Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Every year I like to create a list of New Year's Resolutions, then time myself on how fast I can break them.

Earlier this year I made a resolution to get in better shape. I joined a gym and actually went a few times a week for thirty minutes or so, until my son was born at which point I didn't have time to sleep much less work out. I also started running, but stopped after my body went into shock after realizing it was moving more than 2 mph by way of my feet.

I also had a resolution to not procrastinate. But I waited so long to get started on that one, that by the time I started thinking about it again, I just decided to wait until next year.

I always think about eating better. This year I severely limited my intake of red meat, and also started eating the veggie sandwich instead of the Chimes Club when we go eat at the Chimes. The "Veggie" is a bunch of veggies on a croissant, so it's debatable how healthy it actually is. And Betty enjoys eating red meat, so my new diet keeps her from cooking the things that she wants to cook. So next year I might go back to ripping the flesh off of living creatures as they saunter by me along the dark back roads by my house.

This year I promised to not spend so much time on the computer. Technically I actually met this resolution, since I spent 1500% more time on my iPhone than I did on the computer. Nobody said anything about spending time on the phone!

Next year I plan on learning to play the piano. I don't anticipate becoming a pro or anything, but I want to learn a few more chords and maybe even get my left hand to play different notes than my right hand.

I plan on reading more next year. I've basically stopped reading ever since I got my big screen TV. (But I've watched a ton of movies and TV shows on NetFlix!) I want to at least finish up the books that my family got me for Christmas, two Christmases ago.

I plan on learning to create XBox games to go along with my new XBox. (Thanks, Santa!) I've already installed the XNA Game Studio. Now all I need is a little free time and some creative ideas. Maybe I'll make an iPhone application.

I plan on spending more time with my family. My kids are little - I'll never get this time back with them. I love spending time with my wife, but barely ever see her because I work late and she goes to bed early. Maybe I'll have a few three day weekends next year, just so we can go out and have some fun.

And finally, I plan on trying to attain some of my lifelong dreams. How do you know if you'll ever be an astronaut, a professional football player or a Disney Imagineer if you never try? I might never be any of those, but there's only way to know for sure.

So now that you know what my New Year's Resolutions are, care to share any of yours?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The 2011 Calendar

A few years ago my family decided to try making each other gifts. It's a tradition that I still keep up today, mostly because I'm cheap, but also because it's a lot of fun. Every year the calendar has a theme, and this year's theme was our children and the TV shows and movies that they watch.

I was a little late making the calendars this year, so I'm posting the pictures from the calendar on my blog so my family knows what they're getting.


January

January
Annie as Snow White, with me, my dad and my brother Todd as dwarfs. Todd gets to be Dopey.


February

Feb
My sister Rebecca and her husband John Bobby as Belle and the Beast. My sister-in-law Andrea as Angela Lansbury in teacup form, and my godchild Josh as Cogsworth


March

March
My parents, me and Betty, our son Peter and our niece Brooke as the Flintstones. Betty got to play the part of Betty.


April

April
Me and Pete in our Halloween outfits


May

May
Pete, Josh, Brooke and Annie as the Sesame Street characters. This one was by far my favorite!


June

June
John Bobby, my dad, Todd and me as the Imagination Movers. I think what this situation needs is some imagination!


July

July
Peter as Peter Pan (why not?!), Betty as Wendy, and my brother Todd as Tinker Bell. When Todd creates his own calendar then he can photoshop me however he wants. Until that day, I get to put him wherever I want!


August

August
Annie, Josh, Pete and Brooke as the Little Einsteins. And they really are little Einsteins!


September

Sept
Rebecca and John Bobby as the Princess and the Frog. Todd as the Shadow Man. This is one of my daughter's favorite shows - I wanted to add her into it but couldn't find a good place for her.


October

October
Annie as Cinderella. Her reflection in the pool is the real Cinderella. Annie really thinks she's a princess. This reminded me of that Star Wars poster where Anakin's shadow is the shadow of Darth Vader. (I call Annie Anakin a lot, so it's fitting.)


November

No! Vember!
Josh as Spider-Josh! Plus Brooke punching the Sandman into bits! Get'm Brooke!


December

December
My parents, Andrea and John Bobby as ballerinas. Todd and I are both down there as well. This didn't fit into the TV show / movie category, but I ran out of ideas.


There you have it. I've condensed several days' worth of work into one blog post. I hope my family enjoys them! I had a great time making them! Now my family needs to start making new babies so that I have some good source pics for next year's calendar!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Toysplosion

Christmas was either a lot of fun, or Santa was mugged and his magic bag of presents taken back to my house. All I know is that there's been a toysplosion at my house! There are toys everywhere!

This year we had two little munchkins to enjoy Christmas. My daughter Anne is 2 years 8 months old, and seeing Christmas through her eyes was magical. She was hilarious playing with her new toys! She'd open one package, play with the toy for a while, then open another package.

When I was a kid, I'd open all of my presents at the same time. I'd rip everything open at once, barely glancing at what it was except to yell, "Cool!" before starting in on another package. Sometime I'd open other people's presents.

Peter enjoyed Christmas as well. He enjoyed opening packages, then eating the packages. And the paper. And the toys. And basically anything he could slobber on. He's teething, so the chewier the toy, the better.

I can't really say what any of my gifts are, because my brother hasn't opened all of his gifts yet. But needless to say, he'll thoroughly enjoy them, or I'll thoroughly enjoy them for him, since I love all of my presents.

The best present of all was spending time with the family. But the second best present was something incredibly awesome that I can't tell you about until my brother opens his gifts.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas. I'm already looking forward to next year, when both of my kids will be old enough to enjoy it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Tanory Tantrum's 2010 Christmas Letter

Dearest friends and family,

I hope this letter finds you well. 2010 was an amazing year for the Tanory clan. It all began with a high note (aka, a midnight groping) and will hopefully end with another high note (aka, another midnight groping, but maybe Betty will be awake this time).

Here's everything you need to know about January: LSU golf pants.

[Picture: Is that a nine iron in your pants or are you just happy to see me?]

I know what you're thinking: Is that a Nerf Wii Golf accessory in my pocket, or am I just happy to see you? (Answer: It's a Nerf Wii Golf accessory.) I was so hot in my golf pants that the Caterie burnt down after I walked by it.

My sister-in-law was so excited about the Saints winning the Super Bowl in February that she had a baby: my niece Brooke was born Super Bowl weekend! It's a testament to how incredible the Saints are, because she wasn't even pregnant before the NFL playoffs! We had "Lombardi Gras" down in New Orleans and I taught my daughter a very important lesson: how to get massive amounts of beads at Mardi Gras (without getting arrested).

[Picture: Back here!!!]

Also in February, my wife painted me a picture of a pizza (which I've always wanted) and gave it to me the day before Valentine's Day. This kept me occupied long enough to forget about trying to grope her, which was her plan all along. Well played, Beebles!

[Picture: Me and my pizza!]

March brought along Betty's birthday, and I proved my love for her by single-handedly (OK, maybe I had help from Annie) annihilating all of my competing love interests to show how dedicated I am to her by storming the USS Kidd and manning her guns. Take that, Betty's 7th grade boyfriend!

[Picture: Got a bogey on your nine!]

In April I quit my blog for the fourth time, only to immediately turn around and find a light switch that doesn't do anything, so it became our Tickle Switch and I had to write about it. We also went to the beach where I created my own Sand People who worshiped me until high tide. My daughter also turned two!

[Picture: Party on!]

Despite a weak economy, the Prairieville Tanory clan was up a whopping 33% in manpower in May as we introduced our new Tanory model, Peter Thomas, into the world. Unfortunately I had to downsize a brother in order to pay for the new munchkin. It was either that or sell some of my stocks, and I like to play for the long term. To celebrate my son's birth, I infiltrated a horde of giant bees and rode one off into the sunset.

[Picture: Bees! They're everywhere!]

June brought along the World Cup, which was fun, but also brought along a fever that put my son into the NICU, which was definitely not fun. June also brought along a new meaning of the art of Jackson Pollock. (Hint: Think of splatter art, then think of diapers.)

Pete got out of the NICU in July, so we celebrated by throwing my sister a wedding reception. I grew this sweet 'stache for the occasion, which would have blossomed into a full handlebar mustache had Betty not made me shave it the day of the wedding.

[Picture: The stache!]

I went to Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Washington, on the first day of August for a computer nerd conference. While I was up there I went to visit my cousins in Seattle. My cousin Zach and I either went to a Mariners game or tried to sell ourselves on the side of the road for some extra dough. I'll let you decide which.

[Picture: Seattle Sausage!]

In September I joined a Fantasy Football league that my cousin Bo started. My wife keeps telling me that I need to stop playing Fantasy Football and spend more time with the family, but Anne and Pete are so young that their projected points for the week just aren't as high as someone like Darren McFadden or Drew Brees. Decisions, decisions!

LSU football was in full swing during the month of October, and so was LSU's campaign to Help Preserve the Mounds. I think we can all agree that mounds need to be preserved.

[Picture: Save the mounds!]

The Baton Rouge Zoo had "Boo at the Zoo" during the month of October. But while at the zoo my father-in-law, Jimmy, was mistaken for a tiger and shipped off to India.

[Picture: A true tiger!]

And of course there was Halloween, when we became the live action counterparts to well-known cartoon characters, then demanded candy from our neighbors.

[Picture: Real cartoons!]

November was quiet except for the fact that Betty had kidney stones. So much for selling her kidneys on the black market. My mom had us over for Thanksgiving, and I'm proud to say that I only had one plate of food, and doubly proud that my plate was stacked three feet high.

That brings us to December, which is one of my favorite months because it's my Birthmas month. (Birthmas is Birthday plus Christmas in one.) I finally put up Christmas lights outside, and Anne loves them. But next year I'll put them in my neighbor's yard across the street so that Anne can see them from the house.

Also this December, my cousins released their first studio album for their band Mageez. My cousin Bo left a comment saying that he thought I would have posted a picture of me "performing live" last year with his brother and fellow Mageezer Ben. And honestly, I can't think of a better way to end this Christmas letter than showing you my undies. It's just like old times, isn't it?

[Picture: God bless the USA!]

Wait, one more!

[Picture: God bless the USA! (Again!)]

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wiki Leaks

Now that the WikiLeaks site has been taken down (and is apparently back up again), I'm thinking of creating my own Wiki Leaks site. But instead of posting classified information about the US and foreign leaders, it will just be a wiki about leaks.

There are plenty of leaks to write about. For example:

1. A leaky faucet.

2. The LEAK sandwich loudspeaker.

3. The phrase "take a leak"

4. Leech (which sounds like leak)

5. The leaky Metrodome roof.

WikiLeaks has been publishing "cables" - although, to be honest, I have no idea what that means. Are they telegrams? Emails? Just anything that was transmitted over a wire? Regardless, my Wiki Leaks site also needs to have cables. I'm thinking of possibly having HDMI cables have it's own page on my wiki, as those are my favorite cables since they help my TV display a great picture in HD.

If you know of another "leak" then please drop me a line (or a cable!) and I'll add it to my Wiki.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thankshallowmas

I just got finished putting up my Christmas lights. There might only be 10 days until Christmas, but I'm going to enjoy the everloving crap out of these things until then.

Actually, I didn't really put them up. My buddies came over and pretty much did everything. My friend Murray hooked up some computer components to a board, ran wires out all around the yard, and programmed everything to blink at intervals that we were able to program. We're computer nerds - we had no choice.

And my buddy Brannon fixed an inflatable Frosty that I bought from Home Depot, which was apparently used because the stakes had dirt on them, some of the packaging inside the box was open, and three LED lights inside the Frosty don't work. He salvaged it by jamming a light up Frosty's rear.

Automated, programmable lights and a Frosty with a lighted butt? Take that, people-across-the-street-with-icicle-lights!

Booyah!

As much fun as it's been putting these lights up, it's going to be a pain to take everything apart. Then I have to store it all. I wish I could just leave everything up, because I'm lazy. That's why I've invented a new holiday season:

Thankshallowmas.

It's a combination of Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas. Instead of decorating inside and out for Halloween, then taking everything down for Thanksgiving, then putting new stuff up for Christmas, from now on I'm going to just celebrate Thankshallowmas by leaving up the same decorations outside for three months.

So how does one decorate for Thankshallowmas? Well, your decorations need to incorporate all of the fun characteristics of Halloween, like zombies, graves and ghosts. They also need to incorporate Christmas decorations, such as Santa, Frosty, reindeer, etc. And for the Thanksgiving part, you can have a turkey, pilgrims or a cornucopia.

So, to sum it all up, you need a decaying zombie turkey rising up from out of a grave and feasting on the flesh of elves, Santa, cranberries and pumpkin pie, all in inflatable form outside of your house for three months.

I think we can all get behind this new holiday. Let's just hope that the Thankshallowmas inflatables at Home Depot haven't been returned and secretly placed back on the shelf in the hopes that nobody notices.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Older and Wiser

My birthday was Sunday. I'm 31 years old now, which means that I'm officially old, and therefore my blogs should start having a more mature tone to them.

So today, as my first blog in my 32nd year, I'd like to write about a more mundane topic: static electricity.

Yesterday it was really cold in South Louisiana, so Betty picked out a red fleece for me to wear. (Yes, I'm 31 and my wife still picks out my clothes. I said that I'd write more mature blogs, not act more mature!)

Anyway, when it's cold, I end up shocking everything. For example, I live in fear of touching my car door after exiting the car because I always end up getting shocked. ALWAYS! And of course, when I do touch it and it does shock me, I scream like a girl.

Every time.

And in case you were wondering, wearing a fleece all day is a great way to pick up static electricity, which then makes you a walking lightning rod. So all day long I got shocked. Doorknobs shocked me, my daughter shocked me when she went to give me a kiss, and of course my demon car shocked me on several occasions.

So after a long day of creating friction and gathering an ionic charge due to my fleece rubbing up against my shirt, I was relieved to finally get a chance to take the damn thing off. But when I pulled the fleece over my head, my undershirt got bunched up with my fleece (probably due to that bastard force of nature, Static Electricity), and my fleece touched my exposed nipple.

That's right: my first blog post after turning 31 is about my fleece shocking my nipple. I told you that these would be more mature from now on.

As Monty Python says in one of my favorite Python sketches: "My nipples explode with delight!" Except in this case, my nipple literally exploded, but in EXCRUCIATING PAIN!

So there I was, screaming in agony while my daughter looked up at me as if to say, "Why is a grown man crying like a little girl?" So I did what any mature, 31 year old would do, and started rubbing my nipple as fast as I could to try to make the pain go away.

Which, of course, just created more static electricity from all the friction, since I still had the fleece partially draped over me. And when my daughter came to hug me to make me feel better, just as she laid her head on my chest, the static electricity between us burst into flames right upon the very same nipple as had just been ignited moments earlier.

Anyway, now I have a huge knot on my left nipple. It looks like my nipple has a nipple. And it's still sore.

And the worst part is that it's still very cold, and the only warm thing that I have to wear tomorrow is my red fleece. God help us all.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Mageez: The Album

Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of my favorite times of year because they're usually times when my extended family gets together. And the one thing that brings my entire family together (other than food, of course) is the piano.

I love when my dad plays the piano. And my sister can actually play as well.

For my part, I like to sit on the piano in a red dress and show a little leg. Nobody else likes when I do that, but hey, I gotta be me!

But some of the best moments around the piano are when my cousins Bo, Ben, Michael and Elizabeth start to play it. They're just amazing. My cousin Ben even plays the piano at Pat O's in New Orleans - that's how good he is.

And so I'm very excited that my cousins Bo, Ben and Michael have published their first studio album for their band, Mageez. If you like them then I guess that makes you a "Mageezer."

I'm so proud of you guys! Now, for your next album, I have a few lyrics that I'd like you to include... something like, "The Tantrum, the Taaaantrum, oh how you spank'm!" and "Don't think I'm a clod but I like Bobby better than Todd!"

Monday, December 06, 2010

Birthday Pizza: Oscar's or BJ's?

My birthday is this Sunday, so Betty suggested that we go eat pizza somewhere. She thought it would be fun to go to one of our new favorite pizza places, Oscar's, which also has a huge ice cream parlor. Pizza for me, ice cream for the kids - what's not to like?

But then I suggested BJ's, which is a pizza place by the Mall of Louisiana.

Betty was OK with that, but wanted to know why. "Why BJ's?" Is it because I like BJ's pizza better than Oscar's? Is it because it's by the mall and maybe I can swing by there after dinner and pick up a few last minute Christmas items? Is it because there was a BJ's in Lafayette that had the same name but was a different restaurant? Inquiring minds want to know!

No. It's purely for blogging purposes.

I've been giggling about it all week, and when Betty finally snapped and asked me what I was laughing to myself about, I told her:

I want to go to BJ's on my birthday so that I can say that I had Birthday BJ's!

Betty didn't think that was very funny. I guess you can say it was anticlimactic.

Birthday Oscar's will have to do. It will be just as tasty (or more!) than BJ's, but surely not as much fun to say.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Curious Georges

Betty's been wanting to go to the Baton Rouge Farmer's Market downtown for some time now, but it took a visit from Curious George to actually make us get up and go.

Curious George went to the farmer's market on Saturday to help raise money for Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), and since Annie looooves Curious George we just had to go see him. Plus, we watch LPB all the time, so we felt like it was worth the $5 donation to take a picture with him. We ended up joining the Kid's Club so Anne's name gets to scroll across the screen on her birthday.

Also, since we dressed Pete up as Curious George for Halloween, we thought it would be fun to dress him up again. We knew that would be a big hit!

[Picture: The Two Curious Georges!]

Anne was afraid of the "big Curious George" (but not afraid of the little Curious George dolls). She also didn't seem to like it when I picked her up and flung her in Curious George's face. She was thrashing and screaming. But when she finally got face to face with him, she gave him a huge smile, said hi, and blew him some kisses. Then she sat still long enough for us to get in this family pic:

[Picture: Monkeying around!]

I guess you can say we were just monkeying around at the farmer's market, yuck yuck!

The Farmer's Market rocked! Seriously, we need to go more often. We bought some muffaletta bread from one lady, got some milk from a creamery, and got gelatos from our friends at Latte e Miele, who were putting their Gelato Truck to good use. We petted some puppies, looked at some cute little kittens, and Anne did an art project to make an ornament for our tree. It was a lot of fun.

We can't wait for the next cartoon character to come to Baton Rouge so that we can dress up again!

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Countdown Begins

And so it begins... the countdown until Christmas.

I have less than a month to be on my best behavior, otherwise Santa won't bring me any presents. I have to be good because, I'm probably on Santa's naughty list. Actually, I know 100% that I'm on Santa's naughty list. The Tantrum has sources all over the world, and while I won't reveal my inside source at the North Pole, I will say that he told me that Santa was none too pleased about that time I scared the kids playing on my lawn by making a Molotov Cocktail out of one of Peter's diapers.

I thought it was funny. Santa apparently did not.

You know, for a jolly old fat man, you'd think Santa would laugh at crap like that.

Betty's my saving grace, though. She's on Santa's good list. She's a perfect angel. And my daughter, Anne, is definitely on Santa's good list, too. Peter's too young to be bad. So with all that goodness around me, some of it is bound to rub off.

So I'm spending the next 21 days on my best behavior. I'll say "please" and "thank you," will hold the door open for other people, will do some good deeds whenever I can. Hell, I'll even put the toilet seat down once in a while.

If that doesn't put me on Santa's good list, I don't know what will!

But most of all, I'll try to be nice, and will try to throw less tantrums (while writing more Tantrums). Because nothing is more depressing than no gifts on Christmas.

That reminds me: there are a lot of really great people out there who won't be getting much, or anything, for Christmas this year, through no fault of their own. Santa can't be everywhere at once, but maybe we can all lend Santa a hand this year. Betty and I, along with hundreds of other people from our church, have bought some gifts for families in need. Please visit your local church or find someone in need and give them a helping hand this holiday season. At a minimum, drop a few toys in the Toys for Tots barrels.

Remember: Santa's watching!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Star Wars Meets Thanksgiving

Betty and I took the kids to see my parents in Lafayette for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. And while we were there we discovered that the Lafayette Science Museum had a big Star Wars exhibit going on.

We didn't think that my daughter Anne would be very interested... but then again, Yoda and R2D2 are just about her size, so we thought that maybe we could convince her to become a Star Wars fan. It sure would be nice to watch The Clone Wars every morning instead of Little Einsteins.

The museum had lots of costumes from the movies. Betty likes powerful men so she decided to pose with Darth Vader...

[picture: Betty and her buddy Darth]

And I like women, so I took a picture of the only female in the building (except for Betty, Anne and my sister-in-law Andrea). Well, OK, it was just a mannequin, but most of the guys in the building were huddled around this exhibit, trying to determine exactly how a feminine creature from Naboo would react in Earth's atmosphere.

[picture: This feminine outfit had all us Star Wars nerds entranced]

My sister likes tall, dark and hairy guys, so she posed with Chewbacca.

[picture: Becca with her ideal mate]

And Todd likes robots, so he scoped out the walkers.

[picture: Todd with the Walkers]

Anne got scared when she saw Chewbacca and started to cry. So we tried to distract her by showing her smaller, less hairy creatures. There was R2D2...

[picture: Anne with R2D2]

and the Jawas (famously parodied in Spaceballs)...

[picture: Jawas!]

and Yoda, hanging out with Flat Stanley. (Use the Force, Flat Stanley!)

[picture: Use the Force, Flat Stanley!]

And of course, there was... a hideous snow creature! Aaaah!

[picture: Snow creature from Star Wars]

But what Star Wars exhibit would be complete without a few pod racers? Anne and I saw a few, and although she couldn't ride in them, I could! Here's a model of Luke Skywalker's pod.

[picture: Pod racer model]

And here's me rockin' out on a real hovercraft! Watch out, Tatooine, here I come!

[picture: Bob the hovercraft racer!]

But the best part of the Star Wars exhibit was at the very end, in the children's area of the Lafayette Science Museum, where Anne and her cousin Joshua put on a puppet show of the entire Star Wars franchise in less than four minutes. It was better than Weird Al's The Saga Begins.

[picture: Star Wars puppet show!]

Entrance into the Lafayette Science Museum is $10 per adult. Kids under 3 are free. There was also a Star Wars ride that we bought tickets to ($2 each) but Betty and I didn't make it in there, because the line was too long and my kid was screaming at the top of her lungs about Wookies. But we had a great time. It's great that stuff like this comes to Lafayette every once in a while.

If you or your family goes to the Star Wars exhibit at the LSM, tell Yoda that the next great Jedi has been born. Peter didn't make the trip to the museum with us this time around, but I have a feeling that he'll be using Anne's Abby Cadabby wand as a lightsaber any day now!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Victoria's Secret Catalog

Everyone likes the Victoria's Secret catalog. Women like it because they get to think about shopping, and men like it because, well, it's the Victoria's Secret catalog.

And my six month old son likes it, because he thinks it's a visual menu for a milk bar.

It's not that he's racist or anything. He's only six months old - he has no concept of race. It's just that all he sees are the ta-tas, and that makes him think of milk.

I think it goes something like this:

The white models remind him of regular white milk.

The black women? Chocolate milk.

The Asian women are soy milk.

The skinny models are skim milk.

Supermodels are fat free milk.

The plus size models are whole milk.

Red heads are strawberry milk. (You know you used to put Nesquik strawberry powder in your milk, don't lie to the Tantrum!)

There are some other kinds of milk, but I got distracted while researching the Victoria's Secret website. Don't blame me, blame the need to blog.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Spanksgiving

Happy Spanksgiving, everybody!

Spanksgiving is like Thanksgiving, except instead of sitting around with family, eating a huge meal and giving thanks for all of the good things in our life, Spanksgiving involves firmly spanking your loved ones as they walk by you.

Also, some people like to wear Spanx. It's not required, but it sure makes Spanksgiving more festive.

Spanksgiving is not without rules. For instance:

1. NEVER spank your mother. She carried you in her womb for nine months. She gave birth to you. She got it on with your dad, ALL FOR YOU. She even got up at 11:30 at night to make those cupcakes when you forgot to tell her that it was your day to bring them to your fourth grade class party. If you spank your mother, so help me I'll Photoshop pictures of you in Spanx and post them on my blog. You've been warned!

2. Always spank your older brother. It helps to pants him, first. (Pantsing involves sneaking up behind him and yanking his pants down, generally at an embarrassing moment, like when he's giving the Thanksgiving prayer.)

3. The newest in-law MUST be spanked.

Okay, that last rule is from Fight Club. But you get the point.

To be clear, we're not advocating spanking your child. However, if you want to teach your child the joy of Spanksgiving, you can always hold your older brother down on the ground and let your two year old spank him with your belt. Or you can just make your own Spanksgiving tradition up.

Everyone enjoy your Spanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rocking Out

While Betty was in the hospital, we met a nurse who said that her son was also named Peter. And since Peter means "Rock", they're calling him Rocky.

Rocky Tanory... I don't know if I love the name, but it definitely gives me an excuse to play Mike Tyson's Punchout on the Wii with Peter when he gets older.

According to ThinkBabyNames.com, Peter has 21 variant forms: Boutros, Par, Peder, Pedro, Pekka, Per, Petar, Pete, Peterson, Petr, Petre, Petros, Petrov, Pierce, Piero, Pierre, Piet, Pieter, Pietro, Piotr and Pyotr.

And if you were wondering, yes, this means that Boutros Boutros Ghali's name translates into both Peter Peter Ghali and Rock Rock Ghali.

It's fitting that Peter would mean "rock" when Betty has rocks in her kidneys, most likely due to the pregnancy. Pete also likes to be "rocked." But interestingly enough, we named one of his toys Apollo Creed, and Pete lost a fight with him the first time he played with it then beat him the next time, then the toy helped to train Peter for a fight with a toy made in Russia.

(That was the plot to Rocky's 1, 2 and 3, just FYI. I know, I'm a huge nerd.)

Maybe we'll just call Peter "The Rock" because he's started to roll over on his own. Eat your heart out, Dwayne Johnson! There's a new rock in town, and this one ain't taking no crap from anyone (except his sister)!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pumping and Dumping

Betty can't breastfeed our son Peter for the next two days due to the anesthesia meds that the hospital gave her before her lithotripsy. So the doctors told her to just pump it and dump it.

There's only one catch: breast milk is really hot on the black market right now.

Seriously! We read that football players are drinking breast milk that they've bought on eBay to help build immunities and recover from injuries faster. And I think we all know that Lucky Charms tastes better with fresh milk. Did I mention that it comes from ta-tas?

It's like having your own milk bar, with whole milk on tap! Except in this case, it contains trace elements of medications that are apparently harmful to youngsters.

If you or someone you know is a professional athlete, has money to spare, and is gullible and easily parted with their money, let me know and we'll make a deal. And if the last lithotripsy didn't work then Betty might have to get another... which means that we'll have more toxic breast milk to sell.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Rolling Kidney Stones

Betty has kidney stones. This is not a laughing matter... I know that because no matter how many jokes that I make about it, Betty doesn't think any of them are funny.

Honestly, it's tough to see my wife in pain. She puts up with me on a daily basis, so I know that she has a high tolerance for pain. To see her grimace means that something is really bothering her.

I knew that Betty was going to the doctor today, and she was supposed to call me once she was done. But our phones weren't allowing calls to go in and out, so she sent me a text.

Her text said that she needed surgery.

That didn't sound good, and I was nervous. But I couldn't flip out too badly because I had just picked our daughter up from school. I had to be brave for her. And I had to pass the word around. So I called Betty's mom and told her that Betty needed surgery.

But it turns out that she doesn't need surgery. She just didn't want to spell out extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy on her iPhone. And who could blame her?

Lithotripsy is basically the use of sound waves to break up kidney stones. And it is actually considered surgery. They focus a high intensity acoustic pulse generator thingy at the kidney, then they crank up the volume.

I suggested that instead of paying for someone at the hospital to blast her with sound waves that we just go to the Better Than Ezra concert at the Varsity on Friday. Surely being at a concert would rock that kidney stone to oblivion!

Or maybe we can just sit in the car and turn the volume all the way up. Maybe we'll listen to some Rolling Stones.

Betty's kidney stone is 8mm. We've named it Herbie.

We're going to rock that kidney stone out tomorrow at 8 am. Wish Betty good luck!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Cupcakes N Cream

Betty and I are somewhat of cupcake snobs. We're not proud.

But we were excited to see that there's a new cupcake place in town called Cupcakes N Cream. It's close to my work so I dropped by last week to pick up some samples. (And yes, it was also to have something to blog about. You got me!)

There's good news and bad news about Cupcakes N Cream. I'll start with the good news: the young lady who helped me was extremely nice. It's nice to go to a place where the people treat you like they are actually happy to see you. Customer service is becoming a lost art in America.

Another good thing about Cupcakes N Cream: Not only do they have cupcakes, but they also have ice cream! (Thus the name, Cupcakes N Cream.)

Now, for the bad news. Brace yourself.

First, the cupcakes are expensive. It's $3.50 per cupcake. TREE FITTY for a cupcake! On the bright side, you definitely get your money's worth - the cupcakes are gargantuan.

But the sheer size of the cupcake is also the second strike against them. The cupcakes are so big that you can't get a good bite of both cake and icing at the same time, unless you do like I did and scoop off the icing and smear it on after cutting the cupcake in half. I never thought a cupcake could be too large, but I was wrong. We might have enjoyed them more if they were simply more affordable, and would have been willing to pay less for a smaller cupcake.

The third issue that we had was that we really didn't like the cupcakes. We tried all six flavors that were available - plain, carrot cake, red velvet, raspberry cream, and two others that I can't remember, and found the same issues with all of them. The icing isn't the cream cheese kind of icing that we like, and the cake part was just blah. This is really a judgment call on our part - different strokes for different folks.

Last, and I think the most negative feature of Cupcakes N Cream, is it's location. The fact that it's on Sherwood is a plus, but the fact that it's on the SECOND FLOOR is a big minus. Let's face it, if you're the kind of person who really loves cupcakes and ice cream then you're probably not the kind of person who likes to climb stairs.

Although I've written about more negatives than positives, I'd actually like to see Cupcakes N Cream do well. It would be nice to have a place to get good cupcakes and ice cream near work. Smaller, more wallet-friendly cupcakes would be a good start. And as long as they keep up the good customer service, and maybe build an elevator to haul up the fat lards like me, then maybe we'll consider going back again.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Grammar Police

When Betty and I drove onto LSU's campus for the LSU vs. Alabama football game, I couldn't help but notice all of the people with signs that said "I need tickets."

Need? That's a pretty strong word!

Maybe if they were tickets to the Sugar Bowl and LSU was playing in it, and the tickets worth hundreds or thousands of dollars and you could scalp them in order to pay for a loved one's surgery or they would die, then yeah, that might constitute needing two tickets. But if you just drove down to Tiger Stadium on a whim and planned on buying tickets but hadn't found any yet, then I'd say that's a pretty strong WANT.

We passed by a few people with similar signs and I let it go, mainly because the people holding these signs were LSU fans. But when I pulled to the corner of Highland and State and saw a guy in an Alabama shirt holding a cardboard sign that said "Need two tickets" I couldn't help but to pull over, roll down the window and whip out my verbal editorial pen.

"Hey!" I yelled at the guy. "You don't really need two tickets! You WANT two tickets!"

The Alabama fan just looked at me like he was dumbfounded. (Although, this could just be because he was from Alabama.) His lady friend seemed confused as well.

"You only need a few things, like clean air, water, shelter and maybe companionship, but you definitely don't NEED tickets," I scolded. "It's not like your life depends on these tickets."

The guy and the girl looked at each other. Then they both looked back at me.

The guy spoke up. "Say, friend, do you happen to have any spare tickets? Because we need two tickets."

Their faces started to droop as I rolled up my window. So much for trying to impart wisdom on football fanatics.

By the way, I need tickets to the rest of the games this year. Anyone selling? And possibly also willing to babysit?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Crimson Tide and Other Sports Euphemisms

The LSU Tigers beat the Alabama Crimson Tide tonight, which begs the question:

What the hell is the mascot "the Crimson Tide" supposed to be?

My assumption is that it's a euphemism, and a really dirty one at that. It wouldn't be the first time that a euphemism was used as a sports team's mascot. Ever heard of the Oregon State Beavers, the mascot that clearly only exists to make grown men laugh? (And by "grown men" I mean any male over the age of 4, since that's when us men's maturity levels peak.)

Sexual euphemisms are very common in sports. Baseball seems to have the most euphemisms associated with it. There's "getting to first base," "rounding second", "hitting a home run", etc. Football has a few, such as "scoring a touchdown."

Even though sexual euphemisms are commonly associated with sports terms, I feel that there's a whole slew of sports references that are going unused.

For instance, if we're just strictly talking baseball, there's "balking" - which could be to prematurely end the mating ritual, to put it nicely. "Check swing" could used in a similar fashion. If a guy is "caught looking" then a girl has noticed him staring at her in a meeting. "Choking up the bat" should be obvious. "Dugout" could be used when referencing the anatomy of a girl who has been with or is currently getting with many guys - preferably at the same time. A "wild pitch" is a crazy idea that doesn't fly in bed. And, of course, "a runner in scoring position" is a guy who is hitting it off well with a lady at a bar.

Football has a few unused euphemisms as well. We all know what a touchdown references, but an "interception" could be when you take another guy's date home. A "field goal" is when you get one through the up-rights. There's "helmet-to-helmet," if you're into that kind of thing. There are some that I'm not sure what they could even mean, but sound extra-dirty, like a "safety," a "two-point conversion," and a "the I formation."

Other sports have some euphemisms just waiting to happen. Golf has a "hole in one." Hockey has a "hat trick." Soccer has "goal," "header" and "banana kick." Basketball has the "back court," "fast break" and "shot clock." And of course tennis has "love," "ace" and "ball boy."

After extensive research of these and other much dirtier euphemisms, I've determined that the term "Crimson Tide" is a euphemism that means "all of the girls in Alabama having their periods at the same time." And when people yell, "Roll Tide!" they really mean, "Watch the hell out for our crazy wives, sisters and daughters, because they're all PMSing!"

No wonder Tide fans are so rabid.

Enjoy the ride back to Alabama. Roll Tide... roll right out of town.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Stealer of Souls

Native Americans believed that a picture stole a person's soul.

Maybe they didn't really understand photography, and thought that a piece of the actual soul was captured on film to make the actual picture. Or maybe they thought that the picture gave a different view of an event, and therefore cheapened an experience somehow.

Or maybe they just had a point, and it just took the emergence of the Internet to prove it.

To be clear, I don't really think that pictures can steal your soul. But I do believe that pictures, especially pictures uploaded online and shared with the entire world, can have a devastating impact on your earthly, biological life. A picture of you doing something illegal or just plain dumb that gets posted to Facebook can ruin your chances for a good job. A mugshot of you in the newspaper can shame your family.

Imagine your image shown in an unflattering light in the newspaper, online and on TV. That image will probably stick with your friends and family for a while. Some people may never look at you the same way again. There are websites devoted to just that kind of thing.

Take this picture, for example. I mean, does this look like a respectable person just graduated from college? Or does this look like a sex offender flashing his junk?

[Picture: Flashing my graduate degree!]

For the record, I was hot and just needed a draft to cool me down. I mean, I graduated in the summer! Those innocent bystanders just happened to be standing there at the time.

Or what about this picture? Is this guy showing off his belly? Is he in a commercial for a weight loss diet? Or is he sexily feeling himself up on some sort of web cam porno site?

[Picture: Sexy, kinda]

Actually, that one was a trick question. The answer is that he was sexily feeling himself up on some sort of web cam site that caters to people trying to lose weight.

OK, how about this one? Is this a Halloween outfit? Is this a Mexican wrestling promotion? Or is this guy's soul slowly being sucked from his flabby body?

[Picture: Nachoooo!]

Last one. How about this guy, fighting with an inflatable alligator on the beach... would you want your kid near him?

[Picture: Uncle!]

Maybe the Native Americans were right. If a picture steals your chance at happiness, does it also not steal your soul?

Of course, not all pictures are bad, so not all pictures can be detrimental to your spiritual well-being. I think it's worth looking at a good picture at this point:

[Picture: Sexy, kinda]

Yeah, OK, so I already used that picture once. So sue me! You know you liked it!

Monday, November 01, 2010

My Addiction to Fantasy Football

After eight long weeks I finally have my first Fantasy Football win. The goal now is to win the next six games and go 7 - 7, and hopefully have a shot at making it to my league's playoffs, which are the last two weeks of the regular NFL season.

Of course, Betty would rather me lose a few more games just to make sure that there's no way that I'll even have the slightest chance of getting to play Fantasy Football for two more weeks. She hates that I'm always on the computer or on my iPhone changing my fantasy team. And she hates that I know how many yards Darren McFadden had this year (for both rushing attempts as well as catches) or how many projected points Drew Brees has for next week's game against the Panthers.

But the truth is that I can't help it. I'm addicted to Fantasy Football.

Each week I get excited about finally beating someone in Fantasy Football, watch all the games, track the stats on my iPhone app or on Yahoo's Fantasy Football page, and each week I'm generally let down with a loss. But that never deterred me from playing. It only made me want to win more. And getting a taste of victory this week was satisfying - but now I want more, more, more!

Fantasy Football is not like a regular addiction, like drugs, gambling or cigarettes. But I know that it's an addiction, because I get withdrawals if I don't check for available players every day or so. I don't start shaking or sweating, but I do check Yahoo! news much more often when I'm not playing Fantasy Football.

My Sirius / XM Satellite Radio is not helping in my addiction either, as all I listen to is Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on the Sirius Blitz (channel 124 on Sirius) and they always have great insight into what's going in the football world that week.

(By the way, I just started following Adam Schein and Sirius NFL Radio on Twitter just now, in case I need a quick fix of some football talk between now and the time I finish writing this blog post.)

I desperately need something to break my cycle of dependence on Fantasy Football. Anybody playing Fantasy Basketball and need an extra player? I might even be willing to play Fantasy Hockey, if it's a slow news day on Yahoo! news.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We had a magical Halloween night - thanks to a certain fairy godmother who provided her little Cinderella with a pumpkin carriage!

[Pic: Betty and Anne]

Peter was a natural as Curious George, since he's already a little monkey. And I was The Man in the Yellow Hat, albeit a shorter, fatter, much more handsome version.

[Pic: The fam!]

My parents dropped by to go Trick or Treating with us. My dad really enjoyed it - he was asking everyone if "this is the house where you're giving out cash instead of candy." He almost got a few bites!

[Pic: Gransy and Papa]

Armed with our candy buckets, magic wands and sparkly shoes, we took to the streets in search of loot. But as much as we practiced knocking on the door with Anne so we could yell "Trick or Treat!" we actually never once knocked on a door at all. The new trend is for parents to sit outside and have the kids just walk up to them. It worked out well for us, as that way we could move from house to house much quicker.

Betty made a big meal in order to give our bodies all the nutrients it would need for the arduous task of walking down every street in our neighborhood. She made hot dogs, chili, Frito pie, seven-layer dip, plus lots of little extras like orange juice frozen into pumpkin-shaped ice cubes. And each dish was all Halloweened up.

For instance, check out these mummified hotdogs...

[Pic: Hot diggity dogs!]

And this smiley seven-layer dip...

[Pic: Seven layers of smiles!]

I didn't like the way that dip was smiling at me, so I ate it. That'll learn'm!

We had a blast this year! Thanks, Gransy and Papa Cheech, for coming by to spend this holiday with the kids! Our friends Brannon and Sheila also came by with the kids - lots of fun! Next year we'll have to do something awesome, like all be part of a Voltron costume or something.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bob the Ballerina

Halloween is a time for wearing scary costumes. And what is scarier than me in little-to-no clothes?

The answer: me in a ballerina outfit.

[Picture: Bob the Ballerina!]

That's me in one of Betty's old ballerina outfits, thigh highs (because I couldn't find any leggings), pink slippers and a bow. (Don't worry, Mom, I wore shorts under my outfit.) And since I didn't have any place to put my phone, I tucked it into my man-boob. And, oh yeah, that's me at work.

Actually, let me back up a bit....

When I was in college I participated in the Phi Mu Man of the Year contest to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. Us men had to wear tuxedos, and we also had to display a talent of some sort. (I was unsuccessful in my lobby for a swimsuit competition.)

Lots of guys had actual talents, like playing guitar, playing piano, juggling, etc. But I, having no real talent of any kind, made do with making people laugh. I did so by somehow squeezing myself into one of Betty's old dance outfits and then danced around on stage in front of thousands of guests to some music from the Nutcracker. Some of the girls from Phi Mu were nice enough to join me on stage for a few minutes at the end, and they were much more graceful and elegant than I was.

Having no actual talent and wearing a lady's ballerina outfit stretched way beyond the max, I still somehow won the People's Choice that night.

And so I thought: I could win my company's Halloween costume contest this year by dusting off the ol' ballerina outfit. Genius!

Couple of problems. First, I had to lose ten pounds to fit in the damn thing. Betty's something like 90 pounds lighter than I am, and I have no idea how I fit into this thing... but I knew that the entire thing would explode if I didn't lose a couple of inches off my waist.

Second, we couldn't find any plain white leggings so I wore something called "Thigh Highs". Guys, you've probably seen those on certain websites while browsing the Internet late at night.

Third, I didn't have any place to put my keys, phone or wallet, so ended up jamming my phone in my man-boobs and had to find a safe place for my other loot. Having my phone tucked into my breast area was actually pretty convenient, as then I could play Nutcracker songs on it while dancing around.

Short interlude: Ladies, you have no idea how much more I respect you for all that you do. Losing weight to fit into a dress... finding the right pair of shoes to match your outfit... evading people trying to take pictures up my skirt... but the worst part was probably wearing the thigh highs, as they cut off the circulation in my fat legs. Plus I ripped a hole in the back of the dress.

But it was all in the name of good fun (plus money for the winners) so I had no choice but to present myself as a ballerina for all of my coworkers' enjoyment and/or horror.

Of course, I couldn't let my daughter see me in a ballerina outfit. She's too young and she wouldn't understand, and it would probably cause years of therapy down the road. So when I left the house I had clothes on over my costume.

[Picture: Bob the Ballerina!]

We also had to parade around our building in order to show off our costumes to everyone. I danced around the entire building - a pretty tiring experience considering that, as a computer programmer, my main form of transportation is basically to use my legs to propel myself while sitting in my chair. So I had to practice my dance moves. I don't have a picture of me dancing at work, but I do have a picture of me practicing my mad skillz at home:

[Picture: Bob the Ballerina!]

I came in third place in the costume contest. I basically told everyone that if I won or at least placed then I would never wear anything like this to work again. That seemed to do the trick.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween! Because if you don't, you just might get a visit from the Tantrum Ballerina. Be afraid... be very afraid!