Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Live Each Week Like It’s Safe to Go Back in the Water


It’s a well-known fact that I live each week like it’s Shark Week. The only thing that changes is the shark. Or my underpants, depending on said shark.

This week is no different, but instead of contemplating the circle of life we’re looking at some of the other fish in the sea. That’s right, it’s review time.

Here’s what happened: A) My last post changed so many lives and made me so popular that I have more followers than I need. I figure a long review post should weed out the bandwagon. 2) While packing for the move I found a whole bunch of unkept promises behind the couch, and if there is one thing that Whit Honea almost always does, it is sometimes keep a promise.

For instance, did you know that Saturnian 1 Sport “… has the world’s easiest balls to grip.”

Seriously, it says that.

I know.

They are pretty cool though. The Fun Gripper Balls (what are you, 12?) are made from soft, durable material that makes “grasping, tossing, flinging…” Jesus, I can’t do this.

Here’s what you need to know, Saturnian 1 Sport makes sports equipment that is easy to hold and throw, and they make them in bright, fun colors. They sent my kids some footballs and soccer balls and they really do love them, and yes, they are much easier to grip than a regular ball.

Now grow up.

Speaking of fondling things, Freehands makes gloves with “flip back caps to expose your thumb and index fingers” so that you can text, email, game and pick your nose while you’re driving in the winter or a walk-in freezer. Except the driving part, don’t do that.

The good people at Freehands.com were good enough (that’s why I called them “good people”) to send me some gloves to check out. They also sent a pair for my wife, which was a nice touch. I really should have covered this during the winter, which, for the record, just ended here last Thursday.

And now…

The Arts

Seattle is well-known for its music, but did you know that one of the best genres here is aimed at kids? True story. In addition to my pal Chris Ballew (hope I didn’t hurt you when I dropped that name, see also “dropping babies“) there are a number of great acts. Take Recess Monkey, please!

Recess Monkey has a new album out this month (release date is June 21, 2011) called Flying, and it’s pretty darn catchy — in a good way. The Monkeys were kind enough to send me a copy, and my boys really dig their funky sound. In fact, now that I think about it, they kind of dance like monkeys when they listen to it. I’m going to assume that this is just a coincidence, but I’ll keep you posted.

 

Here is what I know about Bob Logan: He has a blog called boBLOGan, which is freaking clever, and he is the author/illustrator of the book Rocket Town. Emphasis on illustrator.

Mr. Logan has a day job as a story artist at Dreamworks, and as such he has worked on such animated hits as Madagascar, Open Season and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. As you can imagine, the pictures in Rocket Town are out of this world.

See what I did there?

If I Could Keep You Little… is one of those books that make people cry in the bookstore. I tend to buy things like this for my own mother so she remembers how awesome I am.  This book, written and illustrated by Marianne Richmond, is even more sappy than most — that is to say, if you love that sort of thing you will love this, and if you don’t you’ll try to write the nicest review you possibly can without saying it was just too much for you.

Like that.

 

Aron Nels Steinke is the talent behind The Super Crazy Cat Dance, which is, as you may have guessed super and crazy. There is also dancing. And cats. LOL.

The Super Crazy Cat Dance is for the inner crazy cat lady in all of us, and by all of us I mean my wife.

But seriously, folks, it’s good fun and written in a style easy for kids and enjoyable for adults. Who doesn’t love that? People that aren’t kids or adults, that’s who. Also, dogs.

 

And there you have it, gentle reader(s). Shark Week but without the sharks plus reviews. Next up, a visit from the Green Lantern.

Believe it.

 

I received all of the items mentioned above from the featured companies and/or artists (or an agent working on their behalf) for the purpose of review. I’ve also received other stuff, but I don’t write about items that I (or my kids) don’t like. Negative vibes make negative people, and I don’t have time for that crap.

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California Dreamin’

I was fairly stationary as a child. I lived in the same house until college. Then I lived in the same area for another ten years. I was never more than 40 minutes away from anyone, friend, family or foe. Not that I had any foes, but I did have a love for alliteration.

I met my wife, and on a whim we hit the road. Once the moving started we couldn’t stop — kind of like dancing, except with less alcohol. My wife and I dropped pins all over the left side of the map. We were up, down and then up again. We had U-Haul on speed dial. Our last stop found us just outside of Seattle.

There are things here that we love. There are friendly people, incredible neighbors, wonderful summers, scenic beauty in every direction, fantastic schools and a sense of community that I haven’t known since my childhood. We live in a quaint town where roots are deep and well-watered. It is a perfect setting in which to raise a family.

But there are things that are dark and press against us, and the silver lining has become harder and harder to find within them. The clouds stretch from the sea to the summer, and their constant soaking leaves a layer of cold tucked tight between skin and bone. There will never be enough logs upon the fire.

Seasonal affective disorder comes and goes, literally with the seasons, but with each ebb it grows slower, and every flow seems more fond of shadows than sunlight.  Sadness grows like mold in the corners of our happy household.

The children do not go through bouts of depression, but rather sit beside them and grow restless and frustrated. They do not want to go outside into the cold and the rain, but they would enjoy it if we took them there.  The trips are few and far between. The children suffer secondhand, which is full of shame and lacking in justice.

We have tried to compensate with manufactured light, an overextended calendar and daily supplements, but all it has done is make us face the truth. It is time to pay heed to Harry Nilsson and go where the weather suits our clothes. It is time for sailing on a summer breeze.

Come June, when we are done with school and leases, we will follow our footsteps back to the sands of California. There is where opportunity awaits, and with it a warmth to bask in. Our running is equal parts to and from.

The leaving is bittersweet, and it packs a heavy heart, but the journey should find us nearly healed and the arrival somewhat lighter.

The ocean stretches from July to forever. We are the stones that skip across it.

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Footsteps and the Things We Used to do Together

The ground was frozen and it splintered like shards of glass when the log fell upon it. The log, itself frozen, was on its second fall in as many heartbeats. It had rebounded nicely off the side of my foot, followed its shot, and turned a 360 before landing with a loud “thud” across the aforementioned frozen ground that serves as my carport. On the weekends kids skate free.

My hands were full of other frozen logs that had shown the common courtesy to stack nicely within my cold, layered arms. Some wood is born unruly. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

I could feel my foot bleeding through my shoe. My very thick, very favorite shoe. I have another one just like it. However, the other one was standing firm against slippage and the subsequent ridicule that such occasions call for. One shoe stood tall and the other sacrificed all. It was a wash. With blood. My foot was bleeding and to put it in medical terms that you may be familiar with, it fucking hurt.

I was probably going to lose it.

But my family was cold and I’d left my beer inside and a whole list of other things that surely sound like reasonable excuses, so I made my way back into the house. A slip. A slide. A slip. A slide. One foot carrying the weight of the other. Medals for such things would be unavoidable.

When the healing began it was mostly due to the bubbles of peroxide and champagne. The bandage was purely cosmetic. The scab was long and thin, like fresh marker lines upon a barefoot drunk. Suddenly one foot had a mustache, and that, I believe, is where the jealousy began.

It used to be that my feet went everywhere together. They were always a step away from the other. They ran together, danced together — hell, they even dressed alike. Theirs was full of codependency and function.

Then came the scar and suddenly my left foot was out chatting up heels while my right sat home watching Daniel Day Lewis movies. The shoes, wisely, chose to stay out of it, but the legs seemed split on the matter. The whole thing just cracked my ass up.

My body was no longer a wonderland. It was a battlefield.

Last night the fire was waning low and I went out for more wood. My left foot was there, standing where shattered wood had met splintered ground, and my whole world had begun to melt without me.

My right foot said nothing. I stood there and gathered the wood. Carefully. The silence was awkward and the tension was thick. We walked back to the house together. Slowly.

They remained a foot apart.

Against the brightness of the rebuilt fire I could see that the scar was shrinking. It no longer resembled Boston Blackie. It looked more like Charlie Chaplin or an Obama poster. Or Hitler’s foot.

I fell asleep shortly after that and I didn’t wake till morning, despite the sound of distant dogs barking.

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