Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Release the Hounds!

The other night I was surprised to see a series of texts from Mike that I'd missed while watching a very long, confusing movie from the 70's about wheat. Apparently my latest blog post was getting some attention. From people who HATED it!

Man oh man, did they ever hate it. I guess I touched a nerve or two by expressing my opinion. People really wanted me to know what a terrible, terrible person I was for having the gall to express myself (in my usual manner), in my (satirical) blog. There was fist-shaking. There was name-calling. You know...nothing high school didn't prepare me for.

At first I laughed it off. "Wow! Haters Gonna Hate!" I hooted. Then I thought about responding to the most outlandish of the false assumptions that people made, just to set the record straight. Then I remembered that people in this obvious state of distress and mania don't listen to jack anyway, so I just went to bed, because that's what I do at night. As opposed to, say, going on angry tirades.

The next morning the number of views had doubled, as had the nasty comments. I bit my lower lip and said "gosh, these people are pissed!" and then read the highlights aloud over breakfast. "Apparently I'm an idiotic Hater of Children who needs to find Christ and be Saved" I mumbled through my omelet. "Oh yeah?" asked Paul. "Yup," I confirmed, and then quoted "you are an idiot and the world thanks you for not having more children," and "we will eventually rid the world of morons who think and act like you!"

Because I stated that I'm happy having only two children, several people seemed to glean that I hate kids and think of my own as a huge burden. "I feel so bad for your children...Shame on you!" Bzzzzt (head shaking), huh? This confused me. I love my kids beyond measure, goofballs! Just like you! They're so much fun! We read books to each other; we cook and sit down to dinner together; we sing songs and have pajama dance parties; we share chores; we say please and thank you; we do blessings at night to remember what we're thankful for; we wrangle chickens, play catch in the park, and go swimming in the river. Etcetera! Also, not only does my job revolve around and cater to supporting children and families, I've arranged my work schedule so that I can spend as much time as possible with my kids, as opposed to plonking them with a babysitter during what is my precious time with them. But I guess shame on me, I don't know, jeez!

The thing is, if most of my anti-fan base had made any sort of valid points, I might have felt worse. As it was, the crazies came charging straight out of the gate, which made it easier to just sit back and observe, to see what might happen next. Some of the comments were so long, rambling and, eventually, so completely off-topic that it reminded me of the coo-coo nutty rants of a mild substance abuser cracked out on insomnia and looking for a target.

I should say here, again, that I come from a big family - six brothers, one sister. So my question of "why oh why?" is a legitimate one - one I've mused over with my siblings and have asked our mother. I really wanted to know why and how people do it. The big family thing didn't work all that well in my case, or in several that I know, right now. There was a lot falling through the cracks in my childhood. A lot.

On the other hand, two of my realtime heroes are a couple of my sisters-in-law, who have giganto-families. I've told them I think they're off their meds for having so many, but also that I respect them a lot for all that they accomplish and give to their kids. The important thing to remember is that we're all allowed to make our own choices. They question mine just as much as I question theirs. It's how we get to know each other better; how we open our minds to other ways of life.

And, I have to say, poor God! My understanding is that he's pretty busy - leave the guy alone! All these people screaming at me because of some words, and blaming it on him! It almost makes me want to take one reader's advice - "Ms. Janik, with all due respect, you need Jesus" - and find Jesus right away. It must be nice to have a constant scapegoat to blame being haughty and downright mean on. I personally have to take responsibility for my own actions; so if I'm an asshole, it's on me. I'll take the credit for that. Flipside - the bullying by 'good Christian' folks was fascinating to witness. If I can remember correctly from back in my church days, I'm not sure that was a 'Jesus is Proud' moment. But when I look at where it came from, I have to remember that many were just projecting their own deeper fears and shortcomings onto me. So be it.

It's obvious that I triggered something in a lot of people, as the deafening roar of defensive comments shows.  I actually quite enjoyed a lot of them - either for their sheer funhouse entertainment value, or for their logical explanation of choice. (A sincere thanks for the latter, by the way).

Sorry if I pushed a button, you guys. For real.

Finally, this will disappoint the several readers who suggested I should cure my whackadoodle family-size notions by having more kids so I can see what all the fuss is about - but when I asked, my man simply refused to get his vasectomy reversed so that we could try. So despite the "if God wanted you to have another baby, you would" (whether I want one or not) promise, I think that idea is out. "People forget that they don't have as much control as they think they do." Maybe you're right. People don't have a lot of control over what direction their lives go in. But, as I tell my 8-year-old son: You can't control other people and what they think about you. But you can control  how you react to those people, and whether you let what they say sit inside you and bring you down, or just decide to Let It Go, and keep being you. Your choice, buddy.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Third Degree

When someone asks me, "Do you have a degree in wine making?".  "Enology" I help, "yes as a matter of fact I do" is my answer (well, at least it has been since Thursday...more on that in a second).  This will invariably be followed by the question "oh really, did you go to Davis?"  Coincidentally my answer to this question is also "yes".  Davis of course being one of the most prestigious schools in the world for enology.  "I got a bachelor's degree from Davis" I can answer in total honesty.  Now, the inference one might draw from my COMPLETELY HONEST answers to these two questions is obvious:  He must have a bachelor's degree in enology from UC Davis.  Yeah, not so much

My bachelor's degree from Davis is in English.  That's right, I went to college to become and erudite food service employee (sidenote-on several job interviews I've made this joke and not once has it been met with anything other than a look of absolute bewilderment from potential employers. Fuck em').  Why a degree in English?  I don't know, I was friggin' eighteen when I went to college.  I guess I wanted to read books rather than do math.  How the hell was I supposed to know what job I wanted?  All I knew is that I didn't want to work at Baskin-Robbins again.  A few years out of college I thought I wanted to be a fireman, so I gave that a shot.  I went to the academy, I became an EMT, I spent seven years volunteering, and I even got an associates degree in 'Fire Technology' from Santa Rosa Junior College (degree number two).  All the firefighting training, school, and experience taught me some useful skills (including how to deliver a baby on the side of the road) but the greatest lesson I learned was that I sure as shit didn't want to be a firefighter.  I wasn't sad to bail on that plan, it was actually a relief despite the years spent pursuing it.  My only regret is now my kids won't be the ones whose daddy is a fireman.  How cool would that have been?!!

At some point during all the schooling, working at restaurants, and performing CPR three times unsuccessfully (sowwy) I was drawn into the career that would become my passion: wine making.  I got my first wine job in a tasting room in 2001, moved into the wine making side in 2004, and have since been desperately trying to make the thing I love also be the thing that pays my bills.  I thought since two degrees have worked such magic, why not a third?  So four years ago I started taking wine classes at the Junior College again and last Thursday I finished.  Woopie! Right?  Well....

It wasn't exactly a throwing-the-mortarboard-hat-in-the-air kind of moment.  It was more of a "cool, I don't have class next Thursday" moment.  I didn't earn the prestigious B.S. from Davis that people think I did because they don't ask questions the right way (not my fault).  I got the A.S. Degree in enology from a Junior College, or as I like to call it "the cubic zirconia of college degrees".  I'd love to believe it will make a difference, that it will open doors for me and lead me to that dream job, but my idealism regarding the "power of education" is a little punch-drunk after too many drop kicks to the head.  At this point if it pays for my coffee I'll call it a success.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kids, Kids and...More Kids? For Real?

** Since so many people hated this post, I just wanted to let you know that there is a follow-up, which you can read by clicking HERE **

Parents with four or more kids befuddle me.

I can only assume that after parents have three offspring, they lose their minds. When they're mulling over whether or not to have another, dad says to mom "well, Billy can help with the baby" (i.e. ALL younger kids). Billy, as you may have guessed, is the theoretical Oldest Child in this theoretical Family. They say this because they remember what it's like to have a newborn baby and are scared as fuck to repeat the work part of that nonsense because, lets face it - it was really hard. The kind of hard that only a little kid can be tricked into doing.

This is why I stopped at two kids. I say calling it good after 2 was a simple matter of replacing only myself and their father in terms of resource consumption, but really it's because I know my own limitations. I have a set amount of patience and energy doled out to me each morning, and more than two kids would cause some spillage. Also, I don't personally believe in using siblings as part-time parents. I mean, sure, aside from the whole "overpopulation/draining resources" issue, big families can probably be fun, if done right - though I am in no way saying that I have any idea what 'right' looks like.

Seriously. What the fuck? Ew.
Back in the olden days people had a buttload of kids because they needed help on the farm, or wanted to increase their particular religion's chances at winning...something. I don't know what because I'm not religious and don't have time to go read the bible right now. (I assume its votes they're after - the only support I'm seeing being thrown toward that reknob Romney are from the nutty-faithful people I'm sort of acquainted with). So why do non-religious people have a ton of kids in the today-times? It's not like the majority of us are farmers, amiright? Trust me, if you're sitting here reading this blog post right now, you're not a farmer. Not the kind who needs 8 kids to go milk the cows, anyway.

I decided to do a tiny bit of research - I know...I hate it too. I found a blog which goes into all the joys of having a million kids and wearing long skirts for God or something. Anyway, I'm not here to pick on these people, but I did find something interesting, on which I developed a theory. The ages of their kids are 13, 12 (FOUR YEAR BREAK) 8, 6, 5, 3, 2 ,1(x2). Ummm, so here's my theory: Had a couple of kids, some years went by, these two looked at each other once the youngest was getting more independent and thought "oh shit, we have nothing to talk about! No diapers to change, no mashed peas up to scrub off the walls, no gibberish to translate...we'd better have another baby! Or seven!"

That's just my theory. What do I know?

Here's another thing - having kids is expensive! I only have two and already struggle with the whole 'food and clothing' thing. Luckily they have no desire whatsoever to do any sort of enrichment activities. No sports, no music lessons, none of that interests them - for the most part. My daughter started asking about ballet lessons a while ago, but there was really no way for me to swing them anyway. I opted to just distract her with my secret and impressive collection of toilet paper rolls for arts and crafts. She loves those things.

So if I can barely manage two kids, how do normal, not-rich people support, say...four. Or six. Or EIGHT?? And why, for the love of god, WHY?? I would love some input here. I have assumptions that I keep to myself - like they're trying to fill some void by constantly giving themselves the gift of sweet baby pure adoration and dependence; they're trying to do right what their parents did 'wrong' via their children; they're in a self-imposed competition with someone they're jealous of; they legitimately like children and want to have a big family because they love kids more than they love non genetically-modified food, or the idea of having a functioning planet to house them and theirs for centuries to come...and they know Wal Mart will always have their back, so why not?

I guess that's sounding a little judgy there, isn't it? I've been around some very loving, respectful, fun big families, where the siblings all get along and cooperate with one another and seem to really like each other. (Okay, I've only actually witnessed this once). But that doesn't mean I want to try to recreate that, or that I think they couldn't have achieved that same nirvana with about 4 or 5 less kids.

This one is going to keep me guessing, I can tell. I have nothing personally invested in this question, and I'm open to hearing your thoughts, if for no other reason than I'm curious and bored.

Wait. I'm bored...this gives me an idea....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The following isn't a "blog post" so much as it is A Study in the Mysteries of the Universe.  In a moment of (wine induced) inspiration I decided to capture a slice of our lives in the midst of a rare solar miracle (coincidence).  This series of photos was taken with great care and preparation (on my iPhone) on what normally would have been the mundane evening of May 20th, between 6:15 and 6:35 p.m., BUT, as you WILL WITNESS, that moment was made AMAZING simply by the fact that it was all captured in the dimming light of a SOLAR ECLIPSE!!

Here it goes...

We've been spending these hot Spring nights out on our deck basically as nude as is legally possible

Here's Liam not eating his dinner in the dimming light of a solar eclipse.

I poked a pinhole in a piece of cardboard and shaded this bottle with it so you can see a little eclipse on the cork.  I thought this was creative at the time, mainly because I'd finished the bottle by myself.

Liam and Erin herb gardening in the dimming light of a solar eclipse.  Hey guys, that's a freakin' eclipse behind you!!  No?  You're good.  Okay fine, forget it.

I thought it was cool that the dappled sunlight through the Japanese maple made little crescent shapes.

Liam in his endless effort to try and grab the chlorinator because he just loves the taste of poison.

Hey no running!!

Finn being "the easy one"

Liam having a tantrum because I reprimanded him in the dimming light of a solar eclipse

Finn continuing to not need reprimanding and LOVING IT

Erin trying to ignore me in the dimming light......okay I'll stop.

Friday, May 18, 2012


This morning I was having one of my episodes of pathetic self-pity and shameful self-entitlement where all the perspective I have regarding how blessed my perfect life is vanishes completely.  My thought process went something like this:

Nice one universe
God I'm tired....and bored.  I guess I'll go to the vending machine.  Hmm, that granola bar looks good, I'm glad I scrounged through the change dish for quarters this morning.  Man it sucks not having money.  Hey!  What the HELL!?  Why didn't it take my last quarter!  Stupid machine.  Now I'll have to go all the way back to my car to find another.  Well I guess it is kind of a beat up looking quarter.  It must be ancient, let's see what year it's from.  Oh great, 1974.  It's exactly the same age as me.  How depressing.

The FUCK!!  Some asshole TOOK MY 75 CENTS while I was gone.  Bastard!!  I hope his Almond Joy gives him cancer!

Seconds later of course the "asshole" in question reappeared after a quick restroom break to repay the 75 cents he was forced to use since it was tying up the vending machine.

It's moments like these when I literally shake my head at what a dick I am.  At the risk of sounding cocky I honestly can't think of another human being I know whose life I feel is better than my own.  Whose life I "envy".  And yet, I whine.  Often.  And about the dumbest shit.  Most of the whining is in my head but sometimes it leaks out.  The best thing I've learned to do is catch it early before it earns me a swift kick to the crotch.

I've created a shortcut to intervene on my own behalf.  It's kind of a mantra.  I'll quietly say to myself, "I have two boys".  This cheers me up in an instant, every time, and reminds me that maybe I don't have things so bad.  I can't just say it though, I have to sit for a second and really wrap my head around that fact, "Two boys!  Two perfect little boys!  Yeah!!  Holy crap how did I get so lucky?"

It's not that I've always known that two little boys was what I wanted.  In fact I probably would have been as happy with a daughter, or even two, but such a thing is just impossible to imagine now.  I think this is because having two sons became exactly what I've always wanted, after it happened.

I think this happens a lot in parenthood.  What you get ends up being exactly what you've wanted.  This is why parents like their kids so much more than anyone else's kids.  Everything about my little boys is perfect, even their supposed "flaws".  They are the funniest, sweetest, smartest, and cutest kids right down to Liam's goofy teeth and Finn's ridiculously huge head.  I honestly wouldn't change a thing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Happy Mother's Day!

In our house Erin likes to maintain the tradition of laying in bed sipping coffee and watching a movie with the boys while I destroy the kitchen and make a brunch not nearly as well as she could.  I'm pretty sure "brunch" was invented by husbands because the only way in which it differs from breakfast is that it takes us four hours to make it.

Here was this morning's offerings:

Streusel Sour Cream Coffee Cakes

Roasted Asparagus and Leek Frittata

Panna Cotta Parfait with Raspberry Compote

Erin's review was "Well, as Meatloaf once said 'Two Out of Three Ain't Bad'".  Whenever overcome with romance Erin always quotes the poets.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Everybody Poops - Including Me!

A short while ago I was revisiting some old blog posts and came across this one about the troubles and stresses I had trying to mix a healthy, function colon with an active dating life. It happened to be six months to the day since I'd posted it, so I started thinking about how much had changed in that time. Oh, what a difference a half-year makes!

Shortly after posting that I decided to stop dating for a while, as it was proving to be both tiresome and disappointing. Most of all I just really needed to get my digestive system back in order. I once again got lazy and took for granted the glorious and luxurious fact that I could use my bathroom for whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Then I unexpectedly met Paul. Not only did he become my actual boyfriend, he has an actual toilet, which I am encouraged to use as if it were my own, la la laaaaa!

I've been able to let go of quite a few of my fears around delving into a new relationship. After I took some time to wrap my head around the idea, I decided to finally take Paul up on the drawer he'd offered me months ago. I went to a clothing swap and scored some things to fill it with, if only so he'd stop nagging me. And sure, most of the clothes I took ended up having belonged to his ex-wife...but whatever, he didn't notice. There are other things I've decided are finally okay to move forward with as well. We RSVP to things as a couple. We've started the whole 'spending the night...even when kids are there' thing. We make plans for events that will take place further into the future than one week, sometimes even further than one month. We've even combined Netflix accounts!

But the bathroom...the bathroom..... Unfortunately, there a couple of problems.

His bathroom is located between two bedrooms - Paul's on one side and his 13-year-old son's on the other. There are currently no locks on either door. There's no fan and very little noise barrier. I've gotten past a lot of my qualms around all of these things and mostly trust the whole 'if the door is closed, no one will open it' system that seems to be in affect there. But still, when I'm there I don't even pee nearly as often as I normally would. I sure as hell don't shower when his son is there - I don't want to be the one responsible for traumatizing that sweet kid should he sleepily walk in on me puzzling over an inconveniently located ingrown hair some morning.

So, as you can probably guess, I absolutely don't poop there.

Well - let me clarify: I don't poop there when anyone is home. If I've stayed the night and it's just me and Paulie, I usually have to rush off to work the next morning so it's not a huge issue, I can just take care of (bathroom) business at the shop. It still takes a little creative timing between tea, toast, and leaving the house; but all in all, I manage. When his son is there, it's a different story.

On those mornings I wake up earlier because of the two males tromping in and out of the bathroom for various 'getting ready for stuff' activities. Once I squint open my eyes for a half-second, my body begins it's "oh, so its time to wake up now? Awesome!" routine. However, I'm way too afraid that one of them will be in a rush and therefore not be attuned to the panicked Do Not Enter vibes that I'd be sending from inside the bathroom.

To be on the safe side, I generally just lay very still, pretending to sleep the whole time, and wait for them to leave. When I can tell that the hullabaloo is dying down and I finally feel Paulie's kiss on my head, my body immediately begins buzzing. Not in the sexy way, but in the they're leaving soon and I can finally use the bathroom way.

After they leave, I listen attentively until I'm sure they aren't returning for a forgotten school book. Then I throw back the covers, slide out of bed, and saunter into the bathroom, pleased and relaxed, where I MAKE IT MY OWN!

So I'm learning, people, I'm learning. I know that one day I'll have the flu or get food poisoning and all romance will be out the window as my ass and face explode at the same time and Paulie stands in the doorway; shocked, speechless, and wondering how to escape without seeming insensitive. But in the meantime, my body will continue its confused dance of Red Light Green Light, and we will all be happier for it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Bachelors

I've never seen the show "The Bachelor" because we don't have T.V.  Well we have A T.V., a great big plasma screen with Blu-Ray and six point surround sound, we just don't have cable.  About 8 years ago, right when all the "reality shows" were crapping up (the typo stays), I decided to cancel our cable.  I didn't do this out of any moral objection to the networks exploiting attractive mentally disabled people but rather I did it for the same reason I throw a day-old doughnut that I find at work in the trash then squirt ketchup on it for good measure, because I'll eat that shit if I can.  Plus I wanted to see what I would do with all the free time I'd have once T.V. was gone.  It turns out I enjoy cooking.

Finn holding court poolside
I'd bet a reality show about me and Finn living the REAL bachelor lifestyle would crush "The Bachelor" in the ratings.  This past weekend Erin and Liam took off for four nights, leaving me and Shotgun Finn to fend for ourselves.  So naturally we did what any unsupervised young red-blooded American men would do, we pined for the woman we love.  While we weren't pining though we were living like rock stars.  That is if rock stars sit around in their underpants all day watching movies and eating pizza.

There were productive moments.  I managed to spread 6 hours worth of house cleaning and yard work over three days, but it got done.  The time it took me was irrelevant, though I think the first weed I pulled had grown back by the time I'd pulled the last one.  The garage got converted from it's usual use as a place where things that aren't immediately needed get piled on top of one another, to a sleek game room featuring ping-pong and darts, and the back yard was transformed into something out of a Maxfield Parrish coffee table book, complete with hot chicks in short shorts and bikinis (they were Finn's friends, I had nothing to do with it).

Not only did I get some quality time with my baby boy, I also got some quality time with my baby sis Maggie who was in town for her birthday.  Now that my 5'11" sister is 30 years old should I omit the "baby" and just call her "sister"?  Nah!

All in all it was actually a pretty wholesome weekend considering.  It probably would have made for some pretty crappy reality T.V. come to think of it.  Perhaps the camera crews should have followed Erin around.  God only knows what kind of twisted stuff she got into.

What happens in Mos Eisley...

Friday, May 4, 2012

High Five!

So I just received the final invoice from my daughter's preschool, which stated the following magical glowing words: "This will be your last payment." Sweet mother of jesus!! They really should write that in gold shiny glitter glue or something, it would make it even that much more exciting!

Reading this immediately made me envision being in the same room with my ex, saying "holy shit! Can I get a high five?! Woo hoooooo! We did it!! FINALLY!"

This of course means that Evie will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. The other night was Open House, and Jonah took it upon himself to play tour guide for his sister. Watching him lead his Number One Fan around - being all big-brothery, showing her the classrooms and explaining all of the fun stuff she'd get to do - resulted in nothing less than giddy googly-eyed pride in me. Despite whatever is going on outside the school walls, I really wanted to share this accomplishment with the person who helped me create these incredible kids - I mean, this is a big deal! And it is AWESOME! I didn't really get the vibe that this sort of celebratory reflection would be welcomed, though, so I resisted the impulse to reminisce. Or to ask for a high five.

With the need to reflect on the fact that my lastborn is heading into big-kid school soon, I got way off-track when I stopped by the playground after Open House and watched some of the kids play. My favorite thing to do is watch Evie interact with other children. Maya Angelou says "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." Evie is always grabbing the world by the lapels.

She'll climb to the top of the jungle gym, find another kid there, and say "Hi, I'm Evie, do you want to be my best friend?" Usually the other kid says yes, and off they go! Sliding, swinging, holding hands, giggling. It's truly an amazing life lesson. I tried it out on an adult once (Scott Keneally). It didn't work.

Every time I witness Evie's ease with her peers, I feel a renewed wish that interpersonal relations stayed that sweet and simple forever.

These days, if I find myself in a situation in which there isn't a friendship where there once was, I'm trying to make a point to let go of all of the grown-up issues that put the relationship in that position, in hopes that one day it might be repaired. Because people are all kinds of complex! For some reason I keep forgetting that. You forget it too - don't lie. How could we not? We aren't kids with simply I Like You/I Don't Like You as credible options anymore. So much of how we react to each other revolves around our complete, stubborn inability to soften up on ego, pride and, my god - all those emotions! So many things to consider! Love! Hate! Compassion! Anger! Disappointment! Renewal! Guilt! Shock! Jealousy! Elation! Forgiveness. Ugh.

Luckily, through the power of tooth-and-nail experimentation, I'm finding that it takes so much less energy to let go of dissonance than to keep the fire below it burning.

Maya says it better, of course: "We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate; thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising."

Dude, that lady knows what's up! Dr. Angelou has been guiding me through all kinds of bullshit, for all kinds of years. She's a pretty important personal hero of mine and, let's face it, she rocks the wisdom! In fact I saw her speak several years ago, and the moment she walked onto the stage I was so moved by her mere presence near mine that I immediately started crying. No joke.

So I take her words to heart, on a regular basis. Or, when I can. "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."

I think my daughter already has a pretty good idea of how to do friendship. She'll likely unlearn it, but if she's lucky, she'll relearn it, and excel at it. She'll probably major in it in college. (With a minor in ass-kicking).

While I wait to see what happens with her, I think I'll keep working on that high five.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tempting Fate

I haven't posted on the blog for a while.  I'd love to say it's due to the thrilling fast-paced whirlwind that is my life as a rock-star daddy, but really it's just that I've had nothing to share.  Life has been blissfully dull.

Finn is good.  He's 7 months old now and he's really into solid foods which makes it easier to know when he needs to be changed...which is handy.  Liam is quickly approaching 3 and now that it's warm out is spending every waking moment on our back deck, as nude as possible, playing in his water table.  Occasionally we catch him drinking from his shoe which is a little weird but generally it's a healthy past time.  Erin and I are also doing really well.  After advertising for months on Craigslist we finally sold our car, which is nice.  The hooptie is scheduled to be roadworthy this Thursday if all goes to plan.  Erin has been cruising around Uncle Buck style in a 1983 Chevy Caprice station wagon that someone loaned us in the interim.  She's hated it (inexplicably since it's awesome) so with that gone, and with the money we made on the deal, she's pretty thrilled.  In fact to celebrate she's taking Liam down to Disneyland this weekend (Finn and I will be holding down the fort bachelor style - LOOKOUT LADIES!!)  I'm happy the deal is done too mainly because we won't have the cast from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest dropping by the house for test drives (seriously Craigslist, WTF!?)

All in all things are great........which makes me uneasy.  I'm not a particularly superstitious person but times like these always feel like the calm before the storm.  I can't really recall a time in my life when quiet contentment has lasted for a long stretch, so stay tuned.  Something big is going to happen soon I'm sure, I just hope it's something good.