Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dad, Dad, Daddy-O

I kind of feel the menfolk got the shaft this year. I was all first-thing-Sunday-morning with the moms post.

Dads, would it make you feel any better to know we were speaking in church on Father's Day, and that - combined with pre-church meetings, choir practice and a visit to homebound woman in the neighborhood - left little in the way of translating thoughts to paper? Or blog, as it were.

It should make you feel better (look at me, telling you how you ought to be feeling about all of this), because I can say without flinching that we inherited this sense of responsibility from you, Dad, Dad, Daddy-O (Furniss) and Pops (Riley).

Our dads are two of the hardest-working individuals I know. But you know what? They're still fun. Yes, it's true!

As I advance in years and wisdom, I find myself more fully appreciating and more deeply respecting the example our fathers set in this regard. Neither seems driven by title or esteem or the number of figures before the decimal. And while they appreciate the necessity and responsibility of providing for a family, both understand when to hang up the pruning shears or put away the abacus (because after learning what one was and discovering my dad owned one, I drew the logical conclusion that he used one in his professional life).
Whether it's a long drive to Logan for any number of his sons' events or his daughter's high school basketball game during tax season (I'm not the baller, that would be Megan. I just couldn't think of any especially busy March/April activities of mine...), I've always felt our dads knew how to keep life in balance. I probably took that for granted as a kid. I probably take it for granted even now. But I think I'm gaining a greater sense of the pressures that can throw this balance out of whack, and I love them for figuring it out. Or, at least, for faking it really well.
*Alan, don't write me out of the will. You must admit this photo is hysterical. That's a good sport right there. For our viewers at home, just imagine "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" on trombone a la Christmas Vacation.

Friday, June 19, 2009


A few months ago, on the night I cried at the church (prior to the shedding of tears), I had a conversation with an individual, wherein I repeatedly used the word "buffet" to describe a barrier for sound between room A and room B. After throwing the word around like nobody's business - the individual finally corrected me and offered the word I was hopelessly ignoring (because it's not even right to say I was searching for the correct term... it was no-holds back in my wrong word usage), "um, you mean buffer."

"Oh, yeah! Heh. What was I saying? Like, it would support the sound? Heh, heh... hooh..."

And yeah, my response was awkward like that. Because I find myself being an uber-awkward talker these days (more on that later).

Before I go on, you must know, I'm pretty critical when people use words incorrectly. Type there for their or they're and you might have to talk me down from a ledge.

And so, you cannot begin to imagine my horror when I shift+F7'd this evening, summoning the thesaurus to help me find a suitable substitute for the word "support" and came across the word "buttress."



That's the word I meant when I corrected myself for using the wrong word.

So, um - what the aytch is buffet?

Well, I'm fairly positive I didn't mean "to drive, force, move, or attack by or as if by repeated blows." So that leaves only Jimmy or Warren.

Post Script - it's funny to me that my earliest memory of Jimmy Buffett was in elementary school when Eric P. gave his music report on Jimmy B. I gave mine on Aaron Copeland. And then I busted out the violin (that old trick again, Furniss?). I suppose that Eric P. and I were two fourth graders from very different worlds.

Post Post Script - my second earliest memory of Jimmy Buffett (and frankly, folks, we may have just exhausted my "memories of Jimmy Buffett" file) was forever confusing him with, or more accurately, assuming one and the sameness with Warren Buffett.

Tropical rock legend. "Brain can't comprehend this kind of wealth"-y philanthropist.

Tomayto - Tomahto.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Birthday. Noah's.

Noah flipped the calendar on yet another year o’ life a few weeks ago, and I tell ya, this city is a decent place to celebrate a birthday.

Step One: Gettin’ Naked.

But not like that.

(I get really nervous about being irreverent on the blog ever since I learned Grandma reads it :), but I couldn’t resist.)

I’ve mentioned Noah’s affinity for Naked Juice a time or two. Truly, it is his indulgence of choice. Is it embarrassing that when I “indulge” it’s usually chocolate and murder on the hips, and Noah’s version of indulging is pure fruit goodness? I stocked up on a few bottles of the stuff so he could have it with every meal, and since the rest of the menu for Noah’s birthday fare was also deliciously fruits and veggies-heavy, I engaged in a 10-mile walk in search of the city’s finest produce by farmer’s market on Birthday’s Eve.

Step Two: Strand our Guests on a Random Street in Harlem

We were ecstatic to have the Essigs in town, but maybe we should have demonstrated that enthusiasm by answering our phones! Les and Coco got into town as we were getting out of church, and unbeknownst to us they were waiting patiently on the wrong side of the park for us to be, you know, helpful. Once we reclaimed our guests, it was time for the birthday feast.

We put a twist on the traditional birthday dinner and made it a picnic lunch in Central Park. It was the perfect weather and a fun, relaxing evening with the Essigs. We found a cozy little nook, shared it with an albino rat and enjoyed the fruits (quite literally) of Saturday’s 10-mile urban farmers’ market hunt.
After the park, we headed back to our place and our good friend, Ibrahim, joined us for dessert (Lindsay’s famous triple berry cobbler – so easy even I can’t mess this up) (I don't know why it's so hilarious to me that when I Googled it, I found the recipe in the Rockmart Journal. Maybe because the photo caption reads "Deep Dish Triple Berry Cobbler Is Easy." No beating around the bush. So now you have to believe me.)

Step Three: What’s a party without gifts?

When we packed our little car to head East, I elicited a devastated look from Noah when I insisted his mitt, baseball and Frisbee weren’t getting any of the prime real estate in the moving van… er, compact car. So I figured he’d be all about things to throw at Central/Morningside/Riverside Parks now that it’s throwin’ weather out there. He was all about it. But the stack of gifts did scream of a little less 26 and lot more 6.

Steps Four, Five, Six: Vive New York

The partying went on long into the week. I believe this may have been our most New York-y week on record. On Monday evening, our incredibly generous guests treated us to dinner and a show. We saw Phantom of the Opera and it was incredible! The last time I saw it on stage, I was seven and sunburned – so the experience was definitely worth having again, sans the pain. (Or any tan whatsoever, for that matter. Les' golf tan really wasn't as striking as it seems in this shot. :) But it did call attention to the Riley whiteness.)
Tuesday night we worked late. Woo! But, oh so New York of us.

Wednesday night, we braved the rain and cold to get our game on. Our Yankees game on.
Note the outerwear and the date. Coats in June?!

Warning: tired and going to end the post in the least creative way possible.

Happy Birthday, Noah! And thanks for visiting, Essigs – we loved having you here!

Friday, June 5, 2009

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Loser: Realized yesterday morning I had booked the wrong flight to Utah. Yep. Booked a morning flight instead of an evening flight. (And not for the obvious reason, I didn't think it was an evening itinerary. I simply clicked the wrong box.) And we can't take the morning flight.

Winner: Packed my stuff in a bag I haven't used in a while and found a NEW tube of Burt's Bees chapstick.