Pride (In the name of Marcus)

I'm so proud. I can hardly stand it.

Sunday, August 24th (one month and one day after Simeon's birthday) my sister gave birth to Marcus Kai Williams. On that day, I found out that there is such thing as love at no sight. I haven't met Marcus, won't meet him until Christmas, but gosh, I love that little boy.

I can't type anymore and expect to keep my eyes dry. So, I'm just gonna stop. But not before I say — I couldn't be more proud.


Two kinds of people

"There's two kinds of people in this world: those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him."
– Bob (Bill Murray) explained to Dr. Marvin why his marriage ended in divorce (I just realized that I've referenced What About Bob? twice in my blog's relatively short existence)
I was at an Indianapolis Indians game this past week with a friend and he came seat-hopping down to our spot on the first base line with a beer and tray of nachos in hand. We discovered that we have a shared passion for nachos. 

I said, "have you had the nachos at Old Point Tavern?" 

"Funny you mention it," he went on, "there's two philosophies on how to make nachos." 

My interest was piqued, because he's a chef n'all. "How so?," I hadn't ever given nachos that much thought, I guess. 

He told me that you can make nachos piled "high and deep" (<-- also a What About Bob reference), like they do at Old Point Tavern, or you can spread the chips out flat on a giant plate with cheese spread evenly on top. He explained that the second nacho execution produces a perfect nacho bite – each and every bite. While the "high and deep" method makes quite the visual impression, you're left with "dry" areas deep in the nacho pile.

My wife has often preached the virtues of the "perfect bite." You should watch Sarah eat. She measures and assembles each bite to maximize flavor potential. So, I don't even need to ask which side of the nacho divide Sarah has planted herself. 

She's a proud member of the "out flat" camp.

I had to give it some thought. I'm a visual guy, so the "high and deep" pile is appealing. I can remember being mildly concerned with what I'd do with those dry extra chips at the end, but it had never bothered me that much. But, I could definitely see my friend's point on the "out flat" style. He made a very good case.

I was torn.

In the end, I decided I'm not going to be like Bob and risk my marriage to Sarah just to be a "high and deep person." 

I'm "out flat" and proud.


Taste is a fickle thing

I'm the biggest sucker for list and countdown shows. I must be the prototype for VH1's target market. Man, I can't feel more uncool. When did I stop being in MTV's target market and start being part of VH1's?

The last couple of days I've been kicking around in my head some things that I used to not like, even hate, but now I can't get enough of. So, here it goes:
  • Jalapeño peppers – maybe it's just taken me awhile to get over my mom squirting me in the eye with jalapeño juice. (it was an accident, so no need to call Social Services)
  • NPR – I'm not exactly sure when I started caring what was going on in the World, but I do now
  • Running long distances
  • Mushrooms – Shitake, Portobella, Morel — I like them all
  • Eggplant – If you don't think you like it, you haven't had it fried
  • Reading novels – also sitting still long enough to read on the beach
  • Strong coffee – no, very strong coffee
  • Adam Vinatieri
  • Cole Slaw
  • David Bowie – he scared me to death in Labrynth as a kid, but now I love him for his music
  • Sauerkraut
  • Taking a nap – I used to resent being made to take a nap, and my parents for always having to nap on Sunday afternoons.
  • Sushi – admittedly, my first exposure to sushi was at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, so there was no chance for me to like it
  • Tofu 
  • Small dogs – our Shih Tzu, Mu Shu has won me over
What people, place or things did you detest that you now love?


Fishin' and spittin' – something to look forward to

In about a week's time, I will be making my annual trip to Lewis Lake, Somewhere, Kentucky, with some of my best friends. 

Sarah's extended family has created this retreat in the most bucolic (<-- that one's for you Colin) setting one can imagine. Some of the features and amenities that have me aching to get there are:
  • A 1 mile road that passes through a tobacco field (where it's not uncommon to see a wild turkey or two), through a creek bed and requires a truck or SUV to navigate
  • A cabin – a cinder block structure, really) 
  • An aluminum boat – complete with a couple wooden oars to navigate the pond for fishing or frog giggin'
  • Frog gigs
  • A window A/C unit that sounds like a Boeing 747
  • A big screen TV that is good for little more than holding your fishing lures and loose change
  • A luxury outhouse – also serves as a booby trap for locking unsuspecting pooper in with their own stink
  • Corn hole boards – maybe the most essential amenity for our reunion
  • A deep fryer – in case we feel so compelled to fry up some of the day's catch
  • My friend Cliff brings a hammock – I have every intention to read a book while in that hammock, but the hammock is a natural sedative. I think I read 8 words total last year.
  • Two queen sized beds – have I mentioned there are 6 guys going?
That's a lot to look forward to.


Breakfast with Simeon

I sat down at the Noel dairy bar for a day-starting meal – me over some Trader's Point Creamery yogurt and Indiana blueberries, Simeon over Sarah's left breast. To my amazement and surprise, Simeon detached to say, "You know Dad (that's what he calls me), I've had a pretty great first 2.5 weeks of life."

"Yeah, Son? Well, we've sure enjoyed having you around. What's made your first 2.5 weeks so great?," I replied.

The rest of our conversation follows:

Simeon: The hospital was cool, 'cause all these people I didn't know yet, but recognized their voices, came to hang out with us. Some even drove great distances to make me feel welcome. Not only that, but those same people brought gifts, lots of gifts. I especially liked the cookie bouquet that Auntie Jill sent. I'd always heard from you what a magical combo milk and cookies are. But, nothing could prepare me for when mom had one of those sugar cookies, and it filtered to her milk – Yum!  I could eat, like, 5 ounces of milk and cookies if you let me. 

Burp! Excuse me, Mom had cabbage last night.

Anyway, when we got home I was afraid I'd get bored since I had to stay home and allow my immune system to build up for a few days. Bored? Not at all. It was Shark Week! It's never too early for Great White exposure, as far as I'm concerned.

On my sixth day, we went for a walk on the Monon for the first time with Mom, and she let me eat in public for the first time.

Ryan: Yeah, that was my last day of Paternity leave. I thought about how much fun it would be coming home from work to see you and Mom together, but how sad I'd be to leave you in the morning.

Simeon: I was sad to see you leave too. But, Mom has kept me busy so I wouldn't think too much about you leaving.

Ryan: Yeah, I guess your first couple of weeks have been pretty eventful ...

Simeon: Oh, I wasn't finished. I've seen more animals than one can imagine. I went to the Trader's Point Creamery and saw some dairy cows... 

Ryan: Yeah, remember when I told your mom that as productive as she's been, she could earn some extra money up at the Creamery?

Sarah: That's still not funny, Ryan. Stop laughing, Simeon.

Simeon: Anyway, I've been to the Zoo twice. Count 'em – ONE, (he uses his middle finger he doesn't know what it means yet) TWO (he held up 4 fingers – motor skills aren't finely tuned yet). I went to the fair and saw some more animals, some were in cages and others were eating fried Twinkies. I saw the World's Largest Boar who also happened to have the World's Largest Boar Testicles.

Ryan: That's hilarious, you noticed his testicles?

Simeon: How could I not? They were the world's largest.

Ryan: It seems like you've been living pretty large, little man.

Simeon: *rolls his eyes and gets back to his breakfast*


I love poo. Poo loves me. We're a happy family.

It has been over a year and a half since my last poo blog. That is a travesty, if you ask me. I understand that you haven't asked for it, but I just can't resist putting together consonants and vowels to chat about bowels. So, back by unpopular demand ...

Sarah and I went to a class to prepare ourselves for the rigors and joys (more rigors, really) of parenting a newborn. In truth, the only thing I remember about that class was a laminated letter-sized card of poo, a Periodic Poo Table. I was equal parts horrified and intrigued. The chart had pictures, yes pictures, of every stage of poo for the first weeks of life for the newborn. Like Mexican food, it's nearly impossible for poo to look good in a photograph. 

There was only one copy of the Poo Table, so each person got to take gander at the poo gammut, and then pass it on to their neighbor saying, "Take a look at the poo on row 2," or "I found where they compared the size of the poo to a quarter especially helpful," in an attempt to stem the awkwardness.

Currently, I think we're in the honeymoon poo period with Simeon. Thanks to the breast milk he gulps, his poo is virtually odorless. I'm amazed that in spite of eating the exact same thing day in and day out, his poo has evolved.

First, it looked like Bovril®, but with a slightly green tint.

Then it transitioned to looking exactly like whole-grain mustard.

And as of yesterday, I was most surprised at how it so strikingly looked like arugula pesto!

I propose that newborn classes use images of Bovril, whole grain mustard and arugula pesto to prepare parents for poo. It's much more photogenic, and people may actually be able to eat dinner after the class.

Thus concludes the first leg of Simeon's tour de poo. I'll keep you updated, whether you like it or not.