30 September 2008

Captcha the memories

Just a thought on something I've noticed in commenting at some of your blogs and elsewhere:

When I begin typing various letters in those CAPTCHA boxes*, Firefox helpfully suggests to me some of the past strings I've typed, and I can't help but wonder how much such completely useless information my computer has saved up in various nooks and crannies.

But then, how much do I have myself? And more importantly, which of us has more?

Regardless, I suppose saving the entries in CAPTCHA fields isn't always useless. Recently it helped me remember that one time I was asked to type out xgvzd before commenting somewhere, and that other time I had to type xftwp... what heady, groundbreaking times those were!

* I got rid of mine a couple weeks ago, to stop annoying everyone, and I haven't yet had to deal with any spam comments at all.

29 September 2008

Driving: A love story

While I was driving us home from the mall the other day, J- selfishly decided that she and her throbbing brain wanted a time-out from the glorious wonder that is Arcade Fire's Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), but being a sane person, I reiterated my insistence that it be played at full volume at all times from now until I close my eyes.

So, to compromise, she reached for the Balance knob to push the sound over to my side of the car. We all know how horribly this ruins the acoustics, so you can recognize my level of sacrifice in allowing this.

Then, as her inexplicable treachery was almost complete, a brief insight into the plans of whatever force put us on this Earth was revealed to me, as a clear reward for my Job-like patience and tolerance of the weaknesses of others.

As she rolled through the 7 levels of Balance, for a brief second, a word flashed in my peripheral vision that promised to make the whole ordeal worthwhile. I nearly slammed on the brakes, but instead I continued driving while choking out, "Gobackgobackgoback!!!" In confusion, she complied, and I stopped her when the Balance was towards the Left at level 5.

Sure enough, slicing through the dark night in bright blue capital letters, flashed the word BALLS.

And I love my car more than ever.

26 September 2008

Pantsed in Candyland

For those of you not down with the C-Land lingo, you may as well stop reading, because you don't understand my people.

In the spirit of a great blues musician, I've come here to proclaim my troubles to the world in hopes of gaining some relief:

Like golf*, Candyland is a game of sheer chance and luck designed to illustrate the futility of continuing to live. I'm a relative newcomer to this game, having come from a house full of boys and a wannabe-boy, but we bought it for my daughter at Christmas because J- is a lifetime fan, and D- has since wanted to play it at least once a week.**

So without toughened skin from years of experience, I was distinctly unprepared for the feeling of the potent one-two punch in the gut that is your opponent drawing a single orange block card and then the pink Lolly card. I got Rainbow railroaded. Even with him getting stuck in some licorice and losing a turn, I was toe-tagged after only 20 cards.

Twenty cards! That's ten turns. There are over 60 cards in the deck, and we've been known to go through all of them before finishing.

This site, which is my kind of site, states that the average two-person Candyland game takes, mathematically speaking, 52 cards.*** So this was clearly an aberration existing only to balance out the 200-card games out there, and my son was given the plum role of The Hand of Fate.

Care to guess what I heard from this little upstart, who regularly has to be reminded (incredibly unselfishly, I might add) which direction he's supposed to be heading on the board, and whose backside I've so graciously returned to him 95% of the time we've gone head to head? "Oh wow Dad, what luck I'm having! That's the way the cards were cut, I guess," or some such zen platitude?

How about instead you guess, "Ha, ha" as he cruised towards the finish? You'd be warmer than Gloppy on fondue night.

* For instance, I once spent a week going by the nickname "Tiger" and during that time I did not win any sweet green jackets or get paid millions of dollars to wear one hat versus another. Go ahead and try to explain that one away.

Once equals one session of at least three games...

*** Am I revealing too much about myself in having sought out this guy's painstaking Candyland analysis?

25 September 2008

Respect my Au-THOR-a-tie!

I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that after much watching and wonderment on my part, my Technorati Authority rating has gone up to 68,* which apparently puts me within the top 97,000 blogs out of many millions, and surely entitles me to some kind of cash prize, secret club membership, or that many virgins awaiting me in the afterlife. Or maybe I'm confusing several different brochures I've been handed recently.

What I can say for sure is that while I may be no Dooce or Sneeze or Black Hockey Jesus or even Brittany the Barefoot Foodie, I'm pretty happy with dropping below six digits.

Of course I must acknowledge that this is not so much a reflection on me or anything I've done, but instead it's an indication of how many of you kind people have linked to me in a forgettable drunken haze or whatever other extenuating circumstances explain it. So thanks for that, whatever the cause.

Having as short an attention span as I have, though, and as well-developed a sense of entitlement as I do, I'd now like to double this figure within, oh, say the next week or two. Anybody know any of those crafty spamming folks who so efficiently create and abandon junk blogs every day? If so, could you ask them to link to me before abandoning their pages? I just might be able to become virtually more popular than Dooce, and then wouldn't some people not existing solely on the Internet be mildly impressed THEN?

The cake under that icing is that once the systems get cleaned up and my artificially inflated rating begins plummeting, I have reason to believe I will receive several billion dollars from the federal government, to help cushion the blow for me and to feed their hope that I won't wipe out my entire blogroll and start a chain reaction that will bring down the egos of the entire blogosphere.

If anyone is deserving of that kind of power, grandeur, and unrestrained discretion, it is undeniably yours truly. After all, I can almost see Canada from my house.

* I'm gunning for you, Kevin.

24 September 2008

Book Review: I Went Walking

As a blogger with most of the word literary in my name, I think we can all agree I'm a logical choice to review books for the masses not so terminologically blessed. Whether or not you defy me by not readily agreeing with my assertion, a presumably large number of book publishers and authors' representatives do agree.

After recently becoming inundated with review copies of books*, I decided it was time to stop ignoring my cultural mandate. To this end, I figured I would begin by offering the world some unsolicited but obviously very welcome reviews.

Thus, I offer you my inaugural book review here at LiteralDan: Sue Williams' I Went Walking:
Cover of Sue Williams' I Went Walking
Now, if you're like me, you can't help but be struck by how horrendously grotesque the drawing of that child on the cover is, and you're too terrified to open the book itself.

I'm sure it's a very nice story.

* One copy** is enough to validate this statement-- every flood has to start with a trickle, right?

** It was not this book... I'm still preparing to read the one I was sent. It's only been a month: it's still good, it's still good!

23 September 2008

Brother, can you spare $700 billion?

The following is an only mildly sarcastic note I sent to my Congresspeople* yesterday. If you'd like to send one, too, you can go to VoteNoBailout.org for a quick and easy method (including a prewritten letter, if you don't have time to write one of your own).

Note: Feel free to reuse my letter below for writing your own representatives, if you're so inclined.


I'm writing to register my feelings on the massive bailout package proposed by the Bush Administration and currently being considered by Congress.

The people controlling the giant banks that run our financial system knowingly put themselves, and the rest of us by extension, in position for this disaster for the sake of making increasingly huge profits for over a decade.

Let them use some of these riches they made to bail themselves out, and save the people's money for those of us who don't have such resources to dig ourselves out.

If these corporations didn't have a contingency plan to avoid bankruptcy, then they're no better than the homeowners so derided lately for signing on to mortgages they couldn't afford to pay.

Of course, it would seem that the banks' first-level backup may have been to get the Bush administration to use its still-impressive power to publicly bully and belittle politicians into going along with whatever they demand, in this case a free pass to tear up the piles of IOUs the bankers wrote without any ability to back up.

Why are "socialist" programs and efforts only acceptable to Republicans when the beneficiaries are huge corporations and wealthy individuals? They spend all their time when profits are up preaching about the simple beauty of capitalism-- they can use some time dealing with the less fun side of it now. I'd hate to incite what would normally be a huge outrage for them by encouraging the "government to interfere with the free market."

Whether this bailout money goes to them or not, we're all on our own to sort through the effects of their unchecked greed and irresponsibleness, barring whatever assistance to individuals the government decides to offer. That assistance is much less likely to be substantial once this incredible sum of money, pulled from who-knows-where**, is gone.

Please vote No to Bush's Bailout, and instead urge these people to use all their business school training and financial intelligence to sort things out for themselves, so the rest of us can get a helping hand as needed from our representatives in government.

I hear there's $700 billion dollars just laying around in our emergency fund-- maybe we could use that?

Thank you for your time.

* Which includes, of course, the Distinguished Gentleman From Illinois currently running for president.

** I know where-- China!***

*** No, I didn't include any footnotes in the e-mail itself. But I should have.

22 September 2008

Hey buddy, can I get a spot?

Don't get me wrong: I fully appreciate that as a freshly 20-month-old baby-o, M- is handling the toilet training process way ahead of her time. On paper, that is.

But my new rule is, if you're old enough to say, "Oh, thanks" like a full-grown man having his basketball bounced back over to him when I wipe your backside, you're old enough to start taking care of that business all by your lonesome.

Is that so unreasonable?

19 September 2008

The finest in casual dining

A couple of days ago, the kids and I took a jaunt down to the massive outdoor mall* near our house, which meant that we got to bite into a juicy cross section of what passes for Americana these days.

Among the stores we passed was a Chili's**, which caught D-'s eye immediately. He said, "Hey look, there's that 'rons-traunt' we went to that time." I acknowledged this and praised him as usual for his good memory, since it was quite awhile ago. He stared at the window as we (happily) passed it by, and his brain began to slowly warp itself before he continued with a second thought. I was all over it two words in-- I don't know why I'm so tuned into his brain patterns most of the time, but I just knew exactly what he was thinking.

D-: Remember we went there that time 'cause Momma's friend works there, and she...

Me: Nope, that was a different place.

D-: No! It was that place right there! We went there and Momma's friend...

Me: You're right that it's the same kind of place, but it's a different restaurant, from a different company.

D-: No it was that place! We went there that time and Momma's friend gave us cookies and they sang Happy Birthday to you!

Me: I promise you, that was a Bennigan's. This is a Chili's. They're pretty much exactly the same restaurant, with the same kind of food, but they have slightly different decorations on the walls. They're from two different companies, and they have two different names, but I can see how you could get confused.

He walked on in silence, since my Imperious Kung Fu is much stronger for the time being, but it was clear from his posture that he still believed he was right, just like I would. As I caught him gazing innocently off in the direction of the Outback Steakhouse, rather than go through this all over again, I immediately veered off the sidewalk to instead cut through the parking lot in the general direction of a big box store whose name willfully escapes me.

Who says America doesn't have any culture?

* Not to be confused with the other massive outdoor mall also in our town but another mile farther away in a different direction.

** I had to quickly double-check that it wasn't actually an Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, Chotchkee's, Flingers,
Fuddruckers, Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag, TGI Friday's, or one of the others.

18 September 2008

Classic quotes, Vol. 7

That's right, another list post, this one a new collection of lines uttered by this ragtag bunch of slugs:

D- (to me, from across the room): Can you throw me a pencil?

M- (after spitting): Spit-tinnn'!

Katie (in awe of the mangled English mocked at Engrish.com): Why don't they just hire English-speaking hobos and pay them in sandwiches and alcohol to fix their signs??!

Me (to J-, on the phone): Is that someone who'll wanna hear that M- just made pee in the toilet?

M- (quivering with rage while reaching for a toy in D-'s hand): I take it from you!!!

D- (standing there helplessly while trying to get dressed): Mom! She's pulling down my pants... and... now she's playing with my butt.

M- (during the above): Squishy tush!

17 September 2008

Indisputable facts, Vol. 1

The following is a list of indisputable facts, according to the ultimate authority:

1. If you have to wonder whether the water you're wringing out of a ruined basement carpet is composed even partially of sewage, you may as well just stop wondering. It will only make the carrying of the giant, dripping rolls to the garbage less pleasant.

2. It is inadvisable to allow a four-year-old to put his finger in your mouth, especially if you have not personally washed his hands thoroughly within the last 13 seconds.

3. In the entire history of their existence, car alarms have never served any purpose other than to go off at inopportune times and irritate the s*** out of everyone, a group which most importantly includes myself.

4. Vin Diesel's best movie is still The Iron Giant.

5. I have a problematic compulsion to shave the world down to multiples of five.

16 September 2008

A conversation with D-: Does not compute

Here is yet another example to illustrate that my 4-year-old son D- has been cursed with the same obsession with semantics that has thus far defined my time on this earth. This conversation took place at the park after I picked him up from his second day of preschool:

Me: So, did you learn any of the other kids' names today?

D-: No.

Me: Really?

D-: Yeah... I think I knew some but now I forget.

Me (only slightly incredulous): So you don't know any of the kids' names in your class yet?

D- (immediately, and eagerly): Yes I do! D----... that's me.

I had to thank him for sticking that clarification in there at the end, because as awkward as it was, I had completely forgotten his name just that afternoon, so his point had gone right over my head.*

* Now that he's mastered semantics, the next lesson is Sarcasm.**

** And then Footnotes.

15 September 2008

6 uninteresting things about me

Well, folks, I was recently tagged by (the highly recommended) Kat* at 3 Bedroom Bungalow to Let in Crazytown, along with the reliably hilarious Middle Aged Woman at Unmitigated, with the 6 Uninteresting Things About You meme.**

In the spirit of doing whatever the hell we want to all the time, and since we were both hard-pressed to identify anything about ourselves that isn't fascinating***, we decided to swap responsibilities and write each other's lists. You can see the list I wrote about her here.

Hint: Some or all of these items may be partially or entirely fictionalized.

Disclaimer: The preceding may have been an understatement. Also, this disclaimer is untrue.

Now that we've weeded out those pesky blog-scanning spam robots via the ol' reliable circuit-frying logic trap, we can move on to these 6 Uninteresting Things About Me, according to very loyal reader Middle Aged Woman:

Rainbow toe socks 1. LiteralDan cannot sleep unless he is wearing toe socks. Something to do with not wanting the webbing to grow back.

Hateful sponges 2. LiteralDan has a dread fear of wet sponges. Really. The last time he tried to wash his car in the driveway, J- found him quivering and whispering, "The squishy...the squishy..."

Coffee cups 3. LiteralDan adds pepper to his coffee. He feels it gives him a jump on those namby-pamby types who need sugar to swill the caffeinated-goodness in a cup.

4. LiteralDan absolutely cannot visit a museum without leaving a contribution in the form of what he calls "upgrades" to some of the artwork. Check this out from his recent visit to the Louvre:
I think she looks more approachable this way

LiteralDan's three imaginary children 5. LiteralDan has been lying about his children's names all this time. They are not D- and M-. They are actually R- and K-. And you thought you knew the guy.

6. Did I mention there were actually three of them?

* And I was much less recently tagged for this same meme by SherE1 at His, Mine, Ours. I never got around to publishing something for it, but I fully intended to. This is what I console myself with when I attempt to sleep at night.

** It seems to me that this particular meme was cruelly designed with me in mind, not only because it's a tremendous challenge, but because going beyond 5 items without continuing on to 10 really gets under my skin.

*** If I actually had as many as SIX uninteresting things about myself, how would I be able to sustain this incredibly scintillating blog for the entertainment of many dozens of daily readers? And if I thought anything
about me was uninteresting, would I be able to keep talking about myself this far into a footnotes section, time and time again? I rest my case, and apology accepted.

12 September 2008

Tinkle, tinkle, little star

In her continuing effort to become 5 years old in 2 years or less (she currently seems to be speaking and thinking at about a 3-year-old level), my 19-month-old daughter M- woke up mostly dry the other morning and immediately peed in the toilet upon waking.

Now, I don't know about you, but that first pee in the morning is generally very refreshing and primally satisfying, and given that this was her first-ever Morning Pee on a toilet, where she could hear that satisfying splashing sound instead of feeling that unnerving warmth, I expected great giddiness. However, she was mostly excited about getting "a treeeeeeeat", and this moment I captured seems to suggest that even that high wasn't made to last long:Nothing like that first pee of the day, or the first morning-pee of your life
Maybe she just knows it marks the end of an era, a glorious time of life* when you can just let loose whenever you want and know someone will clean it up for you.

Honestly, though, based on her usual morning mood, I think the look may have understandably stemmed from getting her picture taken while on the toilet (again). Still, being as angelic as she often is (I just can't bring myself to exaggerate by not including this qualifier), she couldn't hold out for long:Aw shucks... I'm just trying to make the world a little better, one pee at a time
Full Disclosure: I had just reminded her that she could have extra treats for actually making pee, one of which is finally getting to use some of that highly-sought and entrancing toilet paper.

* To clarify, I mean the time of life when you don't feel guilty or depressed about that habit.

11 September 2008

Is this what defines the 21st century?

Once again, I couldn't see posting about something else today and ignoring the obvious. This day has haunted all Americans and much of the rest of the world, in one way or another, for most of this century, and it likely will for many more years to come.

So I'm putting this little post out there in memory of the thousands of people victimized on this day 7 years ago and so many days again since, by those seeking to profit in some way from their suffering and tragic deaths.

Here's hoping we can all begin to move past this event and its aftermath in a healthy way, with the same unity we felt back then, so those responsible can be revealed and calmly dealt with in a civilized, rational manner.

No comments necessary.

10 September 2008

A conversation with J-: The third child

Here is a revealing conversation I recently had with my wife, J-:

J- (using cartoonish parent voice): M-, did you get a treat for making pee on the toilet? Was it chocolate-covered raisins??

Me: No, just a couple chocolate chips.

J-: Then why were there chocolate-covered raisins on the kitchen floor?

Me: That was me... I had an incident.

J-: (rolls her eyes and doesn't even bother asking a follow-up question)

In my defense, she just happened to find the two I had missed picking up (and through some miracle, the kids missed eating) hiding alongside the fridge, so it's not like I just left the whole bag dumped all over the floor.

After all, they're mostly hers and I wouldn't want to call attention to how many I've eaten already.

09 September 2008

Potential book titles, Vol. 2

Here are a few more select titles of stirring fiction and nonfiction books I might write, should I ever get my act together:

A Book In Which The Noble Husband Tragically Dies, To Make You Briefly Appreciate Yours More

Chasing the Dragon: One Day, I Will Finish Reading Everything On The Internet

A Book In Which The Wife Dies, To Make My Wife Briefly Appreciate Me More (Via Numerous Stirring Proxy Tributes)

Shut Up: It's Just Been One Of Those Lives

Whatever I Do Is Cool, And Whatever I Say Is Genius: I'm In Oprah's Book Club Now

08 September 2008

Take that, Thomas!

I just wanted to point out this story so you too could anxiously wait to find out to which of Thomas' friends from the island of Sodor we need to send flowers. It's too hard to call from the picture whether this tragic event struck Annie, Daisy, Clarabel, or another unlucky coach:

Angry Argentine commuters torch train in rush hour

"We understand that people get angry when the service is delayed or canceled, but they absolutely can't attack a public service in this way," Gustavo Gago, a spokesman for rail company TBA, told local television.

Now, we all know I hate to hone in on specifics at the expense of the big picture, but I think it's clear that people certainly can attack a public service in this way. I believe what he meant to say was, "Waaaa, waaa, waaaaa! Don't burn my f***ing trains!! ...pleeease."

05 September 2008

Things I learned while camping

Here are just a few of the things I learned the week before last, when we were "camping" in Minnesota:

1. Staying in a cabin nicer than your college apartment disqualifies you from using the term "camping" to describe your trip. Don't tell the rules committee I have been flouting this one.

2. Sleeping bag manufacturers need to be federally mandated to allow at least two extra inches in the circumference of their storage bags, rather than being allowed to continue with their long-standing method of using machines to roll them impossibly tight in a vacuum chamber and then painting the bags on, while laughing maniacally picturing suckers like me trying desperately to re-create these conditions in a musty tent.

3. Bacon* cooked outside is not only extra delicious, but it's also a health food!** I am willing this to be true despite the fact that the eggs cooked in bacon fat made me feel a lethal psychosomatic heart attack coming on with each bite.

4. Swearing off your blog for a week will leave you both painfully out of the habit of writing and severely neglecting your readers for several weeks after your return.

5. A wise blogger-camper heading out for a week would pay an illegal immigrant in PBJ sandwiches to 1) reply to comments, 2) read and summarize the blog posts in his feed reader for the week he's gone and shortly after, and 3) do more than light housekeeping, while he's drunk with power.

* Note to my British and Canadian readers (and anyone else from a place pushing various pork products mislabeled as bacon)-- I refer here of course to good old belly bacon, a.k.a. streaky bacon.

** I didn't say what kind of health.

04 September 2008

The rules of D-, Vol. 1

Here are just three of the rules for life my four-year-old son D- seems to live by:

1. If you are told not to throw a ball in the house, that's merely an invitation to improvise-- parents like to challenge kids to think outside the box. Try bouncing it extremely hard, kicking or rolling it into something with enough velocity to propel it into the air (this process absolves you of any blame), or even rolling it up a wall hard enough to make it hit the ceiling. These are all proven winners that are bulletproof come Lecture Time.

2. There's hot, very hot, and freezing hot.

3. Baby blankets and other small cloths are made exclusively for children's entertainment, rather than for infant warmth, as is commonly misperceived. Additionally, they can be used for home defense by stretching them out across a polished wood floor, forming a devious booby trap for any rival four-year-olds* who might run through without paying attention or thinking about what happens every single time they run over a blanket on a wood floor.

* Important! Remember to slow down whenever you must run near these traps yourself.

03 September 2008

A conversation with D-: Sleeping with one eye open

Here's a little conversation between my wife and 4-year-old son that I found recorded on a scrap of paper from the pocket of some shorts I wore during my recent vacation in the Minnesota wilderness:

D-: Can I have a burrito?

J-: ... You mean Doritos?? No.

D- (runs to the chip box and returns with a visual aid): I mean these!

J-: Those are Cheetos, and no, you can't have those right now.

D-: OK, I'll save them for later, then.

J-: OK.

D-: ...And just hold them in my hand all day.

This may be his way of telling us that he's on to our scam of letting him forget about treats he acquires and then occasionally devouring the evidence once we feel like he'll never miss them.*

*I swear that little wave of guilt is a kind of perverse reward to make candy taste even sweeter long after the theft, whenever he happens to see a bag of M&Ms at the right moment and says something like, "Hey, remember that time when it was all snowy outside and I got a bag of those candies from that lady we saw at that store? I never ate those..."

02 September 2008

North Dakota on my mind

In a footnote yesterday, I suggested that I might compare* the U.S. state of North Dakota to a state of near-death.

You must understand that I say this based on the fact that it's the only U.S. state from which I haven't yet recorded a visit to this blog. Every other state has sent me anywhere from a handful to well over a thousand hits, and in fact half the states have visited at least a hundred times, along with 53 foreign countries, but between the two Dakotas, I'm holding steady at 1 visit in almost 8 months.

What gives, Dakotas?!? We must have some common interests or interpersonal connection that might trick you into coming here. Given that you have the highest percentage of churchgoing citizens in the U.S. (according to Wikipedia**) and your highest point is something called White Butte, I feel sure it's a temptation when I suggest you can stop by once in awhile to yell at me for being a "filthy, godless, America-hating, city-slicking, Obama-loving, liberal hippie!" Sound good? You know it does.

Actually, the most cutting of criticisms would be that this whole post is just a ploy to attract an unsuspecting hitchhiker or two wandering the Google turnpike from up Dakota way. This, however, is not remotely accurate, and furthermore: "Gov. John Hoeven", "Mt. Rushmore sucks", Sioux, departing, "Western Meadowlark", "flights out", Minot, "how much longer till I can leave", and "Who needs Mt. Rushmore, anyway... we're just not that showy".

Whatever you wanna say to me now, funny-talking folks, fire at will-- my comment board is open as always!

In closing, it is a distinct honor to disappoint you, my likely-incensed casual North Dakotan drop-ins. I'd love you to stay, but if you simply can't, I ask only that you leave a tiny piece of your Very Upper Midwest souls with my friends at Google Analytics on your way back out the door, so I can finally finish coloring in my cool map of the U.S. various shades of green***.

* In case you were born/raised in North Dakota, or you have family there, or you'd just like to defend a physically large state containing only almost exactly 10 times the number of people as the minor Chicago suburb in which I live, please note the supremely artful and undeniably endearing hedging of my phrasing^ here. I'd appreciate it if instead of cursing at me, you just chuckled lovingly and suggested I go into politics. ...Okay, go ahead now.

** This is a disclaimer that must always accompany any fact taken from Wikipedia-- new rule.

*** They don't call it "Anal-ytics" for nothing!

^ Or alternatively, you could just admire my extensive and arguably excessive use of adverbs and gerunds.

01 September 2008

Ay, there's the rub

I haven't been sleeping much lately, due to the many balls (work, the kids, writing, blogging*, relaxing) I've put in the air for myself to juggle, so I figure I'm about at the end of some kind of cycle wherein I'll have to crash for hours upon hours for a few days. The signs of this are numerous, such as falling asleep sitting up, feeling like I have cotton behind my eyes, and wishing my wife a good day at work before heading off to bed.

But a pretty definitive sign came just yesterday, which was a day I got to sleep in after getting to bed by 3, making a nice one-two punch in my favor. I woke up a little bit at 8 when J- got up with M-, then I immediately returned to a state somewhere just above death** for the next few hours.

Around 11:30, J- burst into the room in a rush to grab some clothes while getting the kids ready. Given that 1) she'd been up for several hours, 2) it was pretty bright in our room, and 3) she had a lot of things going on all at once, I think tip-toeing did not rate much consideration at the time. So naturally my brain cast off on its reluctant ascent to the surface, but just before it could get there, my body must have jumped the gun by moving in some significant way. I suspect this because J- began pelting me with a lot of information-laden slings and arrows all at once... something about my parents being on their way over to take the kids down to my aunt and uncle's house for the afternoon, and her needing to look more presentable in order to hand them off, along with various other tangential details.

I feel a need to jump in here to state that because the kids are so effective at waking everyone up when their days begin, and because J- and I take turns at getting up with them, neither of us is usually technically asleep, or at least not very deeply, in the late morning when we get to "sleep in". I think she was expecting to find me lounging there in denial, or even reading a book. But of course I wasn't even capable of dreaming of reading a book. I was probably dreaming of sleeping and dreaming some more, in an infinite chain of simple pleasure.

So since as you know, my body was in no state to let go of sleep lightly, and since I knew nothing of these impromptu plans and was still struggling to emerge from my typically-millisecond-long trip through that zone in which I forget that I even have kids, I think it's understandable that I was a touch overwhelmed even after a full minute of coming-to, much like a character in one of those many body-switching movies Hollywood has churned out.***

Like any practical person, as I tried to make sense of this unfamiliar data stream, I began at the beginning. I did my best to open my eyes and, before gaining focus on what would be her incredulous face, I asked for the basic piece of information I lacked for gaining a foothold on everything else:

"What day is it?"

* The blogging ball is shining nicely, though, as usual-- this post marks my 200th.

** That state somewhere just above death? Possibly North Dakota. Stay tuned tomorrow for an elaboration of this theory.

*** E.g. The Family Man, Freaky Friday, Mr. Destiny... the list goes on and on.