Sunday, November 21, 2010

The 15 Albums Game

THE RULES: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

1. Ten - Pearl Jam

2. Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits

3. Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

4. Time In/Out - Dave Brubeck

5. Jagged Little Pill - Alanis

6. Dream of the Blue Turtles - Sting

7. White Christmas - Bing Crosby

8. Singles Soundtrack

9. Double Live - Garth Brooks

10. Who's Next? - The Who

11. Live at Reading - Nirvana

12. Bleach - Nirvana

13. Songs you Know by Heart - Jimmy Buffett

14. Thriller - Michael Jackson

15. Metallica - Black Album

Books, a notorious, tongue-in-cheek FB rant, and a day at the ballpark

September 7th

I'm watching an old Torchwood episode. My cat is a better actor than John Barrowman, albeit not as handsome. I've also just watched my first episode of Jersey Shore. Yuck.

Anyone else remember the movie Turk 182?

September 9th

We finished the second season of Big Love - a mighty fine show. It's become a favorite around here.

RIP LFO lead singer Rich Cronin. I met this man, and in fact had a . . . business dealing with him (which my old co-workers may remember; it was one of my more infamous anecdotes from 3rd).

TIME SENSITIVE: Anyone out there have 12 old Sunday papers (or their equivalent in size) laying around? My wife needs them for a Girl Scout 'sit-upon' project. The other leader had her basement flood and the papers were ruined. The meeting is THIS AFTERNOON.

I finished "Marathon: How one battle changed west. civ" by Richard A. Billows. It was good, but of the 200+ pgs, only 30 were about the battle, w/ the rest devoted to centuries of Greek/Persian history. Some background is always nice, but you don't need to know the history of bratwurst making to understand how Rommel fought, do you? So why should I care about similar minutiae in Greek history?

The NFL season starts tonight, which means my fantasy team has yet another opportunity to match the .333 winning percentage I've notched so far this century. Yeehaw! Ah, but I shouldn't let it get me down. After all, "Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein". -Joe Theismann

According to a status update by media writer Tim Cuprisin, Donald Trump is attempting to buy the site of the proposed Ground Zero mosque. [it didn't materialize]

September 10th

When a man comes home from wrk, sometimes all he wants to do is park himself in front of the TV in his undies, air out the Lebowski's, and eat some Manwich while watching Dr Who. That's all. So when you invite your SUPER HOT friend over at midnight, thereby forcing me to clothe myself and eat only human sized portions, I get a little pissy-wissy. I apolgize for the bed-wetting, but otherwise the fit was warranted.

September 11th

Here's a shot of Smiley, YaYa, and one of YaYa's friends

Farmville friends - I'd appreciate it if you could send any of the exclusive gifts, or better still the white apple tree unique to the iphone. Thanks in advance.

I'm @ the Brewers/Cubs game @ Miller Park. Courtesy of my buddy Tre, I'm seated in the Founders Suite (#2) right behind the Brewers dugout. Pics to follow.

Best t-shirt so far: I'll root for the Cubs the day they play Al Queda

A moving rendition of God Bless America here @ the ballpark, w/ the flag @ half mast for 9/11. @ least for a moment, common ground w/ the Cubs fans here.

GREAT catch by Braun! (8:09 pm)

Note: The Brewers lost the game.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ginger's first school bus ride

Despite attending K3 for the first time the week prior, September 8th was the first day Ginger took the bus to and from school. Unlike our experience with Smiley, who was both picked up and dropped off in front of the house, Ginger must travel to a bus stop a few blocks away each morning (although she is dropped off at home).

The good thing about all of this is that it forces up to be up earlier, and because of that all the kids have been getting to school on time for once. Yay!

Here's how I captioned the following photos: My scared baby takes the bus for the first time

She was only upset for a minute or two, but I was nervous to see how she'd handle the day. This caption? A change of heart; Ginger after her bus trip home.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One Summer Day

11:57 am: I'm sitting in the kiddie pool w/ Pdiddy [Smiley] & Ginger, reading a bk & soaking up the sun. 'seems the possum is again residing in our yrd, judging by the poop pile & a fat chipmunk just ran up 2 me, realized his booboo & did a 180.

12:21 pm : Update: make that a family of chipmunks. Once the scout returned with our location, they all came out & raced around the outside of the pool like a Commanche raiding party, then stopped and glared as if to say "Whatchu gonna do about it big man?" before running off under the shed.

Sept 1st through the 6th

September 1st

Lisa and I just finished watching the complete first season of "Big Love", a drama about a polygamist family in Utah. It's well written with top notch acting. We'll be sure to watch the other seasons.

Don't believe that crap that you're as young as you feel. Your feelings lie.

[RE: David Garrett, a classical violinist who plays renditions of rock songs] I like his album but I recognize it's a gimmick. If he wants to elevate the commercial appeal of his instrument, then he should compose pop/rock music for the violin, instead of just adapting old hits.

September 2nd

How you can tell Farmville has taken over your life: Lisa and I were in the produce section when she asked me if I'd ever heard of a sale item called an asian apple pear. I stared at her for a second in disbelief, then answered - unintentionally - in valley girl upspeak: "Uhhhh, *yeah*, I raise them on my farm."

September 3rd

Women are the repository of personal details in the lives of all who intersect their worlds - Sara Paretsky

This is one of 4 sunflower plants Smiley and I planted this summer. He really loves gardening.

September 4th

So my Escort got a flat last night when a friend borrowed it, returning it to my parking slab with the rim damaged. Sigh. This morning, the same car won't start. It is inevitable - my cars work only in summer. At the onset of cold weather I should just think ahead and buy a bus pass.

LuLu got the 1st tomato from her Topsy Turvy Tomato Plant today.


Yes, I own Ke$ha's album 'Animal', and yes, Lisa and the kids play this song whenever possible. "D-I-N-O-S-A-U-R a dinosaur, an O-L-D man, Old man, At first we thought that it was kinda ill/ when we thought that you were like a billion And still tryna make a killing/Get back to the museum"

We're watching my Godson TJ today. Here we are on the front porch, along with some candids we snapped later.

We just saw Justin Beiber on SNL, and called the girls down to watch him perform. Olivia is well and truly in love w/ the guy, and Lauren says his name so cute. Anywho, while the Haters Hate, the kid produces enjoyable music with a radio friendly hook. Also of note: he did a fine job replicating Luda's rap from "Baby".

September 6th (Labor Day)

Any job is better at time and a half.

Monday, November 8, 2010

August 25th - Sept 1st

August 25th

Lisa's mildly p.o.'d at me (what a novelty, eh?) because she dyed her hair a deep, dark red at my request. Uh, a) she doesn't listen to me about anything else, so y start now? b) it's not *half* as dark as I had hoped, so it's not like she 'caved' to my demands c) it looks hot against her pale skin. C'mon - I work hard to look THIS freakin' hot for her, it's only fair she returns the favor. ;)

Lemon law - it's gonna be a thing! - How I Met Your Mother's Barney

August 26th

Ok, saw the Percy Jackson movie and thought it was top notch. The kids enjoyed it a lot but I don't dig PJ murdering his step-dad after the credits rolled (WTF??- glad my kids had already left the room; don't need them getting [more] ideas). Also saw JLO in "Back Up Plan", which was entertaining and featured a fine supporting cast. Easily her best rom-com since "Maid . . ."

It [Marc Cohn's Listening Booth 1970] is a mighty fine album. Pick up a copy.

For no good reason I was up until 5 a.m., then woke up for good at 9:30. It is now just shy of 1 p.m., and I am already a right mean bugger. It's gonna be a doozy of a day.

A Muslim soldier who enlisted in 2009 is refusing deployment to Iraq, citing a conflict with his religous and ethical duties. No comment.

August 27th

WARNING: All my kids have Pillow Pets, courtesy of the various grandparent's, but it turns out that Grace's is a *knock off* , sold fraudulently at a kiosk at Southridge. We'll be contacting the mall officials tomorrow. Despite what the workers tell you, they are NOT pillow pets.

I have come to the conclusion that the sight of a woman wearing capri's and open toed sandals is a gift from God on par with sunsets, kittens, and Oreos. Well done Lord, well done.

August 28th

[Following news of yet another Mexican atrocity] Mexico is a good and proper mess right now, and it's only going to get worse. BTW, the State Dept has ordered the children of American diplomats out of Monterrey citing the danger in Mexico.

Lisa purchased, transported, and set up a twin bed set for Ginger today while I was at work. [thanks!] That means we have a) no more bottles b) no more diapers c) no more cribs [the last of which was converted to a toddler bed for her a year and a half ago]. All milestones, & all good news - but I must admit I got nostalgic walking thru the baby aisle at Pick 'N Save today.

August 29th

It is now 403 am. If I am not hungover in the morning, then I did something wrong.

August 31st

This record [John Mellencamp's "No Better Than This"] is growing on me. "No one cares about me" is a memorable song, and there is, to my ears, a mature Buddy Holly vibe to some of the album.

Finished " The Automatic Detective" by A Lee Martinez; a fun read. I finished it here in a dr's waiting rm on a Nook. Answered several ?'s about the unit. Think I sold one, actually.

[this one only makes sense if you know the kids true names, but it's sooo cute] True story: As you know YaYa is my oldest, but her younger brother doesn't quite grasp the dictionary meaning of her name. When I said the Hail Mary with Smiley the other day, he balked at the traditional wording and came back with "Hail Mary, full of Smiley . . . "

September 1st

It's 3 in the morning and me, Lisa and her friend are sitting on the front porch watching the rain come down.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Little Lisa's" 1st Day of School Ever!

On September 1st Ginger, our youngest, had her first day of K3. After trying (and failing) to get our first three children accepted into a Montessori program, Ginger got the nod. :) Note that she looks apprehensive in some of the photos, proof that sometimes a still image lies. She was happy and very excited that day, and never showed a whiff of fear or trepidation.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another Nightmare

Yet another whack-a-doodle nightmare last night.

I was living my current life, with the kids and Lisa and a house of our own (although it seemed to have the layout of the upper flat of my Grandma's house). There was a mishap with our national defense, some minor but fatal flaw that allowed a enemy nation to invade us from the South. No, it wasn't Mexico. If I remember correctly, it was an Arab nation located in Latin America.

Don't ask.

Because of this flaw in our defense the invasion was succeeding, and it soon became obvious that Milwaukee would fall. I began to make plans to evacuate and head up North but Lisa pointed out that all roads out of the city were hopelessly jammed. I thought of of using our bikes and the bike stroller, although the thought of making all the way to Lisa's friend Jolene's house was daunting.

Then another shot to the heart: Jolene refused to house us, even if we brought a tent and stayed in the yard. We were stuck in the city.

The enemy arrived. Reports came that they were on 7th and Center, then 16th and Greenfield; ridiculous, as both locations imply invasion from the north. Anyhow, the clincher was when local radio station 102.9 changed it's frequency to 106.9 - for some reason, going up on the dial was a clear sign the city was doomed. Reports were coming in that every house was being searched, ransacked, and worse.

Lisa and I were a lost cause. Even my friend Tre, with his additional cash reserves, couldn't find a way out and was running out of time.

I piled clothes in the front closet, piles and piles of clothes and told the kids to hide behind them. I handed them bottles of water and some food, and begged them to be quiet. At the last moment I handed YaYa a hammer with a prybar at the end - a tool that I inherited from my paternal Grandfather in the real world - and told her to use it to defend her siblings. If the worst comes to pass, and all hope is lost, I said, use it to spare the kids from the horrors of capture.

There was the sound of boots on the stairs, and I woke up.

Yeah. Not a restful night of sleep.

Quotes, books, movies, and kids

August 20th

‎"(he) realized now that a man can be free as a wolf, yet unable to do what he wants at all."

‎"(he had) some idea of taking something of hers w/ him, as if 4 company; but he stopped himself . . .I got these hands she used to hang to, he told himself. I don't need nothing more."

"It was singular how often people found themselves searching for things they dreaded to find."

- The Searchers by Alan LeMay

11:26 pm:

off work and at Kopp's, waiting on a do-over of a burger that was served bloody.

August 21st

An episode of The Cosby Show was just on, one from a later season where Theo was already in college. Within the first ten minutes the characters used a typewriter, a record player (!) and had to rush home to use the phone. Savages

My Dad's always said The Searchers is the best western ever made, and I've never found a film that proved him wrong. I just finished the book that inspired it (by Alan LeMay) and it was just as good - in some ways better. Many of the quotes you've seen here recently are from the text, and I think the ending (while more or less the same) is more powerful in print. Very highly recommended.

I use Google Chrome as a browser but use Bing for searches. Go figure.

August 22nd

Watching The Killers in concert on Palladia. I miss cable.

‎"Nooo. . . No u may not use the term 'finger-bang' in your status. Do not make me hit you." - Lisa, minutes ago

August 23rd

We had a busy/great weekend. On Sat we drove up to Red Granite WI for a corn roast at a tavern owned by the parents of a friend; my girls got up and did karaoke for the crowd- they're a lot braver/better kids than I was @ their age. Afterwards we drove 3.5 hours in the other direction and spent the night at my buddy Erv's house in IL, arriving at 10 pm and leaving ~ 7pm Sunday. A great last summer hurrah.

I just finished 'The Ghosts of Cannae' by Robert L O'Connell, a GREAT non-fiction work on the famous battle. Having read it, I say screw Hannibal; give me Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus any ol' day.

8:33 pm Driving w/ the family on dark country road near Union Grove, returning from an errand [buying a cell phone for Lisa off a Craigslist ad] in Burlington. Justin Beiber's "Baby" on the radio & everyone singing along.

Watching 'Dating in the Dark' on ABC. Man I love reality tv!

August 24th

While I was at work today Lisa brought the kids by to visit, then took them to the mall and treated them to lotion, necklaces & amusement rides before going out to dinner w/ them w/ some of her State Fair earnings. Since Smiley was excluded from the lotion/necklace party, he got a dollar store snake that will grow to 6X its size when left in water.

[on this day the incredible ordeal of 33 Chilean miners broke on the news. Trapped in a cave-in, they were located after 17 days underground. At this point in the story, it was believed they could not be extracted until close to Christmas!}
This is nuts. Say a prayer for their physical - and mental - health.

‎"He was looking anxious & worried, like a man who has done the murder all right but can't think what the deuce to do with the body." - PG Wodehouse

11:52 am - These kids are weird.Ginger keeps trying to play leapfrog but insists on saying 'oink', and Smiley is eating a hoagie roll stuffed with summer sausage, cheese, and whole strawberries. *I should mention that within minutes of this post Lauren was in the backyard pool in a bikini . . and bicycle helmet.

YaYa and I stopped at a lemonade stand out of sympathy for the kids - no one ever stops and buys any from my kids, may all the passerbys rot in hell. Anywho, it turns out it was run by, the son of a friend of ours. I greeted him with "Well if it isn't YaYa's little boyfriend" and thereby ensured me bitter stares & silence from her the rest of the way home.

The chesnut tree Anne Frank wrote about in her diary fell today.

40 years on, the FBI is still hunting Leo Frederick Burt. In 1970 Burt bombed the UW campus to protest the Vietnam War, killing a man in the process. It was the largest act of domestic terrorism ever, prior to the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

LOL - I was just watching a music video and a gorgeous lady shook her behind to the camera. Smiley had just walked into the room, and seeing the woman on the screen he tugged on my shirt, & with a huge grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye said "Me like that a lot. Play it again."

Big fan of Kate Miller-Heidke's new album. Go out and buy a copy!

Bud Selig will be remembered by history as the most influential [baseball] commish since Landis, and almost certainly as the most innovative. I'm proud to say I've met him. Meanwhile the haters hate, because that - and not a sport - is the true National Pastime.