Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mais Sha, It's the Sha-Fayette Zoo, Sha!

I made up a joke today:

Q: What did the woman see when she accidentally walked into the men's restroom at the Zoo of Acadiana?

A: A cockatoo, a peacock, and macaque.

I came up with this joke - plus several others, mostly involving the word "macaque" - while at the Zoo of Acadiana with my family.

[Picture: The zoo's logo]

Betty, Anne and I went to see my parents in Lafayette this weekend. I grew up in Lafayette, which I call Sha-Fayette, as everywhere you go people say "Aw, sha!" Every time I come home I can't help but to say "sha" after every sentence. It drives Betty crazy, but then we all laugh when somebody says it - and everyone says it, always, so we're usually laughing.

The "sha" in this case is really "cher," the French word meaning "dear." But I'll spell it as "sha" here, because that's how us coon-asses say it. Sometimes "sha" is preceded by "mais," which means "but." Mais sha, don't ask why they go together - that's just what we say down in South Louisiana.

Anything can be "sha." You got a baby? Dat's a sha bebe! You got a little dog? Dat's a sha puppy, yes.

Anyway, I tell you all of this because today we went to the Zoo of Acadiana, and the conductor of the zoo's train was Cajun Cajun Cajun. Mais sha was he Cajun! Oooh-wee!

And the train tour around the zoo sounded a little something like this:

(The following should be read with a thick Cajun accent, sha)

Mais sha, welcome to the Zoo of Acadiana's train tour. I'm your host, Clovice, and today I will show you around this here sha zoo.

To our left you can see some llamas. This one is named "Como Se."

[Picture: Como Se Llama]

Mais, over here you can see some zebras. The white zebras with black stripes own all the property, and the back zebras with white stripes make all the good food and music. Kee-yaw!

[Picture: Zebras in America!]

Over to your right are some horny deer, sha. We call them horny because they've got horns on their heads. Also, we dumped some Viagra in their feed buckets. We gotta keep the animal population up, you know?

[Picture: The zoo's logo]

To your left you can see some human-like primates in their natural habitat - a play area. Just look at that cute litte baby primate playing! That's one sha bebe!

[Picture: A primate human pays in her natural environment]

Right here, this sha little monkey's name is Remy. Hey, Remy, how you doing, buddy?

[Picture: Remy the monkey]

Remy, you get down from your house and stop threatening people! Don't make me come over there and spank you again!

Sorry about that folks. Oh look, here's a camel. This one is a girl, and she's got two lovely lady humps. Don't look at her feet, though, 'cause she don't like that. She's very sensitive about her camel toes.

[Picture: Humpish Camel]

(You can stop reading in your Cajun accents now.)

While making a wide turn, the caboose of the train ran off the track. That ground our train ride to a halt. According to the conductor, it was the first time he's ever seen that. Unfortunately for us, the conductor wouldn't let us off the train to assist or just to walk back to the main park, so we had to sit and wait for the train to be fixed.

So there we were, trapped on a train in the middle of the Zoo of Acadiana, surrounded by hungry, wild animals just waiting for it to get dark. And every so often a sound or a sudden movement would send the women into a frenzy.

[Picture: Screaming train riders]

But since we were at the zoo, they were able to send some help in the form of a mule.

[Picture: Mule rides!]

[Picture: The Mule]

The mule men detached the caboose from the rest of the train and we were able to finish the last 30 feet of the train ride.

[Picture: Mule men fixing the train]

Freeeeedoooom!

Well, that's the end of my story about the Sha-Fayette Zoo. Tomorrow we're heading back to Baton Rouge, at which point it'll take a few days for me to get "sha" out of my system. My family is so sick of hearing me say it that my daughter has even resorted to sticking her fingers in her ears.

[Picture: I can't hear you, sha!]

Normally that would hurt my feelings, but let's be honest, that's one sha litte bebe!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Minnie Van

We bought a new 2010 Honda Odyssey minivan this week. And no, I didn't have to hand my manhood in when I signed on the dotted line, although I could have gotten an extra $2K off if I had done so.

We got the extended warranty, plus a new security package that - interestingly enough - is part of the Obama administration's plan to stimulate job growth: my own private security guard.

[Picture: The Secret Service watches over my new van]

If someone tries to steal my new van, the security guard makes an adorable face at the would-be thief, at which point the thief lets down his or her guard, and then the security guard kicks the thief in his sack and/or her breasticles. All for a low monthly fee, plus interest, tax, title and license, and food and diapers for the security guard.

Negotiating the price for the van was a lot of fun. We really wanted a new van, but we didn't need to buy it if we didn't like the price, so we haggled back and forth. One thing I tried, which didn't work, was to try to drive the price of the Odyssey down by telling the Honda people that I thought I could get a Toyota Sienna for pretty cheap due to the Toyota recalls and safety issues. They responded by saying, "You sure can, and we're licensed to sell Toyotas at our other dealership, so if you want we can go take a look at them right now." I responded by saying that when I said "Toyota" I meant "Yo mama."

We bought our van, and then took our daughter out for a spin. And she of course needed all of her toys. We dubbed our minivan the "Minnie Van" because although it fits 8 people comfortably, it also has room for all 214 of Anne's Minnie Mouse dolls.

The highlight of our first trip in the new van was when we pulled up to a red light on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge. Some punks were blasting their radios in the car alongside of us. The teens in the car were practically hanging out of the windows, daring anyone to look at them while they rocked out to some terrible rap song about selling drugs and slapping their hoes up.

I rolled down my window, set the radio to fade to the front, balanced it all the way to the left, cranked up both the bass and the treble, and let "The Mickey Mouse Club: The CD" blast out of the van. The two punks on the side of me looked up, got their appendages safetly back in their car, rolled up the window and went on their merry way.

Minnie Van: 1, Punk: 0.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crash and Burn

I saw a pretty bad accident on my way home from work today. I was driving down Old Jefferson near Stumberg, when all of a sudden, a car driving probably 60 swerved out right in front of traffic, turned the wheel sharply in order to miss one car, clipped another car, then swerved right off the road - on two wheels - over the curb. Car parts went flying at this point... but to top it all off, the car smashed into a billboard's pole, smashing in the front of the car. The engine then went up in flames.

[Picture: Car Crash - prior to the car completely catching on fire]

This happened about 50 feet in front of me. If I had left work a few seconds earlier, I might have been hit.

Me and a few other people pulled over and went to help the driver of the car. I stopped to survey the scene while I called 911, because the car had apparently hit a water main. I wanted to make sure that it was actually water, and not gasoline or any other type of flammable liquid, because not only was the car on fire, but the parts that had flown off the car upon impact were also on fire. The tires started popping as the flames got higher, and I was afraid that the car was going to explode.

[Picture: Car Crash - after the flambe']

Two guys pulled a woman from the smashed car. The air bags had deployed, but I don't think the woman driving the car was wearing her seat belt because they pulled her out of the back seat. The woman looked dazed and confused, and a few people said they thought she was on drugs.

The Baton Rouge police were on the scene in literally seconds after the crash. The 911 operator was able to triangulate my position, and told me that an ambulance, fire truck and more police were on their way. The fire department showed up maybe two minutes after the crash, and were able to douse the car just as the fire started raging. The Baton Rouge police, fire department and emergency response teams were definitely on the ball on this one.

Great job, guys!

As for me, after calling 911, I did the next thing that came to mind, and took out my iPhone and took pictures and videos. After all, I have my readers to think about!

Now I just need to find a new way home from work.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Trap the Bubble

Anne and I play a game called "Trap the Bubble" in the bathtub. To play Trap the Bubble you just need a cup or cup-like toy and a large amount of water. Turn the empty cup upside down, then press the cup down into the water. Air gets trapped in the cup, and when you tip the cup on its side, air rushes out in the form of bubbles. And as a result of the air rushing out of the cup, water rushes in, and a cup that used to float now sinks.

Science!

But tonight, instead of teaching my daughter about air pressure and Boyle's Law, in the middle of playing Trap the Bubble, I inadvertently taught my daughter a new word. And that word is:

"Floater."

We said it several times after she dropped a log in the bath tub.

"A floater!" I cried, as I yanked her out of the tub and dried her with a towel.

"Floater! Floater!" Anne cried back.

"A floater?" Betty yelled from the living room. "Not again!"

I was on clean-up duty after our Code Brown moment. But I couldn't drain the tub, because "something" (ie, poo) was right on top of the drain. And I didn't have anything to use to scoop out the doody, like a fish net or a WetVac.

But I did have a cup. And I did have air pressure. And that's all I needed.

So I played Trap the Bubble by myself in the bathtub. And when I tipped the cup to release the air, the water - containing the offending items that I needed to clean up - rushed into the cup. Then I dumped the cup's contents into the toilet.

The ABC's are overrated. Teach your kids about air pressure. It just might save your bathtub one day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yuki Ohno's Legacy

Apolo Anton Ohno is known for his various medals over the span of three Winter Olympics. Ever since the short track races have aired, NBC has basically run a Biography special on him, and so we've all gotten to know him a lot better.

In those recaps of Apolo's life, a lot has been made about his father, Yuki Ohno, and their sometimes strained relationship. To me, the most amazing story was Apolo's recollection of Yuki leaving him out in a cabin in the woods for over a week while Apolo decided what he wanted to do. At the end of the week, Apolo wanted indoor plumbing and cable television, plus to be a short track speed skater. So it all worked out.

But what you might not know is that Apolo's father, Yuki Ohno, was married to John Lennon and is generally held responsible for breaking up the Beatles.

So what will Yuki Ohno's legacy be: single-handedly raising a son who went on to be the most decorated American Winter Olympian, or as an avante-garde artist, musician and filmmaker who also broke up the most famous band of all time?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lundi Gras

We took a break from the parades on Monday (aka, Lundi Gras) to rest up for Super Tuesday, and decided to go to the aquarium. But there was just one problem - the aquarium, like all of the Audubon parks, are closed on Mondays.

So instead we went to the Children's Museum. Anne loves the Children's Museum, but I think I love it more than she does. I mean, where else can you find a horse made entirely out of cardboard?

[Picture: Card board horse - attack!]

Seriously, never before has someone been able to sculpt the pure essence that is horse genitals out of cardboard so beautifully. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about here. This one is good.

Betty dressed her and Anne exactly alike. And I mean exactly - from the pink undershirts to the blue jumpsuits, it was like something from the Royal Tenenbaums. She said she didn't do it on purpose, but I think Betty got tired of everyone saying how Anne looked exactly like me, so she decided to have them both dress up in the same clothes. Betty is sneaky like that.

[Picture: Twinkies!]

The Children's Museum says that they sanitize their toys every night, but then how can they explain this: I caught crabs at the Children's Museum! This was actually the second time on our trip to New Orleans that I caught crabs. I blame the cardboard horse.

[Picture: Crabs!]

When we got back from the Children's Museum we watched the Olympics. I like the Snowboard Cross. Anne wore her cousin David's hat (which was made in China, I assume) to commemorate the first Chinese gold medal in the Figure Skating - Pairs competition.

[Picture: Go USA! Buy more hats from China!]

Then it was off to bed, because Mardi Gras is Mommy's "Lunar Birthday." Betty was born on Mardi Gras day, so we celebrate her birthday on Mardi Gras as well as on her real birthday, as well as whenever else she tells us to celebrate her birthday. (Can you tell that I'm jealous?)

On Tuesday morning we celebrated Betty's Lunar Birthday by eating some king cake. Anne helped her blow out the candles.

[Picture: My two beauties!]

Then I made Betty haul all of our stuff down to the parade route so that I could shout at strangers to give me beads. It was a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Selling Myself for Beads

There's a name for people like me. I'm the type of person who goes to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and doesn't have a single drop of alcohol. The type of person who hangs out in the family section on St. Charles Avenue and doesn't stray down into the French Quarter. I'm the type of person who just wants to make his family proud.

And the name for people like me is this:

Bead whore.

[Picture: Throw me something or the Mickey Mouse Club is gonna get it!]

I'm the middle child and therefore no stranger to craving the center of attention. But when Mardi Gras comes around, something inside of me just snaps. I love nothing better than to stand on the side of the road and yell to passerbys, "Hey, look at me! Throw me something!" I don't even have to be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras to do that - sometimes I do that in Baton Rouge on a random day. I just like to yell at people driving on Siegen and ask them to throw me stuff.

So it's no surprise that Mardi Gras is my favorite holiday. When else can I dress up as Donald Duck, push kids out of the way and heckle high school band members marching down a main thoroughfare of a major city, all while catching shiny trinkets that I plan on giving away?

I always catch some good loot at Mardi Gras, but this year I caught some weird stuff. For starters, at the Vulcan parade in River Ridge, I caught corn on the cob and a potato. Definitely the tastiest catch of the day!

[Picture: The tastiest catch of the day!]

The grub was courtesy of Bobby's Buffet, which was the sponsor of one of the floats at Vulcan, and is definitely one of the best named buffets in the greater New Orleans area.

[Picture: Bobby's buffet!]

At Vulcan I also caught crabs - the first of two times this trip.

[Picture: I caught crabs in NO!]

But that wasn't the weirdest thing I caught. I actually caught a baby monitor at the Thoth parade on Tuesday. Well, I didn't catch it - a woman in a float handed it to me. I don't know if she just didn't need it anymore and wanted to get rid of it, or if she was wasted and didn't know what she was handing me. Either way, we now have two baby monitors - just in time for our second baby!

Our cousin Julie, aka JuJu, caught a diaper. She didn't catch it from a float, but I threw it to her and she caught it, so technically that counts as catching a diaper at Mardi Gras. So she wins for the "deadliest catch."

[Picture: Diaper - deadliest catch?]

My daughter loved the parades. This was her first Mardi Gras (last year we were in Disney World). She's been to parades at LSU's Sorority Row before, but this was her time to see some real parades by professional party-goers.

[Picture: First parade - done!]

If you've never been to a parade in New Orleans then you might have never seen a ladder modified to have a seat on top of it. That's where the kids sit. We put Anne and her cousin David up in a ladder so they could see the parades, and Anne had a blast!

[Picture: Anne loved cheering for the parade in her ladder!]

Putting your kids up in a ladder can be dangerous - for your kids and for you as well. If the ladder falls then your child is at serious risk of injury. If the ladder is too close to the street and falls, then it might fall in the path of a float or a marching band. And of course, there's a danger to you as well: the danger of being groped while putting your children up in their ladders.

[Picture: Getting groped in NO!]

But when we were waiting for the parade to pass our way, Anne got pretty antsy. She occupied herself by picking up rocks and showing them to everybody. I encouraged her to throw the rocks at anyone else who was in our vicinity, to stop them from getting our beads. And if anyone made a fuss about it, we yelled, "Mardi Gras rocks!" It was a double entendre. Just one more great Life Lesson from Dada.

[Picture: Mardi Gras rocks!]

We had a great trip down to New Orleans, and it was all thanks to Betty's parents, aunt and uncle. Without them, we would have just been three people flashing our junk for beads on the side of the road, but with them we were three well-fed and showered people flashing our junk on the side of the road. Thanks, fam!

[Picture: Betty's family in action!]

Although we had a lot of fun in New Orleans, we were happy to be home. Being a bead whore is a lot more work than you might think. My daughter had the right idea after this trip was over... it's time for a long snooze! Night night!

[Picture: Nighty night!]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Party Gras!

We're out in N'awlins for Mardi Gras, aka Lombardi Gras, where the Saints are reigning supreme. And "reign" is not a figurative word here... Drew Brees was the king of Bacchus, so technically he is reigning over us peasants.

They even minted dabloons with Brees's likeness on them. The dabloons are worth at least two flashes in the French Quarter, although there've been reports that they can be bartered for one full flash, a half-flash of side-boob and a drunken make-out session under the "Huge Ass Beers" sign.

Man, I love love New Orleans.

Legend has it that Betty was born on Mardi Gras day, so her family celebrates her birthday on Mardi Gras every year as a "Lunar Birthday." I usually celebrate Betty's lunar birthday by dressing up in my cow outfit, wearing a shirt to cover my udders and wait for old people / foreigners to walk by, then I flash them. Basically my gift to Betty is to make her and everyone else smile, and occasionally get threatened by cops. You can say that it's the gift that keeps on giving.

This year I opted out of wearing the cow outfit. It was a tough decision because I had the perfect plan: I was going to cut out a picture of Peyton Manning's face and wear it on my udders, so when I lifted my shirt I would be flashing Peyton's face. I thought that would get a lot of attention. But then I thought that people would be throwing large bags of beads directly at my udders, which are precariously positioned right on top of my "bead bags", so then I thought better of it.

Instead, I'm going to celebrate Betty's lunar birthday by dressing up in my Donald Duck outfit. The theme for this year's Mardi Gras is "Black and Gold" - and everyone is encouraged to wear Saints gear. So I think by wearing my Donald outfit, I will stand out. Plus it will give me extra protection from the cold, not to mention the flying beads and falling bullets that are so common in New Orleans.

We'll post pictures when we get home. Happy Mardi Gras everybody!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Perfect Pizza

When Betty taught school, whenever I saw the art teacher and I would always ask her to paint me a picture of a pizza. I was very specific about what I wanted: one piece being pulled away from the whole, with gooey cheese dripping down, and the sun glinting off of the circular pepperonis.

But the art teacher was always too busy with "school" or "the children" to paint me a painting of a pizza. I guess I should have waited until class was over to ask for my painting, but I just couldn't ever find a better time to make this particular request.

Betty stopped teaching two years ago. So it's been at least two years since I've requested a painting of pizza. I had all but forgotten about it.

But on Wednesday Betty went to a Mother's Day Out event where they got to paint their own pictures, and guess what she painted?

My pizza! For me! On her Mother's Day Out event! What a sweetheart!

Here's a picture of her painting. She's a natural! It's everything I wanted and more!

[Picture: Pizza!]

This is me with my pizza!

[Picture: Pizza!]

This is me pointing at my pizza painting.

[Picture: Pizza!]

This is me trying to eat my pizza painting.

[Picture: Pizza!]

And this is the beautiful artist!

[Picture: Pizza!]

Thanks, Betty, for making all of my dreams come true!

Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Calendar

Every Christmas I make a calendar for my mom. This year's theme was Holidays. And instead of photoshopping my brother into every picture, I tried to fit my soon-to-be broseph-in-law, John Bobby, into as many pictures as I could.

Welcome to the family, JB!

For the cover, I used a picture that I originally intended to be used for December. When we printed the calendars I ended up cropping out the "Merry Christmas!" and just using my brother and I showing our "packages." Betty thought this picture was inappropriate, but I thought it was funny.

[Picture: The cover]

January

[Picture: January]

February

[Picture: February]

March

[Picture: March]

April

[Picture: April]

May

[Picture: May]

June

[Picture: June]

July

[Picture: July]

All of the pictures that make up the July collage were taken when we went to see my incredibly gifted cousin, Ben McGehee, play piano at the X-Treme Pianos show at the Beau Rivage. Not only was Ben awesome, but it's amazing that we got so many source pics for the calendar in one night!

August

[Picture: August]

I was originally going to use a picture of a woman giving birth, and having our kids' heads coming out of the hoo-hoo, but couldn't find a good enough source pic. And believe me, I looked for hours. At least that's what I told Betty I was doing all those dark, lonely nights creating this calendar.

September

[Picture: September]

October

[Picture: October]

The tombstone says "RIP Single Life, 1981-2010", referencing the years that my sister was single. She's getting married this year... unless John Bobby dumps her because I keep photoshopping him into the family calendar.

November

[Picture: November]

December

[Picture: December]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2009 Calendar

Every Christmas I make a calendar for my mom. Creating the calendar gives me a chance to sit at the computer for a couple of hours. In fact, Betty uses demands that I play on the computer for hours at a time until I finish the calendar. That means the more I play online poker or read Fark.com, the longer Betty wants me to play on the computer.

It's the perfect crime!

For 2009, I decided to not photoshop my brother into every picture - a favorite pastime of mine. Instead, I went a sentimental route and photoshopped our chilluns.

The theme this year was:

When I Grow Up I Want To Be...

[Picture: The cover]

January

[Picture: January]

February

[Picture: February]

March

[Picture: March]

April

[Picture: April]

May

[Picture: May]

June

[Picture: June]

July

[Picture: July]

August

[Picture: August]

September

[Picture: September]

October

[Picture: October]

November

[Picture: November]

December

[Picture: December]

And last but not least, the back cover, ie, The End:

[Picture: December]