Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Eagle Takes Flight...and quickly turns the keys over

Despite the rainy blah blah, the family managed to have a nice weekend together up in Graeagle, enjoying the holiday in all the regular ways.
Bodie got his fill of Feather River's finest blend, and yours truly even snuck out for a misty round at Plumas Pines with some good dudes.
There was apple everywhere, which made for all kinds of video-creation fun on a rainy day.
There were so many ipods on hand that the inevitable dance party erupted, wherein I do my Axel Rose impression with the broomstick until everyone pees their pants. Sean and Ireland were completely entertaining as well...which is why we have kids in the first place, right? Example A: Sean's Combo Dog-Horse Hat. Brilliant.
We had grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, boyfriends, girlfriends and more, so with all of the support staff, Babymama and I had a bit too much to drink on Sunday night...and went to the Mohawk, where once again I narrowly avoided about 3 fights. I don't know what it is about that place, but it really brings out the Redneck in all of us. Yippee-Kai-Yay, motherfuckers, it's back to work now.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Word to the loc's

Big ups to E-Pie for this very special treat. Big Ups, Arlington Ave.

Z makes an appearance

Originally uploaded by Zack Sheppard.
I want to take a minute and say THANK YOU, ZACK...for the delicious lunch that you bought me today at House of Bread, for the great catch-up talk (it's been a year, now, since you moved to the City...Wha Happen!?!?), for the long-term-rental with no late fees on Venture Bro's seasons one and two, and for being the same old great person that you always have been. It's good to know that some things are consistent!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Awesome

Sean has a small stuffed animal that he has named "Awesome the Dog". Actually, he has approximately 422 stuffed animals, but Awesome is his favorite. He's tiny enough to get regularly misplaced, and yet important enough to interrupt a very lovely dinner party with Papa and Bobo by having a birthday. I don't even think Awesome has been in the house a full year yet, but regardless, Sean announced last night that it was his birthday.

Me: When is his birthday?

Sean: Now.

Me: Today? Like today he's One?

Sean: Yeah. Before he was Zero, so yeah, he's One.

Me: Happy birthday, awesome.

Sean, who probably wasn't getting all of the delicious attention that he normally commands from his grandparents, was a little distraught over the fact that we had not planned out a significantly grandiose birthday party for his toy. No invitations, no music, no cake, and most importantly, no friends. I told him to gather up all of his dog friends that were in the immediate vicinity, and we could all put Awesome up on a stage and sing to him. This pleased Sean.

Four grown adults and two small children then proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" to a crowd of stuffed animals.

This is but a tiny glimpse into my daily life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's getting hot in here...

What a killer weekend, evidenced in my particular case by the following:

  • Bike to work day kicks it off with another excuse to pull out the roadie this week:

  • We dropped in to the deck at the Original Silver Peak at the most serendipitous of moments, snagging a well-shaded table, and making the Babymama happy. (As many readers will attest, when the Babymama is happy...)

  • Reno sets a record at 96 degrees (or so LaPlante would Tweet me to believe), which really helped...

  • ...the pool climb up and over 80 degrees, perfect for drinking and swimming well past dark. Well, "drinking and swimming" for me, and just "swimming" for the kids. Unless, of course, you count juice boxes and root beer as drinking, which for many is the "hard stuff". Either way, the kids grew gills and fins, and it was nearly impossible to pull them out of the water. Ireland, in fact, made quite a scene last night, insisting that she was NOT GETTING OUT:

  • Played Sommersett with my neighbor Pat and my brother-in-law Chris and his buddy Mike. We followed it up with a massive family bbq at the house, worthy of a 2 Alieve morning.
  • Our Imperial Bar and Lounge baseball team made another valiant (if unsuccessful) effort at our first win of the season, and although we lost, our newest (and probably oldest) player, Pete, hit a grand slam with his son in the crowd to watch. We licked our wounds from the loss metaphorically with Pizza and Beer, (and in the case of Sean, who rolled down there with me cruiser steeze...Sprite.) It was good for him to meet the team, as he will no doubt be a bat boy, or even hitting cleanup within the next 3 to 5.

  • Ran into Jerz down @ the River. He was making a documentary about earthquakes, so stay tuned.
  • The 'hood was in full effect for our post-dinner family stroll. All members of the immediate were present and accounted for, but you'll have to look real hard in this pic to catch the blur that is Sean (aka Dash).

I hear some people bitching about the heat and all that junk...I'll probably do my fair share of it around July...but for the time being, I am one happy camper. If you really need advice about what to do when it gets too hot, just refer to this:


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Let the healing begin

Seriously, any time now, let the healing start. My kneecap is floating in a painful pool of fluid that has been pretty constant since I pulled my 30-pounds-of-gunk-covered-tuxedo suit out of the mud pit midway through this weekend's now infamous "Run Amuck". As a visitor of every Reno Riverfestival since it's inception, and a frequently costumed and better-than-sober athlete, I considered it my duty to participate in Saturday's two-man relay race along with my brother. Please take a moment to enjoy the following pictures of the two of us, provided by my friends Travis and Papa Ronstar:

As if that race didn't do enough to damage the aging frame that I call my temple, I proceeded on to an 80's party later that night, wherein I thought it would be a good idea to pound Jack Daniels and choose everyone off breakdance steeze. I will admit that by the grace of God my "worm" was both non-paralyzing and non-property-damaging (factors that make for a well received and un-challenged move). The party was worthwhile and I made less of an ass of myself than normal, but even as I type this blog, I know that my knee will take several more days to get back to normal, especially since my Peter Pan syndrome demands that I continue to play wood bat baseball at Moana every Sunday, and that I take on my brother-in-law and his girlfriend at doubles tennis tonight. Bring on the pain. And more JD.

Truth be told, I don't know that the "Use it or Lose it" slogan which I have become so accustomed to tossing in the face of my sedentary peers really applies anymore. I think that I continue to use "it", and in so doing am actually abusing "it" to the point that I might be a cripple by the time I'm 40. So be it. I may go down in wheelchair-pewter-colored flames, but I will do it with mud-diving, whiteboy breakdancing style, and those around me will probably continue to smile.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Payne Rolllin'

I was walking to Newman's to grab my sandwich today and had the good fortune to run into Chris Payne rocking the tough Paul Frank. Of course, everything this guy rocks is tough, including his sleeves and his brutal honesty. I like Chris. He tells is like it is and isn't afraid of where the truth takes him. That's called integrity.

When he rolled away, he said, "I hope that you have a great day today." The tone in his voice caught me off guard for a moment because he made his declaration in a way that I haven't heard in a long time: he sincerely meant it.

Some people pass by in the day-to-day doing a better-than-average job making small talk and obliging each other with gratuitous niceties. Chris doesn't do that. He asks questions and (get this) rather than wait for his turn to talk again, listens to the answer!

If (admittedly, unlike myself) you still listen to the radio, check him out M-F, 3P-7P. Who knows, you might even luck out and get your face melted by some Anthrax.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Loving an alarm clock

On a pretty regular basis lately, Ireland's deal goes something like this:
[5am] (Crying) "Mama?" "Mama?" MAMA!!!"
[Babymama will usually go get her and bring her into bed with us, coaxing her in that motherly way she can to go back...to....sleeeeeeep.]
I: "Mama?"
B: (Whispering) "It's time for nite-nite, baby girl."
I: "Mama, juice."
B: "Shhhhh"
I: "Mama, Juice."
B: ...
I: "Mama, Juice."
Me: "Shhhhhhhh. Sleep."
I: "Mama, JUICE!"
The repetition and die hard delivery are seriously like the buzz feature known as "Alarm 2" on my alarm clock. Except that with the daughter, there IS NO SNOOZE BUTTON. She will never stop. We try ignoring her. We try telling her "No", but that has just seemed to really raise her level of awareness about a new word SHE should incorporate into her otherwise sparse vocabulary. We have gone so far as to let her go on repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating herself into a hysterical state of crying in her bedroom, but after a while, it's borderline torture.
Just pour some juice in the alarm clock and carry on.

It takes over

Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
This is a picture of Sean on the first day of his life. I look at it now, bewildered at what a profoundly moving event that was...his birth. I may have already said it here on the blog, and if it is repetitive please forgive me, but there really is no book or class or movie or speech, no pill or camp or lotion or protective clothing, no crystal ball or magic genie or meditative chant or guru that can truly prepare you for the absolute unknown that is Parenthood.

I can't believe this dude is now version 4.5, or even that he was the prototype for the sassier, naughtier, female now in v1.8. It all makes me go hmmmm.

I am surrounded in my life by all types. Lovers and haters, screamers and wallflowers, spenders and savers and everything in between. The truth is, however, that in my head everyone falls into one of two categories: parents and non. Those with will understand this definition, and those without may think that it is pure horseshit. Anyone without kids, though, is usually caught up in trying to control the grandiose frippery that is their existence on this planet...or at least the image thereof. Those with children, if they are doing their jobs correctly, have achieved a certain degree of i'm-over-it-ness that allows us to spend less time thinking about our image or desires or preceived needs, and more time simply trying not to fuck up some little person's life! (Oh, and a few of us like to blog at midnight, but that's beside the point.)

So again I'm surrounded by all types, and although I was for a few years one of the only people I knew with a shortie, the tide is turning. Maybe it has to do with my receding hairline and all that it entails, like age. Whatever it is, it's pretty darn cool to see it happening to some of my friends like Jim & Natasha whose joyful teary-eyed post-labor pictures I saw today...or like Tim & April who any day now will welcome a pair of twins into the world, taking them from their biological mother via an arranged adoption. Talk about an emotional ride and something I have no concept about outside of the movie Juno. Andsomething tells me that even though my heartsrings were pulled by the powerful delivery scene that was the climax of that movie (and which was, unfortunately, probably not as accessible to those who have not yet been through parenthood), I really have no frame of reference for the reality that will be Tim and April's specific journey...nor that of the mother that is about to hand over two precious lives that she will have just delivered into the world but for her own reasons, can not properly chaperone the rest of the way.

This is parenthood party is really a ton of fun, considering that it's also very serious business. I have so much going on in my silly world, but nothing more important that being a dad. It has, in some sneaky way, taken over my existence. And even though my post below references my reason for living, let it be known that the 2 real reasons are upstairs, tucked in their beds, dreaming up new ways to torture me when they wake up. I can hardly wait.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Welcome Paulo Coelho


Added to the 'ol 'roll. Checkimout.

Like the chick @ Dooce says:

In response to the jibba-jabba that comes to her in bundles, Heather B. Armstorng stands with fist in air, fearlessly challenging all cotton-headed ninny-muggins that DARE question the choices she makes in publicly displaying so much of her personal biz. In fact, she explains to her daughter, in solidarity with other blogging mommies like myself that:

"This is the glorification of your childhood"

Rock on. Couldn't agree more.

Furthermore, this blog, and many others like it, are the glorification of this fucking awesome life we are living.

Carry on.

Friday, May 2, 2008


No words will do the justice that needs to be done by visiting The FAIL Blog. I owe this little gem of a discovery completely to Facemelters Anonymous. You are the king.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

So Close Yet So Far Far Away

So Close Yet So Far Far Away
Originally uploaded by Bodie Bailey.
Moving onward and upward, today is May 1st: the beginning of my newest commitment. I will be spending the next month and 1/2 training for Mount Whitney (pictured above; thank you, Bodie Bailey...hopefully you don't mind. It's a great shot, and even the title is representative of what June 14th, 2008 is for me).

Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). Although it is the tallest in the lower 48, it is far from the most difficult. That being said, it will be quite a challenge, and I have chosen to do it all in one day, rather than breaking it up with an overnight camp. I am, however, not alone. Three of my grade school buddies (I'm calling this the Gopher Fun Day Alumni Hike for all of you other Roy Gomm peeps out there) are joining me for the excursion.

In reality, it is going to be a real challenge, but with a real reward, and I'm getting nervous, which always leads to proper training and then excitement. My goal is to do some form of cardio and/or weights every day. I also intend to, as soon as the path is boot-ready, hammer out a few early-morning Mt. Rose hikes in the next 6 weeks. If anyone is game for a weekday jaunt up there with me, let me know. The goal would be to be back down to work late-morning, so that my training is not taking away from too much of my work, or any of my weekend dad time. We'll see how that works out.

Man, look at that mountain! It's something.