Thursday, June 29, 2006

Explosive Diary... uh

I'm in a bit of a confessional mood for some reason so I'll admit to two things:

1.) I just wasted 108 minutes of my pathetic life watching "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," the highly unanticipated sequel to "Bridget Jones: Oh Knackers, Which Bloke Shall I Shag?!" I didn't hate it because it was a "chick flick" and I didn't hate it because Renee Zellweger has that bizarre face that looks like a wind-burned, puckery anus -- I hated it because it sucked. What the shit was that?! I literally crapped out a better plot line this morning in my fancy new bathroom -- turd leaves asshole, turd meets toilet water, turd and toilet water get hitched and zip off for a honeymoon cruise in Lake Michigan. And I will never have those 108 minutes back. I blame Mr. Darcy.

B.) Holy crap, I can't get that goddamn new Christina Aguilera song out of my brain. I know, it goes against everything I've stood for musically in my entire lifetime, but that Chica Loca can canta con mucha fuerza y mi cerebro es en fuego con sus ritmos chiflados!!! Ay caramba!

And speaking of bathtime, when I went in to wash Miss O's hair tonight, the whole tub area smelled like a giant fart. I said...

ME: Miss O?! Did you just blow one?



MISS O: No, wait. Yes.

ME: That's the stinkiest fart I think I've ever smelled!

MISS O: Boys farts are stinkier than girls farts, you know.

ME: That's not true -- boys farts and girls farts smell just the same.


MISS O (thoughfully): Dog farts smell the worst of all.

ME: You said a mouthful.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

You, Norm, Are a Dick!

We moved into our house almost two years ago, to the day. It's a nice house -- not the house I would have imagined us living in (I was hoping for more of a Richard Neutra glass box overlooking a cliff kinda number) but it'll certainly do. When we first got here, we ripped up all the off-white, everyone-in-Michigan-has-this-shitty-shag-covering-every-horizontal-
surface carpet and put in some new carpet upstairs, some porcelain/fake slate tile in the kitchen and some walnut floors in the living room and family room. So flooring-wise, we were pretty set.

And that was all the money we had, so the renovation basically stopped there. Two years ago. Sure, we got the walls painted and painted some doors, but that was about it. The living/dining room is basically a gymnasium with a piano in it. No furniture, nothing. We just fixed up the downstairs bathroom and, frankly, it's the nicest room in the house. I'm actually thinking of sleeping in there.

Well, we've finally gotten around to calling an electrician (okay, the old lady called him -- I have a phone-related phobia that I'm sure you would read about daily in the old lady's blog, were she to start one) who is coming by tomorrow to install some canister lights in the hallway, and two "fancy" lights that we got on the internets.

Here's the one we're putting in the stairwell:

And here's the one that's going in the dining room, over the non-existent dining room table and chairs:

Pretty sweet, right? Well, the first one, the "George Nelson Bubble Lamp," came nicely boxed (2 years ago) and ready to hang. The second one, the "Norm 69" came in this box:

For scale purposes, that box is about the size of a personal pan pizza box. Here's what the ol' Norm looks like inside the box:

It's a fucking personal pan pizza box with about 100 flat pieces of plastic that GUESS WHO has to fold/twist/interlock until it somehow looks like the picture on the goddamn box! You're an asshole, Norm! I've been putting the fucker together for literally the last three hours and I'm only two-thirds of the way done!

And I can't fuck it up because there are no extra flat pieces of plastic in that box. One shot for crabbydad! And I'm not a one-shot kinda guy! The pressure is intense! I CAN'T TAKE IT MUCH LONGER!!!!

But, what the shit?! Why am I paying I-don't-remember-how-much-because-we-bought-it-two-years-ago-
but-I-know-it-was-fucking-expensive for this glorified do-it-yourself Cracker Jack prize?! Just who the fuck does Norm think he is?! And what does the 69 stand for?! Is that how many of these fucking sham lamp kits Norm has sold, or is it simply what one's old lady has to promise to do if her Mr. Fix-It partner gives up six hours of his life to put together a goddamn lamp to go over a table we probably won't be able to buy for at least another two years?!

It's like buying a... oh, I don't know... say, a Toyota Prius kit in the mail. And then, when you open the box, it's filled with fifty strips of sheet-metal, a few bolts and a AAA battery. There you go! One Toyota Prius. Just gotta put it together.

Norm 69... fuck you!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mr. Z and the Older Woman

This week, Mr. Z is at a nature camp (we're alternating weeks between the nature camp and the Y camp). He went there last year and had a blast. Last year, he told us (after a great deal of hemming and hawing and even a bit of "tittering" and "teehee-ing") that he had a crush on another camper there. When the camp photo showed up at the end of the summer, the old lady and I were floored. The "itch" the had him "a-scratchin'" was this 11 year old she-woman who was about two feet taller than he. It was krazy, with a capital "kra"!

So, he's back this year and so is his "lady!" I went to pick him up today and there he was, standing in close proximity to this musky minx, running around like a complete dorkus. It was like some bizarre, juvenile mating dance he was doing -- making piercing squeaking noises, flapping his arms around -- it was quite a sight. I glanced at the object of his oddball affection and she was half-watching him with a look that said, "Great... today I am a woman and this is the shit I have to look forward to for the rest of my goddamn life."

On the ride home, I tried to get a little info:

ME: So, I saw 'J' hanging out near you when I picked you up. Did you guys talk at all?

MR. Z: Dad, don't say her name! It's "she-who-cannot-be-named"! And no, I didn't talk to her!

ME: I thought you liked her, though?

MR. Z: Look, I don't want to talk about it!

I didn't push any further. No use confusing him anymore just yet. Who knows what ludicrous notions are zooming through his noggin? It's gotta be hilarious.

And then tonight, while I was making dinner, he comes out with:

MR. Z: So, today, when we were playing this tag game... 'J' had her arms up over her head? And I could see that she had some "ish"!

Okay, quick explanation. When my cousin was like four, he used to call armpit hair "ish." Ever since then, armpit hair/body hair has been called "ish" in our family. And in my family, there's a shitload of ish to go around. My cousin is in his thirties now. I'm pretty sure he has ish, though I try not to think about it.

Anyish, Mr. Z is now ish-spotting! That's intense shit! I don't think I ish-spotted until I was well into my Jr. High years. I'm not ready for this shit... and neither is he!

I mean, I'm still asking him whether or not he wiped his ass after he takes a dump.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Because It's Not Nice to Stab Your Sister, That's Why...

So, I had to dole out a little of the old Crabbydad disciplinary action for Mr. Z, today. I'm not a fan of being the heavy, but the old lady and I do believe in reshaping inappropriate behavior with appropriate natural consequences. Hey, we were both psych majors at a VERY behaviorally-focused school, so we've gotta use that bullshit somewhere, no?

Here's what happened. I picked up the spawn from their respective camps -- they both had great days, but I could tell they were a little beat. We got home and were just chillin' -- Mr. Z was up in his room reading and Miss O and I were putting together this impossible bird mobile thing that came in her "Ladybug" magazine today. It was like open-heart surgery putting the thing together -- glue, thread, sutures -- fucking pain-in-the-ass is what it was.

Anyshit, we couldn't find Miss O's safety scissors around, so I told her to go up to Mr. Z's room and borrow his. So she trots up the stairs and I can hear the whole exchange from the kitchen:

MISS O: Z, can I borrow your scissors?

MR. Z: O! Get out of here! You're totally bothering me!

MISS O: Dad said I could borrow your scissors! Where are they?!

MR. Z: AAARGH! No way! Just leave!

That's when I ambled over to the bottom of the stairs and bellowed:

ME: Z! Just give her the scissors and she'll leave you alone! It's not a big deal! She just needs them to make her [dumbass] mobile!



[SFX: mild 'konk']

MISS O (half-heartedly): Ow! Dad! Z just threw the scissors at my head!

What the shit?!

I ran upstairs and Miss O seemed fine. The scissors were on the floor and Mr. Z was doing his classic "fuck-I-just-got-totally-busted" dance:


[SFX: tears, snot, weeping, misc. histrionics, etc.]

Now, I'm pretty sure he didn't whip the scissors from across the room at her. They were high up on a shelf and she was standing directly under said shelf, so I'm guessing he probably dropped them, handle first, onto her head just to be a little prick. She wasn't hurt, and he realized he totally fucked up, BUT, something had to be done.

The tricky part was, he was going to be having a piano lesson in about 10 minutes, and if I told him what his consequence was going to be at that moment, he would've been a fucking wreck for his lesson. So, I told him to chill out and pull himself together, and we'd talk about it after his lesson. He did, and the lesson went surprisingly well.

After his teacher left, he knew the judgement was going to be handed down, and the tears started flowing again. By now, I felt horrible and figured he'd already tormented himself enough for the past hour, but I had to do it. We sat down and calmly discussed why throwing scissors at his sister is an extremely unwise thing to do -- I painted the requisite horror scenes of his sister in the emergency room with the scissors sticking into her eyeball, blood spurting across the room. I asked him if he wanted his sister to be blind in one eye. I told him that people have gone to jail for lesser offenses. All the classics.

Then, I calmly handed out my sentence:

No TV, computer or video games for 10 days.*

Well, he lost his shit and ran upstairs and vowed never to come back down again. Five minutes later, he came back down, realizing he got off pretty damn easily. Shit, I only wanted to go seven days, but the old lady, after hearing the story, thought it should be 10 (the "hangin' judge" that woman is).

So I don't know -- I think it's a pretty reasonable sentence, given the infraction. Granted, they were safety scissors and all, but that's not the point. It's an issue of self-control, his big issue, and the dude's gotta fucking learn. So, he'll read more and draw more and play outside more for the next 10 days -- really not a bad consequence in the grand scheme of things (he said, trying desperately to justify his assholishness to himself).

So, I treated myself and watched "Supernanny" tonight and realized... holy fuck, do my kids have it GOOD!

*Ah, you thought I was gonna spank him, didn't you? How dare you! I may be crabby, but I'm not a fucking asshole. What the shit?!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I Think It's Time to Change the Pool Filter

So, I'm pretty sure I swam next to a manatee, today, at the Y. I'm not certain if it was a purebread manatee, or some kind of human/manatee hybrid, but it certainly wasn't all human.

First off, he (and I'm making an assumption here on its sex) looked like a cross between Bun E. Carlos (drummer for Cheap Trick), Hoss (from "Bonanza") and... a manatee:

Second, the way this thing swam... it was mind-bogglingly manateeblian! I'd say, for ever 10 kicks I did, the Bunhossatee did one. One big one. "KERSPLORSH!" And then its arms! They never left the water and they did this strange, modified doggy-paddle motion -- like it was scooping ice-cream out of a shallow casserole dish with an oversized flipper.

And, oh, how the Bunhossatee could swim! Even though it was kicking/paddling at an almost imperceptible rate, it was keeping pace with me, and at times, overtook me! I was truly awestruck by this lumbering leviathan!

Sadly, I had to leave my new finny friend, and I headed off to the showers. While I was lathering, I heard the slap-a-dap of a giant fin heading toward the crapper. I rinsed the soap from my eyes just in time to see the stall door slam shut. Apparently, the Bunhossatee was preparing to liberate a little sea-lettuce in the loo. The sounds I heard emanating from that stall were so horrifying... they would've caused the sturdiest of sailing vessels to instantly explode and sink into the briney deep. I steadied myself by grabbing ahold of the shower nozzle -- tiles peeled away from the wall and lockers melted. The onslaught couldn't have lasted more than a few seconds, though it seemed to go on for hours.

When it was over, there was deafening silence. A thick, soupy haze hung in the air -- it smelled of burnt flesh and krill. I peered through my stinging eyelids at what remained of the stall. It was a sickening heap of twisted metal, singed toilet paper and urinal cakes.

And the Bunhossatee was nowhere to be found.

I'm lucky to have escaped with my life, today. I witnessed a beast, the likes of which no one has ever seen (nor smelted)... and which no one may ever see again, henceforth.

I salute you, Bunhossatee -- mysterious mer-man of the deep.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"Hey, Chip! Bored?"

So the recycling setup up here in Michigan really sucks major ass. They take newspapers, but no magazines. They take cans. They take plastic shit with a "1" or a "2" on it, but don't take anything else. And the biggest "Hey, eat shit, environment!" is that they don't take anything made out of chipboard -- no cereal boxes, no cracker boxes, no pop cases, nada, zip, zally, zilch, fluhboygen. Ninety percent of what the Crabbydad family consumes every day comes encased in some sort of chipboard box-tainer. We are one carb-lovin' family, dammit!

As a result, we end up dumping shitloads of this stuff into the trash. I might as well paint a giant portrait of Iron Eyes Cody on my garage door to say, "It's me, world! I'm the fucker who made the Native American dude cry in that commercial!"

Then I read about how some enterprising young "go-getters" at my old college have started this program where they take recycled paper and chipboard and make notebooks to sell in the school bookstore. The paper they use is printed on one side but blank on the other, so there's still one good side on which to write. Brilliant, I say! There's an idea I can steal!

Now, I have no fucking idea how one goes about binding notebooks together, but I did a little pokin' around and found a little something called a "comb-binding machine." "What the shit is that, Crabbydad?" you might ask. Well, fuck if I know, but it was only 40 bucks, and I'm bored with my life, so I bought one.

The thing showed up yesterday, I set it up, grabbed some paper (the old lady has stacks of printed drafts of her grant proposals and articles and other, fancy... word... things), grabbed one of the empty cereal boxes I've been saving (I'm crafty!) and, in about five minutes, created this:

Check that shit out! I like to call it "Honey Note Cheerios," 'cuz it's a notebook... get it... but it's Honey Nut... Cheeri... os. Hey, it's pretty fucking cool, you have to admit.

So, I plan on cranking these badboys out -- some for me, some for the spawn, some for the old lady. And I plan on customizing them, too -- Miss O will get a "Frosted Mini Wheats" notebook, Mr. Z will get a "Cheez-Its" notebook, the old lady might get an "Amy's Black Bean and Vegetable Enchilada" notebook -- the possibilities are without end.

The problem is, I'm going to need more recycled paper, soon. I'm trying to get the old lady to set up a box at school near the copy machine, or something, but she's giving me the "You're going to have to ask the head of the department yourself" line. That women is a task-mistress, I tell you! If I can somehow manage to get the paper without having to talk to an actual human, I'll be golden!

Who knows -- maybe this will turn into some little cottage industry -- I'll be "The Recycled Notebook Guy," and I'll ride around campus on an old fashioned bike (the kind with the GIANT front wheel and the tiny rear one) and I'll rummage through the trash for paper and chipboard. And I'll grow a really long white beard, that I'll stroke as I'm riding... and I'll wear overalls and won't bathe! And everyone will say, "Hey! There's that notebook guy! Boy, is he creepy. Let's get outta here."

This is going to be great!

Friday, June 23, 2006

If'n I Had a Hat, I'd Tip It...

As a tribute to the young lad who kind of inspired me to give blogging a second chance, I dedicate this post to Arnie, whose final blog post for his site ayearfollowingthebreakup was today.

At our company's holiday party, back in January, a bunch of the gang (consisting of the sprightly, youthful crop of new writers and antiquated, enfeebled relics like myself) went out after bowling for some food, bevvies and karaoke. At one point in the evening, talk turned to blogs. Most of the young-uns had blogs and were all a-twitter, comparing notes and styles and favorite posts. At this point, I had all but abandoned crabbydad -- it felt like a chore to cobble together a post I was happy with and I was way too precious with anything I wrote. I felt like Mr. Potter, sitting around a table full of George Baileys:

MR. POTTER: Blogs?! Sentimental hogwash!

But Arnie, and the others, convinced me, somehow, that "Ol' Bloggie" was a beast worth climbing back onto. That I didn't have to be so precious with each entry, and I could just dump whatever I had in me at the end of the day out there and see what I ended up with. Well, I was just not drunk enough to remember what they said, and six months later, I don't know what I have, but I've sure typed a shitload of words.

So, I thank you, Arnie, for the inspiration and for the daily enjoyment I've gotten by reading your very open, very honest and very funny blog. I know you'll start something else up some day, and I can't wait to spend another year reading it, when it comes along.

As Mr. Potter (perhaps the original Crabbydad) might have said:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dragon the Kid to Camp

I've got an assfull of work to do tonight, so I don't have much time to ponder/reflect/blabber like a ninny.

I will say this, though. Mr. Z has started camp at the Y this week and, so far, it's going pretty smoothly. It's broken down into themed weeks, where each week focuses on something different. It actually seems a little half-assed -- like when they were planning it all out, they just kinda looked around for theme ideas:

COUNSELOR1: Uh... how 'bout... 'Shoe Week'? We could... teach them about shoes and shit and... play games... with shoes.

COUNSELOR2: Perfect! What else?

COUNSELOR3: Fuck... I dunno... we could do... 'Stick Week,' where they collect sticks and make stick-related crafts and... shit.

COUNSELOR2: Nice! Only six more weeks to go! Who's next?

But he's having a blast, so who am I to complain?! This week is "Harry Potter" week (brilliant!) and I guess they've been doing wizardy crap and playing quidditch (without all that boring flying around shit) and eating toads, or something.

Well, Mr. Z has been obsessing all week about what they have planned for tomorrow and he's getting himself pretty worked up out about it. He said that the counselors have captured four dragons and the kids are going to try to find them in the woods. Now, Mr. Z is a very bright young lad and he knows that dragons don't exist and all that, but the boy has a fucking imagination on him that will not quit. At dinner tonight he sorta mumbled that he's a little worried about going to camp tomorrow.

MR. Z: I don't know about tomorrow...

ME: Why, what's the matter?

MR. Z: Well... [long pause] I just really don't want to get killed.

ME: What?! What are you talking abo--Oh, wait. You're not still worried about those dragons, are you?!

MR. Z: Well...?

ME: Dude! We've talked about this -- you know that dragons are totally made up and the counselors would never do anything to hurt you...

I went on to tell him, again, that the counselors' job is to make sure the kids have the most fun possible at camp, and that it wouldn't be in their best interest to go around killling or maiming the campers because then, those campers might not come back next summer, and then the Y would lose money and they wouldn't be able to hire someone to clean out the pool, WHICH THEY DESPERATELY NEED TO DO BECAUSE I WENT SWIMMING AT LUNCH TODAY AND I SWEAR I SAW A FUCKING TURD FLOATING IN THE LANE NEXT TO ME AND, INSTEAD OF GETTING OUT OF THE WATER OR TELLING THE LIFEGUARD, I JUST MOVED OVER ONE MORE LANE BECAUSE I REALLY NEEDED TO SWIM AND I WAS JUST TOO DAMN TIRED TO DEAL WITH IT.

Needless to say, I think his ass is still freaking out and he's basically convinced that his life will be terminated in the woods tomorrow, at the hands, er, claws of a giant, scaly, fire-breathing, counselor-fueled Hell-Beast.

I'll put an extra cookie in his lunch tomorrow. That should help.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Left on the Curb Again

So,I was kinda hoping I wasn't going to be around tonight because I had planned to go see a concert in "the Detroit metro area," but I was blown off so here I sit on my goddamn pointy ass. See, some "friends" are in town playing a gig (and I use the term "friends" loosely because A) you may remember that I have no friends, and 2) we were friends in more of a "circumstances forced us together" kind of way) and, being a cheapass, I emailed one of the guys and mentioned that, if they happened to have a free space on their guest list, I might just find a way to get off said pointy ass and pay them a visit.

And I'm not being that cheap, really, because the tickets are 30 fucking beans and, frankly, I wouldn't pay that much to see Radiohead, Bjork and Queen with Freddie Mercury, on a triple bill... so fuck off.

Anyshit, the dude emailed me back with his phone numbers and a "Give me a call and we'll set you up!" line, which I did, and, well... I'm sitting in my basement right now, so you do the fucking math.

Oh well, it would've been nice to see them again -- they're on kind of a nostalgia/comeback tour, and it's a big venue and it's always fun to hang out backstage and all. They're very nice fellows. I met them when my old band was out in LA, in the late 80s/early 90s, and we used to play shows with them every now and then. Then they started getting really "big" and we remained really "shitty," and we parted ways. The cool thing was, a year or so later, their drummer fucked up his hand during a tour and I got to sit in with them for about a month or so on the road. It was right when their album was getting pretty popular, and I was lucky enough to be playing in front of a few thousand people each night. It was an incredible experience. They even sent me my very own gold album after the tour to say, "What the shit?! Thanks, Crabbydad."

I dunno, I guess this all just stirs up the memories of that time in my life -- young, carefree, rockin' and/or rollin', living in a shithole of a one-bedroom apartment with three other dudes, sleeping in two sets of bunkbeds, crammed into a 6 x8 box of a room, eating ramen and Slim Jims, kissing the asses of dickhead industry fucks and playing gigs in crappy bars for five bucks and two pitchers of shit-ass beer.

You know, this basement's not looking too fucking shabby right now.

Ah, the guy probably didn't call me because he's busy touring around and he didn't have the time. Shit, I wouldn't call me... would you?! Fuck no. They're playing a gig next month in Grand Rapids... I'll give 'em one more chance.

After that, they're outta my will.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

There's No "P" in "Shower"!

All right, so the goddamn foil that we hung up to scare the asshole woodpeckers is all fucked up. Surprise. It was a stellar idea on paper but it really sucked donkeys' in execution. The foil's all tangled up in the fishing line, and some of it tore off and is sitting on our neighbors' lawn.

Which brings me to this -- our new neighbor just moved in the other day. Some young dude who's going to be a prof at MSU -- moving up here from Florida, or something. So, the day he gets here, I'm out in the yard, cutting the grass like an asshole with the manual mower ("The grASS Ripper"... remember?). Then the next day, I'm up on the ladder, stringing foil up on the side of the house -- the side that faces his house, of course. We exchanged pleasantries, and I tried to downplay our nuttiness with a little, "Well, we have a bit of a woodpecker problem over here. Heh, heh... I know it looks a little crazy, but... we're really pretty normal people... really... heh... er...."

I might as well have just run over to his front porch naked and taken a steaming shit on his welcome mat. Poor fucker -- just wait until he meets the spawn. WACKY NEIGHBOR ALERT -- CUCKOO, CUCKOO!!!

For example, he probably heard Miss O tonight, screaming bloody murder from the shower. It was too late to give the kidlets baths, but we needed to hose off the gallons of bug spray we dumped onto them this morning before camp, so showers it had to be. Of course, the minute Miss O stepped in, she had to take a fucking whiz. The old lady was not up for drying her off, so she told her to just whiz in the tub. No problem. What's better than pissing in the shower? Pretty much nothing.

But for some reason, Miss O flipped her fucking lid. She started alternating between screams that A) she would NEVER piss in the shower and 2) she REALLY had to pee. Now, if it were me in that situation, I would've pulled her out of the shower, sat her on the pot and then plopped her back in the shower. Of course, this would only reinforce the "if-you-scream-you-will-get-whatever-the-fuck-you-want" dynamic, but it would also result in the short-term gain of stopping the screaming at that given moment. Go for the small gain now, worry about the strongly reinforced fucked up dynamic later.

Of course, the old lady is not me, and she chose to keep insisting that Miss O just drain it in the shower. Talk about a dynamic -- woo HOO! Those two! Miss O is bawling her ass off, the old lady is washing her hair while trying to convince her to "just pee already!" It was quite the battle royale. Finally, the old lady got all the soap rinsed off, turned off the water and sat the girl on the shitter. Miss O stopped crying immediately, paused for about 20 seconds, and then announced:

MISS O: I don't have to pee anymore.

I don't know if the human ear can actually hear the sound of an ulcer forming in someone else's stomach, but I'm pretty sure that's what I was picking up. Mr. Z and I played it safe and steered clear of that area of the house for the rest of the bedtime ritual.

I don't know how it ended up, but I'm pretty sure the two of them resolved their differences on this matter pee-sfully.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dad, Can You Tell Me a Story?

ME: Once upon a time, Miss O and her friend Miss C took a ride on Miss O's unicorn, Sally, to go to a beauti--

MISS O: Miss C doesn't believe in unicorns.

ME: Well... she did in this story. Anyway, they went to a magical paradise that had a beach and mountains and--

MISS O: You mean like Polly Pocket Tropicool Pool Paradise?

ME: No. Way better. This place had mountains and a waterfall. So, Miss O and Miss C jumped into the water and stood under the waterfall so they could--

MISS O: Was the water shallow?

ME: Sure... it just came up to your shoulders. And--

MISS O: That's not shallow! Shallow is when it comes up to your ankles and--

ME: OKAY! It came up to your ankles! SO... after they spent some time at the magical island, they climbed back on Sally, WHO MISS C NOW BELIEVED IN, and they flew to Miss O's house, where they--

MISS O: Miss C doesn't know where I live.

ME: [silence]

MISS O: Dad?!


MISS O: Then what happened?

ME: Then we drove Miss C home, and we knew where she lived because we looked up her address on Yahoo Maps, and we said goodbye and that's the end. Goodnight.

MISS O: What happened to Sally?

ME: She went home. Sleep tight.

MISS O: [pause] Can you tell me another story?

ME: [SFX: the sound of every blood vessel in my brain exploding]

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Hydra Feast!*

You might be wondering how one as crabbitudinous as myself spends his Father's Day. Well, I woke up after a peaceful slumber that involved ABSOLUTELY NO WOODPECKERING ON MY WALL AT ANY POINT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Though I did hear the "foil agitation devices" scraping against the side of the house from time to time -- baby steps... baby steps.

Went downstairs and, after prying the kidlets away from the computer, managed to eke out a couple of hal-farted "Happy Father's Day"'s from them. Got two great cards from Miss O:

Card 1 [it sure was nice of her to pixelate her face out for me]

Card 2 [that's me in 7 easy steps]

And I received a classic, Mr. Z card, at his non-sequitur-iest:

This is the cover only -- rest assured, the inside has even less to do with Father's Day, but is classic Mr. Z -- a fascinating read.

The old lady, despite the tireless hours she has been spending on writing her grant proposal, still managed to get me an awesome Crabbydad's Day gift:

That, my friends, is the 9-inch, Iron Handle Le Creuset Skillet, with the "Flame-02" finish. The thing is fucking cherry! Goodbye teflon -- there's a new non-stick coating in town, and her name is "enamel." Sure, I'll miss the toxic teflon fumes that have been fueling the uncontrolled growth of my massive, as-yet-undiscovered brain tumor, but that tumor will have to find succor elsewhere! Viva Le Creuset!!!

What else did I do today, you ask? Get a massage? Lounge in my nappies, reading the Sunday Times? Brazilian wax? Nay -- too "relaxing." I decided to help out the old lady, who is still laboring over this grant thing, and take the kids to a movie. That's right -- Father's Day shouldn't be about taking the day OFF from daddydom -- it should be about being even Fatherier! TO THE MOVIES!!!!

We went to see "Over the Hedge," which I really wanted to not like. I don't know -- going into kids movies, I always have a "Boy, this is going to suck ass," attitude because then, I'm usually not disappointed. But I have to admit that this flick was really great. Garry Shandling, Steve Carrell, Wanda Sykes -- it was funny shit. I actually laughed OUT LOUD a couple of time (though I was sure to cover it up with a cough or too, so no one would notice). And granted, I was able to laugh with Miss O sitting on my lap for THE WHOLE MOVIE, and Mr. Z asking questions IN A VERY LOUD VOICE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE THING, all while devouring an OBSCENELY HUMUNGO vat of popcorn with NO LIQUID WITH WHICH TO WASH IT DOWN. So, yeah, it was pretty funny.

Made it back home, farted around for awhile and then I decided to test out the new Le Creuset 9-inch, Iron Handle Le Creuset Skillet, with the "Flame-02" finish, by whipping up some ho-made chicken fingers and some french fries. The pan worked flawlessly, the chicken rocked and guts were packed.

All in all, today was pretty great. Fuck, when you're able to go out there and just have a good time with the spawn, without all the work bullshit and the lack of sleep and the "my life's so fucking hard" belly-aching, parenting is really a blast, you know? I mean, I know I'll be singing a different tune tomorrow morning, but today, while not perfect, really was a happy father's day.

*Can't think of a blog entry title? Anagram server!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Operation: Shock & Caw!

I told you it was on and, oh, is it ON!

Pretty much the entire day was spent initiating the rollout of "Operation: Shock & Caw," phase one of a multi-pronged offensive focused on the elimination of our avian adversary -- Woody Woodfucker.

A quick trip to the local Ace Hardware (which apparently, "is the place") netted the necessary provisions to begin the rollout. Fishing line -- check! Aluminum foil -- check! Spray insulation -- check! New hose -- fuck! I should mention that we were forced to buy a new hose because the old one EXPLODED BECAUSE OF THAT FUCKING WOODPECKER! See, that flying turd woke me up at 5:30 today with its "tap-tap-tapping" and I ran outside and blasted that dick with the hose. Then I hid behind the tree (yeah, you heard me) for about 15 minutes and blasted it about four more times as it tried to return to the scene of the peck. Convinced it was gone, I left the hose on, just in case I had to run out again for another round of a-blastin'. Well, I guess when you leave a shitty hose on for a really long time and have a closed spray head on the end of it... um, it tends to explode. Who knew?!

So I had to buy a goddamn new hose. YOU HEAR THAT, WOODY? YOU OWE ME 30 BUCKS, YOU SHITHEAD!

Anyhose, I got all the stuff home and entered the fabrication phase. The old lady and I cut out long strips of foil, about three feet or so, duct-taped the ends, punched holes in said ends, tied them to these o-rings with fishing line, and then strung them to a separate line. It felt very underground -- like we were some rebels, sharpening stakes for some deep-jungle Punji man-trap.

You may well be wondering where Miss O and Mr. Z were during all this. Well, in true Parent-of-the-Year form, we basically sat them in front of the TV and put in this "Best of Fat Albert" video we got from Blockbuster. Look, it was 90 fucking degrees outside, they were driving us batshit and Fat Albert kept them zombie-fied for a good hour or so, so LAY OFF! Besides, they learned the valuable lesson that when Rudy started to smoke cigarettes, he was like school in the summertime... NO CLASS! HEY-HEY-HEY!

Meanwhile, back at the front, I got out the "Bendy Ladder of Death" and propped it up against the afflicted side of the house. I'm not good with heights, and I have this Inspector Gadget-type ladder that extends and bends and loop-de-doos, and every time I climb up this fucking thing (and I'm going pretty high up there -- like 1000 feet or so) I'm convinced I'm gonna plummet to the ground and end up eating pudding through a straw for the rest of my life. But my well-being was not important -- I was on a mission!

Blah, blah, blah, I hooked up a horizontal support nexus of fishing line across the side of the house and then attached the "foil agitation devices" to said wire. Mission accomplished!

I have to say, it looked pretty promising. The foil strips were twisting around and scraping against the siding -- if I were a woodpecker, I'd shit my... whatever it is they shit. But we weren't through yet. This is where the old lady stepped in and showed some true moxie. She had the idea to create some wings out of cardboard and attach them (read: duct tape them) to the worthless, piece-of-shit inflatable owl that I knew was a fucking ripoff but bought online anyway because I'm an asshole, that's why. I was dubious of her plan, but indulged her as she put the thing together because, well, because I like to see the old lady work with her hands. It's nice to see her climb out of her ivory tower, now and again, and dabble with us common rabble. It's HOT!

But I digress. After a few minutes of impressive duct-tapery, she came up with this:

AAAAAHHHHHH! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!! MAD OWL ON THE LOOSE!!!!!! It was mighty impressive. I want to hide out and get a video of the first bird to fly by that thing and watch as its tiny birdy heart literally explodes out of its body cavity. A single tear of joy will wend its way down my flush-ed cheek.

So, everthing was in place, I had lost about 20 pounds through sweat-loss and we decided to call it a day. I even had time to pop over to the Y and get a little victory swimming in as a small reward.

When I got back, however, all was not well on the eastern front. Apparently, the "foil agitation devices" were agitating so vigorously that they had become entangled in the horizontal support nexus. In other words, the foil got all shizzy-nizzy.

We went back to the war room and came up with a new plan to extend the overall length of the "foil agitation devices" by a couple of feet and added a stabilizing anchor (more duct tape) to the ends to decrease over floppage of the foil.

Then it was back up the "Bendy Ladder of Death" to attach the new devices/stabilizers. Here is the final result:

And that's where we stand now, at, time check... 2300 hours.

Now we wait.

Bring it, Woodfucker.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Pecker Trouble Redux

The goddamn woodpeckers are back.

The pecking on our bedroom wall has started again -- usually beginning at around 5:30 AM. Those motherfuckers. They've made three, brand-new holes -- a couple RIGHT NEXT TO THE FUCKING HOLES I FILLED AND PAINTED OVER, WHICH ARE RIGHT NEXT TO THE GIANT INFLATABLE OWLS THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO SCARE THESE FUCKING RATS WITH WINGS BACK TO PECKERTOWN!

Oh, it's ON!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Who Wants to Go to the Park? I DON'T!

First day of summer vacay -- what did I do? Did I huddle in the corner as the spawn took over the house, smashing dishes and ripping up couch cushions? Well, kinda, yeah for a little bit... but then, I took them to THE PARK! And not the shitty little park down the road with the river and the duck shit -- I took them to the bigass park that's far away and has a giant wooden castle structure thing, and no trees and it's fucking a million degrees there every goddamn time we go. Whee-hoo.

I knew it would be trouble when we pulled into the parking lot, got out of the car and heard creepy-ice-cream-truck-jingly-killer-music wafting through the air. Fuck. "Dad, can we have ice cream?! Pleeeeez! We never get ice cream from the ice cream truck! If you really loved us, you'd get it for us! Come on! You call yourself a father?!"

So, we walk up the van -- oh, I'm sorry. Did I not mention it wasn't a truck but a sky-blue ice cream VAN! No shit. The creepy quotient increased exponentially with that little twist. And I don't mean to stereotype the typical ice cream vendor, but is it a fucking rule that the dude selling the two dollar crapsicles has to look exactly like John Wayne Gacy -- peeking his fucking greasy-ass head out of the little sliding window, shooting that lazy-eye in my general direction as he croaks out a "Whattyahave?" Fuckin' willies, the guy gave me. Cripes.

And the song that was playing -- I shit you not, it was "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" The dude might as well be playing that "Tubular Bells" song from "The Exorcist." I was so creeped out, the hairs on the back of my neck not only stood up, they burst into flames, then froze, then turned into leather-winged griffins and flew into a hell-mouth that had opened up under the van.

Anywig, Miss O chooses the "Care Bear" misshapen blob of frozen corn syrup death, and Mr. Z chose the one shaped like Spongebob, after his head had been eaten away by advanced stage syphillis. Surprisingly, I didn't buy anything for myself. I figured, one of us had to survive the ordeal to give a description of the frozen-treat pedophile to the cops.

We finally made our way out of the parking lot and into the park. Two hours later, after Miss O finished her crapsicle (I swear, she ate it one ice crystal at a time) they finally started playing.

Everything was fine until I lost sight of Miss O in the giant two-by-four castle thing and then heard her screaming. I ran to the other side and saw her stuck in the middle of the giant, dark green twisty slide, her legs practically in flames because the slide temperature was about 9 million degrees Kelvin. What sick asshole designed this park -- Marquis de Slide?!

Luckily, I had a cold bottle of water in my "man-sack" and I basically had her hold it to her ass until things cooled down. So that was fun.

Then, we made our way to the spinny merry-go-round thing that Mr. Z was DYING to go on. I kept saying, "Dude, I don't think you like spinning things, remember? Are you sure you want to go on this?" But he assured me that HE LOVES SPINNING THINGS! Fine.

They get on the thing and I start spinning it around -- so far so good:

Then some other kids come by, hop on, and they're all shouting for me to "SPIN FASTER! SPIN FASTER!" So, I spun faster, what the shit?! Sure enough, about 20 minutes or so later, Mr. Z yells, "DAD! STOP! I DON'T FEEL SO GOOD!" Yeah? No shit.

He gets off the thing, Miss O wants to keep going, but I take her off, too, and then I fire it back up for the parentless kids who were still commanding me to "SPIN FASTER!"

From that point on, Mr. Z was out of commission. He looked white as a sheet and was pretty miserable. I held back my "I fucking told you"s and we finally headed back home. All in all, a banner park visit. At least no one had to shit while we were there -- at least I dodged that bullet.

Looking back, we probably should've just walked to the duck shit park.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Everybody Loves Payday, Do-do-loo-doot-doot-DOO!

I got the best payday in the world, today. An old friend, let's call her Ms. M, was in a small bind, recently, and asked if I might procure a small musical loop for her to use for the little voodoo that she do to put food-oo on the table-oo for her family-oo. [She needed me to record a music file for some work thing -- get to the fucking point, Blabbydad!]

Anydoo, it took me maybe seven minutes to record the thing, I sent it off to her and that was that. She wanted to compensate me, somehow, but I basically said, "Look, don't bother. Any time I get to do anything music-related, I'm just happy as a clam." (And see, if you do enough of that kinda shit for people, they end up saying really nice things about you at your funeral... so, you know... hey.)

But I know her, and I knew she would end up sending something my way -- a book, a subscription to "Dwell"... I dunno, maybe name a star after me.

Well, today, a package came for me today from a place called... "Candy, Candy, Candy" in Geneva, Illinois. ME LIKEE CANDY! I rip the thing open and not only was it a big ol' bag of candy, it was WACKY candy! Check out a sampling:

Here's my review of the selections:

1. Bun. The greatest/worst candybar name for a big, brown bolus of chocolate-y, nutty goodness ever coined. It's basically a glob of caramel (and it's fucking KAR-mull, not CARE-uh-mell, goddamit) peanuts and milk-chocolate.

Now there's a history with "Bun" and Ms. M that I think is very funny and you, mostly likely will not give a shit about. (Something about which you will not give a shit.) So, it's like 1995ish, and I'm working where I'm still working (oy -- someone fucking kill me, please!), and Ms. M starts working there as well. We realize that we had similar childhoods, both growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, and we have a pretty similar sense of humor. Somehow, I suggest that I can read her thoughts, or some stupid shit like that, and she says, "Okay then, what candy bar am I thinking of RIGHT NOW?"

I pause... pregnantly.

Then I confidently state, "Bun."

It was at that moment that Ms. M shit her pants. Of course, I was right. The fucked up thing was, up until that moment, I had never even thought of that candy bar before. Sure, I had seen it at the Candy Shoppe, sitting betwixt the Bubs Daddy and the Marathon Bar, but I had certainly never uttered its name.

I don't know -- you had to be there. But that was the "Bun" story. I'll wait for you to stop laughing.


Where was I? Oh, the review of the candies. Jeez, this is taking a long time. Fuck this -- gotta shorten these up:

2. Skybar = try... bar!

3. Valomilk = "olde-fashioned mouthgasm"

4. Flake = crumbly and dusty -- like old, chocolate skin

5. Hot Cinnamon Fire-Pix = Spicy wood for teeth pickin'!

6. Red Licorice Pipes = Toot! Toot! I've got candy mouth cancer!

7. Idaho Spud = An abortion of a candy bar. Tastes like wet pantyhose, dipped in coconut and sprayed with ass. Like the wrapper says, "The Candy Bar That Makes Idaho Famous." Remind me to never go to Idaho.

So, yeah, it's candyland in crabbytown tonight. I even let the kiddies have some samplings. Tried to push the "Idaho Spud" their way, but they could smell the fear in my voice. I'll slip it into their school lunches tomorrow. Maybe they can trade it for some rotten egg-salad.

Oh wait, that's right... SCHOOL IS OVER! AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Whole Damn House is Crabby!

So, everyone in this fucking house is on edge, lately. I've got a shitload of work heaped atop of my post-reunion ennui, the old lady is working on this mongo grant proposal, Miss O is sick, and Mr. Z is seriously bumming about the end of the school year. His on-edgedness is most pronounced, I think. He's just walking that fine line between tears and smart-assitude and, frankly, he's working my last nerve.

But the poor guy really doesn't want school to end. He LOVES his teacher and is devastated that he has to move on to fourth grade next year. He's basically like this every year, but I think it's maybe a little worse this time. I suggested that he make a card for his teacher, to show him how much he enjoyed the year. It's great:



I mean, as a teacher, that's gotta be a pretty fucking cool thing to get from a student, no? Most kids are probably going to get him a Precious Moments figurine and some shit-ass Hallmark card. Although, I saw that classroom in action when I went to watch the puppet show -- I think the best thing to give the poor guy would be a big ol' bottle of something bubbly to dull the pain of another year under the old belt. Maybe some champagne... or some Ripple... or some Champipple. I don't know how these fucking teachers do it -- saints, I tells ya, saints!

So, yeah, school ends tomorrow and camp doesn't begin until next week, so we're going to have a lethal cocktail of crabbitude brewing in the old homestead for a few days. Should be loads of fun. Methinks there might be a little trip to the old video store in the works. Hey, desperate times call for desperate trips to Blockbuster.

Me, I've gotta write yet another fucking folktale for work. Do you know how hard it is to write a good folktale. I think I remember another post where I bitched about this, but dammit, it ain't easy. There's a reason folktales were written in like 12 A.D. They fucking suck to write. And I keep coming up with shitty ideas: "The Frog and the... Stick," no... "The Dragonfly and the... Turd." Shit! "The Lycra Running Shorts and... the Yeast Infection." Maybe? Ah fuck it, I'll just write another Country Mouse/City Mouse story like everyone else does.

"Why I'm just a little ol' Country Mouse! I've never seen such a big city a'fore!"

Where's a good aneurysm when you need one?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Behold! Nature's Bounty!

Well, for those of you waiting so patiently, here's my veggie garden, in all its miniscule glory:

As you can see, I'm about two weeks away from recreating the Amazon Rainforest in my backyard. It'll be nice and lush right around the time the local historical society shows up to excavate the entire yard in search of more arrowheads. Oh well, as Chief Okemos, for whom our humble town was named, might say, "Paleface garden mighty puny. Perhaps cheaper and wiser to buy tomatoes at Kroger or Meijer, shithead." [That's a loose translation, by the way. My 'Ojibway' is a tad rusty.]

So I finalized the transfer of our Home Equity Line of Credit to a fixed rate loan today. I ended up blowing off that flim-flammer over at Chase who tried to dick us out of a huge chunk of cash and ended up doing business with the fine folks at National City, the new up-and-comers in town here. The guy who did the deal for us looked exactly like a less-attractive( ?!) Seymour Cassel, so you've gotta trust him, right?

Oh, I've been working on a new tune that features both Mr. Z and Miss O on vocals. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that the title rhymes with "Riproe Roo the Rulips," and it's gonna be so fucking cute it'll make you shit yourself. After that one's done, I'm going to finally dig into Mr. Z's version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" just so he'll stop bugging me about it. He's still obsessed with that goddamn song -- constantly singing it, playing it on the piano, asking to hear the Tokens version that's on my computer. He's even got Miss O singing it now. It's like a fucking drill boring into my walnut-sized brain. I'm telling you, that song is Wimoweh-annoying.

I'll leave you tonight with the latest Google search someone did that led them to this blog:

Search = "elderly gents" shitting -- #1 result: Crabbydad!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What's This?! An Enjoyable Weekend?!

I don't know if the old lady slipped some of "the crank" into my Wheatina this weekend, but I was a man-on-the-move. Johnnie-on-the-spot, 'twas I. Speedy Delivery!

First, we hit the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. Got some asparagus and green beans from the nice Amish-looking folk there. Man, those beards are a serious commitment. What do you think those beards smell like -- do they smell like licorice or hay? I'm leaning toward hay, but you never know with them Amish. They're sneaky -- it might just smell like licorice.

When we got back, I became Eddie Electrician. See, when we moved into our house TWO YEARS AGO, we decided we wanted to replace all of the light switches and outlets because they were all cream-colored and we wanted them to be white. And by "we," I mean the old lady. I couldn't have given two turds. I did about 10 of them two summers ago and then stopped. We recently got a quote from some electrician dude to swap them out and it was insane! Hundreds of dollars to fix them all. So, Johnnie Cheapass shut off the main breaker and finished every last one. AND I STILL HAVE BOTH OF MY ARMS AND HANDS! NO PROSTHETIC HOOKS! BONUS!!!

Then, I fired up the grill and cooked my family some meaty-bits! Turkey burgers on Saturday nite and turkey sausages tonight. And they were turkeylicious! I even grilled up the asparagus (asparaglicious!) and some ears of corn (corny!). Oh, and we broke out our new corn holders for the kidlets to enjoy:

Mmm... nothing says "Finish your corn!" like pig a that's been sliced in half and jammed onto either end of a cob. (We're a classy fambly!)

This afternoon, I completed work on my raised vegetable garden that has taken me fucking forever to complete. All it took was about 20 bags of dirt and cow shit and it's ready for my measly three tomato plants and basil. If all goes well, we'll be eating FRESH 'maters by about, oh, November. But it does look stellar -- I'll have a picture later. Betcha can't wait!!!

The coolest thing is, though, that while I was a-hoeing the garden, I hit this little rock. I picked it up and shat my nappies. Check this shit out:

You betcher ass that's an arrowhead! How fucking cool is that?! Mr. Z and Miss O were duly impressed and I promised them that we would take it over to the MSU museum to collect our MILLION DOLLARS! Seriously, though, I think I was more excited than they were. I wanted to keep digging for more booty, but those tomatoes weren't going to plant themselves. And fresh salsa is WAY more important than some ancient Native American burial ground.

Let's see, what else did we do? Um, oh, we took the kids to get ice cream after their baths last night -- they were in their pajamas and everything. I remember doing things like that when I was a kid and I figured, hey, fucking live a little, you know? (Although it may have been a little weird that I was in my pajamas, too.)

And that was it. Stellar weekend, I must say. I think they're getting more tolerable now that the spawn are becoming a little more independent. I don't get these people who want to keep having babies as their other kids start growing up. What the shit?! I'm just starting to be able to bathe myself on a regular basis again. Why the fuck would I want to go back to fucking boot camp?! Morons.

Oh, as I was leaving Miss O's room tonight, I heard this:

MISS O: There's one... and-- Oh no! Where's my other nipple?! I can only feel one! Nipple! Where are you?! Are you in the bed? NIPPLE!

I told her we'd look for it in the morning.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Remember to Keep Your Cat Nice & Moist

Miss O has yet another chest cold. The old lady and I (okay, mostly "I") always get riled up when this happens because ever since some complications she had after getting her tonsils out last September, there's a tendency for regular colds to get into her chest and potentially turn into pneumonia. It's like stuffy nose one day, hacking up a lung the next. Pain in the ass.

The great thing is, she couldn't really care less. I swear, she could have a severed limb with blood spurting out of it, and at the most, she'd be mildly cranky. Mr. Z is pretty much the same way when he's sick. I'm telling ya, they definitely didn't get that trait from my tepid pool of whiney genes -- one sniffle and I'm climbing into the old iron lung.

Which leads me to my next point -- we're a family of many a humidifier. My life-long search for the perfect himidifier is akin to a thrill-seeker climbing Mt. Everest, or the quest for the holy grail. I get a couple of new ones each fall, sometimes hot mist, sometimes cold. Some have filters, some don't. All of them have one thing in common -- they fucking suck and probably end up making us sicker than we already are, spraying out mold and spores and shit.

Then along came the Venta-Sonic. Whisper quiet, cool mist, no filter to change -- the thing is a fucking work of art. It practically breathes for you. It keeps me properly moistened all winter, like a dew-kissed lawn on a misty June morn. It rocks.

So, I sent in the warranty card in case it blew up and that was that. Then the other day, I get this letter from the Venta-Airwasher company asking me if they can have permission to use "my quote" about their humidifier in their "product brochure or website." Here:

So here's the thing -- A) I never sent them a quote, and 2) I don't have a fucking cat. What the shit?! "It is dry here and Venta Sonic has really helped me and my cat"?! Who am I, fucking Granny Wrinklebottom?! "Oh, Mr. Whiskers, it's so dry in here. My rheumatizz is sure getting the best of me. Let's turn on the Venta Sonic and get some much needed relief."

I mean, part of me wants to sign it and send it back in, just to see the brochure with my name and that quote on it. The other part of me wants to slightly alter it and then send it back. Something like, "GREAT PRODUCT - IT IS DRY HERE & VENTA SONIC HAS REALLY HELPED ME & MY EXTREMELY DRY AND DESSICATED PUSSY."

That'll make it into the brochure. I'll send it off tomorrow.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Won't Get Foiled Again

So, okay, I'm starting to see how some of my 'fun' activities for the kids might be having somewhat of a negative psychic effect on them. Yesterday, while I was magically crafting the pineapple upside-down cake from thin air, I was trying to keep the kidlets from murdelizing each other. I had a little bit of aluminum foil left over (or as the Brits like to say, "aluminium"... yeah, they sound so smart with them fancy accents, but they're not smegging the squiffy over this guy's nubblies) and I tried to think of something that would keep them occupied.

Then I noticed their evil, naked, chubby doll friend, Loordelanz, Jr. lounging on the counter out of the corner of my eye. I grabbed him, slapped a piece of foil over his face, molded it a bit and said:

ME: Hey guys, look! Loordelanz, Jr. is wearing a death mask!

Of course, they were thrilled. They started grabbing all the dolls they could find, wrapping their faces in foil and creating their own shrouds of death. Elmo had one, Fairytopia Barbie had one -- even talking PeeWee Herman had one:

It was good, clean family fun -- that is, if you're a member of the Manson family. It wasn't until about a half-hour later that I realized that there might be some tiny connection between this kind of activity and, say, the non-stop, single-minded obsession with death that Mr. Z has been embroiled in for the last, oh, five or so years.

It was then that I impotently suggested that "Hey, these can also just be fun Halloween masks too, if you guys want." Too late. We now have little silver Shrouds of Turin scattered about the house and we'll be undoing the damage from this little extracurricular activity for years and years to come.

Maybe tomorrow we can grab a couple squirrels, toss them in the toaster oven and learn a little lesson about cremation!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why, I'd LOVE to Help!

I'm always the guy who gets roped into doing something I totally don't want to do. Somehow, people can smell that I'm a complete patsy and they dump shit on me that everyone else has weaseled out of. Constantly. Especially when it comes to the kids' schools.

Last year, I got corralled into making this mosaic table for Mr. Z's class' silent auction and that was a royal pain in my buttock. I had to go into the class, have each kid paint a picture on a tile, go get said tiles fired at the fucking kiln place, then find a goddamn table, buy a shitload of little tiles and some grout, put the whole fucking thing together, go to the auction and then watch as NO ONE placed a goddamn bid on the thing. (And it looked pretty sweet, mind you.) I mean, I did learn how to do mosaics and all... but that's beside the point! I was corralled, dammit!

Well, it happened again. The Room Mother in Mr. Z's class (and that's a whole 'nother post right there... fucking room mothers) called last week and asked if we could "help out" with the end of the year party. I figured, she probably wants me to throw a little cash her way, right? Wants me to buy some streamers, maybe some ding-dongs or some zebra cakes. "No problem, room lady, I'm in." So she says:

ROOM LADY: Great! The party is a Hawaiian theme, so it would be great if you could make a pineapple upside-down cake.

ME: Yobbita-Yobbita-Whuh?!

Pineapple upside-down cake?! I didn't even realize those were real -- I thought it was something Ralph and Norton would take to one of their meetings at the Racoon Lodge on "The Honeymooners" or something. What the shit?! Corralled, once again!!

But I'm a man of my word, so I decided to make the fucking cake. I found a recipe (again, in my incredible "Baking Illustrated" cookbook), got the ingreediments together, and actually started to get fired up. Of course, it called for some odd-sized cake pan that I didn't have, so I dragged Miss O around with me to find one. Kroger? Nope. Target? Nope. Marshall Fields? Nope. Bed, Bath & Beyond? Nope, Nope & Nope. Finally, as Miss O was about to either die of exhaustion or murder me, we found one that was close at fucking Younkers, of all places. Younkers?! Do people even go there?!

Anywhom, got back home, whisked shit, blended shit, whipped shit, sliced shit and baked shit until I came up with this:

Pretty snazzy, huh? And I even used the mosaic skills I learned last year to cement the pineapple in there. It looked a little barren, so I cut up that green construction paper to make a nice little grassy hula skirt thing around it. Sure, I haven't tasted it -- it may well taste like Pine-ASS-le POOPside-Down FAKE, but it looks fucking awesome, doesn't it? I'll just drop it off at the party and then bolt before anyone attempts to choke it down.

No one's going to fucking eat it, anyway. Just like that table that no one bid on. Bastards.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Apparently, All Roads Lead to Crabbydad

A while ago, I snagged a little code from Arnie's site that allows me to track who is coming to my site and from whence they came. It's not like there are hoards of visitors to my site (is seven a hoard?) but it is fun to note the occasional visitor who happens upon the site via a search engine. These poor souls were apparently searching for something else but ended up with my site as one of their potential search matches, instead. Here are few of my favorites:

"Boots fucking Dora" -- Yahoo Search -- Search Result #8

"Maria Conchita Alonso nipples" -- Google Search

"pineapple pinatas shredder bird toys" -- Google Search -- Search Result #8

"'City Eats' menu Okemos" -- Google Search -- ONLY RESULT!

and my personal favorite:

"hobo King of Toilettown" -- Google Search -- ONLY RESULT! AND, the person who did the search is from NORWAY!

Yes, henceforth, I shall only be addressed as "Hobo: King of Toilettown!" Kneel before me and bow to the porcelain king! As I sit upon my throne, flush with satisfaction after releasing the ships into the harbor, I wipe my cheeks, for they are flushed as well. Urine my kingdom, now... so... um... poop. All out of toilet puns.

So, anyway, tonight at dinner, I was trying to get Mr. Z to eat a cherry tomato. Miss O loves them (as long as I refer to them as "moon squirters") but the boy is not a fan. Finally, I got him to take a chance and he reluctantly popped one into his mouth. He gagged and then said:

MR. Z: Bleh... it tastes like salty bread!


As I was putting Miss O to bed, she started complaining about the railing I attached to her bed frame. As I predicted, she denies that she fell out of bed last night and is furious that the railing is back up. I tried to explain that even though she doesn't remember it, she did indeed do a face-plant off her mattress last night and the railings need to be up for a little while longer. She said:

MISS O: Please take it off. I'll sleep with one eye opened and one eye closed, so if I see myself falling, I will move back toward the middle.

Nice try, but no, Miss O. She eventually relented and I read her a book. As I turned out the light, she asked me to tell her a story. I said:

ME: Miss O, you heard me say that you could have a book OR a story, but not both. You chose the book.

MISS O: Yeah, but I have a hearing problem!

Which cracked me up... so I told her a story, too.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Things That Go Bump in the Night...

So Miss O fell out of bed AGAIN tonight. The old lady and I were watching the new Kathy Griffin show (apparently I'm a gay because I loves me the Kathy Griffin) and we heard the familiar sound of noggin hitting floor. And this time I think she hit it pretty hard -- instead of finding her sitting on the floor mumbling, she was lying there in a heap, bawling. Of course, I was convinced she landed on her skull and was suffering massive brain-bleeding, but the old lady talked me down.

I decided to bungie the old crib side to her bed again, though. It's either that or send her to bed wearing her bike helmet, which could be awkward when she starts having sleep-overs. Of course, I'll have to prepare myself for her denial tomorrow morning:

ME: So, you fell out of bed again last night, Miss O.

MISS O: No I didn't!

ME: Actually, you did. That's why I put the side thing back on your bed.

MISS O: I didn't fall out of bed! You're lying, Dad!

ME: Okay, okay. You didn't fall out of bed. Now finish your cereal and stop picking at your massive cerebellar hematoma.

Speaking of Miss O, she brought home these great drawings the other day of a girl standing and sitting:

How awesome is that?! That kind of shit kills me -- just picturing her trying to figure out how to draw someone sitting down. It's the way a kid thinks, encapsulated perfectly in a drawing. I should get that tattooed somewhere. Maybe on my forehead.

Okay, I just heard this PIERCING high-pitched noise that started blaring in the basement and I was frantically running around trying to figure out what it was. Smoke alarm? Nope. Carbon Monoxide? Nope. Some other fucking alarm that I don't even know about? Maybe, until I realized it was this fucking toy microwave oven sitting five feet from my desk that was GLOWING RED AND EMITTING A BRAIN-MELTING TONE THAT WAS PIERCING MY GODDAMN TYMPANIC MEMBRANE! What the shit kind of toy is that?! And what asshole even gave that to us?! Motherfucker, that thing was loud.

Look at that -- just when you start thinking about how cute your kids are, their fucked up toys come alive and get you all riled up.

Yeah, like I'm going to be able to sleep now. Bah, I say! BAH!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just Drove in from Iowa, and Boy Is My Keg-Pumping Arm Tired

Holy shitfuck, I'm exhausted. Sorry about that random audio post -- we had just walked in the door after our drive from Chicago and the kids were driving me fucking bonkers. I was trying to unpack, so I dialed Audioblogger, handed them the phone and, well, there you go. Wacky kid audio! Look Out!!!

I don't know where to start after MY JOURNEY BACK IN TIME-IME-IME-ime-ime! I'm a complete physical and mildly emotional wreck after the trip. Reunions are a mindfuck. I'm having a hard time wrapping everything that happened into a coherent umbrella thought, so maybe I'll just type and see what I remember...

First off, you'd think that a college with the highest endowment per student in the country could pony up for some goddamn air-conditioning in the dorm rooms. Holy shit, it was hot as fuck. And they had these prison mattresses and burlap sheets -- it was so hot that one night, when I thought I was pulling my sheet up over me, it was actually my scrotum. 'Cuz, you know, the heat often times makes one's scrotum more pliable... and maybe even 'sheet-like'... so you can see how my comparison might... um...

It was hot.

There was a big picnic thing on Friday night -- shitty potato salad, overcooked beans and veiny fried chicken. Again, a billion dollar endowment? Let's step it up a bit folks, huh? Why not go all out and add in some overcooked ears of corn, or something.

The old lady, who was a couple of years behind me, hooked up with her little group of friends, so I had to fend for myself. No buffer conversation with the wife. Just had to dive right in and start the chitty-chatty. Luckily, I located some key members of the old posse and sat with them.

I ended up having this long conversation with this intense dude who lived in my freshman dorm. He was a couple of years ahead of me and used to spend all of his time in the student union playing video games. He had mastered "Dragon's Lair" and the other games there and could pretty much play them until the machines turned off. I think he used to compete in video game tournaments and shit. Oh, and he was a manualist, too -- he could make WACKY fart noises using his hands. And he also traded stocks from his dorm room.

Anywhich, now he's got a shaved head, is obscenely buff (in that weird, Carrot-Top steroidy way) and he trades stocks out of his house all day. And he wears flourescent shoes. And listens to German trance music. And owns the complete Frank Zappa catalog on CD. You get the idea. He was telling stories about watching live sex shows in Hamburg and taking his kids to a nude beach in the Caribbean. All while I was eating veiny chicken.

It was at that point that I decided to start drinking heavily.

I also talked to the former lead singer of my punk band "Caesarean Sexion." Correction, I saw a giant man who had apparently eaten the former lead singer of my punk band. It was so fucking bizarre. In college, he was this wan, sinewy little fellow who wore eyeliner and had all kinds of women eating out of his shaky, long-fingernailed hands. And, while completely tone-deaf, he was a great front man. Now, he is this thick, bald-headed [yet still sideburn wearing?!], alterna-chunk with a King Tut beard and eyebrows that made Frida Kahlo look like she had alopecia totalis. His voice was exactly the same but there was such a disconnect between it and his appearance that I kept re-losing my shit every five seconds. Wacky.

There were a lot of people there who brought their kids. I'm really glad we didn't bring Mr. Z or Miss O along, because it would've put a serious damper on the "having fun" part of the experience, but it was great to see all these hippie-kids running around over the weekend. I kind of bonded with the sons of a couple of old friends of mine, and I ended up hanging out with them almost as much as I did with the adults. They were like the perfect 'get-out-of-jail-free' card. If I happened to be talking to someone and gotten to that four minute mark, where you run out of benign shit to say and start saying things like, "... so, yep... that's pretty much what I'm doing now... yeah... good times...," then I'd look for the kids and yell, "Hey! Who wants to play some soccer?!!!" Worked like a fucking charm.

There was a great moment when some of us were walking across campus and a group of about seven kids walked by and said, "Hey [Crabbydad], what's up?" and I replied "Hey guys!" Everyone looked at me like, "What the shit?! How do you know all those kids?" And I just kinda gave them that look like, "Hey, kids dig me. What can I say?"

I don't know -- I'm really glad I went. It was good seeing some of the old gang and it was great just hanging around the campus. I had such an intense four years at that place -- I was able to completely be myself there and I didn't have to worry about any real-world bullshit. I realize it was kind of an artificial existence and I'll never be able to recreate that experience of inventing myself in a completely protective bubble again. I guess I just came away from the weekend feeling that I've sort of been coasting for awhile -- like if I don't do anything radical in the near future, I'll eventually just die doing what I'm doing right now. Except I'll be Crabbygrandad and I'll be typing about how pissed I get when my colostomy bag freezes during the winters I spend in the basement.

I guess I've got to shake some shit up. Fuck, I met an old friend there who was an insurance agent or something for years and years and then he just decided to move to Florida and go to grad school to study wading birds in the Everglades. I mean, that's hardcore change. Insurance to wading birds. Fuck.

I've just got to find out what my 'wading birds' is.
this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Road Update 1

Yeah, no post yesterday as we were en route with the kiddies to Chicago. Sorry. The trip was brutal but fairly uneventful, save for the moment when I opened the door to the rest area into Miss O's foot, cinching my nomination for "Crappiest Dad of the Year."

I realized something during the trip that kind of freaked me out -- my kids never see night. It's fucked up. Because they both need TONS of sleep to hold their shit together and maintain at least the facade of normalcy during the day, both kids are usually in bed and practically asleep by 8 p.m. each night. I know, it's insane but it works and I ain't fuckin' with it. It doesn't help that Michigan is in the westernmost part of the eastern time zone, so it stays light until almost 10, and they can hear kids half their age playing and riding their bikes outside. I usually just say, "Well, those kids' parents just don't care about them as much as your mom and I do. Now go to sleep."

So, yeah, they never see night. It was about 9:30 and we were driving along the fabulous, turd-smelling Skyway, toward Chicago, and Mr. Z is like, "Wow, look at that beautiful sunset!" Well, actually it wasn't a beautiful sunset -- it wasn't even average. It was pretty much a shitty sunset but he was flipping his lid because, frankly, it may have been the first sunset he's ever seen. I'm surprised he even knew what it was called. I'm surprised he wasn't like, "OHMIGOD, DAD! THE SUN IS FALLING OUT OF THE SKY!!!! WHAT'S HAPPENING?! WHERE IS THE LIGHT GOING?! WHERE IS THE LIGHT GOING?!?!?!"

But you haven't seen these kids when they haven't gotten their 12 hours of sleep. Hysterical laughter followed by weeping, broken glass, fires, locusts -- it's fucking mayhem, I tell ya! It's a very delicate, fake homeostasis we've created in our bizarre family and even the slightest alteration to it could lead to utter chaos.

I don't know, I guess, eventually, we're going to have to let them stay up later. It could become a problem when Mr. Z is in high school -- "Sorry guys, you'll have to finish off the rest of the heroin yourselves. It's quarter to eight and I've gotta get home and go to bed." Yeah, that could be awkward.

Maybe tonight we'll really go nuts and let them stay up until 8:30.