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Thursday
Jun122008

Revenge

From whence this wretched racket? There was mewling, whimpering in the dark, probably Lucy in the midst of some goofy night terror. When do you get to finally sleep? How old must these little people become before they just let you sleep? She is 4 for the love of God. It’s 2 AM. When will she end her perpetual argument with the wind? But not so fast. I didn’t make it to Lucy’s room before I was stopped in my tracks. Jackson? I opened his bedroom door.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: I am too tired to provide any sympathies for the likes of you in these wee hours. Get a grip, boy. Do you need a thrashing?
JACKSON: (hushed, urgent): Dad, there’s someone in my closet.
BHJ: Paaa! Cats, Jackson. Are you serious? You got me out of bed for some freeloading scoundrel cats?!?
PAN & LUNA (in unison): We’re over here. [in bed with Jackson]
BHJ: So you are. Scoundrels. Let’s have a look in your closet then so we can put an end to this foolishness.

I heard something too. I was totally freaked out but I’m still trying to present an image to Jackson of a Dad who doesn’t get freaked out. But I do. I know that not every noise in the night leads back to some rational explanation. That it’s actually some errant fairy or cartoon figure or worse. Some noises are the malcontent undead bumbling around the creases of the living. The dead are clumsy. Scary shit. But this time I discovered, not before screeching like Lucy when you tell her it’s naptime, that it was only Calamari. I grabbed him by the hair on the back of his head and yanked him from the closet.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: Got you! What business do you profess to have in my son’s closet, rogue?
JACKSON: Dad?
CALAMARI: O but scores need a little settling, Mr. Jesus. My business is with the boy.
BHJ: You dare to threaten my son? In my house? Ah but you’re a foolish tongue kissing squid.
JACKSON: Dad?
CALAMARI: The boy must pay for his verbal transgressions.
BHJ: O shut up, Calamari.
JACKSON: Dad? Stop it. There’s nothing there.
BHJ: But it’s that idiot Calamari. [puts finger in idiot’s face to indicate evident truth of idiot] What the hell are you talking about? Use your imagination, boy!
JACKSON: Dad. There’s nothing there.
BHJ: So it’s true then. [I sat on Jackson’s bed and put a comforting hand on his knee] Our modern visions of science, metaphysics, psychology, and theology have stultified your imagination. O Jackson. You’re so effed come Christmas.
CALAMARI: I’ll have my leave then.
BHJ: Damn right you’ll have your leave. Right out the front door. Stay away from my daughter’s room you pervert.
CALAMARI: I’ll deal with you later, Jackie Boy.
BHJ: O shut up, Calamari.
JACKSON: Dad. I’m concerned about you.
BHJ: Vice-versa, dude. We live in completely different worlds little man. You think we’ll still make it as the greatest father/son team in the history of the world?
JACKSON: I think we’ll manage.
BHJ: Do you think our worlds are similar enough for us both to have some ice-cream before we go back to bed?
JACKSON: Word.

Wednesday
Jun112008

You Better Not Make Me Mad

It's another overcast morning here in dreary Seattle. Let the Alice-N-Chains play on: "I feel so alone /gonna end up a big old pile of THAM BOWWWWNZ". RIP Layne Staley. Just sayin...

A few notes:

You gotta check this out. I won 4 Turkish bowls. Thanks Natalie!

I am categorically refusing to bow to the cultural pressure to write “REALLY?” after every single statement of irony. I just read a blog post with 16 “REALLY?”s. Do you need to write “REALLY?” 16 times? For realz? WTF?

Previously, I had banned all goofy internet abbreviations from my usage, but Jenny The Bloggess has breathed new life into “WTF?” for me. Jenny The Bloggess can drop a “WTF?” like nobody’s business. And so I steal from her like a thief in the night.

Lastly, this dude, Josh Haley, has impeccable taste in music as he displays in his recent comment to the “Drum Lessons” post. He inspired me & Jackson to shred our living room in the name of Rock with a capital “R”. For those of you familiar with Jackson’s struggles with neighborhood bullies, note that we sit and wait for those punks to ride their bikes outside before we play this gem. The rock-n-roll camera angles were created by Lucy’s visionary relationship to cinematography (reminder: she’s 4!). I love being a Dad!

I am wayyyy too punk rock to be understood, so here’s the lyrics: “You better not make me mad / Cause my dad can beat up your dad / Throwin’ rocks you better think twice / My mom says you better be nice / You better not make me mad / Aw screw my dad I’M gonna kick your ass” (again with the language – I am a bad person).

100 Black Hockey Points for the person who guesses who my tattoo is (you can see it around Lucy’s finger sometimes). And if you know me already, don’t spoil the fun for others.

EDIT: WTF? OK you can't see the tat so well on the scaled down Blogger video. Guess anyway. It's a contest.

EDIT: I celebrate myself, and sing myself! It's Walt Whitman! Good call Always Home & Uncool! Game over.

Monday
Jun092008

Pregnant Lady Rockin A Bikini

Yesterday at the master planned community pool there was a pregnant lady rockin a bikini. It was a bold display. Many an eye was riveted. I do not profess to attribute any positive or negative judgments to the pregnant lady rockin a bikini. I leave the judging to judges, God, and overzealous Christian hypocrites. Nonetheless, judgements aside, it remains for me to explore why I couldn’t tear my eyes from her pregnant mass. It was not about sheer weight. There are plenty of extra pounds jiggling around the master planned community pool. Nor was it sexual. I have a buddy Bryan who gets all hardcore about pregnant women, but this was not that (I think, but more than 100 years of psychology have been built on this notion that we don’t & can’t know ourselves, so how do I know? Isn’t everything sexual, Sigmund?). No, the reaction was more akin to something like: “Holy Hell, there’s a baby in there! Plus she’s almost naked!” Shocked awe. I was wrenched from my mundane experience of the master planned community pool and thrust into contemplation of the fundamental mystery of creation. It was sweet. Jackson thought so too. He pointed all sneaky like & giggled. I whispered “Dude. She is rockin that bikini. Don’t point. Don’t point.” Lucy said knowingly “There’s a baby in her belly.” and I braced myself because Dads intuitively know when it’s coming: “How’d that baby get in there, Daddy?” I remembered when I tried to tell Jackson and he puked in his mouth so I thought fast, “That woman there? Well... she picked a blue tulip during a full moon and a choir of fireflies sang her praises.” She made the nonsense face, but it was enough to get me off the hook. Jackson looked ill. The pregnant lady rockin a bikini was pregnant with ambiguous meaning. She was both monstrous & angelic. She signalled something of the basic truth underlying all of our experiences, that there’s more to them than what meets our eyes, that there’s life in them. Our experiences have life inside them. They’re not finished. The life inside our experiences is changing. And we never know what they will be. So in the end all we can do is wait. We wait. And wait some more. Until the life inside our experiences starts crawling and learns to talk, word by word by word. And the faithful among us will listen closely to the words of the life inside our experiences. And with a little luck we might write something true.

O bold pregnant lady rockin your bikini / I took out my camera / I hope you don't see me / Your pregnant belly / is so pregnant with meaning / I must have a picture / I hope you don't see me

Monday
Jun092008

Summer Vacation!

Jackson slept in until an unheard of 9:32, and I suspect this had something to do with the newly instituted “No Fun Till We Run” morning father/son ritual. His sleeping in like a drunken teen led me to the following parental revelation (I’ll put it in italics to highlight its profundity): If I give these kids a bunch of morning duties, they will stay in bed all day and leave me alone. If this works, publishers will wage wars for me.

Lucy, however, woke up at 6:41 and dressed herself.


Lucy rocks to her own tunes. Rock on Lucy.

Esmerelda was working today so, because she’s so touchy about me leaving Lucy home alone, I needed to pump up the tires on the running stroller. Wives come with a lot of rules. Pushing that stroller’s a bitch; don’t underestimate how much your swinging arms help you when you're running.

Note To Single Dads: When you’re running with your 9-year-old son while pushing your 4-year-old daughter in a stroller, the ladies shoot you all kinds of love beams. Big smiles. Pockets full of digits. Lace up those shoes.

Heard on the run…

JACKSON: Dad? Is this quality time?
BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: Hells yeah!

I’ve read a lot of parenting blogs about the evils of swearing in front of the kids. Well my kids hear all kinds of shit. I’ve kicked smoking and drinking and most of the best prescription drugs and now the doctor’s stealing all the good food. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna watch my fucking mouth. Plus I think my using language has pushed Jackson to the opposite extreme. I think he’ll wind up Alex P. Keaton just to spite me. He absolutely will not curse and he doesn’t think it’s funny, which is probably why the boys throw rocks at him. Loosen up Jackson. Drop an F-Bomb. Have a smoke. Do something. Lucy, on the other hand, is wicked to her core but that’s not my fault. I don’t subscribe to our culture’s emphasis on the monstrous impact of the parent on the child. Sue me. There are ways in which we’re fated.

BHJ: How’re you doing, Lucy?

Today marks the first day I called my daughter by her blog name: Lucy. There are several perspectives from which to view this event. I prefer to see it as my extreme commitment to my work.

Jackson clocked a blistering 10:51 mile today. I was so proud of him. We’re gonna stick with the mile for a week, but our goal is to eventually bust out 30 minutes a day all summer. Then we’re going to enter a 5k and do it sub-30 minutes together and slay all the world's bullies.

I leave you today with a picture of all 3 of us on the first day of Summer Vacation. We’re going to the pool while Esmerelda provides the fiscal foundation for our carefree lives.Now the world don't move to the beat of just one drum!

Sunday
Jun082008

Running

Last December I finished the Las Vegas Marathon in just under 4 hours. In order to urge me on toward my goal I imagined I was running from the cops after it was discovered I was writing fake prescriptions for benzodiazepines in more than 35 drug stores. I was in trouble. At some point my fantasy morphed into Hazzard county and the finish line served as the county line. The beauty of running from the cops in Hazzard county is that they are barred as if by magic from crossing the county line. “Looks like you’ve run out of jurisdiction Johnny Law!” I screamed at the lady trying to put on my finisher’s medal. I was all amped up on endorphins. “It’ll take more than your bumbling skills to slap the cuffs on the likes of BLACK HOCKEY JESUS!” Rosco P. Coltrane was all “A G- G- G-”.

Since that time, since I’ve found out about the death of my old friend (you can read about that here & here too), I’ve lacked motivation to run. I had a dismal Los Angeles Marathon in March when some crazy host of invisible trolls started stabbing all my leg muscles at mile 18. You do all that training, only to be attacked by a bunch of invisible LA trolls. Anyway, I’ve soured on running. But when I was brushing my teeth last night, I noticed that I was looking a lot like late-stage Jim Morrison. I got up in the mirror with my foaming toothpaste mouth & said with psychedelic gusto, “The serpent’s 3rd eye is open in the crystal desert baby.” Trixie just shook her head. Trixie is my ideal lady because she doesn’t even ask anymore.

In addition to my recent bloating, Jackson is turning into the fat kid that the kids surround, dump 4 bottles of water on, and pelt with rocks (happened yesterday; you believe that shit?). So this morning we laced em up and started what is going to be our summer ritual. It’s called “No Fun Till We Run”. We are absolutely banned from having any fun in the morning until we log some miles. If either of us tries to sneak even a little fun, we’ll be cursed with more mileage. We will run. We will talk. We will become fitter & leaner and no one will pick on us ever again or we’ll have permission to clock them in the grill with our leaner, fitter retaliatory skills after we’ve tried to reason with them.

Jackson tried to stop running because he said he was itchy but I told him it was Spontaneous Runner’s Itch Syndrome, that this rare condition only happened to those blessed with grace & speed by the Greek God Hermes. He surged. We finished our first mile at 12 minutes and called it good.

__________________________________________________________

Note: I was sitting here trying to figure out how to end this post & Jackson busted in the front door and said “I just found $24,000 worth of silver housed inside these 2 rocks!!!” He held up the rocks and smiled all crazed & newly wealthy. Are your kids this hilarious? I don’t know why the kids are picking on him.

I don’t know what to do.

Friday
Jun062008

Thumbnail

A few weeks ago, I banged my thumb with a hammer. Wincing in pain but seeing Lucy right next to me, I yelled out under my breath, "GOSHDERNIT, MODDAFREAKING OW!"

I shook my entire hand limply as if I was trying to shake off the pain. Then I sucked the afflicted thumb. Then I shook it some more. And Sucked. Then shook. “Daddy?” Lucy inquired as she watched this pain ritual. “Yeah, sweety.” “What’s a moddafreaker?” I blew her question off to inspect the damage. The entire nail was black. Lucy took off like a shot: “I’LL FIX IT! I’LL FIX IT! I’LL FIX IT! I’LL FIX IT!”

Lucy was fixing my nail by covering it with a coat of sparkle pink. The tedium of sticking to the facts is like a blackened thumbnail. My life needs a coat of sparkle pink.

Friday
Jun062008

Jackson The Poet

Just finished reading The Collected 4th Grade Works Of Jackson Hockey Jesus. Here’s a taste.

“Yellow is the color of a newly painted house / Yellow is an apron / The favorite food of a mouse / Yellow is daylight / The opposite of fear / Yellow is a reindeer’s antler / Yellow is a garden hose / Yellow is my nose.”

The poem is a good one. It jams up the attempt to be understood in terms of traditonal rational categories, providing the reader with a bare apprehension of yellow in all its essential yellowness. His daring move to rhyme “fear’ & “antler” is bold. Jackson’s nose, however, is not yellow and I suspect he just wanted to be finished.

But can you believe that Mrs. Tyler gave this little gem a B with the comment “A little bit too short”? In this paltry world of increasing hunger for everything to be bigger & faster & more, must we require our 9-year-olds to increase the size of their poems? This poem needs cuts if anything.

Friday
Jun062008

Email

First things first. Black Hockey mania spread like a virus throughout Turkey last night, so I need to give a shout out to Turkey. What up, Turkey?

Next, I want to answer some email.

Yeah, to those of you who asked about the blogroll, we'll do the blogroll thing. I'll put yours on mine. You put mine on yours. Cool. I don't know when I'm going to build it. Soon. This morning I'm horribly depressed and when you're horribly depressed you feel like your horrible depression will never lift, and making a blogroll is shelved in terms of things desired. I don't want to go rollerskating either. I'm feelin bluesy.

"How do you think of all this shit?" Dan from Houston, TX

Good question, Dan. I just try to be a person that lets things happen to me. I pray to the Blog Gods every morning for fodder. Then I see a retarded kid at the pool or Jackson hurls in the backseat. There's stuff to write about exploding all over the place. You can write about your fingernail if you just let it happen.

"I have never wanted to have sex with someone based solely on what they write. Until now." Jessica from Denver, CO

OK I really only got one email, but thanks Dan.