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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ah... to be a kid again... 

Sometimes I really miss being a kid. Sure, I still watch cartoons and act silly. But way too often, the dishes are screaming for me and the bathroom is in great need of assistance.
So little time is left for just having a bit o' fun.
I'll leave work, this morning, at about 6:30 AM. I'll arrive home at 7:00 and, if Alex is up, I'll offer to put together a bowl of cereal for her or get her something else simple for breakfast. "No. Not French toast, dear. I'm way too tired for that."
Then I'll strip off my clothing as I head down the hall to my room. I'll be nekkid by the time I get there. Terrible T will be snoring gleefully as I pull on a T-shirt and slide under the covers.
If I'm lucky, I'll be asleep within a half an hour or so.
If I'm lucky, the kids won't argue after Terrible T goes to work and I'll remain asleep despite the TV turned up to 20 and sunlight pushing in past the curtains.
At 2:00 PM, the alarm clock will rudely awaken me. After my coffee and a breaking of my 10 hour fast I'll probably have to clean the kitchen mess and the bathroom. I'll yell at the kids for leaving the living room a mess, too, and spend way too much time cleaning that up. I'll get one or two calls from Terrible T giving orders and telling me what to start preparing for dinner, since we are having New Years Eve guests.
And the kids will complain because I never have the time... no... I never make the time to play with them.

I keep trying to make Friday night "Game Night" but it rarely works out. We played a few rounds of Whoonu last night, but then I had to leave for work. We have a number of games we've never even taken out of the boxes.

Am I a bad father? Or would I just prefer to play, once in a while?



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Friday, December 30, 2005

So Tired 

I'm so tired.
Tired of:



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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Catching up on Movies 

I guess I've become a sorta Paul Giamatti fan.
I saw both
Sideways and American Splendor and think that this "regular guy" actor is a genius. Of course, he's gotten lucky with good material and good directors and co-stars, too.
His next movie out will probably be the one my Mr. M. Night Spooky. And that scares me a bit. Not sure why, but it does.
I also finally saw
The Aviator, by Scorsese. I really like DeCaprio and I thought the picture gave a bit of insight into one of the most famous men of mystery.
Alfred Hitchcock's
Sabotage was a cheap DVD I bought somewhere. An early film of his, it took some time for the suspense to come 'round. No surprise throughout the first part of the movie as we knew from the beginning that Mr. Verloc was one of the bad guys. What I liked about this movie was that the characters seemed intelligent. When it started to become obvious that the police were watching Verloc, no one tried to pretend it wasn't happening. When evidence was obvious, people came to the correct obvious conclusions. The suspense comes in when an innocent boy is sent off to deliver the saboteur's bomb and we sit at the edge of our seats wondering whether or not the kid will get out of harms way in time.
Man. Hitchcock sure knew what he was doing. Now I just gotta rent or buy the rest of his famous movies. I've never seen most of them.



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Monday, December 26, 2005

Sweet Christmas and Bitter Coffee 

Please tell me why Starbucks Coffee is always brewed so strongly. What am I - a lumberjack? I sit here (on 3rd shift again) swilling down something that tastes like I'm drinking it out of the mug within which I store my pencils. And now, alas, it's also cold.

Need caffeine... must. have. caffeine...

It's also getting a bit chilly outside. Why is it we always have a damned cold spell before and/or after Christmas but never on Christmas day! At least it wasn't sweltering.

Christmas/Hannukah was a little less stressful this year. Even though we went up to Disney World the weekend before and had Mom and some sisters and a nephew and a niece over for Christmas Ham and Latkes. (great combination)

Need caffeine... must. have. caffeine...

Alexandra designed a new kind of pie (with a little help from dear old Dad). It's officially called My Pie, though I'd kinda like to change the spelling to Mai Pai. It consisted of a store-bought graham cracker crust with a lemon tinged cream filling, butter and brown sugar sauteed peaches, fresh blueberries, and fresh strawberries. It was a big hit. Better than the $12.00 Key Lime Pie that a friend brought over for lunch this morning. (There goes what little dieting success I had been having).

This season, we spent way too much of American Express' (and MBNA's) money and we're going to be eating leftover ham with macaroni and cheese (Kraft Dinner was on sale at Publix) for a few months. At least I'll get my Amex bonus Points to pop over 10,000 by the time I get it all paid off. Then, maybe, I can trade them in for a key chain or some equally inexpensive piece of crap.

I love the new KitchenAid mixer, The Ditty Bops CD, and the View Master reels I'd bought on eBay. Terrible T loved the crystal bowl and books I'd gotten her. The kids love their Star Wars Lego. Marc keeps asking me if Anakin Skywalker, in theory, would be able to single-handedly destroy the Millenium Falcon whilst standing atop it.

Yeah. I spent something like $100.00 so Marc could build an icon and then pretend to blow it up. Then Alex yelled when Marc tried to watch a movie over her shoulder (on her new ($$) portable DVD player) and then she cried when she couldn't put together her own Star Wars Lego that I told my wife not to buy because it would be too hard for Alex to put together.

But I really loved the holidays, this year. Don't ask me why.

Maybe because, when all is said and done... I'll remember the inspiring fireworks at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, the look on Marc's face as he beheld his first $100.00 bill, the bangers and Mash at the pub in Epcot and this little story:

On Christmas Eve, in Plantation, a Police cruiser drives up and down every street followed by a pick-up truck with Santa in the bed throwing out little candy canes. We could hear the sirens shortly after sundown. But not on our street. So, Alexandra got more and more excited, waiting for Santa to show up.

Finally, after an interminable 30 minutes or so Santa arrived, sirens ablazin'.
He tossed out six scrawny candy canes, five of which smashed into tiny sugary schrapnel when they hit the asphalt.

Alex was speedier than Marc. She managed to swipe up four of the six prized offerings.

"Hey. One of those is mine. You got more than me!"
I had to agree with Marc. "It's not a contest, Alex. Split the candy canes with Marc."
"NO! They're Mine! I got 'em first!" Then came the chase around the driveway in the dark, Marc trying to tackle Alex for an itty bitty crunched-up candy cane.
"Both of you! In the House! Now!" That worked. I pulled the candy out of Alex's hands and demanded Marc's (I didn't yet know the actual count.) I split the six candy canes evenly between the two, giving Marc the unbroken one).
That's when Alex stopped yelling in anger and began crying inconsolably. She was now totally losing it.
" Aww, come on. Quit crying. It's just some candy canes. Don't be so greedy." Wrong tactic. Something had changed and I didn't quite get it yet.
"Alex. It's okay. Everything's fine. Marc'll forgive you. Please. Stop the crying." No luck. "Alex. Please. What's wrong?" Nothing.
"Is it because you're upset about the candy canes or because you know you've done something wrong?" BINGO!
"Santa's not going to bring me any presents tonight because I was naughty!"

Uh oh. Here comes one of the hardest parts of parenting: Trying not to laugh at something inherently funny when your kid's really upset. Especially when you need to keep that certain secret lie alive.

"Alex. Santa will bring you all your presents. Just apologize to Marc."
"NO. I was naughty! I'm not getting any presents!"
"Yes you will. I promise. I know it. Just as long as you apologize. I kinda know Santa. I mean, I email him a lot. I know he'll still bring you stuff."
"No. He Wont!!!"
"Alex, calm down. Really. Trust me. I know it'll be fine. I promise you."
"But I was naughty!"
"Look Alex, I know you're still on his Good Girl list and it's too late for him to cross you off."
And then, sure in her knowledge of Christmas Law, she looked right at me and screamed, "But he's gonna check it TWICE!"



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