Saturday, November 29, 2008

365 # 112: Wayne the Goalie

I was one of the worst, if not the worst, player on the JV soccer team. But my ranking went up by one the day that you tried out to be a goalie. Like me, you were awful, and every attempt you made at giving it your all only resulted in making things worse. I clearly remember one practice where you dove face first right into a goal post, after which you were immediately struck in the face by a ball. Dazed and bloodied, you quit the team.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

365 # 111: Brandon S.

I've known you for enough years that I could relate any number of stories about you, any of which would provide a tiny little glimpse into the you that is you. But on this day, I choose to tell how my most memorable and enjoyable Thanksgiving day ever was at your house, hosted by you, your then-girlfriend, and her two pugs. I was still reeling from the breakup with my first wife. My family wasn't really doing much of anything that year, and I didn't really feel like driving out of town anyway. I didn't really know what I was going to be doing. Lo and behold, you guys also weren't going to be spending the day with family, and so you decided to throw open your doors for all of your friends who were in the same boat, which included me. It turned out to be an afternoon, evening, and night of food, drink, and revelry, unlike any Thanksgiving I'd ever had before or any I've had since. Thanks for playing host to such a great holiday.

Oh, and I'm also excited you and your wife are about to join us in parenthood.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Toddler Show

Oh hey, I posted over at DadCentric for the first time in like, months. Go check it out to read about Henry's first experience with that beloved institution, the school program.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

365 # 110: Sara R.

After you moved out to L.A., I asked your boyfriend how you were doing, and he started telling me about this insane project that you and a friend were working on. It was so nuts, I thought for sure that he was making it up. Apparently, you and a friend had slipped into the offices of some film studio, rifled through some scripts that were under consideration, stole one, rewrote it, then returned it. Oh, and you filmed all of this, thereby providing the evidence for your arrest, should anyone ever decide to press charges. The script you stole was titled "The Sean Connery Golf Project", which was also the title you gave to the very funny documentary that you made out of all these adventures. Punk rock-ariffic.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

365 # 109: Ryan the Kitchen Slave

Wow, I've been slacking badly on the blogging and the 365-ing. Early on in this project, I had visions of really getting it done in 365 days. Then I thought, meh, it's okay to miss a day or two here or there. Now I've just started blowing it off entirely. But to honor all this slacking, I thought I would rope it in and make it part of the theme by going through my list of not yet documented peeps to find one who truly embodied slackerness. Surely there'd be one in there.

As I scroll through the list, however, none truly jump out at me as quintessential slackers. There just seems to be more to everybody than just one little label. Ryan, you're the closest thing I've got. You worked in the bowels of a summer camp kitchen, arguably the lowest of the low on the ladder of summer camp occupations. Rather than wishing you could do something else, you seemed to relish your lowly position, like a chimney sweep making fun of a room full of lawyers and businessmen. And your job kept you from having to deal with campers, whom you mostly hated on principle. You put in just enough work to get by, not a drop more or less.

The only time I ever saw you really put effort into anything was the weekly cleaning of the dining hall floor, which was accomplished by covering it in bleach, then playing hockey with brooms and a bar of soap. These games never ended without significant injury.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Am A Feminist

I've never been the kind of guy to tell the woman I was with how she should manage her appearance. If I'm asked for an opinion, I'll give one, and I'll throw out compliments when I think to, which probably isn't often enough, and I suppose if Ashley was about to walk out the door to go to something important like a job interview wearing sweat pants and a Hustler tee-shirt, I might *ahem* say something. But other than that, I've never really felt it was my place to tell a woman how I like her to dress or how I like her to wear her hair or which color lipstick I think brings out her eyes best or which heels, the 4" or 6", she should wear. But since you asked, go with them 6 inchers.

All that changed during our last pregnancy. About midway through, Ash went to her stylist and got her beautiful long black hair hacked off. Again, it's her hair, she can do what she wants with it...except she hated it. She was pissed at herself for squandering one of the good things about being pregnant, all those months of great hair days. And without actually saying it, she managed to make clear that, had I made some kind of preference known, perhaps this tragedy could have been avoided.

Sounds like a green light to me.

Since then, I've been an adamant spokesperson for the long hair. Every time she brings up the idea of cutting it, I shoot it down like enemy aircraft. I've actually become kind of a jerk about it. The latest discussion, if by discussion you mean me ranting like a misinformed McCain supporter while Ashley nods and talks to me in the same tone she uses with our three year old, went something like this:

HOLMES: Keep your hair long because I like it long. Yeah, that's right, I said it.

THE ASH: Uh-huh.

HOLMES: You can put that on your blog if you want to. "Oh my god, my husband is so mean, he always tells me how I should wear my hair!"

THE ASH: I'll do that.

HOLMES: Yeah, that's right. And then I'll leave a comment on that post and say "Yeah, I said it. What's up?"

THE ASH: Okay.

HOLMES: Shit, maybe I'll just put it on my blog instead. Let the whole world know!

THE ASH: Okay, but only if you title it "I am a Feminist."

And there you have it.

365 # 108: Mr. Sanford

I got the theme to "Sanford & Son" stuck in my head today, and while you were neither a grizzled old black man nor the son of one, you still seem like the kind of guy who should have his own quirky theme music. You taught high school sociology, and everybody knew that your class was the one to take because you were the coolest teacher in the school. You managed to work stories of your free-loading hippie days into actual lessons about the finer points of sociology. Even though you kept your hair short and you wore a tie, the old hippie in you became apparent pretty quick. I typically find hippies pretty goddamn annoying, but you were an exception. You seemed like you were the kind of hippie to tell all the other fucking hippies to shut the fuck up, maaaann.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

365 # 107: Champ T.

Your first name was actually Thomas, but your middle name was Champion, so everybody called you Champ. It's weird calling somebody Champ day in and day out, even weirder working as a subordinate to such a person. You stood about five feet tall and had shortish dark hair. Add to that your penchant for jacked-up pickups and your impatience with people who didn't follow your orders to a tee, and it's no surprise that you were frequently referred to as "Napoleonic." Which is just a silly way to be when you're running a summer camp. It's not like we were operating a nuclear submarine.

One summer, I took The Reverend Horton Heat's classic tune "Bales of Cocaine" and turned it into a campfire song. Its rhythm just lends itself nicely to such a transposition. Of course, this song was not intended for camper consumption, but just as a special treat for the staff. By the end of the summer, most of the staff knew every word. It drove you up the wall, but everybody else loved it. Just my little way of saying "Fuck you."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

365 # 106: Matt B.

Remember that day you spent going around with my mom and I to local businesses asking them to contribute donations to my Eagle Scout project? My project was to landscape a newly built elementary school that had been left with little more than a bit of grass and some bare patches of dirt, so we targeted several nurseries, as well as any businesses in between to see what they'd be willing to give us. Me, I was nervous asking people to just give me something for nothing, but you seemed right at home with it. All told, we finished out the day with a few hundred dollars in cash, as well as a few hundred more payable in flora. That was really cool of you to help me out like that. It even makes up for the time that I was riding in your car, and you tricked me into getting out to check the tire, and then drove off, and then spent the next fifteen minutes letting me get within a few inches of the door handle and then speeding up the street. That...that was not so nice.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

365 # 105: Nadine

You got a tattoo when we were still in high school. It was situated dangerously close to your left boob and you loved to show it off. This officially made you dangerously, magnetically dangerous? Either way, you were not to be fucked with, nor could you be ignored. I was surprised you even knew my name. I wonder if you ever got all those other tattoos you talked about getting.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

365 # 104: Joe B.

I'm not going to apologize for having participated in the gang that ambushed you and threw you in the river that week that our scout troop went to summer camp. You were known as the dirty kid in the troop, the local pigpen, which wasn't so bad on weekend campouts, but this was a week of camping we're talking about here. You reeked, and you refused to shower. So we took things into our own hands. Not that being doused in river water had much power to cut through all that stink, but it made us feel better. I hope you've learned a bit about personal hygiene since then, because aside from being gross, you were pretty okay.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

There is a way

The baby woke up right before Obama's victory speech. I brought him downstairs and gave him a bottle while I listened to our future President speak. I looked down at him, and it occurred to me, he has no idea, no idea that he's alive during a moment of history. No idea how amazing tonight is. Just another night of little baby dreams.

Sleep tight little boys. The future's looking just a bit brighter.

And with that, a little Mos Def.

In the darkest depths of Mordor

Henry has apparently been getting into the Tolkien. How else to explain this creation?

Clearly, he has visions.

365 # 103: Chad the future lawyer

Based on my memories of some of the conversations you and I had on our drives to work, I'm guessing you're not too happy with the news so far this evening. Sorry buddy.