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Thursday, March 31, 2005


I saw this morning that Terri Schiavo finally departed this wicked place. If a country can wear shame, then ours should wear it today. I wonder whether she suffered as her throat dried, as her lips cracked. I don't want to think on it; I'm sure her parents can't stop thinking about it.

But I remember this:

"Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

Thirst no more, Terri.

posted by Woodlief | link | (8) comments

My Living Will

It occurs to me that I ought to have some kind of living will. I'd appreciate some free legal advice (from those of you whose legal degrees were not awarded as the result of a three-week Internet course) on the following:

I, Tony Woodlief, being of relatively sound mind (I mean, sometimes I get those middle-of-the-night-oh-God-I-can't-breathe panic attacks, and often when I'm in front of a group I'm overwhelmed by the feeling that I am a fraud on the verge of being discovered, and then there's the lingering anger problems and feelings of guilt and worthlessness, but I think that's all relatively normal, don't you agree, with emphasis on the word relatively, because really, have you met some of the freakjobs who work in this town?), and considerably less sound body, do hereby grant to my beloved, beleaguered, underappreciated wife complete authority to end my sorry existence in the event that I:

A) Need machinery to sustain my life (note: "machinery" does not include my Blackberry, MP3 player, or coffee maker, but can be construed to apply to my car, in the event that my career takes a sudden dip necessitating the delivery of pizzas or other foodstuffs to complete strangers);

B) Start paying excessive attention to gas prices, golf, or "American Idol;"

C) Testify to Michael Jackson's soundness of mind and impeachability of character;

D) Volunteer for any cause that requires me to solicit signatures at the entrance to Metro stations;

E) Ever earnestly use the words "impact," "dialogue," or "interface" as verbs;

F) Get a toupee;


G) Let the pile of mulch in our driveway sit for another eleven months.

In the event that my termination becomes necessary/desirable/so intoxicatingly attractive that she can think about little else, my wife is authorized to employ any means of disposal that does not cause me pain for a period of longer than 0.00000000000000000001 seconds.

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: Regardless of what some cold-hearted twit of a medical professional might suggest, the foregoing excludes the option of freaking dehydrating me to death, and may anyone who would sentence his spouse -- or a bloody stranger for that matter -- to such a fate be resigned with his attorneys to eat sand for eternity in a hell without water fountains.

Stated, testified, blessed, affirmed, and affadavited six ways from Sunday,

Anthony John Woodlief

posted by Woodlief | link | (5) comments

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Simple Things

A beauty of having little boys is that they can turn even the most mundane of activities into an adventure. This can also be viewed as a challenge, or a danger, or a price of having little boys, depending on your mood and current level of sleeplessness. Take washing hands, for example. You'd think it's a simple task: rinse, lather, scrub, rinse, dry.

You'd think.

Each of my two oldest boys has developed his own little routine. Caleb first turns on the cold water -- just the cold -- full blast. Then he rolls his sleeves up to his shoulders, more or less, because the little fussbudget doesn't like the wetness on his clothes. Apparently they are made of the same material as the Wicked Witch of the West; I know this because he does essentially the same woeful "I'm melting" routine when he spills juice on himself.

Since he's usually in front of a mirror when washing his hands, Caleb views it as a good opportunity to try out some new experimental monster faces, or maybe just have a discussion with himself. You have to remind him to finish, or he'll just keep washing and talking. I have no comment about which side of the family he gets this from.

Eli needs coaching, or he'll revert to either the wiggly-finger wash if he's in a hurry, or the full-on surgeon's scrub-to-the-elbow routine if he's of a mind to be diligent. No matter which he chooses, however, it's always the case that the surface area he actually hits while rinsing will be roughly 50 percent of that covered while scrubbing. It makes me itchy just thinking about it.

Then there's the shake and dry. Both boys have this flippy-flappy thing they do with their hands which is designed to distribute water over a maximum amount of counter and mirror space. Then they get down from the sink, taking care to put their newly-rinsed hands squarely in the little puddle of liquid soap they managed to drip on the edge. (I don't worry about this so much, it keeps them regular.) Finally, they step over to the towel and wave their hands around it while thinking dry thoughts. I've never seen anything like it -- these boys can worry a towel half to death so that it's wound up and wrinkled and hanging by the thinnest of margins, yet leave the bathroom with hands dripping wet. They're like those kung-fu masters who can hit you twenty times without leaving a bruise.

I've actually gone into a bathroom with them in good spirits and a relatively high amount of energy, and left grumpy and needing a nap. But I'd like to see everything the way they see it, as an opportunity to be joyful. Some days I think they're going to kill me, but I can't think of a better way to go.

posted by Woodlief | link | (9) comments