Thursday, December 27, 2007

Goodbye to '07

This is probably the last blog post of 2007. Tomorrow we're heading off to San Antonio, and I don't know if I'll have computer access. Who knows if there are even computers in San Antonio? And if they do have computers, the monitors probably only display in Spanish.

!Tengo un gato grande en mis pantalones!

San Antonio is famous for three things: the Alamo, the River Walk, and giant scorpions. And from what I've read, the only thing that keeps the giant scorpions at bay are the mutant tarantulas.

One cool thing that I want to do in San Antonio, preferably in 2007, is go to the Guinness World Records Museum. Apparently, this museum holds the world's largest pint of Guinness. I've also called the museum to let them know to have their cameras ready for when I enter so they can get a good picture of the "Most Awesome Person in the World."

So goodbye to 2007, and hello to giant scorpions fighting mutant tarantulas on top of the Alamo by the River Walk!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

For Those About To Rock

There almost wasn't a blog tonight... almost. First, I've been too busy playing my new Wii games that Santa brought me - most notably Link's Crossbow Training using the new Wii Zapper. Second, because I've clutched the Wii Zapper for so long tonight that my hand has become a distorted, shrunken talon, and it took a couple of very painful maneuvers to remove the Zapper from my hand. But sacrificing my hand was so worth it, because now I'm awesome at Link's Crossbow Training. w00t!

So then I wanted to move on to Guitar Hero III. Yes, that's right, I'm about to embark on a journey to become a Wii Rock Legend. And that's when I looked closely at the cover art for Guitar Hero III and saw what appeared to be a nipple.

Nipple alert!

Actually, it's on a guy, so there's nothing sexual about it, unless you're into that kind of thing. But I just thought that someone in Nintendo's graphic design department accidentally swapped a belly button for a nipple, and finding and pointing out random nipples in artwork aimed at children is what I'm all about.

So to give you a view of the alleged blooper, here is the picture in question. As you can see from the picture below, the dude on the top right is the guitar player from KISS. And if you look closely, you can see that his torso looks like a huge boob with a nipple on the end. Here is the cover with a close-up of the alleged nipple.

Exhibit A: Full Cover

Picture: Exhibit A - Full Cover

Exhibit B: Nippage in lieu of belly button

Picture: Exhibit B - Nippage in lieu of belly button

Tell me that doesn't look like someone totally goofed.

But then I figured out that I'm supposed to be looking down onto the guitar player from above, so the nipple is probably just his actual right nipple and NOT a misplaced nipple-sans-belly-button like I originally thought. So either this dude has a saggy right pectoral muscle, or my spacial recognition is off from playing Link's Crossbow Training with the Wii Zapper for 8 straight hours, or Nintendo needs to stop placing an ill-placed boob in the torso of their game characters. Of course, there's always the possibility that the guitar player from KISS really does has a boob as a belly button and Nintendo is just telling it like it is. Who am I to judge?

So anyway, there almost wasn't a blog tonight because I was too busy playing Wii, then I saw the nipple and thought it was a belly button, but now I've figured out that the nipple is probably in the right spot. Hey, at least we got to see a nipple. You have to take what you can get when your wife is six months pregnant.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another Merry Christmas!

It was another Merry Christmas at the Tanory household! Santa once again brought me coal, but I just put it in my BBQ pit and cooked up some reindeer sausage. Now everyone's happy and full! Thanks, Santa!

Actually, Betty and I first traveled to Houston to visit my brother, his wife and my Godson, then we went back to Baton Rouge to spend time with Betty's family, and finally we backtracked to Lafayette to be with my family on Christmas Day. We ate through three cities, and I'm 5 pounds closer to gaining back the 25 pounds I lost on the Sonoma Diet. Just 20 pounds to go until I'm back to my fighting weight!

Also, I'm proud to say that Santa found me in all three cities. It might have had something to do with my "Tanory is Here" light that I shot up in the sky - it's like the Batman light that signals when Batman is needed, only it's for Santa to know where I am. The Easter Bunny brought me that last year.

I made BBQ'd reindeer sausage in all three cities, in case you were wondering.

Our trip to Houston was educational as well as entertaining. Next week we'll be going to San Antonio for New Year's, so we brushed up on our Alamo history ahead of time. This trip I learned that the Yellow Rose of Texas is not, as I originally thought, a white rose that was urinated on by drunk Mexicans. Instead it is a reference to Emily D. West, who was half-human, half-rose, and supposedly wrapped her long, limber, leafy legs around General Santa Anna of the Mexican forces during the Texas War of Independence, which slowed him down long enough for Sam Houston (named after the city) to catch up with him and blow his cahones off. History is awesome.

Next week we'll visit the Alamo and I will get a chance to discuss this incredible history with a real live Alamo employee. Until then I will just continue to sit outside with the dying embers of coal that Santa brought me and think up more blog posts for tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Tantrum's 2007 Christmas Letter

Dearest friends and fam,

2007 was another great year for the Tanory clan. Betty and I brought in the New Year with our friends at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans. Afterwards, Betty and I had a heavy make-out session in the French Quarter which only ended after cops on horseback kicked us off the street.

Picture: Miss Happy New Years 2007

January was a blast from the very first day. On New Year's Day we went to the New Orleans zoo with our friends Matt and Nicole to watch the monkeys "do it." We were not disappointed! Also in January I started a new job, which is going very well. In fact, they said they even might start paying me in 2008, which will be a big step for me.

February was great as usual. Valentine's Day was wonderful except for the part where my wife took advantage of me sexually - for the last time, I am NOT a piece of meat! And for the third Valentine's Day in a row, I gave Betty a patio, which meant I would build it at a later time. Great gift, huh? Mardi Gras was fun as always, and this year was the second year in a row that I wasn't accosted by any police officers for flashing my udders. In February I also learned that Einstein's Theory of Relativity says that the Earth really does revolve around me. (See, Mom, I told you!)

March brought along Betty's birthday. I can't remember what I gave her but let's assume it was awesome. In March I started the Veggielution, which is a war for or against Veggies - I don't care which as long as vegetables are caught in the crossfire. I'm proud to say that thousands of veggies have died since then. We also adopted a turtle named Vern who absolutely hated us, which was good practice for when we have teenagers. I'm a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so I dumped Vern in a vat of radioactive waste and turned on "Kung Fu" to teach him martial arts, but all he did was hump the calcium turtle we put in his terrarium. Like father like son.

Picture: The Veggielution

In April I learned the hard way that eating a lot of sugar-free candy is the same as taking a bottle of laxatives. Later that month I tapped out a keg of Virgil's Cream Soda and woke up drunk and naked on Highway 42 in Prairieville. The rest of April is a blur.

In May, Nick Saban killed Mike the Tiger. Also in May I drafted my wife's family over to the Tanory family so I wouldn't have to keep calling them the "in-laws." But now that makes Betty and I cousins. Oh well, we're in Louisiana, right? Later, we let our turtle Vern go in a nearby creek, and he immediately made a lilly pad into a bachelor pad and has several thousand children of his own. What a stud! He learned from the best.

June was a lot of fun. We went to Atlanta to visit Betty's uncle, go to Six Flags and get lost on the MARTA. June was also friggin hot so we went to Schlitterbahn. Betty used to think it was funny when I wore a speedo, but after seeing my fat ass in spandex at the water park, she put me on the Sonoma Diet. That was fine because it geared us up for our trip to San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma later that month. I also started to drink wine heavily to prepare for this trip.

Picture: ROY G BIV

The first half of July was spent in San Francisco in order to celebrate our third anniversary. Click here for explicit pictures. There weren't as many gays and homeless people as I thought there would be. Either that or they were day-walkers, able to walk amongst us and blend in with the rest of us. Scary! When we got home it was time for the new Harry Potter book to be released. I knew everyone would be dressing up and going to Barnes and Noble that night, so I dressed up as Darth Vader and kicked the living crap out of some Hogwarts wannabes. Technology triumphs over magic any day. Also in July, my nephew Joshua was born, and he's already taller than half the Tanorys.

My wife is a teacher and August was the start of a new school year. On her first day of school, our neighbor's cat climbed up into her engine and died while she was driving on the Interstate. They say cats are curious, so I like to think that this particular cat was just a mathematically-inclided feline who was curious to see how the inside of a car worked. RIP, little cat. To relieve some stress after this horrible event we went to New Orleans, but imagine how more stressed out I got when I realized that the strippers I spent our life savings on were transvestites!

In late August we found out that Betty was pregnant. My boys can swim!

In September I completed my goal of losing 25 pounds on the Sonoma Diet. I decided that I had so much fun on the Sonoma Diet that I would gain back 30 pounds just so I could go on the diet again. My sister's birthday was also in September, but as she lives in Texas and is a traitor to her own people, we sent her coal.

October was very memorable. I tore a ligament in my shoulder while "Tiger Baiting" an Auburn fan, but I fought through the pain and totally embarrassed him in front of 92,000 people. Booyah! My arm healed just in time for a family reunion, also known as the Unibrow Convention. Also in October I found out that Dumbledore, the wizard in the Harry Potter books, likes guys' wands, which helped to explain several curious passages in the books. And of course, Halloween was a blast.

Picture: Halloween costumes

Remember that patio I gave to my wife as a Valentine's Day gift for the past three years? In November it became a reality. Now that means I'll have to give her an actual gift next Valentine's Day. What a drag.

December is always great! I went to Chuck E. Cheese for my birthday and my wife made a cake that looks just like the Tantrum! December also brings around my brother's birthmas. Merry Birthmas, bro! Know who else has a birthmas in December? Jesus.

Picture: Tantrum in Cake Form

Something else very interesting happened in December. While getting an ultrasound, we realized that Betty is one month further along in the pregnancy than we originally thought. That means I have one month less to loaf around! Egads!

I didn't complete my 2007 New Year's resolution to beat Metroid Prime 2, so I'm going to carry that one forward to 2008. My other 2008 resolution is to stop making resolutions that I can't keep. For New Year's we're planning on going to San Antonio and making out and hopefully groping each other on the River Walk at midnight. San Antonio has no idea what they're in for.

I hope everyone had a great year, and we wish you the best of luck in 2008. Happy holidays from the Tanory Tantrum!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Maternal Time Slip

As of this morning my wife was five months pregnant. But after going to the ultrasound, we discovered that she's actually six months preggers. We must have walked into a rip in the space-time continuum!

That means Betty got pregnant on our first "try." And there is only one conclusion: I'm potent! Ladies, try to control yourself and stay at least an arm's length away - I don't need you suing me for child support just because you stood too close to me on the elevator. I can't be held responsible for the actions of my premium haploid gametes.

Instead of our baby arriving on the scene in May, it will instead pop out in April. This means I have one month less to complete my To Do List, like painting the baby's room, buying furniture, and playing video games. Only 3.5 months left with which to beat Metroid Prime 2 and Zelda!!! I don't know if I can do it!

Today I felt the baby kick for the first time, too. Then it wouldn't stop kicking. Most people say their kid is going to be a soccer player because it kicks so much. I'm going to go out on a limb and say my child is going to be a kick-boxer. Funny how it didn't kick at five months (ie, this morning) but is kicking up a storm at six months (ie, noon).

So Betty has been pregnant for six months, but I've only been able to properly prepare myself for five. I have a lot of catching up to do over the next three months, assuming we don't walk into any more rips in the space-time continuum.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Sweet Ultrasounds of Baby Tanory

Friday we will be getting our first ultrasound. We're going in for 9 am, and Betty has to drink 32 ounces of water between 8 and 8:30 and can't pee after 8. I don't know how she's going to do it, especially with me talking about water slowly flowing down a river for the entire length of our drive to the doctor's office.

I'm just assuming that the doctor will be able to squeeze me into his morning rounds after Betty elbows me in the face.

We're not going to find out the gender of the baby. But let's be honest: if it has the "Tanory schlong" then we'll be able to see it. We'll probably mistake it for the umbilical cord.

Of course, ultrasounds aren't always very clear. But hopefully our doctor will have the new Veritas Ultrasound HD monitor so we can get the most out of our first ultrasound.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sister Spears is Preggers

After reading about my wife's pregnancy, Britney Spears' little sister, Jamie Lynn, who is an avid reader of the blog, decided that it would be fun to become preggers as well.

When asked what kind of message her pregnancy sends to other teens about premarital sex, Spears said she "can't be judgmental because it's a position I put myself in." And when asked what position she was talking about, she replied, "Backwards cowgirl."

Pride of Louisiana, my ass!

When asked about Lil Spear's pregnancy, K-Fed said, "We all had such great hopes for Jamie Lynn, know what I'm saying? She looks like the hot Britney of days of old, ya dig? When I's around her I's be all background dancin' n' shit. It was only a matter of time before she turned 18 and started to whore herself out in music videos, but that moment is lost forever now. Our great white hope for redemption of the Spears clan is lost to the backwards cowgirl."

I feel your pain, bro. Now get back to work digging ditches.

We can only wish Jamie Lynn Spears good luck trying to be a responsible parent. I give her six months before being photographed driving with her baby in her lap.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cookie Cutter Superheroes

My wife made sugar cookies (is there any other type of cookie?) and gingerbread men for her coworkers, and we spent a good 8 hours decorating them. We forgot to take pictures of all of the Santas, angels, snowmen, candy canes, bells and Christmas trees that we decorated, but trust me, they were awesome.

But, being the Middle Child, I can only do the same redundant task so many times until my imagination gets the best of me. Santa is cool the first ten times you draw him with icing and M&M's, but then it's time for something new. So I used some leftover gingerbread cookies to make a Festivus Power Ranger and a Christmas Ninja Turtle whom I named Gingerbreadatello.

[Picture: My Christmas cookies]

I realize they have the same basic design but different colors, but cut me some slack - they're cookies. I also made a Grinch but he just looked like a naked Ninja Turtle, so I ate him and his thrice enlarged heart.

Our gingerbread superheroes needed a Home Base, so Betty and her class made them a gingerbread house. They used two milk cartons as the base of the house, then used gingerbread, icing, pretzels, peppermints, gumdrops and stolen materials from a nearby construction site to make the rest.

[Picture: Gingerbread Home Base]

Another topic which I would like to discuss also deals with superheroes and food. I would like to toot my own horn here (don't worry, it's rated G - get your mind out of the gutter!) and show you how far I've come as the Grill Master by showing you a Before and After shot of my burger prowess.

This, as you may remember, is a picture of a burger that I made at our patio party. Some say it is the perfect 5/7th circumference of the bun; others say it is small.

[Picture: BEFORE Picture]

And here now are my succulent, juicy burgers, infused with cheese, onions, seasoning, and of course, gingerbread superheroes.

[Picture: AFTER Picture 1]

You can barely see the bun in this picture. The burger is the PERFECT SIZE.

[Picture: AFTER Picture 2]

Looking at all this food has made me hungry again. Time to raid the fridge while the wife's asleep!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Am Legend, the Movie

My wife, sister and I went to New York last year. We had a great time. We got there on a Wednesday around 3:30 and the first thing I noticed was that there were thousands of people just milling about on the streets. I kept wanting to shout at people, "Why aren't you at work?!" I've never been to a city that had such a life of its own. It was insane!

Which is why it was so dramatic to see Manhattan as dead and silent as it was in the movie "I Am Legend."

My dad and I went to see "I Am Legend" in the new Cinemark in Perkins Rowe. In the movie, a virus has killed the majority of humans, and the rest have either turned into bloodthirsty, raving lunatics or have been eaten by bloodthirsty, raving lunatics. Will Smith's character, Robert Neville, is the last remaining human. Neville explores Manhattan in order to find food, search for other humans, and trap animals and humans mutated by the virus in order to experiment on them to find a cure. Did I mention Neville is a (pre-apocalyptic) world-famous virologist?

As part of Neville's rounds throughout the city, he visits several places - such as a Blockbuster - to try to continue doing normal things in order to stay halfway sane. While on these trips throughout the city we get to see Manhattan as it is after the virus has killed all of humanity. Manhattan is empty, weeds are growing up through the concrete, and the urban sprawl has turned into an urban jungle. Manhattan's citizens have not only died - the city itself has died.

It's obvious that the Special Effects team spent much more time on dressing down the city than they did on the vampires / mutated humans, because the vampires looked like your average run-of-the-mill CGI vampires. This didn't stop me from jumping out of my seat any time a vampire appeared on the screen. If I happened to have peed on you while frightened, please accept my apologies.

The movie differs from the book in many respects, especially the ending and the entire meaning of the term "I Am Legend." But I still enjoyed it. If you like thrillers, horror, or Will Smith, go check out "I Am Legend."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Knot, Away!

Friday night we went to the Nottoway Plantation in Iberville Parish. We first went to dinner at Randolph Hall, the plantation's restaurant, and afterwards we took the tour. I pretended to be from Bangor, Maine, and I met a lot of nice Cajun people who were happy to swap lobster recipes with me.

Nottoway is located in White Castle, Louisiana. There is some debate as to whether or not the town of White Castle is named after the burger joint or after the "white castles" (ie, plantations) in the vicinity back in the day, so sometimes the town is called by its alias, Bayou Goula. This is funny to us Tanorys because the term "goula" is used instead of "vagina" at my house for some reason. But that is a blog post for another day.

Nottoway was built by some guy whose last name was Randolph. He came down from Nottoway, Virginia, to Louisiana to exploit the land and the workers to make a fast buck. While slaves were building his plantation, they would chant "knot, away!" when they threw out a piece of wood with a big knot in it. This chant of "knot, away!" sounded like "Nottoway," and so Randolph, in a moment of sentimental remembrance, named his plantation Nottoway.

Slaves were the common workforce of plantations in the Old South. You might think that would stop African Americans from working at plantations in today's world, but you would be wrong. Every employee there was black, except for the girl who welcomed us to the tour, and it should be noted that all of the employees were wonderful. In fact, our tour guide was an old black woman who has been with Nottoway since they opened their doors to tourists back in 1980. She and I had a very lively conversation about how beautiful the snow is in Bangor, Maine, this time of year.

Nottoway was all decked out for the holidays. They had a couple of Christmas trees, all of the tables were set up with flowers, wreathes and China, and what house would be complete without a plethora of inflatable Santas in the front yard? And of course there were the usual plantation-like things to see, such as the Scarlett O'Hara drapes and the antique clocks sprinkled about the place. If you're looking to tour a plantation, Nottoway is really decked out for the holidays.

So all in all, how fancy was Nottoway? I'll put it to you this way: they had brass chandeliers in the restrooms. Now that's fancy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Am Legend

Tonight I saw a preview for Will Smith's new movie, "I Am Legend." I had seen other previews, but this one stood out because it had vampires in it. I had never noticed that before.

Vampires are right up my alley.

I love science fiction and fantasy, but wasn't familiar with "I Am Legend." Thankfully, there's a little thing on the Intarweb called "Google" which knows everything about anything. So I Googled "I Am Legend" and came across a mostly complete copy of the book via Google's book search. It skips a page or two every 5 pages, but if you can use your imagination to fill in the gaps then it's not a bad read. Check it out!

I really just wanted to see what the book was about and decided to just read the first few pages. Little did I realize that I would end up reading the whole thing. (The e-book is 312 pages but "I Am Legend" is only 170 pages. The rest are short stories.) Now that I've read the book, I've got to see the movie. It's only natural.

I've known people who actually believe in vampires or obsess about them. But as much as I like sci-fi and fantasy, I know that vampires aren't real. Werewolves ate them all centuries ago. Duh!

In conclusion, if you are a vampire and would like to try to attack me at my home to drink my life-blood, please know that I am now a Grill Master and will stick my shishkabob skewers through your heart and then roast you on my BBQ pit until you're a nice juicy medium-rare. I might even use your fangs as skewers for vegetables. Instead, you might want to try my neighbor - and be sure to take out all of his yard decorations while you're feasting on his flesh.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lord of the Grill

Today I am an Apprentice Grill Master, but in due time I shall be known far and wide as Sir Robert, Grill Master, Lord of Lighted Coals, Sovereign of Spicy Seasoned Sauces, Man of the Marinades and Knight of the Round Barbecue Pit. I will be known by my alias, Shishka-Bob Long-Sausage. All who come to me for food and succor shall be supplied ample amounts of perfectly seasoned and grilled steaks, sausage, chicken, pork, and hark I say onto you, grilled veggies.

Once I am Grill Master, miracles will be performed on my BBQ pit. Afterwards, there shall be wailing for more food and gnashing of teeth, followed by swallowing. Verily, the occasional belch will occur. Then dessert will be served.

You might be asking yourself, "Bob, you're a complete dumbass. How do you hope to become a semi-respectable griller?"

Thus we being today's story, entitled, "Lord of the Grill." (Cue the background music.)

It all started with a mysterious package on my kitchen table. Some might say that it would be a "birthday present from my wife," but we in the Tanory clan know that nothing is as it seems. The package's wrapping had SpongeBob SquarePants on it. This fact is important later in our hero's story.

Legend has it that only the person chosen to lead civilization into a culinary revolution can pull an item from mysterious packages left on their kitchen tables by their wives. Knowing that there was no turning back, I rolled up my sleeves and reached into the depths of the package. Lo! I grasped my hand around an item, and pulling with all of my brute strength, pulled out Excalibur, the two-sided Grill Brush and Grate Cleaner! I held it to the light in victory!

My wife counseled me to continue looking into the package. I reached in again, and next I pulled out strong metal tongs. These tongs would help me to grasp, flip and move items from one side of the BBQ pit to another, as well as vanquish foes of an otherworldly nature. I pulled out several other similar items and added them to my arsenal of BBQ grilling utensils.

Finally, from the deepest depths of the package's maw, I pulled out an ancient book of learning, "How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques" by Steve Raichlen. This book, lost all these years, had mysteriously appeared in my kitchen! Could it be divine intervention?

I looked at the package again. The sponge on the package held my attention and I realized it was a riddle. I couldn't rest until I cracked this puzzle. (In real life I wouldn't have thought twice about SpongeBob being on the package's design, other than my wife knows I like SpongeBob. But this being a story, all symbols must be explained in full.)

I realized that I was SpongeBob. Literally. SpongeBob is an absorbent, yellow, and porous poriferan. In poetical terms, this meant that I (the Bob in SpongeBob) would absorb the knowledge from the book like a sponge, confront my fear of failing to grill well (aka, not being yellow anymore!), and afterwards cleanse my face from all of the charcoal (ie, clean my pores). Or something like that.

Armed to the teeth with my new grilling utensils, I stormed the patio and grilled up some steaks. It was just what I wanted to do on my birthday! Betty made twice-baked potatoes (which are my favorite) and brought home some cupcakes for dessert.

What a great birthday!

Birthday Boy

Happy 28th Birthday Bobby!

[Picture: Bob's Birthday Cake that Betty made - isn't is awesome!?]

For my 28th birthday, I wish for world peace... or for some new books. Can't decide which yet.

Also, a couple of days ago I wished happy birthday to friends and family with December birthdays, and of course I accidentally left out some of my favorite cousins, Michael and Nick. Happy birthday, guys! That blog post has been updated so nobody will ever know the difference, and from here on out I will claim innocence. Okay, now back to me!

I'm really looking forward to being 28. As my friend Matt told me, I am now officially in my mid-upper 20's. I'm a whole new demographic!

Your taste buds change every seven years, and I can already tell that mine have. For example, my taste in books is already different. I no longer want to read Science Fiction and Fantasy, and have instead moved on to Science Fantasy. Amazing!

Well, off to work. Have a great day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

December Birthdays

My birthday is on Wednesday. Normally when my birthday comes around I usurp the entire month and do not share the spotlight with anyone else. But in the past year I'd like to think that I've matured a lot, so as a token of appreciation and friendship, I would like to extend a very happy birthday to all of my friends and family who also have December birthdays: Todd, Matt, Nicole, B-Dab, Tony D., Tony D. Jr., Jamie, Michael McGeezer, Nick, Baby Jesus, and anyone else I left out.

Just think about it: sometime around March of the year we were born, our respective parents got it on! Ewww!

This is my last birthday before I am officially a father. Therefore, in order to celebrate my becoming a father in an adult and respectable fashion, we're going to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch. I've got dibs on Skeet Ball! Aw, skeet skeet!

There's a new Chuck E. Cheese in Baton Rouge, but the new one doesn't have the large animatronic characters. Instead, there are just a bunch of flat-screen panels playing Chuck E. Cheese videos. Call me old fashioned, but Chuck E. Cheese isn't a real Chuck E. Cheese unless it scares half the kids in the room via the big, keyboard-playing rat in the spotlight. Kids today - psh!

So Happy Birthday to all of you with December birthdays! Remember, you are free to celebrate it as long as it doesn't infringe upon my own celebration.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Birthday Cake

When my wife asked me what I wanted on my cake this year, I told her to surprise me. Last year I had a Transformers cake, and this year I was thinking it would either be a baby, SpongeBob, or a baby SpongeBob.

But imagine how delightfully surprised I was to find this on my kitchen table this morning:

[Click for Picture: Bob's Birthday Cake]

It's the Tantrum in cake form!

Instead of eating it, we're going to spray a hardening substance on it and then hang it up on my wall. I just can't eat the Tantrum.

Thanks, Betty! You did an awesome job! And talk about original!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas Party

I didn't know what to expect from my company's Christmas party. I wasn't sure if people would be formal and professional like they are at work, or if they would all let their hair down and run around drunk and naked. And if they all did go berserk, would I join in or would I stay reserved? Inquiring minds want to know.

Other questions were running through my mind. Would my wife have fun? Would we need to come up with a good excuse to leave early? What would be my "safe word" for when an Internal Auditor wants to strike up a conversation with me?

I shouldn't have worried, because my office's Christmas party was a blast!

My company rented out the ballroom at the Hilton in Downtown Baton Rouge. Free food and drinks helped to lure everyone there, but the real kicker was the desserts table. Betty and I called dibs on a table right by the desserts, then stacked enough cheesecake bites on our plates to make cheesecake pyramids. The cheesecake bite pyramid also became a fort for when other people tried to infiltrate our dessert table - we chunked half-eaten cheesecake bites at the VP of Accounting and then dumped a tub of caramel sauce around the desserts as a moat to keep HR out. IT rules!

One of the lawyers for my company grew up down the street from me. We caught up a little, then he introduced me to our company's CEO. I don't know what kind of impression I made on him, but I'm sure that having cheesecake smeared over my face, wearing only my boxer shorts and tie, and holding three beers with my left hand impressed him to no end. He was extremely nice. Hopefully I'll still have a job on Monday.

Saturday night we're planning on going to see Fred Claus, the new Christmas movie with Vince Vaughn and Pig Vomit.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Homemade Christmas Presents

Jesus is the reason for the season. But presents are definitely Reason #2!

A couple of years ago, my family started giving each other homemade presents. These presents were, believe it or not, totally awesome. My dad made pictures of fake newspaper articles with all of us in it then had them framed. Betty and I still have these up in our computer room. My mom made me some groovy pajama pants. My sister made some coasters with guitars and stuff on them which we use every day, and my brother created a neat sign with our names on it.

I just gave them all coal in a little nap sack. I thought I was giving them the gift of "alternative energy" - who knew coal equated to being bad?

Actually, I have a lot of fun making presents for my family. I usually have a general idea of what I want to do for them, then I procrastinate until the last possible minute and end up rushing to get everything done in time for Christmas. I work best when I have no other option but to complete the task at hand.

I can't give away any of my homemade gift ideas for this year because my family might find out. But since my mom gets the same gift every year - a calendar - I thought I'd show you what I did for last year.

Here are my 2007 Calendar Pictures. What I do for the calendar is take a theme - for 2007 it was TV shows - and then I badly photoshop my family onto these pictures. The past couple of years I've been really trying to put the dumbest picture of my brother in all of the pictures. It's sibling rivalry and I take no responsibility for my actions.

Click on the pictures to see them in full, if any of them are cut off.

January's Picture

February's Picture

March's Picture

April's Picture

May's Picture

June's Picture

July's Picture

August's Picture

September's Picture

October's Picture

November's Picture

December's Picture

If you have any ideas for this year, please leave a comment or send me an email. I have most of my stuff done but I can always use more great ideas!

Why We Are Different

The Daily Mail has this great article about why men and women are so different, and I think vindicates us men in a lot of areas.

For instance, the article explains why I can't find a particular item in the fridge but my wife can find it without barely looking. It also explains why I think something is "blue" while my wife calmly explains that it is not "blue" but a particular shade of blue with a slight gradient of lesser blues towards the edges. It explains why my wife wants to buy "cute" things (ie, form over function) and I like to buy things that are useful. And most importantly, it explains why I am only able to do one thing at a time while my wife is the ultimate multitasker.

And to think, all this time I thought I was retarded. Now I know I'm just a manly man.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Neighbor's Christmas Decorations

It appears that my neighbor's yard has been invaded by inflatable Christmas decorations. Egad!

That's my hypothesis, anyway. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Other possible reasons why hundreds of dollars of inflatable Homers in Santa Outfits are towering over his front yard are as follows:

1. He's clinically insane;
2. He's obsessive-compulsive about putting up Christmas decorations;
3. He's just got a very gaudy sense of exterior decorating;
4. He's trying to piss off the neighbors who live across from him;
5. He wants to use up as much electricity as possible to spite Al Gore;
6. He doesn't know we all want to snipe his inflatables on Christmas Eve.

Actually, it's not just one house on my street. This one dude had so much crap that he had to place it in his neighbor's yard. There's so much crap between these two houses that when all the lights and inflatables are lit up, it looks like their houses are on fire from other end of street.

Enough blabbing! You can judge for yourself whether or not this guy is going overboard.

Here's a night shot. Did I mention this crap has overgrown his neighbor's yard, too?
[Picture: Night shot of crazy neighbor's yard]

Here is Homer dressed as Santa, as well as a ferris wheel. (Click the picture to see the whole image, if any of it is cut off.)
[Picture: Homer and Ferris Wheel]

Here's a nice shot of reindeer made of lights, a train with Santa as the engineer, a shiny tree fence, and the lights on the house. Maybe tomorrow I'll sneak over into his yard and make the two reindeer hump.
[Picture: Non-humping reindeer]

In this picture, Tigger is about to throw a rock at the Grinch for being such an a-hole.
[Picture: Tigger is about to pounce the Grinch]

A nice view of the yard.
[Picture: The yard]

Moving on to the next house! You can see that the decorations are not limited to just one guy's yard.
[Picture: Crazy neighbors]

Here's the Grinch, Tigger, Mickey, and some other crap.
[Picture: Mickey and Friends]

Another view...
[Picture: Another View]

SpongeBob Squarepants, Santa, a Snow Globe, and other stuff.
[Picture: SpongeBob, etc]

I took the next couple of pictures with Night Vision. You've got to keep the camera really still for it to work effectively. I didn't do such a hot job. But you can kinda see what the pictures are anyway.

Here is SpongeBob, Santa and Frosty.
[Picture: Santa and Frosty]

Here's a Night Vision pic of the Grinch and Tigger.
[Picture: Night Vision of Grinch and Tigger]

And a Night Vision of the Santa Homer and train.
[Picture: Night Vision of Homer and Train]

But my personal favorite decoration is the Light House. It has Santa and Frosty at its base, and it looks like a big penis and balls. Nothing says Christmas like a 12 foot wiener!
[Picture: Humongous wiener]

Some of you might be thinking, "What's the big deal? This guy is going all out, good for him!" I do admit, the kids love it. I'm getting used to it, too. I'm just a minimalist when it comes to Christmas Decorations. Here are mine:

[Picture: My lame decorations]

What can I say, I got my Christmas style from my dad. "I learned it from watching you!"

Mardi Gras Wobble

Mardi Gras is just around the corner, so this Christmas season, slip a Mardi Gras song in between your Christmas Carols.

My suggestion? The Mardi Gras Wobble.

Wobbling is a relatively new form of dancing. To wobble, you just shake your legs at the same time. It's easier than traditional dancing, it burns a lot of calories, and it goes great with Mardi Gras music. If you are like me and have any torn ligaments around your knee, consult your doctor before wobbling.

Did I mention my cousins produced the Mardi Gras Wobble? That's right, they did, and if this song gets really big then I'll be able to free-load off their success, so help spread the word of the Mardi Gras Wobble!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Howl at the Moon

I think my next-door neighbor's dog has Tourette's.

I'm not trying to be mean, funny or offensive to those with Tourette's. I'm just being honest. Either this dog has Tourette's or else it's just bat-shit crazy.

Our neighbor's dog is a hound dog, and he's a howler. He howls non-stop from sunset to sunrise. He only pauses to suck in more air, then howls it back out into the atmosphere. I think he has Tourette's because he growls sometimes right before he howls, and I think he's trying to hold his howl back. At least the dog is trying.

At first the howling was aggravating. Then it was kinda funny, and Betty and I would have a good laugh about it. But now I'm fed up.

Of course, it's not a simple matter of just going next door and smacking the dog and/or the owners around. The owners are the people whose cat crawled up into Betty's car and used all nine lives trying to escape from the engine blades. So now you see my dilemma.

I read that dogs sometimes howl when they're bored. But I'm not sure that this is the case. Anything that can lick its own balls has no excuse to be bored, and I've seen this dog get jiggy with himself on several occasions.

My old dog, Chubby, used to bark non-stop and drive my neighbors crazy. But he could also skateboard. So when our neighbors would come out to yell at us, Chubby would hop on a skateboard and do some Tony Hawk action in the backyard. If that didn't impress the neighbors then he would do a 360 off a half-pipe. That usually did the trick. Then if all else failed and our neighbors were still mad, Chubby would just viciously attack them. Problem solved.

But all my next-door neighbor's dog can do is howl. I'm unimpressed.

Anybody have any thoughts on how I can shut my neighbor's dog up, short of pulling an Ol' Yeller?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Great Success!

Everybody knows that it's not the size of the burger that matters. What matters is the burger-to-bun ratio. And as you can see from the burgers I made at the patio party on Saturday, my burgers are the perfect ratio of 5/7th the circumference of the bun.

Mini-burgers aside, I'd like to thank everybody who came out to the patio party. We had a blast!

The day started out great. The skies were a clear blue so I went outside to see where the perfect place would be to set up the BBQ pit. I bent down and picked a few blades of grass, then tossed them up in the air. Then I licked my finger and held it up in the air. I don't really know what I'm supposed to do with this information, so I just set up the BBQ pit where I had already planned on putting it.

My parents showed up at 1:30 and they had a patio present for me - a fire pit! I started to strip down, dance and chant around the fire pit, but my dad explained that we first had to manually assemble the pit before we could pray to the gods of football to allow LSU to win. After doing some hardcore assembling for 20 minutes, we had a raging fire pit and a naked host chanting wishes into a fire.

I got my clothes back on just in time for our friends to start showing up. We had a TV set up outside by the patio and we had extra space inside the house. People drifted in and out and we all snacked on some great food that Betty made as well as some of the dips and other treats that guests brought. We ate our mini-burgers and then, after LSU beat Tennessee, we all stormed the Stadium Cake. My friend Tony and I even tore down the candy-coated goal posts.

There were a lot of kids at the party. Not only were they the life of the party, but I learned that one of my young Tiger buddies is a conservationist. Look at this sea turtle that he rescued from the depths of the sand pile in my back yard:

[Click for picture of Sea Turtles being rescued]

Who knew there were endangered sea turtles in Prairieville?! I really hope those little turtles continue to survive, because the Turtle Soup we made out of this guy was delicious!

And now that both #1 Mizzou and #2 West Virginny lost, LSU has a chance of being in the National Championship game! #3 Ohio State is going to play for shizzle, but #4 Georgia didn't even win their division much less the SEC Championship game, so they have a fat chance in Hell of getting to the big dance. Same goes for #5 Kansas. LSU beat #6 Virginia Tech by 41 points earlier in the season. So we have a good shot of going. I guess my fire pit wish came true after all!

I'd like to thank Richard, Lynn, Tony L., Laura, Jennifer, Michael, Beav, Jenn, Harper, Grant, Ed, Jenny, Elizabeth, Abigail, Tony D., Ashley, Anthony, Gabrielle, Renee, Joey, Shannon, Mike, Quentin and Miia for coming! And a special thanks to Betty for getting all the food ready. And a special thanks to the patio, for making it all possible!

We need another excuse for a party. Whose birthday is next?!

[Picture of Mike the Tiger cheering at the patio party]