the categorical days: Friends

January 18, 2007


The paintchips at Meijer

2007 is going to be my year of getting everybody's birthday into a calendar system proper. I've already missed my Aunt's last week, but I've corrected the data gap for future reference.

I'm still within the boundaries on this date however to send out wishes for my former housemate, co-worker, and longtime friend.

Happy Birthday Anne.

I tried to find an unused photo that somehow related, and when I think of you, I always think of color. Vibrant and wonderful.

Current music: Travis "Sing"

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December 31, 2006


Conducting the singing of the birthday song

I share a birthday with a young fella (Eddie) whose parents are smart enough to wait until after Christmas to celebrate proper. This helps maximize gift potential.

I learned a few things at the party:

- There are toilets that can flush 2 dozen golf balls.
- I should rent the High School Musical DVD
- Esther Price candies started in Dayton
- Nicki Fleming is the name of American Girl's 2007 Girl of the Year doll

Somewhere along the line Eddie runs up to me and asks if I want to take a photo of his butt. I knitted my brows and started to walk away and then I realized I'd just fallen for a classic kid joke. So yes, I took a picture of his butt - it is here.

Current music: Junior Boys "Birthday"

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October 25, 2006

farm day 4

complete with cookies to match the season

My friends had their 4th annual shindig celebrating friends and food out on their farm this past Saturday.

Good times.

I carried my camera around the whole evening but took very few pictures. Had too much fun catching up with folks and watching swarms of kids take over the joint.

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September 09, 2006

I am surrounded by beautiful women

Jenn and Gretch, waiting for a friend

My preggers friend from Texas extended her stay a bit, so we penciled in a dinner and that turned into a fine evening talking about, well, everything.

This shot was taken before our friend Heidi showed up, and long before we found ourselves crying from laughter even though the service and food quality at the little french cafe in Mariemont was beyond abysmal.

How's that for a run-on sentence?

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September 03, 2006

a reunion of sorts

fairy tales by the pool [ +zoom ]

A grill-out last night for friends from way back visiting from Texas.

I was happy to sit with folks I hadn't seen for a good piece of time, enjoy some home-cooked food, and catch up on life.

Lots of kids zipped around, and a few braved the cool weather to jump in the pool out back.

A good night, a few pictures, but not enough time. Never enough time. I suppose we should start planning our 20th high school reunion.

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August 19, 2006

This used to be my Ground Round

hangin tough

The dude in the middle had a birthday thing at this tavern in Anderson township last night. I consider this the "other side of town" these days, but it used to be near where I grew up.

It's where we'd go roller-skating as kids and then hit the White Castle down the street from the rink afterward.

It's where my 3rd grade teacher took me out for pizza at Mr. Gattis for doing something good. I played Ms. Pacman on one of those tabletop videogames.

This is where I had my second job making signs at Kroger and working behind the video store rental counter.

More importantly, it's where this tavern was once a Ground Round, a place you used to be able to throw peanut shells on the floor, eat super buttered popcorn, and watch old cartoons on the walls with one of those newfangled projection units that were the size of a large microwave. Oh, they had food too, but that wasn't the point.

I could go on.

Reconfigured as a sports bar, the place lent a fine backdrop to a good evening of reasonable beer and excellent company.

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August 11, 2006


Part of the Disney® Princess "Brand"

My friends' daughter requested princesses for her birthday cake back in March. Reticent to introduce one-dimensional role models, her parents agreed, but also created extended stories for these princesses. They can look pretty and be architects, doctors, and presidents.

Their daughter loved the cake, and she loves those cake toppers to this day. They're right up there with Toy Story Woody—seldom far from her side.

They've stuck around all this time, and so have their names: Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Cinderellie, and... (insert beat) James.

No one knows where James came from, but it would seem strange and wrong to correct her. James is really Sleeping Beauty, who is actually Aurora, and that name is hard to say. Besides, diversity should be encouraged at any age.

For giggles, I recorded some audio, here is the result:


James - An audio/visual presentation
(requires flash)

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July 04, 2006

Independence Day Parade 2006


So I can't see my mom having too much issue with this photo. I mean, look at her expression. My brother? He's focused.

The Northside parade was once again, a good time. The rain cleared up and it wasn't awful humid. There was lots of stuff to nibble on and wash down with sweet tea. Candy thrown. Old favorites and lots of new entries from neighborhood businesses. You could say it was a corporate parade - but the way they went about it made the whole notion of patriotism homegrown.

I think next year, if I don't make a float, I'll get off the sidelines and try for close up photos.

PhotosSpeaking of photos, there are lots more.

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June 26, 2006

an afternoon at the track

River Downs

A friend was turning 29 and she apparently enjoys a day at the races. So we semi-surprised her and gathered 'round the Tiki bar at the tracks on Saturday to celebrate.

It's odd, but in my three-plus decades (even working next door at the other "Coney Island" through high school summers), I can't remember ever setting foot on the premises.

I don't quite understand the whole network of tracks in different states coordinating races, but that's okay. I like spending money on things like music, videogames, travel, and beer. The notion of not-guaranteed profit keeps my wallet safely in pocket.

The weather was great. There was cake, a mini rockem-sockem robot match, and lots of smiling.

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June 20, 2006

I went back to Ohio

and my city wasn't gone (or the country for that matter)

Got back from the trip Sunday.

Since then, I feel like I haven't had proper time to catch my breath, that is, until last night.

While having dinner with folks, a tiny thunderstorm whipped through the field outside their living room window. The resulting light was perfect for gawking. Moving the view to the porch we caught sight of an impressive rainbow forming from the fast weather.

I'll fill in the blank days soon after I catch up on work and a (more than a couple) handfuls of feeds.

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June 13, 2006

Friends getting ready to tie the knot

And it's legal!

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May 22, 2006

humidifier control, thermostat, and framed picture of the Margera family

of Viva La Bam fame

The weekend flew by:

CD release party at the Contemporary Arts Center on Friday (Live music, DJ and a little claustrophobic).
Clearance sale at a warehouse Sat. morn (the lines were horrible).
DaVinci Code at midnight (enjoyed).
Then helped out some friends in bits and pieces (as they prepped a house for sale).

Now I want to rid my place of all unecessary things that have piled up over time, and clear the cobwebs.

Spring weather is nice when it doesn't rain all the time.

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April 07, 2006


Transforming the couch (as the cover is being washed) into a nap/reheasal space

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April 04, 2006

rain makes the grass greener

this photo long before the tornado sirens went off

April arrived with thunder and lighting—a terrific storm that laid a fine backdrop for an evening playing Pictionary with a group of friends.

I don't remember the game being so oddly paced. One team swept around the board guessing words in mere moments, while my team twiddled our thumbs and got cranky. We thought were playing the Jr. version, but the reality is we probably just weren't very good.

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January 15, 2006

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts

if it wasn't for that dirty play...

I haven't been to a football game in what seems like decades. Truth is, without a journal and google-as-a-brain, I have no idea.

Today my friend had a sweet extra ticket for the playoff game and asked if I'd meet him in Indianapolis.

Hell yeah.

Too bad the Colts lost.

I always root for the home team.

PhotosSome extra photos from the game

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January 02, 2006

All is quiet

Fridge artwork created by the son of Elise

I had this post about new year's eve. A post about fine folks, bucolic setting, ribs, pepperoni bread, bottle rockets and and the smell of pine, burning.

There was also a bunny. I forget his name.

Continue reading "All is quiet"

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December 31, 2005

new years eve

Webster Grove, MO

Arrived safely in St. Louis last night.

Went to the five and dime for party favors this afternoon.

Tonight, we burn the 3 bears' Christmas tree and welcome the new year.

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December 30, 2005

1000 days

Who dey?

A friend called from the airport. (abbreviated) "It's snowing out in Colorado, there's a delay, could I hang?"

I gave up an evening of Guitar Hero and We Love Katamari and said "Sure."

Not too many people get off at our airport.

We went to a coffee shop and caught Jesus is Magic at the Esquire.

Good times.

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December 11, 2005

Meeting Santa

Down at the Museum Center

I met up with a friend and her little ones for an afternoon looking at trains and then a visit with Santa. This was a carefully planned exercise, building in blocks for running, eating, and potential melt-downs, all to be wrapped up right as naptime approached.

In every area of the Museum Center, they've a corner with those wooden Thomas the train sets (though the rails are glued in place). These spots become the setting for complicated negotiation of who has what and how many.

We managed to head up to Tower A, the control center back when the station was a full fledged railway hub. Great views from there.

Over lunch, I got my photo taken, but not with Santa.

That was for the little ones.

All I can think of is David Sedaris

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November 28, 2005

Java with Jenn

Coordinating on the mobile

I just learned in this interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, that there is a Japanese word, itoshii, which is used when you think fondly of someone.

That pretty much sums up any slice of time I get to spend with my dear friend, Jenn.

I picked her up from a Bengal's tailgating party and we spent the afternoon sipping spiked java at a coffee shop. Topics ranged from the environment, human rights, careers, long term goals, children's books, and the pursuit of happiness.

As always, the clock seemed to fast forward and it was time for her to leave, but it was good while it lasted. And I need to remember minutes are free on the weekends.

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November 21, 2005

hanky panky

Still debating if this is also referred to as "shit on a shingle" or if that's chipped beef on toast...

I may have mentioned during my time at OSU, I went to one football game. This does not indicate a lack of spirit, but a profound need for picking up hours on a day when no one else wanted to work.

The times working at the front desk of the dorms were the best. We had those PO Boxes covering a wall. Part of my responsibility was to sort and stuff those boxes. Invariably, some folks left early for the weekend and I'd spend my hours there reading their magazines.

This was all before computers were ubiquitous in a college setting. Otherwise I'd have been surfing for R.E.M. lyrics or something.

Now I have my Saturdays free and I spent this one watching the OSU v Michigan game at a friends belated housewarming party. There was a quite a spread of tasty handheld foods and TVs in every room. I had a fair amount of lager and the game wound up getting REALLY good. I'm not one to throw my fist in the air or shout at the screen, but I did clap like a little girl at a horserace during the Buckeyes winning touchdown.

Go Bucks.

And now, some cookies

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October 23, 2005

farm day 3


A great party was had. There were lots of friends, some patches of sunlight, kids running crazy having fun, and not enough carving. I'm guilty for not digging in to a pumpkin, which I will remedy this weekend.

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October 17, 2005

An old familiar view

Ohio River through the trees

On Saturday, I wanted to drive in the wonderful daylight. I made the trip across town to buy my favorite apples.

Called an old friend on the highway and lo and behold, I not only got an answer, but lucky. I'd join her for a drink at a roadside tavern.

I hadn't had a beer in a while and they made my eyelids bricks. But not after we caught up and she kicked my butt at pool.

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October 10, 2005

Laurence Herbert Scott (1933-2005)

A drawing by "El"

I think it was the spring of 2002. I started chatting online with a fella in one of those bear chat rooms.

Boy he had a way with words. All these delightful expressions and vim. Laurence was overly complimentary and quick to offer an ear or lend advice.

We moved to writing letters and phone calls. His voice boomed over the receiver with authority laced with self-deprication. A charming character, all around.

A lover of gardens he said I must come visit Ann Arbor, to see the (insert flowers) in bloom.

That fall I planned a trip to a lake house in Canada and a visit was entirely possible—a nice break in the jaunt actually.

So after 5 hours on rainy roads, I remember pulling into the driveway of the house he shared with his partner of over 30 years—who happened to be an excellent cook. After some quick introductions and to verify I had no food allergies, Gerry tended to dinner and Laurence gave me a tour of the place—packed neatly with books and art hanging on what seemed to be every square inch of the walls.

He hung with the beatniks. Made drawings for the New Yorker. Protested, well... everything (and had buttons for it.) He knew people with names I should've known.

And after dinner as I sat there digesting absolutely everything around me, I could not shake that I was privy to greatness.

I left after brunch the next day and as I walked to my car, Laurence stood there waving in the shadow of his front door. That was the last and only time I would see him.

Continue reading "Laurence Herbert Scott (1933-2005)"

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September 07, 2005

This is (sorta) fluffy

Exploring the animal kingdom

It's cute watching a two and a half year old discover life, sensations and nature without fear. This can be a problem if there's an insect involved that is, say, a wasp, or a bee, or (insert something that bites).

But caterpillars are relatively harmless and different—and different is fun!
The caterpillar feels good crawling up the skin!
Pet the caterpillar!
Kiss the caterpillar!
Put foot accidentally too close to caterpillar!

Hmmm, death makes things complicated.

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August 02, 2005

Dinner Club: August

Nibblin in the kitchen

We've got a few more rounds of this potluck version of dinner club, until we're back to hitting bona-fide restaurants. Shaking things up is always prudent.

But I must say, the home-made vittles for this particular get together were especially memorable. The maytag bruschetta, slaw of some asian flavor I can't recall, grilled pork loin, and some excellent cobbler from the Dr. Weil cookbook stood out in my mind.

I must collect recipes.

Continue reading "Dinner Club: August"

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July 30, 2005

Dog watching

If a dog's prayers were answered, bones would rain from the sky.

The past few days I've been watching some friends’ critters—two dogs and some fish. More so, the dogs have been watching me. Looking at me. Wondering how far they can push my buttons or confuse me.

One is a Labrador pig, and doesn't have that trigger in his brain to stop eating or lapping up water. So he falls under portion control surveillance.

The other, pictured above, has these dark "please don't beat me" eyes—er, um, "puppy dog eyes." She's got a grass-is-greener disorder, and must be on the other side of the door every half hour or so. She sits there pleading as if she needs to pee, only to step across the threshold and immediately flop down to rest.

I've long thought I was a dog person, but I remind myself, there's a reason why I list "other people's pets" as an interest in online profiles.

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July 19, 2005

So long

Nursing drinks at One Mo Cup

It's been so long since I've hung out with the Chad, Jim and Kevin. Man how time flies and man how I've missed seeing these fellas—friends from long before the ol' bloggin world.

They seem to have left a few of their bad habits behind and replaced them with new, healthier ones. Among them, gardening (identifying plants as we walked around town), and eating better (though I made sure they stopped that immediately.)

It was hard not to marvel at Jim and Chad's hair, now so long. What Kevin had trimmed off they brought to me in a ziploc bag. (Long story, involved a bet that he wouldn't trim his beard until I'd come visit.)

When they're around, it's important to have pen and paper handy—lots of whacky ideas need recorded. We broke out of our usual anthropophobic selves and caught a movie, rented more, played with gadgets, traded music, and laughed. A lot.

They've an uncanny ability to scour my place and instantly find the things I wished I'd hidden. This led to a discussion for some great ideas on making guests feel really embarrassed if they open a medicine cabinet.

One extra bonus of having them over is they wake up stupid early and tidy the place from the previous night. Yesterday though, as they finished the dishes, knocking lightly on my bedroom door, it was time for them to continue on their trip and time to say so long.

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July 18, 2005

Hey, there's a picture

At the intersection of Blue Rock and Hamilton

The three bears are here.

We're walking down the street today to visit the video rental place, which we went to before coffee shop and after the record store. They point out this stuffed animal.

Oh, and I ran into a lawnchair lady.

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July 14, 2005


Mash avocado

Mohawk optional.

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June 07, 2005

Dinner Club: Kate's House

Photo by Ben

It's June already. First Tuesday of the month, time to hook up with friends and chow.


Since last month was such as success, we did the potluck/grillout thing again. This time at lil (sex toys) Kate's place.

The stormy weather parted, but left the humidity along with some nice evening light. Both recent mom's were in attendance with newborns in tow. I'm sure there's a special term for kids that are a little over two months old. It's not toddler. Maybe it's nipple-junkies.

And for the other two perspectives from the shot above...

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May 16, 2005


In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of the Musical Arts

I need to fill in a few events, but I feel compelled to get an entry out for a percussion recital I attended on Monday night. If only, to give Heather Brown some hits on Google.

I've only been to a few recitals at The University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music, and I always walk away thinking to myself, I could never do that. I'm a behind-the-scenes kinda guy. The anxiety of performing on a stage to a silent auditorium searching for flaws would reduce me to a soaked mess of flopsweat.

I've known Heather for a while now, but her musical ability has always been a background facet I don't get to see (or hear) very often. And although these recitals are more about proficiency than entertainment, my attention was rapt. Perhaps by the diversity of the pieces—held together by Asian compositions.

Unconventional stuff. Meditative to an extent. Intense and calculated with a laid-back touch, like I'd imagine a pastry chef putting the final touches to a delicate confection.

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May 10, 2005

Dinner Club: Anne & Johns

With bonus tour of new abode

Since two of the couples from our monthly restaurant hop have newborns not weeks old, we moved our normal date back a week.

We also decided this was a good time to try something in a more family friendly atmosphere. This offered many benefits:

1. We got to check out our friend's new house
2. Ability to hang out in a yard
3. Kids and newborns welcome
4. Easier on the wallet
5. We like to shake things up

Turns out, we really like this format. Everyone brought something interesting and tasty. Though I think I need to find a few more recipes that don't require Miracle Whip.

It was much easier to talk without the confines of a long table and restaurant din, upping the social aspect several notches.

I could blather on, but I'm stuffed and ready for bed.

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May 08, 2005


Hide and seek

Kids are welcome, the electronic invitation read—and plenty of kids were in attendance at a house warming party this afternoon. A nicely appointed place at the end of a modest and well kept street with plenty of trees. The weather was great. There were brats and metts and burgers with and without meats. Horses ran around on the TV. Packed coolers on the porch and cornhole in the backyard.

In the converging circles of friends I have, cocktails are fewer and priorities are shifting.

It'd be handy if someone just wrote a simple outline for life so we knew what to expect. Maybe we are aware all along, but refuse to abide by these invisible milestones — insisting upon experience.

Some rough thoughts I might refine later... or not:

  • You're going to chase the opposite sex or run from them on the playground. It's okay. Embrace diversity, it can get boring without it.
  • No, you're not going to use long division that often.
  • Don't experiment with your hair, you will regret it.
  • If you think no one knows how you feel, you aren't listening to enough music or reading enough books.
  • Anything you are not supposed to have seems very desirable. Get it out of your system and don't let it rule your life.
  • You may have kids, or some of your friends will. Plan accordingly.
  • You may have pets, or some of your friends will. Pet the ones that don't bite.
  • Some things mellow with age.
  • Mellow is not bad by any stretch of the imagination.
  • Own your abode.
  • Death happens.
  • You have a choice in what you remember.
  • Make it good.
  • If you're bored, do something else.
  • Even if you can see your friends hiding behind that tree, play along. It's more fun that way.
Hmm, that's all over the place and I'm not sure where it's going, but I suppose I'll figure out more as I go along. Maybe I'll revisit this in 10 years and have notions on elastic waistbands.

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April 24, 2005

The stork’s been busy

x 2

If you've been following along, you may have remembered a recent post featuring two pregnant friends.

Both had successful deliveries this weekend of healthy boys.

: )

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