April 14, 2008

Feeling Grumpy and taking it out on lazy people

To the four different people who decided to leave their grocery carts sitting somewhere in the parking space you just vacated, rather than walk them over to the area that clearly says SHOPPING CART HERE, causing me to back out of FOUR DIFFERENT SPOTS while parking at the grocery store this evening…

You… Suck.

I have no idea who you are but I’m guessing you bought some really crappy food filled with fat, sugar and salt. I’m sure the size of your back side would command a steep price on the real estate market. I’m thinking it might actually be the only exercise you get all day if you just walked the thirty-odd feet to the receptacle and put your cart away. Think about it, your life would be healthier…

… And you wouldn’t have crazy guys writing blog posts about you.

I’m feeling much better now, thank you.

April 13, 2008

Alltop – All the cool kids and me

When I was growing up, I never had trouble fitting in. I could hang with the surfers, band geeks or athletes without seeming too far out of my element. I was on the fringe of the cool kids – mainly because I don’t think I really wanted to fit into that particular social group all of the time.

In some ways, the blogging world sometimes reminds me of high school. There are popular blogs, artistic blogs, blogs that are bursting with potential, blogs that everyone knows and loves and blogs that only a few seem to know about. I’m not sure where I fit in but because I’ve been around a few years I’ve been able to establish some roots in the blogging world. I’m like that senior in high school that some of the freshman look up to but will one day do much better than that senior ever did.

Having said that, a month, or so, ago I noticed that there was some buzz in the blogging world about a new website called Alltop that had different categories of the top blogs, news sites, and other web-friendly sites with their RSS feeds built in. This, it seemed, was where all the cool kids were hanging out. The best part to me was that there was a Daddy Blog section where a plethora of great daddy blogs were being showcased. Many I was aware of but there were even more that I had not seen before – a telling sign of how far us Daddy Bloggers have come in the past few years. The only problem, in my very biased view, was that I wasn’t included.

So, I’m not ashamed to say, I emailed them and pleaded my case. “I wanna be a cool kid!” I begged. And just like that, I was included. It was as easy as high school used to be.

So anyway, I’ve now been included with some heavyweight Daddy Bloggers. I encourage you to go over and check them out. There’s also a great Mommy Blogger section as well.

Check ya out later. Maybe we can all hang out in the quad at lunch time

Alltop, all the cool kids (and me)

April 11, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering, Part IV

The final installment of my list. You can see 1-25 here; 26-50 here; and 51-75 here.

76. My daughter staggering down the hall in her jammies, kitty tucked under her arm and hair all wild, to say good morning to mommy
77. Playing chess with my brother in Mexico
78. The waxy texture of a red Now & Later wrapper as I eat the candy on the bus ride home from school
79. Meeting Nutmeg the cat at the humane society for the first time – she greeted me with a nose touch.
80. The cornucopia of goodness that was the candy aisle at the 7-Eleven on the way home from school.
81. The dramatic flourish that was the follow-through of Will Clark’s swing
82. Being on the field before Super Bowl XIX watching Reggie Roby punt
83. The George Washington Bridge lit up at night.
84. Early morning sprint workouts on the indoor oval with college teammates
85. Hot dog wrappers swirling in the outfield by arctic winds on a summer day at Candlestick Park.
86. My wife’s smile
87. Michael Johnson’s 19.32 200 meters in 1996.
88. Putting on my cap and gown in May of 1993.
89. Cherry Blossoms on College Walk
90. Putting my arm around my wife for the very first time on the Ferris Wheel.
91. Finally being big enough to ride the Big Dipper.
92. Carrying my babies down the stairs, one in each arm, every morning.
93. My son sleeping on my stomach
94. The giggle of my daughter
95. A bagel with a block of cream cheese and coffee in the blue cup on the way to work in Manhattan
96. Cruising with my friend Brent in his souped-up, custom, VW bug, circa 1987.
97. My mother telling me that she loved me “more than there are stars in the sky” as a child.
98. Telling my children the same thing.
99. Watching batting practice, eating a polish, with my brother at PacBell Park
100. Me, with a full head of hair.

April 10, 2008

Where I say goodbye to comment spam

For quite a while now it has been extremely difficult keeping up with all of the comment spam that I receive on this blog.  I moderate all comments that haven’t been previously approved and I would say that I moderate over 150 spam messages a day – and that’s after adding many, many commonly used spam words into my comment blacklist section on WordPress.

So, since I have recently changed hosts and now have the help of my brother in managing the technical aspects of my blog (because I can point, click and type but that’s about it), we have decided to add one little extra step for those leaving a comment.  When leaving a comment, after entering your name, email address and blog (if you have one) you’ll have to type in a word to verify you are a real person.  That word will not change and it’s not difficult to read like some of those on Blogger sites that you have to guess if there are two “v”‘s or one “w”.  I hope this won’t create too much of a deterrence for those who want to leave a comment.  This was, in my opinion, the least intrusive solution to the spamming problem.

Please let me know if there are any problems with leaving a comment or if this little tool would discourage you from leaving a comment.  Part of the joy of having this blog is the dialogue I have with many of you through comments so I don’t want to have you be too incovenienced.  Hopefully this is a good compromise.

Happy commenting!

April 8, 2008

Take two sourpatch kids and call me in the morning

For the past few months, we here at the Childsplayx2 household have been battling (and often losing, I might add) germs and viruses that will not… go… away.

But during that time, I have actually managed to avoid the worst parts of the colds.  With the exception of one very heavy cold, I’ve only had a little congestion here and a little phlegm there.  Overall? Good.

And while the white blood cells inside me were busy fighting off toddler germs (which are, scientifically speaking, the most virulent germs known to mankind) I could tell I was fighting them off because the glands in my neck would become a little swollen from time to time.  Since I went to school with some very fine doctors, I knew that the swollen glands weren’t much to worry about and I just went along my merry way – talking trash to the germs that my swollen glands were pushing aside.

But then… One day, last week, the gland on the left side of my neck swelled up to the size of a golf ball.  Even my pea-sized brain knew that this could not be good.  But it quickly went away and I forgot about it.  And then it happened again.  And again.  After a number of days of this, it started to freak me out.  I started thinking I had lymphoma or some other awful disease that would require major surgery - like removal of my neck – which I knew that I would probably miss.  Finally, yesterday after eating lunch, my neck immediately swelled up again.  I looked like I had swallowed a small rodent and it was hiding in my neck.  It was then that I realized that the common denominator with my swollen neck was eating.  Whenever I ate something spicy or salty or sour, my neck would become swollen.

So last night I got home, explained to Beautiful Wife my predicament (which I had only casually mentioned a month or two ago because I don’t want anyone to worry about me or my swollen neck) and she immediately told me to call the advice nurse through our insurance company.  Which I did.  (Because my wife’s brain, unlike my own, actually has the ability to use reason.) After speaking with the nurse, she basically told me to get my swollen neck to the Urgent Care because, really, if your neck is swollen to the size of a golf ball, isn’t it kinda urgent?

So I go.  And all the way to the urgent care, I’m convinced it’s cancer.  I’m going to die and my little ones won’t know their father.  I’ll need to stop off at Best Buy on the way home and buy a digital video recorder so I can start a video log for my kids in my final months to live.  I wish I was joking.

The place isn’t crowded and I am shown an exam room pretty quickly.  After my vitals are taken I await the doctor.  She shows up soon enough and after I explain my symptoms, she sticks her fingers into my mouth and fishes around.  She finally announces with a fair air of certainty what she thinks is my affliction…

Apparently, I have a clogged salivary gland.

And that is it.  My mouth cannot salivate properly, so the saliva is backing up into my neck.  I already have an appointment with my regular physician for next week so she says he will refer me to a Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.  She prescribes some antibiotics for me to take since ENT’s want to make sure I don’t have an infection before working on me.  And then she prescribes something I never thought I’d hear a doctor prescribe.

“Do you like sour candy?” she asks.

“It’s not my favorite but I can manage.” I reply.

“Good.” she says.  “Pick up some sour candy at the pharmacy.  It will help stimulate the salivary glands and might dislodge whatever is clogging it up.”

So, I sit here tonight knowing that I won’t die from cancer anytime soon.  I am a little sick of lemon drops and sour patch kids but it’s a small price to pay.  I just cannot believe that things like this happen to me.

Lemon drop, anyone?

April 7, 2008

Thank You Easter Bunny!

So I’m finally getting around to post Easter photos of the kids. This was their first Easter where we actually dyed eggs and then hunted for them. We were going to do the search outside but that was before I headed out to the back yard to hide the eggs only to find a not-quite-dead rat lying right in the middle of the lawn. I don’t know about you, but I feel that dying rodents kind of take the magic away from searching for colorful eggs on a sunny Easter morning.

Anyway, now that you have that lovely image in your mind, I’ll distract you with cute photos of my kids. Enjoy.

Edited: Well, I was going to put my fancy photo pictobrowser in here but it seems the code does not like the new version of WordPress.  Until I get that figured out, you can see the photos by going here and seeing it on my Flickr stream.

April 6, 2008

Seeing (and tasting) red

When the twins were born, in all the excitement and extreme sleep deprivation that was subjected upon us at the hospital, somewhere along the line Beautiful Wife and I must have misplaced the Owners Manual on the twins. She insists that since she was the one that was having squirming, screaming objects removed from her belly that I should have taken responsibility for securing the owners manuals in a safe place.

In my defense I was a little distracted too. I mean, have you seen the vending machines at the hospital?

Anyway, sometimes it would be nice to be able to consult this manual when things come up that defy explanation. For example, Swee’Pea and TheMonk have recently been introduced to the wonders of ketchup. (Or is it catsup? I can never remember.) It started innocently enough. I’d give them a little dab of ketchup with their fries from Chick-fil-a.

But soon, a little dab wasn’t enough.

Soon, the twins were clamoring for ketchup whenever possible. And it was no longer a condiment enjoyed with other savory treats. No, it became a main dish. TheMonk would scoop up whatever he could with his bare hands and shove it into his gaping mouth – often missing the mouth and depositing red, gooiness onto his entire face.

Last night, TheMonk took the art of ketchup eating to a whole new level. The twins were dining on fine cuisine of fish sticks and broccoli when TheMonk decided that even broccoli tasted good with ketchup. Even now, when I think of the taste of ketchup combining with the taste and texture of broccoli, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and little shivers go down my spine.

But, I guess things could be worse. They could request chocolate syrup on everything (mental note: don’t give kids chocolate syrup any time soon) or refuse to eat their vegetables entirely.

But if they ever get to the point where they don’t want to eat their vegetables, I can take comfort knowing I can just hand them a bottle of ketchup and they can chug it down to get their vitamins from all that tomatoey goodness. In fact, if the government had classified ketchup as a vegetable back in the early 1980′s like they had proposed, I could forget the vegetables entirely.

Ketchup, anyone?

April 3, 2008

See you on the flip side

Friday, my blog will be transferred to a different host. The way my brother explains it to me, visitors living in Nashville may or may not see any new posts before those living in Abu Dhabi. Something about computers propagating or stars aligning or something like that. To tell the truth, after he said, “We’re gonna make the change on Thursday night…” all I really heard was “blah, blah, blah… import posts… blah, blah, blah… you can post again.”

I guess I should have paid better attention.

Anyway, you won’t notice anything but I won’t be where you think I am for a day or so. I think he said we’ll close comments too so you may not be able to wish me well. I know you’ll be thinking it though… because we’re close like that.

Just think, after today, you won’t have to worry about me running out of bandwidth ever again!

You weren’t worried about that at all, were you?

Oh well. See you soon.

April 1, 2008

Free Will Sucks

As a person who holds two degrees in psychology, I have watched with interest how the twins develop over time. It amazes me that they have gone from a virtual Tabula Rasa to full-fledged toddlerhood. In fact, if we were to believe Erick Erickson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial development, they are right now developing their concept of Free Will and it’s been fun watching it bloom.

Of course, when I say “fun” I mean HEAD SPLITTING, CHEST TIGHTENING, HELL.

Instantly, it seems, my well-behaved, adorable little twins who would listen to just about anything I said, have suddenly realized they have… choices.

And I’ll be damned if those choices seem to always be something other than what I would have chose.

In a one hour time-frame from when I got home tonight until I finally wrestled them into bed, I had to put up with the following:

-Threw her whole plate of food on the floor because she didn’t want it.
-After putting food back on plate and putting it in front of her, she ate it. But only with ketchup.
-Refused to open her mouth while attempting to brush her teeth.
-Closed bathroom door and tried to keep me from coming in. Luckily I outweigh her by about 150 pounds.
-Decided she didn’t want to stand on her pink stool to brush her teeth and picked it up and threw it into the hall.


-Refused to say “thank you” to his sister when she shared her french fries with him. Had fries taken away until he reluctantly said “tanku” as fast as humanly possible.
-Pushed Swee’Pea and refused to say he was sorry. I had to use the “I’ll count to three…” tool.
-Kept turning light in bathroom off and on while I was attempting to shove a tooth brush in his sister’s closed mouth.
-Ventured into the “off limits” laundry room and closed the door while I was distracted by his sister.
-Refused to stand on his own bathroom stool. Pissed off Swee’Pea by standing on hers.
-Started to cry when I told him he couldn’t wear his Lightning McQueen pajama top to daycare tomorrow for the second time in two days.

And I’m sure there’s more that I have subconsciously blocked from my memory. It’s days like these that I want to call up the OBGYN that delivered the twins and ask him what his return policy is. I’m pretty sure my insurance covers the extended warranty.

*My Beautiful Wife normally tag teams with me and we tackle them one-on-one but tonight she was suffering from the same cold the twins passed onto us this past weekend. Since I have many night time functions now with my new job, I definitely owed her one (and probably many more).

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