Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Madge Monday

I need to keep my notebook around me again because all the delightful Madge nuggets have slipped my mind.
An amazing turn of events, one that shows how much more mature my kids are than I was at their age - or now, for that matter - is that they are truly enjoying the pjs they got for Christmas.
Madge is not enjoying Coco's insistence on playing his DS, though.
Oh, here we are: One thing that's an odd turn of events is that Madge is now a fan of Adam Sandler. We saw Bedtime Stories and as a result rented Billy Madison and Mr. Deeds. I guess it's like someone of my generation discovering Peter Sellers.
Okay, that made me laugh. No, no. Maybe Jerry Lewis. Or. Ah, Benny Hill.

Friday, December 26, 2008

post x-mas

All is well. Santa came, although how he found a moment between all the times the kids woke up is a mystery.
But we're all happy and resting. All of X-mas day, except for a brief foray to get Chinese food, was spent in pajamas.
I hope yours was as restful as ours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Accidents breed the best ideas sometimes.
Coco was at a birthday party last weekend and won some pin-the-something on the Optimus Prime and the host mom didn't have prizes for the actual game. Instead of simply making it a game for the fun of it, she gave Coco a dollar bill.
Guess what was one of the highlights of the party? A much bigger impact than a party trinket at a much lower cost. Literally more value for your dollar.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Madge Monday

A classic in our house that hasn't happened in a while, which is why I realize how strange it must seem:
Madge was helping Coco with his bath tonight, making sure he used soap and washed his hair. After the shampoo and conditioner, I heard her say this,
"Okay, and this is the Shiseido..."

No Ivory in our quaint little apartment.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

image from Life

should be here, but I don't see it
Oh, well, I'll get it another way. Ah. There it is.
Point is, I got to it through looking at this stuff. Do so, now.
Isn't it cool?
And that TimeLife picture archive is quite interesting and thought-provoking. I'll figure out something to do with it eventually. I followed the steps and Got "Chile 1960 Summer Olympics" as title and found the image by searching for "chile 1960." Apparently Eisenhower visited that year and they had an earthquake. And Ramen noodles.

'tis the season, finally

Christmas shopping is never what I think it should be.
I go to a store with something specific in mind, and then, when they don't have that, I feel bad because I feel like I've had to settle for something less.
But I ran into a friend today at Macy's, he was spritzing. That was fun.
I'm just glad I finally got to go, what with working, the kids' schedule, and the annoying illnesses.
The gifts don't feel done, but I do, so I may venture out again tomorrow after my dental appointment. I'm sure I'll be in the mood.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Oh, they start so young, don't they.
Coco and I were walking home the other day and he asked me if pre-school was for bigger kids than kindergarten. I said No, it's before school.
Then he asked what school we were walking by and I said A middle school.
Are those older kids? he asked and I said Yes.
Then he said, out little baby said, "Is that when they get ... ?"
And he made a cupping gesture in front of his chest.
What the?
"Boobies?" I asked.
And he grinned. "Yes."
"Yes," I said.

When I related this to Julie, she said what you're all thinking.
"He's your son."
I have no idea what that means.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Madge Monday

We are playing a happy-go-lucky game of Pass the Illness in our house and Madge has decided to cheat. It was clearly Coco's turn after she started things off and handed them on to me while Julie was getting her own illness on when out of town. But Madge seems to have decided to show us all how it's done and took the illness back. An unheard-of, unprecedented move. Bold.

I just hope we can have a few regular days before the Christmas break.
At this point, slipping out to buy presents while the kids are in school is becoming exceedingly difficult.

Friday, December 12, 2008

typo of the day

The typo was found in a boring context, but tweaked, it could be a useful pun, as in:
Prince Rainier was raised in an abusive manor.

Oh, I forgot to warn you about the bad pun. My bad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Shame

I went to a book signing in the neighborhood tonight.
Oh, my.
Because of the way my time is organized, though, and because the book signing didn't start until 7:30pm, I came away empty-handed. Well, that's not true, I came away with some bribery books, some unicorn thing and some Clone Wars deal.
And I came away with a slightly sinking feeling around the heart area because the author (John Hodgman) was making fun (lightly, of course) about the way kids dominate the lifestyle of our neighborhood. And since my kids' bedtime was the prime reason I couldn't stick around for the actual signing part of the book discussion and signing, I couldn't buy a book.
The store, in its wisdom, had removed all the copies from the floor for a more easy signing frenzy access. Or, conversely, for random shopping inaccess.
Maybe I'll just get a copy and forge his signature. Or stalk the neighborhood for Hodgman sightings. He should wear a bright red scarf like Paul Auster, to be more inconspicuously conspicuous.
The kids, incidentally, were great. They were reading in the back - Madge was reading to Coco, that is - with occasional forages to me to visit the bathroom or to tell me about the Obama books they found.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Coco is tired of weepy Madge and it's hard for me not to giggle when he rolls his eyes and asks if she's crying again. But she fell asleep before eight and before Coco tonight, so tomorrow should be better. To cheer her up, though, he said, "Everybody who loves Madge, raise your hand." If the cat had been in the room, Coco would have raised the cat's paw, too. He's done it before.

In other Coco news, he's talking non-stop. And with my super-sore throat, I just can't keep up. We realized that I could write on dry-erase boards (which we have in the house), but Coco's reading is very selective. He sounds out the first letter and guesses the rest. So we gave up on that one fairly quickly.

Investments Gone South?

Now they can do so literally.
I read about it in the NYTimes and now I'm giving them a bit of free advertising here. Why not? Their plan is cutely creative.
The idea is this. Elite Island Resorts is taking the German saying "lieber nichts als gar nichts" to heart. (It means, "better nothing than nothing at all.") And, as a result, they are taking stocks as payment for rooms. The kicker is this: they're taking stocks at the rate they were trading on July 1, 2008 (up to $5,000 per room).
The trade is empty rooms for worthless stocks. Everyone wins.
But don't order room service. Who's to guarantee you don't get the food from July 1?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Madge Monday

Madge has been weepy lately, especially at bedtime. She says it's because Mommy's going out of town so close to Christmas. Sure, that's part of it, but there's more. At least tonight she admitted that there's more which she doesn't want to tell.
And I almost started giving suggestions but realized that could backfire too easily. As in, I'd be giving her way more things to cry about than she had ever really considered before.
"What is it, honey? Did your friends say something about how you dress?"
"Did you find out [BLANK] doesn't exist?"
"Did you realize you will die someday?"
Instead, I'll just wait and see what may be forthcoming.

reflexive actions

Not the kind you think about much, obviously.
But every once in a while an illness reminds you of them. Mine is swallowing. I never knew how often you - I should say "I" but I include all of us in this - swallow extra spittle that finds its way into your mouth - not "my mouth" because that odd mix of personal pronouns would get a little too intimate.
We thought it was strep but I don't have the stuffy sinus achiness and thickness that plays the countertenor to the difficulty to swallow. I went to the doctor and found out that it's essentially a really bad sore throat. Good, because I'm not contagious, but bad because I just feel like a big sissy now.
And that's what she said, too: "Pfffft. It's just a sore throat, you big sissy."
Well, those may not have been her exact words. I'm paraphrasing. What she said was something like "pharyngogobbledygook." But it's what I took away from the visit.

Friday, December 05, 2008

a blurb I'd like to see

"...as educational as de Sade's 120 Days in Sodom, but without the annoying preachiness!"
--USA Today

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I had this headline in my inbox: Landmark Strip Club Burns.
And for some reason I thought it was a kind of skin condition.

Of course, it's not.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Maybe I'm too stingy with our nighttime heating, but last night the cat crawled under the covers and curled around Julie's hot-water bottle.
Nah. It's not too cold.
He's a pussy.

relationship status

Facebook is careful about people's relations to one another. So, when I realized I could change my relationship status and finally did click on the box that said married and then filled in my wife's name, it zapped this message to Julie:
Philipp said on Facebook that you two are married. We need you to confirm that you are, in fact, married to Philipp.
To confirm this relationship request, follow the link below:...
I think the bit that made Julie laugh so much was the great timing of the ", in fact," which is quite good, I must say.
(This relationship request, by the way, was confirmed more quickly than the original proposal. It's amazing what twelve years of marriage can do.)
I'm just wondering, if I changed it to "single," would she would get an email about that as well?

And to all of you who have congratulated me on facebook, thanks. I'm registered at Amazon.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Part of our wonderful Thanksgiving weekend included a trip to Macy’s Santaland. If you go on a Sunday morning, as we did, the lines are non-existent and the Santas are relaxed. (Incidentally, I typed this up in MSWord and its spell-check does not allow for the plural of Santa; they believe!) And, to continue that thread of thought, the elves were more informed this year. I think Coco wore his Omnitrix (MSWord has not heard of the Omnitrix) this year to test them, and when an elf commented on the “cool Ben Ten watch” he nodded approvingly. Last year’s elves didn’t know whereof he spoke when he mentioned Ben Ten and this really worried him.
Anyway, one of the greater Random Coco Inventions is that he just started chanting the word Santaland and it eventually morphed, via an extension of the final “a” into something resembling Robert Plant’s banshee yell in Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.”
I am not kidding. He’s seen “School of Rock,” after all. So we’ve expanded it. Now we play it on the iPod and sing along.
So far we have:

Daddy: DiGUNG-dugga-DIgah, DiGUNG-dugga-DIgah…

Coco: Santalaaaaaaa-AAAND! Santalaaaaaaa-AAAND!

Daddy: He comes from the land of the ice and snow,
Where the elves make toys and the reindeer go.
Santa makes his rounds.
He flies his sleigh to new lands,
To hand out gifts, singing and crying:
Oh, children, I am coming!
Kiddies sleep, parents snore,
And in the morning they hear, “More! More! More!”

DiGUNG-dugga-DIgah, DiGUNG-dugga-DIgah…

Coco: Santalaaaaaa-AAAND! Santalaaaaaaa-AAAND!

Daddy: He comes from the land of the ice and snow,
Where the elves-

Coco: Daddy, can you stop that and we do the Santalaaaaaaa-AAAND part again?

The pardoned

I guess what I was trying to get at about the names is that they sound too Dickensian to be true, as if Marc Rich and Pincus Green would be followed by Sir Sydney Coinpurse, Whelan Dealings, Saint-John Pennypincher, James Gross, Franklin Netwirth, and Johnny Cash.

Catching Up

I'm trying to be a little more informed about what's going on, seeing as how I voted and all and figure I ought to be an example to the kids.
So, there's this Eric Holder guy who wants to be Attorney General. Or, to be more lawyerish: he has been asked to be the Attorney General and to the best of his knowledge, he did not decline.
And the sticky point in his nomination is his role in the pardon of Marc Rich.
Like most people (I'm guessing), all is know is: Marc Rich pardon = not cool. But why? pffff, uh, um...
The backstory is this (from the NYTimes): "In 1983, Marc Rich was indicted along with his partner, Pincus Green, and their companies on 65 counts of defrauding the I.R.S., mail fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, defrauding the Treasury and trading with the enemy." (Oil, Iran, hostages: the usual.) Or, as we like to specify in my family, "No, kids, he was indicted for 'getting caught' defrauding and racketeering. The lesson..."
Now, I just can't get over the cartoony names of these guys. Is he Richie's dad? And Pincus Green? Was Red-Whitus Blue taken?
But once I do get over the names, the dates are striking. Indicted in 1983. No wonder I didn't know about it, I was busy trying to get my elvin thief past some orcs.
And then, maybe because I'm reading Bleak House, I realize that Clinton was done being president - at least as far as the law and the history books were concerned, I'm not talking about in his mind - in Jan. 2001. That's a speedy legal process, no?
So maybe the subtext of the Holder hearings is that he's a crappy lawyer for letting the Marc Rich issue end so soon, before every law firm in the U.S. got a little taste of the legal fees involved.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Madge Monday

Poor Madge is still not feeling up to snuff.
Of course she can get up at 7am every morning during the Thanksgiving break, but this morning, for school...
She went. But I had to get her, early, from the nurse's office, since she is still easily exhausted. Madge, that is. The nurse may be, too, but she hasn't told me.
Part of Madge's problem is that she's very tired but can't get herself to go to bed before her little brother, who's on top of his game, making nonstop poop and fart and pee references.
Which bug a tired older sister.

half-full/half-empty business news

A NYTimes headline, "New York Pays Back $800 Million in Business Tax," might be rewritten as, "New York Businesses Get $800 Million Windfall."
They'd better report that income.