Tuesday, February 28, 2006


OK, I am finally getting around the meme that Fr. Matthew tagged me with.

4 jobs you have had in your life
  1. Hardees frontline
  2. Museum security, frontdesk, design dept
  3. Curator
  4. Writer (briefly, but it was a job, shut up)

4 movies you could watch over and over
  1. The Winter Guest
  2. Koyaanisqatsi
  3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  4. About a Boy

4 places you have lived
  1. Topeka, Kansas
  2. Anaheim, California
  3. Lawrence, Kansas
  4. Kansas City, Missouri

4 TV shows you love to watch
I don't understand the question

4 places you have been on vacation
  1. St. Louis, Missouri
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. London, Luxembourg, Cordoba, Granada, Tangiers, Marrakesh, Sevilla, Paris, Rotterdam, Hull
  4. Branson, Missouri

4 websites you visit daily
  1. Dooce
  2. Defective Yeti
  3. DailyMumps
  4. Chase Me Ladies, I'm In the Calvary

4 of your favorite foods
  1. Chocolate covered espresso beans
  2. This Flemish Stew that Jaime made a couple of weeks ago that is the first time ever the essencial platonic form of "stew" itself was perfectly expressed as matter
  3. Horiatiki
  4. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich

4 places you'd rather be right now
  1. Just about anywhere overseas
  2. In a park anywhere warm
  3. On my bicycle
  4. My book tour

4 bloggers you are tagging
  1. Val (payback)
  2. Skylar
  3. Jaime
  4. um, I don't personally know too many bloggers, actually.

missed turtle

Jaime just wrote me the following:

you should have come to the doc appointment today. you could have shared in my worries.
the nurses are not used to listening for the heartbeat so early and today they were looking in the wrong spot and couldn't find it. they made me wait for a long time until doc wiley could do a sono to make sure everything was ok.
the baby was way up by me belly button thanks to my over full bladder. didn't get a beat count but doc said everything looks good and he thinks i am a bit ahead. he puts me at 13-14 weeks which would put me due right at the end of august.
the baby looked like a turtle. any turtles on your side?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

chicken ship

I didn't know you could mail a chicken.

Today, I went to the post office to mail you your photos of David. For that matter, I mailed you my photo as well, since Jaime did the dividing while I was at work and didn't leave me any. I waited in line behind a Latina with two young girls. After she walked away I notice some of the postal employees peering curiously into her parcel. It was a tall, rectangular box with a pointed top, like the nave of an English-Gothic church, but with round air holes in it. But this was no ship for the human soul (which is against postal regulations), this was a poultry parcel. I asked where it was headed. She was shipping it to Arkansas.

I have spent the rest of the night wondering why a Latino mother would ship a chicken to Arkansas. I know that there is, or at least was, a school there for training people to train chickens to do tricks as a way to provide practical skills in the application of B.F. Skinner's "Operant Conditioning" in animal training. Was she a student turning homework?

Did she have a dark past involving a chicken farmer?

Was it a threat? A gift? Redemption? Perhaps she was once a migrant laborer on a poor farm in Arkansas who once stole a chicken from her employer. Later, she came to know him better, even to love him when he helped her get a leg up in society. Now that she is stable and secure, she is returning his chicken. Or better yet--they had an affair and he gave her the chicken but refused to leave his wife. Bitter, she is returning the gift--but with a little extra added. You see their relationship developed when he capitalized on her illegal status to force her into assisting with drug smuggling from SE Asia. He abandoned their relationship, and refused to leave his wife when he suspected her of being in love with one of the dealers from Rangoon. In revenge she persuaded that dealer to send her this chicken, which is infected with bird flu. What she doesn't know is that her girls secretly opened the box to pet the bird and will be the first victims of her wrath.


Excited by my newly-found powers, I've been digging through my criminally sparse archive footage of the boy. Here is a lost episode from his first few weeks on the outside.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


another portrait

another portrait, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

During the shoot, one of the employees was jumping around with a stuffed

monkey and playing hide-and-seek and David could hardly contain

himself. I had to look.


portrait, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

We got "professional" pictures of David this weekend. They gave us a

disk of low-res. (read, not printable) images of the shoot. So, over

the next week or so, I'll be posting some of them for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, February 20, 2006

david in training

You have stayed with me as I learn to post images on this blog. Now, it is time for us to learn to work with video. Note: if you access the internet by dialing up on your phone, you probably cannot try this. You are most likely my grandma and grandpa and I promise I'll just bring the cam-corder over so you can watch it.

cheesecake factory--no

The Cheesecake Factory 6675 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS does not have a changing table in the men's room. This surprised me since it is located in a town whose whole raison d'etre is making sure our children have every possible advantage in life.

When we were seated, the host brought us a high chair, went away, and imeadiately returned with a plate containing several thin slices of bruchetta and four slices of banana, set in front of David, and left without comment. That impressed me. It impressed David as well.

evil david

-- . . . but deliver us
-- 'd'l'ver us
-- from evil
-- from eagle
-- from evil
-- from eagle
-- eeee
-- eeee
-- vul
-- vul
-- eeee-vul
-- eeee-vul . . . "eagle," daddy!
-- "evil," David!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

why is this the best valentine's day ever?

Why is this the best Valentine's day ever?

A woman said these words to me:

. . . that's the mom's heartbeat . . .

. . .and. . .

. . . that's the baby's heartbeat. . . 174 beats per minute. Perfect for a ten-and-a-half-week-old.

And, I might add, the tempo of the Viennese Waltz.

UPDATE: I first got my Viennese Waltz tempo info here, but decided to link to the page mentioned above because it is more interesting. I didn't notice at the time the clear contradiction to my original information about the tempo of this dance. Clearly, we have gained some insight into the unreliability of information found on the Web as well as the serious, perhaps fatal, divisions within the Viennese Waltz community.

But, I digress.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cheney Fires First Volley in Campaign-Finance-Reform Revolution

VP expected to announce bid for 2008 presidential race soon with an "Eff'm all, take no prisoners" platform. Insiders speculate Charleton Heston top pick for running mate.

in other news: NRA Plans Rally in Kingsville, Texas.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

seven things (or less)

You know those annoying emails people used to send out asking you a bunch of uninsightful questions about yourself that you had to complete and then pass on to someone? Well the concept has developed a new life in blogging called a "meme." The main difference is that a "meme" has a hip, Greek term so people do it voluntarily. In the past month, Val and Fr. Matthew have tagged me with two different memes--that is they have listed me as someone to complete the quiz at the end of the one they completed. I have been putting it off for reasons that will become appearant shortly. I'll start with the "Seven Things" meme Val threw at me.

Here goes...

7 things I want to do before I die

1. Theosis
2. Publish a book
3. Become an expert in something
4. Lean to play a musical instrument (violin)
5. Experience what it is like to be in a small boat far enough out in the ocean not to be able to see the shore.
6. You know, get some things worked out
7. Develop more ambition

7 things I can't do

1. Understand exactly how you see things
2. Get you to understand exactly how I see things
3. Think creatively when faced with a meme

7 things that attract me to other people

1. Humility
2. Having something to teach me
3. Being attracted to me
4. Ability to develop own ideas
5. Pheremones
6. . . .
7. Honestly, I have no idea

7 things I say most often

1. "How do you ask nicely?"
2. "Lord have mercy"
3. "Good [morning/afternoon], this is Jason"
4. "#@%*!"
5. "I sooo, need to update the blog"

7 books or series I love

1. Bible, esp, the Gospel of John
2. Narrow Road to the Interior by Basho
3. The Ender Series through book four "Children of the Mind"
4. Unseen Warfare
5. The Great Divorce
6. Where the Sidewalk Ends
7. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

7 movies I can watch over and over

1. The Winter Guest
2. Koyaanisqatsi
3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
4. About a Boy
5. Matrix
6. The Incredibles
7. Notting Hill

7 people I want to join in

1. Fr Matthew (out of spite)
2. I'm kind of late to this, so most of the people I know who blog have done it or have been tagged by someone else. So, I'll just remind:
3. Skylar
4. Jaime

Saturday, February 11, 2006


My dad eats sunflower seeds a mouthful at a time, slowly spitting out the shells, one by one.

My son eats apples a mouthful at a time, spitting out the skins bit by bit.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

yellow balloon

yellow balloon, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Cory David

Cory David, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

"You said you were going to tell him the couch doesn't match the wallpaper."
"No, I said
you have to tell him."

Brice David

Brice David, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

saturday at dad's

Saturday, David and I went to Salina to help Grandpa Brice convalesce after a minor procedure. In the car on the way, David verified the itinerary:

Grandpa Brice?
Yes, we're going to see Grandpa Brice.
Uncle Cory?
Yep, Uncle Cory, too.
Open presents?
Um. . .no, we aren't opening presents this time.
Granny Great?
No, we aren't going to see Granny Great, just Grandpa Brice and Uncle Cory
No, the motorcycle is at Granny Great's. We'll visit her soon and you can ride it.
Auntie Skylar?

and so on.

When we arrived, Grandpa Brice was convalescing at the grocery store, so we hung out with Cory until he left for baseball practice. Then, David commenced with asking non-stop where Cory is, so we went out and played with the dogs. When Grandpa Brice got home we ate some pizza, went to see Cory practice, and then went to get some ice cream.

At this point, I have to back up and tell a another story.

A couple of weeks ago, Granny and Grandpa Great took David and out for ice cream. We walked into Baskin Robbins, David looked at me, and said "chocolate?" Who taught David about chocolate ice cream? I have fed the boy ice cream, maybe, twice ever and we don't discuss it around the house. Plus, I am boring. I like vanilla. Specifically Breyers All Natural Vanilla, which is why I really wish Breyers would quit dinking with the vanilla already! I go into Food 4 Less a couple of weeks ago and they have All Natural Extra Creamy Vanilla, All Natural Lactose Free Natural Vanilla, All Natural Homemade Vanilla, French Vanilla, All Natural Light Creamy Vanilla, Heartsmart 98% Fat Free Vanilla, Carbsmart Vanilla, No Sugar Added Vanilla, and All Natural Calcium Rich Natural Vanilla, but no simple, plain, pure, and wonderful All Natural Vanilla! What is wrong with this world?

But, I digress.

Anyway, David developed a raging fiendish appetite for his chocolate ice cream somewhere. He plunges the spoon in for the first bite and pulls up a chunk of ice cream that would give me brain freeze and swallowed it like it was but a wee appetizer. Then, he went to town on the scoop we were sharing as well as the Greats' (who were having Pralines and Cream). So Granny Great tells Grandpa Brice about David's love for the iced cream and Grandpa Brice has to see it for himself. So we go to Brahms. Brahms ice cream is somewhat more firm than most. Since David is still a bit clumbsy with a spoon, you might think that would be a problem and you might be wrong. He was grasping that spoon down at the very base of the handle for maximum leverage and puttin' baby elbow grease into it. The intensity was a little disturbing.

Thing is, ice cream winds David up tight as a knot. Granny and Grandpa didn't get to see or report on that part. When we are done at Brahms, we go to the mall to play on the indoor play ground. We enter through a clothing store and David is so hyper and contrary that half way across the store, I go back to the door and get a cart to contain him. He is vibrating so much he is about to phase into another dimension.

But, when we get to the play area, he suddenly seems like an island of tranquility amidst a raging storm. This play area consists of giant lady bugs, turtles, frogs, and fish, a tree stump with a slipper slide, and a bridge, all covered in three inches of foam rubber, allowing throngs of younin's to hurl themselves about with abandon. The place is at maximum capacity and appears to be a deep pit full of squirming children. David is suddenly quiet and shy. Except when a three-year old girl is on the frog he wants to be on. Then, he is a wife beater.

The mall also has a giant fish tank full of native (read: "ugly") fish, which David won't leave until he has named each one. "Fish daddy! Fish daddy! Fish daddy! (where's Uncle Cory?) Fish daddy!"

Back home Grandpa Brice got to read with him one of the books he has memorized, so he kind of reads along. Then lasagnia, then home, asleep in the car.

my new joke

Q: What do liberal artists eat at home?
A: Left oeuvres

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Elmo-itis, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

No, you better stay back, it's pretty contagious. The doctor says it will clear up on its own but I have to stop tickling Elmo.

Sams failed escape

Sams failed escape, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

When cousin Sam said he was going to take his toys and fly away in a hot-air balloon, nobody believed him. If the gondola hadn't snapped off right after launching, he would have made it. He is ok, but his parents aren't forcing him to eat peas anymore.

Friday, February 03, 2006


(a group of teens slink into the movie theatre, walk down and sit on the very front row)
--Did you ever do that?
--Yeah. I saw "Ferris Bueller" second row back over there on the left. It was sold out, so we bought tickets for another film and the snuck--
--You're so old, you saw "Ferris Bueler" in the theatre?
--You're so young, you saw Vanila Ice, live.
--Good one.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


What they say about cameras capturing your soul is true for digital cameras as well. It adds about 20 megs to the file.


David tries to convince daddy that Geneva Convention forbids my putting him to bed before mommy comes home.

allison naomi david

allison naomi david
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Left: Allison, age three, holds the left ear bud.

Center: Naomi, age 16, holds the mp3 player.

Right: David holds the other ear bud.

You can't tell from the photo, but all are boogying.

EDIT: Alternate caption: "Naomi wins! I didn't say 'Simon says' touch your ear. Allison and David have to do Naomi's dishes for a week."