Sunday, October 30, 2005

My Kingdom for a Mini-me

I'm feeling a little funky today, as I'm in "Dr. Evil in-between mode."

I reprised my Dr. Evil persona last night for a Halloween party, and I'll be re-reprising him tomorrow at the kids' school and again that evening for Halloween night.

Getting into Dr. Evil mode requires a bit of effort on my part. I already have the bald head, so that's not a problem. I shave off my beard. That always feels strange. I've had a beard or goatee, with the exception of a couple of halloweens, for the last twenty years. I also remove my glasses and remove my earring. I darken my eyebrows with mascara. I let my kids participate in all this, to prevent the "who's-this-weirdo-and-where's-Dad-gone" syndrome.

Once my head is prepared, I use 'creepy skin' to make the large scar that runs down one side of my face. The scar always interests people. Putting on the suit completes the effect.

Once this is all done, it's hard NOT to act like Dr. Evil.

I don't have a Mini-me, though. I used to have a Mr. Bigglesworth, but not any more. Really though, Mini-me would be the icing on the cake. I've asked many of my children to consider shaving their heads to play Mini-me, but they always decline. "Your hair will grow back," I say. Still they say no. But that would be SO cool.

I have formulated a plan for next year that my wife or 16-year-old daughter could fulfill. I will need a sort of military outfit for them, with a bit of a german motif maybe. Then they pull their hair back severely, and put harsh makeup on. Ta-da. We now have a 'Frau.' Wherever we go, I could say things like, "Frau, load the missiles", to which she would throw back her head and scream in a german accent, "LOAD ZE MISSILES!!!!". I would say, "Fire one", and she would scream, "FIRE ONE!!!!". I think we will definitely have to do this.

But I'm not giving up hope for a Mini-me someday. And I would feed him chocolate. Mini-me goes MENTAL for chocolate.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oooooh, Wasn't That Scary, Kids??

Some days I just can't help myself. Especially around Halloween.

Last night was my Beavers Halloween party. Seasoned readers will remember the trouble I can get myself into at those.

Anyway, by yesterday at 2pm I figured I better decide what I will dress up as for the party. I dig through our big Halloween box, and see what presents itself to me. Lots of my old costumes either don't fit anymore (I'm much more.... muscular now I guess) or they have been pilfered over the years as dressup clothes by children. Anyway, my options are limited.

There were a few masks, wigs, and other pretty pedestrian items that I could have thrown on. My Dr. Evil pants were there, but I'm saving that outfit until the weekend, since I have to shave off my beard for that one. However, one item caught me eye.

A black body suit. Let's not call it a leotard.

I try it on. It fits.

Well, it doesn't exactly fit. It fits me in the sense of "I can get it on my body even though it's at least 2 sizes too small." Let's just say that if I was carrying a coin in the pocket (if it HAD any pockets) you would have known if it was heads or tails. Luckily, I have the physique to pull it off. Wink.

Once it's on me though, the wheels start turning.

After all, you need to push the envelope with Halloween, right? There are so many outfits out there that just aren't very scary. I was determined to redefine the concept of "scary". And I think I may have succeeded.

All it took was that black bodysuit, a skull mask, and I was transformed into....

The Ballet Dancer of Death.

Let me just say, if the kids weren't scared, they were certainly a little freaked out.


Oh, this whole outfit was formulated and executed while my wife was at work, which prevented her input into the appropriateness of my chosen attire. After the fact though, when she saw some pictures, she did have one comment:

"Don't EVER wear that suit again."


But where Halloween is concerned, I make no promises.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Don't Push the Red Button

Today I was at a store with my four-year-old. Whenever I use my debit card, I let him press the OK button, which is generally green.

He says to me, "Daddy, I remember when I pressed the RED button, hee hee hee."

He has a good memory.

About a year ago, I was at a bank machine with him, depositing a $100 bill into the machine. I was partway through the deposit. In fact, the machine had already accepted the deposit envelope.

Then my young friend presses the RED button.

The CANCEL button.

The machine goes, "boop" and says "Transaction Cancelled." Out comes my card.

No receipt.

No hundred dollar bill.

No deposit.

Naturally I go into the branch and tell them what happened. They verify the situation and my money goes into my account.


Not exactly "instant banking."

From that point on, he knows the rule:

No pressing the red button.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Strange Magic

The kids and I saw an ad for the "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" movie yesterday... and realized that it's less than a month away!

We're all pretty big Harry Potter fans. It started with one kid, then two adults, then one more kid, then two more kids, and then the final kid. We've read all the books (or had them read *to* us) and have seen all the movies.

Naturally, the books can tell a lot more story than the movies could ever adapt. However, the movies have been so well done, that they don't 'hurt' the books at all. In fact, I think I'm looking forward to the new movie because I can't wait to see how they do all the stuff I loved in the book. Not only that, it's also in IMAX! Also, it's apparently over three hours long (which might be a deterrent to seeing other movies, but with these movies it's "the more the better").

There's only one book to go, and hopefully they will continue to keep the movies coming as well, which would make for three more movies after this one. It would be nice if they could keep the same cast for all the movies.

Yay. It's always nice to have something like this to look forward to.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tennis Balls

I suppose I could have also named this post "The Nutcracker... NOT Sweet Part 2".

If you read my previous post on this topic, you know how guys all have one or more really good stories about getting that particular type of injury. Here's my story.

When I was about nineteen or twenty, I took my friend Russ out to the tennis courts to whack the ball around a bit. Now, Russ was NOT a tennis player. I had no expectations of anything other than a little good natured running around. Generally, a lot of his shots went into the net, or out of the court, but a few would come back over the net to me so I could hit them back.

So here's how it happens: I'm standing there on my side of the court, waiting for Russ to try and serve the ball over the net. He hasn't been having a lot of luck with his serves so far. To my left, I hear a voice saying, "Excuse me?". I glance over to see a young woman outside the fence, who asks if I know what time it is.

At this point, and I've never been certain HOW it happened, but Russ manages to hit the most powerful and accurate serve of his entire life, EXACTLY as my attention is directed towards the girl. The tennis ball zooms over the net in a downward direction, bounces somewhere in front of me, then begins an upward trajectory directly into the worst possible place it could end up. My groin.


In one split second, I change from a healthy young male into a sack of potatoes. All strength vanishes from my limbs, and I collapse to the ground. I'm not sure if I took a step or two before collapsing, or if I rolled after I fell, but I ended up in the grass alongside the court. The universe was much smaller for me at that point. I'm aware of pain, and grass in my face. That's it.

I manage to glance over at Russ, and I find that he's also on the ground. Because he's laughing so hard. My dear friend.

At the time of impact, the girl asking for the time ceased to exist for me, along with everything else. But I always wonder whatever happened to her. At the very least, she ended up with a good story too.

And there you have it. Now, if anyone ever mentions a tennis related injury, like tennis elbow, you can tell them about my...

Tennis balls.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sock! Bang! Pow!

Generally, I can recognize traits that my five kids inherited from either my wife or me.

For instance, my sixteen-year-old eats french toast with ketchup. She *definitely* got that one from me.

However, my four-year-old and eight-year-old boys have a trait that I can't identify.

They are INCAPABLE of leaving their socks on their feet. What is up with that? I'm fairly certain that, as a kid, I wore my socks pretty much all the time. And if my wife didn't, I'm sure I would have heard about it by now (wouldn't I?).

Oh well, I'm sure there are bigger things in life to worry about. And if all else fails, there's always...

Duct tape.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It's nice to get a new computer.

But it's a pain in the a$$ to have to configure it to the satisfaction of all the users in the house. Especially those who have tons and tons of files to transfer. Like myself. And my 16-year-old.


Ask me how I feel in a week. Maybe by then it will only be a painful memory.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Maw, Fetch Me my Geritol...

OK, had an eye doctor appointment today. Mentioned to her that I noticed a bit of a change recently, had a little more trouble focusing on close stuff...

Turns out my prescription hasn't changed, but I have had a change with how fast I can focus on things close up. She figures in two or three years, possibly four, I will need....


This isn't fair. I don't even turn forty until February!

I guess, if I'm turning INTO my grandfather, I better go stock up on short-sleeved dress shirts and suspenders...

Now I better go take a nap.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Time to Stop

Ever have one of those days where everything you touch seems to go wrong? That's how things have been going for me. It's easy to feel sorry for yourself when everything is going to crap.

Then... I look at my four-year-old standing on the arm of the couch and flopping backwards onto it, bouncing up and down and grinning as big as his head. OK, technically, he shouldn't be doing that, but that's not the point... he's happy.

Which brings me back to my *real* life. I'm healthy, I have a wonderful wife, and I have five beautiful kids.


That's the sound of me pulling my head out of my a**. So now let's get on with the rest of my day.

p.s. Oops, this post wasn't very amusing. Hold on...



Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Spongebrain Squarepants

I don't want to talk about pies.

Except to say that when you get one hundred and thirteen of them all at once, and don't have any freezer space to store them, and have to spend hours organizing and EVEN MORE hours delivering them all over God's green earth, well, you're not very fond of the concept of pies at that point. However, the Caramel Apple ones still taste pretty darn good at the end of the day.

Ok, well, I guess I did have something to say about pies after all.

But now, let's talk about what I intended to.

You know how you sometimes get a song stuck in your head? Happens to everyone. Today, it happened to me three times. In sequence.

Most recently, for the last couple of hours, it was "I Was Made for Loving You" by KISS, which I heard on a cell phone commercial on the tv of the people whose computer I was working on this evening. I loved that song when I was thirteen. Should I be admitting this?

Before that, it was "Miss Polly Had a Dolly" which I sang to my 4-year-old during bedtime stories. It's quite a catchy little tune.

Before that, it was that Macy Gray song I heard on the radio at lunchtime. Don't know the name, the one from a year or two ago. "Try to say goodbye and I choke/ Try to walk away and I stumble." That one.

What does this say about my brain? Not enough stimulation, or too much?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Finally, the Blessed Day is Here

We've been waiting for so long. Sometimes it would seem like this day would never come. But come it has.


we eat pie.

Oh, also got a funny joke by e-mail today:

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH, DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN, NO!!!!" the president exclaims, his voice breaking. "That's terrible! It's HORRIBLE!" His body crumples in his chair.

His staff waits in silence, stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, head in hands.

Finally, the president looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Nutcracker... NOT Sweet

For those of you readers who are not guys (and I now have reason to believe that there might be up to three of you), let me tell you a secret about us. About the worst thing that can happen to us is a hard blow in the... um... family jewels. We NEVER forget any of them. And if you ask any guy, he will have one or more stories about it happening to him. Strangely, we seem to wear these experiences like badges of honour. I can't explain why; that's just the way it is.

However, not many of us are lucky enough to capture the exact moment of that special 'first contact' in a photograph. But my 13-year-old son is. Here is the instant beforehand, captured forever:

Don't let the picture trick you: he is not going straight down into the water. On the contrary, he is attempting a mock cartwheel entry. He is rotating very fast. Sadly, his speed of rotation leads him to a point of entry that causes him some extreme testicular distress.


He comes out of the pool and he approaches me. It's hard to describe, but he's... kind of... vibrating. At first the words don't come easily, but he makes it clear what's happened: "It... feels... like... they've... been... ripped... off." He sits next to me, and slumps over into my lap, teenage coolness out the window. I pat his back and gently tell him that he's not really going to die, that this is just nature's way of teaching him to vigorously protect himself there for his whole life.

Within 15 or 20 minutes, he's back in the pool. Later in the evening we laugh about the whole thing.

Oh, yes, we find all these stories hilariously funny too. Don't ask me to explain that one either.