Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Year of the Shirt

A couple of years ago, my family decided to make presents for each other instead of buying gifts. At first we thought it would be hard to make something that everyone would like, but we all loved our gifts. That year started a great family tradition. That Christmas I got homemade pajama bottoms, a fake newspaper clipping with my picture on it, homemade hot chocolate, homemade coasters and my name made out of block letters. Betty and I made calendars that year, and we've done it every year since.

This year was the Year of the Shirt. Betty and I made homemade shirts for a lot of our family, mostly in effort to embarrass them. We even bestowed a shirt onto the newest member of the Tanory clan, John Robert - aka, John Bobby - aka, John Bobby Tanory.

[Picture: The newest Tanory]

We made my sister a shirt that said "Future Mrs. Robert" on the front. The back said, "But you can call me Mrs. Bob". (We call them the Bobs.)

[Picture: Mrs. Bob]

For both my dad and Betty's dad, we gave Baby Grand-daddy shirts. Now we'll see which one wears it to the hospital when the baby is born. Our dads compete for everything (or so my dad thinks), so we told them that we'll name the baby after the granddad who wears the shirt to the hospital, if it's a boy. The pressure's on!

[Picture: Will Jimmy win?]

I'm looking for my dad to try to sabotage Betty's dad's shirt. Although I guess he could always just order another one here.

[Picture: Or will Dicky Boy be the winner?]

If you got or received a great homemade gift, leave a comment and let me know what it was so that I can steal the idea for next year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Tanory Tantrum's 2009 Christmas Letter

Dearest friends and family,

2009 was a great year for the Tanory family. We started the year off well rested because we went to bed at 7 PM on New Year's Eve. I still made out with Betty at midnight, although she claims she was asleep at the time. (Full disclosure: I might have copped a feel as well.)

January was momentous for America as well as for the Tanory clan. For starters, President Obama - the Tiger Woods of politics - was inaugurated as our first black president. Second, I became much closer to all of my friends by reading their 25 Random Things About Me notes on Facebook. And yes, they were very random.

With February came Valentine's Day, which meant I once again attempted to bribe Betty into getting it on with me by giving her roses. It almost worked, except my plan of serenading her in a public place backfired due to my poor singing voice. Although my singing didn't work on Betty, I did get the digits of a couger sitting in the corner. Later in February, Betty and I went with her family to Disney World, where I was finally able to apologize to Tigger for punching him in the sack all those years ago.

[Picture: In Disney]

March brought along Betty's birthday and another failed bid for romance. I would have complained about my forced chastity but unfortunately I had given up complaining for Lent. I got Betty a bike for her birthday, and together we formed a biker gang. Nothing says "I'm a bad-ass biker" like a Huffy Tundra. Also in March I went to my first New Orleans Hornets basketball game, where I successfully heckled Tony Parker while he shot free throws.

We had many "firsts" in April. There was April First, where I quit my blog for the third year in a row. Then my daughter, Anne, celebrated her first birthday. We took Anne to the zoo for the first time. It was the first (and almost last) time I tweeted on Twitter. It was also the first time that I forgot to open the car door for my wife. Damn you, April!

[Picture: Anne's first birthday]

In May we went to a wedding in Thibodaux. The wedding and reception were both lovely, but the most beautiful part of the evening was the restroom, which is where I spent 90 percent of the night. I don't know what I ate to piss my stomach off, but it definitely was not happy with me. Neither were the guests who had to use the restroom after me. I heard they had to put one girl on a ventilator.

In June I challenged Bobby Jindal to a Nintendo Wii Punch Out duel. It's a good thing that he never accepted my challenge, as I ended up getting two steriod shots within a matter of weeks from each other. The shots either boosted my muscle mass while shrinking my testicles - meaning I could have easily beaten Jindal... or they made my bones brittle - meaning Jindal would have beaten me... or they just cured me of a very bad sinus infection / spider bite combo. Either way, I'm on the No Fly List now. Who knew that the government took physical challenges to a head of a state so seriously? Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett both died in June, which was the worst thing to happen that month until my wife got stung by a giant jellyfish at the beach and I had to try to pee on her to make the pain go away.

[Picture: What Jindal was scared to fight]

Betty and I spent most of July on the road. Betty and I celebrated our fifth anniversary together in Perdido Key by going kayaking together. I thanked her for five wonderful years of marriage by accidentally slamming the back of my kayak into her, spilling her out of her kayak and bruising her back. But it was still less painful for her than having to see me naked, so I guess she won that round. We then went to the Beau Rivage for the Fourth of July to see my cousin Ben play in X-Treme Pianos, and I showed the crowd how patriotic I am by showing them in my USA undies. Next we went to Stone Mountain, GA, where we witnessed a laser light show which has played so often that the lasers have actually etched a picture of the Confederate generals into the mountain. We finished the month off by swimming in Lake Lanier, which is a reservoir for Atlanta's drinking water. Sorry about the pee taste, Atlanta.

[Picture: Patriotic undies beat commie undies any day!]

In August I finally snapped. I've been watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my daughter for so long that I started to think Daisy Duck was kind of sexy. I mean, look at that big white tail feather of hers! Man, oh, man! Betty sent me out of the house to get away from the TV, where I squared off with some pests. (I won, by the way, thanks to an electric tennis racquet and a mean backhand serve.) Aso in August, Betty and I went to a concert at the Beau Rivage where I won us a new family on the Black Jack tables (long story). Oh, and I also invented a new way to hang pictures, mirrors and shelves in your house. No big deal, just another day in the Tanory household.

September was the start of the LSU Football season. And what better way to celebrate than by buying a new HDTV? So that's what I did - and for the rest of the year have basically been doing nothing else but watching my new TV. I took a few minutes out of my busy schedule of watching the first two seasons of Mad Men on the new TV to help out at our church by yanking extra fat off of chickens in preparation for our annual chicken dinner sale. Ever since then I can't look at chickens the same way again - so instead I just look at the TV.

[Picture: Yay for LSU Football!]

Usually I turn my blog pink for October, but this year I tried to encourage men to convince their wives to have their ta-tas checked out. I don't know if it was a success or not, but hopefully 2010 will be full of heathy, perky breasts - which I think we can all agree is good for everyone. Also in October, I wore my new Donald Duck outfit for Halloween, and I also wore it to the grocery store and to work on several occasions. It was all in an effort to hook up with Daisy Duck, who - like I've mentioned before - is one hot piece of tail!

[Picture: The Daisy!]

In November I started the Couch to 5K work out routine. After the fifth run I got tendenitis in my ankle, which meant I could barely walk much less run. I still managed to hobble to my daughter's first hair cut. (I did have to sit in one of the salon chairs for the duration of the hair cut in order to keep my foot elevated.) My sister also got engaged Thanksgiving week, so starting July 2010 she'll be someone else's problem. Can't wait!

In December it snowed just in time for my 30th birthday. Betty and I also disclosed our new secret project: getting the house ready for the second Baby Tanory! We started a naming contest for the new baby and so far the leading name is "Plaxico".

We've had a lot to be thankful for in 2009 - to our friends, our families, my job, the people selling used Donald and Daisy Duck outfits on eBay, and for HDTV service. And we have a lot to look forward to in 2010. Thank you all for being a part of our lives!

[Picture: Merry Christmas!]

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Tanory family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa's Coming!

Santa's coming to our house tonight!

Usually Santa comes the night of Christmas Eve, but this year Santa decided that Earth's population is too large to continue to go to everyone's house on the same night. So now he's also delivering loot on the 23rd. Santa just doubled his capacity without increasing productivity!

Today also happens to be my brother's birthday. And since tonight technically now also counts as Christmas, my brother's birthday is officially a Birthmas! Merry Birthmas, Todd!

Since Santa is expected to come to our house, and we assume to bring presents instead of coal, we decided to leave Santa and his reindeer a treat. We left Santa a gingerbread man, a cookie and some milk, and we left his reindeer a carrot.

[Picture: Santa's late night snack]

We figure that Santa can either give the carrot to his favorite reindeer, cut it up into 8 pieces and divvy it up accordingly, or hold it out in front of his reindeer's noses to make them fly faster. Or maybe they can do something really kinky with it - who knows what reindeer do nowadays.

I tried to convince Betty that Santa wants something other than a cookie and milk. The man eats cookies and milk all night - his blood sugar must be through the roof! I had the following suggestions: a Fiber One bar, a salad, and a Coke Zero. As for the reindeer, I figured we could give them a tote bag to rap around their hind-quarters to catch any reindeer waste, as otherwise someone's getting more than just coal down their chimney.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Avatar

I love watching movies, but only a few movies have completely blown me away. I can name them, too: Jurassic Park, the Matrix, and now... Avatar.

Seriously, who can look at a T-Rex and not think of it running down the jeep in Jurassic Park? I still think of that movie when I see a ripple through a glass of water. And while I thought Jurassic Park's plot was on the boring side, the special effects were incredible. It turns out that the software used to make Jurassic Park has led to some incredible advances in CGI. South Park even uses the it to make Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman come to life!

I also remember when I first saw the Matrix. My college roommate, Dustin, bought tickets to a pre-release screening of the film on LSU's campus. Me, Dustin, my other roommates Jeff and Jeremy, and "the Mooch" Andy all went to see it. It was us and a bunch of people with spiky hair, tattoos, chains, nose rings and black leather vests, and it was incredible. For the first 15 minutes of the movie, everyone was talking, yelling at how Keanu Reeves was a crappy actor, and throwing popcorn at the screen. But towards the end of the movie, there was complete silence in the theater. As the movie ended, everyone gave a standing ovation.

Well, today I saw Avatar, the $500 million film by James Cameron, and I was completely blown away by the special effects. The 3D was so good that I had trouble adjusting to my regular vision once the movie ended. And just like at the Matrix screening, there was a loud round of applause at the end of the film, just in case James Cameron was watching us through a hidden camera.

The film doesn't have any 3D gimmicks. There's no giant stick that a character points at the audience to make everyone jump and say "oooh!" The 3D just allows the movie to look more layered, as if there's an actual background and foreground. It took a little time to get used to the special effects, but about half an hour into the movie I was completely absorbed. It was like I was there.

Basically, it was like not watching a movie at all. Which is probably the greatest compliment you can give a movie.

You can watch Avatar on a 2D (ie, regular) theater screen, but some places have digital 3D screens. Just let me know before you go watch it, because I might meet you there.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Our good friend and Anne's personal photographer Nicole Colvin (aka, Nicolvin) took some Christmas pictures for us this year. Here's a sample from her blog:

Family


In one set of pictures we wore some of Betty's mom's Christmas sweaters. Betty was in charge of picking out the choicest, cheesiest ones for us to wear. I got to wear a white one with a rabbit on it. I actually kind of liked it, and am thinking about buying one just like it from UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com.

(Betty's mom told me about that site, by the way, just so you don't think I'm purposefully bad-mouthing her beautiful wardrobe.)

You can check out some of the photos from our Christmas photo session here and here. We had a great time taking them - and next year we'll have one more little munchkin in the picture with us! Can't wait!

By the way, Nicole's first ever blog post was also about Anne. You can check it out here! She also took pictures of Anne when she turned one. Like I said before, Nicolvin is Anne's personal photographer - we're so lucky to have such a good friend with mad photo skillz!

Thanks again, Nicolvin! You're the best!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The World's Greatest Sausage Balls

Betty's aunt, whom we call Auntie, makes the greatest sausage balls in the world. They're supposedly just made with sausage, cheese and biscuit mix, but I think there are a couple of other secret ingredients that I don't know about. I bet the real recipe is kept hidden, just like the family jewels.

[Picture: Sausage balls]

I took pictures of Auntie's sausage balls in anticipation of writing a blog about them, but Betty was afraid that I would make allusions to another type of "balls." Let me assure you that I would never, ever do such a thing, because if I ever compared Auntie's sausage balls to male genitalia, I may never get them again.

Oh nuts! I just compared them to testicles, but it was completely on accident. I promise!

Bollocks! I just did it again!

[Picture: Close-up of a plate of sausage balls]

On a related note, there used to be a soccer team in Lafayette called the Nads. When the parents would cheer for the team they would yell, "Go, nads!" Although I suspect some people were actually yelling, "Gonads!" (I know I was.)

[Picture: Sausage balls]

Anyway, I love Auntie's sausage balls. They, along with my mother-in-law's cinnamon buns, make the holiday season for me. But the sausage balls are so tasty that they go quickly, so I usually have to reach in and grab a handful of sausage balls before anyone notices that they're hanging about freely.

[Picture: Sausage balls]

Thanks, Auntie, for making the holidays a little bit tastier each year!

Bedside Blogging

Betty and I have started the long, arduous process of getting the house ready for the baby. So far we've only managed to do one thing, which is to move the computer and desk from the "old computer room" to our "new computer room," or what used to be called "our bedroom."

Having the computer in our bedroom has its advantages. For example, I can blog while Betty reads in bed or while she sleeps, I can use the monitor as a night light, and I can set my computer to wake me up in the morning - although I haven't figured out how to make it snooze.

If I have a good idea in the middle of night I can just lean over in bed, grab the wireless keyboard and start typing away. No more tip-toeing into the old computer room, which was perilously situated next to my daughter's room, and chance waking up the little one.

But best of all, I can now sleep between my two loves: my wife and my computer. Maybe I'll even convince both loves to wear sexy lingerie to bed one night. I think the printer is a size 3.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inflatable Christmas!

A couple of years ago I complained about a neighbor who put up a bunch of inflatables outside his house during the Christmas season. It was the first Christmas that I had ever seen inflatables outside anyone's home, and I thought it was ridiculous that someone would put so many in the same yard at the same time.

Whether or not I like the inflatables is now a moot point - my daughter LOVES them, and so we visit them ten times a day. We wave hello and night-night to Elmo, Ho Ho (Santa), Minnie, Homer, SpongeBob, and the other inflatables as we pass by every day.

I've met my neighbors and they seem perfectly sane. I even like them. I used to work with the lady of the house, and she's incredibly nice. So I would like to formally apologize to them in this blog - it was wrong of me to try to destroy their inflatables with an air dart gun. I now see that children (of all ages) love the inflatable decorations.

Plus, air darts are not very reliable projectile weapons.

Since Anne loves the inflatables so much, we decided to take her out to Denham Springs where we heard a guy has hundreds (and possibly thousands) of inflatables. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go, but Betty was sure that I was going to take her and Anne. And you know what they say: if the wife ain't happy, nobody's happy!

Needless to say, all of us really enjoyed the inflatables. Here are some of the pictures of this guy's house. By the way, no two inflatables were the same.

In front of the house:
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The Driveway:
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The back yard:
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Notable characters:

Mickey:
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Minnie:
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Elmo:
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Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore:
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And of course, Army Santa:
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Betty and I met the homeowner / inflatable-lover. He was a really nice guy. He said it took two and half weeks to put everything up. When I asked if his electricity bill was through the roof, he said it's less expensive to blow up all the inflatables than it is to pay for the electric bill in the summer due to the heavy A/C use required in South Louisiana.

[Click for Image]

He said he was inspired to put all of the inflatables up after meeting a cancer survivor who had gone to St. Jude's Children Hospital. The child was so excited to see some inflatable decorations, so he decided to put up decorations all over his yard to make the children in his neighborhood happy. He also accepts donations, and all proceeds go to St. Jude's.

[Click for Image]

So inflatables are part of the festivus miracle after all. I'll have to tell my neighbors that they need to put more stuff out in their yard if they want to keep up with the Joneses!

More pictures:

Frosties, Minnie, Toy Soldiers, Santa's Reindeer, penguins, Santa's sleigh, Santa sitting, and last but not least, Santa Mickey!

If you want to visit the inflatables, go to Weeping Willing street in the Willows subdivision in Denham Springs. They basically take up half the street, so you can't miss them!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Preggers!

It's official: Betty is preggers!

I would have told you all sooner had I known myself. But I only found out because Betty was trying to get out of giving me an extra "birthday present" and needed a good distraction.

(Note: She failed in her attempt - I still got to play Sudoku on my iPhone for another 10 minutes. What did you think I was talking about, anyway?)

Actually, Betty and I have been planning this for a while. Being a father has been the greatest experience of my life, so I figure that being a father of two will be twice as great. Plus I'll have more kids to do chores around the house. The only real question is how long should I wait before teaching my kids how to use the power drill?

As you would expect, Betty and I have been thinking of baby names. In my family I'm just "Bobby" but in my wife's family I'm "Bobby 2" because Betty has a brother named Bobby, and since he's older he gets to be "Bobby 1". But I thought that if I named a son after me - "Bobby II" instead of "Bobby, Jr." - then that would technically make me "Bobby I" and would therefore push the current "Bobby 1" to be "Bobby 3". It's the perfect crime!

Actually, instead of thinking up names, we're going to let the Tanory Tantrum readers name the baby for us. Just leave a name in the comments section and then vote for the one you want, and we'll name our kid whatever the readers decide.

The fine line: if you win the naming rights, you also have to pay child support for 18 years, plus college tuition to an Ivy League school.

Anne is going to make a great big sister. She's either going to be the dainty big sister who teaches her baby sister how to be a little princess, or she's going to beat the everlovin' crap out of her brother's friends. Anne doesn't take any crap from anybody.

Betty's pregnancy is the best present that anyone could ever give to me. We're excited, and you should be too, as a second child is going to give me a lot more to write about.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A New Decade

If you see me on Saturday and I am walking with a cane, don't be alarmed: it's because I'll be 30.

That's right, today marks the last day of my third decade on Earth. Or to put it another way, tomorrow marks the first day of my fourth decade. I will officially be "old."

My first decade was spent being pampered by my parents. Man, I had it made: they fed me, they clothed me, they wiped me down and gave me baths. I routinely went to the bathroom in my pants and nobody thought that was necessarily a bad thing. Everything was new and exciting, and most of my learning involved crayons and songs. That was the good life.

My second decade was not as good as the first, judging only by the fact that nobody gave me a sponge bath during this decade, but it sure spanned a lot of amazing experiences. At the beginning of my second decade I was in elementary school in Lafayette, and at the end I was in college in Baton Rouge. Along the way I experienced pimples, high school, proms, the law changing so that I couldn't drink until I was 21 years old right as I turned 17.9 years old, and fraternity life.

In my third decade on Earth, I found the love of my life, got a job, got married, moved into a new house, changed jobs again, had a child, and became an amateur blogger. I went from being a journeyman software developer to being a technical lead for a $1.5 billion company. I went from being frisked at the gate of the LSU games to being cordially invited to attend sporting events in box seats. At some point during this decade, other people got the mistaken impression that I matured.

But what will my fourth decade have in store? A slower metabolism? Grey chest hair? Arthritis in my knee? An expanding wardrobe due to an expanding waistline? Or another decade of complete awesomeness?

There are a lot of good things that I plan on accomplishing in this next decade of life: more children, a bigger home, better job satisfaction, more time with my family, and more travel. I plan on cramming in as many good times into this next decade, but I know that at some point I will once again be fed, clothed and bathed by another human being, but the next time around it won't be as much fun as in that first decade.

So I cordially invite you to join me in my fourth decade on Earth. Let's get to know each other better, let's gather our families together more often, and let's make this decade the best decade that we have ever lived together.

So again, if you see me tomorrow and I am walking with a cane, don't be alarmed: it's just because I'm 30, and hurt my arthritic knee kicking life in the ass.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Sneaux Day!

It's a rare event for it to snow, or "sneaux" as we call it, down in Louisiana. But guess what? It's snowing! In Baton Rouge! For the second year in a row!

I have family and friends from up north, and they might scoff at a half inch of snow. But it rarely ever snows down South, so when it does it's like a holiday. Everyone gets out of school early, businesses close at 2 instead of 6, and people start driving like maniacs at the first drop of a snowflake instead of at the regular crazy-driving time of 5:15.

On a normal night we'd have our routines: eat some spicy Cajun food, drink a few beers, watch sports and then fail in an attempt to lure our spouses into having sex with us. But on a snow day all bets are off. We don't have a routine. Should we stay indoors and drink hot chocolate? Should we cuddle up by the fireplace? Should we throw icy slush-balls at our six year-old neighbors from behind the bushes in the front yard?

Although the snow is fun, it's difficult for our state when it snows. For one thing, we don't have the necessary tools to clean up the roads after a few hours of sleet. All we have is a guy who walks with a trash can full of salt and salts the road every ten feet, and another guy who walks around with a portable blow dryer.

Another disadvantage of snow days: so much of our state's revenue is tied up in tourism, and most of the tourists go down to New Orleans. And when it snows there's less flashing on Bourbon for obvious reasons, which means two less reasons to go to Bourbon... which means less revenue for our state.

Although it's pretty cold right now, $50 says that next week it'll be back in the 80's. That's Louisiana for you. And nobody here will complain, because it will mean a renewed season of women flashing on Bourbon, which means big business for Louisiana.

But for now, I think I'll go play outside, assault the neighbors with snowballs, then come inside for a nice hot cup of coco.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas Socks

There's a Christmas tree set up in the back of our church that has paper ornaments listing a gift for a needy person. The idea is to take an ornament, buy the gift listed, wrap the gift and tape the paper ornament onto the gift box. The church will then bring the gift to the person's house for Christmas. Every house in our community will get a visit from Santa one way or the other.

Most of the gifts are for small children, and the paper ornaments filled out by mothers or grandmothers. Most of the gift requests were very basic: a new jacket, a pair of pants, some new shirts, some toys for a toddler, etc.

Nobody asked for a Wii, a PS3 or an iPhone... most people just asked for the necessities.

One ornament listed a bike. We liked that one, but someone else cut in line and snatched it right from under us. I elbowed the person in the ribs while pretending to be doing the sign of the cross. I'll say a few Hail Mary's later tonight as penance, but believe me when I say that the guy deserved it.

While searching for another ornament, Betty and I both came across one in particular left an impression on us. It was for a single pair of navy socks.

I can't tell you how sad I was at that moment. I thought back to all of the Christmases with my family, and about how much fun they all have been. I also thought about how much I've taken all those Christmas days and Christmas gifts for granted. To think that there are people out there who can't afford socks is just the saddest thing in the world.

We couldn't take the ornament for the socks. It made me too sad.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a spoiled brat. And I'm privileged to be able to spoil my daughter. But this holiday season, my real Christmas wish is that one of your or my donations to the Toys for Tots bin, or a few bucks to a local charity, or an anonymous gift through your/our church or school will eventually make its way back to the kid whose parents just want him to have socks.