jackshoegazer: (Ethan/Pensive)
Ethan has been to a few school dances before, in middle school, but those were right after school, during the day and not formal at all.  Last night, Ethan went to his first Homecoming dance.  He had a date (a friend from cross-country, nothing serious, just friends, he says) and it was from 8:30 to 11pm.  Afterward, he spent the night at a friend's house.  I know the kind of trouble I got into unsupervised when I was young and I worry so much.  I shouldn't, but I do.  A bit hypocritical, I suppose.  He seems to be in with a good crowd (cross-country athletes, piano players, and blues guitarists) and he can't be any stupider than I was at fourteen.  Sometimes it is easy to allow him his independence and accept his teenageriness.  Others, I am reminded that I have less than four years left with him, before he is an adult and autonomous.  This is the home-stretch, the last inning, and every day I have to let go a little bit more.

Three More )

Here are some pictures I snapped before he left for the dance.  I learned how to do the Ediety, or the Atlantic knot for his tie.  In some ways, this makes me a bit sad, because I never had these moments with my father and it leaves me wondering if he felt this way as I got older.  So often he seemed so oblivious to me (and my siblings) as if we were just noise, a buzzing bee, interrupting a summer nap.  A wave of the hand, and all is quiet again.
jackshoegazer: (Ethan/ZombieSkater)
For his English class, Ethan has to write a tabloid article.  He wrote about government-designed penguins that shoot lasers out of their eyes that are sent to defeat zombie outbreaks.  I helped with his tabloid graphic.

jackshoegazer: (Ethan/ZombieSkater)
Today, I dug three years of crap and old clothes and boxes and blah blah blah out of my bedroom closet. It is beautiful and clean and organized now and it's like an angel is humming celestial perfection in there. While digging and clearing, I found this old Polaroid of Ethan at about the age of three, standing on a chair at the turntables.

Bridget caught me drinking all the wine. )
jackshoegazer: (Ethan/ZombieSkater)
In one hour I will take my six-foot tall thirteen year-old to register for eighth grade. This is his last year of middle school. This time next year, I will be taking him to register for high school. I remember when he was a tiny baby and pooped on me. Where does the time go?

On a side note, my fall semester starts next Tuesday. I'm taking twelve credits, which is technically full-time. I've got Intro to Literature, Abnormal Psychology, Intro to Mythology, and Environmental Issues. I'll also still be working thirty hours per week. If I vanish a bit, you'll know why.
jackshoegazer: (Jack/Kindergarten)
Ethan and I took a long walk today, partially to run errands, but mostly because it was just an absolute perfect day and we definitely needed to get out of the house.  We were ridiculously exhausted by the time we got home, but it was worth it.  Here's our photographic documentation of our trip, plus a few other random pictures:

Father & Son Start the Journey

Click for More! )
So that be it, my peoples.  I have to get some sleep.  5am is much too early for me!
jackshoegazer: (News/LookAtThis)
Ethan and I rode twenty miles on our bikes on Saturday. He, Jacquelyn, and I rode to Monty's for breakfast. While Jacqui and [livejournal.com profile] brdgt went to yoga, Ethan and I rode to Tenney Park and sat on the pier, getting splashed as the waves crashed on the rocks. We played perspective games, forcing the water to stand still and thus making it feel like we were on a moving boat. We pretended we were shipwrecked pirates floating in the ocean. We got sunburned. We saw a rat. We shared Gatorade and a croissant.

Jacquelyn and I have been watching the first season of Little Britain. Holy shit. It's all written by two guys who also play almost every character. These guys totally stole my act. Watch this and ye will know too much.

Last, but not least, photos. Jacquelyn is getting a major award at ESA this summer and needed some pictures for giant posters and whatnot. Under the cut are some pictures I took while hanging around the lab. Jacquelyn sent in the un-Jack-ified versions of the portraits.

Photography is Good )
jackshoegazer: (Ethan/ZombieSkater)
Ethan saw my animated picture and asked for one of his own.

Silly boy.
jackshoegazer: (Jack/Underpants)


Ethan and I had a really great conversation while we were cleaning the house this evening.  He asked me a lot of questions about gods and goddesses and spirituality and imperialism and history.  He said he was glad he has a smart, educated father and not an idiot father.  That was nice to hear.
jackshoegazer: (Ethan/Feet)
Last night, Ethan and I both got our hair cut (I'm on a six-week schedule, he's on an eight - they just happened to coincide) and then grabbed dinner at Pizza Brutta, a couple numbers down the street from our "hairdresser." Pizza Brutta is really good. Organic ingredients, thin crust, cooked in a wood-fire oven. Afterwards, we had a little time to waste, so we went a few more doors down to a coffee place and talked over coffee (iced latte for me, decaf-mocha frappé for the boy) and scones. Eventually, it was time to go and our taxi arrived, taking us to Ethan's 7th-grade band concert.

I moved too much to ever learn an instrument in school and my parents wouldn't have gone anyway. They went to one parent-teacher conference in my life. It seems really important to Ethan that I go to these things, and to be honest, I wouldn't miss it for anything. Ethan's playing baritone sax (he played alto last year) and he's getting pretty good. He said he wants to keep it up for next year. For this concert, the lineup was the Jazz Club (excellent all around), then the orchestra (who did an awesome medley of Queen songs), then the chorus (who were okay, except for a few really amazing voices who did solos), then the chorus & orchestra together (an astounding rendition of The Black Eyed Peas' Where is the Love?), and then finally, the band, which finished off the night with a fun Bohemian Rhapsody.

Sitting on bleachers for an hour and a half - eh, not so fun and horrible for my back.  It was also standing-room only, so we parents were crammed together like sardines and it was very warm in there.  It also reminds me that I am a very young parent.  There were only a handful of parents there who were close to my age.  Most were into their 40's or 50's or older.  I got many I-wonder-who-that-is-and-why-he's-here looks.  I kept having to wave to Ethan's friends.  More so, Ethan would be talking to a friend and then they'd both look up at the bleachers, Ethan would wave and I'd wave back.  At least he's not embarrassed of me yet.  When his friend Augustin passed me int he hall, he said, "Hello, Mister Parker."  That was pretty funny and kind of weird.

You always hear people, when they get called, "Mr. Somebody" say, "Hey, Mr. Somebody is my dad."  I will never say that.  I'll be a mister, I don't mind.  My dad was never a mister to anyone.  Why scoff at respect?

Anyway, we came home, ate some ice cream and watched part of Raiders of the Lost Ark until we started falling asleep.  It was good times.
jackshoegazer: (Default)
According to the Urban Dictionary, yesterday was Christmas Adam and today is Christmas Eve. I was awoken at 5am by the cats going crazy. Turns out they couldn't wait to open their gifts, new catnip sacks particularly.

Since I have to work tomorrow morning, we're going to open presents today sometime. I still have one gift for Jacquelyn to get, which means shortly after I write this message, I'm going to sneak out of the house and leave her and the boy to scavenge breakfast. Everything else is already under the tree, as we no longer have any Santa-believers in the house.

One day when Ethan was in fourth grade, on the way home from school, he says to me, "Dad, I don't think Santa's real."

"Oh?" I replied, "What makes you think that?"

"Well, I was thinking about it and... it just doesn't make any sense. I'm right aren't I?"

"Yes, son, you're right."

"And the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, they're not real either, are they?"

"Not that I know of, son."

He raised his fists in the air in mock anguish, "EVERYTHING I KNOW IS A LIE!"

Here is the tree with all the loot. You can click for a high-res version full of lotsa details.

Have a happy holiday, whatever your particular solstice-inspired holiday. The days get longer from here, as we move back toward the light. Much love to you, dear readers.

Jack Shoegazer

P.S. Jacktopia has grown so large it now need people to visit it to make a transportation system. I still have no idea what the point is.
jackshoegazer: (Very/Excited)
To quote Arthur Dent, "This must be Thursday.  I never could get the hang of Thursdays."  Which in no way applies to me, but it's the only pithy quote about Thursday I could think of.  In fact, it may be the only quote about Thursdays in existence.  If you can think of any other literary or cinematic quotes pertaining to Thursdays, please write it in reverse in lemon juice on a sheet of papyrus, seal it inside a tennis ball, dip it in rooster blood, bury it in your back yard during the first full moon after the equinox, then chant, "I never could get the hang of Thursdays." five times.  My agents will be in touch.

After much deliberation over the past six months, Ethan finally picked a Halloween costume.  Earlier in the year, it was a werewolf in a suit, which was later changed to a Roman-style warrior a la Gladiator or 300, which evolved into an Egyptian pharaoh.  The final decision seems to have been inspired by this bit of Photoshopping, hence his decision to go as a zombie skateboarder.  Jacquelyn and I shredded some clothes and doused him in blood.  Wanna see?

Wasn't that a nice little pictorial story?  I thought so.

Today, I got a hair cut from Stephen at HAIR, stopped at Trader Joe's for some yummy groceries, and bicycled home.  It's definitely getting cold enough to make me consider putting the bike away for the season, but it's not quite that bad yet.  I just keep forgetting to buy gloves, as my hands are the only unbearably cold part of my bod.

Oh yes, NaNoWriMo starts today.  Since Ethan is too young to read my first novel (and he regularly asks when he can) I've decided to write Ethan a novel and I'm going to use NaNoWriMo as impetus to do so.  Ethan has asked for a sort of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic adventure.  We'll see how it goes.

I'll leave you here, dear reader, while I eat some Trader Joe's BBQ Chicken Pizza and do some laundry and think of a starting point for an apocalyptic novel.  I suppose I should start with an apocalypse, huh?  Yet I can't seem to get around the fact that apocalypse is Greek for revelation.  What, oh, what, shall I reveal?
jackshoegazer: (Ethan's Feet)
Ethan only has two weeks of 6th grade left and he broke out with a lovely case of chicken pox.  Apparently the medical community is finding that those kids who got the chicken pox vaccine when they were young are fine for several years, but then develop it around age 10-12 and it's much worse than if they'd gotten it when they were younger.  So far Ethan's been fine - none of the flu-like symptoms, just some spots on forehead and chest and quite a lot of spots on his back and scalp.  However this does mean he'll miss one of his last two weeks of school.  Rather than being happy about missing school, he seems pretty upset about possibly falling behind on his homework so close to the end of the year.

My application to UW was rejected.  They suggested I take some classes at MATC first since I've been out of school so long.  I'm looking into taking a creative writing course for the summer, then starting on their liberal arts transfer program in the fall.  How I'll fit school into my schedule I haven't quite worked out, but I'm sure it will all land in place.  In the meantime, my job continually provides me with endless writing fodder.

For the Harry Potter fans out there, you may find it interesting that 12 Grimmauld Place  is on Google Maps.  It's even better if you zoom all the way in and put it on satellite or hybrid.  For being Unplottable, I'm a bit disappointed.  We'd better hope Voldemort doesn't have teh internets.  Something tells me he's no l33t h@xx0r.

Before we noticed that Ethan had contracted the dreaded pox, he, Jacquelyn, and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which was exactly what it sold itself as - a giant, action-packed summer blockbuster.  It also contained probably the most surreal five minutes of film ever seen in a major motion picture.  We also hit up the mall, Borders, dinner at Chili's, and a trip to Target before we cabbed it home.  While Jacquelyn went shopping for new undies, Ethan and I hopped into a photo booth.  Thus are the results:

That is all.  You are dismissed.
jackshoegazer: (Ethan's Feet)

Jacquelyn, Ethan and I were out the door by 7:30 this morning so we could beat the crowds to the Farmer's Market.  Then we made our way through downtown over to our family salon so Ethan could get a haircut.  He's decided to go quite short for the summer, in fact, his hair hasn't been this short since he was in second grade.  Afterwards we did some shopping at Trader Joe's and took a taxi home.  It was a great and productive family outing.  Much fun was had by all.

jackshoegazer: (Ethan's Feet)
For those who didn't know, Ethan won the XBOX360 and picked it up last week.  Thank you to all those who helped us out, you've made a young pre-teen monkey of a boy very very happy.  We took some pictures to commemorate the occasion, so thus I present you with the tale of...

Thank you again, my friends.  Jacquelyn, Ethan and I sincerely thank you!
jackshoegazer: (Kid at Stonehenge)
We've got less than a week to go until Ethan's fundraiser is due and we're getting close to our goal of 120 points for the much-coveted grand prize of an XBOX360. I thnk we're sitting around 86 points or so.

Now is the time, if you've been meaning to and forgot, or were waiting for your payday or whathaveyou, to place your order and help us raise money for Ethan's school and get the boy, what every damned boy should have, the best new gaming system in the world! Thank you!

Go to www.4schoolsonline.com, enter school code 143400, and when you check out click "PARKER, EHTAN" for the student to credit (yes, his name is spelled wrong :P)

Thank you all, for your help so far!
jackshoegazer: (Ethan's Feet)
My son, Ethan is doing one of those annoying fundraising projects for school, the kind that are catalog-based and where you can earn prizes depending on how much you sell. I was always awful at those, living in rural Indiana with no neighbors and having parents who didn't look at my homework let alone anything exracurricular.

It's time to make up for my prepubescent captitalist deficiencies! I'm helping Ethan pimp out his wares, because in this particular case the prize for 120 points is an Xbox 360. Ethan wants an Xbox 360 more than most things, but it's honestly out of our price range until well after Christmas, so for the hell of it we're going to try and get one the old-fashioned way: win one!

Here's how you can help: If you're interested in ordering any of the following, send me an e-mail at glacialerratic@gmail.com. For every candy item, Ethan gets one point. For every magazine subscription, he gets two. If you've been thinking about renewing a magazine, consider doing it through us- Cherokee Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin, will thank you. And so will Ethan.

I'm listing items of potential interest to my reading demographic, but if there's something you don't see that you'd like, just ask! We only have two weeks to participate, so think fast!

The website is up, so you can go to www.4schoolsonline.com, enter school code 143400, and when you check out click "PARKER, EHTAN" for the student to credit (yes, his name is spelled wrong!)


The've literally got just about everything (even the obscure hobby titles, like "Armchair General") listed, but here's a tiny sample. Ask and ye shall receive!


These are all $5 (usually 6-8oz)
jackshoegazer: (Me Car Mirror)
I would like to start this post off with this little ditty from LazyBoy...
Do you know what the number one health risk in America is?
Obesity. Obesity! They say we’re in the middle of an obesity epidemic.
An epidemic like it is polio. Like we’ll be telling our grand kids about it one day.
The Great Obesity Epidemic of 2004.
“How’d you get through it grandpa?”
“Oh, it was horrible Johnny, there was cheesecake and pork chops everywhere.”
That's too funny.  And then I'd like to continue with this little thing I wrote as a comment, but felt content enough with it to repost it here for posterity.  The person posted this quote from Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters...
First your parents, they give you your life, but then they try to give you their life.
To which I replied...
It is a generational, cultural, social system of consciousness evolution.

Our parents have children, and we learn everything about life from them. They pass us all their qualities, the good and the bad. It is our job to take the best of our parents and ditch the bad. We must overcome their shortcomings, which is why it seems like we know so much more than they do, why we have to take care of our parents in their old age. They reached a certain point and we continue on. It was the same way with their parents and their parents before them. It will be the same with our children. Only we are now conscious of the process and we can do our best to not pass on our fucked up issues on to our kids, realize that having children is the equivalent of programming the future and instill them will all our good, encourage the good inherent in them, and don't give them our issues. That way they can have issues all of their own to overcome. Make sure they are aware of the process so they can do the same to their kids. We will evolve, but it will not be through selective breeding, but selective teaching and psychological and spiritual awareness.

Or something like that.
It's been another week since I've been around LJLand and I've done my best to get caught up with you all.  Jacquelyn has gone up to Minneapolis for some grad school sciencey stuff, getting lake cores scanned in some crazy lab seven floors underground.  Thus it's just Ethan and I for the weekend.  Ethan has recently taken up skateboarding.  He is amazingly good at playing skating video games, like his current favorite, Tony Hawk's Underground 2, which I love to play too.  A friend of the family gave him a beat-up old skateboard and tadah, he's a skater now.  Not a very good one, but he's determined and practices whenever he's got a chance.  Wanna see?  I thought so, here's an image of Ethan skating, and here's another one!

I'm suddenly speechless.  I've been getting political fever lately, listening to a lot of progressive/liberal radio, reading an Al Franken book, paying attention to newspapers.  Jacquelyn subscribed us to the Capital Times, which is supposed to be here at 5:30 pm Monday through Saturday, but only comes about every 3 days, and the New York Times gets delivered every Sunday promptly at 5:30am.  That's nice.  I've been reading more and preparing my campaign speech.  I'm not running for any office, no, it's so I can persuade, and if that fails, totally browbeat anyone who doesn't realize the importance of getting as many Democrats and 3rd Party candidates into the House and Senate this November.  While the Republicans are saying that in the long-term it will be best for them to allow a DEm in the White House in '08, I don't have a problem with getting a Democratic Congress going.  I'd like to see Karl Rove indicted and see him spill his pork and beans on the rest of the administration.  I want to see Bushie, Dickey, Rumy, Condi and the rest of that cancerous mass removed.  Our government needs some chemo and fucking now.

Sorry, didn't mean to do that, but it's been on my mind a lot.  I know you're not supposed to talk about politics and religion because it's not polite, but those are two of my favorite topics so tough titty.  I suddenly realize I'm quite tired and believe I will get some sleep.  Or watch Team America: World Police, which, I know, travesty of travesties, I've never seen before and it's due back to the library tomorrow.
jackshoegazer: (MOnkey)
Good morning.  Ok, so it's almost one in the afternoon, but I just finished breakfast so it's still morning to me.  Later I will head out for some errand-running and laundromat-visiting, but for now, I am procrastinating to the best of my ability.  Like playing around in Photoshop to make this portrait, this self-aggrandizing picture.

So now what, you ask?  What's going on?

I haven't been around much, I haven't even turned on my computer this week.  My power supply is all fucky so it takes upwards of a half of an hour to get it started.  Ethan started school this week and between family time and dinner and whatnot, I don't have the energy or time to sit around and get it up and going.  I've been checking in here and there with certain journals, but I haven't time to read everyone right now.  I've got my weekends to try and catch up, but it's just too much.  You people will just have to stop posting.  Not.

Everything has been great, actually.  Ethan is adjusting to his new school quite well, in fact it seems to be his favorite school and favorite batch of teachers yet.  His main teacher sent a note home informing me that he is an excellent student, very smart and quite creative.  I had a revelation about middle school as I dropped him off the other day.  There was a trio of girls walking down the sidewalk, obviously 8th graders  in the midst of puberty, appearing much more like high school students.  Directly behind them was another trio of girls yet to be pillaged by adolescent hormones.  They were small and looked like young children.  MIddle school is this strange place they put you for those most awkward years when we transform.  The middle school chrysalis, the junior high cocoon.

Jacquelyn has overloaded herself with coursework as usual, so she's sufficiently challenged and fretting.  We made a brief appearance at the Geography Department picnic.  I mostly talked with her advisor's wife about child-rearing.  I don't know jack-patooty about geography.  Most of the people seems to be broken off into little groups talking shop.  I felt sufficiently silenced by that, uncomfortable in the way of a family reunion where you barely know anyone and feel like you should talk to people but can't bring yourself to do so.

Afterward, we went to [profile] kiwikat and [profile] shevus' place to get caught up as we haven't talked to them in quite a while.  I had a headache from hell on top of major sinus congestion, so add that to a week of waking up at 5:30am, we didn't stay too long, but ties have been sufficiently reconnected, reconstructed and now I've seen some good videos of a guy juggling to music.  All is well in the world.

I just finished Oh The Glory Of It All by Sea Wilsey which was excellent.  I've started Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  I've been a book devouring fiend.  I'm pretty much on schedule for my FIFTY BOOK CHALLENGE.  I'm going to shower and get motivated.  There's alot to be done before Ethan comes back from his mum's place, wo I must bid you adieu!


jackshoegazer: (Default)

February 2012

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