gets totally silly, and I mean extremely silly enough to outweigh having 2 of the 3 most beautiful women on TV, it will be an easy choice. I'm sorry, but Jack has one hour left to convince me he is worth watching after spending the 1st two nights of the new season coming back from every commercial break to announce yet another attack resulting in the loss of hundreds and hundreds of lives, only to be topped off with a mushroom cloud over L.A. ?!?!?!? I know we're numb/oblivious to death and destruction, but enough is enough. It's almost as ridiculous as the dried Elmer's glue all over his hand -- c'mon, we all did that in elementary school: peel it off already, scare the girls, and go out to recess.

January 8, 2007

resolution revolution

No wonder I've already broken 80-90% of these... gotta put it out in the universe, right? I guess subconciously I know there's no need for resolutions, no need to improve on what's close to perfect, right? Ok, I'll add "find some humility" to the list....

It's that time of the fresh new year, time for the list of ways to make myself a better person in 2007 ...

  1. eat right, exercise more, lose weight... what?!?!? It could happen.
  2. do not buy any new books. I feel guilty when I look at the bookshelves and quickly find 5 books I haven't opened since standing in line @ the bookstore. It's like inviting friends over and not opening the front door. Well, I guess I open the door, but then stick them in the corner behind a plant or picture frame and only come by to dust once a month. So, after the current cache of gift cards are gone, no more new books until the rest are read.
  3. no more "maybe" or "we'll see" -- what kind of wishy-washy Father image is that presenting to the 3 Uglies??? They need to see decisive decision-making, strong convictions and leadership, so the answer is a simple flat-out "No" -- I don't care what they ask. May not be popular with the Boys, but it will build character.
  4. study each and every day, and complete written assignments before the last 8 hours before class.
  5. listen to more Ray Charles.
  6. Stop wasting paper plates. Those things can be washed meal after meal, and even when transparent they're still good for toast (lightly buttered).
  7. get a job. no, seriously! This homemaker deal can't go on forever, unless I start scratchin' some winning tickets....
  8. practice typing with more than 2 fingers. By '08 should be able to work up to 3 or 4, maybe even utilize these opposable thumbs.
  9. learn how to spell "opposable"
  10. ... ?

ok, that's enough to work on for now.

January 3, 2007

wha' happn'd in ought-six?*

The past year is officially deep-'06ed... and did anything worth remembering happen? No new children or vehicles; same home, same wife; no major medical emergencies, and successfully avoided attending any funerals... in comparison to tumultuous '04 and mundane '05, an above average year. A few highlights...

  • #3 started kindergarten, so that's the baby now in school and 8:30 to 3:30 are gloriously kid-free, leaving much more quality time with TMW&BWITW -- you wouldn't believe how many shopping malls are within driving distance of our house! Oh happy day.
  • But the sure-fire cure for too much of a good thing? I quit my job and went back to school. No showers, no shaving, wardrobe choices severely narrowed down to shorts, flips, and a rotation of 4 tees. Oh happy day! No paycheck, no Macy's discount, no lunch at Mimi's... but to prove how wonderful she is The Wife embraced mall walking and window shopping so we could still enjoy some time together! Oh happy....
  • Broke an elbow and sprained a wrist, both mine, same arm, riding #1's skateboard. "You're 40, not 14. I know they sound the same, but..." said the smart-ass Doc. He said learn the lesson and stay off your son's board. I agreed, and went out and got my own, bigger and better than his.
  • Speaking of 40, passed that milestone and the medical exam that accompanies it with flying colors... the Doc didn't smile when I asked if he wanted to share a cigarette when it was over, but I thought it was funny. The Wife also hit 40, and we celebrated our 10th anniversary, which all adds up to 90.
  • Gained a good 10 pounds (isn't that akin to "a good way to put an eye out"?) but I carry it well, I still look good: this is the body of a 37-yr old, 38 tops, sitting here washing down peanut brittle with the last of the holiday eggnog. Straight out of the carton.
  • The Folks sold their house, the gathering place since I was 13. A lot of football and capture the flag out in front, sunsets in the back yard, parties and celebrations in the den, arguments and hanging out and family dinners in the kitchen.
  • Sheesh, they always copy what I do -- The Bro and The Sis decided to take the plunge, again. (No, not to each other.)
  • took an amazingly fun and relaxing vacation with our Great Friends, driving up the coast to San Fran with stops along the way... but have no pictures to prove it since I still can't figure out how to get the pix from 2005's vacation out of the camera. Maybe that should be an '07 resolution....
  • made new friends from watching #2 play football, we bonded searching for our kids on the sideline (there he is, on the bench! No, he's over by the water bottles!) -- but how long should you be friends before you let someone steal an oven for you? no reason, just asking....
  • taught my first class full of kids -- talked so fast I was done in half the time and had to make stuff up for 30 minutes, but it was only art. But was asked, twice, in different places, if I was a teacher, so there must be an aura about me. Now if I could just get a job about me... another resolution!
  • with a thumping disco beat: "San Diego Super Chargers, Charge!"

...and speaking of resolutions, I think I'll work on those next

*no explanation, just couldn't do the "year in review"

Reading List

The March E.L. Doctorow
A Man Without A Country Kurt Vonnegut