Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter

Dang, you know I saved this pic JUST so I could post it on Easter Sunday, and forgot all about it. Oh well, happy belated Easter everyone.

Monday, March 24, 2008

How kids get their way

The following is a transcript of an actual conversation between my wife and my 4-year-old....

Kid: Mommy, I can't find my smile.

Mom: Maybe it's here (tickling her in different places).

Kid: No, it's not back yet.

Mom: Maybe it's here, under the chair.

Kid: No, it's not back yet. Maybe it will come back if you give me a snack. I'll take Cheese balls.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Horton Has Hearing Damage

First of all, to the Goyim out there in Whoville, you're missing one great benefit of being Jewish on Easter. Five dollar movies with no crowds. We took the family unit to see Horton Hears a Who this morning on the cheap, and had the theater practically to ourselves.

Now, at the risk of going all Abe Simpson here, can I just ask who in tarnation sets the volume knob in movie theaters these days? During the previews I determined that if I plan to take the kids to either Walle (the new Pixar flick) or Speed Racer, I'm going to have to invest in a family pack of ear plugs. There is simply no excuse for risking deafness in children in one of these places. Kids today have plenty of opportunities to lose their hearing what with iPods and such, without Lowes Cinemas helping them out thank you very much. Now excuse me while I go hike up my wrinkled socks..oh wait I'm not wearing socks...

As for the movie...it did not disappoint. Jim Carrey resisted hitting that level of annoying that sometimes turns him off to some people (including me), and Steve Carrel was stellar. They stuck, for the most part, with the story, except that the kangaroo (Carol Burnett) and her pouch-ridden offspring failed to emphasis their points with the expected "Me Too!" that was a major part of the original book. But no matter, they added enough to the story to make it a worthwhile full length film.

And yet, they never resolved the one thing that most bothers me about the story. When Vlad Vladikoff (the vulture, played wonderfully by Will Arnett) steals the clover and drops it in a miles-wide field of clover in hopes of it never being found, dontcha think that this would be a GOOD thing for the folks in Whoville? Why would the speck be in danger in this giant field of clover? Horton shoulda left it alone. Frankly, a vast majority of the problems inflicted upon Whoville were caused by Horton himself, what with the running and the jumping and the loud talking and such...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Today we become adults

Yesterday was a huge milestone for us. Especially for me. We accepted delivery from Ethan Allen of our overpriced but completely succulent leather chair for our living room. This completes the transformation of our living room from embarrassing waste of space to a comfortable room good enough to be on one of those design shows. Well, on one of those local access cable design shows. Not sure if it's HGTV-worthy, but close.

It also means we are officially adults. Gone are the days of ogling over Ikea's latest pressboard wonders (oh, sweet! Check out the OONGBLAT! It's black AND it's got shelves), as is the need to have milk crates anywhere within a 75-foot radius of the dining room. In fact, I just sent an email to my sister bestowing 6 milk crates upon her daughter, who's headed to college in the fall. That's right. We're giving up the milk crates, cold turkey.

Since the day we bought our house back in 1998, the living room has been a pit of despair. The room is 22 feet long but only 11 feet wide, and the fireplace on one of the long walls is not centered with the opposite wall. As a result, anything we've tried to do to make this room comfortable, livable, and stately has been a dismal failure. Of course, the puke-gray berber on the floor and the monkey-poop brown wood paneling on one wall didn't help any.

I remember we first tried putting a cheap particleboard entertainment unit on the wall opposite the fireplace. Nice, especially if you liked watching TV while sitting in the fireplace. Then, there was the computer desk. An Ikea special, I believe we moved it to different corners of the room eight times before we finally gave up and renovated the house. There were futon faux pas, bad choices in couches, and the ottoman. Oh, that ottoman. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Go to a local furniture store, pick out a swatch of custom fabric, and have an ottoman made to our specifications. Now we have this striped red rectangle that doesn't match anything we own, completely in the way no matter what room it's placed in.

When the kids came along, this room became even more hopeless. any previous post I've ever written here referring to a sea of Fisher Price was referring to the floor of this room. We'd surrendered to the madness and given up.

But then the renovation happened. And we decided desperate measures were in order. If you've read my blog you know we started off by putting built-ins surrounding the fireplace. This was our first major step of bringing this room into adulthood. Then, there was the Ethan Allen designer.

Ethan Allen has always been one of those stores I felt like I didn't dare enter unless I wanted to give up the idea of sending my kids to college. But after visits to half a dozen stores for new furniture for this room, we were desperate. So one night after dinner, I headed out to the local Ethan Allen, leaving the wife and kids at home in hopes being able to look around the store without having to stop at every easy chair while the kids did a recline test. But after an hour of talking to Patti, one of the store's designers, I realized I was entering this new phase of life.

Patti and I had a grand old time looking at different styles and colors, and pulling out fabric swatches to compare. That's right, you heard me. I'm comfortable enough with my manhood to say that. In the end I walked out of there completely giddy about the idea of telling my wife what I found (okay, giddy sounds a little fluffy, but still). I also decided that Patti HAD to come out to the house to seal the deal.

That was about three months ago. Yesterday we took delivery of the last piece we ordered. As I type this, I'm relaxing in the living room, my wife in the chair next to me reading a book, and the kids playing dominoes (the only toy) on the floor. All I need is a hound to fetch my slippers.

We already realize these chairs will be with us until the day we die, or at least until our daughters sell off our assets and commit us to a home. But until then, We're going to sit back, relax, and waste away into retirement. Maybe I can train Jessica to get my slippers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Strangle Puppy

I would just like to report that since my post the other day (two down from this one) on Jessica's ballet class the song "Snuggle Puppy" has been running through my head endlessly. I thought I should get this in writing so that when I go completely postal and begin strangling small animals, the authorities will understand.

Vitamin water

By now you've probably heard about the tests that were done on major metropolitan water supplies, which found that many city supplies contain traces of various pharmaceuticals that were not removed during the water purification blitz.

What a media bonanza this will be. First, the bottled water companies are swooning, digging out the numbers of their advertising execs and telling them to get on the stick with new commercials. "Mmm, cold, clean, Deer Park. All the water and none of the ibuprofen!".

Then, the tree huggers are going to proclaim that this is the worst thing that could happen to the environment, because not only are we killing our babies, but we're killing or fish and polluting the earth with even more plastic bottles.

Next the water filtration companies are going to get on the stick, saying we all need to run our and buy PUR systems because our life depends on it (now ask yourself, what exactly can't an industrial water filtration plant do that a tiny cylinder of activated charcoal can?).

And finally, there's the cities themselves. This will take some creative thought, but I think we can spin all this bad news toward the positive side.

Indianapolis: Enjoy our late night entertainment with our new caffeinated tap water!

Philadelphia: If Tom Hanks had only had a drink of our water in that movie, he'd have been fine!

New Jersey: We still smell funny and the smog will cause deformities, but our tap water will mummify you nicely.

Who's going to be the first to capitalize on that peppy jingle by Joe Jackson, "Everything gives you cancer"?

As the story goes, people are taking meds, peeing them out, and the meds don't get filtered in the water treatment plants.

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Mood stabilizers? Honey, I'm sorry I pissed you off...here, are you thirsty? Have an ice cold drink. Anti-convulsants? That explains my lack of seizures. And sex hormones? Sign me up!

What I don't get is that millions of women take birth control. Therefore one would think there's a high level of birth control drugs in the water, right? Yet millions of other women have babies every day. Explain that one.

Better yet, don't. My mind is made up, please don't confuse me with facts.

Whatever doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. After all when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? Umm, cool, crisp lemonade. Now with more roxithromycin!

Monday, March 10, 2008


We've been Nintendo Wii owners for about a week now. It was great fun, while it lasted. But the kids have moved on. That's because they've now got a BOX.

You see, we purchased a chest freezer this week. Once we got past the hard nipple jokes and mentioned what we were getting to the kids, Natalie replied with, "Hah!!! Does it come in a BOX?? Can we have the BOX? Can we??

So of course, once the unit was moved into the basement, we were left with the makings of a fine fort, just big enough for two small children. After a couple of arguments, a stern talking-to and a brief time out, the two finally agreed upon where the windows should be cut out and what color the door should be. I haven't heard from them for hours now. Beat that, Mr. Nintendo.

As long a we're catching up, I should mention that I had the privilege of taking Jessica to her ballet class on Sunday. Now, I am no fan of ballet. In fact I hate ballet. I think it might have to do with my inconsolable fear of tights. But seeing a bunch of 4-year-old girls in matching pink tutus lined up like a line of Necco Candy Dots, turning and smiling at their mommies and daddies through the window while they pick their noses and generally ignore everything the teacher is saying, simply redefines cute. They were practicing for their first recital, a dance number done to the tune of "Snuggle Puppy" involving a series of kicks, twirls, and something that seemed to be a cross between a shasay and a poopy-pants-run-to-the-bathroom move. However, rather than dedicated focus, mostly what the teacher got were silly questions and non sequiturs from 4-year-old girls. "Miss Ruthie? My friend Taylor lives on my street." "Miss Ruthie? Can I call you Miss Rooster?" "Miss Ruthie? I have a boogey".

Worth the half hour. Can't wait for that recital. YouTube, here I come.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Only 34 minutes til first Wii injury

We bought a Wii today. Which, by the way, is why you should expect very little in writing from me for the next several days. Also expect the entire family to be malnourished and unbathed the next time you see us. For those of you who live in a cave, the Nintendo Wii is a video game machine. It's strengths are the fact that, in order to use it, you actually need to physically move. That's got its goods and bads, which we'll learn about later.

The Wii is in high demand. If a store such as Target or Circuit City lists them in the Sunday circular, chances are they only received a couple dozen and they'll be gone within an hour of the store opening. Today I happened to be out and about before Circuit City opened, and I knew they had some in stock. So I drove by about a half hour before the store opened, and saw a line of a couple dozen people. I figured what the heck, I can stand in a line for twenty minutes or so. While there I learned they had received 23 in stock. It turns out I was #22 in line. Hey, I have a Wii. Folks, it's just that easy. And I had a real good laugh at the dumbass who parked himself at the beginning of the line at 5:30 this morning. He got himself a Wii, and likely a nice case of pneumonia to boot.

Back home, after about 15 minutes of the kids setting up their "Mii" online personalities, we tried out some games. The girls got hooked on bowling pretty quickly. That is, until our first Wiinjury. It was Natalie's ball and, on the upswing, she smacked her thumb on the edge of the coffee table. Nice and purple now. But no worries, the Wii remote is fine.