Friday, April 27, 2007

All Chores are not created equal

While Kate is working hard to put chicken on our grill and books on my shelves I am working hard to keep Finn alive and our house relatively clean. These are both easily measurable tasks that we have and since there are 10 new books and a perfectly healthy baby boy I'd say we are doing pretty good. Well Kate is definitely, but some of my daily house cleaning tasks sheets have been a few check marks shy of complete. The thing is that it's mostly Kate's fault not mine. I mean it is my fault for sure, I'm the one that is responsible for the tasks it's just that Kate is easily fooled into thinking I have done a full days work. Let me give you a little example with the list below. On the Left is the accomplished task and on the right is Kate's response to said accomplishment (or lack there of):

  • Not doing anything Highly agitated
  • Cleaning the front room only Agitated
  • Cleaning the front, library, dining Mildly agitated
  • Making the bed Happy
  • Doing the dishes Happy
  • Making bed and doing dishes Ecstatic
  • Cleaning the whole house+dishes+made bed Ecstatic
  • Doing the laundry What's better the ecstatic?
So as you can see by the list Kate's approval or disapproval of my house cleaning centers around the bed being made and the dishes being done. If I do those two things, and keep Finny alive then she is just as happy as if I cleaned the whole house. If I fail to do those two things then it does not matter what else I did during the day, she is not impressed. Makes me think of the Brian Regan comedy bit about half game-whole snow cone as seen here acted out by Simba from the Lion King. Why clean the whole house if I only get credit for the dishes and made bed. I'd rather play half game.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

His indifference is so cute!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The media loves the Campos Clan

My friends Kyle and Aaron Campos moved to Arizona shortly before I moved to Indiana. They were moving to start a business, to buy a home, and to join friends. They were moved because doing all that in Santa Barbara was beyond tough. Anyway since they have been out there they have been media darlings. Today they were featured in the LA Times, last week it was, before that it was here, and a story int he Wall Street Journal which is no longer online and then this one here as well. For whatever reason their story resonates with the people and keeps getting told in one way or another over and over again. I don't get it, I mean Melissa and Estrella are awesome and their kids are probably my favorite kids just slightly behind Finn, but Kyle and Aaron? Those two are trouble and if WSJ and LA Times are affraid to say it then I will. Those two are dangerous individuals that are not to be trusted. I heard Kyle didn't even go to college and I have it on good authority (his daughter CC) that Aaron can't even put together a bunk bead.

A Sunday Garden

Sunday was project day for us and we set about turning a section of the backyard into a flower cutting garden for Kate. We started off the day with a fresh pot of coffee and a sausage scramble with some of Farmer Brown's eggs. Fed and caffeinated we went to Menards and got some supplies. Back at home El Finno was ready for a nap and Kate and I got busy removing the grass from a Kidney bean shaped area next to the garage. The ground was fairly wet but it was still hard work and 6 blisters and 2 hours later we had the space cleared. I used a lot of the removed grass in dirt to fill in the sink hole behind the garage, it might not be a permanent fix but at least none of the drunks will fall in as they stumble down our alley. I'm always looking out for the stumbling drunk! On the dugout bean we then laid a mixture of manure, peat moss, and vermiculite for the plants. Apparently all that stuff is plant crack and they really dig it. We then laid down a weed barrier over the space and fed the now awake baby before heading out again to Home Depot for the plants. Kate had drawn out a plan for the house and listed the flowers and shrubs that she wanted to Finn and I just played in the cart as she went around loading it up. Back at the house we planted the newly purchased flowers, shrubs, and apple tree in our little space and then covered the area with mulch. It turned out nice but at the end of the day I was beat and my hands are all tore up. There are still some plants to go in but it does look great and it felt very good to get started on the yard this spring, and on earth day no less. Pictures to come once I mow the lawn.

Updated: with photo goodness

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stealing is the highest form of flattery

I am reading Nick Hornby's book Housekeeping vs. The Dirt which is a collection of columns that he has written for the literary magazine The Believer in which he writes about the books he has read for the month. It is an entertaining read but it has left me feeling that I am reading far too much non-fiction and not nearly enough literature. Hornby makes a great case for reading what you enjoy and lately that has been practical books on finances, parenting, and the doomed middle class. I think the issue I have at the library is that I know what I'm getting into with non-fiction. The title pretty much sums up the book and if that looks interesting to me then the book will be interesting as well. With Fiction you have more of a crap-shoot. Who knows if this book is going to be good or not? I mostly go by the cover of the book to get an idea of how I will like a book but that has been rather hit or miss as well. I think I will just go through this book and pick out the books that Hornby liked to see how close our tastes run. From what I have read so far we have a similar take on some of the classics so maybe this will work. I also thought that I would borrow from his idea to write about what he is reading and maybe post a little monthly blurb on what I have been reading myself. Seems kinda of strange to write about a book I am reading that is a collection of writings on books that he is reading. Almost like pointing the video camera at the TV that is showing what you are filming. Soon we will be sucked in to an alternate universe and controlled with a high power remote control 100 times more powerful then the one Christopher Walken created in Click. Anyway I am setting out to read more Fiction , please email any titles that you have enjoyed lately (except for Linsey, your books are too hard for a college drop out like me) and I'll tell you what I think.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Two men and a baby

Rainy Day

Finny is just up from a nap and noisily slurping down a bottle on the pillow next to me. It is raining and cold outside and we are laying in bed, him in his pajamas and me in my pink polo and jeans. We don't have anything to do today and the bone chilling rain beyond the front and back doors does not invite adventure. Finn will dictate the days events as he is doing now with his chatter between slugs of formula. I will change his diaper and his clothes, we will read a book or two with Finn making up a much more interesting story then the one I am reading off the pages. I won't understand his version but he will make me laugh and then look back at me and smile. We will play peek-a-boo on the floor as Finn tries to taste the delicacies found stuck in the carpet. There will be another nap and more food and all sorts of other adventures that Finn will not let me write about. He has discarded the bottle and is now climbing over me to type his own message out: it reads "Down with e the computer daddy, it's time to play!"

Jessica Will be proud of me(then again maybe not)

Perusing the feeds on Google reader like isles at the grovery store I came across this poem that one blogger used with permission and I will use without:

Beannacht ("Blessing") by John O’Donohue

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

Also I suggest that you make this frequent read!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Finny Eats

Finn was cracking us up with his antics while eating last night. This is something where I'm sure you had to be there but just incase I am posting it here. He would raise his hands in the air and smack them down on the tray. You can see this at the end of this video. He was alos making crazy faces, twitching, and tensing up.

Finny Laughs


I know so many of you reading this have been wondering what to get me for my birthday next month. Normally I would say "Oh I don't want anything for my birthday, blah blah blah." and really mean it but his year is different. I'm gonna be honest with you because I feel like we are close like that. Kate and I are a young married couple with a baby, one income, and all of the cliche issues that those things entail. Money is tight and that means we focus on the essentials and not much else. It is a some times difficult time but also crazy romantic and fun. I really do love this time for all the worry it causes me. Anyway I was thinking about my birthday in light of all that and how asking for anything would be greedy. But that isn't true. Expecting something is greedy, letting people know what you would like, if they choose to get something for you, is just good manners. This seemed a lot better in my head but is suffering greatly in the typing. Anyway here are some things that I like if your asking:

T-Shirts from Threadless - Who doesn't like cool t-shirts, and this is a cool place for t-shirts.

Golf Lessons - I love playing Golf but I am not good, not good at all. The ball goes where it goes seemingly detached from my efforts.

Books - I love books and have been reading like crazy since coming home to raise Finny. If you love a book and want to pass it on then I would like to read it.

Gin and tonic - For Christmas Kate bought me a bottle of Hendrick's Gin and it was great. The bottle was funky and Gin had a Cucumber hint to it. Really any Distilled Spirit is nice here especially the different ones. There is a Vodka made from Grapes called Ciroq which is technically an Eau de vie and not a vodka but I would like to try it anyway.

Power tools - This summer we are going to start working on the house in earnest again and I am woefully lacking in the proper tools. I really am an embarrassment to my brother and dad. Right now I have a corded drill that I am not even sure is mine.

Allergies, Sunshine, and snow

In the Midwest the weather is a big deal. Much bigger then it was when we were in Santa Barbara. Apart from the June Gloom there wasn't any real mystery with SoCal weather. It's gonna be nice, real nice! Here in the Cross Roads of America is a different story though and nothing shows the difference like the last two weeks. Two Sundays ago we had Sunday dinner at our house and ate in the back yard under a warm setting sun. It was a wonderful spring evening with great friends and even a traveling musician playing some Southern Blues and Gospel tunes with the kids helping on the chorus. The warm weather continued for another week and then it went from 75 degrees in the afternoon to snow flurries the next morning. There was a 50 degree drop in temp in less then 24 hours! In between the Sun and snow was a Thunder storm, or more aptly a lightning storm since the Thunder doesn't really bother me as much as the thought of getting hit with one of those bolts, that turned the sky green and dropped copious amounts of rain and hail. We had Tornado warnings, Thunder Storm Warnings, and Flash flood warnings for a triple crown of Midwest danger. During all this craziness my allergies have been flaring up like mad. It is really bizarre to have itchy, watery eyes when it freezing outside. I have been in a medicated haze that is particularly unique to allergy medicine.