Category:

Family Life

17 Sep 2013, by Conor

The Beautiful Normal

It’s fall! And we’re in New Canaan, Connecticut, did I tell you that? We moved back in May after our crazy year in LA, though I’m beginning to suspect that every year in LA is a crazy year.

We probably didn’t make it any less crazy by living in Hollywood, I should add. Like, The Hollywood – and throw in the fact that driving Finn to preschool involved passing a whole lot of shops that sold things that you wouldn’t even be able to mention on basic cable, let alone want your four year old son to see, but I’ll tell you what: there are no hurricanes in LA, and for that we were grateful.

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I heard once that kids benefit from shoving dirt in their mouths and I sure hope that’s true, because if it is my fifteen month old daughter is going to have the immune system of a Viking.

I also read that kids who live with dogs (though hopefully not only with dogs) have stronger immune systems than those without pets. Even better! Every piece of food that touches the ground in my house – let’s ballpark it at thirty percent – is immediately leapt upon by about a thousand stray dog hairs. You ever try cleaning dog hair off a piece of pineapple? You could rub that thing against the sun, that dog hair ain’t comin’ off. I don’t know what God put in pineapple but you’d think they’d be using it as an epoxy for the next generation of Space Shuttles.

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Here’s what you learn at the San Diego County Fair: You can fry anything.

I’m not talking about the normal stuff, like hotdogs and chicken and whathaveyou. I’m not even talking about the “Did you hear that they are now frying…” stuff, like Twinkies and sticks of butter. (Sticks of butter!)

No, no that stuff. I’m talking about a place called Chicken Charlies, where they’ll fry you up some cereal. They’ll fry you Kool-Aid. Nobody who sees an advertisement for fried Kool-Aid pauses to wonder if Kool-Aid taste good fried, because we’re all wondering how in the name of all that is holy do you fry Kool-Aid in the first place?

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As you pack up your life to move, you seem to have time for nothing else but inventory management. Your house smells of nothing but cardboard and packing tape, and you wonder why you’ve been using a knife to cut cheese for the past couple of years when you apparently had a whole set of specialized utensils for that purpose that you never bothered to take out of their package.

We’ve moved to LA from Connecticut, and while that may sound pretty far and pretty radical, we should remember that Liz is from Southern California, so this is a homecoming for her. We’re terribly excited to be here.

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29 Feb 2012, by Conor

Me and Shamu

If I could write a letter to Shamu, I’d first check in just to make sure he was doing okay. (Actually, first I’d make sure I was talking to the right Shamu. There seem to be, like, five of them.) I’d want to know how he was doing because he sure seemed happy, and he sure seemed to be making a lot of kids happy, including ours. I’d also thank him for his hard work, and compliment him on being able to jump out of the water even though he weighs about nine thousand pounds.

I was thinking about Shamu because I was thinking about the family vacation we took a couple of weeks ago. If you’re like me, you do a fair bit of calculating during these vacations.

Case in point: How much is it going to cost to take the family to sea world when we’re out in San Diego? Probably a bunch. Tickets are pretty expensive, after all. Food is prohibitively expensive, which is why we ate at a famous local diner that used to have some kind of terribly politically incorrect name (can’t remember what that was now, but when Liz and I were reading the famous history on the back of the menu I noticed that we both raised our eyebrows at the same time.) We filled up on breakfast burritos (or whatever they’re called in Spanish) and gave Finn and Lucy pancakes and went into Sea World on a Friday morning in February, when the crowd would be about 5000 instead of about 40000.

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Copyright ©2012 Conor Grennan. Photos: Larry Closs.
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