Friday, September 15, 2006

This and That

We had a great Wait-Wait taping in New Haven last night. Mo Rocca and Kyrie O'Connor were the other panelists with Peter Sagal once again mastering ceremonies. The Not My Job guest was Isaac Mizrahi, the fashion designer. He was very funny and charming and we had about as much in common as a table leg and the smell of cider. New Haven is only two hours and some change from here so I was able to drive to this one. It's nice not having to fly. If I lived in a smaller country I think sometimes I would never fly again. It's not that I'm afraid of it. I'm just sick of it. The Transportation Safety people have wrung every last remaining piece of fun out of the experience. Kyrie and I were talking this morning as I drove her to the airport and she observed that the safety measures don't seem designed to protect us so much as they do to humiliate and pacify us. Necessary I suppose, but it feels like that.

On the opposite end of flying, my amazing wife is running a relay race across New Hampshire today and tonight. It's some many hundreds of miles long with twelve women on her team taking shifts around the clock. The boys and I will head to Hampton Beach, NH tomorrow to pick her up. This is just a training run for her. The main event will be her third running of the New York City Marathon in November. She's nuts. No question. But in the very best kind of way.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


There was a time in my life when I could build three or four full-scale houses in one Alaska building season. So, it is with a mixed blend of pride and defeat that I admit to having finished one half-scale playhouse for my boys over the past two months.

I'd like to be able to say it was a father's love that compelled me to turn it into this storybook cabin. But what was really behind it is a case of chronic immaturity. In essence, this is the cabin I would have built for myself when I was 8 years old had I been in possession of the cash, tools, and skills to pull it off. This is the design we all carried with us in our heads as we dragged our boards and bent nails out into the woods to build our clubhouses. Lofty intentions quickly devolved as our limited resources and talent became apparent. Two boards nailed to trees with a sheet of rotten plywood suspended across them was as close as most of us ever got.

There is no way I know to execute a project like this without thinking about how you would want it if you were a kid. You have to think like a kid to do it. In other words, you have to be a kid for awhile. It's been a good summer that way. As for my boys... they pretend to like it, but I think what they really want is a couple boards and a sheet of old plywood to drag into the woods.

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