Weaning, on a Jet Plane…

My beautiful wife is from Germany. Someday, I’ll tell the story of how we met and fell in love. But for now, I’ll just say that she is a native German speaker, and had not had any experience speaking American. She’d learned English English in school in Germany, so she learned a lot of what she knows now by living here. To my credit (I think), I only blatantly took advantage of this once.

One day she was singing Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver. I sang along, but munged the lyrics to be leaning on a jet plane, and made up a story about how the guy singing the song was waiting for his flight to leave a hangar, and was just leaning against the plane while he was waiting. I kept a straight face, and she bought it. I walked funny for a week or two after she found out, and I swear my coffee tasted like saliva for a month or two after that. You don’t wanna mess with my wife. She’s nice. But she gets even. And she’s sneaky.

IB is still breast feeding. She feeds once in the morning, at nap time, and bedtime (and sometimes during the night). It’s definitely less than she used to, but she still depends on the boob. Specifically, it’s the right boob (just in case anyone was curious). During the day, she drinks watered down juice, and eats pretty much what we do at mealtime.

My beautiful wife is done. Our beautiful toddler is not.

So the question is, to wean or not to wean? When should it happen? What’s a good way to go about it? IB does not drink milk at this point. Even chocolate milk goes in, and then comes right back out. Do we just endure a few months weeks days of screaming until she’s over it, or should we just let it happen naturally?

I should clarify my own position in all this: I really don’t have one. I’m happy to have my wife’s milk duds (her words) converted back into her former maidenly bosom, but for me, the holy bond of breast feeding is non-Dad territory. Baby blanket? No problem. I can even dispose of binkies. But breaking the bond between child and mother at this most basic level is where I draw the line. I will support my wife, of course, but we’re both curious to know what you think.

I can’t blame you if you don’t have an opinion, seeing as I don’t myself, so here’s an alternate question: what’s your favorite John Denver song? Everyone has one, right?

Guilty as charged

Should I blog about feeling guilty?

About being guilty (and for what infraction)?

OK, both. I feel guilty about drinking. Not actually drinking, as I’ve now officially been a non-drinker-of-adult-alchoholic-beverages for over three years. But dreaming about drinking. Once in a while (much less often than it used to be), I have a dream in which I drink. Sometimes it’s a lot, but even if it’s just a single Moosehead, I wake up just feeling awful. I know I’ve blown it. Ruined everything. Gone back to square one. And even after I (and my wife, children, and extended family) convince me that it was just a dream, I still have a hangover. All morning.

It’s not fun.

I know there’s no reason for me to feel this way, but even worse, it’s unqualified guilt. There’s nothing I can do to take responsibility for what I did, other than to go to dreamland rehab. I don’t ever want to feel this way again. I didn’t state this as a resolution, but I’m putting it out there now: I don’t want to experience guilt this year. Not even once.

Top 10 ways I’m going to avoid guilt:

10. Hire Dennis Quaid to enter my dreams and stop me from drinking.

9. Become a Puritan. Or a Spartan. Whichever membership is cheaper.

8. Create a ‘This many days [X] without guilt’ sign and hang it in my office.

7. Look for a job every single day until I find one (phone inerview today! Woot!).*

6. Turn off my emotion chip.

5. Tell myself not to drink before I fall asleep.

4. Drink as much as I want in my dream, but then throw up, have a hangover, and wake up feeling refreshed.

3. Intentionally dream about something other than drinking. Like clowns.

2. Just stay awake. All the time.

1. Tape a motivational poster over my bed: Easy does it. One dream at a time.

*Not related to the guilt about dream-drinking, but another potential source of guilt.


The Waiting is the Hardest Part

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Back where I’m from (the 80s), Tom Petty was huge. And, for better or worse, his songs carried me through some of the most difficult moments of my angstacular teenage life. I certainly felt like a Refugee in 1980 as a sophomore in high school, before finding my place as a band geek. After my parents sold their house in Spokane, Don’t Come Around Here No More played in my head whenever I smelled lilacs or burning aluminum (we lived near Kaiser Aluminum’s Trentwood facility). Free Falling perfectly described how I felt in 1989, between jobs and trying to make it in Seattle. And in 1990. And 1991.

Today, Tom Petty is once again keeping me company at a critical time in my life. As I wait, I’m reminded of how many people have helped and encouraged me, and kicked my butt when I’ve needed it. I’m positive that I’ll have good news to share, soon. To my bloggy friends, RL friends, and family, thank you.

The waiting is the hardest part.

What If

What if the bottom fell out of the economy? Oh wait.

What if Cher had a comeback?

What if the machines didn’t know what chicken tasted like, so that’s why chicken tastes like everything?

What if I found an awesome(sauce) job, but it required moving to a new state?

I believe that ‘what if’ is the source of creative genius. Asking this question can lead you to an infinite number of answers. Some are whimsy. Others are inventions. In 1903, Mary Anderson noticed that streetcar drivers in New York had to roll down their windows in the rain to see. She thought, ‘What if there was a way to clean the window while driving?” and invented the windshield wiper.

But of all the places ‘what if’ takes me, I inevitably arrive at… grammar.

What if I understood grammar?

Special grammar super-rules apply to expressing a wish or hypothesis. From this article, you can see that the past subjunctive must be used when expressing a wish or hypothesis. For our what ifs, the past subjunctive is used after the conjunction if in a contrary-to-fact protasis. Therefore, ‘What if I was manly man?’ is properly expressed as, ‘What if I were a manly man.’


What if I could choose between flight and invisibility as super powers?

What if I could go back in time and take the blue pill?

What if I were not left-handed?

What if you found out an asteroid was going to hit the earth in eight hours?


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good

harry-potterOK, I admit it: I love Harry Potter. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

My beautiful wife and I have been HP fans since the beginning of the franchise. I’ve really enjoyed J.K. Rowling‘s writing, and the movies have been excellent as well. But most of all, I like the themes that she presents throughout: losing someone is really hard (but you can recover), friendship matters in ways you can’t possibly anticipate, and real magic is just a state of mind.

Not sure about that last part. Maybe that’s just what I believe.

On a seemingly unrelated note, I’ve never understood why people get tattoos. Everyone I know has a story of someone who got a tattoo of their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/canine unit, only to have to scratch it out or tattoo over it later in life. Ha, I thought to myself, I’ll never do that. I’ll never permanently mark myself in some way that I might regret later. Never.



I’m driving over to my friend Ned’s house today to help him with his website. He’s a remodeling contractor who runs his own business, and lately, business isn’t great. Actually, he’s concerned about going out of business. Because there’s no business at all. The person that used to maintain his site and list him on various services like Craig’s List bailed on him, so I’m going to volunteer some of my time.

I have adequate ’setting up websites’ skills. In fact, this blog is not the only website I have on the net. In the interest of disclosure, I’ll introduce my other not-for-profit project. I say not-for-profit because, even though it’s a ‘webstore’ that ’sells clothing’, it doesn’t ‘make any money’. I’m basically running it as a favor for my friend.

To be fair, I should say the my beautiful wife is running it. Julia (whose signature points at the store when she comments) does almost everything on our website. She takes the pictures, edits them in Photoshop, manages the inventory, ships items, and tracks sales. And, at all these tasks, she absolutely rocks. My contribution was the server-side application (written in Django), and I fix bugs and add new features every so often, but she handles all of the day-to-day stuff.