Black Box Recording


This weak has been a bit of a beast. I don’t know if I’m just strung out from exhaustion, coming down with something, or kinda really depressed.

BUT, at least K found Sam’s Lego batman & robin minifigs. We were starting to fret those were gone for good.

Next week, maybe, next week will be a little better/easier. I hope.

Meat for the Beast

SO my birthday weekend- complete with copius consumption of tasty beverages and a certain 18 ounce steak- was a landmark event, partially because it marked the end of the bacchanal begun in mid October when my mother visited and bought us a few gallons of hooch. Meat, cheese and copious drink (plus snacky treats and desserts) marked the time ‘twixt that visit and Pioneertown. No more! We cried. For my body hath grown unwieldy, distended and slow.

So I’ve been really watching my diet- specifically meat intake, booze intake, and portion control. These three, methinks, are my great weaknesses.

So far, I’m doing pretty well. Usually I eat some fruit and nuts for breakfast (a handful of peanuts, a banana, maybe some dried apricots) a salad for lunch, and a small serving of whatever Bettie or Boopsie are serving up at home- usually vegetarian, usually pretty healthy.

My body has reacted to the change faster than I thought, and any high sodium meal (like, sigh, french fries from Moe’s, or a pork & leek dumpling w/ soy sauce from HK Mart) makes me feel painfully dehydrated and a little head-achy. When I have binged a little on meat or cheese, I have FELT it, and my body has rebelled accordingly.

On the one hand, this is good. I crave the fresh veggies and fruit and nuts physically- and get no ill results from eating them. When I need a hot pick me up in the morning, I go for the oatmeal or if I do cave and grab pamcakes, I skip the bacon and sausage.

I don’t really miss the booze- though I do miss beer. And when I have a beer, I kinda miss having a shot to go with it. So mostly I drink the occasional glass of wine after dinner with the sisters. This has made my face (and torso) considerably less puffy.

But jesus fucking joker christ, psychologically I am craving steak frittes to the point of near madness.

These Boots

I don’t know how old I was when I decided I should be a cowboy boot kinda guy. I had a pair when I was a kidlet, since my Grandpappy and Granma where Texans (as is my mother, though she hid it well then and now, mostly). I always liked the aesthetic, the iconography. The sound they made. They set the scene, really, a man wearing boots: it tells you something about him. What, I dunno, but something.

I know I was 18 when I got my first adult pair of pointy-toed boots- I still have them. Light grey boots with dark grey uppers- faux elephant hide, and remarkably tough to wear and tear. They were my “Sunday” boots for a long time. Now, they’re everyday boots (when they are properly heeled, which they currently are not).

I have a lot of pairs of cowboy boots, but other than my old “Oliphant” boots and my Sunday or wedding boots (crocodile, almost definitely faux) I don’t wear any of them, and don’t know if I will again any time soon.

Last year my company told me to go to Red Wing (heee-heee!) to get a pair of water-proof steel toe boots: on the charge account. A lovely perk. I got a pair of nylon or rayon or some other *on* hiking boots. They are great, I wear ’em a lot. I can also wear them with shorts, something you can’t do with cowboy boots unless you are a stripper.

But I’m a cowboy boot man at heart, right? When we went out to Pioneertown for my birthday, Perfect Tommy seemed shocked that I hadn’t brought a pair. Times do change, and looking back I was just as surprised as he was. Surprised that I hadn’t even thought of bringing a pair of “comfortable” boots for sauntering up Mane Street, or skulking at Pappy & Harriets.

I figured when I got my new pair of work boots this year, I’d get a pair of Pecos pull-ons. These are the closest Red Wing comes to cowboy style boots. But when I tried them on, I felt more like Herman Munster. Not in a good way. (no offense, Bettie, you can be my Lilly any night)

So I got another pair of lace-ups. They’re totally different than last years. They are handsome, rugged, adventurous, comfy and awesome, I like ’em a lot. I knew when I put them on they were the right ones. The Pecos are solid boots- but they weren’t for me.

Times do change. And if you are surprised by my choice believe me: I’m just as surprised as you are.

Recipe for Disaster

I love dogs. Always have. I like cats too- but like many, the generally overwhelming affection that dogs can present wins out over the border-line sociopathy of the felines.

So I’m reading about the Neapolitan Mastiff- a breed of dog I have long admired (because they are FUCKING GIANTS) and I’m doing it on Wikipedia. Dog people who do wikipedia articles, while probably quite sweet and good-natured and open, are not very good writers.

Sometimes I talk back to the articles I read, do you do this?

Example: “Additionally, young children have young friends,” Pfft. Assumptions! Maybe yours do. “and even with extensive socialization and training, Neapolitans will be wary of strangers and protective of their family, which can be disastrous for small children.”

And my favorite: “They also are renowned for drooling especially after drinking” Me too.

Sam has always been mildly wary of dogs. The little ones make him laugh scornfully, but anything his size or bigger he tends to be skittish around- except for Will & Nina’s Daisy, who he obviously trusts not to eat him, or lick his face too vigorously.

When Gracie and I went for a walk last week, she was approached by a tiny little yip dog that wanted to kiss her face- she found it hilarious. Later on that same walk she asked to be put down so she could approach a Golden Retriever that sniffed her with vague disinterest while she shrieked with joy that an animal large enough to consume her in two gulps exists. She has since pointed excitedly at any dog she has seen in real life, or on the TV set.

Sam is physically fearless when it comes to cliffs, rocks, and other natural dangers. Grace apparently fears no doggy, even the 3 headed giant one from that Harry Potter movie.

Sam pretends to be a dog. He goes down in a frog-crouch (give him a break, he’s just a kid) and barks. He barks by sounding like Burgess Meredith as The Penguin cheering for a college football team: “Rah! Rah! Rah!” he coughs. Then he licks your face (eeeew) and pants. Last night, he barked at me from the tub, and then Gracie mimicked him with a deadpan little “rawrawrawraw.”

I guess we need to take them out to see their friend’s dogs more often.

Things That Scare Me

This post isn’t about fear, or fearful things. I don’t know what it’ll be about. A lot of times, the post-title is just a song title that I am listening too.

A lot has taken place since I last checked in here. Christmas came and went. My daughter turned a year old. I got a rejection email from an agent I had been kind of hopeful about. I got a promotion at my job-job. I turned 36, and had the best Birthday Party weekend ever. My sister-in-law left for three weeks for a cross-country-adventure during one of the worst winters in recent memory (she’ll be back soon, I hope). My wife and I had some fights, much laughter. I served on a jury (ok, fine: as an alternate). My kids, daily, fill me with joy and wonder. Also headaches.

I still don’t get as much sleep as I want – that hasn’t changed though it hasn’t been-knockin’ on wood here- as bad as it was in early December.

I definitely haven’t had much time to write- or so it feels like. But my wife swears to me that I just finished a huge rewrite of my novel within the last two months. I don’t think she’s lying; I have the manuscript sitting on the desktop. But I don’t feel like I’ve been writing, even though I’ve been plotting, character noting, and idea-jotting non-stop.

My friend Nina says that she is working even when she is playing video games- as long as she is thinking about a project.

So I’m definitely working, working, working. Writing, rewriting, revising. Playing with the kids, trying to get some sleep, watch some movies, catch some grown-up time.

Seriously though? January 14th-16th I had the best birthday weekend ever.

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