May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend (By The Numbers)

It's impossible that the long holiday weekend is over and yet it is. What did we do with all that time? I have neither the time nor the energy to give you every detail right now. Instead, I'll let the numbers do the talking.

Roadtrips taken: 1
Hotel rooms trashed: 1
Colleges visited: 1
Old apartments seen: 2
Old hangout restaurants eaten at: 1
Photos snapped: 147
Beers consumed: 12
Donuts eaten: 2 (for a family total of 8)
Hours spent at the pool: 6
Family members with sunburns: 2
Hours worked: 0
Hours spent thinking about work: 0
Books completed: 1
Hours spent mowing the yard: 2
Cookouts attended: 1
Baked beans eaten: 4,201

So, what were your weekend numbers?

Posted by Chris at 7:14 AM | Comments (9)

May 27, 2011

The Weeklies #177

The Weekly Affliction. Fundamental lack of sleep.


The Weekly Disaster. Joplin, Missouri's population decreased by 357 people in seconds. 125 people died and 232 remain missing.

The Weekly Belt. Orange. Mia got her orange belt in karate this week. Owen better watch out.

The Weekly Offers. It's nearly summer and almost Father's Day which means the number of offers I get to review products or at the very least talk about products increased exponentially. The only thing worse is the politically or socially motivated emails imploring me to start a letter-writing campaign or call my senator about something to which I am diametrically opposed. And for some strange reason I'm on the distribution list for a conservative political action campaign that seems to want me to get behind everything from immediate offshore drilling to allowing guns on school campuses. Yeah. Right.

The Weekly Television. Oprah signed off and the latest American Idol was crowned. And I could literally not have cared less.

The Weekly Read. I've told this story before. When I was a kid, my dad handed me a pile of old sc-fi books and told me I should read them. I did and that's how I got hooked on books. One of the books in that pile was The Stars Like Dust by Isaac Asimov. It's always risky to go back and read books you previously loved. They could suck and totally ruin your fond memories. Luckily the gamble paid off. While it's not Asimov's strongest book, it's damn good fun and brought back some nice memories.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. It just keeps looking worse for Arnold. First, he knocks his maid and has two kids by two different women within the space of a week or two and now he's getting investigated for possible misuse of taxpayer funds and knocking up other women. That's women. Plural. Poor Maria.

The Weekly Feel Good. Comedian Lisa Lampanelli played Topeka earlier this month. The folks at Westboro Baptist Church decided to protest. Lisa made them a deal - she'd make a thousand dollar donation in their name for every person who came out to protest. To a gay charity. She made good on it, making a $50,000 donation to Gay Men's Health Crisis. I have no idea whether she's a good comedian or not but she kinda rocks.

The Weekly Question. What are your plans for the Memorial Day weekend?

Posted by Chris at 6:43 AM | Comments (14)

May 26, 2011

Old, And Sometimes Five

I fancy myself a novice musician, having played a guitar for twenty plus years and enjoyed the hell out of a wide variety of music even longer. While there are many musicians I have liked, there are few that have impacted me in truly profound ways. The list is varied and somewhat embarrassing. Over the last dozen or so years, the guy who's had the most impact is Neal Morse. He's not a household name by any stretch (he's big in Europe, not so much here) but he is one of the most talented musicians alive. On Tuesday night, I dragged Beth (who loathes the style of music - progressive rock - but is a saint and all-around good sport) to a small club where Morse was appearing with his band on a very brief tour of the States. Since I bought the tickets a month ago, I've been giddy like a five year old anticipating a trip to Disney. Tuesday night arrived, the lights dimmed and the man blew me away for over three hours. Now, granted, he's changed a bit since I first started following him. He found God, decided to sing about Jesus, and stopped touring quite as much but his songwriting stayed good (though decidedly Jesus-heavy) and his music profoundly rewarding. I'm not a Jesus guy but there were plenty of Jesus folks on stage and in the crowd. And if Jesus is at least partially responsible for the enthusiasm, energy, and emotion I saw on stage, then more power to him.

nmorse.jpg

It was an incredible evening that gives me chills just thinking about it. But there was a price. Exhaustion.

For the past two or three nights, I've managed to stay up way past my bedtime yet wake up with Owen which is damn early. And at this particular moment, there's not enough coffee in the world to get me up to my normal speed. So, while I've proven that I still have the ability to be rendered giddy like a five year old at the prospect of seeing a musical idol, I've also proven that I am old and need to go to bed at 8:00 tonight.

What time do you go to bed?

Posted by Chris at 6:34 AM | Comments (12)

May 25, 2011

...Of Champions

I was out way past my bedtime last night - a school night, no less - and I am old. Instead of a brilliant - or even marginal - post I must, instead, ask a question. What did you - or are you planning to - eat for breakfast? I need to revise my breakfast approach because I am in dire need of energy, not just after late nights but every damn day. Any my granola bar and coffee diet just ain't cutting it. Here are my requirements:

- No meat. I don't eat anything with a face. Except gummy bears.
- Protein! I need protein.
- Portability is key. Breakfast generally happens in my car between home and wherever I'm heading.

So, suggestions?

Posted by Chris at 7:20 AM | Comments (40)

May 24, 2011

A Star Is Born

Mia was in her very first play yesterday. It was a gripping dramatization of Anansi The Spider which was honestly a really confusing title since, when the drama teacher introduced the play, both Beth and I wondered what kind of asshat teacher would involve the kids in a play about Hitler's repressive forces and an arachnid. Luckily for everyone it turned out to be not about authoritarianism gone awry in favor of a nice folk tale involving animals, a spider and a magic stick.

Whew.

Mia rocked but that shouldn't really surprise anyone. At this point of her life - having perfected her own personal brand of drama into an art form - she wants nothing more than for everyone to be able appreciate her as a star of stage and screen. And since we are not crazy parents and remain unwilling to paint her in makeup and drag her to every casting call and audition, the stage her elementary school's music room is as good as she's going to get right now.

Mia was a zebra. And she was the best damn zebra I've ever seen on stage.

What have we learned?
- Mia can nail the part of a zebra.
- We are not crazy parents...at least like that.
- Books and plays with clear titles are important.
- Elementary school plays about Nazis are a bad idea.

Posted by Chris at 8:08 AM | Comments (7)

May 23, 2011

Epic

It all started out innocently enough, the weekend, that is. But it turned epic, not for any single thing but, instead, the collection of things the weekend became.

On Friday night there was a school event that Mia and Beth attended. A silent auction. Mia ran away with an outing with her kindergarten teacher which is quite a score when you're five. Bedtime was late all around. Saturday was my mom's birthday. My folks came by early for breakfast then Beth hijacked the kids while I took care of the yard. Owen and I hung out and laid low while Beth and Mia went to a friend's birthday party. Saturday evening brought a fresh round of excitement. Beth and I got dressed for a nice dinner out with my parents while a real live teenage babysitter dropped by to take care of the little people. Her arrival was hotly anticipated, something that was dwarfed only by the excitement of her actual physical presence. They all got along famously and all parties agreed that it was an arrangement that should be repeated. On Sunday, the four of us woke up early and headed to a local park. We rode a train, hiked around a lake and ate a picnic lunch despite the geese that threatened to carry Owen away if we didn't cough up some bread.

Finally, on Sunday, I went and picked up longtime friend Alektra up at the metro station and brought her back for dinner with my insane and slightly punchy family. Alektra started reading, oh, a hell of a long time ago (practically day-one of my site) but this was the first time we'd met in person. Say what you want about the internet being good only for crappy YouTube videos and porn, but it allowed us to meet and spend some time with a very cool person and, frankly, that's worth all the Mentos-Diet Coke videos the webosphere could throw at me. We were all thrilled but none more so than the kids who saw it as another opportunity to show off.

And then came the epic bedtime. While Beth and Alektra headed off, I rounded up the children and bribed them into baths and beds. It took some doing since both were worn out and hysterical. It was the most impressive and well coordinated display of tandem meltdowns that I have had the pleasure of being a part of over the last six years of parenting. Owen picked a fight, claiming that Lando Calrissian was not a Star Wars character and Mia, well, let's not even get into what she wanted to whine about. When Beth return home, the three of us were shellshocked. We got them into bed, the slept, I drank beer.

And that, my friends, is an epic weekend. How was yours?

Posted by Chris at 6:44 AM | Comments (9)

Haiku For Monday #370

I need coffee. With
a side of coffee. Extra
coffee on top, k?

Posted by Chris at 6:41 AM

May 20, 2011

The Weeklies #176

The Weekly Number. 18

The Weekly Beer. Southern Tier IPA.

The Weekly Read. I love Dick Van Dyke. Not like that. He seems like a genuinely nice pop culture figure and I've always been a fan of his self-titled show and, of course, Mary Poppins which is one of the greatest movies ever made. When I saw his memoir - My Lucky Life In And Out of Show Business - I bought it on a whim. I'm really glad I did. Reading it, you get the sense that Van Dyke really is a very nice, very genuine guy. The memoir is interesting, far from sensationalistic, and humble. I walked away from it with a greater appreciation for a man who is a totally underrated and fantastic talent who is still managing to go strong after spending 80 years being nice.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. Is anyone seriously shocked that Ahh-nald had an illegitimate kid with his maid? After all, this was the guy that got sued by a gaggle of women for sexual harassment. Please tell me no one's surprised.

The Weekly Message. As I mentioned yesterday, many expect the world to end tomorrow. Now, I don't put any stock in this whatsoever but if I happen to be wrong, I'd just like to let you know that you all rock. Thanks for reading and I'll see you on the other side.

The Weekly Question. If you were to write your memoir, what would you title it?

Posted by Chris at 7:23 AM | Comments (18)

May 19, 2011

Remains of the Day

Reason #2305 My Wife Is Awesome
Me: How would you like to go see a concert?
Beth: Sign me up.
Me: I'm joking. You wouldn't want to go, I promise.
Beth: Why not?
Me: It's progressive rock.
Beth: So?
Me: It'll be a three and a half hour concert and by the end they'll have played four songs.
Beth: Not my favorite.
Me: I know. And? This guy's a Jesus freak.
Beth: Okay.
Me: So, like I said, I was joking.
Beth: Why do you want to go?
Me: Because I love progressive rock and this guy's the most talented musician alive.
Beth: I'll go. Get tickets.
Me: Really?
Beth: Yup.

* * * * *

Frog Attack!
Owen and I were attacked by a frog yesterday. We have a pond in our backyard. It's full of hundreds of fish and, this time of year, giant frogs all looking to get lucky. Yesterday we were out looking at all the frogs when one big green one started ribbiting at us. Then it launched itself in our general direction, putting it's front feet up on the side the pond, yelling at us. This happened twice. We felt very threatened.

* * * * *

The End
I'd forgotten that the world ends on Saturday. Do you believe it?

Posted by Chris at 6:59 AM | Comments (18)

May 18, 2011

Copley & Dickson, Imaginary Detectives

Sally is Mia's imaginary friend. Or, more accurately, her imaginary daughter. She has several imaginary kids. We've lost count. Sally visited the other night - home from college, apparently - and announced that she was getting married. Of course, being the proud imaginary parent (or grandparent) to an indeterminate number of imaginary children (or grandchildren), I asked Mia all about Sally's fiancee.

Me: What does he do for a living?
Mia: He's a teacher.
Me: Oh, that's nice. And where does he live?
Mia: With Sally, of course. At college. In Detroit.
Me: Are he and Sally considering children?
Mia: Dad, Sally is my imaginary friend. I don't know if they're having kids. I just like having imaginary friends because it's fun. Stop asking so many questions.
Me: Oh. Okay. Imaginary friends are cool. Sorry for asking questions.
Mia: Didn't you ever have any imaginary friends?
Me: No, I didn't have imaginary friends. But I did have an imaginary detective agency...

...I was John Copley and my friend Brent was John Dickson. Together, we were Copley & Dickson, like some lame, gumshoe version of the Wonder Twins. We had badges, carried briefcases, enjoyed riding our bikes to office supply stores and kept the citizens of our fair city safe from crime. Our corporate headquarters was a building a hundred stories tall with a vast underground complex that held a subterranean train system which carried us to and from our suburban mansion. We were hip, suburban men who apparently lived together. And occasionally, we'd team up with Charlie's Angels and to bring down a perp. We had business cards, Dickson's were blue, mine were silver. We started a band that sounded remarkably like The Who though we only had imaginary instruments so we smashed fake instruments to bits at the end of our set. Crowds went nuts. Mostly, though, we sat in a poorly ventilated closet on the second floor of my childhood home and dreamed up cases and novel ways of solving them.

Did you have any imaginary friends? What was your go-to imaginary game? I bet it didn't involve carrying a briefcase at age 10.

Posted by Chris at 7:12 AM | Comments (13)

May 17, 2011

Welcome To The Jungle

When we moved into our current home, the yard was a gorgeous thing. The previous owners started the neighborhood gardening club and it showed. It was pristine, like a snapshot of a fairway at Augusta.

But we have kids. And those kids require feeding and guidance and nurturing and playing and face-scrubbing and tucking in. In other words, we didn't have a hell of a lot of surplus time on our hands to spend rolling around in the dirt.

Before we knew what had happened, the yard went to hell.

I kept it mowed and edged. Grass grew nicely. But the flower beds around the perimeter of our yard started to creep closer and closer to our house. They encroached. They might have even killed small wildlife. We lost a fence. An actual fence with a gate. One day it was there, the next (seemingly) it was gone having disappeared into our suburban jungle.

We tried to knock the jungle back in place but it merely laughed at us and our half-assed attempts, mocking us, saying "what else you got, bitches?"

On Friday an army of men armed with scary tools came and reclaimed our yard, destroying every inch of the encroaching jungle. It was the only thing short of renting a plane and dropping napalm on our yard that was going to accomplish anything. Our yard is still mostly grass but it's ringed by a healthy amount of dirt. Wonderful, beautiful dirt, sprinkled with a thick coating of grass seed. And it's pretty amazing how much better we feel.

Posted by Chris at 7:26 AM | Comments (9)

May 16, 2011

The Magic Season

Sunday - this weekend was great but I want to focus on Sunday - started as an ordinary, somewhat rainy Spring day and ended magically.

Like I said, it started ordinary. Owen woke up way too early, Beth got up with him kindly letting me sleep, the kids came in and tackled me at 8:30 then hauled me out of bed and made me breakfast and coffee (kids being able to make breakfast for you? Awesome.) and then we played Star Wars for a couple of hours. We eventually made it out of the house, tackled Target (shorts, socks, shoes, Star Wars bandaids) and the beer store then had lunch. After lunch, the sky turned blue, Beth took the kids to the playground, I hit the store for ingredients for Beth's favorite dinner (fettuccine alfredo), then I mowed the grass. Again, not magical. Wait for it.

Beth rolled home with the kids around three which is precisely when I finished the lawn. The sky remained blue and the kids wanted to run through the sprinkler in the backyard. I complied, set it up then Beth emerged with a plate of cold watermelon. We sat, warm and wet, eating watermelon, grass stuck to the soles of our feet, watermelon juice rolling down our chins. It was, finally, summer. It couldn't have been mistaken for any other season or the whims of a fickle weather god. Summer had arrived. At last. And it was - I don't use this word lightly - magic.

Posted by Chris at 6:42 AM | Comments (10)

Haiku For Monday #369

Once in a while I
I wouldn't mind a Monday off.
Too much to ask for?

Posted by Chris at 6:41 AM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2011

The Weeklies #175

The Weekly Odd Business Meeting. I attended a meeting this week with a woman who looked exactly like Paul Simon. Just noodle that through for a while.

The Weekly Sporting Activity. Tennis

The Weekly Agricultural Activity. We had our backyard gutted. The gardens that once looked lovely but quickly became overwhelming? Gone. We're planting grass. And, if the weeds return, we're going with astroturf. You think I'm joking.

The Weekly Read and Music. Unsurprisingly, given the fact that my calendar is completely out of control and the weather is now absolutely gorgeous, I didn't manage to make it through a book this week. Nor did I manage to absorb any musical brilliance. I know. I clearly need to focus on the important things.

The Weekly Medical Miracle. The headline says it all - Motorist Impaled by Pole Through Head Survives.

The Weekly Greatest Celebrity Story Ever (That I'm Not Making Up). True story. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando and Liz Taylor fled New York for Ohio in a rental car. Apparently they got along fabulously though Taylor and Jackson became somewhat annoyed at Brando's insistence that they stop at every KFC they saw. (Seriously, I'm not making this up.)

The Weekly Schadenfreude. Will Smith's "trailer" for the next iteration of Men In Black raised some eyebrows in NYC. Justifiably so. It's 53 feet long, two stories high, has marble floors, a giant master bedroom, a theater with 100-foot screen, and offices for his personal assistants. It got toed yesterday. His "workout trailer" (seriously) didn't. Whew.

The Weekly Question. You are forced to lose one of your senses. Which to you choose?

Posted by Chris at 6:54 AM | Comments (15)

May 12, 2011

Cardigans and Keds

I ran across a picture of Mr. Rogers last night and found myself telling Owen all about him. I loved Mr. Rogers. The morning after he died - the news broke overnight as I recall - my mom called me. It was 7:00 in the morning. I was getting ready for work. She wanted to be the one to break the news to me. I was crushed. I wasn't alone. It hit Loudon Wainwright pretty hard too. He later wrote Hank and Fred:


On my way Thursday from the Y I heard it in the car
Bob Edwards broke the news to me, it's he of NPR
Driving through Montgomery I hung my head and cried
then visited Hank Williams grave the day Fred Rogers died.

Zelda Sayre, F. Scott Fitzgerald lived somewhere in this old town
Nat King Cole was born here Rosa Parks stayed sitting down
Black and white death booze and music genius courage kindness pride
I felt them all around me there the day Fred Rogers died


When I was little I told anyone who would listen that I wanted to invite Mr. Rogers to dinner. I still do. Or would if he was still alive. I'd also invite Peter Gabriel, Isaac Asimov, Presidents Jefferson and Obama, George Lucas (my kids have some things they'd like to discuss), Warren Buffett and Dick Van Dyke. It would be quite a dinner party. But if I had to just pick one, it'd be Fred Rogers every time.

Who'd you invite?

Posted by Chris at 7:09 AM | Comments (16)

May 11, 2011

Anyone For Tennis?

I was never a sporty guy. I was - and am - more comfortable with a book than a football or a guitar than a basketball. I ran track in junior high and high school - short distances and cross country - and I was in a bowling team in high school (which I'm pretty sure doesn't count since I usually did it with a cigarette in my mouth).

The other night Beth discovered the key to our neighborhood tennis courts. So we bought some balls, dug out rackets and went and played. I forgot how much I enjoyed playing tennis.

I started playing tennis when I was in elementary school. My best friend played and I wand in on the action. Our coach was Mrs. Schwartz, a former tennis pro who was probably fifty. We stuck with her for years thought things got dicey towards the end. We weren't quite sure what was going on. She looked tired. She'd occasionally duck behind bushes and someone would hear what sounded like someone throwing up. She began to lose her hair. Our parents talked in hushed tones when they came to pick us up. Then one day she died. Cancer.

Tennis was never quite the same after Mrs. Schwartz died but I kept on playing. I got s new coach - one of McEnroe's old coaches who was obviously looking for a less stressful gig at a country club. Then I played in college. Not competitively but as an elective. And then I never really played again until last night.

I suck, but it was fun.

Are you a sporty person? What was your sport of choice? Any joys you've rediscovered lately?

Posted by Chris at 7:08 AM | Comments (18)

May 10, 2011

The Ghost of the Magic Treehouse

Do you believe in ghosts?

My kids get my old gadgets as hand-me-downs. Mia has my iPod Touch and Owen inherited my second generation iPod pretty recently. Both kids love music and, even better, audio books. While Mia listens to stories about fairies and Ramona Quimby and Pipi Longstockings, Owen is enamored with the Magic Treehouse stories. Of course, the Star Wars soundtrack usually wins so he falls asleep to John Williams and Darth Vader's theme most nights.

But no matter what he falls asleep to, for some strange reason that we haven't yet figured out, a Magic Treehouse story is always playing when we return to his room. It doesn't matter when as long as its after midnight or so - one in the morning after he's had a bad dream or six when he wakes up for the day. One of the stories is playing. Even when we forgot to tun on the iPod at all the night before. It's not always the same story and it's clear from their progress that they don't start at the same time each night. But, without fail, they always start.

It can't be Owen. If he were to wake up in the night, we'd know about it. And it's not Mia. Once she finally falls asleep, there's no motivating her to get up before 7 in morning. The only conclusion I can come? Ghosts.

So, what do you think is turning on these stories? And do you believe in ghosts?

Posted by Chris at 7:00 AM | Comments (9)

May 9, 2011

Moms

Thought I'm sure some of you would argue - after all, we're talking about moms here - there is no better mom on the planet than Beth.

Some days when I get home, she'll tell me that she had a bad parenting day and feels miserable about it. But I don't buy it. I have a feeling that her worst parenting day is far better than my best. I know it's not, but she makes the mom thing look easy. She's even in he temperament, quick with a unique and positive way to enforce a rule and fair when the rule gets broken. Me, well, I'm armed wi a quicker temper, I'm not nearly as innovative and I'm gasping for air after 30 minutes of solo parenting.

I make it look doable. Beth makes it look easy. There are many days I wish I was a better parent but never a day that I don't appreciate the mom to my kids.

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Posted by Chris at 7:40 AM | Comments (4)

Haiku For Monday #368

Would whoever made
it Monday get out here and
explain yourself? Sheesh.

Posted by Chris at 7:39 AM

May 6, 2011

The Weeklies #174

The Weekly News. Bye bin Laden.

The Weekly Beer. Port City's Essential Pale Ale brewed right here in Monkeytown...or, rather, just outside of Monkeytown in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Weekly Read. John Sandford can do no wrong. I'm convinced of that. Rough Country, his third Virgil Flowers novel and billionth novel overall. Maybe that's an exaggeration but Sandford has written a lot yet the quality of his books never decreases. In fact, he might actually get better.

The Weekly TV Show. I'm mildly obsessed with Chopped.

The Weekly Terrible Workplace. According to The Daily Mail, "employees working for Foxconn, assembler of many Apple products, are being forced to sign pledges not to commit suicide" after an outbreak of suicides driven by appalling working conditions. With that context, the worst thing I can say about my office is the terrible coffee.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. I'd like to devote my weekly schadenfreude to the people of the world who seemingly can't accept a good thing when it's dropped in their lap. I was browsing CNN, reading articles about bin Laden's demise when I stumbled onto various comments from readers who seemed to think this was all some sort of government cover up. This wouldn't be scary if there weren't so damn many of them. People, not everything is a conspiracy. Men landed on the moon, JFK was shot from the book repository and OJ most definitely killed two people before slowly joyriding down California highways. Accept it.

The Weekly Question. Should the government release the photos of bin Laden's body?

Posted by Chris at 7:31 AM | Comments (18)

May 5, 2011

Aliens and the End of Times

It's been a long time since I've read good science fiction. It used to be all I'd read. When I was ten or eleven my dad handed me a pile of old sci-fi paperbacks and told me I'd love them. I devoured them and asked for more. I occasionally but rarely return to the genre. I don't know why but it doesn't hold the fascination it once did.

The book I'm reading (Forge of God by Greg Bear) got me thinking. So I have two odd, seemingly random questions.

1. Do you believe there's life out there somewhere?
2. If you knew you had, say, two weeks before the world was destroyed, what would you do with that time?

Posted by Chris at 6:45 AM | Comments (15)

May 4, 2011

In A Room Far, Far Away...

Mia's room has always been somewhat exotic, with things - butterflies, lanterns, windchimes and a moon and stars - hanging from the ceiling, pink walls adorned with butterflies, books everywhere and my old comforter that I took to college which she now loves and calls Big Blue. Owen's room has, to this point, been relatively boring by comparison - blue-gray walls, a cool train table and a Toy Story comforter. I've always felt a little guilty that Owen's room was less interesting but we figured he'd give us ideas eventually. And he did. Beth worked her magic and Owen now has one kick-ass room.

galaxyfarfaraway.jpg

To Owen, Star Wars is The Shit. And now his room is The Shit. We're not done - we're still waiting on a bed spread and we need to put up a few posters - but Owen's room is looking pretty jeditastic.

I remember having a blue room as a kid. Bright blue, with posters of cool cars. But I don't recall ever really having a theme. What was your room like growing up?

Posted by Chris at 7:09 AM | Comments (12)

May 3, 2011

Ten Years

After nine or so Sunday night I went into a self-imposed unintentional media blackout - we watched TiVoed stuff Sunday night, went to bed early, and I listened to podcasts on the way to work. So it wasn't until I made it into the office around 7:00 on Monday morning that I discovered bin Laden was dead.

4,438 Americans died at the hands of bin Laden - 2,977 civilians, firefighters and emergency workers on 9/11 and 1,461 soldiers in the subsequent fighting in Afghanistan. Yet despite that, I have a hard time being as enthusiastic about someone's death as others who took to the streets in the middle of the night. It feels counter-intuitive to me. I just wasn't raised to think that way. But balanced by the tremendous amount of deaths he caused - before, during and in the wake of 9/11 - it's hard not to feel some sense of triumph.

I'm glad one of the truly bad guys is gone. At the same time I hope we never forget what brought us to this place that took nearly 10 years to reach. And I'm worried that with each passing year we are. And if we forget - forget the lives that were lost on 9/11 and have been lost since, the pride we took in our country immediate following, the spirit that inspired us as a people to come together and stand united - then it isn't us who has the last word.

What do you think? Did bin Laden get what he deserved? Were you happy with the way it ended?

Posted by Chris at 7:54 AM | Comments (20)

May 2, 2011

Naming The Band

After a tremendously long and not altogether conscious search, I've found a new band name...if I ever get around to forming a new band, that is. We were walking through the botanical gardens a few weeks back and it hit me. Or, rather, I hit it. Or tripped on it. A sign. About grass.

DSC_8789_panic.jpg

Redtop Panicgrass is pretty much the best band name ever and a worthy successor to Rude Cactus (which, if you didn't know, was my first band name). Whilst in the gardens, I also managed to capture a shot that would make a very back cover-worthy band shot.
DSC_8789_panic2.jpg

Cheer up, emo kids.

What's your favorite band name? What would you name your band?

Posted by Chris at 6:58 AM | Comments (13)

Haiku For Monday #367

Aren't* you supposed to
grow out of allergies not
into them? Damn spring+.

* 'aren't' is totally a one-syllable word, right?
+ I love spring and am happy that it is here. I just wish the pollen would disappear.

Posted by Chris at 6:55 AM | Comments (1)


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