Bring your own fork

October 9, 2008 - Thursday

 Freebird!

We took Zoe to her “first” “concert” tonight. “First” because her real first concert was seeing the Black Crowes at the Love Ride with me two years ago. “Concert” because this thing tonight was more like a Tiffany mall tour event than a concert.

This new “band” Metro Station put on a free show for a local radio station with two other “bands” at Universal Citywalk. Zoe and her classmates were all dying to go, so the parents surrendered en masse and let them. It was like a scene out of a Beatles newsreel with screaming girls in hysterics over sighting their idols, only in this case the “idols” are weak lip-syncers destined to be forgotten by this time next week. But whatever, Zoe and her friends had fun and were very excited by it all.

Me, I amused myself by yelling out “Freebird!!!” between songs. Nobody got it. I’m old.


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June 15, 2008 - Sunday

 Father’s Day

This is my second Father’s Day without a father. It still seems weird and wrong even now, a year and a half since his death. From time to time I still sit up with a start thinking, “Oh hell, I have to call Dad!” just like I used to because I wasn’t very good about keeping in touch. Then I remember that those days are gone.

I don’t feel sad that he’s gone, really, it’s sort of a sense of… Emptiness? Misplacement? I feel sort of un-anchored without my dad in the world. I miss him. I’ve been thinking of having a memorial tattoo done for him. I have a vague idea for a design, I know where I want it, I think I know who’s going to do it. I’ll probably have it done on or around his birthday at the end of July.

This is me and my Dad the last time I saw him in July of 2006. I think I knew then that it would be the last time. I think that’s why I brought my camera with me.

Dad & Me

With my dad gone Father’s Day is now about just me, and I celebrated it with my family. Beth and Zoe gave me a motorcycle helmet I’d been wanting, and Zoe gave me a copy of Richard Bach’s Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. I had given her a copy of Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull recently and we talked about how reading it when I was her age had led me to Illusions and how much that meant to me when I was younger. So it was a really good gift. I’m halfway through it already and it’s holding up well.

Then Zoe and I went out for a ride along the coast. We took this picture in Malibu.

Father & Daughter


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March 14, 2008 - Friday

 No Jam

Driving in the car with Zoe this evening, one of those robotic, generic, breathy, wanna-be R&B songs that pass for music these days came on the radio. The following conversation ensued:

Zoe: Oh, that’s my jam.
Me: You’re twelve. You don’t have a jam.


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December 16, 2006 - Saturday

 Catch A Possum By The Tail

Our dogs Suki and Sammy were barking up a storm in the back yard a little while ago at 1 a.m. and wouldn’t come in when I called, so that could mean just one thing: possum. I went out and looked, and sure enough they had one “cornered” on the fence.

I say “cornered” because it was five feet in the air where they couldn’t reach it and it could have escaped in either direction on the fence or jumped into a tree on the other side, so it had plenty of avenues of escape, but it was frozen in fear. Cornered, as it were. So I shooed the dogs back inside and came out with a camera.

I’ve been telling Zoe a serial bedtime story for the past week or so, making it up as I go along and throwing little bits of our lives into the story and ending each night with a cliffhanger. One of the characters is a possum named Eloise. In tonight’s episode, Eloise is currently at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport being interrogated by Homeland Security agents on suspicion of trespassing, impeding in the operation of a jet, and maybe terrorism. So clearly she’s not here, but that’s not important right now — Zoe’s going to love it when I show her a picture of Eloise in our own back yard.

Eloise

It hadn’t moved an inch in the time it took me to get the dogs back inside, block the dog door, go pee (I really had to go), find the camera, and come back outside. So it was out there in the dark, all alone, free to make its escape for at least five minutes. And it was still there. So it was really scared. But there it was, so I shot a few pictures of it. And it hardly moved while I was taking the pictures, so I took it a step further: I stretched out and grabbed the tip of its tail. No reaction.

It felt like a carrot, sort of. Or maybe a rope. Or a ropey carrot. Whatever, it felt like a possum tail, and if you don’t know what that feels like then I guess you haven’t lived as exciting a life as I have. For I am He Man, Puller of Possum Tails.

After that I figured I had scared it enough, so I went back inside and left it alone.

Ten minutes later Sammy was back out there again, barking her head off again. The possum was still there. Maybe it’s just stupid.


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November 12, 2006 - Sunday

 Love Ride 23

Zoe and I went on the Love Ride today. This was her second, my… fifth, I think. We didn’t go last year — partly out of inertia, partly because BB King was the musical draw and I wasn’t interested — but she went the year before that when ZZ Top was the concert, and how cool is that, that she can say ZZ Top was her first concert? This year was the Black Crowes, another worthy addition to her Concerts I’ve Been To file.

Here’s a picture of us parked in the middle of San Fernando Blvd just up the street from Glendale Harley-Davidson as we wait for the bikes to start rolling for the ride up to Lake Castaic.

Zoe & Me at Love Ride 23


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April 6, 2006 - Thursday

 Vacay Upday

So you’re asking yourselves, Hey, Selves, I wonder how Chuck, Beth and Zoe’s fabulous CuraƧao vacation is going? And because you’re an intelligent, discriminating person with an appreciation for the finer things in life — evidenced by the fact that you read this blog — you checked here to see if I posted a vacation update. And what do you know? I did!

So how’s the vacation going? I’ll let Zoe tell you from 40 feet down on her first “real” scuba dive:

Zoe's 1st Scuba Dive

Gotta go… Another shore dive beckons…


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December 30, 2005 - Friday

 Christmas Glee

Just for fun, here’s a picture of Zoe Christmas morning, getting the present she wanted the most:

I got my I-Dog!!!


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December 24, 2005 - Saturday

 Santa’s Last Last Letter

This time last year I wrote about how Santa was on his last legs around here and posted what I said was Zoe’s last letter to him. Well, the jolly old elf is resilient as hell and we’ve gotten one more year out of him. Here’s Zoe’s note to him this year:

Probably the last Santa note

I’m pretty sure she’s onto him, though, and is playing along for one last year, either out of nostalgia and not wanting to grow up (let’s face it — believing in Santa is better than not) or to work us for more and better gifts. I think she knows because of the tags she put on the presents she wrapped for two of our pets tonight:

Zoe's present to Sam

and

Zoe's present to Oliver

Notice in both cases that she’s signed them from “Santa.” This from a kid who still believes in Santa. Yeah, right.

We went over to Beth’s dad’s house tonight for our traditional Jewish Christmas celebration (lox & bagels and Christmas presents). He lives in Santa Monica overlooking the beach. Here’s a picture of Zoe on the bluff across the street from his condo with the Pacific Ocean in the background. (I know it’s pitch black — trust me, it’s there.) This is one of the perks of living in Southern California: shirtsleeves on the beach on Christmas Eve.

A Santa Monica Christmas

Oh, and just so you know: “Santa” is bringing her the I-Dog she asked for.


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December 22, 2005 - Thursday

 I’m Dreaming of a Wired Christmas

Christmas came early for young Chuckie. My job just gave me a new cell phone, the spanky Treo 650, which is an electronic wet dream for a techno-geek like me. It’s a combination cell phone/PDA that does just about everything but laundry. Fortunately, we just got a new washer and dryer, so I’m covered there, too.

In addition to doing duty as a cell phone, the Treo also has a calculator, a calendaring function, chat via Google Talk and Jabber, contacts, tasks, memos, email, web surfing, plays mp3s, and it has a camera. And that’s just what’s installed on it now; there are dozens of other utilities I can download to it. I’m playing with it already. Here’s a picture I took with it of Zoe torturing her cat Nina:

Christmas isn't merry for our cats

And best of all, the company’s paying for it. So now, for free (for me), I can play with a gadget and be reachable by phone and email anywhere and everywhere at any time.

Uh, wait a second. Maybe that’s not so great after all.


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July 6, 2005 - Wednesday

 Flight Update

Well, Zoe got to Orlando safe and sound as expected. She reports that she had a lot of fun on the flight there, she made friends with the little girl sitting next to her and wants to have a play-date with her when they’re both back in L.A., she stopped crying just before the plane took off, and now she doesn’t want to come home from Bubbe’s house; she’d rather stay there and play with the cats.

So I made the right call. Go me.


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