Tuesday, June 20, 2006

GiT Da GIsT?

I’m on the fence when it comes to MySpace.com. Freedom of expression and the thought and energy required to take advantage of it are things I admire and advocate. However, after reading just a few MySpace profiles I can’t help but want to distribute a dictionary and a copy of The Elements of Style to every person under the age of 30 with access to the Internet.

Actually, poor writing isn’t the problem (speaking from the rumpus room of my glass house). As long as I can decipher the bulk of what a person is trying to say then I’m happy, in fact privileged, to see how another person has decided to present him or herself to the world. That said, THiZ kinda CrAp makes ME WaNNA SKREEEEEEM! U prolly can GiT Da GIsT of wut iM tryin ta SAY, but WhY Wuld ANY-1 wAnT tA work DIS hard?

I do love all the photos. The glimpses people provide into their lives can sometimes be downright courageous. These gems are tough to find because of all the drunken or drug hazed images that don’t reflect revelry and joie de vivre as much as they display vacuous methods of killing time. It can be discouraging. And if you find these sorts of images posted by people you know or (God forbid) family members then it’s depressing. Honest and revealing? Maybe. But they still make me sad.

The look-at-me factor of the majority of MySpace content is high. But that’s to be expected. Speaking as a person who has had a Web site for over ten years, look-at-me eats up more than its fair share of my leisure time. But for some reason many of these MySpace profiles, with all the posing, posturing, possessions and partying leave me flat. Even if I know MySpace provides a wonderful opportunity to create and sustain a sense of connection or even community -- I can’t help but want to slap the 28 year-old who posts photos of himself drinking bong water and pissing on his parent’s gardenias in the head.

I’d like to provide links to some examples of these MySpace profiles but I don’t feel comfortable doing that. You’ll have to do your own exploring. Hopefully you won’t have to look long to find something beyond all the shout-outs and affirmations based on how cute a person looks in his or her posted photos. You should know, though, that if you’re over 35 you are not the intended audience. You are a voyeur, cop or creep. If you didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to create your own coming-of-age narrative when you were younger then that’s your problem. You’re consigned to ranting about politics or raving about your children on Blogger.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Good Stuff

Father's Day 2006 and I get gifts and breakfast in bed. I get oatmeal raisin cookies. I get to stare at the ceiling fan in my bedroom all morning and consider my luck.

Since Thursday my agenda has been simple. I kiss my kids. I drive Claudette's Corvette convertible. I drink Old Fashions under the stars and when the stars go away, I drink cold beer in the cool rain. I tease my sister-in-laws. I torment my wife. I kiss my kids. I call my Dads. I wish them Happy Father's Day.

I try not to write about the crap here. This place is for the good stuff.

After this weekend, I'm convinced capturing the good stuff here is fairly impossible.

That doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Bluest Sky You've Ever Seen. . .

. . .In Seattle.

Of course when that song lyric was conjured it was from a memory of a rare, clear day. Yesterday in Seattle it was another one of those rare, clear days when we arrived downtown.

After work, we had time to hit Pike Place Market and hoped to find some fish flying through the air. We didn't notice anyone throwing salmon but the smell was hard to miss. This despite the tons of crushed ice they shoveled everywhere.

I had the best chowder I've ever eaten at a place called Ivar's last night. Holy cow. And the halibut rocked, too.

Leaving for the West coast yesterday was hard. Usually I avoid kissing the kids goodbye so I don't wake them. But I promised Allie I would tell her goodbye. I snuck into her room and gave her a peck on the forehead and whispered, "See you soon."

I went downstairs and as I tied my shoe I heard Allie crying. I found her sitting in her bed sobbing because she didn't want me to go. I gave her a hug and promised her gifts. That was enough to get her to settle back on to her pillow and I got out of there in a hurry.

Same old pang sank into my stomach. I know there's going to be a day when I leave for a trip and she'll barely notice. But for now she seems to miss me almost as much as I miss her.

I'm lucky to sometimes feel so miserable about being apart from my wife and kids. Although I think Deb likes it a little when I leave on business because I'm a nicer guy. I'm careful not to leave with anyone feeling bitter in the least just in case my plane goes down or I don't look both ways before crossing traffic.

Sea shells.

Allie wanted some sea shells because I told her Seattle was near the ocean. I found her two at a shop.

They're from the Philippines.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bat Day

Initially you might think this idea was not well thought out. You are right. Handing baseball bats over to a six year-old and a two year-old whose harmonious co-existence is tenuous enough to often be destroyed by a single, unshared, seedless grape is a bad idea.

It was Bat Day at a Mallard's game we went to this afternoon. We got the tickets from Larry and Karina. When Karina called, I thought they were just standard seats and that would have been perfectly fine. We love going to these games regardless of where we sit. But these tickets were for seats in a suite area.

Way to go Larry and Karina!

There would be no scrambling for refreshments on this game day. Attendants saw to our every need. It was all the hot dogs, brats, hamburgers and chips we could eat. The moment my beer cup was empty, a young woman was there to bring me another specialty microbrew from The Great Dane. The beer was really good. So good, in fact, that things could have easily gone too far but I stopped at five.

Who won? Who knows. Julia got cranky and we left (score tied) at the bottom of the eighth. This isn't unusual for us. We often leave these games early now that we have kids. However, at most games we usually don't have cute girls who bring you beer without even a nod.

On the way home I was thinking I'd shut Allie and Julia up in a room with nothing but their new bats to play with. But remember, I'd only had five so I changed my mind.


If you haven't already, you should check out Deb's post about the Asian Market. We're not effete; we come from sturdy, Midwestern stock. We've been around farms and been taught that even though it may turn your stomach, that's often what commerce smells like so you'd better just suck it up.

But believe me when I tell you this was something different.

Butterfly Rita

Check out the multimedia link on the left for a new movie. Billy the Bean is Allie's stunning debut.

The plan is to someday E-Bay her costume for thousands.