Saturday, December 27, 2008

Balls to the Walls

My sister gave me a Christmas gift right out of our childhood:

Walls brand overalls.

My dad used to always wear his overalls whenever he'd do yard work. He only wore a particular brand called Walls, which therefore makes them the greatest brand of overalls EVER. My dad has classy taste in overalls, as no doubt you've already learned. And as does every young man, I grew up idolizing my dad, and so it was only natural that I'd want my own pair of Walls one day.

I think I look pretty good in my overalls, don't you think?

[Picture: Bob in his Walls - warning: graphic in nature!]

(Ignore the tags. I kept them on until I was sure that I could do squats and lunged without ripping a hole in the rump. By the way: successful!)

In my Pre-Christmas life I absolutely hated yard work. Yard work was the bane of my existence. But "clothes maketh the man" as they say, and now that I have these awesome overalls I can't wait to get to work.

I'm so excited about doing work that I've even started a To Do list. The top 10 tasks on my To Do list all involve working in the front yard so all the neighbors can see me. What's the point of dressing up and working hard if nobody's going to see you? And what's the point of working if you don't have fancy overalls to work in?

My wife is embarrassed, not so much because of my Walls, but because I insist on wearing them any time I do any manual labor.

"What's that?" I'll ask "You need me to take the trash out? Sure, just a minute, let me just put on my Walls."

So Rebecca, thank you so much for my overalls! And Dad, thanks for always wearing your Walls the six or seven times a year I saw you actually do yard work. I hope I make you proud.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Best Served Cold

We were heating up some leftovers when it hit me: some things are best served cold.

Turkey, for instance, is really good cold. That's why they call quitting something all at once Cold Turkey - because cold turkey is so hard to resist, you're bound to eat it even if you try not to. Mmm... I'm hungry again.

I started thinking of what else is best served cold, and came up with the most obvious dish:

REVENGE!

They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, but I've never tasted revenge before. I've heard it's sweet, though. I decided to give myself a late Christmas gift by seeking out revenge and eating it hot, lukewarm and cold, then comparing the dishes to determine if revenge really is best served cold.

And to do that, I needed to go to Bennigan's.

Although the Bennigan's chain recently filed for bankruptcy, the Bennigan's in Lafayette is still alive and kicking. It always did such great business because it's a well known fact that South Louisianians have three loves: crawfish, voyeurism and Bennigan's Monte Cristo sandwich. In fact, it was one of the top grossing Bennigan's in the country even before the chain's financial woes.

I know the Bennigan's menu backwards and forwards because my first two jobs were at Bennigan's. I worked as a busboy while in high school, then as a waiter in college. (There might have been a little nude modeling in there somewhere, but if you get paid in cash then it doesn't count as a real job, am I right?)

I can sing the Bennigan's birthday song - both the regular version and the "short" version consisting of singing the entire song on one knee - and can even still recite the laundry list of fine wines and salad dressings that graced many a Saturday night smoking section tables. So I knew that Revenge was on the menu.

I asked my waiter for three servings of Revenge - one hot, one room temperature and one cold. My waiter returned a few minutes later with three plates of Death by Chocolate.

"Mmm!" I mmm'd, as I drank the chocolate sauce from its cup. "Revenge really is sweet! And best served cold!"

I sprinted out the door before my waiter could bring me the bill, but then quickly realized why they call it "Death by Chocolate." I felt like I was dying: my heart was racing, my stomach felt like it was about to explode, and I blacked out into a neatly manicured shrub. When I awoke it was dark, Bennigan's was hopping, and I had never felt so good in all my life.

It's true: Revenge is best served cold. Just make sure to not eat too much of it at once.

Fail!

I saw this decal on a car parked on my street. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but this picture might even be worth several thousand.

[Picture: Car decal]

I've done some research on this company and it looks like it's very respectable, but I still can't help thinking that I'd have changed my last name at the first opportunity. Although to be fair, maybe the guy tried to change his name... but just failed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa's Other Job

Santa Claus has the ability to fly around the world in his reindeer-powered sleigh in a single night. This is, by itself, quite a feat. Throw in the number of times his sleigh has to stop and you can see how truly magical his flight really is. I can't even stand to stop at the red lights in Baton Rouge much less at every house on the block! Santa Claus must be one patient old chap!

But what does Santa do when he's not delivering toys? Does he stay in the North Pole and oversee the elves? Does he sit in his study and double-check his lists of naughty and nice children? Or do he and Mrs. Claus spend the year finding inventive ways to stay warm in the cold arctic climate?

Inquiring minds want to know!

And as it just so happens, the Tanory Tantrum has THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Santa Claus concerning his off-season duties!

Santa's Other Job

Tanory Tantrum (TT): Thanks for agreeing to let me interview you, Santa. My first question is... what do you do when you're not delivering, manufacturing or quality assurance testing toys?

Santa Claus (SC): Jolly good question! When I'm not delivering presents to good boys and girls, and when I'm not traveling around the world's malls to ask children what they want for Christmas, I'm a volunteer fireman for the Ascension Parish fire department in Prairieville, Louisiana.

[Picture: Santa's other job]

TT: Really?! So... you live in Louisiana for most of the year? Wow, I'm shocked!

SC: Ho ho ho, yes! The Louisiana heat is good for my bones. I can only stand the cold for so long.

TT: Wow! Do you wear your Santa suit when you fight fires, or do you have to wear a fireman's suit when on duty? And do you ride in the fire truck or do your reindeer fly you to the scene?

SC: My Santa suit is fire-proof. It has to be, actually, in order for me to get down some people's chimneys. You wouldn't believe how many people forget to douse their fires before Santa comes to town. Those parents make their way onto the naughty list.

As for the reindeer, when they're off duty most of them head over to the Lapland areas in Finland and Sweden. At least one reindeer is always with me, although it usually stays indoors and watches reruns of Scrubs on Comedy Central. The reindeer love Scrubs after meeting several actors at a mall one year.

[Picture: Santa's other job, part 2]

TT: Interesting. So how often do you stay at the North Pole, and what really goes on there?

SC: I usually travel to the North Pole in late October to check on supplies. From November to mid-December I'm in malls and department stores, so children can tell me what they want from Christmas. The letters that children mail to me are forwarded to whatever location I'm at (by reindeer, of course), and I spend a good deal reading those letters at night. And of course I can see you when you're sleeping and know when you're awake, so it's really not hard to determine who wants what.

[Picture: Anne with Santa]

SC: The North Pole is the base of operations. We've upgraded our operations these past few decades to use a lot of computers and machines. And as you well know, computers and machinery work best at low temperatures. It's all about efficiency when you're creating toys for billions of people worldwide.

[Picture: The North Pole]

TT: Santa, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for my Wii Fit. How'd you know I wanted that? I didn't send you a letter, didn't talk to you in a mall...

SC: Oh well, that was easy. You have a Wii and you've gained ten pounds since your beautiful daughter was born. You needed a Wii Fit, my boy! Unless you're trying to fit into my Santa suit, ho ho ho! I kid, I kid!

[Picture: Bob and his Wii Fit]

SC: Oh, and by the way, it's not just for you. Your daughter has been doing the strength training exercises on it. She's exceptionally skilled at the Push Ups. She's already unlocked four new exercises for you.

[Picture: Anne conquers Wii Fit]

TT: Great... now both my daughter and my wife are going to be able to kick my ass. Thanks.

SC: No problem. Happy to oblige. Not like they needed any help with that, anyway.

TT: Santa, last few questions. Do you actually consume all the milk and cookies left out for you? If so, how do you keep it all down and not go into a diabetic coma? And finally, what is your favorite kind of cookie?

SC: The Keebler Elves, who incidentally are related to the elves that work at the North Pole, make the E.L. Fudge cookies that are by far my favorite. I just love those little designs. And so tasty! But generally I'll eat anything, and any leftovers go to the reindeer.

Now I gotta run... just got a text message saying Rudolph was visiting friends in Norway and his radioactive nose has accidentally irradiating some of their crops. Not again, Rudolph!

TT: Thanks again for all the cool loot, Santa! See you in Prairieville!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Tantrum's 2008 Christmas Letter

Dearest friends and family,

2008 was another great year for the Tanory clan. For New Year's Day we traveled to San Antonio with my sister. Betty and I made out and groped each other on the River Walk at midnight, then set about finding someone for my sister to smooch. They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and that's especially true of the illegal immigrant population, so we tried to find an illegal immigrant for my sister to make out with. The goal was to marry her off to someone with carpentry skills who would be willing to exchange a green card for years of toil and hard labor at the Tanory house in Prairieville. Juan is doing well and adjusting to his new life as our personal slave.

January was great! LSU won the BCS championship, and I thought this meant I got to torch a neighbor's car as I rioted with glee. Unfortunately the cops call this "arson." Exchanging community service for jail time, I painted my (then unborn) baby's room into a giant green screen. January also brought around a lot of new and exciting possibilities, such as splicing the DNA of my brother's dog with that of a reindeer.

[Picture: Reindog!]

Say what you want about February, but Feb '08 had a crapload of fun days: the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day and everybody's favorite holiday - Lent. In February Betty and I attended a Breastfeeding class at Woman's Hospital in anticipation of our baby. I originally went for the boobs but ended up learning a whole lot... who knew that you had to feed breasts? I spent the last week in February trying to get Betty's ta-tas to eat rice cereal dipped in milk.

March was an exciting time. Not only did Betty celebrate her 27th birthday but it was her last birthday before becoming a parent. I made her birthday extra special by taking over the household chores, like shopping, installing the car seat base, and generally complaining about taking over the household chores. I'm such a sweetheart!

My daughter Anne was born in April, so April is officially the greatest month of the year. Screw you, October! But a few days before my daughter was born I mistakenly pointed out my wife's pregnancy hormones to her. I knew when I did it that I was making a lifelong mistake, but I hoped the labor pains would make Betty forget about that one incident. (They didn't.)

I love being a parent, and not only because my baby has superhuman powers.

[Picture: Super baby!]

When May came around, Betty and I were still getting used to being parents. I couldn't believe how many diapers my daughter would go through, and Betty couldn't believe how I could sleep through my daughter's high-pitched crying spells. Later in May we had to take my daughter to a radiologist because my daughter, like me, as a tiny head. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's not the size of your head - it's how you use it.

For Father's Day in June, Betty gave me the gift that every man needs: Mario Kart for the Wii! I got so addicted to it that I would race other cars on the way to work, and occasionally score a few points by hitting another car with a banana peel strategically thrown out the window. Betty also gave me "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" for the Wii so I'd be too distracted to try to get it on with her. June "rocked" in more ways than one!

[Picture: Warning - this picture is too awesome for minors]

We went to the beach in July. It was the first time I'd had any real vacation time for a while, and I used it wisely by promptly becoming sick. I had to stay away from my 3 month old daughter the entire trip, which sucked, but I got hit on by a nurse, which was kind of cool. I haven't stopped coughing since that day. My doctor gave me extra-strength vitamins and made me take a test for mad cow disease, which he said I might have contracted when I ate a Quesadilla Burger from Applebee's. If so, it was so worth it!

August pretty much sucked. Someone hit our car, China won all the diving medals in the Olympics, the economy started to go down the toilet and Hurricane Gustav was bearing down on us. Plus it was hot. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be cold than hot. When you're cold you can rub your socked feet on the berber carpet and then shock people when you touch them, but when you're hot all you can do is sweat and get naked.

After thinking about it, I like hot weather. Maybe August wasn't so bad after all!

We didn't have power in the first week of September due to Hurricane Gustav, so we evacuated to my parents' house in Lafayette. It was in Lafayette that I devised my now world famous theory of Cheerleadomics which states that there's a direct correlation between hot cheerleaders and good football teams.

Also in September our good friend Nicolvin took this picture of my daughter:

[Picture: Anne frowning]

Isn't that frickin' cute?!

I turned my blog pink for October because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and if there's one thing I want people to be aware of it's breasts. I tried to spread this message at my ten year high school reunion, but those bitches still wouldn't let me cop a feel, even after I lied about being a mammogram technician.

For Halloween the fam and I dressed up as Austin Powers characters and won second place at my office's costume contest. My daughter Anne was "Mini Me" (after Mini Me defects to the good side). My wife was Felicity Shagwell. And yes, I was wearing my Union Jack undies under my outfit. Yeah, baby!

[Picture: Yeah, baby!]

Although my blog count had steadily declined after the baby was born, in November I hit a new low: I only blogged eleven times that month. For shame! Although it wasn't entirely my fault... I started wearing "corrective contacts" which were supposed to reshape my corneas at night so I wouldn't have to wear glasses or contacts during the day, but they didn't work. It was hard for me to see, so I didn't blog as much. I don't have a similar excuse for December, although I'm sure I'll think of something.

Although my blog count for November sucked, I did have a good post about some satsumas that looked like testicles. (My parents must be so proud!) See for yourself how ball-like they looked!

[Picture: Satsuma balls]

In December we had a blizzard in South Louisiana. The ground was frozen over, the roads and bridges were closed, and several people froze to death while trying to shovel ice off their driveways. It was awesome! The next day it was 90 degrees outside.

The best part of my year was the birth of my baby, and every day afterwards has been better and better. Who knew that being a parent was such a wonderful experience? I've tried to convince Betty that we need to be parents to more children so we'll be that much more full of love, but so far she's not buying it.

My New Year's resolution is to stop complaining. My fallback resolution is to learn to cook pizza from scratch. For New Year's we're planning on making out in Prairieville at the stroke of midnight. It'll be our first New Year's in P-ville!

I hope everyone had a great year, and we wish you the best of luck in 2009. Happy holidays from the Tanory Tantrum!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby Proof Positive

The day after my birthday, all I did was screw all day long. Yeah, baby!

And by "screw" I of course mean actually screwing... with a screwdriver. This was in an effort to baby proof my house.

[Picture: Bob screwing like the dickens!]

You see, babies are kinda like geese, except geese instinctively fly North for the Winter and babies instinctively try to get into the cabinet that stores the Drain-o. That means you have to add extra security to all of your stuff that is at the baby's eye level. And that means manual labor.

My dad taught me long ago that I should outsource any job that requires manual labor. Us Tanory's are just not built for it - bad back, bad knees, and general lack of carpentry knowledge make us prime targets for injuring ourselves and others whenever we attempt basic household chores. So whenever my wife forces me to do manual labor, I call in the expert...

My father-in-law, Pops!

[Picture: Bob and Pops secure a cabinet like nobody's bidness.]

One of the main advantages of having Pops come over is that he has power tools. My wife won't let me have power tools because anything more mechanical than a pencil is dangerous in my hands. But when Pops comes over, I can borrow his stuff.

I look pretty good with power tools, don't you think?

[Picture: They call me 'Drill-Bit Tanory']

Baby proofing the house was a full day's job, but after I did the first cabinet then everything else was pretty simple. But the end result is that now my cabinets are like an impenetrable fortress for both Anne and her parents. Oh well, we didn't really need to Pledge or Windex this week anyway.

[Picture: The finished product: an impenetrable fortress]

The power tools also came in handy for setting up Anne's Christmas stocking. I had to drill a hole in the bottom of the mantle so we could fit a hook to hold the stocking. But a Nativity scene had already been placed on the mantle, and I had to drill right under Baby Jesus.

[Picture: Anne's stocking]

I've never been more nervous with a power tool... except for that time when Pops and I were building shelves and were set upon by a local gang of roving dogs, and had to defend ourselves using only Pops' electric saw and our neatly sliced 2x4s.

[Picture: Saw VII: When Bob and Pops Attack!]

Thanks again, Pops, for helping me to baby proof my house as well as to hang a stocking right under Baby Jesus. The fact that nobody got hurt while I was wielding a power tool is a Christmas miracle!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A White Christmas!

It snowed today! In South Louisiana! Can you believe it?

We're not used to snow down here, so when it snows it's kind of a big deal. I decided to work from home instead of driving to work, because I know how terrible Baton Rouge drivers are under normal circumstances and I wasn't about to get on the wet, slick, icy roads with that bunch.

Lucky for me my car was frozen over so I couldn't have gone to work had I wanted to.

[Picture: My snow-mobile]

I took pictures all around the house and then noticed that I was leaving snow prints. My own snow prints... amazing!

[Picture: My snow-prints]

Then right as I was building a gigantic snowman, my neighbor's kids launched an all-out assault on me from behind their snow fort. I used my umbrella as a shield and started ripping chunks of torso off my snowman to use as ammo. Those five year-olds were tough but were no match for my superior strength and agility. (Plus their mom called them inside to get hot chocolate, which means they forfeited).

[Picture: Action shot!]

This snow wasn't all fun and games, though. We did have a few casualties... like our garden turtle...

[Picture: Snow turtle]

... and Gnome Chomsky and Gnomesha looked pretty cold out there in the bushes. I gave them a few tips on how to heat things up, if you know what I mean.

[Picture: Frozen Gnomes]

Even my satsuma plant's balls shriveled up. I feel your pain, satsuma tree!

[Picture: Shriveled satsuma balls]

And last but not least, my Knock-Out Roses got knocked out by the cold.

[Picture: Roses TKO'd]

Overall the day was great! Anne got her first look at snow. She would point and squawk at the snow, then kick her feet real fast. We only let her stay outside for a few minutes, but she enjoyed looking out the window and squealing to us about how excited she was that it snowed.

[Picture: Betty and Anne]

Thursday was my last day of being 28. Maybe the snow is a sign. Maybe the snow is nature's way of telling me that I can still have fun, still go outside and play, and still have fun new experiences.

Or maybe it's nature's way of telling me that the next year of my life is going to be a cold and miserable Winter. All the more reason to finish off my war with the neighborhood kids, because maybe my war trophy will be their hot chocolate!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Touch, Feel and Sparkle Blog

Last night I read "My First Night Before Christmas" to my daughter. This book is a "Touch, Feel and Sparkle book," which means you can touch Santa's beard, feel different types of materials like velvet and corduroy, and view sparkly and shiny pictures. It's basically like you're in the book, for realzies.

I asked myself why I couldn't do something similar with my blog, then realized I could. So today I'm proud to be the first blogger to post a touch, feel and sparkle blog.

Eat shit, Huffington Post! Let's see you do a touch and feel blog!

Since I'm writing this blog post on the Intarweb, and since I can't post anything for you to actually touch and feel, you'll have to gather some basic household items around you and touch, feel and look at their shiny exteriors. Just click the links to get ideas on what to touch or view while reading.

Okay, here we go:

My 29th Night Before Christmas:
A Touch, Feel and Sparkle Blog Post


'Twas the night before my 29th Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse,
My email was open on the computer with care,
In hopes that the Tantrum soon would be there;
My daughter was nestled all snug in her bed,
While visions of her milk source danc'd in her head,
And Mama in her long johns, and I in my birthday suit,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's snooze-
When out on the lawn there arose such a screech,
I sprang from the bed armed to the teeth.
When, what to my near-sighted eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight mutant reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a flash that it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than fighter jets his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donner and Blitzen;
"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! stop pooping on all the houses!"
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And PETA had covered him with pigs blood and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
And his chest peeking out of his robes was quite hairy;
The beard of his chin was as white as the snow,
And the rug matched the curtains, I'd guess, but don't know;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
Not picking, just scratching, then up the chimney he rose
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a holler,
And away they all flew, like bums to a dollar:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


I hope you enjoyed touching, feeling and viewing the shiny pictures as much as I enjoyed ripping off Clement C. Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hand Monocle

I've invented a new method of obtaining 20/20 vision. It's called the "Hand Monocle" ®.

The Hand Monocle is free and easy to use. All you need to do is curl your pointer finger up so that only a tiny hole is present, then hold your hand up to your eye. Once your Hand Monocle is held up to your eye, light will go through the tiny hole created by your finger and will flow through the front part of your cornea. Because the front-most part of your cornea is where light is refracted the least, you'll have close to 20/20 vision.

Below is an example of how to use your new Hand Monocole:

[Picture: The correct method of using your Hand Monocle]

I invented the Hand Monocle after my eye doctor called me and asked me to stop using my corrective contacts. She said she's tired of hearing me complain about them on the blog, so she's getting me some fancy new ones. But when not wearing my contacts my eyesight got progressively worse, and my glasses were too strong of a prescription until my eyesight reverted to its regular sight. Basically, I couldn't see, and I thus developed the Hand Monocle.

Warning: Do not use the Hand Monocle if you need peripheral vision, need to use both hands for any activity, or don't want your pointer finger to cramp.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dizzy Fingers

My cousin Ben "Dizzy Fingers" McGehee is extremely talented. The man can play the piano like nobody's business. They call him "Dizzy Fingers" because his fingers move so quickly on the keys that it makes you dizzy. Seriously, if you're going to watch him play in person, you'd better take some Dramamine beforehand.

Ben plays so fast that one time the friction created by his fingers on the keys set a piano on fire. Luckily, I was nearby with a jug of margaritas and was able to douse the fire before it burned the bar to the ground. Ben continued to play the lower scale of the piano while I cleaned up the high notes.

Here's a video of my cousin Ben playing his rendition of Outkast's "Hey Ya" at MyBar in N'awlins.

Friday, December 05, 2008

In the Dark

Betty and I went to the River Center on Thursday to see two of my favorite bands - Snow Patrol and Death Cab for Cutie. The concert was great, but there was just one problem: I literally couldn't see.

My CRT contacts (which reshape my corneas at night so I don't have to wear contacts or glasses during the day) haven't exactly been working out as I'd hoped. Everything gets blurry for me around 2 pm, and driving at night is impossible. Betty even had to help me walk down the steps at the River Center so we could get to our seats.

I was "that guy" at the concert. I'm so embarrassed.

The worst part about being blind at a concert isn't that I couldn't see the bands or get to my seat without riding piggy-back on my wife, but that I wasn't able to people-watch. I'm kind of awesome at people-watching. Or at least I was.

To sum up the concert, Snow Patrol was awesome. The lead singer saw a guy in the crowd dancing wildly and called him up onstage, then made the guy dance during the next song. And as blind as I was, even I could see that the guy's dance moves were worthy of being mocked onstage. Snow Patrol sounded great as well.

Death Cab for Cutie was a letdown after Snow Patrol. The lead guitarist's amp was up way too loud, the lead singer's mic was too low, and they only played two songs off their new album. We don't think there was an encore, but if there was, we're happy to have left before it. They're an introspective band, not an arena rock band, and hearing them sing about death while two goth kids felt each other up in the row behind us just didn't go hand in hand. I probably would have loved them had the concert been at a smaller venue. Oh well.

Back at our house I tried to tell Betty that I couldn't see to get in bed since my vision was so blurry, but she thought I was just trying to get frisky and left me alone. I ended up sleeping on the kitchen floor because I couldn't see where I was going. Ironically, I was furthest from my daughter's room and never heard her cry, and ended up getting the most sleep out of the two of us.

Went to a concert, heard two of my favorite bands play, and got a good night's sleep - not too shabby for a Thursday night.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Blog is Not Yet Rated

Betty and I recently rented This Film is Not Yet Rated, which takes a look at the movie ratings system and how it rates movies differently depending on the level of violence, nudity and sexual content. Specifically, it deals with why certain movies get an NC-17 rating vs. an R rating.

This movie really got me thinking. Now that I'm a parent, I need to censor what my daughter watches. How do I go about deciding what is good for my child vs. what is appropriate? Will my child agree with my internal ratings, or will she eventually create a documentary about my unfair decisions regarding her viewing habits?

At first glance, it seems easy enough to censor out certain things: no sexual content, no violence, no liberal media. But censoring movies, TV and books is one thing; censoring life is another.

All things need to be put into perspective. Spider-Man is great if you want to teach your kid that great powers mean great responsibility, but Spider-Man is bad if your kid eventually dips a spider into radioactive waste and then lets the spider bite his or her arm.

Okay, so maybe most kids won't have access to radioactive waste. So what about a more mundane example?

Is it good or bad for a young mother to pump breast milk around her child? On the one hand, doing so allows the baby to get nutritious milk, allows the dad to handle a feeding so the mom can rest, or could allow the parents to go to the movies while the grandparents babysit. On the other hand, if you've never watched a woman pump then you have no idea how truly naughty it is.

All I'm saying is that ratings are a good guide, but we as parents need to make educated decisions for our children. That's why I've been watching cartoons all day - because I want to know what my child is watching. Sure, my child doesn't actually watch TV, and she definitely wouldn't have been interested in the Ninja Turtles, but who knows, one day she might be! And I need to know if it's good or bad for her to watch it! You see, I'm just being a good parent, that's why I need to watch these cartoons! No, don't turn off my cartoons, noooo!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgetting

This year I attempted to change Thanksgiving into "Thanksgetting" by doing nice things for my family and waiting for them to thank me.

For instance, when my brother was scooping cauliflower into his plate during Thanksgiving dinner, I could have tripped him and made him fall into the broccoli but resisted doing so out of the kindness of my heart. He acknowledged my kindness with a smile and nod of his head. And when my sister went to sit down at the kitchen table, I fought the urge to pull the chair out from under her. She thanked me by not giving me the Evil Eye. I was on my best behavior.

You're welcome, everybody.

My mom spent three weeks making Thanksgiving dinner, and so I felt as if I owed it to her to try a little bit of everything. I was totally stuffed, and after dinner I laid down in the middle of the living room and let everyone walk over and around me. This gave me a good opportunity to see all of my family that had come in from all over the country. When my cousins from Seattle walked by me, I complemented them on their shoes, which was all that I could see of them. And when my cousins from Minnesota were trying to get from one side of the room to the other, I rolled over to let them pass and in doing so I squashed my other cousin who came in from California.

Eventually everyone voted to roll me out the door to get me out of the way. I laid spread-eagle on the patio for at least an hour, too stuffed to move, and just watched bees pollinate my mom's azaleas for an hour. Then I was rolled back inside when the family decided to go outside and play on the patio.

Back in the house, I saw the remnants of our Thanksgiving meal: empty plates, empty serving bowls, chairs askew, toys everywhere, dishes piled up in the sink... and at that point I realized how much work had gone into making Thanksgiving such a special day. How my mom cooked for weeks and had everything ready and hot at the same time; my cousins Zack, Jeremy, and Tara came in with four young kids from Seattle; my cousin Austin flew in from Arizona; my Aunt Tena and cousins Jackie and Jamie flew in from Minnesota; my Uncle John and cousin Sean came in from California; Todd, Rebecca, Josh, Andrea, Nick and Tara came in from Texas; my cousin Michael came in from Nashville; Ben, Elizabeth, Bo, Jessica and Mac drove in from N'awlins; Lisa, Rex, Brad and Ryan came in from Baton Rouge; and Betty and Anne drove in a few days before me to help my mom and dad out with the preparations.

I also thought about all of the people who would have liked to have been here but couldn't, like my Uncle Joe, who came in earlier this year to see everybody.

Everyone made sacrifices at one point or another to be with our family, and it was while viewing the Thanksgiving feast's aftermath that I realized that if anyone should be getting thanks on this great day, it surely shouldn't be me. That's when I decided to tackle my brother in a giant puddle out in the back yard.

Thanks to everyone who made this day - and this entire week - so special! I'm thankful for all of you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Alone

My wife and daughter went to Lafayette to spend time with my family, so I'm all alone tonight.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't know what to do with myself. In my old life, my options would include playing on the computer all night, trying to beat those last 3 stages on Guitar Hero III, or attempting to break the world's record for most blogs written in a single night.

Yes, I'm a huge nerd.

However, tonight my options are severely limited. I can either go to bed or I can sit in a dark room and mutter to myself. I can't do anything because I can't see.

In a previous blog I wrote about conquering semi-blindness by getting corrective contacts. I wear these contacts during the night, take them out first thing in the morning, and the idea is that I should be able to see with no issues for the entire day. Unfortunately, it either takes a while to get to that point, or my prescription sucks.

I can see pretty well in the morning. But by about 1:30 pm my eyes get noticeably fuzzier. Halos start surrounding any bright light, and driving at night is just about impossible. Twilight is now the scariest time of the day for me, and not just because of the vampires.

In fact, I have no idea what I'm writing right now, because I can't see that far. I hope I'm typing on my blog... if not, nobody will know anyway I guess.

Oh well. With my wife and child gone, I guess I'll mosey into the living room and build towers out of my daughter's blocks. Man I love those blocks. I can stack them all day, and my daughter loves nothing more than destroying the toils of my labor. I think I'll strategically place random towers of toys around the ground for her to destroy when she gets back. She'll be like a baby Godzilla, only cuter.

I just hope I don't trip over the toy towers in my state of semi-blindness and knock myself unconscious, because nobody's here to help me if I do.

(Am I good at guilt-tripping or what?!!?)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seeing is Believing

When I was in the third grade I made fun of a kid with glasses. Then in the summer between the third and fourth grades I had to get glasses.

Isn't that ironic? Don't you think?

I've been wearing glasses for 20 years. I wore contacts for 4 or 5 years but developed Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis, which just means that my eyes weren't getting enough oxygen because I didn't take my contacts out when I was supposed to, and I had to stop wearing contacts or there was a chance that I'd go blind. It's been 8 years since I've worn contacts.

I wanted to get back to the days when I no longer had to wear glasses or contacts... to simpler times... to times when I would no longer be "four eyes" but would instead be "that incredibly handsome guy with the unibrow."

And so it begins!

This week I was fitted for corrective contact lenses. I wear them when I sleep, and during that time they reshape my corneas. By changing the shape of my corneas, light goes into my eyes at a different angle than before, and I now have 20/20 vision during the day without the need of glasses or contacts.

So suck on that, Four Eyes!

I'm back, baby!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jared the Subway Guy

I recently met Jared Fogle (the Subway Guy).

Me and Jared

My employer and Subway Sandwiches have something in common: we're both major sponsors of the American Heart Association. And on Jared's recent trip down to Baton Rouge, he decided to drop by my office and thank us for helping raise dough for the AHA.

Meeting Jared was a neat experience. When I shook his hands I noticed that they were soft - like that tasty, freshly baked Italian bread that Subway makes so well. He was also much taller than I expected him to be.

Jared has inspired me to also start the Subway diet. However, my diet will be slightly modified: I'll eat anything as long as I can stuff it into a Subway sandwich. So if I want to eat pizza, I'll have to jam it inside of a 6" grilled chicken breast sub.

Jared is my hero.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Picture Perfect!

Our good friend Nicole Colvin - aka, Nicolvin - is my daughter's personal photographer. Whenever Anne's doing something incredibly cute, like turning 3 months old or turning 6 months old, Nicolvin's there to capture the moments.

And now Nicolvin has her own blog: Nicole Colvin Photography.

Check it out! Nicolvin's first post is about her muse, Anne!

No offense to you other photographers out there, but Nicolvin is the best. How do I know she's the best? I mean, have I personally allowed every photographer on the planet to submit samples of their portfolio and judged accordingly?

Well, not exactly. But a good photographer is judged on the photographs taken. And I'm sure you'll all agree that her photographs have the best subject. By the transitive property, that makes Nicolvin the best photographer.

Suck it, Photography Students! Get your own muse!

Nicolvin, we look forward to many more blog posts (especially if Anne is in them).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's Happening?

Always wanting to know what's happening in the world, we rented "The Happening" by M. Night Schlitterbahn.

"The Happening" is not so much a movie as it is a snuff film. If you've ever seen any of the "Faces of Death" movies then you've seen "The Happening," but with more plot.

"The Happening" stars Mark Wahlberg as a high school science teacher who tries to survive an airborne attack that makes people commit suicide. The attacks start out in Central Park but then start occurring throughout the entire North East.

And although the plot was interesting, I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to believe that Mark Wahlberg was a high school science teacher. If he had been a gym teacher, or a history teacher / football coach, then I would have gone with it.

But let's face it, Marky Mark as a science teacher was the most far-fetched thing in the entire movie. It totally ruined it for me.

Next on our list is Kung Fu Panda, which is about a totally believable kick-ass panda / kung fu wannabe. I can't wait!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Manly Satsuma Trees

How do you know when it's time to pick the satsumas off your satsuma tree?

[Picture: Satsuma tree]

When your satsuma tree's balls drop, of course.

[Picture: Satsuma tree's humongous... satsumas]

Actually, these aren't quite ripe yet. You can tell when a satsuma is ripe first by its color, and then by gently squeezing it from the bottom. I tried to get a picture of Betty checking these bad boys for ripeness but she wouldn't have any of it.

Movie Round-up

This week Betty and I watched The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. And what we learned is that the coward Robert Ford did not kill Jesse James, but instead, Jesse James died of boredom from watching "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

We also watched Nadia, the 1984 TV movie that tells the story of Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event.

Betty remembered this wonderful movie from her childhood and wanted to watch it again after the Olympics. I was very hesitant to put Nadia on our NetFlix queue simply because the last movie we watched from Betty's childhood, Chattanooga Choo Choo, was so awful that now everything from Betty's childhood is considered questionable.

To be fair, I did make Betty watch "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," so I guess we're now even.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Watching History Unfold

I used to think that "history" was something that occurred in the past.

But while on Facebook at 4 am after rocking my daughter to sleep (again), I read an ad that said, "If you watched Obama win the presidential election then you witnessed history unfolding."

This ad may have sparked one of the greatest scientific revolutions of our time!

Think about it: if our history is indeed able to "unfold" then that implies that history, and therefore time itself, is very much like a large origami masterwork.

This notion of folding and unfolding history leads to all sorts of new theories about space and time. For instance, when an historical event is repeated, is it because we failed to learn the lessons of the past, or are we just hitting another crinkle in our large historical origami duck?

I was taught that time is linear, but the Obama ad I read on Facebook has taught me that "change is coming" in the form of more than just our president.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Soundtrack of our Lives

They say that music is the soundtrack to our lives, so I started thinking about what the soundtrack would be if they ever made a movie about my life.

I assume my movie would be called something like "Bob: A Hardcore Software Guy" or "Predator 3: A Chubby Nerd with a Face like a Spider Goes Berserk in the Jungle."

Most of the music that makes up the soundtrack of my life all comes from TV, movies and video games, as opposed to the radio or CDs. I sing these songs (rather badly) on a regular basis, I rarely get the words right, and the melody may be unrecognizable when I sing it. But these songs have stuck with me over the years and may soon very well be available on CD or through iTunes on the upcoming Bobby Tanory soundtrack.

Here they are, in all their glory, along with where they'd most likely appear in any movie made about my life:


For those moments in my life when I am having a "quality family time" moment and/or am in San Francisco: the Full House theme song.




For the parts in my movie where we flash back to my childhood: the theme song from the 80's Transformers cartoon.




Right after dessert: The Pie Song, from the movie Michael.




For those moments of my life when I am heroic: the theme song from Team America: World Police (Explicit lyrics).




For the majority of the movie, where I'm playing video games: the Super Mario Brothers theme song.




I can't wait for a movie about my life to come out! Now I just need to do something worthwhile that would get Hollywood's attention....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Yeah Baby!

We had a costume contest at my office. I dressed up as Austin Powers - and no, sadly I did not wear my Union Jack underwear.

And out of 12 or so contestants, I won second place! Yeah, baby!

Well, I didn't actually win second place by myself. While everyone else played by the rules, I cheated and included my daughter and wife into my costume. The judges had no choice but to give me a prize. How can you not vote for a baby?

Here are some pictures of the highlights:

[Picture: The whole fam dressed up]
Dad as Austin "Danger" Powers, Mommy as Felicity Shagwell, and Anne as Mini-Me.

[Picture: Felicity Shagwell and Mini-Me]
Mommy and Annie take a picture before we took the stage.

[Picture: Anne without her glasses]
Annie without her glasses...

[Picture: Anne with her glasses]
And with them on. Smashing, baby!

Later that night...

[Picture: Anne in her Angel outfit]
Anne changed into her angel outfit and played with Gransy...

[Picture: Anne and Cheech playing on the floor]
Then she played with Cheech...

[Picture: Bob got jealous of Anne and Bob and joined in]
Then I got a little jealous and wanted to play with Cheech, too.

Okay, so I crave attention. I am the middle child, you know.

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

And a very happy congratulations to former Tantrum contributor Aaron and his wife Lora on their second child, Aaron, Jr!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trick or Treating at Sorority Row

On Wednesday my wife and I took our daughter to LSU's Sorority Row, where kids were Trick or Treating all of the sorority houses. My daughter was dressed up like the perfect angel she is.

(There were other kids dressed up, some also as angels, but my daughter was the archangel of all angels.)

[Picture: My little Anne-gel!]

We had a blast! There were kids out the wazoo, and we could hardly find a place to park because so many people turned out. And to be honest, I was jealous that all the kids were dressed up but I was stuck in my work clothes.

My wife was a DZ, so we dropped by the DZ house and saw some of our friends. Not only was it a great base of operations, but they had also ordered pizza for all the alumni. Score!



Although the place was packed with kids and parents running around rampant, there was one overachiever trying to study in the DZ house. I did my best to disturb her, but she appeared to persevere. We can only hope that she fails whatever she was studying for.

Outside on Sorority Row we met two LSU Golden Girls. Apparently these girls are also DZs, which makes them my wife's sisters, which technically makes them my sisters-in-law. That means I'm related to Golden Girls.



Jealous? Wait, there's more.

As I mentioned earlier, the DZ house was stockpiled with pizza. And we caught some of the Golden Girls eating. Eating I tell you! Since when did LSU allow the Golden Girls to eat?

I also caught one of them drinking heavily.



Thankfully she was only drinking Diet Coke.

Finally, when one of the Golden Girls couldn't hold both her plate of pizza and several cups of Diet Coke, my father-in-law gallantly rushed in to save the day.



Sorry, Jim-Bob, but you don't get any extra TAF points for that.

Anne had a great time out on Sorority Row, and we're looking forward to going back next year, especially if there's going to be pizza and Golden Girls again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Self-Protection

Here's some advice for dads that baby books consistently fail to mention:

Always wear a cup.

For you new dads and dads-to-be, I won't sugar coat it: there is a 100% chance that your baby is going to kick you in the nuts on a daily basis.

Playing on the floor with your child? That's a kick to the sack.

Bouncing your kid on your knee? Better hope you didn't need your balls anymore.

Playing peek-a-boo with your 7 month old? Beware the hidden danger of a foot-to-groin sucker punch.

You've always thought your crotch was magnetic, but until now you thought it's magnetic pull only attracted women. Little did you know that your child's foot is the magnetic opposite of your North Pole.

But don't worry, the Tantrum is here to help you. While your baby is learning about gross motor control, depth perception and genitalial assault, you can protect yourself by going to your local sports store and purchasing a jock strap and cup.

This tip for new dads and dads-to-be was brought to you by the letters, G, R, O, I, N, and the word, "Ouch!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blame Perrilloux!

The Whore-gia Bulldogs beat the LSU Tigers in football on Saturday.

Some people are blaming the loss on LSU's sophomore quarterback Jarrett Lee because he threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. Others are blaming the defensive coordinator for allowing Georgia to score 52 points on us.

But I know where the real blame lies.

I blame Ryan Perrilloux.

Ryan Perrilloux was the back-up quarterback on the 2007 National Championship team and was going to be the starting quarterback for the 2008 season. He has an arm like a rocket, can run as well as he throws, and would have been one of a multitude of players returning from the 2007 championship team.

Perrilloux had it all: athletic ability, amazing teammates, and a white girlfriend.

But instead of taking the easy road to success, Perrilloux decided to snort crack off of strippers and take hits of a bong that he fashioned out of an apple, and in doing so got himself kicked off the team.

So today I blame Perrilloux for not fulfilling his obligations to LSU. If he would have just waited a year or two he wouldn't have had to try to sneak into a casino. If he'd have shown up at least once to class or to conditioning training, he wouldn't have been suspended several times. And if he would have once - just once - decided to snort crack off a mirror instead of a stripper's ass, he would still be at LSU and we would be destroying everything in our paths. Instead, we have to concede that Georgia played very well.

Nothing irks me more than conceding victory.

Damn you, Perrilloux!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Baby Pictures and Blackmail

My parents have pictures of us chilluns strategically placed throughout their home. Many of these pictures are from when we were babies. And there's a common theme in the baby pictures: we're all wearing ridiculous outfits.

Matching sailor suits? Check.

Baby blue blazers and shorts? Check.

Big Bird, E.T. and Ewok costumes from Halloween '85? Check.

I used to be very embarrassed by those pictures. But now that I'm a parent, I understand why my parents took them.

You see, there's only a limited amount of time that we as parents can dress our kids up and make them do stupid things without them knowing. And it's so important to take every opportunity to do these activities, because without them, you'll have nothing to blackmail your kids with later in life.

Consider this situation, where parents do not have an embarrassing baby picture of their son:

Son: "I'm leaving to go out and party. I'll probably be home after midnight, which means I'll be exposed to sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. Also, I'm taking your car."

Dad: "Son, I want you home by seven or you're punished. And you can't take my car - you're only 12!"

Son: "Yeah, right. Later. Don't wait up."

Mom: "Listen to your father, son."

Son: "I'm doing what I want to do anyway because you don't discipline me enough and I can get away with anything. Bye!"


Now consider the same scenario, but this time the parents took embarrassing baby pictures of their son.

Son: "I'm leaving to go out and party. I'll probably be home after midnight, which means I'll be exposed to sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. Also, I'm taking your car."

Dad: "No problem, son."

Son: "Really? Dad, I'm only 12. You should really take an interest in what I'm doing."

Mom: "Oh, he is. Your father installed a key logger on your computer and therefore knows your email password, and is going to email out all of those embarrassing baby pictures that we took of you when you were 6 months old unless you're home by 7 pm."

Son: "What?!?!"

Dad: "See you at 7, son. Actually, make it 6:30. And your homework had better be done before 9 or I'll IM that video you took of yourself singing {insert latest annoying pop song here} last night on the web cam."


The point of this is that we dressed my daughter up as a pumpkin for Halloween and took her out to a local flower shop, where we placed her in a big pumpkin patch and took pictures of her.

[Picture: Bob and Anne at the Great Pumpkin Patch]

[Picture: Anne diligently reads a sign about the Great Pumpkin]

[Picture: Anne the Pretty Pumpkin]

Score one for blackmail!

Monday, October 20, 2008

If I Won the Lotto

Every now and then I like to think about what I would do if I won the lotto.

Most people would quit their jobs. I think I'd stay at my job, if for nothing else than to rub it in people's faces that I don't have to be there.

I used to want a bowling alley in my house, as well as my own home theater. But that was back before I had refined taste. Now I would build a huge house, and inside of my house I'd have a huge lake.

Yes, a lake. With a boat.

Someone would ask me, "Hey Bob, what are you going to do today?" And I'd say, "Oh, nothing much, just sit on my Laz-E boy on my yacht and fish for a while, then swim a few laps."

(I'd have fish in my lake, as well as a lounge chair on my boat.)

Of course, to have a lake inside of my house - especially a lake big enough to hold a yacht - I'd need a big house. In fact, I'd probably have to build the lake and boat first, then build the house around the lake.

I would also dump a large mound of sand right into the middle of the lake, then dub the sand "Tanory Island." I'd make everyone who goes to Tanory Island talk like a pirate.

And they would talk like pirates. That's how rich I'd be.

I'd probably still build a bowling alley and theater, but you'd have to live on my street to gain access. I wouldn't let any riffraff in. I'd also have a gym, which I would populate with hot girls in spandex and very wimpy guys so I would look extra awesome. But of course I would never actually go in the gym... I'd just pay my personal surgeon millions of dollars to turn my aging body into a cyborg so I could live forever.

(I'd also donate to several charities and start my own charitable organization, just so you don't think I'm a total materialistic bastard.)

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Walking Away Alzheimer's

Our good friend Nicolvin was the event coordinator for this year's Alzheimer's Walk out at LSU, so we went out to campus early Saturday morning either to support Nicolvin by taking part in this year's walk or to get good blog material in case something catastrophic happened.

Luckily for Nicolvin (and for scientists researching Alzheimer's), everything went well.

Up to a few years ago, the Alzheimer's walks always took place downtown. But according to my sources, who only agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, LSU trumps the downtown area because "the LSU girls raise your heart rate more than the walking does."

Of course, campus has its shady characters as well. Consider this person, who tried to steal one of my daughter's toys from out of her stroller.

[Picture: Us with the Hamburgler]

Don't worry, I ran him down and beat the ever-loving crap out of him. Nobody takes my daughter's binky... nobody! According to this guy's confession, he was going to hold my daughter's binky ransom for hamburgers.

Feel the wrath of a pizza-lover, bitch!

Since LSU played South Carolina on Saturday, I couldn't resist wearing my "Spurrier is a Cock" shirt. If I got any Evil Eyes from disapproving parents, I completely ignored them and/or beat them in the 5K walk.

[Picture: Team Tanory Tantrum at the Walk]

But walking and being awesome at the same time definitely drained my energy. Here is an "action shot" that my wife took of me sleeping. Notice the lean and tone belly hanging out.

[Picture: Us with the Hamburgler]

Maybe I need to walk more...

Anyway, I want to give a shout out to Nicolvin for coordinating a great and successful event. You've just been hired to coordinate Anne's first birthday. We don't need anything big - just a couple thousand people joined in harmony out on the old golf course at LSU, a 5k walk with water and presents stationed every kilometer, and a special birthday speech given by the mayor. Make it happen!