EppsNet Archive: Family

Happy Veterans Day

My dad was a Naval Academy grad who served in World War II. My brother retired after 20+ years in the Air Force. Our family is not piggybacking on others when it comes to service to America. So why do I not get the day off? Read more →

We All Keep Going

It just seems so amazing and wonderful and, well, a miracle, but I guess it’s just ordinary life, how we all keep going, isn’t it? — Joyce Carol Oates, We Were the Mulvaneys Read more →

Etiquette Tip of the Day

It’s considered poor form to borrow someone’s car and then bring it back with an empty gas tank, even if you’re members of the same family. It’s like borrowing a pen and giving it back with no ink . . . Read more →

Here Come the Brides

We went to a wedding over the weekend, although it won’t be recognized as such by the state of California because both people involved were women. One of the women is Asian, the other Mexican. Both are in their late 20s, both pretty, and they seem to be very happy together. The reception was held at The Reef restaurant, affording a beautiful view of Long Beach harbor and the downtown lights beyond. The bride wore white. The other bride also wore white.   We couldn’t find a “bride and bride” wedding card at the Hallmark store. We asked an employee about it, an older woman. “You want what?” she said. “A bride and bride card. All the wedding cards are bride and groom, a man holding a woman’s hand. What we want is a bride and bride card.” “We don’t have anything like that,” she said. “You should get some.”… Read more →

Dad Is Not Nuts

As part of a family discussion, my mom names the three members of our extended family whom she considers to be nuts. My sister adds two more people to the list, including my dad. “No, Dad is not nuts,” my mom says, “although he gets along well with the nuts.” My dad says to me, “That’s the best compliment I’ve ever had from this family.” “That you’re not nuts?” I ask. “That’s right.” Read more →

Shamans: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

My dad was telling me about a recent trip he took to the wilds of Ecuador. From the airport, it was a three-hour truck ride, followed by two hours in a motorized canoe to get to the lodge he was staying at. “That doesn’t sound good,” I said. “What if you have a medical emergency?” “There’s a shaman at the village,” he said. “And what the shamans do is they take peyote or whatever the local hallucinogen is, they hallucinate about a drug, then they go into the forest, come back with the drug and give it to you.” “Are they board certified?” “No. And the other thing they do is they blow smoke on you.” “I hate that. What kind of smoke is it?” “I think the guy has a pack of Marlboros. But if you have a heart attack or something, that’s all you’re gonna get.” Read more →

Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats

My dad is of the opinion that cats are “smarter” than dogs. Not coincidentally, he and my mom own a couple of cats, one of which was sitting next to his chair at Thanksgiving dinner. Dad decided to share some turkey with the cat. He stood up with a piece of turkey, showed it to the cat, than walked out to the kitchen and dropped it in the cat’s food dish. When he returned to his chair, the cat was still sitting there. Never moved. “That is one stupid cat,” I said. “Well, he’s three-quarters blind,” my dad said, although he didn’t say how he could possibly know that. “If my dog was here, he would have jumped up and eaten your whole dinner the second you left the room.” Read more →

Thanksgiving Memories

My dad’s holding a bottle of wine as he says, “Who wants straws?” “Are you asking me,” I say, “if I want to drink wine through a straw?” As it turns out, what he actually said was “Who wants Shiraz?” Read more →

Give Blood Play Hockey Charity Tournament

My son’s team won the tournament, my wife gave blood, and I bought 3 snickerdoodle cookies for $5 at the charity booth and ate them. All in all, a triumphant day for the whole family . . . Read more →

The Best Place to Live

Norway tops U.N. quality-of-life list; U.S. is 13th, while Niger finishes last — Associated Press, Oct. 5, 2009 Well, here we go again . . . As I’ve said before, my brother and his family used to live in Norway. He says when the sun is shining, it’s the most beautiful place in the world. The other 335 days of the year, it’s not so great . . . Read more →

Good Seats

We had good seats at the USC game today — Section 13, Row 1, right next to the field. Now you might say, like my son did, that they would have been better on the 50-yard-line, but there are a couple of good things about those seats. One is that they’re right next to the tunnel where the players come on and off the field, as do the song girls, the band and Traveler, so you get to interact with people — talk to the girls, high-five the guy on the horse, etc. The other good thing is that the Trojans scored 6 out of 8 touchdowns in the west end zone right in front of us. That’s my wife, me and a kid who looks a lot like my son except that he’s smiling. If you’re wondering about all the empty seats, the photo was taken near the end… Read more →

The Death of Ivan Ilych

It occurred to him that what had seemed perfectly impossible before, namely that he had not spent his life as he should have done, might after all be true. It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false. And his professional duties and the whole arrangement of his life and of his family, and all his social and official interests, might all have been false. He tried to defend all those things to himself and suddenly felt the weakness of what he was defending. There was nothing to defend. “But if that is so,” he said to himself, “and I am leaving this life with the consciousness that I have lost all that was given me and… Read more →

Twitter: 2009-07-29

Judgmental people suck # My 16yo son's visiting cousins in Australia. He tells his mom to stop calling every day. “People will think I’m a baby.” # Read more →

My Son Turned 16 Abroad

I called my son to wish him a Happy 16th Birthday. His birthday is actually tomorrow but he’s in Australia visiting his cousins for a couple of weeks and in Australia, it’s tomorrow already. When I called, he was at a train station with his cousin Lizzie — well, I’ve always called her Lizzie but she’s 19 now and may prefer Liz. They were waiting for the train to go to Bondi Beach for the day. Happy birthday kid. Miss you . . . Read more →

A Different Person

Our son’s flying to Australia for a couple weeks to visit his cousins . . . I’m talking to people at LAX in a fake Australian accent. My Australian accent is not all that tight except on words with a long “a” sound, which I replace with a long “i” sound, e.g., “mate” becomes “mite.” “Sorry, mite,” I say, as I roll a suitcase over a gentleman’s foot. “Did you just say what I thought you said?” my son asks. “When you travel,” I explain, “you can be a whole different person.” We take the bags over to the baggage scanner. I know we don’t have to wait for them but since “wait” has a long “a” sound, I ask the woman, “Do I ‘ave to white?” “No,” she says. “Jus’ drope i’ oaf then?” I ask. “Yes,” she says. Read more →

International Cuisine

We’re dropping our 15-year-old son off at LAX. He’s flying to Australia for a couple weeks to visit his cousins. He’s explaining his theory of international cuisine, which is that there’s not going to be any Mexican food in Australia because there are no Mexicans in Australia. On the other hand, they probably have New Zealand food that those of us in the States have never heard about. “That’s why it’s important to travel,” I say, “so you can learn about things like that. Or you could just stay home and watch the Travel Channel.” Read more →

Doomsday Cometh

Credit: Paula Wirth I saw my brother for the first time in years this past weekend. He’s been living in Utah but he’s now on his way to Alaska to escape the coming Armageddon. Canada and Mexico will be invading the United States from the top and bottom . . . I’ve forgotten the details, but it’s going to be bad. I don’t know why he was informed about this and I wasn’t. I’m not moving to Alaska though. I’m not a cold-weather person. They can kill me right here in a pair of shorts . . . Read more →

ABCs of Me

This has been making the rounds of my Facebook friends so I thought I’d repost my answers here: A – Age: Extremely late 30s B – Bed Size: Procrustean C – Chore You Hate? If it’s a chore, I hate it D – Dogs Name? Lightning E – Essential Daily Items? Nothing is essential F – Favorite Color? Blue. No, yell– AUUUUUUUUGH! G – Gold Or Silver? Whatever H – Height? 6-0, give or take I – Instruments You Play? Drums and piano, both poorly J – Job Title? Lord of Logic K – Kids? Son, age 15 L – Living Arrangements? Wife, kid and dog, in a rapidly depreciating house M – Mom’s Name? Good question…I only knew her as “Mom” N – Nicknames? Like Charlie Brown, I always wanted to be called “Flash” O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth? Burst fracture, L1 (i.e. broken back); laparascopic… Read more →

Tweets on 2009-03-20

RT @VJnator: The only time Obama is not using the teleprompter is when he uses the word “Look” beginning his sentence.That is the indicator. # Forgot my sunglasses, had to drive 2 work w/out them. Turns out to be overcast, no sun. It’s a good day… # Buy Ichiro’s house – $1.75 million: http://tinyurl.com/ddvkqj # @VJnator He does…it’s an arrogant way to start a sentence. in reply to VJnator # RT @PeteCarroll: Best of luck to Coach Floyd and the Trojans in Minneapolis! Beat the eagles!! # My brother’s visiting from the Pentagon. Not on official business. Nephew’s wedding this weekend. # Building credibility by admitting that you don’t know the answer: http://tinyurl.com/ctyq6s # Read more →

Oh the Vacuity!

One of my in-laws says to me, “I enjoy reading your Facebook updates.” “Thanks,” I say. “I enjoy reading yours too. When I’m having trouble sleeping.” Read more →

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