Monday, July 31, 2006

What friends are for

I said, "Why are you staring at me like that?"

My friend said, "I was trying to figure out what was wrong with your face, and I just got it: Your nose hairs are so long they extend down into your moustache, and so it looks like your moustache is growing up into your nose."

What friends are for...


Sunday, July 30, 2006

At the Beach

At the beach, today, there was a man buried in the sand to his neck. Only his head was visible. A woman was trying to take a picture of him with a digital camera.

"I can't see you," she said, squinting in the sun at the little screen on the back of the camera. "Wave your arms."


Friday, July 28, 2006

Platitudes 2

So now my dear brother has opened my eyes:

There is a church in our vicinity whose sign reads: "Too many parents tie up their dogs and let their children run loose." I am not quite sure what they are advocating. Are they suggesting that children should be tied up? If so, should they share the same run as the dog, or should they be given their own space in the back yard? Or perhaps they are suggesting that dogs not be tied up. In my mind we have enough problems with dogs running loose as it is. It is all so confusing.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Platitudes and Poisoners

I like my platitudes, just like everyone else: Tomorrow is another day. It's hard to argue with the logic of that one. The early bird gets the worm. Been there too late and seen the worm missing often enough to know this is true. Remember, man, that you were dust, and to dust you shall return. Ah, there's nothing like a good old Catholic platitude to put your problems into perspective.

But one thing I can't stand is a platitude that's illogical or nonsensical. I know most people accept these, are uplifted by them, don't question them. But they just make me mad.

Today I saw this on on a local church's sign:

A smile is the same in all languages

Man! If I'da had a big piece of posterboard and some paint, I'd have hung another sign underneath it:

Bawling your eyes out is the same in all languages, too. So is screaming in pain. So... what's your point?

Does it make me a bad person that I want to poison this church's good intent (which I guess is to encourage smiling, especially when you're in a foreign country)? Simply because it's irrational and that makes me mad? I dunno.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Stylin' and Profiln' -- "WTF???" Department

First, a note of explanation about the title of this post: Multiple question marks signify incredulity.

I mentioned in an earlier post that, among many others, I get the Victoria's Secret lingerie catalog. Not that I look at it. I don't. Not me. I swear! You gotta believe me. But I couldn't miss this -- it was on the cover. Really. And this is what was on the cover:

Button Fly

Will someone please explain to me why ladies underwear needs a button flap? Seriously. And if they're going to put in a flap, then why isn't it... you know... down where it provides access to... something (blush). What's up with this? Can someone explain it to me?

No, wait, I have a better question:

Who thought up this idea, and why does he make more money than me?

Okay, that was really two questions....

Footnote: It is entirely a coincidence that Andrea happened to post about this same subject last week. She just beat me to it.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Two Months and Going Strong

It's been a while since I posted an Evelyn update on these pages. Not, however, from lack of intent. Instead I can report that all the stories you have heard about parenthood being all consuming are true. The little one reached her two month milestone last week and is going strong. She still hasn't mastered holding her head up for more than a few seconds at a time (which has resulted in a few unintended collisions between her head and my chin as her head comes flopping down in an unintended direction as I hold her). She has, however, succeeded in rolling over a few times. Alas, I fear the days when we can put her down, walk away and be sure that she will stay put are numbered. Evelyn hasn't mastered sleeping all night yet, and in fact seems to think that afternoons are the best sleep time. Last night she only woke up twice (at 11:30 and 4:00) and we hope that that is a good sign. She is intensly curious about the world. In the last few weeks she has developed quite the preference to being held facing out rather than in just so she doesn't miss anything.

And so it goes.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

'n the 'hood

I pulled into my driveway yesterday to find this bunny having lunch in my next-door neighbor's front yard. Or rather, having my next-door neighbor's front yard for lunch:

Lunching Bunny

My brother and sister-in-law (not to mention my new niece) live in (extremely) rural Vermont, and I'm sure they can't walk out their front door without having wildlife scurry across their toes, but where I live in suburbia a bunny in a front yard is worth taking a picture of. This bunny was good enough to wait while I got out of my car, got my camera from the trunk, changed lenses, and took this portrait. However, I did not get him (or her) to sign a release, so please don't let him (or her) know I've published his (or her) picture here.

I'll tell you, seeing a bunny lunching on a lawn really brightens one's day.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stylin' and Profilin' -- Dressin' the Movies

Here in Central Florida, the billboards for the theme parks encourage you to "Ride the Movies." Now I wonder if we aren't "Dressing the Movies." Exhibit A, for today, is the blouse and jacket that appears on the cover of the most recent Victoria's Secret catalog. (The clothing catalog, not the lingerie catalog -- get your mind out of the gutter! Though I do get the lingerie catalog, too -- I don't know why. I think I get every catalog that's published.) Here it is:

Pirates of the Caribbean meets 1776

I call this style "Pirates of the Caribbean meets 1776." I mean, really, don't you think that if Abigail Adams had dumped old John and run off to swashbuckle on the high seas, she would have looked fetching in this?


Sunday, July 09, 2006

A conversation you will only overhear in Florida....

He: "We can now store up to twenty gallons of gas. I just bought another five-gallon tank at a garage sale down the street for $2.00."

Her: "What are they doing? Moving out of state?"


Friday, July 07, 2006


Yesterday I went to the gym during lunch, and the televisions were showing a paintball tournament. There was a hard, flat field, and a bunch of big brightly colored cushions that I guess were supposed to be cover. Two teams of men would rush onto the field from opposite sides and blaze away with paintball guns. This was actually being televised on a national sports channel.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it disrespectful -- maybe even a little obscene -- that grown men are playing pretend-combat on national TV while men and women are fighting in real combat in Afghanistan? In Iraq? In Chechnya? In Sudan? Does anyone else see paintball battles on national TV as glorifying the outcome of combat while pretending there is no suffering, no fear, no loss? Am I making too much of this? Or does anyone agree with me that we should draft these guys and send them overseas to see what it really is that they're playing at. They could do some honest good fighting the Janjaweed in Darfur. And they could still be on television. It would just be CNN, instead of ESPN.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Age and the Married Dad

I was warned that this would happen. Little Evelyn is now going on seven weeks. She is doing just great, and is learning to do some of the cute things that makes up for the midnight crying fits. She can now smile and Linda swears that she has laughed a time or two. She is as cute as ever and is working hard on her head lifting skills.

One thing I haven't mentioned in these posts is that I am 46 years old. Linda is a few years younger, but both of us are way over the average age for new first time parents. That is what happens when you marry late and want children. For the most part I am very grateful that I waited this long to become a dad. True, I am stiffer in the morning when it is my turn to get up to watch the little one. It is also true that when she gets old enough for horse-play I will not be able to keep up as well as I could have 20 years ago. On the other hand there are many advantages to being an older dad. My judgement is infinitely better than it was back then. Psychologically and emotionally I am much more capable of being a good dad than I was when I was in my reckless and tumultous twenties.

Twice now I have been asked if Evelyn is my grand-daughter. This doesn't bother me. It is much more common for men my age to be toting around a 7 week old grandchild than it is to be toting around a 7 week old child, so I can understand the misunderstanding. The other day, for the first time, however, a relative stranger let me know in no uncertain terms that they thought that I was much too old to be having children, as was my wife. I was told to expect this from an associate who also had her first child in her 40's, is now in her 60's and was subjected to the same editorials.

Unfortunately the quick and witty response eluded me, but since I work in a semi-political position it is probably just as well anyway. It is just amazing what some people feel is any of their business.


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