Saturday, September 30, 2006

I'M NOT YELLING!!!!

Miss O has been really whiney and ill-tempered lately -- way moreso than usual. She's stomping around with a scowl and just yelling for no reason. Tonight, while I was making dinner, I heard her bellowing from upstairs, "Where are my glasses?! Dad, where ARE they?! Someone help me find my GLASSES!!! WHERE ARE MY GLASSES?! WHY ISN'T ANYONE HELPING ME FIND THEM?!!!!" So I bolt upstairs and say, "What's going on, Miss O? Why are you yelling? Can't you ask us to help you in a nicer voice?" And she's stomping around saying, "BUT NO ONE IS HELPING ME FIND MY GLASSES, DAD!"

Then I looked down and she was wearing them.

That's Miss O, in a nutshell. Fucking Scorpios, man.

Yesterday she was pissed because she said the air outside smelled like hotdogs.

Oh, I was noodling around in Illustrator before typing this and I came up this:



It pleases me for some reason. Maybe because I am one (a nerdarino, not an old, shitty Honda.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ich Bein Ein Nerdarino...

Well, I just listened to that interview I did for that gaming podcast thingy, and I only have one thing to say... goddamn have I become a boring fucker in my old age. What the fuck was I saying?! "Blah, blah, blah, CD-ROM, blah, blah, push the envelope, blee, bloo, blargh, the kids today, blibbedy, blobbedy, barf." I swear to god, the next time I do something like that, I gotta get myself seriously liquored up or something. Feh.

Then, like a moron, after it was over, I decided to check in on the chat room for the site, just to see what kind of people listen to the show. I logged in as "Crabbydad," thinking that I'd be nice and anonymous. So I'm on there for like five seconds and someone types, "Hey Crabbydad. Are you [my fucking name]?" I'm like, what the shit?! What are the odds that the one person who reads this drivel is in that chatroom?! Turns out it's someone who had found out about the blogs for the people who work for my company (how, I have no idea) and they had read my post about "doing an interview with some nerdarinos." Super. And by the way, as King of the Nerdarinos, I meant it as a term of endearment, like "chum" or "confrere," and not as a word meaning, say, "little nerdling who frequents gaming podcasts."

But they were very nice there, asking questions about our games and our plans for the future and shit. It would've all been very wholesome, had I not felt like some old fart lurking in some teenaged bull session. But instead, it had a whiff of creepitude. So I bolted.

Anywhiff, I'm glad it's over. Now I've gotta hit the hay and have another dream like I did last night, where I was lying in a hammock with a miniature, angry, growling silverback gorilla standing next to me. I haven't figured out what it meant yet -- the tiny gorilla either represents the frustrations I've been feeling by not being able to express myself musically lately, or it means I really need to shave my back.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go fling my feces at the wall.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Even Mr. Eddie's Father Had His Off Days...

Now I'm not one to complain...

Wait.

You know how I complain a fuck of a lot? Well today is no different. These kids of mine -- holy shitcrap, they ripped my 'old one' clean out today and handed me quite the 'new one.' And I started out in a great mood, too. I put forth the effort, is what I'm trying to say here, people... or person.

So, I knew I was in for trouble when I picked them up from school. Normally, I'd just be picking up Miss O because, on Thursdays, Mr. Z has this after-school club thing that goes for an extra hour. So it's kind of a pain-in-the-ass because I pick up Miss O, go home and entertain the girl for an hour, and then go back to school to pick up the boy. Fine, whatever. But, Mr. Z decided he didn't want to do the club thing today, and he seemed really tired, so I brought them both back home.

Then I realized we had to go to the fucking Kroger because we can't go a fucking day without buying MORE MILK and MORE BREAD and MORE TAMPONS and more Clif bars because I ran out and I really like those things before I work out. Anyway, I tried to fire up the kidlets by promising to let them pick out some FRUIT CHEWS, which, personally, I don't get but these kids think they're better than black-tar heroin, so who am I to question it? Anywhich, they took the bait and off we went.

I only had to get a few things but, of course, I ended up spending one hundred and ninety-nine dollars because I turn into Grabby McBoxerson the minute I walk into a grocery store and I only stop when I run out of aisles. And, of course, Mr. Z and Miss O alternated whining, bickering and just plain annoying the shit out of me the whole time. But they got their goddamn fruit chews (a giant box of "Peanuts Halloween Fruit Snacks," which were the regular "Peanuts Fruit Snacks" in a Halloweenie box but I wasn't about to point that out) and we made it out of there without a major scene.

Then we got home and the neighbor kids were outside playing, and Mr. Z and Miss O wanted to play, and I said "Fine, just get along and don't whine like you did at the store," and they said "Okay," but they were full of shit because the minute we got out there, they were whining and arguing and fuck, am I tired.

And I really tried to not let my good mood turn to shit. I kept saying, "Don't let it bother you... they're just tired, just keep up your energy and keep trying to make them laugh... you can do it, there are only a couple hours left... in a couple of years they're not going to want to have anything to do you, so enjoy it while you can... that's it... chin up...

Boom -- shitty mood. You know, I'll bet it's because I didn't have my goddamn Clif bar this morning. I was going through some sort of "Clif-drawal." Oh well, fruit chews, Clif bars... I guess we all have our black-tar heroin.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cutting the Cheese... Barrier

(Blogger wouldn't let me post this last night because it was being a dick. So, here.)

Methinks Miss O is going through "the change." Yesterday at dinner, we made some Mac & Cheese for Mr. Z and we decided that Miss O had to at least take a bite of it. See, as a toddler, Miss O ate the shit out of Mac & Cheese, but, as she is wont to do, one day she decided that she despised cheese and would no longer let it pass her contrarian lips. For the last few months, we've finally been able to chip away at her cheesy-eschewment (a sprinkle of cheddar in her eggs here, a slice of pizza there) but there were no major breakthroughs.

Cut to yesterday. We announced, "Now Miss O, you don't have to eat a whole bowl, but you do have to at least try it." She refused, crossed her arms in front of her chest and stated in her scrunched-up-face-Mae-West-voice, "I'm NOT going to EAT it!" But we placed it in front of her and walked away. Two minutes later, it was making its way toward her previously cheeseless colon. Fucking amazing. Of course, she said she didn't want any more, but shit, boogers can't be cheesers.

So tonight, we made some bowtie pasta for the boy and, again, informed Miss O that she needed to at least take a bite. Pasta has suffered the same fate as cheese in the world of the shunned foods of Miss O. Basically, all the shit that's easy to make and beloved by all children everywhere... except her. Once again, we placed a few bowties in a tiny bowl, added a little butter, and placed it in front of her.

This time, instead of just eating it and calling it quits, she got up from the table, approached me with the empty bowl and said, "Mmmm... pasta is yummy! I want some more!"

No you dinh-unh!

What the shit -- I got her some more. She did the same thing. "More pasta, please!" She finished that bowl, too. I swear, if she weren't so damn cute, and if she were, say, a dude in her twenties, I would've fucking punched her really hard in the arm. But instead, I got her some more pasta.

She does still draw the cheese line, though. Mr. Z suggested that she try some string cheese. Miss O seemed game, so I got one of the tasteless, rubbery white tube-sticks from the fridge and handed it to her. She peeled off a thin string, stuck it in her mouth and then spit it out a nanosecond later, exclaiming, "BLECCH, FLEH, GRRRM, BLICK, PLOOBLE!!!"

But I'm certainly not complaining. I will accept the shunning of the string cheese. One must choose his or her battles wisely with the cunning Miss O. Besides, my next battle plan is already being drawn up.

The dreaded... GRILLED CHEESE!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is This Dream Pass/Fail?

Well, I just finished a podcast-interview-type-thing with this "gamers" website that I was forced to do for work. The president of our company didn't want to do it, so she told me to do it, giving me the direction, "Just be funny." Sure, no problem. I love being funny at 10:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night, talking into my microphone to a couple of nerdarinos through Skype.

I have no idea how it went -- I literally rambled for 45 minutes about fuck knows what. I know he asked me about how the company got started, but everything after that is a blur. I really can't wait for them to post it on their site, because the resulting pain and humiliation I will feel should do wonders for my refluxitude.

I've been having this intense college-themed stress dreams of late. They follow the classic I've-blown-off-the-class-all-semester-and-I-have-a-giant-paper-due format. I don't know what I'm stressed about, though. I mean, more than my basal level stress (which, in and of itself, would kill most mortals). It might have something to do with the giant stack of pillows I have to sleep on to prevent the river of stomach acid from bubbling off my uvula. It must be what Quasimodo feels like when he sleeps on his back.



Oh well, gotta go. I've got my final paper due tomorrow on "Losses in Gross Brain Volume and Cerebral Blood Flow Account for Age-Related Differences in Speed but Not in Fluid Intelligence," and I don't even know what building the class is in.

Where are those fucking pillows?!

Monday, September 25, 2006

If We Lived in the South, I Could Send You to School Barefoot...

I was getting the spawn ready for school this morning and I was faced with the dilemma of which shoes to put on Miss O. I usually dress her in jeans, so I naturally go with the high tops most of the time. Today, the old lady had picked out her outfit: a shirt with a jean skirt and white tights. I almost went for the high tops, but even I thought that was probably too much. So I just grabbed the black t-strap Mary Janes things that the old lady is always putting her in.

After I put them on her, though, they didn't seem quite right. Something about the black with the white tights -- I was just imagining the old lady seeing her after school and saying something like, "You put those shoes with that outfit? What are you, shoetarded?!"

We were running late, though, so I asked Miss O herself, "Hey, Miss O, do you think these shoes go with your tights?" She paused and then looked me right in the eye with that what-the-shit-is-wrong-with-you look of hers and actually said, "Why do I have to tell you something if you're a grownup and I'm a kid?!"

Tou-fucking-che.

Then she turned to Mr. Z and said, "Hey Z, Dad just asked me if my shoes go with my tights!" Then she said, "Oh Dad, you're hilarious." And I did that fake, dumbshit laugh-talk thing, "Ah, I'm just kidding... heh... I know they go together. Why wouldn't I know that... me being the dad and all. They go... right? Of course they go! I'm very sure they go together. Very sure. If Mommy asks, though, just tell her that you picked out your shoes today, okay? Great, off to school!"

I found out later that the shoes, in fact, DID go. So there. But the barrette color I chose was WAY off.

And now, as a special service to those of you who say you "can't cook," I give you the recipe for the fantastic dinner I prepared this evening. It's quick, it's easy as fuck and it will send your mouth atwitter with delight. It's so good, in fact, I apparently took the time once to write the word "Yum!" right on the recipe. And if you know me, you know that I don't just toss my "yums" around willy-vanilli.



So cook it up. Fuck the "snake beans" thing. I just use green beans. And I don't use Thai basil, either. Oh, if anyone needs any basil, by the way, I've got a fucking forest of it in the garden... right next to the tomatoes-that-taste-like-ass.

Bonerpetite!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

(Loud) Children of the Corn... Maze

Well, we headed on over to Uncle John's Cider Mill today to officially kick off fall... and to get us some doughnuts. The place is about 30 minutes away, but it seemed like three hours because Mr. Z and Miss O decided to be LOUD AS SHIT THE ENTIRE WAY! I swear, I think I'm going DEEF due to their collective decibalage. I mean, it's great that they have so much fun together but holy carp, does every one of their characters have to have a voice that pierces my tympanic membrane and bores a hole through my very soul?! Apparently, the answer is a resounding YES!!!!

So, we got there finally and what is the first thing we do? Of course, it's a cider mill so we went to the Moon Walk. That's right -- if there's a moon walk, it must be bounced upon, goddammit! So we fork over our first two bucks so the LOUD TWINS can jump around and almost break the necks of kids half their age/size for fifteen minutes. Boy was that fun. Then we headed over to the "Snack Barn" for our first bag of doughnuts. Fuck, they're yummy. Plain, pumpkin, cinnamon and cider flavored fatty O's. I could've eaten the whole fucking bag but I stopped at three. And then ate another one. My colon is packed with nuts of dough. It will truly be time to make the doughnut tomorrow morning. One giant doughnut that I'll probably have to stand up to finish off. Sorry.

Then, what did we do? Oh, we stood and watched some high school jazz band play a couple of tunes. I think the true Mother Theresas of this world are high school band directors. Holy crap, what a shitty job. I wouldn't be able to muster the energy to get out of bed in the morning, knowing that I'd have to go hear that dissonant crap every day. Sure, it was great that they were there and that they were trying and all, but man, calling that "jazz" was an extremely generous gesture. Sounded more like "jizz."

Uh, then we went to the cider mill and got us some cider, which I later found out was unpasteurized, so when when I stop posting entries in this blog, you'll know we all dropped dead from e. coli poisoning. It was tasty though, so our deaths won't be for naught.

The old lady and I then decided to not be us, and take a tractor ride to the giant "Corn Maze." Seriously, it sounded like a pain-in-the-ass, but we went for it, and I'm glad we did. It was a giant corn field that had this maze carved into it, apparently by aliens, because it looked like this from the sky:



And so, despite the protesting of "the kids who never want to do anything fun," we entered the maze. Here's a not great shot of said kids during a "whine-break":



There are better pics where it doesn't look like Mr. Z is pinching a loaf in his pants, but I have this weird thing about posting recognizeable pictures of the kidlets. I know I'm being paranoid, but I don't like the idea of pictures of them being "out there in the ether," for some reason. There's actually this hilarious shot of the two of them doing karate in the corn maze and a classic with their heads in the stocks, under a sign that says "Pumpkin Thiefs," but you'll just have to use your imagination. Maybe I'll lighten up someday, but for now you'll have to settle for fuzzy/far away photos.

We survived the corn maze and didn't have to eat the rest of the doughnuts to survive. Then we tractored it back to the main barn, bought a peck, yes, a peck, of Honey Crisp apples that are basically like eating an orgasm. With seeds. Or is that redundant? Seriously, if you can get your hands on a Honey Crisp apple, eat the shit out of it. Your undulating, pulsing maw will thank me for it.

On our way out, we bought a bag of doughnuts for our neighbors and, inexplicably, another 1/2 dozen for ourselves, and that was it. Then we drove back home. Good clean crabby-family fun, once again.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to eat one more doughnut and then slip into a peaceful diabetic coma. Mmmm... diabetes.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I Don't Care How Old He Is... The Kid Needs Five Across His Lip

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that this dickfer bully kid from Mr. Z's school, who had moved away a couple of years ago, moved back and is causing renewed tension for the boy. It has now officially become "a problem" and I'm ready to murdalize this little fucker.

Apparently, this kid has been tormenting Mr. Z by the swings during recess -- trying to knock him down and calling him names and other charming shit like that. I guess the first couple of times, Mr. Z cried, which I'm sure egged this sociopath on, but the last time or so, Mr. Z held his shit together, which is a big step for him.

It all started in second grade, when Mr. Z was not only the new kid, but was also younger than everyone else by two years and was less mature socially in a big way. Perfect target for cro-magfuck to zero in on. Now, two years later, he's back for more. The cool thing is that Mr. Z has really matured in the last couple of years and he's not just going to sit and take it anymore. The other cool thing is that he tells us everything, so we can nip this mofo in the bud before it ruins his whole 4th grade experience.

Luckily, Mr. Z's teacher and his principal have a zero-tolerance-for-bullying policy and they're on this little shit like fungus on my big toenail. Apparently, Mr. Z isn't his only target and they've already scheduled a meeting with his mom, so his welcome is wearing mighty thin.

It just pisses me off so fucking much -- Mr. Z LOVES school more than anything else and I cannot tolerate anyone or anything dilluting that passion that he has. It broke my heart at dinner tonight when he told us that his heart started pounding "really, really fast" when he first saw this kid in the hallway, and that he wishes the kid would just move away again.

Part of me feels like telling Mr. Z to just stay away from the swings and avoid this assface, but then I'm like, fuck that, Mr. Z shouldn't have to run away from anything. It's his fucking school and he should be able to play wherever he goddamn chooses. The third part of me, like from the shins down, wishes Mr. Z would pull a Peter-Brady-on-Buddy-Hinton move and just cave the lil' fucker's pie-hole in. And then there's the part of me that's tempted to pull the kid aside, when I see him before school, and whisper something like, "If you even look cross-eyed at Mr. Z again, your parents will die a fiery death and I'll make sure you're violently devoured by rabid nutria."

I'll hold my tongue long enough to see what the principal can accomplish. If that doesn't work, I'm finding me some killer nutria.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gabba Gabba HEY... KISS Sucks!

The old lady's brother sent us a package a couple of weeks ago that contained the Xmas gifts he hadn't gotten around to sending to us last Xmas. The dude's a master procrastinator, to say the least. It was cool, though -- the kids got some presents for nothin', but the greatest bonus was that he also included the Ramones CDs he borrowed from me about four years ago -- "Rocket to Russia" and "Road to Ruin," the two greatest CDs of all fucking time.

See, growing up, all my friends (and I'm being generous to my child-self there -- I had maybe three total) were way into KISS. They had all the albums, the posters, they dressed up like them on halloween, the whole KISS and caboodle, if you will. I never fucking got it. The music sucked, the whole Demon/Spaceman schtick seemed really childish and the make-up, frankly, seemed a little gay to the 12 year old me.

The Ramones, though, I "got" from the first song I ever heard, which I think was "Blitzkrieg Bop." They played fast as shit, they looked totally cool and Joey had the greatest/weirdest voice I had ever heard. It was like Black Sabbath meets The Archies -- I fucking loved it.

Of course, none of my friends understood. They were like, "Dude, the Ramones suck. Their songs are like two minutes long and they all sound the same. It's nothing like "Strutter," man. KISS rules!"

Fucking morons, every last one of 'em. But I was insecure, believe it or don't, and I pretended to like KISS. I never bought any of their crappy music but when one of them would say something like, "'Cold Gin' is the rockingest song ever!" I'd reply with, "Totally... that part... where they say 'Cold Gin'... that's pretty great... for me to... hear." Then I'd run home and crank up "Rockaway Beach" or "Teenage Lobotomy" to cleanse myself of all the deception.

I don't know, I'm just excited to have my disks back. And I challenge you, my single reader, to go out and buy this CD tomorrow, if'n you don't already own it:



I'll make it easy for you. Go here. If you don't fucking love it, I'll send you a free KICKSOME CD, no questions asked. Actually, even if you DO love it, I'll send you a CD. So there. Do it.

And it kills me that Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee are all dead and all four of those assholes from KISS are still alive.

Oh well... in the words of Joey, "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care about this world. I don't care about that girl. I don't care, I don't care, I don't care about these words. I don't care."

Fuck off, KISS.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Storytime, with Miss O...

I was getting Miss O ready for bed tonight when she tells me "sometimes at night, invisible things tickle my face while I'm sleeping." I asked her what she meant and she said that she thinks it's probably spiders and other things walking across her head. She didn't seem to be bothered by it -- she said it very matter-of-factly.

So, I decided to tell her a story about a bunch of different insects and animals that walk across her face while she's sleeping, all searching for their homes in different areas of her room. There was a spider, an ant, a baby chick, a hedgehog and a badger. Good story -- took my time with it, made it funny, had a strong storyline and had her laughing along the way. It was a solid fucking story.

So, I end the story and ask her, as I usually do, "So, what'd you think?" She paused and said, "Well, that was really kind of a non-story."

Excuse me?! A non-story?! I asked her to explain herself and she's all vague and shit. "I don't know... it just didn't feel like a real story." I'm thinking, "Look, kid, you asked for a goddamn story. I don't have to be here... I could be down in the kitchen preparing myself a pickle juice and gaviscon soy shake. Who the fuck do you think you are, Michiko Kakutani?!"

But instead I said, "Well, they can't all be 'Meep-Mop and Meep-Flop in the Land of Meep' now, can they?" She said, "I guess not."

I'm thinking of renting "Alien" for her, so she can see what's really crawling across her face at night.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What the Flux?!

I've been extra crabbitudinous of late because I've been battling an acid reflux situation. I know, once I start writing about my health issues I'm basically one step away from uploading pictures of my B.M.s, but it's fucking pissing me off and I can't think of anything else to write about, goddammit. [And why, at age 41, does the word "B.M." still make me titter every time I hear it. It's not even a word, really... it's not really an acronym... it's more of a nickname, like T.J. or Scooter. Whatever it is, I like its style.]

So, yeah, the re-flux -- fluh-fluh-FLUX! It started about two years ago when we were getting ready to move to Michigan -- my stress has always manifested itself in me tum-tum. [insert eggy fart sound effect here] Got some meds for it and it was no longer a problem. Cut to June of this year, ol' Fluxy came back with a vengeance. And it's been fucking with me ever since. The fucking pills don't seem to be working anymore and I'm getting kinda desperate. I've cut out caffeine, alcohol, chocolate -- all the shit I like and it's still a-bubblin' up on me.

Of course, I did what I always do in these kinds of situations -- I turned to the internets. There are all these crazy fuckers on these message boards with their tinctures and preparations. According to them, all I have to do is drink aloe vera juice, or drink apple cider vinegar, or drink pickle juice, or eat baking soda, or stick a garden hose up my ass. I actually tried a teaspoon of pickle juice tonight and guess what? I actually heard my stomach acid drink it and thank me for making it stronger.

So now I shall retire to my bed and my four pillows that I now must sleep upon so as to angle my upper body skyward, hoping gravity will keep the coursing river of acid from bursting through my revolving door of a stomach sphincter.

Looking on the bright side, though -- maybe I'll drown in a pool of my own bile tonight and I won't have to face another morning without my green tea.

Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sweet Butter!

I finished off a box of butter while making the pie yesterday and just had to do the ol' Land O' Lakes lady trick. It's an oldie but a goodie:

Part I: Oh, look, there's a nice Native American woman kneeling by a tranquil lake, offering me some butter:



Part II: Let me just open the box there and see what's inside...



What the--HEY! Must be some fancy new squeeze-type dispenser!

And always remember, wear a "Flavor Protect-Wrapper" when spreading.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pie in This Guy...

So, yeah, this guy I work with is having his annual Piefest tomorrow and, as usual, I will be unable to attend, and subsequently, will be unable to kick everyone's asses with my amazing pie-making skizzills. It's Piefest 7. I made it to one or two of the early Piefests -- it was a good time, to be sure, but as a pie-making competition, well, let's just say it's not necessarily for the serious pie-thusiast. They have prizes for things like "Best Presentation" and "Most Original Pie," which is fun... for them... but I don't know how much it's really about the pies. And it should only be about the pies.

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a pie snob. And actually, I made a pie one year for Piefest that was about as close as one can come to nectar-of-the-gods, in pie form, and it was roundly snubbed. It was a butterscotch cream pie, and it had this flaky, buttery crust and, frankly, biting into it was like a buttery-scotchy mouthgasm, but everyone at the party was too busy ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the "Lookout-it's-the-kraaaazy-pudding-gummiworms-oreo-pie-that's-
shaped-like-a-bear's-head" entry. It was like going to Vegas thinking you're going to see Rich Little opening up for Elvis, and instead you get Charlie Callas opening for Engelbert Humperdink. Sure it's entertaining, but three hours later, you're going to find yourself passed out in a plate of two dollar breakfast buffet at Circus Circus, with your pants around your ankles and you're gonna be wondering what the hell just happened?!

But I do not begrudge them their fun -- I hope this year's fest is pie-tacular.

And, to show that I have no hard feelings, I made a pie myself today in honor of tomorrow's event. We went to the Farmer's Market today and it was quite the apple-palooza there, so I decided to whip me up some good ol', all-amerrkin apple pie. Pulled out the trusty Baking Illustrated and went to town. A couple of hours later, I birthed me this:



It was pretty spect-apple-ular -- apple-y, crusty, flakey, nutmeg-y, cinnamon-y, y-y. I'm pretty sure it would take not only "Best Fruit Pie," but "Best Crust" and "Best in Show." Oh, and they'd probably call off all future Piefests because it kicked such fucking ass that all as-yet-to-be-made pies would refuse to allow themselves to ever be made for fear of insulting THE KING OF ALL PIES... NUMBER ONE FOREVER!!!!



So have fun with your little Piefest tomorrow, my friends. Enjoy your novelty confections and fill up on your pie im-pie-sters. I'll be here in Michigan, home of the 2nd and 3rd largest pies, IN THE WORLD, finishing off the BEST PIE EVER MADE.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Toast, to New Friends...

Tonight, Miss O introduced me to her friend "Emily" who lives in the toaster:



She said, "Dad, this is Emily. She's my friend who lives in the toaster. Sometimes she comes out and plays with me. She's asleep right now. This is what she looks like when she's awake:" [then she pressed the 'start' button]



It fucking blew my mind. First, because it was so odd and funny and brilliant and B, because I have always looked for faces in inanimate objects my entire life. Cars, appliances, houses -- they all have faces and accompanying personalities and I'm constantly looking around for things like that. Of course, I never noticed Emily until Miss O introduced me. Classic.

Then, tonight, while I was tucking her in, Miss O informed me that Emily's mom always sleeps with Emily at night, in the same bed, no less. I said that Emily probably had a bigger bed, but Miss O said that no, it was the same size as hers. Then she started to get a little upset and wondered why we don't sleep with her in her bed. I tried to explain that there was no room and that she's a big girl now and blah, blah, blah -- she wasn't buying it. So I said, "You know, Emily's mom is probably a microwave oven -- if you want, I can go get our microwave and put it in bed with you." [Uh-oh, wacky dad alert!] Well, that stopped her crying and she settled down and all was well with the world, once again.

And then I promised that Emily would make her some toast for breakfast.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"You the Lady Who's Learnin' My Kid?"

Well, tonight was Curriculum Night at the old elementary school. The old lady and I went to hear all about how Miss O is doing in kindergarten and how Mr. Z is doing in fourth grade. No earthshattering news going on over there, but it was nice to meet the teachers. I'm telling you, we got so fucking lucky with this school district -- amazing teachers, very progressive, way-diverse student body. It fucking sucks that most schools in this country blow so hard. And Mr. Z's teacher was talking about how hamstrung she is by that goddamn No Child Left Behind bullshit. She seems to take it in stride, though, and pretty much still does things her own way. She's been teaching for 37 years -- I can't fucking imagine. Hanging with fourth graders for 37 years -- she's either insane or... no, she's insane. But she seems like a great teacher, so there you go.

Miss O's teacher is very nice -- classic kindergarten type. Very enthusiastic, and creative. She told us Miss O is "so sweet," and we told her she must not know which kid is Miss O, 'cuz she's a lot of things and sweet ain't anywhere on the fucking list. Her aftercare teacher, however, told it a little more straight. She said, "She's quite bossy... but... in a good way." Nice qualifier there, lady. You don't have to sugarcoat it with us -- if she were any more bossy, she'd... well, she couldn't be any more bossy. But she is cute as shit, so who fucking cares.

My favorite part of the evening was when Miss O's aftercare teacher showed us this poster that she made. All the kids had done a poster with the phrase "When I grow up I want to be..." on top. The teacher told us that Miss O was having a hard time with it and wouldn't complete it for a long time. That's the deal with Miss O -- she doesn't take shit like that lightly. She was probably grappling with the weight of the question she was being asked to answer. How the fuck does she know what she wants to be when she grows up -- she's fucking four and a half, for fuck's shit. So, the teacher said she was just going to give Miss O a pass on the project and not pressure her into deciding, but at the last second, Miss O grabbed the poster and started manically drawing. She ended up with "When I grow up, I want to be an ice cream truck driver." And it had this hilarious picture of her riding in an ice cream truck, smiling her ass off. It was incredible. I'll scan it in when she brings it home -- it's definitely t-shirt transfer material. The teacher also mentioned that Miss O qualified it by saying that she would only drive the truck on our street and would only sell ice cream to people she knew, which, I think, is illegal but I'll cut her some slack.

To Miss O, driving an ice cream truck is the perfect job. She gets to drive around and eat ice cream. Fucking brilliant. And with Miss O behind the wheel, it's just not as creepy as the John Wayne Gacy-esque ice cream dude at the park with the faded clown painted on the side of the truck and "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" blaring out of the back.

She is bossy, though.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Straight from the Horse's Mouth... er, Womb

I have nothing to say tonight. I literally can't think of a single thing about which to type. Hm. Well, I could always tell you about the shittiest job I ever had. Really? Don't mind if I do.

I was in college... maybe the winter of my sophomore year. I needed cash but I couldn't bring myself to work at the drive-thru window at the bank again. You can only swipe so many fake IDs for your friends, you know? My friend D said his dad had a line on a gig in the city that had the potential for some quick cash. I liked quick cash, so we headed downtown.

We arrived at a giant, corrugated steel quonset hut type of building, somewhere on the south side of Chicago. Very industrial area. Found the head of the place -- he had some sort of eastern European accent... I'm no language expert but it sounded vaguely Uzbeki, maybe Turkmeni. So the guy looks us over and says, "You two need some boots. Here -- take this and go buy some. Heavy duty kind. Then come back." Okay, that was odd -- apparently whatever we were doing required heavy duty boots. Good sign. So we took the hondo he gave us and went and bought us some boots.

We got back and were directed to a lockerroom type area. We were told to put on these white coverall things, hardhats and our new heavy-duty boots. Then we were led back into the quonset, which was really fucking cold, mind you. It was December in Chicago and there was no heat in the goddamn place. There were lots of other dudes dressed like us and there were shitloads of forklifts driving around with palletes and big oil drums and shit. Oh, and it smelled like barf.

So, this dude gives us each a really long metal pole with a big old scoop on the end. Then he leads us over to this open man-hole and points down into it. He says, "So, you put pole into hole, you scoop fat up and then dump into barrels. Okay. Get to work."

So here's the deal. This place was some sort of weigh-station where trucks from all over the country would come and dump animal by-products into this huge underground sewer system. It was shit like horse embryonic fluid and donkey tinkle that, I guess, is used in shampoo and capsules for medicine and shit. So this donkey jizz is flowing underground and a thick layer of fat forms on top of the liquid. Our job was to scoop off this layer of piss fat and dump it into barrels. I have no idea where the barrels were headed... most likely to the Little Debbie factory. But that's beside the point.

The important thing to know is, the smell wafting up out of this manhole was akin to the smell one might experience if one were stuffed into a horse womb, floating in horse embryonic fluid, and then had horse turds jammed up your nostrils, while you were snacking on donkey ass. It was the foulest fucking thing I've ever experienced and it will remain with me until I am a bleached skeleton with really long hair and fingernails. It smelled like shiturdiarrheabarf... fart.

So I'm like, "Dude, I can't wait to thank your dad for getting us this awesome job!" But being good little boys from the suburbs, we figured we'd give it the old college try. So I plunged the pooper-scooper down the hole, scooped me up a heapin' helpin' of horse liquid and pulled it back up. Then I lifted up the scoop and dumped the glob into a barrel. Now here's the funny thing, and by funny I mean really fucking fucked up. When I dumped the fat ball into the barrel, it splattered back up and sprayed both of us IN THE FACE! I had to wipe ass juice off of my lips. It was like getting a facial from a Clydesdale. And it was all over our hands and shit. It was fucking insane.

And then one of the worker dudes comes up all concerned-like and says, "Uh, hey, don't you guys have any gloves?! That shit can burn your skin off and the smell never goes away!"

Who the fuck invents a business like this?! Seriously, at what point does someone say, "You know... I'll bet there's a shitload of horse embryonic fluid going to waste in the world. I wonder if I could convince people to put it in their shampoo and their pill capsules. Yes, I think I'll do that."

So they rushed us into this special sink area and had us scrub our hands with this special soap and shit. While we were scrubbing, this one dude told us how, when he first started there, his wife wouldn't let him in the house after work. He had to take his clothes off outside and then scrub down using the garden hose before he could even go inside. "She got used to the smell eventually, though," he continued. I'll bet she did, dude. The smell of "what-the-fuck-did-I-marry?!"

So yeah, that pretty much did it for that gig. We decided to call it a day -- I mean, we had put in a good two and a half hours worth of work, lost the outer layer of our hand epidermis and had ingested more than the RDA of donkey drippings. We changed out of our coveralls, handed over our heavy-duty boots, jumped in the car and sped off for the suburbs, never to return that quonset-of-horrors again.

Over the next couple of weeks, the skin on the palms of my hands started peeling off. It was so fucked up. I never forgave D's dad for that gig. To this day, I can't smell horse embryonic fluid without suffering crippling flashbacks. And I always ask the pharmacist for tablets instead of capsules.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Okay, Class, Who Can Tell Me How To Spell A-B-A-N-D-O-N-M-E-N-T?

Well, as expected, today's drop-off of Miss O at kindergarten was brutal. She's got the beginnings of a cold (and no, her snot's not green and she's not seal-coughing, so lay the fuck off) and I knew she wasn't going to be too thrilled about me leaving.

She was actually strangely chipper at breakfast and on the way to school. She's usually a trooper unless she's really sick. But once I got her into the classroom, the waterworks started a-flowin'. Like her brother, she can turn the tears on and off like the pulse button on a Cuisinart. She learned from the master. But it was pretty tough to leave her, though. I tried every stop-crying trick I knew.

First I tried the "Miss O, you're a big girl now, and kindergartners don't cry when they get dropped off. See, no one else is crying." Then I looked around, and there was a kid crying into his mom's shoulder a few feet away, so that one went down the crapper.

Then I tried the "uh-oh, goofy dad" approach. "Well, I can't stay here with you, Miss O. I already went to kindergarten when I was little and your teacher won't let a big old guy like me sit in circle time. She'll say, 'Hey, who let this man in here?! He's eating all the graham crackers and hogging all the juice! Get that man outta here!'" I managed to get a tiny smile out of her with that one, but the minute I got up to leave, it was back to the bawlin'.

I also tried the "Oh no! Maybe you're not supposed to be here!" approach. As in, "Wait a minute, Miss O! I don't see your name tag on the board today! Maybe you're not in this class anymore!" Of course, she went for this one and said, "Dad! My name's right there, see?!" Looked promising, but again, more tears.

And the thing that really sucked was that the more she cried, the snottier and boogerier she got. That led logically into the, "You're just going to make yourself sicker by crying" ploy. That one never works. And, true to form, it didn't.

By this point, I had at least gotten her to sit at one of the tables and she had started working on this coloring/numbers work the teacher had given everyone. She had to color in a bear, a chicken and some bees and then write the number "1" a bunch of times. She was half-heartedly coloring when I pulled out the old "Tell you what -- if you stop crying and really try to enjoy your day here, I'll get you a special treat for after school." It always ends up with the ol' bribe, doesn't it. Of course, she wanted clarification -- "What kind of treat? A toy?" I kept it vague and just left it at, "It'll be something you'll really like, okay? But you have to promise to stop crying and start your work." She promised and I slowly started to make my way to the door as she turned back to her work. Just as I was about to leave, she turned to me with that killer Keane painting look that just rips my heart out every goddamn time:



But I forced out a smile, shot her a "thumbs up!" and scooted down the hallway. It was so painful. The thing is, I'm sure she was fine once I left, and I probably should've left sooner, but there's something about leaving your kid at school when they're sad... I don't know, I've got some issues buried down deep with these particular scenarios. It probably has a lot to do with that whole "my parents sent me away to summer camp in Minnesota for four fucking weeks when I was 10" thing. Basically everything in my life has to do with that, in one way or another. And I'm more than happy to pass my unhealthy abandonment issues on to the next generation.

I sure hope I'm dead by the time the kids go to college, 'cuz I'll never fucking survive that whole scene.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

T.G.I... nothin'

I'll tell ya, weekends lately are just ripping my ass out completely. It's like, the kids hold their shit together during the week and then just let loose with Level 5 shitstorm come Saturday morning.

I know the first week of school is tough, especially for Mr. Z who is not big on transitions. And Miss O, with the starting kindergarten thing -- plus she's getting a cold. And what the shit is up with that -- she's been in school for three days and she's already caught something from some virus-ridden classmate. You know what would make my life sooo much easier? If all these asshole parents would just NOT send their kids to school when they're sick. If their cough sounds like a fucking seal, they're sick. If their snot is the color of a highlighter, they're sick. If they say, "Mom, I'm sick and I don't think I should go to school and infect the normal, healthy kids," they're sick. Keep 'em home, ya shitwads.

I've said it before, but if you don't have any kids, you better be enjoying the shit out of your weekends now, you lucky sumsabitches. You better be out there traipsing through fields, riding go-karts, eating wherever the fuck you want, sleeping in until noon, not being whined at, walking around the house naked, drinking... heavily, having sex whenever and wherever you damn-well please with whomever or whatever, golfing, or doing whatever it is you people who don't have kids do because I sure as fuck don't remember what those things are.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have about a half hour left of this glorious weekend to enjoy -- I think I'll celebrate by flossing, taking a dump and then passing out in a cloud of my own crabbitude.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

You Say Tomato, I Say Toma--blaaarrrrgh...

So remember those tomatoes I planted in the spring, and the way the plants grew like crazy and then I picked the first one, named "Dennis," last week? Well, it's harvest time at crabbydad farms and guess what?



Every last one of these fuckers tastes like a tomato-y ass. They're the shittiest tomatoes I've ever pushed into my tomato-hole, and believe me, I've pushed some shitty tomatoes in there, in my day.

I don't know what the shit happened. The soil was great -- rich, fertile, packed with nutrients -- it was like the shit of the gods. The plants were fine -- hearty, verdant, grew like motherfuckers. Then the little yellow buds started popping out all over and -- POIT! -- out pops a million shitty tomatoes.

When I popped that first one into my mouth, it was like I was chewing on an old sponge that someone, who had eaten a tomato about four hours earlier, had recently spit upon. It was all mushy and bumpy and it smelled like a wet badger. It was kind of like what I'd imagine the experience of performing cunnilingus on a wet badger would be like.

Here's what the inside of the tomatoes looks like:



Now that just ain't right. It looks like a centerfold from "Oral Surgery Cancerous Mouth Lesions Monthly" magazine. Look at that shit -- it's like a tomato-brain. Bleh.

The plants I got were the "Tomato Health Kick Hybrid" -- "packed full of flavor and lycopene, an antioxidant that may counter free radicals." Well, they were packed full of flavor, I can't argue with that. Unfortunately, it was the flavor of a badger beaver. And I don't know about "lycopene," but it sure tasted like SOMETHING was "pene" on these things.

So now I'm stuck with a bushel full of shit-ass tomatoes. I can't bring myself to throw them all away, either. With all the money I poured into those plants and that soil and all the other crap, each one of those things is worth about 10 bucks. I can't even grind 'em up to make sauce -- it would taste like tomatorrhea.

That does it -- next year I'm growing weed.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Look! It's a Floating Loser!

First off, I have to toot my own horn ["poot!"] as my "flashlight solution" for Miss O's recurring night waking appears to have done the trick. She has apparently gotten up the last couple of nights to pizzle in the toilizzle, however, she has done so on her own, accompanied only by the flashlight. Of course, by speaking of this aloud, I have cursed said solution and she will re-commence waking our asses up tonight. Nice work, me.

She did wake up last night, though, because of an apparent nightmare of nightmarish proportions. At about 2:30 a.m., she started screaming "Dad! Dad!" [A little aside here -- I get this strange pride whenever either of the kids calls out for me instead of the old lady at night. I think it's because when I was a kid, I'd only call out for my mom after a nightmare. Wait, that's not true -- I'd mostly call for my mom, but I always felt so fucking guilty for doing so that I'd call for my dad every now and then just to make sure he didn't feel left out. Guilt consumed me from a very early age.]

So, yeah, she had a nightmare. I went in there and she was pretty upset and had a hard time going back to sleep. I asked her what the nightmare was about and she said, "It's the same one I always have -- I was walking down the stairs and they started breaking. Then the floor started breaking. I never have any dreams... I always have that same nightmare." I finally got her back to sleep but I was too fucking scared to go back to sleep myself. Fucking stairs and floors breaking?! Thanks for nothing, Miss O.

On a complete tangent, it probably comes as no surprise that I was a bit of a dorkus as a youth. Oh sure, crabbydad, we were all dorks to some extent when we were younger. Ah yes, but did you perform.... MAGIC... at kids parties? Or worse still, were you the... ASSISTANT... to a guy who performed magic? Yeah, so I rest my dorkus case. It's a long story, and I didn't do it for very long, but I was indeed the assistant to a friend of mine who did most of the tricks. Sure, I did a few -- the needle through the balloon... the silks-that-turn-into-a-cane... the keep-the-fact-that-you're-a-magician's-assistant-from-your-cool-friends trick. We even performed at a Jerry Lewis MS Telethon once, with the nice lady and fluhBOYGEN!

Why do I bring this up? Suppressed shame, mostly. And as a preface to the fact that tonight, before bed, I treated the spawn to a little something I like to call... "THE BALDUCCI LEVITATION!" It was perfect -- they were in the bathroom brushing their teeth and I said, "Hey guys! I've been working on this for a while and I think I'm ready to show you -- I'm pretty sure I can LEVITATE!" Then I explained to Miss O what "levitate" means.

Then, I performed a flawless Balducci. It looks a little something... like THIS:



Mr. Z reacted perfectly. He gave me a "Whoa! How did you DO that?!" Magic, my son... MAGIC! Miss O wasn't that impressed. She said, "I can do that too... look!" Then she jumped off the ground. Yeah, nice try, kid. The best reaction, though, was the old lady. She kind of looked at me like, "Okay, I know that's a trick, but... what the shit?!"

Ah Balducci... you never let me down.

It's the easiest of illusions, my friends. I could explain it but that would go against the Magician's Code. Plus, it would take to long, so here's a link that explains the whole thing:

The MYSTERIOUS Balducci Levitation

So simple, yet so satisfying. Basically, you just stand on your fucking toes, but it freaks the shit out of people. It's the one that chunderhead David Blaine uses in his "Street Magic" (say "Street Magic" in a whispery voice while displaying "Jazz Hands" for maximum effect).

What's the lesson to be learned here? I don't fucking know. It's either "You must never be ashamed to be a magician's assistant," or "Once a dorkus, always a dorkus." Whatever it is, I know there's one guy looking down on my with buck-toothed, magical pride:



Indeed, Mr. Henning. InDEED.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Taint No Fun Riding A Bike...

The pool at the Y has been closed for a couple of weeks and won't be open again until some time in October. They're apparently "installing a new filtration system," which I'm pretty sure means that the filter finally sucked in one snot-covered turd too many. It also means that what little gains I have made with my erratic swim schedule is down the crapper. I guess they're letting people swim at one of the local high schools, but, frankly, I don't feel like breaking in a new pool. It was bad enough baring my skinny ass in front of old men -- stripping down in front of high-schoolers just ain't gonna happen at this stage in my life.

So, I tried riding my bike the other day. What a fucking brutal thing to do. I was fine for like the first couple of blocks, but then that crampy/achy muscle thing starts in my mosquito-leg thighs -- it feels kind of like diarrhea is coursing through my muscles. I felt like I was going to puke or shit... or puke on my shit.

The thing with swimming or running is, when you start getting really exhausted, you can slow down and take it a little easier. The problem with biking is, you're on a fucking bike. When you start getting really tired and wobbly, you can't slow down or you'll wipe. And there are cars whizzing by you every five seconds, so you can't start swerving or anything. It would be like doing laps in a pool filled with jet-skis whooshing by. It's fucking insane, this biking.

I'd use our elliptical machine that's sitting in the corner of the basement, gathering dust and earwigs, but my knees kill whenever I get on that thing. By the way, if anyone wants a sweet, good-as-new elliptical machine, come on by. It's yours.

So I don't know what I'll do until the pool reopens. I guess I'll try riding my bike again. You've gotta love the feeling of that rock-hard bike seat poking up into your taint -- you know, that can't be good for the ol' prostate.

Fucking bikes. What a buncha assholes.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

School's in Sessio-- Oh Wait... No It's Not

What the shit is the deal with the first day of school being a "half day"? They just had a three day weekend, for cry-eye -- they're ready to go, man! They're ready to dig in to a whole new year and what happens? Oh, sorry, school's only open for three hours today. Go on back home, kids. We'll start for real tomorrow. Maybe. Either open the damn school or don't -- quit dickin' around!

The kiddies sure did enjoy those few minutes they spent there, though. The old lady and I hung with Miss O in her new kindergarten class for the morning. Miss O was a little quiet, a bit apprehensive, but she seemed excited. Her teacher is great and it looks like a pretty good group of kids. Eighteen of them, though. Big old class. And there were a couple of annoying, loud-mouthed boys who were answering all the teacher's questions. Those aggressive little fuckers. I told Miss O, "Look, don't be afraid to shout out the answers when your teacher asks a question. Don't let those boys do all the talking. Show everybody that Miss O is in the class and she's there to rock the kindergizzle!" She told me she'd do her best. She's also got a great after-care room that she goes to for the afternoon. She jumped right in there, found a purple tiara, plopped it on her head and started digging into the cubbies and shit. She's rarin' to go.

Mr. Z's class sounds promising, too. He seems to dig his new teacher and he has a bunch of friends in his class, which is nice. The fucked thing is, there was this bully in his class two years ago who gave him a really hard time. Total tormenter. Actually, the little fucker gave a lot of kids a hard time -- classic bully shithead. Well, he moved away after that year and there was much rejoicing. Then, Mr. Z heard that the kid had moved back into town and was coming back to school. We told him it was just a rumor and it couldn't possible be true.

It was. And, of course, the fucker is in his class. Mr. Z is like a fucking bull's-eye for asswipes like him. He's two years younger than the other kids in his class, kind, trusting and cries at the drop of a hat. He's a sitting duck. I told him to ignore the kid and let me know if he pulls even a whiff of bullshit. I know some other parents who are just waiting for this kid to fuck up and I have no qualms with banding together and riding the lunkhead out of town on a rail. Bring it, bully-boy! I double-dog dare you!

Nobody fucks with the crabbykids.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ha Ha... She Said "NUMBER 2" Pencil...

I love that someone found my blog by doing a Google search for "judge this turd." I'm the number one result for that phrase. This is truly a proud day.

School starts tomorrow... finally. Mr. Z is starting fourth grade and Miss O is on her way to kindergarten. Crazy. And for once, the two of them will be attending the same goddamn school! That's huge -- no more figuring out who's picking up whom, trying to time the drive just right so you're not too late picking up either one. Now, when I forget that it's my turn to pick them up, they'll be able to console one another. Very convenient.

As a last hurrah today, we took the spawn to Grand Ledge. It's about a half hour away and it has these, well, rock ledges that are supposedly pretty cool. We wouldn't know, though. We've been there two times and we have yet to see a single fucking ledge. We did do a nice hike, though -- well, it would've been nice if it weren't accompanied by a looping narration of "I'm tired," "My stomach hurts," "When are we going to leave?" "I think we're lost." Actually, to be fair, the last one was a valid complaint -- we were lost. We were following some wildflower path and somehow got a little turned around or something. We ended up in this scratchy field behind some industrial looking garage area -- perfect body-dumping terrain. Thanks to my uncanny orienteering skills, however, we eventually found our way back to the parking lot.

We were going to cap the trip off with a visit to this great candy store in the town there, but both kids were really pissing us off, so we blew it off. Mr. Z has been doing this thing lately where he keeps bringing up this friend of Miss O's who moved to Arizona a month or so ago. Miss O was really upset when she moved and finally seemed to be getting past it. In comes Mr. Z, with his constant haranguing, "Hey Miss O, do you think you'll ever see M again?" or "Hey Miss O, remember M?" We tell him to stop doing it but it's like a scab on his shin that he has to keep picking at to see if there's still blood under it. Drives me batty. So, no candy for him.

Then, Miss O, as predicted, is still waking us up at night when she has to pee. Last night, we left the hall light on and shut our door, hoping the light would be enough for her to do her business alone. HAH! First she stood outside our door and whined. Then she started knocking. Then she started yelling and kicking the door. We tried to wait it out, but the old lady finally got up and took her to the john. Did I mention it always happens at about 2:30 a.m.? So, yeah, no candy for her, either.

I think I may have stumbled on a solution, though. I gave her my really cool flashlight tonight and told her she could use it to help guide her way to the bathroom. She seemed intrigued. It better fucking work, because if it doesn't, I think I'm going to have to install a toilet in her bedroom.

Or maybe we'll just stop giving her liquids.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dinner with a Really Funghi...

So, yeah, the wedding was pretty fun on Friday night. It was at some Henry Ford estate place in Dearborn -- fancy digs. I guess this Ford guy was a big deal in Michigan. I'm not sure but I think he had something to do with driving.

Very nice ceremony -- it went off without a hitch. For some reason, the old lady signed us up for a vegetarian dinner. Apparently, there were two you could choose from: 1.) The Vegetarian entree and B.) Chicken and Steak. Now that's not chicken OR steak, but chicken AND steak. Who the fuck serves chicken AND steak. What is that, turf and turf?! Or turf and... coop?! And since the crabbydad family doesn't eat red meat (or as Mr. Z likes to tell the wait-staff at restaurants, "We don't eat mammals!") we had to go for the veggie meal. As I guessed, it was a portobello mushroom, but that wasn't all, my friends. It was stuffed with something... it was kind of a cross between spinach dip and ranch dressing. And ass. And then the whole yack-inducing bolus was topped with melted cheddar cheese. And there were three, small over-buttery potato-lettes, too. Basically, the "chef" hated vegetarians. What a dick.

So we drank a lot of wine.

After dinner there was supposed to be a dj "spinnin' some wax," but the room full of musicians won out and started the jamming early. The groom played a very sweet song for his new "lady" on the piano and then the floor was opened up for "the rockers." There were a few songs by the groom's old band -- some reggae/ska stuff that sounded pretty good, but way too fucking loud. Now I get what people are always yelling at me whenever I played at a wedding. It was too fucking loud. I guess if it sounds good, then people don't really mind if it's loud. Apparently, we never sounded good.

Anywhich, the old lady and I were tired as shit because of the long drive and because of all the vino we had to suck down in order to choke down that fucking fartobello. So we were ready to leave but I had to stick around to play on that "California Stars" song. Finally, after an inconceivable reggae version of "Breathe," by Pink Floyd, it was my turn. The tune actually went pretty well -- I kept it nice and steady and people danced to it -- all in all a fine performance. Then we hightailed it outta there before the band had time to reform for the 90 minute version of "Mustang Sally."

We finally made it home and forked over ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS to the babysitter, who basically sat in our family room, ate pizza and watched "Cheaters." (I checked the channel the TV was on after she left.)

All in all, though, it was a good time. It was nice to get away and get all duded up and fancy-like. The old lady looked very nice and I cleaned up purty good. As we were leaving the house, Mr. Z saw the old lady and said, "Mom! You're wearing makeup! Come here -- let me see it closer!" The old lady said she felt a little bit like a female impersonator, but I thought she looked great. If that's what female impersonators look like, then she's one female impersonator I wouldn't mind sharing my cheese-covered mushroom with again.

Wait, that didn't come out right.