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June 23, 2005
Catching Up

So we took some vacation time. In Kansas. Most people don't understand this; let those with eyes see, and let those with smart-aleck comments stow them. The two older boys were in a wedding, replete with little black tuxedos and little shiny black shoes and complaints about how the tie is too tight and Daddy I'm hungry and I have to go to the bathroom and yes I know you just took me five minutes ago. I'm happy to report that both boys made it down the aisle, though Eli quickly decamped to a spot beside his mother on the front pew, whacked his head as he was climbing up on it, exclaimed "Ow!" in a voice that carried to the back pew, and promptly took a nap.

Caleb, on the other hand, stood up with the groomsmen long after he was supposed to sit down, the ring safely delivered, watching and listening and inching dangerously close to the edge of the platform such that I had to sit perched on the edge of my seat, ready to dive forward and catch him.

I've decided that weddings are big, sweaty, expensive rolling disasters, and it's a wonder that we do them, yet most of us are glad we did, which I guess is kind of like marriage itself.

The groom is German, and he introduced us to a tradition whereby the night before the wedding there's a big party, and you're supposed to bring something ceramic or porcelain, say an old teacup, and instead of knocking on the door you smash your teacup on the ground, and then the bride and groom come out and sweep it up.

Lest any of you mock this tradition, I will remind you that many Americans do the "chicken dance" at baseball games. Judge not.

A few weeks before the wedding, the idea entered some of our minds that toilets are made of porcelain, sort of. And did you know that you can buy a toilet basin (that big rectangular tank part of the contraption) for $17, plus tax at Lowe's? And did you know further that a toilet basin makes a terrifically loud shattering sound when it's hurled onto concrete?

You should give it a try, it burns a lot more aggression than you'd think.

While we were out there I finally, officially contracted the asthma that, let's face it, has been lingering in the wings for months. The doctor's specific words after listening to my lungs were: "Hmm, you aren't passing much air through there."

A quick breathing treatment. An inhaler. Steroids. Take the Claritin even though it makes your heart race. And the nasal spray. Nausea and dizziness from the steroids (which have a warning that instructs me to call my doctor if I vomit what appear to be coffee grounds, assuming, of course, that I didn't actually eat coffee grounds, in which case I probably got what was coming to me, and by the way, who doesn't call the doctor after vomiting coffee grounds?)

In short, I feel like a big, wobbly, overmedicated loser. I know we have more trees now than two hundred years ago and the national environmentalists are really watermelons (green on the outside and red on the inside) and science and biotechnology are really wonderful things and these are the best of times, yada, yada, yada, but I'm just wondering where we're keeping the air, because I'd like some.

Of course I'll take the progress, because as the Wife and I read "Little House in the Big Woods" to the boys, I realize how bloody fortunate I am not to have to trap bears and plant corn and die when I'm forty from a hemorrhoid-induced infection. I'm just saying, there's costs either way you go, which is why I distrust utopians on both sides of the ideological fence. I guess I'm a dystopian, with a utopian end-game in mind.

Enough for today. More tomorrow. Hope you are all doing wonderfully.

Posted by Woodlief on June 23, 2005 at 08:07 AM


You will soon be receiving a message. It is of great importance. Sounds like the old Bazooka Joe bubble gum fortunes.

Posted by: The Optimistic Lookout at June 23, 2005 8:22 AM

Glad you're back...the lack of new SiTG postings forces me to do work. That defies the Government worker stereotype...and I definitely don't want to be the one to bring that stereotype to an end. :)

Ahh, having your kid(s) in a wedding! The wedding that our son was in was FAR more stressful for us than our own wedding. Just don't want to ruin someone else's wedding, ya know...even though we warned them till we were blue in the face about having a 2 year-old Ring Bearer. In the end it turned out fine, but not before my hair line receded a bit further! Oh well...I bet Caleb and Eli were totally handsome in their tuxes!

Posted by: Mike A. at June 23, 2005 8:33 AM

Well alrighty then - glad you had a good time and kept the coffee grounds to yourself, but could you share with us if in fact you took a toilet bowl as your ceramic offering, and your thoughts on the remainder of the wedding festivities. Following weddings in the midwest, there is usually much dancing/partying which could be a stand-along posting in and of itself. The boys would have loved the dancing.

Posted by: Mary A at June 23, 2005 9:45 AM

Hope you are all doing wonderfully.

Can't complain here and doing better now that there's a new SitG post up...

Here's wishing more air your way...

Posted by: Rick at June 23, 2005 10:04 AM

"I've decided that weddings are big, sweaty, expensive rolling disasters, and it's a wonder that we do them, yet most of us are glad we did, which I guess is kind of like marriage itself."

I am officially stealing that quote, right now. That was great.

And yeah, kids in weddings is crazy - our daughter was the flower girl in a wedding when she was 13 months old. Torned out well, actually, but I've seen a few that didn't...

I hear breathing is the remedy to lack of air. Of course, I also hear that sleeping is the rememdy to being sleepy - you try the first, sometime, and hopefully, someday, I'll have a chance to try the second. Deal?

Posted by: Deoxy at June 23, 2005 10:19 AM

Welcome back Tony, it's nice to see new words from you.

Posted by: Evan Erwin at June 23, 2005 11:19 AM

Did you fly or drive to the breadbasket of the USA? Maybe we could hear about the travails of traveling with three curious and energetic boys.

As far as your asthma, a few articles have come out recently about asthma and environmental factors (i.e. workplace, fresh air at home). I wonder if we are slowly killing/hurting ourselves with all of the chemicals we bring in the house and take for granted that they are safe. Supposedly having a dog in the house helps reduce the incidence of asthma for youngsters.

Posted by: MarcV at June 23, 2005 11:20 AM

The image of a porcelain toilet being dropped on concrete and the looks upon the faces of the bride and groom has me laughing out loud.

I am an asthma sufferer too, I hope you get to feeling better. This time of year is really hard on it with the humidity and the pollen.

Posted by: Fish at June 23, 2005 2:03 PM

Yes...he smashed a toilet...and the bride and groom somewhat cheerfully swept it up.

I smugly pointed out that the many pieces they were gathering were a symbol of all of the crap which they would have to put up with in their married lives together; some big, some small.

On a kinder note I did add that I hoped that the future crap would be as easily cleaned up as the pieces they were sweeping.

Someone else brought and smashed a toilet bowl. Then the guys put the top portion in the back of the groom's truck. Tee-hee.

Posted by: the Wife at June 23, 2005 2:28 PM

Ah, and what did you think of our nice square state? (geometrically I mean, as I LOVE it here) :)

Loved your quote about what you've decided weddings (a marriages?) are..LOL

Posted by: Danielle at June 23, 2005 10:19 PM

There's nothing better than a good old Kansas wedding! I've been to four or five already this season. If the couple is wed near Kansas City, though, lots of Kansans choose to defect to the Missouri side of the line. We've got Union Station and the Crossroads arts district, and lots of other great facilities (and churches) with gobs of architectural interest. (I live in Missouri, three minutes from Kansas.)

Glad the boys followed through!

Posted by: Katy Raymond at June 24, 2005 12:01 PM

Our flower girl was two, and she did a great job. It helped that her dad was the best man =]

Posted by: Lenise at June 25, 2005 12:24 PM

Glad you're back. Does this mean more regular posting?

Posted by: Dean at June 25, 2005 6:51 PM

Heh. I was a flower girl at my cousin's wedding, a long time ago when I was five or six. All I remember is I didn't like my dress, which was in the bride's chosen color scheme of aqua, the Official Color of Everything in 1968.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 25, 2005 11:23 PM

Sir, we've been over this. The Spaceballs have the air. Don't they have Blockbuster in Virginia? ;-)

Posted by: Ken Hall at June 29, 2005 10:28 AM