Sunday, August 29, 2010


Biggest news of the week is that I was offered a job! I've been working since graduation as a consultant for a research firm in Denver, and that's been paying the bills just fine, but my contract ends in the next two months, so I was feeling a lot of pressure to get something full time (compounded by the state of the economy). I will be working in the department of corrections with mental health, so it's perfectly within my field, and it's the same population I've worked with for the last year. I've been thinking that the law aspect of psychology is probably where I want to end up, so this is a great fit!

The downside of all of this is that we will need to move soon. We're debating on how soon and how close to the job, and just starting to wrap our heads around the thought of packing. Ugh...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ink Blots & Benches

A few weeks ago, Avey and I were out on one of her favorite pastimes - a good old fashioned walk - when we happened upon a bench that had been neglected for some time. It was missing one of the planks that made the area to sit upon, and one of the supporting metal bars was dangling below, making it a precarious place to rest one's hindquarters, to say the least.

Avey was quite insistent that we both sit upon said flimsy furniture, however, and so I, being the complete and total pushover of a father I am, took a deep breath and slowly entrusted all 175 pounds of me to its care. Luckily, it held as I sat on the far left side, closer to the supporting legs and Avey sat to the far right.

She was in quite the blissful state, mostly kneeling and looking at the metalwork. She referred to it several times as the monkey bench, which I did not understand for a few minutes. At the zoo earlier this summer, she enjoyed sitting upon the benches that had been crafted in the shapes of animals, such as a rhinoceros, gorilla, giraffe, etc. For this reason, I searched the structure of the bench trying to understand what characteristics it shared with a monkey. Finally, Avey helped to paint the picture she was seeing by pointing out the monkey's eyes. In a moment, it struck me too. She saw the face of a monkey in the design. The spirals are eyes, the wooden oval is the monkey's mouth:
I chuckled to myself after realizing the connection. I found it interesting that I may never have looked at the bench and seen the monkey if she had not pointed it out to me. It's a lot like Rorschach's ink blot test. He believed that by showing a person neutral stimuli, the person would project things on his or her mind into the pictures. In essence, a person sees what he or she wants to see. There must be some truth to that, because Avey usually has animals on the brain, and saw one in what I might have thought the least likely of places. But now, I can't look at the bench in any other way. It is and will forever be the monkey bench.

I'm so glad to have another little perspective on our surroundings, and to have the theme be something so innocent, optimistic, and sweet!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Two Weddings and the Recovery

Kira's side celebrated two weddings in the past 8 days, which meant lots of family in town and chances for Avey to dress up. Unfortunately, we weren't able to spend as much time with the family as we'd hoped, due mostly to colds that have slowly spread to all three of us. We had planned to go water skiing with the gang, but Avey woke up with a fever after a rough night struggling to breathe through her nose. Kira caught it a couple of days later, and it hit me hard yesterday. Luckily, Avey was able to ride horses with her cousins in a little window where she was almost fully recovered and before it had really knocked Kira out:
After a very lazy Saturday and earlier bed time, we're feeling like the worst of it has passed. A day of naps is definitely in order though. Maybe I'll have something more entertaining to blog about next week. In the meantime, don't anybody try to kiss us.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Members of our little family seem to go through phases fairly often. Avey, for example, has a new favorite movie every week. She's recently gotten into my socks - literally:
She's always liked to play dress up, but I'm not sure what the appeal is of my socks.
She recently has also decided that she and I should switch roles. After exhausting all of the characters in her shows to have me mimic, the other day she told me, "Daddy, talk silly like Avey!" So I have taken on her role, and she tries to take on mine, sometimes feeding me pretend bites during meals, and putting pretend bandages on pretend owies.

My siblings and I have been in a new phase of putting puzzles together. We just finished one last week and began another last night.

I was in another phase last month. After our Lake Powell adventure and lack of normal hygiene, I had the beginnings of a decent beard. I decided that I'd see it to the end and find out what I looked like in a beard. Here I am right before I shaved it off:
Yep. Phases come and go around here. I guess they keep life somewhat entertaining at times. At least Kira has been patient with us.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Darn Hand

A couple of weeks ago, as I was struggling to come up with new ways to keep the breakfast routine exciting for her majesty, I thought I'd try one of the oldest daddy tricks in history. It's been known by several names through the ages: "the Claw," for example; I'm pretty sure Plato referred to it as an "animal spirit hand." In any case, I tried it. I would bring Avey her food, cut it up into small bites, and then my left hand became suddenly possessed - its only purpose to find and exploit Avey's most ticklish ribs. It caught her off guard, as it intended, and I naturally had no control over it, but was able to subdue it with some effort with my right hand. After another few attacks, Avey quickly learned that she needed to keep an eye out for what she has come to call "The Darn Hand." The Darn Hand has become quite popular since its first appearance, and Avey often solicits its antics.

A few days ago, I wanted to quiz Avey again on her left and right, just to keep it fresh. I pointed to her right hand and said, "Avey, which hand is this?" She said, "This is my darn hand," and then proceeded to tickle herself with her right hand while trying to overpower it with her left hand. She eventually succeeded.

In another strange turn of events, her uncle and aunt who live nearby have also recently developed darn hands. We may soon have a localized epidemic.

In other news, my dear wife gave me a day off yesterday, taking Avey for a long walk in the morning so I could sleep in and then exercise. I had forgotten how amazing it feels to wake up when my body is ready to. For the past few weeks I have been commuting all over southern Colorado for my job as a consultant for a research firm, and I often get home quite late. The driving also wears me out, so it was very nice to get to do a little self care. It's so nice to have a caring spouse!

Also, as of yesterday, I am going to see Muse! I can't tell you how excited I am for that - they're probably my favorite current band, and I missed a chance to see them about 3 years ago. I'm counting down the days!