Fricken A! (No, that's not the name of the movie - keep reading) Did this beat all expectations or what?!
I get to the theatre after work last night just in time to miss all of the previews. Imagine my surprise when the place was absolutely packed. I had barely heard of this film and thought I kept a pretty close watch on things coming out. How did everyone else in town hear of it? I guess part of it was that not every theatre is showing it (yet! just like Napoleon Dynamite, it's only opening in a few theatres who are taking a chance on it) so the curious have only a few options as where to get in.
What film?

If this isn't the feel good film of the year I don't know what is. Every single second of directing and acting is priceless. I don't know how exactly actress Ellen Page (cast as pregnant teen Juno) is related to Janine Garofalo but if they aren't sisters then she's her clone. Her dead pan dry wit could not have been more perfect. In fact everyone did a stupendous job at their roll. At no point were things overacted or taken to a point of disbelief. In fact a great deal of it's appeal is in it's subtlety when other directors would have pushed lines, emotions and acting too far.
At the right time I shall have Aspen see this herself. In fact I would think just about any reasonable parent regardless of their conclusions about abortion would find something positive about this story that needs to be shared with their 'spawn' (inside joke - see the movie).
So, 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, and all that other stuff.
If you told me I could only see 1 movie from 2007 again, this would be my choice.
I expected to like it. I didn't expect to love it.



Ed is out in Arizona.
He and Aspen fly back Sunday.
Aspen and I will be back to the regular school year routine within a week.
Ed, it seems, will be living with his grandfather for the remainder of the schoolyear. That will be quite a drive for him to get his grandson to and from school every day.
I was not at all a part of the conversations that took place between Ed, his grandfather, his mother and her latest husband as far as Ed's living situation. Whose decision it was that he remain out here I can not say.
If I'm allowed to speculate... His mother and her current husband (father of her 4th child) wanted Ed to come out for x-mas because he was Aspen's chaperone for the return flight (I don't want Aspen traveling by herself). They bought the tix to coordinate about a month ago. They are presuming that he won't willingly get on a flight back to Arizona to 'live' out there after his court date here on the 9th. Maybe they asked him, maybe they didn't even bother. At any rate, I'm not sure why he would have been given a choice. He could have had no option once he arrived in Arizona. Of course, that would have meant that his mother and husband #5 would have had to shell out another K or so for coordinating plane tix to get Aspen home. Conventional thinking is that that is what dictated the outcome of events regarding where Ed is living now. Money.
As it so happens, while it is grossly unfair and irresponsible of his mother to have her father raising her son, I have no doubts that he will be far more committed to providing the supervision Ed needs to stay out of trouble. He and I have shared ideas on how to best provide a stable and structured environment for the misguided and discarded youth. It's just a matter of how willing he is to work within the rules this time. I may be foolish, but I remain optimistic. Then again, I always remain optimistic that his mother will finally get caught up on support payments too and that hasn't got me anywheres.

In other news: I spent the holidays in complete isolation. I went out only to go biking or to get groceries. I watched football and finally finished 'God is not Great' by Christopher Hitchens. While he is completely biased in his oppinion about faith and religion, so are all the churches of the world. So, tit for tat. I suggest that everyone who holds a belief in God read this book if for nothing else to get a clearer idea of how exactly our history and current state of the world have been shaped by the various religions of the world.
I haven't decided what book I will delve into next. If you care to suggest something I'm all ears(and any religious lurker out there who suggests The Bible... I have read it in full twice and the gospels themselves many more times but thanks).
Tonight I think I shall go see Juno before watching The Pats cheat their way into history.
See you all next year.
Oh yeah, still thinking about a challenging and worthwhile new years resolution.



I hesitated in posting this because it's a bit difficult.
Aspen's brother was arrested for assault last week.
He hit David, his and Aspen's stepfather.
Ed had been back living at David's for about a month.
He had agreed to live by certain rules and regulations. He apparently was not and David confronted him about his behavior and lies.
Ed hit him in the face (according to David and Ed's own words on the police record).
David called the police.
Ed was released later that evening into the custody of his grandfather. It was either that or stay in the county lockup until January 9th.
Ed is now in isolation at his grandfather's some 20 miles away.
Ed is not allowed back at his stepfather's.
Arrangements are being made for Ed to travel to Arizona as previously planned for the Holiday. I do not think he will be back.
He has essentially no options here.
His mother's new husband has been inquiring into the possibility of Ed remaining out here rather than him living out there with them.
Ed is not aware that his permanent home is likely out there now.
His reaction to learning this may be posted in a few days.
He won't take it easily.



Everyone who is familiar with The Nut knows I have a good friend in Miguel, my old Peace Corps buddy. But many don't know that I have an older dearer friend out in Colorado. We shall call him 'Sean'. He deserves as much mentioning as Miguel but doesn't get it because... well, he lives in Colorado. We catch up a couple times a week and always find something to debate about. Right now it's the nature of existence that he seems unable to be grounded on. In fact about the only things that we do agree on is that The Grateful Dead are superb and poetry is pointless.
Sean has had a few jobs over the last few years. He has a tendency to quit or get layed off before securing his next job. Were in The Bush years after all, it happens to everyone. I'm not razzing him for that.
Well... I guess I am. At least in this story.
The other week I call him up at his place in the middle of the day. He has that day off so I thought I might catch him at home. Instead, I get his machine. Feeling devious I leave a message along these lines...
"Hey man, I have been thinking about how you can tell Lisa (his wife and mother of his 2 kids) that you got fired last week without upsetting her too much. Give me a call."
Well, wouldn't you know it that Lisa (his wife and mother of his 2 kids) was home sick that day and heard my message as I was leaving it.
Needless to say, about an hour later I get a call from Sean.
"Are you trying to get me divorced?" he asks informing me that his wife and mother of 2 kids (Lisa) overheard the entire message and failed to see it as a joke.
We had a good laugh about that one.
Well, at least I did.
A week later Sean calls me up and says that I am no longer in the dog house with his wife (which I never understood anyways. All she had to do was call his work # and see if he answered before getting all concerned).
It seems I was out of the dog house because Sean was going to be in it for awhile.
The night before, Lisa (his wife of some 18 years) says to him "You never used to fart this much." Now I'm not sure what brought on this bout of brutal honesty. And I'm sure I don't care to know.
18 years. That's a mighty long time to learn when to say what's on your mind and when to simply shut the hell up. Some of us are faster learners than others I guess.
His response: "Yeah, well, you didn't use to have so many lines and wrinkles."
Upon hearing this I said "Dude, are you trying to get divorced?"
We had a good laugh about that one.
Well, at least I did.



Happy Holidays from our home to yours.
Click on the pic to get the live animation version.
Thanks for the idea Doc!



Again, Aspen had been watching the news intently and picked up more than I would have at her age. Being discussed was the Stacey Peterson case. Aspen is aware that Stacey is missing and her husband's previous wife was apparently killed and left in a bathtub.

Aspen: "I would never marry a guy who had killed someone before."

Me: "That's a pretty good idea all right!"

Her: "Well... he would have to be really cute!"

hmmm, and own a mountain lake house or a yacht on the Caribbean. People deserve second chances after all.




I hate missionary work. I struggle to not say 'I hate missionaries' but it's a close one. But really, I do detest everything about the concept of being a missionary.

When it comes down to it, every theological belief, every iota of faith is mere guess work. It's assumption piled on top of ego with a side helping of condescension. Whatever your particular theism is, it is a stab in the dark. Having faith might help you get through the day, it might give you courage, strength, determination and resilience but that does not substantiate your beliefs as fact. Which is exactly what a missionary does, s/he presents theory as fact. Furthermore, it is presented more often than not to uneducated, desperate, needy and underprivileged peoples who are ready to believe anything that promises itself as a way out of one's squalor conditions or place in life.

I will grant that a large percentage of missionaries go into the field with a pure heart and good intentions. I can't say that a 'majority' do but certainly alot of them at any rate. But as the adage goes 'the path to hell is paved with good intentions'. And ignorance is no excuse for bad behavior.

And I am saying that being a missionary is tantamount to 'bad behavior'.

The results of missionary work I have seen first hand during my time in the Peace Corps (an organization that rightfully makes every effort to make sure that it's volunteers have no religious conversion agenda), and those results often have devastating effects, despite what the host church wants to believe.

Whenever arrogance and ignorance are combined into action the results are negative.

The Crusades anyone? September 11th anyone?

In short, no person has any business going into another culture or society and attempting to convert its members' speculations for their own speculations.

For that matter, no one has any business coming to my door at 1 pm on a Sunday afternoon attempting to do the same.

If your guesswork as to the nature of god and existence works for you... awesome... congratulations! Then you will understand when I tell that my conclusions already work for me so go the hell away and stop presuming your assumptions are superior to anyone else's or my lack of having any assumptions at all.


I may be 39 now (despite the fact that my user profile still says 37) but I apparently have the unrealistic optimism of an 8 year old...
...for Aspen's 9th birthday Saturday I let her have a sleepover. She ended up inviting 8 friends but only 5 showed up.
We will not be doing that again. They don't make enough Tylenol PM to quell a herd of 9 year old girls pepped up on soda and chocolate cake!
There's the answer to our energy problem right there! Harness that shit Al Gore!
I ended up missing some good football Sunday afternoon just trying to catch up on essential sleep that I didn't get the night before.
Fortunately things panned out by the end of the day. Aspen was busy checking out all her cool new stuff with her neighbor for hours so I was undisturbed in my rum induced nap on the couch. That left me with enough energy by early evening to get her and I ready for our orphanage visit.
That was pretty cool right there. We passed out candy canes and read 'Santa Mouse Where Are You?', 'Twas The Night Before X-Mas', 'The X-Mas Kitten' and one other one I can't remember. Aspen was quiet but poised and says she thoroughly enjoyed it and really wants to go back next Sunday as well. That was kind of the reaction I was expecting her to have and am proud she has. I guess that day will be kind of full because we're also going to visit her great grandfather that day who was put into a nursing home shortly before his daughter (Aspen's grandmother - duh!) passed away in late October.
I have been editing all my old video footage into a DVD of scenes that include her grandmother to pass out to relatives for the holidays. I shall bring a copy along with my portable player and let her great grandfather watch some of it. Hopefully it will be a positive experience for him and not a bad one. He is essentially deaf and it will be hard for me to explain to him that it is footage of his deceased daughter until he sees it.
Does that sound like good idea or am I, once again, as naively optimistic as an 8 year old?

Like how that went full circle there?



1- Apparently somebody has me linked on a site I'm not aware of. I have a bunch of new visitors that I never seen before. You're all finding me from somewheres. And I know there is some site that can tell me who links to The Nut but I aint bothered with that.
2- In fact, I aint bothered with anyone's blog in months. I haven't been by Sissy's, or Kalani's, or Doc's, or Addict's, or Dan's, or Biscuit's, or Jamwall's, or OCL's, or Femi's, or Red's or no one's. My approach to blogging has been pretty pathetic lately.
3- In fact, I aint bothered with anyone period in months. I think I'm on well over 6 months abstinence right now. And I have no immediate plans to do anything about it. I mean if something falls in my lap I'll take it but life as a single dad is rather an isolating job.
4- Aspen and I are reading The Hobbit right now. After that I think we'll read Tom Sawyer and then Treasure Island. That should take care of 2008.
5- Her birthday is Saturday. I am realizing that my time of being a father to a genderless child is quickly coming to an end and I will be parenting a blossoming female (excuse me, I threw up a little in my mouth when typing that). That's a whole different world! I'm afeared that my daughter will lack the knowledge and understanding of a great many female 'need-to-know' type things. Like makeup to just scratch the surface. How am I supposed to teach her that?! "No sweety, you apply the rouge with a wider brush and after the base, not before." Gimmee a break!
6- Hopefully she will be a horse owner by the end of 2008. That is her biggest dream. She has earned it in her perseverance of interest and accumulated knowledge in equestrian studies. I am told you can expect to shell out an average of $200 monthly for food and upkeep. That's steep. But you can't argue with the numbers that show little girls who own horses are better grounded and less likely to get in trouble and have much better grades and all that. So it's an investment in her future really.
7- Aspen and I have to get to the orphanage some Sunday before the 23rd to read X-Mas stories. This has been a long time coming. Last year we got security clearance too late for the holiday season. We can't fail again!
8- While my final decision is yet to be made and I have no plans to officially endorse any of the candidates my leaning right now is with Kasinich (or at least his wife!) and Huckabee. Unfortunately with names like theirs they are real long shots. I have struggled to find positive things to say about Bush over the last 7 years but after watching Romney time and time again I can at least say that with Bush, what you see is what you get. There is no slick modified persona he hides behind. Romney is about as smooth and calculated and poised as one can get, and those are the one's you need to watch out for. Bill Clinton was similar and Hillary has learned alot from him.
9- I think the surviving members of The Who and The Beatles should get together and tour as The Whotles. Of course, Ringo stands no chance of drumming like Keith Moon but it would be a show I would pay to see. In fact Paul couldn't play bass like John Entwistle either and Daultry should do all the singing since he's the best male vocalist ever. Mid career Beatles and early Who music is very similar. They could play The Kids Are Alright then go into Nowhere Man then I Can See For Miles then Why Don't We Do It In The Road etc.
10- Ever since the writers strike I have been getting alot more sleep and reading done. Thanks guys!
11- I have to say that if I relate to any character in any book or film or show ever it would have to be Spock. I just wish I could cock my eyebrow like him and do that 'Live long and prosper' thing with my hand.
12- I saw No Country For Old Men. The first hour and 40 minutes were captivating, spellbinding, mesmerizing, compelling and addictive. Then the last 20 minutes just puts along until Tommy Lee Jones' character is quietly telling his wife about a dream he had and then BAM... credits start rolling! WTF!? I hate these new confounded Hollywood endings that are supposed to be artsy that just make no sense and are so anticlimactic that they're supposed to be nuveau but really they're just lame as hell!
13- If I still have the same job this time next year, will someone from blogland please find me and shoot me? Thanks.
14- To those loyal readers who stop by every day or week despite my isolationism and seclusion... Thanks.



One of my most prized possessions sits upon the fire place mantel for all of each December then disappears again for 11 months. It is my collection of Aspen on Santa's knee pics. She turns nine in exactly one week. The first pic in the series she was only 1 week old. This year marked #10. What made this one nice was when Aspen saw the collection being put up she commented that this year she wanted her brother to be in the pic with her (just as he was in pics 1-3). I called him up and he readily agreed to put aside an afternoon to help make it happen.

Today was that day. And as they climbed out of old Santa's lap I realized that a beloved and cherished 9 year tradition had likely just come to a close.