Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Low-cut jeans

Christmas was good. I'd post the photos, but I forgot to put the data card into my camera on Christmas morning, and I'm too lazy to rummage through the hundreds of computer cables to find the one that downloads images from the camera when you've forgotten to load the data card.

So instead, here's a picture of me in my new low-cut jeans, which I got at Macys' after-Christmas sale.

(Disclaimer: images on this blog may be graphically enhanced and/or feature body doubles.)

Jennifer and I went shopping together--which itself could be considered kind of a gift to her--and we both got new jeans. Because we are old, we are jean-culturally illiterate. If this were 1981, for example, I would know that she should get Calvin Kleins or Jordache, and I should get Levis, and straight legs are IN, and maybe on the way out of the store I'd be offered a free sample of Paco Rabanne.

(It was in 1981 that I discovered that Brut cologne is considered extremely uncool among the sorority scene. But I digress.)

So it's 2008, and neither Jen nor I have a clue. Is Baby Phat a hip brand? Are white women allowed to wear them? (Jen ultimately opted for a pair of Rocawear jeans, with a big cursive "R" on the butt, which looks remarkably similar to the Jordache "J," if you ask me.)

To play it safe, I went for the Levis. But when I got home I discovered that they're low-cut, so they feel like I'm wearing a thong, or a pair of extra-small Speedos (yikes, another flashback). So I've spent the past few days getting used to them, and hiking them up every 15 minutes or so.

But, as you can see, they look pretty good on me, so I'm sticking with them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

5 scariest experiences known to man

5. Swimming with sharks in the Bermuda Triangle
4. Conducting a seance at the Amityville Horror house
3. Running through the streets of Islamabad shouting anti-Muslim epithets
2. Shopping at Toys'R'Us on the Saturday before Christmas
1. Shopping at Macy's on the Saturday after Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

Double Wrestling Injury

Ethan and I were wrestling on the bed, and somehow we got tangled up and toppled over the edge and both landed right on our heads. We both bonked hard, and I was immediately concerned that Ethan was really hurt, because I knew I'd cracked my head pretty good. Jen and Samuel came rushing in, and Jen went to grab ice packs from the freezer. Meanwhile, I reached up and touched my forehead and realized I was bleeding. Ethan became hysterical, concerned that we both might be bleeding to death.

Apparently we didn't have two ice packs in the freezer, because Jen came back with one ice pack and one frozen package of ravioli, which she applied to Ethan's head. Mine stopped bleeding long enough for us to determine that the cut itself was fairly small but that I'd managed to scrape off the top layer of skin from a wide swath of my forehead. Ethan had a small bump but was otherwise okay. No neck trauma. Jen said something about breaking the fall with my head, and Ethan started giggling.

We recuperated together for a few minutes, then Ethan requested ravioli for dinner.

Christmas Tree

The problem with the $30 trees at the corner deli is that they start turning brown about 15 seconds after you pay the deli guy. Then you not only feel like an idiot, you also feel like a bad father--like the Grinch--for being so cheap that you bought your family a brown Christmas tree.

This year we splurged on a $75 tree. We bypassed the corner deli and went to Zingone Brothers vegetable market on Columbus. They specialize in vegetables, and since a tree is basically a very large vegetable, we trusted their expertise.

They did not disappoint. It is, in fact, much, much nicer than a $30 tree. It reaches almost all the way to the ceiling, it has no glaring missing patches, and--best of all--it has actually remained quite green thus far.

The moral of this story is that the true spirit of Christmas cannot be bought for $30. It costs $75, and it is well worth it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

College Discussion

Todd: What are you going to do with the money you made from your toy sale?

Ethan: Probably save it. Maybe for college. Even though I'll probably hate college just like I hate school.

Todd: I have a secret for you. I didn't like school either, but I liked college. I think you will too.

Ethan: Why?

Todd: No one tells you what to do. You can stay up as late as you want. And when you're in college you don't have to have a job and go to work every day.

Ethan: Is that why you stayed in college until you were about 30?

Todd: You're a smart boy.

Samuel is home

Samuel was gone for two nights on a class trip to Washington, DC. It's the first time he's been gone for two nights. The first night, Ethan cried because he was lonely watching TV by himself, and when he went on the computer to play Dragon Fable he couldn't figure out how without Samuel's help.

The second night, I yelled at Ethan for throwing his shoe in McDonalds, and he just kind of withered and puckered up his face and the tears came again. He hadn't cried in quite awhile--and hadn't acted up in awhile, either--and I think it was all related to Samuel being gone.

When Samuel came home Friday night we put both boys to bed and Ethan told Samuel how much he missed him. Samuel climbed into Ethan's bed and hugged him for a few minutes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Total Drama Island

Ethan would like me to inform you that Owen won "Total Drama Island." He is jumping up and down and running through the apartment like a madman.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dear Tae Kwon Do gym people

First, thanks for teaching my son Ethan Tae Kwon Do. It has helped him focus, which keeps him from spinning completely off the planet and into outer space.

Second, yes, I agree, the ancient art of Tae Kwon Do is amazing, even mystical. Yes, the way the kids shout things out in unison, do their dance-like moves, kick and hit each other with knives and bamboo poles...all really cool.

In fact, I'd say I'm willing to sit through a good 15--no, 20--minutes of it at the graduation ceremony in order to see Ethan break a board and receive his purple belt.

But after--let's go crazy and say 45 minutes--we were kind of planning to go to brunch, then go home and take the dog out, do laundry, take our other son to a birthday know, non-Tae Kwon Do-related activities. We were kinda thinking that a kids' Tae Kwon Do graduation ceremony would only take up a portion of the day.

Long story short, it occurs to me that maybe I just haven't mastered the ancient art of Patience. I am wondering if you have one of those yoga-type meditation classes? Maybe a 15-minute one? With a really short graduation ceremony?

Saturday, December 6, 2008


#1 ranked Iowa beat #2 ranked Iowa State in front of 16,000 fans--the largest dual wrestling meet attendance in history. It was a dead-even match-up on paper: 5 matches to 5. Iowa State scored the first upset at 133, but Iowa followed with upsets at 141 and 165 to secure the victory.

I was, um, at a Christmas party playing "Trouble" with 7-year-olds and a Labradoodle at the time.

Hey, priorities change.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Strangers May Cheer You Up, Study Says

From the NYT:

In fact, said his co-author, James H. Fowler, an associate professor of political science at University of California, San Diego, their research found that “if your friend’s friend’s friend becomes happy, that has a bigger impact on you being happy than putting an extra $5,000 in your pocket.”

Where do I sign up for this experiment?