Saturday, December 31, 2005

Menace II Society, Seattle version

So here's what I've done (or paid for) in the last two years:

1) Daughter opens car door, dings a guy's new Lexus. $400.

2) Dad (that would be me) opens car door, wind takes it out of his hand, dings car next to him. Car was 15 yrs old -- the guy accepted $200 to call it good.

3) Backing up in parking spot with truck door open, didn't realize car next to me (new PT Cruiser) was angled so I was getting closer and closer to him. Creased his door with mine. $518.

4) Hannah's best friend parked behind me in our driveway. I got in my truck, sorted some mail, made a couple phone calls, forgot completely that there was someone behind me, and backed up into her hood (another Lexus). (And yes, I was looking behind me -- thanks for asking -- but my truck is so tall, and the Lexus was so low and so close behind me, I didn't see it.) I barely felt it; my truck got a little white paint on the bumper; bent her hood and cracked something in the engine -- totalled the car. The insurance paid for this one, so I don't know how much it was, but I bet it was more than $100.

5) Backing up in parking lot (raining, night time), didn't see Toyota pickup sticking out, broke his taillight. Left a note with my number, but haven't heard from him...

No, I won't ask to borrow your car. Or park next to you. I promise.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

nothing gets by me...

As mentioned previously (not in an interesting way) I was in Southern California a couple of weeks ago. Driving to lunch, I noticed large bleachers set up along several city streets -- without thinking about it, I said "Looks like they're getting ready for a parade here..."

Given that it's almost New Years and we were in Pasadena, this was an exceedingly stupid comment.

Guess if my clients
a) let it pass
b) mocked me unmercifully.

Hint: it's not (a)

it's all a charade

It's 1AM, and assorted sibs/spouses/kids/nephews are playing Charades. I have fallen asleep on the floor under the dining room table (I got only 2 hrs of sleep the night we arrived) but I'm awakened by roars of laughter and an intermittent pounding noise. My 8-yr-old nephew is having trouble getting his audience to guess the phrase he's trying to act out, but he keeps at it -- his clues include some gestures I can't see, plus enthusiastic thumping of a phone book (audible in Brazil).
Finally, everyone gives up. He tells them the phrase is "calling Germany people". Can't think why I didn't guess it...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Say cheese!

I love this picture. I think it should get some kind of award for Least Ready Subjects...

In other news, much good times were had with friends and family in California. Lots of food, talk, games, relaxation. Flights were a bit of a mess, but got to go first class both ways, which tickled the kids.

Back to work today; back on the road starting Sunday afternoon.

Merry New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

oh, and one other thing

When my brother was about 15, he walked out onto our patio one night and stepped squarely onto a very large toad, who responded by dying instantly because all his bones and things were crushed into jelly. (My brother is a big boy.)

My brother felt really bad about the whole thing -- as, I imagine, did the toad -- and my mom wrote him the following poem, which I love. Her tongue is in her cheek, but I also think she identified his very real feelings of regret about the situation...

Reflections on the Death of a Toad

Alas, poor toad, whose only sin
Was to cross our patio…
The moment our lives touched
Was the moment of death for you.

How unseemly was the telltale crunch
As my foot fell in the darkness.
How gladly would I have stepped aside
Had I seen your stout toad body in my path.

What children, what widows are left now
To mourn your passing?
I hope you had time in your brief life
To sire several families.

To romp with your toadlets
Unfettered by the worries of survival…
I hope you basked much in the sun,
That many succulent flies met their demise upon your tactile tongue.

Forgive me, Toad,
For prematurely freeing you
From the great web of life.
I paused as I put your mangled body in the garbage can,
And part of me wept.

(c) 1982

divorce chuckles. i mean news.

On the (dubious) theory that people want to know how I'm doing, here's the dealio*:

We are doing as well as can be expected, I think. It's an adjustment for the kids -- sometimes David is happy to talk about how he feels, and other times he just doesn't want me to mention it.

Samantha seems mostly concerned about logistics -- housing issues, etc.

I am doing fine. Aaaabsolutely great. Yessirree, one hundred and ten percent, zero defects. (Sob.)

Just kidding. I really am doing well. As I have said to others, the heartache and crying were during the years when things were hard between us and we couldn't seem to make a loving marriage happen. Now that it's being settled, it's actually a bit of a relief. Maybe it's easier to get along with someone if you're just working out childcare and financial logistics rather than hoping they'll prove they love you by doing or being certain things. So far, 99% of the time things are cordial and we are focusing on minimizing the pain and suffering for the kids.

For anyone curious, we are engaged in something called "collaborative divorce", fairly new in WA. It's a step beyond mediation, but it's not the agonizing adversarial court process that can be so difficult for everyone involved. (It's also cheaper, but still costs between 5-10K; not exactly free...)

The custody arrangement is week-on-week-off, with holidays split by mutual agreement. The weeks Hannah has the kids are the weeks I travel for my job.

We'll be selling the house, probably in the Spring. I'm currently still living in it; Hannah's renting a very nice townhouse a couple of miles away.

Hannah has a little over a year of school left to be a massage therapist. She spends a lot of time studying; she also does occasional painting jobs and teaches kickboxing. Knowing her as I do, I suspect it's not easy for her, but it's good that she's gained a lot of independence and confidence, and I imagine she enjoys having freedom to do as she likes on her weeks off. I would say she's as healthy emotionally and physically as she has been for a long time, which is good.

I'll be supporting her for a few years, but apparently alimony is no longer forever like it used to be; child support (50% since I have them half of the time) is until the kids are 18, but I suspect there will be a fair amt of child-supporting going on after that as well... ;-)

Once again, thank you to everyone who has been so kind and supportive.

*sorry about that

Happy Holidays

Tomorrow the kids & I are scheduled to fly to CA for Xmas. Cost me a boatload of airmiles, but I feel like it's well spent. Hannah's too busy with school, etc to come, so it's just me and the bandar log*.

I'll drop them for a couple of days with Hannah's folks (who are treating me nicely in spite of all I've done to ruin their daughter's life), then pick them up again to spend a couple of days with my folks & sibs.

Having the whole fam together will be great, and chaotic, but then that's what I'm used to. In my family growing up, if only one person was talking at a time that meant we weren't using time efficiently...

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Xmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Ramadan/Winter Solstice Celebration/Whatever. Plus a Happy New Year, which AFAIK is religion neutral.

* points to anyone who can ID the reference...

i apparently have no taste

For some reason many otherwise sane and sensible people (Hannah, for instance) claim to prefer hardwood floors to carpet in their living areas.

As far as a "classy" look goes, I concede that a nicely polished hardwood floor has its merits. And in a kitchen, it's definitely better looking than vinyl. But other than that -- when we're talking about living room, family room, bedroom, etc -- hardwood is from Satan.

Hardwood is cold -- both physically and visually -- not cozy. It makes a room feel inhospitable. The dust it collects is clearly visible and gets on your socks. You can't lie down on it. One of my favorite things is lying on the floor in a cozy carpeted house. You can play games with your kids or read a book or wrestle or nap or whatever. If I had a TV, which I don't, I would want to lie on the floor to watch it. Why in the world would you limit yourself to only sitting on chairs/sofas if you don't have to?

"Oh, just put down area rugs," you say, because you are stupid. As if that makes any sense to anyone except a crazy person. Let's see, I want hardwood floor, but I'm going to cover it up with carpet, but not the part around the edges of the room, so what I get is essentially a carpeted floor just like wall-to-wall carpet only not as padded and the surface area is smaller. Yeah, that's a winner for sure.

If you're allergic to dust mites or some other weak crap like that, then fine -- dont' have carpet. But for the rest of us, carpet is what distinguishes us from Piltdown Man. (How about your bed -- do you sleep on a big rock? Instead of blankets, why don't you just cover yourself with dry branches? Or bury yourself in gravel? That would be good, and it's the equivalent of having floors made of wood when you can have them made out of soft warm carpet.)

Okay, I think my position is clear.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Nuggets of wisdom...+

They say "You can never go home again"
And, I guess that's true
At least until the restraining order runs out

I'll never understand how a person can discriminate against somebody
Based on the color of their skin
Unless it's like, green or something -- with pus oozing out of it

Two roads diverged in the woods
I took the one less traveled by…
and had to eat bugs until park rangers rescued me

If I was Amish
I would definitely want to shun someone right way
Because, how cool is that?

I say poe-tay-toe, You say poe-tah-toe
I say toe-may-toe, You say toe-mah-toe
You are wrong and am right

I remember growing up as a kid
The first thing someone said at dinner was a prayer to God, and
The last thing someone said was usually "You are dead to me!"

Give a man a fish and he has a meal
Teach a man to fish
And you get out of work around the house
For a weekend, maybe two

God grant me the serenity
To assemble my kids' Christmas presents
Without shooting an aneurysm

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
But, mainly Bob Dylan

When I look at the world today
I think: "It's time to get back to the good old-fashioned basics!"
Except for the bloodlettings, and leeches and really stupid stuff

Sometimes, I'll be driving alone late at night
And, I'll see a terrible wreck on the highway
My thoughts will turn to my family, and
I'll think"If David asks for a Star Wars action figure again -- I'm going to throttle him."

When someone says to me they give "110%" to whatever they are doing
It always makes me feel good inside
Because I know I'm not as big a moron as they are.

© Jim Rosenberg <>

Lay off, all right?

I'm traveling on business so I haven't had time to post anything original lately. Sorry, jeez.
What are you saying, that there *isn't* a wild clamor for more original material?

PS. If you want bloggers who put out the material, try Lois Lane, whose sheer words-per-day would rival W.E.B. Dubois.
Or HeatherFeather, who's going for most-individual-posts-per-day.
Or Jay Are, who in two months has posted more than I have in a year and a half.
They're all more interesting anyway.


  • As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I can get in touch with my Inner Sociopath.
  • I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia.
  • I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are someone else's fault.
  • I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself. Unless, of course, I want to stay employed.
  • In some cultures what I do would be considered normal.
  • Having control over myself is nearly as good as having control over others.
  • My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgment.
  • I can change any thought that hurts into a reality that hurts even more.
  • Joan of Arc heard voices too.
  • I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me.
  • I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain.
  • As I learn the innermost secrets of the people around me, they reward me in many ways to keep me quiet.
  • When someone hurts me, forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit. But not nearly as gratifying.
  • The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do nice things for myself. The third, to find someone to buy me nice things.
  • All of me is beautiful and valuable, even the ugly, stupid, and disgusting parts.
  • Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself with imaginary fears.
  • I honor and express all facets of my being, regardless of state and local laws.
  • Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."
  • Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day watching TV. Instead I will move my TV into the bedroom.
  • Why should I waste my time reliving the past when I can spend it worrying about the future?
  • I will find humor in my everyday life by looking for people I can laugh at.
  • When I dance through life I do the Texas Two-Step.
  • To have a successful relationship I must learn to make it look like I'm giving as much as I'm getting.
  • I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Children's books not recommended by the National Library Assn +

· Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence.
· The Boy Who Died from Eating All His Vegetables.
· The Pop-up Book of Human Anatomy.
· Bob the Germ's Wondrous Journey Into and Back Out of Your Digestive System.
· The Little Engine that Could Becomes intoxicated and Kills Civilians.
· Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer's Games of Revenge.
· Peter Rabbit's Frisky Adventures.
· Dick, Jane, and Spot Wander into The 'Hood'.
· Clifford the Big Red Dog Accidentally Eats his Masters and is Put to Sleep.
· Daddy Loses His Job and Finds the Bottle.
· Things Rich Kids Have, but you never will.
· Let's Draw Betty and Veronica without their clothes on.
· The Care Bears Maul Some Campers and are Shot Dead.
· Strangers Have the Best Candy
· The Little Sissy Who Snitched
· Some Kittens Can Fly!
· Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her
· The Attention Deficit Disorder Assn's Book of Wild Animals of North Amer-Hey! Let's Go Ride Our Bikes!
· You Are Different and That's Bad
· Dad's New Wife Timothy
· POP! Goes the Hamster...and Other Great Microwave Games
· What is That Dog Doing to That Other Dog?
· Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
· Bi-Curious George
· Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

Titanic Summarized+

This of course is old, but I think it's funny (whether you actually saw the movie Titanic or not)...

Scene 1 -

KATE WINSLET: Why, this is a fancy boat, isn't it?

KATE'S WEASELLY FIANCE: Yes it certainly is. Here is the art you asked for. It is by an artist named "Picasso." I am certain he will amount to nothing.

KATE: Ha ha ha. That is very funny to our 90's audience, because they know these priceless paintings will sink with the boat.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Hello, I'm Leonardo DiCaprio. Perhaps you have seen the many Internet sites dedicated to the worship of me. You are very pretty.

KATE: Thank you. So are you.

LEONARDO: I know. Prettier than you in fact. I am going to put on my "brooding" face now, to ensure that women will keep coming back again and again to see this movie. Later, my white shirt will be soaking wet.

KATE: While you're doing that, I will concentrate on standing here and looking pretty, to keep the men in the audience interested until the boat sinks and people start dying.

WEASELLY FIANCE: Excuse me. I do not like you, Leonardo, even though you saved my fiancee's life. I am going to sneer at you and treat you like dirt because you're poor, and then I'll probably be physically abusive to my fiancee, and then, just to make sure the audience really hates me, and to make sure my character is entirely one-dimensional, perhaps I'll throw an elderly person into the water.

AUDIENCE: Boo! We hate you! Even though all real people have at least a few admirable qualities, we have not been shown any of yours, and plus, you're trying to come between Leonardo and Kate, and so therefore we hate you! Boo! (Even though technically it is Leonardo who is coming between you and Kate. But Leonardo is handsomer than you, even though he is only 13, so we are on his side. Boo!)

Scene 2 -

LEONARDO: I'm glad we snuck away like this so that you could cheat on your fiance.

KATE: So am I. Even though I am engaged to him and have made a commitment to marry him, that is no reason why you and I cannot climb into the backseat of a car and steam up the windows together. The fact that I am the heroine of the movie will no doubt help the cattle-like audience forgive me of this, though they would probably be VERY angry indeed if my fiance were to do the same thing to me.

AUDIENCE: Darn straight we would! Moo! We mean, Boo!

LEONARDO: I agree. First, I would like to draw you, though, so of course you have to take off your clothes.

KATE:But can a movie with five minutes of continuous nudity be at all successful in say, Provo, Utah, where the audiences might not stand for that sort of thing?

LEONARDO: I would be willing to bet that for the first three weeks the film is in release, every single showing at Wynnsong Theater in Provo will sell out.

NARRATOR: According to Wynnsong manager Matt Palmer, that is exactly what happened.

KATE: All right, then. (Sound of clothes hitting the floor.)

Scene 3 -

FIRST MATE: Captain, we're about to hit an iceberg.

CAPTAIN: Great, I could use some ice for my drink. (Sound of drinking.)

ICEBERG: (Hits boat.)

FIRST MATE: That can't be good.

CAPTAIN: Bottoms up!

AUDIENCE: (Silence.)

FIRST MATE: That was irony, you fools.

AUDIENCE: Where's Leonardo?

Scene 4 -

LEONARDO: I have been informed that this boat is sinking.

KATE: That is terrible.

LEONARDO: Would you like to engage in some more immoral-but-justified behavior?

KATE: Certainly.

WEASELLY FIANCE: (Aside) I'm getting the raw end of the deal here! (to Leonardo) Listen, Leonardo, to cement my morally dubious yet somehow less annoying than you personality, I am going to handcuff you to this pipe, here in a room that will soon be filling with water, due to the fact that we are sinking, which I believe has been mentioned previously.

LEONARDO: Why don't you just shoot me?

WEASELLY FIANCE: Because then you wouldn't be able to escape and save Kate from me. Of course, you're going to die anyway...

AUDIENCE: Don't spoil it for us! Boo!

LEONARDO: He's right, though. I am doomed.

AUDIENCE: Aww, look how cute he is when he's doomed.

WEASELLY FIANCE: I hate you people.

Scene 5 -

150-YEAR-OLD-KATE: And that's when Leonardo rescued me from my evil fiance and helped me float on a board in the water. Of course, if it hadn't been for having to rescue him, I could have gotten on an actual lifeboat, and not frozen my legs nearly off. Anyway, he's pretty much dead now, and I'm well over a thousand years old, and who's making my supper? I need a bath. Turn down that Enya music, it's making my ears hurt. You kids today, with your loud music. Why, when I was - hey! Don't you walk away from me! I'd turn you over my knee, if I had one. I'll beat you in the head with this huge diamond! Come back here!

(Fade to black. Roll credits and play annoyingly overplayed Celine Dion song.)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

also, one time a homeless person hit me

I walked by her and she was standing in a doorway talking animatedly as she looked right through me. For some reason it struck me funny, and I smiled and nodded to her and said "Absolutely..."

Then a few minutes later I was walking back by her again and she darted out of her doorway and punched me in the shoulder really hard. She said a few angry words that didn't mean anything in the order she said them, but her meaning was clear, and it was

"Just because I'm talking nonsense to people who only exist in my mind, don't think I won't notice your condescending smirk and your smartass comments as you saunter by on your way to wherever non-crazy people go."

And she was right.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

My siblings and I, we're tight

This week I had a two-day business trip to Orange County, CA.

I have an uncle who lives in the L.A. area, so when I'm in Southern California (almost never) I think about whether I can get together with him and his family. Since he lives quite a distance from where I was this week, it wasn't going to work out, so I forgot about it.

Then my sister called to remind me that (hello-o...) she's now in Riverside, less than an hour from where I was staying. I felt dumb for forgetting that, but luckily she was free and we were able to have dinner together on Thursday night. Yay.

Now, another fact about me is that one of my brothers lives in San Diego (an hour and a half away). You would have thought the call with sis would have sparked a memory of that fact, but actually no. It wasn't until I was standing in the security line at John Wayne airport the next day that I went, "Hey..."

All I can say in my defense is that for 20 years, the LA basin is where my uncle lives -- the sibs being there is just an in-the-last-year thing. So that's why I forgot, it wasn't because I hate them or anything. Very much, anyway. ;-)

Friday, December 09, 2005


This week someone pointed out the following to me:
1. you announced your divorce
2. you filled out your profile
3. you posted your picture
4. sort of looks like a personals ad, like you're gearing up...

So, for the record: I'm not.
I really DO like meeting new people, whether IRL or here. I enjoy blogging, the banter, the ideas, the support, the occasional mild flirting, the rest. But I'm not advertising, not looking to start dating, not getting married again. Had my shot at it, didn't work out. (Sit down, thanks for playing the game, no soup for you!) Didn't mean for it to look like DWM NS/ND WLTM blah blah blah. I guess I just had a little extra inclination to connect with people, hence the pic and the profile.
Okay, I guess that's clear...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wrecking my kids

Okay, so I already feel guilty about the divorce and everything. Now I have to wonder if I'm messing them up in other ways.

We have a serious problem with time: Samantha is unable to detect it passing. She attempts to do everything on her own schedule, without regard for anyone else’s priorities.

So, let her be late or miss her activities, you say -- she'll get the idea.
No, actually, she won't. I let her be late for things, and her conclusion is
a) someone made me late;
b) the universe conspired against me; or
c) i made myself late, i'm a loser, i suck, i don't deserve to live.
Nowhere in her thought pattern is the part where she says "Gosh, I better adjust my habits/behaviour/approach so I wont' be late next time." It’s always “Someone else, something else, something else, not my fault, oh, I’m horrible I suck and I’ll always be a loser.”

She is almost impossible to get to go to bed. (At 15, I thought I'd be out of this business by now -- her 13-yr-old brother puts himself to bed before 10pm when he knows he has to be up the next morning).

If I let her, she'll stay up drawing or organizing her paper clips or playing a video game till somewhere between 1-3am every night, then have to get up at 6:15 for school, then maybe take a nap in the afternoon when she should be doing her homework, then stay up again from 8pm to 2:15am, etc.

As I believe I may have mentioned, rewards & punishments have no meaning for Samantha. So to make her go to bed, I have to follow her around chirping “Go to bed now. Go to bed now. Go to bed now.” for about a half an hour. Being her dad, I have to give her privacy to shower, change, etc – so at those times I have to bang on the door every two minutes or she drifts off into some other activity.

She is impossible to move when we're trying to go somewhere. I'm constantly waiting for her in the car as she putters around finding the things she should have been wearing 10 minutes ago. In the morning, she's tired (naturally), so getting her to school is a chore, involving much nagging and reminding.

Again, letting her fail isn’t an option since she’d happily stay home for the day. I’m not wild about making her walk to school, since it’s 4 miles away and dangerous from traffic (or if you go the back way, from getting kidnapped). We let her fail the entire school year last year because it caused too much strife to try to get her to do her homework. Failure does not motivate her to succeed; it only makes her feel worse about herself.

So this morning, she dilly-dallies around until it’s almost time for the bus; as she leaves the bathroom, I remind her she hasn’t brushed her teeth. (These teeth have cost me several thousands of dollars in fillings and braces.) She says she doesn’t have time. I make her do it. I watch her just make a token effort on the tops and the front. Finally in frustration, I demonstrate with my fist and a hairbrush how to brush one’s teeth. She hurries through it – I let it slide – and rushes out the door, to miss the bus by 30 seconds.

I’m already back in bed (I was up late working) when she comes back in. She yells “Dad, I need a ride!” about 6 times from the bottom of the stairs. I make her walk up the stairs and address me in a calm voice. I make her stop demanding a ride, and ask for one. I make her say “I messed up this morning. It’s my responsibility to be ready for school, to make time to brush my teeth properly. I’m sorry, and could you please give me a ride to school?” And I make her pay me $10 for the ride.

I probably should have let that be the extent of the lesson, but I have been through this so many times before. I am frustrated beyond belief, at my wits’ end.

So I get dressed, and then as she’s going out the door, I sit down and begin playing the piano. She comes back in, agitated. “What are you doing? I’m going to be late!” I say, “Oh, do you have a deadline? Somewhere to be at a certain time? Are you frustrated because someone else is messing up your schedule? Gosh, how irritating that must be.” I continue playing. She gets more and more upset. I tell her that the frustration she feels is exactly how others feel when she makes them wait for her, when she refuses to take into account the time schedule of the people around her. I draw it out for about five minutes, until she is literally screaming and crying.

I feel like complete crap – I want to cry myself, but I don’t let her see it. She has done this to me at least a hundred times; I tell myself that if this is what it takes to get the message across, I can do it, even though my precious daughter that I love so much is lying on the floor, hiccupping and crying.

Eventually, we get in the truck and head for school. On the way I tell her how much I love her, and that I'm just trying to impress on her the fact that she has to make some effort to conform to the schedule of the household and the world around her. She tells me that it just makes her more depressed, and likely to do something destructive. She says maybe she’ll cut her wrists. I tell her that there’s no need to get into a contest about who can hurt Samantha more – that she’ll always win that contest. I tell her I love her and want her to be healthy and happy. She says she just feels depressed.

When we get to the school, she is calm and rational again. I drop her off. I drive home, I go into the house, and cry.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Don't know the author of this, but I like him/her...
Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 10 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans. Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local drug store, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

2. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, till 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can't get back to sleep get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2:45am. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

3. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flower beds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

4. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this: all morning.

5. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas cracker. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Pops and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations. You have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

6. Forget the Miata and buy a Taurus. And don't think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.

7. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect long the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as much as you can stand, until the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

8. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

9. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Mini Wheats and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half the Mini Wheats are gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month-old baby.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child -- a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy.

Until you can easily accomplish all this do not even contemplate having children!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Right, then.

Apparently in order to have my picture in my profile, I have to post it here first. Or something. Since I'm only a software professional, how should I know how blogger works? Anyway, I was jealous of all the people who had their picture up, so here's mine from this last summer. The End.

In my day...+

The Washington Post Report from Week 228, in which you were asked to tell Gen-Xers how much harder you had it in the old days:

Second Runner-Up:
In my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In the winter we had to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction. (Bill Flavin, Alexandria)

First Runner-Up:
In my day we didn't have MTV or in-line skates, or any of that stuff. No, it was 45s and regular old metal-wheeled roller skates, and the 45s always skipped, so to get them to play right you'd weigh the needle down with something like quarters, which we never had because our allowances were way too small, so we'd use our skate keys instead and end up forgetting they were taped to the record player arm so that we couldn't adjust our skates, which didn't really matter because those crummy metal w…

And the winner of the Velour Bicentennial Poster:
In my day, we didn't have no rocks. We had to go down to the creek and wash our clothes by beating them with our heads. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Honorable Mentions:

In my day, we didn't have mouses to move the cursor around. We only had the arrows, and if the up arrow was broken and you needed to get to the top of the screen, well, you just hit the left arrow a thousand times, dadgummit.
(Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

In my day, we didn't have fancy high numbers. We had "nothing," "one," "twain" and "multitudes." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

In the old days, nobody asked you to sign petitions. The sheriff just came to your house and told you you was part of a posse.
(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

In my day, we didn't have dogs or cats. All I had was Silver Beauty, my beloved paper clip.
(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

In my day, attitudes were different. For example, women didn't like sex. At least that is what they told me. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

When I was your age, we didn't have fake doggie-do. We only had real doggie-do, and no one thought it was a damn bit funny.
(Brendan Bassett, Columbia)

Back in the 1970s we didn't have the space shuttle to get all excited about. We had to settle for men walking on the crummy moon.
(Russell Beland, Springfield)

In my day, we didn't have days. There was only time for work, time for prayer and time for sleep. The sheriff would go around and tell everyone when to change.
(Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

In my day, people could only dream of hitchhiking a ride on a comet.
(David Ronka, Charlottesville)

In my day, we didn't have fancy health-food restaurants. Every day we ate lots of easily recognizable animal parts, along with potatoes drenched in melted fat from those animals. And we're all as strong as AAGGKK-GAAK Urrgh. Thud.
(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

In my day, we didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated.
(Jon Patrick Smith, Washington)

In my day, we didn't get that disembodied, slightly ticked-off voice saying 'Doors closing.' We got on the train, the doors closed, and if your hand was sticking out it scraped along the tunnel all the damn way to the Silver Spring station and it was a bloody stump at the end. But the fare was only a dollar.
(Russell Beland, Springfield)

In my day, we didn't have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
(Diana Hugue, Bowie)

Kids today think the world revolves around them. In my day, the sun revolved around the world, and the world was perched on the back of a giant tortoise.
(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

In my day, we wore our pants up around our armpits. Monstrous wedgies, but we looked snappy.
(Bruce Evans, Washington)

Back in my day, '60 Minutes' wasn't just a bunch of gray-haired liberal 80-year-old guys. It was a bunch of gray-haired liberal 60-year-old guys.
(Russell Beland, Springfield, & Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)

In my day, we didn't have virtual reality. If a one-eyed razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you could outrun him.
(Sarah M. Wolford, Hanover)

In my day, we didn't have Strom Thurmond. Oh, wait. Yes we did.
(Peg Sheeran, Vienna)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

More about meeeeee...

From Jay Are from Heatherfeather from...

TEN random things you might not know about me:
1 Have long toes
2 First girlfriend wasn't till college
3 Can count to 10 in eight languages
4 Lost a front tooth playing hockey
5 Have never smoked a cigarrette
6 Had a vasectomy
7 Cats love me, altho I'm able to muster only mild affection for them
8 Fractured my skull once
9 Can remember back to the age of two
10 Have 18 Aunts & Uncles

NINE places I’ve visited
1 Mexico
2 Canada
3 Russia
4 Ukraine
5 Jamaica
6 Haiti
7 St Lucia
8 Martinique
9 East Biggs, California

EIGHT ways to win my heart
1 Be kind
2 Listen
3 Be enthusiastic
4 Cook
5 Be flexible
6 Give me compliments
7 Be happy
8 Touch me

SEVEN things I want to do before I die
1 Scuba dive
2 Visit Western Europe (mostly the UK, France, Spain, Italy)
3 Get to < 5% body fat (just to see what it feels like)
4 Play in a band (just once would do it)
5 Study fencing
6 Learn to speak German
7 Kiss Eva Mendez (just kidding, settle down)

SIX things I’m afraid of
1 Something bad happening to someone I love
2 Being disabled and completely dependent on others
3 Bad guys
4 Dancing in public if I don't know the steps
5 Becoming senile in my old age and chasing the nurses
6 Prison

FIVE things I don't like
1 Arrogance
2 Deliberate helplessness
3 Self-absorption (in other people)
4 Intransigence
5 Pickled anything

FOUR ways to turn me off
1 Criticize
2 Be mean to kids
3 Talk exclusively about yourself (ie, fail to talk about me)
4 Be pretentious

THREE Things I do everyday
1 Be amused
2 Eat lots of carbs
3 Urinate

TWO things that make me happy
1 My kids.
2 My health.

ONE thing on my mind right now
1 Wondering who in the world could possibly be interested in this.