February 26, 2014

On Owen, and Meat

For Owen's birthday, Mia decided she'd make him something. She found an old vase and decorated it with multicolored hearts. Then she grabbed a Sharpie and wrote a note to her brother.

Dear Owen,

I hope you have a very happy birthday. I can't believe you are already six. You are getting so big. Here is a little poem that describes you:

You are funny
You are sweet
And you really like meat.
You make me angry, though.

She really calls 'em like she sees 'em and doesn't pull any punches.

Posted by Chris at 7:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 25, 2014

Leg Breaking

This weekend marked the opening of a wonderful show starring Mia and Beth. Okay, maybe they weren't the stars but they certainly were in my book.

There's community theater - cheesy productions staged by wannabe directors and suburban divas - then there's community theater - shows put on by passionate people who want not only to have fun and put on a good show but be do so with the people in their community with whom they share a passion. This was the latter of the two. As an observer - one who wouldn't dare walk on a stage or even sing in front of my best friends - the whole thing is wonderful. They endured snow and ice, cancelled school days and scrapped rehearsals. And all those cancelled rehearsals resulted in even longer rehearsals, endless hours running through lines and rehearsing music. But this great group of talented, committed people pulled it off.

I'm proud of the women in my life. Beth and Mia love this stuff. They love to sign and dance and perform in front of people. And they do it very, very well. They are exhausted but they did it, and they did it together. That's pretty damn cool.

Posted by Chris at 6:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Haiku For Monday Tuesday #479

The Olympics are
over. What am I supposed
to watch now? Confused.

Posted by Chris at 6:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 19, 2014

How's The Face: An Update In One Act

The Setting: The blogosphere, present day.

The Characters: Chris, our intrepid yet often absent blogger, and The Inquisitive Public who we'll just call Tip (see what I did there?).

Tip: Well, it certainly has been a while.
Chris: Yes. And you've obviously been kicking around this series of tubes until I resurfaced to talk about my face.
Tip: Exactly. So, how's it going? I see you still have the beard.
Chris: Yeah. Someone I haven't seen for a very long time told me I looked like a distinguished gentleman.
Tip: You know she meant old, right?
Chris: Oh hell yeah, she did.
Tip: So, when last we talked you were trying to get approved for a shot or something, right?
Chris: Yeah, after months of searching for a diagnosis I might have stumbled onto something.
Tip: Don't leave us hanging.
Chris: Well, if this shot works, it'll prove that I have some weird immunodeficiency that, when triggered by who-knows-what sets off a chain reaction causing, in some people, really painful reactions in the face, near-undiagnosable symptoms and distinguished gentleman beard-growing.
Tip: That's great! Did you get the shot?
Chris: Yes, two actually. Last week.
Tip: And?
Chris: I don't want to jinx anything but something good seems to be happening. For the first time since the summer, my face doesn't hurt.
Tip: That's great. But why are you still hanging on to the beard?
Chris: It's not gone. I'm still on steroids. Too early to call, you know? But headed in the right direction.
Tip: So, what next?
Chris: Well, hopefully I keep getting better and I keep taking the shots.
Tip: Forever?
Chris: Yep, forever.
Tip: That sucks.
Chris: Not really. I've got both my legs, my family's healthy and I've never really been all that afraid of needles.
Tip: Thanks for catching me up.
Chris: Anytime. See you later.
Tip: Don't trip over that RSS feed on your way offstage, okay? And watch out for that ethernet cab...
Chris: Oh...shit..ouch. Now you tell me.

....and scene!

Posted by Chris at 8:44 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 10, 2014


Dear Owen,

You are six. Yes, you read that correctly. Six. One day if you read this you'll marvel at the fact that you were ever that young. Yet, now, writing this, I'm amazed by the fact that you're this old. Time is a blessing and a curse - I value the time we've had but am amazed by the amount that's flown by.

You're a pretty amazing kid. Beth, Mia and I are introverts, tried and true, yet somehow you're our token extrovert. It was unsurprising when, for example, Beth received a phone call from a classmate's mom asking who we were and why her son came home asking for a playdate with our number scrawled on a piece of paper. You'd given that to him and insisted she call. When I visit school and have lunch with you, the number of kids - from kindergarten to sixth grade - who know your name, stop and say hello, is nothing short of amazing.

You have a sense of style. If there's any indication we're going someplace fancy - a holiday celebration, a visit to my office, the bank - you insist on wearing a button-down shirt, nice pants, shoes that pretty much match mine and a tie.

You are focused. Never have I met any individual more focused than you. You decide what you want, what you need, what you must discuss, what you must do, and you are are unwavering in your devotion that that idea. It's an admirable trait. Frustrating when I'm trying to get you to put jammies on and you get it in your head that what you really need to be doing is solving the pollution problem in the greater Washington metro area. But mostly admirable.

You. You. Well...I've only recounted a single, solitary percent of your total awesomeness and I realized that I could sit here and type all day and still be unable to convey just how wonderful a kid you are. The simple fact is that it's impossible for me to come up with the words that would truly show the world how special and wonderful you are. You are the best, most awesome boy I've ever had - and ever will have - the pleasure of knowing. You're my favorite guy and I love you. I always have, always will, and that's never going to change.

I love you, O.


Posted by Chris at 7:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Haiku For Monday #478

It's early. And I've
been at work for five minutes.
Coffee, work soon please.

Posted by Chris at 7:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 6, 2014

End. In Sight. Maybe.

Last week I posted a relatively disturbing before-and-after picture of my face. Granted, it was a comparison between my rather debonair and youthful looking 2011 picture and a rather steroid-driven gray-bearded 2014 face, but, still, it was a little disconcerting.

I've seen a million (only not) doctors, taken a million drugs, had about a million ounces of blood taken and been biopsied. I've been diagnosed with everything from MRSA to stress and everything in between. But none of these have actually solved the problem.

And then came a supposed miracle drug.

I was accepted into something of a clinical trial and get my first round of injections on Tuesday.

Fingers crossed. Seriously. Fingers. Fucking. Crossed.

Posted by Chris at 7:31 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

February 5, 2014


I'm all about original content. That's why I refuse to read the 25 pitches I get a day (really - more pitches that comments) and why I won't post any photos or art by anyone but myself even if that means trying (and failing) to sketch a photo-realistic picture of The Beatles with a Sharpie. But I ran across an article the other day with a title that intrigued me. I feel the .need to repeat some of it

The Weird Strategy Dr. Seuss Used to Create His Greatest Work (And Why You Should Use It, Too)

It was about the bet Dr. Seuss (Author of Awesomeness) and Bennett Cerf (head of Random House) made. It played out this way: Cerf challenged Seuss to write a book containing only fifty words. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham. Seuss stomped Cerf like the Seahawks stomped the Broncos.

If you read Green Eggs and Ham it contains only fifty words. And they're wonderful words even in their magnificent repetition. The basic point of the article is that, as Dr. Seuss demonstrated, creative people flourish not only when they have the creative freedom to do whatever the hell they want but when that creative freedom is severely constrained. And, sure, it's self-helpy, but it's interesting to note the advantages those constraints can provide.

To demonstrate, I'm going to finish this post using only words that begin with the letter "B".

But, bongos banging barely buffoonish billowing baklava...buuuh...fuck, that's hard.

Posted by Chris at 7:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack