Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blog Pimp Hand

We're in a slew of birthdays over here - mine, my mother's, Sam's is today, and Lily's is on Thursday. It hasn't been a sea of parties though, mine was pretty mellow, and the kids birthdays are more controlled chaos than anything else. There were some highlights though... for one, I was left alone on my birthday weekend (for the most part) which is what I really wanted, and all that I can really ask for... we got Sam a new computer (which I'm typing on now) so that he'll stay off of mine (so it really was a present for me anyway)... and we had a tear-free Little Gym party for Lily which was fun to watch. The best part, I have to tell you, was when she called me over at the end. "Dad!" she whispered really loudly, "come here!"... and then whispers in my ear, "you know what? This is the best party I've ever had." Fan-freakin-tastic. Love that chick.
OK, blah blah, love my kids, yadda yadda, lets get to the meat of the post. On Thursday night I was making something for Sam to take to school for his class. He wanted me to come in and make juice with our juicer, but since I didn't feel like hauling our 50 pound juicer (seriously, it's huge) into his school, I had to come up with something else. So after wandering around the fruit section for a while I left with a few melons and made a mini watermelon pirate ship chasing a honeydew two-masted schooner... added a ton of fruit to make the sea, some bowls of melted chocolate for dippin', and we were good to go. Right in the middle of the process though, I was cutting some bamboo to make the masts, my serrated knife slipped... of course... and I sliced through my right index finger. It was a pretty good slice, and within a few seconds I had a fantastic stream of blood flowing. In any first aid procedure, step number one is to bend over and grimace for about a minute, which I did... and since that didn't do any good, I got a paper towel, wrapped my finger up and went upstairs to get something to hold my finger together. When I got to the bathroom, Sara was getting Sam ready for bed and I had to squeeze by them to get to the medicine cabinet. Of course, since my wife is a wonderful person, as well as a caring and thoughtful wife, as soon as she saw the bloody rag she said, "Oh my god, did you get that all over the fruit?"
and then there was a this little pause as she read the balloon with those words in it coming out of her mouth, and then she said,
"oh my god, please don't write that in your blog"... which of course, I would never do. Except now, but only to illustrate the power of the blog. Go ahead, my friends, say whatever you want.. oh, I'll write about it. I will. Go on... say it...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Career Day

It worked! I can't really believe that a Chia Shrek actually grew... I'm shocked... It was the kids that made me do it (aside from the fact that I've always secretly wanted a Chia Pet of my very own... and a lava lamp, but I'll get to that later...) and for weeks before Christmas they were walking around the house singing "Chi chi chi chia!". It has filled out some since I took the picture too, and is starting to look a bit like a young Gabe Kaplan. Fantastic stuff, the Chia. I'm kind of wondering what else we could grow off of the head... which of course, makes me wonder if in colleges all over the country, kids are trying to get Chia-weed to grow. Note to self - put together marketing proposal to the Chia people - "Chia-Rasta".
In the midst of a somewhat tumultuous week at work (annoying personnel issues) I had these little moments of unexpected shenanigans that made for a few spots of fun. Fridays are typically the day when we catch our breath a bit... we actually feed more people on Fridays, but the menus are pretty simple, and we tend to blow through the day without having to put too much thought into it. I was in a groove this morning - coffee, knife, etc. all in place - when someone rolled into the kitchen in a bit of a panic. "Joe", she said, "the Headmaster needs to see you upstairs right now." Since I couldn't actually think of anything I did wrong (today, anyway) I thought it was another annoying chapter in our personnel problems, and scuttled upstairs. Since I'm trapped like a veal in our little kitchen for most of the day, I forgot about the career fair that was about to begin, and stepped through the lobby doors into a sea of students, alumni, and presenters jostling to get to their tables. In the middle of the mess was the Headmaster, who smirked as he told me that the Chef they had asked to come was nowhere to be found... and, long story short, I spent the next hour and a half giving groups of students the rundown on culinary school, the restaurant industry, etc., etc... It was fun, actually, and most of the people who had signed up to hear a presentation on culinary arts as part of their morning didn't even seem to notice that I was just making it up as I went along. Plus, a lot of them had some really good questions, and I think might have actually come away with a somewhat realistic idea of what the industry is like... even the girl who asked me if I had ever seen someone cut their finger off... which I have, by the way... but just part of it, I assured her, and last time I saw it, it still looked pretty much like a finger, so no worries.
On a completely unrelated note, we have new cleaning ladies. Our old one was a bit of a nut, and we never knew if the house would be clean when we got home, or if everything would just be shiny. I don't know how she did it, but even when things were obviously left dirty, they had a pleasant shine to them that sort of fooled us the first few times... and on top of that, she liked to mop our wood floors with a vinegar solution that left our house smelling a bit like a deli. Anyway, we have two women now that are just dreamy. First of all, they're cheaper than our old nutjob, and they actually clean everything. It's awesome. Plus, they re-hang all of the towels (bath, hand, kitchen, etc.) with this neat little fold in them... and even better, they make the top tissue in the box into a little fan, AND THE TOILET PAPER IN TO A LITTLE ROSE! It's freakin fantastic. I'm so excited when I get home I poop just so I can be the first one to use the roll. They're coming again on Monday, and already I'm thinking I should set aside the weekend's Parade Magazine, complete with a Heath Ledger interview that went to the presses sometime in December, for a little light bathroom reading....

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Winks & Rags

I had a long time to think about a holiday-type post (I'm sure some of you might have noticed the insanely long gap between blogs) but to be perfectly honest, I wasn't quite sure what to write about. Things were fast and furious in December, as I'm sure they were for everyone. Between work, catering, holiday parties, and scrounging for gifts, the first three weeks were a blur... and the mad dash of the time I had off made December go by in a flash.
On the plus side, I got to see my sister for a while, which doesn't happen that often... and on top of that my nephew gave us all a new expletive (Rags!) that he muttered under his breath when things went sour... and of course, I can't stop saying it. It's really satisfying. Try it, it's helped me out a lot so far this year. Stub your toe? Rags! Sour milk in your cereal? Rags! Called for jury duty? Rags and more rags! Seriously, I have to curse under my breath all the time, and now I can just yell out 'Rags!' willy-nilly, and people just think I'm an idiot... which I'm fine with.
It might sound odd, but the best thing to happen to me this past month was Lily learning how to wink. Most of the things that the kids learn, they repeat until I'm ready to tear my hair out. Knock-knock jokes, new songs, dance moves, etc., get worn into the dirt until they pick up something else. The cool thing is, Lily doesn't hand out winks all that often, but slowly doses them like they were precious cargo. Every once in a while, Sara can get her to do it on command, but for the most part, it just comes as a surprise. This morning, in the hustle and bustle to get out of the house before eight, the kids were eating breakfast and I was putting on my boots and checking my email - when Lily poked around the corner with her crooked smile and knocked me out a wink before she disappeared again. Why did she spring out for a morning wink, you ask? Well, how the hell would I know? She's two... we have little pretend tea parties, and she serves me coffee with salt in it... I have no idea what goes through her mind half the time. What I do know is that when she doles out a wink for no reason, I feel like silk inside all day.
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