Month: December 2008

Don’t read this if you’re in a good mood

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weights It’s a new year (almost) and I swear my mood is not improving. There are some things going on that don’t help, but even the little things that should make me happy, are driving me nutz!

For one, after the “Season of Splurge” as I like to call Christmas, I was really looking forward to getting back in the gym and dropping a couple of pounds. But wouldn’t you know it, on Thursday of last week, I had just started my workout and went to turn on my MP3 player so I could tune out the outside noise and the darn thing just froze up. Nothing I could do fixed it. In the end, I had to toss it. I can exercise without my music, but I can’t run, which is what really helps me shed the pounds.

In a panic, I went to Fry’s electronics the next day and selected an MP3 player from their depleted stock. Got it home and loaded it up and headed to the gym. Turns out, the darn thing had no “sort” function, so all my songs played in alphabetical order, with each band’s songs right after each other. The little unit also would not turn up the music very loud either. Apparently, like seatbelt and helmet laws, they are trying to protect me from myself.

No thank you…I’m doin’ just fine!

So I have now ordered another MP3 player online, after verifying the features I want and I’m waiting on it to come in.

Meanwhile, the “I got a gym membership for Christmas” crowd has shown up and it’s like the blind leading the friggin’ blind.

Clueless 50-year olds literally wandering around the gym with their headsets on doing nothing but taking up space. Add to it the people who occupy a bench that has a particular use (such as the benchpress) for nothing more than a place to sit while they are doing ab twists, and I’m literally about ready to scream!

Despite a supposed drought, we’ve gotten so much rain the last few months that I can’t do anything to repair my backyard where the rain has washed out some of my new landscaping and it’s really cold to boot.

I dunno, I’m feeling very cosmically dumped on right now and I don’t see things improving in the near future.

Thriving Ivory’s lyrics keep running through my head, “…if I can’t see the sun, maybe I should go.”

Don’t worry, I’m speaking metaphorically here. (too bad Xanax makes you gain weight…)
Send me some good news, a joke, nude pictures of Bee Arthur…anything! I just need to cheer up!


It’s almost a new year. And that ain’t no bull!

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chinese calendar I suppose with the pending new year, I should be thinking about how I plan to better myself in the coming months. This is difficult for me, but not because I think I’m perfect; but more because I’m simply not sure where to start. I am aware of at least three areas of my life where significant changes should/could be made, and none of them are easy for me.

For instance, I know I should make more time for the spiritual things in my life, but that’s so BORING!

I know I should try to be more patient with the kids and not fly off the handle when I’m trying to talk to CareerMom and MLI interrupts umpteen times just to tell me that at Daycare today, he and his little friend played with the Hot Wheels cars.

And I know, I know, I know, I should take a more active role in finding time to spend alone with CareerMom outside of the house, but I hate to be the creepy old man calling up teenage girls begging them to come over to my house and babysit. Plus, date nights are expensive!

But 2009 is the year of the OX in the Chinese Calendar, which portends potentially good things for me since, astrologically, I’m a taurus. I think Bulls and Oxen are fairly similar. For instance, in the Chinese Calendar, the Ox has the following characteristics (which I think I also have):

  • dependable
  • innate ability to achieve great things (yeah, that’s me…Mr. Great Things Achiever!)
  • process oriented
  • goal oriented
  • tireless workers
  • detail oriented (AKA: Anal)

Sounds great right? The glue that holds the world together.

But wait, there’s more…a more darker side that is. Oxen are also:

  • too stern
  • not terribly social
  • introverted in a crowd
  • not concerned with what others think and therefore often considered haughty
  • stubborn
  • dogmatic
  • my-way or the highway types

What a fun bunch we are. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my actual birth year (1973) was also an “Ox” year.

So really, I’m optimistic. Despite my many proclivities towards being a surly, mean bastard, this could actually be my year!

Aaw mom! Do I HAVE to blog?

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I feel like such a slacker for NOT blogging since…whenever, but there’s been just so much going on that I didn’t know what to write. And in truth, most of it is the very same stuff you’re all going through–pudge, too many gifts, gifts that don’t work, where the hell am I gonna put all this crap, etc.–that I didn’t figure you needed to hear it from me either.

Suffice it to say that life is slowly getting back to normal. And by normal, I mean as normal as it can be when you’ve been off with your hyperactive kids for a solid week with the worst weather ever that is keeping you from taking them outside to burn off steam.

But, I figured that if any of you were taking back toys that just didn’t quite do it, that I’d share with you the “Best and Worst Toys” my kids got this year.

Feel free to share your list!

Most played with toys of Christmas 2008:

  • Batman Cave Thingy (link)
  • Balls
  • The Box that a “Build a Bear” came in
  • Shake N Go! Crash Speedway (link)
  • More Lego’s
  • The Wii (mostly played by me I think)

Least played with toys of Christmas 2008:

  • Mini trampoline (quite a surprise here since they LOVE to jump on stuff)
  • Super Cool “Dark Night” BatMobile w/bonus Motorcycle(link)
  • SpiderMan Sit-n-Spin (link)

So there you have it. I’m always surprised at what the kids like and what they don’t, though I don’t know why. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about kids, it’s that just when you think you have them figured out, they go and find something else to drive you crazy with.

I look forward to a new 2009-worth of good blogging. If you haven’t posted lately, do so. We all need a diversion!

Too busy to blog!

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Since I’m pretty sure most folks are as busy as me, I’m just gonna go ahead and wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

I probably won’t post until at least the day after Christmas, unless the next coupla days spent up at my mother’s in Tennessee produces some unusually juicy blog fodder.

I truly hope that whatever you do these next few days, is done with genuine and heartfelt feelings. You do that, and you’re golden.

But first, I’d like to share with you my thoughts from CareerMom’s family Christmas gathering.

Please read it while singing along with “The 12 Days of Christmas” in your head (you may have to improvise here since the syllables won’t be exactly right…):

Fa la la la la, la la la la…

12 Adults Singing Cabbage Patch Songs

11 Crappy Dirty Santa Gifts

10 Yummy side dishes

9 Ladies stressing

8 Men a meandering

7 Kids a screaming

6 Kinds of wine


4 Days to Go

3 Hours Here

2 Living with their folks again


(not us…the ones living at home again…)


Picture Phone Phriday – Dec. 19, 2008

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As a present to the “family” this Christmas, I finally purchased an HDTV. This of course, required the upgrading of my existing Satellite TV, a fact that has escaped my mom and her husband since buying their widescreen HDTV more than a year ago (“I wonder why our picture doesn’t look as good as yours?”)

Anyway, the DirecTV guy came out on a cold morning and ripped out our old satellite dish from where it sat off to the side of our roof out of view of most windows and installed a new one.

He and I sat down and went through all the cool new options and overall, I was pleased. He could have been more warm and friendly, but…whatever.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying my new HDTV experience, marveling at the picture and generally thinking, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” and then remembering, “Oh yeah, I remember. Because it’s expensive as hell!”

Then, the other morning, I sat down at the breakfast nook table and looked up through one of my skylights and saw this:


My installer didn’t, in fact, install the new dish where the old one was, OUT OF SIGHT.

No, he installed the new one about 10 inches to the left of the old one and now it hangs over my skylight, protruding on the serenity of my tree-lined sky view.

I’m still trying to decide whether or not it’s worth the complaint.

What do you think?

"He was in the prime of his life; but, it was the housecleaning that did him in…"

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moppingDaddy?” MLI said, from the top of the stairs. “We’re coming downstairs to watch some cartoons before bed because the TV up in your room is broken.”

Looking up from the floor where I sat folding laundry, “Broken? Hold on, let me come look at it. And don’t come down here! I just mopped and the floor is very slippery!”

Sighing as I placed the clothes in my hand back into the laundry basket, I tiptoed across the freshly mopped floor that was the result of the evening’s earlier Gingerbread Men Icing-fest and then headed up the stairs.

Once upstairs, I confirmed that the TV wasn’t broken; it was just showing the picture in black and white. Knowing this could mean only one thing, I wiggled A/V wires until, sure enough, the color returned.

Yeaah Daddy!” CareerMom exclaimed.

I bowed, and then headed out the bedroom door, grabbing glasses and other items to return to the kitchen as I went.

Thinking about the twenty things I still needed to do before MY bedtime, I hurried down the stairs.

I stepped down off the last carpeted step onto the freshly mopped linoleum floor and WHOOOOOOPS! Out went my feet from under me! The many various items in my hands went flying across the kitchen and my feet went straight out in front of me! With a gi-normous “THUD!” I hit the ground.

CareerMom, having heard the noise and expecting the worst, came flying down the stairs.

“Are you OK?” Did you hurt your back?”

By this time I had rolled over onto my hands and knees. Rather than just hopping up and exclaiming, “I’m fine…nothing to see here,” like I would have ten years ago, I patiently remained nearly motionless as I took a physical inventory.

Mentally talking to myself:

“Back hurting? No.”

“Butt hurts though.”

“Why does my foot hurt? Man, that hurts like hell!”

I slowly got up and cavalierly tried to wave off CareerMom, “I’m OK.” Then, I took a step and “OUCH!”

I looked down at my foot and could see the swelling coming on. As near as I can tell without going to see a Doctor (which I’m not going to do), I, at the very least, strained some ligaments from my big toe up to my ankle. I’m not sure how one falls on his tailbone, yet torques his toe as if he’d stubbed it, but I somehow managed it.

I iced it and went to bed, only to be woken up around 2:45 with a throbber (my foot gentlemen…my foot!). I downed some “Migraine Strength” Excedrin (with caffeine as I was to find out) and laid on the couch the rest of the night and into the morning.

It’s not broken, that’s for sure. I can walk on the left side of my (left) foot pretty well, but if I put any weight on the toe portion, it’s NIAGRA FALLS!

Yeah, “Yeaah Daddy!” Graceful as a gazelle!

And who said the Fire Department only showed up for fires?

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Each year, our local fire department, does what they call a “Santa Run.” Basically, you drop off a gift for your child at the fire department a week ahead of time and then the following weekend, they bring the whole fire department to your house, where Santa gives the gift to your child. It’s all very exciting…and loud. This was our second year doing it and rather than giving you a play-by-play, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking:

Santa Run 1

Here comes the ambulance and firetruck with all the sirens going. We could hear it coming all the way up through the neighborhood. All in all, I think there were probably 15 people involved with about 5-6 different vehicles.

It’s quite a spectacle.

Santa Run 2

At this point, the boys are a little shell-shocked I think. We’d had to wake up MLI from his nap a tad earlier than we’d hoped.

This ambulance drove right by us with the siren going off. It was crazy loud.

Santa Run 3

“OMG! It’s Santa!”

Santa Run 4Everything’s going well with MLI. No tears this year, no tearful hands in his mouth.

I’m pretty sure he’s just speechless over the getting of the gift!

How will his little brother do…?

Santa Run 5

OH! There we go! That’s what we were waiting for!
I also especially liked the look on the guy in the middle’s face. It was as if to say, “I hope these sunglasses hide the fact that I had to get stoned off my butt to put up with this crap again this year!”

Thanks Santa! See you next year!