Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You did it! You had sex!

Christmas is a time of telling stories with family.

That's why when my family was gathered eating dinner I decided to tell the story of when my dad completely dropped the ball in teaching me about sex. And I told this story while my dad was sitting right next to me and my mom, whose innocence rivals that of nuns, was directly across from me. (Sometimes I fail to filter. This might not be shocking news.)



family toasting wine at Christmas meal

You know? I think this is the perfect time to tell you all a story about sex. And can you pass the gravy, please?


The awkwardness was palpable. My mom, thankfully, has early onset Alzheimer's so she'll likely forget the conversation. Boy am I glad she has a fatally degenerative chronic brain disease right about now! (Hold on a minute while I go weep in the corner for an hour.)

I'm back. And it's official: joking about a family tragedy while you're in it doesn't make it feel better. It was worth a try, though, right? Right.

Anyway, back to sex.

In third grade I was sitting peacefully in class not doing my work because I was too busy being distracted by counting the teeth on the zipper of my backpack or pondering the mysteries of tether ball strategy or whatever else was occupying my ADHD-I riddled childhood brain when the girl next to me, who was obnoxiously thorough in her work and made me feel dumb, got a prize from the teacher.

It was really neat. It was a bookmark. A bookmark that had some animal doing a thumbs up and saying "You did it!"

The rest of the kids at my table all snickered at the bookmark, and said "You did it, April! You had sex." April was in on it too. Everyone laughed. Hard. I had no idea what they were talking about, but they were laughing a lot so clearly it was a hilarious joke!

That's why, the very next morning while my family was reading scriptures together in a scene straight out of Little House on the Prairie except even more pure and idyllic, I thought I'd share the hilariousness of the joke I'd heard with everyone. (I repeat. No filter.) My little sister who was learning how to read finished reading a verse and my Mom, who is as pristine as the drifted snow and who I'm quite certain still had never uttered the word "sex" herself, said the fateful words: "Great job, Jenni! You did it!"

Cue The Weed: "Yeah, Jenni [who is five]! You did it! You had sex!"

I will never forget the look of horror on my mom's face after I said that. It's filed away in the same mental filing cabinet that stores me seeing a guy get hit by a motorcycle and photos of the Holocaust and every story of child abuse I've ever read and Janet Reno's picture. It was terrifying, and I had no idea what I'd done. "What did you say?" she asked in shock. And I repeated, this time with a lot less confidence, "she did it.  She had... sex?"

"We don't say that, Josh," my mom said with a new look on her face. This look said: "I have literally no idea how to react to what you, my eight-year-old son, just uttered, but I feel as though I have been molested by your words and my insides feel all gross and weird and your father will definitely, DEFINITELY be hearing about this."

Later that day I found myself sitting beside my father in his bedroom.  

Dad: So, I heard you said something interesting this morning. About sex. 

Me: Yeah... 

Dad: Don't worry--you're not in trouble. Do you know what that word means? "Sex"? 

Me: Kinda. Doesn't it mean... like, really pretty? 

Dad: Well, not exactly that.  

Me: What does it mean? 

Dad: Well, it's... something really special. And something really important...

I couldn't wait to hear what this mysterious thing--this very special, enigmatic thing called sex--was. Indeed, I was now more curious about it than about most anything else.

My father paused. I think I can pretty well imagine his inner monologue at this moment: "My son is eight years old and is asking about sex but eight is WAY too young to have sex and I cannot freaking believe he's already hearing about this crap at school because shouldn't I really just be talking to him about Nintendo games or sports or something and what if I tell him about it and he gets all curious and then goes out and tries to figure out how to DO IT and then becomes a total perverted freaky eight-year-old sex addict who grows up to be a gigolo so yeah maybe it's too early to talk about this and I wonder if he'll notice if I change the subject yeah he probably will dammit what do I do?"  

Dad: The truth is, son, I think it might be something too special to talk about when you're this young. But we will later. I promise.

Me: Oh... okay....?

Epic. Fail.

Naturally, all this conversation did was intensify my curiosity about this magical, weird and wonderful thing called "sex." What was it? Who did it pertain to? Clearly it was an action, otherwise the bookmark wouldn't have said "You did it!" But what was this activity? Did it involve food? Trampolines? Race-cars? Paint? Was there equipment involved? Was it a medical procedure? Could I do it? Did my friends who had talked to me about do it? Did my dad do it?

It was only about two weeks later when what felt like the most random conversation ever took place. I was sitting next to a kid named Brian Starkey and out of nowhere he turned to me and said, "Wanna know what happened the other day? I was walking down the street and saw a guy put his CENSORED into a girl's CENSORED." The conversation ended there. Nothing was explained. But in a fit of intuition, it hit me: THIS IS SEX!

Nobody likes uncomfortable situations, but it was clear the time had come to pull my dad aside and give him "the talk." I got home that day, walked up to him and said, "Wanna take a walk to the park?" I could tell he was nervous, but this was just something that had to happen. I'm sure he could sense that I was going to talk about something uncomfortable, but he was a growing father, and I had to talk to him about this man to man so he could grow up to be the type of dad that didn't pansy out before the sex-talk with my siblings. (Side note: it didn't work.) 

Me: I think I know what sex is. 

Dad: Oh really? What? 

Me: *repeats the story he heard in class* 

Dad: Yep. That's what sex is. 

Me: Okay then. 

Dad: Okay. 

Me: I'm really glad we had this talk. 

Dad: Me too, son. Me too.


Father and son (10-11) carrying
 fishing rods on pier

Now, if you have any questions, just come talk to me. I'm always here to listen, Daddy.

I'm going to end this post with didactic counselor advice that I might not even be able to follow when my kids grow up and if you don't want to read it, you should stop right now.

Moral #1--Talk to your kids about sex. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid to say the words penis and vagina (which I censored above because of the nature of the narrative--but really, they aren't dirty words.) Be the one to tell them what sex is. Make sure to talk about what a wonderful, beautiful thing it will be. While my dad kinda dropped the ball in this story, I must say he was really good about that last thing. As I got older and we talked more frequently about sex, he was very clear about what a good thing it was, and he was up front about terminology and he let me know that his door was always open. In crucial moments in my growing up, that really helped.

Moral #2--Even if you mess up with your kids, it doesn't mean that they'll become crazy freaky sex-crazed serial killers who sew flesh costumes out of corpses and then eat the genitals for breakfast.

Usually.

The Weed's (unsolicited) Advice Column is now closed for the evening.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yuletide Greetings!

This is the first The Weed Electronic Christmas Card! 

To kind of clear the air here, I first want to mention that we're going electronic this year because we really love technology. It's definitely NOT because we’re so poor that we can’t even afford stamps or envelopes or couches for our living room or sushi or other basic necessities like actual cell phone plans and gym memberships.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way let's start talking specifics.
 
2010 brought several important changes to the The Weed household.
 
Tessa (also known as Lil' Miss "T") certainly made her mark this year. First, before she was born, her amniotic sack tore which was like, okay, thanks unborn baby, you're already a trouble-maker and it's pretty clear you're going to be piece of work when you grow fingernails and have completed appendages and stuff. Wife was put on partial bed-rest for most of the pregnancy because of this early insurrection. This, in case you were wondering, sucked. For me. I had to do a lot more chores and it kinda made me realize that I should have been doing a lot more around the house a long time ago I really like being the breadwinner. Well, to make a long story short, Tessa grew all her body parts and then got really big and then clawed her way out of Wife's body (really it was more like a ride down a slip n slide of amniotic fluid) and now she's here and instead of being all rebellious and rude like we thought she is the best baby ever and already sleeps through the night and hardly cries and you should be jealous of us because I was totally wrong and she's not a rebel, she's actually a genius miracle baby destined for greatness.



Viva, 2, had a triumphant year. Most notably, this year she learned her actual name (which is Olivia). I'm still not entirely sure how this came about considering we’ve actively campaigned against it by calling her pretty much every other name in existence, most commonly referring to her as Le France, short for Vive le France. Nevertheless, a few weeks ago we were like "Hey, Viva, can you put down the arsenic and hand me that toy" and she turned defiantly and was like “I’m not Viva. I’m Olivia!” and we looked at each other and we were all “Oh, how sweet, she knows her own name!” which is something most parents do when their child is about 10 months old.  It was very impressive.


Anna, 4, had a big year. The thing we're most proud of is that she is no longer completely racist! Now that we have her in pre-school in one of the most diverse school districts in the country she has had ample opportunity to interact with those of varied races and nationalities and no longer says awkward things in the grocery store like “Mommy, I don’t like that girl. She’s black.” Or “Mommy, why is that person’s eyes funny?” Or, “Daddy, why is that girl wearing a cape on her head?” (Seriously, she said all of those things. I have no idea where this came from, but we can rest assured that it wasn't Wife who pretty much wishes I were a black man.) These days we get pictures brought home of her having tea parties with Somalians, and her favorite friend (who we're pretty sure is a Romeo and Juliet style crush) is a bi-racial boy named Tyrell. However, we knew she had officially reached the milestone of Not Being a Bigot when we had movers over one weekend. Two of them were black, and one of them was white. Anna interacted happily with the black movers throughout the day, but then at one point came running in and said "Daddy, I'm really scared." I asked her what she was scared of and she pointed at the third mover and said "I'm scared of that white man." Mission accomplished.



Wife, 32, successfully grew a human being and then pushed it out of her body without medication. Then she proceeded to get on anti-depressants. Beyond this she says “I didn’t do anything this year.” I’m okay with leaving it at that as long as when we say “didn’t do anything” what you actually interpret it as is “kept two little girls away from scissors and other pointy objects that could pierce eye-balls while also making sure they were fed and dressed every single day for an entire year.” This is not to mention the fact that her husband has the intattentive sub-type of ADHD, which means that she is also basically raising a son who is 30. So yeah, no big deal.

Wife got a little carried away with her photo shoot:

What? Someone has a camera?

Yes, daughter? Might I be of help whilst I hold this sign upright?


So happy!!!

Come hither, The Weed.

I love this woman.
The Weed, 30 (note that I'm two years younger than Wife because she's a cradle robber) is gainfully employed as a therapist. He also started a blog. You are reading it.

I think this as good a time as any to do what I learned I was supposed to do while reading a big fancy successful website all about how to make a good blog. First, I’m supposed to ask you to get proselytic and tell every person you see to go to joshweed.com and read about body deformities and ADHD ridden decapitated monkeys and whatever else happens to come into my brain. (Only if you like reading about that stuff yourself, though. If you don't like it, you should definitely not talk about joshweed.com to other people. And also I hate you now and we can't be friends.) It's Christmas, people. Give the gift of Weed.

Second I’m supposed to ask you to subscribe to my blog by either putting your email address into the box that says "subscribe by email or by pressing the button in the sidebar that says "subscribe" and then clicking on the reader you use. Doing this will alert the magic internet fairies that they need to send you an email when there's new stuff here. It’s supposed to be pretty simple to do, but to be honest, I know about as much about technology as an Amish octogenarian who also happens to be a deaf mute. With no hands. Who is also blind. And dead. (It’s quite possible that this is an exaggeration, given that you are currently reading an Electronic Christmas Card which I somehow managed to successfully slap up on the internet, but I’m sure you see my point, which is so convoluted by now that I actually can’t even remember what I was talking about and will therefore provide you with a random factoid. Did you know that pigs' penises are shaped like cork-screws?)

(Aside: so that casual random fact I just shared up there? It came about because I was writing this while in the car on the way to Portland and my sister and brother-in-law were in the car too and I was like “Somebody say a random fact that’s interesting and maybe scientific” and my brother-in-law was like “pigs' penises are shaped like cork-screws” and I was like “YES! PERFECT!” and my sister was like “What are you using that random fact for?” and I was like “Our family Christmas letter. What else?”)

Share joshweed.com. Go ahead and send an email to someone you love right now. Don't worry, I'll wait right here with my head cocked back and the cheesiest grin ever until you get back.


I guess I'll close us out with a couple of family photos.

First:

I hope you too can feel the abundant peace and calm I felt in this moment.

And at last, the family photo.


 Only one of us was screaming in agony! ...A Christmas Miracle necessitating a mere 67 shots.

From the The Weed house to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful 2011!
Our resolution is to not have a baby this year!  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sometimes You Just Have to Call Poison Control Twice in One Week

I am not a bad parent.

At least that's what I tell myself over and over and over when weeks like the one I'm about to tell you about occur.

It all began when our second, Viva, became mobile. She is a very sweet girl with a cheerful disposition and easy smiles that she’ll flash at anybody. And she is also Satan. 

What I mean by this is not so much that my child is the General Antagonist of the Religious Universe, but more that whenever she wants to do something, she just does it, no matter what we say. (That qualifies, right?) 

The huge mess behind her? Took her about seven seconds to create. With her eyes closed. And gloss all over her hands.

Not only does she kind of do whatever she pleases, but she also uses her smiles and cuteness as a force-field and/or Jedi mind trick. 

When she decides to take every single DVD off the DVD rack, my internal parent monitor says "Initiate discipline protocol immediately" but then, then she smiles, and I end up short-circuiting so severely that I then find myself helping her take the DVD's myself and then asking if she wants to also dismantle all the furniture in the entire house for fun. Then she walks away cutely and I look around and say "What the..." And then I realize what happened. 

Satan got me.

The combination of this short-circuitry with Viva's general resourcefulness makes for interesting times.

The first incident of near-death was actually more funny than anything. I was in the office doing whatever it is I do in the office which may or may not involve lots of Facebook games when suddenly I realized that the Silence of Terror--you know, the phenomenon that has been pointed out by every single Mommy Blogger on earth where an unearthly hush falls upon the activities of a normally rambunctious toddler indicating some sort of disaster--had creeped into our home, and my daughter was probably about to die.

I perked up, tested the wind direction with a wet finger, and then said aloud "Viva? What are you doing?" 

Silence.

Here is the image as I walked into the kitchen: Viva is sitting on the floor. There are indistinguishable cloths everywhere around her. The cloths are gray. She is cleaning the floor with one of them. As I near her, she smiles, and I almost short-circuit and start cleaning the floor with her until I realize that what she is cleaning with is actually chemical-filled stainless-steel cleaning wipes and one of them is, ominously, half gone.

And she has some frayed cloth hanging out of her mouth.

So yeah, when I called poison control they were like "the stainless-steel cleaning wipes should have no effect on her. She may vomit. But she should be fine. If she shows any sign of fever or delirium, take her immediately to the emergency room." What they didn't say was "Hey, stupid, why did your daughter have access to chemical filled wipes and why did she have enough time to empty the pack, eat one, and then do your chores before you noticed?"

There are those who would learn from this incident. There are those who wouldn't just shrug and say "Maybe I left the cupboard under the sink open... I'll try not to do that again," and who would actually figure out what happened that allowed a one-year-old access to bottles with skull-bones on them. 

I am not one of them.

Which is why, two days later, I heard Wife call from the kitchen: "Get in here quick! Viva just ate a dishwasher soap tablet."

This one wasn't cute and it wasn't endearing and it wasn't a photo moment. It was terrifying. She was choking badly, and I went into Superdad mode and was like "Is it in her mouth?" and Wife was like "I don't know" but held up the partially dissolved tablet part of which might have been in her gullet and I knew it was my fatherly duty to fish it out of her in case she was choking so I swiped her throat twice and it wasn't there and she was just choking because the stuff, apparently, is pretty caustic.

That paragraph was not supposed to be funny. If you laughed you are a callous unfeeling jerk and probably kick puppies and maim kittens and hate rainbows and eat spiders because you like the taste.

Anyway, this time when we called poison control they were like "YOU IDIOTS. Figure out what the crap you are doing so you don't keep calling us and so your daughter doesn't DIE. Also, we're calling CPS on you."

Or at least that's what they should have said. What they actually said sounded eerily familiar. It was: "the tablet should have no effect on her. She may vomit. But she should be fine. If she shows any sign of fever or delirium, take her immediately to the emergency room." And it was then that I realized that poison control is probably just some old crotchety lady reading the exact same response from a 3x5 card, filling in the blank with the appropriate household item, and that if I actually need help with poison, I should either look stuff up on the internet or, as a fail-safe, just suck the poison out with my mouth as I learned to do with snake bites back when I was a Boy Scout Who Didn't Get His Eagle Because His Mom Said "I'm Not Doing This Thing For You Anymore."




After everything had calmed down and we knew that Viva was safe due to our extensive internet research and the fact that she hadn't vomited or become delirious, we replaced the child lock and then said, "Viva, can you open the cupboard?" She smiled coyly, walked up to the thing, and, through the perfect sequence of yanking, jiggling and arching her little back, popped the lock right off in about three seconds. 

Nice.

So instead we got this:

Even Satan can't open this beauty.

Okay, so actually we got this very effective child-lock.

(It's so effective I can't even open it. And I'm a grown-up. Kind of.)

And it works. Well, it works to stop Viva from getting into the cupboard under the sink. It does nothing, however, for helping me to not open the bag of marshmallows she disobediently scaled the pantry to steal so I can then watch contentedly as she eats every single one for breakfast and then spreads pieces of the shredded plastic bag throughout the house, all because she smiled at me.

Father of the Century Award? Achieved yet again.



Monday, December 13, 2010

Hey, wanna hear a traumatic story about breastfeeding?

Who doesn't, right?

So, I've got a lot of semi-traumatic stories about breastfeeding, as many probably do. Because I'm really normal, and it's really normal to have a lot of semi-traumatic stories about breastfeeding as a 30 year old male.

There's the one about how my mom got a really bad infection from breastfeeding after I was born, and then my grandpa sent her a card which contained a picture of a baboon whose boob was so infected it was literally touching the floor.  You know. To comfort her.

Then there's the stuff from when I was a missionary in Venezuela. We're talking the normal rural South American fare--the girl who we were talking to who leaked milk all over a pamphlet we gave her and then handed it back so we could explain something, or the time I was teaching three women who all, during the course of the lesson, lifted up their shirts and flopped themselves out and started nursing, one after the other after the other. I was like "IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?" except I didn't really say that because I was too busy trying to look like I hadn't even noticed that there were three very conspicuous breasts hanging out of shirts so as to not make anybody feel awkward with my sheltered North Americanism.

Yes, I was worried about not making them feel awkward. What's wrong with this picture?

Oh, and I forgot to mention. One of the kids being nursed in the room with the three women? Five years old. That might be a slight exaggeration, but he walked and talked and looked old enough to be in kindergarten.

Here. Here's a diagram:

Confession: this poorly made diagram isn't helpful at all. There's just really not much else I could insert that wouldn't be pornographic.


But as I insinuated before, none of this is the actual traumatic story to which I refer. And I've gotta say, I might tell this story and people might be like "That's really not a big deal." But, to me, it is a big deal.

Here it goes.

One time at a family gathering, it came out that my aunt was something of a wet-nurse. She had nursed other people's babies besides her own, and felt totally cool doing so.

When I was making fun of her for this, she looked at me and said "I'm not sure what you think is so funny. I've nursed you too."

And then, my world came screeching to a halt.

Suddenly, everything I knew about childhood, motherhood, happiness and sexuality shattered before my eyes and I lost about 3% of my basic childhood memories due to the nature of this trauma--and I refer to the trauma of knowing where, exactly, my mouth had been on her body.

Her son who is my age pleaded "Mom, was I passed around??? Tell me I wasn't passed around!"

"No," she said. "It was just him."

When I asked "why?" (which wasn't so much me inquiring why that had happened as much as it was me looking to the heavens and asking "whyyy?" as I questioned the meaning of life with my fist to the sky) it was explained to me that my mom had had so much trouble nursing me that my aunt simply wanted to see if the problem was me or my mom.

And then my aunt said the thing that haunts me in the twilight between wake and sleep. She said, "it was you by the way. You tried to rip me up."

Yeah. Yeah, that's the phrase she used about me. About what I did with my mouth. To her nipple.

I'm not sure enough counseling exists to resolve this for me.


portrait of a young female psychiatrist in session with a young male patient

Sir, I've seen milder cases of PTSD in Vietnam Vets and genocide survivors. You're pretty much screwed.

So, my advice to women out there: don't breastfeed children who are not your own--especially dudes. Because one day that child will grow up. And you will converse with it. And it will be an adult male. And then you will let it slip that his mouth touched parts of you he really should never have seen let alone have touched. And it will traumatize him forever and ever because even though it should be all "natural" and "chill" and "hakuna matata," the truth is that for a guy it all boils down to a mouth touching a breast.

And then he will write about it in his blog.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I really Wish I Allowed Myself to Talk About My Job (And also The Weed Wednesday Wrap-up)

Because sometimes my middle school clients say the most hilarious stuff. Really in some ways it's kind of a shame I'm not risking my job multiple times a week to break confidentiality and tell you about it. You're probably just going to have to trust me on this one.

However, it is not time to talk about that (nor will it ever be). It is time to talk about The Second The Weed Wednesday Wrap-up which I'm getting the feeling will always and forever more appear on either Thursday or Friday because that's how I roll--at least one day behind, and proud of it.

1. My in-laws moved all of the stuff out of their house, which we're renting. It leaves the house with this empty we're-too-poor-to-own-furniture kind of feel. And also a wow-we-really-need-to-clean-the-floorboards kind of feel. And also a holy-crap-the-garage-is-full-of-boxes-I-don't-want-to-unpack kind of feel. And finally a hmmm-this-place-actual-feels-like-our-own-place-and-I-really-like-that kind of feel. Even though that's inaccurate. Because if we're too poor for furniture, we're WAY too poor to own home. But we're happy to be renting theirs.

2. I go to bed on time now. Kind of. In my world on time is before midnight but usually after 11:30pm. And I've only done it two consecutive nights. But it's totally possible that I will break a life-time pattern of irregular sleep habits and chronically late nights which is so ingrained in me from my family of origin (lights go off at my parent's house before 12:00 approximately... never) that I literally feel anxiety going to bed early because it feels like I'm missing something really, really important--and whose to say I won't do so this week?


Man sleeping at desk, head resting on pile of books

It's a good thing I'm not in my bed right now, because I'd miss out on all the... stuff.
(Also, I seriously cannot tell if this is a man or a woman. Any guesses?)

3. Speaking of compulsive behaviors that I try to control on a regular basis but can't, I was on Twitter last night when I got word that  Pomplamoose was doing  a live webcast right that minute. It was going to be three songs and it was going to be live and kind of private, like they were playing just for me because they love me personally and want to wish me a Merry Christmas, and I was very excited.

(Wait, you don't know Pomplamoose? Shame on you for not reading my archives. Actually, wait, there's no shame in that at all--my archives are maudlin and very dramatic and about my childhood, but not in a funny and clever way. More in a ADHD is pretty much as bad as cancer so you should feel sorry for me and oh wait this is basically me doing my own therapy online but I don't realize it kind of way.  Anyway, click here to see some of their stuff.)

The point of this story is that when I got this unexpected surprise, something inside me screamed out and said "See? See how being pathologically connected to the internet pays off? You would have totally missed this if your relationship with the Internet were even an ounce less intense than a diabetic's relationship with insulin or Lindsey Lohan's relationship to crack." Then I sat down, watched it, and allowed the dopamine rush I got to confirm, yet again, the correctness of my addiction decision to engage in online social media.

4. I want this one to be short because I'm tired. How about: I did a four hour drug and alcohol assessment on Monday (called the GAIN) for the first time. Thing is, I'm pretty sure this assessment is a bit counterproductive because I've never wanted to do drugs more in my entire life than during the course of that mofo. For realz. I was almost like "Hey, man, let's just go out and get wasted..." about half way through just so we could be done and I've never drunk alcohol or done drugs in my life and never will. (Fellow professionals who read this blog, the rhetorical device I have employed here is called "hyperbole" which is an exaggeration, sometimes for comedic effect. In other words, DON'T JUDGE ME FOR TELLING A JOKE.)

5. Finally, I watched a TV show with my beautiful wife after a long, busy day on Thursday. Oh wait, that hasn't happened yet. But it's going to right now.

Good night.


All right, all right. I'll include this for good measure. 
(There's a bonus surprise song at the end!)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Technology

In church recently, I had a rude awakening.

And that rude awakening was that I am freaking luddite. Or, more accurately, I'm too poor to afford technology.

Therefore I shun it. (Until I can afford it. Then I embrace it without scruples and promptly judge those who aren't on the cutting edge. But until then, I'm way, way too good for it and never wanted it anyway.)

This realization was reached when we were singing a hymn at church. There I was sitting in a meeting singing along, when I look over and a friend of mine was reading the words of the hymn off a device that looked like it came straight from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Only, instead of being held by some space alien, it was being held by a normal man in priesthood meeting. And instead of being some kind of shooting mechanism that could kill aliens and ugly-looking rodents if they got too close, it was basically a hymnal. A hymnal worth a MILLION DOLLARS.

Word on the street is that this newfangled mechanism is something called an "iPad." And the hymn he was looking at was available because of some "application" (still not positive what those are having never touched an iPhone or iPod Touch, but they sure sound fancy.)

Guys, do you want to know what year I'm stuck in?

Just take a look:

Remind me why I use my blog as some kind of ignominious confessional again?
The really sad thing? There's a part of me--a very, very small part of me--who still thinks I'm kind of cool when I whip that thing out. And then I remember that I'm half-a-decade too late to be cool, and that today's technology is so advanced that by the time I catch up I'll be doomed to own 2015's equivalent of the Razr, and that I basically look like the kid who got the regular Nintendo Entertainment System several years after everyone had upgraded to the Super-Nintendo but didn't realize how behind he was and didn't understand why nobody showed up when he invited friends over to play Duck Hunt.


(You should come over. I'll totally dominate you on the clay pigeons. Any day of the WEEK.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

The The Weed Wednesday Wrap-up (And Celebrity Crush Part II)

This post started as a simple idea of five listed things, but has morphed into an entire post within a post.  

Guess what! Stuff happens in my life sometimes that's not really fit for an anecdotal humor post. I find myself wanting to talk about these things from time to time. 


Without further ado: the first installment of the The Weed Wednesday Wrap-up, which will consist of five things of note within the previous week. (We'll just see how this goes.)


1. I am failing school.

I have gotten ridiculously behind in community college. It is very likely that I will have a worse gpa on my community college transcript--which will yield no diploma but just make me eligible to become a chemical dependency counselor after I take a big test--than I will have had for my undergraduate and graduate degree. And the classes are more rigorous. I'm not joking. (BTW, yes, my last name is Weed and yes I'm going to be an drug addiction specialist--isn't my life awesome???)

This might actually be what happens to me a month from now.



2. I gave thanks by eating a lot of stuffing and gravy. It was delicious. And filled with gratitude. And I ran four miles the next day, which didn't really help the weight-gain.


Apple, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, was pardoned by U.S. President Barack Obama on Thanksgiving eve in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on November 24, 2010.   UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg Photo via Newscom

You, sir, were delicious. Much thanks.

3. The Bloggess followed me on twitter.  Yes you read that correctly.

You know The Bloggess, right? She's the really famous blogger with a really famous blog who is hilarious? If you don't know, here's the link. Warning, she is hilarious but also a cuss box in the most endearing way possible. (Read her stuff. It is amazing.)

Anyway, what happened is that in response to a really moving set of pictures she'd linked to (here they are if you're interested) I tweeted the following:


Joshua Weed
 
@ These are amazing. I think following you on twitter may have been the best decision I've made all year. That and my newborn.

(There is probably a MUCH better way to post tweets that I don't have time to research right now because I only have two minutes before Thursday)
 
I thought little of it--it was a genuine reaction to seeing the pictures and also really loving her blog, and sometimes you just want to throw that kind of sentiment out into the universe. But do you know what happened?

I will say it again. The Bloggess is following me on twitter. 

Do you realize what this means???

Well, let me explain it to you by describing what happened in the milliseconds after seeing that this had occurred. But before I do, please note that none of this is over-the-top or irrational or me taking things way too seriously.

First, it started all exultant, like "OH MY GOSH I just got followed by The Bloggess! THAT'S AMAZING! I didn't know that could  happen!"

But within the same split second it became all crushing and smothering and suffocating. Like  "Oh no, what if I say something stupid? What if I don't please her? What if I post a blog post and she reads it and it sucks? What if she sees my picture and is like "whoa, you're ugly, and I don't follow ugly people" even though I know she'd never be that shallow. BUT, what if she stops liking me? Okay, I officially have to be careful about every single thing I tweet or blog from now until the end of time because The Bloggess is watching my every move and cares a lot and is obviously fascinated with who I am as a writer and blogger and father and counselor and human being and I DO NOT WANT TO DISAPPOINT HER" which in turn was followed by a minor emotional meltdown which involved me not being able to do the aforementioned community college homework.

So pretty much it means I have to be terrified.

It's a lot of pressure, okay? And it's totally real pressure and not blown out of proportion at all, and the fact that I'm one of 10,000 people she's following is immaterial.

And my reaction of kind of hyperventilating and not being able to think straight when I saw the email that said she was following me was also totally understandable and reasonable.

Just so we're clear on that.


(I'm pretty sure that the only people that will really "get it" are the ones being followed by celebrities on Twitter like me, so I totally understand if you have trouble relating and I don't judge you or anything...)

Oh. Oh wow. Wow. Did you just hear that choir of angels? Because I kinda just had a revelation.

The fourth item just occurred to me and it just rocked my world.

4. The Bloggess is officially my celebrity crush!

Whoooooaaaa. This is HUGE.

This is important for several reasons.

First, I need to point out that this is a list within a list, and apologize for that fact, but I'm already past the deadline and it's Thursday and I'm tired so we're all going to have to deal with a little bit of messiness. Second, apparently, I like a celebrity who is hilarious. Third, I think it's important to note that the curlers in her hair on her homepage? Hot. (I'm not kidding.) Fourth, it is also important to note that while Wife's celebrity crush makes me feel insecure in ways that can only be described in mathematical equations and doggerel, MY CELEBRITY CRUSH IS ONLY A TWEET AWAY.

How d'ya like them apples, Wife?

(Wife is sane, and therefore she is currently asleep. But if she were awake, she would respond to that throw down much in the same way as when I ran downstairs like a 12 yr. old girl who talked to a boy for the first time and gushed, "The Bloggess is following me on Twitter!!!" And that response was "Oh, that's really cool, sweetie" uttered in such a tone of voice that it actually felt like the pat on the head that a 6-year-old might receive from his mommy after showing her the really cool rock he found outside which she couldn't really care less about, but which she could tell meant a lot to said little boy.

In fact, here's how the conversation would go, I'm pretty sure.

Me: I have a celebrity crush now that's not Julia Roberts circa 1993! It's The Bloggess!!! Do you feel threatened now?

Wife if she weren't sleeping: Hmmm? Sorry I couldn't hear you. I was too busy listening to Lionel Richie and thinking salacious thoughts.

Me: I said, I have a celebrity crush now. She's smart and pretty and she follows me on twitter and she's really really funny.

Wife if she weren't sleeping: Oh, that's simply adorable. You think grown-ups like you! You let me know if you get another "celebrity crush." They're the cutest dang thing I've ever heard of. Now go back to playing with your toys. Go on!

Yep. Looks like I have some pretty dynamite ammo for the next time Wife DVR's Lionel's appearance on an infomercial for "Cheesy, Romantic Songs of the 80's."

What a relief.

And finally, 5. I posted my first The Weed Wednesday Wrap-up on a Thursday Friday. Is anybody surprised by this? This is probably the suckiest idea in the history of blogs.

All right. Win some and lose some. At least I got a C.C. out of it.

Maybe better luck next week?

Or maybe I should never try this again.

Only time will tell!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Booger Paradox

Last night we were driving back from Portland (where we had Thanksgiving with my parents, which was very nice) when something tragic occurred.


I unintentionally sent my daughter, Anna, spiraling into the Booger Paradox (which isn't actually a paradox at all--more of a positive feedback loop--but who cares when it sounds so much more compelling to call it a paradox, and 67% of people aren't bothered when someone calls a positive feedback loop a paradox?)


How did I initiate the Booger Paradox?

I did it by being a man. A man who can't do hair.  And who physically assaults his daughter (not really. Please hang up with CPS and take a chill pill) thus making her bawl, thus causing boogers to come out of her nose which she finds really frustrating, which makes her cry more, which makes for more nose-running, which causes more crying, which causes more boogers, which causes even more crying... you see the paradox that's actually a positive feedback loop here, right? It's a vicious cycle of boogers and weeping.

Allow me to explain what happened.

Anna was in the back seat complaining that she couldn’t sleep because her ponytail prevented her from laying her head back comfortably. I offered to take it out of her hair for her because wife is driving.

Now, if Wife had been the one resolving this issue, it would have been seamless. She would have reached back, magically caressed Anna's head for a few moments, and Anna’s hair would have come cascading down around her face, ready to be comfortably slept on. Somehow, I got confused and forgot to factor in that I am not her, and indeed, possess a Y chromosome, thus rendering me incapable of such a feat, and also giving me the unfounded confidence that I could do this because, hey, I can do anything, right?

WRONG.

I confidently reached back, one-handed, and after tugging and pulling for approximately thirty-seven hours, I succeeded in making her look like she’d put her finger in a light socket--not only in that her hair now resembled a blown-up hay bale covered in stray strands of unsuccessfully removed rubber band, but also because she was obviously in as much pain as if she actually had been electrocuted. Also, she was bawling. And it was really sad.

As always: Father of The Century!

Triumphant soccer player kissing trophy

 I don't know how I do it, but I seem to win this award every couple of days or so. What an honor!

After begging her to let me try one more time, which she responded to by actually recoiling in fear even though she really wanted to trust me, I was finally able to remove the stray strands of rubber band I had gotten stuck all through her hair. Along with those pieces of rubber band came enough stray, broken hair to make a doll's wig.

I was not thanked for my efforts. Which is good, because more than anything I felt the urge to punch myself in the face.

(Aside: you might be wondering to yourself, “Hey, if The Weed is such a man’s man that a ponytail actually shrivels up into a ball of insane, nasty, mesh-like messiness at his mere touch, why wasn’t he the one driving home? Driving home is the man's job." Allow me to respond first by yelling defensively and masculinely “NUH UH!” and then by pointing out that men with body deformities like legally blind left eyes sometimes opt not to drive long distances on the freeway, which thing is NOBLE and LIVE-GIVING and is in every way chivalrous and, indeed, kind of courageous and awesome. Bet you wish you (or your husband if you’re a girl) had a blind eye so you (or he) could be as chivalrous as me, huh?) 

Anyway, as an unfortunate byproduct of my actions, Anna’s nose started running. So I got her a tissue. Then Anna started getting frustrated because her nose wouldn’t stop running. This frustration led to crying. Which led to more boogers. Which led to further frustrated tears. Then more boogers… you get the point.

Here. Here's a diagram of the complex process:

And thus it continues, potentially endlessly


In response to the B.P., the following conversation took place: 

Me: “Anna, if you keep crying about boogers, boogers will keep coming out of your nose.” 

Anna: *starts to cry harder, frustrated, and wipes nose furiously with tissue* 

Me: “See, sweetie? That crying you’re doing? That’s actually making more boogies come out of your nose.” 

Anna: *cries with even more frustration* 

Me: “What you’re going to have to do is wipe really well, then stop crying so that the boogies can all dry up. Here, blow your nose.” 

Anna: *sucks in.*

(Side note: Anna's never been able to blow her nose. She does learn new things every day, so I thought maybe nose-blowing was something they’d taught her in pre-school. You know, for her and all those other kids who also can’t exhale forcefully out of their nostrils on command.

I was incorrect.) 

Me: “No, see, you have to blow out.  Like this.” I exhale from my nose, trying dutifully not to jettison a boogie myself. “Try again.” 

Anna: *sucks in again and starts to cry very loudly with frustration*

At this point, the sweet, docile father-figure that knew he had caused the mess vanished, and instead I became an annoyed and frustrated parent ready to settle this immediately. I think I rounded out this delightful exchange with something really useful like “Anna! You’re just going to have to face it: either your stop crying, or the boogers will keep coming, and keep making you want to cry more! Just wipe once more, close your eyes, and go to sleep!”

Of course this induced more crying, thus more boogers/runny nose, thus more torture for all of us. At least for a little while


Teen girl blowing nose

 Is this girl experiencing the Booger Paradox? (Probably not. It appears that she can blow her nose.)

 Lessons learned: 
  1. I need to keep my freaking man hands to myself. Especially when it comes to hair.
  2. I need to research how to teach the skill of nose-blowing. 
  3. I need to not be a jerk about the Booger Paradox. Especially when I caused the inciting event.
 4. I deserve a prize for parenting. Clearly.


Eventually, as it turns out, my feeble and embarrassing efforts paid off. Anna was able to lay her head back and sleep soundly. And thus the cycle was stopped.


At least until the next time I decide I can help with her hair...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Celebrity Crush

Most marriages seem to have an unwritten rule where a partner can have an open, slightly comical celebrity crush on some random stranger who appears occasionally in the media. And when I say "most marriages," I mean "my marriage." And when I say "a partner" what I mean is "my wife."

That's right. Wife has a powerful celebrity crush. She's had it for many years..

Needless to say...

Did you get that? You should have. I didn't even need to say it. It was needless to say.

(FYI, what is up with that phrase???  "Needless to say" = accuracy FAIL.)

Okay, the thing that was needless to say, but that was actually needful to say because, as it turns out, you can't read minds, is I am maybe just a little bit insecure and I have a slight issue with Wife's celebrity crush.

One might assume that this was because her celebrity crush was some stallion-like super-hero of attractiveness that makes me insecure because of his sheer awesomeness..

This would be inaccurate.

Wanna know why her celebrity crush unsettles me a little and makes me wonder just a smidge about who I am as a person, a man, and a member of an ethnic group?

Here. Take a gander:

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: Lionel Richie performs during the Collingwood Magpies AFL Grand Final celebrations at AAMI Park on October 2, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images) 
                                                   Lionel Richie

This turtle-neck-wearing, crooning freak has stolen my wife's heart, and I don't know how to get it back, nor what to do with my self-respect knowing that I'm competing with a 60-year-old black man who looks like a mix between Geordi on Startreck and Julia Roberts.

Knowing this is the kind of man the most carnal parts of my spouse desires compels me to do a mental check-list comparing our features and attributes which always propels me into a spiral of depression and self-loathing.

Here's an example of how the thought process might go:

--Lionel is an amazing singer with a fantastic career and many awards to his name.
--The Weed has sung some songs in church. He once asked Wife if he should try out for American Idol. Wife pursed her lips, shook her head and said "Sweetie, I'm not sure that's for you..."

Lionel: 1
The Weed: 0

Lionel is freaking rich.
The Weed can barely pay for the breath of air he is currently breathing, and would be hard-pressed to purchase a bus pass and not have to put it on a credit card.

Lionel: 2
The Weed: 0

Lionel's daughter, Nicole, has been on TV for many years and used to be bff's with the likes of Paris Hilton.
The Weed's daughter only started watching TV two years ago and doesn't have a single friend who is named after a city.

Lionel: 3
The Weed: 0

The next one is the final nail in the coffin:

--Lionel is black. Wife loves black men and bites her lip visibly whenever a black man sings on any TV show. I'm pretty sure that secretly she wishes I were black. Or at least part black.
--The Weed is white like snow, and has no swagger, style, or cool-factor


Lionel: 1,000
The Weed: 0

Eventually I realize that I am making a comparison pro and con list about LIONEL RICHIE a guy whose prime was when I was six and who now resembles a human unicorn and who wears more scarves than any woman I know, and my self-confidence implodes, leaving my manhood and sense of self in a shambles.

And that's before I take into account the fact that I am losing badly.

Needless to say...

(Seriously, people. Did you not get that one?  COME ON! Why isn't this trick WORKING?)

Okay, this time instead of saying it in English, I'll express it in math. Because I'm so good at math.


AND IN WIFE'S EYES


THEREFORE


Isn't math awesome???

In conclusion, I wanted to point out that when I showed wife this post, she laughed and then said: "I feel like if you put up the song 'Do It To Me,' everyone will totally get where I'm coming from.  Mmmmm. So sultry!" (And yes, she was biting her lip as she said 'mmmm'.)

I think we should test this hypothesis:

The saxophone alone makes wife swoon. And me wish I'd played sax instead of violin.

So, do you totally get it now?

I know I don't.
 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

80's Movie Saturday--The NeverEnding Story (Or, why I should never, ever have been allowed to have children)

Do you have a four-year-old who is eerily drawn to the dark, scary, and sinsiter?

If not, you're really missing out.

My four-year-old is fascinated with stuff that might scare her as evidenced by the fact that for her night-time lullaby she prefers to watch Michael Jackson's Thriller (because there's nothing more soothing than watching a bunch of Zombies dance together in a dilapidated graveyard while their appendages fall to the ground.)

Turns out that this isn't enough for our future-Stephen-King-lover.

We kind of made a mistake.

Every morning when Anna gets up, either Wife or I is outside in the garage running on the treadmill. (Okay, I'll be really honest here and admit that I haven't run since Monday BUT THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE because I'm about to run right now. Outside. In November. Which counts for like 3 runs.)

Anyway, the point here is that when we're running on the treadmill we're watching the X-files, whose intro-music is creepy enough to give adults nightmares, and whose themes deal regularly with incest, extraterrestrials and psychosis.  So, probably not appropriate for Anna until she's at least five.

Here's the thing though. That creepy intro music and muffled discussion of alien private parts and what not? Anna hears it and she's drawn to it like a moth to a flame or like a meth-addict to a crappy apartment complex and is like "Can I watch, Daddy?  Please? Please?"

And I'm like "NO. That's too scary for you. Let's find something more kid-appropriate.

Like The NeverEnding Story."

 
Here is the music video which makes me feel nostalgic and filled with wonder.

So, today I decided to watch it with her.

As it turns out, the movie it is way better than I remembered and also totally inappropriate for 4-year-olds creepier than I remembered.

Oops.

Here's a really brief recap in case you've forgotten why you shouldn't show this to your toddler:

Bastion, the protag., gets lectured by his dad who makes a freaky concoction of orange juice and egg yolk which he actually blends and drinks in front of his child. Awkward.


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 20: A competitor eats a raw egg at a checkpoint during the 2010 Urban Max Series adventure race at Wentworth Park on November 20, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Participants competed in pairs of two and were challenged to reach predetermined checkpoints by solving riddles using only using only a mobile phone, map and cue sheet. Contestants could walk, run or take public transport but the use of cars, bikes or taxis meant instant disqualification. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Who doesn't enjoy a good raw egg? Or a good Salmonella infection?

Then, Bastion gets thrown in a dumpster.

Next, a probably predatory book-store owner shows him a book, Bastion steals the book, gets to school, and then decides instead of going to class to sit in a dark room with a fake skeleton and read the book.

The book happens to be about a dude/chick (perhaps a hermaphrodite?) named Atreyu who is asked to save his world, Fantasia, from The Nothing, which is this terrifying cloud thing that eats stuff.

So, he/she decides to do it instead of hunting Purple Buffalo.

It was about this point in the movie that Anna started asking questions. These questions helped to emphasize the extreme level of confusion (and damage?) I was inflicting upon my daughter by letting her see this film.

Things like:

"Why does that rock guy eat rocks?"

"Can some doggies fly?"

"What's her name?" (Referring to Atreyu, played by a male)

"Is that a fox or a wolf?" (Referring to G'mork, the main bad wolf guy that is now going to haunt my own nightmares (again), right before he fights with Atreyu and gashes a big flesh-wound into his/her chest (breasts?).)

"Why did he have blood on him?"

"Daddy can you die from a wolf?"

So, yeah. Nothing but wholesome family goodness in the The Weed household.

I think I should get the Father of the  Century award.

Oh, but one cool thing was that, just as the theme of the movie suggests, there were totally moments when the story was NeverEnding!

Like when Atreyu gets woken up by his/her horse and pets the horse and says "I know what you want, it's time to eat. Good idea!" in the voice of a 23 year old woman, and then it awkwardly cuts to Bastion who cheers like he's at the Superbowl and says "No, it's a GREAT idea" and then grabs an apple (which apple, if you'll remember, he devours whole, including the core, which I always thought as a kid was kind of bad-A. Nothing more tough than eating an apple core.).  At this exact moment, I couldn't help but continue the story by jumping up myself and saying, "No, it's a TRIPLE great idea" and then grabbing a can of sweetened condensed milk because it's Saturday which is my free day wherein I eat whatever crap I want, and I wanted sweetened condensed milk because it's literally dulce de leche that hasn't been boiled, and thus delicious.


(Do you see how that works? If you want the story to be NeverEnding, you must now say something like "No, it's a great idea times INFINITY!" and then get up and eat something yourself, and then document it somewhere like your journal or a $28 million budget film, so the story gets passed on and on and on, just like in the movie. If you don't do this, it is your fault that Fantasia, the storehouse of all dreams and fantasies, crumbles into nothingness.)


Dark clouds pass over downtown Miami, Florida August 15, 2010. An area of low pressure over southwest Georgia could move southward into Gulf of Mexico waters by early Monday and has a medium chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said on Sunday. The low pressure area was the remnant of Tropical Depression Five which dissipated on Wednesday in the Gulf. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is home to about 30 percent of U.S. oil production, 11 percent of natural gas production, and more than 43 percent of U.S. refinery capacity. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT IMAGES OF THE DAY)

If you don't get up right now, find something to eat, and document it, these clouds will eat you and your family alive. So, no pressure.

Anyway, right after this is when Atreyu's horse sinks into the Swamp of Sadness, which was so devastating to Anna and me both that I could no longer touch the can of sweetened condensed milk I was sipping from (because that's how I roll people, I drink sweetened condensed milk from the can. Don't knock it till you try it.)

In conclusion, the Darkness is coming. And we're all going to die because there's nobody on earth that can understand the actual name Bastion says melodramatically into the dark night when he's alone in the school surrounded by seance candles, which name utterance happens to be the only thing that can save us all.

Sorry about that.
__________________________________________________________________________________


Hey, guess what else Anna has been begging us to watch that I may or may not review next week because I am a horrible parent who lets his daughter watch movies way beyond her age? The Dark Crystal!!! (Fittingly, this was lent to us by our friend Crystal.)


Update: Anna just came up to me with a random book and said "Daddy, what is this book called?" I told her what it was called, and then she said "I wish we could find the book called The NeverEnding Story. Maybe we can go to the book store to try to find it because I really want the book called The NeverEnding Story."

Perhaps this means I didn't just ruin her life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stuff Happened! And I might have stumbled upon my calling in life!

Okay, first I'll tell my story about finding my new calling in life, then I'll tell you some good things that happened this week with my blog.

Go!

First: CAREER CHANGE? GRANTED.

Remember Steven A. Tersigni, my cousin who attempted a character assassination last week?

Well, yesterday he made me feel really good about myself (probably to assuage his guilt.) (Did you know in former times that that word was spelled asswage? I seriously cannot be the only person who finds this hilarious.)

How did he do this?

He gave me this Practice Quiz about human anatomy to try!

Guys. After 11 consecutive attempts to answer a question correctly, I got to this question:

What bony feature of the mandible can be used to find and palpate the facial artery?
Oblique line
Mental trigone
Angle
Premasseteric notch 


It was so easy! Are you confused? Well, let me explain it to you.

The answer couldn't be "oblique line" because as a writer I know that oblique means something along the lines of "indirect" or "unclear" or "anything uttered by Bill Clinton when discussing sexual relations." (ZING! Nothing burns worse than a joke hijacked from the 90's.)  It has nothing to do with the human body! So, duh, process of elimination, A is out.

Next, it was pretty obvious B was incorrect because I've never heard of a mental trigone and I'm actually pretty sure that no such thing exists. And I would know, because I am a mental health therapist, which pretty much makes me an expert on anything having to do with the word "mental." So, yeah, B is out.

As far as C goes, mandible reminds me of the word mandala, which always reminds me of ceramics for some reason, which relates to bone in that both are white materials. So obviously the answer can't be "angle" because that's geometry and has nothing to with bone or ceramics. C is clearly not the correct choice.

This leaves us with D. D is correct because all other answers have been ruled out through the process of elimination (and common sense). But, if you examine it, it's obviously the correct answer anyway because of the word "notch." As in, you can find and palpate the facial artery by locating the premasseteric "notch," much in the same way that you can find and palpate huge blobs of excess fat hanging over your pants after Thanksgiving by locating the "only notch that still works" in your belt. Or by "making a new notch in your belt" if none work.

(Wait, what? You've never had this happen? Woow. *paradigm shifts completely*)

So yeah, I think it's safe to say that I'm totally qualified to practice medicine now. Which is a huge relief, because now I can probably make some money. Maybe even enough to afford Trapper's Sushi which I recently tried for the first time and now understand is heaven in the form of raw fish.

Thanks Steven!

Next, here's a picture:

Is it weird that I can't handle publishing a post without a picture of some kind even if it has nothing to do with anything at all and I just clicked on basically the first picture I saw in my "photos" file?


Next, on to the three important things that happened to my blog.

1. I won a contest!!!

Specifically, for this post which I wrote to join the Writer's Platform Builder Crusade. I was very honored to win it (honestly). I was late to the game, and didn't think I stood a chance, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

As the winner, I was interviewed by the originator of the crusade, Rachael Harrie. You can find my interview here: WARNING: I talk a lot about writing and what I do as a writer and my process and current work and stuff. Click only if you're interested in seeing that. 

(Did the fact that I made that link really big make you more likely to click? Not my intention.)

2. I was featured as an editor's choice last Sunday on Bloggers.com!! (No, not Blogger.com. That's what happens to cool people. Bloggers.com is a blog catalog I signed up for that I'm pretty sure must be run out of Indonesia or something because all the emails I get from them are riddled with Engrish. (The email about being featured started with "Congratulation!" and ended with "regards Thank you,").) I have no idea what being featured means, if anything, but I am very flattered! (I mean that genuinely.) (Parentheses much? Sometimes I get so parenthetical I baffle myself.)

3. I wrote a guest post at another blog. It was random and very spontaneous, and it has to do with destiny. Click here if you want to read it. (Maybe I should make this one really big too?)(I hope that's not obnoxious. Sorry if it is. But this time the intention IS to persuade you to click.)

Oh, there are four. Four important things.

4. I ditched my old url and just signed up with joshweed.com because I realized when even Wife was like "Um, what is your blog address again? Inattentive-something-something?" that it just wasn't working. (Don't worry, inattentive-subtype.blogspot.com still takes you right here which should come as a great relief to the two of you who had that link bookmarked.)

That is all.

Here's another random picture.


You're welcome.