Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cajun OnStar

I needed a change of shorts after my sister showed me this video of a guy from Lafayette using a thick Cajun accent while asking for directions from OnStar.



Kudos for the other people in the car not cracking up during this phone call. I don't think I could have kept silent for so long.

I'm sure the people at OnStar don't find this particularly funny - there might have been someone locked out of their car or someone who just got in a car crash that could have used OnStar's help. But let's assume for a minute that this particular conversation gave that OnStar rep something to talk about for the rest of his life.

Sometimes I really miss living in Lafayette!

Children's Museum

If you go to the World War II Museum in New Orleans then you'll find artifacts from WWII. If you go to the Natural History Museum in NYC you'll find exhibits dealing with dinosaurs, human civilization and other facets of natural history.

But much to my dismay, the Acadiana Children's Museum in Lafayette wasn't a museum of children.... it was a museum for children. It did not have any exhibits featuring the history of children how they've developed over the centuries. There were no scientific papers or comparisons of children across cultures. Instead, the Children's Museum was a fun place for children to learn about colors, shapes, numbers, as well as to learn about how to interact with other people in the form of shopping and the news.

What a rip-off!

I found this out on Saturday when we took my daughter, Anne, and my godson, Joshua, to the Acadiana Children's Museum in Lafayette. They had a blast! We had a pretty good time, too.

For starters, we took Anne to "make groceries," as we say in Acadiana. She pushed a child-sized cart around a miniature Winn-Dixie, and she even got to check herself out at the self-checkout.

[Picture: Anne making groceries]

One of Anne's favorite activities is blowing bubbles, and at the Children's Museum she got to see some giant bubbles being made. They had these giant tubs of soapy water (or Bubble Sauce, as I like to call it) and you could make bubbles in the form of circles, triangles or rectangles. I stayed away from this part of the exhibit because I was trying to go an entire week without a bath (for scientific research, of course) and was afraid the soap would ruin my streak of 5 days, but Betty partook in the bubble making.

[Picture: Bubbling Betty]

Anne and I moseyed over to the official Children's Museum news station where we broadcast our fun activities all over the Acadiana area. I gave the Sports update, and Anne gave a Weather update. We then pantomimed a high speed chase down I-10 as part of special news coverage.

[Picture: Here's Anne with the Weather]

If you're ever in the Lafayette area, head down to the corner of Congress and Jefferson and take your kids to the Acadiana Children's Museum. Sure, you won't learn scientific facts about children and their history, but your kids will have a blast playing with every toy imaginable.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Operation Shelf: Success!

In my previous post we examined how a Baby Stella noony can be used a stud finder. I got so much reaction to this particular post that I thought I'd give you a little "behind the scenes" DVD special feature.

So enjoy these pictures of my father-in-law, Pops, doing all the hard work of installing a shelf in my daughter's room while I'm noticeably absent.

This first picture shows the stud that Pops found as a base of operations for the shelf. Either that or an 8 foot tall invisible baby is suckling a noony in this room.

[Picture: Stud, found!]

You know what they say... measure twice, hang noony, cut once.

[Picture: Measuring...]

Pops took the whole "noony" thing to the next level. He also used Baby Stella's plush popsicle as a second stud finder.

[Picture: Searching...]

As you can see, he not only used the noony and popsicle, but also took a small round magnet from the fridge. So those fridge magnets work after all... we might put the stud finding companies out of business!

[Picture: Three studs!]

Last but not least, here's Pops doing all the work himself. I wasn't there because I was either a) working late to intentionally avoid putting up a shelf, or b) well, there is no b. I was working late to intentionally avoid putting up a shelf.

[Picture: Success!]

Thanks again, Pops, for putting up Anne's shelf! She loves it! But just be warned, Betty's already started another "To Do" list for me but I think I have to work late all next year....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Incredible Baby Stella Stud Finding Noony

My father-in-law and I were attempting to install some shelves in my daughter's room, but we couldn't find any studs in the wall. My father-in-law, Pops, didn't have his stud finder with him. And I, being completely useless, do not have a stud finder at my house.

Everyone knows that having the right tools makes any job easier, but sometimes just knowing how the right tool works is enough to put you on the right path. So I asked Pops how a stud finder works, and he explained that some stud finders use a small pivoting magnet to find where nails were driven into the studs. If you know where the nails are then you know where the studs are.

Magnets... interesting. I thought about using a magnet from the fridge, but I doubted any of those weak magnets would be of any help to us. But there is one magnet in my house that is so powerful that we have to keep it away from the computer, lest it wipe out my hard drive. That magnet is inside a plush noony that is an accessory to my daughter's Baby Stella doll.

I yanked the noony away from the Stella doll and ran it along the wall. Sure enough, the noony stuck to the wall right where a stud was. I found a stud! I'm not completely useless after all!

[Picture: The Baby Stell Stud Finder Noony]

My wife plucked the noony off the wall and said she wanted to find a stud. She then put the noony on my chest. "How sweet!" I thought. "She thinks I'm a stud!" I gave a huge grin.

Then she let the noony fall to the floor.

"Oh well," she said, "I guess you aren't such a stud after all."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Inspirado

I was staring at the computer screen thinking of something to blog the crap out of, but instead I was drawing a blank. That's when Betty told me that I needed inspiration.

And by "inspiration" she meant herself, of course. But since I'm a guy and can't process hints, I turned instead to a picture that's given me a lot to think about:

The Donald.

Here it is again, in case you forgot how awesome this picture is.

[Picture: The Donald]

This is probably my favorite picture of all time. I think even if I had won this item off of eBay that I wouldn't have done it justice.

I like to think about all of the events that led up to this guy wearing the Donald outfit. Was he doing it for charity? Or just trying to impress a woman? Does he have children, and if not, did donning the Donald ruin his chance to ever have children?

The world may never know... unless for some reason the Donald has a blog. If so, I will find it.

But now Betty's mad at me and is sulking on the couch. I would go comfort her and tell her that I was just joking, but now I've got a thousand ideas running around my head. All because of the Donald - my muse!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Love You, Man

Betty and I just watched I Love You, Man, starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel.

In "I Love You, Man", Peter (Paul Rudd's character) proposes to his girlfriend, only to realize that he doesn't have enough male friends to even choose a best man. He then goes on a series of "man dates" in an effort to meet new people and hopefully hit it off with someone special enough to stand in his wedding.

It's not as gay as it sounds, but almost. And it's also hilarious.

This movie was incredibly funny, but it had a poignant side as well. It made me realize that the movie's title is exactly right: I love my guy friends, and I'm not ashamed to say it.

My friends and I have had so many great times together. For instance, one time my friend Matt and I had a pleasant, hour-long conversation using nothing but quotes from the movie Anchorman.

And when we all went up to Shreveport for Matt's bachelor party a few years back, I distinctly remember walking into a karaoke bar... and the first thing my friend Jay does is walk right up to the stage, kick the guy singing off the stage and tell the DJ to put on Outkast's "Hey Ya". I haven't heard a better version since.

The term "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is enough to make my friend Tony laugh. There's a much longer story behind that, but you'll be happy to know that it isn't as bad as it sounds, although it does involve me running around my fraternity house in tiger-striped undies.

I think it's perfectly fine to admit that I love my guy friends. When I was a junior in high school my best friend died, and a lifelong friend died a few years later. Both of those deaths hit me pretty hard and made it difficult for me to be close to people for a while. It also made me realize how much I truly loved those two guys, and how special all of my other friends are to me.

So I'm not ashamed to say to all of my man-friends: I love you, man. You know who you are, and you know why I love you.

Some of you women aren't too bad yourself, either.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Donald

A few weeks ago I reported that I was going to be Donald Duck for Halloween. Little did I know that it's nearly impossible to find a Donald outfit at an affordable price.

The only thing I found online that was less than $150 was a used Donald Duck outfit on eBay. Betty and I kept thinking about placing a bid for it, but really we just liked looking at the picture of the guy dressed as Donald:

[Picture: You quacking at me?

Every few minutes we'd drift back to the eBay site to look at the guy in the Donald outfit. Would I really buy it? And would I look as awesome in it as the guy in the picture?

A few days ago the Donald suit was up for sale for a meager $17.01. That's a far cry from the $415 that we saw at one site for a brand new Donald Duck outfit. I also found a site to rent one for $60. But right before the sale ended, the eBay Donald went up to $71.

So instead, I'll just wear a navy blue sailor outfit, a beret, webbed feet and no pants. Which is honestly what I would have done had I even won the Donald outfit on eBay.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bringing Sexy Back... to Real Estate

I've been thinking a lot about my dad's new blog, Real Estate for Workaholics.

My dad has a lot of great tips for how first-time home buyers can save money, how to correctly price out your home, etc. But I think he needs to do something more than just give people good information.

He needs to bring sexy back to the real estate market.

I know you have questions, such as how can anyone, much less one man, bring sexy back? And when did sexy ever leave?

I'll give you an example. Here's a home that I found online. Nice sized lawn, garage on the side in the back, not too much in terms of landscaping... pretty basic, right?


[Picture: Mundane house photo]

Now watch as I apply some subtle marking magic, and voila!

[Picture: Sexy house photo!!!]

Booyah!!! Sexy has been brought back!

Notice how the two breast-like protrusions on the house have been covered by a bikini top. This allows the home buyer to use his or her imagination to think about what's behind that fabric. Enticing!

And notice how I've crudely photoshopped Borat into the mix. That mankini is not also a fashion statement, but it's the most recognizable mankini on the market. (Warning: If you are a realtor, you may have to dress yourself in a mankini instead of using Borat's image, otherwise you might be sued. I will pose for your pictures for a percentage of the closing costs.)

Think about it: houses are classified as a long-term investment, and paying one off can take 30 years or more. But the American consumer likes to think in terms of instant gratification. So be like the car magazines and give your buyers what they want - someone sexy lounging the roof and hugging the chimney spout wearing nothing but a g-string. They'll thank you for it later, with their repeat business.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Real Estate for Workaholics

My dad was worried that I was the only Tanory blogging on the Intarweb and that some people might get the wrong impression of the entire Tanory family due to some of my opinions, such as my belief that etiquette is the greatest marketing scam of all time.

So he started his own blog called Real Estate for Workaholics.

My dad used to be a real estate agent. Now he's a real estate guru. When he first started as a realtor he went by the moniker the "Workaholic" and it wasn't just a name - he really is a workaholic. When I was a kid he would work all the time, night and day, Sundays, holidays... you name it and he worked it.

He was so in demand that we'd get calls on our main phone line, kid's line, fax line, clothes line, via emails, snail mail, etc. People were relentless.

That's the life of a realtor, and my dad thrived in it.

But that's not to say that he worked so much that he ignored his family. My dad made every single one of his kid's baseball games, soccer games, dance recitals, school events... and even was the coach for many of our teams.

Embarrassing side note: One time, when I played on a team called the Mama's Boys, we even got my dad to wear a hot pink shirt that said "Big Mama" on it. Now that's dedication!

But now he's the guru. He teaches other people the best practices of the industry, and then watches as his students go out and whup some real estate butt.

So if you are a realtor, preferably in the Lafayette, LA, area then please check out my dad's blog.

Also, father, now that you are blogging, it is my main objective to destroy your blog (along with everyone else's) and make people come to my blog instead. So enjoy our soon-to-begin blog war. En guarde!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Black Jack!

Counting Crows is one of my favorite bands, and they just so happened to be playing at the Beau Rivage on Thursday with Augustana - a band that Betty really likes. Good music, gambling, Asians playing baccarat, and a grandmother willing to babysit for the night... it was the perfect storm for a great night!

So off to the Beau we went.

During our pre-concert meal my daughter, Anne, started throwing a "real Tanory Tantrum" as we like to call them. Anne and I got up from the table and made our way to our room. But on the walk to the elevators I heard the siren song of the slot machines ringing away in the background.

Stick your player's card in my slot! they called out to me. Yank my handle, slam my buttons hard, you know you want to! Ring ring ringringring!

I found myself walking past a distracted security guard and entering the main gaming room with Anne in my arms. And although the slots were calling out to me, I caught a glance of the Black Jack tables in the distance. And before I knew it I was doubling down on an eleven.

I had put Anne on the chair next to mine right before my hand was dealt, and she crawled up onto the table and sat down right on the part of the table where you place your bet. The dealer called the pit boss over who explained that the table had a $500 betting limit, but the baby was probably worth more than that, so I would have to use her to bet at a different table.

I was shocked! They would have taken my baby if I had lost my hand, even though I had no intention of gambling her away! And furthermore, I could use her to bet on the high limit tables - woo!

I picked Anne up and made my way to the Craps table, setting Anne down on the Hard Six. The Hard Six pays 9-1, and I ended up getting nine more babies that night. Apparently other parents got sucked into the gaming room with their kids as well.

I traded all the kids back to their parents, swapping the kids for ticket upgrades to the Counting Crows concert. We ended up sitting on the third row from the front, and had a great view of lead singer Adam Duritz and the band playing their hearts out. Duritz was swinging a cane while he played because he had spent the day in a New Orleans hospital getting treatment for an infection on his knee. But his injury didn't stop him from jumping around off of amplifiers and stage props.

And because we were sitting so close, not only could I see Duritz but he could see us. "Hey!" he crooned, "aren't you the guy who won nine babies at the Craps table today?"

Everyone turned my way. I admit that I had a smug grin on my face, because the previous Beau Rivage record for most babies won in one night was 7.

"Yes," I said, "and I would like to hear Rain King if you don't mind."

(They also played a great cover of Van Morrison's Caravan.)

What a great night! I can't wait for the next concert at the Beau!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Only Picture of Sonia Sotomayor

Is it just me, or does every article about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor have the same picture of her? You know, the one that looks like this:

[Picture: Image of Sotomayor hunched over]

Couldn't they have found a better picture to use? It looks like she's lunging for prey or about to rip meat off a carcass with her mighty incisors and man-hands.

[Picture: Sotomayor with her lion pack]

Or maybe this picture is supposed to make Ruth Bader Ginsburg think twice before starting a cat fight in the Supreme Court chambers.

[Picture: Sotomayor verses Kittens]

Or maybe the wise Latina was explaining, in judicial terms, a process called "erotic asphyxiation in anticipation of an avian culinary dish" - or in layman's terms, "choking the chicken".

[Picture: Sotomayor verses Kittens]

Of course, I could be wrong and this single picture could have just been what was available to newspaper reporters at the time their articles were published. For all I know, Sotomayor doesn't really like to rip a living creature's flesh off its hide using her teeth and bare hands, but that's just my best guess as to how she spends her free time.

In fact, I only know three things about Sotomayor:

1. She pissed off a bunch of firefighters in New Haven over one of her rulings, but her ruling was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court;

2. She ended a professional baseball strike and Obama claims she "saved baseball"; and

3. She's a vampire whose motto is that she "takes a bite out of crime, then drains its lifeless corpse of all its bodily fluids."

[Picture: Count Sotomayor]

Watch out, Scalia! Sotomayor craves your human flesh!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tennis with Mortal Enemies

I hate bugs, especially those that bite, sting or shoot venom from their butts. And we have a saying in the South: if it flies, it dies. So when my wife spotted a ginormous wasp nest in our backyard, I quickly went off to Home Depot in search of weapons to attack my deadly nemeses.

(By the way, "ginormous" passed Spell Check. Apparently it was one of Merriam-Webster's new words for 2007. And yes, I realize that I'm 2 years behind on my "new words" list.)

I came home with two cans of wasp spray, but after some extra reconnaissance work on the wasp nest, I didn't feel like that was enough fire power for the job at hand. This wasp nest was huge! So as a precaution I also got out my electric bug zapper tennis racquet.

Armed to the teeth, I covertly approached my prey by silently sneaking behind bushes and trees, stopping to scout out the nest's activity every so often. Each can of wasp spray could reach up to 27 feet, so once I was 26.5 feet away I knelt on one knee, shook my first can of wasp spray, then took aim.

Banzai! I yelled, hoping to God that wasps are deaf.

Those poor bastards didn't know what hit them. I doused those suckers until I was sure that if the bug spray didn't kill them then they would at least still drown in the liquid acid pooling beneath their nest. At least twenty wasps fell from the gigantic nest to their deaths, and I took individual potshots at those that moved. But four wasps decided to make their final stand.

This was no time for the spray, as now I was locked in deadly arm-to-stinger combat. The wasps took evasive maneuvers as I threw my empty can at them, but once they reformed their attack I was waiting for them... with electric bug zapper racquet in hand.

The first wasp attacked high, so I acted like I was serving a tennis ball. Pete Sampras would have been proud of how hard I knocked the bejeezus out of the wasp, and Andre Agassi would have been proud of the spark that occurred when the electric bug zapper caused the wasp to explode on contact. (And hopefully Anna Kournikova would have been impressed.)

"15-Love" I told the wasps in my cheesiest voice. "Your serve."

Zap! "30-Love. You guys really suck at tennis."

The next two wasps hesitated, which gave me time to backhand one. I announced to the final wasp that the score was now "40-Love" but then explained that I didn't understand why the first two points were 15 and 30 but the third score was 40 instead of 45. The final wasp lost some altitude as it shrugged, and that put it in range of my Super Slam finale.

"Game set match, bitches!" I yelled, as I tracked down more wasps to kill.

Who knew tennis could be so much fun?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Daisy Duck

I've been watching a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse lately, and I have to say, Daisy Duck is one hot piece of tail.

Seriously, she's got it all - pale white feathers, blond beak, a sassy attitude and hooker shoes. And to top it all off, she doesn't wear pants.

I'm in love!

For Halloween this year we were thinking of dressing my daughter Anne up as Minnie, because Minnie's her favorite character. (By the way, "Minnie" is short for "Minerva." Yes, the Tantrum just blew your mind.)

I was going to dress as Toodles, the extension of the Mousekadoer computer whose main function is to distribute the Mousekatools to Mickey and his friends. But if Betty does what she said she'd do and dresses like Daisy, then I might just have to dress like Donald.

I think I'm more of a "Donald" anyway. According to the Disney Wiki, Donald is short-tempered, impatient, angry, doesn't wear pants and is well-known and very popular, especially in Scandinavian countries. I think you'll agree that I'm more of a Donald than a helpful tool-carrying companion like Toodles.

It's never too early to think up a good Halloween outfit, especially if your outfit doesn't involve pants. So if you haven't already decided what you want to wear, we still need a Mickey, a Goofy and Pluto.

Forever Stamps

Betty usually pays our bills, but after I paid a handful of bills tonight I realized something:

The Post Office has some great (read: evil) marketing people.

When it was time to put stamps on the envelopes, I started digging through our drawer and came up with a booklet of Forever Stamps. The Forever Stamps don't have a price on them, because technically they're supposed to be good "forever".

Looking at the bell on the Forever Stamps, I realized that I had completely forgotten what the price of stamps are. I hardly ever pay my bills via snail mail because I can practically pay for everything online (either manually or through auto-payment). When was the last time that I had to buy stamps???

Sure, I remember being outraged when the Post Office said that they were going to raise the price of stamps every year or so, but I didn't know how outraged I would be the next time the price went up because I didn't know how much a stamp costs today. And if you know anything about me, you know that I like to plan my outrage in advance.

And that's when I realized that that's the entire point of the Forever Stamps: to make you forget about the price of stamps.

They're not there so that you can buy a whole bunch now and then never pay a higher rate for stamps - although, that's what the Post Office wants you to think. No, the Forever Stamps are there to brainwash you.

Gris gris sha!

Why else are we so outraged every time the Post Office raises the price of stamps? Because we keep forgetting how expensive they are! "What, the price of stamps is rising to 44 cents?!? That's outrageous! Wait, what, they already are 44 cents each? Oh man, that sucks!"

My wife probably disagrees with me, because she buys the stamps and knows how much a booklet costs. But if you're like me and you use the Intarweb to pay for things, you might want to delegate the stamp-buying to your significant other.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Hungover

Betty and I finally saw The Hangover, and I have some advice for anyone who hasn't seen the movie:

Bring a change of pants.

Seriously, I wet myself, and I also accidentally wet Betty.

The Hangover is probably one of the funniest movies that I've ever seen. Betty and I are still laughing about it. And after we got home and I started researching the movie, I happened to come across an IMDB entry for The Hangover 2, due out in 2011.

(Betty suspected there would be a sequel. But I did all the hard work of Googling it to actually find out. So I'm taking all the credit.)

I'm so excited for a sequel that I think I'm going to audition to be Zach Galifianakis's body double in The Hangover 2. Seriously, I think I could do it: I'm portly, I can grow a full-on beard in less than 2 weeks, and I'm not afraid to run around in my underwear - or lack of undies, if needed. Plus, it would be cool to be known as Fat Jesus (or Fat Jesus' body/stunt double).

Go see The Hangover if you haven't seen it so that you can prepare yourself to watch me in the sequel.