Friday, September 29, 2006

Friends Who Have Different ‘Rules’ With Their Kids

What do people do? We’re not the type of people who just throwaway years of friendship with people who we don’t agree with on their parenting skills.
We saw some friends recently who both have 2 kids each. These friends are a few years older than my wife and I but nonetheless the kids are 6 and under. We’ve known these people for nearly 10 years and quite honestly we really like them. They’re fun and interesting people. One of couples (I’ll call ‘Jack and Diane’ to protect the identities) among them has amazing parenting skills. My wife and I still don’t know how they’ve managed to raise a remarkable young kid (My theory; I think the child could be a robot that her husband built in the garage out of car parts and spare computers, just like that TV show “Small Wonder”… But that’s just me.) Jack and Diane live a distance away and we see them maybe once every year or two. When we do, the wife and I always talk about how much we would like them to move back.

Then there are the other friends (We’ll call “Peg and Al” to protect their identities) and their children. One who is “bizzarro-girl” to Jane and Jack’s kid. This kid is a total freak and acts like she’s been raised by wolves and feeds on Pixie Sticks and deep-friend Sweet-Tarts. Constant whining, running off, yelling…(agh!). When she starts up I want to jump in a box, then mail myself to New Zealand. Her mom just goes along with it offering bribes and more junk food (and this girl doesn’t need any more junk food, she’s practically my weight). Diane has to tell “bizzarro-children” things like “Can you please say “Thank You””, “No, people don’t eat trash off the floor”, “It’s not nice to beat your mom with a stick...” all while Peg just shrugs it off. Diane shouldn’t have to do that, Peg should! I wonder what Peg says about Diane’s kids; how can she not notice the extreme difference in the outcome of their kids? I just don’t know and it drives me crazy!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Night At “Cirque du Soleil: DELIRIUM”

Last night we left our daughter with the sitter and went to see their new show down at the Staples Center. We didn’t even know they were in town until our friends, Steve and Rick, went to the big “star-studded” (well, “D” and “E” level -people from Reality Shows and Kato Katlin) premiere last week. Usually Cirque du Soleil shows are advertised a lot more and we plan months in advance, this one wasn’t. Or maybe the ads were on TV (we rarely watch TV these days).
What made this show really weird was that it was inside the arena, and not in the usual “chic” tent setup in the parking lot. One thing about Sports arena’s, they’re definitely not classy places. It smelled like stale beer and they sold nasty Hot Dogs, Nacho’s with fluorescent yellow cheese and $11.75 bottles of domestic beer (Domestic! Would you believe? That should be illegal).

Anyhow, inside, the stage was setup like a catwalk right in the middle of the audience, with two big boxes on each side. And they used lots of amazing projections and scrims (thin see-through material) with performers behind them most of the time. Visually the show was amazing (like ‘eye-crack’)! I really like Cirque’s use of colors, costumes, eerie music, and “freakshow” human performers. Although this one had less acrobats and contortionists, it was more about the incredible projections and dancers. Ironically, this shows chorographer is one of the judges from “So you think you can Dance” (the wife loves that show).
Some things did bother me though, for instance the African modern dancer in a thong (why? I don’t need to see the guy’s ass - but some French chorographer thinks I do), the opening act singer Nitza, whose opening songs were very good, but then turned all weird with some latin/pop/club sound. Oh, and they didn’t have the audience clowns (street performers, that you avoid) before the show – which is a Cirque du Soleil staple. Although they made up for that by throwing large white beach ball balloons out into the audience at the end.
Another observation was that there were a lot of small kids (toddler-aged) that were brought to the show. The sound was so loud there was no way of hearing them. I think we’re going to wait awhile before bringing our daughter to one (maybe until she’s at least in 1st grade and can sit still.)

Overall I liked the show. After every Cirque du Soleil I always just say something to my wife like “Wow! That was really freakin’ weird. But in a cool way”. Or “Canadians are more French that I thought.”
I can honestly say this, Cirque du Soleil is definitely good at surprises, because every show we’ve been to, we just don’t know what to expect.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Don't Know Spanish, But My 14-Month Does

My daughter is picking up a lot of Spanish words from her sitter these days. She’s begun to use lots of English words (“No!” being a big one) but sometimes she just starts saying things that just sounds a lot like babble to my wife and I. But it's not; our sitter has informed us that she's using Spanish words (which we...or "I" of course don't know). This scares me a little. I don't mind her learning another language like Spanish (it’s now essential living here in Southern California) that's all “coolio” with me - my fear is this:

I don't want to be somewhere (store, mall, Canada) with my daughter, when she's 4 or 5 years-old, chatting or laughing in Spanish to some stranger while I'm just standing there, smiling like cousin Balki from Perfect Strangers.

He could be plotting to kidnap her or directing jokes at me and I wouldn’t even know it. He could be talking to my daughter about jumping into his van for ice cream and ride's on princess pony’s or about my ‘big pore’ problem and I would just stand there smiling like an idiot. That scares me.
Maybe I can do something about this…possibly watch Dora or that cheesy Playhouse Disney show "Manny and the gringo talking tools" and learn how to say things like “Monkey, bring my banana hammer here, por-fa-vor?”

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Strippers With ‘Daddy-Issues’ AND The ‘New’ Updated Blogroll

I never did get around to those Breakdancing lessons. The closest thing to it was our friend demonstrating the correct way to ‘Roger Rabbit’ at a dinner party we had on Saturday night. People sure love to show off their 80’s moves when you get a little alcohol in them.

Over dinner a strange topic came up that had me in deep thought for the rest of the weekend. When I lived in Newport Beach (Balboa) just after college I had two roommates that were 'dancers' -code name for strippers (which was very cool at the time for a ‘non-frat’ guy just out of Art School), and 2 neighbors were also…. nuns! Just kidding, strippers but at different places (no turf wars going on in Orange County). The novelty wore off after a few days when I discovered all of them had major problems – and they had plenty, and they liked to talk about them, a lot. Especially to each other, they had an odd- support style ‘AA’ group going on. But the conversations always came back to their Dads. None of them had involved fathers; they all had some kind of ‘Daddy-Issue’ (not involved, didn’t care/no rules, worked way too much, dad ‘walked-out’) which to them was a HUGE reason why they were careless, dated ‘married old-guys’, lived the ‘life of the pole’, etc. They just didn’t care and they were either looking for a Sugar Daddy to save them or were getting back at their Fathers.

I hadn’t thought, or even talked, about that part of my life in years, but now (as a Dad of a girl) revisiting this completely freaks me out.
Do you realize how much influence a Dad has on his daughter? A whole freakin’ lot! If there’s anything that a Dad fears the most, it’s his daughter doing any of that. It just makes me sick, and more that likely every other father too.
Moms - don’t believe me? Ask your husband. I can bet he would much rather have his daughter say she were pregnant by the school janitor and moving to Chico than her working down at the “Star Kitty Club”.

I swear, I feel more and more like Tony Danza from that movie “She’s Out Of Control”.

On a happier note - I finally updated my Blogroll to the right. There were a few that needed to go (people who haven’t updated their Blog since last year.) And of course lots of additions of “cool peeps". If I forgot you and you link to me, shoot me an email or comment.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Teaching My Daughter How To Breakdance

I'm not sure if anybody has tried to teach a 14 month-old this, but I'm up for the challenge after seeing this video gem. I'm on a mission.

Looks like I'll be busy this weekend.

By the way - I'm updating my outdated Blogroll (I've been really bad about it). If you link to me, please let me know either by email or comment.

Now it's time to get jiggy.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It’s NOT 'A Facial', It’s A 'MEN’s Facial' (And Midgets!)

So my wife and I had dinner with another married couple recently - close friends that we’ve known for awhile. Guy friend and I are talking “L.A. guy” stuff like movies, vacations, weird people at work who dress funny, ‘how cool would it be if Jessica Alba worked at Hooters’, etc. and then the conversation goes into something like this (paraphrasing, of course):

Guy Friend: So I got this really great Facial recently at this place call ‘Peaches and Cream’

Me: What chou talkin’ bout, Willis!?! You mean like with Jello puddin’ on your face and cucumbers on your eyes….like what chicks do?

Guy Friend: No, no. Not like that, it’s a Men’s Facial…and let me tell you… It was heaven(!)

Me: …a “Men’s Facial” at a place called “Peaches and Cream”??? I don’t get it, what constitutes this as a “Men’s Facial”…do they smear your face with motor oil, rinse with micro-brew beer, and then slap your face to moisturize…?

Guy Friend: No, no. They use ‘organic’ oils from exotic places like Las Vegas, and creams from endangered plants in the rainforest…(blah, blah, blah…)…you should try it; it’ll help you. You have BIG pores…

Me: ((“big” pores…..I do?))

Guy Friend:
…and then there’s this place nearby where they do the best massages. They have these Thai midget women that jump on your back and like scream or dance….whoa-oh! And let me tell’s heaven!

Me: Midgets, you say?

And the whole time the wives are talking about babies or something like that, totally ignoring us. I’m ambivalent about this ‘Facial’ thing, but the angry Thai midgets jumping on my back sounds like something definitely worth checking out. At least once.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wanting To Learn Something New And Actually Doing It.

Not too long ago while eating dinner or playing with my daughter, out of the blue, I told my wife I wanted to learn the “Art of Animal Ballooning” (or its latin name "twisting"). When she asked “Why?” I said “Just because”. She’s use to this kind of thing.

I get these random urges to do whatever looks interesting and to stretch, as Napoleon Dynamite calls it, my “skills”. Be it learning to play a banjo, cave repelling, doing a gallery show, or even making balloon animals.
Once I think about it, the idea brews and then I’ll likely try to find a way to do it.
When I die (in the year 2186 after cryogenic freezing) I don’t want to say, “I wish I did (whatever), and now I’ll never get the chance again” just before an asteroid slams earth or technological superior aliens destroy the human race.

I did get my Balloon Making Kit, they sell them online of course under Magician or Clown supplies, and then started with a Level 3 dog (In my mind, Level 1 is for people with missing thumbs and lungs). I followed the directions intently, concentrated and then my wife showed up and joined me in the balloon makin’ fun. In about 5 minutes she had a perfect dog, in fact it looked even better than the picture. My dog looked like it was hit by a mail truck – twice.
My wife put her dog on the fireplace mantle and left the room. My dog ‘accidentally’ popped. That was the end of my dream of becoming a professional ballooner.

If anybody has suggestions for odd skills that don’t involve animals or balloons, I’m asking.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My List of Top 10 Television Characters

I’ve been “tagged” again for one of these Meme’s, this time by Mrs. Chicky. This was a tough one, how could I choose only ten?

Here we go (in no particular order):

1. “Arnold Jackson” from Diff-Rent Strokes (Gary Coleman): You know that one popular cheesy line “You had me at hello” from some sappy 90’s movie, well mine is “What chou talkin’ bout!” Something about Arnold’s obnoxious comeback lines to Mr. Drummond still brings a smile to my face even when the weather is bad or if I’m stranded on La Cienega with a flat tire south of the 10 freeway. Maybe it’s because of his fascination with trains (And I don’t even like trains).

2. Samuel 'Screech' Powers from Saved By The Bell (Dustin Diamond): No other nerd character will ever come close, ever! He even went out with Tori Spelling on a few episodes. Urkel can never beat that.

3. “Adrian Monk” from Monk (Tony Shalhoub): I swear, this is my brother. Well, not really, but very close.

4. “Pee-Wee Herman” from Pee-Wee's Playhouse (Paul Reubens): I not only liked him in his TV show, but also in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (my favorite movie of all time). The guy is just weird and very creative. I met him once at a party (he was completely stoned) and thought I was related to Charo, I said "Yes", and I would tell her he said hello the next time I saw her on the Love Boat.

5. “Michael Scott” from The Office (Steve Carell): He reminds me of so many people I know. It’s scary, when I laugh on the outside, I cry a little on the inside.

6. “Rose Nylund” from The Golden Girls (Betty White): That Rose tells the best stories about that little town she grew up in. If Snow White grew up, she would be Rose.

7. Author “The Fonze” Fonzarelli from Happy Days (Henry Winkler): When I was a kid, I had a Fonze big wheel (I loved that big wheel until my Dad ran it over in the driveway). He was cool, not only with the ladies, but his office was a bathroom and he could start a jukebox just by pounding it with his fist. I still hit jukeboxes with my fist hoping one day one would play.

8. Sergeant “B.A.” Baracus from The “A” Team (Mr. T):
B.A. knew how to bring justice to all them fools. He made big guns and grenade launchers from spare tires and drove a van that could drive over helicopters all while shining his gold chains and sipping ice-cold lemonade.

9. “George Costanza” from Seinfield (Jason Alexander): I watch the reruns of this show and it gets funnier with time.

10. “Michael Knight” from Knight Rider (David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff):
It’s the chest hair. It has magical powers to make citizens arrests, sing cover songs from the 60’s that make Germans wet their Lederhosen, to make a Trans Am go faster than 65 mph without overheating, and then later to become a lifeguard boss to Nicole Eggert and Pamela Anderson. Just proves to me that you don’t need talent, just chest hair, a fake deep voice, and a smile that says “Ladies, how ya’ doing?”.

I'm tagging Junebee and Waya...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sketches of My Daughter

Since more than a few people have asked me, I’ve decided to post some ‘life’ ink sketches I’ve done of my daughter from my sketchbook. I’ve been drawing her since she was 3 days old (as an artist it’s really hard not to) She has the cutest cheeks, round chubby legs, rolls everywhere, arms with the dimples, etc. Sometimes it feels as if I’m sketching a baby ‘Stay-Puff’ marshmallow man. Now, at 14 months, those features are slowing going away.

I’m going to start these with somewhere in the beginning. When my daughter use to sleep 90% of the time. I would just stare at her…and draw, thinking about everything from my new life as a Dad to her future (one day possibly as an artist, or as a adult crayon eater).

Friday, September 15, 2006

Goldfish Tragedy At The Petco

Last night while performing the “feed the dog” ritual I discovered the dog was out of food. I knew this day was coming, I feed him everyday and see the food bin getting low, but I always forget until the day of. So like all other times, I rush down to Petco a few minutes before they close.
While standing in line with the other Dads and their bags of pet food, this one Dad and his little girl come walking in just before the doors are locked. The little girl is holding a zip-lock bag with an upside-down goldfish to the cashier:

“Cindy-Brady” 5 year old: Uh, Uh, my wittle goldfish ‘Princess Weetah’ …(whimper, whimper, whisper)….my waddy bought her westerday and she won’t wake wup.

Petco worker hippie-surfer guy: (to Dad) Do you want your $1.07 back…

Blonde “Mike Brady” Dad: Can we get another one?

Petco worker hippie-surfer guy: That’s cool. You could have flushed it down the toilet or thrown it in the trash and just brought the receipt. (Beavis and Butthead chuckle)

“Cindy-Brady” 5 year old: (gasped with horror and tears) Wha?! Wha?! Nooooooo!!

Dad covers little girls’ ears and then hugs her.

This Petco guy is on crack, I'm totally convinced. Everytime I go there his hand is in the reptile cage - that's why I know. Only people on crack do that kind of thing. As for the kid and her Dad, I was thinking -- would you really go through the trouble of scooping up and sticking $.99 dead goldfish in a zip-lock bag and taking it back? Probably not me.
I thought about how I would have approached this situation, because I’ll likely be in the same position one day. To me it’s a learning moment.
My approach: flush the dead fish before my daughter sees it and run to buy a new one. OR tell her the fish is taking a really long nap OR getting a suntan and the reason why the bowl is turning brown - because of all the suntan lotion.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

5 Weird Things About Me

Thank Mel for this - she's the one who "tagged" me. Like if there are only "5" things weird about me. (She should no better…)

(Big Breath)
Here we go:

1. I have a strange fascination with midgets or the politically correct term ‘little people’. Not to make fun of them, but I just think it would be cool to hang out with them (did you know some are in bands!) I may tell people I want to dress them up like Care Bears with 80’s hair band logo’s on their stomachs and go Trick or Treating with them; but I really wouldn’t do that. I just think they’re very interesting.

2. I still think David Hasselhoff is really cool ever since I was a kid. Knight Rider was my favorite show – the car, the “Knight Industries”, Bonnie. Maybe it’s the talking car or all the chicks he surrounded himself on Baywatch. Maybe it’s the chest hair. If I had chest hair like that, maybe I could be a movie star too. One could only dream.

I went to a Michael Bolton Concert once with “Special Guest” Kenny G. My ears bled the first hour (It was all for a woman of course – the things guys put up with…). Afterwards I didn’t think it was that bad because Michael Bolton had a K-Mart fan on stage so it could blow his mullet (long hair) back while he bent down to sing “I Thought I Loved You, But I Lied”. I thought that was a nice touch.

4. I had lunch with Debbie Gibson years ago. If I would have showed some “cleavage” maybe I would be Mr. Debbie Gibson now.

I absolutely HATE the Beatles. I had a roommate for years while in college who swore they could cure cancer or feed stray animals just by playing their music loud. I don’t care what people say; I think the Olsen Twins have more talent. Exception – Paul McCartney duets with Michael Jackson. I’m not sure why that is.


6. If I’m flipping through the cable channels and I come across “Saved By the Bell”, “Golden Girls”, “Full House”, I’ll stop and watch. I think Screech, Rose, and Kimmy Gibbler are all the same people just in different stages of life. It drives my wife crazy when she could be watching "real" shows like "Law and Order: SUV" (yes, I know I called it SUV and not SVU).

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 – Has It Really Been 5 Years?

This day always creeps me out every year since 2001. Maybe because I remember it so clearly just everything that happened that day in great detail – turning on the TV, my wife and I completely horrified, the freeways empty. Coming into work, TV’s brought out into the halls and turned on in the conference rooms. No planes flying in the sky. Everything outside seemed really quiet. I remember calling a close friend in New York since he worked down near Times Square and finally getting a hold of him – I can remember that conversation.

Today, the security is beefed up and everything is quiet. Nobody really says anything but you can tell they’re all thinking the same thing.
I saw that ‘controversial’ Path to 9/11 movie last night, although I know the thing was a docu-dram or dramatization, or whatever they’re calling it, but it still was frightening all the same.

I wonder if this day will ever loose its significance after a generation or two just like December 7, 1941 (the day Pearl Harbor was bombed). It likely will, I just hope the world is a much different place by then.

Friday, September 08, 2006

“No” Means “No!” (And ”Yes!”)

Whoever taught my 14-month old the word “NO!” should be shot. Twice. And it better hurt. A lot.
I swear, she sings “NO! NO! NOOOOOOO!!!”, she yells “NO! NO!” she even whispers “no”. Its like she knows it's irritating my wife and I and loves it. She’ll even say “NO” even when she means “Yes”.

We’ve tried using others words, like “Stop”. “Don’t touch!”, “Hot!”, etc. with her when she’s diving for that knife drawer, power tool, fireplace, or “Daddy’s bucket of chicken” (aka, “bucket of heaven”). We’ve been pretty good so far, and then this “No!” enters our house. I want to start over- where’s her reset button?

I’m going to make a t-shirt for her that says “I Don’t Care. The Answer is NO!” And then there will be an angry face in the “O” with its tongue sticking out.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Doggy Day-Care and Human Day-Care

Can you imagine spending $400-500 a week to send a dog to day-care while you’re at work? I can’t. My dog is at home where pets are supposed to be. I know people at work who are doing this. This costs more than day-care for 'actual' humans.
I’m not sure if this is just an L.A. thing or is spreading to other parts of the country, but if you can make this much watching dogs while its “pet-parents” are at work, well, maybe I should be getting into that business. Because there are a ton of suckers out there.

I just can’t stop thinking about this – it really bothers me now being a parent (of a human). When did pets become humans all of a sudden? I’ve always had a dog, took care of it, played, walks, etc. I really like animals but I don’t see them as a human equals especially that are in need of day-care.
If my dog and a stranger were drowning in a river, as much as I love my dog, I would definitely save the human first, then get my dog. When I asked pet-parents this (older people with no kids) they have to really think about it.

The people who spend this kind of cash don’t have any kids of course, yeah I know - but the ‘the Pug is her baby’!! Maybe they need to spend the money on something. I should tell them I need a Porsche, or maybe a trip to Fiji – or both! Because if they’re spending that kind of cash, money must be no object or they’ve got their priorities mixed up.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Stuff Is Missing Much More Often

There was this one episode of the Brady Bunch where Tiger, the dog, takes the kids’ (and Alice’s) stuff and hides everything in his doghouse. I think my daughter saw that episode.

Yesterday while washing the dishes a spider appeared out of nowhere on the kitchen counter and then Para jumped towards the family room (I’m convinced this spider was born from toxic chemicals from under the sink because he was the size of a cat and had human hair). After I screamed like a girl I grabbed a nearby shoe to smash it back to toxic hell. I eventually followed it to the family room (about a 15 mile run for spiders) and it ran under the couch. Once I took care of business my wife noticed something odd. Not the human eye the spider had or the scream it let out, but rather a lot of stuff that we had thought lost or accidentally threw away hidden under the couch. Books, cards, keys, etc. all pushed under the couch by our daughter. What I don’t get, how could we have not seen this? She’s never really alone (or is she?)

I’m not sure if I like this. What happens if she gets really good at hiding stuff? What kind of stuff will she be hiding when she’s a teen? Booze, Boys, Crack, Kevin Costner videos? I draw the line at Kevin Costner!! (No daughter of mine…)

I forgot what the Brady’s did to make Tiger stop. Maybe, if they had the choice, they would have played more Baby Einstein? Or maybe there are some subliminal messages in those videos telling toddlers to find all mommy and daddy’s valuables and send them to Cuba.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Art Of A Nosepicking Toddler

I honestly don't know how they do it. How do they figure this ‘finger in the nose in one try’ out? Is it as evolutionary as walking or using the toilet? I'm not sure.
My daughter is developing her motor skills very quickly at her 14 months of life. She can try her best to put a straw in a cup lid, it takes some time with the coordination thing but she eventually figures it out after a few attempts. That’s why this bewilders me.
When it comes to her nose, she can put that finger in there fast. Like a Tiger Woods “hole in one!” She can even stare directly at you and not even look at the finger, and it just goes right in there. It’s disgusting, yet fascinating watching this phenomenon.

Right now I’m just trying to get her to stop doing this. And she knows it too. I can be across the room and she’ll yell “Dadadada!” and then when I look she’ll shove the finger in the nose. I know when it’s about to happen too, (it all happens in slow motion) it’s like she ‘stops’, and then sticks the finger up then all you see is a motion blur. By the time you know what’s going on, she already in Oregon.

I seriously don’t want my daughter to be that “kid” who picks their nose. I remember a few kids in elementary school who had nose fetishes and as adults I can guarantee they’re probably still enjoying a good harvest in the car. I remember never wanting to play with these kids because I would always imagine “crusty’s” dried on their toys. I'm sure others felt the same way too.

I don’t want that. No parent does.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Summer Is Over Because They’re Selling Christmas Stuff

So I never did get a chance to play chess in the park this weekend like I had planned. It was too hot outside – around 104 in the valley.

We ended up going down to the Disneyland Resort on Saturday later in the day (into the belly of crowds and tourists). Our afternoon felt a little ruined when we were rushing to see the last Playhouse Disney show of the day (at 4:15?) we were running with our daughter and her gear, like refugees, across the park and showed up at the door at like 4:18. They wouldn’t let us in because, we were told, JoJo or Bear would go postal at our tardiness or because the show was packed, I don’t quite remember. Our day was redeemed though because Disney’s California Adventure is never crowded, even on Labor Day weekend. The longest line is 5 minutes and everybody sort of walks around the park looking for something to do. I’ve got a secret about that park; in reality there really isn’t much to do.
When we got bored we went across to Disneyland. We really like Disneyland, and so do millions of other people who were there on Saturday, because the place was packed. We ended up giving in and took our daughter onto “It’s A Small World” (yeah, I know “why?”…Babies and toddlers love that ride. It’s like baby-crack) and then later watched the fireworks. While watching all I could think about was how much I would hate to live near Disneyland. Those fireworks are much louder than our neighbors dog.

Sunday we did something very cultural, we went to Dim Sum in Chinatown with friends. I like Dim Sum, you never address the women pushing the food carts as “Excuse me, madam, what kind of entrĂ©e might you have there?” it’s more like “Hey!! You!! #43 with deep fried Chicken feet!!” (They have nametags with only numbers) It’s so demeaning. The only other place that’s worse is Medieval Times; you get to address the waitresses simply as 'wenches'.
Later in the day we did a neighborhood block party potluck. This is something very rare here in L.A., we actually get along with the majority our neighbors and do stuff like this every few months. There are 7 houses on our street and only 2 of them are occupied with those “weird” people. So of course the topic of conversation sometimes skews at them.

So the last weekend of the summer is going pretty well and then I hear about the Crocodile Hunter’s tragic death. It’s really depressing. My wife and I love watching his show on occasion. I even remember watching the episode of where he drags his cameraman along with him for the birth of his daughter –that was very moving – here’s this guy who’s been bitten by crazy mutants and never sheds a tear and then practically bawls when he holds his daughter for the first time. I just can’t even imagine what his wife and kids are going through. And now that they’re in the world news dumb reporters are going be asking them really stupid questions like "Are you sad about this really rare tragic death?". I hate reporters questions on the obvious.
Being the world-travelers that we are (or imagined) we’ve always planned on one day going to visit Australia and going to the Zoo he started. I think we still might.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The End Of Summer '06

I know technically it isn’t, but ‘culturally’ Labor Day is the end of summer. I’m not sure where the summer went but frankly, the last 10-11 years since I got out of college, I always feel a little ripped-off.

Summers don’t have the same “zing” that they did when I was in school, you know the road trips, the extra time off, the “summer jobs” and the friends that come along with it. Nope, when you’re a working adult, July is exactly like February except the weather is different. Maybe it would be different if my wife and I actually took a vacation during the summer, but everywhere is always so crowded.

Things have been much different now that my daughter is around. Watching her grow and learn new “tricks” has been a thrill. This summer she had her 1st birthday with the Elvis impersonator (that I’m sure she’ll never forget), she learned how to walk, and she added more words to her vocabulary, such as “NO! NO! NOOoooO!” (Although we could live without that one). We went to another wedding - now, that we’re going well into our 30’s there are less and less of them since most friends are married (or “hooked-up”) now. These days, kids parties are becoming much more common for us.

Oh yeah, there’s nothing like a 3-day weekend to make you reminisce about getting older. I think I may go play chess in the park this weekend and complain about the government.