Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Vader Project @ The Warhol

Boy, did I enjoy the Vader Project exhibit that opened today at the Andy Warhol museum. Paige sent me off without the boys this morning for a quick visit, and it was wonderful to view the 100 helmets each decorated by a different contemporary artist with no one to carry and no worries that someone in my party was going to touch a helmet or knock over a pedestal. I'll go back at some point and take the boys, who have not yet seen one minute of any Star Wars movie.

One of my favorites was the Vader helmet reinterpreted as a Kangol hat by KaNO.

If you can't go in person (everyone who can, should), check out this set of Flickr photos from an earlier mounting of the exhibit.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

25 Things I Won't Miss Giving Up for Lent

Here's my list of things I wouldn't miss if I were giving them up for Lent:

1. SUVs
2. Reality TV
3. Brussels sprouts
4. Jazz recorded before 1960
5. Jazz recorded since 1960
6. Live jazz
7. Yogurt
8. Mountain West Conference basketball games
9. The comic strip Cathy
10. Waxing
11. Grapefruit juice
12. The Left Behind novels
13. Orange flavored chocolate
14. Coffee
15. Actuarial tables
16. Catherine Zeta-Jones
17. Caramel popcorn
18. Caramel apples
19. Carmel, CA
20. MySpace
21. Ugly Euro-looking sneakers
22. Support hose
23. Echoes with John Diliberto
24. Music on cassettes
25. Pilates

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bodily Functions

One thing about parenting young children is how front and center bodily functions become. No, I'm not going there...well, I am going to go there, but not just yet. This reality starts out very early in the day when my boys wake up wanting breakfast in a way that suggests that they've been wandering in a dessert for 12 days. Their hunger is so urgent. Some days, with all that needs to be done, after I fix them breakfast first thing, I do another hour's worth of stuff before I get to sit down and eat. Or, if I sit down while they're eating, my meal is punctuated by 1,100 trips to the kitchen for something they want or need. Yes, I can and do say no, but our family seems pretty unorganized at this stage, and often something has been left off the table that needs to be there.

Then, there are the noses. My 2-year-old says very endearingly "my nose are running" and "peez wipe my nose". I much prefer these reports and his willing blowing to the wrestling match that occurs over sinus-sourced mucus with some children. Still, there's an urgency about it. And then, there are moments when I'd really like to blow my nose, and I can't because I'm carrying a) children, b) groceries, c) my work bag, d) my cell phone, trying to arrange a sitter or e) all of the above. Dont' get me started on coaching my 6-year-old to blow his nose with the kleenex rather than pick the dead-of-winter monster boogers he picks and arrays nicely on the kleenex.

Finally, of course, there's the bathroom. The fact that our toddler doesn't use the potty, and sometimes I need to very badly and can't get there for whatever reason.

It all just makes me realize that parenting young children is primal. We are in charge of people who grow slowly out of their helplessness, and it forces us to put some of our most basic wants and needs on hold.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I feel compelled to write a word of thanks to the germs that inhabited my toddler from November 1-December 31 (but only on the most inconvenient days) for staying away all of January. My first two-months as a part-timer were marked by constant scrambles for care on the days when Teddy couldn't go to child care because he was sick.

Maybe he got a stronger immune system for Christmas, but the child didn't miss a day in January. And the snow days and delays that peppered January didn't derail me too much either. Thanks especially to neighbor Mary for help with that one delay.

It's become clear that this part-time work, part-time SAHD arrangement can work as long as everyone goes where they're supposed to when they're supposed to. It's also clear that I can't depend on that; something will always come up. That said, I'm grateful for a disease-free January.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Does anyone pay taxes?

I have to ask with three high profile nominees having back tax issues: does anyone in this country pay his or her taxes? Completely? On time? Without the risk of public scandal?

Now I know that Tom Daschle's post-senate taxes are more complicated than my family's. My wife and I have never worked for the IMF. But we did have a household employee, and we (the my wife part of we) worked very diligently to make sure we always paid those taxes and kept good records. And we aren't expecting any White House nominations.