books, parenthood, Sam, television

Catching Up

We’ve been remiss in our posting of late. Forgive our negligence and allow us to do a little catching up.

1. We have yet to sell our house. We have had three open houses and numerous showings at this point, and while the feedback continues to be generally positive, we have no takers. We are, however, becoming quite skilled at whipping the house into shape on short notice. Dirty dishes go in the oven if the dishwasher has clean ones. The toaster fits nicely right under the sink. Our laptop slides perfectly under the couch. One of us takes Sam outside to visit our next door neighbor, Gordo the pug (or, as Sam calls him, “Dordo”), while the other vacuums the steps and three rooms upstairs. (Sam really does not like the vacuum cleaner.) Scooter Thomas has yet to unload on one of his barfing binges during an actual showing, though he has done it the morning of. (Eleven piles of vomit. Ten in the bathroom, after we locked him in.)

2. I (Ben) had a parenting fail moment last Wednesday when, on a whim, I decided to take Sam to Lunken Airport to watch the planes come in. Sam is fascinated by all things that move, especially airplanes that pass overhead. Unfortunately we saw exactly zero planes fly in last Wednesday, even though we waited for an hour, in our parked car, since it was raining.

I made up for it this weekend during Airport Days at Lunken. Sam and I saw a B-17 bomber (one of twelve still flying), helicopter take-offs and landings from about 100 feet away, a color guard presentation and a missing man formation, which involves four aircraft flying low in a V-formation and then one abruptly pulling out of formation and flying west. It was unexpectedly moving. I was never a big plane/car/truck kid myself, but I loved the idea of being the kind of dad who takes his son to these things. Sam was mostly interested in the free hot dog, but all in all it was a successful father/son outing.

3. We breezed through season seven of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” over Labor Day weekend. While we love the show, we always need to take it in small doses. (We’re not the only ones, hence the shirt.) Season seven is the “Seinfeld” reunion season, and watching the writers pay tribute to “Seinfeld” and simultaneously desecrate its legacy made this one of our favorite seasons. None of our favorite clips from this season are really fit to include here, but until “It’s Always Sunny” starts back up, “Curb” remains our favorite irreverent and deeply offensive television.

4. We previewed A First-Rate Madness a few weeks ago. Upon finishing it, we respectfully submit that you should save your time and money and not purchase this book. For anyone interested in the subject matter (mental illness and leadership), though, may we recommend two books: one, Lincoln’s Melancholy, by Joshua Wolf Shenk, which is a much sturdier history than anything Nassir Ghaemi provides in A First-Rate Madness; and two, The Hypomanic Edge, by John Gartner, which argues that hypomania is a peculiarly American illness with tremendous benefits alongside its negatives. They’re in paperback, so you could get them both for basically the same price as the (inferior) F-RM (still in hardcover).


3 thoughts on “Catching Up

  1. 2. Whoa whoa whoa. Whoa. there were free hot dogs? Why was I not told about this beforehand?

    3. Yep, too much Larry is really easy to get. I do watch it and I do enjoy it but I can not roll a half dozen episodes at a time.

  2. I experienced a tough parenting fail when I injured Nathaniel for the first time. He was trying to crawl away and I would grab him and pull him back. He was loving it… UNTIL… two large rug burn sports appeared on his belly… FAIL! Not a happy camper and I could not have felt worse.
    Nothing like making your kid scream to reward you as a parent.

    ps Do little boys inherently love things that move? I am not a car or plane guy, Nathaniel already loves them.

  3. Mike,

    I saved you a free hot dog and waited for an hour, but when you didn’t show I assumed you shunned my invitation.


    Yes, I think all boys inherently love things that move. Except vacuum cleaners. But the helicopter was ten times as loud and we were literally 100 feet away, and Sam was transfixed.

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