Friday, December 28, 2007

Google Anonymity - Year 2--ish

Yes gentle reader(s), we are in near the end of our second year of blogginess and I must say that I have managed not to jeapordize my marriage to wife.imp (well, nothing too serious anyway) with my posts.

Yea Me!!

So, after two years, I must say that I have consistantly appealed to that fickle, world audience?

What proof do I have, you ask? Well the answers are right before your eyes (the graphs below represent the areas of the world from which our humble little Playground is visited):

...and these are some the search terms from the last month that brought you to 'the Playground':
"what prompts" admission: Usually asking, “please”, works here at the Playground…
bratz playground: Sorry, no bratz here; Only Imps!
bud: this from O Fallon, Missouri, hmmm, here in Ohio they still say ‘Dude’…unless asking for a cold, frothy beverage then Bud is quite often used…
imp news of day: they got up today and started playing a Memory card game that they got for Christmas! Pretty cool, huh?
mother milk: Father Whiskey? ??? OH! You guys need to get a life! Join a frat or something…
peed girl face%: What goes on in Germany (State/Region: Niedersachsen, City: Ronnenberg) stays in Germany
mouse tattoo joke: ummm, footprints meandering from the lower buttocks to the lower back??

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Call me 'olde fashioned'

...but we did not do the HP Nativity scene. I just could not picture placing a baby Harry in his crib with a menacing Lord Voldemorte hovering over him about to cast the Killing Curse under the Christmas tree next to baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph...

So what did happen on Christmas? Let's just say that Santa nearly missed our house because the imps were up until well after midnight..!!!

What did Santa eventually bring the imps?

boy.imp got a brand new Bicycle!!
girl.imp (who hates the idea of 2-wheeled transportation) got a brand new Trikke!! (So did Dennis)

However the best Christmas in Ohio was not celebrated by the Imps. No it was reported in the Columbus Dispatch and desribed how Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Delgado of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines of Lima Company spent over $4,000 of his own money (re: Credit Card purchases) to ensure that children who otherwise would have been berift of any Christmas cheer would have happy memories...

Despite what we've read about abuses in the military in recent years, I can only hope that quality men and women (like Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Delgado) continue to volunteer for military service.

I also hope that I might learn to keep track of my keys. Yes gentle readers, last night, while parked in my parents' driveway (with a house full of relatives) I locked my keys in my car, with the engine running. What happened to the spare set? They were locked in the back of the car.

Here is the conversation that made all this possible:
me: hey (wife.imp), do you still have the extra set of car keys?
wife.imp: ummm, yes.

Perrrrrfect! With the spare keys safely in wife.imp's pockets, I proceeded to load the car with all the imp's gifts, our stuff and the leftovers we were taking home from the Christmas feast (there was a snafu on the food bit tho'). I then started the car and locked the doors (knowing the spare key was safely in wife.imp's hands and not wanting to tempt the stray deer or migratory birds that might be wandering near the parents' driveway) and went happily inside to monitor the imps as they prepared to go home.

At the appointed time (that moment where the chaos drops and the imps are most mallable to the idea of leaving) I asked wife.imp for the spare keys.

wife.imp: they're in the black bag
me: They're where?
w.imp: in the black bag by the piano.
me: umm, it's not by the piano...
w.imp: yes it is. It's right over there by the piano.
me: no it's not. It's in the back of the car
w.imp: no, it's not
me: yes it is
w.imp: why is in the car? I told you the car did not need to be warmed up...
me: you told me you had the keys...
w.imp: I did, in the black bag.
me: you did not say anything about a black bag when I asked you if you had the keys.
w.imp: that was a general question...
me: no, I was quite specific, "Do you have the keys?" Specific. (leaning over and checking the front of her pants) Hey, what's this?"
w.imp: I don't keep keys in my pockets. It's uncomfortable."
My.Sister: Yes, they are uncomfortable. They're always poking your legs."
me: (ignoring my helpful sister) You did not mention the black bag...

anyway, despite all my wriggling and attempting to lesson the blame (or at least spread it far and wide, the fact remains that I did leave my keys in the ignition with the car running with the doors locked in a rural community where the likelihood of theft remains at a remarkably small percentage...

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Nothing Says Christmas like...

1- The holiday Nativity scene
2- The Hollywood Blockbuster movie release

So girl.imp has decided to combine these two traditions and this Saturday we will be making the
Harry Potter Nativity Scene (complete with Lord Voldemorte)...

thank you...thank you very much...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I think I have strep throat...I am trying to determine which will be least inconvenient, an urgent care facility or the primary care physician's office...

So we saw the LOTR films over the weekend and girl.imp has reduced Tolkein's characters to being Harry Potter impersonator wannabes:

Gandalf = Dumbledore
Gimli the Dwarf = a miniature Hagrid
Legolas the Elf = well he is just plain 'CUTE!'
Aragorn = a younger Sirius Black
Gollum = '...that naked man'
All the other blond-haired elves?? - Well, girl.imp had trouble believing that they were 'good guys' because they looked a lot like the Malfoys.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

'Do Me Daddy...Do me daddy...Do me too daddy'...and Road Rage Trumps Christmas Spirit

Yes, the imps were lying on the futon with me and shouting and laughing and demanding more.


More of my bare feet being held in front of their noses!!

Why? I do not know, but as long as they are entertained...

Is it Road Rage when Wife.Imp gets frustrated in holiday traffic??

Wife.imp had some free time last Friday and was going to a lunch with friends and asked me if I would like to go with. I noticed a few things on that drive.

1- wife.imp is an aggressive driver
2- she has little patience with hesitant drivers
3- she has even less patience with drivers more aggressive than she is
4- I find myself saying (a lot), 'I'm going to blog about this.'

In w.imp's defense, there were several very, very angry (re: bad scary) drivers on the roads. However there were two statements she made that make our cut:

'It's like they have Nov. 1 attitudes one week before Christmas...'
'Geez, the rednecks from up north (re: Delaware, Morrow and Knox Counties) have flocked to the malls today. That'll teach me to go shopping on a Friday during the holiday season.'

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

christmas thoughts

We went to wife.imp's office Christmas extravaganza last Sunday and included in all the festivities was a 'Face Painting' booth. Knowing it is Christmas and all the helpers/painters had christmassy things painted on their faces and Santa sat not 100 feet away talking to other imps, Boy.Imp had to have the 'Black Spiderman' mask.
Thank you. We do try.
Girl.Imp has a life-like baby doll (a link to a similar baby doll is below) that was lying facedown on the floor. Wife.Imp was creeped out by the baby doll's position because, 'I know it is not real, but it could smother itself to death lying facedown like that on the floor!'
We have been invaded by a mouse (or a gang of mice) and it is currently living (dying?) in my downstairs closet.
We know it is there because it toured our family room one night (eluding capture) and ran under the stairs into our closet. I have blocked up the entrance and placed LARGE gluetraps with poison in said closet.
I have to admit to being a tad worried because the poison is being consumed and the glue traps are aparantly being used for a cardio workout. In fact, when the mouse/mice are not excercising in the glue, they are eating the plastic container.
I know, I know, poisoning the mice is not eco-friendly, Dennis. I have to admit that no, it is not. Neither am I Al Gore.
I have nothing against nature and with preserving it (outside of my house). Once nature moves in (apparantly with the idea of said move being rent free) I tend to get a little antsy. No, I can get dirty with the best of people, after all I did spend several years camping practically every weekend with the Boy Scouts.
I do have to admit that while the Boy Scouts taught me many valuable lessons there were some things that I learned that were not usable- I should mention that Al Gore was not known nationally and that my biggest influences were standing shoulder to shoulder with me doing things like:
* Melting plastic milk containers over an open flame (global warming was not a serious issue at this time) to see the pretty colors (ok and poisonous colors)
* Dropping tents on rival scout troops and then using the tent poles to beat whatever moved into submission
* Camping with the public and hitting (in retrospect being bloody obvious about this) on both sisters of the family that agreed to share their dinner with you
Although I have to admit that my social skills were honed by learning what not to say:
*(I might not have done so at the time but I would like to offer my apologies to the lady ranger who was present during this exchange)--I was with a group of scouts in Philmont, NM where we were engaged in a ribald conversation about breakdance moves that should not be tried when I piped in with (and I must add that knowing the boundaries of what is acceptable and what should not be uttered was highlighted here): "...Yeah, and nobody should try doing the Worm downhill with a hardon..."
Thing is, if I had uttered that sentence 10 minutes before or after that moment, nothing but laughter would have ensued.
This leads me to the comment that my mom made once, before I left scouting: "I am sure you have noticed that none of the parents around town have let their kids join the scouts for a couple of years haven't you?"
Actually no. I had not noticed. I was having too good a time to realize how out of control we actually were. But the bar had been set pretty high, we were accostomed to playing kinda rough (we once played tackle football - Australian 'rules' style- with a troop from the Cleveland area whose members were 2-3 years older, 20-40 pounds heavier and 3-4 inches taller and I hit (re: tackled) everyone of them so often (they did not acutally have to be carrying the ball--just being near it worked for me) that they eventually asked if we could call it a draw. I was about 5'8" and a solid 135lbs at the time. I was also addicted to pain. I would get into fights just to get that rush and being smallish and fast I just loved football.)
However, as rough as we played, we also took immense pride in being the best troop there as far as skills went. In head-to-head competitions, we rarely if ever came in lower than 2nd and usually ended up 1st. So I was literally surprised when mom informed me that parents were not allowing their kids to join.
So where was I? Oh! The mouse/mice. I believe the point I wanted to make was that as long as nature stays outside of my house, I am content to not mess with it. But when it moves in, I will do what is necessary to beat it into submission and evict it...That is, unless it eats the posion and glue traps and then keeps coming back for more.
Then I will just lock the doors and avoid going near that part of the house again.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dinner at the Playground...

wife.imp: so baby (girl.imp) what did you do at school today?
girl.imp: nothing.
me: she showed up late today!!
(our alarm did not go off this a.m. and I woke up around 7:45sh. School starts at 8a.m. and it is a 10 minute drive. This leaves us 5 minutes to dress and leave. For us guys that gives us a comfortable 3-4 minute cushion. For girl.imp, she would be about 25 minutes behind the 8 ball.)
girl.imp: No I wasn't. I went to the office to get my slip and they told me that nobody was late today and to go to class and when I got to class, Mrs. H. said...blah blah blah...
boy.imp: (with me staring directly at him) daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...daddy...
wife.imp: Did he kiss you?
me: Who kissed you?
(my neck is still sore as I type this)
girl.imp: nobody kissed me.
me: did you kiss him?
girl.imp: Kiss him? No! I wanted to take a volleyball and beat him in the face with it until I smash his front teeth out! That would be soooo cool! blah blah blah blah

That's my girl!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

One of 'Those' Parents

About 10 years ago, wife.imp and I were at a restaurant where a family of five (3 boys) sat down near us. About midway through the meal the boys decided they would have much more fun if they ran through the restaurant playing hide-n-seek tag. The parents simply kept ordering drinks and enjoyed a very stimulating conversation...

Just the other night one of boy.imp's more distracting habits was on display at a local restaurant. He decided he was done early and wanted to get out of his seat and run around. Wife.Imp and I were enjoying a nice conversation at the time. I truly understood what that couple of years ago must have been thinking.

'Hey, they are not breaking anything and now we can really talk...'

However, I was not raised that way and neither are my imps. And, yes, I did let boy.imp get out of his chair whenever he wanted. He did have to stand with his nose against the wall tho'. I mean running around the house at home can be tolerated, barely and then only if we are near the end of the meal. But in a public setting..? No.

The lesson I learned before we had imps (and this was by watching relatives and/or parents of wildly out-of-control imps at grocery stores) is not to be afraid to educate and discipline (not beat but discipline) the imps in public while they are still young and learning right behavior from behavior that is not right in that situation.

So, now that the flu bug has mostly departed the Playground, the treadmill and other aparatus have been staring petulantly at me. I have been neglectful.

One of

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I went to my quarterly blood draw yesterday

and because the imp's babysitter had a dental appt for one of her boys, boy.imp went with me.
Yep, boy.imp got to watch daddy bleed into a clear plastic bag for about 15 minutes.

his comment to wife.imp last night whilst they were discussing the event was:
b.imp: I will never, never, never, ever, ever, ever...

then he fell asleep because boy.imp is apparantly suffering from flu-like symptoms. Wife.imp also fell asleep and I watched the OSU men's baskeball team get dismantled by a very impressive squad from North Carolina.

Girl.Imp finished reading the last Harry Potter book and wants to start with the beginning of the series and work her way through. She has also found the joy of books on tape!! She now prefers to sit next to the cd player upstairs and shuns tv and the computer (so now we are sans Hannah Montana and You.Tube in our house)

Does anybody know if/when Dr. Who and Torchwood's next seasons will be broadcast in the USA airwaves?

Have I mentioned that we have corrupted the imps? Because of us they know most of the NPR daily shows, including Car Talk and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

They just love 'How Things Are Made', 'Dirty Jobs', and 'Mythbusters' on the Discovery Channel and they would get to see more American Chopper if Paul, Sr. would censor his thought processes a tad more regularly.

So, Santa is bringing some Boss gifts for the imps this year (that's right girl.imp, daddy has been talking with Santa and I know what he is bringing you! hahahahahaha)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mother Nature will have her little pranks...

I have discovered something truly awful. I have learned that when I go for a massage (yes, I can easily manage 12k miles per year +, so I do go in for the occassional massage to keep things from knotting too tightly) that I have so much body hair that if I were to vacation in the Western States I might be mistaken for a miniature missing link!

Ok, that was not the awful surprise. That was an eye opener. I mean the masseuse must use so much oil that the sidewalk would work like the 'Slip'N'Slide' when I leave.

No, the awful part is that I have learned that the massage works better when I shave my belly (and/or legs/arms/back). Imagine that phrase.

'Shave my belly'

What a truly horrible thought. I mean, when I was in high school I had a little body hair but nothing but the thin trail from chest to --further south. So the other day I did shave the round ball that used to be my abs and realized how truly fat I am under all that hair.

Talk about a motivating factor. Diet, exercise...uh uh. The best therapy is stripping oneself down to the skin.

So amongst all the other little jokes: Rampant ear hair, full body hair suit, the odd eyebrow hair that must grow 10x faster than all other hair on my body, I have truly seen how husky my abs now are.

Thank you Ma Nature. I am officially in my middle-age. A slow, hairy, fat-storing age magnet.

Thank God somebody had the good sense to invent the TRIKKE!

Yes, Dennis will soon beat his belly back into submission and move into his twilight years as simply just a midget missing-link wannabe!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It is Mid-November and it is time for...

'The Annual Mowing of Our Leaves'!

Yes, here at 'The Playground' I have given up on the traditional rake. This style of leaf removal tends to eat up an entire weekend and I have to store 20+ bags of leaves in my garage for days on end until trash day.

Why mess with the old way, when one can mow the leaves down to a fine yard mulch inside of 2 hours? (less if, for instance, the leaves were not actually shin deep in the yard)

But Dennis, you'll stand out as as a radical if you persist in this new wave thinking!!

What will your neighbors think if you abandon the yard rake?

Well folks, today they saw a good idea in action and joined in. One neighbor actually started out with the rake and soon moved up to a riding mower...

Yes, it does feel good being an innovator!

I was going to post about how to muzzle the stalkarazzi (thank you Mr. Clooney for this idea) today. But I will back-pocket this idea for the moment.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It could be my grief or the fact that boy.imp is still so small

But yesterday the fam left 'The Playground' to visit the grandparents and to watch the Buckeyes completely dismantle 'that team from up north'.

However I noticed that during the game that boy.imp was resting his head on wife.imp's chest. Later during the day I cornered wife.imp in the kitchen:

me: do you realize that boy.imp's head will fit in your bra?

There is still some slight bruising to my left arm...

Today wife.imp and girl.imp were about to go shopping and I was rough-housing with boy.imp (who now likes punching things). I made the mistake of rolling onto my back as he started his swing. He adjusted his aim and ensured that there will be no more imps born into our family.

Just so that you know, girl.imp likes to wake one up, in the early morning, by breathing on one's face. I just hope her future spouse is more tolerant than I am...I do have to admit that this is a fairly effective system of waking one from a deep sleep.

Both imps like to announce when they toot. Boy.imp takes it a step further and likes to toot then reach around behind him and 'grab' the toot so he can then 'throw' it at someone...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Into Autum...

Again let me apologize for not having posted recently. The Happy Birthday wishes for boy.imp were appreciated and passed on to the lucky lad.

Since my last post, I have suffered through a severe stomach flu, the Buckeyes lost and my grandmother passed.

Not to trivialize her death, but she had been hanging on for weeks and was not anticipated to be with us for the new year. Among everything else, her cancer returned and her arthritis was severe. The funeral was Wednesday and it is believed she is much happier now.

Anyway the imps are both happy, healthy and apparantly wide awake.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's November already?

Today is boy.imp's birthday.

(thank you for those kind thoughts)

Last night wife.imp realized that his birthday was upon us and we had not bought him a gift, a cake, anything. So she left it up to me to wrap his gift (a Christmas gift substituted nicely as his birthday gift) and to make dinner reservations.

Problem 1: While in college I roomed with my brother. We exchanged gifts that were stapled into brown paper bags. Oddly, neither of us were put off by the 'wrapping'. Probably because we knew that we were just going to tear it off and throw it away and that should we try to do a nice job, it never looked nice. That and we had no $$.

I did wrap the gift and wife.imp did her best not to stand too close to the offending tape job as the imps tore it apart. Which was rather nice of her because she does a fantastic job with straight edges and clean lines. My effort covered the entire box (this time) and had edges and the cut meandered like the slow moving Big Muddy from edge to edge.

Problem2: I took us to a restaurant that the imps used to love, but now prefer Bob Evans and McDonald's instead. The main reason for going was not the food, which was typically adequate, it was the Birthday tadoo that the staff puts on; yelling, cheering, getting the rest of the patrons to join in the celebration.

However, we merely witnessed this hubbub at another table. Our server, apparently thought boy.imp too young to stress for (yes, I did inform him that we were there to celebrate a birthday). I, in return, felt that a large tip was too much to stress for...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Since Halloween...

Our neighbor purchased a Nurse outfit for his daughter. A real bargain at $2.99. However he neglected to read the clipboard part of the outfit.

suffice to say, he is no longer allowed to shop for costumes for his daughter...

I was listening to the 'Capitol Steps' while doling out the candy. I did not really hear the innuendo in the lyrics, until a couple 4-year-olds ran up with thier parents.

The imps have been running around the house challenging our authority. At various times the following can be heard throughout the Playground:

'Do you want a piece of me, Old Man' or 'Do you want a piece of me, Old Woman'

Girl.imp tried to throwdown with wife.imp on Saturday and got her butt kicked!!!

I was at work on Saturday (and missed the OSU - Wisconsin game--which sucked because it was a good win) and was kicked off of somebody's property. This is not too bad as it occassionally happens that some landowners do not appreciate the Oil and Gas business. However this guy wanted to vent at 'The Man' and Saturday I played the role. So after he vented he had this real exaggerated finger-snap, pointing thing going on as he told me where my car was (we were standing right next to it) and bid me 'good day'.

I had to admit, I just made his day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wife.Imp -- the Day After

I was back at work and wife.imp needed to take the imps to Saturday Mass and the dinner after. Two notable events occurred:

1- the fam was sitting behind an elderly couple in which the husband was more or less bald. During the middle of mass, boy.imp became fascinated by the play of the lights off of the man's pate. Before wife.imp realized, boy.imp had reached out and run his finger down the back of the man's to bottem (my guess was that boy.imp was tracing the play of the light across the shiny, bald scalp).

2- dinner was rather inexpensive, however there was a slight push for $$ donations at the dessert table (dessert being cupcakes and cookies). Wife.imp gave the poor child $10 and got 1 cupcake and 1 cookie.

wife.imp: excuse me--where's my change? (she wanted to give a smaller donation)
helper: there's no change
wife.imp: what do you mean there's no change? I want my change!
girl.imp: well, you put money in and there's your dessert
wife.imp: But that's $10 dollars! For a cupcake and a cookie!

The Church gladly accepted our family's generous donation....


At times, I have to take my bad knees and walk across somebody's farm field in order to reach an equitable arrangement (re: I stay employed and the people I work for have more work to do. This is a good arrangement).

SOOoooo, whilst we were traipsing over 20 acres of hills and forest, I dropped my cell phone. My new(ish) cell phone that is what keeps me connected to the world (just two weeks ago girl.imp read me 30 minutes of Harry Potter whilst I was driving home).

I discovered this loss approx. 30 minutes after leaving in my car to go home, and after 30 minutes back and 30 more minutes of trekking through fields, jumping creeks and staggering through brambles in a forest--I FOUND IT!!

Life is good!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sleepover Aftermath

So, in the beginning the parents were gabbing with wife.imp and myself when the inevitable question cropped up:

What time do you want us to come by and pick up our kids?
me: oh, we're planning on a big breakfast; bacon, eggs and pancakes--say between 10a.m. and noon?

Parents: Really?
(sound of running feet and slamming door...)

Later (after wife.imp and boy.imp went to bed) around 11:30 p.m., girl.imp and friends appeared at the tops of the steps in their shirts and panties only. I was also informed that one of the sleeping bags had been doused with lemonade...

I would like to say that that would have reminding me of the coed days back when I was in college, except that I commuted or lived off-campus and shared an apartment with my brother and mother (she was commuting and getting straight A's). However I could not make that wish because something like that did not happen. Not even once. Not even close to once.

Even later, around 12:30a.m. girl.imp appeared at the top of the steps in her panties only...(no wishing for past memories here).

Around 1 a.m. the young ladies (totally dressed) talked themselves into believing that someone would break in through the windows and decided that they wanted to try and cram everyone into one twin bed.

By 1:30 1\2 were in the bed and 1\2 were on the floor.
By 1:45 a few wanted to go home because they could not get comfortable.
By 1:50 I moved three into boy.imp's bed and the remainder stayed in girl.imp's bed.
By 2:00 girl.imp and one of her friends were working their way (each) through one of the Harry Potter books
By 2:15, I was wondering if I could sleep in one of the cars in the driveway.
By 2:30 the house was suddenly quiet. I slept on the futon.

How many of you would like to believe the imps slept in late??

Nope, after a 5-hour nap they were up and fully-recharged by 7:30.

I decided that I would go to work as soon as I could get wife.imp up...

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's a Sleepover Friday Night! we are celebrating girl.imp's 8th birthday. She has several of her classmates over for the night.

I am thinking about brewing our 2nd pot of coffee right now...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sorry about your breakfasts...

I was on my way home last night and had stopped at one of the various 'local' truckstops for a good pee. While enjoying the moment the sound that brings the odor arrived first at my ears then my nose.


With my eyes watering, I stumbled to the sink then out the door wondering just what one has to eat to chase someone from a restroom the comfortably stands/seats at least 12 people..??


I also got a phone call:
girl.imp: daddy? did you do the 20 pushups that I asked you to do
(in the background wife.imp is shouting: 'don't bother him with that, tell daddy what you told me)


girl.imp: I, uh, I told mommy that iwasmakingoutwiththe
me: what? making out with who?
(was g.imp necking with the boys at school already? I don't have my 'Cans O'Whup Ass' ready!! Geez Louise!!)
g.imp: ItoldmommythatIwasmakingoutwiththespoon
me: The spoon? That's all? ---I mean why would you tell mommy...What does making out with the spoon mean?
g.imp: It means I was kissing the spoon.
me: Kissing the spoon? Oh, well then I would prefer you told mommy that you kissed the spoon.

Daddy has spoken! (and it was a job well done if I say so myself!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I pulled away from the driveway with both imps screaming...

...and I did not feel the slightest bit guilty (sorry honey). I was not feeling the slightest bit sorry because I was heading to a 'parent mandatory' school function (on an empty stomach--but to be fair I started dinner a tad too late).

I was running a little late because wife.imp got caught in traffic and was delayed (but no phone call to let me in on the new timing--I know, I know. If the situation was reversed wife.imp would have read me the riot act).

So why were the imps crying? Because I thought they would have to come with me and instead of a gourmet salmon meal, I was taking them to McDonalds and as we walked out the front door, wife.imp pulled up...

...and I left her standing there in the driveway with both imps screaming and wondering if the neighbors were going to call Children Services...

Monday, October 15, 2007

I didn't do it, but still caught hell from its happening...

Yesterday the imps went to visit the neighbors. While there, boy.imp does what every boy eventually will do when around dogs. He stepped in the poo and then ran around not noticing the smell.

When he came home, he ran around inside (shoeless) and when we were going outside later I noticed a ripe smell and pinpointed his shoe. So we went outside and I swiped at the offending material with a stick and a paper towel and figured that he'd wear the rest off as he ran around outside.

So we spent about 45 minutes outside with boy.imp running around and girl.imp and I tossing ball (baseball--a really really soft, rubbery baseball). And after a bit the inevitible missed catch, ball bounces off of nose/eye/forehead event occurred and we rushed inside to put ice on the booboo and wait to see how large the black eye would be.

No black eye.

My comment to girl.imp: So what was it that we learned today?
g.imp: keep the ball keep the glove between my face and the ball.
me: exactly!

What should have been the lesson learned?

Clean the poo off of the shoe before wife.imp finds out and yells at you!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I forgot the 'Code'

at a reading of the humorist David Sedaris, I forgot the 'Code' and embarrassed wife.imp. Yes, this is the 'Code' that is hardwired into women's DNA and so baffles us knuckle-draggers.

This is the 'Code' that women use during arguments that grants them perfect recall of the tiniest details of some ancient transgression that, at the time, barely blipped the radar but during the heat of the moment--total victory.

This is the 'Code' that allows complex and lengthy discussions to occur between women with the twitch of an eyebrow, a look, pursed lips or the way a woman curls her hair around her fingers.

wife.imp noticed a women wearing a mini-skirt and breathed the following comment into my ear:
You know, it's true what they say that a woman should not wear a mini-skirt past 40.
me (loudly): Oh, I don't know
wife.imp: no it's true
me (loudly): I mean look at Teri Hatcher. She's over 40 and can wear a mini-skirt

Wife.imp put several more inches of empty space between us at this comment. I was later to learn that there was a women who appeared to be over the age of 40 who was wearing a mini-skirt AND standing right next to us...

I did manage, however, to keep my mouth firmly shut as a woman in fishnet stockings in the row behind us managed to inform all present how proud she was that she could afford MEMBERSHIP to the local museum (so can about anyone living in our city) and then she spent 30 minutes going over the plot (badly recalling its high points) of the latest episode of 'The Office'.
I have to admit that I actually watched that episode and if it were anything like how she described the action, I would never watch another episode. Happily I can admit that the show was much, much better than her description (and I am not really a fan).

boy.imp: Mommy, am I Filipino?
wife.imp: yes, you are.
boy.imp: is Daddy brown?
wife.imp: no, daddy is not brown.
boy.imp: Then he's not my daddy...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wife.Imp called it a teaching moment...

Last week girl.imp brought home a permission slip for a field trip to the local zoo ( -- I really recommend the flying foxes [RE: really really big bats from the Philippines]) and I filled out the forms and sent in the money, and apparently the money necessary to be a volunteer for the trip.

I was working Tuesday when wife.imp calls me and asks what my plans for Wednesday were (my work is fluid as far as the schedule goes and sometimes I have work weeks in advance sometimes my plans change while going to work). Nothing was planned for Wednesday.

wife.imp: Oh, good! You just volunteered to chaperone g.imp's field trip tomorrow!
me: (I cannot repeat what I said)
w.imp: well, you apparently filled out the permission slip and paid to be a volunteer.
me: (realizing that extra blank did look a little funny) I did?
w.imp: and guess what I got in g.imp's school folder today? "Dear Mrs. Imp. Thank you for volunteering blah blah blah.."
me: (I cannot repeat what I said)
w.imp: I thought you did not mean to do this. THIS is a teaching moment and I got to emphasize to g.imp that you really should read everything before you sign it...

Sooooo, at the zoo today, I get girl.imp and 3 others young ladies in my group.
I texted my concerns to wife.imp:

me: ...there are 4 girls in my group. What happens if I have to visit the WC?
w.imp: well, you take dem in there with you!
(imagine lots of chuckling and laughing here!)
me: do you know that name of a good public defender?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I found a handfull of these badboys this a.m. on the dining room table and since wife.imp was busy cooking, I decided to hang as many of them off of her clothing as I could, until she either told me to stop or I ran out of clothespins.
20 minutes later I decided to pluck them off of her clothing...and she informed me that she knew what I had done but decided not to say anything.
In other news, I have to admit that sometimes girl.imp does not desire to get up in the a.m. to go to school. In fact, she will sleep as late as possible and is sometimes willing to show up to school late. As a younger version of myself, I can remember tossing a pot full of ice water on my brother to wake him up. I have poured water on girl.imps head and flicked cold water on her back with my fingers but am finding that ice cubes down her underpants...that tends to get results!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Boy.Imp Speakes

wife.imp: You need to eat all your food if you want to grow up to be a big boy!
boy.imp: Mommy, am I a big boy now?
wife.imp: Not yet! You are still my little boy!
boy.imp: Then it's hasn't really worked yet has it?

Monday, October 01, 2007

So we were eating out of 'The Bucket' for dinner last night...

Wife.Imp: Where's the cole slaw? Why don't we have any cole slaw?
Me: I got mac'n'cheese instead?
Wife.Imp: Why would you do that? We always get cole slaw! We get cole slaw even before we get--we get that! (pointing at the mac'n'cheese)
Me: (trying to salvage any dignity) Imps, this is where your mom should show that she is thankful to have a big dinner. (It didn't work).
Wife.Imp: (grumbling - giving me my last chance) Do we have any coke?
(no you criminals--the soda pop)
Me: Nope, no coke...we have water..?

picture from:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Boy.Imp is going to be soooo disappointed this year

Before we get to that, I arrived home around 11:45pm from work last night and found boy.imp asleep on the couch cushions on the floor of the family room while wife.imp cruised the internet. What has been the usual sleeping arrangement (both imps sharing girl.imp's bed) appears to have come to a crashing halt last night when girl.imp kicked b.imp out of her room and slammed the door shut.

But it worked out in the end as both imps were asleep, I went and tucked b.imp into g.imp's bed!
hahahaha--and woke up this a.m. with him squeezed inbetween myself and wife.imp. This arrangement is b.imp's preferred as he gets the middle and I end up 1/2 on and 3/4 off the edge of the mattress.
So I am driving b.imp to the sitter's this a.m. and he starts the following conversation:
b.imp: Daddy, guess what? While mommy was talking with Ate Ayi, she took my shirt off and she took my pants off and my underwear...
me: mmmhmmmm
b.imp: and then she almost put me in the shower with my socks on!!
me: wha? hahahaha
b.imp: ok, be we should not laugh at her anymore. She'll get grumpy again...

Back to Christmas Gifts that are not to be:
Grandma took one look at this idea for a Christmas gift for boy.imp and harshed on my ongoing high:

So instead of boy.imp getting this fabulous Engine from, I'll have to settle for getting him a Red Rider BB gun!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Rivalry is Not Dead!

For several years now, I have been a proponent of supporting the 'team up North' until the week of 'The Game'. At which time, recently, I have taken a great deal of satisfaction in Buckeye wins.

But watching the 'boys in blue' lose in November is no longer good enough. Not when they are responsible for girl.imp's having to seek therapy while still in pre-school!

Yep, the 'Team with the Ugly Hats' is going to pay for my baby's bi-weekly, hour-long sessions!

How did this happen? Much like anything else, it all started so innocently:

g.imp: I'm going to have to root for Michigan!
me: WTF??
g.imp: yeah, I have to root for Michigan because their team's colors are the same colors for my school.
me: No, no, nononononono! You don't HAVE to root for them...
g.imp: Yes, I do. We have the same colors.
me: Well, you better not let your grandfather or uncles here you say that. Otherwise they'll tell me that I have to take you out to the backwoods somewhere and leave you...

Approx 30 seconds later the wailing started and g.imp collapsed into a sobbing heap and refused to move.

And, yes, I blame Michigan!

Friday, September 21, 2007

We think that we finally have a stable internet connection here at the Playground

But it took a really bad day to get something this good.

Yesterday was a definite Thonday (a Thursday that masquerades as a Monday) for us. It started when we awoke to discover that we had overslept. Has anyone tried to scare their imp into getting ready for school faster?

"Honey, wake up! We're late for school! We HAVE to leave in 5 minutes"

and find yourself 15 minutes later saying:

"Don't worry about brushing your teeth and tie your shoes when you get down the stairs! Geesh! I'll have to miss every red light (something that Karma does not even consider allowing to happen) if we even have a chance to beat the bell. Come on! Just wear the one shoe and hop through the grass to the car!"

But I have found the light, it only costs $$:

"Honey, wake up! We're late for school. If you hurry we can stop for chocolate milk and doughnuts."

Later wife.imp calls and tells me New Babysitter is not home so she is bringing boy.imp home so that I can take him back. She arrives home at the same time my uncle arrives to discuss work issues. So I pack everyone up, minus wife.imp, and go back to NB's house. Nobody home.

I find out later she had a previous apptmnt (that she had told us about).

Then the cable/internet folks run past the scheduled morning appt. In fact, they were so late that I had to push the repair woman out the door (and it was hard because she was making great progress on rewiring the cables in the house) to go get girl.imp from school.

That effectively kept me from doing practically everything I had planned. Except for getting new books on tape for the car.

Today was a day for phone calls, phone calls and more phone calls.

Which reminds me, I might have won (even though I have not entered any contests for years) a new Caddilac Escalade! I am waiting for them to call me again so that I can tell them the Caddy is not for me and that I would like an 8-year-old Toyota Corolla.

Remind me to talk, at some time, about wife.imps Pythagorean Theorem for 'Optimal Parking at Work'

Monday, September 17, 2007

Around 'The Playground'

Are your imps tired? Do they barely manage to drag themselves from the bus to the door after a long day of school? Are they finding it hard to bring the spark of life back to the afternoon's glazed-eyed, 1,000-yard stare?

Well Grandma.imp has the solution for you! Yes, this will cure the early fall blues, put the spring back in the imps' steps and is guaranteed to raise thier GPA's by 20 points!

What is this miracle cure? This magical suppliment that will put the Ying back in their Yang?
In other news:
We have been trying to get boy.imp to stop wiping his face (tonight he was eating spaghetti) on his shirt front.

Use your napkin! I mean, have you been raised in a barn?
b.imp: what's a raisen?

I arrived home tonight after a long day of, necessary but, drudgery work and wife.imp asks me to finish cutting the French Loaf that she was going to use to make Garlic Bread.

and why was I being asked to slice bread?

because she pulled a muscle in her left arm while slicing the self-same loaf!

My cousin turns 21 soon. She is in (what will be soon called a 'serious' relationship). However she is taking things slow because she has no intrest in producing offspring:

Cousin: I aint going to have no baby coming out of my vagina...
me: well, that narrows the options a bit...I mean that is how they get in, in the first place...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Home Improvements...

So this has been my summer and going into the projected fall we have more ambitious projects:

This is the 5th time painting the master bath in the past 4 years...

I would turn around and show you the view of the door, but I have to buy and install the door trim still...

Boy.Imp's room done in blue. (hint: tilt your head to the left)

An 'Across the Room' view of boy.imp's new digs...

Girl.Imp's room done in purple (my favorite room in the house right now. I really did a good job on the paint mix and application!)

There used to be a 1" wide crack in the paint running from floor to ceiling behind girl.imp's head. This room and the kitchen area used to be one room but when it was sectioned off, the contractor (ahem, father of my neighbor) did not tape off, nor mud the new wall prior to applying the paint.

Friday, September 07, 2007

So, how is your day going? - redux

It seems yesterday was not one of those days where I was to be 'on schedule'.

After picking girl.imp up late from school, and there is nothing more heartwrenching than watching your child walking across the deserted parking lot (I was 18 minutes late, and I would like to mention that every other day that I have picked g.imp up from school that parents wandered the parking lot for almost 20-30 minutes. Large groups, small groups but still groups and they seemed in no hurry to leave. The one day I'm late and tumbleweeds and an eerie whistle greet me when I arrive).

So anyway g.imp is walking from the school, the teacher, Mr. Sharpe, is behind her telling me that I am only a couple minutes late and that they just decided to go indoors--so no harm no foul. Apparantly he had not cleared this strategy with g.imp who began wailing, buckets of tears and snot washing from her face...

But honey, Mr. Sharpe said everything was ok!

Later I decided that wife.imp was not going to make it home before parent-teacher open house so I packed up the imps and went to Max and Erma's. Its one great attraction was that it is very near g.imp's school. And they have terrific chocolate chip cookies.

The downside? Max and Erma's do not recognize any schedule. Slow food preparation would be a kind description...but they were strategically located!

And were as slow as I remembered. We ordered kids meals: corn dog and mac'n'cheese and a sandwich, Roast Beef with Brie. It took over 20 minutes to prepare these dishes. 20 minutes for cheesy noodles to be scooped from a pot and for a breaded hot dog on a stick to be microwaved. I dare not guess where the found my roast beef. I think they ordered out.

Result was we left the restaurant with about 3 minutes to make the start of the school event (for which student attendence is discouraged). And after suffering through the staff introductions and short speeches, I was beginning to wish parent attendence was optional. One of the reasons I no longer work for the Fourth Estate is that covering organizational meetings, even those in which we were fed, was B-O-R-I-N-G!

One just cannot make them jazzy or interesting. This was no exception.

So we are shuffled to the individual classrooms. G.imp's room had the distinction of being voted the warmest room in the school and it showed. Cool air could only be acheived in that room if someone were to make an impertinent pass at one of the mothers. After about 10 minutes, I was considering the possibilities and this was around 8 p.m. I cannot begin to imagine how warm it is during the day when the temps average 95+F.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So, how is your day going?

Ours started off around 1 a.m. when I realized that we had ignored dishes for 11/2 days and that we probably ought to run the dishwasher. That being done, I went to bed and woke up around 5:30a.m. with the pressing need to spend time on the porceline throne, aaaaand after 10 minutes of staring at the empty towel rack (deciding it was time to do laundry today) I went back to bed.

Only to have my body bloat up again around 6:15. Same result.

Around 8a.m., wife.imp woke me up and informed me that today was a school day. I rushed to wake up girl.imp and get her started dressing, etc...I specifically told her how late we were to get her in panic mode (never happens and did not happen again today), then heeded my screaming bowels and spent a productive 10 minutes or so in the restroom.

On exiting I slipped on my flip-flops (God's gift for footwear) and found girl.imp sitting down to the table with a bowl of cereal and todays comics.

UMMMM, LATE?? We do NOT have time to eat.

I should have told her that we would be stopping for donuts and chocolate milk enroute because we suddenly had time for a full-fledged meltdown.

and tonight is open house when the parents get to meet the teachers. We should probably make the effort to arrive a little early...

Then we get home and I rush boy.imp through his breakfast (which meant squashing the slice of bananna bread flat and eating bananna pie--his treat for me) and running to the hardware store to return some items for other items. I only realized I left the returns in the car and that I would have to go back for them when our turn to move to the front of the Returns line came up.

After getting the new items boy.imp and I returned home to install (a 5-minute job at best) and I spent the next 30 minutes trying to fit a floor register into the whole in the bathroom floor (yes it was the correct size). I realized there is an aluminum sheathe in the floor's hole and it was bent, causing my problem. So I shifted my position, hunkering down to beat this problem into submission, when I lacerated one of my toes on a phantom object on the floor. Did not find the source and still don't know how I managed this trick but now I had a broken floor register (it now fits in the floor and looks pretty, as long as it does not need to be moved) and blood all over the floor.

Boy.imp just looked at my face and my foot and left the room closing the door after him. Smart boy.

Soooo, it is just past lunch time and I am looking for the rum and coke. Wanna come over for a glass or three?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ok We're Back

and I have to admit that it helps keep peace in the family that when you visit the abode of a vacationing relative and pull a Fudgecicle from the freezer that one does not leave it sitting, forgotten and uneaten and slowly melting, on the dining room table.

It also helps to have other sibs visit said abode before the parents get back so that the mess can be discovered and cleaned before the homeowners can raise holy hell!

Thanks sis!

Well, it is finally here! The much 'anticipated' 20 year high school reunion for the Class of 1987 from good 'ole JGHS!

So we sent in our reunion fee and reserved an hotel room and then we get the following in the mail:

: "I wish to inform you that the 20 Year Reunion scheduled for ... at Salt Fork State Park has been cancelled (because all you bleeping hicks claimed you could not afford the fee, but if y'all just didn't purchase those 4 extra thick crust pies with douple pepperoni you'd've had plenty of cash available for the reunion - sorry, I added this part in parenthesis) due to lack of participation.

I'm sure there are a variety of reasons (the whole damn lot of ya' would rather be eating bologna and drinking Pabst while taking turns with the Magic Microphone (and its 1,000 songs) and sharing time on the broken foosball table than try anything that might further remove you from the keggers you enjoyed on the farm 20 years ago! - sorry, my thoughts again) that people cannot attend, but because there are so few that have responded, I have no choice but to cancel at this time...":

So, anyway we'll have to see how far we get on the 25th reunion...

Friday, August 31, 2007

True Stories from the Playground

True Story!...and yes I actually lived through this.

By the way, have you noticed that whenever anyone wants you to really listen to/believe what you are about to say, they always preface the statement with 'true story'?

When shaving the pits...yes, among other areas, I periodically strip all hair from the under portion of my upper arms. I usually use a top-o'-the-line razor for this and try to work slowly. But last Wednesday I was in a hurry and had only a disposable BIC.

Why do I shave the pits? Because I tend to sweat in the heat and when I sweat, if I am in full bloom of armpit hair, let's say that I tend to take lonnng hot showers. But if I shave, things don't get so desperate.

So anyway, I was in a rush to get out the door and decided it was time to BIC the pits. I dug through the bathroom mirror looking for the shaving cream. Yes, I use a regular razor on the facial bristles but I only use water with the razor for this.

I found that if one tilts the razor accidentally, one can leave a fairly deep/long cut. Then applying deoderant becomes something of an excercise in the double-dare philosophy. Today was the first day since, that I dared apply the scented white stick.

Boy.Imp decided that he was bored on Thursday so he woke me from an unplanned afternoon nap with the following:

b.imp: -pulling up my shirt while straddling my hips- Daddy you're the toilet!
me: what?
b.imp: You're the toilet and I'm going to pee on your belly.
me: you're what?
b.imp: -grabbing his testicles through his pants and waving his hips back and forth- sssssssssss
me: oh thank God.
b.imp: -leaning over and pressing his hand on my right eye- ok, I'm flushing the toilet now

Last Sunday the fam and I went to brunch at Easton Town Center (very nice!) and then on the way home we pull out into the Main Exit lane when a city cop passes my and pulls to a halt behind the pick-up truck that I was following.

Nothing bad about that. Maybe he didn't signal when he turned? About this time I noticed there were about 3-4 people in the truck and they were moving around more than one would expect passengers in a car to move.

Then I noticed the cops hand resting on the door frame as he levered himself out of the car. His hand was full of a 9 mm pistol. The pistol was pointed directly at the driver's window (the pick-up truck driver's window).

The cop proceeded out of his car and toward the pick-up truck, hands clenched around the butt of his pistol and crouched with a slow slide-step.

I pulled a fast U-Turn and passed two mall security vehicles on my way toward the rear exit of the mall complex.

By the way, Welcome Back Diana!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Around the Playground

So much has been going on that would normally be quite short in posting. However, since my last post the following has occurred:

I painted 5 interior doors. Yes, all of our upstairs bedroom and closet doors were painted with different shades of brown and/or white (so was the trim but I recently repainted that as well).

Why? Why Dennis, would you paint wood? Because the futhermucking moron who owned this house prior to our purchasing it, painted everything wood in the house. And he used the cheapest paint he could find (that and he slapped a border on the walls of every room, including the mirrors in the bathroom!)

So, my past few weeks included, sponge painting the imps bedrooms (hers purple and his blue). Painting the doors and door frames/trim and then re-painting (for the 4th time in 5 years) the upstairs bathroom.

....and along with all this the recent spate of storms brought some branches down on our roof and I now need some exterior repairs. Although I am waiting on the insurance company's estimate before I get into that.

Moving on, I am about to gut and refinish the downstairs bathroom (I'd light a match and watch it burn except that the rest of the house might be affected) and laundry room, recarpet the downstairs, repaint the downstairs and then...we turn our attention to the kitchen.

Have I mentioned that we turned the dining room into our construction overflow area for the upstairs work and that the family room is the construction storage area for all downstairs projects?

...and then my interenet at home crashed and I cannot get it back because the ethernet connection in my computer is not working right (or is simply just not working). SOOOO

Until that is sorted I will be a sporadic poster. But I am able to sneak a peak every other day or so.

Repsonses to the responses from my last post:

Betty: Spread 'em? (I see too many possibilities and have such a gutter-level imagination that I'll just stop here)

Tony: my skin is crawling with the image of that man in those tiny seats

Hannah: actually there were no rubber gloves involved, however with Betty in charge, I'd be a tad worried... :)

CC: Never joke with anyone carrying a badge. If they have a badge and a gun, do not even make eye contact. However if they are carrying a badge and a boom-box, break out the $1's

Rebecca: Here's hoping

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Fright Home...

Ok, so I drove with my brother to help him move into his new aparment in Illinois last Saturday and then on Sunday I was to fly (ok, I did end up flying) home on American Airlines.

I arrived at O'hare at 7:30 a.m. for my 8:50 a.m. flight and checked the departure board. One flight had been cancelled. Care to guess? I'll let you have three tries and the first 2 do not even count!!

Yep. I had in my hand my pre-printed, now useless, electronic boarding pass. This meant I now had to rub shoulders with the masses and wind my way slowly to the check-in counter. Thirty minutes later I was informed I was now booked on United Airlines 9:15 flight, but not really because what they were actually giving me was a coupon for the ticket for said flight. Now hustle back to terminal 1 to get in their Check-In line.

Aaaaand 20 minutes later I am being told that AA did not actually book me on the flight and I might not be leaving Chicago for a while. Seeing my 'Now-I-Know-Why-They-Blow-Up-Airports' look, the counter tech decided he might want to give it the 'Ole College Try' and see if he could effect a positive resolution.

Which he did! Thank you United!

So, as I wended my way through the security line (which was being outpaced by the proverbial snail) I decided to change my shoes for my flip-flops. I would like to say that I am almost 40 and this is the first year (at age 39) in which I have ever owned flip-flops. I have to admit I was missing out.

Then the 'Man' decided that he would split the security check line and sent my half to the far end of the terminal where they opened a new check point. Upon arriving at the front of the line (some 15 minutes before boarding was to commence for my flight) I had the following interaction with the security staff:

Security Flunky: ID and boarding pass.
(glancing from me to the documents and offering a brief frown)
Thank you. You have been selected for Special Inspection.

I realize that they do have to do this and had been through it once before on a flight to Swizterland, but I was in kind of a hurry and therefore was a bit slow on deciding how I should react. Should I:
a: jump up and down clapping and calling out 'Yea me!'
b: do the 'One-armed, athletic, fist pump' and calling out 'Boo-yah!'
c: shrug my shoulders and wait for further instructions.

I chose poorly. I shrugged my shoulders and stood there quietly.

SF: Did you hear me?
(now glaring at me)

Again there were myriads of choices available. I chose to be annoyingly polite.

me: (with my widest, brightest smile) Yes. I have been selected for Special Inspection.
SF: Follow me!
(now glaring and a bit red in the face)

Fortunately everyone else seemed to be a little harried and the full-body probe never occurred.

Here's how we were called for boarding:

Section 1 may now board. Section 2 may now board...Section 3...Section 4 may now board.


Every airline I have ever flown called us by row numbers after boarding 1st and business class passengers! My boarding pass had nothing on it about sections and after staring around at the empty Waiting Area, I had to assume it was the only boarding pass devoid of a section number.

I really wanted to go up to the uniformed flunky and demand to be shown what section it was in which I had been seated, but then I might have been selected for Special Inspection!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I Probably Need a Kitchen Safety Course...

I decided to eat the leftover pizza on Saturday and after heating the pie in the oven I pulled the tray out and shook the pizza off of the pan onto my plate. I must've shook too hard because one of the slices skipped off of the plate onto the stove top. I was standing at an angle (with my left hand much farther from the stove than my right, which was holding the pan with a hot pad). So I casually passed the pan into my left hand as my brain screamed, "Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson!"

Needless to say the pain hit within a few heartbeats.

In other news, wife.imp found a welt on boy.imps cheek. She discovered that he and girl.imp had been playing Tug-of-War with a broken, cloth head band and he got popped in the face just below his left eye.

wife.imp: b.imp! what's that on your face?
b.imp: is it bleeding?
w.imp: No.
b.imp: It's ok. It's just a booboo
w.imp: does it hurt?
b.imp: don't worry mommy. I won!

That's my boy!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shocking Words On The Playground...

...and they were not uttered by boy.imp or girl.imp!

My younger sisters confided in my brother and myself tonight that our mother told the funniest joke a few years back. Now mom has a wonderful sense of humor, however there are times when she feels the need to remind us how twisted she can be:

Mom (pulling up shirt and pointing to her belly): Hey, do you want to see my mouse tattoo?
sisters: what?
mom: Do you want to see my mouse tattoo?
sisters: mouse tattoo? we don't see any mouse tattoo!
mom: (dropping her shirt) You don't? Oh. Then I guess my pussy ate it!

After recovering from this, I, briefly, ruminated on how my social skills seem to have stalled at around age 7. Because, I could have told a similar joke and it would have been:
a) Wrong Audience
b) Wrong Subject Matter
c) Wrong Social Setting

Example: Back when I was a Boy Scout, I was with a group of scouts camping in Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico (in mixed company) and we were discussing the cons of Break Dancing. Many, many funny comments were made by both sexes and we were all relaxed and feeling pretty chummy when I observed:

'Yeah, well you definately would not want to do the 'Worm' while going down hill with a hard-on! Ha! Ha! Ha!....'

'What? Nobody gets it? The Worm! Downhill! With a--Where's everybody going? Come on! That was funny! The Worm! Downhill!'

Anyway, perhaps I'll go get me a mouse tattoo...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Things that Make Me Queasy

The imps and I were walking from the car to the hardware store, when girl.imp had to ask about 'life changes.' Of course, we were walking within earshot of others.

g.imp: (pulling on her shirt) daddy? Am I growing boobies?
me: uh, no.
(Of course, this is the type of anti-testosterone induced conversation that I really need to get me in the mood for a trip into the hardware store)
g.imp: oh. Mommy thinks I'm growing boobies.
g.imp: daddy? when you were a boy, uh, I mean when you were younger and were about to be a teenager, did your ping-ping bleed.
me: uh, no.
(Of course you know what I'm thinking here, don't you? I'm thinking I just can't catch a break, where is wife.imp when you really, really need her to be around? I also had the remaining conversation in my head:
me: boys don't have that problem
g.imp: what problem is that?
me: boys don't have to worry about all that leaking. It's much more fun being a boy.
g.imp: what leaking
me: well girls are always leaking some kind of fluid from thier bodies--from their eyes, nose, mouth and other areas.
g.imp: like bleeding from their ping-pings?
me: yep that's why God gave y'all pantie shields and boobie shields.
g.imp: my boobies are going to leak?
me: yep.
g.imp: why?
me: I don't know. My boobies don't leak. Go ask your mother.)

So we're eating spaghetti for dinner and b.imp decides to sit next to me on the couch (our dining table is currently fix-it central for all the home improvement projects I have ongoing ) and decides he wants to rest his legs across my lap. unfortunately that is where my plate of boiled noodles in red sauce was currently sitting.

I do need to state here-and-now that if anyone touches my food, I am likely not to finish it. I sometimes think there is a therapist out there whom is pining away, trying to find the money to send his/her kid(s) to an Ivy League university. I sometimes feel guilty that I am hoarding my quirky behaviour and not doing more to help the younger generation realize their collegiate dreams.

So why am I so adverse to resuming feeding upon food someone else samples?

Let's go back to my formative school years:

During my youthful days as an outsider in a small town (ok it's almost 30 years later and we are still outsiders) I used to get offers from 'acquaintances' to finish food (sloppy joe sandwiches or hamburgers that did not pass the 'sniff test' or soda pops). I learned early that these folks were not passing on these tasty treats out of kindness. No, they were also passing on snacks that had the added bonus of being coated with thier own, personal seasoning (re: spit, boogers etc...). So, in order to end the standoff (everyone nearby was all smiles and urging me to take the proffered snacks), I would take the offering and walk to the nearest trash bin and dump it.

Enough of the flashback.

Pulling boy.imp's foot out of my dinner, I decided I was no longer hungry.

me: yuck! I don't think I can eat anymore.
w.imp: It was just his ankle! You big wimp!
me: no, it was his foot -- his whole foot.
w.imp: come on, it was not that bad!
(her expression was also blatantly chastising me: 'I cannot believe you are about to waste all that food! It's not like he stood on the middle of your plate! Just sack it up and eat!!)
me: (after taking a bite) All I can taste is foot...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why Should You Visit the Philippines?

I often tell people that visiting the Philippines should be on their 'Things To Do Before I Die' list.

The following are perfect examples of what I have been trying, for years, to describe:

Bohol Island Paradise:

Sunrise on the Beach -- Jealous Much?

How about Now? The ripples are dolphins feeding in the morming -- There are dolphins me!

Even I enjoyed the Sea view! Bohol! It only gets better!

How can Bohol get better?

Come view the Chocolate Hills!:

How about the view from the Bee Farm/Bed'N'Breakfast?:

If the view does not convince you, then let me tell you about the food:

Bohol Bee Farm - Organic Feast...Ok, this second (buffet) pic was not on Bohol, but mmmm....

Beaches and Sea Views not your bag? How about a river trip through a tropical jungle?

This is an actual floating restaurant -- He sings the songs!

And I do have to admit that if the Imps-In-Laws did not do all the planning for these activities, we would have never been able to see/experience these places.

In case we forgot to say it then:

Thank You!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Imps Speak

During Mass girl.imp decides to pull boy.imp onto her lap as mid-ceremony entertainment and before wife.imp or myself can do anything (with b.imp laying across her lap face-up) g.imp leans down into his face and:


We are sitting down to dinner at a restaurant and b.imp makes the following request:

Come on and start this party, let's all have some Bicardi!

vacation photos 2007, Philippines:

JollyBee and Imps

Imps at a birthday party

Imps enjoying the Chocolate Hills

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Same 'Ole Saturday at the Playground

So Thursday evening I got fed up with our current lack of customer service with our cell service and around 4a.m. pulled up the company's most recent Annual Report from the internet. I then got the names for the CEO and all the listed directors and surfed the net again for an appropriate email format...Friday around 9:30a.m. the CEO emails me to inform me that he was sorry to hear about our sitch and he asked one of his team to contact me...then I hear nothing the rest of the day (we'll revisit this statement in a minute).

Later Friday I take the imps to dad's house (1hr drive). We went because wife.imp's car is slowly falling apart and the only mechanic we trust lives in the same town as my dad. Wife.Imp is supposed to meet us for a late dinner out with my mom and dad. Here is a sample of conversation as we drive around looking for a restaurant that was not SRO:

me: hello? hello? Can you hear me?
w.imp: Hel...I'm almost to...
me: Hello? what was that? Hello? hellohellohello?
w.imp: I can't her...hello? I'm at...
me: Hello? Hello? There you are. Listen we're going to Maple Road in Zanesville. There's a Chinese Rest...Hello? Hello? hellohellohello? Can you here me? Hello?

Needless to say, my cell phone was also on its last legs. Since the designated company rep had not yet contacted me. And would you not expect that if the CEO of a company tapped you on the shoulder and asked you to contact a customer that you might make an effort to make any contact (phone, fax, email) by end of business that same day?

So Saturday we got up and went to a competitor's store and ported our numbers to new phones/new service. (By the way, at around 9:40p.m. tonight, the person tasked by the CEO to contact me about my concerns sent me an email, asking me to call the company on Monday)

It was here that the imps decided that they needed more of our attention. When I say imps, I really mean girl.imp. She has been having trouble sleeping in since returning home from her trip and woke up around 5 a.m. This means that she is getting quite tired by mid-morning and that means she starts pushing all sorts of boundaries. Boundaries that I did not think I'd have to worry about until she was old enough to star on 'Girls Gone Wild'.

How bad can a 7-year-old girl get in public, one might ask? Can g.imp really make the GGW girls seem tame? I mean geez, Dennis, little girls often flip up their skirts and shirts in public. At their age, that behavior is not so bad. Hell, it's still cute. Annoying for the parents but still cute.

Ahhhh, but if it were only that simple. You see, g.imp understands that this behavior is not to be considered shocking--yet. So she found a way to 'up the ante'.

Right after we promised our next child to the new cellular service provider in compensation for to obscenely complicated and glizty cell phones, I put down the pen I had been using to sign imaginary child number 3 away with and and looked at g.imp.

Aaaaaand found she had pulled down the collar of her shirt and had successfully inserted her left nipple (no, she has not developed in this area just yet) into her mouth and was sucking on it.

Her comment as my jaw hit the edge of the table then the floor?
"hmmmm, it doesn't taste like anything"

My first thoughts Pre-Nipple tasting comment:
"What the F? Why the hell are you..."

My first thoughts Post-Nipple tasting comment:
"Well duh! It's not the taste that's important..."

I did manage not to verbalize anything, but 'Daddy of the Year' awards probably won't be hanging on my office walls anytime soon...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Close Your Eyes and Imagine the Sights and Sounds of a High-Pressure Hose...

I have a pressure washer that puts out something like 1400 psi. I can alternately use it to clean the siding on our house, wash the cars, strip paint from the deck and/or said cars (I have not harmed the paint on the cars yet, but I know I could if I wanted to) and carve my name in the asphalt on the driveway.

I mention this because now the boy.imp is potty trained, I have been wondering how his diapers actually survived. I swear with the pressure this imp generates while peeing, b.imp could actually be used as a replacement for the pressure washer for all the above said tasks. Watching him pee (yes, he does sometimes need some parental oversite as I do not wish to mop the bathroom floor on a daily basis), I would be willing to put money down on how fast he could use the pee stream to bore a hole through the porcelain bowl.

Also, on this whole potty training issue, how can a three-year old boy and a seven-year old girl produce such large poopbergs. Even the imp-laws commented on the oversized waste mounds. I mean cows would turn their heads away in shame upon glimpsing these massive mounds of fly buffets. I pray, at least twice weekly, to have a bowl movment that feels as satisfactory as what their every day production yields!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Which is worse...

The horrors that 'the Doctor' weekly faces, alien invaders bent on destroying the world by various neferious means OR the horror of watching middle of the Cincinnati Reds lineup, which right now cannot seem to hit a slow pitched beachball, much less fulfill its obligation of the 'Get 'em In' part of the Get 'em On, Get 'em Over...philosophy of baseball.

Why am I comparing oldest sci-fi television show of all time with the oldest pro-baseball team of all time?

Because here at the Playground we love quality. While the quality of the new incarnation of the Dr. Who series is stellar, the quality of the current Reds seems to have dropped off consistently from the 1970s heyday (with the exception of the 1990 Reds).

This is important because since returning from the Philippines on Tuesday, both imps have suffered from insomnia. Last night boy.imp made the rounds from his bed to girl.imp's bed to our bed from about 2a.m. to 5a.m.

still not seeing the path i am travelling in this tale? then let's examine girl.imp's late

and girl.imp? Well g.imp decided not to take the nightly bed-hopping tour and instead went to the family room and turned on one of the latest copies of Dr. Who (I had recorded the episodes I would miss while overseas) and around 2:30a.m. we heard her sobbing in her bed. It seems the show scared the 'sweet bejeezus' out of her and she was trying to cry into her pillow so she would not wake us.

However, upon learning what scared her so (and it was truly a great episode) I snuggled up against her and told her about how these shows are all pretend and not real. As we drifted off into a dreamless sleep, I kept asking myself why the Red's inability to hit off-speed pitches and the recurring horror of the 8th inning pitching meltdowns could not also be pretend and make-believe...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Summer at the Playground

Some of you might have noticed that the clamor from the Playground has been somewhat diminished. No, I am not burnt out, just out of circulation for, what might soon be agreed, good reasons.

Good Reasons for Decreased Blog Presence:

1) Some amongst you might remember that in late May my laptop crashed. Completely had to be reformatted and right after that the Fam and I went to the Republic of the Philippines for a long awaited family vacation.

Upon returning, I spent many long hours playing catch-up with work because we left the imps in a Manila suburb. Yes, you read this last sentence correctly. The imps spent the summer 10,000 miles from home. However it is not as bad as it might seem. They were probably better treated over there than they would have been at a baby sitter's over here. In fact I am sure of this because they spent their summer with my imp-laws.We have photos (or will have soon. So I expect that much of my future posts will be pictorials of their vacation).

2) Work, Work, Work: Because of reason #3, I spent most of my time on the road, often not getting home until 11p.m. or later...aaaaaand, I repainted our main bathroom along with installing a new doorframe/door. Then we (me) sponge-painted both imps bedrooms. If you have done any sponge painting you know three essential facts:a) blemishes in the walls are mostly hiddenb) minimum of 2 coats of paintc) sponges are not known for precise painting and therefore EVERYTHING must be taped, even the ceiling.

3) I knew that at the end of July, I would be going back to Manila for a week to bring the imps home.

Yep, while many of you were enjoying Blogher in Chicago, I was in Manila enjoying in-service massages (and these are the type of massage service that you can 'write home to mama' about), nights out on the town, with some of my imps-in-law (if you are ever in Manila go to Chef and Brewers for the live bands), and the newly opened Water Spa with the 20+ massage stations (while this is a first rate facility, the air-bubble butt massage was not amongst my personal favorites).

Notes from the imps vacation:

1) Boy.Imp is potty trained!! He has abosolute bladder control!! We believe that the heat and humity of the Islands had more to do with this change than anything else.

2) Our imps do very well on long plane rides, it is the time inbetween rides that is somewhat concerning:
a) lines at immigration are there for the imps' personal amusement. B.imp even volunteered to go home with a guy standing in line behind me because he claimed he had more 'toys' at home than we apparantly did. Actually since he did not volunteer this info but only answered after b.imp interrogated him, creepy is not the first label I am using as descriptive for this guy. Third or fourth maybe...
b) if you actually go into banks to conduct any business you are often routed through a maze of poles and flat, nylon ropes. The ropes are not of interest for this point. The metal poles, specifically the reflective nature of the bases of these metal poles are the main focus. Because this is what b.imp focused on, after he backed up to one of them and pulled his pants down so he could admire the reflection of his butt...

3) My imps-in-law are wonderful hosts who are the epitome of class. Thank you all for hosting us and our imps this summer!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday Rants

First thing we noticed as we pulled into the Church parking lot on Sunday were the 3 policemen. Yep, the Fuzz was all over the lot. Ok, two officers were standing under a shade tree while one officer ran his butt off trying to ensure that people actually parked in such a manner as to not block off 3/4 of the lot from other drivers.

Tough to imgine? Picture trying to park at your local grocery but on that particular day everyone who arrived prior to you parked in solid, unbroken lines in every single space around the outer edge of the lot. Now move that lot, every Sunday, outside of our Church.

So, while CopA ensured we had ample parking Cops B&C were totally engrossed in their conversation. I did wonder what they had to be saying (sorry Tony. You can skip down the 'The Math Lesson'):
CopB: So, I hear the Buckeyes are going to have an off season
CopC: Are you fuc--freaking kidding me? They practically returned everybody on defense...
CopB: Defense? Defense won't save them. Look who they lost on Offense. The Heisman Trophy winner! Their top running back! All of their top receivers! They'll be lucky to finish in the top ten!
CopC: Top ten? They'll be packing for the title game when they go up to beat Michigan!
CopB: Michigan? You think they're going to beat Michigan?
CopC: Yes! Michigan!
CopB: Jeezus Christ..!

(Ok Tony, you can start reading here...)

The Math Lesson:
So after Mass we went shopping. After going through the store and paying for the items, wife.imp noticed we were not given the 25% discount on a couple of items. They were originally $12.99. Since we already went through the checkout, we had to suffer with the Customer Service line. After haggling with the lady behind the counter for awhile wife.imp turns to me and asks (loudly): 'Do they even teach math in schools anymore?'
Me: hunh?
wife.imp: Do you think they might teach someone what 25% of $10 is?
Me: Oh... (in my head I am multiplying 10 by .25. Ok, It would have been simpler to reduce things to 25% of $1 and then adding zeroes, but I like seeing the numbers spinning in and out of the columns in my mind. I did get the correct answer within 30 seconds tho')

Apparantly wife.imp was given an incorrect dollar amount by the lady when she tried to do the discount from $12, so wife.imp asked her to start at the discount for $10 and was told that the discounted amount was $.25.

I am not sure of the process but apparantly the lady started with 10 on the calculator and subtracted 25% (ie: .25) and noticed that the amount left 9.75 and blithly announced to wife.imp that she just saved a quarter.

I moved further down the counter while wife.imp addressed Introduction to Math 050 to the CS Lady. I was just happy that I got the answer correct.