Wednesday, December 19

Fun With The News

I used to enjoy doing this until Tiff started doing it better, but just too much good stuff lately.

R. Kelly Misses Court Date in Chicago
Shocking. Next you'll tell me Pam is getting divorced.

Pamela Anderson Files for Divorce
Shocking. Next you'll tell me Amy Winehouse got arrested.

Amy Winehouse Arrested in Husband Case
Shocking. Next you'll tell me a Spears family member is an idiot.

Jamie Lynn Spears Pregnant at 16
Oh, I give up.

Swiss, EBay Stop Sale of Iraqi Treasure
Overestimated the value of scrap metal and camel dung.

Congress Challenges Bush Over CIA Tapes
Protests erasure of money shot.

Romney Aligns Himself With Bush in Iowa
In preparation for make-up money shot.

Giant Rat Discovered in Indonesia Jungle
Later identified as Jerry Falwell in hiding.

T.O. to Jessica Simpson: Stay Away
Apparently, T.O. is unable to tolerate anyone prettier than him.

Tequila Finds Love on MTV Dating Show
Conversely, MTV dating show contestants find love on tequila.

Osborne to Remain Nebraska AD Until 2010
Sharon blames Ozzie's extended attention-deficit on retarded kids.

WHO Urges Vigilance As Bird Flu Spreads
Recent study finding: no one.

NY Banks Robbed 4 Times in a Week
One less than their customers.

Morgan Stanley, Hovnanian Big Movers
Cite Feen-A-Mint as cause.

Judge: White House Logs Are Public
Cites 1964 Feen-A-Mint precedent.

Al-Qaida Offers 'Interview' With No. 2
Expresses interest in Feen-A-Mint.

Bush to Visit Israel, West Bank
"I hope it accepts my ATM card," sez Prez.

China Not Cited As Currency Manipulator
Upgraded to "ethics abuser."

NASA Ties Shuttle Gauge Woes to Bad Part
WAMU Wires Butter Gouged Nose to Brad Pitt.

Iraq Complains over Turkey Bombing
Admits that the chicken bazooka is pretty cool, however.

Knicks Fans Rally for Isiah to Be Fired
Please let it be from a chicken bazooka.

Whales May Have Come From Deer-Like Animal
Which explains why whales were almost hunted to extinction for their antlers.

Man Wrestles, Subdues Deer at Maryland Home
Found smothered in baleen.

Tuesday, December 18

9 Little Known Christmas Facts

Every kid knows all the items in his stocking came from the $.99 Store, and doesn't want any of it.

No one really knows what Kwanza Kwaanzaa Quonza Kiwanis that stupid made-up holiday is.

By the age of three months, the average American child has seen "A Christmas Story" 47 times.

You will never find the perfect Christmas card, but at least you won't be torturing loved ones with the generic "what we did this year" letter from the family dog.

If you count all the crazed idiot shoppers at the mall, you're one of them.

New Christmas carols suck.

The word marzipan Comes from the German martz, meaning "sweet," and the Danish zippan, meaning "horse turd."

One pound of fruitcake weighs three pounds.

As soon as you pay your Christmas bills, it's Christmas again.

Friday, December 14


All these random shootings lately, at schools, at malls, at a school bus stop here in Sin City. So many innocent people harmed for no good reason. So many diseased individuals with guns.

And they keep missing Oprah!

Saturday, December 8

Self Analysis Through Movies

The Ten Commandments (1956)
A prince of privilege discovers the plight of those less worthy. In sympathy and political downfall, he learns a man is defined by simple things, his worth measured by his relationships with others. Slave by birth, leader by upbringing, he finds the true measure of a man is acknowledgement of himself and belief in things greater than himself.

Logan's Run (1976)
A policeman of the state, drenched in power and excess, questions his existence and the culture that bore him. Through defiance and treachery, and with a strong woman at his side, he discovers the uncomfortable and delicious dangers of freedom.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Men skilled in gunplay and strategy, outcasts all, band together in a hopeless cause. In doing so, they learn the value of friendship, family, and community.

Spartacus (1960)
A victim of Roman imperialism, a man refuses to be subdued, eventually leading a strong revolutionary army. A life of extreme passions, lust, hatred, and violence are tempered by his leadership and compassion of others. His life ends in unjust persecution. His unbreakable independence succeeds him.

A River Runs Through It (1992)
In a place of astounding natural beauty and raw human emotion, an eldest son measures himself against his father and his younger brother. Living by paternal code and a sense of what is right, he is overshadowed by his younger brother's charisma and larger-than-life persona. After carrying on the traditions of marriage and children, his brother's death by gambling and bravado are revered by his ministerial father.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney 1996)
A hated and ugly man discovers the source of his torment is not God, but the evil of men. His spirit conquers all but the woman he desires. He finds his goodness and optimism are enough after all.

Casablanca (1942)
A man is jaded by a woman who left him and world events turning sour. When the love of his life crosses his path on the arm of another man, he finds the strength and love to help in her happiness. He discovers a friend he did not know he had, gives up all he owns, and devotes himself to the future.

King Kong (1933)
A misunderstood creature tries to reach out, but is reviled. His attempts at tenderness are misunderstood, his lonely bravado mistaken for aggression. Finally, a victim of his desires, he succumbs to powers that he does not understand, and which will not understand him.

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
A man learns his worth, however insignificant it may seem. The lesson is uplifting, if bittersweet.

How I Chose
I listed my favorite movies, and whittled the list down to nine. I ranked them in terms of themes that spoke most clearly to me, not necessarily by which I would choose to watch over any other. It was a difficult task.

The result is not a hierarchy of my favorites, but a snapshot of who I am right now. My cursory descriptions of the films give insight to who I think I am. It might be interesting to see what others think.

I invite you to do the same. You might be surprised by what you find.

Sunday, December 2

Breathing Room

I write this with a head full of ideas while drinking beer and watching football at my favorite watering hole. So 'scuse me if it doesn't meet the accepted definitions of coherence or sense. I believe the truth of it will come through, misspellings, excessive punctuation, drifting thought and all.

It seems to me that all good life-changes take a year to absorb. Bad life-changes either dog you forever, or you slice them off as quickly as possible.

The weekly meetings with my boss used to take an hour and a half. Now it's down to 30 minutes. Ten minutes of work/strategy/problem talk, and twenty minutes of two men talking about sports, family, staff, whatever. We both had a great deal invested in my hiring. Now it's proven and successful, so the "imminent danger" mentality is gone. The mental resources invested in worry is now available for more productive things.

I can breathe now. Maybe it's a male thing, but until my breadwinner status is assured, I cannot find the energy needed to completely devote my self to the day-to-day activities of the family, or other pursuits I might enjoy. It's not that I'm distant, it's just that the foundation isn't as strong as it could be. It is unfair to both sexes, and seemingly out of favor now, but if I cannot provide food, shelter, and security to my mate and our offspring, I should not progress to other endeavours. Perhaps this is why fathers are perceived as more distant than mothers. I firmly believe it is my lot, my role, my responsibility, my place.

I take that back. It's not a male thing. It's a good man thing.

With all my flaws, mistakes, errors in judgment, I am a good man. My children love me. My wife loves me. My children have tough shells and smarts and tools to survive their own flaws, mistakes, errors in judgment.

I love my children. I love my wife. And they love me, because I have provided for them. I have fulfilled every primate male's duty as described by
Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a duty that has no end, nor option to resign. I am a good man.

- - - - -

Princefisher I will fly away from the nest in about six weeks. Sure, he will live with relatives, but he won't be here. Truth be known, Queenfisher and I shoved him out. We would not be good parents if we didn't make him test his wings. Sometimes the lessons of youth are harder on the parents. But I am excited. And proud. He will attend my Alma Mater, a beautiful place rich with my family's history. I envy his future experience, the insatiable curiosity, the invulnerable beliefs, the incalcuble losses, the invaluable wins. But I will miss him terribly.

- - - - -

Princefisher II underwent surgery 4 days ago. It was necessary, and simple by today's standards, but it drained me. Having never been in a hospital before, my 16-year-old son was unfamiliar with the bastard show-everyhting-robe he was required to wear. But he allowed me to help him, sarcastically assuming the "against the wall" position of an arrestee so I could tie up the robe's inscrutible laces. For an instant, I saw the young supple beauty I used to possess, which was irresistable to the girls who brought him home-made cup cakes during his recovery. His male friends visited in droves, tender and understanding, allowing him to rest his legs across their laps, telling him they would leave when he needed rest. When he needed rest, they quietly covered him with a blanket and left.

I never had friends like that.

- - - - -

Princessfisher. I don't know how to describe my daughter, or my love for her. So here's a picture of her and my mother. On vacation I took them to San Francisco. We walked and drove the Presidio, had lunch at an outside table at Fisherman's Wharf, and rode the cable cars. How do you explain a good man's feelings about a day with females that define him? You can't.

- - - - -

So you see the important things by which I perceive my identity. But there are insignificant things that are important as well. Things without which life is just existence. Things which make existence life. Things which, important people and required duty aside, speak to us and make life wondrous, beautiful, inexpressable. All you can do is relate them, and hope others understand.

- - - - -

All marriages go through times of difficulty. Fortunately for the wife and I, serious relationship issues have occurred once, maybe twice, in 23 years. Unfortunately, right now we are in a bit of financial difficulty. Christmas is a bad time for that, especially with college bills coming up, but we seem strangely calm about it. Sure, we worry, but maybe it's because we've been through so much already that we are reinforced and comforted by each other and fight on. Little things seem to mean so much more right now.

- - - - -

Driving to San Franciso on vacation I saw flocks of migrating birds. In wedges and polygons and riots and weavings they executed random patterns against the sky, the reasons unknown to me, but gorgeous and perfect.

- - - - -

Two days ago we had a 24 hour rain. In the desert this is rare and precious. The steady light kisses of the sky caused Mt. Charleston to hide behind veils of white.

- - - - -

I arrived home after a hard day and a harder commute. My kids had rimmed the front windows in Christmas lights, bought light-up candy canes and placed them on the lawn, and put together our fake Christmas tree. Fake? Fuggit. It was my home, and my family made it for me to see.

- - - - -

We had to put Pupfish to sleep for the winter. Our last voyage was perfect. It was too cold to swim, but the sunlight fairies danced on the waves. Soda and beer and cheese and bread and salami was never so good. It was just us: Kingfisher, Queenfisher, Princefisher I, Princefisher II, and Princessfisher. As a bonus, wild burros came to visit! The lead male threatened us, probably because there were more females than males, but moreso because there was a baby burrito. We anchored the boat and watched him lead his tiny herd to somewhere else.

- - - - -

Like that burro, I am an alpha male. My workmates may not see it. My offspring may rebel against it. But after one year, I accept that which makes me. I cannot speak for females, but as a leader I have learned how to be the manager, the protector, the provider, the patriarch of a little piece of humanity. I am steadfast in uncertain battles. I am malleable in uncertain debate. I am confident in uncertain times, even if I am uncertain.

Life continues to change, but at least I can breathe a little slower now. Until the next task, whatever it may be. Now on to all those things I've wanted to do for a year but didn't have the energy for!

2008 is gonna be great.

p.s. The 49ers suck.