The Annual Pelton Holiday Letter - 2007 Edition

It seems like it was only a year ago that we sent out a holiday letter. Keegan is speaking Spanish and playing soccer like a 5 ½ year old, even though he is only 5 years and 1 month old. Donovan has turned nonverbal communication into an art form and expresses his love like a Mac truck skidding on a wet highway. Nicole is one hyperlink away from BlogHer of the year. Brian, Pele and Pelota have formed a stringed triumvirate called “Johnny Knocker and the Doorslammers” and have taken their act on the road. It has been a good 52 weeks.

With these formal salvos and unabashed bragging out of the way, we will scurry asunder with potentially (always) objectionable categories describing our 2007. Let the espresso-laced-egg-nog-induced teeth gnashing begin!

The Ferber Method of Discipline

It seems as though threats of kicking the boys in the armpit and/or being forced to attend Harvard are successful methods to subdue the crazier moments of Keegan and Donovan. However, sometimes sterner measures are required. Therefore, we have started giving them 50 lashes with a wet poodle for their more heinous offenses (the SPCA be damned). Things are calm in the Pelton household.

Did we forget to celebrate Thumbsgiving?

Yes. Keegan’s parents displayed a sad level of phantom digit amnesia, but will make it up for him next year with an opposable thumbsgiving to end all previous opposable
thumbsgivings (of which there were none).

“I See!” said the blind man as he walked into the wall

Travel both near and far, covering distances both short and long, happened to us this year. Sometimes we were even aware of where we were. It appears as if we visited Kansas City (where soccer coaches go to learn and farm implements go to die), Dallas (soccer and Easter), Memphis (to drive a new Malibu), Manchester, CA. (to go where abalone eaters have gone before), Salt Lake City X 2 (sanity check), Los Angeles (Futsal national championships), Chicago (BlogHer conference), San Francisco (soccer), Austin (semiconductor manufacturing marketing), and Tulsa (as in “stuck in”). We also frequented the separate state of realities of 3 and 5 year old boys, but it was under cover of night and we can not reveal the true location. Kind of like Springfield in “The Simpsons”.

What is the difference between an AYSO soccer coach and a dog marking his territory?

Apparently, as Brian painfully discovered this year, nothing.

My dog’s brain is smaller than your dog’s brain

It looks like Pele narrowly squeaked past Pelota for bottom honors after pulling two full chickendrumsticks out of the kitchen sink. He swallowed one whole and was well on his way to finishing off the second one before I was able to Greco-roman wrestle it out of his mouth. It never did actually “reappear”, suggesting that it is A] still inside of him, B] dissolved courtesy of Mr. Gastric Acid, or C] reincarnated itself as the mythological creature known as a “Gnork” (head of a lion, body of a certified public accountant) and is currently filling in as president of the PTA at Keegan’s elementary school.

Oscar Wilde wasn’t
Another wonderful year of words on papyrus. Martha Peake by Patrick Mcgrath was extra okay. Hemingway’s first 49 short stories is mucho muy bueno, and Bill Bryson’s In a sunburned country and The lost continent were great books about Australia and small town America. Who knew how common it is to drink urine when stranded in the Outback and that the name of the perfect small American town was “Amalgam”? I knew not. A very funny personal history was written by an Englishman that bounced around the various levels of professional soccer in England
(pun intended). Check out Kicked into touch by Fred Eyre. Nicole loved The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger so much that she was willing to marry them both (i.e. book polygamy). She laughed until she stopped while reading Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen, and her first book club book, The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, was better than a big glass of milk. Furthermore, she’s willing to testify to all of this in a court of law. Finally, it was learned this year that the last words of Oscar Wilde was reportedly (actually a week before he died) “Either this wallpaper goes, or I go” while sitting in a café. You go, Oscar.

My life making sandwiches for Elvis

This was a great year for new music (at least new to us), with Tunes-R-Us awards given to My Morning Jacket for their cd It still moves. Regina Spektor had the top lyrics of the year with her very moving song informing us that “nonbelievers get to eat dirt and believers get to spit on their graves”. Although they are not new, Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Fairytales, On and On, and In Between Dreams were discovered in 2007 and are very rhythmic, well phrased cd’s, proving that Hawaiians have moved past the era of Don Ho. However, Tom Waits’ new 3 cd set titled Orphans (Bawlers, Brawlers and Bastards) was easily the best of 2007. He wrote all these songs while his mom was dating Wayne Newton (that’s a lie), and all other musicians are pretty much amateurs compared to him. Really. Listen to it before rounding up the posse, pitchforks and torches and showing up outside my door. Also, remember that Pele and Pelota have been trained by the Knights that say “Nee” and protect us with an almost evangelical zest.

Special homage must be paid to the songs that end each episode of the TV show “House”. Go to your favorite music website immediately and (pay to) download Good Man by Josh Ritter, Rainy Day Lament by Joe Purdy, Ain’t no reason by Brett Dennen, and Waiting on an Angel by Ben Harper. Do it now, or soon thereafter.

****This following new podcast section is sponsored by Red Bull and Peet’s Coffee, because sometimes too much caffeine and sugar really isn’t enough. Really.******

Nicole and Brian have decided that the free podcast downloads from NPR (This American Life, Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!, Satire from the Unger Report, and Car Talk) are better than air. Also, the three “seasons” of The Ricky Gervais Show have been awesome, as Ricky and Steve Merchant delve into mind of Karl Pilkington, the man with an IQ of a fence post. Listening to free podcasts sure beats paying attention to the road while we are driving……or paying.

Adrian Monk for President

Keen observational skills, honed by hours on the playground, in the kitchen, and around the electron microscopy lab, have produced several inventions in 2007. For some reason, Brian was awarded another U.S. patent for his Ni-Ti-W alloy (#6,776,795), although it was already patented with the exact same title (#6,569,194). I think they added some brand new words with the same old letters. He also invented a new airbag for his car. It appears that if you are carrying 40 soccer balls and 25 futsal balls in the back of a Jeep, it is effectively an airbag, manufactured by Adidas.

This year’s list of inventions by Keegan and Donovan has been far longer then their parental units, and include ketchup popsicles, the opposable thumb butt hug, answering any question with “cuckoo in the head”, wearing underwear on the outside of their pants (or as a hat), and tennis shoes that automatically fill themselves with any piece of sand/tan bark theytouch. They have also co-authored their own personal national anthem sung before our soccer practices (in the key of C): “Poop can’t fly, but it can roll”, and have developed a proprietary method of converting dry dog food into a gun. My guess is the Nobel Prize is certainly in their future, or at least high scores on the GED.

Holy Pachuca! What’s stuck to the bottom of your shoe?
Brian’s soccer and Futsal coaching business, Creative Soccer Instruction, has seen another good year. Brian now has a U13 boy’s team to coach, a U14 boy’s team to train, and 42 players that he is training privately. He is also having a great time running 3 v 3 soccer games twice a week for the kindergartners and 1st graders at Keegan’s elementary school (no coaching, just refereeing and breaking up fights). Everyone thinks Brian is wonderful for donating his time for the kids at the school. However, Brian just wants Keegan to get some games in as part of his master plan to have Keegan and Donovan become the first professional soccer players who know how to correctly use “metastable” and “microstructure-property relationships” in a sentence. He is also working with a “foreigner” (i.e. an Australian) to rework his website ( She has done a wonderful job with my friend’s band ( Hopefully she can give some creditability to a short white American soccer coach who doesn’t have an accent, didn’t play professionally, only has 24 years of experience, and has earned some of the top soccer and Futsal coaching licenses in America and Brazil. I need her help because God is away on business.

Can you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?

2007 has been a rich source of verbiage from Donovan and Keegan, and we have found that strip mining techniques work best when tapping this resource. Please feel free to reuse any of the boy’s “word droppings” at public gatherings and around mixed company:

  • D: Daddy! Stop looking at Keegan’s face!
  • D: When I grow up, I want to be a baby
  • D: Daddy, I’m not going to bite you anymore
  • D: Daddy, you’re not stupid anymore
  • K (counting): penis, penis one, penis two…..
  • K: Mommy, you’re disrespecting Donovan. I’m not talking to you.
  • K: Daddy, I need to inform you that none of your weapons can kill me.
  • K: Pluto’s not a planet anymore, it’s just a big ball of ice…..but it’s too heavy to lift it.
  • K: Nothing beats the sun, except maybe a supernova explosion

And finally, the top exchange of 2007:

  • K (age 4 at the time): Daddy, I put together the lactricity (electricity) set but it doesn’t work.
  • D (age 3 at the time): Maybe you have to change something.

Spider Pig, Spider Pig, does what ever a Spider Pig does

Hope this letter finds you well, grateful for what you have (and don’t have), and frequently experience with “tres ja vu” (that feeling you have been somewhere twice before). This year was filled with some moments of uncontrollable laughter and some difficulties, like trying to sell our house at the worst time possible. However, all my personal strife and the sadness in this world are silhouetted for me with the glow of Nicole, Keegan and Donovan (and Pele and Pelota, our role models for unconditional love). Every day, the boys’ flames burns brighter and the joy of having them in my life grows (using a Fibonacci numerical series). I hope you all have some light surrounding you, and that you always keep a diamond in your mind. This world needs it, and Tom Waits wants it that way.

She smelled like kerosene and root beer fizz, and she was stronger than any man alive

Despite living in the dotcom world, Nicole’s still at the same company, but has risen once again to the role of manager. While her experience with toddlers did a world of good working with new college grads, turns out real life employees are a whole ‘nother ball game. Wish her luck.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah/Hanukah/Channukah, Feliz Festivus, and may all your Thumbsgivings be bright!

Love, Brian, Nicole, Pele, Pelota, Keegan and Donovan Pelton

No comments: