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

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.
 

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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.
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 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.

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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.

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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.
 
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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?


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