Sunday, April 1, 2007

in like a lion, out like a jackal

True to my word, here I am planted on the couch, one eye on the television, the other on the Jackal. Right now he is smashing two cell phones together like a pair of those inflatable thunder sticks you get at games, screaming "Yaaaaay!" In the wake of this display, Wifey asked me to put him to bed. But he needs to see the first inning. (Okay, he could care less, but that's the lame excuse I offered so I can put off getting up.) Beltran just hit into a close call of a ground out. Before the play, the announcer reminded viewers of how Beltran watched strike 3 blow by him to end 2006 for the Mets. For a second I swore I heard him say something under his breath to the effect of "while your degenerate ass wallowed on the cold bathroom floor..."

Obviously this game means nothing in the big picture of the season. There are too many games in the season for game one to matter. Not to mention, no one is giving the Cards much of a chance this year. As for my own expectations, I see them playing with heart and pride and making something of the season. But at the end of the day, I can go five or so years without the Cards doing much since they took it all last year. After all, if I went around barking about this season's win-loss record, I'd be no different from the entitled East Coast sports fans I like to shit on.

I shit on bloggers then became one. I refuse to do the same when it comes to East Coast sports views. My hypocrisy only goes so far.

Earlier my wife mentioned wanting to catch the Jose Andres vs. Bobby Flay match up on Iron Chef America. These days we have only one television hooked up to the cable, which happens to be free. One of these days I will pay someone to route the free cable to other rooms in the house. It's not at the top of the "new house project" list at the moment. Since the Cards are suddenly in a 5-0 hole, we're flipping between ESPN2 and the Food Network.

While Chef Andres sweats profusely over his skillet, I'll take a minute to rehash the weekend.

Just as March was going out like a lamb, the Jackal was roaring into year 2 of his life. To mark the occasion, we threw a birthday party. Things kicked off at 10am. For obvious reasons the invite list only included friends with kids. By 10am most parents are 3-4 hours into their day, so it made sense.

We love hosting parties and try to do it as often as we can. My wife takes no prisoners when it comes to cooking and entertaining. As for my part, well, I can glad hand with the best of them and have a certain knack for setting the mood. The only real drawback to hosting is the general inability to stick with one conversation for more than 5 minutes. Entertaining tends to keep you on your toes. In the case of this party, which entailed a dozen sugar-fueled rug rats buzzing about, I was lucky to engage in grownup chit chat for 60 seconds at a time.

Here are a few noteworthy interfaces I absorbed amidst chores like managing the camcorder, scolding Jack for throwing rocks at kids, bagging dog shit, dispensing juice boxes, taking out trash, etc.

  • Spiking the hell out of our bloodies at the bar (aka the kitchen), my friend Charles and I discussed, as we often do, the nuances of balancing a healthy (or gluttonous) social life with healthy parenting. We decided it makes the most sense to party on weeknights since a Thursday hangover at work is much more manageable than a Saturday hangover with kids in your face.
  • During one peaceful moment, when the kids swarmed around the sand box, I spotted two hot moms on the lawn and decided I would saunter into their conversation. The topic of said conversation was breasts, which initially elevated my eyebrows until I picked up the angle on this topic -- what happens to them when a woman stops breast feeding. One commented, "The party parts are the first to go." As I not-so-subtly shuffled away, I heard some comparison to "tube socks."
  • Since this was a morning party, the menu consisted of the usual suspects: bagels, lox, cream cheese, fruit. A one year old sat on a booster chair at the table as her parents (one Christian, the other Jewish, neither hard core about it) stood nearby. I pointed at the smoked salmon on her plate and commented on her adventurous palate. The mother explained, "she's getting in touch with her inner Jew."

When nap time rolled around, the house was still and my head was spinning, in a good way. On the back deck my wife and I had a smoke and shared party stories. I caught a bit of hell for saying "shit" while filming the cupcake decorating piece of the party, but I think she also liked it. After all, she has come to expect that kind of behavior from me, and eventually she will come to expect it from our son. You know, the sins of the father and all of that...

Happy Birthday, Jack! Here's to another year of keeping it real.

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