Archive for the 'Best-of' Category

100 posts, six months

March 9, 2011

Earlier this week, I celebrated the six-month anniversary of this blog and my hundredth posting. In honor of both occasions, here are my picks for the top ten posts to date…

BEST OF THE BLOG SO FAR

1. January 24, 2011 – The night I met her
“I was watching her earlier, out of the corner of my eye. I could tell from a distance that this girl had a magnetic personality, a natural beauty and just something different. Something crazy. She tells me she’s at the casino by herself, like I am. I tell her we should take the escalator down to the ground floor and cruise the tables. I overheard a cocktail waitress say ‘American Idol’ star Chris Daughtry, who played a concert earlier tonight in the casino showroom, is playing blackjack on Table 7 and is way shorter and uglier than you’d think from TV. But we don’t go anywhere. We stay at the bar and talk and laugh, and my Budweiser draft disappears with a quickness.”

2. November 3, 2010 – Sarah’s birth day
“Someone announces that they see a head. The curtain is blocking all the action. I look into the reflecting glass of a medical cabinet on the wall to my left. There, I can see the flurry of movement by well-trained hands, then the silhouette of a tiny body being lifted from its mother’s womb. A quiet, quick second passes, then… we hear the baby cry. A stuttering, hesitant billy goat bleat that soon escalates into a full-blown, hyperventilating wail. ‘Baby’s crying?’ Tiffany asks me. Yes, I tell her happily, choking back tears. The baby’s crying. A voice on the other side of the curtain announces that it’s a girl. Another voice announces the time — 8:06 am. I squeeze my wife’s hand and brush her left cheek. I’m also in charge of making sure her drool gets collected in the maroon plastic kidney-shaped bedpan. Side effect of heavy anesthesia, the drool.”

3. September 16, 2010 – Ambien and physical therapy
“Since I compound-fractured my ankle, my wife has been an all-star. She has earned a great big Thank You gift. I just need to have her help me into the car, drive me to the Hallmark store or wherever, get out my walker for me, carry around whatever I decide to buy, figure out how we’re going to pay for it, help me back into the car and probably wrap the gift for me, too. I’m a horrible gift wrapper.”

4. January 31, 2011 – My quiet neighborhood
“The house next door to us on the opposite side is vacant. It’s tiny and dilapidated, and it looks like it hasn’t been lived in for at least a decade. Still, during the nice-weather months, whoever owns it shows up promptly every Saturday morning to cut the grass and edge the yard. He cuts it with a diagonal crisscross pattern and everything, and it always irks me that the abandoned crack house next door continually has a nicer lawn than mine. Although, I will add, it doesn’t irk me enough to do any extra work on my yard.”

5. October 6, 2010 – Tubby custard hobblicoition
“I learned something new today. The term ‘abasiophilia’ describes the fetish of having sexual desire for someone in a cast or on crutches. My wife is not an abasiophiliac, and I’m pretty glad she isn’t. If Tiffany did have a cast fetish, I’d probably always be suspicious that she was trying to push me down the stairs or run me over with the car to achieve her own perverse ends. Because nothing turns a lady on like having to do all the housework and pay all the bills yourself while your husband is immobile. That’s white-hot, ‘Funky Cold Medina’ stuff right there.”

6. October 8, 2010 – I get the boot
“My exiled recovery has left me kind of like eccentric, late-period Howard Hughes minus the money. I’ve peed in the jug and let my beard and fingernails grow wild and free. When my leg cast was removed, I was grateful for the talons I’d cultivated as I dug in with some full-on calf, ankle and foot scratching. Seen the ‘Seinfeld’ where Kramer ends up dating the coffee shop waitress because she has elongated nails and he has a previously unscratchable itch? Same thing. My fingernails and my newly exposed cast leg were a match made in heaven. Howard Hughes meets ‘Seinfeld’ meets Andrew the Uniplegic.”

7. September 20, 2010 – Nurse Ratched’s sledgehammer
“My mom is so devoted to my recovery from this broken ankle that she’s going to turn into Kathy Bates from Misery. I’ll be typing away on the laptop one sunny afternoon, and the door will open. She’ll say ominously, ‘You’ve been out of your room.’ I’ll say no, I don’t know what you’re talking about. She’ll say, ‘Andrew, my little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due south.’ Then, out will come the sledgehammer. It will be for my own good.”

8. December 31, 2010 – Twelve new Christmas memories
#3, Christmas Eve: “Some might have received my proclamation that my family would start our holiday shopping on Christmas Eve as a joke, but this is what in fact happens. The snow is still swirling from the sky as we spend well over an hour stuffing a WalMart cart with our entire haul of presents. We pick out a couple things that we want for ourselves under the guise of, ‘This is your Christmas present to me,’ and later we get a big box of bargain Christmas cards from Walgreens. I used to have a cheat sheet listing which relatives received which bargain cards (‘Grandpa = puppy in stocking, 2008,’ ‘Tiffany’s sister = winking snowman, 2009,’ etc.), but now I get to experience the rush of possibly giving the same relative the same card several years in a row. Will they call me out on it? They haven’t yet.

9. September 7, 2010 – Day One of daytime daddydom
“When we had our second baby, child care began to cost us $13,000 a year. We abruptly decided I was going to quit my daytime job and watch Sarah and Silas for free. Mind you, I’m not high-income. I just celebrated – well, ‘celebrated’ is not really the word for it, more like ‘wincefully acknowledged’ – the tenth anniversary of my intended-to-be-temporary foray into serving and bartending at mid-priced chain restaurants. I graduated college with honors at the age of 21. I was going to take a year off and write a book. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not 1999 anymore, although the band Smash Mouth and I both sometimes wish it was.”

10. February 13, 2011 – Seen Jamaica?
“The Wal-Mart checker was, I’d guess, in her late 70s. She was about halfway into the process of scanning my 56 items when she looked to her right and realized there were eight people in line behind me, and none of them had more than six things to buy. ‘Where’s Jamaica?’ the elderly checker asked loudly. ‘I need Jamaica! Hey Susan, have you seen Jamaica?’ I figured Jamaica was the name of another checker who’d turned her light off and left her line unattended because it had been dead all night, but what if there was another explanation? What if this old lady’s visions of visiting or moving to Jamaica, the beautiful Caribbean island itself, were the only thing keeping her going through this barrage of graveyard checker shifts in the twilight of her life?”

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

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Top 5 January blog posts

February 1, 2011

Andrew Hicks

In celebration of my completion of 31 blog posts in January*, I’m gonna start off February** on a lazier note and do the blog equivalent of a clip show. These are the five blog posts I wrote in January that I am most proud of. If you just got to this blog and don’t have a whole lot of time to decide if you like me enough to keep reading, give these posts a try to experience what Dad’s Daytime Diary is all about***.

So here they are, with no shortage of personal praise, my…

TOP FIVE JANUARY BLOG POSTS

January 4 — Milk-chunk vomit
This is a pretty unassuming entry, but it has a good balance of backstory, serious family context and silly but effective jokes. It’s also a shining example of the “pee, poop and puke” subgenre of stories every parent can tell on a very basic level.

January 14 — 90-day chips
Quitting drinking was a big deal for me, and something I’m both glad and grateful to have accomplished for — hold on, lemme look at the calendar on my phone here — 108 days now. This post, I feel, struck a decent balance between silly and serious observations on giving up alcohol.

January 20 — Rejector or rejectee?
As the weeks and months unfold in this blog, I’m going to write more about my social history and upbringing. The episode that holds this post together, the time in fourth grade when the teacher singled out each student one by one and had the other kids label him/her as a “rejector or rejectee,” is just one element I enjoy here. My old habit of making a big deal of age differences between me and my friends is especially interesting when viewed with hindsight knowledge that I married a woman six years older than I am.

January 24 — The night I met her
In the near future, I also want to write more stories from the past about me and Tiffany as a couple. This post, describing a few of the moments that occurred on the night I met The One, is as good a starting point as any. It adopts the “minute by minute, everyday” approach that over the years has been one of my most-common writing techniques. Though, obviously, one I haven’t commonly use in this blog. Yet.

January 30 — My quiet neighborhood
I include this one because I believe it’s the funniest single entry I wrote this month. It also doesn’t revolve around me or my kids. It’s more a throwback to my early online diary-writing days, when I was content to make fun of anything and everything around me. I gotta let out my mean streak every now and then, kids or no.

For an index of all posts to this blog (usually always updated a couple days late, though, because I am me, after all), click here.

*Okay, fine, I wrote my blog for the January 31st on February 1st, but I wrote 31 blogs for January. That’s the important part. It took me just over two months to write the first 31 posts. And, okay, I admit a few of my blog posts this month weren’t actual posts but more like glorified tweets (one was like 79 words long, and probably 25 words overlong). Let’s focus strictly on the positives, alright? That’s why I’m relegating this entire rant to the bottom of this post.

**Who was better as the Absent-Minded Professor, Fred MacMurray or Robin Williams? I’m gonna spend the next 28 days deciding. HAPPY FLUBBUARY… No? Not funny? How about: The Debbies, Deborahs and debutantes of America have a fierce battle each year over which group will rule DEBRUARY… What’s that? Also not funny? Actually worst than the first one? Well, how about: The E! network will continue programming as usual but with a CELEBRUARY logo in the bottom right corner.

***One thing it’s about to get is a name change once I come up with something that’s worth holding onto. Calling it “Dad’s Daytime Diary” was a hasty decision I’ve fallen less and less in love with over time. My comedy buddy J. Miz, in the midst of a Facebook Andrew Hicks music nickname marathon that sprung up amongst friends, suggested Drew and the Family Hicks. Which I like better than DDD, but ideally I’d like something short and sweet that doesn’t have a .com domain already snatched up. If you’ve got the perfect name for me, please email me or leave a comment. The less work I have to do naming it, the better.

FAMILY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Great pic my mom took of Sarah in a tree in her yard.