December 18, 2013


Beth and Mia bought a lottery ticket. We discussed the ramifications of winning at dinner later in the day.

Mia: If we win will we buy a mansion?
Beth: No, we would't move.
Me: We'd keep this place. Maybe redo a couple of bathrooms but we'd stay here.
Mia: Would you buy me an iPad?
Beth: Sure.
Mia: And I could use it anytime?
Beth: No, you still couldn't use it on school nights.
Mia: But I could get any game I wanted, right?
Beth: No, you'd still have to check with us and get permission to buy a game.
Mia: So, it wouldn't really be any different than borrowing dads.
Beth: Nope.
Me: Being a kid's hard sometimes, huh?
Mia: You got that right.

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December 17, 2013

About Face

I've made some veiled references to antibiotics, beards, medical treatment and other such things here and on Facebook. Let me break it down for you and come clean in one easy sentence.

I have MRSA.

For those of you not in-the-know, MRSA is an acronym for a bunch of fancy words that mean I have staph that's resistant to medication. A few months ago I shaved - and cut myself - with a less-than-fresh blade. A month later my face was riddled with bumps. It was unattractive and, worse, painful. Sleep was impossible. The pain was unbearable, accompanied by fever and an inability to sleep.

Over the past two months I've grown a beard, had seven separate doctors appointments, seen five different doctors, undergone four rounds of different antibiotics, subjected myself to three rounds of steroid treatments so I could make it through the day without snapping and stuck q-tips full of junk up my nose two or three times a day. And it's still not gone. I'm off antibiotics, off the steroids, still jamming q-tips up my nose...but things are a little better.

Over the weekend, Beth, the kids and I went to the local municipal center to see a display of trains. I looked over and saw someone I haven't seen or said hello to in over 20 years, the dad of one of my best friends in high school. A couple of years ago he was helping a neighbor clear snow off his roof, fell, and became paralyzed from the waist down. He was a tough guy, a high ranking army guy, a military historian. I went to him, said hello, reminded him who this older, gray-haired, bearded guy was and we caught up briefly. His brevity hadn't changed a bit. As a kid in the 90's with hair down to my ass and an obsession with heavy metal, I rarely saw him smile. But I did on Saturday, when I saw him, in a wheelchair, checking his trains, making sure they were perfectly balanced, laughing with his train-obsessed friends.

Things like that put pesky rashes - no matter how annoying - in perspective.

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Haiku For Monday Tuesday #476

I was unprepared
for my alarm this morning.
Damn you, time. Damn you!

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December 13, 2013

The Weeklies #274

The Weekly Antibiotic. Since I'm now on my fourth in a row, I have to admit I'm not even paying attention to the names anymore.

The Weekly Music. I'll admit it. I spent part of the day at work on Wednesday listening to Kelly Clarkson. I blame Mia. When a colleague walked by, saw my head bobbing and commented "what are you listening to, Aerosmith?" I said yes. I'm not proud.

The Weekly Fake. Did you hear the one about the South African sign language interpreter?

The Weekly Read. Breaking Point by Aric Davis was originally published as an Amazon serial novel. It was fun to swallow whole though. It's not a pleasant story, revolving around one guy who's had enough and takes his frustration out on the rest of the world. But as I previously discovered, Aric Davis is a great storyteller with a true gift. I think by this point I've read everything of his I can get my hands on. Is it a masterpiece? No. It's well worth a read, though.

The Weekly Hoarding Champion. Apparently some woman has recorded 35 years of television news. Seriously, every day for 35 years. On videotape. I'm not sure if I should be horrified or impressed. That's commitment.

The Weekly TV Obsession. Earlier in the week we started watching American Horror Story: Asylum. Now, I've watched a lot of fucked up things on television but this is the fuckupest. The cool, hip part of me digs it. The 41 year old dad part of me can't believe it was ever on basic cable.

The Weekly Question. Is all your holiday shopping done?

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December 11, 2013


On Monday night Owen fell asleep about 8:30, unusually early for him. It was no surprise, then, when he woke up at 10:00 complaining of a stuffy nose. I snuggled with him for a little while while he figured out that it was, after all, still night...and he had to pee. A few minutes later, he ambled down the hallway, head down:

Owen: I'm tired and confused.
Me: Welcome to the club, kiddo.
Owen: But I'm funny. I'm a very funny kid.

He was restless after he got back in bed so we pretended we were outside, sleeping under the stars. He heard owls in trees, we found nature sounds on his iPod so we turned on a river, and a deer walked right through our campsite. But sleep didn't come so we traded one campsite for another, settling into our bedroom. Owen used the force to light a fire and collect sticks and marshmallows. We ate smores then he brushed his teeth and flossed by the light of the moon. Eventually the need for sleep eclipsed even the four-bulb moon overhead and he fell fast asleep.

It was a wonderful night.

Sure, he slept with his feet in my armpit and - literally - could not get close enough to me. At one point he climbed on my back and sleepily told me that my Owen blanket was there to keep me warm.

Those moments are fleeting when your youngest is five. Like I said, it was a wonderful night.

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December 9, 2013

Frozen Hands (Or, The Best Day Ever)

It snowed (and sleeted, and iced) yesterday. We spent the majority of the day playing in the snow, throwing snowballs at each other, sledding down hills, making hot chocolate, decorating the tree, listening to Christmas music and playing board games. At one point, Mia exclaimed this is the best day ever and I totally agreed. Because it pretty much was.

The tree is up and fully decorated. As is the house. It's quite possible that we overestimated the size of our living room when we bought the tree. But that's nothing that moving a few pieces of furniture can't solve.

It feels like the holidays...and I love it.

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Haiku For Monday #475

Snow and ice, oh my.
Working from home in jammies.
It's hard to beat that.

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December 5, 2013

Sum 41

Forty-one years ago, my mom dashed to a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ran up four flights of stairs and gave birth to me in a little under 20 minutes. I've been extremely punctual ever since.

It's hard to believe that I'm 41 years old. It's hard to believe that a year's passed since my last birthday. But time flies and getting a year older is certainly better than the alternative.

Have a drink on me tonight, internets.

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December 3, 2013

Just One Of Those Days


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December 2, 2013

The Thanksgiving Wrap-up

It's hard to believe that it's December. Even harder to believe that I'm only a few days away from 41. And also hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already behind us. What did we do? Um, like, everything.


- Saw Frozen (awesome) and Catching Fire (so much teen angst)
- Had a date night
- Celebrated Thanksgiving with two separate celebrations and all of our family
- Dressed cousins in matching PJs
- Went to the doctor (again) and got jacked up on steroids (again)
- Ate way too much
- Drank totally the appropriate amount (uh-huh)
- Watched a few episodes of The Good Wife
- Took Mia on a date for Mexican food and Ender's Game which she loved though it's a tossup which she liked more - the movie or enchiladas
- Discovered how to spell enchiladas
- Taught the kids how to play Mexican Train
- Visited Arlington Cemetery and our veteran relatives
- Slept in
- Made and decorated gingerbread men
- Regrettably set the alarm for 5:40 this morning

And now you're caught up. I'm exhausted. How about you?

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Haiku For Monday #474

Holy crap. Early.
I wasn't prepared for this.
Can I snooze the day?

Posted by Chris at 7:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack