Bea Arthur In The Cantina

This clip was described on AV Club as ” a hypnotic, nightmarish trainwreck of surreal juxtapositions.”

Yeah, that’s it. If you ever get a chance to watch the Star Wars Special, make peace with yourself, get a good psychiatrist, and have at it. You’ll regret it greatly.


Blogging Is A Pimpconstruct Viriplan

I really enjoy writing my blog. It’s for me, mostly, just to gather my thoughts and express things that I have trouble getting across to a room full of toddlers. Which, if you’ve ever tried to communicate with toddlers, is most things.

(Ryan: I’m feeling a little nervous about my business plan, given the economic downturn. Toddler: Green!)

I don’t really know who reads it, beyond my immediate friends and family who talk to me about it. I have a good number of hits, though, from random places. People find it, and read a little. That’s fun, and a bonus of the project for me. The search queries, though… they concern me.

Last month I got a few for “spankings all around.” In quotes, just like that. I imagine the person who found my ramblings was very disappointed. I’m going to post pictures of teenage girls being spanked, to prevent further frustration. Wait, no I’m not.

The best ever is “pimpconstruct.” First of all, how did that get to my site? Did I post plans about diagrams for building a better pimp? I don’t drink, so late night drunken posts are ruled right out. I’m pretty forgetful, sure, but if I had the secret to constructing pimps, I think I’d recall.

I get a lot of hits for “Viri,” of course, which makes sense. Family and friends search him when they can’t recall my exact address. And ryanbeggar is a stupid address, so I understand. But it is coupled with strange words. I have quite a few for “Sir Viri,” as though he was knighted. There have been several for “viriplan,” which troubles me. Does he have a secret pact with other toddlers to take over the world?

(They don’t. I asked another toddler, and he said “Green!”)

The internet is a strange and disturbing place. I think I’m going to back slowly away, and sit in the corner with a cup of tea. Perhaps I’ll construct a pimp, perhaps not. I certainly won’t write about it. That would screw up the Viriplan.

April 24th, 1959

My mother would have been 50 today. It’s really strange when a parent dies young, because you slowly come up on the date when you are the same age. My mother and I were only 17 years apart, and that gap is closing slowly. I’ve been watching the Mother’s Day ads, thinking of her, and us, and our family. I’m not as depressed as I would have imagined, because I am too much her son. I see the good in everything, and I see the joy in life. I can get upset about it, but then I think of all the great times we had, how involved and fun she was as a mom, and I smile. She left me with too much love to dwell on the pain.

Most of my friends still have their parents. Some have great relationships, some do not. I encourage everyone to at least be civil. You’ll miss the connection, when it’s gone. It was easier for me, because I did have a great mother, who loved me and my siblings deeply. She called us to tell us that frequently. Someone like that leaves a place that aches with loss. They also leave a place that is filled with love.

There is a way to see the good in situations. That is the amazing lesson I learned from Mom. I remember the joy she took in us, in her life, in little things. I can’t keep from smiling hearing reference to the Andy Griffith Show, remembering her joy in watching it. We used to hate it, and tease her about it. We teased her a lot, because that kind of freedom is not easily appreciated. She was emotional and enthusiastic, and spread that to everyone who knew her. I’m not going to be embarrassed ever again about being the excited, joyful person she taught me to be. It is who I am, who she allowed me to be.

Happy 50th, Mama. You loved with all your heart, and now you’ve returned to the heart of Love where you belong. We were blessed to have experienced your joy for life.

I Will Be Victorious!

Like eighty-four percent of all husbands everywhere since the late 19th century invention of the motorcycle, I am engaged in a constant battle to win my wife over in regards to riding. I imagine the first Germans to buy the motorcycles were arguing in dry, Teutonic ways about how they wouldn’t kill themselves and would always wear helmets. I’m not winning the battle, of course. I hung up the Mission Accomplished banner over the house, still. But I know I’m at a stalemate.

I’m at a severe disadvantage for two reasons. One, Jaime is a doctor, and knows numbers and statistics about head trauma. Two, I am basically a stay at home papa, and I’m needed to watch children. They are difficult enough with working limbs, in traction I think they would be walking on me and laughing. Both are reasonable enough, though I have a perfect and concise argument that would win over any reasonable person: motorcycles are awesome. Seriously, they are really, really great. You totally would not believe how great until you ride one for a bit. Trust me.

This argument is failing. I will succeed, I have no doubt. I will succeed because I have very little to do but hang out with the kids and send J emails about how great motorcycles are, and eventually she will want to focus on her patients and get me to shut up. This has stereotypically been a female effort, but guys, don’t be slighted. We can whine too. If it makes you feel better, come up with a manly term for it. (I tried. Unfortunately I couldn’t get ‘teabagging’ out of my head, which is something else entirely.)

I will also succeed because, honestly, once the kids are in school I’m expendable. She’ll take out an insurance policy then give me the keys. If I hear, “Oh don’t worry about the helmet, honey. It isn’t that rainy. Are you sure you don’t want to take up drinking now?” I’ll know that she’s out to get me.

But, I’ll have a motorcycle, and I won’t care.

Tonight On Skeptical Baby: The Baseball Game

So, the big lesson for the day is ‘one year old girls and baseball are oil and water.’ Write that down, it will help you greatly.

We had a rough time at the Mariner’s game today. Viri was a little fussy, but not bad. Arkaedi Sue was a demon. Not a demon on wheels, thankfully, but a toddling demon in a green dress. As we were leaving, Jaime said, “Papa is going to the game with his friends next time. We’ll try again next year.”

I’ll probably take Viri to my May game, though. He’s pretty good at these things, without a grabbing and screaming girl trying to jump onto the field. I warned her, but she’s beginning the long tradition of ignoring Papa until she needs money or food. Until next season, baseball is for Papa and his friends, and possibly for a good Viri, just because he looks so great at the park.

We still faired better than the Ms, who lost 8-2 to the Tigers. They’re still leading the AL West, so no worries.

Arkaedi Sue is a funny kid, because she’s so easy in some ways, but she does not sit still. Viri is pretty laid back. He plays, he needs a lot of attention, but he can be quiet and calm. At her age, he would sit through an entire game without a problem. Arkaedi runs and screams and tries to leap to her death fifty times an inning; but if we stay home for an entire day she just runs laps around the couch and laughs and sings. It’s strange. I’m glad my kids are different, of course. I love their distinctiveness. I wasn’t aware it was possible to have a matter and an anti-matter version of siblings, however. Live and learn.

The funniest aspect of it is her skepticism. She often gets this look, a “I’m not doing that” look that we have termed skeptical baby. She’s destined to be the serious and athletic FBI agent partner to her sensitive and thoughtful brother, I suppose.

Hey I should pitch that as a series. “Arkaedi and Taviri, they’re cops. She’s the olympian with a no nonsense attitude who shoots first and asks questions never! He’s the Harvard PhD who has a heart of gold! See them Thursdays on FX in ‘Red and the Doctor!'”

Or maybe, “Two Barkers With Bite!”

Those are terrible names. Now you see why I don’t regularly pitch TV shows to networks.

Waiting For Jaime: The Parenting Chapter

My longest running joke is that I’m always waiting for Jaime. It’s funny because it’s true, in a sense. It’s also funny because it distorts the reality of the situation. I’m always waiting for J because I don’t have any interest in anything else. I occupy my time, I have fun. But except for J and my kids, I’m not really enthusiastic for anything else.

I like caring for kids, I enjoy acupuncture. I like a lot of things, really. They can all go away, however, without me being terribly concerned. If J told me tomorrow, okay, this is the deal, you need to do X, I would do X. My life has been about defining moments until I can be there for Jaime. I have a lot of freedom, certainly, and I used that. But even my wildest exploits have been related to Jaime, and made real for me through her. Even my secrets, silly as they are, are stories that are waiting for Jaime. And I have no real secrets; I’m not that kind of person.

I can’t decide where I want to live, because I don’t really care. I have opinions, of course, and I have things I would like. I’d like good vegan food, decent coffee, mountains and sea. But once again if J said we need to move to X, then I would be fine moving. On a scale of one to ten, J’s needs are a ten and everything else except my kids are a two.

I was worried about this for the longest time. I tried to throw myself into projects to really find myself. I think it was when Arkaedi Sue was born(gratuitous Pretty picture!) that I finally accepted this. I wanted to be with Jaime, and marry her. I did that. Now, I’m enjoying the world, enjoying my life. I do my zekr and play with my kids. I’m happy. I don’t need anything else.

Sure, if you want to send me a new Harley, or season tickets to the Mariners, I’ll take them. I’ll enjoy them. But I’ll ride home from the game to see my family.

(By the way, do send those things. I’ll pay postage.)

I don’t think people see life the way that I do in this regard. Honestly, I’d bet many people reading this think I’m insane, or boring, or both. I tried to see the world differently for quite a few years. I can’t. I think, at the risk of sinking ever deeper into cliche, that we come to terms with our nature at some point if we wish to really function in the world as people. I came to terms with it. I was a born husband. In a different world I’d be the one sitting by the door, drinking tea, serving as bodyguard to my priestess while she tends to her flock. Wait, no that’s this world. That’s now.

(For the record, I am both insane and boring. I am one of few who have accomplished this, another being Oliver Stone.)

It’s A Tough Thing To Swallow video is from ESPN’s coverage of the death of a young Angel’s pitcher, Nick Adenhart. He was killed when a drunk driver smashed into his car.

It isn’t like me to get really upset over people I don’t know. I tend to be pretty emotional, and it’s one of the reasons I typically avoid these stories. When I hear something like this, I feel it deeply. I think about it. I can usually forget about it after a while. For some reason, the death of this kid has been on my mind since it happened. I can’t seem to forget it. I’ve watched this video a dozen times, and that just isn’t like me at all.

A person commented on my earlier post about sports with blood and violence. I asked J why she thought I didn’t like those sports, and she had an interesting response. She said when I see people get hurt, I feel it. When I see blood I taste blood, and I feel the pain. I wouldn’t have had a response, but I think she’s right. She’s known me for seventeen years, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. But she nailed that one. I don’t have filters. Most things that happen to me happen intensely, and without a barrier. I need to stay away from violence for that reason. Every punch is a punch at me, in a sense.

This story still resonates with me, though, even beyond that. I think a part of it is the tragedy of a young death, and parallels to my mother’s young death. A large part of it is the involvement of alcohol in the accident. (WARNING: MINI RANT) It’s no secret to anyone who knows me my feelings about alcohol. I think it causes countless problems and pain for people, and the fact that we worship it in this country is disgusting. It’s awful that someone previously convicted of drunk driving is out there killing people.

That said, I feel for the kid who did this as well. It was a stupid mistake, that he could spend fifty years of his life in jail for making. That’s not good either. I don’t want this kid to lose his life as well. I don’t think I’d trust him out of jail, though, at this point. So what do you do?

Maybe that’s the reason this won’t go away for me. It is a losing situation, and everyone comes out hurt. I don’t believe in losing situations, and I want an answer that works. When there isn’t one, I can’t stand it.

I still want the Mariner’s to beat the Angels to the AL West title. But I’ll be a little less upset now if they don’t. At least that way I can imagine this tragedy had an answer for someone.

Captain Train and the Falls

We had a dual purpose trip this week. We needed to kill time in the foothills east of Seattle while J was on shift at a senior’s center and occupy the children. Thanks to the help of Herc and Sarah, we did it! And how, you ask reasonably, did we do it? Waterfalls and trains is the answer! These pictures come courtesy of Herc and Sarah themselves. I didn’t think to bring my camera, which is odd for me.

(I hate that bumper sticker that says war is not the answer. I don’t like war, but if the question is “What do you call it when two countries send soldiers to attack each other?” then war is the answer. Just say you hate war.)

I had never been to Snoqualmie Falls before this week. It’s strange, considering I lived on eastside for a bit, but I haven’t been to most places east of Seattle. It’s a shame too, because the place is really neat. I loved the little towns around it. J says I can’t live anywhere further than ten blocks from a restaurant and coffee shop, but that isn’t exactly true. It can be up to a ten minute drive to either, and I can maybe tolerate it. Possibly. I would cry silently at the trees sometimes. Okay, I am a city person, but I can see myself having a nice life in a small town. I’d need to drive into the city on the weekend on eat Thai food and read the NY Times, but I could do it. For a lovely place with trains and falls, I could try.

The train museum was really interesting. I had tired and fussy kids, so I had to leave a little early. I definitely want to go back and let Viri ride the trains. He’d be insanely happy. Arkaedi Sue seemed pretty excited too, since she is getting at the age where she wants to be involved. I’m having a hard time remembering that she is not a baby. I’ll be having that problem until I die, I imagine.

J swears this is where we’re living in a few years, so I am preparing myself. I get nervous in the country. I remember, in WV, always feeling a little nervous about the people around me. I would think to myself, “Why is that man in the John Deere hat just standing there? What is he doing? Where is he going?” I was pretty nervous for a large chunk of my youth. Then, I get to the city, and it goes away. I have no idea what people are doing around me, and I don’t care. They’re just city people, doing city things. They could be selling crack or planning a murder spree, but they don’t make me nervous. The country, with the open spaces, the distance between people… something about it gets to me.

I’m going to need to work on it. J says our next house will have a creek running through it. I’m going to ask the condo developers downtown if they have a creek, but I doubt it. Maybe she’ll settle for a rooftop garden?

I doubt it.