Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Like too little butter spread over too much bread.." B.B.

"Stand up for Cancer"

That is the new slogan that I hear all the time now. I see wonderful celebrities, sports stars and musical talents on the big screen, hear them on my XM Radio and they pop up on my Interwebs, all touting the benefits of an as-of-yet undisclosed movement, telethon, mass publick protest, I don't know...all for the benefits of, awareness of, and hopeful eradication of cancer...a terrible disease affecting, well, pretty much everyone.

My mom has a form of cancer, my cousin had a scare with the big casino, and my girlfriend recently lost her cousin to a lifelong battle with cancer. He went very, very bravely into that good night, and leaves a heroic legacy. I have to assume that standing up for cancer is a good cause.

But so is Greenpeace, who we give money to every month, so is Amnesty International, "We", "One", Smile Train, Habitat for Humantity, Sierra Club, WWF, AIDS quilt, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention Spina Bifida research! How many charities are there? 1,000? 1,000,000?

I was watching a rerun of Angel (genius, and Boreanz (sp?) goodness!) where Cordelia suffers the knowledge of ALL the souls in trouble all at once, instead of just the one immediate vision she normally gets in that show. The resulting vision headache was paralysizing, and she nearly died as a result.

Now, I am not the conduit for The Powers That Be, but I am a well to do middle class fella that wants to do some good in the world, as I feel a certain amount of responsibility for the planet and those what are in it. What is the best course of action for outreach and charitable giving? Is a small contribution to a lot of charities the right thing to do? Maybe make one of them my "cause", and put all my charity eggs in one basket? Give money to one, and time to another? its all a little overwhelming. Five dollars to a hundred charities? Five hundred dollars to one charity?

I need some time to churn this around in my mind, and then i'll get back to you. I think you can all expect some charitable donations for holiday gifts and birthday presents from now on...I hope you don't mind, but we all kind of have enough "stuff" at this point anyway, don't we? At least until I start making stuff. Homemade gifts are SO wonderful, but then again, so is that feeling of smug self satisfaction that can come with charity.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Whoo hoo!

Well, I am in fine fettle this morning, as opposed to yesterday, where a combo platter of dental work and head shrinking therapy left me with a continental rift sized headache.

I struggled through yesterday, and called it quitsies at 8pm, right after Herself went down for nighty nights. It was still light out, which I found peaceful, and incredibly decadent. Well, I WOULD have found it thus, but Morpheus' shroud descended on me quickly, and I was out before the sun fully set.

I awoke early, did the toilette, then headed off to work....on my bicycle! I do not know why I put it off for so long, put the ride in was wonderful, easy and a full six miles. Suck on THAT, exercise plan! I decided not to check any clocks or anything, and just take my time, ease into the office, and start my day.

Well, after a stop off at the diner, of course! The Tastee Diner in Bethesda, to be specifical. My "usual" breakfast comes to me without more than my cheery greeting of "Hello", and knowing glances from the delightful waitperson Beth to the incredible culinary maestro that is Mario. Almost before I get settled in, my "two eggs over easy, home fries well done, side of bacon and rye toast with butter" is winging its delicious way to my palette. Take THAT, diet plan!

So all of this wonderful morning ritual, easy going and sublime, results in my being well rested, exercised, highly caffeineited and the office at my desk by 8 a.m.! Wow! Im amazed at myself, and even moreso at how pleasantly the universe works out if you just take it easy and let it. No getting in the way, no rushing around, no stressing over time and voila, time just worked itself out.

Of course, Im blogging instead of working, so I best get back to it!


Friday, May 09, 2008

Chow Maine Lach 1994 ~ 2008

Fourteen years ago I was working for a small architecture firm in Forked River, New Jersey. Our boss at the time wanted to get a new cat, and we thought it would be a good idea to get an office cat as well. Although my boss was allergic to cats, he loved them dearly, and knew that the Maine Coon cat is reportedly hypo-allergenic, and thus safe for him to handle and love. Off to the crazy cat lady to select our destiny.

She brought out a box of lily white precious kittens, about ten of them, each one cuter than the next...all preening, mewling, and looking all wide eyed with wonder at the world they were in. Perfect little kitties, everyone.

Except this runt of the litter, a ridiculous cross of Maine Coon cat and Wild Asian Leopard cat, rolling over on his back, swiping his claws at anything within his reach, and licking his own massive privates.

"This is MY cat", I exclaimed, pointing my finger at this half-blind tufted feline mess, who promptly bit me, drawing first blood. Thus was our relationship formed.

Small enough to fit in my Wyfe's outstretched hand while we made love to keep him from clawing up my backside, he would sit atop my draughting table, swatting at my pencil as I drew the homes that made up my livelihood. Eventually he came home with us, graduating from the office and the "all the donuts he could eat" policy that led him to swell up like the time lapse photo montage of Orson Welles. I will always love him as the aloof, surly and grumpy old man presence he was in our lives.

I am confident that he, in his own way he loved us as could tell by the way he would stare at the wall opposite you and scream. Good bye, Chow Maine. You will be missed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

525,600 Minutes?

"How do we measure, a year in a life?"

Millie is one year old today. The Goodely and I lay in bed last night, canoodling and reminiscing about where we were this time last year. Big Fat Pregnant Goodely and I anxiously awaiting the rise of the sun, heading down to the hospital with friends and family, going to get our little bundle of joy.

Hopes for the future rose above fears for all the necessary medical procedures as we welcomed Millie Isabella into the world.

This first birthday in a way marks the end of many "firsts" that Millie will have...first Christmas, first Summer, first New Year's, etc. With that in mind, there are SO many milestones to reach, so many firsts, that we are looking forward to each new day and the wonders that are brought on the braced heels of this little joy harbinger.

First time in the back pack, walking down the path by our house. I half expected Millie to begin instructing me on the ways of the Force, warning me about the dangers of the Dark Side whilst we strolled and levitated rocks. I would like to think that had Luke had Millie to pat his neck and coo and burble behind him in lieu of a short green 900 year old jedi master, he might not have entered the cave of the Dark Side and had his little mental breakdown, finishing his training and not screwing everything up for everyone.

But I digress...

Happy Birthday, Millie!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

In Which my Daughter Finds Daddy's Junk.

Millie is now 10 months old, a time of almost daily growth and milestones. She crawled this past weekend. Actually crawled a few feet for the first time. Now, this doesn't mean that she is crawling as of yet, only that she has crawled, for which we were teary eyed with happiness. I reckon it is only a matter of time before she is all over the Clutterhut tearing into things, and threatening to charge headlong down the stairs. Childproofing efforts shall commence shortly.

Her lower half is developing nicely, if a bit behind schedule due to the Spina Bifida, but her upper half is right on schedule, and perhaps a little ahead. She has so far mastered the arts of "Where's Millie, There She Is!" and the esoteric "How Big is Millie? SO big!", to the delight of all. Her manual dexterity is amazing to see, and she passes objects back and forth between her hands, and puts thing inside and pull things out of other things with calm alacrity. Indeed, she is a master of all things digital.

In other news, Im a total nudist around the house. Although the Goodely Wyfe has confided in me that even though I have gotten into great shape, casual nudity is not her thing, and isn't much of a turn on for her, I still like to be nude as much as possible. To that end, on my days home with Millie, its frequently "naked time" for Daddy as well.

It isn't going to take a mensa superstar to see where I am going here, but yes, Millie discovered that Daddy has junk the other day, and that said junk is imminently grabbable. I guess it happened for the first time at the changing table, where the heights as conducive to this sort of thing, but my dearest gentle flower of a daughter reached out, grabbed "me" and gave me a wrenching that left me gasping for air and leaving me kneeling and again teary eyed while she giggled maniacally.

I have taken to wearing sleepy pants around the house now. When I can remember.

This morning, I forgot, and we were making little caves under the covers and playing peek a boo when Millie reached out and took "me" into both her hands, and tugged in different directions. She must be part cobra, because she struck faster than I think the eye could follow, giggling all the time. Daddy, of course, was NOT giggling.

I have now taken to wearing sleepy pants CONSTANTLY, and have them on under my work clothes. Mild exaggeration, but you wil allow me some leeway, yes?

So, alas, we offer up the sanctity of casual nudity upon the altar of Fatherhood. I guess it will become more special to me moving forward, as I am left to feeling "comfortable" in my casual nudity (and safe, for that matter) only when the women in my life are out of the house or safely tucked in. Actually, now that I have spelled it out, that doesn't sound all that bad...put the girls to bed, strip down and make myself a nice cuppa. Considering the eyefulls my neighbors and mailcarriers have gotten in the past, perhaps its all for the best.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Fab Five

So, it has come to my attention, well, it has been on the radar for quite some time, that as a member of a committed relationship, I get to choose my "five", that is, the five people that I get a "pass" on and am able to have illicit congress with outside of my marriage. I do not know where this concept started, but there you go. Now, as I understand it, these five are not "That hot blonde I used to work with." or even "That Pirate Lady Broad.", or even "That super hot local sports anchor." , as your five are intended to be folk what you couldn't possibly actually get. Honestly, I am pretty sure I could get that sports anchor (Ms Czarniak, if you are reading, I think you are totally hot, but alas, you are a bit too local to make the list!!) with a little bit of intentional effort.

So, the five. I am led to believe that the five are usually from Hollywood, sports and music, and are usually celebrities, so here we go, without further ado, I hereby present: The Robbyblog Five.

First off, of course, is none other than Angelina Jolie. Really, this woman has gone ahead and made everyone's "five" into everyone's "four". Its pretty much a given that Angelina is going to be on your list. I mean, what are you going to do, take the chance that she somehow shows up looking to bump uglies, and you didn't put her on the list? Silly, silly silly. So, by default, this very obvious choice is on my list. Besides being a no brainer, I also would like to confirm a long standing suspicion that I am much better in bed than Brad Pitt, so it would be lovely to put that to the test.

Number Four is the very lovely and talented Gwen Stefani. Again, not really a surprise, because, well....damn. I like this woman a lot, and think she would be a really good time in the sack. With so many different looks, so much talent, well, I think we would have a wonderful time together. 'Nuff Said, Gwen Stefani makes the list.

Number Three may be something of a surprise to some folk, but really couldn't be. Look at the dreamy eyes, the curly hair, the lovely skin and the positively adorable roles he plays, and you have none other than David Krumholtz. Would I top, would I bottom? I'm not entirely sure, but I would hate to miss the opportunity to give him a tumble, either way. Ladies and Gents, the D to the K:

Number Two just came back onto my radar after a long hiatus, the very attractive, always nude and frequently kicking zombie ass...Mila Jovovich. Goodness gracious, but this woman has some staying power. It was a LOT of fun searching picture archives to come up with a photo for the blog...goodness knows there are thousands that would do. I settled on this one, though, and I am sure I did not disappoint.

Number One....ah, sweet, darling number one. Top of the list, cream of the crop, A-Number One. Tina Fey, I think i love you. More than just her incredible sexiness, Ms Fey carries herself with an air of self deprecating humour, a quirky smile and those incredible frames. Ms Fey, Tina if you're definitely are at the top of my list!

So, there you go, my five. I am sure that this is a "living document", subject to change, and a bit of a fluff piece for February, but a nice bit of flippery and funniness for the winter doldrums!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hey Boo Boo, How About Them Pic-i-Nic Baskets?

© 2008 Sabine Sherer

....or, the thrills of the amateur Yogi.

Millie turned months old recently, celebrating more time out of the womb than in. Our little girl is growing up quickly, but to me, it seems as if time is moving by at just the right speed regarding her, whereas everything else is speeding past me. There are friends I have not talked to or seen in the nearly full year that Millie has been out of the Goodely's uterus, and I miss all of you quite a bit. Projects that I designed are now built and occupied, and I have not witnessed them going up.

My workout regimen has suffered a bit as well, I am stil rather slim, just not as "toight" as I would prefer, but I think Spring and Summer are better times for that sort of focus in any event. Even though we took some rather adventurous photos recently, as is evidenced above, I am still looking to be in the best shape of my life at forty, which is in August, in which I will commission full on "glamour" shots of myself.

Millie is, of course, and amazing person already. I find her so wonderful to be around, and so welcoming of all of the love that I have, and as a result, I hold nothing back. I can be a bit overwhelming in my demostrations of love and affection, and frequently find myelf pulling back for fear of scaring someone off or coming off as too much of a mush or whatever. Not so with Herself. She gets the full bore, double barrelled love gun right to the chest. It's grand fun. She doesn't even flinch!

Hee hee....she has started pushing me away when I get too snuggly, which is adorable, because she gets upset if I don't immediately snuggle her right back up, so she can push me away again! Roughhousing at nine months! Huzzah!

Im just babbling today, apparently, as I have no lofty words of quasi Zen like wisdom or questions what need answering, just a photo to share and a thought to write down. On with your day!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All the World's a Stage!!!

I had a discussion the other day with a lovely woman in my office, and we talked about the difference between assertiveness and serendipity. I tend to lay back and let things happen to me for better or worse, and find that by being a little lazy and passive that generally, really good things happen to me.

She asserted (hee hee) that for the most part, even when we reflect a passive nature, we are still in many, many ways shaping our futures and are subconsciously working toward that which we desire most. The Zen master in me recognizes this as living in harmony with the universe, not fighting against it or my own inner nature, and thus, what I picture as the universe providing for me is in actuality my own harmonizing with the Way Things Are.

I have a fabulous job, a wonderful wife, a gorgeous daughter and many fantastic friends and opportunities for growth, learning and pleasure. I have actively pursued very little of those "big things" that make the American Dream a reality. I do NOT have good study habits, and my work ethic is spotty at best but still manages to be productive. "Does Not Apply Himself" and "Does Not Live Up to His Potential" have always been comments on my report cards and reviews. Well, how do they know what my potential is? How do I unless it is tested? If I were truly in harmony with the universe, would I frequently lament my lack of "success" as measured in dollars and material possessions?

My latest serendipitous endeavor is that I will be in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles with a local community theatre group. We open next weekend, and well, close next weekend, but its all been very exciting.

This opportunity fell into my lap, and I couldn't be happier. I didn't pursue it actively, never auditioned and have never acted before. To continue the thoughts from above, one could argue that I have been living my life in such a way as to make stage acting inevitable in my life, which I heartily concede. So many times I end up getting exactly what I want, or meet a new person that fits a necessary void in my life perfectly, and have up until now chalked all that up to chance and randomness, but now I wonder how much of it is driven by me? How much of what you attain is due to your actively pursuing it versus being as open as possible to the many treasures that life has already offered you? Do you accept them when they come? Do you celebrate all the little gifts that the universe is providing daily, or do you turn away from them because you are chasing some other goal that YOU deem is MORE important than what the universe has in mind for you? This is not intended to be a treatise in how wonderful it is to be lazy...obviously hard work, dedication and focus are very valuable and laudable traits to have. I think the key, however is to balance a solid drive, work ethic, whatever, with a healthy acceptance of ourselves and the how often the best things in life are such as we already have, or are presented to us as we are on the path to perceived glories.

Bottom line: buy tickets to my show!! ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

One of the Best Lunches of My Life

Today we enjoyed a singularly wonderful glimpse into how sublime the "Ordinary Life Well Lived" can be. We start simply, with a deep carpet of snow blanketing the entire neighborhood surrounding my office, proof positive that all encompassing beauty can be achieved effortlessly, softly, and silently, if we just sit back and let it. We spent time in the office this morning listening to all the wonderfully evocative music of the season, not necessarily Christmas or holiday music, but more of a wintry music mix.

My intended lunch date cancelled on me, which oddly enough did not put me off my game, but allowed me the necessary permission to treat myself quite well. Wrapping up in my finest Old Navy outerwear, I set forth into town.

I strolled through the huge drifting flakes of snow, feeling them gather about the fur trimming of my hood, settling on my eyelashes, making me smile, glow and shine. I smile at everyone in a mood like this, and every now and then, one of my fellow Arctic travellers smiled back, and we shared a moment. Fewer things give me joy like making a connection with another person in this world, however fleetingly. To the bookstore I went, having forgotten one of my favourites at the office, to pick up a copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Considering that I am to play Sir Henry in a stage adaptation of the same story, I thought it best to have a passing familiarity with the original text. More on THAT story, though, upon its completion, for good or for ill.

Victorian serial novel of the peternatural in hand, I sojourned across the boulevard to a certain eatery called Mon Ami Gabi. I have had a number of wonderful lunches on their patio in warmer climes that I was anticipatory of a cozy interior experience, and I was not disappointed. Well, a little, as they had no tables adjacent to the windows such that I could take in the full of winter's joy while I dined, but I was seated in such a way as I could see ALL of the restaurant, and all of the windows.

The gentleman who waited on me...waited on me, and interesting turn of phrase. Perhaps it was the Sherlock Holmesian influence, but I found myself investigating the mundane with a scrutiny heretofore reserved for the intricate and the obscure. This gentleman and I entered into a contract, then and there. Without knowing his particular remuneration, he agreed to wait on me, to bring me water, food and drinks, and I agreed on some level to not ask too much which would be deemed inappropriate, and to treat him civilly and cordially. This man waited on me, I purchased an hour of his time that he would devote to me....Lorraine's youngest son, am I deserved of this level of attention? Perhaps not, but who better?

Graciousness was displayed on both sides of said contract, a smile from me, a congratulatory nod of approval upon my selection of wines from him, a respectful distance and pacing by the two of us to show no hurry, that we were both to enjoy this particular dining experience.

Enjoy it we did! I found myself bypassing all the typical lunch specials and settled into having a wonderful steak with drawn butter, frites and a glass of Merlot. The steak was prepared excellently, difficult to do with a cut so thin, how they managed my "warm, pink center" I have no idea, but there it was. I ate, no, I savoured every morsel.

I thought of raising my glass of fine red wine and proposing a toast to the small crowd before me:

"My dear men and women here assembled, I offer this toast as a way of acknowledging each and every one of you that has braved the weather and sought not just fine food, but a warm welcoming environment and the companionship of others. I salute you in this passing moment of camaraderie asd I salute the passing moment of pale beauty that is even now covering all of our surrounding vista. Cheers, be merry, and savour the moment!"

A bit long winded, yes, but I had a lot to say.

The company of Holmes and Watson only heightened my experience at the dining table that certainly did not end with each butter drenched morsel. With an eye to a renewed leisurely pace, I requested a piece of flourless chocolate cake, unadored and bare before me without the trappings of chocolate sauce or whipped cream. A bitter espresso was its only accompaniment, and it was a warm and rich slice of nirvana on earth.

Finally, with only a briefest tinge of remorse, the meal was concluded. Our contract through with the signing of my name, I thought I noticed in the man that was my servant no longer, the connection that I looked for, that a job was well done by everyone involved, and that we would remember each other, if only for a bit, on this snowy January day. I tipped him generously, and made a point of telling him that I had had very few better dining experiences in my life, to which he responded that it was a pleasure for him as well.

Satisfied, sated, I braved, no...I embraced the wintry world once more, back to the office, to the "real world" as it was described to me, joyous and celebratory. The real world for me is coloured most times in a way I have just described for you. Seeing the snow, purchasing a book, having a (admittedly VERY NICE) mid week lunch, all of this strikes my heart and makes me buoyant. THAT is the secret to the ordinary life well lived. Celebrate your life, in little ways, and in the grandest ways. You are worth every bit of your own attention. There is, in fact, no one MORE worth your attentions.

Bon Apetit!