Month: November 2008

A Limerick for every occasion

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It’s over. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing; or for that matter, a good thing either. It’s just simply…over.

There is so much that I could say about Thanksgiving this year, but I thought maybe I’d try and mix it up a bit.

Therefore, I hereby present, my Thanksgiving Limericks:

At my house here we held our Thanksgiving
Celebrated with joy by the living
Though some of us slept
While the rest of us swept
When the gym opened back up, I was driven!

My mom has forgotten that small boys
Will fight over food, space and small toys
When I yell, “Hey you guys STOP!”
She says, “What up there pop?
Your yelling just adds on to their noise!”

There isn’t enough hard alcohol
Stored there in the wet bar in the hall
To keep me from wishin
That my mom would stop bitchin
About the supposed economic downfall

AND LASTLY:

When the toddler is down for his long nap
Why can’t you all shut up your trap?
And stop stomping around
Like you own this here ground
Oh Lord help me put up with this crap!

Though I make fun, we really had a very good Thanksgiving. I don’t publicly thank God for my blessings too often, but I do give him all the glory and praise for what I’ve been blessed with. I hope he understands that, at times like these, I’m mostly just having a good time. I’m not really this uptight. I think God has a sense of humor too.

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Playdate Follow Up

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pit children Since so many people have asked (like 3!), I thought I’d offer a follow up post to my “family affair” playdate this past Sunday.

Let me start with a free form word/thought association as the 2 hour playdate carried out:

  • Man, steep hill. Hope I can get the car back down
  • Whoa, flat backyard. Nice
  • Hi, good to see you. Thanks for the invite
  • Hmm, house layout is similar to ours
  • Man, a Sunroom?
  • Man, two fireplaces?
  • Man, a finished basement?
  • Damn, nice bar!
  • Dude, that’s gotta be at least $3,000 in top shelf liquor!
  • Man, this is a really nice place. Makes ours feel kinds smallish
  • (lightbulb coming on in head) You sold your house in Vinings for $700K? No wonder you can afford all the work you’ve done on this place!
  • Where are the kids?
  • Sure, I’ll take a Corona!
  • No really, we can’t stay too long.
  • Of course you have a Wii already? Doesn’t everyone EXCEPT my kids?
  • Um, spoiled much?
  • You’re fifty? Dang!
  • I smell poopy diapers.
  • Best get going.
  • Thanks again.
  • I can’t see a damn thing backing down this hill. I hope I don’t hit her green designer Target lawn bags!

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. We had a good time, and cut the playdate at about 2 hours right when the dad was talking about lighting up the firepit outside. I’m not sure how they saw the evening playing out, but we left at 5 p.m. Any longer and we’d have been cutting into dinner and baths and such and to my knowledge, there was no invitation to dinner.

Maybe it’s just me, but do you ever get the feeling when you meet new people that you’re being sized up as a couple for a potential “swingers party” invitation? While I’m not interested (much), I would like to think that CareerMom and I would be at the top of any swinger’s party list because we’re just THAT good looking. Much like, I’m not gay, but I would probably get all offended if gay men didn’t think I was boyfriend material (does that make me gay?).

People are funny though. CareerMom and I were both taken aback by their house, and their stories of yearly “Adult Only” trips, because one of the first times we met the mom, she was complaining about her daughter wanting a jumpy thing at her birthday party and the mom was saying how she wasn’t going to spend $50 on it.

I guess it just comes down to priorities. If it made my kid happy, I’d forgo the vacation to Aruba so I could splurge on his birthday party.

Anyway, it was good to meet new folks and their son is definitely good friend material, so time well spent.

Hey, in case I don’t talk to any of you before Thursday, have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Picture Phone Phriday

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Ok, so the original picture I had taken for today, didn’t turn out so well, but for the sake of humor, I’m still going to post it:

ta tas

I took this picture as I was following behind this car, so it’s obviously blurry. But what was so great about it, was the bumper sticker.

We’ve all seen the various ribbons signifying different things:

– yellow ribbons for the troops

– red ribbons for drugs

Well, see the little ribbon there? It’s pink, which would normally say something like, “Breast Cancer Awareness” or something.

Rather, this one simply said, Save the Ta-Ta’s!”
There’s apparently a Web site and everything here.

HA HA HA! Now THAT’s an effort I can get behind (literally).

OK, but since that picture was such a bust, I took another one that you’re all surely to find just as riveting. I often talk about my work from home office, and expound on the virtues of my “save your back” work set up, but I thought perhaps this one time, I’d just shut up and show you:

Home Office

Here’s where I spend the majority of my Work from Home day and from where I do the majority of my blogging. The two bookshelves flanking my desk are full of those devil-books by names like Rice and Feist, Dickson and Brooks, and all those wonderful writers whose work reaches a level of excellence that I can only dream about ever reaching.

Ah well, to each his own.

Well folks, that’s probably gonna do it for me this week unless I get some free time this weekend. So, have a wonderful Weekend!

One of these days, I’ll just have to wipe my own hiney

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MLIs potty station According to a survey by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (agriculture?), it now costs approximately $204,000 to raise a child in the U.S. That number is up about 15% from the same study in 1960.

However, I postulate that the data are off in certain areas and that if we adjusted today’s costs to compensate, the number would be sharply higher than 15%. What am I talking about? I’m talking about poop (of course!).

Like many kids (hopefully), neither of my boys like to get their hands messy. This is especially true for MLI, who, as I’ve blogged about previously, is borderline OCD with certain things. He doesn’t like to get paint on his hands. At dinner, if he gets a sauce on the side of his arm, he freaks out. Even water causes him grief until both CareerMom and I have assured him that “Honey, water dries.”

So it should come as no surprise that when it comes to poop, the whole potty thing is a veritable colonostic Hiroshima just waiting to happen!

The problem is compounded even more by the fact that he has a small…um…colon (or something), thereby making it difficult for him to poop. So, we have to keep him on a small dose of laxative. Therefore, when he does go, it’s often messier than usual. To help prevent potty time meltdowns due to the mess factor, and so that one of us didn’t have to stand there with a wet washcloth, a long time ago CareerMom bought a box of “Kandoo.” They are billed as “moist” wipes for kids, and I suspect, based on their price, that the goal is to get the kid hooked on them now, so that they will forever eschew dry T.P. in favor of the overpriced moist towelettes for the hiney!

(Secretly, I kinda like them too, and I once remember seeing a comment on “Year of the Chick’s” blog about how we men (unsanitary trolls that we are), should all use them.)

Anyway, the things cost a friggin’ arm and a leg. Even the generic store brand ones get expensive when the kid sits in there after pooping and uses twenty at a time. CareerMom and I, both knowing this is going on, try to get in there to prevent such widespread abuse of the moist towellete, but we are usually met with a shrieking, “NOOOOOOoooooo” and a door slammed on our toes.

If anyone has an alternative, I’m all ears. I mean, that $15 a month on moist towelettes (I said “moist” four times *snicker*) could be diverted to his college fund, or my HDTV fund or something REALLY important like that!

To my next door neighbor, "I’m sorry for doubting you."

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ugly hybrid  My next door neighbor, let’s call him “Bill” since, well, that’s his name. Bill is getting on up there. I mean, the guy has to be nearing sixty. He has a son who started high school this year. His wife works out of town a lot and he’s retired, so he spends a lot of time by himself. Bill is a tad quirky, but there’s absolutely no way he’ll ever find my blog so I feel pretty safe writing about him.

Recently, Bill purchased himself one of these little Honda convertible sports cars. It’s not new, but it’s very similar to the new S2000. Anyway, the point is, it’s a sports car. And he’s almost 60. So, every time I see him backing the thing out of his driveway, I’m saying, “There goes Bill’s mid-life mobile.” In my head. (credit goes to comedian Bobby Collins)

See, I’ve never really gotten the whole mid-life-crisis car purchase. It just seemed a tad…dumb.

BUT…

As I mentioned, CareerMom’s speedometer went out in her car last week and since there are apparently very stringent rules on who can fix speedometers here in Georgia, we had to leave it in the shop for a few days while they order new parts. In return, we got a Dodge Charger as a rental. That’s the V6, 3.5L 368HP Dodge Charger gentlemen.

Now I understand the mid-life-crisis car purchase!

After having driven underpowered mini-SUVs and pickup trucks for nigh on the last ten years, I’d forgotten how much fun a REAL car can be. It’s like a drug. I sit behind the wheel of this thing, with my new blue-tinted sunglasses on and my hair gelled just perfectly, and it’s like I’m 18 again.

I was able to take the car out a couple of times this weekend for short trips (once to the grocery store – woo wee! and once to the mall) and each time I did, I felt like a completely different person. I didn’t feel like the guy who’d changed three super-nasty poopy diapers that day. I didn’t feel like the guy who has a nice chunk of “rainy day cash” in his checking account and who, rather than buying himself a new HDTV will probably end up spending it on “something for the house.”
No, for about an hour this weekend, I was a MAN again.

Yeah, I said it! Without the kids, driving this cool car, I felt like a REAL MAN! And ooooooh, it felt good.

Today, they are supposed to get the new speedometer in and then CareerMom will go pick up her Taurus wagon thing. It’s not bad. But it’s no Dodge Charger “police version” super-stud mobile.

I’m sorry Bill. Me and you…simpatico my friend.

Picture Phone Phriday

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Ever cognizant of my reader’s needs, I thought I’d post a shorter blog today rather than another behemoth outpouring of my soul such as what you’ve been privy to all week.

Thus, “Picture Phone Phriday” is born! Assuming I can take enough interesting pictures each week to make this work, I’ll try and devote Fridays to short, photo-based blogs.

Enjoy!

bad toaster

This morning, the boys were both up by 6 a.m., thus I had plenty of time to get things ready, including their breakfasts for school. But, just as I was putting the final touches on breakfast, which included putting MLI’s Pop-Tart in the toaster for warming, it went down the side of the toaster chute and got stuck behind the little wire lifty tray thing. I tried flipping the toaster. I tried shaking the toaster. I even tried using two butter knives like little tongs, but alas, it wasn’t budging.

I’m my frustration, I might have flipped the toaster over and banged it on our very hard ceramic sink.

Oh, and of course, right after that, MLI smarted off. NOT the best day for that.

11-14-08_0759

Now, based on the previous picture, you might think that I summarily strapped the kids in their car seats and took off like a bat out of hell, going 100mph down our little suburban roads.

While that would have been waaay cool, the truth is much less exciting. Our speedometer is broken. It’s been slowly getting that way for a couple of weeks, but now its baseline is 100mph at a dead stop.

Well, at least if I get stopped, I have an excuse. Looks like we’ll be “one car’ing” it again this weekend.

HEY, HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Therapy Session #2, Patient’s Name: Dobeman

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Jason Bateman Jerry Clower was one of the great old storytelling comedians of all time. When I was a boy and when it was rainy or cold outside, I used to play his records on my little pressed cardboard-boxed record player and on cue, I could recite just about any of the dozens of stories Jerry told.

Each of Jerry’s jokes was actually a story from something that happened to him when he was a kid, which led up to a final comedic ending, and his stories were full of old southern references and “isms” that you just don’t find today. One memorable story from his latter years involved a conversation he had with another man who asked Jerry, “Jerry, do you think kids today are better, or worse than they were when you were young?

Jerry’s response meandered around for a few minutes until finally coming around to the punchline, which used his own son as a reference, “If I’d’a had me one of those…Chrysler Lebaron convertibles when I was his age, not only would I have stole those watermelons, but sir, I woulda gotten away with it too!”

Guess you kinda had to be there…

But times have changed. For instance, you just didn’t NOT call a man “Sir” and a woman “Ma’am” where I grew up. Not doing so was likely to get you in suspension at school, a stern looking at in church, or a raised eyebrow and a dirty look from a parent. You just said “Sir” and “Ma’am” and that was that. As a parent now, I’ve struggled with this with my own kids, because while I’d like for them to say “Sir” and “Ma’am” to other people, I’m not sure I’m ready to be called “Sir” yet to my face, AND I know that there is a relationship divide that occurs between a parent and a child when the child is forced to call his dad sir. I certainly felt it with my dad, and I don’t really want that between my sons and me. So, I’m torn.

Little cathartic moments in life happen, but like most things that grab your attention, it’s when a pattern emerges that you really stop and take notice.
Pattern instance #1:  Recently, a cute little thing at my kids’ daycare called me sir. I brushed it off as a fact that I was a parent and she was an attendant and she was being polite.

Pattern instance #2: At the gym this past weekend, I walked over to a lat pulldown machine that was loaded down with weight. There didn’t appear to be anyone using it, but there was this one great big guy sorta strolling around in the general vicinity and to be polite, I asked him if he was using the machine.

“No sir,” he replied, to which I started laughing and said, “Please don’t call me sir.”

Now, he could have said any number of things here that would have ameliorated any potential damaged pride on my part, but he said what was possibly the worst thing he could have said to me.

He said, “Well, I don’t feel there’s enough respect from young people today to people older than them…” he said something else, but my brain froze up at that point.

“…people older than them?” The guy couldn’t have been more than a handful of years younger than me. Or maybe I’m just completely out of touch. Now granted, in gym years, 35 is almost as old as my computer, but still!

Pattern instance #3: I watched “Juno” last night and as I watched one of my 80s actor-hero’s, Jason Bateman, I thought to myself, “That’s how I want to age.” The guy is 39 and though he still looks young-ish, he portrayed his character with a quiet dignity that I found, well…attractive (don’t even say it!).
It occurred to me then that even though I don’t want to feel older, at the same time I know I am getting there and I wish that I had the same sort of dignity that I see in many of the older (and dare I say, more successful) men that I know.

Of course, then Bateman’s character almost made it with a pregnant 16-year old, after which his wife told him to “Grow up.” I was with him up till that point and then I had to just shrug it off.

Anyway, the point is that sometimes I want my cake and I want to eat it to. For instance:

Sometimes, I just want to get out and play a rough game of football with the guys.

I want to forget that I have a responsible job and just skip off somewhere and do something irresponsible (I have no idea what exactly…)

I want to just say, “Hey, screw you, and you, and you, because I’m tired of being the only person who tries to keep in touch with anyone anymore!”

I want to forget that right now, I have water dripping behind my gutters because I can’t seem to find a trustworthy gutter cleaning company that will risk their neck on that really steep patch of roof and I want to forget that it’s probably going to cost me an arm and a leg to fix something that should have been easily avoidable in the first place.

I want to sit down in my comfy chair with an adult beverage in my hand while I read a really good book; not worrying about whether or not I’ll be sober enough to tolerate the kids’ whining when they get home, or heaven forbid, have to suddenly up and drive one of them to the emergency room.

I want to lock myself up in a room, turn up the speakers really loud and play video games all day.

But then, sometimes I want to come home and hug my family and offer up a burnt offering to the “Old God” in thanks that I don’t have to “date” anymore. I want to skip the gym and instead, sit around and embrace the fact that I’m getting older and then I want to actually enjoy eating a decadent piece of pumpkin/pecan pie with Gran Marnier cool whipped topping.

Getting old sucks…and I still have a long way to go. At some point, my mind is going to start throwing punches that my body can’t back up anymore, and then, well, you might as well just shoot me. Cuz I HATE the way I look in fat pants!