Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kwame, LOL!


If they ever actually go through with dethroning Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, I hope it's not for using the city's tax money as his personal bling fund, or for cheating on his wife, or for lying about it under oath, or even for firing any police officer that threatened to pee on his thug parade. I hope it's for his flagrant, egregious use of LOL's.

The Detroit News - "Excerpts: Messages exchanged by Mayor Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Website Update

My guilelessly named site, danieljohnsonwrites.com, got some plastic surgery today. There's a new image stolen from my friend Mike's blog about his trip to Rome (the green stuff in the glass is Absinthe, I think), a new font, and a few pieces of new content.

Mostly this site is for my benefit - both the psychological perk of having all of the things I'm making in one place, and as an online resume of sorts that I can use to scare off potential employers who don't like pictures of Absinthe, poems about Salvia or mp3s of boy-on-puppet sex. But if you know anybody with time to kill - say, an invalid friend of yours - send them by.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just Dreamy

When the heads begin to roll, when the blood runs thick through our streets and over our office carpets, when the stars fall from the sky like slender threads of filament, Oprah will be seated at the head of power. Oprah, nude underneath a drape of Dalmatian fur. And in her right hand she will hold a golden scepter with the gilded letter O at its crest. From the O, a piercing light will flit to and fro in simulcast, smiting the subversive and the unhappy. From her mouth, great proclamations; her husky voice will wash, broadcasted, over the earth, and 50,000 who hear it will wince as their ears melt and run like wax before drying shut. And another 200,000 will begin bleaching their bodies in preparation for the return of the Lord.

Oprah herself will be known by many names. The Beast. The leveler. Jemima Deville. And at her 100th birthday bash - slurping caviar and penguin meat, the Girls of Facebook dancing unclothed before her - she will tear the final seal, unleashing the Seacrest upon the earth and installing a thousand-year reign of peptalkcracy.

More dream revelations as they come to me...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trimming For A Good Cause

This morning I trimmed my armpit hair for the first time in over a year. It had grown to four inches easily and I wanted to get a handle on it before my urge to braid it took over.

I'll be donating the trimmings to Whiskers For Hipsters, an organization dedicated to helping facial-hair challenged indie kids get the ironic mustaches and beards they've always wanted - now, before it goes out of style.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can take part in this important cause, contact me or write to hellen@whiskers4hipsters.org.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tandy

Today marks exactly four months that I've been here at my new contract gig in swanky Birmingham. This one's a winner. I'm within walking distance of falafel and crack drink, there is enough downtime during the day for ample Scrabulous and the occasional illicit blog, and receiving a steady pay check has allowed me to cover my heating bills and finish out the winter without using Claire's barbies for kindling. All in all, a great opportunity for daddy. There's just one problem. Despite my serious, protracted and mischievous efforts, I have yet to get Tandy the receptionist to slip me a solid stock tip.

You see, Tandy is sitting in a very lucrative position. Literally. About eight feet in front of the reception desk there's a flatscreen TV as big as an elephant running a relentless stream of CNN all day long. And on the next wall over, in case the angle of this epic-sized screen isn't ideal, a second flat screen is tuned to the same news channel. It's like Bladerunner in there; the flashing current of gargantuan images casting a menacing pall over all who enter and reminding us that the end is nigh. In the midst of this Orwellian gloom sits Tandy our receptionist - pretty, 50ish, always immaculately done up - calmly going about her day. This means that for roughly eight hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year - i.e. 2,080 hours annually - Tandy is being force fed a gush of news and politics produced in the exhaustive, yet clipped, manner of 24-hour ticker television.

Now, I know that Tandy has a whole other list of responsibilities beyond smiling at the foot traffic coming through the agency's doors. And I can only guess that at this point she's probably seriously fucking sick of CNN. But the way I see it, like it or not she's had no choice but to absorb that information by aural osmosis. While she goes about her job, some unused part of her brain is hearing and storing all that market data and educated speculation. I have to believe that years of that have turned her into a raging, if unwitting, news junkie; have given her a doctorate in CNN; that there are few people in the Metro Detroit area more qualified to riff on everything from the subprime lending crisis to the trends in rising crude oil prices than my company's perky receptionist. The way I imagine it Tandy doesn't even have to think about it, it's second nature. Her subconscious is chewing up all that gross information and spitting it back as razor sharp insight. Our confusing and random world appears clearly to her as nothing more than a field of indicators, flowing from side to side like so much wheat. Analyzing broad patterns is in her blood. Her favorite party trick is guessing the price of gas anywhere in the world and friggin' nailing it. At night she counts the S&P 500 instead of sheep and moans hot shit stock tips in her sleep.

Which leaves me, but a humble and clueless hipster, angling for just a taste. For crumbs from Tandy's sage table. I'm like one of Dorothy's ragtag posse, standing before Oz with his hands out. But I'm not asking for brains or courage. Or even heart. I just want to hear the name of a goddman company followed by the words, "Buy, buy, buy."

I haven't come right out and asked. Tandy puts up a good front, totally professional and prim. An unbreakable front. I know that any attempts I'd make at pumping her for info would be met with a wide smile and cold eyes. The closest I got to being explicit was a dead end. I surprised her a few months ago by walking in with her favorite smoothie from the juice store down the street and, while she was still flush with embarrassed thanks and the initial sugar rush of that first sip, I leaned in and said, "You know Tandy, I like my NASDAQ like I like my women; curvy and wildly unpredictable." I waited. Dead silence. "But lately I've been feeling the urge to settle down. Get a little stability..." She just grinned at me blankly and said, "Why Mr. Johnson, you make me laugh. Are you flirting with me?"

But I didn't buy it, her pretenses of being anything less than the Nostradamus of the stock exchange. Because I saw something, quick and small. A flash in her eye at the mention of the word "NASDAQ," and the slight tremors of lip movement as she stared off and noiselessly mouthed something about volumes and "effective spread."

Since then I've tried everything short of straight up grabbing her by her perfectly laundered collar and shaking her out of her coy stupor. It's a delicate dance, this game of cat and mouse we play. Sometimes I drop loaded suggestions into idle small talk, hoping for her to slip up and utter the sacred tip from which I'll make a fortune. Other times I continue with the bribe train, an onslaught of smoothies, baked goods and occasional flowers, hoping her heart will warm to me just enough to grace me with one meager hint. A lead. A nod in the right direction. That she'll toss me a nugget from that statistical goldmine floating around in her manicured head. Can't she see that I'm on my knees here, in a hellish drought of ignorance, my tongue extended and thirsting for just one tiny, precious drop from the heavens of her market omniscience.

And still she just sits there, day in and day out, batting her eyelashes, taking my smoothies and making chit chat with me that never seems to go anywhere beyond surface weather talk and gently chiding me for forgetting my pass.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Falcor Gets Lucky

This blog has gotten awfully sentimental lately if you ask me. A little too sweet, a little too family-friendly with all the instances of Claire the Walking Wistful being so damn effervescent all the time and Kirsten and I's new experiments with domestic bliss. But the thing is, I have utterly failed to capture an essential part of the true essence of parenthood: the steep divide between sanitized, disneyfied child-appropriateness and the filthy rot of the adult mind. The great world of difference between G- and R-rated thoughts. The swear words, swallowed mid-utterance. The innuendo made at the dinner table that flies straight over kids' macaroni-wolfing heads. The kind of moments when you and your toddler are watching Super Grover grab Elmo from behind, physically try to hoist him upward into flight, and failing - over and over again with puppet-like spasmodic thrusts - and you're thinking am I just over-sexualized or is Grover totally barebacking Elmo.

There is no better illustration of this phenomenon than this tender moment from The Neverending Story, which I have merely taken out of context, slightly re-edited for effect and am now displaying for you in all its slurping, moaning glory. A few years ago Claire went through a phase of watching The Neverending Story on OCD-grade repeat, which I totally endorsed because the movie rules on every level. Most of the time I was only hearing the film while I worked on other things in the same room, which heightened the creepiness of the audio in this scene where Atrayu meets Falcor the Luck Dragon and "scratches his itch." And every time it would come up I would just shake my head and wonder to myself how the actor doing Falcor's voice-over wasn't arrested on the spot for crimes of excessive perv-i-ness.

It's weird. On the one hand, I feel that I've committed some kind of unholy transgression against innocence by making this mp3 and putting it on public display like this. And at the same time, I believe that in one fell swoop I have washed away all my sins of sickening wholesomeness. So it all evens out!

Warning. While there is nothing explicitly sexual contained in the mp3 below, there are suggestive overtones which are absolutely depraved, so listen at your own risk. And if you are going to listen, for god's sake use headphones to get all the detail.



Falcor Gets Lucky (mp3)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Getting the Meat Out

We spent a surreal hour Sunday afternoon at the Great American Meatout. Kirst and I were near catatonic with hangover after a whiskey-fueled karaoke debacle the night before that went too far. We did our best to listen to the polite, intelligent people who engaged us but all I heard where Charlie Brown trumpet voices. And while Claire seemed mildly excited to be meeting the rest of her fellow vegetarians, this quickly spoiled into boredom. It's funny, she pronounces vegetarians as "budgetarians." Man, Budgetarians. Now that's a political party I could get behind.

In case you don't know, the Meatout is like a traveling carnival of vegetarian ideals. There are lots of food samples cooked by local restaurants, literature, demonstrations and speakers. If I would have had my wits about me I would have had a hilarious half hour going from food booth to food booth taking samples and then stopping in alarm and asking, dead seriously, "Wait, this doesn't have any meat in it, does it....?" It would be like the time I went on that class trip to Washington D.C. in 8th grade and asked the security guard standing next to the copy of the constitution, vaulted underneath 6 feet of glass, if this was "the real one." To which he replied, "No, the real one's in my living room." Only that time, sad to say, I wasn't joking.

Man, I just remembered. I was a dumb kid.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Broads in the Kitchen!

I have an article in the Metro Times this week about female chefs. I appreciated the chance to write something that wasn't, in any way, related to music. And it was a great learning experience. While I know just about all there is to know about women, professional kitchens were a total mystery to me until a few weeks ago. Now I'm all downloading Top Chef and shit.

Broads In The Kitchen!

P.S. I really have been watching cooking shows since finishing the article, which is easy to do because Kirst is kind of cooking-obsessed. I got a tip from one of the ladies I interviewed for the story who told me that, while the American version of Hell's Kitchen (FOX) is a tacky travesty, the UK version on the BBC is actually great. She was totally right. I watched both versions back to back this week and the differences couldn't be more stark. The American version is in poor taste from start to finish, it's loud, ugly, dim - what the chef I interviewed described as "shame TV." The British version is photographed beautifully, has tons of heart and actually motivates me. Chef Marco is pure badassery.



I've never been a fan of general comparisons, like Men vs. Women or US vs. Europe. But if this is what passes for reality TV in England I think my days in the states may be numbered.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sunshine, Duck Feeding, Ice Cream and Other Spring Clich├ęs

We're going on three days in a row of glorious sun therapy. And you know I need it.

Sunday, I took the ladies to "The Loophole." The Loophole is a little secret of mine, the only place on the wide, scenic Lake St. Clair shorefront in Grosse Pointe that normal commoners like us are allowed to set foot. The rest has been eaten up by yacht clubs, mansions, and other gated, members-only facilities - all heavily patrolled by the Grosse Pointe Fuzz and all with the shared aim of keeping the riffraff out. But I am nothing if not a finder of loopholes and many years ago my poor, dirty ass discovered The Loophole after a couple of wrong turns driving a truckload of trees to a landscaping job.

The Loophole is a war memorial, an old mansion that's been converted into a public space with a garden and manicured lawn that ends in a 200-foot wide concrete wall at the water's edge. Since Lake St. Clair is so large that you can't see the shore on the other side, this is the closest that Detroiters can get to the "ocean" feeling and I used to go here all the time by myself to think, drink beers and play Texas Hold 'Em with God.


But I've been promising to take Kirsten there for a while, as soon as we got some decent weather, and Sunday nature finally complied. It was ridiculously tranquil, even if it felt a bit like cheating. The fact that global warming has somehow resulted in an extra month of winter every year is one of the cruelest ironies of my lifetime. (I would put it right behind the fact that my plus-sized head doesn't make me any smarter.) And I know, even if everybody else has forgotten, that we're going to get blasted with more winter weather before all is said and done this year. But it sure was fun to pretend otherwise this weekend.



Claire has these looks. These faraway looks sometimes that just kill me. She's not an oldsoul or a newsoul. She's a widesoul. Completely ancient and brand new at the same time.

Claire wanted to feed the ducks and, since we'd just come from the grocery store, we had a loaf of bread handy for just such an occasion. Unfortunately, there were no ducks nearby, just a couple way out on the lake. So it wasn't long before Kirst and Claire got tired of waiting and started chowing down.





Then, suddenly a duck did show up and started looking for bread in Claire's neck.

Click here to see all of the lake pics.

Later, Kirst and Claire made ice cream with some kind of scientifically dubious process involving ice cubes, a ziploc bag, several ingredients and lots of odd, gloved hand-rolling.





Click here to see all of the ice cream-making pics.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

And On The Fifth Day He Created Whiskey

Friday night at the Emory with our special needs friends Zozzfather II and Megan "The Armenian Wonder" Soy-cheese-ski.












Friday, April 4, 2008

I'd Like to Teach the World to ZING

More Great Moments in G-chat History.

I've been spending some time cleaning out old emails from my inbox. Not because it's necessary, but because it's kind of fun to relive years-old melodrama through the cold, clear eyes of present detachment. Or to be reminded of how hilarious and brilliant my friends are - not nearly as dull as I tend to think of them.

This was a chat between Kirsten and I from January of '07, before I Love Yous, before Myspace In A Relationship status and, honestly, before either of us had any clue who the hell the other person was. In this chat you can see the fragile new bud of a relationship that would soon blossom into the truly sick-humored, smart-assed wonder it became.

Note: When Kirsten would write DAMN YOU in an IM, it meant that I got her to laugh out loud. This was a short-lived thing for us, as she almost never laughs out loud at anything I say anymore, ever.


Kirsten: I know. My brother called me right when they were announcing the nominees. I had it on while making peanut brittle.

me: all the stories of your late 20s are going to involve a version of the phrase "while i was making peanut brittle." like, so i was taking a dump, whilst making peanut brittle...

Kirsten: Impossible.

me: think about it

Kirsten: You love it.

me: You love saying "You love it."

Kirsten: DAMN YOU.

me: that felt so po-mo

Kirsten: po-mo?

me: post-modern. sorry. an unforgivable phrase.

Kirsten: I'll say. Makes you sound so ho-mo.*

me: LOL. brilliant.

Kirsten: Sometimes, I'm blessed with a tiny nugget of gold.

me: hence the making of the peanut brittle whilst dumping

Kirsten: what?

me: did i just go too far?

Kirsten: Now I realize what you mean. I'm laughing out loud now, literally. I try to keep that to a minimium while working....

me: I believe the phrase is: LOL

Kirsten: NO, it's not.

me: Don't fight it. Feel it.

Kirsten: Utter refusal

me: Speaking of utters, did you ever get your new bra?

And on and on it went...

* Disclaimer: neither Kirsten nor I think that homosexuality is any different than any other sexuality, and the use of the phrase "homo" in joking is done ironically, a douchebag posturing for comedic effect. A throwback to the days of gradeschool ignorance. For the same reason I say, "Nah, brah" a lot to her.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Joke's On Me

Yesterday at 9:30 a.m., the morning of April 1, I sent the following letter to my family and closest friends informing them that, surprise!, Claire, Kirsten and I would be moving to Hollywood within a matter of weeks. Claire had been discovered, the story went, hand-picked to star in the next Robert Zemeckis picture by talent scouts who visited her day care. Of course it was completely bananas, but I hoped I had packed the letter with enough random detail to make it passably believable to anybody checking their email before their first cup of coffee. (There was one tell: the version that went out via e-mail, and not on our blogs, had Claire's mother living in a rented home in LA with Kirsten, Claire and I – something which anybody who knows anything about us should have seen as equivalent to a sign of the apocalypse.)

I should say that this all started out as Kirsten's sick idea. After looking at pictures of her sister's ultrasound last weekend she suggested we send them to our friends and family and tell them we were expecting, as an April Fool's joke. I told her that was some twisted shit, too twisted for us even, and that she should be ashamed for even thinking it. And then I cooked up the Claire Goes to Hollywood story. Kirst didn't think anybody would buy it, but I had a feeling I could sell it with the right amount of deviousness.

So yesterday I wrote it up when I got to work and hit send on the e-mail. Then I waited.

Within minutes, I got a response from my brother Chris, who has humor as dry as rock salt, chastising me for spelling Zemeckis' first name wrong and telling me to get it right so I don't make a fool of our family when we meet all those famous people. Then he added: I AM HAPPY FOR ALL OF YOU!!!!!

I wrote back: Good point. Speaking of being made a fool of, it's April 1.

His reply: I will admit, you really had me fooled. That was a really good prank. I wish I had time to write long emails that take up other people's time for no reason.

Then I got a call from one of my best friends, Nicolle, an actress in New York who screamed in my ear: WHAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTT??? "Yeah, it's crazy, huh?" I said, already regretting the joke in the light of her enthusiasm. Nicolle launched into what I knew would be a life-affirming, impassioned speech about fate and the miracles that life brings to the right people and....

Me: Nicolle, hold on...

Nicolle: Yeah?

Me: It's a joke.

Nicolle: ....

Me: An April Fool's joke.

Nicolle: ...

Me: Are you there?

Nicolle: YOU ASSHOLE!!!! OHMYGODIHATEYOU!!!

Me: I am so sorry...


Then the responses started to pour in. The sweetest, most loving responses. Emails from friends far and wide that are dear to me and want the best for me, and for whom my joy is their joy. I got "good things happen to good people" responses and "don't let Hollywood change you" responses. Kirsten, who had sent the letter out with a personalized introduction to her crew, began to get inundated with feedback too. As she would find out later, many of them secretly feared for her soul, thinking she was half batshit in the first place to transplant herself from Chicago to Detroit to shack up with some single guy with a kid – what the hell was she thinking packing up for California with him, a week into it, on a whim like this! But even the private naysayers, biting their lips at their computers, gushed enthusiasm and wished us well.

I began to regret my joke. Seeing the joy I had caused so many, hearing people tell me I had made their day, and knowing that I was going to have to pull the rug out from underneath all that happiness soon was kind of depressing. This was only the second April Fool's prank I have pulled. The first happened a few years ago in a bar, as the clock hit midnight and the date changed to April 1. Feeling spontaneous, I had texted two of my closes friends, who were also bandmates gearing up to begin touring with me in promotion of our record, that I had been "born again." Friend 1 tried to be cool, tried to be supportive, but his fear and disappointment still came through in his text response. Friend 2 didn't reply at all. I found out later that he had spent the night awake in bed, trembling at the repercussions of my salvation. I thought I had learned my lesson then: it's not a good idea to use "bad" news as the basis of a joke. Now here I was correcting that, using "good" news for my prank instead. But rather than bumming them out, and then letting them off the hook, I was asking them to share with me the joy of a small miracle, and then dumping a bucket of water on their head. Which was worse? And after the 25th congratulation, even I started to get depressed that I wasn't really about to get a free vacation in Southern California!


Then, at 11:44, Peter peed on the fire. A good friend and ex-coworker from my Campbell-Ewald days, Peter arrived at work for the late shift to open my email. He must have then heard the truth through the CE grapevine (I had already confessed to my old boss, Joe, that it was a cruel hoax) and assumed the jig was officially up. He did a Reply All: Oh my god...you so had me. You little bastard. I put Castaway on my Netflix and everything.

Once my cover had been blown, I started getting an even mix of shock and rage from the people I had fooled, along with the occasional congratulations from true believers who must not have caught Peter's reply all.

Highlights:

MS: You're a dick! I can't wait to tell Claire that you did that when she's older, at her expense!

MG: Bastage!

GT: I knew something was up when you said you loved Castaway...but for some dumb reason you still had me going. Thanks a lot DAN!

CK: If this is an April Fool's joke I'm going to feel sad and possibly go into a deep, dark depression.

BP: I totally believed this and I would still be believing it if that Peter guy didn't reply to all with his response. It is a joke, right?

DM: I bought it hook, line, and sinker! And I KNEW it was April Fool’s Day. You sonofabitch!!!


As much as part of me wanted to take it all back, I still wanted to nab The Big Kahuna: my mom. I hadn't heard back from her yet, but knew that she probably wouldn't check her email until she got back home from work in the late afternoon. I also knew there was the slightest chance of this giving her a death by heart attack. But hey, it never stopped me when I was a kid from jumping out of the bushes at night, when she had returned from the grocery store, and watching her scream in SHEER DEMONIC TERROR.

Finally, at 4:34 p.m., her response came: The best April Fools joke I had all day. I am not the dumbest one in the group....

Now, I know my mom. I saw through her response, saw her disbelieving but still wanting to believe, and what her e-mail said to me was: STILL ABLE TO GET GOT. So I wrote back: Yeah, that's what everybody's been saying, mom. I had no idea it was April 1 and wish I would have waited to break the news. But this is really happening.

What happened next, I would find out later, was that my mom wept. Filled with belief in my story she wept from motherly fear for the safety of her granddaughter, her first-born son, and the new woman in his life, with whom she had just started to form a relationship. She wept for the same reasons she wept the first time I moved out to California on a whim, a decade ago. And she wept because it meant she would be seeing us now even less than the few times a year we've been able to get to Ohio for a visit.

Then my mom composed herself and called me. And we had a conversation. And it was serious, and it was full of details and planning, and I did my best to engage her concerns and talk seriously about Claire's future and to make her believe in this move and that, ultimately, it would be the best thing for all concerned. And once I totally had her, and knew that this was as real in her mind as anything could be real, I said: "And mom, you know what the craziest thing about this all is?"

Mom: What?

Me: I'm kidding. April Fool's!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Be Seated For This

We've been holding off on telling anybody about this until we knew more for sure. But over the weekend there was enough confirmation that we think it's time to let everybody know what's been going on behind the scenes over at Johnsonland. So....

We're moving to LA!

Maybe not - probably not - permanently, but for at least a year. It seems that in addition to being magic, hilarious and phenomenally sweet, Claire is also movie star potential. We found out for sure Sunday that she's been picked as one of three child leads in the next Robert Zemeckis film, called Eve. (Her part is May Fairy 1, and she's geeked about that) We have to move to do the movie. If you don't know Zemeckis, he made Forrest Gump, Castaway and Contact (all three of which I loved) and he's been experimenting with a new kind of animation technique that mirrors real actor's faces in Polar Express and Beowulf. Eve is going to be in this photorealistic/animated vain, but it will look exactly like Claire because the computers will monitor her face. They want Claire to train with a speech therapist first. Her name is Julie Senoke and she's supposed to be one of the best. She's also going to prepare Claire for the very unique work of child acting, especially the longish hours. She's kind of like a child actor mentor and she's worked with a lot of famous kids. I've had a few hour+ conversations with her and I really trust her and think this is going to be an amazing experience for Claire on so many levels.

They're renting us a house in the Laurel Canyon area, near Zemeckis' preproduction studio complex. I guess these films take a very long time to make, much of which is done in pre-production. So we will be out there for a while. But in addition, Claire will be signing with an agency connected to Zemeckis' film production company and there's probably good reason to assume she will move into other projects once this one wraps. IF SHE WANTS.

Claire won't start Kindergarten classes in the fall as we had planned, but will have a private tutor, which should be infinitely better. Plus this is essentially a kids movie. There is, like, only one adult in the cast (Ian McKellan from X-Men), so she will stay socialized with all the other kids present in the cast and in the families of the crew.

Another benefit - and this is not the criteria we based the decision on - is that Kirsten and I will finally be able to get out of debt. The salary that Claire makes is all hers and will sit in a fund that will essentially pay for her college and then some. But they've set us up with a ridiculously generous living stipend to pay for accommodations AND allowed us the use of one of the houses attached to the Zemeckis production empire, rent-free. Which means we will get to keep most of that living stipend.

As you can imagine, there are a ton of things to think about and we're trying to think of them all. For the most part we've been under the assumption that this wouldn't go through so maybe we're a little underprepared! For one, Kirst will have to quit her brand new job. (We're both going to try and plug the Zemeckis connection for writing gigs in the area.) I'm on a month-to-month lease so that's not an issue. Who knows, this could be a net benefit for us as well as Claire. But still, it's all really sudden and we've got a lot of work and preparation to do.

How did this happen? Three weeks ago scouts visited a bunch of day cares in Oakland County - none of us even knew this was going to happen - and Claire's was one of them. I'm going to assume that Claire was being the ON version of herself that day because they've told us out of all the Oakland County Schools, she was the only kid they followed up on. Then they contacted us to set up auditions. They wanted to do them the weekend of Kirst's move and I wasn't really taking it seriously and just told them I couldn't. But they insisted on doing it as soon as possible and so we did them last Tuesday and then again on Friday. Claire stayed ON, which I still don't understand (she must have some kind of ambition we didn't know about), and we got the callback Friday saying probably and Sunday saying definitely. It's insane.

I'll be posting about these crazy events as they happen. It should make for a few great reads. I feel like I'm forgetting a lot and I'm sure I am. To me, as crazy as all of this is, it somehow makes sense in the context of my life. And in the crazy life that Kirsten and I are building with Claire.