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March 01, 2005

A visit from Miss Kate

The Racetracks were hopping last night. (Proving once again how old and busted we are.) Mrs. Racetrack was out late for work and Mr. Racetrack was attending a dinner with his boss and co-workers. Realizing the impending plight Mr. Racetrack asked us to watch Miss Kate.

Kate's now crawling as fast as a dogfaced soldier looking for a foxhole during an artillery bombardment. When Mr. Racetrack dropped her off with us she immediately started scooting everywhere. It was only our selection of amusing toys that kept her from heading for greener pastures.

I started feeding Kate last night and while I was successful the bites were slow coming between the intense stare I received for not being mom or dad. Finally Fabulous Babe finished up Jack's bath and took over:


That gave me to snap a picture of Mr. Wethead:


Those are my feet for comparison. You know what they say about a man with big feet don't you? We wear big shoes.

Once the bananas were down the hatch Kate sat down next to play with Jack:


Mr. Racetrack had warned us that Kate was starting to get her top two teeth. From 7 to 8:40ish Kate demonstrated her feelings on the matter with a performance art piece she called "Screaming My Brains Out!" Jack was tired so he had to retire early before the second act.

Eventually Kate fell asleep in the bouncy chair. The rest of the night went without encore performances and when the Racetracks came to pick her up she was a sleeping angel.

Posted by Jim at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

"Just hear those sleighbells jingling..."

Dearest Natasha recently posted about her struggle with her husband over a Christmas wreath that she's been trying to take down for a while. Give it a read here.

The whole thing made me laugh out loud when I read it because ever since we lived in the apartment in Kirkland I've had our massive tangle of sleighbells on our front door. When we moved from the apartment to the house they were quickly attached to the doorknob. When we moved to Minnesota they went in the truck.

I originally kept them on because they were festive. Then they started to serve the practical purpose of making noise every time someone walked through the door. Now they're permanant. (Although they do scuff the paint pretty badly.)

I'm with Natasha's hubby at this point. He's perfectly willing to replace the wreath with something equally colorful but I have the feeling that it's going to be up there for a while.

Posted by Jim at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

Man Night!

Fabulous Babe had a night of frivolity with her fellow co-workers at the Monolithic Peoples Dairy Co-Operative which meant that it was ?Man Night? around the homestead.

Things got off to a pretty good start all things considered. When I picked up Jack he was laughing and carrying on and the mood carried on for quite a while. (My attempt to lay him down for a nap failed miserably however.) After I changed clothes and started laundry we settled into the living room to spend out the rest of the evening with toys and dinner.

Let?s just get this out of the way:


Reason 438 that Jack needs a haircut: He?s starting to look like Donovan from around 1971: ?Atlantis! Groovy!? That or he?s a member of the Moody Blues and he?s ready to sing ?Nights in White Satin?. I think it?s the sweater that adds to the effect. It has a bit of that whole ?70?s retro? look.

Maybe that?s why I took it off of him last night.

After a while Jack settled into give his toys a serious workout. After some truly frenzied rattle abuse I thought I would take a picture:


I?m not sure if he?s thinking ?You?re STILL here?? or ?What do YOU want??

That?s his wiggle monkey next to him. To get it to make a funny noise you have to move it in a manner that is mildly suggestive and/or obscene. Of course Jack loves it.


After a long day at work there?s nothing like kicking back in your Man Chair, giving the Journal a read and, when you think no one?s looking, passing gas so loudly it makes you smile.


This is what I think about the most when Jack comes to mind: He?s happy to see me and loves me. It?s so sincere and all encompassing that it causes all other things before it to pale by comparison. It?s the smile of recognition at the sound of my voice or seeing me when I walk in to pick him up. (Surprising Jack is very funny when you?re not the person he?s expecting, he looks confused initially and then explodes with mirth.) Compare this picture to some from July. What a difference from then to now.

Posted by Jim at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2005

"Begone Mullet!"

Busy weekend here at the ranch. Fabulous Babe?s parents, Farmer Mom and Dad, came up to make sure we were treating the sole grandson well. When they picked him up he wasn?t sure what was going on but Mrs. Dawn told him all was well and then he warmed up. I would have paid good money to see him giving them the ?Exactly who the heck are you?? look.

Their arrival also gave me the last two votes needed to get Jack the haircut he needed. (Fabulous Babe already and conceded the argument but this clinched it.) Saturday morning was high noon for the Mullet.


Here?s Jack sitting on Fabulous Babe?s lap. That look to the side is him noticing the sound of the clippers for the first time. Wait for it?


HA! The time has come! Clippers and a comb! You can see Jack?s dismay but don?t fear for the boy. He didn?t cry once.


Tame the Mullet! Tame it! It?s all hands on deck as our sheep gets sheared. Jack was more bewildered than anything else that was going on.


I should point out that Jack?s hair is so fine that when it started coming down it reminded me of extremely fine fiber optic cable. The hairs were like little slivers of glass cascading down to the floor.

Notice the death grip Fabulous Babe has on the boy. No escape there son.


That?s the rat tail being cut off. Fabulous Babe saved it in a tissue but I for one don?t miss it one bit.


?Please. No photos.? This is as we were wrapping up. Jack did really well the entire time and didn?t really fuss much. Fabulous Babe was a wreck however claiming that he was no longer her Baby Boy: ?He?s my little man now!? I understand the difficulty in accepting the transition but he looks SO much better now.

Posted by Jim at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2005

"Jack! Duck!"

I got a couple of emails after the photos from Saturday asking so...

Yes, Jack has / had a black eye.

He got clonked in the head by accident last week. Nothing too serious as he was laughing immediately afterwards. It went black and blue pretty quickly and evened out to a vivid green by Sunday. We're hoping that our planned photo session tomorrow will turn out nicely despite it.

Fabulous Babe and I both laughed it off when it happened. The phrase "Boys will be boys" rings pretty true. (It's not like we're raising him in a bubble for gosh sakes.) The underlying theory is that he has to learn. We'll keep him from grevious harm but every once in a while something is going to slip beneath the radar. It happens. It's better not to make a huge fuss out of the little stuff on all sides.

Posted by Jim at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

"At least he won't lack for hand me downs."

I called my Spirtual Train Brother tonight to have a quick chat. Lo and behold I got his lovely wife on the phone. They're expecting but she's been a bit under the weather so there have been some tiptoe moments.

"How are things going?"

"We know it's a boy."

I should remind you that they already have two great sons.

"Oh Pearl, don't think we aren't happy for you but we were rooting for a girl."

"We're just trying to figure out what to name it."

I think "Bucking Odds" sounds nice but that's just because then his older brothers could say they have an "Uncle Buck" which everyone ought to have. I'm not vain enough to suggest Jim so he'll dodge that bullet.

We're thrilled for them and glad that things are going well. He's a little boy that will be born into a tremendous family and that's all you could hope for.

Posted by Jim at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2005

"Spastic Fits run in our family. Really."

With Fabulous Babe?s parents in town we had a big dinner on Sunday night and invited the Racetracks over. The kids were great and the company was excellent. Plenty of roast beast for everyone and a desert of angel food cake with fresh fruit. Yum.

After dinner we sat down in the living room and watched the kids cavort. Kate crawled circles around Jack and was going everywhere. Jack just sat and watched, biding his time.


This is how Jack normally looks. A little soggy with tossed hair that says: ?Hi. Do you come here often??

Sunday night he did something we had never seen before.


Jack got this look on his face and then began shaking his head from side to side as fast as he could while laughing like crazy. Then he would stop and?


Duck his head and grab his legs like he was going into liftoff mode. (Either that or filling his britches.) He would wait a moment and then start the whole cycle again.

All of us exploded in laughter which just encouraged him more and more. It went on for a half an hour. I got some of it on videotape and managed to get the above pictures between blurs. All agreed it was the strangest thing we had ever seen and I had to categorically deny teaching any of it to him. As it was he was so hyped up he didn?t get to sleep until almost 10:00. Theories abound but I think he gets it from his mom.

Posted by Jim at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2005

"It's that month again..."

March is a month filled with occasions that I keep track of. Fabulous Babe’s birthday is this month. The night we met was on St. Patrick’s day which is another one of those sorts of things that sticks with me. Of the two of us I’m the one that keeps track of this “stuff” which works out fine.

Three years ago Fabulous Babe and I moved to our happy home here in the Land O' Lutherans. Being Minnesota it snowed about 8 inches one day the week following. The house was chosen after two exhausting days of searching in the January before the move.

In hindsight we truly lucked out in picking this neighborhood. Our neighbors are swell and their kids are like our extended family. (We buy a lot of Girl Scout Cookies.) Our quirks compliment each other nicely and I can honestly say I’ve played host to just about every blankety blank home party business possible.

In general we’ve encountered “Minnesota Nice” in great portions and “Minnesota Ice” in fortunately much smaller portions. (I’ve met people to whom Passive Aggression is their life’s work and greatest achievement.) Fortunately the grumpy sort are easy to spot and my irritating but genuinely friendly nature usually triumphs.

The accents still throw me from time to time. Last night Fabulous Babe had to restrain me from throwing something at the television when the forkwit on the news kept calling the electronic gizmo for the Minnesota’s first toll road a “Trans-PON-der” instead of “trans-ponder” which is what normal people everywhere else in North America call them.

One of the first things we noticed about this place was the tremendous number of children in the neighborhood. (The average was 3 per house when we moved in.) Minnesotans are a prolific people and as strange as it seems to some in other parts of our country family values are an important part of the fabric of this state. If anything it’s an intensified display of the natural order to lead productive lives and see your legacy passed on to those who come after you.

It goes without saying that if you love to pay taxes you certainly should think about living here. Fabulous Babe was reading a story from the Wall Street Journal tonight and it became very clear that while there are more expensive places to live tax wise we’re close enough to the top we should duck.

We’ve never regretted moving here for one moment. Climate you adapt to over time. Friends you will discover. Your home is what you choose to make it and we are glad to call this one ours.

Posted by Jim at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

"The centerfolds used to have staples?"

This one's a piece of advice for Jack on men's magazines.

Specifically the ones with pictures of women in various states of dress and undress.

If you're easily offended by mild conversation about this topic then just skip this one.

Otherwise you've been appropriately warned.

Dear Jack,

There are many types of magazines that cater to all types of men. Some guys love their cars more than anything else and magazines like “Road & Track” are what they look for on the newstand. Some guys like outdoor activities and they’ve got “Outdoor Life” or “Field and Stream”. From video games to firearms to woodcraft, there are magazines devoted to whatever interests you can think of.

I was at lunch today with someone who was talking about her self centered ex-boyfriend. After hearing her bemoan this loser for a few minutes I cut to the chase:

“He reads Maxim doesn’t he?”


“Yeah. How did you know?”

“He seems the type.”

Guys tend to live up to their magazine subscriptions. I get the following magazines: a couple of model railroading magazines, a couple of magazines devoted to my old career, a couple of general IT and a few specific IT and a few that I just get because I’m interested in a couple of regular contributors.

None of these are pornographic.

Don’t get me wrong. I like naked women. I just don’t need them showing up in my mailbox every month. Besides Jack, I live with your mom and having some strange naked woman show up in my mailbox with some sort of regularity is, to me, rude and disrespectful. It doesn’t mean I don’t get an eyeful from time to time, it simply means I don't subject your mom to it on a regular basis. (The odds are she would probably just throw them away if she got to them first.)

Let me clue you in on the scope of porn Jack:

Maxim / FHM
Jack these are magazines for teenagers who can’t buy porn legally, men who are too whipped to be able to go out and buy porn or worse, are attempting to cloak their porn in some sort of legitimacy. "It's a magazine about bachelor life!" If you’re trolling through these for your jollies you’re in a bad spot and need help: There’s no nudity and the men’s cologne samples will overwhelm you in time.

I hate to say it but most of the people I see buying these two magazines pretty much believe they live in a beer commercial where everyone is pretty and everyone wants to shag them. Must be nice to live in that dream world.

The old standby. If you have to buy porn buy Playboy. I had a subscription that I received as a Christmas gift one year. Before that I had purchased about a half a dozen issues over the course of 8 years. All of them are currently tucked away in a dark corner of the basement waiting for you to get old enough to discover:

“Dad! Why does that girl have such big hair?”

“It was the 1980’s son. Some things are just best forgotten.”

Playboy is pretty harmless all things considered. It’s not particularly vulgar and I learned some things reading Playboy that were genuinely helpful as I grew older. That doesn’t mean you should attempt to live the “Playboy Lifestyle” and any thoughts you might have about your college funds building you a “Grotto” are sadly out of place my son.

Robin Williams has the line to remember here: The reason they call their centerfolds “Pets” is that you’ve seen dogs in some of the same positions. My guess is that Penthouse won’t be around when you read this so that’s a relief. The only thing Penthouse has going for it are the awful letters that used to appear in it. They almost always started with some sentence about being a student at a small college and ended up with situations that were highly improbably and physically impossible.

Their title says “Yes” but your dad is telling you “No”.

Barely Legal
The title sums it all up. If you didn’t feel dirty enough reading that title then remember that Barely Legal counts Michael Jackson as one of their regular readers. Ugh.

Anything else
We’re wandering into fetish material with most everything else. “Perfect 10” or “Juggs” or whatever else comes to mind is there to serve a smaller and smaller portion of the overall audience. Realize that the stranger your interest and the farther off of the trail the weirder you are. (Honest!)

Porn is addicting Jack. By the time you realize you have a problem you’re buying magazines with naked midgets from stores you wouldn’t want to be found dead in. Imagine the police having to explain to your wife that you passed away from a heart attack in the “Fuzzy Animals” magazine aisle at “Harry’s Porn-O-Rama!” Not a pretty picture is it? If I'm first on the scene I'll do my best to drag you to a different aisle.

Here’s the deal. When you’re old enough and I think you can handle it, I’ll gift you the stash of old Playboys I have. When you’re 18 and out of the house you can buy whatever you want and I’ll respect your right to privacy. (Although I warn you know that I will tease you if I see porn out in your home.)

Let’s be clear about something though Jack: you can’t snuggle a magazine. You can’t have a magazine kiss you back when you kiss it below the ear on the nape of it’s neck. A magazine won’t hold you, call your name or whisper in your ear. A magazine won’t appreciate little surprises or grab your butt during a slow dance.

That’s right son. Let the other guys keep their magazines. The real thing is a hell of a lot more fun.

If you learn that then you're set.



Posted by Jim at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2005

Back to school...

Fabulous Babe's starting to look into going for her MBA.

It's been a thought in the back of her mind for a while. There is an excellent program locally that looks to fit the bill. Fabulous Babe's current supervisor went through the program and is onboard with the idea.

Provided she's accepted it will entail a lot of work for the next 18 months. It's a program that would see her graduate in 2007. The program demands a commitment of time that will encompass weekends and about 20 hours a week outside of class.

The thought is that by completing this before Jack is old enough for school we'll have this out of the way. Jack would be 3ish if she were to get into the program this year. That way she wouldn't miss any of his getting involved with sports, school, etc.

In talking to some people today at work about this someone asked me if I was going to become a trophy husband. I assured them that this wasn't the case as I'm far to ugly. (Abominally so.) I'm just the trophy laundry guy.

It does mean that I'm going to be picking up a larger and larger share of the work around the house if this goes forward. I've always said I'm Fabulous Babe's support mechanism and this certainly looks like more evidence to that.

Ironically my own academic work is supposed to be launching soon. (I have unfinished business that I am working to put to rest.) Rest assured I won't let it interfere in my ramblings here gentle readers. You're still stuck with yours truly.

As Fabulous Babe headed to bed she muttered "I'm tired." I think that if she's accepted that that's going to be our motto for the house for the next couple of years.

Posted by Jim at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

"Oh the songs we sing..."

I'm certainly the more musical of the two of us trying to raise Jack. Fabulous Babe's had more piano than I have but I've been singing longer. (Highest bass audition score for the region the year I went to the All State choir. How's that for nerdy?)

I keep trying to expose Jack to more and more music. In the car, at home, where I can and when I can. A lot of the time this involves singing to him.

We frequently fall back on the old standards: Old Macdonald, This Old Man, etc. Then, sometimes, we have the special Jack songs. Here's an example:

I used to live in a uterus.
I used to live in a uterus.
I used to live in a uterus.
Then there wasn't any room!

The last line is the key verse. There are several actually. There's "But it didn't have a window" and my personal favorite "But we couldn't play Handball!" All of the ending verses are delivered with gusto and always get a good giggle out of the boy. Ah yes. The Uterus song is a fave but Fabulous Babe always shoots me "The Look" if I sing it in public.

There is also the Good Morning Jack! song which is how I wake him up in the morning. There's the "No Pants Dance!" song which, oddly enough, only comes up during clothes or diaper changes.

Being a parent gives you a great license to be silly. It's a fool who squanders the opportunity to embark down that path.

Posted by Jim at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)

Fundraising drive...

Dear readers,

In the 15 odd months that I've been writing here you've been patient, kind and encouraging and I greatly appreciate that. Along that theme I would ask that you endulge me for a few moments.

Currently my website is hosted with a friend of mine. Our payment arrangement for my space here is somewhat informal but its worked well in the manner we've set out. That being said I'm starting to notice higher and higher levels of traffic and bandwith in my log.

Thus I'm kicking off a fundraising drive. I don't have a fiscal target in mind. If I did I would post it here. I don't think that's how these things should be.

Essentially I'm asking those of you who read regularly to hit the tip jar down there on the lower left. (It's the Amazon thingy you see there.) If Amazon isn't your style you can get in touch with me via email and I can give you a paypal account you can use. If you want to send a check or something else I can let you know where to send it. Email all questions to: thespecialproject@comcast.net and I'll go from there.

I'm not asking for you to send 3 cubic acres of money. I'm asking for you to send something that represents what the site is worth to you. It could be $20 or it could be the price of a Latte at Starbucks, beggars can't be choosers. Do you read me every day or just once in a while? You know what kind of frequency you visit. (As do I by the Stats log.) Do you link to my photos instead of hosting them yourself? (My picture of our kiss from the wedding seems awfully popular in Europe.) It's pretty simple.

Has something I've written caused you to snorkel your drink across the keyboard with laughter? Have you seen a picture that you then shared with others? Want to make sure Jack never lacks haircut funds ever again? You get the idea.

For the next week every post is going to have a reminder that it's the fundraising drive. If things go well I'll wrap it up early. I'll post some sort of reward for those kind enough to donate. If donations are off the chart I'll whip up something really special as a thank you.

All monies donated will go into Jack's Education Fund that I officially opened today. I'll match the amount out of my own pocket to cover the tab of this place. That way everyone wins.

Go ahead, hit the tip jar. It won't hurt at all and you'll feel good all day.



Posted by Jim at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2005

"I keep thinking of that AC/DC song."

Saturday morning Fabulous Babe headed off to the gym for a step class that she's been wanting to go to. That left me with Mr. Snickle Britches for some Saturday morning playtime.

Part of our time on the carpet was spent with me handing Jack various objects. The goal was to get some pictures to share. It took about 40 tries but here's the best shot of the lot.


The aquarium Jack got at Christmas is still a favorite. All I have to do is hand the little plastic balls over to him and it's a giggle fit. Sometimes he chews on them, other times he bangs them against his teeth or just clacks them together. It's just the thing for the Red Hot Jackness on a slow Saturday morning.

A friendly reminder that it's pledge week. That tip jar at the lower left is an easy way to send a little something towards Jack and help defray hosting costs.

More to come when I can type a bit longer.

Posted by Jim at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2005

"I think when he gets all pruney that means he's done."

Every few days we give Jack a good scrubbing to get rid of any dirt that?s accumulated in the nooks and crannies. He always enjoys bath time and plays around with his friends. (A motley assortment of plastic bath toys.)


Here?s Jack straining to see one of the cats just outside the bathroom. Yours truly sits on the floor next to the tub while Fabulous Babe sits on the throne positioned to catch Jack if he tips forward.


A coy action shot. Fabulous Babe is squirting Jack with one of the fish while Mr. Demure holds the starfish in just the right location to prevent too much embarrassment later on in life. Jack?s seated on his giant bath sponge which is much easier to use than the bath chair we were using with him. We use the bath sponge because our poor son?s bottom is still a frictionless surface: one wrong move and it?s a bath like a log flume ride.


Care to guess who he?s making eyes with? Here?s the answer Jeopardy style: ?Who is The Woman Who Grew Me Inside of Her!? I?m just the guy with the camera so I just get the occasional "Who are you?" look.


Were I to publish this as a limited edition seragraph I think I would title this one ?Small wet boy. (With Octopus.)?

Did you know that any donations you make to the tip jar will go directly to Jack's education fund? We intend to raise Jack with a firm moral base and strength of character often found lacking in our modern world. The goal is to raise a man who opens doors for strangers, helps little old ladies across the street, uses the words "Ma'am" and "Sir" and acts as a paragon of virtue. (Unlike a certain ex-CEO from Boeing.)

Take the time to make a donation to help make sure Jack stays on the straight and narrow and doesn't end up on a used car lot selling your children or grandchildren a funny smelling Sentra with way too much milage. It's a path best not contemplated.

Posted by Jim at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

?Can we just burn the Diaper Genie instead of emptying it??

Sunday night Jack came down with Montezuma?s revenge. This meant a few Level 10 diaper emergencies and a quick round of decision making as to what to do.

MN doesn?t allow you to bring a child with diarrhea to daycare. This means that one of the two of us had to stay home with Jack on Monday. Yours truly drew the straw.

Monday was long. A day filled with some truly horrible diaper changes and a little boy who could not get comfortable no matter what I did. (The root cause of everything is probably teething from where Jack?s upper front teeth are trying to come in.) I went through Banana?s and bottles in an attempt to keep him from dehydrating.

By the end of Monday night he still had the occasional horrible diaper which meant I drew a second day of home care. Fortunately Tuesday afternoon saw Jack having normal diaper loads which meant I could once again count on the Mrs. Dawn?s Day Spa option for Wednesday morning.

I had heard the words ?needy? and ?clingy? used in describing children before we had Jack and boy do I understand those words now. Jack would cry and the only thing that would stop him was for me to pick him up and hold him while whispering to him. In response Jack would lean forward, put his head on my shoulder and use his hands to grab me.

Getting him to lay down tonight was a struggle. He fought me tooth and nail. It finally took me distracting him with an assortment of plush animals and within 5 minutes he passed out. I can hear him snoring over the monitor right now.

Two good things came out of the last two days. Here?s the first:


Cheerio Air Hockey! That?s right why just hand the Cheerios to Jack when I can set them down and blow them across to him. Granted it leads to moments like this where I blow too hard and they ramp off into his lap but that?s nothing. When Jack eats Cheerios he usually lands over 75% of them somewhere about his person.


Here?s Jack with his goalie face. He?s waiting for the next Cheerio launching.

The other good thing is that I finally got Jack to start laughing when I wink at him. It took about 6 hours over the course of both days but now when I shoot the boy a saucy wink he gets a huge grin and starts laughing. The more I wink the more he laughs. Pretty soon it?s a full on giggle fit. That makes the diapers seem like a very small price to pay.

(Donate-o Tip Jar-o If-o You Can-o.)

Posted by Jim at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2005

Greetings from "Mrs. Canadian something-or-other-ness"

Okay, so I wasn't there the night Fabulous Babe & Jim met. (Although I'm sorry I missed it since "fluid" levels must have been quite high as everyone swears I was.) I WAS there for almost every other outing and the most important thing...the dish session the next morning!

[Bizarre. Everyone remembers her being there and I don’t remember drinking that much. Ed.]

Well, truth be told, it wasn't quite the next morning, now was it kids?!? Hmmm?!? Readers, I must inform you that you are under a slight false pretense. You must know the real deal: Jim actually asked SOMEONE ELSE out after that fateful night. (You dumba$$ what were you thinking?) Rather than dwelling on that lets instead focus on the positive that the two lovebirds quickly, (and might I add not remotely at all because of Jim's doing,) became an item. (They should rename that drink "Sloe-Jim-Fizz".)

[Long story short: We met on a Thursday and we all traded cards and numbers. I called Fabulous Babe but she was going out of town so I left a message for her. Over the weekend I went shopping at the Eaton Center and had dinner with one of the other women that night, Miss Canadian Tallness. (Who liked me because I was tall too.) We ended the evening on a handshake, no spark, no zing, it was 5 hours total with no future. On Monday Fabulous Babe called me at work and I told her everything. We then went out that night. I'm not sure I get the Sloe-Jim-Fizz comment. Ed.]

Fabulous Babe immediately had googly eyes for Jim and I remember many a telephone conversation or during our regular weekend morning chats, after we crawled over to either of our condo's still in our pj's, that the subject would not stray far from her conquest. At least that's the way I'm remembering it, so for the record Jim, you're only getting credit for our girls weekend of bliss last year and your "bit", (Fabulous Babe and I covered
that too....KIDDING!!!,) part in creating beautiful Jack.

[Thank God I'm not a Timbit. Ed.]

I'll wrap up by saying I was there the night before Jim was driving out propose to Fabulous Babe. Except for my honey-pie, I have never seen anyone so completely and utterly gaga over someone else and more excited to start a new journey with someone who clearly was the love/dreamboat/red-headed goddess of his life.

Happy-love-at-first-sight-but-Jim's-still-a-goof-for-not-asking-you-out-first-Anniversary guys, love and miss you lots.

Mrs. Canadian Hotness.

[Thanks CH. Realize we'll be shipping Jack off to you for Speed Skating lessons in a couple of years. Congrats too to Miss Canadian Tallness who is getting married in September. Ed.]

Posted by Mrs. Canadian Hotness at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

My version...

After that version I'll just sum it up:

I met the love of my life on St. Patrick's day 6 years ago tonight. Fate works in strange ways. I certainly didn't go home thinking "I've met my future wife" or anything else along those lines. I really just wondered if she liked me.

It's Jack's first St. Patrick's day. I had to remind Fabulous Babe to dress him in green today. (Even if he's only about 1/32nd Irish.) It may not be our biggest holiday but it's certainly one with a lot of memories.


(P.S. The fundraising drive is going pretty well. Thanks to everyone who has hit the tipjar so far. For the rest of you there is still time. Hint hint.)

Posted by Jim at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2005

"Can we go for a drive Dad? Can we?"


Soon enough my son. Soon enough.

(At least he's wearing the right shirt for it.)

Posted by Jim at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

"I root for Kentucky, Illinois and anyone playing Louisville."

What a week.

Mrs. Dawn’s Day Spa for the Small & Troublesome has been closed all week so we’ve been balancing time off for taking care of Jack at home. Add to the equation that I had a business trip that required an overnight trip to Chicago. Argh.

The picture I posted the other day was from Tuesday morning where I was taking care of Jack before leaving. He was a giggle puss most of the morning and thought the picture taking was just a part of the game. Mr. Racetrack, home before he had to leave for Cleveland on business, was kind enough to come by and watch Jack for a few minutes while I ran to get Brittney, our baby sitter, who would watch him for the rest of the day.

Brittney is a student at the local high school and is the baby sitter Mrs. Dawn recommended to us. (If a mom of 3 makes a recommendation that’s a sign.) Brittney is responsible, punctual and polite. She takes notes and lets us know what happened while we were gone. When I look at Brittney in contrast to some of the other local teenagers the contrast is amazing. Her sister babysits for Shutterbug’s kids occasionally which can cause some funny moments. “Um. Is Brittney still here?” I think Brittney will go far in life for no other reason than the simple fact that she “gets it” where so many others don’t. Between the Racetracks and ourselves I think Brittney will be able to buy a car before she graduates.

My fear of flying was once more overcome by Xanax and a beer in the terminal. I am the epitome of a white knuckle flyer and always have been. Xanax has made traveling with me far more pleasant as I now tend to doze off during a flight instead of twitching and sweating like I used to do. Doctor Molotov deserves a recommendation for Sainthood for writing me the prescription the first time.

It was nice to get back to Chicago. I think the last time I was there was just before the wedding. I took the train in from Midway and was struck by all the old architecture just above street level. The skyline is amazing to watch as you approach and look at the 100 year old buildings surrounding it.

Work put me up in the Omni downtown. (It’s the all suites hotel that Oprah uses for guests.) I’m certain the suite was larger than my first apartment in Baltimore. When I dropped my overnight bag and my travel briefcase all I could think about was that needed to head across the street and buy some clothes to fill up the hangers. Alas, common sense prevailed.

Dinner with co-workers was at the Grand Lux Café. We ate upstairs and the large open space reminded me of an old Arthur Miller dance studio I once visited. Dinner was quite good. (I had crab cakes as an appetizer and a salad with chicken for the main course.) I nearly fell over when I saw that the total bill for 11 people, including drinks, was a little shy of $300. I’ll place the restaurant on my recommended list and encourage you to give it a try.

After dinner I met the Best Woman for desert at Ghirardelli. I hadn’t seen her in forever. Not even when we bought her old Miata last year. We spent most of the evening catching up: I brought photos of Jack and she brought photos of a trip to Utah she took with a friend of ours who now lives in Germany. (Hi Renee!) We discussed our long term plans for our Miatas that all seem to involve this place: Flying Miata. (Jack’s not getting the keys until he’s 18.) Lots of talk about our old industry and current work but mostly it was just nice to sit and talk with a friend. Eventually the travel caught up with me and I had to call it a night.

The meeting Wednesday was well done: Co-workers from across the region and good idea exchange. It wrapped up early which let me take a flight earlier than the later departure I had been booked for. I was beat by the time I got home.

Today was catch up and land running at work. I was thankful when I got home but the headache I acquired didn’t want to leave me alone. Ugh.

While I was out of town and at work Fabulous Babe had been working with Jack on a couple of new things. He now claps his hands and plays along when you sing “Patty Cake” and throws his arms wide and grins when you ask “How big is Baby Jack? He’s SOOOOO big!” He’s also standing up if you offer him a couple of fingers for handholds. Sometimes he’ll even take a few steps which is progress. No crawling yet but Jack may just skip that. Our baby is becoming a little man and the transformation is breathtaking to watch. I feel so old.

The MBA application has been filled out and the essays are being written. Fabulous Babe has lined up the letters of recommendation and her office is lining up the support necessary. We’ll know more in a few weeks.

Posted by Jim at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2005

Sincere Thanks...

I wanted to write a quick "Thanks!" to everyone that donated during the pledge drive over the last week.

If you donated please email me at thespecialproject@comcast.net and give me an idea of when and how much you donated. (Amazon shields your identity from me.) I'll reply with a link to a special "Thank You!"

Again thanks. I promise I won't come begging again for at least another 6 months.


Posted by Jim at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2005

"A moment of silence for my fallen Wildcats."


That burning smell is my NCAA office pool bracket catching fire.

All of my work on posts for this week vanished in a "poof" of some kind on Sunday night / Monday morning. Since then I've been busy in the evenings trying to get some things done before the weekend.

Updates Thursday night with some new photos. Look for something after 11:00 eastern.



Posted by Jim at 12:09 AM | Comments (0)