Wednesday, June 18, 2008

fathers day: the shave!

man, I don't know where the time has gone. the last six months have been unbelievably busy. it's funny, I've kinda said this the whole time... though Reese was essentially able to take six months off, just like we planned, and go back to work circa June 1st, just like we planned... I haven't really been stressing about money. my salary certainly isn't enough for the 3 of us to live on forever, but we planned ahead and got a lucky break here and there and are going to make it just fine... money wise, anyway.

time, on the other hand... it seems like there are fewer hours in the day now than there used to be. a lot fewer hours. I remember last year working in the garden, mowing the lawn and planting things and weeding and such. this year... hahaha! I'm sure my neighbors would have appreciated if I mowed the front lawn a couple more times than I actually did. hell, I would have appreciated it too.

this part I'm writing from home. I took Wednesday off this week. been working a lot recently. like, a lot a lot. too much. needed a break, it was nice to be home with the fam.

it's funny, since there's not enough time to do everything, I've been focusing (obsessing?) over the things that can be done better, more efficiently, faster. for instance, we don't have a dishwasher, so - to have a kitchen that's remotely clean - we wash dishes... and since we cook and have a baby, we're *always* washing dishes. it's awesome. problem there, of course, is that our kitchen is nice but super tiny, so to install a dishwasher you have to take out valuable storage space. sigh.

what the hell am I blathering about? I'm busy, waa-waa, cry me a river. this is supposed to be a post about father's day and The Shave! fathers day was AWESOME. my lovely wife arranged for a swanky straight-razor shave on saturday morning...

this part I'm staying late at work on Thursday to write. I have reviewed the traffic and am convinced that I can get to the day care with plenty of margin for error (must pick up by 6pm or incur $5/minute charge).

so, the shave. The Shave. it was at a cool little shop in Bellevue Square called, appropriately, The Art of Shaving. The shop was small but had a very high-end feel. lots of dark wood, glass, stone. the front three-fourths of the place was a retail store for shaving and hair care products. man hair care products! The back little part of the store, separated by a glass wall with frosted vertical stripes, were 2 barber stations.

I think I made the barber laugh a little bit when he first saw me since I'd shaved on Thursday morning... quite a bit of my facial hair is on the lighter side, so by Saturday morning it didn't really "look" like I had much of a beard. which I didn't, whatever. he commented that most of his shaves recently were dudes with mountain-man beards and he was almost like "aww, do you have any hairs?"

Reese treated me to "the royal shave", which started when my "master barber" put a hot towel over my face, then applied oil that was infused with black pepper and cloves. this caused my skin to become warm all over as well as to cause my whiskers to stand up, such that they could be shaved off easier. then came the hot shaving cream (so luxurious!) and pass number one with the straight razor: with the grain. it did not feel like a traditional shave... not sure that I can describe it much better than that. he sort of dragged the razor across my face, which made a scratching sound but felt like nothing at all, and the hairs just disappeared.

meanwhile, I'm hanging in the barbers chair, which fully reclined. define: relaxed. then there was more hot shaving cream and pass number two: against the grain. are you comfortable? can I get you a glass of water? ahh.

we made small talk and stuff, but the barber was respectful about it. mostly I wanted to just close my eyes and chill and he streamlined that. he was friendly and very professional.

after pass number two the barber was a little bit less sarcastic about how short my hair was. he said, "your whiskers may be short but they sure are stubborn." it was at this point that he introduced his "little friend", a five blade razor with an integrated LED light and vibrating action. the LED light "revolutionizes shaving in the shower" and the vibration a) replaces the need for you to apply downward pressure with the razor while you shave, b) "wiggles" in between your skin and your beard to cut the hair off shorter than a conventional razor would and c) is just cool.

this part I'm writing one handed from the couch on Thursday night. Reese is en route home from work after another 10 hour day. 2 days a week is groovy and everything, but Tuesday's and Thursday's are long days. NOT COMPLAINING. wouldn't trade anything in the world for the life I'm living right now. update, I made it to day care with like 40 minutes to spare. also, goodness I hate driving to work. if I bussed or trained to work I could have time to read. I need to be reading the baby signs book right now. who has time to blog post anyway? I miss our friends who moved to portland.

what's this story about? right, fathers day. if you're with me this far - but don' t know me personally - this is exactly what it's like to have a conversation with me. on topic for a time, off on a tangent, wander around for a bit, come back to center, continue. here we go!

three passes with razors and it's time for a cold towel soaked in lemon water wrapped around my face... ahhhhhhhhh. so comforting. next he put cotton pads soaked in lemon water and chamomile and who knows what else on my eyes and a clay mask on my face. I'm reclining in the barbers chair, 45 minutes in and exceptionally comfortable.

I just put Fenix in his jumper machine and walked to the laundry pile to toss in a burp cloth... by the time I'd walked back he'd spit up. that kid has some timing, let me tell you. he's like me!

the clay mask had to be on for 3 minutes or something. I relaxed while the barber cleaned his station and all that. then the mask came off and he sprayed my face with this stuff that instantly felt cool, it was really nice. turns out it's some kind of spray that they have with essence of rose in it or something. good stuff.

more spit up! come on, man!

last in sequence was after shave stuff which smelled and felt good. can't remember what was in it but the guy said that all their stuff is made without alcohol so it didn't mess up my skin after.

the royal shave took an hour, was supremely relaxing, and was just an awesome, awesome treat. certainly not something I would have done for myself but a fantastic gift. just thinking out loud... I could see how this could be an excellent *recurring* fathers day event (ahem!). after it was over Reese and I walked through the mall, she complimented the shave - the closest and best of my life. We sipped coffee and watched Botox of Bellevue lurch past on their spiked heels, then stopped at the apple store for stuff that we are not yet rich enough to buy. that's right: not yet.

after the shave we drove around Bellevue for a time (Medina = envy), we went out to see a band saturday night (out at the showbox like grown-ups and everything!). that was made extra-interesting by running into a friend of she-who-must-not-be-named. on sunday we went out to a swanky, swanky brunch at Salty's on Alki, where I managed to leave my bank card behind. man, I am one kind of reliable, I'll tell you. not necessarily the kind you want, but...

after brunch we took a walk around Alki beach. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Alki, from my roots in Seattle as well as... when I describe my east coast time in Hoboken NJ and it's proximity to "the city", I always refer to the distance between the tip of Alki point and the closest spot on the downtown Seattle waterfront... Hoboken and the city are that close.

this was by far the best fathers day ever. I mean, I know it's my first and everything, but... damn, reese. you treat me well. so happy to be your other half. thank you, thank you, for real, thank you.


Monday, June 16, 2008

First Father's Day

Yesterday was J's first official Father's day. As a gift I made him an appointment for an old skool straight razor shave which is actually just a facial for a man but instead of massaging your face, you get a super close shave and he loved every minute of it -- but I'll let him tell you all about that.

So the straight razor shave thingie was actually on Saturday. On Sunday (the actual holiday) we went to Salty's on Alki for brunch. Have you done this? If you live in Seattle or it's surrounding areas, you must. The amount of food is ridiculous. Do you like seafood? There were mountains of crab legs, oysters, clams and mussels. Smoked salmon as far the eye could see. And the normal breakfast fare of course... waffles, pancakes, eggs, biscuits, bacon, potatoes, bagels, yada yada yada. Oh and my favorite thing... the dark chocolate fountain with marshmallows, rice krispy treats, strawberries and fresh pineapple for dipping. I am pretty sure that I ate 10 strawberries. Gluttonous!

Anyway after brunch we walked on the waterfront and talked about life. And after that we went to the Edmonds art festival and met up with J's parents for a coffee. It was a really nice weekend and we are feeling especially happy about life and our good fortune and thankful for all of it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

February 29, 2008

Flashback to a 02/29/08 news conference at the White House for today's Quote of the Day...

Peter Maer of CBS News Radio: "What's your advice to the average American who is hurting now, facing the prospect of $4-a-gallon gasoline, a lot of people facing ..."

President George W. Bush: "Wait, what did you just say? You're predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline?"

Peter Maer: "A number of analysts are predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline."

President Bush: "Oh, yeah? That's interesting. I hadn't heard that."

Related stories here, here, and here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sounds like Grandpa can't program a VCR

Quote of the day:

"We're going through a process where you get a whole bunch of names, and ya ... Well, basically, it's a Google. You just, you know, what you can find out now on the Internet. It's remarkable, you know."

Who else? John McCain
What was he talking about? His method for vetting prospective VP candidates
When was this? Err... this was yesterday in Richmond, Virginia (6/9/08)
Seriously? Yup

From an article titled Forget What Clinton Did Wrong. What Did Obama Do Right? by Jane Hamsher. For the full article, click here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quote of the day

"I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit."

-Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights

From an article titled The wife U.S. Republican John McCain callously left behind. For the full article, click here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

S & S

My sister just sent over some pics of the twins and I had to share. Sebastien has started social smiling and he can see a tiny smirk peeking through in this pic. They are both so adorable, they get cuter every time I see new pictures of them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

lessons from africa

So today was my first day back at work. Well I'm still here. But I'm taking a quick break to tell you about how things went today.

I dropped Fenix off at daycare around 8 am. He was happy. He immediately went to one of the ladies and started smiling and playing with the other babies. I went over some things with the 'teachers'- how to change a cloth diaper, his likes and dislikes, etc.

Then it was time to go.

I tried so hard not to cry. I really did. But then when I went to say goodbye, my heart got so heavy. I felt my throat tighten. And my eyes started to well up. It sucked.
I took him and kissed him and said goodbye and I left.

And then I sat in my car and cried and cried.

While I was sitting there having a meltdown one of the ladies came to the car and asked me to come back in. So I pulled myself together and I did. And when I went inside another one of the care providers took me aside with Fenix. She is this little African lady named Ann and she has the most wonderful accent!
She said:
"In Africa when the mother leaves her baby she must never cry. You cannot leave him with tears because he will take them from you and then he will cry too." Then she showed me how his little eyes were full of tears because he had started to cry right after I had left :-(

So she took me and hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek and thanked me for sharing Fenix with them. And I hugged them both and kissed him and said goodbye in a happy voice. Then he turned and gave me the biggest brightest smile.........

Then I walked back to my car, drove away and cried on the bus the whole way here.

I feel better now. I'm looking forward to seeing my little one tonight when I get home. I never knew I could love another person this much. I thought I knew what love was when I met J but this is just so much more.