Sep 302013

Went back to Anaheim Chili today and had a half-smoke. Ever heard of such? I hadn’t until I saw it on the menu here, but then I’ve never spent a lot of time in DC. It’s a pork and beef sausage. This one is fully loaded, with slaw, onion, cheese, and dog gravy:


It was tasty, but clearly it’s easier to find something more nutritionally defensible if I stay on the chili menu. Heh.

I just realized I already have confirmed plans to go back to Anaheim Chili two more times this week. I might be developing a problem.

 Posted by at 8:31 pm
Sep 282013

For almost all of my life—like up until a month ago—there were exactly two ways normal, well-adjusted people ingested pumpkin:  pumpkin pie and roasted/seasoned pumpkin seeds.

I like the latter. I can get through half a piece of the former in polite company, but would never choose it.

Now there is pumpkin beer, and pumpkin doughnuts, and pumpkin glaze on chicken. I noticed last week that pumpkin has infested our stock of Keurig cups.

Really, folks? Do you really like this? Or are you talking yourself into it?

 Posted by at 12:22 am
Sep 272013

Aaron:  “I’m gonna miss you, Mommy.”

Lea:  “I’m going to miss you too.”

Aaron:  “No, I mean I’m really gonna miss you.”

– exchange on the couch Tuesday night

The boys have been away from Lea for two nights before—fairly recently, actually—but best we can remember, this is the first time she’s been the absent party. She’s attending an out-of-state funeral, and that she’s traveling with her 87-year-old mother means she can’t get away with only one night on the road. So her total absence checks in at 52 hours or so.

And it’s quite different when Mommy’s away and everyone else is at home.

Now I’m hardly a bumbling sitcom dad who sets out to microwave a turkey pot pie and winds up painting the dog orange. I’m careful, capable, and responsible. It’s not even a tiny gamble to leave our children in my exclusive care for two days.

Tell you what I’ve noticed, though.

First, Lea has a great many things so completely handled that they don’t occur to me day to day. I walked into the kitchen three nights ago to see her packing our boys’ lunches into freezer bags that included notes like this:

lunchdirChance either of our sons would have gone to school without a nutritious lunch? Essentially zero. Chance I’d have prepared said good lunch in a panicked, hurried state because I hadn’t thought of it until eight minutes before we had to leave? Uh, 95% or so sound right?

(The specific directions are very much appreciated.)

Second, when one parent is absent, one big thing you lose is simultaneity. The boys and I had dinner with my dad Wednesday night, and while we were doing so, not one single thing was being done at our house to advance the boys’ needs. No laundry was being done. No pets were being fed. No memos from teachers were being read.

When there is only one of you, you operate in series, not in parallel. When you’re each attacking and defending your own end of parenthood in a complementary fashion, and doing so with conviction, almost nothing escapes. But doing one thing at a time—like you have to when half of your team is gone—requires a different sort of diligence.

I love the boys to the depths of my soul. Their ability to expand my capacity for love amazes me to this day. And they’ve been happy enough. I mean, Dad made homemade chili cheese fries for dinner last night, right? But I still can’t hug and kiss them like their mother can. And wow, does their father ever notice when their mother isn’t there to his left overnight.

We love and miss our queen. Glad she’s almost home.

 Posted by at 6:19 am
Sep 262013
  • Glad to finally get most of that printer ink off my fingers. Call me officially burned by cheap knockoff ink cartridges. FYI: nothing works well, but abrasion works the best.
  • Saturday at 5:30 would be a great time to see a complete game from Alabama. I’m delighted to be 3-0, but I have dreams of a three-peat on hold at the moment. Oregon, LSU, or Georgia would beat us this weekend. Stanford would be a squeaker. Clemson would have a shot.
  • My Rocket City Mom review of Anaheim Chili appeared on Monday. I’ve already been twice this week. May go again tomorrow and finally try the half-smoke. Scott promises to look seriously at a Madison or Research Park area expansion “when this store stops scaring me every month,” so get yourself in there to one of Huntsville’s best independently-owned eateries. I’d love an Anaheim Chili that wasn’t an hour round-trip from my house.
  • I saw a black 2014 Mazda 6 in the metal earlier this week, and it’s the most gorgeous mass-market sedan of the past 30 years. It looks like it costs twice what it does. If I were in the market for a reasonably-priced family car, I’d go drive one of those first. Stylistically, the bar is definitely raised. Nissan? Toyota? Honda? Hyundai? Whatcha got?
  • (I still don’t like cars with a single bank of cylinders having two exhaust pipes, though. Form should follow function. Symmetry is always less important than that. Best manifestation of such? Check out the gun and front landing gear of an A-10.)
  • Enjoyed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the boys on Tuesday night. If I can convince them that we need to time-slip it 20 minutes with the DVR so we can avoid commercials, I might watch it regularly with them. Many of you know I maintain a carefully-cultivated avoidance of serial television, so this is significant.
  • Locals, you know where Lady Ann Lake is? Down Zierdt Road, between Edgewater and Sun Lake? Did you know there were once detailed plans for a major theme/amusement park there called Space City?
  • Three installments left in my marriage series. One of them is about sex. Stay tuned.
 Posted by at 12:02 am
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