Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nary a Poppins...

So, we interviewed a new babysitter last night to replace the one we've had for the last coupla years who graduated last spring. It fucking sucks finding a new sitter. At least the right sitter. I mean, the one we interviewed seems nice enough and all, but she's not necessarily "our kind of people," if I can say that without sounding too much like a douche, which I probably can't. She was wearing some kind of stanky perfume that's still a-lingerin' in the crabbshack, she mentioned that Sunday nights are out because that's when she has her "sorority meetings," and she talked as if, like, all her sentences ended in question marks????

She did have a little nose ring, though, which hinted at a whiff of alterna-somethingness, but shit man, everyone has a fucking nose ring nowadays... they're kinda like piano ties and Japanese sun bandannas were to the 80s. She does like kids, though, and it seems like she has experience. I dunno. It's only three hours a week and the occasional Saturday night. I just wish she had shown up with dreadlocks and a sleeve of tattoos, an acoustic guitar slung over her shoulder plastered in Ramones, The Jam and Clash stickers, a desire to teach art and foreign languages to the spawnage and an insatiable need to mop our floors and scrub out our toilets.

Oh well, I guess, instead, she'll just teach the spawnage invaluable things like the Greek alphabet, how to hold back your friend's hair while she's barfing and how to get boys to buy you Jäger and jello shooters.

Hmm... maybe we need to interview a couple more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just Call Me Fred G. Sanford... and the "G" Stands for "Green!"

Ha! Ha, I say! Call me a pack rat, will you? Well, who's laughing now, hmmmm?

Okay, back up. I have this drawer, next to the bed, where I chuck all the unrecyclable shit that we seem to plow through on a weekly basis.

You've got your empty Flonase containers in there, some prescription bottles, razors, contact lens containers, floss containers, prosthetic limbs, glass eyes, you name it, it's in there. And, of course, I get a mild amount of shit for hoarding all this plasticrap from the Old Lady, usually taking the form of something akin to, "What the shit are you possible going to do with that?!"

So, back up over the last coupla weeks and Mr. Z has this cough/cold and the Old Lady is hit hard with this major plague where she's sleeping like she's got Boola-Boola and she's horking up her alveoli like she's been gargling with asbestos and gravel. And I'm thinking, "What the shit is going on in this fucking house?! It's the middle of August and everyone's illin' like it's February!" Which prompts me to go on a major crabbshack disinfectapalooza.

I start wiping down doorknobs and faucets, clean off all the handles on the kitchen cabinets, mop the floor, brush out the fucking crappers -- just went total Howard Hughes on its ass.

Then I take a look at the toothbrushes. Mr. Z's got like three of them that look like they're from the 80s, standing in a glass with primordially oozy streptocaca floating around in the bottom of it. Miss O has two that are basically stuck to the counter, inches away from the shitter. And the Old Lady's and my toothbrushes (teethbrush?) are sitting atop our bathroom counter that's basically veiled in the snot and lung-oyster silt that the Old Lady's been emitting for the last 14 days.

I was ready to fucking yook.

First thing I did? Went to the unrecyclable shit drawer, of course. Pull out four empty Flonase bottles, whip off the tops, run down to the toolbox to get some strips of velcro, run back up to the bathroooms, do some fancy MacGyverin' and, VOYLA!

I call it the "Sani-Crab Industries Toothbrush CrabbyCaddy 3000," and now, each member of the crabbyfamily is the proud owner of one of those mofos. And to officially wipe the bacteria-caked slate clean, I bought everyone their very own brand-spankin new Preserve Recycled Toothbrush (thanks to Burbanmom for the tip!).

That, my friends, is fucking crabgenuity at its finest. Myriad viruses and pathogens will surely continue their Bataan death march into the crabbshack, but our teeth will remain microbe-free. Shit, our mouths are so clean, you can practically eat off of them.

Best of all, even the Old Lady was impressed. And if she thinks that's impressive, wait 'til she sees what I have in store for her spent birth control pill containers and my old asthma inhalers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And on That Note...

Mr. Z returned from camp, on Friday, with the dreaded "note home." That crisp, white, stapled sheet of paper, with the little miscreant's misdeed lurking within. But what could it say? Mr. Z is not a bully. He's never uttered a "bad word" in his life. He's respectful to adults. What could he have possibly done to warrant a "note home"?!

And just how does one punish rogue armpit flatus?

No tank tops for a week!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Want A Slo-Poke or an All Day Sucker?

So, not to belabor this Weird Al thing ('cuz frankly, I really have zero desire to turn this blog into CrALbbydad), but Mr. Z has been curious about what the original versions of the songs in the "Polkarama" song sound like. There's tunes like "Beverly Hills," by Weezer and "Take Me Out," by Franz Ferdinand, but also "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop, and "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls. So I was showing him a couple of the videos, and he'd keep saying, "Wow, this is TOTALLY different!" basically meaning that he was scared of these musical misanthropes and wanted to quickly return to the oompah-pahcifying strains of the major-key, Yankovician tranquALity.

The one tune he keeps focusing on is "Candy Shop" by Fitty Cent. He and Miss O have been running around the crabbshack singing, "I'll take you to the candy shop/I'll let you lick a lollipop/Go 'head girl don't you stop/Keep goin' till you hit the spot, whoa!" So, like a fucking moron, I started to show them the video for the song, which is basically Fitty pulling up to a mansion in a Lamborghini and then opening the front door, revealing scads of fancy ladies, in sundry states of undressitude, puckering their dewy lips and gyrating their sundry dewy protuberances in his general direction. Now I'm no prude, mind you, but I just didn't really feel like explaining to the spawnage what the phrase "you gon' back that thing up, or should I push up on it?" meant at that particular moment.

So, at dinner tonight, we had this exchange:

MR. Z: So, dad, I still don't get what that guy means by "I'll take you to the candy shop"?

ME: Well, I already explained that it's just a metaphor. He's just comparing that house with all those women in it to a candy shop. You know how you and Miss O really like candy? Well, he really likes houses with lots of women in them.

MR. Z: So what does he mean by "I'll let you lick my lollipop"?

ME: Um...

OLD LADY: (quickly jumping in) It's kinda like kissing!

ME: (after laugh-blowing a giant snot outta my nose) That's right. Kissing.

MISS O: Yuck.

ME: Hey, who wants dessert?!

I'm sorry, but I just can't handle the spawnage getting into that spum-laden misogynist bullshit. Fuck it, I'm just gonna disconnect the MTV, throw out the radios and buy an assload of Burl Ives records. And then, when Mr. Z hits his teens, I'll let him listen to the nice, wholesome music I listened to at that age -- the Ramones, Ted Nugent, the Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow, the Dead Kennedys and Iron Maiden.

(By the way, just in case you're keeping count, this mess of a post was #600. No wonder I'm so fucking tired.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We All Remember Our First Yankovic...

WARNING: My musical geekitude is strongly expressed in this post.

M. Z is loving the Weird Al CD we got him for his birthday. He's been asking us to bring it along on the drive to and from camp, he's listening to it in his room while he's reading, and he's trying desperately to memorize all the lyrics to "White & Nerdy." All this might sound, well, white and/or nerdy, but I'm fucking loving it. It's the first time he's ever really gotten into music (with the exception of his yearslong obsession with "Barbie Girl," that I prefer not to talk about) and, to me, it's very exciting. I was worrying that he was never going to get that into music -- at least non-novelty song, popular music. And, believe it or not, I'm not lumping Weird Al into the "novelty song" category because, basically, the dude is a fucking genius.

That's right, I said Weird Al Yankovic is a fucking genius.

Yes, he wrote "My Bologna," and "Another One Rides the Bus," and "Eat It," and "I Think I'm a Clone Now," (which are all hilarious, mind you) but the dude is pretty fucking subversive. He presents himself as this unhip, wacky dorkus, but he's basically skewering popular music with every song he puts out. This is best illustrated in the polka medleys that he includes on every CD. He takes all the hits of the year, speeds them all up, switches them all into major keys and adds Spike Jonesian whistles, bells and sound effects, basically turning the tune into a major fuck-you to Top 40 radio. All the angsty rockers end up looking like complete douches and the rappers, with all their self-important macho posturing, fare even worse. Case in point:

(He also does an amazing polka version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" that almost surpasses the original in brilliance.)

So, he's got this kinda stealthy cutting satire going on in his radio-friendly covers of pop tunes. Fine. But he really shines when he displays his true musical geekitude. Now, if you know me (and I think you don't), you know that I'm a HUGE Brian Wilson devotee. Ever since I was a wee crabbykid, I would geek out to Beach Boys albums, studying the harmonies and flipping my lid over all the bizarre non-sequiturian changes and instrumentation. I have all the box sets and my nipples still freeze and snap off when I listen to the vocals-only tracks on the Pet Sounds rarities disk I have.

So, you can imagine my delight when I heard the second track on Mr. Z's CD, called "Pancreas." It is pure Brian Wilson Smile-era schizophrenatude, and it reveals an intimate knowledge, on the part of Mr. Yankovic, of all things Wilsonian. It's steeped in themes and variations from "God Only Knows," "Heroes & Villains," "Good Vibrations," "Vegetables," and "That Same Song," and, to my further delight, it's Mr. Z's favorite tune on the disk. He listens to it over and over and over. Last night, as he was listening to it before bed, he enthused, "I just want to hear it one more time -- I almost have all the lyrics memorized!"

A single tear welled up in my eye. He'd grown up just like me... My boy was just like me...

And, the song's hilarious, to boot. I can't think of anything I'd rather have the boy listening to right now. Of course, the transition to him listening to all my Beach Boys CDs is now that much easier. My master musical plan is falling into place.

Anywhich, it's now your turn to experience Weird Al's "Pancreas," his tribute to Brian Wilson. And please listen all the way to the end... you won't regret it.

A big shout out to all the members of who are visiting (saw your visits via statcounter)! It's comforting (and a tad disconcerting) knowing that you're out there monitoring all things Al. Or is it Al things all?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Make it Work, Miss O!

Well, it looks like Miss O has a future in fashion. Yesterday, we received a huge box with some new blinds for our bedroom, and the contents were wrapped up in shitloads of bubble wrap. Miss O asked if she could have all of it and I reluctantly said "okay," as long as she did all the popping on the opposite side of the house.

There was no popping to be had, however, as she was apparently transforming the plastic poppers into haute couture. After about twenty minutes, she came sashaying back into the room modeling the results. I give you the first outfit in Miss O's "Popparel" line:

Now I'm no fashionista, but I think that outfit beats the shit out half the crap on Project Runway. Maybe I'll give her the box of packing peanuts that the new chairs came in and let her really go to town.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's a Burl!

Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but the Old Lady and I have just welcomed a new member to the Crabbyfamily. It was a tough delivery, but everything turned out just fine. Say "hello" to our bouncing baby... DINING ROOM TABLE AND CHAIRS!

And look, it has my legs! Actually, it's the "Kyoto" table with the "Jake" chairs all from our favorite furniture-crack-dealer, Room & Board. This is where the freelance money goes, people. We've got a big ol' empty house and, apparently, we're supposed to fill it with shit. And unfortunately, the Old Lady and I like our shit mid-century and expensive instead of late 80s and denim. Ain't that a bitch.

We also got a lamp (which we're returning 'cuz it's a piece of shit) and a new mattress (which we're keeping because our old one looks like "Mother's" bed from Psycho):

We got all this shit at once 'cuz they charge like 250 smackers to deliver it, so we figured we'd just go for it and not eat for a coupla months. The bummer is, I saw a little dent/scratch on the table and made the mistake of mentioning it to the Old Lady. You can't really see it unless you're looking for it, but we kinda figured, for the fucking cash we threw down for the mofo, it should be pretty much blemish free. So, they're sending out another one and will swap it out when it gets here in a coupla weeks. I know that makes us seem like dickhead yuppfucks, and I know we're killing the planet by making them drive another one out from Minnesota, but shit, man, I never drive anywhere and don't even leave the fucking house and we're getting our veggies from a local farm and I'm composting, goddammit, so lay the fuck off and let me have a dining room table so I can invite the friends I don't have over for a fancy dinner, all right?!

In fact, if any of you gentle readers are ever in town, consider this an open invitation to come sup with us at our fancy new table, and to plant your gentle asses upon our fancy chairs. I draw the line at the new mattress, though. If you stay over, you have to use "Mother's" mattress, which is now residing in the garage. Which is right next to the old broken TV and the old broken microwave. Hey, wait a minute... I'm not sure but I think we may just have ourselves a new GUEST HOUSE! Man, we ARE fancy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


All right, will someone please tell me what the shit I'm supposed to do about those goddamn magazine subscription people who come to the door every other week? Seriously, word is out that I'm Pushover VonSuckerberg and they're flocking to the crabbshack like horseflies to shitballs... the horseflies being them and the shitballs, I guess, being me.

I mean, I've read an assload of articles about how horribly these people are treated, how they're plied with drugs and beaten and they barely make any money and the vans that take drive them from state to state have never passed emission standards and run over baby bunnies and chipmunks and, instead of gas, they run on the blood of orphaned kittens and they steal everyone's credit card numbers and then come back to your house when you're not home and use all your spoons to cook their "works" in, and they go through your underwear drawer and stick your toothbrush in their asscracks and perform unspeakable acts on all your doorknobs, and shit. I understand all that.

But when this person is standing there, selling the shit out of these magazines, I mean just workin' the pitch, and saying how they're trying to improve their public speaking skills and, by the way, "how am I doing so far?" and telling you about how they're really doing this so they don't have to be out on the streets selling drugs, and they're trying to make a better life for themselves and their 11 kids, and they're just five subscriptions away from a bonus, which means they can buy that iron lung for baby Jimmy, who was born with a hole in his spleen god bless his soul, and can't I just find it in my heart to buy one subscription, or not even buy a subscription, just extend a subscription we're already getting 'cuz any little bit helps.

And I fucking babble something like, "Weeelll... we sure have a lot of subscriptions already and--"

"Oh, you don't even have to buy yourself a subscription," they add. "You can purchase a subscription for the LOCAL BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB who could really use magazines for all those poor little children who are just DYING for something to read, something other than the foreclosure notices tacked up onto their front doors."

And then I'm fucked, and I say, "Okay, then, how much is a subscription for, say, Jack & Jill magazine for the Boys & Girls Club," thinking it can't be THAT much can it? And they say, "Oh, that's a cheap one -- only 43 dollars!" And I'm all, "What the shit?!" and they're all, "God bless you, kind sir," and I'm all, "Fuck! That's like the fifth subscription I've been talked into this month," and they're all, "SUCKER! I'm gonna clear 75 cents on this sale -- just enough for a coupla band-aids to apply to the contusions I'm gonna get when my boss finds out I only sold four subscriptions," and I'm all, "Let me get my checkbook."

So I'm like a prisoner in the fucking house all day -- afraid to answer the goddamn door because I might get maga-zinged. And the doorbell rings like every half hour already, 'cuz the Old Lady orders shit from Zappos or Mini Boden or Banana Republic every other day, and I have to peek out the upstairs window to see if there's a delivery truck in the driveway, and if there isn't, I have to cower under my desk until they go away. And I--

WAIT! There it goes again! DAMMIT! Shh! Don't say anything. SHHHHH!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's Like a Video Game... But Realer!

Friday night, as the Old Lady and I were watching the fucking mind-exploding opening ceremony of the Olympics, I hit the "record" button on the ol' DVR, thinking, "You know, the spawnage should see this. They might really dig it." Of course, I also thought, "Right, like they'll really give a carp -- they'll get bored after 30 seconds and then ask if they can turn on the goddamn Wii." But, since recording it didn't require any more exertion than moving my thumb two centimeters to the right on the remote, I figured I'd put forth the effort.

Cut to last night, after dinner, when the spawnage asked if they could watch one of the recorded "Brady Bunch" episodes. I suggested that, instead, we should all watch the "really awesome" Olympics opening ceremony, to which they responded with an enthusiastic, "Aww... c'mon... wah, stupid, bleh...." The Old Lady and I worked fucking hard to sell it to them -- "Ooh, look -- 2008 Tai Chi masters all moving in unison! Look how perfectly they're all lined up! Can you imagine how long they must've practiced to DO that?! HEY, A WHALE!"

But the spawnage weren't really buying it. They were all set to watch how Marcia transformed Molly Weber from a bespectacled nerd-flower into a totally fucking hot, macramé-sweater-filling sex-nymphlette. (And, frankly, who could blame them?)

But then that glowing blue earth-sphere emerged from the floor of the stadium, with those physics-defying equator-walkers flip-flopping around it, and those singers started belting out that song entitled, "If You Don't Cry at This, Then You Are a Heartless Human Husk," and Mr. Z and Miss O suddenly fell strangely mute.

We all stared silently at this insane Miyazaki-meets-Mario-Galaxy spectacle and before long, I look over at Mr. Z and he's wiping tears from his eyes. They were both saying things like, "OH MY GOD!" and "WHOA!" and the kid-friendly version of "WHATTHESHIT?!" and I could actually hear the sound of their tiny little lids flipping like they've never flipped before.

So, we watched the whole thing and then I sent Mr. Z upstairs to get ready for his shower, while I cleaned the kitchen. When I got up to the bathroom, he was standing there, basically sobbing into his towel. I thought something horrible had happened, like all of his Pokemon cards had spontaneously combusted or he had accidentally peed on his DS, so I asked him what was up. After a minute, he caught his breath and said, "That was just SO spectacular! It was just beautiful!"

It's so fucking incredible that Mr. Z feels stuff as strongly as he does. Sure, it can be a pain-in-the-shitter when he's flipping his lid because he thinks Miss O's staring at him funny or when he thinks we're picking on him when we're not, but to think of just how intensely he's experiencing the world around him -- I dunno, I guess since I'm not as evolved, emotionally, it seems pretty fucking cool.

I won't lie -- adolescence is gonna be fucking brutal. Especially when he stops thinking that the Old Lady and I aren't "the greatest parents in the whole wide world," and REALLY starts to exert his will. And dating is gonna suck -- the first time he ever gets dumped? Holy fuckstain. I don't think I can even fathom the angsty, teenage Mr. Z lid-flippage that is to come. But I'll take my emotional, sensitive, cries-at-the-Olympic-opening-ceremonies kid over some even-keeled, suck-it-up, don't-worry-be-happy kid any day of the goddamn week.

The boy keeps me guessing and he really helps me see that life is fucking insane and it makes sense to get worked up about it, good or bad, from time to time. And, to tell you the truth, I think I'm learning a lot from him. I mean, don't tell anyone, but those opening ceremonies actually caused me to dredge up and squirt out a single, salty tear from the depths of my hard-boiled, emotionally barren hull. Although, I'm probably just going through "the change."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hurl-y to Bed, Hurl-y to Rise...

So, I go to pick up the spawnage at camp today, and when I get there, Miss O's counselor, who's like 12 1/2, comes up to me and says, in a very serious tone, "Uh, so after lunch today, when the kids were practicing their skit, well, Miss O sort of... got sick."

I didn't know what the fuck he meant, at first... "got sick"? Then I said, "Wait... she puked?" He nodded his head. Dude, just say she fucking puked.

And wait... why did she puke?!

I looked around, and Miss O was happily frolicking around with her friends, with nary a sign of her chunks having been ralph-ed. I thanked the lad, and then tracked the ragamuff down. Now, trying to get information out of Miss O is like trying to get the weird fungus that's been on my left big toe for the last five years to go away -- you can poke and prod and apply various salves and unguents, but Miss O ain't gonna fucking talk. Neither will the fungus.

What I could glean from her harrumphs, whines and non-answers was that:

1. Her stomach didn't hurt.

B. She was fine after the chucking was upped.

iii. It was less of a puke and more of an exuberant "mini-vom."

Now, the old crabbydad would worry his skinny little ass off, trying to figure out just what pernicious plague had befallen the girl. But for some reason, the new old crabbydad isn't really all that fucking concerned. I mean, I've seen her mini-vom before and lemme tell you, she's a fucking blo-fessional. Sometimes it happens when she's bending over the arm of the couch reading a book, sometimes it happens when she tries to force out a belch at the dinner table (like the true crabbykid that she is), and sometimes it happens because... well, just because.

I think, eensie-bit by weensie-bit, I'm learning to not ramp up into fucking panic mode every time someone gets a runny nose. Or a runny esophagus. Granted, I'm not throwing the Xanax away just yet -- I still have to stand over the spawnage every night until they move before I can allow myself to go to sleep, but hey... baby steps, right?

So what does this all mean? I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure it means that Miss O's fucking going to camp tomorrow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy Z-Day!

Holy shitstain, Mr. Z's turning 10!

Man, it seems like it was only yesterday that I took that picture of our visit to the exploding prune factory.

His actual birthday is tomorrow, but we had a little shindig over the weekend -- the boy invited his friend Mr. J over for a movie/Wii-marathon/sleep-over-aganza on Saturday. I'm telling ya, that's the way to go, my friends. One guest, take 'em to a movie, no Caesarland, no goodie-bags, throw some pizza and cake at 'em, plop 'em in front of the Wii for nine or ten hours, and then let 'em crash. Party done, who needs a ride home?

Of course, the Old Lady outdid herself in the cakery department:

And like the Old Lady, it was sweet, spectacular and moist. (And tasted even better with milk.)

Actually, the Old Lady was having a bit of a bout with tummy-turmoil on Saturday (I promised her I wouldn't write about her shart-scare in bed on Friday night) so I took Mr. Z, Mr. J and Miss O to the movie. We saw Wall-E, which I have to say was the FUCKING SHIT! If you haven't seen the film, go now. STOP READING THIS AND GO! GO ON!!! I was blown away by it, visually, emotionally and fucking execution-ly. I was laughing, crying, farting -- I ran the whole gamut of emotions. Toward the end, when things looked a bit dark for our little robot friend, I looked over at Miss O and she was quietly weeping -- it was the most adorable thing I've ever seen. Luckily, SPOILER ALERT, things worked out and she wiped away the tears and said, "That was the best movie I've ever seen!" And I have to agree -- it was Wall-E-normously entertaining.

Tomorrow, we'll just do a little family birthday with presents thing. We got him a coupla Wii games, the new "Mysterious Benedict Society" book, some Pokemon cards, a Mario t-shirt and a Weird Al CD. The kid loves him some Weird Al. Of course, he has no fucking idea the songs that are being parodied -- he just identifies with the Yankovician genius. Don't we all? Don't we all.

But yeah, 10 fucking years. I've been his dad for a decade. And man, has that boy changed. An adorable but fucking INTENSE baby. And huge. Carrying him around for hours until he fell asleep. How he'd freak out at loud noises. How he always crawled with his ass sticking up in the air -- his knees never touched the ground. Started reading when he was two. Two! That was freaky -- I remember he was taking a shit and he read me a book about ants that he'd never seen before. Then he'd only read reference books -- we own every National Audubon Society book on birds, mammals, fish, reptiles. He was like a reference librarian by age three. Started Montessori and wouldn't hang with any of the kids -- he'd only want to rap with the teachers. Then we moved and he skipped first grade and he was miserable in 2nd grade for awhile. But he bounced back and since then has totally matured every year and now the dude's an amazing little (giant!) man who's going to fucking JR. HIGH in the fall. That boy has come a long-ass way! What an amazing dude he is.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Z! Thanks for letting me be your (crabby)dad!


The Old Lady feels that this occasion calls for the annual Mr. Z birthday salute: