Friday, July 10, 2009

Frag Town, U.S.A.

These are Friday Fragments, an idea originated by Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin' Time. It's a collection of weekly thoughts, none of which alone would make for a complete post. Okay, that's a lie. I could probably stretch all of these into complete posts. And no one reads this intro, so I could probably write donkey balls and no one would pick up on it. The first one to mention it gets a prize.

Friday Fragments?

++ I got my class list for the fall from the university. At this point, starting the very first week of September, I'm enrolled in Bridge Math (a.k.a. Algebra for Dummies), U.S. History, English, and Philosophy.

The math class is non credit. Sort of like a primer class for when I take a real college algebra. That means I'm actually only getting credit for three classes. Which is fine. I'd rather start out slowly and ramp up.

++ We weren't able to do anything we planned at the beginning of the week because of the fucking rain. 26 out of the last 28 days of it. That and no money. Can we not transpose this? Can we not have 26 out of the last 28 days of money and no rain? Please? Enough already.

++ I am obsessed with my wife. I love looking at pictures of her when she was growing up. She has this impossibly long, blond hair, a magnetic smile, and in every photo I can see her extravagant character: some have called it loud and obnoxious. I call it full of life and fun and I am lucky to have her.

++ Gabrielle has an invisible friend named Jack. Who also just happens to be a kangaroo. I don't ask questions anymore, folks. Not after fathering four and step-fathering two. I just go with it.

++ I am estranged from my sister right now, but it won't last. Over an argument about money. We'll go for awhile without speaking and then the air will clear and all will be good. This week, I thought of something. A moment in time. She (three years my senior) and I sitting in our parents' living room on a Saturday night watching Disney on the television. My father sits on the floor while my sister sits behind him on the couch, combing his hair with one of his black pocket combs. He used to let her do that for the entire show.

An enduring image of my sister, one that transcends all the frivolity and meaningless sibling arguments we have had through the years.

++ Griffin says "Dora" and "hi" and "Daddy", "Ty", "mum mum", and "Eye." He also knows sign language for "please" which is a hand across the stomach, and "get the fuck off the road", which is really just one finger thrust through an open car window. He learned that from Gabrielle, who uses both hands because she's older.

++ As I write this, we are sitting in our campsite at a campground in Conway, New Hampshire. Yesterday and so far today, the weather has been magnificently brilliant and is expected to be, for the most part, for the next couple of days. The trip is our vacation together (as much as together means with two smelly exuberant young ones) but also a chance for Corrine to meet my very good friends, Gianna, Jami and Sean.

I met Gianna while living in Vermont and we became fast friends, theater being the tie that bound us. We did shows together, and even directed one.

Whenever we get together, we regale each other - and anyone else in the room - with theater stories past and present, and it never gets old. Corrine has met Gianna, but not her little sister Jami and Jami's husband Sean. Nor have any of us met their daughter, Ryan, who has probably the coolest name for a girl ever. In fact, we liked that name for Gabrielle but, alas, it was taken.

We will drink margaritas (especially Griffin), talk about theater and politics and movies and books, and life will be very good.

++ I am going to get a new tattoo. I have a purple ink quill on my right forearm, but I'd like something else. I know what it is but I'm not telling anyone. I think it'll be on my back shoulder. But then again, I wouldn't be able to see it. Hmmm. I'll keep you posted.

++ So, feast or famine it seems for us and the world of adoption. I have not chronicled for you the infuriating process it has been for us to adopt. The short version is that we decided to adopt because we saw a child needing a permanent home. We took the required classes, did the home invasion study where they told us the 1,290 things we need to do to adopt a child. And we've been assigned arguably the most inept, laziest, most uncaring people at the state agency. In the end, the child we have advocated for for months was sent to live with an aunt - who gave him up once before but decided to try again.

Anyway...we moved on and are in the "running" for a child. We are one of two families out of dozens chosen. And then, this past week, we got a call about our original child - learning that the situation with the aunt was not going to work out after all. (no duh.)

So now we're in a predicament. We're in the "running" for two young boys.

What the hell do we do now?

++ Corrine and I watched Into the Wild last week. A movie based on a book written by a man who, after graduating college, gave up all of his earthly possession and hiked, kayaked, swam, hitchhiked, and crawled his way to Alaska. It was a test of resolve. To slough off the grime that accumulates in a life of excess and strip malls and credit cards. He succeeded and failed. In the end (of the movie - I did not read the book) he writes in his diary that personal happiness is best served among friends, not in solitude. That's an extreme paraphrase. But that's the gist.

I recommend you to watch it, and defy you to not feel an overwhelming desire to hug your friends and family afterward.


  1. I think that I have heard you talk about donkey balls before!
    And I am sure that you could write the alphabet, and it would be a best seller!

  2. Hey, no fair giving the donkey balls prize to the missus....

  3. So much to comment on, but you're on vacation, so what's the point?

    I would like to ask - how do you KNOW it's purple? And if you're still thinking about the design, can I suggest something?

    I hope you and Corrine are having a wonderful time - you two really deserve a break.

    I bet Griffin might come home knowing at least one or two new words.

  4. Still waiting on my other prize! (Are you ignoring me?!)

    I will definitely put that on my list at Netflix. I found a new site this week called Snagfilms that has tons of free documentaries to watch-check it out in your spare time! haha

    My dad and I cycled like that. He'd be an ass, stop talking to me, I'd call him out for being an ass (in an assertive letter that would go unanswered), and eventually we'd just start talking again. Fortunately, when he died, we were on the upswing :)

    Here's hoping you get some sunshine while you're camping!

  5. I love camping in New Hampshire. So much to do there... I'm waiting for the money tree to bloom so we can go.

    By the way, I always read your intro...

  6. Oh my gosh, are you KIDDING me? That movie was just fucked up. I just wanted to slit my wrists when I watched it, I really did. And just what did he accomplish besides dying cold, dead, and ALONE? I tell you, I would not very nearly starve and then eat the wrong goddamned berry and then DIE before I learned I needed other people to survive. The soundtrack was great, though, and the visuals were stunning, but mostly it was so, so sad to me. I don't think Chris Mccandless (sp?) was a hero, just another person trying to figure out who he is. And now he is simply dead.

    Yeah. I hated it so much I watched it three times and STILL don't know if I hated it or loved it.

    Please dont' eat a poison berry on your trip. Have fun and hang out with your tribe instead.

  7. Hey there's an idea! It could rain money! We've had a miserable summer here in Chicagoland, rain, cold and more rain.

  8. Heh...donkey balls... ;)

    What? The rain isn't helping grow your money trees? What's up with that? ;)

    I just got a new tattoo on the back of my shoulder whilst on vacation - you're right, I can't look at it...I have to twist all funny to see it in the mirror...but it's still cool! I'll be waiting to see if/when/what you get... ;)

    Your wife sounds like so much fun!!

    Have a great time away - and don't eat any poison berries! ;)

    Happy FF a day late! :)

  9. I love the rain! I will trade you for all of the sun here. Yuck!

  10. That is so great that you are teaching Griffin sign language. Especially the useful signs. :)