Author Archives: rich

Back to Surgery Week

Nonessential surgeries have been backed up due to COVID-19, so Claire was waiting for over two months. Maybe an hour after I brought her home from the hospital, Weston was complaining that his side hurt. His doctor uncle came by to see Claire and to drop off all of his non-vegan food. He looked at Weston and said that we should probably take him to the ER. When the ER doctor poked Weston’s right side, Weston screamed and folded in half. The doctor looked at me with a mischievous smile and kept poking Weston’s appendix. Weston’s reaction tapered off, and, eventually the doctor got bored and said, “Yeah, now you know it’s coming.” They took him in for an ultrasound, and asked if I wanted to go with them. I said that I wanted to see if it was a boy or a girl.

Luckily, the surgery went well. His surgeon was great. One of the more entertaining parts was hearing him describe when Weston can play basketball again. He said, after a week, he could bounce the ball a little and do some spinny things.

After a week (and five months of COVID shutdown) he insists he’s ready to go back to school.

Lawn Moores

The boys wanted to earn some extra cash to support their basketball habit. (We still don’t know if it should be one word or two.)

The Model

WARNING: this post contains amateur drawing of nudity.

My sister-in-law is a very talented artist. She and my other sister-in-law—also a very talented artist—wanted to practice figure drawing. They stumbled upon a Craigslist ad by someone volunteering to be a nude model. I can understand why someone would be willing to pose, sans clothing, for artists, but I was really struggling to find a motive here. (Spoiler: we never figured it out.) They asked me to tag along for a little extra security in case things got weird.

The model seemed nice, like I imagine most serial killers to be. He didn’t seem a bit deterred by our gang of three. We were not a very intimidating group, but I did expect to see some recalculation happening in his facial expressions. We met him at someone else’s house who had a studio. Not only did this guy volunteer to pose nude, but he went through the trouble of arranging a complimentary studio space.

I tried to wrap my head around the situation and asked as many questions as I could think of:

“Do you do this a lot?”

“Oh, whenever I can.”

“Are you an artist?”

“No, never had that talent.”

“Are you interested in becoming a professional model?”

“No, not really.”

Not only was he doing this for free, he was all business. It wasn’t like the guy in As Good as It Gets, where the model was confused. This guy had a full quiver of different poses at the ready. He ran us through a few warm-up sketches, followed by a longer pose. We just sat there and sketched. I suddenly realized I had wasted the opportunity by not bringing paint. I started to worry that the model would be disappointed in my professionalism or ambition—that I wasn’t as serious about my craft as he was about…his.

After apparently going through the agenda for the afternoon, we thanked him, packed up our supplies, and drove home. The sketches recently resurfaced during a move, so if anyone recognizes this guy, PLEASE ask him why he volunteers to pose nude for people. No judgement. I just want to understand.

Glass House

When Weston was young, his room had glass doors. He was so young that we didn’t think he would mind the lack of privacy. As he got older, he started to mind a little more. We later updated his room and got some new furniture. The only problem was that now his dresser was right by the window. We also never got around to getting new blinds for his window. So, he had glass doors, and the easiest place to change was right next to a window with no blinds. (I realize how bad this all looks now.)

Around this same time, Weston would often dream about being in the NBA. We were talking about how much fun it would be. I told him that Damian Lillard’s mom lived with him not too far from where we lived. I told him that his getting into the NBA was my retirement plan, and that Claire and I would come live with him when we were old. Weston got a mischievous grin on his face and described our room as having all glass walls and NO BLINDS. I told him that was fine. At that age, I think he’ll care more than I will.

Roman Orgee

We were on a family vacation in Moab, Utah. We went to Pasta Jay’s for dinner. I noticed one of the entrees was called “Roman Orgy.” Sure enough, Weston ordered the Roman Orgy but pronounced it “orgee” rather than “orjee.” The server smiled. Claire and I smiled. After the meal, Weston asked what the name meant. We had to tell him. Thanks a lot, Pasta Jay’s.

Swimming

Harper: Papa, can we watch a movie?

Rich: Let’s go swimming.

Harper: OK, but swimming doesn’t mean just sitting in the hot tub, listening to Adele.

Rich: OK, let’s just watch something, then.

Carpet

Conrad was coming up with his own jokes. One of them involved a house and various people involved with the house. He told us about a gardener working in the garden, a cook in the kitchen, and…a carpenter installing carpet. I asked him why the carpenter was installing carpet. He said because that’s what they do. We then explained the difference between a carpenter and a carpeter. (I don’t remember the punchline to the joke.)

One Drop of Blood

When Conrad was about two, like a lot of kids, he always added voiceover as he was playing with his action figures. Unlike most kids, he would separate the story into chapters. I don’t know if he ever got beyond chapter one, but there was always a chapter one—and it was usually the same. In his most dramatic voice, he would say, “Chapter One: The Case of Batman Dies!” After that, the story would vary. One story line went as follows:

Chapter One: The Case of Batman Dies!

He had one drop of blood!

Then he fell, and the blood went back into his body.

Oh, the drama!

Disappointed

Conrad was having an exceptionally good basketball game and was nailing every shot. Literally every shot. I didn’t know the man sitting next to me, and he didn’t know I was Conrad’s dad. He noticed Conrad and muttered to himself, “Wow, that kid has a good arm.” By the end of the game, Conrad had made every shot except one free-throw.

At the end of the game, Conrad walked up to me and was excited to point out that he had made every shot. I congratulated him, but I did point out that he missed a free throw. (I always tell him that you don’t miss free throws or lay-ups.) The man sitting next to me, now realizing that I was Conrad’s dad, looked at me with wide eyes that seemed to say, “Wow, you are harsh.”

Merit Badge

The scouts are working on their architecture merit badge, and they asked me to give a presentation about Oma and Opa’s house. I think the presentation went well, but all of the ceremony before the presentation took me by surprise. I was never a scout, so I didn’t know any of the pledges or gang signs. I gave a peace sign for the first one, hang-loose for the second, and the heavy-metal horns for the third.