The Good News Is…

The Rapture didn’t come a day early!

Every time I hear Strauss-Kann (the head of the IMF), I think of Shere Khan from the Jungle Book.

Getting closer to our vacation in Colorado. Can’t wait to see Vail, I hope Jac and I can find a restaurant with outdoor seating and just relax in that crisp Colorado air for a long afternoon.

The kids and I got Jaclyn a wooden octopus for her birthday, looks pretty awesome.

Just found out that I have to make a quick trip to KC on Monday night and come back on Tuesday night. I hope I somehow find a way to squeeze in a stop at Oklahoma Joe’s, definitely one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at and it is in a gas station.

Called home today and Winston answered, had a great conversation with him. Really impressed with how the kids are growing up. So very different personalities, but incredible little humans. I used to think that my parenting would really shape their personalities, but people are born with a strong set of personalities and they are not going to change. There’s a lot I can do as a parent, but they are who they are and I love that about them.

Funny Little Things

1. Winston and I had to go to Lowe’s this weekend for a plug that converts a two-prong outlet into a three-prong outlet. On our way there, we flipped through the radio stations and landed on 94.1 (WYSP – Rock Station) and Alice In Chains’ “Rooster” came on. The song begins with scary vibe to it and then ultimately culminates in a hard rocking jam. As the song began, I said to Winston, “Uh oh…here comes the rooster!” and Winston replied “Ooooh, a scary rooster!”. Anyways, we were really jamming along to the song and I’m singing along “Yeah, here comes the rooster, you know he aint gonna die!” and about three-quarters of the way through the song, Winston asks “Why is the rooster so scary?” I sat back and replied, “I have no idea what this song is about, except there’s a rooster and he’s really mad”.

I have now looked into it and the song is about the singer’s father who faught in Vietnam. His father’s nickname was Rooster and was an M60 machine gunner. Now that I know that about the song, it is really bad ass!

2. For Jaclyn’s birthday on Monday, we bought a tiny little cake and each attendee got a single candle to put in the cake. The stipulation is that you had to make a wish for Jaclyn before you put it into the cake. Winston wished that someone would play trains with him, Dalia wished her mom a happy birthday, and the rest of us all had heart felt wishes of happiness for Jacalope. Once the candles were inserted, we all sang happy birthday and it was time to blow out the candles. It was the kids first exposure to trick candles and good lord did they find them funny. Winston laughed to the point he was out of breath, a total belly laugh. Dalia was blowing so hard that spit was flying all over the cake. The adults were laughing at the kids laughing, it was a really wonderful moment.

3. Dalia is sort of going down the path of potty training, she understands that she needs to take off her diaper to go potty, but she forgets to get to the toilet. Strongly encouraging her to remember that second step.

4. Dalia often falls asleep with her feet above her head, she is incredibly amusing.

Requiem For The Bulldogs

Interviewer: Tell me about why you started the Bulldogs.
RKDeem: I founded the Bulldogs slow pitch softball team about 8 years ago. We started as a coed team comprised of friends and family as a means to get together and have fun. We were pretty terrible in the beginning. After a couple of seasons, we started to get pretty good, even winning a championship. We all fell in love with the game and were soon playing in the Sunday morning men’s league and then playing in the Coed league on Sunday afternoons, every so often, we’d play a double header in the morning and in the afternoon, 4 games in a single day, couldn’t be beat.
Interviewer: You’re still a capable player and an asset to the team, why are you ending your career with the Bulldogs?
RKDeem: I remember one time several years ago when our team was in a real slump, a couple players suggested that our team needed a change. We started thinking about the lineup and began to think about which player or players should be replaced. It would be awfully hard to ask someone to leave the team, especially if you cited their athletic prowess as the primary reason, but our team was losing all the time and it wasn’t fun for anyone. We determined that it would be for the greater good to make one guy unhappy, than to have the whole team miserable for always losing. I finally agreed to the idea and agreed to remove the player at the end of the season. My only concern about it was, if our objective is to continuously improve, we may end up all being replaced one day. Fortunately for me, the player we wanted to leave, left right in the middle of the next game, he dropped a pop fly, threw his glove, and walked off the field right in the middle of the game, never to return. Right now, I feel like our team’s in need of a change and it is easier for me to change, than to change the team.
Interviewer: Do you want to discuss some of your career highlights?
RKDeem: I think my coaching has played a larger role than anything I’ve done on the field. Without me, we wouldn’t have had the Bulldogs, so that’s pretty big in itself. I’ve enjoyed pulling a group of good people together and seeing the team gel. I think anyone on any of the Bulldog teams has had a moment where they made an outstanding contribution, I probably can’t take too much credit for that, but it has been the most satisfying. Baseball has given me such an appreciation for statistics, when something happens that defies probability, I find bliss in it. Even if you’re not trying to, you are always calculating your odds in baseball “Geez, we got two outs in the last inning and we’re down by 3 runs, our chance of winning is unlikely”, but then someone gets a hit and your odds start to improve, then a walk, then another hit and the bases are loaded, “Now, if Mike can hit a homer, we can tie this baby up! Mike is a good power hitter, he hits a homer every 16 at bats…there’s a chance!” I love that there’s always a chance and you have a good idea of the statistical probability of that chance happening, that makes the game very exciting to me, especially when probability is defied!
Interviewer: Can you tell me about your all-time favorite players?
RKDeem: Everyone was awesome and I could tell you a story about everyone, but couple stand out, my sister, The General, she’d sit behind the plate and yell, “This hitter stinks, he’s got nothing.” She was right next to the guy and would yell that, I couldn’t believe my ears. She must have really annoyed our opponents, but she backed it up. Very focused and motivated player, we called her The General because she was always telling our team what to do, it is good to have a player like that to force alignment. I remember being in left center field trying to throw a guy out at home, I was caught up in the moment and unleashed the ball as hard as I could throw it. Immediately after it left my hand, I regretted throwing the ball that hard at my sister. The caught the ball and tagged the guy out at home and I was very proud. I always enjoyed watching Moose hit the ball, anytime someone that big and strong is up, it is hard not to lean in and wonder what’s going to happen. While Andy wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, I loved watching him run the bases, he always knew where the ball was even if he couldn’t see it, he just has a great feel for the game. Like I said before, everyone made great contributions at different times, but they stick out as real characters. Jim, San Diego Dave’s father was an incredible player and a wonderful teammate.
Interviewer: Any regrets?
RKDeem: Not really, wish we didn’t lose Matt and Ed, they were very good constants on the team.
Interviewer: What’s next?
RKDeem: Well, I plan on playing Wednesday nights for a new team. Weekends are becoming too precious for me, so I plan on playing mid week. I’ll be playing with a team filled with people I don’t know and I’ll just focus on making myself a more complete player and respected teammate.
Interviewer: Thank you for your time.
RKDeem: My pleasure.

Washington, DC

The Deem crew headed to Washington, DC for the weekend.

We hit up the zoo and made it to Amazonia portion which Jaclyn’s wanted to see for years. Jac wanted to see a fish called an Arapaima, it is a 6 foot long freshwater fish that looks very primitive (a fish version of me). After visiting Amazonia, we saw a giant anteater, elephants, huge turtles, orangutans, and beautiful tropical birds. The kids were fascinated and we’re always interested in seeing the next section of the zoo.

After the zoo, we went to the hotel and checked in. The kids had bunk beds and Winston claimed the top. Amazingly, he only fell out once and it was when he was awake and trying to get down the ladder. We left the hotel and walked from Dupont Circle past the White House, Winston will tell you that Barack Obama lives there. After the White House, we walked up to the Washington Monument, which Winston refers to as the Warrington Monument. Dalia rode on my shoulders for most of the day, whenever I put her down, she’d chase an unsuspecting pigeons and try to pick them up. Pigeons are not used to this chasing and Dalia nearly grabbed a couple which would have been a situation that I did not want to deal with.

We visited the War World 2 Memorial and I did my best to explain why it was important. “There were a bunch of mean people across the ocean that were hurting people, so they asked that we go across the ocean and fight them.” The sculpted images represented men and women, at home and at war, and that allowed us to talk about Grandmom and Pop Pop. It may have been a coincidence, but Winston was sad after viewing the display.

We found 3 people wailing enormous drums in the Mall, Dalia and I watched Jaclyn & Winston dance to the beat. Eventually we retreated to the Metro & headed back to the hotel.

1. You cannot use a single metro card for 4 different people, each passenger must have their own separate card.
2. The metro card machine will not give you more than $5 in change, so if you put in a $20 bill for a $10 metro card, it automatically gives you a $20 metro card because you violated the $5 change rule.
3. Kids do not need metro cards.

I inadvertently violated all 3 rules and while I had the best intentions, the station manager was livid with me. I got yelled at for about 5 minutes for not following instructions, finally he let me in and explained that it was of critical importance that I see the station manager at our destination. Winston and I boarded the train and I kept waiting for Jaclyn to hop on, she waited for a person with a missing leg on a wheel chair to board the train and the doors began to shut, Jaclyn used her super strength to pry the door open and squeeze in. The kid in the wheel chair had obviously just lost his leg from the knee down and wore a “Wounded Warrior” jacket, he looked about 18 years old at the oldest, he was with his father. He sat next to Winston and I (I was using all my telepathic abilities to silently instruct Winston to not discuss the injury). My immediate reaction to his injury was anger. Pissed off by the inadequacies of the equation (young kid + doing his part to serve our country = loss of leg). Jaclyn thanked him for our service. If anyone out there is trying to find a charitable organization, Wounded Warrior Project seems dedicated to making that equation more equal .

When we arrived at the destination, we couldn’t find a station manager so we left the metro and assume that we are now on their most wanted list.

We spent Sunday visiting our aunt/uncle and then hit up the Natural History Museum, they had a live butterfly exhibit that the kids loved.

We had a great trip, but now I am suffering from a real bad cold. It feels like a drank a cup of glass shards. There is no doubt that this illness is related to both of our kids being sick the week before and sneaking into our room for comfort. They crawl into bed with us, get about 6 inches from my face and cough all night. I also got thrown up on twice, in fact, I can’t think of a better way to catch a cold if I was trying.