Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I remain a mighty lucky man, this much I know.
Thank you all for your continued readership, patronage and pestering. If your 2009 brings you half the good fortune I've had this year, you'll be doing mighty well indeed.
Sláinte and santé, and long may your big jib draw.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I haven't seen a Times Square ball drop live but once* since 1981, and that was only because Noodle was a baby at the time and had woken up needing a diaper change at five 'til midnight.
But you kids have your fun. Just stay safe. Lotsa knuckleheads out there.
* - in 2000 we cheated and watched the St. John's, Newfoundland ball drop at 10:30.
Monday, December 29, 2008
One more call and I think I'll ask if she'll babysit the kids in exchange for me going over to her place and having a whack at whatever's infesting it.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
This is why Jesus never got married. Family life is too much of a time-suck if you're going into the savioring business.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Snapped one of these right off the gutter for my little girl, I did.
Oh, it's not perfectly sterile; of this I am aware. But having told her in the past not to lick the cat, not to eat off the floor, not to drink her bathwater, not to play by the litterbox, not to chew on the DVD case, and not to put the driveway chalk in her ear...how bad could an icicle be?
Reminds me of a song...
UPDATE: Woot! I've just received word this little solution of mine will be featured next week over at parenthacks.com. At last, my fifteen minutes arrives - and remember, you read it here first!
The forecast for Christmas Day in Ojmjakon? Overcast, high 29 below.
Christmas Eve? 63 below.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
25 inches of snow and counting. Forecast says it's all outta here by nightfall, so at least I have time to plow and get out to work at a reasonable time. Give it a day or two and it'll be excellent snow-fort snow. I've already built a most excellent snow fort. It looks a little like this:
And let me tell you: 10,000 uruk-hai are no match for a three-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The trick, as I see it, is advance preparation - before it snows, park your cars on the parts of the driveway that are the biggest pains in the kishkes and with any luck they'll stay clear. If you can find a spot where you can brush snow off the car and have it all land off the driveway, you're ahead of the game. After it snows, broom off the cars, get them warmed up and start plowing. After plowing, move the cars to their regular spots and tie up the loose ends.
Or you could get one of them newfangled garage things and make sure you're not an idiot like me who filled their garage with...I don't rightly know what.
Friday, December 19, 2008
But yeah, I'm here. Covered in icicles, but here.
Last-minute Christmas shoppers, if you make your sojourn to Amazon through that Boogershoppe link over there to your right, Amazon slides me some gold. Frankincense and myrrh, not so much.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Stood there at the school like a lox until it sloooowly dawned on me that Noodle was already at her grandparents' because she was under the weather, slunk out, picked up Beast and off we went to Poughkeepsie. 9/9G traffic is many shades of evil in the afternoon, so we took the Milan-Schultzville-Salt Point route to the grandparents. Over the river and through the woods, indeed.
Dropped off the kids, got talking to my father-in-law about growing up eating brains for lunch; seems like every ethnic enclave has its old-school brains dish, and now I can add French-Canadian to the list since he grew up along the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border in Blackstone/Woonsocket, which is the largest French-Canadian area of the continent south of Montreal. All this talk of brains (braaaaaains) was grossing out my mother-in-law a bit, so I took that as a cue to make my exit and meet up with my wife.
And when I got to our meeting place the meeting was already over and done with, and I hadn't done had to be there nohow no way. Five minutes, boom, and Bob's your uncle. Which meant...
Free time. With my wife. And only my wife.
We hadn't had one of those in...I can't keep track of the months, it's been that long.
Suffice to say there's a new entry in the Food and Drink section of the blog, and that's Peza in Hopewell Junction, in that plaza on 52 just west of the Parkway. She: the shrimp scampi pizza. Me: the macaroni & cheese with chicken and caramelized onions.
A shame it's 40 miles away from us up here in the boonies otherwise we'd be there more often, but if you're a Parkway commuter it's right there for you. Om nom nom nom, ladies and gents.
I even got a smooch at the end of the meal even though I had cheese-and-onion breath. Score!
UPDATE: my old mate Miller reminds me that Longobardi's in Wappingers is also a good one, so it's on the List now as well.
The eye doctor. And then Nana. Aaaaand my wife.
How do they do this? How do they know? What sort of fiendish conspiracy is this, I ask you?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
"Don't pee on your friends. Your friends don't like it when you pee on them. Trust me on this one."
The sad thing is, once Beast masters toilet skills he'll be the neatest person in the entire house. Soon to come: extensive photographic evidence of Beast cleaning.
If he keeps this up, and maybe learns a little cooking, every mother in a four-county area will want him for their daughters. Looks, brains, charm, and he cleans? There's got to be a catch. Maybe his dad is dysfunctional.
I am told this is what happens as children's imaginations develop. We will have to teach Beast in particular how to be a brave little bear.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I headed purposefully toward one specimen that looked something like the tuckamore we saw on our honeymoon in Newfoundland back in '01, but Her Awesomeness' romantic streak does not extend that far and she shot me one of Those Looks that indicated my tastes needed to be adjusted toward something a hair more symmetrical and not the Joseph Merrick of Christmas trees.
On the way back, hey! New market in Germantown! Her Awesomeness reports that the coffee at Otto's is excellent and the cookies look tremendous, but they were short on half-and-half and at 3 in the afternoon we scooped up the last two of their homemade donuts. Eh - they haven't been open ten days yet, so some hiccups are to be expected. You open up a new business and hustle, in an out-of-the-way location in this economy, some slack should be cut.
Okay, it's like this: First, Daddy makes sure there's Marvin Gaye in the CD player. Then, the--
Look, the rest of you can give us a break right now about the CD player. This was six years ago, and nobody in this house was going to be shelling out that kind of money for any kind of newfangled MP3-playing computer device thing you kids go for, not when we had to be down in't mines for tuppence a day.
/get off my lawn
Friday, December 12, 2008
Oh, but has it ever thrown off Noodle and Beast's schedule. They've been down at Mémère and Pépère's having a barrel of laughs on their second straight unscheduled day off...and that means no FREAKIN' way were there going to be naps, but they WILL zonk out in The Awesomemobile (wife's car, if you haven't gathered) on the way home, making for one tremendous challenge to get them from sleeping in the car to sleeping in their beds. I'm hoping the restarted oil burner can heat the house in time, otherwise we've got a Phil Collins song on our hands:
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm going to feel a right idiot for asking my new employers to put me up at a hotel down here if all we get is a couple of inches of rain. Still. This is one niiiice room we're talking.
I just wish I had the wife and kids here to enjoy it, too.
Although I did get to have an entire movie theatre all to myself just now for the first time in my l life, and it was the first movie I'd seen without the kids since "Return of the King", and the first movie of any kind I'd seen in a theatre since "Cars", which just goes to show how often we get out.
"Bolt" is good stuff, if you haven't seen it yet. The non-Pixar Disney stuff is really coming along nicely, if this and "Meet the Robinsons" are any indication. "Bolt" is a good one to bring the kids to as well, although there's the odd scary part. My kids loved it when they saw it a few weeks ago, and they're five and three so make of that what you will. It clocks in at 1:30 and change so you might actually get through the whole movie without somebody needing to pee.
And now, I'm going to get me a full night's sleep, if sleeping from 7 until 3 is anybody's idea of full. Nighty-night.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Are there any decent ones still about? Cut-your-own, pick-off-the-lot, whatever. Please advise and I'll give the relevant merchants a mention or two, soon as I finish cobbling together this meatloaf.
You can always tell the parents who have small kids because they're the ones with "take a nap" on the list of the hundred things to do before they die.
And it's taking up half the top ten.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
"Careful with Jesus or he'll fall behind the piano."
"I'm not sure who changed Jesus' diapers."
"Yes, it would be nice to have angels around to help change His diapers."
"I don't think any penguins were around in the manger when Jesus was born. Slugs, maybe. But they were very very small so we don't usually see them in nativity scenes."
"Honey, the nativity scene is being torn apart by our son and a stuffed kitten."
"No, angels don't buzz people for fun."
After about 40 of these...we couldn't even get a good photo-session tantrum pic, that's how bad it was...we gave up and went with the one from our summer trip to New Hampshire, viz:
Pretty much a metaphor for 2008, especially the last few months. The splash at the end was a great relief.
(Photo taken at Santa's Village, Jefferson NH. Great place if you've got small kids. It's an old-school amusement park scaled for smaller children, and without any of that Disneyhassling. We like.)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The first Playmobil sets were themed around Native Americans, construction workers and knights. The first construction worker set included a wheelbarrow, a road roller, ten traffic cones, as well as three crates holding 18 bottles of beer. The German Ministry of Youth intervened in response to this set's packaging, which showed two Playmobil figures discussing their beer consumption (-"That's my fifthWhich brings us to the Playmobil nativity set brought home by Her Awesomeness for the kids. Check the size of the flagon the third wise man is hoisting there:
bottle today." -"Don't worry, we've got enough beer.")
Duuuude. We saw the star and figured there had to be a totally sweet after-hours party or something!
This nativity scene isn't for the itty-bitty ones (<3)>
Friday, December 5, 2008
Clearly there is advanced physics involved here that is beyond my ken.
Beast conveniently filled that bit of space with a technicolor-yawn stomach bug, and the mechanic did his part to fill the household's newly-acquired budgetary space with an "oh by the way you need your 30,000 mile service and that'll be four-five-six-fitty or so..."
...so all that loose-end-tying will have to be shoehorned into some other day as I ensure that Beast has a restful day without any of that knees-bent-running-around-advancing-to-the-barf-bucket behavior.
It. Never. Ends.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday: Noodle nightmare at 1:00.
Thursday: Beast urpage at 2:30.
My new co-workers must be wondering what they've gotten into with this baggy-eyed thing that comes schlepping into the station to do the news.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
HOLY CRAP THERE'S ONLY 22 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT AND I HAVE DONE BUBKES!
Er. Anyway, there's room in the fridge again and at this there was much rejoicing.
Have you seen the piles in my kitchen? Have you heard my kids whine for my attention? Have you noticed the unfinished manuscript sitting on top of my desk? I don’t spend all day sitting around inside of a virtual gym, working on my virtual six-pack and flirting with virtual hotties. I spend all day running around like a freaking maniac. I schlep kids to dentist appointments and to after school activities, and I help them with homework and I make dinner every night, and I fill out camp forms and in case you haven’t noticed, I just spent three days cooking for twenty-seven people, and all of last weekend hand-sewing a Native American baby carrier for my first grader’s Thanksgiving costume at school. And oh, yeah, I also, allegedly, work. So of course I’m a freaking novice at balance...It took a session with a Wii thingy for her to figure this out, so I'm glad she arrived at the conclusion for me; I've got this odd luddite streak when it comes to gaming and gaming-related paraphernalia.
Yes, I who have foolproof Pac-Man and Asteroids strategies lodged deep within my cranium, am not all that big on video games these days.
...if anybody in the service sector is reading this, PLEASE. We in the non-9-to-5 world would rather you email us instead of calling so that we're not jarred awake by ringing phone at all hours of the day...
Gaaaah. I'm a moron. Forgot to get the milk on the way home, of course. And now it's time for Noodle's dance class and throb throb throb goes my head, where in the name of all that is holy is the Advil?
Monday, December 1, 2008
Which means I will have been up for around two hours already. So if any of the next day's posts are a bit off coherence-wise, I hope you'll understand that sometimes glarble forf penguin kershlump.
Hooray for once again being gainfully employed, but a month of putting Noodle on the bus while me and Beast waved her goodbye was tremendous wonderfulness, and now Beast knows a panoply of rock-star moves thanks to being home with me and accidentally switching on VH1 Classic while a Who concert was playing. My son is to pancake syrup and ketchup what Keith Moon was to alcohol, but aside from that his tastes are running more toward the keyboard-player end of things. Which is a relief, because when he gets to be my age and older I'm thinking you want to be living more like Tony Banks and less like dear Keith, who never did get to be my age.
And it looks like Beast wants to be back hanging with his pals at nursery school anyway. Dude's got a girlfriend. I can tell she's his girlfriend because a couple weeks ago when I took him to a special music day back at the nursery school, he glared at me when I called him Sweetness as I am wont to do on occasion because...
...if you're going to use a sports figure for a nickname you could do a whole lot worse, but Beast has yet to discover the glories of the NFL.
It's a shame John Facenda never did lullabies.