A gentle nudge…

Corinne saw this clip this morning on Today and had to show it to me. (The relevant part starts at right about 11:20.)

And I thought it was interesting that my first reaction was, “Yeah, but deep down, she really wanted to jump.” Did she? How the hell would I know? But the thing is, her (ex?)boyfriend seemed pretty sure that he knew.

Kind of an interesting relationship communication quiz, isn’t it? Would you push? And if you say you would (or wouldn’t), is that because you know yourself that well or because you know your partner that well?

Let’s play along, shall we? If Corinne and I were on that canyon rim…

I would definitely not push. That’s me knowing myself, because I know I’m timid and sensitive that way. If my partner says something like, “Don’t push me off this cliff” (literally or metaphorically), I’m pretty likely to take her at her word. And it’s me knowing Corinne because, if she’s thought enough about a thing to clearly define a position, then running directly counter to that position would make her feel ignored and disrespected. Also, I would not push because I’m pretty sure Corinne would climb back up that rope and kick the shit out of me.

I think Corinne would push. That’s partly her knowing herself. She is, without question, a boundary pusher. It’s who she is and, as a creative director, it’s her job. I get that. This is also Corinne knowing me. She knows me well enough to know that sometimes I need to be challenged (witness this interminable 40-day blogging challenge) or I’ll wallow in my comfortable little ruts. (This is a bad example – because I don’t think I would have much problem jumping there, once I trusted the equipment.)

So what do you think about yourself and your partner? Push or no push? And, more importantly, do you match up?

The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a chapter about zombie swordfighting


Well, we finished watching season 2 of Game of Thrones on Amazon. And I didn’t like the idea of waiting around another year (or whatever) for season 3 to be released for purchase. So I decided I’ll just read it. I mean, how long can it take? There’s only 5 books (so far – books 6 and 7 are still in the works), so it’s only 4,992 pages. Corinne managed it in 2 months. I should at least be able to get through the first book or two in the next year, right?

Off our (self) meds


Corinne: I think I’m going to stop drinking during the week.

Me: Bad idea. Not healthy. You’ll shrivel up and die.

C: What?

G: You’ll be dead before the weekend.

C: I’m not talking about water.

G: Neither am I.

C: Are you implying I have a problem?

G: Well I’m not implying the problem you’re implying I’m implying.

C: All I’m talking about is not drinking on weekdays.

G: All I’m saying is that it wouldn’t be a good idea right now. You don’t just jump into something like that. You’ve got to prepare. It’s a matter of getting your affairs in order. You know, like those disclaimers on the AB-LITERATOR infomercial: “Be sure to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.”

C: So I should talk to a doctor and he’s going to tell me to drink during the week?

G: No, I don’t mean literally talk to a doctor and I’m not talking about exercising, I’m just using that as an example of a situation in which you’d need to prepare before starting off on something crazy… Although now that you mention it, hell yes, the doctor would totally tell you to drink up. All the healthiest diets today include booze. It’s like the new acai berry. That’s not my point though. You’ve got to get shit in order first.

C: Such as?

G: Well first up, you should go on an idiot cleanse for at least a few weeks. Sort of a dumbass detox. Totally important. With the amount of crazy-ass stuff you encounter in the average weekday, if you don’t purge your system of that toxic insanity before taking away alcohol as a counterbalance, your body’s going to go completely out of whack. Honestly? I shudder to think of the consequences.

C: A dumbass detox.

G: Dumbass Detox™. Or Idiot Cleanse™. I haven’t decided which I’m going with yet. I might patent one or the other.

C: I need to get out of this room right now.

G: See? Now you’re getting started!

There is no mercy in this dojo

WARNING: This one includes graphic portrayals of merciless violence. So. Yeah. You’re gonna like this one.

I’m tragically late getting around to posting this, but it’s totally worth the wait. Last fall, when Quinn went to Diamond Nationals – his biggest karate tournament of the year – he was awesome. And I was guilty of some serious transference.

Quinn finished second in his group of eight. That means he won two fights before losing the final. I about lost my mind. I was totally shocked and excited and impressed… And then I stopped and thought for a minute.

When I stopped and thought, I was kind of confused about why this performance astounded me so. It felt really disrespectful to Quinn for me to be this shocked by his success. Know what I mean?

As a parent, you should be impressed by your kids’ achievements. But not THIS impressed.

Finally it dawned on me why I was so surprised by this. He’s my son. So, naturally, when I watch him enter a fight, I mentally place myself in that same fight. And I know, without a doubt, that I would absolutely get my ass handed to me every time. Not figuratively. Literally. It would be just like this…

Except instead of pulling some crazy engine part out of my chest, the guy would spin me around, tear off my ass and hand it to me.

Quinn’s not me though. He’s pretty good at this stuff. And he loves it and has a good time with it. So please enjoy the following video tribute celebrating Quinn’s rise to the (almost) top last fall. And before you comment or email or just yell at your screen, yes, I realize I’m an idiot and shot this video vertically instead of horizontally. I’ve been made aware. Point taken. Thank you. Move on.

Match 1
This first one was super close. In fact, at the time, I missed who was awarded that last point and thought that he’d lost. (It helps to know while watching this that Quinn is the one in blue and he’s the white score.)

Match 2
This second-round match went much smoother. At his height, with those legs, he really does have an advantage in reach.

Match 3
Quinn kinda gets schooled in this final-round match. The best things I’ll say about this one are that Garth (party on), the kid who beats him, seemed like a pretty nice kid and at least Garth had beaten the HUGE kid in his second-round match so Quinn didn’t have to face that kid. Serious risk of injury there. Anyway, great job, Quinn!

And this is what separates us from the worms

beetsRespect your elders. That’s what Mom and Dad always taught me. My family and my ancestors have worked hard for years – nay, hundreds of thousands of years – to put me in the position I’m in today, with the advantages I have today. And I thank them for that.

So, as a proud member of species homo sapiens, why the hell would I eat dirt – except maybe once as a dare on the playground in North Carolina? My ancestors worked like hell to evolve and give me a delightfully omnivorous diet. Why would I add dirt to that? What am I, homo erectus? (I don’t have anywhere to go with that. I was just looking for a way to work in the words “homo erectus” so I could giggle like an 11-year-old. Mission accomplished.)

That’s why I don’t like beets. Because I respect my elders too much. Mom, I know it may have looked just the opposite when I was a kid and stared defiantly at that cold, red pile on my plate, leaking its colorfully toxic seepage out across every other part of my dinner. But that’s just you taking the short-sighted view, Mom. Get over yourself and look at the big picture. Our ancestors didn’t climb down from the trees to shovel down a fistful of dirt. They climbed down looking for Doritos or Funyuns or Laffy Taffy or something good.

Corinne and I tried beets today with lunch, just to see if age and wisdom may have tempered our palates. Maybe we’ve both been wrong on this one all these years…

Nope. This just in: beets still suck.

They’re nasty, they taste like dirt, and they stain anything with which they come in contact. Sure, they’re healthy as hell, but that doesn’t make them good.

So we’ll stick to juicing them. They still taste nasty that way, but at least you can cover it up a bit with ginger and apples and berries and honey and God-knows-what-other-ingredients.

Worms eat dirt. Despite several accusations to the contrary, I am not a worm.

However, if you just need to have beets, here’s a recipe just for you. Yes, I’m now a recipe blog. You’re welcome.

The Only Way To Eat Beets
What you’ll need: A juicer and a blender
• 1/2 – 1 beet
• 1-2 apples
• 2-3 carrots
• 1/2-inch slice of fresh ginger root
• 1 cup frozen berries
• 1-2 cups coconut milk (the kind in a milk carton, not canned)

Juice the beets, apples, carrots and ginger root. Place the frozen berries and coconut milk in your blender and start mixing. Add juiced fruits and vegetables and mix again. Makes 3-4 servings. Want to con kids into trying it? Add some whip cream to the top.

Gold Beauty

KevinWhen Claudia was in elementary school (4th grade?) she “won” a goldfish in some kind of school fair. Congratulations, kid, but there’s no way you’re bringing that thing home. You won’t take care of it.

Of course, it (he?) came home, and “Kevin” became a part of our household. That was at least 4 years ago; and who knows how old he was when she got him. I just looked up the average lifespan of a goldfish. Surprisingly, they can live 10-15 years and more. But the key to those lifespans is “proper care”. Based on level of care, Kevin should have been flushed long ago.

Did you ever read Black Beauty? That’s what this poor fish is – he’s Black Beauty. Except he’s gold. And, instead of a hard-working, useful horse, he’s a basically useless fish. But the many-varieties-of-Dickensian-level-suffering part is spot on.

Kevin’s first stop was in Claudia’s room. It was a dark, lonely existence with sporadic feeding and non-existent bowl cleanings. Eventually, the rest of us forgot that Claudia even had a fish down there. When we finally discovered the crusty, murky bowl, it was decided that maybe the fish should live upstairs in the kitchen.

That began the next stage in Kevin’s ongoing tale of woe. He was fed more often, but now he had to contend with the cats. The cats would “play” with him and drink his water down to the point where the poor guy looked like a character in one of those Animal Planet documentaries about the watering hole in the dry season.

Finally though, the cats “went to find a new family” and it’s just been Kevin in the kitchen since then. He doesn’t get fed regularly. His bowl doesn’t get cleaned regularly. (It’s on Claudia’s chore list for every Friday. But that doesn’t mean anything. Until “lay around and watch Netflix” gets written on her chore list, life’s going to be a struggle.) But Kevin’s still kicking, patiently waiting for his chance to be retired and live out the rest of his days in a peaceful pasture… Or whatever the fish equivalent of a peaceful pasture is.

My colon is a wonderland, Part II

Okay, as it turns out, “prepping” for a colonoscopy is a thousand times worse than the actual procedure. Wait. Let me rephrase that. Thanks to my close, personal friend propofol, “prepping” for a colonoscopy is a thousand times worse than anything I can remember about the actual procedure.

I was completely out, as this charming little video montage will attest. (Want definitive confirmation of how stoned I was? The video was my idea. ‘Nuff said.)

So I’m home and healthy and it’s all good and I get to eat again. (My sister even brought me a cupcake because she’s cool like that.) Super-special shout out to Corinne for driving me and for sitting around waiting for me and for keeping an eye on me while I came down. Because, left unattended, I could have ended up like this…