Wednesday, December 02, 2009

School Zones and Lawmen.

Well, NaNoWriMo is officially over, and I'm working on editing the 56000 word pile of steaming crap that sprang from my keyboard into a passable novel.

That's not true, exactly... it's not all steaming crap, and I'm not really working on it at all right now. In fact, what I am doing right now is a blog entry about school zones.

Every morning, I take the boys to school in our SUV (From the french... meaning passes everything but a gas station) and get in line behind the hundred or so other parents trying to drop their kids off at the same time. It tends to be mass chaos, as all the other parents are completely disregarding the laws of physics that prevent objects from being in the same place at the same time, such as a minivan and an SUV.

Every morning, I have seen at least one act of random traffic stupidity. People double park, others leave their car idling in the middle of the street, still others ignore right of way and common sense. To make matters worse, the street the school is on turns one way during peak pick up/drop off hours, and these people that ignore these and other traffic laws for the sake of getting little Johnny to school ten minutes earlier than he needs to be there. The resulting chaos causes a back up that stretches for blocks through the suburb we live in. If you live on any of the streets around the school, and need to go anywhere between the hours of 7:45-8:10, or 2:30-3:30, you're basically stuck in your driveway until traffic clears.

I usually avoid the whole thing by getting there early, finding a nice legal parking spot, and listening to the radio while trading jokes with Short Stuff, but there are those rare mornings where nothing goes quite right, and I patiently sit in traffic with the rest of the parents. I'm beginning to think that the Indian mom in the Minivan that parks according to magnetic north (on a east-west street) is beginning to really resent me for arriving early at this point, as is the WASPy soccer mom in the Jaguar that parks ON THE LAWN OF THE SCHOOL every morning. They know who I am, too... because both have remarked to me how adorable Pint Size is.

Anyhow, the neighbors to the school complained to the police (rightfully so I think) about the horde that besieges their neighborhood every morning and afternoon, and the local constables took action, assigning a detail officer to the school during drive time. This was not received well by the parents that suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of tickets (Watdya mean, double parked? I just pulled up next to the parked cars, got out, and walked my kid to school like I always do! That's not double parked!) or the teachers that have been ignoring the one-way rule for years to make it to the faculty lot on time... which always makes the drop off situation much, much worse. Unlike most parents, I was really happy to see the cop there (and told him so)... I just wish he could give out tickets for outright stupidity.

Last week, Silverfox was talking to one of Pint Size's helpers and heard about the following exchange... during his first day or two on duty, the detail officer pulled over a teacher trying to get to the faculty lot and she protested:

Teacher: But officer, I'm just going to the faculty lot! I work here!
Officer: Really? You're a teacher?
Teacher:(proudly) Yes, I am.
Officer: Then you should have been able to read the sign that says "Do Not Enter". (Hands Ticket)

It's just gone downhill from there. The principal sent a letter home whining that the police have never treated the school this way before, but that parents should comply with all the weird traffic and parking laws that are in effect during pickup/drop off time. It's not that hard... You can park in any legal spot during drop off, or pull up to the main entrance to the school and let your kid out. At pick up, there is no parking on the street leading up to the school, to allow maximum flow of traffic to the main entrance where you pick up your kid. During both of these times, the street is a one way street. Still, every day I watch the cop write a few more tickets in the morning, and again in the afternoon.

This morning, I saw the cop pull over another one of the wrong way drivers, this time a parent. As the Cop wrote the ticket, the parent protested:

Parent: This is ridiculous! I need to drop off my kid so I can get to work!
Officer: Then you need to get behind all the other parents and drop off your kid just like they do, instead of breaking the law.
Parent: But officer, how am I supposed to get here on time when traffic is backed up for blocks?
Officer: Maybe you should get here early like that guy does. (points at me, who is legally parked and waving with a big dopey grin on his face)

Yeah... Maybe I wanna avoid the next few PTA meetings.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So y'all know my progress...

My current word count:


How I'm faring vs. Dave and Ducky:


The goal is 50,000 words by the 30th.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In Case you were wondering...

I've been a little busy this month with NaNoWriMo. Hopefully, I'll come out the other end with a novel. I promise I will go back to posting semi-regularly by December...

In Other news, one of my screenplays was in the top 100 finalists at the Slamdance screenplay competition, and is up for a special award... I should hear sometime this week if I've won.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Cute kid story...

While getting the boys off to school this morning, I had Short Stuff carry his and his brother's schoolbags down to the Cerio family bus. Normally I carry Pint Sizes bag myself, but I think that the little guy is practicing for a future in political activism... specifically, he's been working on the "passive resistance" thing to avoid going to school. With my laptop bag slung over one shoulder and Pint Size over the other, we finally made our way to the car. While I buckled Pint Size (again, reluctantly...) into his car seat, I handed Short Stuff my laptop bag as well, and told him to put it in the car.

As I slid behind the steering wheel, Short Stuff regally proclaimed himself to be "The King of Bags".

"Actually..." I said, "You're more like the knave of bags."

"What's a Knave?" he asked.

"A knave is one of the King's subjects... that the king gets to boss around because he lives on the King's land. In this particular situation, I would be the King of bags, You the Knave of bags, and Pint Size..."

We looked behind us, and Pint Size was chewing on the straps of his car seat in a vain attempt at escape.

"Well, he's probably the court jester." I said, chuckling.

Short Stuff got a big kick out of that and began looking in his bookbag for something, finally producing a banana that I had given him for a snack at school.

"Well, then can I be the King of Fruit?" he asked.

"Sure." I said, grinning.

"Knave!" he said, royally addressing the banana, "Get back in the bag!"

Oddly enough, the banana did.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation part 3...

We left DC none the worse for wear, safe in the knowledge that NYC was only a few hours away, Silverfox and I decided to challenge ourselves on the mean streets of Baltimore by trying to find Duff Goldman's Bakery, Charm City Cakes. We're both big fans of Ace of Cakes, but had no clue where to even start looking. After several wrong turns, and giving serious consideration to calling the place and asking if they knew their latitude and longitude (Geocacheing GPS units know no address...) we pulled up on the corner across the street for a few choice shots...
and of course I had to get one of Duff's Vespa...
Silverfox was a little dissapointed that the windows were all blacked out, but I explained that that's probably because of the film crew needing to white balance their cameras. Still, it was neat seeing the place in person. Short Stuff of course was in the back seat wondering why on earth we were wandering aimlessly around a strange city when Papa Rob's house was only a few hours away. (sigh)

Before long, we pulled up in front of my Dad's house and immediately ordered pizza. ( I so miss New York Pizza) Pint Size surprised us all by eating two whole slices, before quietly falling asleep on the love seat.

We woke early the next morning, and went into the big city for some sightseeing:

Even though I'm well versed in the geography and history of New York, we decided that it would be better for the kids if we took one of the double decker tour buses (Silverfox had never been on one) Gray Line had a hop on/hop off for three days deal that worked into our budget nicely. While waiting for the buss to arrive, a Cop let Short Stuff know that he shouldn't chase pidgeons in the Big city:
You can see just how much I care. Pint Size is telling the officer to feel free to use excessive force. Seriously, this had to be the nicest NY cop I've ever met. He was really paitent with Silverfox while she got the pictures of the boys she wanted. Before long, our bus arrived and off we went to see the sites and sounds of the Big Apple. Pint Size adjusted really much better than we expected:

In fact, he was loving every minute of the bus ride and the city. We had been worried that he would react badly to it all, but he was a little trooper. The same goes for Short Stuff, who didn't really whine at all on the tours, and dutifully posed for all of Silverfoxes pictures:
Of course, it helped that the Toys R us on Times Square was one of our stops... Pint Size really freaked out at the sight of the giant in store ferris wheel, but I took him into the Sesame Street section and he was cool. Short Stuff was facinated by the largest Lego section he had ever seen:
He kept calling me over to show me something else made of Legos, (Like the Statue of Liberty and empire state building in the background) but I really had my hands full making sure Pint Size didn't see the ferris wheel. (SERIOUSLY! Instant Freak out!) It shocked me though when Pint Size, who really hasn't started talking yet pointed at a shelf and yelled "ELMO!" I handed him the toy and he smiled up at me, as proud of himself as he has ever been. It was a really cool toy, I had to admit... A small Elmo doll that talks when you shake it. Worried that Pint Size's sudden verbal ability was a fluke, I called Silverfox over immediately.

"Elmo?" she asked, taking the toy from him.

"Elmo!" He said confidently, reaching for the doll.

I thought for a moment that my wife was going to cry with happiness. We bought him the toy as quickly as we could, and a Spongebob Squarepants Lego set for Short Stuff.

We are such soft touches when we get the kids in a toy store.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Anniversary weekend...

On August 8, 2008 I did the smartest thing I've ever done, and made Silverfox my wife:

Yes, we celebrated a wonderful year of wedded bliss over the weekend by getting away from our everyday lives for a while. I had been trying to plan the perfect weekend for a few months now, but had my options severely limited last month when we found out that one of Silverfoxes oldest and dearest friends was getting married on August 8th as well. I grumbled a bit when I found out, but I also knew full well that missing the Fisher wedding simply was not an option. The other happy (copycats) couple were getting hitched out on the Mississippi Gulf coast, and so I spent a week researching my options for a romantic weekend before settling on a great package deal from the Isle casino/resort...

Relaxation Package
  • Two nights double occupancy
  • Romantic Couple Massage
  • Garden tub suite
  • Dinner for two at Farraddays’® (the Isle's high end resturant)
  • $25 IslePlay® per person
  • Turndown service nightly
  • Late check-out, 2:00pm
Of course, I had a few questions, but I was already planning on a spa day for us, and a really nice dinner one night so it sounded like a winner to me. I found out that the "Garden tub suite" meant that there was a Jacuzzi in the room, which would have cost 400 bucks for two nights (which we would need anyway because of the wedding). The package was a little over 500. I told the lady on the phone that she had me at "Jacuzzi".

Getting to our Weekend was a bit of a task... suffice it to say that both cars broke down and one of the deadbeat Dads bailed on our babysitting arrangements the morning we were gonna leave. I had backup plans for most of the stuff that went wrong that morning, but both cars? Was someone trying to tell me something?

After getting to the hotel an hour later than I intended, we saw our room and it was all good:
Yes, that is tropical floral print on the curtains, which was the theme in the hotel. I joked with Silverfox that I could have worn one of my gaudier hawaiian shirts as camouflage.

Below, we see the same room... now with more sexy:
I would like to take this opportunity to point out to the world that my wife is a babe. She has also lost a good deal of weight since we got married... I say it's because being married to me is good for the soul, but she says it's because her activity level went up after she returned to work following her back surgery last year.

I'm the one that's right here, but don't tell her that...

We dressed for dinner (it still sounds strange to me saying that... dressing for dinner just usually means putting on pants to me) and went down to sit in Farradday's bar for a few drinks. We were surprised to find out that an old friend of ours from the sci-fi convention scene was the bartender, and her husband was a waiter at the restaurant! Needless to say we had a few very strong drinks and an excellent bottle of wine (thanks for the recommendation, Mike & Kristie!). Here's Silverfox after our meal... she looks so happy:

The whole Farraddays experience was the great unknown on our trip when I booked it, as I know from experience that casino restaurants... even the high end ones... can be a little institutional sometimes. I am happy to report that this was not the case with Farraddays. The food was outstanding, and better than half of the top of the line steak houses in New Orleans.

On our way back to the room, Silverfox spotted a slot machine she just had to play... but got carded at the casino entrance. Sadly, we had left her ID back in our room, but a slightly tipsy Silverfox was blushing at having been assumed to be under 21. (Well, after the "was that guard blind!?!" rant that is...)

Upon our return to the room we put up the "do not disturb" sign for a while... (that's a gentleman's code, folks) But were surprised again when the front desk called, complaining that they were trying to deliver us champagne, but their policy forbade them from knocking on a "do not disturb" door. I was surprised at the idea that someone had sent us champagne, but it turns out that it was all a part of the package (Note that it's not on the list above). Complimentary Champagne as if from nowhere... this weekend was turning out to be much the awesome...

The next morning, Silverfox got to that slot machine, and used our "Freeplay bucks":
By the time she was done, we were up by about 30 bucks. We had just enough time to get to our couples massage, which got both of us super relaxed and ready for the wedding.

If you are part of a couple and have never done the couples spa day thing... do it. You will not regret it, trust me... it was a highlight of the weekend for both of us. I would have liked to have gotten us the full treatment with wraps and facials and such, but we did have a wedding to get to:
Jason and Sarah are one of the few couples that I would be proud to share my anniversary date with... they are a true geek couple through and through... they even managed to sneak "Princess Bride" and "Doctor Who" music into a Roman Catholic ceremony, and thusly should be an inspiration to geeks everywhere. Furthermore, their wedding cake toppers were Action Figures of The Doctor and Rose Tyler:
We also ran into many more of our friends from the convention scene at the wedding... Silverfox remarked to me more than once that the weekend felt like going to a con because of the people we saw and hung out with.

Here we are with big Tony at the reception:
We spent that night at the hotel as well... enjoying the chocolates from the turndown service and each other's company... the next morning I asked Silverfox if there was anything I could have done to make the weekend better, and she grinned at me.

"There is one thing..." She said, pulling out her iPhone. She put our song ("at last" by Etta James) on the MP3 player, and we slow danced to it there in the room. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful weekend, and I got really choked up over it... This past year has been amazing. I love my wife.

Yep... smartest thing I've ever done.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation part 2...

So, after a long drive through several thunderstorms, (one of which was severe enough that it forced us to stop for the night just 3 hours south of our destination) we made it to Washington D.C. and Melinda's rockin Bachelor pad. Because we had to stop, we arrived there in the early afternoon... not early enough to really hit any museums, but early enough to hit a few monuments. We dragged Melinda with us and started at one of my favorites, the Einstien Memorial, where Pint Size proceeded to have the first of what would be many freak-outs on the trip. Apparently, the kid has issues with large semi-lifelike statues. I still managed to get a nice picture of Silverfox and short stuff in the old man's lap:

Sadly for Pint Size, the next stop on our little night tour was the Lincoln Memorial, with an even bigger and more lifelike statue. Silverfox and Pint Size took the elevator, but Short Stuff insisted on running up the stairs. Sadly, it was "Come on, Dad", not "Come on MOM" that he said before sprinting away.

I'm a good sport about such things when it comes to Short Stuff, but I was huffing and puffing as we reached the statue. After Mel and Silverfox joined us at the top, I plopped down my sorry butt at the top of the stairs and enjoyed the view with the boys while Silverfox took pictures:

Mel was sitting just to the right of Short Stuff, but she hates getting her picture taken. This did not stop my wife, however.... the next morning, Mel took Pint Size down to the car for us, and he kept nearly clocking her in the head with her own Nunchucks... it was too cute not to get a picture of:
He for some reason formed a bond with these instruments of deadly martial arts. We're thinking of changing Pint Size's nickname from "Charlie" to "Chuck" after Chuck Norris.

That's right... the boogeyman checks under his bed for Pint Size. Pint Size is so tough he can eat a Rubick's Cube and poop it out sovled. Pint Size doesn't stand up... he forced the earth down.

But I digress... The next day was Father's day, and it marked the first Father's day I got to spend with the boys. (Usually the Bio-Dads pull rank on Father's day...) Short Stuff and I started out with getting an idea of the size of the solar system by following a path with Kiosks spaced out in scale on the national Mall by the Smithsonian. Here we are at Saturn.

Short Stuff felt that the Solar system was way too far to walk, but in reality it was only a few blocks, and it brought us right to the Air and Space Museum. For those that haven't been to NASM in a few years like myself, let me tell you they have upped their game significantly. Thanks to their upsurge in popularity from the Night at the Museum Movies, they have added a lot of interactive kids stuff to appeal to the younger crowd. It Certainly worked on Short Stuff, who got to fly a plane:
And study the intricacies of gravity:
Pint Size freaked out at almost every room we went into, though. Our theory is that large unfamiliar objects in dimly lit, crowded spaces are one of his triggers. Here we are at the enrance to the "Planets" exhibit, where he had the MOTHER of all freak outs the second we crossed the threshold:
I figure he was just pissed off at the whole "Dwarf Planet Pluto" thing. Anyhow, the boy really needed some fresh air, so I took him for a little walk:
Go ahead, judge me. I still think that the child leash is the greatest invention ever. Short Stuff amused himself chasing pigeons, while Mel filled the kid's head with some bullcrap about homeless pigeons having to panhandle for change. She started to go on a bit about Vietnam Vet pigeons before Shorty lost interest.

Awesome.

After that, we went to the surprisingly disappointing Museum of American History. It had some more interactive stuff for the kids, but they have scaled their "American Culture/TV and Movie Memoribilia" section WAY back, (Combining it with the sports Memoribila, no less) and that was a big part of why we went there. I asked a Museum Worker, and she said that rather than display everything they have like they used to, they now rotate the exhibit every few months. As a result, you may have to visit a few times a year to see Fonzie's Jacket, a Phaser from Star Trek, Archie Bunker's Chair, or Ali's Boxing Gloves.

We were all pretty beat after that, and went back to Mel's to rest up for the drive to NYC the next day, but here we were only a few days into our road trip and Short Stuff had gotten to touch a cloud and a piece of the moon... Silverfox and I wondered how we were going to top it...

Friday, July 31, 2009

How I Spent my summer vacation... Part 1

Ahhh, lady Summer. With her arrival come the vibrant greens, the azure skies, the cool breezes, and the call of the open road. If you live anywhere in the country other than New Orleans that is... Here, summer means buckets of sweat, inflated prices at the movies, warm showers, thunderstorms that only make it hotter outside, and humidity as far as the eye can see.

Needless to say, the summer road trip becomes a necessity. There are those that would question My and Silverfoxes sanity for attempting a 3000 mile road trip with two young kids (one of whom is still in diapers). After having done it, I would join them.

Seriously though, it wasn't that bad... Our biggest problem was the fact that Pint Size isn't quite walking yet, and our combo of umbrella stroller/carry on the hip was physically more taxing than I think Silverfox or I was really ready for. We bought the boys their own personal DVD players before we left New Orleans, and got Short Stuff a PSP. While I questioned their value at the time, Silverfoxes wisdom proved that the electronics were worth their weight in gold by the end of the first ten-hour leg of the trip. We got a full 1000 miles behind us before I heard the first "Are we there yet" from the back seat.

At each state line, Silverfox insisted on a group photo... rather than sharing them all with you, here is the first and best of them:
Yes, the Mississippi state line is only an hour away from the house... that's why the picture is so good... the boys and I are still fresh and optimistic. We drove all the way to Asheville, North Carolina that first day... having to break out onto state roads through the great smoky mountains to get there. For those of you that have never driven dark mountain roads in the summer, the word "harrowing" doesn't do it justice... thick fog on winding roads with hundred foot drops on either side makes for white knuckle driving.

Although, one of my favorite memories of the trip happened on that leg... we passed by a used car lot, and Silverfox caught sight of an old Volkswagon Beetle for sale for only 600 bucks. She told me about it, wondering if the Expedition was up to towing the car back home, and I asked her what color the car was.

"Black." She said.
"PUNCHBUGGY BLACK!" I yelled, and gave her a shot in the arm. I know it seems mean, but rest assured she got me back later in the trip when we passed a volkswagon dealership.

We had been worried about how Pint Size was going to react to staying in hotels on the trip (he's wierd like that sometimes) but we shouldn't have... as soon as we got to the room he did this:
"Okay... bedtime!" After a good night's sleep, we headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Short Stuff got to see mountains for the first time. Silverfox was amazed as well, and all I heard from them after the first scenic overlook was "ooooo!" and "ahhhhh!" punctuated by the occasional "Wow!". Before long, we pulled into a promising looking overlook to stretch our legs:

We made sure of Pint Sizes safety in the mountains by buying a special hiking harness for him to wear, complete with a teather that would support his weight if he got far enough away from us to take a running leap off a cliff or something:
Yes, it's a leash... but when I turned to talk to Short Stuff about something, Pint Size made a dash for a pretty flower just over the edge of the ridge, it also kept him from plummeting into a ravine. Here's a great pic of Silverfox and the kids at that overlook:
The elevation is 3175 feet above sea level, or about 3185 feet above where our house sits. This amazed Short Stuff. He asked if we were high enough to touch clouds, and Silverfox pointed out that the road headed into this:
What Silverfox didn't know however, is that there was an overlook right there. so we got out, and touched some clouds as they came up from the valley and past the ridge Silverfox got some great video of the event that totally makes my butt look big:
video
You can tell by Pint Sizes face that he thought it was pretty cool, too. When I asked Short Stuff what the cloud felt like, he though about it for a few moments before proudly reporting that "it felt wet."

After touching the clouds, Short Stuff and I looked for some rocks for his collection. For those that don't know, due to a quirk of geography there are no natural rocks or rock formations in New Orleans, so Short Stuff is naturally facinated by them...
That picture was taken just before Short Stuff was attacked by a swarm of gnats, and completely lost any interest he had in exploring nature for the day. After we passed a sign that said "WARNING! HIGH COLLISION AREA NEXT THREE MILES!" Silverfox and I decided that we had had enough of it too. After all, Washington D.C. awaited only another days drive away...

Behold! LIFE!

Well, maybe not life... but certainly sponge... Today, the entire critter's head has emerged from the egg and it's glaring menacingly at me:
Short Stuff is super exited, and keeps on going on about how much he loves his new baby Dinosaur, and how much fun they're going to have together. Pint Size, however is unamused...Just kidding... that's really the adorable face he made at the IHOP a few weeks ago when he ran out of pancakes. Say what you will about the boy, but he loves his pancakes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dino Update...

Just after my last post, Short stuff pointed out that the cracks in the egg have gotten bigger since my last photo:

It's like having our own little Jurassic Park...

Above, we see exactly how Short stuff views our little dinosaur egg hatching experiment... Below, on day two, we see that the egg is definitely starting to crack in anticipation of the arrival of our little bundle of dinosaur joy:

It looks really cool, i'll give it that. The picture doesn't do it justice... you can actually see bits of dinosaur skin through the cracks. I think that Short Stuff may be getting his hopes up a little bit about this... he clearly expects this:In fact, he was going on a few minutes ago about how much he is looking forward to him and Pint Size playing with the baby dinosaur... but my Daddy sense is saying what he'll likely be getting is this:
(shown actual size)

Ahhh, toy manufacturers.... dashing kids hopes ever since the invention of x ray specs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's been a while...

For many of those that don't know me real well, it seems that I simply stop publishing my blog for the summer months...

Well, that's not far from the truth, but I do keep writing about my experiences all the time, and am constantly taking pictures to back up my claims of derring do. Then what tends to happen is that I sit down to form the pictures and ideas into complete blog entries, but get distracted by The Kids/Wife/Condition of the house/facebook/whatever. Basically, I believe that I get more writing and blogging done when I have a chance to sit somewhere quiet for a few hours, with a cup of joe and my laptop and no distractions.

Yes, this means leaving my USB wireless modem widget at home. The internet is proving to be one of my biggest time wasters lately. Being a father is also a much bigger distraction than I had initially thought it would be... it's really hard to tell Short Stuff that I don't want to play with his legos with him, when in fact, I totally do.

Yesterday, there was a commercial for the new Indiana Jones Lego set... and Short Stuff looks at me with a frown, obviously wanting it...

"We don't need that, right Dad?" He said, mirroring what has become my pat response is to I want that!
"Actually, Shorty..." I said, "We TOTALLY need that. I'll get permission from Mom."

Anyway, I figure that I will write a few entries over the next couple of weeks titled "How I spent my summer vacation" detailing the road trip to NY that we took with the kids, because those events look way better the longer I delay writing about them. It's not that anything particularly horrible happened, it's just that it was a long car trip with the kids.... and took a lot out of me and Silverfox. I've been going through the 1600 pictures Silverfox took, trying to find my faorites to include with my posts, but it is 1600 pictures. I only wish I was joking.

On our trip, the boy bought a really neat toy from a Cracker Barrel in North Carolina:
What it is is a Dinosaur egg that hatches when submerged in water for a few days:
The instructions say to put it water... within 12-24 hours it will start to crack, and a Dinosaur will emerge and begin growing from the egg within 72 hours. Needless to say, Short Stuff has been bugging me to help him make it hatch since we got home from NY. Today, I buckled...
I'll take a picture of it every day and let y'all know how it goes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

When geeks find love...

Now, I take great pride in the fact that Silverfox and I are a true geek couple... We met at a con, and realized we were meant to be when we knew the same phrase in klingon. (Where's the bathroom) Just last night in fact, we spent an hour or so looking for the newly released "Star Trek Scene it!" (Dave, Drew... there is a game night in your immediate future.) I love my geek girl with all my heart.

These folks however, take it to a whole new level...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A little funeral humor...

DaNiece: I heard about your great grandma, Short Stuff.

Short Stuff: You heard she died?

DaNiece: Yeah. I'm so sorry.

Short Stuff: It wasn't your fault. Great grandma's the one who died. It's her fault.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

So, What's new Rob?

Other than making sure that Short Stuff has stuff to do this summer, nothing much. I entered a few screenplay contests, and am gearing up for a trip to NYC... but that's really business as usual for me.

A lot has been going on in the lives of the wife and kids, however... Short Stuff's great Grandma just passed away yesterday and they were very close, so the kid is taking it kinda hard... I've been trying to explain to him the concept of an afterlife (specifically heaven) But I feel like I'm falling short. How do you explain the concept of a place that the living can't visit, but is lots of fun and happy to a seven year old? Any suggestions?

In other news, Silverfox got a turbulent time in her life spread all over the front page of the Times Picyune for the world to see today. You can read the article if you want, but the upshot is this... some corrupt administrators said that they gave her some money to help rebuild after Katrina, but it actually went to line their own pockets by way of Silverfoxes bank account. Needless to say Silverfox is telling the truth about what happened, but having some a-hole lawyer threatening to sue her for perjury on the front page of the city news has her a little rattled... not to mention that there are quite a few personal details in the article that Silverfox would like to put safely into her past.

I can sooo relate... see any post about my ex-wife to see how.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quite a night...

As I posted previously, last night presented a few unusual opportunities for me.. One was to go see a minor league baseball game. I realized that it's been almost twenty years since I last went to see a baseball game, mostly because without a major league team here in New Orleans, it all seems kinda pointless somehow... Still, there's something about a couple of ballpark franks and an ice cold beer that makes a night game magic.

The usual gang turned out... Dave, Danielle, Ringo and Sondra... sadly, Silverfox had to work, and the boys were with their respective bio-dads so I was flying solo. Just as well, as Short Stuff has the attention span of a goldfish, and Pint Size isn't really ready for such events yet. Here's a really blurry shot of the gang in the stands:
(BTW Dave, we really need to come up with a better name for the usual gang than "the usual gang"... we're geeks, for crying out loud! I'm thinking "the Battlestar Irregulars".)

This next picture will amuse my long distance readers, I think... Remember last week when I said only in Louisiana would an ugly, orange toothed rat be mascot material? I present to you Boudreaux, Mascot of the New Orleans Zephyrs:

Yes, he's supposed to be a nutria. Crazy town I live in.

The real reason we all came to the ballpark was of course not for the game, but for the MINIKISS concert afterward... Dave and I got very excited when they showed the midget KISS cover band in their skybox on the jumbotron, and we ran up there so Dave could get his picture with Mini Paul Stanley:
From that point on, Dave stopped counting strikes, outs, and innings... and simply counted down innings and outs "till we ROCK!"

The Zephyrs won, which was kinda awesome because it's always kinda awesome when the home team wins. We then made our way to the outfield, where MiniKISS took the stage:

video

I have to say, they were better than any of us expected... for a group that sounds like a bad joke, they were all capable showmen and very entertaining. Mini Gene Simmons was great at doing a lot of the typical Gene Simmons stuff, (like the tongue thing and the fire blasts), and Mini Paul was a solid frontman and singer. Apparently big rockers can come in small packages. They didn't confine themselves to KISS material either, and brought down the house with a great rendition of the hit Guns and Roses song, "Sweet Child of Mine". As Mini Gene repeated several times through the night, "We're MINIKISS and can do whatever the hell we want!"

They seemed a little shocked that most of the crowd stayed though the entire performance... and had an onstage huddle when the crowd wanted an encore. Dave joked that they must have run out of material on the ipod that they used for some of their backing music. When Mini Paul asked the audience "uh, can we repeat a song we already did for you?" we all laughed and cheered for more.

Afterward, they spent some time doing autographs on the stage:
We hung out for a bit waiting for them to come down to the field, joking about how disappointed Sondra was that they didn't have Midget roadies, as well. Before long, they made their way off the stage to pose for pictures with those of us that stayed:
When I got my picture taken with them, I jokingly apologized for not being a hot chick. Mini Paul countered "That's okay dude... you look just like that Family Guy guy!"

"Yeah, and you look like Paul Stanley, but I bet you get that a lot." I said, thinking I probably weigh more than your whole freaking band, ya shrimp!

Any hurt feelings I might have had disappeared when I saw the photo that resulted. These guys were consummate professionals with a real appreciation for their fans... They even recognized a couple that had been at one of their shows in Miami right after Katrina, and talked to them with genuine concern in their voices about the couples struggle to return home after the storm.

MINIKISS, you guys ROCK!