First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spectacular Spectacular

We took the kids to the Radio City Music Hall Spectacular starring the World famous Rockettes. I wasn't sure about it at first. That's a lot of sparkly, conformist feminine sexuality. Felt like it might be inappropriate for the kids with the unnecessary revealing holiday themed outfits.  "Kids look! Christmas Tits!"

But it was really much tamer than that. There was a lot of sparkly, conformist, femininity about, but the Peanut didn't seem that interested.

The show was pretty enjoyable. It was sort of like MGM musical porn. Like an old fashioned MGM movie musical, but with all the bothersome plot and talking mostly removed.  The dancing was very good and the Rockettes were so in sync I asked my wife if she thought they used an electric cattle prod on'em during rehearsal. She replied, "they probably make them digest their food." Love my wife.

The kids' favorite part was a kind of cartoonish snippet of The Nutcracker done with one young ballerina and then a bunch of dancers in cartoon bear costumes. They must have been sweating off whatever genitalia they possessed under those costumes. The Peanut was very taken with the ballet. As some of you night know, we take that stuff pretty seriously around here.


There was this odd scene where everyone in the show dressed up in silver sparkly stuff and walked up and down a lighted glass staircase toward a shimmering computer animated background. We think it was supposed to be like heaven. Which makes sense because everyone knows heaven is a filled with Christmas and white people and sparkles and leggy 1950's sex symbols. 

There was a large number of old people at the show. People who remembered what it was like when the Rockettes counted as serious masturbation material. It kind of creeps me out, now that I think about it.


The big finale was the Nativity scene, with real animals. Two sheep, a donkey, and a camel who managed to communicate gravitas. Not what you get from a camel up close. If you've met one you know they exude disdain and stench. Maybe the stench is heavy with gravitas, but that's about it.

There were real animals and a disembodied voice reading bible passages and a manger and Inn and all the wise men and everything. These people were serious about it being a Christmas show. No "happy holidays" here. I got pretty swept up in it. Never felt more gentile. Odd, considering that myself and the baby Jesus were most likely the only two Jews in the entire theatre. Not including the agents.

Anyway, bible passages, animals, wise men, manger, Inn, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, a searingly bright projection of the Star of Wonder, and then the big finish.  You can't have a finale at a Rockettes show without showing off those famous moves.  This was my favorite part. The last big number: The dancing virgin Marys. Naked legged, pregnant, virgins dancing in perfect time. Robes coming a couple inches short of their knees so we could all get a glimpse of that oh so immaculate thigh. Kicks high, heels pointed toward the Lord. Merry Christmas Everyone!

That last part didn't happen, but I truly wish--prayed even--it had. Would've been the best show ever.

As it was, it was pretty enjoyable. Especially considering the tickets were free through a friend. I'll never forget those smiling, white-toothed, long legged dancing wonders. Made me want to sing Christmas carols while rushing right out to buy a box of Crest white strips. Psshh. Gentiles

HM

Also, I've got a new piece up over at Insert Eyeroll wherein I reveal the dream every modern father has for his daughter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Polar Excess

So this friday, at the Peanut's school, everyone gets to show up at school in their PJ's, drink hot chocolate, and watch Polar Express. What a pant load.

This is such a creepy, lousy movie. Cold, soulless, and commercial. Tom Hanks should get kicked right in his Forrest Gumps for making that piece of shit. And the Peanut is about to watch it. Again. See, they do this every year. Show this sneakily cynical mall Christmas suckfest. Which incidentally is the title of my new Christmas album. Look for it on Spotify.

There are so many other Christmas movies I'd rather the Peanut watch. I'd rather she watch Bad Santa than watch this movie. I'd rather she watch Ernest Saves Christmas. Jingle All The Way. Die Hard. The Bad Lieutenant. Which technically isn't a Christmas movie but does include a scene with a nun and and a crucifix that is particularly of the Christmas spirit.

This is her school though. They try to something nice for the kids, but in the worst way possible. They have school spirit days where in they send notes home encouraging the kids to dress in the colors of either the Bruins, Patriots, or Red Sox.

I've got nothing (or at least very little) against sports or sports fandom, but what does that have to do with school spirit? This is why I don't follow those teams as much as I might. The cult-like level of sports indoctrination in this region kind of turns me off to the whole thing. Then again, it might just be because I'm a Celtics fan.

It's a microcosm of our city. This is the kind of place that'll start a revolutionary new recycling program, concurrently purchase a bunch of those solar powered trash compacting trash cans, then place those cans two to a corner, leaving chunks of the city a half mile long with no trash cans. Jesus, I sound fucking old.

It's the kind of place that advertises a big tree lighting ceremony and has carolers that can't sing, runs out of the promised--Promised!-- hot chocolate a twenty minutes in, and is generally run with all the organization and professionalism of a cheap bachelor party strip show.

They mean well. the citizens of my city, but they're morons. Big, well-meaning, puddin'-headed, Lennys  cuddling the city to jelly while losing their credibility. Which incidentally is why they should vote for me I as I make my run for city council. That's my campaign slogan. "Big, well-meaning, puddin-headed Lennys cuddling the city to jelly: Vote Homemaker Man! There'll be cake! And puppies! Easy on those puppies." Look for it, Nov. 2012.


HM

P.S. I don't actually think anyone under the age of 25 should see the Bad Lieutenant. I feel the same way about Polar Express. Also, a blurb written about Polar Express by inter-friend and Babble top 50 Dadblogger, TwoBusy, you can find here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Digital Peter Pan

Sunday night we went to a play. Peter Pan. But not just any Peter Pan. We went to J.M. Barre's Peter Pan by 360 productions. Clever stage craft, deft and loyal-to-the-original-story-telling, and crazy CGI animation sets. This show . . .

First off, the kids actually sat and watched the whole thing. That's how fantastic it was. Sure, the Pman tried several times to talk to anyone around him at a level that while for him might be conversational, for everyone else was probably "a little to fucking loud."

When the stage cleared: "WHERE'D THEY ALL GO?"

When there was ever any slight lull in the action (of which there were few): "WHERE'S THE CROCODILE? I WANT TO SEE THE CROCODILE!"

And my favorite one during a scene when the pirates were capturing the Lost Boys: "ARE THE PIRATES GONNA EAT THOSE PEOPLE?"

He's got a dark vision, the Pumpkin Man.

In the interest of integrity and whatnot, you should know that 360 productions comped us the tickets as part of a contingent of mommy bloggers. I hope you folks know me well enough by now to know that if I didn't like the show, you'd know it.

The think was held in a huge tent like structure that had been set up in the middle of Boston's City Hall Plaza. Looked like a huge soft serve vanilla icecream or a turret on the Kremlin or as the Peanut put it, "A giant sand castle."

The production was an amazing combination of minimalist setting, clever stagecraft--mad trap doors and hidey holes, y'all--and crazy cgi animation projected onto a 360 degree screen that was about 25 feet above the stage. So that when the characters flew, it seemed as if they were flying over 19th century London.  They fought on Hook's ship. There were mermaids performing aerial ballet high over the stage while simultaneously being deep under the computer generated sea.

Both kids loved the show. They sat rapt. When the stars shone overhead and Peter beseeched us to tell TinkerBell we believed, you could see the starlight in the Peanut's eyes. She believed.

The actress who played TinkerBell was terrific. A growling, angry, feisty steam punk TinkerBell with lights in her hair and menace in her heart.  A fierce, jealous. loving, chaotic, magical id in a puffy pink skirt and little brown boots.

We also got a special treat. At the end we got to go back stage and meet the puppeteer who controlled Nana the dog and who was part of controlling the great Crocodile puppet. The Crocodile was ten feet long, took two people to drive it, and was made mostly of materials one might find in a closet. Wooden hangar ribs and spine, clothespin teeth etc. Just great. Felt really lucky to be able to go. I did share a magnanimous wink with my wife when our guide, the puppeteer, thanked all of "you mommy bloggers for coming to the show and blogging about it."

Great show. I'l put all the info down at the bottom.

The story of Peter Pan itself, that was a little surprising if by surprising you mean chocker block full of oedipal issues and not so latent sexuality. Basically, every girl in the play was looking to get a serving from Peter's Pan, if you get my drift.

Right away, Wendy wants to kiss him. She asks him if he knows what a kiss is and he replies, "I'll know what a kiss is if you give me one." Pretty fucking slick, right there.

The whole thing pivots on the fact that Wendy wants to "be with him" and Peter sees her more as a mother type. The Indian character Tiger Lilly rewards him for saving her life with a dance so sensual I thought about covering the kids' eyes, and TinkerBell is practically a clitoris. I mean, the whole thing is basically saying "pubery will ruin you." Which, you know, I can't argue with that.

I can sum it up like this: In the final scene--which was the only downer for the Peanut, because Peter cried--Peter comes to Wendy again, but she's grown. She can't go with him anymore. She leaves him in her sleeping daughter's room, and Peter slumps to the floor sobbing. That's when her daughter wakes up and echoes the words her mother had uttered so many years ago. "Boy, why are you crying?" And Peter rises, does the same little dance he did for Wendy, and offers her daughter his hand. That's when my wife leaned over to me and whispered, "I'll tell you, if I were Wendy, I sure as hell wouldn't be leaving him alone with my daughter."

The End

Great show. Whole-heartedly recommend it. There is some light violence and talk of death, but nothing graphic. You really should go and take your little ones, if you have the chance.

The website for the show is here. You can follow them on twitter @PeterPanTheShow.

Truly a terrific experience for the whole family. Thanks again to 360 Productions for sending us.

HM

Also, I've got a new post up over at DadCentric. wherein I beat my breast and rend my flesh over the conundrum of my kids' education. It's light-hearted, like.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Pumpkin Man Illuminates

It was just before bedtime. I was carrying the Pumpkin Man, his head on my chest,  and we were heading into the book room to do our reading and I said something that ended with, "my son. Maybe it was, "do two Hail Marys and three Our Fathers." Probably not though. 

He said back, "You're my son."

I said, "No. You're my son."

He said, "You're my son."

I said "No. I'm you're daddy, you're my son."

He said, "No. You're my son."

I said, "Do you mean son like son and daddy or sun like the sun that shines outside."

He leaned back and looked at me and said, "The sun goes up. The sun goes down. You're my sun."

I can't even express in words how much that makes me the winner. Big winner. Right Here. 

HM

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

3.14 = Fear

The pie is cooked. If I had exchanged "The" for "Your" there, it would sound kind of noirish. "Your pie is cooked kid, see? You gotta scram and scram fast!"

The pie is cooked and now the waiting begins. And I question myself. Will it be good? Did I use too much sugar? Not enough? More spices, maybe? Why aren't I a better parent? What's this thing on my nipple? Why do we own so many fucking cats?  I've had difficulty with pies in the past.

I'm hopeful for this one. Apple, of course. I was hopeful for the last two as well though, and those ended up pie tragedies. There were angry, jonesing, diabetics picketing the house to ask us how we could do such a thing to pie.

But still I hope because as the Torah says, "Every ThanksGiving is a new chance to eat pie." Except, in Hebrew. Which I would lay on you cats here, but our keyboard doesn't have Hebrew keys. Anti-semetic keyboard.

Happy Thanksgiving bloggy people. Gorge well.

HM

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Love Done Gone Away

A glass of Skinny Girl Sangria by Bethany Frankel. An old Celtics game on tv. Next stop, the cover of Classy Dad magazine.

Can anyone tell me what the above combination signifies?

A. I am relaxing after finishing my set at the local female impersonator club. I do Imogene Coca.

B. I just love thinking about Larry Bird and Bethany Frankel together. It just makes me happy, you know?

C. My wife isn't here tonight.


If you picked A and C, you left out B.

My woman up and gone to St. Louis. She heard that big river calling'. And also a teacher conference type thing. And also she wants to be known as The Queen of BBQ Ribs. She'll be back Friday.

I miss her. So do the kids. There was crying that could only be staunched by a parent's love applied through ice cream. The kids cried too. Then they made me pretend to be her while they pretended to be the ones going to St. Louis. They made sure I/she felt it. "I'm going to St. Louis for fifty days!" exclaimed the Peanut at one point. That doesn't sound fun to me.

The house feels empty without her. I'm a little lonely even with the kids. It's too quiet. And I can't even watch the Wire. That just wouldn't be right. Hence, I'm hanging with the Frankel. "Got cankles? Drink Frankel!" is what her slogan should be.

I'm going to try to keep us all out of the house and busy while My wife is gone. Lots of park trips, a little shopping, library, tax attorney's office, a showing of Paranormal 3, MMA match.

I know it's best for all of us, a little time apart. Time to miss each other. A chance for the kids to see their mother travel and understand it's a common, attainable thing. And it's something she needs to do for work.

Still, all in all, I'd rather be watching the Wire.

Miss you my love.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Catmandu and other Cat Puns

There are a lot of cats here in my little city. Feral cats. I was going to say that there are cats everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE, but that kind of hyperbole  . . . one could be lead to believe that I as I type this, I have a feral cat in my pants. Which I don't right now.

There are many feral cats here. In the city, I mean. Not my pants. More than the average amount of obviously feral cats for a small city. This winter there was a gang of them trolling near our block. I saw them appear through a crevasse in a giant snowbank, seven of them, in single file. As I watched from my car I opined, "What the fuck is this?" They followed the leader right through a path in the snowbank across the street. Filthy, bedraggled, feral, cats.

Remember the Disney movie "The Aristocats?" These cats would've showed up, beat, murdered, and intimidated the Aristocats out of their own territory, moved in, and set up shop selling drugs. Coke and heroin mostly, with a healthy side business in "the 'Nip."

They are dirty, disheveled, disdainful looking animals, But they're still cats so when I see them a little part pf me still goes "Awwwww. So cute!"

It can't be a positive sign of wellbeing for the city."Roving gangs of murderous drug dealing cats," doesn't exactly say "cosmopolitan" right?  You never talk to people who go on and on about how they, "visited Madrid and it was sooo amaaaazing. The Royal Palace was beautiful. And all those feral cats! Breathtaking."

That ends this presentation of, "The Wonders of Everett." Tune in next week for, "What's up with the lack of trashcans?"

-------------------------------

Just want to take a moment here to mention Movember. I participated last year, and I wanted to this year, but I just couldn't come up with a good idea for the plate. Haven't mentioned it before because the guilt. Oy, the guilt.

What I will do in this space is push the hell out of the page all the Dads over at Dadcentric, as well as Dad 2.0, Man Of The House, NYC Dads Group, and Dadlabs... ... have ready for your donations.

Movember. Grow a mustache, fight Cancer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wired

We're finished. Screwed. A friend from my wife's workplace brought over the first season of The Wire Saturday night. We're now 8 shows in. I've moved The Pman's potty into the living room so we don't have to leave the tv and at 2pm in the afternoon in my house you can hear conversations between myself and the kids like, "Well sweetie, they had to kill him because he was a fucking rat. You gotta kill a fucking rat." I think the kids are handling it well. The Pman keeps telling us his name is Omar and the Peanut has us all using beepers.

We've been watching The Wire, and we're fans of Walking Dead. And, after one and a quarter seasons of the latter and 8 episodes of the former, I can safely say I'd much rather face a Zombie apocalypse than live in the projects of Baltimore. You know the difference between a junky and a zombie? Junkies don't crave brains.

Speaking of The Walking Dead, if anyone out there watches it, please explain to me how the farm girl who rode into the forest on a horse and exploded a zombie's melon with a baseball bat could suddenly get all squeamish while watching one get bashed in the face with a crowbar? Does not make sense. Show shit the bed on that one.

Too much tv around here right now, I guess.

HM

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hard Lessons

Today in my house we learned a lesson. If you don't want to cleant that shit up, don't do that shit.

We have a set of plastic bins from Target. Don't mean to brag. We have a set of colorful plastic bins from Target in which a lot of the kids' smaller toys are stored. Blocks, dolls, fake food and plates, old pay as you go cell phones, poker chips, empty cigarette boxes, bottle caps, 3 penny nails, mercury. You know.

I heard the sound of thousands of tiny plastic pieces hitting a hardwood floor. "Are you dumping out the bins?" I asked rhetorically. "Complete Silence!" They answered. I asked again. "Yeah but, we're using them for some lunatic pre-schooler made-up game reason!"

"OK," I said,. "But if you empty out all the bins, that means you are going to be doing a lot of cleaning up later. Ok?"

"Ok," they replied with confidence.

I drove my point home annoying parent style. I went around the corner, got them looking at me, and repeated myself in a voice that was still at the same volume it had been when I was a room away. With an added threat, "You guys will have to clean it up all yourselves."

"Ok," They answered brusquely. They were a little annoyed now because some loud moron kept moving closer and closer to them, repeating himself as he went. I don't blame them.

"Alright," I answered with all the arrogance of someone who knows he's about to be right and can't wait to get there. Parents really do suck.

And so it happened. I gave them a 15 minute warning. Ten. Five. 2. One and a half minutes. 47 seconds. 31. 19. 11.  You can tell I'm getting mad when I slip into prime numbers

They were shocked when I started yelling. Shocked. But to their credit they dug in and tried not to get the job done.

I helped, of course. I put the bins back in the rack. put a few toys in each so they would have an idea of what went there. Had their hands replaced with rakes. To little avail.

When it's time to clean up around here, you have two choices. Clean-up and win first prize. 15 minutes of tv or a treat, maybe both on a good day. Second prize is, your fired. There are no steak knives.

So clean up or go to time-out and if you continue to fuck around, you go to bed.

The P-Man never had a chance. There was a carpet of foot hurting, over-priced, beloved pieces of plastic from one end of the room to the other. Probably thousands of pieces. He tried for a little while. He failed. Time-out, back up from the time-out, five minutes of cleaning, bedtime. He cried for about 5 minutes and then passed out. Couldn't. Handle. The Clean-up.

The Peanut continued. Alone against a sea of junk. I let her go for a bit by herself. Then I pitched in. We finished up and went off to collect her prizes. She was so proud of herself. "I did it all by myself. daddy!"

"Bullshit!" I did not reply. But I could've. I was well within my rights. It was cool how proud of herself she was for cleaning up her own mess. It was a gargantuan task. I just hope that feeling of pride doesn't backfire when she gets older.

"Yeah daddy, I was shitfaced and I hit this guy dead on. But instead of driving away, I stopped, collected the body and took it home. A skil saw and some lime later, and boom, no more body! I cleaned it up all by myself!"

Of course, I'd still be proud of her.

HM

Monday, October 31, 2011

Things That have happened

"Things that have happened since my last post:



We went apple-picking. I am from the "Aww, why do I have to go and pay extra money to pick apples when I can just get'em at the supermarket grumblegrumblegrousegrouse fun-sucks-I'm-a-cranky-old-fuck-with-no-sense-of-wonder" school of apple picking. Turns out it was really fun. The kids loved it. We ate apples, apple crisp with ice cream, and warm apple cider donuts that were soft and pillowy like good gnocchi. I'm leaving my wife for a bag of'em. She doesn't know.

This, this, this, and this guy all made Babble's top 50 dadbloggers list. I eknow all of them so you know, that pretty much makes me a name dropping douche.

I got an email telling me that I can now "check flawless skin off my wishlist." Which is ridiculous. I checked that off my list years ago. Maybe I'm born with it.*

Halloween happened tonight. The Peanut was a witch. Made me happy. Much better than "princess" or "fairy" or "fairy princess". She looked great. Mommy did her make-up. The Pumpkin Man had a choice between dinosaur and giraffe and he went with giraffe. He kept saying he was a "Scary giraffe," though.  "I'ma Scary Giraffe. I'm Gonna Eat yo Leeaaves!"

To prove it, we were in the kitchen and he told me I was a tree and then bit me on the ass. Fucking giraffes.

I went as a pirate. My wife also went as a witch. It was pretty much the only costume  she could find that didn't come with the word slutty or sexy attached to it. 

We went to a halloween outlet for the costume shopping. In a addition to the slutty outfits there were Priest costumes and Rabbi costumes, which I found vaguely inappropriate. They're clerics, not super heroes or monsters. Now slutty priest, that would've been appropriate.

We saw a good racist one. Slutty Indian. Costume consisted of a headband with a feather in it and an extremely short dress decorated stereotypically Native American style. Did give me a costume idea for next year though: Slutty Auschwitz Survivor.

The world's 7 billionth person was born. I think they won a free shopping spree. 

Finally, I am now an official staff writer over at Insert Eyeroll. I'm like the Jimmy Olson of the place, except with coffee breath and more body hair. Right here is my latest.

And that be that. Happy Halloween everyone. 

HM

*Maybe it's Maybelline

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oy, My Son's a Chochem


We own the book pictured above. It has pictures of typical stuff (mom, dad, house, book) and then the word in English and Yiddish. The Pumpkin Man had me read it to him today.

I read the whole thing. The English words and then the Yiddish ones. Cover to cover. We got to the end and I closed it and the Pman looked at me and said, "That's not my favorite book."

Son of a jackal.

Also, "glitshke" means "slide."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Religious Interpretation

Hi all! How have you been? Good, good. Me, I've been just so busy with those things, and uh, the other stuff. And also a ton of errands. Just a ton.

I did spend Yom Kippur at the Fryberg fair. For those of you unfamiliar with Yom Kippur, it's the Jewish day of atonement. I know. I know. You're thinking, "I thought everyday was the Jewish day of atonement." The difference is, on Yom Kippur. we don't eat.  We fast and repent and that we get our names written in the Book of Life for the year. Big deal to Jewish kids, making an appearance in a book.

Nor do we usually attend huge state fairs. But it was the only weekend we could go, the kids love it, my wife loves it, I love it, our family up in Maine loves it, and what the hell was Yaweh thinking scheduling Yom Kippur for the same week as the Fair anyway. Nice omniscience, God. Here's a tip: try a calendar next time.

But, because I'm Jewish, I made a deal with the big Y. I will honor Yom Kippur not by fasting, but by eating every kind of deadly, disgusting, greasy, absolutely delicious morsel of Fair food I could get my mouth on. Here's the list, in chronological order: Falafel (surprisingly good considering we ate it at a Fair. In Maine.),Vegetable Samosas (ditto), Cotton candy, Ice cream, a shingle sized slice of black olive and garlic sicilian pizza, deep fried pickles cut in big wedges with a creamy dipping sauce, deep fried corn-on-the cob, kettle corn, fried dough.

Do you see what I did for you, G_d? What I put in my body? Deep fried pickles. And, O G_d Almighty, they were half-sours! Now write my name in the Book of Life and next to it in the margin put down "cholesterol poisoning."

Fair was great. We saw all kinds prize winning cows and chickens and horses and sheep and rabbits. I'm pretty sure we're going into Angora Rabbit farming. Only takes two rabbits to yield enough wool for a sweater. And the rabbit wool is 7 times as warm as sheep's wool. I read a pamphlet, so I'm pretty much an expert. The name of our farm will be the Bunny Ranch. Is that taken?

Goodnight!

HM

UPDATE!

I forgot the G_damn chicken fingers and french fries.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Warden

Saw my friends tonight. One it was his birthday. One, I hadn't seen in years.  Both, I don't see enough. We're going to try to remedy that. The Peanut wasn't happy about my going out tonight. She got rather upset. I bargained with her. Told her I'd bring her a surprise in the morning. She cried, " I want Daddy for a surprise!" 

Right? I know. Manipulative son of a jackal*.  I told her I'd be home before the morning, when it was still dark out. She replied with a pouty face and a determined grimace, "Just go and say hi and come right back."

"Okay," I said. You've gotta hop on a good deal when you get it.

HM

*We use son of a jackal around here because time was I said son of a bitch way too much and the kids picked it up. Ironically, the Peanut said son of a jackal at school last year and she got in trouble for it anyway. Because the Man is always trying to keep you down. That son of a jackal.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Elusive Beach Jew

We finished celebrating Rosh Hashanah today. We're a little slow. We went to the beach.  Big part of celebrating Jewish Holidays, the beach. Jews have always been big surfers.

As part of the RH tradition, you're supposed to cast bread upon flowing waters, symbolizing the casting away of your sins for the year. I brought a lot of bread. And we cast that shit. And lo, 30 seagulls did swoop in aggressively and they did eat each one of our sins.  Yeah, dirty birds. Eat those sins.  It was weird; to watch a seagull gluttonously eat the sin of gluttony.

Then we played in the sand and the rocks and tide pools. It was perfect beyond reason. There was literally a lone bagpiper standing on a tall rock near the surf, the mournful tones of the bagpipes carrying over the entire beach and out into the sea. I think he was playing Single Ladies (all the Single Ladies).

It was a good way to close the Rosh Hashanah ceremonies.

I write this again after coming home from a run. friday night running is fun. The sights and sounds included a man and a woman holding hands and crossing the street against the light. I believe the woman was worried about it because I heard the man, who had a blond sort of Hulk Hogan style haircut stuffed partially under his cap say, "I'm in the crosswalk, so if they hit me I have a fahckin' law suit, numbah one."

I didn't get to hear number 2, but I'm assuming it was something like, "And numbah two, my internal organs have been completely useless for the last eleven years." Or maybe, " And numbah two, I'll fahckin blast a car right in the face." Probably it was simply, "And . . . what comes after numbah one?"

There were also two more drunk fans cheering me on at the park, "How many times around is a mile? Is that dog a pitbull? You have feet!"

Then there were kids smoking clove cigarettes, I swear. More kids rapping badly into an eyefone, ("I'm spittin' mad rhymes, I like limes, they used swords in olden times, muthafuckas drop dimes, etc."), one paunchy middle aged dude running around with his big ass dog. Definitely Motley.

HM

Thursday, September 29, 2011

100% fool-proof potty training techniques

The Pumpkin man is Potty trained. Completely and reliably using the potty every (97% of the) time. As long as he is naked. I'll revise that. As long as he is naked from the waist down. Which is a charming look, the tshirt with wangle/testicle accessories.  The dad of a childhood friend used to rock that look late at night or very early in the morning and let me tell you, the Pman pulls it off better.  Slightly.

He loves being naked. Who doesn't? And his lack of self-consciousness is wonderful until I'm on my hands and knees on the floor cleaning up a mess and I feel his toddler bulk slam into my back. Then he gets good handfuls of my shirt, digs in his heels, and climbs right up to my head. Hello, my son's junk. How are you? Have you ever heard of a little thing called personal space? No? Well, this isn't it.

On the bright side. that view is at least equaled by the sight of my naked boy joining in with his mother and sister as they go through their yoga routine. Wow, that's an eye full. I feel like we should be putting quarters or flowers in or something in there. Maybe some spackle. Or a sparkler.

We do encourage nakedness around here to a degree. We read somewhere that it's good for little ones, so we try not to stifle their natural inclinations. We have a dance where whoever is naked--or almost naked except for their underwear--rubs their own belly and does a little hula swivel and chants "naaaked Baaybeh, naaked baaybeh." But they're definitely getting a little old for that. Or I am.

He's having trouble with telling us when he needs to go while he's wearing a diaper. But obviously I can't take him out naked. Our climate is too cold. Discomfort and shrinkage.

We're training him through a reward system similar to what we used on the Peanut. He gets candy every time he goes. 2 M&Ms for urination, 4 for defecation, 6 for both, 11 if we see him reading a newspaper while he does it.

This works, but it also leads him to stretching one piss into three or four different potty sessions. The devious bastard.

I can't wait for him to be done, but at the same time, it'll signify that we have no more babies. Just little kids.

Which is ok, really. I'm ready for them to be little kids. One more year and they'll be able to fend for themselves. Unlike their father.

HM

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bits and pieces

And chunks and slime strings. The Pumpkin man was at it again today. We were in the car. On our way home this time. He told us his belly hurt.  We made it home with no incident. I dragged him out of the car and carried him into the yard.. I asked him if he needed to throw up. He shook his head no.  Then puked. A little at first. A splash on my shoulder, a spritz on my neck. "That wasn't so bad." I thought before he let loose like a broken sewage line at a fashion show.

He got us both real good. In a way, it was nice. He hasn't puked on me like that since he was a baby. Awww. At the same time, you could see how big he's getting because of all the colorful, little, singular bits. Yellows and reds and greens. Like stinky confetti. Surprise!

We had just come home from dinner out. A rarity for us but we were kind of forced to. We were stuck in the city due to an impromptu doctor's visit for the Peanut.

Both kids have colds. Slight fevers and snot rockets. The Peanut began complaining of some slight burning and irritation in her tiny nether regions ("My vagina hurts." She said this flatly. Matter of factly. Which is kind of when you know there's trouble. Isn't this a lovely post?) The Peanut's nether regions are of some concern to us.

Last night, on the advice of our on-call ped, we went to our local er to get a urine sample. The doctors and nurses at our local hospital--which for the purposes of this post we'll call Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett Ma--have been hand-picked from the finest online universities and mail order degree mills. Long story short, we went in to find out about a u.t.i., and came out with a diagnosis of a yeast infection based solely on a visual inspection that uncovered some residual Desitin we had applied early in the day. That shit stayed on through a bath, by the way. Stuff is amazing. Little known fact, Desitin is what the Eskimos use to waterproof their sea kayaks.

When I told a nurse of my reservations about the diagnosis and resulting prescription, I was told " don't worry about it. It won't hurt her. Go ahead and use it." Which was always my mother's philosophy when it comes to medications, so you know, no judgements.

We went to our regular pediatrician today, and everything is fine and good. So that's good.

I'm typing this after getting back from my run. I'm not exactly sure how far I ran, as the drunk lying on the grass near where I run was taking care of counting the laps for me. It was great on one hand because he was really enthusiastic. "Yaaah! SEVEN!" he bellowed as he held up four fingers. Still, I trusted him until we got near the end and instead of yelling out nine or ten he just sobbed out the lyrics to King of The Road.

Finally (thank god for fucks sake), I have a new post up over at Insert Eyeroll. Please check it out if you have a moment. I 100% promise it has nothing to do with vaginas.

P.S. One more thing. The Peanut started yelling gibberish in this loud, raspy, angry kind of starting out low and ending high voice. She told me that's what I sound like when I yell. Which explains a lot. I should probably try some real words. even better though I asked her what mommy sounds like when she yells. The peanut peanut pitched her voice higher and yelled, "BLAHGERRAHHLWORLGARGLFUCKINGYAARGLE!"
I said, smiling, "How does mommy yell again?" And she replied, "BLERRRGLEGROWLRAAHHERGLEFUCKINGRAWWWR!

I enjoyed telling my wife that this evening.

Alright. Thats it now.

HM

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Running is stupid

I've been running. Not fast. And not too far. And not well. Often by the end there is drool and always by the end there are gross torrents of sweat and legs filled with wet sand and owies, and a breathing sound like an asthmatic pig. But I'm doing it. About half an hour 5 times a week. I'm up to approximately 3 and 1/3 miles. 

I should preface this by saying that I hate running.  Really, it sucks and it's stupid and hurts my muscles and sometimes I get unpleasant chafing and I rarely did it before now, and also douche bags often do it. But now I do it.

I started out doing it because I had lost some weight, I was feeling good, and I had to get the goddamn dog some exercise. The goddamn dog needs a lot of exercise. The goddamn dog is athletic like Jim Thorpe or Bruce Jenner or Serena Williams or Wolverine.

The best part about running with the goddamn dog is that when I'm running my hardest, when I'm in that last lap and I'm pushing myself near to the point of puking, I can look down at that goddamn dog and see that she's laughing at me. Laughing her dumb ass off. Gallivanting along, panting just to be charitable, big moron doggy smile on her big moron doggy face.

And the more we exercise, the more stamina she gets. The more exercise she needs. I should probably just tie her to the back of the car and go.

But still, I'm proud of myself. For a 38 year old paunchy dude with bad achilles tendons who hates running, 3 1/3 miles (and counting) ain't half bad.

Of course, my eating habits have suffered somewhat. After you've run a few miles, it becomes mighty easy to rationalize that snack of chocolate covered butter pats washed down with a cold cheese smoothie. Mmmm mmm!

Other things . . .
The peanut has started ballet, the next session of swimming lessons (she's an eel now. I think the next level is level The Incredible Mr. Limpet.) and school.  We're hoping to over schedule her young so that she can get her nervous breakdown out of the way before middle school.


HM

P.S. Troy Davis's execution is on my brain. Just needed to mention it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Can you see this?

Post a first trip to the eye doctor. The whole family is together, having a picnic at the arboretum.

Her: "Daddy. I'm the eye doctor. Look in here and let me check your eyes.

Me: "ok"
 I look in to an imaginary eye machine.

Her: "Daddy. Look into the machine."

Me: "I am."

Her: "Ok. You're all set."

Me: "Ok. I like the eye machine. I'm a machine. I---am--a--robot." I press my forehead into hers, peer into her eyes and say in perfect robot monotone," I am a robot eye doctor. You have a slight astigmatism. My calculations are always correct."

Her: She wanders away, comes back, presses her forehead to mine, peers into my eyes and says in perfect robot monotone," I am a robot. Your eyeballs are nipples."

That can not be a good diagnosis. Unfortunately, she's a robot. Her calculations are always correct. Her ppor mommy received the same diagnosis. Must be contagious. Ol' Nipple eyes.

It turns out she does have a slight astigmatism. Glasses not (yet) necessary. An affliction from her mother's side of the family. Apparently, there is a price that comes with being beautiful, and it's mediocre eyesight.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Enter The Dragons

I'm teaching my kids mixed martial arts. I don't like to talk about it much, but I am proficient in Kung Fu, Karate, Capoeira, and I am a master of the world MMA champion spawning Gracie family method of Jujitsu. She was always able to get George's goat (Old Guy Alert*).

I want the children to become deadly killing machines. Tiny harbingers of doom. Renders of flesh and tendon. Bone splintering, blood splattering, human threshers. Dark ninjas with eyes like black granite and souls like murky ponds. Beings capable of ending lives. Murdering mutha fuckas by the dozens.

Life long denizens of the Octagon. Knowing mercy as a disease and victories as common as breaths. Fists like steel pistons, kicks like sonic booms, fast and strong and smart like angry movie apes.

They will be Destroyers, Eaters of The Earth, The last thing scores of men will ever see.

They will free many souls from the bonds of the flesh.

They will learn how to be all these things. Then, when they're ready, I will lock them out in the backyard and finally let them work out their own bullshit. Kill or be killed, the winner gets the top bunk. Loser gets oblivion. Just stop screeching already.

I'm taking bets. Peanut's favored, but only 3:2. I think the Pman has a good chance of coming out on top. He' s younger and less coordinated, but he's not much smaller and he bites.


Really, they're pretty good kids, and they don't fight that much, but when they do, I just feel like wandering out into traffic. They're like two unreasonable, Machiavellian*, Howler monkeys.

If I had a fire hose at those moments, I'd stick it in my ear.

But those are the breaks I guess. Like I said, mostly, they're pretty good. And very loving. If only they could fight by telepathy. Or in someone else's house.

And, when I said I was proficient in martial arts, by proficient I meant "not proficient."

And it would be cool if the Peanut had crazy ninja skills, if only to see a 3 ft tall, 28.5 lb 4 year old girl with the ability to take out a grown man. If I saw that actually happen, I'd laugh about it the whole time I was in the hospital.

Also, I'd turn them into a deadly assassination team called "Strike Force Fuzzy Bunny."

HM

*Machiavellian refers to this: We'll be in the car and they'll both be yelling for something completely unreasonable at that time. Like, "Daddy, we want to be be home right now!"  Or "Daddy! We want ice cream topped with gold leaf ans served in the Ark of the Covenant!" 

And I'll say something to the effect of, "That enough! We are done talking about this. The next time someone mentions wanting ice cream with gold leaf served in the Ark of the Covenant, I am pulling over and giving that person a timeout right on the sidewalk!"

Then there will be a beat. Then after that beat you will hear the Pnut whisper, "Pumpkin man, ask daddy for the ice cream with gold leaf served in the ark of the covenant again." And if I don't catch it right away, the poor sucker'll do it. It's a goddamn shame, really.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Labors of Hercules

Today we celebrated Labor Day not with a respire but with it's name sake. Labor. Not having more babies. The other kind of labor.

We drove treacherous highways. Rented unwieldy aluminum canoes and paddled strenuously for miles against a fast moving current before dragging said canoe up a steep river bank where we partook of a repast we ourselves had made only hours before. Then we plunged our fragile bodies into the powerful current, swimming against being swept downstream, only to emerge, dry ourselves, have another light gnosh, dip our tootsies in again and then make our way upstream even further before turning and making the long trek back to the rental place.

You must say to yourselves "Oh, now here is when they rested. Surely they could suffer to go no farther. Further? Further . . . farther?

But NO! We made once again for those treacherous roads, traveling them until we came to a crowd of people 100 strong. There we waded into the milling throng, pushed against them as we had pushed against the current that had moments before threatened to sweep us away, and arrived finally at the window. A window where we ordered ice creams so large it took the strength of 10 laborers to lift them to our waiting mouths.

Then we made our way back onto the road of death only to find ourselves--funneled there by forces beyond our control--at the beach. The windswept sand and stark, ocean scrubbed rocks were not enough to turn us from the task at hand. We plunged into water as cold as the Arctic seas, as the sun sank below the horizon. We built sandy monuments to Gods and princesses that will stand forever against waves both tidal and not so tidal.

And that's how we squeezed the last few drops of summer from the bottom of the tube. My wife goes back to work tomorrow and she goes back happy.

Also, I wrote a little humor piece for  Insert Eyeroll, that they were kind enough to publish. Please, check it out if you have the time.  Happy Labor Day

HM

Friday, September 2, 2011

Keeping Busy

My wife dropped a 3 foot cement bird bath on her foot yesterday. I don't know why. Maybe she thought her foot was a thirsty bird. Maybe she was going for a gardening disability pension. Either way, it was ineffective and for me, painful. The Pnut came to the kitchen door to tell me "mommy hurt herself," and I think I strained a muscle sprinting out to where she was sitting.  Then, after she spit on it, rubbed some dirt on it, shook it off, walked it off, dug deep, employed mind over matter, gritted it out, and put some frozen peas on it, we had to get ready to go out. We had a lunch of tuna--on pita chips for the kids, like little trashy hor d'oeuvres--and then we all piled in to the car to take the Pnut to an eye doctor appointment.

We had to drive into Boston to get there. All the way to the other side of the city. We know a lot of shortcuts through the city. Most of them go through the lousy parts. We took one such short cut. The Pumpkin man started complaining that his "stomache hurt. Can you rub it?" We told him to hold on and we'd rub it when we got to the Doctor's office. He replied by vomiting all over himself, his shoes, his car seat, the car, a passing bicyclist, and four unsuspecting pigeons.

We pulled over to clean him up.  On a busy city street. We had no choice. The car was filled with puke. Tuna puke. I offered to do the cleaning, but my wife has such a strong phobia of telephonic bureaucracy that she let me call the doctor's office while she took a screaming, vomit coated Pman on to the sidewalk. So score there.

As she undressed and cleaned him on a busy urban sidewalk, she kept telling him. "It's ok buddy, it's no big deal, it's alright," while people passed by giving them a wide berth and holding their hands palms out and close to their bodies as if to say, "Ah no lady, that smells like a pretty big fucking deal."

We ended up rescheduling the appointment and coming home. With a mostly naked boy in the backseat. Like we took a pukey little joy ride.  Like we planned it that way.

"What'd you do today? Oh, yeah, that's nice. Us? We just dropped a 3 foot cement birdbath on my wife's foot and then drove into Boston so our kid could puk all over the place, You know, that's just what we do."

Or it was like   . . . the rough parts of Boston are predominantly black. They know how to segregate in Boston. So because of that, it was kind of like we were some kind of weird sect of crazy, passive aggressive racists who decided, "Hey, I know. Let's drive our white baby into the ghetto, have it puke all over the place, then get the fuck back in the car and go! Real white people puke too, like tuna and mayo."

All in all, we laughed about it on the way home.  When we got there, the Pman was starving. We gave him toast. Lots of toast.

We still don't know what caused the throwing up. Toddler throw-up is like that sometimes. Mysterious like the outer reachings of the Universe or the appeal of Ke$ha.

HM





Monday, August 29, 2011

Peanut Definitions

Operator- One who sings opera. Example: "Pumpkin man, I'm an operator. Are you singing opera? You're an operator too!"

We put on a little PBS to get through the rain today. Il Trovatore (which is italian for "Sick Trovatore") was on. I heard the movie version will star Vin Diesel. Shortly after that, one of those freakish, eleven year old girl opera singing phenoms came on. You know, the ones that took all the jobs from honest, hard working castrato.

That's when the Peanut really got interested. After getting over her jealousy ("no, I don't want to watch it!" she lied as as she stared, transfixed and mildly drooly).

For the rest of the evening, opera held sway. From the Pman's faux Italian bellow (Meemaaabeebipmeeemooo!) to the Peanut's high pitched keening. Her's was a lot like the form of Chinese opera known as Dan (Danny, to it's close friends). Only not so tuneful.




 Ah well, there's always dance. Which I wrote about here for Dadcentric, not coincidentally.

Hope everyone else on the east coast rode out the hurricane as well as we did.

HM

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bad Juju/Beso.com winner announcement.

This connects back to this post. To sum up, the Peanut loves to hear stories starring herself as an amazing, magical, beautiful, and modest princess and her sidekick brother, the prince. They always battle a character named Witch Sasha. Witch Sasha's crimes always--al. ways.-- consist of the stealing of a dress, a tiara, or in the Pman's case, a shirt or a pair of pants. Then Sasha is tracked down and usually fooled and defeated by a plan that includes some variation of the "Look. Over there!" gambit. Over and over and over again, ad infinitum. It's enough to make you day dream about driving the car into a nice, soft telephone pole.


One day we were in the car and she asked me for the 3rd or 4th time that hour to tell her about how this bumbling and inveterate kleptomaniac witch stole her goddamn tiara or dress and I couldn't take it anymore. I whined at my daughter. I moaned, "oh Peanut, I'm so tired of that story, all Witch Sasha ever does is steal your dress and your tiara and your tiara and your dress. Can't we talk about something else?

And silence. Nothing. I would've felt a little bad if not for the relief.

Then, "Daddy, can you tell a story about Witch Sash stealing . . .? This time with flying horses!"

It's so relentless that sometimes my mind wanders. Even as I tell the Peanut one story my mind wanders into other stories, dark and horrible, and the story of Witch Sasha changes.   She's no longer a low-powered, fashion poor practitioner of weak black magic. She becomes something else.

"And then, Witch Sasha pushes the needle through her skin. She pulls back the plunger and a dark plume of ichor blooms into the syringe to mix with the Witchbane before the plunger forces it back into Sasha's arm. Alight with the fire of her potion the witch attacks the children. Her eyes spin with the red black faces of a thousand tormented souls. Her breath reeks of carrion. She drives the the Prince and Princess in to the depths of the twisted, angry trees that make up Witch forest. Wolves howl and children in the neighboring village awake with tears on their cheeks."

But wait. Don't forget the flying horses. "Just as Witch Sasha is about to deliver the blow that will spell the end of the House Of Peanut, a sound like the flight of a fallen angel fills the air. The flying horses return. Foam drips from their muzzles, sweat coats their silver skin, their eyes wide and round and white in the night, their lips peeled back to show teeth curved and sharp like scimitars.  They whinny a high pitched banshee scream and steam billows into the cold. Their dingy wings beat the air, buffeting the witch with the smell of heat and rotten paper and shit. Horse b.o. Their hooves tear clods from the sky. And then from the Witch herself. They land on her bloodied body and begin to feed."

Now get this: I'm thinking things like this, not quite but sort of.  Thinking but absolutely not saying. Instead, I drone on in a distracted monotone"and while Princess Peanut flew in front of Sasha to distract her, Prince Pman flew in from behind and grabbed the shirt."

Then the Peanut peeps up from the back seat with this contribution. "And then Pumpkin man hits the witch in the head with a rock, and she was bleeding."

Is that my fault? Was there some kind of parent child mind meld, energy exchange happening? I don't know, but it's at least a creepy coincidence.

In the end I said, "Ohhkayee." Then I said that Prince Pumpkin was sad for hurting the witch and got off his horse and put medicine and bandaids on her head til she felt better and said, I'm so so sorry Witch Sasha, it was bad to hurt you. Please keep the shirt and I hope you can forgive me.  And then they spent the day with her and they became friends with Witch Sasha.

A friendship that took a turn the next day when she stole the Pman's pants. Ungrateful Witch.
 

*************************

And the winner of the Beso gift card, chosen at random, is Bobbi. Bobbi please shoot me an email and I will put you in touch with the person who will fix you up with the gift card. Congrats and thanks for playing!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Notes From Maine and NH

We spent about two and a half weeks in those locals this summer. As the title says, these are just some notes:

Today we walked around a pond where beavers broke the water with loud warning waps of their tails on the surface. A Great Blue Heron swayed with the reeds and Mountains watched, their tops rounded with time and experience like old men's bellies.

Yellow and purple wildflowers grow reckless. My kids do the same. Rocks are picked up and dropped and traded for new ones and traded again for flowers.

They put on the most amazing magic show. A show where one magician saws herself in half, and the other transforms into a shark, a monster, an orange fish.

We applaud wildly. Appropriately.
 *********************************
 Backwater homes in Vacationland. Grey shacks with window glass made of plywood and rusted tin roofs look out over rolling meadows of yellow wildflowers. Where whole families of broken people who eat squirrels hunted in the trees and bread trapped at the food pantry make room for smug summer citizens with straight teeth and chubby kids. Families who manage even to swim with entitlement.

*****************************************

She looks so strong in the water. Tiny, wispy body transformed. it suddenly has gravity, authority, lean muscle, confidence. She's a water sprite. Fast and strong. Ethereal and beautiful.

The sky is the blue of dreams and a cloud low and gray like smoke sinks behind the hills, chasing the sun.

******************************

They went skinny dipping this morning. It wasn't planned. We couldn't keep them out of the water and at that point, the clothes were just in the way. I went in fully clothed. The sky was light blue scraped over indigo.  Joy Joy Joy.

The water felt like summer and the sky smiled down.

We talk about moving here a lot. 

I don't know that I could take this much happiness.
 
*******************************************

I know this is random and discombobulated and a departure, but this is what I got tonight. You want coherent and intelligent, go read the New Yorker.

HM







Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You Lucky bastard (s)

When the good (purely conjecture) people (assumption) at Beso.com approached me with a giveaway I said "Beso, eh? Spanish for Bassoon. I'm in." When I was informed that Beso was not Spanish for bassoon--or my second guess: peso.-- but rather that it meant kiss, I waggled my eyebrows suggestively and then checked with my wife.  She rolled her eyes hard enough to cause a class 3 multi-vortex tornado.


Turns out Beso.com is not a kissing website either. So, after dropping the lawsuit I had filed for false advertising,I went and checked out the website. Place has mad good deals on fashionable clothing. I (again) assume. Last time I bought fashionable clothing for myself, "fashionable" meant "flannel." What I do know a little about though, is what looks good on babies. A subject that Beso has covered in spades. Tons of cute stuff for reasonable prices. Tons of cute stuff for reasonable prices that you can buy with the 25$ gift card to the store of your choice that you can win right here. Well, down there in the comments and over there on the website, really.  For disclosure purposes, yours truly will be receiving a 25$ gift card for doing this giveaway on the ol blogarooni. I'm gonna spend it all on Swedish fish. Or baby pajamas.


Here is what you have to do to win:

1. Create a Beso account, if you haven't already {takes 3 seconds}
2. Enter the BesoHow many cute things can $1000 buy?” sweepstakes.
3. Then leave me a comment below with your Beso username


I must say, it took me nearly 6 seconds to create an account, but I type slowly. And after perusing (Spanish for using) the site, the answer to question #2 could very well be "a shit ton." 


Beso informed me I could require of youse (youse guys? I never get that right. Youse' all, maybe?) any extra entry tactic that I choose. I will take it on the honor the system (no proof necessary. I believe in youse.)  that those of you that enter will for a period of one (1) week day, wear a reasonable facsimile of my paper plate mug over your own face as you go about your daily business.  I know I can trust youses. es.


Good luck and God bless the United Plates of America.


HM

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hello? Hi.

So where were we? Last we spoke, we had taken the kids to Storyland. It was a fantastic time. The Peanut rode every ride. She loved the scary ones. They had a really decent little one ring circus. The re-creations of the fairy tales were great and the lines were never too bad. We got there two hours before closing time the first day, which was perfect because if you arrive to the park late in the day they give you tickets to get back in the next day. So you can check a couple rides out and case the joint for tomorrow. We spent a total of ten hours in the park and saw about 97 % of it. All in all, except for the racism, it was really an excellent time.

Storyland is a little racist. A smidge of racsim. A shmear if you will. A splash, a dollop, a pinch, a half-teaspoon of good ol' all -American caricature style racism.

Case in point, they had a log flume type ride. It was asian themed. Going with an asian theme for a log flume ride when you're located in the heart of the White Mountains is in itself a little suspect. The ride was entitled Bamboo Shoots (get it?) and the "bamboo" shaped car was adorned with the head of a screaming panda on the front. The cheesy chinese restaurant music, the giant chopsticks, etc. etc. All things that would've been at least mildly offensive to a family that was not quite as focused on the fun.

Then we went on the Pirate ship. That took us out on the water and pass a land entitled "African Safari." Picture little plaster renderings of "African Children." Renderings that more than likely were old lawn jockeys outfitted with dreadlocks and colorful but worn clothing. They played on nets, among trees, and outside a broken down jungle shack.

Good times.

The kids really did love it. And the mountains were amazing. If we ever get it together to bug out of the rat race, that may be where we're headed.

We were only home for a short time before we left for another week in Maine on Lake Sebago with the amazing, the wonderful, the lovely and loving Aunties. We swam almost every day, hiked through the forest primeval, and ate copious amounts of corn on the cob and frozen custard. Life is good.

I would've posted before we left for that trip, but there may or may not have been an accident involving the computer and some vicious gangbangers.  And a rioting London teenager. Whatever happened to the computer, it had absolutely nothing to do with my spilling a cup of hot tea all over the keyboard. Why would I do that?

Anyway, how are things with you?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Salad Days

Vines Entwine the World

Scented leaves like soft green hands
stroke my legs, my stomache, my face
Dirt and lemon, greens and sweet
herbed Gardens where sage does
not have to wait for thyme

Lo, how the fruit of long waits
and slow suns grows ripe and plump on
careful waters during carefree days

Life is breathed into the Earth and the Earth
breathes life back into me and it sustains me.


In other words, look at this big fucking zucchini!



We grew that shit. In our garden. Organically.*

Here are some pics for perspective:

Next to an actual tomato


Compared to an actual ear of corn**

Won't fit in this Frying pan.
Next to the cat.
 And a couple of before and afters of the vegetable garden.
Ayuh. Might be a haad season heah. 

And Demeter doth smile upon us and provide us with stuffed zucchini boats.
We especially did something right with this box.
This one probably got splashed with the lion's share of the virgin blood.
Along with the zucchini and summer squash, we've done multiple pea harvests, the herbs have been giving all summer, and it looks like the broccoli is getting close. The kids have been eating everything as fast as we can harvest it. It is so cool (and such a relief) to be able to type the word harvest without having to add the words "illegal" and "organs" next to it.

Bonus Pic:

The PMan escapes back into the forest from whence he came.
That's it for now. Tomorrow, we're off for Storyland. It's our first trip there. It's a small but vital city located halfway between Dictionopolis and Digitopolis. Everyone is hella excited. And by hella I mean wicked.

*As far as we know. No telling what was added from the local environment. These gardens could be purely the result of a mix of diesel fuel and the smoke from a tire fire.

**Not an actual ear of corn.

HM

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from a 3ft tall Godzilla with a fist that shoots and a tongue painted in fire.  I am from losing that fist early on. I am from A Chorus Line and West Side Story. I am from jazz clubs and dinner theaters. I am from Dungeons and Dragons, Buddy Rich Drumsticks, the flicker of a television screen, and the back of another friend's truck.

I am from a Beverly Hills flop house where old ladies who may once have been actresses reinvent themselves as grand dames with grand gestures and grand accents I just now realize were fake. I am from a store around the corner that sold three scoops of Mint Chocolate chip for 75 cents. I am from rocky New England beaches below old wooden bridges where the game of chance was to dare to stick your finger into the snapping, clattering, cream colored undulations of the shell of an angry scallop.

I am from Ireland and Wales. I am from Mic Mac Indians, and French Canadians, and all manner of Taciturn stony faced New England Stock.

I am from Moses and Elie Wiesel. I am from 6000 years of culture, pride, struggle, and humor. I am from the funniest People on the planet.

I am from opportunities lost and found luck. I am from smoking too soon and drinking too late. I am from 30 towns and 3 states.  I am from bad decisions and murky intentions. I am from fingers on strings and lines in a mirror. 

I am from just arriving and always wanting to go home.  I am from the new guy, the first time, and learning my away around. I am from never quite figuring it out.

I am from too loud, no self-control, and inappropriate laughter.  I am from trouble. I am from fun. I am from making you squirt the liquid of your choice out of your nose.

I am from A Wrinkle in Time. I am from Miles Davis, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Dizzy Gillespie. I am from Bugs Bunny and Eddie Murphy. Judy Blume and JRR Tolkien. I am from Fighting For Your Right to Party.

I am from rhythm's tattoo. I am from crashing cymbals, the sizzling pop of the snare, and the thump of hands on a conga.

I am from a twisting turning maelstrom of memories half glimpsed and partially guessed at. I am from my heart in the city and my soul in the country. I am from new friends and old patterns.

I am from change is good. I am from pillars of happiness built upon the bottomless green eyes of a woman who has yet to realize her mistake. I am from tiny hands and belly laughs and the meaning of life. I am from normal sucks.

This is a meme I first discovered over at SeattleDad's place and then again at Two Busy's. Each of them puts my attempt to shame, but it was still fun. There is a  template for it. Much like my assignments in school, I mostly ignored it. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Face-On! And off. And On!

Face-Off. A movie from the nineties starring John Travolta and Nick Cage. Long story short, they have a medical procedure that allows them to switch faces. Then they fight each other. As well as starring Travolta and Cage, this flick was pretty much the end of John Woo's U.S. invasion.

It was dumb. Impossible. Just plain bad sci-fi. Until recently.

Recently at Brigham and Women's hospital, right down the street from here, a man who had lost his face in an accident--that's right, his face-- was given an entire new face. The first full face transplant ** in history. Said the man, "I just can't wait to kiss my [3 year old] daughter."

A great story and a great reason to go through a difficult operation.

More importantly, a great step forward for me. Why, when the technology exists, should my wife and kids be forced to continue kissing this odd mug:

Endearing in an "awww, he tries so hard" kind of way.


They shouldn't. I'm not being vain or selfish here. I'm just using common sense. We have the technology. We can make me more handsome, more kissable.

And so we did. It took a lot of cajoling on my part. I had to promise the surgeon a shout out on the blog (Thanks Doc Pomahac!) but you are about to feast your eyes on the first ever cosmetic full face transplant recipient.

Behold, the New Homemaker Man:



If you look into my eyes, you can still see it's me. Right . . . there!

The original operation took 15 hours and 30 medical professionals. But with my easily manipulated features, in and out in 45 minutes. Glue had to dry.

Here's a sideways view:


Ciao, baby.


Even better, as the technology improves, so do my options.

For days when I'm feeling weird:


Notice the little arrows.  That's where they put in his crazy.



For sunny days:

All I can see in these things are my own eyes



For days when I don't feel like being found until I'm almost dead:



Our favorite kid's game for years: Where's Whitey? Where's Whitey? Where is he?
Whoops! There he is!


So there it is everyone. God Bless Science.

That concludes our Independence Weekend programming. Have a great holiday and remember, if you happen to hold that Roman candle to close to your face this year, no biggee!

*Not including that scene from Silence Of The Lambs when Hopkins scrapes off that dude's face and wears it as a disguise. Which doesn't count because the face wasn't actually attached. According to Doc Pomahac.

*Creepy note: After completing the surgery succesfully, the hospital was awarded a grant of 3.4 million dollars by the Dept. of Defense in order to perform 5 more transplants. They claimed it was because they wanted better techniques to help injured soldiers, but you know someone high up caught Face-Off on cable and was like, "A-Ha! The perfect spies!" There's probably 5 soldiers running around right now looking vaguely like Al-Zawahiri. Which could've been accomplished by simply growing a beard and tanning.

Author's even creepier Note: Had these pics prepared for a week.  The kids would get into them and then you could here me wandering around the house wailing, "Where's my Brad Pitt face? WHERE'S MY BRAD PITT FAAACE?!"

HM

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Somebody Grease My Pecs

 We joined the Young Men's Christian Association this week. I like to type it out like that. Sounds like we joined a cult.

My wife and I have both lost a lot of weight recently. I myself have lost 27 pounds. I know. Thank you. It's just like a story about a heroic fireman except for the part where there is no fireman or heroism.  We joined because my wife wants to tone up and I'm starting to plateau (i.e. eat secret pizza). The workout itself was pretty routine. I did lots of squatting and sweating and jerking and grunting and then I left the locker room and went to workout.

The exciting news is that the Peanut is taking her first swim class. There she is with her bubble, swim noodle, spastic dog paddle, and teacher right by her side and all I can hear in my head is, "Holy shit, she's swimming! She's is swimming! Call Michael Phelps and get me a dime bag! We're going to the fucking Olympics!"

Or words to that effect.

I also took my first swimming lesson. Adult intermediate, thank you very much. I'm ok in the water, but I have the swimming stroke of an injured bird. That's not quite right. An injured Jew. Better.

My wife is a very strong swimmer, the kids are probably going to be as well, and I don't want to be the one left behind guarding the shoes while they swim away to go play King of The Raft. Too much pain, man. Too much pain.

The other exciting thing about the Y is that they provide up to 2 hrs of free baby sitting while you workout. This past week has seen me become remarkably committed to excercising. It's a first for all of us, this leaving kids with strangers thing. I was nervous. Turns out I kind of like it. I've heard some extra "I miss you/love you Daddies" the last few days and I didn't even have to withhold food.

It's all been such a positive experience (Even the yoga class, which was surprisingly stereotypically yoga odd. At one point the instructor actually told us to "breathe out of the left side of your neck." So, I'm pretty excited to get flexible enough to grow gills. Right now I've got the flexibility of an obsessive compulsive accountant. Experiencing rigor mortis. In a freezer.) it's made me very grateful to the Young Men's Christian Association. Eternally grateful. Indebted. You might even say, I've seen the light. So thank you, Young Christian Men's Assoc. Thank you for letting this old Jewish Man inside you.

Wait . . .

HM

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Poetry Effluviatic

We're in the car the other day and I'm listening to the kids in the back. They are doing copious amounts of wet, sloppy, phlegmy raspberries into thin air. Over and over again. Little spit bombs exploding all over the backseat of the car. Then I hear the Peanut say "Pumpkin Man. Catch them! Catch them !"

I manage a glance over my shoulder, something I'm loathe to do as I really don't like to get involved back there. I hazard a glance and I see fine, fine sprays of saliva in the air, the kids hands clapping madly through it, trying to make a catch. Awesome.

"What are you doing?" I accuse. 

And the Peanut says, "Daddy, we're catching stars!"  I can't argue with that. 

Also, this is why I'm an atheist. Childhood turns spit into stars, and I'm supposed to be impressed by some half-assed water into wine trick? Please.

-------------------

For Father's day, my wife helped the kids bake me those hand prints and foot prints that you can harden in the oven and then paint.  They tasted awful. I ate three of them.  Because when my kids bake me something, I eat it, even when it's not really edible. Because that is the kind of father I am. 

This is why I deserve a Father's Day. I know it's bullshit. I know it's a holiday invented by an unholy triumvirate of Hallmark, Faberge, and super intelligent werewolves to get us all to buy cards and Brut. It's well known that werewolves love the taste of Brut.  It's science. 

I don't even need a card or much of a gift, really. I'm not asking for anything fancy. Like that ad for a Sprint Phone where the dad buys himself one on behalf of his baby daughter because he rationalizes that she'd want him to have it. Disgusting. And wasteful. The last thing I need is a new smartphone so I can ignore my kids. I can ignore my kids just fine with this laptop right here. Or a book. Or even just by curling up on the couch in the fetal position and closing my eyes until they go away.

My point being, I am an excellent dad. I'v earned a day in celebration of my fatherhood.  As contrived as it might be. I just want to go out for breakfast, that's all. Just go out for breakfast, come home, see them clean the house maybe. That's all. Breakfast, a clean house, and a pedicure. And a sixer of Newcastle. They can use the fake id's--that I got them for their birthdays, by the way--to buy it. 

Because whether it's a contrived holiday or not (and by the way, what constitutes a contrived holiday? Christmas and Easter are bizarre soups of pagan and christian traditions, Halloween is from Celtic pagans, Presidents' day falls on no day belonging to any President, and Groundhog day . . . actually, that one is pretty legit) we dads deserve a day. 

A day to celebrate those of us who are up to our elbows in the shit, literal or otherwise, everyday.  

Deadbeat Dad's day can be in August. Then when they show up to get their baked footprints, we nab'em!  



Happy Fathers Day

Homemaker Man


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yah so, There's this.

Inertia. Inertia is defined as "the lack or absence of nertia." According to the Oxford to English dictionary.  Without which I totally would've flunked my Freshman Oxford class.

Lack of nertia is one good reason I've been a bad bad blogger. I've also had limited computer access. Also there was a bird attack and I'm hungry.

We were in Maine over the weekend. It was quite lovely despite the rain. We stayed with the Aunties and had a wonderful time and we were informed by the Peanut that she likes them "the best" this weekend. So now the Peanut lives is Maine. We'll all miss her very much. Except for the Pman because he got her much larger bedroom. 

Speaking of my daughter . . .  I've mentioned more than once that she's tiny and she's had some eating issues. She eats much better these days especially at dinner. For those with problem eaters we can finally dispense some advice. 1st:  Bribery. We usually use a small Entermann's chocolate covered donut. She gets it if she clears her plate.  Tiny kid would eat a 24 oz steak stuffed in an angry warthog for one of those things. 

The other method is a game of shark or misdirection. The Peanut will have who(m)ever is sitting next to her hold the fork as if they're the one eating the meal. Then she'll tell us "You watch the news/baskeball/tv/look over there. Then when we look away, she takes the bite and we are to act as if we have no idea what happened to the food.  Or we say she's a shark and she's eating somebody we know. Creepy, but effective.

I like these methods. They're fun. However, I worry about what will happen when she gets older. I picture her in college, her college roommate eating a steaming bowl of ramen. 

Peanut: Hey. You watch the news

Roommate: What? No. 

Peanut: You watch the tv

Roommate: I am watching the t--What the fuck are you doing? Don't eat my food!

Peanut: I'm a shark!


Heh. College.


And you are pretty much all caught up. 

As far as being a bad blogger goes, mostly I'm sorry I haven't been commenting on all the blogs I follow. I am reading most of you, I'm just doing it on the Nook, which is not the most writing friendly device. 
I will stay up late tomorrow and try to catch up. All right. That's it.  I'm going to bed.


PS. Most of you know, my wife's a teacher, so go Wisconsin workers, Scott Walker is a dinkleberry. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Of The Earth

This is the Earth.

A billion years of death and life and death again.

Under my fingernails and in the creases of my hands.

My family works the Earth.

As did our Ancestors.

Ancestors who toiled in The Earth and were rewarded.

Ancestors who worked The Earth and had their efforts rebuffed. Rebuked firmly by barren land.

Ancestors long entombed in that very same capricious Earth.

We take now from The Earth our bounty.

A bounty that feeds us body and soul.

As we, in the end, will feed the Earth's insatiable hunger.

The Earth should have it's cholesterol checked.

Fat bastard.  Fatty.

Hey Earth, what's your pants size, Jupiter? Earth's so fat it has to borrow belts from Saturn.

So uh yeah, did I mention we built vegetable garden boxes? Was that a little too dramatic? It's because it's our first vegetable garden, and I'm excited. You can tell I'm when I'm excited because everything comes out sounding like a poetry slam (makes sex-time fun). I call it my Def Homemaker Man Def Poetry Def Jam Slam

But yeah, a little melodramatic. Certainly, snipping some thyme for my roast chicken does not a bounty make. It does make good roast chicken, however.

We built 3 4X4 garden boxes giving us 48 sq. ft of gardening space. We planted, lessee, yuh gotcher squarsh, tomaters, letturce, spinach, onions, cabbage, peas, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, chili peppers, and some other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting.  Rice maybe?  Durian fruit? And also various herbs in little pots.

It was pretty enjoyable to do. The third box was a bit of a hassle considering we decided to do it last minute and ended up finishing it around 11 oclock at night. Lotta things go on in my city around 11 oclock at night. Farming, not usually one of them.

The kids really love it. They love the dirt and the idea of the growing veggies and the ownership of it all. It's very exciting and I'm really looking forward to pulling that first ripe tomato off the vine, taking a juicy, messy bite, handing it to the P-Man, and then watching as he whips it at his sister.

"We made that possible together. As a family." I'll say as I spread my arms and rest my hands lightly on my children's backs. "Now go to time-out."

We're poor but proud New England dirt farmers now. I can feel the dour wisdom flooding my veins as I write.

Wait, nope. That's just the cholesterol.


So that's one of the reasons I've been a bad blogger lately. We've been busy with some other things and I've also had limited computer access.  Will try harder. Will probably fail.  Will not mind that much because will be too busy fending off the local wildlife. Shoo feral kitty. Shoo!

Garden pics:
Lo, We made multiple trips to Home Depot, and Mother Earth saw that is was good.
Or you know, pretty decent.

Remember what I said about critters? Behold, physical evidence of . . . El Chupacabra!
Or a kitty.

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