Apr 28 2014

Trolling the Daughter


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Apr 16 2013

The Hunter

My daughter’s cat, Mr. Pucko, likes to kill things. He was so adorable when he killed his first bird that we wanted to commemorate it, so we made a little bird grave with a little bird tombstone. It seemed pretty funny at the time. Over the next couple of weeks he would bring back more birds and even a snake and we buried those, too.

Spurred on by the permanent monuments to his hunting prowess, he has continued to reduce the neighborhood’s wildlife population–birds, squirrels, bunnies. Each time he brings the carcass (or what is left of it) back to us and sits waiting until we bury it with a grave marker. It’s kind of macabre, really–the entire front yard is full of tiny tombstones. One of them has little bunny ears on it. The neighbors are starting to wonder what is going on, and people drive slower as pass the house, now. Still, it keeps us from having bones and feathers all over the yard.

But things are staring to get a little out of hand. Not content to merely kill things and have them chucked in a hole, Puck is starting to hint that he wants to have them stuffed. Taxidermy is expensive, especially when someone has eaten all of the meaty bits out of the critter. On top of all this, he wants them mounted on the wall. At cat height.

That was the last straw. The last time he brought a little animal corpse home, we just let him sit there over his kill, ignoring the dour look on his little face.

However, I’m starting to feel a little nervous. You know how cats tend to walk between your feet when you are going down stairs? I wonder if he is doing it a little bit too much.

I hope he’s not reading this.

I am so scared.

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Mar 29 2013

What She Says, What She Means #1


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Oct 5 2012

“Are you stupid?”

That was what a mom asked one of her children while I was eating lunch. I don’t know if the child was stupid or not, but the mom was the one wearing skintight sweatpants out in public.

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Oct 3 2012

Quotable: Les Ollila

“If your wife comes home and the front end of the car is rearranged you have to decide, ‘Do I want a good car or a good marriage–you cannot have both at that point.”

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May 1 2012

Incompatible women & music

The first cassette tape I ever bought was the soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera (I already had a pirated version, but wanted the real thing). Sarah Brightman played Christine, and I loved her voice. Shortly after I bought this I started hanging around with Noodles. She did not think very much of Ms. Brightman’s voice.

And so started a trend that has followed me the rest of my life: whatever female vocalist I like, the women in my life do not like.

I started listening to Emmylou Harris the year before I met my wife. I have repeatedly said that I would listen to her sing the phone book. Heather and I were married 14 years before she revealed to me that she just didn’t care much for Emmylou. At all. We stay married for the children.

And so time passes by. My 14 year old, The Baby, has been a musical child since she was at least 2, and has always sang (we used a song to teach her to spell her name when she was little). She has always loved musicals (even bad ones). She first saw Phantom of the Opera when it hit the big screen back in 2004. The other day we were talking about different musicals, Les Miz, Phantom, etc.

“I love Phantom of the Opera,” she said.

“I just hate Christine’s voice.”


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Apr 1 2012

Lustin’ for a bustin’

Remember back in the old days when gullible people would email you ridiculous urban legends without checking the facts? You know the ones I mean: out of context photo with plenty of JPEG compression artifacts, inaccurate descriptions, poor spelling, lots of all caps and exclamation points, and a story that just seems a wee bit too pat. I have created an example for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure:

The great thing about email is that it was easy to quietly inform the sender about the error without calling them out in front of everyone.

But now everyone posts this junk on Facebook, and there’s no easy way to politely inform them that they are 1) believing and 2) spreading lies, or at best, half-truths. Plus, it’s made worse by the fact that I almost never post on Facebook, and almost never comment, either, so it will look like I just troll around waiting for someone to post something stupid.

I don’t. I like seeing the joys of my friends and acquaintances, I like knowing what they are struggling with so that I can better pray for them. Despite all the cheezy ads and game requests, Facebook really has made it easier for the most part to keep in touch with people–even if I rarely interact with them. Kind of like me in real life, I guess.

Anyway, the current legend going around shows a severely debrided foot and claims to be the result of some poor unnamed shmoe having stepped on a broken fluorescent lightbulb and had to get “mercury powder” flushed out for several months, and this is the kind of mortal danger the government wants to force you to have in your home and that’s why we stock up on incandescent bulbs that convert 95% of their energy into heat instead of light God bless America.

I want to show the kindness of releasing people from deceit, but I also want to show the kindness of, you know, simple kindness. That really is the challenge of Ephesians 4:15, “…speaking the truth in love….” Telling the truth is alone is setting the bar pretty low; you could probably swing a dead cat and hit a dozen people who use honesty as an excuse for malice.

But to be honest and kind–that’s takes a bit of effort.

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Mar 27 2012

Quotable: Jenny from Big Fish

“No, it’s logical
if you think like your father.
See, to him,
there’s only two women:
your mother
everyone else.”

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Sep 21 2011

Most loved and overlooked

Probably one of the gifts I most appreciate–and most take for granted–is a gift that is quite common in the 21st century United States. Most people have it, it is free, and it is available to all. In fact, it is even imposed on a good deal of people quite against their wills–as it was with me.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me how much I love books. I love shopping for them, acquiring them, repairing them. Of course I love reading them; the aforementioned verbs were merely symptomatic of a bibliophilic life. As I have mentioned earlier, some of my earliest happy memories involve books.

But it wasn’t always so.

Literacy was forced upon me in first grade. I had no desire to read. It wasn’t that I was proud of my ignorance or deficiency, but I simply didn’t realize I was ignorant, and wasn’t aware that I was missing anything. Learning to read was easy for me–too easy, probably. It unlocked nothing for me, solved no problems.

From the time I was three I was always drawing and always watching cartoons. Decades after I developed a genuine love for the written word, I would still denigrate writing as the dumb stepbrother of drawing. I remember in one of my many cartooning books the author had stated, “Good writing will carry bad art, but good art won’t carry bad writing.” It was the most heretical blasphemy at the time, but now so obviously true.

There was only one story that I cared about as a small child–The Legend of Sleepy Hollow–and that was because Dad told it to me. Right before bed. When I was three. I loved, and was terrified by, that story.

So when Mom gave me $5 to go take to the first grade book sale to get whatever I wanted, all I wanted was information, not stories. Specifically, information on snakes and dinosaurs. After that lack of literature, I would get my book choices supervised.

Still, Mom did do one very clever thing: she bought lots of children’s books, and then promptly did not make me read them. Just left them around the house. When we hit garage sales, action figures were maybes, but books were almost guaranteed to be approved (providing they weren’t about snakes or dinosaurs).

Tonight I started The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay. I’m still in the middle of reading The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes. As I write this I am flanked by a giant pile of books, two large bookshelves full of books (one of which I built), and in the midst of typing this I had to give in to the sudden urge to purchase Burton Raffel’s translation of Beowulf.

I realize that I owe a debt of gratitude to the following people:

  • My mom and dad
  • Mrs. Handley
  • Benjamin Rush
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Robertson Memorial Library
  •  Trails Regional Library, Corder branch
  • Mrs. Sheehan
  • Mrs. Redden
  • Mrs. Smith
  • Mrs. Alfino
  • Mrs. Craig
  • Any of you who have ever given me a good book

If you can read this, give thanks to God that you have working eyes and a working brain, and give thanks to the parent or teachers who taught you how to read, or how to read better.

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Jun 20 2010

Happy Father’s Day

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” –English proverb

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