Thursday, January 31, 2008

Maddow & Me

My heart's all a'flutter. I feel a little 'wicked'.

What is this feeling, So sudden and new?

I felt the moment I laid eyes on you;

My pulse is rushing;

My head is reeling;

My face is flushing;

What is this feeling?

Fervent as a flame
Does it have a name?

(music swells....)

I'll tell you what it is. . . . . it's my first lesbian crush.

"How does that work?", you may ask. Well, I'm not a lesbian (in case you were wondering), but I do have an innocent crush on a very handsome, intelligent, and funny lesbian named Rachel Maddow.

My Kieth(of the Olbermann persuasion) introduced me to her. She recently became a permanent figure on MSNBC as a political analyst. She appears frequently on "Countdown" with Keith and "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, and has played a substantial role in the primary election coverage.

I believe it's perfectly healthy to have an innocent, and distant, celebrity crush. I know my wife has a few, both male and female(Heidi Klum). In the past, I have gravitated toward elegant, long-haired, actress types such as Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, or Cate Blanchett. All beautiful and talented in their own feminine way.

Why, you may ask, would I have a crush on the first openly-gay Rhodes Scholar and political talk-show host for Air America Radio, that just happens to look like a 16-yr.-old boy? Because she is a mind, not a face. Every thing she says makes perfect sense to me. She consistently "zings" her older, male, and more experienced counterparts on most issues, with her dry wit and fresh perspective, and still comes off as your affable 'pal' from high school gym class (when you played softball, of course).

Since she comes from talk radio, where looks don't matter, MSNBC has done their best to 'doll' her up for the camera. They can see beyond her boyish looks, and butch long as they can slap on a little lip-gloss, put her in a smart pant-suit, and curl her bangs, just that she resembles something that looks like an adult woman.

Thank you Rachel. Your crooked smile slays me every night.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

...A Rose by Any Other Name...

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
Romeo & Juliet (II,ii,1-2)

What's in a name?......I'll tell you......a lot of head scratching and frustration.

As the arrival of our third child is drawing nigh, Heather and I have tried our darndest to choose a name for our emerging little girl.

With the first two, we had many options and ultimately narrowed it down and had decided a while before their arrival. For some reason, we can't pin down a name for this one. And she's due in less than a week.

One thing we have learned, is that if you do have options on the table, don't share them with inquiring strangers. Why? Because if the child is not physically on the earth, but still in-utero, these discerning people feel the freedom to pass judgment on your name ideas, even if you didn't ask for their opinion. "Hhmmm, I don't know about that...", and "Ugghh, it's sounds too old-fashioned", or "No, that sounds like a dog's name". The insults go on...

For this very reason, we have learned to not share the name options of our future daughter, except with close family and friends, until she is physically out of the womb. At which point, nobody would dare pass judgment, to your face anyway, on the baby's name.

So for now, her name Cole has decided.........Baby Horsey!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Talking Heads

I never thought I would be a watcher of all things political. I used to quickly change channels whenever I saw a news program that wasn't actually the 6 or 10 o'clock news.

About 5 yrs. ago, I slowly transitioned into the comedic parodies of mainstream news programs, like:

"The Daily Show"
with John Stewart

...and then...

"The Colbert Report".
I even went to a taping.

.....And when I was feeling a little naughty (HBO) and extra 'liberal',
"Real Time with Bill Maher".

I was a regular watcher, but still in control. After a while, I became unfulfilled with the brief coverage and shtick that overshadowed the issues at hand.

......then it all changed......

About a year ago, good friend of mine, we'll call him J.J. for short, sent me a clip of a political pundit giving the most stirring commentary on the travesty that has been, and is, the Bush presidency. I knew I always hated George W., but he confirmed the "truthiness" of my disdain. His words moved me to tears of affirmation, pangs of guilt, and instilled in me a desire to act, and to be more aware and involved. That pundit was Keith Olbermann. And I a "Countdown" addict (MSNBC 8pm/12am).

I have to get my fix, nightly, or I feel neglectful of the "political machine". I never thought I would become this attached to a former ESPN Sportscaster-turned political talking head. I guess I can't resist his perfectly styled, silver-flecked 'doo' , or his square ("I'm intelligent") glasses. He makes me laugh at all the right moments. And how can you resist a man who, every night, calls out the 3 "Worst People in the World" while underscored by Bach's Cantata in D minor. Brilliant. He's a "guilt friend". You know, one of those friends that you don't hang out with socially, but have to check in with, regularly, or you feel like a bad friend, or person, for that matter.

I thought there was only room for one "Keith" figure in my life, until things started heating up with the presidential primaries. In covering the 'play-by-play' of the elections, my Keith joined forces with another MSNBC pundit, that in my view, was previously only a parody on SNL - Chris Matthews. The two of them make a political cocktail that suck you deep into the pixels of your TV and never let go. Hence I started watching his show nightly as well. The pathetic thing is, they cover the same stories every night, and I still tune into both shows. I guess I just like to hear them twice, with different, catchy, deliveries.

Like all addictions, mine has deeply affected my loved ones. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my wife, Heather, has lost a piece of her regular mode of operandi in life, moderation. She has fallen prey and become consumed with the affable smile and snowy-blond comb over of Chris Matthews. I think she has a secret crush. She keeps on talking about these weird dreams she has been having lately. She blames them on pregnancy, but I think they originate from playing a little too much "Hardball" with a certain, wink-happy, middle-aged man on MSNBC.

I have really enjoyed the fact that she has become obsessed with something. I have always felt alone in that, in our marriage. And it's really fun to be able to discuss one of my obsessions with her. Usually she just kindly listens and rolls her eyes.

Sometimes, I feel guilty about dragging my wife into the deep, dark caverns of the liberal left, and the tempestuous sea of the biased media......but then I remember that sin loves company......and that catchy saying alone justifies my actions, and makes me feel better about my evil ways.

I will save my thoughts, for another post, on my secret crush for Rachel Maddow. Boy is she "handsome". Grrrrrr.

The Casseroles are Comin'!!!

Because our baby will be here any day, Heather and I had a short discussion with a good friend at church regarding the fulfillment of post-natal servitude doled out on new mothers by the sweet sisters of the Relief Society. She wanted to set a date for when "dinners" would start being delivered to our home. Lasagna, Mystery Casseroles, Cheesy "Funeral" Potatotes, etc... It's very sweet and thoughtful, and yes, I know it gives the sisters an opportunity to serve. I probably shouldn't have interjected and shared my opinion on the matter and squelch her giving heart, but I have to admit, I'm a little offended by the whole idea.

Yes, I admit that I am modern, metrosexual, fully-liberated husband and father of 2008. It's not the 1950's, and I wasn't born or raised in an era where I fulfill my fatherly duties from 9-5, come home, and put my feet up while I wait for my lovely wife(in full make-up, and rick-racked dress) to fulfill my every need, and keep the children from bothering me while I watch the game. (BTW, I don't even watch's that for progressive?)
Call me crazy, but I believe in being an equal-partnered parent, nurturing and loving father, homemaker, child-rearer, and yes, a cook. And I'm a good one.....a cook that is.
While my wife and I are dealing with the challenges of a new-born baby, and two small children, I fully believe that I can take care of the gastronomical needs of my family.

I appreciate service, and I don't want to inhibit others from serving, but there must be another way in which the sisters can assist the families going through this difficult transition in the home. I have a sense that the RS feels it must serve, and that food delivery is the "go-to" option. It's seems a bit archaic and "old-church" (like old-school). Service comes in a variety of shapes and colors and is appreciated in all forms. Let's be modern and creative. You could blog for us, or take our kids so we can go on a short date (between feedings), or if it must be food, you could just just order a spread of Indian from Kismat (212-795-8633),

....mmm.....saag paneer....,

or maybe you could simply pay my bills so I can spend even more time with my wife and new little one.........just some thoughts.

Ultimately, this post has been a declaration of my PRIDE. Yes, I am a prideful, modern, dad. And I know the RS sisters don't like pride. So, now that I have admitted my pride, maybe I should just let nice people be nice, in their own way, and keep my nose out of the whole thing.

That's what Heather would want. And it's her time to get whatever she wants!

Bring on the casseroles!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Have a Dream...

Because I had the day off for MLK Day, I decided to make it a real holiday. I first took Margaret on a little date in the morning. We went to our favorite neighborhood diner, Park View Cafe. It's a closet-sized, stools at the bar, breakfast all-day, kind of diner you find all over New York. I let Margaret order whatever she wanted. Of course, chocolate chip and banana pancakes, with bacon on the side, was the obvious choice. Oh, and hot-chocolate with whipped cream. Wait, before you judge my parenting skills, remember, we were celebrating civil rights for all people. Why wouldn't we order the most celebratory breakfast imaginable.

After a fun day of game playing (go fish and old maid) and rest, Margaret decided that on this special day, "Dr. King", as she likes to call him, would have wanted to eat Chinese food for dinner. Who can argue with that? So she and I walked to the corner, ordered our food from the kind people at "U-Like" (yes, that is really the name), and proceeded to find the perfect dessert for racial equality. Of course, being a true New Yorker, Margaret thought cheese cake would be most appropriate. As we picked up our Chinese grub and headed home, Margaret proceeded to tell me all about what she learned about Dr. King in her pre-school class. She was so excited to get home and celebrate him over a steaming plate of beef and broccoli, that she didn't even mind that our hands were falling off from walking to and fro in humid 15 degree weather.

After our delicious, yet greasy dinner, Margaret wanted to see more pictures of Dr. King, online, so she could create some artwork in memory of this great man. Sadly, after dinner and cheesecake, it was too late to start an art project. (And Daddy had to watch the SC Democratic Debate) But first thing the next day, she made sure her celebration was completed with a few representations of the late, and truly great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Behold the work of the artistic genius, (and socially conscious child) that is, Margaret Herrick.

BTW, the Dr. King with "girly" lips, was Mother Heather's contribution.

Let us all be thankful for his life and his dream of a better future for everyone.

Friday, January 11, 2008

37 Weeks and Shame

Tell I a bad father? I don't think I am. But sometimes, when I can't do everything, I feel that way.

The above picture is provided weekly by our good friends at I have diligently posted the most up-to-date photo on our computer desktop every week. We have had 36 weeks of a growing fetus and the word, Vagina, staring at us every time we sit down to check our mail.

I am writing this post at work while my extremely sexy, pregnant wife is at the OB getting one of her last ultrasound checkups. The bottom line is.....I am supposed to be there with her. I was there for the initial appointment, and haven't been back since. Partly, because our OB, Dr. Jacques Moritz (who is a famous TV doctor, BTW, and kind of crazy, in a good way), believes in not having many appointments if everything is healthy. So Heather hasn't had many herself. But in the last month of pregnancy, you have weekly appointments. This is a great time to connect with your doctor, and really witness the reality of a fully developed baby, ready to burst out.....I guess slither out would be a better descriptive. To make a long story short, I wasn't able to get away from work....and I feel like a chump of a dad.

Yes, I have been through this routine with two prior children, and Heather is a strong independent mother, but I should be share in the experience.

I massage her feet, I make her drink lots of water and consume enough calories, I take the kids on outings so she can take naps, I rub lotion on her growing pregnant woman parts, I tuck her in as early as possible every night (on her new memory-foam mattress-topper Santa got her for Christmas), I console her, when she's feels like her body has been taken over by an alien, I make her whatever food her body needs when she just can't eat anything, I do the dishes almost every night, I make her slow down when she's doing to much, I tell her how sexy and beautiful she is (because she really is, especially when she's pregnant), and I let her pregnant self do whatever she wants to do to feel good.

I think I'm a good dad, to all my children, born and unborn. And I think I'm a good least I really try. But I really can't do everything.

I guess the point of my posting today was partly to help myself feel better, but mostly to remind myself how much I love my wife and kids, and how I WILL be at next week's appointment, connecting with our little parasite, Heather, and our famous TV doctor.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas Wrap-up and New Year's Fun

So, we did it! Travelled home safely from a great Thanksgiving trip to Utah, hosted a fabulous 4th Annual Charlie Brown Christmas Party, shopped, wrapped, baked, cooked, spread holiday cheer, visited Santa, admired electric trains and holiday lights, played with new toys, gave away some old ones, ate lots of good food and too many sweets, and resolved to do better next year (not at celebrating the holidays, but just in general).

Here's a slideshow of some highlights. We just feel truly blessed!