Wednesday, January 31, 2007

And That's Egg-Sac-ly Why You Shouldn't Share Combs...

Got a nice note in Mr. Z's school folder today. It starts out:

"We would like to inform you we have been advised that a student in your child's class has been diagnosed with head lice."

So that's a bonus. Who the fuck gets lice, nowadays? What's next, a note from Miss O's class about a kid with scurvy?

Guess we'll just have to follow the advice from the principal: "If you find nits, don't panic." We won't be panicking, though, 'cuz we won't be finding any nits. Here are tomorrow's outfits that I picked out for the spawn:

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stop Playing with General Tso's Chicken!

We got these chopsticks for the spawn to use at mealtime to mix things up a little and to see if we could maybe get Miss O to eat a little more. So, they were eating some sauteed broccoli tonight, while I was sitting at the table looking up some recipes for the week.

Mr. Z was across the table, fucking around as usual, and I was kind of half paying attention to him as I wrote my grocery list. I noticed that he was doing something with the chopsticks, and then I heard him say, under his breath, "Ouch." I looked up and asked, "What were you just doing?" He, of course, said "nothing," but I knew damn well what he was just doing. He was pinching his schvantz with the chopsticks!

Now as a parent, I had to say something. Unfortunately, any time I have to be parental about anything involving poo, pee, or the apparatii that create poo or pee, I end up laughing. I'm sorry, I peaked at age seven, okay? Kill me.

So, I composed myself, took a deep breath, and said, "Dude... it's really not appropriate to go grabbing your weiner with your chopsticks at the dinner table." Actually, that's what I wanted to say. I actually said, "Dude... it's really not appropriate to go grabbing your--[nose-laugh/look down at shoes/try again/smile/look down/look at Mr. Z/give up].

Naturally, he started laughing hysterically, as did Miss O, as did I, and, once again, instead of extinguishing a behavior, I reinforced it. Skinner would be proud.

If I hadn't have said anything, he probably would've thought to himself, "Ow. It hurts when I pinch my penis with this pair of chopsticks. Perhaps I shouldn't do that anymore." Of course, now he thinks, "Hm. When I pinch my penis with these chopsticks, Dad laughs really hard. This is something I most certainly will do again."

I don't even want to think about what fucked up fetish I may have just foisted upon the kid. Bleh.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dad, There's a Mr. Blackwell on the Phone...

Here's what you get when you say, "We've gotta get ready to go to the store so... hey, here's an idea -- why don't you guys pick out your own clothes today. Get dressed and then come on down."

You get "Stretch McOldSweatpantserstein" and "Tartlet: Portrait of a Colorblind 5-year-old Streetwalker."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Actually, I Go by Jack Penis...

It's late and I've got to get some fucking sleep, but I have to mention a minor, nay, major faux pas I pulled today. Wait, does one "pull" a faux pax? I guess, if it looks like it needs some pullin'. Anywhich, we were driving back from sledding today, at this giant fucking mountain of a sledding hill. We had heard about it from some neighbors and thought we'd check its look. It was like Pike's Fucking Peak. Scary as shit... but that's another story, and since I didn't bring my goddamn camera, it'll have to wait.

So, we're driving home and Miss O called Mr. Z by his full name. For some reason, Mr. Z's not a fan of his real name. He's actually Mr. E, but we never call him that. So, he's saying how he's embarrassed by his real name.

MR. Z: Don't call me that! It's embarrassing!

ME: What do you mean it's embarrassing. You have an awesome name!

MR. Z: No way, it's totally embarrassing.

ME: Look, it's not like your name is... I don't know... "Johnny Penis."

And there you go. The old lady shot me a look like, "No you dihn-unh," and Mr. Z and Miss O exploded into hysterics that lasted, well, basically until we put them to bed about four hours later.

I, of course, thought their reaction was fucking hilarious, and I literally almost drove into the oncoming traffic because I was laughing so hard. By the time we got home, tears were streaming down all of our eyes, and "Johnny Penises" were flying everywhere, along with "Vicky Vulva" and Miss O's "Bobby Butt."

So, I don't think I really made my point very effectively... although maybe I did. I'll never know. I do know, though, that after awhile, I pretty sick of Mr. Z running around screaming "Johnny Penis," and I said, "Look, dude, that's enough, okay? It was funny buy now you've gotta stop." Of course, the old lady called me out on my hypocrisy, saying, "You can't dangle 'Johnny Penis' out there and then just snatch him away when you don't think it's funny anymore. It's your fault." She had a point, but the boy was killing the fucking joke and he had to learn a lesson about comedic restraint. In other words, don't beat Johnny Penis into the ground.

That's a great band name, though.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hey! Isn't that Dyan Cannon?!

Back in August, we got Mr. Z this shrunken apple head kit that he proceeded to put on a shelf and not use, like pretty much everything we get for birthdays/xmas/arbor day. Well, during one his smabillion goddamn days-off-from-school-for-no-reason, I dusted the kit off and decided it was high time he make a fucking shrunken apple head.

Not as easy as you might think, however. First we (meaning I) had to peel the apple. Then we (look... from now on, "we" means "I") had to carve a rough face on the defleshed fruit, and scoop out some shit around it. Then we had to cook it in a 200 degree oven for, get this, EIGHT HOURS. Who the fuck thought this project up, Johnny I've-never-done-a-project-with-a-kid-before?! Eight hours... I was tempted to cook it at 1600 degrees for one hour, but our oven didn't go up that high so, shit.

So, eight fucking hours later, the naked apple was kinda dried out, but still kinda wet and appley. That's when the directions directed us to hang the fucking thing in the "drying hut" for, I ain't shittin', TWO DAYS. Motherfucker! If I ever meet the dick who thought this thing up, I'm gonna stick him/her in a 200 degree oven for eight hours. Two days. Cock.

Two days later, I have to say, the thing was looking like a goddamn shrunken head. It was hideous. Miss O was repulsed by it, and frankly, had I not known it had once been a Granny Smith, I would've yooked at the sight of it as well.

We finally finished the thing off yesterday (another inexplicable day off), adding the paint, eyes, teeth and hair. And crown. And now, it is ready for its unveiling.

Presenting Mr. Z's Crinkled Curiosity, the Misshapen Monstrosity, he of the Frightful Physiognomy...


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sing It, Mr. Z!

Probably the quickest turnaround time for a Kicksome tune, but "Guanaco Land Theme Song" is done. It's no "Grandma's Birthday Cake," but I like it, Mr. Z likes it, and it got us recording again, so what the shit.

Here it is in all its compressed-for-the-internets glory:

"Guanaco Land Theme Song" by MR. Z & KICKSOME

And in case you couldn't navigate 'round the lisp, here are the lyrics:

Guanaco Land, Guanaco Land
It's really cool, It's really fun
Guanaco Land

Mr. Guanaco's an orangutan
And he's really funny
Mrs. Guanaco is a llama
But her name is Guanaco

Anteater Guanaco is a goldfish
And he can walk on land (land, land)
Ankylie Guanaco is a dino
And she is orange, that dino girl!

Guanaco Land
Is a haven for
Many different kinds of animals!

© 2007 Kicksome Music

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Don't Get Shart-Changed...

Quickie post tonight 'cuz I'm working on Mr. Z's "Guanaco Land" song. Looks like it's going to have a 12-string Byrds kinda thing going on. We'll see.

So, I brought him down to the basement after dinner to double his voice on the chorus part of the song, and I forgot that I had one of my IM windows open on-screen. One co-worker sent me this link for the "Brief Safe," a covert and burglar-proof stash to hide your "Brownjamins":

[click here for a full desCRAPtion]

So, of course, I had to IM the link to A, at work, as she's the one most likely to be repulsed by such an image. She IM'd back:

A: I just bought two.

So I typed:

ME: I could've had Mr. Z make you some for free!

Har-har, wacky office fun.

Cut to tonight, and Mr. Z saw the above conversation in the IM window smack-dab in the middle of my monitor. He said:

Mr. Z: Hey! What could I have made for free?

ME: Oh, nothing. [supressed laughter]


ME: [blowing snot out of my nose] Seriously, nothing. It's not about you.

Well, he refused to sing until I told him, so, I told him.

ME: Well, there's this fake underwear with fake poop skidmarks on it for people to store their valuables. It's kinda like a safe... with poop on it. So burglars wouldn't touch it... because of the poop... unless that's the kind of thing they're into stealing... because some people like--oh, forget it. Anyway, I sent a picture of it to someone at work, and then I said that, if they liked it, I could send them a couple pairs of your underwear instead.

Mr. Z: Ha! That's hilarious! Good one!

ME: Thanks.

Then he recorded his part, as promised. Though I have to say, the boy has never really had any skidderinos on his undies. Of all kids, I'd think he would, but they're wipeout-free. Which is good, 'cuz I don't think I could handle a kid who leaves shitsidue on his napsters.

Anywhich... back to the song.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How to Rune Your Night...

So, Mr. Z has been kinda bummin' lately about this game that a bunch of kids in his class play that he's not allowed to play. It's called "Runescape" and it's apparently this online sim-type medieval game where you go around on quests, and slay dragons, all while chatting with 47 year-old men pretending to be 12 year-old apothecarists.

Well, a while ago, a couple of his friends told him that they played it and he asked us if he could check it out. He mentioned that there was killing and shit in it and we told him that we didn't think it sounded appropriate for an 8 year-old, so there you go. True to Mr. Z form, he instantly polarized on the issue and decided that none of his friends should be experiencing such a diabolical game, and started telling them that it was inappropriate for them to be playing it. We, of course, told him that, contrary to what he might have thought, he was not the boss of them and that, if their parents wanted to be derelict and irresponsible, well, then so be it.

Anywhich, it's gone back and forth -- some days he hates us because we're forbidding him to do what his friends do, and other days he hates his friends because they're pillaging, murderous hoodlums.

Tonight, for some reason, I finally decided to check this game's look, just to see what it was all about. I signed in, took the tutorial on how catch shrimp and smelt ore, and started walking around in my leather lace-up blouse and capri-length pantaloons. I have to say, Runescape is one of the most frustrating, mind-numbing, pieces of medieval butt-gravy I've ever experienced. Holy shitfuck, I literally almost punched my monitor.

According to the homepage, there are currently 144,804 people playing this miserable waste of Java code. I don't know if that makes me angry or sad. It makes me sangry, is what it does. I was walking around, trying to click on shit, and there were hundreds of other virtual losers in my way, trying to hit me or stab me or sell me a goose, then I'd walk by some asshole wizard trying to cast a spell on a sheep... no wonder there's so much fucking violence in the game -- people are just trying to get other players to kill them so they can log off and get back to popping their backne while watching G4TV and reading their graphic novels.

I almost feel like letting the boy play it so he can see how fucking awful it is and so he can stop hating his friends for being violent, and start hating them because they're giant dillweeds.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Warts: The Footnotes...

Took Mr. Z to his (hopefully) final wart visit with the doctor. The doc only had to burn off a couple of the lingering nubbins and he thinks that should be it. Unbelievable, these things. This was his fourth trip over there. That does it -- I'm making the boy wear socks 24/7 until he goes off to college.

Tonight, as the boy and I were talking before he went to sleep, we discussed the worst places on one's body to get a wart. He, of course, led off with his butt...

MR. Z: Dad, what would happen if you had a wart on your butt?

ME: Well... that would be a bummer. Ha! BUMmer? Get it?

MR. Z: [silence]

Then I suggested that it would really suck to have a wart on one's eyelid. He agreed that that would be heinous. Then, inevitably, it led to:

MR. Z: Ooh! What if you had a wart on your privates?! And what if it covered the little hole at the end, and then all your pee kept building up until the whole thing exploded all over the place?!

ME: Hey, that reminds me... did you go to the bathroom before bed?

MR. Z: Yes! So, what would happen?!

ME: Uh, well, that would probably be really painful and messy, and you'd probably never be able to take a pee standing up again. So that's a real good reason why you should make sure to wash your penis really well when you take a bath.

MR. Z: Okay.

Who says I don't teach my kids valuable life lessons?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dude! We're Gettin' the Band Back Together...

So, I haven't posted in a coupla days because I'm trying to spend some of my non-existent down time making a little music with the spawnage. I just haven't had any time to do it lately... actually for the last year or so, and that's just wrong. I enjoy it, they enjoy it and I just have to get off my skinny ass and start recording, which is what I've been trying to do.

Today, Mr. Z and I worked on his new song "Guanaco Land Theme Song," about an orangutan named Mr. Guanaco, and the rest of his family. Mr. Guanaco has been in Mr. Z's arsenal for years now, and I'm glad he's finally going to be immortalized in song. A couple of years ago, the boy made a Mr. Guanaco t-shirt:

It was an awesome shirt. I love how Mr. Guanaco has a t-shirt with cutouts through which his orangunipples can poke. Anywhich, the song is going to be pretty great, I'm thinking. I'll post it when it's all finished.

Miss O and I are also working on a song about her imaginary friend, Meep Flop, who lives in the land of Meep, which is located beneath a trap-door in the laundry room. She dictated the lyrics to me, but getting her to sing them is a whole 'nother egg. If she knows that I want her to sing it, she'll refuse, so I have to somehow get her to suggest it herself. I'm telling ya, this kid is the contrarian to end all contrarians. Fucking drives me batty. It's going to be a spectacular song, if it ever does get recorded, though. We'll see.

Other than that, nothing much has happened. We went sledding again today. Miss O's pneumonia seems to be subsiding, so we thought, "Hey, let's throw her back out into the snow, eh?" She was much more chipper today, though. None of that listless whining like last weekend. Today her whining was full of vim and vigor.

So there you go, another post. Hopefully, I'll keep up with the daily postage this week, though the kids have only a half-day on Thursday and NO SCHOOL on Friday, so I'm not making any fucking promises. I swear to shit, I'm going to murder the goddamn school board in this town.

Oh well... off to Guanaco Land! Toodles.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

But I Had "Not-Its" Forever!

So, I guess there's this whole "meme" thing going on in the blogosphinctre wherein people make these lists and shit and then basically chain-letter a bunch of other people into doing the same. Apparently people do this... it's news to me, but it must be related to that Billy Idol "get-laid-get-fucked" Mony, Mony thing that all of the sudden came outta nowhere in 1984 that everyone seemed to know about except me, so what the shit.

Anywhich, I was "tagged" by Shannon at Simply Cooking and since I don't really have any real friends, I should probably not start alienating the fake online ones that I pretend to have. So, I guess I have to play along. Shit, it's easier than writing a real entry, so why the fuck not. Here goes...

Three people/things that make me laugh
Louis C.K., the spawn, farts (real or faux)

Three things that scare me
twins, triplets, Germans

Three things I love
cold Chinese food, picking off dead skin, making music (and yes, in that order)

Three things I hate
morons, the chicken casserole my mom used to make that my brother and sister both loved, making appointments on the phone

Three things I don’t understand
religion, when the odds of something are like 1:2, euchre

Three things on my desk
a monkey-wearing-a-fez candle, a pile of smooth rocks from Lake Michigan, old booger dust

Three things I want to do before I die
move back to Chicago, make one friend, lose consciousness

Three things I can do
parent, create music, wipe my own bottom (and yes, in that order)

Three things I would like to learn:
how to use the sewing machine the old lady got me last year for my birthday that's still in the unopened box, how to make cool furniture, how to play the pedal steel guitar

Three favorite foods
cold Emperor's chicken, mashed potatoes, green olives

Three beverages I drink regularly
Italian red wines, water, Genmaicha brown rice green tea

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid
Lancelot Link Secret Chimp, The Partridge Family, Mad magazine

Oh my fuck, that was so fascinating, wasn't it?! Now you know me SO WELL! Oh memes -- where have you been all my life?!

Now, apparently, I'm also supposed to tag three other people to keep this charade moving. That's tricky. I don't really know anyone who I dislike enough to do that to. Correction -- I know shitloads of people who I dislike enough... I just don't know their blogs. Okay, well, I guess these would be the ones who would probably hate me the least for tagging them:

The Collective Lens


Liberty Valence (she might actually hate me for tagging her but, frankly, I don't know her that well and the subsequent hate will probably spur some great songs, so there you go)

Lookie there. Post done and not even 10 p.m. yet. I think I'll go shower and wash this post's shittiness off of me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ah, It's Just a Touch of Leprosy... Walk It off!

Well, the awards season is officially underway, and there's a new one about to be handed out. It's the award for "Least Intuitive Parent" and it goes to... the envelope please... gosh, these things are so hard to open... ME!

Yeah, we took Miss O to the doctor today to check out her cough that has been kinda hangin' on for a while and he said that she has a touch of the pneumonia. Just a touch, mind you. So, I'm guessing the swimming she did at that birthday party on Sunday, and the sledding we did yesterday afternoon probably weren't the best things for her fluid-filled breathing bags. I keep flashing back to her at the bottom of the sled hill, standing there and whining, "But I'm too tired to walk back up! Can't you carry me?" And me shouting back, "Oh, come on, lazybones! Run on back up here -- it's not that steep!"

To be fair, I think it's only gotten into her chest in the last day or so, and we have been doing her breathing treatments and everything, so we're not complete deadbeats. I'm sure it's viral, but the doc is putting her on Augmentin "just in case." The girl remains surprisingly chipper, however. Back before she got her tonsils out, she used to get bronchitis/pneumonia all the time and she'd get all feverish, listless and pale and I'd have to sleep on her floor at night so I could hold a mirror up to her mouth every half hour to see if she was still breathing. (I was a little more tightly wound back then.) Now, she's the picture of health... uh, except for the pneumonia part.

Ah, she'll be fine. Nothing a little vigorous exercise won't fix. Maybe I'll wake her up and run her around the block a few times. Or I can make her shovel the driveway! That'll get those lungs a-pumpin'!

You know, I don't wanna jinx it, but I'm thinking I've got that "Dad-of-the-Year" trophy in the bag!

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm Thinking This Party Is More Painful Than the Actual Birth...

Holy fuckshit, I'm exhausted. The old lady did decide to come home last night, which was nice of her, and things have kinda gotten back to normal. Oh, except, of course, that there was no school today, so I got to spend even more quality time with the spawn, who by now, really can't fucking stand the sight of me. And frankly, can you blame them?

I guess I said I was going to talk about the birthday party I took Miss O to yesterday. Shit. I dunno, it was at this big health club/athletic facility place that I've always wondered about. Now, we're YMCA people, but I've always kinda wondered what goes on in one of these bigass uber-gym places. I mean, it would be nice to not have to bring my own towel, maybe sit in a whirlpool, lather my meaty-bits in my own private shower stall for once, perhaps?

Well, I discovered that all of that can indeed be mine, for the low, low price of a $400 initiation fee and $180 dollars a month. I still can't comprehend that. That's $2500 dollars a year, right? Who the shit pays that? Seriously, is that not a lot of money for a place to work out at two or three times a week? Is it me? It's them, isn't it?

I don't know. Anyway, the place wasn't even that fucking fancy. Sure, they had a restaurant, and a shitload of weights and bikes and shit that I'd never use, but it was kinda dingy in there. The carpet was all splotchy, like a movie theater carpet, and the lockers looked just like the 1982 cabinets we just had ripped out of our old kitchen. $2500 bucks?! For that kinda cashish, they better fill that fucking pool with San Pellegrino and have dolphins and shit doing some kind of Sea World show while I'm doing laps. Assholes.

Anyway, the party. Yeah, it was classic Miss O. We got there, and the first hour consisted of a bunch of games in this gym area. There was this maze, where they played hide and seek, and they did some lame running games like "What's the Time, Mr. Fox" and "You Better Jump over This Rope or You're Fucking Out." Miss O was having none of it. She refused to divulge her name and her favorite flavor of ice-cream when they were going through the introductions. Then she stomped around and whined whenever she got caught or lost a race. Classic Miss O. Then I had the old, "Maybe we should just go home if you're not going to try to have fun" talk with her, which actually didn't work all that well. Eventually, I think she just decided I had suffered enough and joined in.

After an hour or so of that, it was time for swimming. Since they were all girls, except for two lil' dudes, they headed to the women's lockerroom. I showed amazing restraint, and waited outside. One of the moms, we'll call her "The Overly Helpful Mom," assured me that she would help Miss O get into her bathing suit, while patting me on the shoulder like I was either 8 years old or was on my first day as a parent. I told her that Miss O could dress herself and that she might try to stop being so fucking patronizing. Actually, I think I said, "Thank you."

So, yeah, they got in the pool, which was three feet at its deepest point, which rocked, and I kicked back on the chaise and zoned out for an hour or so. Miss O had a blast and didn't drown. Then, it was time for cake, and the Overly Helpful Mom, again, told me that she would help Miss O get dressed. I'm telling you -- these fucking moms. Five bucks I spend more time with my kids than she does with hers, but I'm the one feeling like a goddamn chunderhead. It's Dadism, I'm telling ya. Dadism!

Really, there's not much to this story, I'm realizing. They had pizza, which Miss O refused, and cake, which she picked at. I didn't grab a piece because I knew Miss O wouldn't eat hers, so there I was finishing her piece off when Overly Helpful Mom comes by, again, and says, "Oh, you should never eat your kid's leftovers. That's a good way to get sick." Hey lady, saying shit like that to me is a good way for you to get a fistful of frosting crammed into your nosey-ass face hole. Dadism!

Then we watched the birthday girl open her 900 Bratz and Fairytopia dolls. I swear, these people are so fucking simple-minded. These are the same moms who say, "Gee, I don't know where she gets it? She just LOVES pink things and fairies. Always has. She's just all girl!" I go to one of these parties and I'm thinking, "This shit is never going to end. No matter how hard we try to create a gender-neutral environment for our kids at home, the minute they step out the goddamn door, it's all down the crapper." Morons, I'm telling ya. Morons!

Well, then Miss O got her goddamn fairy goodie-bag, and we know how I feel about those, don't we? Fucking whistle, a superball, some pink hand-lotion and a RULER!?! Then we bolted. FOUR HOURS, this party was. Ripped the ass clean outta me. That's it. No more birthday parties. I'm done. We'll send the kid a check in the mail. Finito.

There you go -- the thrilling birthday party story.

Good night.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well, We're All Still Alive, So... Bonus!

Well, I managed to be Superdad until 7:03 p.m., last night. Then it all went to hell.

Thursday and Friday were pretty much no problem. Got 'em up, ready for school pretty painlessly, and even after school was fine. Shit, we even played Jenga one day. And then Friday, while they were playing a rousing game of "Let's See if We Can Be So Fucking Loud That We Simultaneously Pierce Both of Dad's Tympanic Membranes," I even decided to go all Julia Child on their ass and cook up an authentic, non-chicken-nuggets dinner.

Special thanks, by the way, go to Shannon at her great cooking blog for the recipe for "Chicken & Biscuits, which rocked the fucking hizzy. It was all so goddamn domestic, I could've puked. They were playing "AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" and I was in the kitchen, stirring, browning and kneading. And then I pulled my hand out of my underwear and started cooking. HELLO!

Anywhich, the meal turned out fucktastic and the spawn actually ate a heapin' helpin' of it. Amazing. Then, while I was cleaning the 9000 pots and pans, Mr. Z said something to Miss O, or vice-versa, and it all went to shit. Within seconds, Miss O was bawling and saying, "I want Mama to be home!" Then Mr. Z started bawling because he thought I was going to get pissed at him for making her cry and, well, then I started looking for the gin.

I eventually guilted them into chilling-the-fuck-out (something like "You know, your mom's out of town and it's JUST ME, doing everything -- getting your food, playing games with you, wiping your stinky asses -- is it too much to ask to have a nice, quiet dinner without it turning into World War III?!"). It was then that I realized that I had officially become my mother, and I shot myself in the head.

They managed to unflip their lids long enough to finish the meal, and I rewarded them with a couple of ice cream cones filled with Ben & Jerry's 'Phish Food.' And I will toss in a qualifier here -- rarely has a band annoyed me more than "Phish," what with their pretentious Dead-ripoff wanking and their child-molesting bass-player, and I have a real philosophical dilemma every time I buy this flavor, but the kids like it and I guess it's better than buying Ben & Jerry's 'My Chemical Romance Food,' so fuck it.

The rest of the night proceeded without incident, and, after the usual if-you-two-don't-fucking-stand-still-and-let-me-brush-your-teeth-
and-wash-your-faces-I'm-going-to-murdelize-the both-of-you'se moment, they were in bed and unconscious by 8:30.

Amazingly, they let me sleep in until 9:30 on Saturday morning, but I woke up in such a heavily fortified mucous-pod, I still felt like shiznit. I half-heartedly brought up the "going out for pancakes" idea, but, luckily, the spawn bonged it. That's my kids! So, we just hung out for a coupla hours and then decided to head to the mall to find a birthday present for the party Miss O and I were to attend today. Yes, that sentence was awkward, but I'm lucky I'm still fucking breathing, so suck it.

We went to the fency-schmency toy store and walked around in a stupor for a good 1/2 hour before finally picking the gift I suggested when we first got there -- a Groovy Girl. Mission accomplished. And they fucking wrapped it there, too, so that was a big bonus. Then I spent the next 20 minutes trying to explain why Mr. Z and Miss O couldn't also get toys, which they fought valiantly, but futilely.

At this point it was about 2:30 and I realized that I hadn't fed them since breakfast, so I suggested we sup at the nearby Johnny Rockets -- the loudest, most annoying hip-boss-cherry-rock-n-roll-diner in the world. Of course they didn't want any part of it... but we went anyway. When we walked in, the waitresses (either of high-school or college age -- I swear, at this stage in my life, I have no fucking idea) were doing some bizarre choreographed cheer/song/thing to Aretha Franklin's "R-E-S-P-E-C-T." It made little to no sense, and the three of us were simultaneously repelled and hypnotized. Whatever it was, I'm convinced it would have been anything but respectful in the eyes of Ms. Franklin. When the specatacle was over, we were seated.

They ordered some chicken strips and milkshakes and I ordered the turkey and swiss burger and a chocolate malt. And at some point during my order, I must have said, "And make sure the chef licks the shit out of my burger," 'cuz I'm pretty sure he did.

Now, lactose and I have never seen eye to eye, er, colon. I used to take those little Lactaid pills before ingesting milk products, but then I'd always forget, and they taste like pencil, so I just kinda stopped and tried to avoid milky shit altogether. Well, I can't tell you the last time I downed a nice, thick and milky chocolate malt. Sure, it was delicious, but I knew that in a few short hours, someone, nay, many people, innocent and not, were going to be in serious danger.

Well, I was so pissed Saturday night when I got into bed and the old lady was not there to experience what would have been the most heinous of dutch ovens ever endured. Actually, it's a good thing she wasn't there, because she probably wouldn't have survived it. Here's what I learned:

One (1) Johnny Rockets Chocolate Malt + My Digestive Tract = the fudgiest, eggiest, velvet-foggiest, swamp-gassiest vapor cloud known to civilization

And it hung about six inches above the bed, like some sort of museum laser-security system, for the entire night. It was literally breathtaking.

I can't wait to try it out on the old lady when she gets back. Might make her think twice before going to another conference again, I'll betcha.

I'm stopping here because A) I'm tired as shit, and 2) there's no way anyone has read this far, so I'm basically just typing to myself at this point.

Tomorrow I'll finish up with "The Birthday Party" and "Why I Cleaned the Tubs."


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nice Threads!

See, here's why I shouldn't be put in charge of shit. A couple of years ago, when we first moved to this vortex of nothingness, I was guilted into creating and maintaining the website for this parents group -- kind of a parent advocate group for kids who were, say, a little "advanced." I mean, Mr. Z was skipping a grade and I thought these folks might give me a little insight into the school district around here and what we could expect.

Turns out, it was just a bunch of annoying nerdarino parents who sat around and bitched about how their little Poindexters were being shortchanged in the classroom. Sure, they may have had a couple of points (but their hair covered them up... two... three...) but they just seemed so whiney and they were so obsessed with getting their kids into college as early as possible and, frankly, they gave me the willies. Of course, we want Mr. Z to remain challenged in the classroom, but we've really had nothing but positive experiences with his very proactive teachers and, fuck, he's having fun, he's not bored and he's making friends, so what the shit, right?

So I stopped going to the meetings but I was still saddled with the goddamn website. I put it together and it worked, so it wasn't that big of a hassle. Then I went and got all fancy and put in a forum a year or so ago -- a place where the nerdarinos could bitch and moan virtually. I put it up there and forgot about it.

Cut to today -- I got an e-mail from the assistant superintendant of the school district, saying that she'd like me to give her a ring. Strange... but all right. I gave her a call and she said, "Yes, uh, I was wondering if you're in charge of the forum on the [parent group] website." I told her that, unfortunately, I was, and she asked if I had taken a look at it lately. I told her that I basically hadn't checked it out for about a year and she said that I might want to take a lookie-loo.

So, I brought it up onscreen as I was talking to her and that's when I noticed the four posts by members of the group... and the 150 posts by C1alis69, A$$Pokr297, and a whole slew of odd new, and very enthusiastic, posters. As it flashed onscreen, I think I actually said, "Oh my!" to the superintendant. She said, "We just thought you might like to know. Buh-bye, now."

And that, my friends, is what you get when you put me in charge of crap of which I do not necessarily want to be put in charge... of. You get a forum-load of spam for sequoia-like erections and dwarf-teenage-amputee-shemales. I spent the next hour deleting all the posts and banning any new members with the words "ttiTTzzzzz" or "kUmB@th" in their email addresses.

Two of my favorite posts, though, were "Squirt From Both Holes!" and "Can't a Feller Take a Crap Once in a While?"

I mean... can't a feller?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I've Gotta Get Me a Job that Has Conferences...

So, yeah, the old lady leaves for San Francisco tomorrow morning. Four days -- outnumbered by the spawn. Holy shitfuck. And me with a weakened immune system. I will prevail, however. I'm one wily mofo and I know all of their trickery.

Tomorrow should be no problem. It's my day to get up with them anyway, and I normally pick them up after school on Thursdays. The day starts getting long at around 6:30, when the old lady won't be around to join in for the dinner/bedtime heinousness. Then I won't be able to sleep tomorrow night, what with Miss O's coughing, my own phelgmishness, and the fact that I just can't sleep by myself anymore. I mean, it's no fun farting under the covers if there's no one around to waft it toward.

Then Friday morning will suck, 'cuz I won't be able to sleep in, and then I have to cut my normal long work day short to pick up the kids, and then I'll finally say to myself, "Dude, lighten the fuck up and have fun with it," and I'll suggest to the spawnlets that we go out to dinner or something and they'll say, "We don't want to go out to dinner!" and I'll say, "Who are you guys?! What kids don't want to go out to dinner?!" and they'll say, "We just want to have chicken nuggets and watch a movie," so I'll truck 'em over to Schlockbuster to try to find something remotely watchable that doesn't involve Barbie or Bob the Builder or Angelina Ballerina or Evangelical Vegetables, which will be impossible, and we'll end up renting "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," which they'll hate and which I'll probably realize really isn't as good as I remember it, and then we'll end up watching an hour of Spongebob and then they'll cry because they miss their mom, and then I'll tell them a story and they'll finally go to sleep.

That's Friday.

Then there's the whole weekend to deal with. Oy. Saturday, MAYBE they'll let me sleep in, and maybe I'll take them out for pancakes somewhere, and then we have to go buy a goddamn birthday present for the kid who's having a party on Sunday, and they'll want to get something at the toy store too, and I'll say, "Are you kidding me?! After all that crap that you got for xmas that you're not playing with?!" and they'll half-heartedly whine while secretly appreciating the irony, and I will prevail, and then we'll go home and maybe I'll become momentarily not myself and suggest that we go to Family Swim at the Y, and they'll say, "YAY!" and then I'll become myself again and say, "Why the shit did I just suggest that?" but we'll go anyway and they'll both have fun looking at the wrinkly old man penises in the showers and tittering, and we'll swim and then go home and I'll pass out on the couch while they play a rousing game of "Let's Mess Shit Up," and then dinner, baths, bedtime, blah, blah, unconsciousness.

Sunday, I don't know what the fuck I'm gonna do. Miss O has a birthday party to attend, a swimming birthday party, no less -- yeah, maybe I'll blow off the swimming on Saturday. I don't know. Anywhich, unless I can get our sometimes babysitter to watch Mr. Z for a few hours, I'm going to have to drag him along to the party because there's no fucking way Miss O is going to let me drop her off and leave. So I'll sit there with my thumb up my ass for three hours while Mr. Z whines that he's bored, and I'll have to entertain him while trying to coax Miss O into the goddamn pool -- "C'mon, Miss O... you LOVE swimming, remember? All your friends are in there, see?" And she'll finally get in five minutes before everyone has to get out and have cake--

You know, I don't know why I'm thinking about all this shit now -- I'm depressed and the old lady hasn't even left yet. Fuck this.

I'm going up to watch me some "Andy Griffith" and eat me some Newman O's.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"Good Morning, Neighb--" [SFX: PUNCH!]

With Miss O's current hacking cough and Mr. Z's special needs teeth, the morning routine at Casa de Crabbe has been particularly hyeenous. This was my morning today:

7:20 -- Alarm goes off. Bust through mucous cocoon to turn off alarm and then lie in bed for six minutes, cursing the gods of slumber for letting me make it to another day. Stumble to bathroom, hock up a jellyfish from my lungs, and tinkle. Grab toothbrush, clothes and exit bedroom, closing the door so the old lady can continue that sleep of the dead thing she has perfected over the years. Curse old lady. Brush teeth in nasty kids' bathroom, get dressed and shuffle over to Mr. Z's room. The light is on, and he's in bed, reading. "Hood horning, Hister Z," I wheeze. He glances toward my general area and grunts, "Flnrf." Then, as I do every morning, I say, "Okay, dude, let's get outta bed and get dressed. I'm only going to say it once, today." I will end up saying it 18 times.

Then it's across the hall to Miss O's lair. Her alarm is going off, and has been at this point for a good seven minutes. I turn it off and say, "Good morning, Sleepyhead. Time to get up." Nothin'. "We've gotta get going, Miss O. Big day, today. We've gotta eat breakfast, do your breathing treatment, brush your teeth and get to school." Nothin'. After a couple more minutes of basically talking to myself, I resort to the old stand-by -- "If you don't get up right now, there's no TV during your breathing treatment."

She's up.

So she goes and pees, then, while I help her get dressed, Mr. Z goes in and takes his five minute,pissing like a Clydesdale, whiz. I'm telling ya, the kid's got one forceful sounding stream. He could power-wash a deck with that thing. Incredible. So, she's dressed, and as she and I start walking downstairs, I say, "We're going down for breakfast, Mr. Z. You might wanna get dressed, dude." He shoots back with the classic, "What the heck?! Wait for me! You guys don't give me any time!" I savor the boy's charm for a moment, reply with a "Okay then, we'll see you downstairs," and continue down the steps.

After asking what she'd like to eat about eight times, Miss O finally says, "Cheerios," which means about 25 Cheerios, dry, in a bowl. It will take her 25 minutes to eat them. I also pour her some juice that she will not touch. Mr. Z finally makes it down, flustered, and carrying about seven books that he will strew... strow?... spread out on the table. He tells me he'd like a bowl of "Panda Puffs" (hippie pretend sugar cereal that costs about $9 a puny box) and some juice. I serve it all up and do I get to relax? Fuck no. It's time to make their goddamn lunches.

Mr. Z gets PBJ, a milk, some chips, an applesauce and a couple of cookies. Miss O's lunch is another story. First I attempt to ask her what she'd like for that day. She'll basically only eat 1) cottage cheese and Triscuits, B) 1/2 a PBJ sandwich, or III) Chicken/Tuna salad in a pita. Today she picked cottage cheese, which means she'll eat about half of it (no matter how much I give her -- always 1/2). I also throw in the Triscuits, an applesauce, a milk and some fruit chews, aka candy. Then I have to get their "snacks" ready. Yes, I know. What the shit?! Apparently, they have some sort of mid-morning snack. I throw some Ritz crackers and raisins in a couple of ziplocs. Bang. Instant snack.

Throughout the lunch-making, I have to keep saying, "Come on guys, eat up. Close the books and eat. It's getting late. We've still gotta do your teeth, Mr. Z and your treatment, Miss O. And remember, no TV unless you get moving." They get moving.

While they finish, I run upstairs and stick my head under the tub spout to wet down my hair so I don't show up at school looking like Linc, from the Mod Squad. Instead I'll show up looking like a greasy shitball. Then, I run back down and load up their backpacks with all their books and field trip money and snacks and shit.

Of course they haven't finished eating, but it's too late. Miss O gets shuffled into the family room for her fucking breathing treatment (we do it whenever her cold turns into a chesty cough, which is every time she gets a cold, basically). I turn on the TV so she'll sit there without farting around, and then we argue about what she's going to watch. Mr. Z wants Spongebob, but Miss O wants Curious George. She wins because the boy and I have to run upstairs and do his three-times-a-day multi-pronged brushing/spraying/swishing mouth appliance sterilization program. First you've gotta take the syringe-y thing and spray all the nighttime deathballs out of all the wiring in there. Then you use the TINY brush to CAREFULLY brush this plastic-and-steel monstronsity on the roof of his mouth that's worth more than our car. Then you use the normal brush to brush the rest of his mouth. Then he has to gargle with ACT mouthwash for a minute so... well, basically so his breath doesn't smell like ass, which, frankly, it can, on occasion. Then he spits the shit out all over the faucet, so I clean that off.

We run back downstairs to make sure Miss O hasn't been sucked into the nebulizer. She's done, so I shut off the TV and listen to her whine because she can't see how the Curious George episode ends. I tell her it ends like all the other episodes -- the monkey bites the man in the yellow hat, he dies from Ebola, and then they euthanize George. She seems satisfied.

Then I drag them over to get their boots on, make sure their shoes are in their backpacks, get their coats, hats and mittens, make sure their snowpants are in the backpacks, and then I realize I haven't brushed Miss O's teeth yet. I run upstairs, get her toothbrush, smear some Winnie-the-Pooh doesn't clean shit toothpaste on it, run back down and brush her face. I have her spit in a paper towel and then I shovel them out the door and into the car. We drive the 10 or so blocks to school because we're late and because it's too fucking cold to walk, okay, so get off my fucking ass, will ya?! We park, I walk them in, say goodbye to Mr. Z, and then walk Miss O to her classroom. I hang up her backpack and coat, take off her snow boots, put her shoes on and walk her into her classroom. She gives me a hug and then I walk back out to the car, drive the 2 1/2 minutes back home, go inside, turn on the tea kettle, put some toast in the toaster, and sit down in front of the S.A.D. lamp to read the NY Times.

And the best part? The old lady's going out of town on Thursday, so I get to do this for four days in a row.

[End scene to the sound of a single tear traveling ever-so-slowly down a man's cheek]

Monday, January 08, 2007

To Do: 1) Eat Dinner, 2) Drink Tea 3) Baggin...

Well, my cold has gone south on me and is now more flu-y in nature, what with the wheezing and the coughing and the NOYVIN! I'm going to make this short so I can hurry off to bed to not sleep and be incredibly uncomfortable for nine or so hours. And hock.

I did want to mention that I'm strangely be-tickled by the fact that Crabbydad is now the fifth search result on Google for "tea baggin." Since this post, I have noticed that 1-2 searches per day have led people to this humble blog. I fucking love that. I love that there is a constant stream of people who need information on this topic. What are they looking for? Did a co-worker drop the phrase in conversation and they need a definition? Are they looking for the proper method of "baggin'." A diagram, perhaps? Why do they all leave off the "g"? Do they think they'll look "cooler" to the folks at the Pentagon who are eavesdropping on their web searches? "Well, sir, we have someone in Milford, Connecticut who's making some questionable queries, but... well, they seem pretty darn hip, so I figure we can let it pass."

Or maybe it's all very innocent. Maybe it's some granny down in Florida who is searching for the best way to steep her Chamomile... and who also likes to take sweaty ball sacks into her toothless maw.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to clean up this basement and then go to bed. There's so much junk down here. Hey, where did that Rusty Trombone come from?!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sounds More Like BeeNOven...

Well, I've gone for pretty much a year but it finally happened -- I got a cold. It was a pretty good run, though, down here in my Howard Hughes Memorial fortress of germlessitude. I'm sure the spawn tracked in some sort of plague from Boogersnots Elementary. And yes, I blame them.

It will not, however, dampen my excitement for the purchase I just made:

It's the MOTU Symphonic Instrument plug-in, and it the most righteous piece of software you'll never have. [pause to push up glasses and do nerdy laugh-snort] I won't even bother to explain it 'cuz A) you probably won't get it and 2) I'm not sure I even get it, but basically I can now play the cello like my mom always wanted.

Here's the rub, though. I've gotta basically learn how to use this fucker by Monday because I have to compose a symphonic piece for the game we're making at work. Holy fuckshit. It's gonna be an ugly week, lemme tell ya. It's one thing to whip off a coupla 10 second guitar/bass/drum loops, but this things gonna be monstrous -- modulations, multiple loops, tempo changes. Oh, and it has to not sound like ass. Oh, and the old lady's going outta town for four days on Thursday morning.

If everything goes as planned, the game's gonna rock. If not... well, I guess I'll have a LOT more time to spend on this blog.

I feel like Mozart... 's retarded brother.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

"Can oou ytarec-tow me to ah lo-to!"*

A coworker was talking about Perini Scleroso, one of Andrea Martin's brilliant characters from SCTV, today and I thought to myself, "Hey, Crabbyself, where the shit did Andrea Martin go?!" I mean, I know she does the voice of an Edith Prickley-type character in some lame-ass Sesame Street cartoon on Elmo's World, 'cuz I remember watching it with the spawn, back when they were puny (to borrow Mr. Z's favorite word). But come on. Why isn't the woman who created Edith Prickley, Perini Scleroso, Mojo, Mrs. Falbo, Dutch Leonard, Edna Boil, and Libby Wolfson in every fucking comedy being made?!

Now, I'm a big fan of Catherine O'Hara, but face it, Andrea Martin was way funnier on SCTV. And I just looked her up on the IMDB, and I had to do a double-take 'cuz I thought I was reading the filmography of Ted McFuckingGinley. What the shit?! She's in that crappy xmas horror movie "Black Christmas"?! And she's doing voices on Kim Possible? And she's going to be in some mini-series called "St. Urbain's Horseman"?! St. Urbain's Huh - Whuh?!

I'd heard she was really religious -- like born-again kinda shit. Maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe the baby jesus didn't want her to make people piss their pants with laughter anymore. I dunno. I do, however, have a brush-with-greatness story involving Andrea Martin. I was working at Modern Videofilm, a video post house in L.A., in the early 90s, when I was called from the shipping department to one of the fancy editing rooms upstairs. When I got to the room, I was standing face to face with none other than Ms. Andrea Martin herself. After torpedoeing a steaming turdburger into my boxer-briefs, I asked how I could help. Ms. Martin, all four foot three or so of her, asked if I knew of any ice-cream establishments nearby. She was working on some comedy special and she had a taste for a frosty confection, apparently. I told her of a place next door and, as she was gathering up her purse, I said that I'd be happy to go pick something up for her. Well, she thought I was just the sweetest thing, dontcha know, and I speedy-deliveried on over there and picked up her fucking dessert. And then she thanked me. End of story.

Okay, so that's not the most riveting story in the world, but shit dude, I met Andrea Martin. That still doesn't explain why her career fell into the dumper after "Club Paradise." Somehow, I feel it has to be all Jim Belushi's fault.

Oh, I also worked with a guy in that shipping department who used to play "Ernie Fields" on "Eight is Enough." This dude:

Nice guy. A wee fellow. He was also about four feet tall. Strange.

What's my point? I have no idea. I'm just shitting out a post so I can go to sleep. But I sure wish Andrea Martin would snap out of it and do something funny, goddammit.

(*If I have to explain it, you're not a true fan.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Roof... The Roof... The Roof [of My Mouth] is On Fire...

I cannot tell you how hard Mr. Z rocked the orthodizzle todizzle! The boy never ceases to flip my lid. Nine in the morning, in the chair, sponges in his cheeks and one of those face speculums (speculae?) stretching open his pie hole, while they cemented a mass of plastic and wires that looked like some futuristic IUD designed by HR Giger to the roof of his mouth?! And this from the kid who bursts into tears when we brush his hair in the morning?!

Our boy done growed up, mother!

Seriously, though, he was stellar. He even sat there while the old lady and I ham-handedly practiced tightening the keyhole (and no, that's not a euphemism, so don't go calling DCFS). Never complained. Just a couple of dry heaves here and there. And he drank his shakes and ate his soup all day, no problems. Now all he has to do is keep it on for 14 months and then it's on to Phase II. Woo-hoo!

I had to drop off Miss O at this holiday vacation daycare thing at her school this morning and it nearly kill-ted me. It's at the same place as her kindergarten, and, usually, there are some other kids from her class there. This morning, however, it was pretty much all 1st and 2nd graders and Miss O was not a happy camper. She gave me "the lower lip" and the tears started a-flowin', and that's when my left ventricle pretty much burst. I looked around the room for something to distract her with but, frankly, I had nothing. Luckily, one of the teachers saw us and came by to make Miss O her "special helper." I slipped out the door while they were picking out some art supplies and felt like a total shithead.

Luckily, when I picked her up this afternoon, she was all smiley and bubbly. Apparently, a friend of hers showed up right after I left and they had a great time all day together. So I got a reprieve. And to alleviate any lingering guilt, I hung up her new fairy canopy thing we gave her for xmas. It's quite impressive:

Tonight, as I was saying goodnight, she sat up inside the thing and held out her hand to shun my approach, saying, "I am the Queen in my private lair -- Do not disturv me!"

I decided to just leave her ve.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Brace Yourself, Mr. Z...

You know, I've found that when I sleep in until 10:30 in the morning, I'm not so fucking crabby all day long. Strange how that works. If I'd just win that goddamn lotto, I could do this every morning. Fucking lotto winners, stealing my sleep-in money.

So, it's back to work tomorrow. Actually, first we have to take Mr. Z in for an early morning orthodontist appointment. Poor dude has no idea what's gonna hit him. He's got this underbite thing going on, and these orthodontists are going to bolt this "appliance" to the roof of his mouth that's basically supposed to push his whole upper toothitude outward. It sounds fucking miserable, and they're giving us this key thing to crank it every so often to make sure he's in constant pain. They're calling this part "Phase I." The next phase is braces, and the final phase is when they drive the old lady and I to the poor-house, shove us out the door and speed off. Bastards.

Apparently, Mr. Z can only have a liquid diet tomorrow. I guess the blood that will be shooting out of his mouth will make ingesting solid foods a little more difficult. I feel really bad for the boy. But I'm trying to look on the bright side -- at least he can't have hard or chewy candy anymore, and the little plastic bridge part that's going to sit between his molars will make him talk funny. And he has to wear a head-gear at night.

The old lady and I are both taking him tomorrow so we can make sure he'll hate us equally for ruining his life.