Monday, August 28, 2017

El Gordo

El Gordo studios is back in business.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Might I recommend the Original Penguin "Bing" polo shirt.

We are in the swing of summer.  Had a trip to the Lou (highlights:  Mossy, zoo visits, my sister's house, and my niece's wedding).  Too much 24/7 kid time in relatively small spaces.

Samuel has become a swimming machine.  Ever since he learned how (a few days before the trip), he's wanted to go swimming just about every day.  It's fun to watch him because he loves it so much and he works so hard at it.

Struck the set for the summer show.  It went very smoothly and the weather for working outside was lovely.  Last year it was about 100 degrees and it sucked.  This year, low 80's.

For the last few weeks, I've been reading this.  It definitely reminds me of some DFW stuff.

Anna Banana is definitely becoming a 2 year old, in the best and worst ways.  Super cute, super fun, and then melting down into a little pot of boiling emotions.  Perhaps I've just mixed some cooking metaphors with all the boiling and melting, but the point is, she starts whining and crying a lot.

Got to go down to DC and have dinner with K-Torr last night.  Every 6 or 7 years he comes for a conference, and he's always been good about letting us know when he's in town.  So good to see him.  A lovely man with a heart to match his feet.  (Both very large).

Friday, July 07, 2017

Dummer than a Dummy

I would like you to know that this blog isn't worth a god-damn thing to advertisers.  They just don't know what the people want!  The people want to know about my poop!

Also, Samuel has been working real hard at learning to swim.  It has been my experience that when he works real hard at something, he usually gets it within a week or two.  

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Smarter Than a Dummy

Last night the Missus and I watched Highway to Heaven.  It was pretty bad.  But, it was the first of a two-part episode, and I'm sure we'll end up watching the second part.  So who's pretty bad now, huh?
Michael Landon's mother was Catholic and his father was Jewish, by the way.  We had to look that shit up.  Also, there was a Little House episode featuring a Jewish character.  Had to look that shit up, too.

The Jeanners has reduced her Habishmatt workload down to 1+ days a week, and so far it seems pretty nice, although my workload has also greatly been reduced because it's summer, which has been adding to the pretty-niceness.   So it's shaping up to be a nice summer.  Looking forward to our trip to the Lou and also for our camping trip planned for August.

Working on taking in fewer calories.  Also keeping up with the running.  I got out of shape during the build for the summer show and now I need to get my distance and endurance back up to speed.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Schmancho Schmelaxo

Had a fantastic weekend in the hills/mountains of W. Virginia, hidden away in a rental cabin with the Schluetermetz'.  A couple of days in a cute, perfectly sized A-frame in the woods, complete with beautiful community pool and hot tub.  It was not roughing it, but it was a great time with friends in a relaxing and beautiful setting.  Highlights of the trip for me:  a soak and massage at Berkeley Springs state park, and hanging out at the pool watching Jack, Henry, and Samuel playing together and having a great time, and sitting in the hot tub with the 3 of them.

We are now 1 week into Jeannie's exit from her job, and the jury's still out.  I know life has felt less hectic, but I also know that she doesn't want to leave completely.  She's still going to be working a little bit, but neither one of us knows how much or what that's going to look like.  So I think we're just kind of playing it by ear and seeing what happens.  Which I'm fine with.  I just want her to feel like she's getting what she wants out of her life, and I want us both to feel less crazed and completely frazzled all the time.  

Tried running to and from work last week.  It was tougher than I thought it would be.  I made it, but I was definitely sore for a few days afterwards.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Restoring Balance to the Force

Jeannie's ending her job on Friday.  My show opens on Friday.  We're looking ahead at a summer time of trips, camping, and hopefully some relaxation and quality time with the children.

I had a decent set build this year.  The design came together quickly, over the course of about a day, and despite the fact that the crew was mostly inexperienced, turned out pretty decently.

Samuel went through a phase that was very difficult, where every time he wasn't getting his way he would immediately and completely melt down, but he seems to be coming out of that phase, which is wonderful.  Anna seems to be entering a similar phase, which is normal for a two-year-old, I guess.  

I'm going to try and run to and from work as much as possible this summer.  It's only 5 and a half miles, so I should be able to do it.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017


The other night I had a dream in which Tom Petty told me that his secret to staying so thin was pooping a lot.  I told him that I approved of his method/philosophy.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

My Father's Meat

Well, J-Dog turned in her notice at her job yesterday.  A big step for the O'Brandersons.   She will be spending more time with the kiddos, helping at Samuel's school (whatever that school may be next year), and generally just trying to reclaim a little time and brain space to devote to making the life we want for ourselves and our family.

At the very least, it is exciting and scary and should keep life interesting.

In other news, my job is in a little bit of a lull from the crazy busy-ness that has been swirling around this Spring.  I've got a few weeks of prep time before I start building for the summer show.

I just said this sentence to someone:  "Baloney is my father's meat."  Which seemed like a funny sentence.

My kids are driving me a little nutty, but damn, they're cute.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Whistler's Mother

I think the best feeling in the world is when you finally get to go to the bathroom after you've had to hold it for awhile.   Maybe you were worried that you were going to poop in your pants while you were driving or something.

Also, Samuel has learned how to whistle after working at it diligently for about a week.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Radioactive Wife

On Thursday, Jeannie took her radioactive iodine pill and has been sequestered at an idyllic cottage that she rented for the last 3 days.  She'll come home tomorrow.  Me and the kiddos will be ready for her triumphant return.

Tonight I babysat two kids from our babysitting co-op for an overnight gig.  All went well, except for Samuel being a big 'ol douche all night.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Overloaded baked potato

That's what my brain feels like:  an overloaded baked potato.  Too many shows this spring.

I spent the day with Samuel today because he was a bit sick last night and we wanted to keep an eye on him.  We had a good time. The best time, of course, being the 2 hour nap in the middle of the day.  But even the awake time was good, too.  He's settling down a bit, just a bit, as he gets older, and he's so damned smart.   It's really fun to talk with him about space or dinosaurs and hear the crazy shit his brain comes up with.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a little bit because I'm tired of not writing.

I've been doing TERRIBLY on my New Years' resolution to smile more.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Little Known Facts (or, You Know What, Beyonce? I'm Gonna Have to Poop in a Minute)

1.  Nothing makes me have to pee more than getting into the shower at the YMCA.

2.  Whenever I microwave something, I microwave it for 55 seconds, no matter what it is.

Also, I've started wearing skinny pants and they make me feel about 10 years younger.  What's next, man capris?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Gin and Diarrhea

Million dollar idea:

Diet book called "The Diarrhea Diet."

Subtitle:  "Pooping Out the Pounds."

Sub-Subtitle:  "Shit Yourself Slim."

In other news, Anna has gone pee-pee on the potty.  We had a snow day where everybody was off work.  Jeannie's gonna have a cancer treatment where she's radioactive for a few days.  I feel overworked and ready for a vacation.

I'm totally in love with everyone in my immediate family, and listening to StoryCorps has made me worry about their death and makes me want to tell them I love them like every second of every day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Jeannie is asleep in Samuel and Anna's room, fell asleep while putting S down to bed.  The past couple of nights I've gotten phone calls in the middle of the night, the fire alarm company telling me that there's a trouble alarm from the dialer at the new building.   Makes for a tough night of sleep.

I had a meeting to figure out how much I should get paid to manage the new building.  I actually stood up for myself for a change; valued my own time.  Maybe it will mean Jeannie can quit her job after the summer.  Maybe not.  We'll see.

Life is mucho weird.  J's gonna be turning 40 soon.  She's gotta have a radioactive treatment later in the spring.  We have two kids.  Our parents are getting old.  I feel very similar to the way I felt my junior year of high school.

Thursday, January 05, 2017


Sorry I called you all assholes.  I was drunk.

I've been running.  Since August.  Been loving it.  Got a good running mix that has been letting me experience music the way I used to.  Kind of a total body euphoria.  I'm up to about 6 miles, although sometimes I feel like I could go farther.  The tricky part is finding the time, because right now the only time I seem to be able to find is like 8:30 to 9:30 at night, through the neighborhood and around a local lake, which doesn't always seem to be 100% safe.  If I start going farther, then my end time will just get pushed later and later, which doesn't necessarily seem like a good idea.

Work is a little crazy lately -- finishing a building renovation, preparing for an upcoming conference that we're hosting, designing and building a show, etc.  Been listening to some meditations on my phone to keep me sane and help me sleep.

I can't wait till little Anna gets a few years older.  She's gonna be one hell of a person.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Fuck All You Assholes!!!!!

My New Year's Resolutions:

1.  Get back to zen.  Meditation, do nothing, wabi sabi.  Fuck it, basically.

2.  Master the Instant Pot.  Cook some weird shit.   Cook real food.

3.  Smile more.  Smiling makes everything better.  Shit is pretty good.  Enjoy it and stop worrying            about it.   It'll all get done.  No problem.

Oh, how I enjoyed seeing Jen and Brad.  And Eric Elzeepoo.  It would have been good to see Uncle Rico but it was not meant to be on this trip.  Sounds like he has a new job?

I have a beat and some chords in my head.  Wonder if it'll ever get put on tape (or whatever the digital equivalent of tape is these days).

I'm feeling really hopeful right now.  2017 is shaping up to be a year of punching things in the dick!  In a good way.

I'm also going to try and write here more, but I've said that before.

It felt so good to go back to work today after spending 2 weeks with my children.  It probably only felt that good because nobody else was there and I got to listen to music while taking a set apart.