Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Twitter Machine Tuesday

As a bit of a confession, my last post about my mom's graduation was almost entirely written from my iPhone.  I don't write this confession as a way to brag or pat myself on the back.  I do it to raise a point that I have no excuse to avoid writing.

I can literally post from anywhere, but I don't out of laziness or a lack of ideas.  I could have easily posted from my vacation.  I decided not to.  I think I've earned that right.

Speaking of vacations, I'll be writing all about it in my next post.

With that we're on to the Twitter Machine...

-The Giants not only swept the Dodgers, they worked them like a freaking speed bag #sfgiants
-The Dodgers respond by trading for Adrian Gonzalez and a quarter of a billion dollars in contracts #notatypo
-In the world of poker, this would be called "on tilt." Dodgers are better right now, but those are some horrible contracts.
-I went to training for the RAV4EV last week. I was leery at first, but it is a phenomenal product.
-The girls sing "Are You Sleeping?" but change the words from Brother John to Sister Ana and Sister Grace
-Ana likes to say her name very loudly when you sing it
-Maybe I'm un-American for thinking this, but why all the fuss behind Madden?
-You by a new game every year that basically only offers roster updates. How does this keep making money?
-Jason Priestley is 43 and has settled for doing Old Navy commercials. I feel old and a little disappointed.
-A path of destruction is heading to the American Southeast. Also Hurricane Isaac is touching down. #RNChumor
-Where was Greek yogurt 5 years ago? I feel like the person that pushed Greek yogurt on America is worth millions now.
-His name is probably John Chobani or Greg Oikos or something.
-I feel like Snooki having children should be a stark reminder to men everywhere that alcohol leads to bad decisions #birthcontrol
-So Prince Harry likes to get naked. Who doesn't?
-I think it's very telling that all the news stories on Prince Harry are being reported in Entertainment sections
-Sick kids after a vacation seemed inevitable
-Sick parents is also happening. It's fun in our house right now.
-I think I'm the only person that hates Lance Armstrong. Except the French and his ex-wife and Sheryl Crow and other cyclers. #livewrong
-Neil Armstrong on the other hand was a badass #rip
-We have Amazon Prime and haven't ever streamed a free movie. I feel like we're squandering our potential.
-Ana and Grace literally say "Go Giants!" everytime they see an SF logo #socute #damnstraight #sfgiants
-Erin and her sister watched Something Borrowed the other night. Every character is damn detestable in that movie.
-The MVP isn't awarded in April in the MLB #mattkemp
-The only question I have left for The Office is when will we see Michael Scott again before it ends.
-Our go to food when we don't want to cook: frozen pizza from Costco. Scoff all you want. They are damn delicious. #nom #pizza
-Knocked out a few items from my 30 by 30 list and didn't even realize. Posts to come.
-Fake laughter loses sincerity very quickly. Especially since I'm not the best actor in the world. #arecbarwin #insidejoke #teamamerica
-I am however a beautiful singer. Not just propping myself up. It's kind of true. #fergieandjesus

That's all for now. Vacation post for tomorrow.  See you next Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


My mom graduated last night.  This wasn't a higher education thing, and she didn't really get a diploma. But it was a class of sorts.

She graduated with one year of sobriety.

Our family has a history of drinking.  Much of that history involves drinking way too much.  It may have started before my great grandfather George, but he is the oldest family member I can think of that had the problem.

George was a clown.  That isn't an insult.  He was actually a professional clown by trade.  Like painted face and prat falls.  He had a larger than life personality from what I remember.  Every room he entered felt a little smaller because his personality stretched from wall to wall.  He loved to laugh loudly and tell jokes.  He was also a mean, ornery drunk with a bit of a temper that didn't know the definition of too much.

In a lot of ways my mom and grandpa have both emulated his personality.  You know when they're in a room. They have a joke for every situation and only one volume, loud.  They also have a bit of a short fuse and have been known to fly off the handle at times.  One thing that my mom also inherited is drinking.

I'm not going to go into all the tell-tale signs of her alcoholism because this post isn't about that.  I just know there have been times that I was embarrassed of her drinking.  There were times when I worried what she would do to herself.  There were times when I was glad that my wife and children weren't around to witness some of her darker places.

One other character trait that has been passed down from generation to generation in our family is our hard-headedness and our absolute need to always be right. It can make some family functions seem like a war, but I'd like to think this has had a little bit to do with her success over the past year.

Now that she has come out the other side of a year of sobriety, I couldn't be more proud of her.  Her graduation included her group talking all about how she inspired them.  They talked about how big her personality is and how full of humor she is.  They talked about how big her heart is.  And I saw that in the relatively short time (compared to how long I've known her), they've recognized everything that I love about her.

I'll say the same thing here that I told her last night. I know that much of her humor, like mine, comes from how we deal with pain in our lives. It's our coping mechanism. I'm glad she has that to cope instead of alcohol. I'm glad she doesn't have to experience her grandchildren through a fog. I know she isn't perfect, but she also admits that and is always working on just bettering herself. And my daughters are lucky that they'll only really know the sober version of their grandma. They'll only see her as the loud, funny and admittedly crazy woman that so many people can't help but love.

I love my mom. I'm proud of all she's accomplished in this past year and all she'll accomplish from this point forward.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Twitter Machine Tuesday

There is just something so special about a Giants-Dodgers series.  Fans of Michigan and Ohio State get it.  Yankees and Red Sox fans get it.  Cubs and Cardinal fans know exactly when they'll play each other every year.  If you root for the Redskins, you know from very early on that you have to hate the Cowboys.

Yankees-Red Sox get all the pub, but Giants-Dodgers has a longer history filled with even more bitterness.

There are teams that don't have long-term, natural, bitter rivals, and the fans of those teams just don't understand.  If you're a Denver Nuggets fan, you have no hatred toward another team.  You may dislike Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, but there isn't 100 years of history and hate to pull from.

That is why my house will always have a level of tension when the Giants and Dodgers play.  It's why I still hate saying the name Salomon Torres.  It's why I'll always think fondly on a scrub like Brian Johnson.  It's why I hate Steve Finley and his stupid grand slam.  It's why I can't listen to a game on Fox that Eric Karros is announcing.  Joe Morgan is a horrible announcer, but he gets the ultimate pass for knocking the Dodgers out of the playoffs.

Our girls will be brought up to carry on the tradition of loving the Giants and rooting against the Dodgers.  I won't teach them to hate anyone.  They're just not allowed to like anything blue.

-Social Media has made being a fan of bitter rivals so much more fun. Talking crap to someone in another part of the country has never been easier.
-Note to 65+ year old lady with dreadlocks: Not an especially good look on just about anyone especially you
-Notable exceptions on the dreadlock front: Anyone named Marley, Whoopi and Gary Oldman in True Romance
-I actually set the volume on the TV to 24 throughout the first game of the latest series. In honor of Willie Mays #sfgiants
-Very much looking forward to some time near the water.
-I actually don't really like going out on boats though. It's the duality of me.
-Bought The Hunger Games the first day it came out. I haven't done that in a very long time. #marriedlife
-Jingle All the Way was on earlier this week. Erin was equal parts disappointed and confused I was so into it.
-I also had a root beer float while watching it. Yeah I'm 12 years old.
-I'm very disappointed with Melky Cabrera, but I feel no shame that I rooted for him. I thought it was just a great story. #sfgiants
-The part that sucks the worst is how unfunny and unoriginal the jokes from Dodgers and A's fans are
-Yeah two left fielders for the Giants are linked to PEDs. Yeah Juice Man instead of Melk Man. You're so clever.
-I always love training classes for work. There is no sarcasm in that fake tweet.
-I just love learning new things and getting outside input on how to improve.
-Going to learn about a totally new product tomorrow. Very excited.
-I'm going to write a full post about Tony Scott killing himself. I have strong opinions.
-There was no need to add a second wild card team in baseball. One game playoffs are dumb #mlb
-One game doesn't determine the better team in baseball #mlb
-What is it about Dr Pepper that is just so damn delicious?
-When are New Kids on the Block coming to town? #thingsiveneversaid
-We did FaceTime today and Grace kept saying Hold you which was adorable and heartbreaking
-I keep looking at my 30 by 30 list and feeling sorry for myself for failing almost all of them #stupidgoals
-Do Ed Hardy shirts come in a size besides small? #legitquestion
-To any Oakland fans: We aren't rivals. Get over it.

That's all for this week. Vacation is almost 24 hours away. See you next Tuesday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lake Living

This week is vacation week.

For the last three years, Erin's parents have rented a cabin near Donner Lake.  It doesn't have the same name recognition of a Lake Tahoe, but it is still a beautiful (and not as crowded) destination.  It allows us to escape the heat that has been a constant in our area for the last few weeks.  We can go on hikes and take the boat out on the lake.  We get to play cribbage and farkle and any other board and card games with weird names.

Last year we took the girls before they could really move and get themselves into trouble.  This year will add some beach and lake time with the whole family.  Not only that but Grace absolutely LOVES the water, so she'll be in heaven for the next few days.

It's going to be a great week.  Or more accurately for me at least, it will be a great four days.

I have to work for the first part of the vacation for a variety of reasons including wanting to do a great job at work, coverage at my job and not really having vacation accumulated yet.  I don't mind working.  Trust me.  I appreciate the ability to earn an honest day's wage.

The real problem is that Erin and the girls left yesterday which means I'm home alone for the next few days until I head up the hill.  This means I can't wake up to them for the next three mornings.  I can't put the girls to bed for the next three nights.  I can't spend time with my wife for the next three days.  We aren't going to sit down for dinner together for three evenings.  This basically throws my whole life out of the normal axis.

I'll just keep working hard for the next 72 hours looking forward to the 4 days of fun that will follow.  Based on the pictures that Erin has been sending me, it is a beautiful and serene place to spend some time off with my family.  The days with them will make me forget all about the next few days without them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Daddy Daughter Days

On Wednesday morning Grace had a follow up appointment regarding her hurt leg.  For anyone who doesn't remember, she hurt herself when we were going down the slide.  We weren't sure if there were any broken bones because the X-ray didn't really show anything conclusive.  After a little time of her refusing to stand on it, we didn't it was time to put here in a cast.

The doctor told us we were looking at two weeks in the cast and then they would reevaluate.  If they saw any bones in the process of healing, they would put her back in the cast to continue healing for another couple of weeks.  If it still showed nothing broken, she was out of the cast.

We were obviosuly rooting for the no cast option.  We're going on vacation next week and really wanted it to be a vacation without a kid in a cast.  Bath time would become that much easier.  We wouldn't have to rub it in Grace's face that she couldn't go in the pool.  And we could just relax (as much as you can with two 2-year-olds).  It turns out we got our wish.  Apparently Grace has Wolverine-like healing ability because she did in fact break a bone in her leg, but it had completely healed since then.

So yesterday we had a first Daddy Daughter Day without an injured kid in what seemed like forever.

See no cast here.  Just four legs and tennis shoes.  On our way to the park.

I just love Ana's face in this picture.  She always seems like she's up to no good even when she is stuck in a swing.

We went on a march around the park.  Ana decided that we should speed up.  She said "Bye-bye" and ran off.

And Grace faced her fears and went right back down a slide in spite of her last slide leading to injury.  Actually she feared nothing and went right after it like it's her job.

Ana is a little more careful on the slide...

...until I told her to go the other way.  Although it may have had more to do with her sister sliding down on her butt.

And then she got even more adventurous and went right to the big slide.

We logged some building block time.  I asked Grace what she was making here, and she replied with "House."  Obviously she is going for a Frank Lloyd Wright-type design.

We were pooped after a long day of parks, blocks, helping to clean mom's closet and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Great day.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful and safe weekend.  There won't be a Daddy Daughter Day post next week because I'll be on a little vacation, but I'll have four days worth of Daddy Daughter Vacation pictures when I get back.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Twitter Machine Tuesday

I'm currently running on fumes.

Actually fumes would be a welcome jolt of energy right about now.

I've gone over time and again how much I hate summer, and it has never been more true than this week.  We've had a run of 100+ degree days that seems to have started weeks ago and doesn't show any signs of stopping.  In reality it's been about a week and hopefully will end soon.  But the thing about consecutive days of high temperatures is that it doesn't cool off so much at night.

And last night was the all time stuffy, staying warm, good luck trying to fall asleep in a pool of your own sweat type of nights.  I couldn't fall asleep.  4am came around, and Grace had apparently reached her limit too because she woke up crying.  I feel ya kid.

Now I'm counting down the minutes until I can go to sleep again.  I hope to all that is holy that it cools off tonight.

On to a very unenthusiastic Twitter Machine...

-Man I just want it to be hotter for a longer stretch #thingsiveneversaid
-I just wish I had the kind of money to run the AC at 68 degrees at all times. That would be glorious.
-I don't care about the money or acclaim. I just want to be a celebrity, so I can be the Star in a Reasonably Priced car #topgear
-When did schools start going back in early August? If I was a kid I wouldn't stand for it.
-Our girls' obsession with Nemo has led to Ana speaking whale. #findingnemo
-Grace also likes to say "BUTT! BUTT! BUTT!" whenever she sees the boat #findingnemo
-You know who had it all figured out? That Joe Stalin guy #thingsiveneversaid
-Put on the movie Rubber the other night. Seriously WTF is that shit?
-Paul Ryan may be a great man and politician. The problem is he has two first names, and you can't trust that.
-A friend that I've known for 20 years got married over the weekend. It was a beautiful and fun night.
-And I danced my ass off #ofcourse
-If I don't leave your wedding sweaty, you really should have invested in a better DJ/music #justsayin
-What I really want to watch tonight is Project Runway #thingsiveneversaid
-The girls love marching. They say "March" and then march around the house following me.
-I know that I didn't do a Daddy Daughter Day post last week. I just never remember to take pictures.
-Sometimes I wonder what the internet has actually given us as a society
-Then I see the Baby Got Back video made from movie clips and realize that all is right with the world wide web #bestthingever
-Man I really hope the Dodgers score a few runs here #thingsiveneversaid
-The Hunger Games comes out on DVD this week. May have to purchase that one.
-I didn't even realize that Kate Miller-Heidke had a new album out. And it's been out for months. Now I want it.
-Shark Week is the one time of year where we look forward to watching the same damn shows over and over.
-Robert Pattinson is NO Peter O'Toole, so it should go without saying that he ain't fit to play T.E. Lawrence #lawrenceofarabia
-The only problem with Kindle's Lending Library is I finish books more quickly than they can lend them out #amazon #cheapskate
-I haven't had Thai food in far too long. I need to remedy that.

Hope everyone has a happy, safe and cool week.  See you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Twitter Machine Tuesday

When I first started working at my new job almost a year ago, I would constantly hear from people that working with your spouse is tough.  I was told that you never get a break from your significant other, and it can wear on your relationship.

I have to admit that I'm not seeing what they meant.  I love working with Erin.  I get to see her all the time.  We can go to lunches together.  I can just swing by her office to say "Hello" whenever I want.  I think it just tells me that everyone that warned me didn't really have a healthy relationship with their spouse because I've been enjoying every minute of it.

It's just been on my mind as I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary that I've thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my new job.

On to some fake tweets.

-Apparently Bret Easton Ellis was being considered to adapt 50 Shades of Gray for the screen. #huh #theguywhowroteamericanpyscho #really
-I guess they wanted to get someone that actually knows how to write to adapt it #makessense
-Curiousity might be the worst name for a NASA mission/rover ever. The Peekaboo was taken #obviously
-I see the picture of Loughner and think "Yeah that guy shouldn't be walking around outside of concrete walls for the rest of his life"
-Gaming addiction is now a thing. Prescription: Get an effing job.
-Remember that two week period when everyone was addicted to draw something then it just went away?
-Ana constantly sticks her fingers in her diapers to feel out her work.
-Real Horror: My kid comes up to me and says "Yucky" with feces on her fingers #eww
-Although I think what she really thought was yucky was the dog hair that also stuck to her fingers
-I always tell myself to write these on Monday nights and then post them the next day.  I never do. #lazy
-I love what some people deem an appropriate time and location to argue.
-Now that track and field has started in the Olympics, I still don't care #notapologetic
-Although I think Usain Bolt is an incredible talent and also a dickhead
-How did we determine that the 100-meter dash was what determined fastest man alive status? Was there a vote?
-Sure they run fast for 100 meters, but dudes who run 200 meters also run pretty damn fast.
-I'm sure there is a snarky wife somewhere who refers to her husband as the fastest man alive #inbed
-What is it about chow mein that makes me want to come back for seconds, thirds and more? I can't help it.
-I think it might have the same chemicals as beer because I come back for seconds, thirds and more with that too.
-Saw the trailer for This Is 40, I just love Paul Rudd so much.
-Although is there anyone that hates Paul Rudd? He's just so damn likable.
-Our children are obsessed with Finding Nemo. They saw a clown fish in the tank at Nordstroms and started saying "Nemo" repeatedly.
-I'm glad it's Pixar. Hopefully we can just keep them locked in on those and distract them from the princesses.
-Grace has acclimated very well to the cast so far. She spends every bedtime kicking the side of her crib with it. #noisemaker
-Erin got tickets to Giants-Dodgers on Sept 9th #bestwifeever #babysitterwanted
-This will be only her second ever Giants-Dodgers game and they'll both actually be playing for something this time.
-Nothing better than a Giants-Dodgers game that means something.
-I should probably post this before midnight on the East Coast. #twittermachinewednesday

Have a great week.  See you next Tuesday.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Grandma's Garden

We went up to my parents' house on Sunday for a little barbecue lunch and to hang out with my family.  It was a great, relaxing day.

We got up there before everyone else arrived, so we spent a little time picking veggies from my mom's garden.  Her garden is totally legit in case you were wondering.  We actually ended up eating the corn that the girls helped pick and grilled it on the barbecue.  It was delicious.  My mom also made a cobbler and cake with the peaches from her tree.  Also pretty darn good.

And of course Erin snapped a bunch of pictures.


Grace and Grandma

Smelling the flowers

Ana and Pop Pop

Picked a winner

In the tall stuff

Look what I picked

We love corn and 'matoes!

Child of the corn

Friday, August 3, 2012

Daddy Daughter Days

Let me tell you what throws a curve ball on a day off with your kids: When one of them is in a cast.

You can't really do anything involving water in fear of getting the cast wet.  Grace can't really get around as well, so you have to carry her everywhere.  You can't put them in certain outfits because they may not fit over the cast.

We didn't let this deter us from having a great day.

We left the house right after breakfast and went over to visit the girls' great grandparents.  Her Grace is on the couch with her great grandma.  I think it's so wonderful that they get to have a relationship with their great grandparents.  I still remember spending time with my great grandparents when I was growing up.

We also had a couple of special treats.  I walked in and saw the big bowl of dough sitting on the counter and knew exactly what that meant.  Great Grandma made cabbage buns a.k.a. bierock.  It is ground beef, onions and cabbage wrapped in a delicious dough then baked in the oven.  Put a little yellow mustard on it and enjoy.  Basically you can't be in our family if you don't love cabbage buns.

And Ana and Grace passed the test and can remain in the family.  They LOVED the cabbage buns and ate them how our family enjoys them with watermelon on the side.  They didn't try them with yellow mustard just yet, but that should happen next time.  They also got to taste a peach pie that their great grandma made. Don't worry.  They're going to be pie people.  Start 'em young, that's what I always say.

And we had a surprise visit from our Auntie Nina while we were there.  She always loved to see them.  Grace was in the midst of screaming in excitement at this point.

We even spent some time serenading everyone there.  This was a song they co-wrote called "Let's Pound on All the Keys" which is a waltz. 

When we first arrived the girls weren't in such a playful and gregarious mood.  It took a little music and stuffed animal time to really warm.  Here is Ana's dance routine.

So much fun that this is what the went down in the back seat within 4 minutes of pulling away from their house.  Some tired little ones.

I went in to sell a car in the afternoon, so I took the girls in with me to exchange cars with Erin.  While there Ana ran right up to the FR-S and kept saying "Car" and "Open" while pulling on the door.  So I opened the door and she climbed right in.  Then she kept saying "Closed" so I would close the door.  She was totally digging it.  The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.  She started crying when I took her out.  Maybe my best argument for getting this car.  Just saying.

That's all from this week.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gold Medal in Parenting

Erin has been all over the Olympics.  She watches every night (unless the Giants are playing then she switches between the two).  And she is enthralled.  Like edge of her seat, sobbing like a baby after every event, won't walk into the other room enthralled.  She knows the results of many of the events and is still watching with bated breath.

I've never been all about the Olympics for a number of reasons, so it is just background noise for me for a couple of weeks.  I came to the realization that it is a perfect storm of women's entertainment.  You have incredibly athletic, shirtless dudes.  You have women's gymnastics.  And you have NBC tugging on your heartstrings by constantly going to the human interest well and showing all the parents' emotional reactions.

Because when you really think about it, you are watching children compete.  Sure many of them are teenagers, but they are still children nonetheless.  This is especially true in women's gymnastics and some of the swimming events.

This has led me to think about how much of their childhood many of this kids have given up.  I'm all for my kids doing things they love and doing whatever I can to cultivate a true talent or knack for something.  I want them to push to be the best, but part of me can't comprehend dedicating their young lives entirely to the pursuit Olympic glory.  And really unless they're Nadia Comaneci or Mary Lou Retton (i.e. truly legendary performers) that glory is really fleeting.

And this is part of the thin line that I think every parent walks with their kids.  Do I want to push my kids so much that they'll miss out on all life has to offer them?  Am I doing them a disservice if I don't push them harder and they don't realize the potential to do something great?  Will pushing them too hard or not pushing them hard enough lead to missed opportunities or unrealized potential?  Will they resent me either way?

I just know that I don't want to be like Aly Raisman's parents.  She's one of the girls on the American Gymnastics team that just won Gold.  If you're watching, you've probably seen her parents' reactions throughout her performances.  I'd link to the video but the IOC has blocked it on Youtube.  Just to give you a blow-by-blow, they writhe, squirm and contort their faces like they're watching the latest Saw movie.  I find it incredibly hard to watch.  I understand you want to see your kid succeed, but this is extreme.  Their reactions, to me, go beyond cheering your kid on.  These are people that are living through their kid.

I want the best for my girls, but that is also a cop out, generic statement.  What is the best for them really?  I can't really determine what it is right now.  I guess more than anything the best is to give them as many opportunities as possible.  The best is to love them for who they are and not what they can do.  The best is to be in their corner no matter what.  The best is to give them a variety of options instead of shoehorning them into a particular activity.

For now I just want them to be kids and to enjoy everything that goes along with it.  For now they'll get the Gold Medal in being adorable.