Bathroom Cell Phone Etiquette

So went into the mens room at one point today and there was a guy sitting in a stall, presumably doing some business, and he was talking on the phone.  This is roughly the progression of thought that went through my head:  “Wow, I'd never talk to anyone while sitting on the can.  Whoa, this dude is in a public bathroom.  Should I pee quietly?  Oh hell, let's try to embarrass the poor sap. {FLUSH} I wonder what the person on the other end is saying right about now?”  And to top it off, he was talking about where he was going to eat dinner, and he suggested Mexican food.  Dude, I think you might want to reconsider your position.


So I had my recurring tornado dream again last night. This time I was in a house thaw was a combination of my old house on Shawnee Drive and something else. There were all these latent, black, opaque tornado forms lurking everywhere. The scary part about these things is that they float around – some rotate slowly, some don't – but you never know when one of them is going to crank up and start hoovering. That's never happened in my dreams, but it's the possibility that instills the fear in me. I welcome any and all interpretations – professional or otherwise.


Poop is my night tonight. As I’m getting my third son (8 1/2 months) out of the bath tub, he decides it is an appropriate time to drop a few nuggets in the bath water. Since the other two were already out, it wasn’t such a big deal.

However, as I’m struggling to get a diaper on the 8 1/2 month old, my oldest (4 years old) runs by reporting that the middle son (almost 2 years old) has pooped on himself and the floor. In my bedroom no less.

And yes, upon immediate inspection, there was poop on my son and all over the floor, which I promptly cleaned up. First off my son, then off the floor while the house monkeys were quarantined in another room.

Fatherhood is grand. Time to feed the baby.

And where you are is where you are not.

You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.

– T.S. Eliot, from “Four Quartets”

Floral ecstasy

The other day, walking to the bus stop in the morning, there was an early-elderly (continental) Indian couple walking on the sidewalk of my subdivision. I could tell the woman was ecstatic about the flowers in the landscaping on the main corner as she put her palms together. But the most striking thing about this couple was their attire. Granted, it was early morning, but it is mid-August, and the temperature could not have been lower than the mid-60s (Fahrenheit), and this lovely couple had on long pants and long sleeves, the man had a scarf wrapped around his neck, and the woman had a winter hat with ear flaps on her head. These poor souls must have been visiting from the scorching plains of India to have felt the need to dress that heavily. And I wondered what it would be like to live in such heat the majority of my life.

a poet at one time – albeit a poor one at that

Last night, it occurred to me that the reason I feel like the speed of my life is accelerating at an increasing rate might be that I haven’t committed a single personal word to paper (or keystroke) in quite some time. There might be some tenuous connection between my groundedness and the amount of writing I can accomplish. I used to write all the time. I even considered myself a poet at one time – albeit a poor one at that.

the zen of parenthood

So yesterday we were all sitting in a McDonald’s Express/BP Gas Station combo eating a quick lunch before taking Heather to the airport for a visit to Georgia with family & friends. Avery was very tired, and we had to give him a regular cup and straw since we didn’t bring along a sippy cup. Of course, he was more interested in taking the straw out and putting it back in than in eating. He eventually broke down into a full tantrum scream session, and was holding the straw in his hand. At times, it looked like he wanted Heather to take it from him and help him put it back in the cup, but when she moved in that direction, he just screamed louder. Tyler, always the helpful interpreter for Avery, said that “he wants you to have the straw and he doesn’t”. A true zen koan if ever there was one. I smiled.

The gentle whisper of the wind through pine needles

We drove up to the top of Mt. Evans on Sunday. It was an adventure. The weather was iffy, at best, and we got to sample some of the best mother nature had to give. On the drive up, we had a picnic and finished up just in time before a storm rolled over and threatened to electrocute us if we lingered any longer, cold rain started and the clouds lowered to obscure the road. Further on up, we ran into some small hail and a mountain goat on the road. Strange. And then the weather alternated between snow and sun. It was truly beautiful, notwithstanding all the extreme contrasts. It was probably most beautiful because of that. There is a serenity in the alpine forest that I can’t get enough of. The gentle whisper of the wind through the pine needles soothes my mind like the memory of a long lost lullaby.