Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

RIP Nora Ephron

"Baby Fish Mouth" is still one of the best lines in cinematic history.  While we're at it, RIP Bruno Kirby, too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lucky 13

I have been married to Lynette for 13 years as of today.  It's a peculiar phenomenon when after we meet people on our journeys that it's difficult to imagine a life without them.  But I'm pretty sure I knew Lynette and I were destined to be together the moment I met her, circa 1993.  Unfortunately, this was not a shared vision.  Lynette's love was earned (one of the two proudest accomplishments in my life).

I don't know when Lynette decided I was good enough to be her man.  Maybe she waited until I climbed some mountains and crashed some cars before she risked everything on me.  A man shouldn't question the gifts he receives, but rather show the necessary appreciation for them.  I can care less how air keeps us alive, I'm just glad it does.  I don't know which joke it was I told that convinced Lynette I was a keeper, I'm just glad I told the right one.  

Regardless, we did it.  We got married in a hot church and have never complained about the heat ever since.  


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


*Strong language for those of you with fragile sensibilities and/or inability to realize that words can't hurt you. :-)

Work Email

Hyperthermia?  Today?  I'm at risk?  Are you sure?  It's going to be a hot summer day?  Water is good for me?  Getting thirsty is bad?  Will I get sweaty?  Will you get sweaty?  Will newscasters accost me as I try to enter the Metro?  "How are you dealing with this heat?"  How soon will my parents call to one-up my hot weather with their own hot weather? How long will my mother talk about the people she works with that I haven't met and how they dealt with the heat?

Monday, June 18, 2012

F-Day +1

Last night after his bath and just before bed time, we played my favorite game with James:  Lynette and I sit on the living room floor about four feet apart and James runs back and forth into our arms to be scooped up and put back down on the floor laughing all the way.  I don't remember how long this bout went on, but I'm pretty sure I won.

It's difficult for me to opine on the value of fathers.  You don't need to hear it from me that divorce is a plague which ravishes too many families.  Too many kids grow up confused and oblivious about (unfortunately) nuanced relationships in their young lives.  Relationships that are supposed to be iron-clad and water-tight.  I love the people who raised me.  I love them with all my heart.  But I swear to God and Lynette and all that is holy and eternal in this world, I will never, ever make James have to grow up with a different last name than his parents.

I am the only male in my family who has not been divorced.  I wear that fact on my sleeve with honor and Lynette thinks it's only a matter of time before I walk out on her and James like my father before me, fleeing into the backwoods of the Appalachian hill country.  Though I would enjoy some time fishing on some lake in the middle of a secluded forest somewhere, I cannot imagine doing it without Lynette and James.

I'm not overly religious, and I stand as far away from Conservatism as I can, but there is nothing more important in our lives than family.  Nothing.      

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sharks and Jets

Last night I was sifting through the stinky Wednesday night television offerings when I came across West Side Story.  (Winner of 10 Oscars including Best Picture in 1961, I learned.)  I'm ashamed to admit that I have never seen West Side Story.  I loved it!  But I didn't commit to watching the entire movie, which is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, until Lynette assured me that no one dies in the end. Then along comes Chico and his fucking gun.  


I'm not used to watching a baseball team that actually wins!  Watch this:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Grooming

In 1994 I spent all the money I had to buy a one-way bus ticket to Livingston, Montana, where I then had to hitchhike 70 miles into the heart of Yellowstone National Park (fighting off bears and elk) where I worked in a hotel dining room and emerged from a weak, frightened, timid cocoon. My journey into the most beautiful place in the United States was one of the darkest I ever took sending me down paths of heartbreak and loneliness and despair.  But when I found myself at the bottom I looked up and saw mountains. Gorgeous, impossible, redeeming mountains.

That's when I cut my hair.  It's symbolic, man.  And really fucking important.

So, every month since that fateful day in 1994, 8,000 feet above sea level, I shave my head.  Or, rather, I get someone else to shave my head.  Coincidentally, that person has always been Love of My Life Lynette.

But this month we got busy.  James' first birthday and visits from in-laws and preparing our condo for sale left me bushy headed and slowly losing my identity.  So yesterday I walked down the street from work to a downtown unnamed Washington DC barber shop.

This tale will sound contrived and cliched, but it really happened.  I walked in, nervous because I'm not sure how many white customers they get, and promptly created a battle for my patronage among three different barbers quick to insult the other.  I sat in an old barber chair and instantly disappeared into the fabric of old, faded posters on the various styles of afro I could ask for.  The barbers were made up of one old timer know it all, and  three young men who respectfully called the old man Mr. D.  The conversation strayed from a recent boxing match to a claim by one of the young barbers that he and his girlfriend had a threesome with some woman they met at the bar while watching said boxing match.  Then a man who was standing outside trying to sell his Subaru Outback to another man came in and sat down in an empty chair.  Mr. Subaru scolded the others for talking dirty in front of the Reverend.  Twenty seconds later I realized he was referring to me.

The haircut was a bit pricey, but how would you pay to earn a nickname at a local, neighborhood barber shop?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Open House

We went to two open houses this weekend.  One had a bedroom with a depressing view looking over the neighbor's awesome in-ground swimming pool.  The other had wallpaper to look like exposed brick. I neither want to get caught spying on some hot topless chick swimming or spend any amount of time taking down wallpaper.  Moving on.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus

I have decided that if our next child is a girl her name will be Transit of Venus Carlock. Yesterday planet Venus crossed between the Earth and Sun reminding us how utterly insignificant we can feel sometimes in light of grander events occurring elsewhere in the universe.  The term Transit of Venus is such a beautiful phrase.  I love words and I can't think of a better metaphor for the sudden realization that life is spectacular, but always moving regardless of my puny intentions.

I saw a tweet this morning that I felt compelled to re-tweet: "When you say it's difficult, it becomes more difficult. When you say it's easy, it actually becomes easier."  The power of our thinking and the energy we produce with positive thoughts may be the most underrated, underdeveloped, untapped source of magic that we never use.  Whether or not you believe in God, or a god, or gods, or Flying Spaghetti Monsters, there's no denying the power of prayer/meditation/deep thinking.  It's ironic then that I mention the celestial movements of entire planets and the introverted act of prayer in the same blog post, no?  No.

Venus will continue to move through the darkness of space, its orbit around the Sun seemingly infinite. Simultaneously, the unlikeliest places of strength for us can be found inside our own minds.  Seemingly infinite, yet orbiting in a different kind of space.  Just as powerful as a planet flying across the Sun.

Recently I had a thought:  God is in the details.  It's a phrase I was taught in college in a poetry class that I miss dearly.  The strength of a poem, that art form so often misunderstood and placed either too high upon a pedestal or too low in the back of an awful weekend article in your local newspaper, is reliant on the details.  Without the gorgeous details of the most minute things, the groups of words we fuse into poems can just as easily be assembled by monkeys.  Poems are not assembled by monkeys.  Sometimes a poem is so poignant it changes your life.  Like a planet breezing past the Sun.

Take some time to think happy thoughts.  Take time to pray for good things.  Take time to appreciate all the beauty that surrounds you.  There's so much of it that you didn't even realize was there.  Maybe the next time Venus appears on the face of the Sun our great-great grandchildren will be reminded that life shan't be wasted on the small stuff.

Star Wars 1313