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Sometimes, I just don’t have the time or energy to write three to five creative paragraphs about the interesting events happening in my life. I chipped a tooth. My dislike for the GOP has grown. I’m planning the men’s retreat. My family is vacationing in California. See? Sometimes, one sentence is all I have time for. And, that is why, I thank God for facebook’s “status” feature. With the addition of the facebook app on my iphone, I can now continuously and constantly update my status – no matter where I am – so you know exactly what is happening in my life.

I know that most of my existence is too entertaining and unique to be fully captured in a single sentence that always begins with “Jim is…” I realize that reading an actual blog post fulfills your life more than reading “Jim is blogging.” I know that as a complex individual my status changes quite often – sometimes in the midst of changing my status! But, it is better than nothing isn’t it?

And, in the end, I must confess that I find it easier to obsess in 5 word bursts.

It is what it is.

Tonight, “Friends of the Homeless” is meeting at my house so I figured I should clean. I don’t know why, but the instant you pull out Windex, the kids go crazy. “Can I help?” “Ya, can I do some of that?” Ask them to clean their rooms and they’ll flop on the floor and writhe and groan in agony. But, bring out a squirt bottle filled with deadly chemicals and it’s a different story. Usually, it turns into a big fight with the kids yelling at each other about who gets to hold the bottle; who’s doing a better job; who’s squirted burning blue chemical solutions into who’s eyes; yada yada yada.

But, today, something amazing happened. Today, my kids actually cooperated – with each other. They didn’t just coexist in a single physical space. They didn’t just do their own things in the presence of the other. Today, they actually worked together to accomplish a single goal. Oh sure, Thelonious did grunt “I-O-neee” through gritted teeth more than once. And, Ione did slam the door a couple dozen times. But, for the most part, there was a spirit of cooperation. I was so shocked I had to actually pull out the camera for some photojournalistic proof.

And, to top it all off, the door is actually cleaner than when they started!

The actual headline? “Giant poo wreaks havoc” Well… duh! What else is it gonna do?!?

As reported by National Nine News

A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum has said.

The art work, titled “Complex S**t”, is the size of a house.

The wind carried it 200 metres from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children’s home, said museum director Juri Steiner.

The inflatable turd broke the window at the children’s home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Steiner said.

The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.

Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if “Complex S**t” would be put back on display.

I’ve never been one to hide the fact that clinical depression and I have a long and sordid history. Some people find it hard to believe – “but, Jim, yer so funny and upbeat all the time – how could you be depressed?” The answer is simple. I often choose to be depressed in the privacy of own my home. And, that makes diagnosing my bouts with depression all the harder. But, tonight, I came to a realization. I might be depressed.

Three nights ago, on an impulse, I ran out to Target and bought Rob & Big, Season 1 and 2. I know that doesn’t sound too incriminating on the surface. But, one of the first signs of depression is living vicariously through the friendships you see on tv. In 1995, this was manifest in the series Friends. Every Thursday at 9:31, I could feel my mood sour as I began to miss my “friends” who I wouldn’t be able to hang out with again for seven whole days. But, I digress.

I bought Rob & Big. I watch 2 to 3 hours of Rob and Big and Meaty and Mini Horse per night. I sit alone in my basement and laugh hysterically. I think about what fun it would be to hang out with Rob and Big and accompany them on one of their wacky adventures. I find myself saying, “son” and “do work.” When Thelonious does something I approve of, I let him know I approve by labeling it “official.” Long after my family goes to sleep, I succumb to my depressive tendencies and watch the deleted scenes into the wee hours of the morning. I’m getting worried, though. I only have one disc left. Then what will I do?

Thank God there is only one week left of summer vacation and soon I will be alone in my house for 30 glorious hours per week. My children will be on a schedule and I will have predetermined tasks and responsibilities. What’s this? I feel the cloud of depression lifting already…

I’m super cranky. I watched “the future is unwritten” last week. It’s a documentary about Joe Strummer of the Clash. I’ve been trying to blog about it ever since, but I haven’t been very successful. Why? I can’t put into words what it is Joe Strummer has meant to me. And, that is making me cranky. So, here is all I am going to say…

My first memory of Joe Strummer is from Christmas of 1982. I was 11 years old. My dad gave me a stack of LP’s which included the Clash’s Combat Rock. I saw that Travis Bickle mohawk and instantly knew my life was about to change. I remember putting it on the record player for the first time. “This is a public service announcement! … with guitar!” What was my dad thinking?!?? 25 years later that song, that record, that band, and that man are still influencing me and my theology.
___________________________________________________

This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights all three of them

Number 1
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a crime!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And number 2
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Dont mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers
Rehabilitation

Know your rights
These are your rights
Wang

Know these rights

Number 3
You have the right to free
Speech as long as youre not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!
Well…………………………

Get off the streets
Get off the streets
Run
You dont have a home to go to
Smush

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent
You are warned that anything you say
Can and will be taken down
And used as evidence against you

Listen to this
Run

I started my Saturday morning by doing some dishes. I came a cross a pink plastic bowl filled with ice. “This is strange,” I thought. I began melting the ice, and there, tucked neatly in the middle of an icy grave was some sort of fruit. It looked like a huge green olive, but lo and behold! It was a kumquat – the one Ione had tucked in her pocket during an evening walk just days ago. I went to the freezer, and what did I find? Dozens of little plastic bowls. It was like an episode of the X-Files. All the bowls were filled precisely 2/3 of the way with water, then frozen. Floating motionlessly in each cryogenic chamber was an item that Ione had liberated from its original resting place.

This one contains a few berries, nothing to worry about. A couple of pebbles in the dish labeled X11. Leaves and three rolly-polly bugs in the yellow bowl – a little morbid, but no need to book an appointment with the therapist.

Apparently, Ione is enjoying her childhood so much that she is preserving some of it for later in life. Perhaps that frozen chunk of donut will come in handy during her early 30’s.

Yes, I am talking to you, Justice League Unlimited figures. Big Barda, Deadshot, Star Sapphire, both Huntresses, Parasite, Solomon Grundy – I got allll the hard to find ones. And, when you pay $50 for a 3.5″ chunk of painted plastic, ya really want that thing to stand up so you can at least look at. Well, I’m not going to tell you how long I spent getting these things to stand up today. I made little stands out of white poster tacky goo stuff for the poorly balanced. It molds to the shape of their feet and then sticks (for a short while) to the surface. I had them all standing nice and straight, and then I went for the camera. As I turned it on, Dr. Light (the hero, not the insane villain that was just killed by the Spectre in Final Crisis) toppled over and knocked down Booster Gold, who knocked down Hawk, who spun around and tipped over Black Canary, etc, etc, etc.

Once they were all standing, I snapped a few photos so you could behold my action figure glory. Feel free to look – but, don’t touch!

And, no. I do not care if you think I am a geek.

“I don’t like this park. It’s scary!”
“What’s scary, sweetie? The jungle gym, or the other kids?”
“There’s too many kids!”

So, Ione and I spent the afternoon sitting on a park bench, talking with the other stay-at-home moms, and watching her future classmates play on the coolest jungle gym I have ever seen. For the last week, she has been so excited about going to this park playdate to meet some of the other new kindergartners she’ll be in class with this Fall. Or, I should say, she was excited – all the way up until we pulled into the parking lot and she spied the clamoring hordes.

She wilted.

But, hell! I don’t blame her. I was scared outta my mind, too! But, knowing that she can smell anxiety and unease, I positive-se;f-talked myself into an extroverted frenzy. After a little pep talk from “joely” , I really thought she and I were going to be ok at this playdate. I even had the hope that she might leave with a new little friend. But, alas, it appears as if 5 year olds can be just as intimidating as their smiling, friendly, Christian moms. Ohhhh, Ione. What genetics have I doomed you with?

So, we spent 60 minutes or so on the bench. And, one by one, the moms would come over and introduce themselves and strike up a conversation. they were all so incredibly nice – and so supportive and respectful of Ione’s fear of new people. Each mother, in turn, would bring their child over for introductions. Then, a short conversation followed by, “oh, ‘child x’ needs to go potty. We’ll be back in a minute.” Then, the next set would come over. It was very sweet. Everything except for the fact that I am very uncomfortable with the word “potty.” I have never used it and never will. I always swore I would ask my kids, “do you need to take a piss?” before I would invite them “to go potty.” I know. It’s weird. Welcome to my world.

Ione hung in their and eventually played on the jungle gym – definitely not withthe other kids, but at least she was near them. As we got in the van, I stopped. I turned around and looked that lil monkey right in the eye. And, I said, “I am SO proud of you. You were scared and you hung in there. You were so polite to the other moms and children. I know you were anxious and scared, but you hung in there. You are an amazing little girl.”

The thing I didn’t tell her is that when I was her age, I would have gone mute and curled up into a fetal position, paralyzed with fear, until my mom took me away from all those scary people invading my private little world. Thank God for Erika’s DNA.

I am loving this clip and can’t wait to see the whole movie. Why? “Being anti postmodern IS postmodern.” This may be the best definition of postmodernism I have ever experienced.

Entertaining the kids during summer vacation is getting more and more difficult. So, today, I took a chance, loaded up the minivan and headed down to the Seattle Center. The kids were very excited when the saw the EMP, the roller coasters, the popcorn vendor, the – oh my! What’s that kids?!?! Is that the 2008 Seattle Tattoo Expo?!?! Oh my, I had no idea. Well, since we’re here, we might as well check it out.

The kids were incredibly grown up and mature as they met all my friends, offering a hand to shake followed by a hearty “nice to meet you.” Thelonious was pretty excited about the live music. He thought seeing a real, live guitar player might enhance his own skills. I hope Witchburn didn’t scar their little minds. Finger-painting in the “kidzone” was fun. But, I think Ione’s highlight was trying to choose a new tattoo for me. If she had her way, I’d be sitting for a full body suit right now.

Unfortunately, short legs get tired quickly. So, after our $26 lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers, we decided to hit the road. I guess I won’t being getting any new work this year. But, I think I will go back on Sunday and get a labret. But, I don’t think Erika likes them, so don’t tell her. K?