Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Zip-Lining Commando

What is more fun than zip-lining between the trees in Lake Lanier, Georgia?

Doing it while going commando, of course!

We went to Lake Lanier last week for a family reunion. Betty's uncle lives on the lake, and going to his house is more fun and more relaxing than going anywhere else on vacation.

(I'm sure it's not as relaxing for Uncle Jay and his family - they work their butts off during the reunion!)

The only part that is not relaxing is the drive to Atlanta. It's ridiculous how sitting in a car all day can tire you out. As you can see, it exhausted everyone in our family, even our son Peter.

[Picture: Peter zonked out]

Lake Lanier is a reservoir for Atlanta's drinking water, and for that reason, I pee in it every year to spite the Atlanta Falcons fans. Who Dat, bitches?!

There are some islands on Lake Lanier, and one of the islands has zip-lining. We took a ten minute boat ride from Uncle Jay's house over to the island, went up a short hill from the dock to the zip-lining place, then spent the next two hours flying between the trees.

If you've never been zip-lining, here are the basics:

1. Get your gear on. Your gear is comprised of gloves, a shiny red helmet so they can identify you if you fall to your doom, a harness that goes around your waist and between your legs and accentuates your package, shoulder straps, and two hooks along with a metal weight that attach to the zip line.

[Picture: Ready for action!]

2. Climb the tree designated as your starting point. You'll know which one it is - it's the one with stairs leading up to a platform built onto the tree, and that also has a line that goes out to another tree. Oh, and by the way, the platform is 80 feet off the ground.

[Picture: Ready for action!]

3. A zip-lining instructor will attach you to the zip-line. While waiting for your turn, you'll always have at least one of your two hooks attached to the tree so that you don't fall. And if you're like most of the newbies, you'll probably always be hugging the tree - just watch out for ants crawling around the tree!

[Picture: Hang on!]

4. Zip-lining itself is pretty simple. Bend your knees, lean back in your harness, and step off the platform. Lifting your legs up helps you gain momentum.

[Picture: Go!]

5. If you're coming in hot, you can slow yourself down by gently touching one of your gloved hands to the zip line, but make sure you touch it behind where the pulley / weight is, as otherwise your fingers and hand will get a nice burn / crunch.

That's it! You are now ready to go swinging from tree to shining tree.

So, back to going commando.

I didn't pack enough undies for the trip, so I decided to go commando for most of my time in Atlanta. It definitely made it easier and faster when I decided to pee in Lake Lanier - one less layer of clothing to stick my wang through!

At two points in our zip-lining experience we had to cross a wooden bridge suspended between two trees. I was taking the steps two at a time on one of the bridges until I saw a guy below me taking pictures with a really big camera. He was below me, I had no underwear on... basically, that guy could have been taking pictures of my junk.

I didn't panic. First, I doubt he could see anything because we had straps going up our groins, and they made my shorts stick to my side. And second, even if he decided to post pictures of my undie-less zip-lining experience, they'd probably go viral and I'd become the famous naked zip-liner.

Incidentally, I just Googled for "naked zip-lining" and there are lots of videos on YouTube of just that. So maybe I won't be famous after all. Oh well... there are still plenty of opportunities for me to do things while not wearing underwear.

Until next year, Lake Lanier!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Dad Life

One more blog in honor of Father's Day. My dad sent me this link... it's called The Dad Life. It's so much like my life that it's scary. (Except that I don't have a riding lawnmower or goatee.) But other than that, this really is my life in a nutshell.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

It's Father's Day, which is a day to celebrate fathers. As you might remember, my dad is the world's greatest dad. Please remind your own father about that today.

I'm also a father, so I like to think about myself on this special day. And just to round out my list of amazing parents, let's throw in Jor-El, who was Superman's dad.

But here's today's lesson:

Even Superman's dad had to get permission from his wife, Lara Lor-Van, before rocketing his son off to Earth in order to evade Krypton's destruction.

Or, if you prefer cliches, behind every great man is a great woman.

Father's Day is a day to let your dad do whatever he wants. He doesn't have to work, doesn't have to do stuff around the house that he doesn't want to, gets waited on and pampered by his wife... in other words, it's exactly the same as every other day.

I'm flattered that fathers are being honored today, but this Father's Day, I'm sharing the love. Today (like every day), I'm thankful for my wife - who made me a father. She rules the roost. I have no idea what's ever going on in my house or in my life, but she does. She's my external brain.

I'm also thankful for my kids. I don't remember what life was like before they were born. They give my life reason and purpose.

I'm thankful for my parents, who I feel like I understand more and more as I grow older and interact with my own kids. Thank you for always being really cool parents and amazing grandparents. Ditto for my in-laws. And let's not forget that my dad and Betty's dad have some pretty amazing women running the show for them.

I'm also of thankful for my brother and sister. Sure, they did steal some of the attention away from me at times while we were growing up... but I'm so well adjusted because my parents made all of their mistakes with my older brother, then were well-versed with mad parenting skillz when they had me. I like to say that I'm their favorite. (My mom says that we're all her favorite. My dad tells each one of us that we're his favorite. But we know the truth.)

I recently took a few boxes of my old stuff home from my parents' house. There were some old books, school work, trophies and pictures. One of the pictures was of me playing on the floor with my dad when I was probably seven or eight. When I saw it, I realized that that's how I've always thought of my dad - of us just playing on the floor and having fun. That's how I want my kids to remember their childhood. So that's all I want to do on Father's Day.

And maybe eat some pizza and go to the spray park. I mean, is it Father's Day or is it Father's Day?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Reunion

My dad's family had a reunion this past weekend. If you don't know what happens at one of my dad's family reunions, please take a minute to read this.

(If you prefer the cliff notes, I'll sum it up for you: eating, dancing and unibrows.)

We noticed this reunion that most of the kids in the youngest generation don't have the olive complexions and dark hair that are key components of our Lebanese heritage. Instead, the youngest generation have blond hair and blue eyes - like my son, Peter. Our Lebanese gene pool has been diluted!

To make up for a lack of Lebanese-ish qualities, we started teaching the kids all the bad words that we know in Arabic. For example, "zabada" means "wiener." Knowing is half the battle!

The night before the reunion, my cousins' band, Mageez, had a CD release party. It was a lot of fun, but I had way too much to drink.

Also, note to self: never snort blow off a strange girls naked body in the men's bathroom at a bar during a CD release party. I didn't do that, but it's a good note to self anyway.

As a consequence of going to the Mageez CD release party, the following things happened:

1. We went to Raising Cane's at 3 in the morning. Who knew they were even open that early / late? Even though we were inebriated, we still remembered to get "no slaw, extra toast."

2. Once we got back to my parents' house at 3 am, my mom's fridge didn't have anything on it - which is weird because she always has pictures of the family - so I covered the fridge with a bunch of pictures of me from high school. I also found a picture of my sister with huge bangs that I plan on using as blackmail sometime in the near future.

3. I woke up two hours late for my reunion.

It was OK though, because apparently a lot of other people who had gone to the Mageez show were also late. And hung over. And still singing tunes from the party.

I'm so happy that I got to see my family from all over the continental United States! I also noticed that us Tanorys only live on the perimeter of the US - we're in Louisiana, Texas, California, Washington State, Washington DC, Virginia and Minnesota. None of us live in the interior. We have some cousins that live in Alabama, but it touches the Gulf so we'll count it as being on the perimeter. It must be in our Lebanese blood to live by the ocean.

I also noticed that, between all 100+ people who showed up, we only had 4 giant eyebrows between us all. Even the kids had unibrows! So at least we still have that.

Opah! Can't wait to see everyone again in a few years!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I can no longer stand idly by as Weinergate - the aftermath of Anthony Weiner tweeting a crotch shot - continues to unfold.

Here is my thought on Representative Weiner. Just keep in mind that I'm no Stephen Colbert.

Anthony Weiner is a dick. Sure, it takes balls to tweet your crotch out to the world, but a person who wants to show their dongle online has to be cocksure about the image's security. At a minimum, Weiner should have used more protection - like sending his crotch shot through a secured channel - instead of posting it on Twitter for all the world to see.

It's bad enough that Weiner is married, but what makes it worse is that his wife is preggers. But the worst part for Weiner, besides never being able to use his namesake on his wife again, is that he's a Democrat representative and his wife works for Hillary Clinton. His career is now pretty much over, unless he moves from New York to New Jersey, or stars in a reality TV program.

I also have to question the moral standings of the women who sent emails and tweets back and forth to Weiner. I mean, not only is there enough information online about the guy to determine that he was married, but the guy just looks like a douche. I'm embarrassed for everyone involved.

Vince Lombardi said, "Inches make champions." And based on Representative Weiner's crotch shot tweet, I think we can all say that Weiner is not a champion.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

World's Greatest Dad

With Father's Day fast approaching, and with my father's birthday having just come and gone, I'm inspired to write about the world's best dad:


Just joking! Actually, it's my dad.

My father is the world's greatest dad for various reasons. First, he's my father, and I'm incredible, so let's assume that half of my genes came from him. For the purposes of this blog, I'll call my dad "Mr. Incredible" and will even go so far as to say that my entire family is amazing, since we all share his genetic makeup.

[Picture: The Incredible Tanory Family]

The second reason why he's the world's best dad is because he always made every event for his kids. He was at every soccer game, coached baseball, made every school function... nothing stopped him from being there for us. I hope to be as present in my kids' lives as he's been in mind. That's a tall order.

So the next time you see someone with a "World's Greatest Dad" or "World's Best Dad" shirt, tie or mug, make sure to tell him that he may be the best father in his county, parish or municipality, but definitely not in the world. That title belongs to Richard Tanory. All other fathers, however great and wonderful they are, rank third or lower. (I'm #2, obviously.)

Dad, by the way, this blog post counts as both your Father's Day and birthday gifts. So I hope you like it - because if not, I'll blame my lack of getting you presents on not being raised right, and that would degrade you World's Best Dad status.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Wave at the Bus

One of our friends sent me a link to an article about a guy who waved at his son's bus every day before school. It started out as a way to embarrass his son, Rain, but then the guy (named Dale) took it up a notch: he dressed up as something different each and every day. For example, here he is as a pirate:

[Picture of the guy in a pirate outfit]
Courtesy of Yahoo! pictures.

This guy is my hero!

The article links to the family's blog called Wave at the Bus. It shows a picture of Dale each day before school in his outfit, waving. There's a picture of him in front of his house waving as well as a picture from behind, where you can see the bus. The wife, Rochelle, took all the pictures and then wrote something for each day. Betty and I just looked at every single picture and we're amazed.

We want to embarrass our kids in much the same way!

Sure, the blog is a great way to embarrass our children. I mean, who can forget the Poozooka or the Laser Beam Butt Canon?

[Picture of the Poozooka in action]

Those are nice, but they're not as "in your face" as, say, a guy sitting on a toilet reading the newspaper while his child boards the bus, or as guy dressed as a chicken. Or a guy dressed as Ariel the Mermaid. Or a guy dressed as... well, you get the point.

I've decided that I need to do some "live-action blogging" for the express intent of embarrassing my children / my wife / myself. And, maybe just to be nice, I'll smile and wave while doing it.