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!