Monday, January 31, 2005

Of SpongeBob and My Own Intolerance

Listening to: Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti

Before I get a-rantin', I'm fishing for answers here regarding JenL and her pregnancy. Last post she made was the 27th and she was about to burst. Does anyone have any news? My thoughts and prayers are with her for a soft landing, a speedy and seamless delivery (so to speak), and tremendous joy with the new arrival.

OK, the rant:

My posts have taken a turn towards spiritual concerns over at my political blog as it has occured to me that truly righteous Christians have tainted and painted with the broad brush of philistine pig-ignorance due to the nitwittedness of some truly repulsive sacks of garbage.

For every Ellie Mae and Jethro out there, there's a cousin or sibling who is "one of them" and, well, they were always like that, y'know, you could always tell they was gun' be "one of them". I suspect that the vast majority of Christians believe that there's a whole helluva lot more to the Good Book than what some paranoid kook like James Dobson has made it out to be.

After posting a comment on The Zero Boss about this very same issue, Jay agreed that the rhetoric that was used to oppose integration is the same as the rhetoric being used by these hate-based Christians:
"It ain't nach er ruhl"
"It will mean the end of Civil Lye Zay Shun"

As I mentioned to Jay, the arguments today are no less specious and unfounded as they were then.

So, my own intolerance is caricaturing these hate-based redneck zipperheads as ignoramuses. So be it.

However, if you go to Keith Olbermann's blog, you can see my assessment is not so far off the mark:
Firstly, you wouldn’t think a member of this group could misspell “Christian,” but sure enough, one of the missives had the word as “Christain” three times. I think just about every word you could imagine was butchered at some point (and we’re not talking typos here - we’re talking about repeated identical misspellings):

Spong, Spounge, Spnge - presumably meaning “Sponge.”

Dobsin, Dobsen, Debsin, Dubsen, Dobbins - presumably Dr. Dobson.

Sevility— I’m not sure about this one. This might be “civility,” or it might refer to the city in Spain.

The best of them was not a misspelling but a Freudian slip of biblical proportions. A correspondent, unhappy that I did not simply agree with her fire-and-brimstone forecast for me, wrote “I showed respect even though I disagreed with you and yet you have the audacity to call me intelligent.”

Well, you have me there, Ma’am. My mistake.

You'd think after the SpongeBob mis-step most of these Neanderthals would be backtracking like mad, "Damn, we really do look like a bunch of shitheads, don't we?" but they prefer to compound the appearance by writing inane and barely literate emails.

Just to hack me off. Well, if they can scapegoat gays, I can scapegoat they-of-the-outhouse-and-unibrow.

Congrats to Jay on the mention in Saturday's NYT, even if the article really, really SUCKED.

Snowy Monday

Listening to: Brian Eno, Here Come the Warm Jets

School cancelled today due to the big mounds of white stuff piled up outside. It started Saturday night around 8 P.M. and by midnight, we'd already had a foot of it. By the time everything was said and done, it amounted to a little under two feet of snow. I heard some places southwest of here got upwards of four feet. The upshot is, more is expected tonight.

It was a wet and heavy snow, much like a March storm. I went snow-shoeing around the neighborhood around 2 A.M. Sunday morning and quite a few branches (and not just a few trees) fell victim to the accumulation.

When X dropped the brood off yesterday afternoon, the little ones made the most of the gound cover. Good snowball snow and excellent for snowmen. Unfortunately, my kids are wimps when it comes to the cold and were hot to get inside for a little warmth. No coaxing them out into to it today (as I ruined my back for the fourth time in less than 48 hours, shoveling the walkway) and we're coming to the end of a Harry Potter-a-thon. Teriyaki chicken breasts are baking in my attempt to add a little Polynesian flavor to our mid-winter isolation; ulterior motives, yes, daddy is hoping a nice dose of tryptophane will work it's magic and daddy can steal an hour for a long soak in a hot tub (alas, not a "hot-tub"). Daddy, being smart and proactive, realizes the potential for this winter wonderland degrading into the Donner party and plans accordingly with preventative medicine (add a glass or three of cheap Cabernet for Daddy after the tryptophane sends the wee ones aslumber).

If anyone writes to say that "snow news is good news" will be ignored.

A round of applause, please, for Busy Mom for extricating herself from "Not linking me" purgatory and joining the list of Patriside hoi poloi.

Finally, I never figured my last post would get me invitations! Thank you Pale Ale and LLG, your flirting had me smiling all weekend long!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Fry Day Woohoo What-Do-I-Do Dilemma

Listening to: Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks

Late yesterday, X picked up the munchkins for her bit of time with the kiddos, the first time in almost two weeks and the wee ones sorely missed her. As soon as they were gone I started to wonder how I'd fill the void. I'm still wondering. After almost two weeks straight with three little ones and having those little ones sick for most of that time, I'm pooped.

And now, home alone on a Friday night. Man, it would be nice to sit with someone on my couch for some heavy-duty necking.

On top of that, I have a huge crush on Naomi Klein.

I'm pathetic.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Listening to: my finished product for Mamacita

Damn, this is a good mix (Heh!). The mix is titled "Driving Late at Night... Far Away" and it's filled with music that has an ethereal quality that evokes, for me, memories of driving late at night on dark roads, lights on the horizon suggesting lives I'll never know but choose to think about, anyway.

My father is retired US Air Force and we used to move around quite a bit. There are memories of the family driving silently through the night to the next duty station, no sound but the low hum of the engine and the whisper of music on the radio from stations barely in range. In my 20's I did a lot of travelling, with my band and on my own (placating my Jack Kerouac muse), again through nights as black as oil, the signal of some distant AM tower beckoning me to forget about the midnight chill and lose myself in spectral frequencies.

In the midst of our mixmania, Mamacita suggested we start some kind of mixmania contest or something. I'm all for that, frankly although it would involve a bunch of us mailing disks to each other. Still it could be instructive and fun. Another tie binding us all together. Let me know.

--- Mamacita may NOT read the following ---

OK, here's the line-up on my masterpiece:

1. The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
2. Depeche Mode - Policy of Truth
3. Sinead O'Conner - Jerusalem
4. South - Paint the Silence
5. Rolling Stones - Time Waits For No One
6. Talk Talk - Inheritance
7. Clan of Xymox - Medusa
8. Supremes - Reflections
9. Skylab - Seashell
10. Paul Simon - Can't Run But
11. Los Lobos - Kiko and the Lavender Moon
12. Amon Tobin - Down & To the Left
13. Radiohead - Like Spinning Plates
14. Coldplay - A Rsuh of Blood to the Head
15. Interpol - Untitled
16. Q. Lazzarus - Goodbye Horses
17. Les Paul & Mary Ford - How High the Moon

I think it's awesome, m'self, and I hope Mamacita enjoys it. Anyway, for those of you who aren't Mamacita, you see what you're getting into should you choose to participate in mixmania...

Scatalogically Posting

Listening to: Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue/Concerto in F/An American in Paris (Andre Previn/LSO)

Both my daughters took an interest in the potty chair on or near 24 months. Lilly was actually almost completely potty-trained at 22 months and although Marni was hit-and-miss until almost 30 months (mostly bedwetting), they were both pretty easy to get out of diapers. Indeed, with Lilly it was an overnight transformation.

Not so my son. At almost 29 months, he is almost oblivious to the potty chair. Oh, he'll go into the bathroom while one of his sisters is on the toilet, sit on his potty chair and make a "Sssssssssssss" sound but otherwise he wants nothing to do with the potty. Almost every time I change a diaper I bring training underwear with me but he won't have it, "Not Dat!" he screams.

I've heard boys are harder to potty train (an online parent's poll gives girls the nod by a huge margin) and the "experts" suggest I'm probably jumping the gun with Zeke (another month, they say). Potty training has always been a low-pressure affair with me and my children but after the last diaper I changed...

I'm treading doo-doo territory because of that last diaper and this post by my good friend Steve over at Blog d'Elisson about shit. Real shit, not metaphorical or figurative shit. Does a post about shit go over particularly well? I'm wondering when Genuine* will do a poll on this issue...

Back to where I started... I just had a Four-wipe diaper. With the boy, I rate the diapers. The girls were never much of a concern, that I recall, but then they never had the ravenous appetite the boy has (the kid eats EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME). With Zeke, I rate the diapers by how many wipes are required, 'five-wipe' being just below 'toss him in the tub'. Holy Jesus, holy rock and roll this kid shits prodigiously.

Shitty post, I know... go over to Steve's blog and give him shit, it's his fault. Then go see Genuine* and give him shit and ask him where the shit poll is.

* Mr. Genuine, fellow Colorado blogger and resident of the inauspicious 'I link But Don't Link Me' kitty box - your lot can change, you have the technology. Just a friendly reminder.
Genuine got the message and we welcome him to the esteemed "Wonderfully Defies Category" category, categorically pleased, I am.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Fixing the Linkage and the Differential

Listening to: Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady

If you look on the left side of the page, you'll see new and improved linkage, sites added and everything broken down into categories. So the linkage is fixed but the differential remains a work in progress, meaning, if you're not linking me, you're consigned to the loathsome, demeaning category of "I link But Don't Link Me". Which of course, is in your power to fix (if you're there).

Fix the differential.

I've been checking out Earthships all day. I want to build one.

The Breakfast Club

Listening to: Traffic, John Barleycorn Must Die

In this tiny house my kids have a tiny table about two feet tall, four tiny chairs to go around it; dad takes his meal at the counter/bar and watches the wee ones duke it out over their meals. Cocoa Crispies, apple juice, bananas, and toast with blackberry jam this morning, and this exchange (L)illy, (M)arni, (Z)eke, and yours truly (YT):

YT: Why is someone screaming?
M:Zeke-ee punched me!
YT: I've been watching the whole time and I didn't see anyone punch you...
M: Zeke-ee punched me!
YT: He didn't punch you; it must have been a ghost.
Z: A ghost!
L: Daddy, there's no ghosts in our house.
M: Not a ghost...
Z: Where ghost?
M: You're a ghost, Zeke-ee
L: You're not a ghost, you're stinky cheese.
YT: What are you, Zeke, if you're not?
Z: I a why-on!!!
M: Zeke-ee, you're not a why-on.
YT: Why not?
L & M (together): Zeke-ee is a 'why-not"!!!

And so forth... in the meantime, I fashion a cap out of tin foil and begin channeling the Tralfamadorians, hoping Montana Wildhack is free this weekend.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Random Monday Mutterings

Listening to: Next-to-next-to-final-draft of a mixed CD I'm making for Mamacita

Yes, you read the "Listening to:" entry correctly. Saturday night surfing to friend's blogs (Who wrote calling other bloggers "friends" was sad? I recall reading that but can't recall who wrote it...) and Mamacita posted something about music mixes and I posted a comment suggesting trading mixes and, well, now I'm mixing away. I need to finish this mix today and get it in the mail. Anyway, I declared myself the God of Music Mixology (a mere demi-God at alcohol Mixology, my +8 weapon being a mean Margarita) and now I have to make good on that boast. PinkMe may or may not attest to my Musical Mixological prowess.

Speaking of music, I promise to post my list of all-time best headboard-banging tunes. Unfortunately, it's a list that comes from an all-too-distant memory.

It's gorgeous here, another Spring tease, a second day of 70-degree weather. I took the kids to the park hoping to air the sickness out of them (and forbidding them from playing in the cold mountain stream) and prepare them for their return to school. As soon as I get Lilly from kindergarten, we'll take advantage of our Colorado bliss again.

Dads at the park, yesterday. When we visit parks during the week, it's all moms. Like the internet, I'm a noticable anomaly, a single dad, full-time. Parks on the weekends allow me to blend in but during the weekdays, I'm The Guy.

And back to where we started, linking and reading my "friends"; if I've linked you, you are pretty much read by me on a daily basis. I just go down the list. Anyway, I'm going to re-work my links, categorize them. Assert my Catholic upbringing and play a little pound-o'-guilt on ya'. Cuz' those who have not reciprocated with links will fall under the heading of "Doesn't link me" or something as a means of stating my displeasure. However, it works both ways. If I've neglected your site and you link to me, rattle my cage.

As my hero HST says, "Mahalo".

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Another Mental Snapshot

Listening to: Various Artists, The Perfect Beats - Volume I

It was probably six years ago, I think Lilly was about 4 months old at the time. X was out at the neighbor's and I was online, hammering some Objectivist in an AOL Philosophy chat room while Lilly slept in a crib behind me. Lilly awoke, crying, providing me a welcome break from my chat argument as I picked her up and rocked her. The memory is vivid because I was so moved by how beautiful she was. I consciously imprinted that moment into my memory.

Tonight, Lilly got up after going to sleep, crying, complaining of an earache (damn, I hope she doesn't have an ear infection). I got her some Tylenol and after a minor skirmish getting her to take it, she told me she wanted me to rock her.

My baby. Six-years old and still wanting to be rocked. Holding her, rocking her in my chair, stroking her hair, it took me back to that night she pulled me from the chat room.

Again, I made another imprint in my memory.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Knocking On Wood

Still, two coughing little girls lounging around, one watching James Bond (guess which one?) and one playing vetrinary doctor (again, guess). The boy is down for a late-afternoon nap after a busy day of harrassing his sisters.

I'm rapping soundly on every wooden object in a susperstitious ritual to prevent myself from getting whatever the kids got. Amazingly enough, I'm still standing. So, knocking my knuckles against wood and wood-like objects (along with drinking copious amounts of juice and doubling my veggie intake) has seemingly made me immune to the kid's bug.

If you've made it this far in this post, you're obviously not adverse to wasting time and given that, you should go and take this quiz to find out what kind of a 60's person are you? According to the results of my quiz, I am
You are a Radical. Right on!

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Via TalkLeft)

The Urge of the Boddhisatva

Listening to: Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

Before I get started, I want to lay out a couple of disclaimers. First of all, if you're a supporter of the Iraq war, you're not going to like this post. However, if you have an open mind or maybe, if you're having your doubts about how things are going over there and your support is flagging, maybe this post will be the push you need.

Secondly, I have tried to keep this blog apolitical (since I also keep a political blog for airing my decidedly left-of-center views) but sometimes my passions overwhelm my sense of discretion. Tonight, I was moved to the point where my resolve was broken down because I was so affected, as a father, by the image I saw while surfing a diary at Daily Kos.

I write this as a loving father, not an idealogue.

The photo is of a 10-year old girl whose her parents were shot to death by US soldiers when the car she and her family were in failed to stop at a checkpoint.

As you can see, the girls hands are dripping with blood, presumably the blood of her dead parents. You can also see the sheer terror on her face. I want - so badly - to pick her up, cradle her in my arms, to weep with her; I want to take her pain away, my pain is the knowledge that there is absolutely nothing I can do for her, no way to comfort her.

This past week I have had scant sleep because my own children have been so sick, I have been hyper-aware of every cough, every groan, every cry in the night. There is no doubt that I'm over-protective. One of these days I'll be called upon to comfort heartache and I'm dreading that moment. The futility of not being able to rebuild a shattered self-esteem, the awareness that a broken bone will mend but a broken heart leaves a lasting scar - as a father of young children, I am an automatic hero but I know that one day my powers will be worthless.

As a father, I cannot help but be profoundly moved by the look of incredible confusion and fear on that little girl's face. Yes, my heart also goes out to the children (and spouses and parents) of our soldiers in Iraq. However, the children of our fallen soldiers didn't watch their parents being ripped to pieces by bullets. The horror that little girl experienced is incomprehensible. I would not wish it on anyone.

Selfishly, I pray that my own children will never know that kind of terror or confusion or pain. Oh, my kids will know pain and fear and hopefully, they'll learn from their moments of darkness.

----- AFTERTHOUGHT -----

There is no doubt in my mind that some mindless troll will comment that I "hate my country" or that I "don't support the troops". Those comments amaze me. The country I grew up learning about, respecting, pledging my allegiance to, was a country where all points of view were honored and respected. Freedom of speech was not only a right but an obligation, especially when one believed the country had strayed from its principles. The current practice of dismissing voices who oppose the President and his war as "un-American" or "giving comfort to the enemy" is gutless and intellectually impoverished; it is also, um, un-American. The framers of the Constitution recognized that freedom of speech was a necessary obstacle to tyranny.

I have no problem with people who support President Bush and/or the Iraq war. However, I have no patience for those who dismiss my considered and conscientious point of view with dishonest, cowardly, and ultimately baseless ad hominem attacks.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm Not a Nurse, I Just Play One At Home

Listening to: Clan of Xymox, Medusa

Well, hey, I step away from the blog a few days and a few of my Angels call me on the carpet for not writing. I'm flattered, really. And I wasn't moping, eyesweartogod, I knew the BoBs were not mine from almost day one (well, actually Day Three, since I was on vacation when it was announced I was in the finals).

No, I picked the brood up from X on Monday evening and what I got was three very sick children. Not just colds but badass flu, body aches, fevers, coughing-till-they-puke. You'd think that with three kids abed with a bug would give me ample time to write but it was quite the opposite: I barely had time to sit. I'm usually a night owl and up until two or three A.M. but all this week I've been crashing before eleven; that's how roughshod they've run me.

Besides, not much to report on when all your kids can do is whine and cry and cough.

All my life I've heard that men are whimps when it comes to getting sick but it has been the girls who have been laid out flat. Zeke was hit with the same bug but his energy level has barely been diminished, he's been running at a little over 90% capacity. Which means, he's been a source of annoyance to his sisters. While they've been down for the count, he's been running around pounding things with his toy tools, running off with beloved stuffed animals, and eating whatever is left over on the girl's dinner plates.

If I was in a snit over the BoBs, it wasn't consciously. What I have been conscious of has been fevers, coughs, pushing fluids, and answering to every whim. The flu continues its grip on the girls and I don't know if I'll be posting much the next few days.

BTW, congrats to the winner, whoever it was.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Listening to: Modest Mouse, Good News For People Who Like Bad News

Judging by the results of the vote, I am NOT the best "Daddy Blog" but I console myself with the fact that another popular vote late last year did not elect the best person. Considering that today is Martin Luther King's birthday, I'm reminded that the other election I alluded to is much more important than any popularity contest involving me.

Over the past few years, a lot of noise has been made about the phrase "One nation, under God," but that controversy has turned out attention away from the follow-up phrase: "with liberty and justice for all." MLK was certainly a man of God but we would not be remembering him today if his life had not been devoted to the bring to bear principles stated in the latter part of that phrase. Considering that the number of Americans who have slipped below the Poverty Line have grown two years running (and I'm betting even more will have slipped beneath that line when the numbers are released in March), considering that the US Civil Rights Commission has continuously lambasted Bush and his administration for completely ignoring Civil Rights issues, considering that voter intimidation and suppression continues to be an issue, considering that working Americans require food banks to make ends meet, considering that low-income college students are having to opt out of higher education because grant money has been radically slashed... and yes, considering that our Vice-President was one of three senators to vote against making MLK's birthday a national holiday... I'm much more concerned about past elections because "liberty and justice for all" is a long way off. MLK's struggle is still alive.

I'm off to pick up the kids from X and then attend a MLK rally. Tonight we'll watch Ken Burns' documentary tonight on the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World because I want the kids to see how far this country has come. It's painfully evident how far this country still has to go.
To all those who weighed in on my interview post, I thank you for your input and suggestions. I'm investigating any impropriety on the interviewer's part (regarding the questions of childcare) but it's my understanding that Colorado, as an "at-will" state, makes it difficult for prospective employees to complain about hiring practices unless there are clear civil rights violations. However, as I said, I am looking at my options.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Looking Up From the Bottom

Listening to: Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters

X took my little loves late yesterday leaving me with the entire day to sit at home and watch Judge Judy.

Just kidding. Actually I had four interviews today, none of which had anything to do with my bailiwick but what the hell, I have to do something. So, I put on my off-the-rack suit and cheap out-of-style tie and went hat-in-hand to grovel for income. What a life.

One of the interviews was for a Human Resources position with a major corporation. My Psych degree qualified me to test the company's prospective employees (to make sure no one would go postal, I guess) and my Philosophy degree qualified me to know I was too qualified for the job.

The process was a hoot. At first, I was run through a battery of tests. Damned Psych degree, I knew what the exams were about - they wanted to know if I was going to do something insane on the premises like organize a union or demand to be treated with dignity - and I knew just what to say. Another half hour of sitting in a waiting room painted institutional green (likewise, I knew what THAT was all about), scanning the "Salon Guide to Modern Literature", something to read, I've dealt with too many big corporations, enough to know their vetting is an all-afternoon ordeal.

Finally called into "The Big Room With The Big Desk" to talk to the little person with The Big Title. I wasn't nervous; I was hungry, literally hungry, if the guy had a sandwich on his desk I'd have snatched it from him and devoured it, right there. No such luck. All he had on his desk was my file, some pictures of his family (it was difficult to imagine that he was capable of breeding), and one of those crappy fish bowls with a plant sticking out of the top.

The interview was a slam-dunk. However, I won't tell you what was said. I'll tell you what I wanted to say.

Drone (D): What do you know about our company?

Me (M): Well, I know your CEO makes $18 Million a year. I also happen to know this company lost almost $150 Million last year for which your CEO took a $500 Thousand bonus. So you have an overpaid shithead running your company who awards himself a half million dollars for losing money. What's not to like? If I raid the goddamn soda machine for quarters, I'll get a promotion.

D: I see you're the primary custodian of your children. What do you intend to do with them while you're at work?

--- STOP --- Is this a question a woman would be asked? Anyway....

M: I figured I'd have your CEO pony up with his bogus bonus since you shitheads don't offer childcare.

D: Why are you the primary custodian?

M: Why do you think it's any of your fucking business? Considering you probably make over a Hundred Grand a year, why do you have such a crappy haircut?

D: I see you've been out of work for a year; why is that?

M: Well, I was hoping a second Bush term would mean I'd be unemployed indefintely; considering Bush has done about as good with the US economy as your fuckwit CEO has done with this company, you might want to consider unemployment as your next status in life.

D: What makes you believe you're qualified for this job?

M: Obviously, judging by whom I'm talking to, any idiot can do this shit.

D: What would you bring with you to this position?

M: A brain. Brains can be useful things. It might be a radical addition to this organization but I assure you, a couple of thoughts here and there and this company might actually see a profit.

D: What future do you see with out company?

M: As long as your CEO continues to lose $150 Million a year, not much. However, if you give me his yearly bonus, I'll change his diaper.

...and so forth. If I wasn't so desperate for a Jay Oh Be I would have punched that idiot in the Solar Plexus and pissed on his desk. As it was, I shook his hand (and wiped my hand off after I left his office...), walked to the parking lot and looked for a spent cigarette butt to smoke. Eff You See Kay I En Gee hell. Life shouldn't be like this. It's a damn Kafka short story.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Real Rhapsody = Real Rip Off

Listening to: Real Rhapsody Shit Hold-Music While I Wait For Some Nitwit To Pick Up the Phone and Cancel This Service

My head is about to EXPLODE.

I just - JUST - got off the phone with some ovine young man at Real Networks after being on hold for THREE HOURS AND TWENTY-ONE MINUTES. WTF?!? Is this the way companies do business?

Before trying out this service, I should have Googled 'Real Rhapsody'. My initial Google search of 'real + rhapsody + cancel' brought me dozens of results complaining about what a piece of crap Real Rhapsody is. Application won't load (and then being on hold forever to get tech support); proprietary files that only play on the Real Networks piece of junk; trying to cancel the service and EVERYONE writes that the process is painful.

Thing is, you can't cancel the service online. When you go to cancel, you're directed to a crappy little form that, once you fill it out, you're directed to a phone number that you have to call during business hours. I don't know where you work but I've never worked at a place where I could afford to be on hold for over three hours.

This blogger was none-too-happy about the POS application Real has you download to play its crappy files nor was he thrilled about the damned hoops he had to jump through to cancel it. And The Register informs us that a lot of folks who thought they'd cancelled Real Rhapsody found out, months later, that they were still getting charged for the service - and then, not getting refunded.

The only good thing about being on hold for so long was it gave me the opportunity to go to epinions, C-Net, ZD Net, and thirty or so IT discussion boards to post my frustrations.

My advice to you, my friends, is that you stay away from Real Rhapsody. Crap, total crap and a Real Rip Off.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My Turn

Listening to: Bob Marley & the Wailers, Live!

Surfing over to Just Heather earlier today, I saw in this post that 'Jim' was one of the people who now had to take this test. "Me?" I wondered (because, of course, there is no other 'Jim' in the universe) so I had to go and ask if she indeed meant me and Heather replied, cryptically, "Tag, you're it".

If Heather did indeed mean me, I'm flattered. Don't know what I did to deserve the distinction but I'll rise to the challenge and here you have my answers.

Three Names You Go By:

1. Jim
2. Daddy
3. Nino

Three Screennames You've Had:

1. ninothemindboggler
2. blackbloc_rockinbeats
3. ashley_hot_grrrrrl

Three Things About Yourself:

1. I am a frustrated writer.
2. I used to play lead & rhythm guitar in punk/alternative bands.
3. I have done a lot of acid (not right now, I mean in my lifetime).

Three Things You Don't Like About Yourself:

1. I'm not a "morning person".
2. Letting my kids watch too much TV.
3. I'm a snob.

Three Parts of Your Heritage:

1. Irish
2. Scottish
3. Native-American (Blackfeet)

Three Things That Scare You:

1. My kids getting hurt.
2. Never finding love in this lifetime.
3. Heights.

Three Parts of Your Everyday Essentials:

1. Coffee
2. Telling my kids "I love you".
3. Reading

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now:

1. Blue jeans
2. My favorite lime-green sweater
3. Hiking boots

Three Favorite Musical Artists:

~ Depends on the moment, frankly...
1. The Beatles
2. Radiohead
3. Muddy Waters

Three Favorite Songs:

~ Again, same caveat
1. I Only Have Eyes For You - The Flamingos
2. Got My Mojo Workin' - Muddy Waters
3. I See No Evil - Television

Three Things to Try in the Next 12 Months:

1. Writing a short story every month (per my last post).
2. Climbing all the Fourteeners at Crestone.
3. Take the LSATs.

Three Things You Want in a Relationship (love is a given):

1. Trust
2. Passion
3. Mutual fascination

Two Truths and a Lie:

1. I do not wear panties.
2. I drive a mini-van.
3. I watch too much TV.

Three Things About the Opposite Sex that Appeal to You:

1. They're soft.
2. They're pretty.
3. They're smarter than men.

Three Things You Just Can't Do:

1. Shoot heroin like a responsible adult.
2. Shave without missing a spot I'll discover an hour later.
3. Respect or like George Bush.

Three Favorite Hobbies:

1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Hiking

Three Things You Want to Do Really Badly Right Now:

1. Take a nap.
2. Get my stereo amp fixed.
3. Kiss my girlfriend - if I had one.

Three Careers You're Considering:

1. Lawyer
2. Freelance writer
3. Stay-at-home husband/dad for successful wife/mother.

Three Places You Want to Go on Vacation:

1. Costa Rica
2. Kenya
3. Corsica

Three Kid Names:

1. Spanky
2. Buckwheat
3. Darla

Three Things You Want to Do Before You Die:

1. See my children graduate from college.
2. Be a dirty old man (I'm almost there).
3. Write a novel.

Three Ways I'm Stererotypically a Boy:

1. I have a selective memory.
2. I organize my music, alphabetically, by genre.
3. I wake up with blue steel.

Three Ways I'm Stereotypically a Girl:

1. I can fold a fitted sheet.
2. I'm a romatic.
3. I cry at weddings.

Three Celeb Crushes:

1. Catherine Zeta-Jones
2. The Donnas (all of them)
3. Jodi Foster

Three People Who Have to Take This Quiz Now (sorry, guys!):

1. PinkMe
2. Grace
3. JenL

I choose Pink for reasons I made clear earlier today. Grace and Jen get the nod because they have been among my most loyal readers. The last question was the hardest and a lot of coin-flipping took place. Pity the "winners".

Finally, To Write

Listening to: The Very Best Of Nina Simone, 1967-1972 : Sugar In My Bowl

We had a Spring Tease the past few days, weather more suited for April or May than January, so the kids and I took advantage. Of course EVERYONE wants to go to the park and not for one of Daddy's nature walks but anything beats sitting inside, wasting gorgeous weather.

If I've neglected writing here (although I've rather enjoyed reading everyone's song suggestions and input) it's because I've been working to fulfill one of my New Year's Resolutions, writing a short story a month. Somewhere along the line I got the idea that I might be a pretty good writer and maybe someone would want to read what I'd written. A year from now, with a dozen short stories behind me, we'll see if I've wasted a resolution.

I spent almost the first two weeks of the new year trying to decide what to write but when the inspiration hit me, I was off and running. My 2004 resolution was to focus on my writing by writing every day and I lived up to that. I was afraid this year's resolution would go the way of "learn to speak Italian" but the energy of the past couple of days has been encouraging.

We'll see. The resolution is to "write a short story every month", not have a publishable final draft every month. However, just starting something or laying out a rough outline hardly meets the requirements of the resolution, either.

And now that I've been writing about writing, I'm getting the urge to write more.

For everyone who participated in the "Moving Along" list (thanks to PinkMe for that suggestion) - gracias! I think I'll take PinkMe's suggestion and do "Getting Busy" (or as I called it, "headboard bangin'") and "Basking in the Afterglow lists. BTW, if you haven't read PinkMe's excellent blog, please go visit her. She has been one of my loyal supporters from the beginning (back when I was getting 5 reads a week) and she certainly deserves the traffic. I have her blog rolled over on the side (Taking Off the Rose Colored Glasses).

And you'll notice my listening selection for this post. A tribute to the incredible Candace. Too bad she doesn't have a blog... :((

Friday, January 07, 2005

What's Your Hot, Hot, Hot, 'Let's Get Bizzy, Baby' Seduction Soundtrack?!?

Listening to: Mahler, Symphony #3

First of all, I want to thank everybody for their support and kind comments (Grace, Heather, and Laura... I love you ladies!) regarding the "Too Much to Think About" posts. It's especially heartening to see fellow daddy bloggers (my so-called competition; I say so-called cuz' I'm getting my ass kicked) weighing in with support. There's no way for me to be depressed knowing about the kind of love and support out there. This is a wonderful community.

As every daddy blogger in the finals has said, it's an honor to be in such great company. The double benefit has been being introduced to these guys and having nine new sites to visit every day.

Anyway, I have some particular questions and comments to address in this potpourri post, one which (from the most excellent Blue Sloth) which I hope will lead to a potentially very fun game.

Anonymous - if you read my two other blogs, you'll see I'm immune to shock. Most of all, you've definitely piqued my interest so... by all means, comment with your blogger ID or email me link. Curiosity is killing me.

Crystal, it was a Golden Retriever. Yeah, I know, whenever I tell someone that they respond with shock. But as Hank said in one of the comments, some dogs are just biters and need to be destroyed. Believe me, I was an inch away from killing that dog with my bare hands but my nominal commitment to Buddhist principles (specifically, harm no thing) prevented me from acting in anger. In fact, the cops that answered the 911 were impressed that I had NOT killed the dog - and then told me it was good that I kept my cool or else they would have had to charge me with animal cruelty or something. I've never been able to figure out cops, even when I was working with them through the mental health/detox center. I've only met a handful who weren't total pricks.

Finally, yes Philip, the Williams album is SUPERB. I had heard various cuts off of it on the local college radio station but I was seriously introduced to it by a girlfriend (the Chemistry Professor I've mentioned so often) when we were getting to know each other. We played a cool little game - "What CDs would you play if you were trying to seduce me?". She mistook my question, initially, for "Headboard-banging music" (her mistake, of course, indicated to me that we were going to have A LOT OF FUN!) but when we got back to the seduction soundtrack, one of her picks was Lucinda Williams.

Here's our game: what's your seduction music? I know some of you married folk still like to work for it (God, I hope so!), some candles, some wine, kids and grandma's... so what's in the carousel? And I know you single people have a short list of CDs to pop in when you got someone coming over you're determined to get busy with.

If this is as fun as I think it will be, we'll do a "Headboard-banging soundtrack". But let's start with seduction. Give me your lists and maybe we can educate (or tittilate) each other. I'll post mine a little later in the afternoon...

My List

Listening to: Fear Factory, Demanufacture

OK, this is a little long - don't let that intimidate you. I was in a band during my 20's and music is my thing. Steve from Blog d'Elisson threw in his two-cents, Van Morrison, "Moondance", a superb recommendation (and worth so much more than two cents); it's also on my list.

My top 15 Greatest seduction CD's and yes, it's in order of preference.
  1. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    This is an essential disk, a "desert island" disk, an almost prosaic allusion, a masterpiece. From "So What" to "Flamenco Sketches", there isn't a wasted note on the entire session. And what a band: with John Coltrane, Julian "Cannonball" Adderly, Paul Chambers, Bill Evans, James Cobb, and Wynton Kelly, Davis couldn't miss. Every cut explodes with passion so, as a seduction album, it's at the top of the list.

    "This is the one jazz record owned by people who don't listen to jazz," says an Amazon reviewer and if you don't own it, click the previous link and purchase it.

  2. Al Green - Greatest Hits
    I could have picked three or four Al Green albums but almost all the great stuff is here. I can't tell you how many times I've put this on and someone has asked, "Who is this, I love this guy?!?" If you can't get in the mood with Al, someone needs to check your pulse.

  3. Roxy Music - Avalon
    I have my own reasons for loving this album but there's something about Bryan Ferry's voice that gets women HOT (female readers, can you clue me in and tell me what it is about Bryan Ferry's voice that gets ya'll wet and jittery?). A lot of heartbreak songs here but also a lot of, mmmmmmmm, there ain't NUTHIN' like this moment with YOU songs.

  4. Van Morrison - Moondance
    The title cut has made it into so many movies to suggest that sheets are gonna' get rumpled that it's almost silly to include it here. Sure, it was the title cut that made me rush out and buy this but my personal favorites are "And It Stoned Me" and (especially) "Into the Mystic". Celtic Soul for my Celtic soul.

  5. Massive Attack - Mezzanine
    Trippy, sensual, THROBBING... oh so, irresistable. With guest vocals from The Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser (amongst others), cuts like "Angel", "Inertia Creeps", and the title cut are as insistent as the urge you're wanting to satisfy.

  6. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
    There is no getting to the bottom of this dense and beautiful album and every time I listen to it, I come away with something new. If you've ever had sex on acid (what I'm told "To Here Knows When" is about), you get some idea what listening to this album is like.

  7. Marvin Gaye - What's Goin' On
    I just watched 'Badasssss' last night (I highly recommend it) and although there was no Marvin Gaye music featured in the movie, the influence of this album was evident in almost every song in the movie - especially the sex scenes. Sure, it's a politically aware album (at the risk of sounding like a fogey, we need more albums like this, now more than ever) but the music is as sexy, sensual and passionate as any music ever made.

  8. Prince - 1999
    1999 beats out Purple Rain, Sign O' the Times, or Controversy (or any other album) because of Little Red Corvette and D.M.S.R. but if almost any Prince doesn't have you and your paramour naked (or at least breathing heavy), you might want to switch brands of breath mints.

  9. Joni Mitchell - Blue
    There's nothing but candles and the indicator lights of your stereo illuminating the room, your conversation is a breathy whisper, and Joni is in the background singing about what a lonesome heart feels like when it finds a home. Can you say, "Heaven"?

  10. Etta James - At Last!
    Not only does Etta sing like she really, really, REALLY means it, she sings like if you don't mean, you better get the hell out - NOW. With songs like the title cut (another cut as ubiquitous in movies as breaking waves), "Spoonful", "If I Can't Have You", and "I Just Want To Make Love To You" (among so many others), hey, yeah, you're getting lucky tonight, my friend.

  11. Big Star - #1 Record
    One of the greatest albums you've never heard (although you've heard it in the influence on countless other bands), you'll get the sense that the windows are fogged up, your foot is tangled in the steering wheel, and yeah, you're seeing fireworks. Foreigner might have sang that it feels like the first time but '#1 Record' actually gives you that sense.

  12. Moby - Play
    Of all the choices here, this selection truly achieves the distinction of "soundtrack"; just put it on and let it wash over the both of you.

  13. Nick Drake - Bryter Later
    Almost everyone knows "Pink Moon" as the song from the Volkswagon commercial where it's apparent the riders in the car are going to a party where everybody's tripping. Well, that song isn't on this album (that's on the 'Pink Moon' album, a darker, starker, more beautiful, but NOT seduction music album) and it's just as well; this album is completely about two hearts in motion, touching, kissing, falling deeply into someone's eyes. This is the album that's playing when you say, "Let's go to the bedroom."

  14. ---------------------
    Classical music is problematic; not everyone loves it (although hating it is a filter for me - you hate it, uh uh, we're not gonna' work out, honey). So I saved these selections for last even though they supercede the majority of the previous selections.

  15. Richard Wagner - Prelude from 'Tristan und Isolde'
    Even if you hate opera, this is an orchestral piece, almost 11 minutes of sublimely passionate music - the crescendos are absolutely ORGASMIC. However, if you even barely tolerate opera, the final song of 'Tristan und Isolde', "Der Trank! Der Trank! Der Furchtbare Trank!" (traditionally known as "the liebestraum") is intensely passionate - and tragic - but well worth programming your CD player as a follow up to the Prelude.

  16. Claude Debussy - La Mer/Nocturnes
    Since my introduction to 'La Mer' was a disk that included the Nocturnes, I can't separate the two but I suggest you likewise include the two together. My dilettantish understanding of classical music is that Romanticism (whence Wagner practices his art) grew out of Expressionism (of which Debussy is the Alpha and Omega). Don't get hung up on the terms: Debussy gets the hormones POUNDING. Accept no substitutes.

There you have it, my little, magic fifteen. I'm not suggesting that all fifteen have to be played before magic happens (I like a long seduction but let's be real!), it's just that one needs to consider all contingencies.

Thus, whatever you got, I'd love to read about it. Hey, it's a Friday night, X has the wee ones and Nino is ALONE. Inspire me... PLEASE!!!

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Listening to: Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

A long post, like the last post (broken up into four different posts, with a little creative manipulation of the time stamp) took the wind out of my sails. Left me with some creative constipation that I fear I still have not overcome. So I'm wingin' it here, the obligatory post to satisfy the 2 or 3 regular readers who have voted for me in the BoB contest where, the dog I have in that fight is a Shih Tzu amongs Bull Mastifs.

My children believe in the healing power of my kisses. Any boo-boo is instantly succored by the application of my lips. Except for Zeke. Zeke is specific, "Not there, Daddy, here... not THERE, Daddy, HERE... no, not there..." If only those kisses could help me with this contest.

At least the women I've dated have told me I'm a good kisser, too. Between the medicinal value of my kisses and their apparent ability to garner a compliment, they must count for something.

The comments for the previous post included a very sweet compliment, unfortunately, anonymous. A kiss to whoever that was...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Too Much to Think About, Part I

Listening to: The Clash, Sandinista!

You may have noticed that Monday's are light posting for me, on all my blogs. Monday's are my job search day, my follow up on previous job searches day, my day of composing dozens of different cover letters so a prospective employer will think they're the only company for me day. Monday's are a hassle. Yesterday was no different except that I realized at some point that in less than a week, I'll have been unemployed a entire year.

I've never mentioned any of this before because, well, I wanted to make this blog about the joys and frustrations of fatherhood (specifically, being a full-time single dad) and not about the frustrations of being ME. However, I felt compelled to share this story after taking umbrage with something written by Metro Dad (to be fair, it was all cleared up after I read the comments) and figured the time was right to reveal the extent of the broken heart on my sleeve.

There's no joy and no pride in being unemployed for a year. Without belaboring the obvious, tax cuts for the rich have led to cut backs in social services, making positions in my field hard to come by. Needless to say, my job search has expanded to include things like human resources, customer service - just about anything I can find - even if I won't be thrilled to do the work. My experience with corporate environments has been less than stellar and I anticipate disaster.

The sick thing is, it didn't have to be this way. I worked long and hard to get into my position (some background on where I came from is here in a previous post) and my career was soaring when it was suddenly shot down.

Too Much to Think About, Part II

Listening to: At the Drive-In, Relationship of Command

This is a long and convoluted story which all begins with my two-year old son, Zeke. Like all trauma, I remember everything clearly, vividly, lucidly. It was a very frigid day in late November. I was living in my brother and sister and law's basement at the time and had the kids over for the day. We were alone in the house; the previous day I had given my brother several hundred dollars to help him with bills and he and his wife were out at the malls spending that money on Christmas for themselves.

Late in the afternoon, I was laid out on the couch while Marni slept, snuggled in my arms. Suddenly I heard Lilly shriek with terror, "Boodreau bit Zeke! Boodreau bit Zeke!" Initially, it didn't alarm me much since Lilly is a little prone to freaking out, so I wasn't overly concerned as I went to check things out, especially since I didn't hear Zeke screaming or crying. I figured the dog had merely snapped at him. Afterall, he was only 15-months old and prone to being a little rough with animals.

What I found was my little boy in shock, literally covered in his own blood, his blood covering the kitchen floor. Immediately, I called 911.

Lilly reported later that Zeke had been playing in the dog's water dish when the wretched cur bit Zeke's face, twice, full maw almost engulfing Zeke's head.

When the EMT's arrived, they cut off Zeke's blood-soaked shirt and grabbed a blanket off the couch to bundle him in his car-seat for the ride to the ER. They took him while I waited for the Police and Animal Control. The level of injury warranted a summons and, according to the Animal Control officers, certain destruction of the dog.

Frantically, futilely, trying to call someone in my family to help out (I didn't want to be in the ER with 2 and 5-year old girls in tow), my anger grew in proportion to my anxiety and fear regarding Zeke's predicament. My brother was nowhere to be found, busy pissing away money I had given him for bills and now that I desperately needed help with my girls, due to his damn dog, he was ignoring my calls.

On an ER bed, whimpering but numb from the anesthesia, Zeke was covered in white towels dappled burgundy with his blood. The nurse put a hospital blanket on my shoulder so I could hold my poor little boy while we waited for the surgeons to arrive. Zeke curled up in my arms and then shifted his head off the blanket to my free shoulder, staining the left shoulder of my blue jean jacket with his blood, a spot that remains there today.

The hospital liaison took the girls while I watched the surgeons work. The lead doctor called me over and pointed at a cut barely a centimeter from Zeke's carotid artery. He put his finger tip on the span from the edge of the cut to the artery and measured the distance with his thumb, "He's a very lucky little boy," he said, grimly.

Watching every stitch - well over 100 stitches was my count - I was there for every moment as the doctors sewed my little boy's face back together. The procedure took almost three hours. Several lacerations had been as wide as my pinky finger and part of Zeke's upper lip was torn away (the surgeon was proud that he'd been able to reconstruct the tear along the lip line). Thankfully the doctor was skillful but the prognosis was that Zeke would carry his scars into adulthood. If any plastic surgery could be done, it wouldn't happen until after Zeke was fully grown.

Too Much to Think About, Part III

Listening to: Primal Scream, Xtremity

The hospital staff helped me bundle up the kids and load them into the car. When we arrived home, my brother greeted me in his driveway with, "You and your kids are no longer welcome here." Not, "How is Zeke?" or "What can I do to help?" but kicking us to the curb. He'd obviously seen the blood, the paperwork from Animal Control, saw the dog was gone and added it all up. For having his dog taken away, he was kicking us out.

As furious as I was with his disregard for my son's welfare (it wasn't until I blew up at him, "Look what your damn dog did to my son!" that he asked how Zeke was), he almost brought me to violence, which would have ended my career as a therapist right there. He told me that the only way I could get my things out of his house would be to do it with the cops as a "friendly escort". And then, there, in the chill of that late-November night, insisted that the blanket (a cheap $5 Wal-Mart blanket) that the paramedics had wrapped Zeke in was his and Zeke could not have it. Never mind that Zeke had nothing on beneath the blanket. I threw the blanket at him, "Take it, you cheap, heartless sack of shit!" and wrapped Zeke in my my blood-stained jacket.

As a sick aside, my brother and sister-in-law attempted to file assault charges for me throwing that blanket at him. I assume the cops rolled their eyes on that one.

My brother had invited me to stay with him after X moved back in with me while we were still separated and things between X and me had gone badly. The offer was that I'd stay there for free (not that magnanimous an offer considering my parents were paying his rent and the rest of his bills for almost five years), hopefully to save money to get my own place. However, not a week into the arrangement and he and his wife were asking for money.

Not only that but, in my aversion to filth, I was also cleaning their house. Working 60 - 80 hour weeks at the mental health/detox unit, then coming home to a pig sty for which I was paying almost half my pay was not what I'd signed on for.

Too Much to Think About, Final Part

Listening to: Thelonious Monk, Live at the Five Spot

This is where the story gets really sick and twisted.

When I moved in, almost the first thing that was asked of me was what could be done about my dad's drinking (since we have different last names, no one's confidentiality is being compromised). My advice was that the next time that my dad was out of control, call the paramedics and have him placed on an emergency hold. In less than a week, that's what happened.

While my dad was in detox, my brother and sister-in-law persistently pumped me for information, information that I would not give them. Even though I explained that due to confidentiality laws, I could not even acknowledge anyone's presence in the place, they would not give up. Finally, out of exasperation, I explained to them that if I did tell them something and it somehow got back to someone that I had breached that confidentiality, not only would it get me fired but I could, by law, be fined and/or jailed. My mistake was giving them that single piece of information - the particulars of the confidentiality laws.

Several weeks after Zeke was mauled by the dog, my brother got his revenge for "me" having his pet destroyed (actually, it was out my hands, it was judge who decided to euthenize the animal). My brother and his wife convinced my parents that I had revealed information regarding my father's case and they all went to my employer to report their lie. When I went in to work my shift that night, I was called onto the carpet and placed on administrative leave. I was fired the next day.

Of course I place a good part of the blame on my former employer. Instead of standing up for me and investigating a completely groundless claim, they apparently went to Risk Management and were advised that by firing me on the spot, the organization would forgo any liability. After my parents realized how stupid and wrong they were, they attempted to get my job back but were completely ignored.

And yes, I don't know if I can ever forgive the betrayal of my parents. They repeat again and again that they don't know how they allowed themselves to be swayed by my brother and sister-in-law. They have offered a little financial assistance but the entire past year has found me falling deeper and deeper into debt.

Being jobless and broke isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the heartbreak every time I look at Zeke's scars and how soon, this will be his story to tell. But Zeke is such a joyous little man, so full of life, so beautiful. And soon, I know I will be past this situation, not just working, but back in my field.

Getting Creamed

Listening to: Joe Pass, Blues For Fred

The competitive leg of the 'Y' chromosome tells me that the votes I'm getting for this Best of Blogs contest aren't enough to make me much of a contender. A can of Ass Whup has my name on it. I shouldn't worry about it but... yeah, it's a male thing.

Doesn't help that I'm not posting much. Actually, I've been working on a verrrrry long post and I hope to finish that by thise evening. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of post that will boost me in the running. You'll see my mood all over it, a mood that started when Marni woke me up at 5:30 this morning spewing hunks of fruit cup and hot dogs all over her bedding... and then mine.

You can improve my mood, though, by going and voting for me. Sitting in the basement... well, it's dark and cold down here!

Besides, who else warns you about upcoming depressing posts?

Monday, January 03, 2005


Listening to: Grateful Dead, Workingman's Dead

Back to the "real world" with the holidays behind me and a house full of kids but still smiling with the contact buzz from my mini-vacation in Crestone - where I've been the past few days and why I haven't written. It's not that I stepped away from society but more like I was in an alternate universe... check out the link for for a bit of enlightenment... go ahead, I'll be here when you get back...

- See what I mean? Groovy little place and although I'm a skeptic in all things, the mellow energy in Crestone was palpable; a little slice of Nirvana in the San Luis Valley.

So I came home to my soon-to-be dismantled Christmas tree and a sink full of dirty dishes but everything was cool. No rush to log in and re-enter the blogosphere but when I did there were a half dozen comments telling me I'd made it as a finalist in the BoB awards for "Daddy Blog". It's as if all the cool people followed me home from Crestone...

Wowwwwwwww... if you feel up to voting for my hippie-dippy grinning-as-big-as-the-Great-Sand-Dunes ass, by all means, it's all good sisters and brothers. I'm sure glad to be back here with my kids and in the company of extremely cool supporters and I'm humbled that so many people figured this little blog-thing was worthy of BoB consideration but spending my last minute of the old year and the first minute of the new year in the embrace of a blissful sangha is more than I could have asked for or anticipated.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! The universe is sweet...