Monthly Archives: January 2010

Hair Science

Master (or Mistress?) Hair Stylist Aunt Tracy and the girls

Tracy performing hair surgery

WHAT DID THE BRAIN SURGEON SAY TO THE ROCKET SCIENTIST? Answer:  You know, it doesn’t take a hair stylist to figure this out.

More Tracy

Ava and Gia recently were the subjects of an artistic study undertaken by Aunt Tracy, my wife’s younger sister. She wants to graduate as a hair stylist from the elite Northwest Hair Academy (this coming from a guy with no hair and no job). To reach the upper echelons of cosmetology she must master the aesthetics of dye, chemistry, color profiles, parrafin wax, and creative foil. Will she earn her PhD (Philosophy of Hair Development)? Can she enter the H.I.T. (Hair Institute of Technology)?

Tracy and the girls at the hallowed halls of hair

NEXT CORNY JOKE: Anyway, the other day I talked to my psychiatrist and became enraged because he told me I have an ‘anal-oral fixation’…So I told him to kiss my ass.

DANCING WITH A Wii: Against sanity my wife bought a Wii. Another time-wasting gadget. We hosted a party, and after the kids went to sleep we adults started dancing to M.C. Hammer’s ‘Can’t Touch This’ and Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’. Alright, it wasn’t hell, I’ll concede. But this brought up reminiscences of high school. For us guys (or myself), one brush against breast while slow dancing at a Junior High gala produced three weeks of bliss. Now, in my forties, one night of passion is forgotten the next day. Oh, to be young again! (Anyone remember how, during Hotel California, everyone on the dance floor didn’t know whether to slow or fast dance?)

Ava & Gia kneading pizza dough

LAST CORNY JOKE: I went back to the psychiatrist and told him about how I could not eat anything but spaghetti or fettuccine or ravioli because, as a kid, we always ate Italian food. It gave such fond memories that any other food left me wanting. He told me, ‘You have to stop living in the pasta.’

And with that, here’s the…

PHOTO of the WEEK:  Aarhus, Denmark

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Filed under Corny Jokes, Lesbian Frog, Politically Incorrect, Tracy

Cute Endangered Snow Leopards?

Endangered animals?

NO JOY AT WOODLAND PARK ZOO:  They are closing the Nocturnal Exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo due to budget difficulties. Sad. Ava & Gia love to look for bats and sloths and armadillos and lemurs. At least they have the new snow leopard exhibit. We’ve been there a couple times and have seen an amazing replica of the snow leopard habitat: boulders, trees, and tundra. Unfortunately,  no snow leopards (pardon the corny pun) have been spotted (with the exception of the two specimens in the above photo).

Tilt that car seat back, make sure Kaya's strapped in, and let her go! See how her legs are excitedly spinning in bliss. Cute cute cute.

Look closely at the grounded stroller. At the bottom right is a happily feeding baby. Is this unorthodox parenting method the work of a lazy father? Or just practical?

IS FATHER LAZY? I like to kill the proverbial ‘two birds with one stones’…or as my wife likes to say in corporate parlance, “Multi-task.”  Does this make me lazy?

OR REVOLUTIONARY? To bottle feed a baby takes ten minutes or more of precious time. I savor sitting down with Kaya, holding that adorable little bundle while giving her a bottle, but with two other active daughters often I have to improvise. I need more time for cooking, sweeping, vacuuming, wiping down counters, folding laundry and other necessary chores (oh, including writing a blog). Luckily, Kaya doesn’t mind being a guinea pig.

Gia wearing Dad's jacket? Or Dad's jacket wearing Gia?

Cute? Cute...

...my ass!

TOILET PAPER HELL: Some parents think babies playing with TP is adorable. Me? Are you kidding? Not after Ava and Gia wasted half a tree by making TP carpet and dropping countless rolls in the pot. Well, Kaya, I’ve learned from the past. It’s not going to happen again. …………………………………………………………………I’m watching you!

PHOTO of the WEEK: From the gallery of Indonesian photographer Rarindra Prakarsa.

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Filed under Cute, Sexist Stay-at-home Father, Stay-at-home Father, Toilet Paper, Woodland Park Zoo

Existential Cow

Free from the moral complexities of dietary choice, these girls are enjoying their cereal and milk. At least for now.

Ava & Gia at a farm near Lake Chelan. Message to the cows: Life could be worse…much worse.

EXISTENTIAL COW: My wife wants cow friendly organic milk and cream. Fine, I can live with this. Still, I’m skeptical about how grateful the cow will be for our concern and attempts at  relieving bovine misery. If you believe in the Buddhist aphorism that ‘All life is suffering’, then it is tough to imagine the cow’s happiness depends on being milked the correct way. The existential cow probably has figured this out. Yes, cows suffer, they are fenced in with nothing to do but ‘moo’. Maybe we should just free the cows. (For the cow curious, check out this article in Time magazine: Save the Planet: Eat More Beef)

These cows have broken the chains of their oppressors. They are free. Think their problems are over? They are now wandering vagrants, unwanted, hungry, and up to no good. Yes, they will no longer be cruelly milked by heartless capitalist farmers, but are they happier?

IRON CHEF WHIDBEY ISLAND: CHEF VINCE vs. CHUCK “Creampuff for Brunch” TESSARO

See the guy on the left? That’s Vince “It’s not French if there’s no ketchup!” Nattress. An ex-member of PETA, Vince awoke after watching this: Penn & Teller’s Bullsh*t. Balancing the wellbeing of the cow with an exquisite love of food, he earned a degree in Culinary Art from Fairhaven University, studied in kitchens in Avignon, France and the Napa Valley. He even waxes eloquence in this essay about POOP (also cow friendly). He is the Goliath. Who’s David? None other than….

Headshot  VS. 

Chuck Tessaro.  Otherwise known as Facebook Chuck. Chuck grew up on corndogs, curly fries, and processed Kraft cheese slices, so how did he develop a palate? And a fine palate at that. He now recognizes and creates scintillating flavor profiles and hangs out (above right) with celebrity chef Tom Douglas. (Chuck, why are you eating a pickle?) Tune in to see how these two former small-town Coupeville residents fare head-to-head on the big stage.

Ava's ready for school!

CLUELESS FATHER TAKES DAUGHTER TO SCHOOL, FORGETS TO MAKE SURE DAUGHTER IS WEARING PANTS: A father went to pre-school with his daughter adorned in shirt and tights sans pants. The concerned pre-school teacher asked, “Where’s your daughter’s pants?” Father had to make a second trip to get pants. What a bad father. (Sorry, Ava, I will check next time.)

LESBIAN DOUBLE STANDARD: This week we had in-laws over for dinner. Inspired by Chuck we made our own pizzas, including a goat cheese, roasted butternut squash, arugula, olive oil pie…yum! yum! Anyway, over dinner conversation my wife was telling Grandma & Grandpa about how we got a free subscription to Showtime, and that we’re recording ‘The L Word‘, a drama about lesbians. My wife observed: “How come we hear about women who are sick of men and start dating other women? But we never hear a man say, ‘I’m sick of women! I think I’ll start dating men!'”

PHOTO of the WEEK: Geiranger, Norway

fiord norway

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Filed under Chef Vince, Chuck, Lesbian Frog, Organic, Penn & Teller

Pink! The New Evil!

 

Should parents worry about pink? Look at my daughter Ava. Cute? She may seem so, harmlessly sipping a cola...but don't be fooled. She's actually guzzling my wife's rum and coke. Consider the color of her shirt. Is there a correlation?

What could be cuter than a baby playing in the sand? Yet the adorable just disappears with that spine chilling pink outfit. Yes, my little Kaya looks playful, but she's smiling because she just killed a seagull, ate its entrails, and then buried it in the sand. Is pink involved?

IS THE COLOR PINK EVIL? What is it with girls and pink? According to the BBC, pink is the cause of ‘Princess Disease’: BBC Reports That Pink Princess Thing Does Not Change Girls’ DNA. My daughters love pink, they are doomed.

MY WIFE GOES TO A BASKETBALL GAME: My wife, while on a business trip, went to an NBA game in Denver. She called me from the Pepsi Center, yeah, that’s where they play…and I asked her if she even knew any of the players. She responded, “I’m pretty sure one of the guys is named ‘Nugget’.”

Yeah, but she's still wearing pink.

WHO’S CUTE? Now that the girls go to pre-school I frequent bookstores and cafés,  or I shop (for food, not at the mall; there is nothing more evil than mall shopping…except maybe the color pink) with ten-month-old Kaya. Often I hear someone exclaim, “Oh, how cute!” And I always say, “Why thank you. Check out my baby. She’s pretty cute, too.”

CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE: The only time my wife has thought of killing herself was in the early days of our dating. We traveled some (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Laos, Mexico). After a few nights in cockroach hostels I tried to talk my wife into one more, and she almost had tears in her eyes. We found a nicer place.

Gia, still suffering the effects of Disneyland in her Snow White costume, but at least it's not pink.

The only time I’ve ever contemplated suicide is after two straight days at Disneyland.

CHUCK TESSAROooooooo…is cooking! Over on Facebook…Bay infused butternut squash lasagna in oven for Thursday night dinner. Simple frisee & watercress salad w/blue cheez, champ vinaigrette.

THE NEW FREUDIAN SLIP: My wife has given new meaning to the Freudian slip. In our house a Freudian slip is whenever she accidentally pushes, punches, or kicks me in the balls. Example: the other night she reached over my side of the bed to grab the remote and I woke to her using my crotch as a fulcrum. “Ooooof!” I shouted. “Sorry,” she said, “I slipped.” Yeah, slipped my ass.

And for something different – The Tiger’s Nest – Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan

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Filed under Chuck, Disney, Pink, Pink is Evil

Momofuku, Obama’s Unfulfilled Campaign Promise…

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음식을세요!

MOMOFUKU: My wife and I celebrated New Year’s with Chuck, Trudy, and kids. Chuck’s quite the chef. He showed us the cookbook Momofuku (Korean for ‘We don’t eat dog any more’). I love Korea, lived there sixteen months, and am down with the food. Check out Momofuku. It’s chock full of profanity laced recipes. Any cookbook that freely uses the word ‘f**k’ is cool by me. (OK, my subtle use of wimpy asterisks – as if ‘f**k’ could spell ‘fOOk’ – pertains to the fact this blog is for a family audience. See Profanity Policy.)

WHY I DON’T LIKE EATING NEW THINGS: I have eaten silkworm larva, sheep’s blood curd, duck penis, goat-on-a-stick, and various other culinary nasties in my travels. I will try anything (food) once, but on the above Eve Chuck  cooked squash pizza. I hate squash, I’ve tried it, okay. And even if I wind up liking something (against my better senses) my wife uses it against me.  i.e. “Caleb, remember the time you said you wouldn’t like squash pizza and then you did? How can you know you won’t like artichoke and beet salad if you won’t try it?”

WEDDING RING BOTTLE OPENERS: Are there any other guys out there who open beers with their wedding rings? It’s a great way to tell your wife you love her, although my sweetheart doesn’t see it that way.

With girls at the Mariners game. We made it through the third inning.

CARTWHEELING GOALKEEPER: Funniest sports moment of 2009: Goalie Makes Ass of Self. Second? Milton Bradley throwing the ball into the Wrigley Field bleachers with two outs: Chicago Cubs outfielder is now a Mariner!…

Milton Bradley

AM I A MISOGYNIST? Not at all. Though when my wife and her sister Tracy start having a ‘BreastFest’ talking about makeup and hair and shopping and all that crap I’ll say something shallow and condescending like, “Wow! Fascinating!” Then they’ll call me a misogynist. So my response is, “That’s mister to you. Mr. Ogynist.” (Ignore my insensitivity, BreastFest is a women’s breast cancer support group.)

OBAMA’S UNFULFILLED CAMPAIGN PROMISE: BCS brokers criticize president-elect’s comments on playoff… Has anyone noticed how Obama reneged on his campaign promise to get the BCS out of college football? There’s no playoff in sight! The only things worse than the BCS are talk show hosts who blab incoherently about the BCS. Example: “Ohio State, based on strength-of-schedule blah blah blah, Big Ten second place finisher blah blah blah…” Supposedly Obama’s wasting his time on frivolous issues such as the economy, health care, and Afghanistan. Go figure. (I boycott bowl season, it’s good to have a reason to watch less TV).

OUR NEIGHBOR MARY KAY LETOURNEAU: Evidently you can now check online where all the registered sex offenders live in your neighborhood. National Sex Offender Registry. We looked at all the scumbags in our neighborhood, and Mary Kay Letourneau popped up, as she lives in the U. District. Call it a double standard, but I’m not as worried about her.

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Filed under Mary Kay Letourneau, Momofuku, Obama, Seattle Mariners, Tracy

2010: Year of the Sexist Stay-at-home Father!

Welcome, and thanks to everyone who encouraged me after reading the essay Notes of a Sexist Stay-at-home Father, without you I wouldn’t be blogging. Of course, I must thank my wife and daughters (and sisters and sisters-in-law…), as the primary source of my inspiration. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Caleb Powell, I’m sexist, and I’m a stay-at-home parent. I will post weekly (hopefully) on all sorts of topics. Let’s get this blog started: 

THE SEVENTY SONGS OF CHRISTMAS: How many Christmas songs are there? Fifty? Seventy? Let’s say seventy. Sound like a lot? It’s not. Especially when you hear them nonstop during December. My wife is addicted, and she listens to Xmas songs 24/7, in the car, at night, in her study, and our daughters are addicted, grrrrrr!

Ava sleeping with 10 day-old Kaya

Celebrations in 2009:  My wife Terry and I celebrated our sixth anniversary. We saw the birth of our third daughter, Kaya, she is now nine months, and though they say they grow fast, it seems like she’s been a baby forever (savor the baby times!). Our other daughters Ava and Gia turned four and three. They have their own blog: Ava, Gia, & Kaya’s Page. My youngest sister Min (lives in Hawaii) also had a daughter, Satori (older brothers Orion and Damien, five and three), at the end of 2008, and Satori just celebrated her first birthday. Younger sister Sarah’s son Nikolai (they live in Saudi Arabia) turned nine.

Gia posing with 10 day-old Kaya

IS IT OKAY TO PEE IN THE POOL? We enjoyed Mexico, (for pictures click) San Miguel de Allende and Nuevo Vallarta. In Nuevo we met a lady who told her kid it’s okay to pee in the pool. I figured she was Canadian, and I was not far off, as she turned out to be from Minnesota.

Kaya our little pumpkin!

MY WACKY PARENTS: This Halloween my parents gave our daughters a book and signed it “Love from Uncle Dave and Aunt Trice” (They crossed this out, though, and wrote Grandpa & Grandma…the thing is, Sarah had sent the book from Saudi Arabia, but had forgot to sign. Anyway, you just got to know our parents). This is not unusual, as earlier in the year they gave my wife Terry a birthday card, and wrote inside: Our Dearest Tracy (Terry’s younger sister)…

FACEBOOK POSTERS: I finally set up a Facebook account. It has uses, and sucks time only if you let it. It’s a curious look at human nature, there’s Guy-who-photos-everything-he-cooks: “Caramelized Beets…yum yum!”, Party Girl: “Peace Muthaf**kaz! I chooze da bottle of Bacardi at the White Elephant!”, and so forth, I guess it’s fun…but I will not use Twitter. I swear.

CELEBRITY WIFE BEATERS: Not that this is good news: Charlie Sheen spends Christmas in jail, but hopefully my wife will stop watching Two and a Half Men. She Tivos and watches at four in the morning, meaning that the laugh track also wakes me. Laugh tracks are vile and despicable even when the jokes are funny, but when they are programmed to hoot and snort at egregious inanity they become evil. Turns out Sheen attacked a girlfriend in 1996 and went on probation. Go figure. My wife, who’s against all forms of domestic violence (although she would consider hitting me), wants to wait before we judge. Whatever. They found OJ innocent too.

NUTS: Nuts, anyone? Someone gave us a basket of nuts for Christmas. I realize I’m not being the most gracious here, but damn, that’s like giving us hard-shelled crab: lots of work, but without the exquisite seafood taste. In defense of nuts, though, the girls love ’em.

CHRISTMAS ETIQUETTE: According to my wife, as soon as Christmas ends, it is time to start taking down the trees and lights. Every year she reminds me how my parents once kept the tree up until February. Our block is not the most festive, and we have one particular neighbor who grates on my wife because they keep their Christmas lights dangling from their eaves year-round. And, extraordinarily, they did not turn them on this year, even though they had a window light display.

Xmas morn!

Xmas day

CHARITIES: Looking to give after the Christmas holiday? Go to Kiva. But what about the likes of corporate charities like Children’s International, where executives make over $300,000 a year? These charities are run like a business, with mass advertising campaigns, and college students getting paid minimum wage all over the U.S. to sell ‘feel-good’ on the streets. I was in the U. District a while ago and signed up for Children’s, then I did some digging and found out the egregiously high salaries beginning with the CEO James Cook (for a balanced discussion, the ‘James Cook’ link shows there are defenders of this practice, and they have valid points, but non-profit charities hire for-profit companies to canvas and promote, and these staffers may appear on chat boards anonymously), yet I wondered how much of the dollar went to help. I cancelled the donation and my wife and I gave to A Common Bond (helps families at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital whose infants have critical needs). Records are public, and so we can take a look at the legal business of charity where money trickles to the children. Am I cynical, you bet! Research your charity, advertisement is expensive, thus dig and find the ones with low budgets using word of mouth and Internet. Here are some leads: Camino Seguro/Safe Passage, Volunteer Vacations, and Legitimate Charities.

Anyway, Happy New Year and peace and joy for 2010!

新年快乐!

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Filed under A Common Bond, Caleb Powell, Celebrity Wife Beaters, Christmas, Facebook, Kiva, Politically Incorrect, Seattle Mariners, Sexist, Sexist Stay-at-home Father, Stay-at-home Father