Friday, January 30, 2009

The Savages

When I initially heard about this movie I was positive it was going to be good. It has a great cast, and it's a movie that explores one of those forbidden subjects--aging. So when it arrived from Netflix I was excited. But then it sat on the entertainment center shelf for more than two months. Now granted we had a baby in there, and any stretch of time that could be spent watching a movie was spent sleeping instead. Then it was the holidays, and now I've started school. But it was more than that. I knew this movie was going to be a gut wrenching emotional experience.

I was not wrong.

I finally broke down and watched this film last night after the wife abandoned me for bed, and while I sipped a cold Beck's as my late night snack venison burgers sizzled on the grill.

The movie essentially follows the last few months of Lenny Savage's life, played by Philip Brosco. Lenny lives in Sun City AZ with his girlfriend of nearly 20 years, and when she dies, he discovers that she's not made any provisions for him in her will. Lenny's estranged kids, Wendy (Laura Linney) and Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) arrive for him from the East coast, whisk him away, and tuck him neatly into a Medicare nursing home.

It is clear from the start that this family is horribly dysfunctional, and Lenny is the original cause for most of it. His kids are terribly damaged, and they struggle with their 'kidly obligation' to a father they even have a hard time admitting they love.

The film is deeply sad, and the pain fairly oozes from screen. It examines each of the kids closely as they battle between their ancient history with their father and and the fundamental human rights that any decent person would expect for another human being.

Laura Linney is outstanding in this movie, and truth be told I haven't seen her in any film that I've not been impressed by her performance. Her performances in Love Actually and The Truman Show are among her best. Here she plays a neurotic struggling playwright who's major relationship is with a married man. But there is a frankness, an openness and honesty the simmers just below the surface despite her best efforts to wall herself off from the world due to past trauma. The woman is searching for a way to relate to life that doesn't hurt. Laura Linney absolutely breathes life to this character, and lovingly caresses each neurosis like an old felt hat or a faded gingham checked teddy bear.

Philip Seymour is an incredibly underrated actor. He's been in so many good films it's ridiculous. This role is no stretch him, and he plays it masterfully. Fighting his own battles of self worth and esteem, Philip's character labels himself the strong one, and does "what has to be done" regardless of its unpleasantness. Unfortunately he doesn't deal with the emotional toll those types of things bring with them, and it comes out in the other parts of his life.

One thing that surprised me about this film was how it contrasted everything. We hear very little about the abusive childhood Wendy and Jon had at the hands of Lenny throughout the beginning of the movie. As a result the viewer builds sympathy for Lenny, and wonder at the insensitivity of his kids. Even at the end of the movie, the fresh breath of sunshine is tempered with a graphic revelation of just how badly Lenny treated his kids.

There are a couple of sex scenes in this film, but no nudity. The scenes are more tedious than anything, certainly not sexually gratifying. There is some cursing. This is not a film for kids--it is dark and melancholy. It is however, very worth experience. And yes, there is a small ray of light at the end of the dark tunnel.

I give this movie an 'A'.

The Changeling

I understand there's a new movie (2008) by the same title, but that's not the movie I'm talking about. This film debuted in 1980, and is quite possibly my favorite horror movie of all time. I dropped this into my Netflix Queue purely on nostalgia's sake. When I was attending undergrad at McMurry University I attended a midnight Halloween showing of this film at the Paramount Theater in downtown Abilene. The Paramount is an old theater that's been restored and is used for all kinds of performances--from theatre to indie films. Needless to say, at midnight on Halloween, it can be a creepy place. It was a BLAST watching this movie there.

The film stars George C. Scott, (who's been dead for about 10 years now,) who plays a well known classical composer who's wife and daughter are killed in a tragic car accident right in front of him. To deal with the tragedy he moves to Seattle to teach at his old alma-mater university. The local historical society provides Scott with a magnificent old mansion to rent. What isn't immediately clear is that the house has a past. And it's tied to the present.

Trish Van Devere plays the historical society agent that lets Scott the house and in the process befriends him. When strange unexplainable things begin to happen, Scott begins to investigate and what he learns is troubling. What's not clear is if Scott and Van Devere will escape being inextricably entangled in past and present dangers.

Without giving away anything, the scene with ball and the staircase is the single creepiest scene I've ever seen in a movie. It gave me shivers at the Paramount, and it gave me shivers this afternoon when I watched the film in the comfort of my living room.

Sure the movie is rife with early 80's special effects and poor film quality. Sexism is alive and kicking here. But this movie is greatness--think "The Shining" but with intelligence...

The movie does have some violent scenes involving children, and some rather creepy moments. Definitely not for children or the faint of heart, (including my wife--I was on my own for this one.

I give this movie a A, purely out of nostalgia. (It is a pretty good film, too.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Rite of Parenthood #7

The successful parent realizes there is no actual way for there to be a large angry black woman trapped in their 2y/o girl's body...


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Birth Announcements

Well, we're finally getting around to announcing Baby Drofen's birth, LOL. I blame the holidays...

Anyway, here's a copy for my faithful readers, (names edited of course, sorry.)

We Drofens do want to thank each and everyone of you that have commented and sent your prayers and support to us during his pregnancy and birth. You have no idea how much it meant to us. Thank you!

Chasing Amy

This movie has sat on our entertainment center since before the holidays. I don't recall actually putting in my Netflix Queue, but it appeared in the mailbox so I must have at some point. I watched this over a couple of kid's nap-times, if that gives you any indication at how riveting I found the film.

Essentially this film follows the birth and growth of a relationship between Holden (Ben Affleck) and Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams). A chance meeting through a mutual friend after a comic book convention--all three are comic book artists--leaves Holden breathless. The couple has good chemistry and seem to be full speed ahead until it's revealed that Alyssa is actually a lesbian. Having lost hope Holden continues to torture himself by hanging out with Alyssa until eventually they start a romantic relationship. But trouble looms ahead as Alyssa's checkered sexual past becomes a problem.

I really want to like Ben Affleck. And I have liked some of the roles he played--in Good Will Hunting, and Jersey Girl. But most of the time he comes off as a rich kid trying to play himself off as an everyday guy. He tries to portray himself as drawing on his worldly experiences in his roles, but it doesn't quite resonate with me. I get that his shtick is quirky irreverent movies, just look at Dogma. This movie tries for the same irreverence in examining the sexual politics of the gay, lesbian, and bisexual lifestyles. Unfortunately I think it falls flat on its face. In fact I found it terribly crude and frightfully inelegant.

Joey Lauren Adams makes a valiant effort in playing her complex character. Mostly though she just comes off as whiny, frustrated, and just plain lost.

So many better ways to spend your movie time. This movie performs poorly on so many levels that I can't honestly recommend it at all. It left me shaking my head several times, and not because I found it funny.

I give this film a D-.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Evolve Quote of the Day #2

Our instructors have chosen to use Elsevier books Evolve Learning System online modules a part of our curriculum. You may remember the gem from a day or two ago regarding making sure not to trap breasts in the gait belt when transferring patients. I'm finding enough hilarious quotes that this may become a regular feature on my blog.

In reference to ensuring the proper placement of NG tubes, the module states:

"Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to identify signs and symptoms of accidental respiratory migration of feeding tube."

Apparently feeding tubes head South for the winter?

The Coming of the Ice Age

Apparently global warming is upon us. The Dallas-Fort Worth media is an absolute frenzy over a potential ice-storm headed our way. It's been non-stop coverage since the 10 o'clock news last night.

My college has canceled classes for the day, even though it was still 35* this morning when I got up. But it has since fallen to 30*, and it is starting to ice up outside. The trees are starting to put on a light coating, and the eaves are dripping slower and slower as they start to solidify into icicles.

On the other hand, the 9 y/o's school has yet to cancel classes. I'm anticipating that any minute they're going to announce they'll release early. I guess they're trying to make the time at which they count the day as a full day. I'm not sure why they're so worried about it, they have built in two inclement weather days in the schedule. I'm contemplating going to pick her up early though--the main road her school is off of has large bar ditches on either side, and no curbs. It's also hilly and curvy. I'd prefer her bus not end up in the ditches--at least with her on board. They are large enough the bus might turn on its side.

So, here I sit. Baby Drofen is swinging in his swing working on his next big diaper fill, the 2 y/o is chasing the dog around the house laughing hysterically, Mrs. Drofen is deeply engrossed in a challenging game of solitaire. I just fried up a pound of venison sausage, so the house smells of smoked meat. We're warm and cozy.

Time to go get ahead on some of the reading for school.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Last night the 2 y/o brought me a set of full sized fairy wings from a previous year's Halloween costume. As I helped her strap them to her back, she was literally dancing with delight.

Over and over she said, "I'm a butterfly, I'm a butterfly!"

Once she was all set, she ran to the middle of the room and strained upward with all her might. Next she tried hopping off the ground several times. Finally she returned to me, hugged my knees, and looked up at me with the most mournful puppy dog eyes you've ever seen.

Completely crestfallen she said, "Daddy, I can't fly."

Call it innocence lost, or a reality check, but I had the very real sense that her big, beautiful world got just a little bit smaller. There isn't much I wouldn't have given for her to be able, just this once, to spread her wire hanger and pantyhose wings with glitter and sequins and soar around the room.

I think we as adults forget how magical this world is when seen through the eyes of a child, yet we wonder why we're not happy.

I've posted it before, but it fits well here:

Baby's World

I wish I could take a quiet corner in the heart of my baby's very own world.

I know it has stars that talk to him, and a sky that stoops down to his face to amuse him with its silly clouds and rainbows.

Those that make believe to be dumb, and look as if they never could move, come creeping to his window with their stories and with trays crowded with bright toys.

I wish I could travel by the road that crosses baby's mind, and out beyond all bounds;

Where messengers run errands for no cause between the kingdoms of kings of no history;

Where Reason makes kites of her laws and flies them, the Truth sets Fact free from its fetters.

--Rabindranath Tagore

Evolve Quote of the Day #1

From an online learning module about patient transfers:

"When using a transfer belt on a female patient, ensure the patients breasts are not caught in the belt."

I suppose it's highly inappropriate, but it made me giggle.

But then nobody ever accused me of being appropriate...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Rite of Parenthood #6

The successful parent understands the importance of mimicking play as an important developmental tool. For example--the 2 y/o girl clutches her baby dolls close, much as mom does to little brother while he nurses. The successful parent also knows it is important to stifle their laughter so as not to discourage this type of play.

Even when the 2 y/o nurses her baby dolls from her belly button.

Sack 'O Potatoes

Canon EOS 40d, Canon 85mm 1.8
1/60s f/1.8 at 85mm iso1600

Saturday, January 24, 2009

25 Things

Here's my 25 in response to Christy's post. I'm going to try and come up with 25 things that most of you may not know about me.

1. I am adopted. I met my birth mother a couple years ago, and it was...awkward. My sister is adopted too, but we weren't biologically related. My mom has endometriosis and it prevented her from getting pregnant. It makes me wonder if they had been trying in this day and age if modern medicine might be able to help them. Would I have been adopted? It also gives me a unique perspective on abortion. My birth mother was only 14 when she found out she was pregnant. Her parents pushed her to have an abortion--she chose to put me up for adoption instead. She had to move out of her parents house as a result. I very easily could not be here today, so clearly I think abortion is a bad idea. At the same time I'm fiercely protective of my inalienable right to choose what happens to me and my body. It's not an easy space in which to live.

2. I grew up on a working alfalfa farm. Yep, that came with all the goodies: acres and acres to roam, the farmer tan, and all the exercise that comes with the hard work of farming. Hey, tossing hay bales is a good workout. It's probably the reason that I've gained weight these days, I don't have the same metabolic demands. I was driving tractors by the 4th grade.

3. I have 3 tattoos, two on my back and one on my right shoulder/arm. My first tattoo is the best work, mostly because it was planned. The other two were spur of the moment, and the art sucks. Unfortunately they're the bigger two. Someday I will have them reworked into something else. I'm not convinced I'm done with tattoos, I've got at least two more ideas.

4. I'm O+.

5. I used to think I came from really healthy stock. I was rarely sick as a kid. I have better than perfect eyesight, my hearing is perfect (despite what my wife may say.) But after meeting my birth mom I found out she's a 5th generation breast cancer survivor. And my biological maternal grandfather died of heart disease at a relatively early age. That's got me feeling my mortality at the ripe old age of 33.

6. I had a mole on my shoulder than concerned me. I went in to a doctor's office for a physical and to specifically ask about it. It was the first time I'd been to the doctor in 15 years. She wasn't concerned about my mole, didn't give it but a cursory glance. She was however, extremely concerned about my stuffy nose and was rather disgruntled when I wouldn't let her write me a prescription for a decongestant. 3 months later the mole was still concerning me, so I went to a dermatologist on my own dime. One glance and she said, oh that's going to have to come off, and immediately performed a 9mm punch biopsy. Of course the biopsy came back positive for melanoma, so I was quickly back into the office for a larger biopsy. The second biopsy had no atypical cells in it, so they got it all the first time. And that's the story of how an 8mm mole turns into a 2 inch scar.

7. I have never lost consciousness, even after having been completely thrown off my feet by a blow to the head by a falling log. The closest I ever came to passing out was when they numbed me up for the punch biopsy. Apparently lido w/ epi and I don't get along very well. The nurses all thought it was the biopsy that did it, but it was the lido that made me lightheaded. They had a good time teasing me about being a pansy anyway.

8. My thumbs are two different sizes. My right thumb is proportionate to the rest of my fingers. My left thumb is shorter and fatter. When I was in grade school I severely cut my left thumb to the bone on a farm implement, severing the nerve. I still have a numb patch.

9. I have large hands and feet. I wear a 13 in most shoes, although a size 14 New Balance shoe actually fit me well when I was looking for shoes for nursing school. I wear a 9 1/2 in sterile gloves. I wear a size 13 wedding ring. I know there's bigger guys out there, but I'm only 6'1" on my best day. I think the proportion of my limbs makes people think I'm not as big as I really am. And sometimes having large hands works against me. Kind of like how they say to marry a woman with small hands so certain things will look bigger--and the diamond ring is only one of them...

10. I was a musician in high school and for the first part of my undergrad. I made allstate choir all four years of high school. I was often in several choirs at once--4 at a time in high school, and about the same in college. I also used to compose music and had few pieces performed in public performances by our high school choir.

11. I will never eat coleslaw again as long as I live. When I was growing up the women of our church would put on an annual enchilada dinner to raise money. Well one year ticket sales at the door did not even approach estimated demand. As a result my mom brought home what had to be a 55 gallon drum of coleslaw so it wouldn't go to waste. We ate coleslaw for WEEKS. Even after it started to spoil and go sour...

12. I love to clean my ears--I'm a Q-tip freak. At least once a day I have to give them a good scrubbing. Luckily I'm a copious ear wax producer--they usually need cleaning. Can't go a day with my ear-gasm. ;)

13. I've worked a ton of different jobs. I've been: food delivery driver, a paid musician, a roofer, a fencer, a church youth director, a forest service fire fighter, an assistant college woman's volleyball coach, a natural gas well remote operations control tech, a waiter, an eyeglasses lab tech, a pharmacy tech, a chiropractor...

14. I can't stand Dora, Diego, or Satan himself--Barney.

15. I didn't drink any alcohol until I was 21. But the first time I ever drank I was completely convinced I was an alcoholic. You see I was an RA in a dorm at the first university I attended. It was a church affiliated school so no alcohol was allowed. At the end of Christmas break a big winter storm rolled in, and my drive from home in northern New Mexico back to school was going to be a rough one. I called my RD and explained the situation, but he insisted I needed to be back because there were going to be residents in the dorm. So I set out. Unfortunately I followed the storm all the way to Texas, and it turned into a major winter weather event with almost a foot of snow dumping as it went, and more in the mountains. A 12 hour trip normally, it took me nearly double that, and my jeep was in 4WD for all 700 miles of it. When I arrived on campus, it was deserted. The school was closed. Even the RD wasn't there. So, I rebelled and drove the grocery store to get some alcohol and get drunk. I came back to my dorm room with a 4 pack of B&J's Fuzzy Navel wine coolers! LOL!! So I popped a top, plunked myself down in front of the TV to get drunk, and one of those commercials comes on: "If you're not sure if you have an alcohol problem, the following behaviors may indicate you're an alcoholic: drinking alone, drinking in response to stress, drinking when you're angry, drinking to get drunk..." So I was completely convinced I was an alcoholic within minutes of my first drink of alcohol, ever!

16. I'd rather be: cold than hot, hungry than overfull, hiking than swimming, at a romantic intimate dinner than a dance club, naked than clothed, dead than a vegetable, alone than in a relationship that isn't working.

17. I apparently look gay. I get hit on all the time by gay guys. I'm flattered, but I really wonder what it is that makes them think I'm gay? I don't think I'm particularly flamboyant, but maybe I'm missing something.

18. I once knocked the cover a off a volleyball in the middle of a match. (I played men's volleyball for two different colleges.) The ref had just made a terrible call and I was extremely angry about it. On the very next rally we ran a trick play out of the middle and I ended up with the set. The blockers bit on the two fakes so I had an empty net. The set was perfect and I uncorked on it with all my strength and anger. The cover on the ball immediately split open, it hit the floor with a thud and the bladder popped out while the cover went sliding across the floor. The gym went completely quiet for a few brief seconds, and then the crowd went nuts. It was a conference match so the ball was brand new out of the package, but it must have had a defect. But even the refs and the other team were impressed. It was exactly like a Powerade commercial.

19. I was almost struck by lightning while mountain biking one time. Your hair really does stand on its end when you're about to get struck. And when the flash and the thunder are simultaneous, it's close. REALLY close. The lightning hit a tree about 20 yards away from our group. Needless to say, we hurried off the mountain.

20. I have really long toes. Some of my toes are longer than some of my wife's fingers.

21. Someday I want to live somewhere in Europe. Scotland, Austria, Switzerland top the list.

22. I am a hopeless romantic. Movies like Love Actually, Serendipity, Return To Me, You've Got Mail make me feel good. I always hope I'll get to feel that cinema perfect love affair feeling someday, even if it's a total pipe dream.

23. Aside from threatening someone I love, the fastest way to piss me off is to make me feel like my thoughts or feelings don't matter. And that's professionally or personally.

24. I used to be extremely judgmental. I'd like to think I've gotten lots better, but I may actually only be moderately judgmental now. :(

25. I'm pretty insecure about my appearance--from my eyebrows that insist on resembling two woolly mammoth caterpillars making out to the crazy hairs that have declared Manifest Destiny and are doing their best to colonize my back down to the size of my dangly wing-wang. It's more than being a little uncomfortable in my skin due to my excess weight. It may stem from my childhood--never being good enough and lacking regular praise for what I'd done right. Who knows. Maybe it's the impossible standards the media has placed on men.

And that my friends is 25 things about me. :) Post up your own version!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Rite of Parenthood #5

The successful parent understands primary colors and how mixing them may create new colors. For example, bright yellow breast-milk baby poop applied liberally to a light blue onesie creates a fabulously lime green stain...

New Mexican Homestead

Canon EOS 40d, Canon 17-40mm f/4L
1/160s f/16 at 20mm iso200

A small farm at the base of Acoma Pueblo.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo Tag--Or How I Got Outed...

So I thought I'd play along with Kirsten's Photo Tag post. The rules are simple, go to your photo files and post the 4th file, telling the story about the image.

So, I had resisted posting pictures of myself on this blog. Not sure why, but I have. Anyway, my 4th file is a picture of me. So with no further adieu... here's Drofen:

This picture was taken on a photo excursion to Washington DC. It unfortunately rained the entire weekend, until it cleared up, right after dark on the final day. So I did what every good photographer should do. I went into downtown DC alone after midnight and shot some night pictures. This picture was taken the morning after, and I'd been up most of the night shooting pictures. We were sitting in a diner waiting a LONG time to be seated. I was not thrilled.

Anyway, nice to see everyone. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of calling on the local county Texas Health Dept office for my second Hep B and MMR vaccines. (Oops, my HIPPA just violated itself.) During my spa-like 2 1/2 hour visit to get jabbed twice, I overheard the following disgruntled grumblings.

Hoodlum A: "How much you wanna bet we finally get in there and they run out of shots."

Hoodlum B:
"If that happens I swear I will burn this place down. I'm not joking, I'll do it."

Hoodlum A: (Gesturing angrily towards the front desk) "Look at them! There's 3 of them up there, and only one of them is doing anything!!"

Hoodlum B: "Yeah, they sure are working hard at talking though."

Hoodlum A: "We pay for their salaries, they work for us, they better get off their butts and do something!"

Oh and what did these two hostile hoodlums look like?

Little old blue-haired ladies, complete with bunching pantyhose and shiny black patent leather purses. Just when I thought I might have to make a run for it to avoid being caught up in a terrorist attack, the conversation turned to the latest Sunday School class gossip instead.

Sign of the times I guess.

Visiting The Land Of Nod

Canon EOS 40d, Canon 85mm 1.8
1/50s f/1.8 at 85mm iso1600

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And So It Begins...

Today is January 20, 2009, a day clearly significant in America's political and social landscape. I think it's important to note that the effects of Obama's inauguration travels far beyond the powers of a mere mortal man. You see folks, Obama is but a mortal man, with all the limitations and restrictions inherent. But the nature of the man is not where this phenomenon draws its power. Instead, albeit with no small amount of nudging and campaigning by his organization, America as a whole has taken inspiration in the moment and breathed life into this rallying cry of change. It is the conscious decision of a million individuals. They choose to believe Obama represents change, and in that belief they themselves will catalyze that which they attribute to him.

Obama is a remarkable man to be sure. He has managed to be enough of all things to enough of all people for enough time to win their allegiance. My only wish is that the American people realize that it is the people that have created change, not a candidate turned President.

Notably while Obama was being sworn in, I was sitting in my official first class of nursing school (thank goodness for DVRs). Climate of change indeed. I have to say the entire class was depressingly anticlimactic. After the frenetic chaos of pre-class exercises, homework, and reading assignments, lecture was just lecture. And it followed suspiciously along with the assigned reading.

So now here I sit, 80-odd PowerPoint slides behind me, waiting until 1400 for the health dept to accept patients again so I can get my second round of immunizations. The school library is teeming with happily chattering 5th, college kids. The computers are painfully slow--this keyboard's left hand shift key doesn't work, and the "77777777777777" key sticks. Dr. Ruth's column is still next to the classified ads in the student newspaper, just like it was in 1998 when I first came to this school.

I have a life altering decision to make in the next couple of weeks or so. A decision that could have a lasting impact on my relationship with my older daughter. Prayers for clarity of mind are gratefully accepted.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rock Wall Tree

Canon EOS 40d, Canon 17-40mm f/4L
1/800s f/8 at 23mm iso200


I watched this movie on Sunday afternoon while the kids were napping. My wife watched too while playing solitaire on my new PDA. I had wanted to go see this in the theater, but ended up waiting for DVD because I didn't want to waste a date night on this type of film. So once again, Netflix does the honors.

A quick synopsis of the film finds James McAvoy playing a city dweller caught in his own little hell. Dead-end job, girlfriend that he knows is cheating on him with his best friend. Enter The Fraternity--a 1000 year old secret society of assassins that take their orders from a magical loom woven by none other than Fate herself.

The plot of the movie is really a cool idea, with so many possibilities. I guess the movie did a pretty good job of developing the story, and the twist towards the end did catch me off guard. The viewer definitely should not go into this movie looking for a realistic tale, because this flick is full of curving bullets and fantastic stunts. But, as unbelievable as it was, I found myself laughing--giggling even--and squirming in my chair in excitement. This film is an action spectacle, and I found it seriously entertaining. Even my wife couldn't take her eyes from the screen sometimes.

The main character is played by James McAvoy and I have to say he's one of my favorite actors. I was completely blown away with his performance in The Last King of Scotland. He starts this film more than a little whiny, but as the film progresses the viewer gets to see him grow and come into his own. In a film where action is the life blood and very little time is spent developing characters, he does a fine job making his character real. Or at least as real as you can get when your heart rate routinely exceeds 400 bpm allowing you to slow down time and shoot the wings off a fly.

Providing the female eye candy in the film is none other than Angelina Jolie. She does what she does best. She's mysterious and graceful and exotically beautiful. She also kicks a lot of ass in this film adding to the hot factor. Love her or hate her, most do one or the other, she is a remarkably talented actress. She changes skin effortlessly as a chameleon--powerful enough for a title role, but exquisitely capable as a supporting actress.

Morgan Freeman also plays a significant character in the film, but his performance was disappointingly bland, comprising mostly of sitting around and looking thoughtful and wise. Ho hum.

Overall, despite the film's glaring flaws, I found it immensely entertaining. There is a TON of gratuitous cussing, a couple of scenes of non-nude but obvious sex, and Angelina Jolie's ass crack makes an appearance. Definite R rating.

I give the film a B+.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why Our Babies Sleep On Their Bellies

In my previous post, a picture of our son sleeping, a concerned blog friend mentioned that the current thinking is that sleeping on belly may increase the risk for SIDS. As with most things, our decision to buck the current medical trend with our children hasn't come lightly, but rather with an extensive survey of the current research and a formulation of my own professional opinion.

That being said, here's some ground rules for this post:

1. This post is being made with the utmost respect for the person who made the original comment. (Every time I'm on your page and see the pictures of your little friend my heart breaks a little--I can't imagine the devastation of losing a child.)

2. This post is a statement of my own opinion. Albeit my professional opinion and soundly backed with current research, it is still just an opinion. And as people say, opinions are like bungholes--everyone has got one, and sometimes they stink.

3. Since this is a hot button issue, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions, but please keep it respectful and friendly--no dog-piling allowed. :)

The thing about SIDS is that nobody really knows why it happens. I think this is true for a couple of reasons. The diagnosis is incredibly broad. Any otherwise healthy baby that has an unexplained crib death is labeled with SIDS. My gut instinct is that we are lumping several disease processes together at a minimum. Secondly, I think the true cause of SIDS is probably multi-factorial. I think the quick reversal from back to belly to back as the preferred sleep position in such a short time is also indicative of this lack of true understanding.

Here's why we feel safe with our children sleeping on their bellies:

1. They get regular chiropractic adjustments. Much of the cutting edge research about the mechanism of SIDS shows that many babies have suffered a malposition or abnormal motion of the upper cervical area of the spine--namely the occiput in relation to C1, and C1 in relation to C2. The research shows that the upper cervical vertebrae can impinge on the brain stem in the location of the breathing centers. This is exactly the type of thing I was trained to find, diagnose, and correct in my post-graduate chiropractic work with infants and children. A simple, safe, non-forceful adjustment can eliminate this lesion.

How does this lesion happen? It can be mechanical, possibly from birth trauma--damaged with the forceful twisting and pulling that the modern birth process is known for. Oh and safe with a C-section? Actually, no, C-section delivery is often times more forceful than vaginal. The lesion can also occur in response to toxins in the body or stressful situations--but more about that later.

In a side note, the research is now showing this exact type of lesion in many Shaken Baby Syndrome cases. This type of upper cervical lesion has been demonstrated to cause all the tell tale symptoms of SBS. The strange thing is that it may appear in babies that haven't been shaken, leading to false diagnosis, and false accusations of parents. Also important to note is that many babies that HAVE been shaken do NOT demonstrate the cardinal signs, leading to missed diagnoses.

2. Our kids aren't inflamed, and therefore at a much lower risk. Respiration is a parasympathetic process, and in our insane world we are completely sympathetically over-driven. I hear you now though, "Are you saying even our babies are stressed out?!?" Well, in a word, I'd say, "Yes." But not in manner that you might think. Clearly most babies have it on easy street--eat, sleep, poop, repeat. But mom's lifestyle while carrying baby directly affects the fetus, so unless mom was chillin at the Zen Spa for 9 months, baby starts life stressed out.

Now lets look at diet. Dairy based baby formulas increase inflammation. That's all there is to it. They just do, because they are dairy based. Next, baby gets moved to grain based cereals which is straight up inflammation in a bottle. And then it's on to whole foods that contain preservatives, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup--all inflammatory.

Thirdly, I have to mention immunizations, because the undisputed fact is that the contents of immunizations absolutely increase inflammation. The most common side-effect from vaccines is fever, redness and swelling--3 of the 5 cardinal signs of inflammation.

Inflammation can be a good thing--the body is designed to respond that way to speed healing. The problem is that we never resolve our inflammation these days--it's constant and additive. The inflammatory responses are intimately connected to the sympathetic nervous system, which in itself inhibits the parasympathetic system. This isn't cutting edge science here, it's simple physiology.

So in our case, we work very hard to make sure our kids aren't inflamed. They aren't immunized so they have normal functioning immune systems. They breast feed--which is great in two ways--no formula, and breast milk itself reduces inflammation. When they move to whole foods they eat organic, preservative free food with no artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup.

In a nutshell, that's why we're comfortable with our babies on their bellies. They just sleep better that way, and if the major contributing factors to SIDS are reduced, then I don't see the problem.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Canon EOS 40d, Canon 85mm 1.8
1/60s f/1.8 at 85mm iso1600

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sexual Tension

This post will probably only make sense to you parents out there. I've been aware of this issue for quite some time now, and I've done my best to keep quiet about it. But jeez, this elephant keeps getting pinker every time I watch this show with the 2 y/o, pretty much every Saturday and Sunday morning.

So this goes out to you Handy Manny, call Kelly up, bring her flowers and take her to dinner if you want. But holy smokes, get a hotel room and *^$& her already! M'kay? You'll both feel better and the rest of us won't have wallow in your repressed sexual tension.

Here's a pic of the cute couple. As you can see Handy Manny really has a hard, hat for Kelly...

On a side note, did you know that the Handy Manny's voice is done by none other than Wilmer Valderrama? You may know him better as....Fez, from That 70s Show. "Fez likes them big, Fez likes them small, Fez likes them all." Now that's just creepy.

Tree Rock Wall

Canon EOS 40d, Canon 17-40 f4L
Composite HDR image of 6 exposures.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

TINTINTS 1/15/2009

Heard in my house:

Baby Drofen: Fart....fart.....fart............fart...faaaaaaaaart.

Drofen: "What are you serving, carbonated breast milk?"

Mrs. Drofen: "Apparently."

Spider Rock

Canon EOS 40D, Canon 17-40mm f4L
1/800s f/8.0 at 24.0mm iso200

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pickled Bitter

Looking back over the past year I realize that aside from the years spent living through my dying first marriage, 2008 was quite possibly the worst year of my life. The professional disappointment I experienced following my much heralded graduation from chiro school I can describe as nothing short of crushing. It's made an indelible scar on my soul. I don't know how else to say it than that--it's affected who I am and how I see the world. I'm smart enough to know that such bitterness doesn't stay neatly compartmentalized and seeps its insidious way into the entire person. I've seen it affect my marriage, my relationship with my children, my relationship with God...

I know all the conventional wisdom about how the true measure of a man is in how he deals with failure. That's a nice and tidy cliche on paper--and I can match that cliche in real life. The truth is that yes, I've dealt with it just fine, almost healthily. I get up in the mornings. I interact with people. I have hobbies, and interests, and distractions. I have hopes, and dreams, and aspirations. I haven't considered suicide in quite some time now. So on paper, I'm doing just fine. But how does that translate from firmware to wetware?

In real life I'm deeply, deeply wounded and betrayed. And the senselessness of it all is the worst part. The school's disregard for the fact that I have a family to provide for, that I have responsibilities as a man is abominable. The clever marketing and the outright lies spirited my money and my livelihood away. The fantasy fairy tales they passed off as truths stole my children's father from them. It repossessed 4 years of my time and my life. It strangled my marriage within an inch of its life. And the school doesn't care because they got paid. I wonder how these people sleep at night? Have they deluded themselves into believing the bullshit that spews from their mouths?

I don't think I'm ever going to be OK with this part of my life. 4 years! That's 1/8 of my entire LIFE. I'm wondering if it might be best to wall this off like some infectious tubercle and try and move on. To some extent that's what I've done. Nursing school is full of promise and hope. If I can't get a job after graduating nursing school, it really is me. I have a new child that I must teach how to be a man.

I guess its time I learned how to be one.

Meme 2008

2008 questions, A meme
Stolen/borrowed from Tiffany.

2008: A Year In Bulletpoints

Q: What did you do in 2008 that you had never done before?
A: Had a son, got admitted to nursing school, watched my mouth.

Q: Did you keep your New Year's resolutions?
A: I think I vowed to lose weight. Eh, didn't do so well.

Q: What would you like to have in '09 that you didn't have in '08?
A: A sense of peace.

Q: What dates from '08 will remain etched upon your memory?
A: Jan 15 officially graduated chiro school. Mar 1 got my chiro license. Jun 1 opened my practice. Oct 1 closed my practice. Dec 10 my son was born.

Q: Did you suffer from any injury?
A: Only my psyche.

Q: Where did most of your money go?
A: Into a failed practice.

Q: What did you get really excited about?
A: Birth of my son and getting accepted to nursing school.

Q: What song will always remind you of 2008?
A: Hmmm, something by Colbie Caillat, or maybe Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park.

Q: Favorite TV shows of 2008?
A: I really liked Hopkins, didn't watch much grown up tv though.

Q: What was your greatest musical discovery?
A: Yeesh, uh, that Keith Urban is a hell of a musician, not just a pretty boy?

Q: Best book you read this year?
A: Operating Instructions by Annie Lamott.

Q: Favorite film of the year?
A: Stranger Than Fiction, probably not released in 08, but I saw it in 08.

Q: Describe your fashion concept of '08:
A: Welcome back to J. Crew.

Q: What celebrities did you fancy the most?
A: Hmmm, Rachel Bilson made a big splash.

Q: Who do you miss?
A: My chiro school buddies.

Q: Biggest achievement?
A: Becoming a dad again, making it through a year of crushing disappointment still a functioning human being--most days.

Q: Did you fall in love in 2008?
A: I think I learned what love is, and it ain't the bubble gum spritzer I used to think it was.

Q: What's one thing that would have made your year more satisfying?
A: Oh, I don't know, maybe being able to actually make a living and support my family. Wow, that sounds bitter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sitting Down On The Job

Yes, it's another bodily function blog post. What can I say? I'm male. These are the things we think about.

In a public restroom with a urinal, I'm a stand up kind of guy. But at home, I sit down. Now this topic is apparently a hot one in gender politics. I have a friend who always sat to pee because his wife asked him to. After they divorced he "reclaimed his manhood" and refused to sit to pee ever again. He also started eating meat again since they were vegetarians. We had a coming out party for him after the divorce was final at Hooters and many chicken wings were consumed. Incidentally he's stopped eating meat and is a vegetarian again, but no report on his bathroom habits.

For me it's simple, I've got two things working against me. First, I'm pretty tall, so my waist to floor distance is relatively substantial--let's not forget the acceleration due to gravity. Second, well, I'm no Hank Hill, so there's a volume quotient to add to the equation. Basically if I'm standing and urinating in a standard toilet I get a lot of back splatter, and that's just gross. If I'm wearing shorts, or worse, flip-flops and I can feel the splatter on my bare skin...ew.

So for my purposes, at home, I generally sit down. Avoids a whole mess (hehe) of trouble. I'm sure my wife appreciates it as she usually is the one that cleans the toilets around here. But it raises an interesting question. In a few years Baby Drofen is going to be potty training, so that may change things for a little while.

So, how about you or the men in your life? Up, down? A manly hover?

Acoma Pueblo #2

Canon EOS 40D, Canon 17-40mm f4L
1/1250s f/8.0 at 19.0mm iso200

This is what's known as a prayer ladder. It's painted white, and the ends are sharpened to pierce the clouds with the people's prayers. The ladders are used to ascend into the kivas, the holy rooms where the Acoma worship.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chic Intolerance

As I checked my Facebook account I ran across the following quote in a high school friend's status:

**** ***** doesn’t want to hear Bush apologize, I want to hear the people who voted him into office apologize or admit the wrong decision.

My point here is not to ignite a political liberal vs. conservative discussion, but rather to draw light to the underlying message in those words. To read this quote on the surface, one might surmise that my high school friend is obviously a liberal, and obviously an Obama supporter. Both are true. One might also deduce that they are happy that Obama was elected, and happy that Bush is on his way out. This is true as well. And in my opinion they are more than entitled to that opinion--it's their right--and a part of what makes America a great place to live.

But to me, there's something more insidious lying under the surface of that seemingly innocuous statement. This is more than, "Yay, I'm happy that my candidate won, and yay a president I don't like is leaving office." This is "in your face, nanya nanya boo boo." And worse than that, this is "I have been so wronged by your political choices that you should apologize for yourself."

I feel very strongly about this. I will never apologize for looking at the issues at hand, judging the candidates up for election, and casting my vote as an American. Things don't always work out in the best possible manner, but the world will never know if the alternative might have been worse. I will never apologize for what I believe in, and for what I think is right.

Unfortunately this quote from Facebook is not an isolated incident. I've been running across this attitude from fervent Obama supporters in many areas of my life. If unity is the ultimate goal of the new Obama regime, if healing is the new buzzword, if Obama stands against injustice and intolerance, then comments like these have no place. They only serve to divide and subjugate.

And the Left gleefully dares point out the hypocrisy of the Right?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Meme, from Tiffany

1. Do you like blue cheese? Dressing, no. Crumbles, yes!

2. Have you ever smoked? I smoked like 3 cigarettes when I was with my first wife because she refused to quit and I was trying to make a point. I should have realized when she refused to quit that she wasn't the one for me.

3. Do you own a gun? Yes, several.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid is your favorite? Don't like Kool-Aid.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Here lately, if they're OB appointments for my wife--they kept trying to steal our baby early!

6. What do you think of hot dogs? One question for you, ever read the Jungle by Upton Sinclair?

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually, or It's a Wonderful Life if I'm feeling nostalgic.

8. Favorite thing to drink in the morning? Half a cup of V8 Fusion.

9. Can you do push ups? Yep, but embarrassingly few.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring--it's titanium so I barely know its there.

11. Favorite hobby? Photography.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? No, probably the opposite though. I hate it when there's too many things going on and I can't concentrate.

13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? I can be judgemental (Good one Tiff.)

14. Middle name? I have one, but you will never hear it uttered out loud.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
A) WOW! it's hard to type with a 2 y/o draped over your lap.
B) WOW! Baby Drofen is cranky tonight.
C) Can't wait for classes to start already.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water, Water, and the occasional beer.

17. Current worry? Money for school.

18. Current hate right now? IDIOT people that take up the entire width of a grocery aisle decided which kind of pork and beans they want to buy.

19. Favorite place to be? Kennebec Pass, CO.

20. How did you bring in the new year? Dozing in and out of consciousness on the couch.

21. Where would you like to go? To class!!

22. Name three people who will complete this:
A) Christy
C) Mom In Scrubs maybe?

23. Do you own slippers? Nope.

24. What shirt are you wearing? Tourist t-shirt from Big Bear, CA.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Not really. And they're no fun for having fun on either, it's like trying to wrangle a greased pig.

26. Can you whistle? Yes

27. Favorite color? Olive green.

28. Would you be a pirate? No, the bad grammar would get to me.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I usually don't sing in the shower. In the car on the other hand...

30. Favorite Girl's Name: Hmm, IF we have another, Lily Hope

31. Favorite boy's name: IF we have another, Connor Pake

32. What's in your pocket right now? Wallet, Kroger receipt.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Coming in the door from the grocery store the 2 y/o says, "Yay, dinner's ready!!!"

34. What vehicle do you drive? Dodge pick up, Nissan Xterra, Toyota LandCruiser FJ-60.

35. Worst injury you've ever had? Hmmm, broken finger? Had a few close calls with the chainsaw when I worked for the Forest Service, but no actual injuries.

36. Do you love where you live? Its ok.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2.

38. Who is your loudest friend? Kid named Jared. He's 30, but my wife says he's about like a 7 year old.

39. Do you have any pets? 2 cats, a golden retriever, and a Russian tortoise named Nadya.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Not anymore I'm afraid. Honeymoon's over baby.

41. Your favorite book? Probably Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott.

42. Do you collect anything? My wife would say photo equipment.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Don't really have a fave, just enjoy a good game.

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? Probably something from the Gladiator soundtrack.

Canyon de Chelly #1

Canon EOS 40d, Canon 17-40mm f4L
1/400s f/8.0 at 24.0mm iso200

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Great Textbook Debacle

Our books are being offered as a package deal from the on-campus bookstore, at the tune of nearly $1100 including tax. The package is offered as an all or nothing deal, and many students didn't take kindly to this. Especially when they took the book list and started shopping Amazon. Most managed to save about $300 over the package price, which sounds significant. Except...

Remember that PDA I've been complaining about having to buy? Well, we are required to have a proprietary software package including six different clinical companions, like a drug reference, a nursing dx reference, etc. Sounds way cool. Unfortunately, it's going to cost the self-shoppers $240 to get this software--it's included in the bookstore package price. So overall, they've saved about $60, and that's nothing to sneeze at. Except...

The bookstore package price also includes all our books in e-format. Very handy--you can do one search and the software will compile articles from all your books on that topic. So, say you search for renal failure secondary to diabetes mellitus: From the patho book it pulls the pathology, from pharm the pertinent drugs, from assessment how to assess, associated nursing dx's etc. Pretty cool. But I get that not everyone appreciates that, and many just want their paper books, and again, $60 is $60. Except...

It turns out this e-book package includes ALL our books for this semester...and the next semester...and the two after that. So if one were comfortable reading e-books, these could be the last text books to buy. Sounds like a great deal to me. Except...

Now an outside competitor to the on-campus bookstore is offering the exact same package, with a $100-off coupon. And free shipping on phone orders.

Now where did I put my phone...

The Rite of Parenthood #4

The successful parent understands that carseat safety is an important issue. However, the successful parent is also aware that cinching down a son's carseat straps in the same manner as cinching down daughters' carseat straps may result in prolonged and high pitched crying.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Estrogen Ocean

I'm terribly sorry that I haven't been posting posts of substance as much lately, and more importantly I've done a pretty lousy job of keeping up with every one's blogs and comments. For the last two exhausting days I've been at orientation for nursing school.

In my pre-nursing classes my estimate of male penetration (hehe, no pun intended,) into the female population was roughly 20%--well above the national average of male nurses which is about 10%. I figured my actual class would be close to the same, but that is not the case. Our class has 110 students, 13 of which are male. I am acutely aware that I'm entering a female dominated profession, and I thought I had prepared myself for that fact.

Yesterday and today was an eye-opening experience.

Never before have I been so adrift in the 'estrogen ocean'. I'm guessing the level of estrogen expression was directly tied to the general anxiety level, but there were several times during the day that I was left just shaking my head... It's very ridiculous in many ways. Because I sport a pair of testicles and a little dangly penis I have to have my assessment lab assignment approved. You see, even though I will be expected to assess female patients with professionalism and without deference, I am not allowed to assess my female classmates. So, the first time in nursing school that I listen for the PMI in the left 5th intercostal space at the midclavicular line and have to wrangle me some sensitive breast tissue, you guessed it, it will be on a real live patient. Yeesh. We're all adults for goodness sake.

In other news we got our clinical assignments. Mine is at a brand new hospital that's literally down the street from our house. Finally, listening to all those ambulances scream by in the night pays off. My schedule is as follows:


8-12 Foundations
1-4 Health Promotion


8-10 Assessment
2-5 Assessment Lab


7-4 Clinical/Foundations Lab alternates weeks.

When my wife comes off maternity leave she'll return to work Thursday-Saturday nights, so I'll be on daddy-duty those nights, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday days while she sleeps. So for now, everything seems to fit nicely.

Acoma Pueblo #1

Canon EOS 40d, Canon 17-40mm f4L
1/1000s f/8.0 at 20.0mm iso200

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Overheard in my house:

Drofen: "Do you want me to change Baby Drofen?"

Wife, puzzled: "No...why? He doesn't need it?"

Drofen: "I thought I heard him filling his diaper."

Wife: "That was just a plane flying over the house landing at the airport."

Drofen: "...oh. My mistake."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Native American Proverb

"Never fall asleep while your meat is on the fire."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Trip Highlights

I did manage to dump all 4 gigs worth of pictures to my desktop, but that's as far as I made it with the pics. Maybe 4 gigs doesn't sound like a lot, but that's over 300 hundred pictures to sift through.

My trip started late Thursday morning after getting the 2 y/o up and settled, and then waiting to leave until after my wife got to shower. I got out the door about 1030 CST and headed West. I chose to take my wife's Xterra because it gets better mileage than my truck and it's 4 wheel drive. It also has a kick ass MP3 player compatible Rockford Fosgate stereo, with a 6 disc CD changer to boot. Which would have been fantastic if I'd remembered to bring the iPod or the CD's. *sigh* While the Xterra is a pretty cush ride with all the modern conveniences, it also has the aerodynamic grace of a hay barn. My flight plan was approved with the caveat that I was on a strict budget, NOT to be exceeded. When I ran into a headwind less than 20 miles out of town, my mileage quickly dropped from 23 to 19 mpg. Unfortunately I had planned fuel stops and budget on at least 20 mpg. I still managed to make my first planned fueling point in Vega, TX about 35 miles West of Amarillo, but it's a spooky thing when the vehicle's computer is proclaiming "0 miles to empty" 20 miles from a gas station.

The next leg took me nearly across New Mexico, stopping for the night in Gallup, NM. Budget called for Motel 6 to leave the light on for me, but I wish they'd also left the complimentary internet on as well. I was counting on there at least being a coffee maker in the room, but that's not how Tom Bodett rolls apparently. I got to my room at about 2100 MST, or almost exactly 11 1/2 hrs after I started. Interestingly enough when I pulled into my parking space at the hotel I had traveled exactly 790.0 miles. If you do the math that's an average speed of 68.7 mph. No, I didn't stop much, LOL!

Next morning I was up early, mostly because I failed to notice the window mounted heater in my room was actually unplugged. It was a brisk 18* outside, and possibly warmer than that in my room. After a bowl of tap water tepid oatmeal, I was off for Canyon de Chelly. Rather as soon as the Xterra warmed up enough to defrost all the windows without an ice scraper, I was off. That extra 10 minutes may have saved my life actually. I drove past a BAD wreck on the interstate just as EMS was rolling up. I saw on the local news that night that a man had fallen asleep at the wheel, crossed the median and crashed head on into another vehicle, killing two.

The 90 mile trip to the Canyon was uneventful with only snowpacked roads at the higher elevations. Once on the canyon, the reason for the trip was immediately clear. When that vast openness unfolded at my feet, the sheer immensity of God's creation was apparent. Standing before such a stunning landscape that took a million times longer to create than I will draw breath on this Earth, one gains just a tad bit of perspective. I'd forgotten what it was like to be in pure silence. No undercurrent of traffic on the highway, or sirens in the distance. No garbage trucks 3 streets over, or jets flying overhead. No radios, no tv. Sheer and utter silence, broken only by the sighs of the melting ice on the edges of the river, a thousand feet below. Or shattered by the rasp of a crow cry on the opposite canyon wall. *sigh* I was sad to leave the canyon at sunset to head back to my hole of a hotel room.

The next morning I headed back East with a stop at the Acoma Pueblo in NM. For those that aren't familiar, Acoma Pueblo is built atop a mesa, nearly 400 feet above the valley floor. Incredible doesn't even begin to describe it. It is the oldest continiously inhabited town in the US, maybe the world, (I'll have to check on that.) After a tour and some more photo ops, I headed on toward home. I got home at about 2300 CST.

Trip stats: 29:14 hours driving. 1933 miles. Average mph: 63.5. Average mpg: 22.3 (caught a strong tailwind on the way home.)

Trip Shout-outs:

**To the asshole owner of the Chevron gas station on Westbound I-40 in Vega, TX. Fix the auto shut off on your damn gas pump. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to have malfunctioning equipment like that, but you can bet I'll be googling to find out for sure. And an accessory shout-out goes to your bitchy clerk who saw fit to come outside and stare meaningfully at me for 4 or 5 minutes while untold gallons of gas poured out onto the parking lot rather than open her mouth and say something. Lord knows it was too far to walk her fat ass the 20 feet to come tell me what was going on.

**To the Native American vendors at Canyon de Chelly and Acoma Pueblo both, I'm sorry that I was on such a shoestring budget this trip--I had the ramen noodles and peanut butter in the car to prove it. I understand that the places I visited are important, if not sacred, to your culture. This is why I conducted myself respectfully my entire trip. I don't believe however, this begets you the right to act offended when I'm not interested in perusing your wares. It's not personal, I just don't want to waste your time or mine by looking at things I don't have the means to purchase.

**To the asswipe in the Subaru Outback with California plates. It's called cruise control you asshole. Nobody should have to pass and be passed 35 times in the span of 157 miles. I've never been so glad to see someone head to Oklahoma City instead of Dallas-Fort Worth.

Ok. I think that's it. Pictures to follow.

Dream House

Well, it's worth a shot.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I was planning on breaking up my trip home into two days, but I got to Amarillo and decided, "screw it" and drove the rest of the way in.

Will catch up with everyone's comments tomorrow.

Good night!

Journey's wisdom

"The smarter a man is, the more he needs God to protect him from thinking he knows everything." --Native American proverb

Sent from the Cingular network using Mobile Email


Canon EOS 350D, Canon 24mm 2.8
1/100s f/8.0 at 24.0mm iso400

Firehouse in DC.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Rite of Parenthood #3

When a potty training 2 y/o states, "I have to go potty," the successful parent understands that the window of opportunity is approximately 30 seconds and counting. This timeframe is dependent on location, and is in fact inversely related to the distance from an appropriate bathroom and the number of clothing layers on the bottom half of said 2 y/o.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

From the road.

Lotaburger green chile cheeseburger. Only in New Mexico and best washed down with a fountain Pepsi. Nectar of the gods...

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Heavenly Ceil

Canon EOS 350D, 50mm 1.8
1/250s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso200

Ceiling of the Rotunda in the US Capitol.


To the 2 y/o dressed like a ballerina:

"Take some of those off, 3 tu-tu's is two tu-tu's too many!"

(Try saying that outloud tu-tu times fast.