Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Bloody Mess

“2 weeks ago,” reads the line beneath my blog name on other blogs kind enough to include me in their blogroll. Two goddamn weeks.

O, that I were able to fill this post with a fortnight's worth of tales of daring-do, of adventure and excitement, of journeys to far-off lands on missions of mercy, but sadly, empty have been the days and dark the nights, a longing for the renewal of spring denied by the incessant rains and bone-chilling cold, with all-too-brief respites of sunshine serving only to aggravate my yearnings and intensify my aches ...

So yeah, I got nothin’.

I’ll relate an actual conversation that took place between me and The Live Acorn the other day while I try to make up some stuff that would be interesting were it really to have happened:

Dead Acorn: You know, Live Acorn, the intellectual black hole that is the Idaho Legislature actually got something good done this past session.

Live Acorn: Oh yeah? (rolls eyes; thought balloon with “Jesus Christ, why can’t he shut up?” visible above her head)

Dead Acorn:
Yep ... they lowered the age at which a person can donate blood from 18 to 16, with parental consent, of course.

Live Acorn: Neato. (thought balloon now reading “maybe I can just walk the last 8 miles to volleyball practice ...”)

Dead Acorn: Yes indeedy ... it goes into effect on July 1st, the beginning of the fiscal year.

Live Acorn:
This is quite the informative ride, father. Thank you for the information.

Dead Acorn: So it will be in place when you turn 16 in the middle of July, and I’ve scheduled appointments for both of us on your birthday!

Live Acorn:

And I thought I was a sissy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It Obviously Skips Generations ...

There are a number of syndromes that occur from time to time in humans in which an extra chromosome is present. For example, while most females have an XX karyotype and most males have XY, about 1 in 1000 people are born with an additional chromosome: XXY (Klinefelter’s syndrome), in which a male carries two Xs, XYY, in which a male carries an extra Y, and XXX (Trisomy X), in which a female carries a third X chromosome and often winds up in the Adult Entertainment industry.

A far less common form of aneuploidy, XXG, is one that affects The Live Acorn, and people afflicted with it carry an extra Goofball chromosome. Unfortunately, while the aforemented three syndromes have little or no effect phenotypically, XXG manifests itself in ways at once sad and hilarious.

Saturday, for instance, she had an all-day volleyball tournament, and therefore, as is the tradition around these parts, decided to put on her grandmother’s old pearl ring the day before so that her finger would swell up, rendering it unremovable by morning, and resulting in her being disallowed in the matches until it was off.

Initial attempts at removal employing bathroom soap as a lubricant were unsuccessful, so I was dispatched to the grocery store for other potentially helpful items:

Dead Acorn, to Store Worker: Excuse me, I’m looking for a bag of ice and a container of lotion.

Store Worker: (brief pause) Umm … aisles 7 and 2.

Store Worker: (under her breath) Sicko pervert.

Dead Acorn: Hey, it’s to get a ring off of a girl’s finger.

Store Worker: Sicko pervert homewrecker.

I made my way back up to the tournament and got the Live Acorn to soak her hand in ice water, which was quite a task in and of itself. After about 20 minutes, a coach came over and inquired as to our progress, and apparently decided that it was time to stop fooling around. She got The Live Acorn to stand up, and gave surprisingly detailed instructions on how she would pull the ring while The Live Acorn would compact the flesh as it was being torn and push it back wristward under the the band.

This operation took approximately 3 1/2 days, with the coach straddling her arm, The Live Acorn trying to stifle her screams, and a team of players surrounding her and wincing in empathic pain. The ring finally did come off, and after some gentle massage, she was able to get into the matches. We had this conversation after:

Dead Acorn: So who was that coach?

Live Acorn: I don’t know.

Dead Acorn: Well, who was that team standing around?

Live Acorn: I don’t know them, either.

Dead Acorn: Ummmm …

Live Acorn: Yeah. You allowed a crazed stranger to nearly rip my finger off while you stood by. Way to go, dad. Looks like Father Of The Year will have to wait another trip around the ole’ sun.

I don’t think I need to rush too fast to clear a spot in my trophy case for that award.

FATHERLY BOASTING NOTE: The team won their final four matches, all against higher-ranked teams. The Live Acorn, while woefully underplayed by her coach (well, so it seemed to me, at least) during most of them, played the entire last game, and did extremely well, making a strong case that she should start. She rocks.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tick Tock Tick Tock ...

I’ve noticed that as I grow older, there seems to be less and less time to do the things that I want or need to do. It really applies to everything … huge long-term aspirations (write The Great American A Mediocre Albanian Novel (I'm trying to be realistic here); finally convince Betty Jane Kloppenschleimer to return my calls), mid-size projects (finish the damn lyrics to that song; clean the garage), simple tasks (scratch my itchy belly; get another frosty beer (okay, I get that one done)) … there’s just never enough time.

“I wonder what that’s owing to?” I asked myself, then scolded myself for ending a sentence with a preposition. “I wonder what that’s owing to, dumbass?” I then asked myself, quite pleased with having caught my error, as that particular grammatical faux pas is one I try and watch for.*

My first thought was that as we age, our perception of time changes, and the hours and days just feel like they’re going by faster, giving the illusion of having less time to do things. There is some evidence for this (science-y evidence, not simply that Stephen King refers to time during childhood as “slow time,” though that’s good enough for me), but that cake ain’t quite done bakin’, as they say in academic research circles.

Another thought was that I simply have more things to do. Perhaps as I’ve gotten older, all of the things I keep putting off have been piling up, so that the ratio of activities:time is continually increasing. This seems plausible at first, as I am quite the procrastinator, but my memory is also shot to hell, so my actually remembering things that I would like to do for any extended length of time seems a stretch.

Then, this morning, I figured it out. It occurred to me, after I took off my underwear to turn them around after putting them on backwards, after unbuttoning my shirt to rebutton it in proper alignment, after lying on the ground writhing in agony after stubbing my toe on the bed post, after tripping over Indy and falling in the hallway, after spending 20 minutes looking for one of my shoes, after waking up at 6:00 to get to work by 7:30 and not arriving until 7:50 because of all this stuff … it occurred to me that I have less and less time because I’m a fucking idiot.

I feel so much better now that I know!

* D’oh!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Long Season ...

Baseball is a lot like love: I’m not very good at it, and occasionally, I get fooled by the old “hidden ball” trick. Ok, that doesn't sound quite right ... let's start over: Baseball isn’t really like love at all, other than that the unbounded optimism that one has at the beginning is quickly dashed once it becomes painfully obvious, usually during the first week, that things aren’t going to end well.

Nevertheless, every spring I have high hopes, as I am one to see, upon encountering a woman whose brassiere is too large, the cups as half-full rather than half-empty (Thank you! Thank you! I’ll be here all week!), and I am enthused by the fact that my beloved World Champion (1948) Cleveland Indians are tied for in third (some might say they’re tied for last, but due to the alphabetic nature of how the standings are posted, they are ahead of both Detroit AND Minnesota, and would be even if they were listed in order of team name, rather than the city in which they play their home games. Suck it, Tigers and Twins!).

It is, of course, difficult, and perhaps even foolish, to predict the results of a full 162 game season on the basis of the first three; however, never let it be said that I let foolishness deter me from an exercise in statistical forecasting. I’ve used a simple second-order polynomial to project the results out through game six, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a reasonable modeling approach in this situation:

Above: Things are looking up!

As you can see, the Tribe will soon be scoring in excess of 80 runs per game, while their opponents (in this case, the hapless 0-3 Boston Red Sox) are on track to tally -20 in game six. Of course, one doesn’t need fancy-schmancy trending software to predict that. I mean, come on, it’s the goddamned Red Sox. Luckily for Cleveland, baseball has very little in common with love, for were I to continue with that metaphor, I’d probably have to guess that they may well never score again.