Sunday, September 01, 2013

On Nights, Sleepless

So I reckon that Dustin, more or less, has the market covered on clever fatherhood stories, but there I was just back from the beach with my two year old (and change) and wondering if I didn’t have a voice to add to the din.

And then the kid comes down with one of those colds that clogs you right up, so that you can’t breathe if you’re laying down, so you can’t sleep unless you’re sitting up, and so you can’t sleep if you’re two years old and change. I drove for four hours last night, midnight or thereabouts until four in the morning. Put about 100 miles on the car, and a GPS route like a Jackson Pollock painting. At the end of the day, you do what you’ve gotta do to get by.

Because Jill was sleeping, I sent a couple of e-mails to the wife along the way, reproduced in their entirety below:

1:30 AM 
She [the child] fell asleep about ten past 1. Have MapMyWalk recording this odyssey. Will keep circling a while, have some coffee. Need to stop for gas. Lot of cars in the Target parking lot off 100. Many zzs from the backseat.

2:23 AM
Maple Lawn Boulevard becomes Cedar Lane. *mind blown* 
She's snoozing in the back seat, little over an hour now. I'm in the parcel pickup lane at Giant by Goddard, full tank of gas, half a cup of coffee. 

3:16 AM
Costco parking lot, quarter past three. She stirred a bit about half an hour ago, but went back out. Nose is whistling. I got ass over tits lost in Columbia, wound up on route 1 by the flea market. I'm a regular Ferdinand Magellan. 
There was another father with a sleeping kid in the royal farm lot. I wanted to express solidarity, but didn't want to wake the baby.
I've seen as many deer as cops, and more of both than anyone else. 
Thinking I'll aim to get home around 4. 

To this, all I can add is thank God for the Ft. Meade Dunkin Donuts, a 24-hour drive-thru, a shining beacon in the darkness, an iced coffee from heaven and the stalest bagel I've ever had. We all do what we've got to to get by. 

Monday, April 01, 2013

The Great Robertus Style Update of 2013

The nice thing about being a (*cough*) professional writer is that I can come to work dressed like a bum, and nobody much cares because, hey, I’m a writer. I lost about 50 pounds over the last couple of years, so most of my clothes are big by an order of magnitude. But again, I’m a “writer,” so ill-fitting clothes come with the territory.

But recently, I’ve had to dress nicely for a few special events, and I’ve decided that I kind of like not looking like a hobo. Not that I’m longing for the days of button downs and slacks (i.e., high school), but it’s time to tighten things up a bit. Besides, I have to buy a new suit anyway. Thanks, moths.

Thus begins the Great Robertus Style Update of 2013.

I moseyed around the Columbia Mall for 45 minutes or so, hitting up the men's departments of the major anchors (except Lord & Taylor, which was out of the way). I didn't try anything on, though I did thumb through some stuff. Here's what I noticed:

I was only approached twice, both times in Nordstrom and both while in the ties section. Guess it helps that I look like a bum.

Pastels appear to be in, at least according to Penny's, Nordstrom, and Macy's. In particular, pastel blue, pink, and yellow. This is unfortunate news, as I look *really bad* in pastels. They suck the color right out of me, which is no small feat, because I'm not exactly overflowing with color as it is.

Pink in all forms appears to be a thing, which is likewise not so hot, because I, myself, am pink. If I want to look like a sunburned alcoholic battling a low-grade fever, I will wear the pink-on-white checkerboard shirt I saw at both Macy's and Nordstrom’s. I took a picture. I am not kidding.

No occifer, I don't have the flu

I *did* see a couple of pretty good looking checkerboard button-down shirts at Penny's and Macy's. Blue-on-white, black-on-white. I want to get my wife’s style opinion on them, though, because I don't have to look at me wearing these things. I don't really have to look at me at all, which is sort of the root of the problem.

Macys suits are on sale for 40-65% off. Everything is under $300 (Kors and Tasso Elba are $250, Trump is $270, Jones New York and Lauren are $279, and Tommy Hilfiger is $299.999). I'd spend the extra $9 just to not wear Trump, even though it's poor Ivanka Trump and not the Donald himself. Name association is a terrible thing. My previous suit (not this most recent one) was a JNY. I liked that suit.*

Nordstrom didn't have prices on the suits, which gave me the "if I have to ask, I can't afford it" and "I'll have to haggle with the salesman" vibes. Which is fine and all, except I have a photograph of the sales prices of suits at Macy's, which is like 100 yards away from the suits at Nordstrom.

Michael Kors must be going blind. I mean, apart from the whole "Gretchen over Mondo" thing that I'm never getting over. His men's watches are hyooge! Like, a small dinner plate on my wrist. I could see them from the sales counter in Macy's. The watch display was in Nordstrom's.

In Nordstrom’s, I briefly picked up an Armani men's watch before realizing it was Armani and probably more expensive than my car. Which says more about my car than about the watch.

They had a couple of extremely awesome neckties at Nordstrom’s, which made me briefly think I should wear ties more often. They also had pocket squares, which made me think I should wear pocket squares not at all.

Sears sells clothing under the Structure brand, which gave me flashbacks. I used to wear Structure in high school when they were a standalone brand (with their own store in the mall and everything) and were the only pants that would fit my previous, assless self. Seriously, I was 135 pounds as a freshman, and I was 6'1. You could wrap your arms around me twice.

*Jones New York didn't give me a free suit for this advertisement. Such a kickback deal would be wholly unethical if I had any influence over style, fashion, or purchasing trends. Which I don't. So, Jonesy baby, call me.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Robertus Cooks: Risotto!

Like a lot of families, one of our New Year’s resolutions was to cook more. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet gotten around to the “finding recipes” or “buying ingredients” portion, we were left with our staples: pasta, bean burrito, “Indian thing,” scrambled eggs, or risotto. We’ve been surviving on pasta and beans since Christmas (illness, rather than poverty), and so we decided risotto.

All I know about risotto is that Gordon Ramsay really gets salty when a contestant botches it on Hell’s Kitchen. I don’t blame him, I’d be sore if contestants on my cooking show didn’t watch my other cooking show before coming on. For that matter, so would any network executive that gave me a cooking show. But I digress. Suffice it to say that Jill usually cooks the risotto, so I was off the hook. Except that she had to call her mother.   

Jill explained thus:
1.     Dice up half an onion, throw it in a sauce pan with some olive oil.
1b. No, you fool! Not a pan! A saucepan! These are differen things! Words mean things!
1b. No, you fool! Not a pan! A saucepan! These are different things! Words mean things!

2.     Add a cup of arborio rice, make sure it gets coated in the oil
3.     Simmer a thing* of vegetable broth, add 1/3 to the rice
4.     Stir until your arm falls off and/or the broth is absorbed
5.     Add 1/3 of the remaining broth to the rice
6.     Stir until your other arm falls of and/or the broth is absorbed
Obviously, I am a professional food photographer.
Obviously, I am a professional food photographer.

7.     Add remaining broth, figure out how to stir with your feet.
8.     Add some frozen peas, or some parmesan, or whatever, just give me the damn phone already

 The Verdict:
It's edible!
Hey! It actually tastes like risotto!