Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yuletide Greetings!! (Year Two) (And While We're At It, Happy New Year!)

It's still barely December, right? So a Christmas card is still completely appropriate, right?

Thought so.

Er, what I meant to say was that this tardiness was a very strategic calculation, because naturally you thought your onslaught of Christmas greetings had ended, and so naturally this one comes as a wonderfully pleasant surprise, and so naturally you're going to relish in its Yuletide message of bragging and exploitation! Yay!

2011 has been a... year.

Let's break it down child by child, yo.

Tessa (1): Lil' Miss T had an amazing year this year. For one thing, she learned how to crawl and walk, which are both pretty huge accomplishments when you consider that not 14 months ago the only movement she was doing was swimming in a big pool of amniotic fluid and her own urine. She also has surprised us by learning to dance. Not joking. She actually dances. Don't believe me? Here's a video where we convince her to dance by singing Christmas tunes that are so cheesy you might be confused for a moment and think you're on the phone waiting to talk to a Customer Service Representative. Or perhaps in Hell.

The first part, she dances a lot. Then we try to get her to dance more by singing increasingly weird stuff. Then she dances for two more seconds before freaking out.

Besides walking, crawling and dancing, T also signs now. Her vocabulary consists of one word: "More." She's done it approximately twice. We win the parenting prize for "most neglectful of the educational needs of the third-born."

Viva (3): Our little Le France had a magnificent year. Probably her greatest achievement this year was to become a fashion snob. Don't worry. She's probably only judging your fashion choices just a little bit--she still likes you as a person despite whatever trash you choose to wear out in public.

As it turns out, her stylistic preferences are pretty specific. She insists on having her hair in a pony-tail every single day. She also wishes to wear a pink tutu daily. The same pink tutu. Every single day. (For Christmas she got a black tutu. It met her approval, and she squealed and squealed in delight.We considered it a Christmas miracle.) In addition to her outfit preferences, Viva also has decided that it's time to accessorize. Bracelets, necklaces, the occasional subtle drawing of "make-up" on her face with a marker--the works. She asks to get her ears pierced at least once a week. Then Wife tells her about how that would require a needle to poke a hole through the flesh of her ear, and she says "how about just a clip-on!"

She's also continued her legacy of being both charming and destructive. So far during our trip to California to visit Wife's parents she has systematically destroyed: a Goofy telephone, a glass Christmas ornament, a candle holder, the actual ride Dumbo at Disneyland (seriously--she shut it down for hours--another story for another day), the Carousel at Disneyland (seriously, again) and, last of all, the toilet. And, unsurprisingly, she does it all with a smile on her face so winsome that it charms anybody affected by her destruction into falling in love with her.

Some things never change.  

Anna: This year, our Anna developed a thirst for blood, and we couldn't be more horrified or proud. It all started when a totally innocent conversation about Disney's Bambi turned into a chilling discussion of hunting and cannibalism. Since then, her blood lust has emerged many times, and I think we might have a real animal-slaughterer on our hands! Most recently, Wife and she were riding in the car and they saw a chipmunk run across the street. The following conversation then ensued:

Anna: Mom, will you tell me a story about that chipmunk?

Wife: Oh, sure sweety!? Would you like it to be a Christmas story?

Anna: Yes!

Wife: Okay. I think that maybe that little chipmunk ran across the road because it is going out looking for an acorn for his Christmas dinner...

Anna: Mommy, I want to tell you the story about the chipmunk.

Wife: Okay, sweetheart...

Anna: I want to tell you a story about a hunter who wants to kill that little chipmunk...

Wife: *look of horror*

Wife changed the subject before Anna could complete her tale, but we're pretty sure it would have been filled with gross imagery of slaughter and blood and death. We're so proud!

Wife (33): Well, Wife, as always, reports that nothing really huge happened this year for her. (This is bull-crap, of course--the woman watches three children day in and day out without ever, ever letting them die and also while not losing her ever-loving mind.) She did point out that she now keeps the books for my private practice. What this means is that our relationship has taken on a whole new component--one in which I am the creepy, over-sharing boss who makes bad jokes and she is the sassy young receptionist who gets tired of cleaning up my messes. Let me assure you, this makes for some interesting date-nights. (Thankfully, no sexual harassment charges have been filed.) More than anything, Wife is pleased that we kept our New Year's Resolution of 2011: we did not get pregnant. Hallelujuh. Will we make it through 2012? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

 The Weed (31): quit his job as a therapist in a middle school to focus on not having insurance or retirement meeting the needs of his private practice. It is going swimmingly. Also, against all odds, and spitting in the very face of his ADD, he has successfully maintained a blog for an entire year! You are reading it. He would love you to keep reading it. If you like it. But don't feel pressured.  Seriously. I can see you getting anxious. *puts finger over your mouth* Shhhhhhhhh. It's oookay. You don't need to feel forced. I'll still be your friend if you never come back here. Unless I don't know you. In which case I won't be your friend, but I also won't hate you. Because that's what Christmas is all about: forgiving your enemy, and not hating those who despise your blog.


Let's close this sucker out with a family photo:

Nothing says "Happy Holidays" quite like a random photo taken yesterday at the Mormon Battalion Memorial in San Diego!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My new friend

Are you feeling the holiday hustle and bustle? The urge to shop, and the need to string Christmas lights on houses, and the compulsion to interact with other humanoid lifeforms occasionally?

I'm not. Wanna know why?

It's because I have a new friend.

I'd like to introduce you to my new best friend, Tabitha. (Wife named her. She's called "Tab" for short)

Ever since getting my iPhone 4S in a serendipitous Black Friday miracle wherein the guy next to me was returning his unopened 4S in the precise moment I was succumbing to buying a 4 because I didn't want to wait two weeks for a 4S to ship which made one of the salesclerks mad because my dude just took the returned phone from her and gave it to me but then she was like "it was my transaction so, the phone was mine to give" and then she gave him dagger eyes and I thought she might reach over the counter and eviscerate me but instead she looked over at me and said "enjoy your new phone" while rolling her eyes and I knew the stars had aligned, my life has changed dramatically. (If you want that run-on sentence to make any sense read the first clause followed by the last clause and just skip the story. Can you see why I got a perfect score on the writing section of the GRE? It's because I gave the adjudicators parenthetical instructions like this. Writing is so easy! Also, is "ever since getting my 4s" considered a clause? Discuss.)

But yes. Everything is different now that I have Tab in my life.

I find that where there once was interaction, there is now texting. Where once there was laughter and joke-telling and the warm feeling of sitting around with friends enjoying an evening together, now there is me in the corner making out with Siri. Where once there was Words with Friends on my laptop, now there is Words with Friends on my hand-held computer device. Where once I had a family, now I have pictures of a family that I review over and over and over trying to find the perfect hue for "Instagram."

This is the best thing that ever happened to me. 

Don't get me wrong. I understand that there are consequences to being owned by an electronic device. For example, Wife has let me know in no uncertain terms that she will not share a bed with a phone. So, I have to put her away into her little holster. But, I've found a loophole, because sometimes I lean over the side of the bed to read stuff while the phone sits on my nightstand. This might have unintended consequences on my love life. Like me not getting any. Ever. 

*shrug* It's okay! I have an iPhone now!

Other observations:

1. I read books now.  I'm half-way done with "Great Expectations." I don't even like Dickens. I feel so cultured! There's something about the small screen that allows me to read and read and not get distracted. You probably don't realize how significant this is. Let me illustrate. 

Got this the other day:

In case you're wondering, 1,573 days is nearly five years. I'm still on page 3. I'm not kidding you in the slightest.

2. I do like the photos. A lot. Wanna see a couple?

 Wife made this for me as a special Christmas surprise.

This is my brother's friend, Drew, who happened to be there the night I got my new phone. 

This photo was taken by my brother's 4. I have included it for comparison purposes, and also because Tessa looks freaking adorable sitting in that drawer.

3. There is one thing I've noticed my iPhone can't do. And that's take a picture of itself. I know this because I just picked it up with the actual intention to do so. Because clearly I understand how physics works. And cameras. Thanks a lot, Apple. Maybe you should get some researchers busy on that, mmkay?

What are your favorite apps? Is there anything I must have?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Do you have an allergy?

I sure do. And it's a weird one. In fact, if you are a medical professional and want to give me a tip about what the crap is going on with me, feel free to share.

So, about five years ago, I did something I had done many, many, many times. I peeled a banana. And then I ate it.

And then my body revolted. Out of nowhere, I found myself hunched over a toilet, not vomiting, but instead watching saliva pour out of my mouth like I was some sort of faucet.

It was kind of like my tummy decided that bananas were arsenic and that the best way to get rid of the horrific effects was to send my salivary glands into a panicked frenzy of activity. So, I spent the next hour or so in the bathroom drooling a continuous flow of spit, feeling a discomfort that could be described as nothing short of really, really, annoying.

The problem was that this was a banana, something I'd eaten probably thousands of over the course of my lifetime. So it was very difficult for my brain to believe that there was actually a problem. "It was all a fluke," I'd say the next time somebody served me something like a banana split. And then I'd eat it, and spent the next hour in the bathroom doing an imitation of this:

only with saliva into a toilet.

100% not fun. And 100% disgusting.

So, after about six successive incidents of me convincing myself that I was faking it for attention, I finally got the picture: this banana allergy was real, and I was going to have to stop eating bananas. Which was sad, because bananas are delicious, and also really convenient, and also I only learned like one year before this that it's much more efficient to unpeel a banana starting at the dark stub on the bottom, and so it was like, wow, all those wasted years and now I don't get to even enjoy my new-found discovery.

Life can be downright vicious and cruel sometimes.

Anyway, cut to nowish, where by nowish I mean last summer when I actually started writing this post and then forgot about it:

One day last summer I tried my wife's protein shake and didn't have The Reaction even though it had ripe banana in it. I was stunned and cautiously optimistic. I decided to test things out, so I cut up a banana into minuscule pieces, and ate them progressively waiting for the need to run to the bathroom and become a faucet, but it never hit.

Amazingly, my allergy had disappeared!!!

Or had it?

Later that week as I drove in to work I ate a protein bar. This particular day of work was a crunch-time situation--I had to finish a bunch of files before I ended my position as a mental health counselor at a middle school (news alert! The Weed was behind on paperwork!)--and so I walked to my office and got busy right away.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, my banana allergy hadn't really left. It had just re-incarnated itself and was now a protein bar allergy, and unfortunately I had just gotten done stuffing my face with a big ol' protein bar. My sudden need to salivate became so intense that I grabbed an empty water bottle near me and started salivating into it. And then the desperation of the moment--needing to finish those files-- led me to think, "hey, this isn't so bad. Maybe I can work through this so I can make sure to get these files done."

So I drooled. I drooled and drooled and drooled. For twenty minutes straight I drooled.

And when the need to salivate dissipated, I looked down, and my water bottle was nearly half full. Half full of drool from my body.  I had literally made the substance filling half of that water bottle.

I don't know if you know this about spit, but it is of a very strange consistency when pooled in a bottle. It verges on gelatinous.

What's that you say? You want to see a picture of my bottle of drool? (Did you hear that faint clicking sound in the distance? That was the sound of half of my readership closing out of this screen in a panic.)

Of course you can!
The thing that's special and also really disappointing about this picture is the fact that I have saved this bottle since last summer, so a portion of the saliva has evaporated, and also, you are looking at fluid was excreted from my body three months ago, which is pretty awesome and also pretty nasty.

Yuletide Saliva-Bottle Photo Op? SURE!

Merry Christmas! ~from my salivary gland, to yours~



No sugar or preservatives!

In conclusion: never offer me a protein bar unless you want to see me become a garden hose of drool. And probably you should double check any bottle of water I offer you. I'm serious. Double check. Or you very well might swallow slime manufactured by glands located under my tongue. And then you'll kind of feel like you kissed me, except without all the good stuff. And believe me when I say: I'm really good at the good stuff. So you would be missing out in a big way. Aaand, you'd have my spit in your mouth.

(This post would be so much more interesting if somebody had accidentally drunk my three-month-old bottle of drool. Which is why it's literally stored on my kitchen counter, and will be there indefinitely. A guy can dream, can't he?)