Accountability Update – Stupid, stupid May

So, how’s that accountability thing going? Let’s find out:

DIET

I think I’m like most people. When I make goals for myself, I set out earnestly to hit those goals. But once it becomes clear I am not going to hit them, not only do I stop trying, I basically take it in the opposite direction to see how spectacularly I can fail. I had 8 sodas, not 6. And while that may not seem like much, each sized soda was considerably larger than I normally get, so those 8 were more like 10 or 12. I also had two crappy Jack-in-the-Box lunches this month. Again, it’s only one more than my goal, but it’s also double my goal. I missed veggies again one day. I failed pretty hard in May. Especially when you compound my eating habits with:

WORKING OUT

…which I essentially did not do. I worked out a grand total of one time, and considering my goal was 8-10, I came up juuuuuuuuuust a bit short. I want to be able to place the blame elsewhere, but simply I got obsessed with War and Order, a handheld strategy game. Why work out when I can loot castles and kill soldiers, am I right? I hold out hope that June will be different, but it’s a flimsy sort of hope.

DISC GOLF

Here’s where things get funky. I started out my disc golf month at a one-day tournament at a new course (I’d only played once the week before at doubles). And I did what I’ve done all year, sucked. This tournament featured a) my third (3RD) sub-900 rated round this year and b) my SECOND DFL (dead f’n last) finish this year.

Apparently, the bursitis in my throwing shoulder is causing me more problems than I thought, especially when putting. So I did what any rational person would do, decided to play out the tournaments I’ve already signed up for then hang up the discs for the rest of the year to recover. I emailed my ex to change my schedule with the boys because of it. Then what happened?

Oh yeah, I started kicking ass. I won Duel at Dayton by four strokes, playing good golf the entire weekend. As a comparison, in the 9 tournament rounds before Dayton, I reached my player rating only once. Dayton featured 3 rounds in a row above my rating, something I tend not to do very much. Also, SPOILER ALERT, June started off pretty well too.

THE REST OF MY LIFE

The boys are done with school, in more ways than one. We’re moving them from their current school back to the public school they are zoned for. There are many reasons for this move, but it’s definitely the right one. It’ll be a sharp change (and for L, his third school in four years). They have mixed feelings about it, but have spent the last few days getting phone numbers for the parents of many of their friends. So there will be play dates a’plenty.

My girlfriend has had some medical issues resulting in surprise surgery (which is, as you know, the worst kind), so it’s been a pretty rough, tiring month. She’s on the mend, at least until the next, bigger surgery (less surprise, but no less sucky). We will get a nice excursion next weekend when we attend the wedding of some longtime friends of hers.

May was a weird month financially, too. Twice each year I get three paychecks (I get paid bi-weekly, not semi-monthly), and May was one of those months. Plus I got my small tax rebate. Plus my second-biggest disc golf payday ever. So I’ve been able to pocket a little money to spend on a trip later this year with the boys.

Oh, and I we interviewed for and selected my third employee! She starts on July 1 and I’m SUPER excited a) because we desperately need a third person and b) because she’s awesome.

Onto June…

April Update

So, how’s that accountability thing going? Let’s find out:

DIET

You may remember in this blog post, I made a resolution to eat better because I was working out more. So how’d it go? I missed two days of veggies in May, one of which was because I was out playing disc golf for a good portion of the day and had plans at night. In general, I’m having more than one serving of veggies a day, but at least I’m basically hitting the lower bar each day. It helps to have a girlfriend who enjoys cooking (healthy!)

WORKING OUT

I worked out four times last month. If you’re good at math, or even just barely passable, you’ll realize that that’s not 2x a week. Unless April only had one week which, after thorough research, I concluded it didn’t. Of course it’s not a matter of time, it’s a matter of priorities. Let’s see if I can change that in May, during which I’ve already worked out (checks calendar) zero times.

DISC GOLF

I played two days of golf the entire month, both doubles. I played exceptionally mediocre in both of them, missing cash each time (in one I was playing with a total newbie so it was basically a solo round). So far for 2019, I’ve made $0 in disc in 2019. Too bad I haven’t spent $0.

THE REST OF MY LIFE

The boys are doing great. They’ve taken up reading as a legitimate hobby, spending most of each car ride (to and from school) silently reading. For Landen it’s usually Calvin and Hobbes. Duncan switches between that and other books. School’s been going well for them too. I unfortunately won’t be able to take them on large vacations like I’d hoped (definitely rethinking the custody arrangement I agreed to based on things that have not transpired as discussed), but I’m making it work as best as I can.

Work is finally slowing down and I’m able to concentrate on process improvement and a backlog of old projects. This is actually exciting news, as these are the real things I intended to do in this position.

My body is rapidly falling apart – herniated disc in the back, bursitis in the right (throwing) shoulder, and arthritis in the left foot. Yeah yeah, I know, working out would help some of these.

Let’s see how May goes.

Updates – March

So, how’s that accountability thing going? Let’s find out

DIET

You may remember in this blog post, I made a resolution to eat better because I was working out more. So how’d it go? I’m not going to pretend the bar was set super high – it was only three goals – but I did very well. I had my full allotment of six sodas (I had the last one around the 20th of the month), I only had my two fast food jaunts (Jack in the Box for lunch once and a fatty bagel once for breakfast), and I ate veggies every day but one. Most days I had multiple veggies, so I feel good. That’s, like, a 98% success rate or something for month one.

ABOUT THAT WORKING OUT THING

Well, this isn’t going as well, but I didn’t set a clear goal. I think a reasonable goal would be two sessions a week. That’s vague on purpose – it can be going to the gym and using the elliptical and/or weights, or doing yoga or pilates or other core work at home. I haven’t done two sessions a week in a month or two, and I probably did a total of about 5 total sessions in March. No bueno.

DISC GOLF

Remember a few months ago when a doe-eyed man with a bag full of big dreams set up a bunch of goals for the year? I haven’t had the cajones to reread that blog, but suffice to say this has been a historically bad start to the year. I mean historically. Put it this way, since 2010, I have not had a sub-900-rated round. And the one I had then was because of a severe injury. You’d have to go back to 2009 to get a legit sub-900 round. This year? Yup, already had two.

I know it’s altitude. I know it I know it I know it. But I keep going back. Why do I keep going back? Let’s do some research. Since moving west at the end of 2007, I’ve played 262 tournament rounds. 175 of them were above 4000′ in elevation (almost exactly 2/3). Here are my findings:

Average round rating below 4000′: 950.56

# of 1000-rated rounds below 4000′: 5 (~5.7%)

# of sub-930 rounds below 4000′: 17 (~20%)

Average round rating above 4000′: 965.01

# of 1000-rated rounds above 4000′: 16 (~9.1%)

# of sub-930 rounds above 4000′: 13 (~7.4%)

I used to think it had to do with playing early in the year, but I now think that’s crap. The few rounds I played in Reno (above 4000′) after a two-month layoff and dealing with bursitis in my throwing shoulder were actually quite good (I took home the 1-tag in the opener!) Then I go down to sea level and throw my first 8 rounds well below my rating (only one round so far is unofficially rated above 950). Oh well, onward and upward. Literally, upward. I need higher elevation.

THE REST OF MY LIFE

This one is murkier. The internet isn’t the forum for airing dirty laundry, so let’s say say specters from my past are making my life in the present very challenging. And they’re inevitably affecting my relationship with my boys and even the amount of time I get to spend with them. Personal choices obviously have a say in that as well (I played several tournaments in March, for instance), but there are extenuating circumstances.

The boys are doing well in general. I just had parent teacher conferences with both teachers and, while L’s reading scores have me more than a bit concerned, they’re both prospering in various areas. I can only imagine how hard it is to try to learn anything at school while dealing with two separate homes and lifestyles. Fortunately, my parents’ divorce happened when I was in college, and even THAT had its own challenges. It must be 1000x harder for kids.

However my girlfriend Danielle has been a nice pillar of support in all of this, as have a few friends I’ve opened up to. I had the chance to see Corey and Matt in their adorable place in Oakland. Got to perform with my improv troupe, The Comedy Collective (and will again this coming Friday!), and partook in some shenanigans. All in all, a mixed bag.

 

I anticipate doing this sort of review monthly. It’s good cheap therapy content.

 

My favorite blog posts

I am in the process of composing a couple of longer blog posts (an update about my jaw and a longer, introspective blog post about me – I’m sure everyone is having trouble containing themselves), but while I wait, I wanted to just round up some of my favorite blog posts in one place. In essence, this is the perfect blog post for anyone trapped at work on Thursday and looking for something with no real pictures to dig into.

My Arduous Path to Feminism – 1/20/2016 – The title is pretty self-explanatory. This one is by far my most popular blog post, and while I can’t in truth say it’s gone viral, it’s been shared around quite a bit. It’s a look at how I turned from someone who was pretty angry towards women (and totally denying that at the time) to someone who considers himself an ambassador for women’s rights and equality. This one HAS pictures – ooh!

My Coming-Out Post (about Atheism) – 8/2/2012 – Although I now readily and easily consider myself an atheist, I didn’t always. It was another slow and arduous path to get there. This one goes back a ways – all the way to my childhood. One of my most commented-on posts.

Gender Roles (specifically in respect to one of my sons) – 8/5/2013 – Of all my posts, this is the one that probably deserves a follow-up, yet it’s becoming more about some personality issues that a growing boy now has, so I’m likely just going to keep it offline. However, this was another powerful transformative time for me, when I realized that “boys will be boys” is a stupid and damaging phrase.

Tribute to Gavman – 7/6/2012 – From my son to another’s, I wrote this blog after coming home from the funeral of my good friends’ 1-year-old. Sure, the trip (and all its problems) was a learning opportunity for me, but when I got home I wanted nothing more than to remember the little boy who touched more people in his year+ than most people do in a lifetime.

Why Do I Write – 2/23/2016 – This is the first of two old blogs that will actually have something to do with the upcoming introspective blog I’m working on. It’s also pretty self-explanatory by the title.

On Not Being the Best – 9/18/2014 – And this is the other.

Mountain Goats Lyrics – 5/19/2011 – I bet you’ll never guess what this blog was about.

My Life in Summary: 1998-2012 – 8/10/2012 – Reconnecting with an old friend, I decided to catch her up on my life from when we lost contact after high school to present. With an absurd, self-imposed word count. I might just update this one. (I did recently get to have lunch with her, my first time seeing her since we went to prom together in 1997 – ahhh, the wonders of the internet).

FBA: Looking Busy at Work – 5/20/2010 – Not *technically* a blog post, this is one of my favorite Fats’ Bad Advice columns. Which reminds me, I should write more of those. Anyone have a question? Submit it here!

Day Five: One Step Forward…

Today was a day of setbacks. I did not keep up my champion sleeping, tossing and turning until probably close to 1 before I gave in and took more pain meds. By then my throat was hurting (it was dry, but the more I kept sitting up to get water, I figured, the less chance I’d have of falling asleep) and so was my head.

I eventually fell asleep but was up before it was fully light outside, and my head and throat were both in some pain. I have muscled through quite a regiment of liquid today (at least one boost, a cup of broth, my full cup of advil-water, my antibiotics), but it hasn’t helped me really feel all that great. My stomach is still growling up a storm and I still feel like I haven’t done anything but eat and play Oblivion. (Yes, Brian, I’m two Elder Scrolls behind, probably at least.)

Add to that that my skin is more than just flaking, it’s going on a full rosacea rampage, and it is actually getting hard and slightly painful to the touch. I threw some lotion onto that, it seems to have momentarily distracted the pain.

Even the little things are bothering me today. My two syringes, which have performed admirably so far, might be hitting their limit. It’s taking more and more Herculean effort to actually pull the things in and out. They must be as tired as I feel. And this super awesome chair that has been such a big help WILL NOT STOP TURNING LEFT!

My throat is turning nice and yellow. It looks less bruised (even though that’s what it is) and more neck-jaundicy. It doesn’t hurt, but I’m going to complain about it anyway, because that’s what today is about.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite segment:

POOPWATCH 2016: nothing new to report.

It’s been an altogether frustrating day. These kinds of days were to be expected, hell, they were the be the norm, so hopefully I’ll get more sleep tonight and feel better about everything tomorrow.

PAIN: 4

INCONVENIENCE: 7 (oh I can’t wait until I can use a straw or a baby spoon!)

REGRET FACTOR: 5

p.s. My oldest son did go out and buy me a stuffed Earth today, and that’s just darling. This is one day after he explained to Ash and I, in nearly perfect detail, what gravity is. (The only thing wrong was substituting the size of an object instead of its mass, but he understood if he took his clock into space, it’s not really massive enough to accrete dust and small rocks, but if he took something bigger, like the house, it might, and something even bigger than that, like a skyscraper, it might even start packing that dust and rocks into a ball shape). The bugger’s a genius and makes me smile. Well, edge-lip-curl for now.

Day -1: Odds and Ends

This is usually the part of the surgery blog when people take pictures of all the things they’ve bought to prepare for the recovery. I’m not going to do that. Do people really want to see six-packs of Ensure, burb cloths, and comfy chair and sweatshirt? Probably not. And if they do, that’s what Pinterest is for: pictures of strange objects in strange arrays.

  • By this time tomorrow, my surgery will be over, assuming no major complications. Six hours is the expectation, though it could realistically take somewhere between 5-7 hours. I have to get the hospital at 5:30 for a 7:30 surgery.
  • Blogmaster Dave (oh I WISH I had a copy of the “sweaty raver kid” picture of Dave) is looking into why the comments appear to be disabled. I would like to go on record as saying the comments were not working with me not having intervened at all! That being said, I did try to intervene yesterday, and I apologize in advance to Dave for having to clean up  my tech messes.
  • I’m less worried about the surgery and recovery itself and more worried about getting sick with a massive cold or stomach bug the day of/after my surgery. Given the fact that practically everyone I know has thrown up at least once in the last week, it’s not the most unfounded of fears.
  • The kids will be off to Granny and Papa’s tonight and will be staying with them on-and-off for most of the week. Big ups to them for the massive help.
  • We still need to hit the store for some last minute supplies (prune juice, liquid vitamins, nasal spray), but otherwise we should be good. I’ll be at the hospital for 2 days, so anything that we miss, Ash can grab while I nap.
  • I will be sleeping like crap for the next week to two weeks. The hope is that I’ll nap, as I probably won’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time at night. It’ll be like having a newborn again! Same amount of drool, same amount of sleep, only slightly less poop. That’s what the prune juice is for. And you’re welcome for me putting that thought into your heads.
  • I’ve asked Ash to take a photo every day of my recovery. I’m not sure yet if I’ll post them here. Some of them ain’t gonna be pretty.
  • A couple of you have heeded my advice and already volunteered specific days for helping out! You guys rule!
  • I’ve been trying to spend as much time with the family this weekend as possible, all while avoiding contact with ANYONE whatsoever (suddenly a germophobe?!) I think I’ve hit good middle ground.

2015 Winter 1752015 Winter 1902015 Winter 3142015 Winter 3192015 Winter 321

  • That being said, poor L is just WAY too empathetic and sweet for a 6 year old. I guess it’s not too surprising, given his natural high anxiety, but he’s definitely having some trouble with my surgery. I’ve tried to stress that everything will be okay, but with Ash and I so stressed about it ourselves, he can pick up on those kinds of things. He and D have already left for their grandparents, which is probably a good thing as we’re in last-minute preparation mode and this gives them a chance to just be kids and do kid stuff instead of worrying about their ole’ dad.
  • I have to take a shower before we leave tomorrow. At 4 am. When it’s supposed to be 9 degrees out and snowing. Joy.
  • See you on the other side.

Pictures in action

I took the boys disc golfing the other day. I got some pretty cool action shots of L driving like a pro (click to enlargenate).

DriveMontage

It’s also demonstrating how good he is getting at near-decapitation. There’s much about these pictures I like, though I’m not a fan of him having his tongue out. All the time. Whenever he does anything athletic. You can’t see it, but it’s out here as he BANGS this excellent putt.

BanginPutt

Not to be outdone, D takes after him in his athletic prowess in his putts:

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And of course, in other feats too:

_1060624

Okay, seriously, what’s up with the tongue thing? I don’t know when that started, but it’s seriously not safe. I have NO idea where they got any of that all from.

_1060676

Oh, well then. That explains a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

Gender Roles

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My son “Smacky” is at a strange place in his four-year-old life. In many ways, he is like your typically developing boy – loves trucks, trains, wrestling and, somewhat unfortunately, video games (I am simultaneously proud and ashamed of how good he’s become on the Wii). But in other ways, he isn’t. He loves getting his finger and toenails painted. His favorite colors are pink and purple. He loves doing his mom’s hair, at which he’s becoming pretty good using those deft-fingered hair-ties. In short, he likes a whole lot of “girl” things.

And he is constantly processing things about gender. At the skate park the other day, he asked my wife a few times, “Why does she speak like a boy if she has girl hair?” “That’s a boy with long hair,” she replied. Silence. He recently asked that we stop buzzing his hair because he wanted to grow it out. Not sure if it’s because his younger brother “Peanut” has longer hair or because he wants to see how it feels to have long hair, which he innately believes to be “girl hair”.

What’s crazy is that he has the acumen and presence of mind, even at his young age, to know that some of this behavior isn’t socially accepted by everyone. So he continues to try to hide it. If left to his own devices, he will usually pick out a pink or purple plate/bowl, but when he’s in a group of people, or if those ones are dirty, he’ll take a green one apathetically and say, with little emotion, “I’ll take green, it’s my favorite color.” He’s told me in the past that boys can’t like pink and purple. I asked why and he tells me that they’re “girl colors.” I try to reaffirm that anyone can like any color they want – hell, my favorite color is orange. I’m probably not the best person to ask that question. I digress. Smacky has requested that my wife paint his fingernails and toenails, only to immediately say “But we can take this off before I go to school, right?” And why is that?

He’s getting insulted at school. And unlike the very heart-warming and charming story that a blogger famously wrote about, it’s not adults who are making it tough for him, at least none that I have heard of. Despite the school having some conservative teachers, they all support him no matter what he chooses (the owner has spoken a bit about it at times with us). That is a large part of the reason we love his daycare. But as for the teasing, it comes from kids themselves. My guess is it’s probably mostly his best friend “Marcus” – apart, the two of them are great kids. However, once they get together, their bad behavior is amplified all the way up to 11. From what I’ve seen of Marcus, he’s a boy’s boy so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the teasing comes from him. However, Smacky has told me that it’s some of the girls in his class too that call him a ‘girl’. It clearly bothers him.

Friday is a theme-day at daycare: Teddy Bear Picnic. They’re encouraging everyone to dress up in “tutus and tails” and bring their favorite teddy bear. It was immediately clear that Smacky wanted to wear a dress, and my wife even started talking about using some gift certificate money we had to buy him one. But Smacky retracted immediately solely because of what everyone at school would think. He’s subsequently put aside the dress-conundrum and concentrated on the teddy bear one. (He doesn’t have teddy bears, he has monkeys – go figure. After searching around the house, he finally did find a teddy bear, a purple Care Bear. He grabbed it and put it aside but continued to look for a different one. Maybe he genuinely didn’t like that Care Bear, but my guess he opted against it because it was purple and certainly ‘girly’.)

Finally, after a few days of processing this (and of course the remote-control truck he has had his eye on that we just purchased and have to wait for delivery), he comes in to say goodbye today and tells me that he figured out what he was going to wear to the party on Friday.

“My dinosaur suit. With a tail.”

It does have a tail. I’m pretty impressed with how brilliant the kid is. (I later found out that I had had the gist of the theme day a little off – they supplied the girls with tutus and made paper dragon “tails” to give anyone who wanted one – mostly the boys.) But the point remains that he was choosing to wear a dinosaur suit more than the tutu because what he really wanted was something he wasn’t “supposed” to do.

It crushes me as a parent, and as a father, it’s downright weird. In Reno vs. the suburbs of NY where I grew up, there’s definitely more of a sense of needing to be a “man’s man”. While I’ve never had that pressure in my life (other than having parents who I am certain were relieved that I was straight), I can see how it could be overwhelming in a place where they have stuffed dead animals in their sporting goods stores and in their airport. When I moved here, I was shocked at how there is still some pretty strong homophobia in these parts. (I will say that Reno has a tremendous underground movement of tolerance that is growing exponentially, and that’s fantastic to see.)

Despite growing up in white-bread middle class suburbia, I also found a niche early on in the theatre – our school had only two black kids, and I was friends with one and used to carpool the other one home. Very few kids were out as gay at that point, but those that were were my performing peers and friends. If there’s anyone who would be sympathetic to what Smacky’s going through, it’s me. And as far as someone born and raised in the Reno area, Smacky is fortunate in so many ways to have his mother. He’d be hard pressed to find more supportive parents.

Since he was two, my wife and I noticed these effeminate tendencies were extremely strong and they seemed to be more than him just following in his older (female) cousin’s footsteps. It seemed like, whenever he was outside of the World of Sodor (Thomas the Train), he was happiest in the World of Girl. His parents support him 100%, no matter what he chooses. And who’s to say what that will be? He’s four. Right now he’s enamored with a live-action show about mermaids. But he’s also gone through spells where he watches the Spiderman cartoon from the 60’s and goes around “pewing” (shooting) everything until it’s dead. If it’s just him trying out different things (for the record: he REALLY wants to go fishing) that’s fine. If one day he sits us down to have a coming-out-of-the-closet talk, that’s fine as well. We support whole-heartedly. I just wish everyone else would get on board and, further, to stop spreading the toxic beliefs of gender stereotypes ad nauseum to their kids. Or, worse yet, to other people’s kids.

Or next time maybe we can get him a dinosaur tutu for his suit.

Pixstravaganza

Here are more pics of me flexing my newfound photography skillz! Very few pix of kids right now, but I’m sure Ash will have a post up on her blog shortly. Click each to embiggenate, and marvel at how lame my captions are.

Clouds at sunset

Moon before sunrise

River between rocks

Moon in trees

Landen throwing driver

Landen near balloons

Duncan and Mom

15 years in under 600 words

I started writing a letter to a very old friend who I had lost contact with shortly after high school. I wanted to catch her up to where I am at and how I got there, so I decided to catch her up on 15 years of my life, with the superfluous caveat that I would only allow myself 40 words per year. It was pretty tough, but somewhat rewarding. Interesting to see what sticks out in my memory (my first draft omitted that I graduated from college.) Here’s the result:

1998: spent much of year dressing poorly, being anti-social, and wishing I majored in writing – was put on wrong campus but became good friends with a few non-actors – dated a girl that went nuts – co-founded a multi-medium entertainment company Prometheus Productions

1999: finally started establishing friendship network and enjoying school a bit – wrote my first ever play that later debuted with Prometheus and won award – romantic scene barren – parents divorced after 33 years

2000: made resolution to date girl I’d liked for 2 years – got surprising amount of acting work –2nd play I wrote for Prometheus got award – spent semester in London, hated it (but Edinburgh was awesome) – on 12/28, started dating that girl

2001: dated girl entire year – graduated college and took road trips – Prometheus performed last shows – was introduced to disc golf – my acting showcase (to attract agents) interrupted by 9/11, lost interest in acting after that – got new job at office-type company

2002: worked way up company ladder, soon helmed broker department – moved out of folks’ house for first time – broke up with girl for several reasons – had first liquor at 23 years old, started to make up for lost time – started website

2003: got jealous that old girlfriend moved on, got back together with her – it didn’t last – by end of year, moved in with her (as friends) – worked fine for a few months but seeds were sown for problems

2004: social implosion as friends and exes started hooking up, dishonesty and bullshittery abounded – became pretty reclusive – moved in with longtime friend where stupidity commenced and pretended to live a college-esque existence – increased disc golf activity

2005: made NYC debut as a playwright with two shows – social life rebuilt painfully slowly – started playing disc golf professionally, made $0 – quit longtime office job over increased loathing of it, worked freelance theatre lighting by year’s end

2006: released comedy music CD – toured as disc golf pro for 5 weeks, finally cashed – moved for fourth time – met no-expectations pen pal on dating site OkCupid – freelance work dried up, got job in old industry but better company

2007: fell in love with supposed no-expectations girl after several visits – first full-length musical debuted in NYC at Fringe Festival to emphatic end-of-spectrum reviews, convinced boss at relatively new job to let me move to Nevada and keep job – headed west

2008: bought 2nd car – found out girlfriend was pregnant five days later, we got new larger apartment together – wedding plans discussed – tried to play as much disc golf as possible – finished my first novel – last year I got sleep

2009: son Landen born in January, had a “weddingish” ceremony for friends/family in May, had legal proceedings in August – after a two-month nightmare, bought our first house – spent year adapting to budgeting and selflessness with varied success

2010: Just existed happily for much of it – started small home projects – apparently played much disc golf, video games, and online poker – started reading much more frequently – company announced it could shut down close soon – panic ensued

2011: became an uncle for the first time – wife enrolled in school to get her degree – got promotion to A.V.P. at company which was now stable – welcomed second child Duncan – finished 2nd at tournament, highest finish as a pro

2012: started short story writing project with friend – entire family traveled east to visit good friends who lost their toddler – otherwise lived life contentedly as father, husband, homeowner, professional athlete, artist, and frequent sweet potato fry chef

Milestones

A few quick notes about milestones. First we have Landen who VOLUNTARILY wanted to show Mom that he could go underwater. Here’s proof.

Second, we have a video of Duncan rolling over. (He also popped some teeth just today, but no pictures of those yet. In fact, I haven’t even seen them yet!)

Finally, an awesome picture I took of Duncan with my cell phone yesterday. I love it.

Picture Blast, Pt. 2

The following are pictures largely of sunsets/cool skies.  They were taken mostly on the same day, one handed, with a camera-phone, while driving.  So suffice to say they may not be the absolute best quality.  Enjoy.

Taken with a camera, not while driving, ~2009

The far side of a sunset

Same clouds, same phone, minutes later, completely different look

The near side of the same sunset

Different day, and for those keeping track, we have two suns now

Finally, two pictures that, no matter how many times I look at them, always make me smile, and usually make me laugh.

This is what he did when I asked him to pose for a picture with Mommy

Hooray for “fish-eye” silly effects on the camera phone!

Baby Names

So I had this fear that we accidentally ushered in the era of “Landen” as a name.  I had never met a Landen beforehand, and after we named him at the start of 2009, there seemed to be an explosion of Landens.  So I checked with the Social Security list, and it’s held pretty steady:

In 2006, 203rd most popular boy’s name.

2007: 201st.

2008: 199th.

2009: 207th.

2010: 206th.

That’s about as steady as they come.  The name Landon (or any spelling of Landen) itself has become more popular recently, as the “wrong” spelling of the name is in the top 40.   Landyn has somehow cracked the list, improving every year from 844th in 2004 to 371st in 2010.  Seriously, those parents should be hurt.  Landin is even in the top 1000.  So the name itself is more prevalent, but thankfully not the spelling we have which is obviously “right”.

So I guess my fear was unfounded.  I don’t have a need to have a wacko name that nobody’s heard of, but you don’t want your kid to have a bland name that everyone and their uncle seems to have.  One of our unwritten rules when naming Landen was “nothing in the top 100 in popularity.”

The good news, looking at 2010’s numbers, and looking ahead to Peanut, is that the girl’s name we have in mind has actually decreased in popularity every year since 2005.  The boy’s name we have in mind has climbed pretty noticeably every year since 2006.  Neither are in the top 300.  There, that’s enough clues to drive you folks who like figuring this stuff out batty.  We find out the gender (with any luck) in a couple of weeks.

Smacky News is moving

For various reasons, we’ve made the decision to move the news and pictures/videos of Smacky over to Ashley’s private blog.  Many of you are already reading over there, but in case you aren’t, and you’d like to, either email me or use the “Contact Derek” at the bottom of my main website and request it.  We’ll add your email to the list and you’ll be able to be caught up with our little man.

Sorry about this, but it’s probably for the best.

I’ll still have DPOD stuff here (hopefully more frequently – work has been kicking my patoot), disc golf musings, random thoughts, and maybe a wine review – it’s been WAY too long for that.