Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Mother of All Bribes

Following a lovely Christmas Eve dinner of Steak Diane, scalloped potatoes, baked asparagus, and profiteroles for dessert, we attempted to get Hollis to pose in front of the Christmas tree. A few vicious denials later we fell back on the oldest and most thermonuclear trick in the book: we warned him that should he continue his non-compliance, Santa might not visit him. Of course this works best on Christmas Eve, and you can see from his happy face, we bluffed impressively!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Pulpit

This picture was taken just after our Christmas Eve service at
Nawthside (as our Minister pronounces it). It doesn't do justice to
how truly packed the sanctuary was. I am not exaggerating even
slightly when I tell you the only remaining place to have witnessed
the service would have been to have hung from the rafters. I am also
not kidding when I tell you that Hollis sat with his parents in the
last remaining seat in the house.......the one next to the pulpit
(thus affording this from iPhone shot)

We were also within spitting distance of the Nativity scene (don't worry father and son didn't test that measurement), and when Mary and Joseph arrived with what looked to be a real infant in tow, Hollis insisted in a loud whisper they "put the baby in the nest!"

He's now in his nest and a freshman St. Nick is geared up for duty. Merry Christmas All!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In the driver's seat now

Very bad precedent setting by foolish picture taking father....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ray of Hope in a World of Hurt

There are 4 new Carolina fans in this world and when you read this
extraordinary story, you'll know why, you Duke fans will excuse them
for it, and you'll also know why God is bigger than our definition of
the word evil.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


My favorite month in the year has indeed begun and my exhilaration is even more heightened this time than in the past.  Of course, the reason for my joy is the onset of post season MLB and though my Braves are for a second year in a row not involved (which is actually, sadly a relief for the 2nd year in a row too), I’m still thrilled about watching the teams who are, as is my 2 year old son who loves nothing more than he loves baseball (thereby proving that God does indeed exist). 

The month did not get off to a great start for me though as TBS has the rights to the Division Series and NLCS games this year and also had the rights to the instaclassic playoff game between the Rockies and Padres Monday night, except no one at my cable provider Charter seemed to be aware of this, as the game simply wasn’t carried.  Locally in Atlanta what used to be TBS will now be “Peachtree TV” and TBS will become a nationally syndicated channel only and the change took place on Monday which was more than Charter was apparently prepared for.  The online options both desktop and mobile for keeping up with sports scores are plentiful fortunately, and I used MLB Mobile for the iPhone because my preferred way to do this via Pickleview wasn’t keeping up with the game either?

 Anyway, the father/son connections in the TBS broadcast booth will be especially meaningful for Braves fans, since anchoring the telecasts will be Ernie Johnson Jr. and calling the play by play, Chip Caray.  These highly talented and affable sons of longtime Braves announcers Ernie Johnson Sr. and  Skip Caray are probably along with my own son’s budding interest, the key to my level of excitement as I love listening to both.  TBS began this new era by first ending the era of Braves only telecasts which started back in the 70s.  Chip, who once inherited his late grandfather Harry’s spot in the Cubs play by play booth, has now inherited his father’s spot in the Braves booth, so it was only fitting that in the final Braves TBS telecast this past Sunday, father and son were paired together. At the end Chip whose enthusiastic delivery is more like his grandfather than his father said the kinds of things to his father that every father hopes one day to hear, and punctuated it with a kiss on the cheek for dear old dad.  Skip who is famously stoic and cynical, then had difficulty keeping his emotions in check (as did I), but eventually managed to give his standard and final TBS salute of “So long everybody”.  Highlights of all the signature moments on TBS followed and included Skip’s unforgettably emotionally unbridled radio call of Sid Bream sliding in safe to win the 1992 NLCS.  

 The last conversation I had with my own father was in October of 1998 about the Braves blowing it in the 98 NLCS to the Padres (not unhappy to see them get eliminated Monday night as you would expect) The first post season baseball I ever watched with him that I can remember was game 6 of the 1977 World Series, the game Reggie Jackson hit 3 homers for the soon to be (and even back then it was the 21st freaking time) World Champion Yankees.  Most every October since then I’ve been locked in and of course 1991 was the year when it got truly serious for me.   1992 I remember with great fondness as well, and October of 1993 began with the Braves winning the last great pennant race, sending the 103 win Barry Bonds lead Giants home to their pre-wildcard era fate.  It was this day 14 years ago that I traveled with a friend to see game 1 of the NLCS in Philadelphia’s Veteran’s stadium.  Curt Schilling started for the Phillies who would win in extra innings and set the tone for a series that other than the Yankees beating us in the 1996 WS, is my most bitter baseball memory.  We truly had the best team in baseball that year and I would rather have won it that year than in 95.  Cubs fans can certainly curse me (pun intended) for saying something so frivolous and of course the Phillies are today playing their first post season game since that memorable year, so I guess I should be grateful.

 I don’t remember much of that last conversation I had with my father in October of 98, but I do remember thinking at the time that there was no other person I would rather have been talking to.  Of course my own son won’t remember any of our first conversations about October baseball this year, but, speaking of being grateful, I can promise you his father will.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yo Roo, Blog Your New Ride!?

So the end of the "Big Blue" era has finally arrived!!!!!  The bumpers were literally falling off this full value realized Ford minivan on it's last big trip: carting Katie up to Wake Forest to start grad school.  Christie just purchased a brand spankin new 2008 Toyota Highlander, and I know I'm not alone when I say I desire to see a picture.  In fact if there is a picture of Big Blue, I think we should capture that for posterity too yes?

Justin and Jessica Lange!

As of September 8th, 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jess looked beautiful (obviously). Justin cried and giggled in equal amounts during the exchange of vows (obviously).

Where the Deed was done.

The Family All In

The minister (and I use that noun as generically as is possible), who helped them do the Deed. Yeah it's like that ya'll.

Monday, September 03, 2007

This is a test to see if my BlackJack can do what my iPhone can do?

With pictures like this :)

Performance Enhancing Metal

Hollis's first attempt with this toddler friendly contraption produced
his first X!

These Shoes Were Made for Bowling

And that's just what they did, but Hollis would prefer them full time
it would seem. I think anything that makes it possible to stomp
loudly on a wood floor interests him, and these shoes clearly fit the
bill. Eventually the Biiiig balls grabbed his attention and the
monkey bowled an 87. Included in that tally was a STRIKE!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Hollis Plays Varsity

At least he eats like does. We're at the Marietta branch of the
Atlanta landmark restaraunt getting fueled up for Hollis's first
bowling experience. More to come!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Da's Buecah

Happiness is not a reward, it's a consequence

According to Hollis's first fortune cookie anyway. Since Mommy isn't
a big fan of Chinese, while she was gone a couple of weekends ago, he
and I ventured out to Uncle Wong's (maybe the best General Tso's other
than Chef Lee's I've ever had)....via Da's buecah....his new favorite
thing to do.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Vegas Values Nuptials & Newlyweds

nuptial |ˈnəp sh əl; - ch əl| adjective of or relating to marriage or weddings : moments of nuptial bliss. • Zoology denoting the characteristic breeding behavior, coloration, or structures of some animals : nuptial plumage. noun (usu. nuptials) a wedding : the forthcoming nuptials between Justin and Jessica. ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Old French, or from Latin nuptialis, from nuptiae ‘wedding,’ from nubere ‘to wed’ ; related to nubile .

The whirlwind of romance between Justin and Jessica is about to culminate in a Vegas Vortex baby! (did someone say baby?...just kidding no shotguns at the ceremony please). They met in the most happenstance of circumstances in January. They were engaged shortly thereafter, and we were told to expect a spring 2008 wedding. Well, Jessica has moved to Columbus from Tampa (as sad as that sounds to those of us from Columbus, she's originally from New Jersey so this is not as bad for her as your first thought) and she and "Rin Tin" are ready to pull the trigger now, as in Sept 8th@ Las Vegas, NV! I'm working on a speech "for the ages" and you best believe the number 111 will be invoked - those of you blessed enough to dine with Stacy and I during our rehearsal dinner might remember my romantic goof-ball ode to numerology? By the way this pic of the soon to be nuptially blissful couple happened to be the 111th picture taken with my then cameraphone (you might have heard about my new one?)

I swear the number wasn't purposefully arrived at which means it was meant to be. Aren't they cute?!

Jessica called me TWICE (!) in one day

So, I've been yet another slacker of a blogger, having not posted in quite some time despite so many family stories and pictures I could've shared. This one, however, was just too important not to share: Jessica Miller called me not once, but two times yesterday evening! Using Katie's great advice the other night (at Roo's Spaghetti Factory birthday party, notice "Woo Woo" in background, we're no fools people, oh and HB Christie!) to text Jess instead of leaving her yet another voicemail, I finally managed to get her sweet attention.
She informed me she's loved her time in Colorado traipsing around all of it's natural glory (and getting paid at least a little bit for it), and looks forward to her next adventure in Christian service, probably volunteering somewhere abroad for the next several months. Wherever she is we all now know (thanks to Katie) that much like her father, voicemail is not technology JBear cares to utilize. Text her if you want her sweet attention mkay!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

An April for the Ages

With a wind chill near freezing today in Atlanta (and that's when the wind isn't gusting to 32 mph), I can't remember a colder post birthday day in my now 36 years alive. Last weekend in Tenessee and Virgina/West Virginia we saw signficant snow, thus qualifying as mine and Hollis's first White Easter. We visited Stacy's grandmother in a nursing home where she is rapidly recovering from a pretty severe stroke. She looked great and Hollis kept her and Stacy's grandfather "Pop", highly entertained during our visit (very familiar they are now with Hollis's grasp of the phrase "iiiiiiiiiiiiiggg truck")

Of course the Masters was as blustery and brutal on the scorecards as has ever occured in my lifetime and the Braves (thank God we fixed our bullpen) have remained bundled up since opening day. The ironic thing is how warm it was the last 2 weeks of March. It's like the "in like a lion, out like a lamb" typical spring weather handoff got reversed.

Let's hope next April is normal since Justin and Jessica are tentatively planning to wed then. Jack and Becky Lange were married at the chapel in Callaway Gardens and since Justin proposed to Jessica there, it seems fitting they would seal the deal in that same symbolic locale. But maybe St. Pete (Jessica's current residence) is a safer bet?! That is after all where they met and what a story that will be for the ages.

Speaking of great "how I met your mother" stories, it was today 9 years ago when I first laid eyes on Stacy Veasey. She had red hair and a figure, I mean smile I couldn't stop thinking about. She was running a fund raiser for MDA my boss at WDAK had insisted I participate in. My WSTH morning show counterpart and I were literally "arrested" on the air and hauled down to what at the time was the Columbus Hilton to then "bail" ourselves "out of jail". What a briar patch for me that became when my coworker Sean kept urging Stacy to come over so we could flirt with her. Sean had a serious girlfriend so he was really trying to help me and Stacy still assures me her interest was in me from the start (we have a joint checking account so what would you expect a smart girl like her to say?) I never found the nerve to ask her out during my time "in jail", but fortunately Sean was persistent and invited her down the road from the Hilton to come "take a tour" of our downtown Columbus radio station. After I did my best "aw shucks maam" and lead her through the "tour", I walked her to her car and God must have done for me what I couldn't do for myself, because I asked her out, and of course, the rest is a beautiful 9 years of history I never would have predicted before it happened, the original April for the Ages!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The End of the Mullet Era

Hollis finally got the cute squirrel tail on the back of his head chopped off and here's the before, during, and after evidence

Friday, March 16, 2007

Go Love Go!

Last Sunday Stacy, Hollis and I embarked upon an adventure intensely anticipated: the Alliance theater production "Go Dog Go!”. The book --read numerous times in our household-- is by Suess's protege P.D. Eastman. His style is less rhymey than his mentor's, but maybe even more irreverent. Thus, our excitement about how his odd little book would be portrayed. Actually it's not a little book in that it's not a short read, plus it's big enough that Stacy dropped it on her toe and bruised it badly the Saturday prior, ironically.

Anyway, our morning started with our forgetting to spring forward, so we were rushed, but we managed to get out the door to reach Wolfgang Puck Express just a little late for our lunch date
with Aunt Rae Rae! WPE was outstanding as Rae had promised, and it is truly nice having her so close to help us enjoy Hollis. Alas, she needed to go into the office, and now I wish we had convinced her to come with us to the show, because I'm sure she would have enjoyed watching
Hollis watch the show as much as we did. Heck, we enjoyed the show just as much as Hollis!

The show was definitely different from the book, but only so it could be portrayed on stage. It still remained very true to the wording and flow of the book, and the props and
musical interpretations were extremely clever. Hollis and his parents were mesmerized throughout the hour long production, and when it was over we had even more fun running around the play house in the spring weather that enveloped the pretty courtyard of the woodruff Arts Center complex.

Few days in my life have been happier than this one was, and I can only hope that my engaged or maybe soon to be engaged siblings (more on that later) get to experience the same joy in marriage and parenthood that Stacy and I have. Trust me, it is worth everything it takes to make it possible!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Toothless in ATL

The Monkey likes to interact with the vaccum cleaner whilst his mother has it in action, and unfortunately Friday morning a week ago he tripped and managed to introduce his lip and right front tooth to our new Bissell. Stacy and Hollis were covered in baby blood which necessitated a visit to the ER at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Hospital (the nicest medical facility I have ever seen by the way).
No stitches were needed and we thought the tooth would stay in place, but it continued to get looser and just a while ago came out and promptly made it's way down Hollis's esophagus. During Hollis's 18 month checkup with our excellent pediatrician Dr. Anitha Leonard this past Wednesday, she predicted this would happen, and assured us that he would then "pass" the tooth without issue (pass is such a nice word for what it really means isn't it?). Anyway, there was little if any bleeding when the tooth came out, so that was a relief especially relative to the jarring that started it's inexorable detachment.

Let the hockey smile days begin!

Trauma subsided, Mother & Child watch a dvd and wait on the Doctor

After getting released, Hollis enjoys the fabulous lobby which includes a gorgeous player piano and this magical looking fish tank

Look Ma no tooth!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Valentine Sister Babysitters (chasers)

So, Rae and Katie were kind enough to come and chase Hollis for a good few hours while his mother and I enjoyed our first bona fide dinner date in some time. We had just the previous Saturday gone to see a movie while my Mom kept him (we were in C town to celebrate her birthday as well as Stacy's jointly), so we feel like we've had some good "sans boychild" time together recently! We had Valentine's dinner at the Orient Express and for those of you who've visited us here in Vinings, you might be aware that this restaraunt, half traditional Chinese/half Hibachi, is literally a long train car right next to the train tracks that eventually route their way not to far from our condo. We literally ate everything the Hibachi chef threw at us, and then waddled our way over to the Starbucks next door for some coffee before making our way home. Hollis, Rae, and Katie in the interim managed to keep each other wildly entertained!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monkey Junction

Family members welcome to our family blog!

Maybe you've heard the word "blog" and wondered what it actually means. It's the abbreviated slang for "web log" which is equivalent to being an online diary for some, an opportunity for others to have their own "letter to the editor" everyday, and for us, a place to share pictures and stories of the general hilarity of family.

The cool thing is only we have have access to this blog, and we can all eventually become "bloggers" by adding our own "posts". Just let me know when you want the power to post and either Stacy or I will grant it. If you only ever want to view the site and maybe make comments from time to time, that is perfectly fine too.

Of course, Stacy and I will publish things mainly related to Hollis and so this blog, at least in the beginning, will likely become a "Monkey Junction" if you will.....and as clever as the title of the first post is, I can't wait until someone without the last name/maiden name Veasey asks me about the title of our little blog......

Hollis is ready to show Mimi how this all works!