Saturday, December 27, 2008

Balls to the Walls

My sister gave me a Christmas gift right out of our childhood:

Walls brand overalls.

My dad used to always wear his overalls whenever he'd do yard work. He only wore a particular brand called Walls, which therefore makes them the greatest brand of overalls EVER. My dad has classy taste in overalls, as no doubt you've already learned. And as does every young man, I grew up idolizing my dad, and so it was only natural that I'd want my own pair of Walls one day.

I think I look pretty good in my overalls, don't you think?

[Picture: Bob in his Walls - warning: graphic in nature!]

(Ignore the tags. I kept them on until I was sure that I could do squats and lunged without ripping a hole in the rump. By the way: successful!)

In my Pre-Christmas life I absolutely hated yard work. Yard work was the bane of my existence. But "clothes maketh the man" as they say, and now that I have these awesome overalls I can't wait to get to work.

I'm so excited about doing work that I've even started a To Do list. The top 10 tasks on my To Do list all involve working in the front yard so all the neighbors can see me. What's the point of dressing up and working hard if nobody's going to see you? And what's the point of working if you don't have fancy overalls to work in?

My wife is embarrassed, not so much because of my Walls, but because I insist on wearing them any time I do any manual labor.

"What's that?" I'll ask "You need me to take the trash out? Sure, just a minute, let me just put on my Walls."

So Rebecca, thank you so much for my overalls! And Dad, thanks for always wearing your Walls the six or seven times a year I saw you actually do yard work. I hope I make you proud.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Best Served Cold

We were heating up some leftovers when it hit me: some things are best served cold.

Turkey, for instance, is really good cold. That's why they call quitting something all at once Cold Turkey - because cold turkey is so hard to resist, you're bound to eat it even if you try not to. Mmm... I'm hungry again.

I started thinking of what else is best served cold, and came up with the most obvious dish:


They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, but I've never tasted revenge before. I've heard it's sweet, though. I decided to give myself a late Christmas gift by seeking out revenge and eating it hot, lukewarm and cold, then comparing the dishes to determine if revenge really is best served cold.

And to do that, I needed to go to Bennigan's.

Although the Bennigan's chain recently filed for bankruptcy, the Bennigan's in Lafayette is still alive and kicking. It always did such great business because it's a well known fact that South Louisianians have three loves: crawfish, voyeurism and Bennigan's Monte Cristo sandwich. In fact, it was one of the top grossing Bennigan's in the country even before the chain's financial woes.

I know the Bennigan's menu backwards and forwards because my first two jobs were at Bennigan's. I worked as a busboy while in high school, then as a waiter in college. (There might have been a little nude modeling in there somewhere, but if you get paid in cash then it doesn't count as a real job, am I right?)

I can sing the Bennigan's birthday song - both the regular version and the "short" version consisting of singing the entire song on one knee - and can even still recite the laundry list of fine wines and salad dressings that graced many a Saturday night smoking section tables. So I knew that Revenge was on the menu.

I asked my waiter for three servings of Revenge - one hot, one room temperature and one cold. My waiter returned a few minutes later with three plates of Death by Chocolate.

"Mmm!" I mmm'd, as I drank the chocolate sauce from its cup. "Revenge really is sweet! And best served cold!"

I sprinted out the door before my waiter could bring me the bill, but then quickly realized why they call it "Death by Chocolate." I felt like I was dying: my heart was racing, my stomach felt like it was about to explode, and I blacked out into a neatly manicured shrub. When I awoke it was dark, Bennigan's was hopping, and I had never felt so good in all my life.

It's true: Revenge is best served cold. Just make sure to not eat too much of it at once.


I saw this decal on a car parked on my street. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but this picture might even be worth several thousand.

[Picture: Car decal]

I've done some research on this company and it looks like it's very respectable, but I still can't help thinking that I'd have changed my last name at the first opportunity. Although to be fair, maybe the guy tried to change his name... but just failed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa's Other Job

Santa Claus has the ability to fly around the world in his reindeer-powered sleigh in a single night. This is, by itself, quite a feat. Throw in the number of times his sleigh has to stop and you can see how truly magical his flight really is. I can't even stand to stop at the red lights in Baton Rouge much less at every house on the block! Santa Claus must be one patient old chap!

But what does Santa do when he's not delivering toys? Does he stay in the North Pole and oversee the elves? Does he sit in his study and double-check his lists of naughty and nice children? Or do he and Mrs. Claus spend the year finding inventive ways to stay warm in the cold arctic climate?

Inquiring minds want to know!

And as it just so happens, the Tanory Tantrum has THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Santa Claus concerning his off-season duties!

Santa's Other Job

Tanory Tantrum (TT): Thanks for agreeing to let me interview you, Santa. My first question is... what do you do when you're not delivering, manufacturing or quality assurance testing toys?

Santa Claus (SC): Jolly good question! When I'm not delivering presents to good boys and girls, and when I'm not traveling around the world's malls to ask children what they want for Christmas, I'm a volunteer fireman for the Ascension Parish fire department in Prairieville, Louisiana.

[Picture: Santa's other job]

TT: Really?! So... you live in Louisiana for most of the year? Wow, I'm shocked!

SC: Ho ho ho, yes! The Louisiana heat is good for my bones. I can only stand the cold for so long.

TT: Wow! Do you wear your Santa suit when you fight fires, or do you have to wear a fireman's suit when on duty? And do you ride in the fire truck or do your reindeer fly you to the scene?

SC: My Santa suit is fire-proof. It has to be, actually, in order for me to get down some people's chimneys. You wouldn't believe how many people forget to douse their fires before Santa comes to town. Those parents make their way onto the naughty list.

As for the reindeer, when they're off duty most of them head over to the Lapland areas in Finland and Sweden. At least one reindeer is always with me, although it usually stays indoors and watches reruns of Scrubs on Comedy Central. The reindeer love Scrubs after meeting several actors at a mall one year.

[Picture: Santa's other job, part 2]

TT: Interesting. So how often do you stay at the North Pole, and what really goes on there?

SC: I usually travel to the North Pole in late October to check on supplies. From November to mid-December I'm in malls and department stores, so children can tell me what they want from Christmas. The letters that children mail to me are forwarded to whatever location I'm at (by reindeer, of course), and I spend a good deal reading those letters at night. And of course I can see you when you're sleeping and know when you're awake, so it's really not hard to determine who wants what.

[Picture: Anne with Santa]

SC: The North Pole is the base of operations. We've upgraded our operations these past few decades to use a lot of computers and machines. And as you well know, computers and machinery work best at low temperatures. It's all about efficiency when you're creating toys for billions of people worldwide.

[Picture: The North Pole]

TT: Santa, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for my Wii Fit. How'd you know I wanted that? I didn't send you a letter, didn't talk to you in a mall...

SC: Oh well, that was easy. You have a Wii and you've gained ten pounds since your beautiful daughter was born. You needed a Wii Fit, my boy! Unless you're trying to fit into my Santa suit, ho ho ho! I kid, I kid!

[Picture: Bob and his Wii Fit]

SC: Oh, and by the way, it's not just for you. Your daughter has been doing the strength training exercises on it. She's exceptionally skilled at the Push Ups. She's already unlocked four new exercises for you.

[Picture: Anne conquers Wii Fit]

TT: Great... now both my daughter and my wife are going to be able to kick my ass. Thanks.

SC: No problem. Happy to oblige. Not like they needed any help with that, anyway.

TT: Santa, last few questions. Do you actually consume all the milk and cookies left out for you? If so, how do you keep it all down and not go into a diabetic coma? And finally, what is your favorite kind of cookie?

SC: The Keebler Elves, who incidentally are related to the elves that work at the North Pole, make the E.L. Fudge cookies that are by far my favorite. I just love those little designs. And so tasty! But generally I'll eat anything, and any leftovers go to the reindeer.

Now I gotta run... just got a text message saying Rudolph was visiting friends in Norway and his radioactive nose has accidentally irradiating some of their crops. Not again, Rudolph!

TT: Thanks again for all the cool loot, Santa! See you in Prairieville!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Tantrum's 2008 Christmas Letter

Dearest friends and family,

2008 was another great year for the Tanory clan. For New Year's Day we traveled to San Antonio with my sister. Betty and I made out and groped each other on the River Walk at midnight, then set about finding someone for my sister to smooch. They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and that's especially true of the illegal immigrant population, so we tried to find an illegal immigrant for my sister to make out with. The goal was to marry her off to someone with carpentry skills who would be willing to exchange a green card for years of toil and hard labor at the Tanory house in Prairieville. Juan is doing well and adjusting to his new life as our personal slave.

January was great! LSU won the BCS championship, and I thought this meant I got to torch a neighbor's car as I rioted with glee. Unfortunately the cops call this "arson." Exchanging community service for jail time, I painted my (then unborn) baby's room into a giant green screen. January also brought around a lot of new and exciting possibilities, such as splicing the DNA of my brother's dog with that of a reindeer.

[Picture: Reindog!]

Say what you want about February, but Feb '08 had a crapload of fun days: the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day and everybody's favorite holiday - Lent. In February Betty and I attended a Breastfeeding class at Woman's Hospital in anticipation of our baby. I originally went for the boobs but ended up learning a whole lot... who knew that you had to feed breasts? I spent the last week in February trying to get Betty's ta-tas to eat rice cereal dipped in milk.

March was an exciting time. Not only did Betty celebrate her 27th birthday but it was her last birthday before becoming a parent. I made her birthday extra special by taking over the household chores, like shopping, installing the car seat base, and generally complaining about taking over the household chores. I'm such a sweetheart!

My daughter Anne was born in April, so April is officially the greatest month of the year. Screw you, October! But a few days before my daughter was born I mistakenly pointed out my wife's pregnancy hormones to her. I knew when I did it that I was making a lifelong mistake, but I hoped the labor pains would make Betty forget about that one incident. (They didn't.)

I love being a parent, and not only because my baby has superhuman powers.

[Picture: Super baby!]

When May came around, Betty and I were still getting used to being parents. I couldn't believe how many diapers my daughter would go through, and Betty couldn't believe how I could sleep through my daughter's high-pitched crying spells. Later in May we had to take my daughter to a radiologist because my daughter, like me, as a tiny head. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's not the size of your head - it's how you use it.

For Father's Day in June, Betty gave me the gift that every man needs: Mario Kart for the Wii! I got so addicted to it that I would race other cars on the way to work, and occasionally score a few points by hitting another car with a banana peel strategically thrown out the window. Betty also gave me "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" for the Wii so I'd be too distracted to try to get it on with her. June "rocked" in more ways than one!

[Picture: Warning - this picture is too awesome for minors]

We went to the beach in July. It was the first time I'd had any real vacation time for a while, and I used it wisely by promptly becoming sick. I had to stay away from my 3 month old daughter the entire trip, which sucked, but I got hit on by a nurse, which was kind of cool. I haven't stopped coughing since that day. My doctor gave me extra-strength vitamins and made me take a test for mad cow disease, which he said I might have contracted when I ate a Quesadilla Burger from Applebee's. If so, it was so worth it!

August pretty much sucked. Someone hit our car, China won all the diving medals in the Olympics, the economy started to go down the toilet and Hurricane Gustav was bearing down on us. Plus it was hot. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be cold than hot. When you're cold you can rub your socked feet on the berber carpet and then shock people when you touch them, but when you're hot all you can do is sweat and get naked.

After thinking about it, I like hot weather. Maybe August wasn't so bad after all!

We didn't have power in the first week of September due to Hurricane Gustav, so we evacuated to my parents' house in Lafayette. It was in Lafayette that I devised my now world famous theory of Cheerleadomics which states that there's a direct correlation between hot cheerleaders and good football teams.

Also in September our good friend Nicolvin took this picture of my daughter:

[Picture: Anne frowning]

Isn't that frickin' cute?!

I turned my blog pink for October because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and if there's one thing I want people to be aware of it's breasts. I tried to spread this message at my ten year high school reunion, but those bitches still wouldn't let me cop a feel, even after I lied about being a mammogram technician.

For Halloween the fam and I dressed up as Austin Powers characters and won second place at my office's costume contest. My daughter Anne was "Mini Me" (after Mini Me defects to the good side). My wife was Felicity Shagwell. And yes, I was wearing my Union Jack undies under my outfit. Yeah, baby!

[Picture: Yeah, baby!]

Although my blog count had steadily declined after the baby was born, in November I hit a new low: I only blogged eleven times that month. For shame! Although it wasn't entirely my fault... I started wearing "corrective contacts" which were supposed to reshape my corneas at night so I wouldn't have to wear glasses or contacts during the day, but they didn't work. It was hard for me to see, so I didn't blog as much. I don't have a similar excuse for December, although I'm sure I'll think of something.

Although my blog count for November sucked, I did have a good post about some satsumas that looked like testicles. (My parents must be so proud!) See for yourself how ball-like they looked!

[Picture: Satsuma balls]

In December we had a blizzard in South Louisiana. The ground was frozen over, the roads and bridges were closed, and several people froze to death while trying to shovel ice off their driveways. It was awesome! The next day it was 90 degrees outside.

The best part of my year was the birth of my baby, and every day afterwards has been better and better. Who knew that being a parent was such a wonderful experience? I've tried to convince Betty that we need to be parents to more children so we'll be that much more full of love, but so far she's not buying it.

My New Year's resolution is to stop complaining. My fallback resolution is to learn to cook pizza from scratch. For New Year's we're planning on making out in Prairieville at the stroke of midnight. It'll be our first New Year's in P-ville!

I hope everyone had a great year, and we wish you the best of luck in 2009. Happy holidays from the Tanory Tantrum!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby Proof Positive

The day after my birthday, all I did was screw all day long. Yeah, baby!

And by "screw" I of course mean actually screwing... with a screwdriver. This was in an effort to baby proof my house.

[Picture: Bob screwing like the dickens!]

You see, babies are kinda like geese, except geese instinctively fly North for the Winter and babies instinctively try to get into the cabinet that stores the Drain-o. That means you have to add extra security to all of your stuff that is at the baby's eye level. And that means manual labor.

My dad taught me long ago that I should outsource any job that requires manual labor. Us Tanory's are just not built for it - bad back, bad knees, and general lack of carpentry knowledge make us prime targets for injuring ourselves and others whenever we attempt basic household chores. So whenever my wife forces me to do manual labor, I call in the expert...

My father-in-law, Pops!

[Picture: Bob and Pops secure a cabinet like nobody's bidness.]

One of the main advantages of having Pops come over is that he has power tools. My wife won't let me have power tools because anything more mechanical than a pencil is dangerous in my hands. But when Pops comes over, I can borrow his stuff.

I look pretty good with power tools, don't you think?

[Picture: They call me 'Drill-Bit Tanory']

Baby proofing the house was a full day's job, but after I did the first cabinet then everything else was pretty simple. But the end result is that now my cabinets are like an impenetrable fortress for both Anne and her parents. Oh well, we didn't really need to Pledge or Windex this week anyway.

[Picture: The finished product: an impenetrable fortress]

The power tools also came in handy for setting up Anne's Christmas stocking. I had to drill a hole in the bottom of the mantle so we could fit a hook to hold the stocking. But a Nativity scene had already been placed on the mantle, and I had to drill right under Baby Jesus.

[Picture: Anne's stocking]

I've never been more nervous with a power tool... except for that time when Pops and I were building shelves and were set upon by a local gang of roving dogs, and had to defend ourselves using only Pops' electric saw and our neatly sliced 2x4s.

[Picture: Saw VII: When Bob and Pops Attack!]

Thanks again, Pops, for helping me to baby proof my house as well as to hang a stocking right under Baby Jesus. The fact that nobody got hurt while I was wielding a power tool is a Christmas miracle!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A White Christmas!

It snowed today! In South Louisiana! Can you believe it?

We're not used to snow down here, so when it snows it's kind of a big deal. I decided to work from home instead of driving to work, because I know how terrible Baton Rouge drivers are under normal circumstances and I wasn't about to get on the wet, slick, icy roads with that bunch.

Lucky for me my car was frozen over so I couldn't have gone to work had I wanted to.

[Picture: My snow-mobile]

I took pictures all around the house and then noticed that I was leaving snow prints. My own snow prints... amazing!

[Picture: My snow-prints]

Then right as I was building a gigantic snowman, my neighbor's kids launched an all-out assault on me from behind their snow fort. I used my umbrella as a shield and started ripping chunks of torso off my snowman to use as ammo. Those five year-olds were tough but were no match for my superior strength and agility. (Plus their mom called them inside to get hot chocolate, which means they forfeited).

[Picture: Action shot!]

This snow wasn't all fun and games, though. We did have a few casualties... like our garden turtle...

[Picture: Snow turtle]

... and Gnome Chomsky and Gnomesha looked pretty cold out there in the bushes. I gave them a few tips on how to heat things up, if you know what I mean.

[Picture: Frozen Gnomes]

Even my satsuma plant's balls shriveled up. I feel your pain, satsuma tree!

[Picture: Shriveled satsuma balls]

And last but not least, my Knock-Out Roses got knocked out by the cold.

[Picture: Roses TKO'd]

Overall the day was great! Anne got her first look at snow. She would point and squawk at the snow, then kick her feet real fast. We only let her stay outside for a few minutes, but she enjoyed looking out the window and squealing to us about how excited she was that it snowed.

[Picture: Betty and Anne]

Thursday was my last day of being 28. Maybe the snow is a sign. Maybe the snow is nature's way of telling me that I can still have fun, still go outside and play, and still have fun new experiences.

Or maybe it's nature's way of telling me that the next year of my life is going to be a cold and miserable Winter. All the more reason to finish off my war with the neighborhood kids, because maybe my war trophy will be their hot chocolate!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Touch, Feel and Sparkle Blog

Last night I read "My First Night Before Christmas" to my daughter. This book is a "Touch, Feel and Sparkle book," which means you can touch Santa's beard, feel different types of materials like velvet and corduroy, and view sparkly and shiny pictures. It's basically like you're in the book, for realzies.

I asked myself why I couldn't do something similar with my blog, then realized I could. So today I'm proud to be the first blogger to post a touch, feel and sparkle blog.

Eat shit, Huffington Post! Let's see you do a touch and feel blog!

Since I'm writing this blog post on the Intarweb, and since I can't post anything for you to actually touch and feel, you'll have to gather some basic household items around you and touch, feel and look at their shiny exteriors. Just click the links to get ideas on what to touch or view while reading.

Okay, here we go:

My 29th Night Before Christmas:
A Touch, Feel and Sparkle Blog Post

'Twas the night before my 29th Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse,
My email was open on the computer with care,
In hopes that the Tantrum soon would be there;
My daughter was nestled all snug in her bed,
While visions of her milk source danc'd in her head,
And Mama in her long johns, and I in my birthday suit,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's snooze-
When out on the lawn there arose such a screech,
I sprang from the bed armed to the teeth.
When, what to my near-sighted eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight mutant reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a flash that it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than fighter jets his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donner and Blitzen;
"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! stop pooping on all the houses!"
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And PETA had covered him with pigs blood and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
And his chest peeking out of his robes was quite hairy;
The beard of his chin was as white as the snow,
And the rug matched the curtains, I'd guess, but don't know;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
Not picking, just scratching, then up the chimney he rose
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a holler,
And away they all flew, like bums to a dollar:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

I hope you enjoyed touching, feeling and viewing the shiny pictures as much as I enjoyed ripping off Clement C. Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hand Monocle

I've invented a new method of obtaining 20/20 vision. It's called the "Hand Monocle" ®.

The Hand Monocle is free and easy to use. All you need to do is curl your pointer finger up so that only a tiny hole is present, then hold your hand up to your eye. Once your Hand Monocle is held up to your eye, light will go through the tiny hole created by your finger and will flow through the front part of your cornea. Because the front-most part of your cornea is where light is refracted the least, you'll have close to 20/20 vision.

Below is an example of how to use your new Hand Monocole:

[Picture: The correct method of using your Hand Monocle]

I invented the Hand Monocle after my eye doctor called me and asked me to stop using my corrective contacts. She said she's tired of hearing me complain about them on the blog, so she's getting me some fancy new ones. But when not wearing my contacts my eyesight got progressively worse, and my glasses were too strong of a prescription until my eyesight reverted to its regular sight. Basically, I couldn't see, and I thus developed the Hand Monocle.

Warning: Do not use the Hand Monocle if you need peripheral vision, need to use both hands for any activity, or don't want your pointer finger to cramp.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dizzy Fingers

My cousin Ben "Dizzy Fingers" McGehee is extremely talented. The man can play the piano like nobody's business. They call him "Dizzy Fingers" because his fingers move so quickly on the keys that it makes you dizzy. Seriously, if you're going to watch him play in person, you'd better take some Dramamine beforehand.

Ben plays so fast that one time the friction created by his fingers on the keys set a piano on fire. Luckily, I was nearby with a jug of margaritas and was able to douse the fire before it burned the bar to the ground. Ben continued to play the lower scale of the piano while I cleaned up the high notes.

Here's a video of my cousin Ben playing his rendition of Outkast's "Hey Ya" at MyBar in N'awlins.

Friday, December 05, 2008

In the Dark

Betty and I went to the River Center on Thursday to see two of my favorite bands - Snow Patrol and Death Cab for Cutie. The concert was great, but there was just one problem: I literally couldn't see.

My CRT contacts (which reshape my corneas at night so I don't have to wear contacts or glasses during the day) haven't exactly been working out as I'd hoped. Everything gets blurry for me around 2 pm, and driving at night is impossible. Betty even had to help me walk down the steps at the River Center so we could get to our seats.

I was "that guy" at the concert. I'm so embarrassed.

The worst part about being blind at a concert isn't that I couldn't see the bands or get to my seat without riding piggy-back on my wife, but that I wasn't able to people-watch. I'm kind of awesome at people-watching. Or at least I was.

To sum up the concert, Snow Patrol was awesome. The lead singer saw a guy in the crowd dancing wildly and called him up onstage, then made the guy dance during the next song. And as blind as I was, even I could see that the guy's dance moves were worthy of being mocked onstage. Snow Patrol sounded great as well.

Death Cab for Cutie was a letdown after Snow Patrol. The lead guitarist's amp was up way too loud, the lead singer's mic was too low, and they only played two songs off their new album. We don't think there was an encore, but if there was, we're happy to have left before it. They're an introspective band, not an arena rock band, and hearing them sing about death while two goth kids felt each other up in the row behind us just didn't go hand in hand. I probably would have loved them had the concert been at a smaller venue. Oh well.

Back at our house I tried to tell Betty that I couldn't see to get in bed since my vision was so blurry, but she thought I was just trying to get frisky and left me alone. I ended up sleeping on the kitchen floor because I couldn't see where I was going. Ironically, I was furthest from my daughter's room and never heard her cry, and ended up getting the most sleep out of the two of us.

Went to a concert, heard two of my favorite bands play, and got a good night's sleep - not too shabby for a Thursday night.