Friday, April 29, 2011

Kate's Hot; And Other Thoughts on the Wedding

 It's funny the things people say when they think they're being funny.  It's almost as if the joke itself doesn't matter.  And the context, or rather the act of making a statement on the joked-about subject is really what counts.

For example, the Royal Wedding (capital R, capital W).  To be honest, I have been barraged with more tweets and status updates from friends who are "sick and tired" of hearing about the Royal Wedding blah blah blah. And blah blah blah blah blah.

The truth is I'm pretty sick and tired of people saying they're sick and tired... Because really, unless I'm not watching the same lame television channels as these friends, I haven't felt that it was all that intrusive in my life. Seriously.

Here's what I know: Princess Diana was a pretty cool lady and she had some cute sons and she died tragically and her oldest boy grew into a heart throb and Kate Middleton is totally hot and beautiful and everything a country would want in a future queen.  Did I miss anything?  Oh, Harry.  He's my favorite.  You think Vince on Entourage is wild? Imagine being the fiery haired, North Pole hiking, fighter pilot prince whose got no chance at the throne.  Now THAT'S a guy who knows how to party!

I got to work this morning and checked the internet for images from the wedding.  And as far as I could tell it was simple, charming, subdued, and beautiful.  Kate's dress was terrifically modest and unassuming.  Everybody looked happy and a seemingly ageless tradition in Britain reassured its people that their monarchy, as powerless and meaningless as it seems, will go on.  Because that's what I'm really trying to get at here: This wedding was a very big deal to the people of Britain.  A very big deal.  Who are we to shit on their culture?

Let's not fool ourselves, America.  We're just as guilty of trivial pomp and inane ceremonial circumstance as any generation of Royal Wedding watchers. Imagine if the Super Bowl only occurred once every twenty years... Holy shit the advertising!

The only woman lovelier than Kate Middleton is Lynette White-Carlock, the Queen of Gorgeous Kick Ass Boom.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Things that are awesome right now

Portal 2 is awesome right now.

And the Washington Capitals.  They're awesome.

Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss is pretty awesome, too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pat the Zombie

Our friends Max, Chris, and Nat Cooper gave us the book Pat the Bunny to read to our future son, but here's a new take on a classic book from Boing Boing:

When my kids were little they loved it when my wife and I read Pat the Bunny to them. The crudely drawn illustrations and pastel colors were half the charm of this book; the real fun was the interactivity. On one page you could pat the bunny's soft fur. On another page you could scratch and sniff some flowers. On another page you could feel daddy's unshaven cheek.

Now that my daughters are older (8, and 13) they still occasionally like to flip through the book (I do, too!). But they whooped with delight when I showed them this amazing parody of Pat the Bunny called Pat that Zombie. The drawing style, colors, and interactive features on each two-page spread match the original page-for-page, except with creepy zombie scenes replacing the warm and cuddly ones. Instead of patting the bunny, little Judy eviscerates a bunny, exposing its slimy entrails. InsteaYoud of sniffing flowers, young Paul catches a whiff of the decaying, bloated remains of a zombie victim. Instead of feeling Daddy's scratchy beard, Judy feels Daddy's putrefying face. I posted a video of part of the book, but I didn't want to spoil the fun of the rest of the pages so I stopped after the first few spreads.

Far too often, parodies are poorly done and not very funny. I think it's because they don't honor the things that they are parodying. Pat the zombie is a rare example of a parody done right.

My Heart is an Idiot

Monday, April 18, 2011

Plentiful Cake

Without any context I will inform you that my refrigerator is full of cake.

Anyone watch the premier of Games of Thrones last night on HBO?  What did you think?  I attempted to read the first book last year, but grew weary of the numerous characters and convoluted story lines.  However, in television form there might be a good chance to hold my interest.  The production values were the best I have seen since... ever, I think.  If you have a fancy HD TV with all the fixins' this is a showcase program.  A few times I said aloud "beautiful."

If you're reading this thinking, "What the heck is Game of Thrones?" then I don't have any friends who are into the same stuff I'm into.  In which case, I'll be over here eating cake.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pen & Ink

Artist and father-in-law Jim White has been making pens lately.  Beautiful pens.  Out of wood.  Here's a video of me filling the fountain pen he sent me with ink I bought online.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peter Jackson's Hobbit Vlog!

Great googily moogily, it's really happening!  The Hobbit!  I sososososososososo can't wait! I'm this close to giving my most highest pitch squeals.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Clown didn't show

Lynette's baby shower was had over the weekend.  Our friends Chris and Catherine organized a splendid afternoon of merriment and food.  I was most impressed with how cool they remained when it became abundantly clear that the clown they ordered was not going to show.  Neither one of them appeared upset or perturbed in any way.  Regardless, Lynette had a wonderful time and was humbled by the amount of gifts our friends showered her with. 

Still though, the clown didn't show.  I hope they write an angry letter to the clown store.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Pregnant Lynette

Seven weeks to go!

Teaching My Husband to Swim

By Jacqueline Berger

Usually I'm the one who knows nothing,
frozen at the computer while my husband
tries to talk me through.
But this morning at the inn where we've come
to celebrate our second anniversary,
he tells me how many people in the past
have tried and failed to teach him how to swim.
I throw my suit on and grab our towels.
This is something I know I can do.
We've already been in the pool—a late afternoon
dip when we got here, me doing laps
and my husband dog paddling beside me,
his head above water, or holding his breath
the length of the pool before coming up for air.
Now I stand by the side, pulling my elbows back
and turning my head to demonstrate the crawl.
The fog has burned off the valley
and the pool shines, set off by the vineyards
whose grapes in another month
will be ready for harvest.
My husband in the pool tries to follow what I'm showing
but yanks his head to the surface, coughing water.
I get in with him and we discuss the mechanics
of breathing. He doesn't know about exhaling
through the nose under water, never learned
the significance of making bubbles.
It's a revelation. I send him
back and forth across the pool and it works.
He's swimming. Each time his face comes up
as his arm draws back,
the O of his mouth looks like wonder
or terror. We move on to the breast stroke,
and his head, like a needle stitching cloth,
gathers the water in the thick folds.
I stand off to the side coaching,
triumphant but careful to let the victory be his.
An ironic high five when we get out of the water
is all he wants to signify the occasion.
In the delicate economy of marriage
giving costs less than receiving,
the thin wire of power
threaded through the soft body of need.
We're ready for a hot bath
and both fit in the large tub in our room
where we lather our bodies and hair,
passing the soap between us.

"Teaching My Husband to Swim" by Jacqueline Berger, from The Gift that Arrives Broken. © Autumn House Press, 2010. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Snap Out of a Spiritual Slump with Lent

Check out the article the pastor of my church wrote for CNN: LINK

Cell Phone World

Pet peeve: People who call someone on their cell to say, "I'll be there in five minutes." 

Suggestion: Don't call and just be there in five minutes.

I wonder if there's an inherited sense of duty when someone buys a cell phone that makes them feel they're obligated to use the technology to its fullest capacity.  As recent as the 90's, when we were five minutes away from being somewhere we just kept driving until we got there five minutes later.  Nothing bad happened (unless the pool boy was hiding in the closet).  Life continued on its path seemingly structured and orderly. 

This new ability to inform someone that you will be arriving in five minutes has not altered the way we go about our lives, has it?  (Other than having ample time to get the pool boy out of the house before you get home.)

So I wonder, does calling five minutes prior to getting home change the Just Got Home greeting?  Does calling moments before I get home decrease the effort I have to put into the kiss hello?  Does calling five minutes before I arrive reduce the pressure of providing a proper greeting (aka getting up off the couch)?  I suppose if it means you have time to put some pants on I'm all for it.  But the call should go like this: "Dude, I'm five minutes away - put some pants on." 

Those are the one-sided cell phone conversations I want to hear. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ideas Swirl

Okay, seriously, a dream of mine is to create a comic book.  But I can't draw.  And that's that.  Dream over.

Dramatic, sure, but realistic nonetheless.  I really can't draw.  I mean, I can draw, but nothing consistently.  I'm artful and all and can probably throw some witty captions on things, but making a comic requires consistent recreations of the same images over and over again.  Can't do. 

Oh well.  'Tis life. We cope, yeah?  And usually (usually) coping leads to other arenas undiscovered.  How I satisfy my comic book dream may come as a surprise to you and me both.

For example, I recently took up the ukulele.  And I'm having a son - maybe he'll be an artist and he and I will be a father son team of comic book creators.