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.