Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Carbon Footprint of a Burger

Via Treehugger but originating (and containing a complete breakdown) at Jamais Cascio's new site: Open the Future. Jamais was the former managing editor over at Worldchanging, one of my favorite eco-chic ass-kicking sites...

anyway, he... "recently got to wondering: with all the recent hubbub surrounding carbon footprints, credits and offsets, what do everyday, common items contribute to our warming globe? He started with an American institution: the cheeseburger, and, after a little digging and number-crunching he came up with 6.3 to 6.8 pounds (2.85 to 3.1 kg) of carbon emissions per burger. This includes a myriad of factors, from growing the feed for the cattle for the beef and cheese, growing the produce, storing and transporting the components, as well as cooking them all, and he appears to have done a fairly thorough job. So, why choose burgers? The average American eats three burgers per week, or about 150 burgers per year; that's a lot of beef, cheese, shipping and grilling, and it really adds up. According to Jamais' calculations, America's love of burgers contributes approximately 941 to 1023 pounds (that's 428-465 kg) of greenhouse gas per person, per year -- the rough equivalent of the annual carbon output from 7,500-15,000 SUVs if the 300 million US citizens hit the 3 burgers/week average. Will Carbon McCredits soon be appearing on menus across the country (and the world)? Jamais' discerning look at this common food item suggests we may want to think about it."

I'd also like to point out how creepy McDonald's UK site is, and that it's vastly better than the U.S. one, however disturbing.

Okay, so us alternative fathers need to take this site by storm.

I find the website to be stereotypical and demeaning to men in general. Look at their topic bar on the left column. It's sections include: Dating & Sexuality, Love, Women, Men, Entertainment, Fashion & Lifestyle, Health & Sports, Power & Money, Gaming, Poker, and Cars. Nowhere on the site can I find a trace of quality info on fatherhood or families or caring for children or the importance of a man in a kid's life. Who do these fucking horny assholes think they are, pretending to speak for men's interests in general when they just end up contributing to our being typecast as senseless, sexed up, power-hungry, celebrity-obsessed, money-grubbing studs who drool over tits, video games and chrome bumpers? Fuck them and fuck that. I urge you to send them an e-mail at: (or just send them a bunch of spam and viruses)

If they truly plan to live up to their image of representing men and providing resources and entertainment then they should buck up and hire someone who's not shallow and deluded by pop culture's glitz and glamor. See if they'll let any of us alternatively minded men write for their shitty little site.

Maybe I'm being too judgemental but this shit really pisses me off. Then again, I suppose most of the people in the United States piss me off as well and perfectly embody this Image Of Man we spin off to the rest of the country and world. Well... I'd like that to change sometime.

The mainstream slowly, slowly, learns a thing or two

Alternative Medicines
Are They Key to a Healthy, Happy Pregnancy?
By Jacqueline Rupp

A decade ago alternative medicine needed a full introduction. Most people had rarely heard about it or tried anything beyond the pharmacist's counter.

Today, holistic therapies are part of the American mainstream, with an ever-increasing amount of doctors researching and using these alternative medicines and a rise in the demand by the general public for an alternative to prescription drug-based treatments.

For pregnant women, alternative therapies can offer unique solutions for both common pregnancy-related annoyances and some serious complications. In general, holistic therapies focus more on the individual as a whole, not just a specific symptom, and offer pregnant women the chance to take stock of their overall well-being at a time when so many changes are occurring both physically and emotionally. Because the term "alternative medicine" refers to a large group of individual treatments, we've taken just two forms – homeopathy and herbal therapies – to explore what they can offer pregnant women.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Youthful Tendency Disorder

Lifted from Dadventure, originating at (of course) The Onion.

Ah, thank goodness for The Onion, that online bastion of satire without whom we would never find out about a new, horrible disease striking kids all across the US: YTD or Youthful Tendency Disorder.

The article describes YTD as:

Youthful Tendency Disorder (YTD), a poorly understood neurological condition that afflicts an estimated 20 million U.S. children, is characterized by a variety of senseless, unproductive physical and mental exercises, often lasting hours at a time. In the thrall of YTD, sufferers run, jump, climb, twirl, shout, dance, do cartwheels, and enter unreal, unexplainable states of “make-believe.”

The article identifies 6 signs of YTD parents should be on the watch for:

1. Near constant running, jumping and skipping
2. Sudden episodes of shouting and singing
3. Preferring playtime to schoolwork
4. Confusing self with animals and objects including dinosaurs, tigers and airplanes
5. Conversations with “imaginary friends”
6. Poor impulse control with regard to sugared snacks

Fortunately, there seems to be a cure, a miracle drug on the horizon to counteract YTD.

Help for families struggling with YTD may soon be on the way. At last month’s annual AMA Convention, Smithkline-Beecham unveiled Juvenol, a promising YTD drug which, pending FDA approval, could reach the U.S. market as early as next spring. Already available in France and Sweden, Juvenol, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported, resulted in a 60 percent decrease in running and jumping among users.

But until such help arrives, the parents of YTD sufferers can do little more than try to get through each day.

“I love my child with all my heart,” said Alexandra Torres, Jesse’s mother. “But when he’s in the throes of one of his skipping fits, it’s hard not to feel a little envious of parents with normal, healthy children.”

Here’s hoping an outbreak of YTD hits your house this season!

Monday, December 25, 2006

tilting at windmills on saint crispin's day

I have discovered that all human evil comes from this,
man's being unable to sit still in a room.

Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)

Breakfast alone at The Reef
a tossed green salad, italian
cottage cheese, light salt
cup of coffee, cream

Don’t know how to tell Stephanie
why I don’t want to see her and our daughters
today of all days,
something symbolic. (only period)
[insert change of pace here]
Purposefully don’t order a bloody mary. (never mind)

I swallow tiny ice cubes whose little sharp edges
tickle the inside of my throat,
melting all the way down
and never hitting bottom.

My hands tremble a bit
as I delicately manuever
a dollop of cream into my coffee cup,
it’s color the stock dusty reef brown.

A fly alights on my salad.

I am a solitary withdrawn man
behind a mask of sociability.

[you know, that pace thing, changing again]

Winston Churchill was born in a coat check room
at some bourgeois grand ball.

Mostly I just want to be left alone.

When he was older he rationed himself
to fifteen cigars a day.

But then I miss my closely distant friends.

Upon his death, the mortician saved
four hundred some odd dollars on embalming fluid
due to the levels of brandy in his blood.

Smile. Cough. Feel old beyond time.

[I made that last part up, by the way.
But it sounded good, huh?]

I wonder how large my aperture is
as I snap a shot of 4th ave,
in simple awe of this day
and what it does to people.

I guess I just wanted this experience:
A window into the world
of those who spend X-mas alone,
whether by choice or otherwise.

Last night at McCoy’s Doug and I met a very nice man
who asked if either of us had a little marijuana to sell.
We didn’t but chatted awhile; eventually he invited us up
to his nearby apartment for a little x-mas eve party for which
he obviously didn’t have anyone in attendance yet.
He boasted seventy some DVDs in his collection.
He was lonely.
We respectfully declined his invitation and continued
our exodus from the bar.
Down the street I felt guilt in my gut mixed with sadness.
He was black.
[leave open to interpretation with devious cackle]

I scrape my lack of appetite off my theeth with a dirty sleeve.
Mispell words ‘cause I write to try to match speed of mind sometimes,
always failing,
except when mind’s on empty.

And so I stumble back into breakfast slowly,
deliberately, resolving to read the newspaper today
and let it be a metaphor about new leaves
and turning them.
[this poem ends here]

then i curl into my little shell that no one knows, fall asleep for my only christmas date at the casino and reluctantly call it just another day.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Whiskey Tattoos

More snow on the ground and a tree across the driveway this morning when I crawled out of bed to say goodbye and Merry Humbug to Ben before he flew to Connecticut for X-mas. Back in bed to cuddle with the girls until they ask for food, then downstairs to get the fire built and up to a rip-roarin' 1200 degrees to take the edge off our winter palace. No bookstore due to fallen tree so I enjoy a warm relaxed day by the fire, get a few things done around the house that have been neglected (specifically not including the dishes), read Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman to Lyli and Scarleht, who listen attentively and talk about feeding the animals. I choke up near the end of the book, flashbacks from my own childhood elliciting a hint of tear. This is my newly found malady since becoming a parent, I get moist at the most sentimental romantic bullshit imaginable. Crap. Don't tell any prospective ladies...

They sit on the sofa, unaware of my eavesdropping. Lyli holds her flower hat (the kind with petals that stick up and out from her head in a semi-circle) and grips individual petals, chanting "wheech one? other one, other one, other one." Scarleht advises me all day long that the old circular light switch on the wall behind my desk doesn't work: "this light not work" (repeat about two hundred and twelve times). They ask to see a picture of me in my wallet (how'd they know there was one in there?) and when I show them my driver's license Lyli says: "Papa 'ook sad eena pishur."

Snap a few polaroids of the girls, Lyli and Scarleht look my way and pose and shout "Whiskey Tattoos!" Their mantra whenever a camera points their way these days and a phrase for which I beg no forgiveness or explanation. We talk about how snow is cold and why, eat meat-free, gluten-free hippie nuggets for lunch, snack on the okra and corn bread and catfish Ben cooked up the night before. The word catfish intrigues the girls and I bow out on the explanation front, just letting that one ride for awhile until I have the presence of mind to come up with some clever answer. In the meantime we discuss the intricate subtleties of fireplaces and woodstoves and the differences between the two. Scarleht then asks for two notes (little scraps of paper I take notes on) and they spend the next hour folding and crumpling and pretending to write on them. I suppose this comes from watching their Papa work at his desk throughout the day and it hits a soft spot.

I wrap the last of my stupid x-mas presents in a self-absorbed funk, take the edge off with a nice glass of planing mill red, 2004, from Seven Hills winery, and settle into a quiet introspection that revolves around the rest of the day and into evening. Nap on the sofa after ladies fall to sleep and then back up to work into the wee hours, my normal routine these scattered days when I barely have enough time to tell if I still have a heart ticking away within the confines of a chest which lost its treasure. What kind of pirate am I? A lone one.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sustainable & Organic Kids Toys

Why buy a bunch of plastic crap that makes dangerously loud noises for yer kids or yer friend's kids when there are amazing alternatives out there? Though sometimes a bit more expensive, when natural capitalism's ripple effect is factored into the mix the benefits greatly outweigh the slightly increased price tag. This fold-down wooden horse from Hazelnut Kids carries a $69.90 price tag.

Check out Ecomall's list of kick-ass Organic & Sustainable kids toy providers for a ton of cool gift ideas!

And scope Elodie Details for pirate, punk and camo kid gear.

This is fucking ridiculous

From GizModo.

Just when you thought you'd seen every iPod accessory in the known universe, scientists discover a new one. This is the iPod baby stroller. I mean, I guess it could be nice to listen to music when walking your baby, but doesn't that kind of nix the whole baby bonding thing? Kolcraft has no care for this kind of emotional baggage, because its iBaby stroller (enough with the "i" prefix already people!) comes with a built-in iPod (no mention of which one), iPod mini adapter, holder and speakers. So get that Metallica on your playlist and crank it up for junior next time you're heading to the playground. I'm sure the other parents will totally appreciate it.

Scared of Santa Gallery

These are hilarious! Link via Michael atThe Tiny Revolution, via Boing Boing.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Coolest 8 Year Old In The World Talks About O'Reilly

This is fucking sweet. And evidently, quite the stir among certain circles less radical than my own. Judge for yourself, but me, I don't think this is exploitation or child abuse, especially considering she's a paid actress and professional child actress. Now, I could rant about that for awhile but it has nothing to do with how funny this is.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tracks through December

Crazy long work play day at the bookshop with myself, Steph-o Lyli, Scarleht, Dave, Cora, Heather, Rowan and Dylan, many friends stop by the play throughout the day as I grow more and more exhausted but satisfied and perfectly at home amongst other crazy young parents. Power out all across western war-shington so Oly's downtown is flooded with people seeking hot coffee and breakfast. schools are closed, phones are down, the internet plays hooky half the day just to piss me off. I dash around helping customers and observing my girls interacting with this marvelous multitude of shining souls. They pay me little mind and I pretend to be too busy to notice, so we dance around each other in little increments over the course of this river of a day.

We have extended family dinner at Dave's after closing our cute little anarchist bookshop and sit around sipping wine and watching Lyli and Scarleht and Cora make a disaster zone of Dave's living room. Palenta lasagna and a quiet cigarette. Dave tried his damndest to read a book to Cora and Lyli and Scarleht and me but it's a little advanced for my ladies and they are utterly exhausted from the day's activities. I put them to sleep in Cora's bed as Dave cuddles his daughter in the big bed. This room we used to live in... now sleeping here again. Odd twinges of guilt and raw emotion as I lie here thinking and dozing for an hour as the girls nodd off. Then downstairs to learn pinochle for too many hours of fun with Dave and Doug and Hannah into the wee hours.

Leave my ladies at Last Word with Mama and gang of friends 'round noonish and hightail it down the demon gutter with Hannah, saying hello to the mountains, paying respects to the rivers, smoke and comfortable talk. A refunded ticket in Portland for arriving sans train, nice $25.33 in the proverbial pocket of the mastercard. Quick smoke and romance amidst the bustle of city life, then on board the Empire Builder to all points East. Most social train-ride I've ever taken. Chatty Chatty with the workers and passengers alike, unsure what exactly has put me in this mood but have a hunch or two. I link up with a professional bull rider from Kennewick named Jack and this awesome black dude whose name I can't recall who trains 12 to 20 year olds how to BMX and MotoCross. We talk and joke and drink across Washington, take a smoke break, lose the BMXer to relaxation rather than frantic bizarre conversation, enlist a 17 year old musician/songwriter and force him to play Texas Hold-Em with us for the last hour (actually, he was ready and willing). Talk it up with ladies across the isle. Meet a little boy named Noah and share Pirate Papa with his parents. Matt, the diner car attendant, and I hit it off big and joke the whole trip, thoroughly disturbing the other passengers I'm sure. I love the train. Sometimes I like to shack up and write and read and sleep, sometimes I like to party with total strangers for a matter of hours. I can't wait to take the girls on the train, I suppose I've just been apprehensive for whatever myriad reasons.

Meet up with Pops in Pasco and take the long dark way home, thru talk and fields and silence and smoke. Share some words with Aly, far away. A nice talk until 4 a.m. with Trevor in Hawaii revolving around Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. A movie and vegetation into downstairs futon. No words then, tho I pray a bit for them to come today, however mundane. Tomorrow the grindstone, beautiful bookwork and a few friends. It is cold here. But I am ready.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fatherhood Statistics & Links

Not too much to report. Exhausted from kids and work and erratic schedule and wild mind. Going to Walla Walla to work a bit of the Christmas rush at Earthlight Books, my father's shop. Hope to get a bit of more academic, serious research and writing done while I'm there but I've also learned not to get my hopes up, especially around X-mas time, who knows what wayward souls will blow home for the holidays? Working Last Word Books with Eamon and Lyli and Scarleht tomorrow if anyone happens to be in the vicinity of downtown Olympia and needs a fix of my fine-ass ladies.

A few sites I dug up:

Seattle Dads
Old article on Seattle dad's group.
Northwest - 'eh', it makes me make that sound.
Solid Indiana Fatherhood Initiative Program

Father Facts pamphlet you can order, out of which the following is excerpted:

Top Ten Father Facts

1. 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.

2. Nearly 20 million children (27 percent) live in single-parent homes.

3. 1.35 million births (33 percent of all births) in 2000 occurred out of wedlock.

4. 43 percent of first marriages dissolve within fifteen years; about 60 percent of divorcing couples have children; and approximately one million children each year experience the divorce of their parents.

5. Over 3.3 million children live with an unmarried parent and the parent's cohabiting partner. The number of cohabiting couples with children has nearly doubled since 1990, from 891,000 to 1.7 million today.

6. Fathers who live with their children are more likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children than those who do not. The best predictor of father presence is marital status. Compared to children born within marriage, children born to cohabiting parents are three times as likely to experience father absence, and children born to unmarried, non-cohabiting parents are four times as likely to live in a father-absent home.

7. About 40 percent of children in father-absent homes have not seen their father at all during the past year; 26 percent of absent fathers live in a different state than their children; and 50 percent of children living absent their father have never set foot in their father's home.

8. Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.

9. From 1960 to 1995, the proportion of children living in single-parent homes tripled, from 9 percent to 27 percent, and the proportion of children living with married parents declined. However, from 1995 to 2000, the proportion of children living in single-parent homes slightly declined, while the proportion of children living with two married parents remained stable.

10. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Herbal & Natural Treatments of Alcoholism

Excerpted from the University of Maryland Medical Center's website, thanks gang, this is some excellent information. Check their website for some of the best all-encompassing, mostly unbiased medical knowledge I've found.


The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care and only under the supervision of a practitioner knowledgeable in the field of herbal medicine.

Luckily this isn't a problem if you aren't on anything else! Ha! Take that Western Medicine! I haven't had any of your silly pills in six years! Anyway, moving on...

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Although more conclusive research is needed, there is some evidence to suggest that this herb may lessen cravings for alcohol. Evening primrose is often used as an oil extracted from the seed of this herb. This is commonly called EPO. The main active ingredient of EPO is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that can also be found in borage and black currant oils.


American and Asian ginseng (Panax quinquefolium and Panax ginseng respectively) may help treat alcohol intoxication because each of these herbs speed up the metabolism (break down) of alcohol. Faster break down clears alcohol from your body more quickly. In addition, animal research suggests that Asian ginseng may reduce the amount of alcohol that is absorbed from the stomach.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Some studies evaluating milk thistle for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease have found significant improvements in liver function with use of this herb. People with the mildest form of alcohol-related liver damage seem to improve the most. Milk thistle is less effective for those with severe liver disease such as cirrhosis. (Cirrhosis is characterized by scarring and permanent, non-reversible damage to the liver. It is often referred to as end-stage liver disease.)

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Those with depression and alcoholism share certain similarities in brain chemical activity. In addition, some people (especially men) who are depressed may mask their feelings or try to cope with their low mood by drinking alcohol. For these reasons, researchers have considered whether St. John's Wort, often used to treat depression, may help reduce alcohol consumption. Animal studies suggest that this may prove to be an appropriate use of this herb. St. John's Wort interacts with many different medications. It is particularly important, therefore, that you check with your doctor before using.


Additional herbs that an herbal specialist might consider to support you while undergoing treatment for alcoholism include:

* Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Traditionally used for liver-related problems and as a nutritional support because it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Tends to work well with milk thistle.
* Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora): Traditionally used for tension and anxiety, this herb may help ease the withdrawal process.


There have been few studies examining the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. Professional homeopaths, however, may recommend a treatment for alcoholism based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type. In homeopathic terms, a person's constitution is his or her physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual. The following are a few examples of remedies that an experienced homeopath might consider for symptoms related to alcohol abuse or withdrawal:

* Arsenicum album for anxiety and compulsiveness, with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
* Nux vomica for irritability and compulsiveness with constipation, nausea, and vomiting
* Lachesis for cravings for alcohol, headaches, and difficulty swallowing
* Staphysagria for angry individuals who tend to suppress their emotions and may have been abused physically, sexually, or psychologically in the past

Mind/Body Medicine

Cognitive-behavioral therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist is a very effective treatment approach for alcohol addiction. This type of therapy, which is geared toward restructuring your beliefs and thought process about drinking, can help you cope with stress and control your behavior. Talk to your health care provider about finding a qualified cognitive-behavioral therapist.

Acupuncture has shown potential as an effective treatment for addiction, according to a 1997 Consensus Statement by the National Institutes of Health. While some but not all studies of acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol abuse have shown benefit, many addiction programs that currently offer acupuncture report that people appear to "like acupuncture" and, in many cases, want to continue with their detox program for longer periods of time when acupuncture is provided as a treatment option. This is very important since attendance is essential for the success of treatment.

Acupuncturists treat people with alcoholism based on an individualized assessment of the excesses and deficiencies of qi located in various meridians. In the case of alcoholism, a qi deficiency is usually detected in the liver meridian, while the gallbladder meridian tends to contain excess qi. In addition to performing needling treatment, acupuncturists may employ other methods such as moxibustion (a technique in which the herb mugwort is burned over specific acupuncture points). Although not all studies agree, auricular acupuncture may be particularly beneficial.
Traditional Chinese Medicine

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata)

Although a modern day scientific study suggests that this Chinese herb does not reduce cravings for alcohol or improve one's chances of staying sober, traditional use does include treatment of alcoholism. This one study was quite small; therefore, this traditional use of kudzu requires more thorough research to determine whether it is safe and effective or not.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

...I took the one less travelled by

I lounge behind my desk, utterly satisfied and exhausted, sipping wine and watching The Doors and reveling in simply being and being simply satisfied amidst these trees and rotting salmon stench which permeates all persons present. We who have hung our heads out windows, easy targets, waiting for a view of heaven or some star when we should be watching where we place each footfall and frail breath released into space to mingle with this ether we suppose elicits artwork.

I cast myself in a one-man play behind my eyelids, watching from afar, tucked away behind synapses and grey matter that really doesn't matter much at all. I spy the constituent pieces of myself, incongruous with the puzzles of others for the most part, parceled out over minutes and milestones, spread thin like an emaciated hooker tricking for a quick fix of lust or love. Alas, at times the lines in-between the lovers blur, a kaleidoscopic frenzy of frayed emotions, threads read and woven, binding our bodies into one.

I see each archetypal image of myself bound against reality's rendering of a lens. I see parent, bookie, poet, printer, drinker, dancer, loner, loser, lover, fighter, fucker, faithless fool, flop, sullen sucker, soulless savior of sad saints, glue that holds far hearts together across loss.

Where is the nobility in ego? Where does hate sleep in the house of love? Why do the stars blink when we look them in the eyes? When will we feast upon last year's harvest? When will our telephones laugh instead of ringing in our ears of corn?

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Randominities #067k

Strange happenings the other night while carousing with Eamon and Afton... Eamon had, merely hours before, reminded us that it was December 7th and the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. While we were sitting around after dinner playing adult games I started going through a stack of comic book promotional posters I snagged from the back room of my father’s bookstore last trip. Lo and behold, halfway down the stack was a copy of...drumroll...The Honolulu Star-Bulletin 2nd Extra from Sunday, December 7th, 1941, an eight page news supplement focused on the disaster unfolding. Crazy shit huh?

Just received my 4000th hit on pirate papa (since installing the counter a little less than a year ago). 3,000 of those hits in the last six months alone. My buddy Ben over at Honky Tonk Dragon just made his first few bucks off adsense or some such advertising. Makes me think... I mean shit, I don’t like consumerism, but if I can choose the ads I definitely wouldn’t mind getting paid to work on my blog. Fuh-gid about it.

Eamon gets home at 4:45 in the morning to my insomniac ass cracking out on the computer. He weaves a very sad tale about a meth-addicted mother he befriended years ago and how he ran into her father in the 4th Ave Tav tonight and had a regretful blast from the past. I listen and share what few words I can muster.

Gotta be movin’ in a few hours here, girls into Steph, maybe a late morning nap at el bookstore-o. Hopefully this weekend I will travel to the far-off mystic lands of Seattle with Luke to see that Bodies Exhibition and the Dead Sea Scrolls!

Don’t know why I haven’t written anything about it yet, but the 2nd Papa Party was great! Still small but twice the size of last time (three times, counting little wobblers), the 2nd papa party was a casual hoot! Myself, my business partner Dave, Jason and his daughter Aurora, and Rob and his son Ezra all attended at Traditions Fair Trade Cafe last Saturday night for almost an hour and a half. Dave and I were sans children so part of the time was of course spent chasing little ones around Traditions, playing drums and sporadically talking about local politics, parent groups, food, kids, partners, our own parents, and future meetings of our fatherly minds.

My buddy Aaron Wesley officially became a father yesterday, little Noah popped out at NINE AND A HALF POUNDS and 20 3/4 in. Jesus. I mean, I know I had, like shrunken pygmy preemy twin babies but damn, that’s a big kid! So Congrats all around Aaron and fam-damily.

more links!

Divorce & Custody

A Kid's Right

Joint Custody and Shared Parenting

Shared Parenting Works

Fathers & Families

Men's Activism

Friday, December 8, 2006

for forever, love now

There is not such thing as darkness; only a failure to see.

Fog rolls in from the cow pasture this morning, up and over the creek splashing with exhausted salmon whose hides are spotted with experience. I revel in this morning's waffle-dance (even though we have no waffles) and listen to Lyli talk about "when me ah beeg gurhl ah cut appo wita nife." Scarleht talks at great length about the "pah-kit" of her "fwooyoo" (sweater). We move into "five anananados!" (five things colored orange as we begin to pick up Spanish left and right). Lyli complains that her socks are not working, then talks about yesterday when Scarleht threw a fit and didn't want to clean up her toys. Lylis says with utmost seriousness: "Lyli no cwy, lyli toys away" and punctuates it with her affirmative, headstrong single nod.

In other news I aimlessly, doggedly trudge onward, though the monotony of freedom sometimes stifles in ways you wouldn't imagine. I change hats to improve my despondency, smoke a fancy cigarette and watch the groundsquirrels and chickadees dance across the landscape of our cold, wet yard. Friends seem few and far between, even when perched next to me for a spell. When you only have little pieces of yourself to portion out it narrows your opportunities a bit. Or sequesters them to dark barrooms on those nights when part of me pretends I'm not a father. Other people seem to move so much faster than me, their emotions granted more time to work themselves out and evolve. With the passing days comes an increasing, encroaching loneliness I attempt to quell with cheap beer to little avail. I tell myself that crutches come and go in phases and that everything will be okay. I space out and don't listen to myself. I wonder about far away friends living out fantasy lives even though I know they feel as stagnant and small and forgotten as I do.

In the Pacific Northwest, this seems to be a seasonal ineptitude, our collective bioregional funk that starts to settle in around October and finally lifts her gloomy mantle whenever little miss spring gets around to pulling up her skirts enough for us to spy a little ankle and sink our hands back in her still cold soils with images of cherry tomatoes and strawberries driving us onward.

Changing hats works a bit, as does the thought of tea. I abandon my sorry self and start to sort out this dreamless day replete with routine duties. To that end, peruse some links, o gentle distant readers of my little world:

The Porn Myth

Naked Man Smokes Crack and Gets Attacked by an 11-foot Alligator

Christian Groups to Boycott Hate-Based Video Game Based on that Nutjob Tim LaHeye's Left Behind Series - YES!!!!! Thank you Jay-sus!

Green, Socially Responsible Gift Giving

The Fable Game: DIY Storybook

2006 10 Worst Toys List

Just Plain Awesome

Dwarfist, Deaf Parents Down With PGD

Eating Chocolate Reduces Risks of Miscarriage!!!

Captain Picard Sings the Alphabet Song

McSweeney's Has Kids Books! - Just a cool dude runnin' a cool site

Culture Seed

Disenfranchised Father

Disenfranchised Father Syndrome

"Be it thy course to being giddy minds with foreign quarrels." - Little Billy Shakes

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

stumbling towards profundity

When I am eighty I will live alone and smoke a pipe and read my news and books as the sun comes up. I will garden and split wood and walk to watch the salmon because there will, of course, be salmon nearby and wood in need of splitting and, I would imagine, we will still have weeds.

When I am eighty I will move slowly and think fast and never have to drive anywhere. I will write poems when the muse is upon me about old friends fallen by the wayside and drink red wine in my flower garden amidst the graves of a hundred cats.

When i am eighty i will hurl epithets at young hoodlums on street corners because it is my right and my duty and my retribution. My daughters and I will stroll and talk of things large and small and here and gone as my four-score worth of leaves swirl about our feet.

When I am eighty my girls will perhaps be grandparents, maybe twice over, and the world will be a realm unimaginable through today’s lens, a world we walk through with barely a thought thrown back to these days, these humble, lonely beginnings.

When I am eighty I will worry about everything and nothing all at once. I will live in an old lighthouse overlloking the Pacific somewhere and I will light lanterns to guide in wayward travellers and poets and princesses and dragons alike, to whisper to them the secret homes of rocks and danger.

When I am eighty I will play the piano each night while the sun burns down into the ocean. I will stretch up to pluck apples from the tired old tree, whose limbs are younger than my own. I will lie on my back in whatever yard I have to speak or write of and gaze up at the same stars I spy upon tonight, thinking some of the same thoughts, living parts of the same life I’ve always led


Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Erectile Dysfunction Ads vs.Birth Control Ads

About Those Ads?

Kids see a lot of ads. And a lot of those ads deal with impotence drugs. Pediatricians would prefer that kids see a lot less of those ads and a lot more ads for birth control.

Children should be exposed to fewer television ads for anti-impotence drugs and more for birth control, and need to be shielded from an advertising onslaught in general, the leading U.S. pediatricians' group said on Monday.

..."We'd like to see more birth control ads," Strasburger said, "and less ads for erectile dysfunction drugs because it makes sex seem like a recreational activity."

He said there was no evidence that advertising birth control products would increase promiscuity.

The pediatricians group urged the U.S. Congress or government regulators to restrict the airing of erectile dysfunction drug ads until after 10 p.m. when fewer children are watching television.

They also recommend that children should be taught media literacy so they could be immunized against the overwhelming onslaught of ads that are vying for attention.

What a boffo idea!

Link courtesy of Pacific Views

Friday, December 1, 2006

lumberjills, thises & thats & Hi

As the legend goes, if you hold a book upon its spine and let it fall open the pages will spread their leaves to the sexy parts of the story because that's when the entranced reader bends the book open the hardest. I try to live my life like this whenever possible, especially these days, when I am a father first and an individual second. So I bend my spine, shuffle through the fallen leaves, speed-read these slender pages because I do not know when my eyes will find the time to next grace a text or dance upon a nape of neck.

My new affectionate term for my lovely ladies is lumberjills, a nice twist to our patriarchal roots here in Cascadia. They seem to like it, strutting around our frigid abode in their insulated pants and thermal long-sleeve onesies. I at last find conclusive proof of foul play regarding the ongoing instances of unscrewed knobs on cupboard doors about our cluttered domicile. Lyli has a fondness for toying with their succulently round shapeliness. Case closed.

They begin to utilize "this" and "that" today in common speech and I listen in fixated fascination from across the room as they point at toys and dub them with this fresh term. From time to time over the course of the day they run up one at a time and shout "Hi" at me in a shrill tone. My favorite is when they both subtly burst into song while doing something and harmonize behind the happenings of the room. They caress the pages of Madeline, softly telling the parts of the story they can wrap their tongues around: the girls brushing their teeth and lying in bed. Second only to their new-found delight in a little magnetic-black-dust drawing board, which takes up hours of each day invested in this quiet cold wonderland we inhabit.

I drift back and forth, build bookshelves, sleep irregularly, eat when I am hungry, piss when I have to, and exult in the tiniest occurrences and the subtly sexy signatures of tomorrow's unread pages.