Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sit back and relax. Take a moment. Have that sip of beverage...

girl.imp's notable weekend quotes:

'It's supposed to touch me here (mid-thigh is where she is pointing), you touched my vagina'

'Daddy, do you want to play with me?'

So now that you've heard the quotes, here's the context:

We were playing a game where we roll a ball back and forth and try not to let it hit our legs. For each time you let the ball touch your leg, the person rolling the ball gets a point. If it rolls 'dead center' then no points were allotted as that girl.imp declared that area of the body officially 'out of bounds'.

I love the way she thinks and hope she keeps thinking that way for many, many years....

The second quote was about two hours later when she finished dinner and wanted to resume the game (I was still eating dinner...).

Wife.Imp and Boy.Imp have a conversation:
w.imp: are you happy?
b.imp: yes
w.imp: who's more fun, Mommy or daddy?
b.imp: daddy
w.imp: who plays with you more, Mommy or daddy?
b.imp: daddy
w.imp: who loves you more, Mommy or daddy?
b.imp: daddy
w.imp: who do you love more?
b.imp: Mommy!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My 7 Songs - Meme

So I thought I'd jump on board for this meme as the weekend is coming up and I need to quit showing my darker side to the world at large...

In no particular order:

5th symphony - Lot of choices with Beethoven but this is one that really never gets old.

Piano Concerto #1 - I like to think tchaikovsky had a unique sound amongst his peers and that if he lived in today's society, he would be trashing hotel rooms and getting drunk on stage. However he did know his music and this is one of the best.

Scott Joplin
The Entertainer - This is the first among Joplin's songs that I ever heard and remains a constant favorite.

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Pink Elephant - who can't love a song about getting trashed and hallucinating?? (an alternate to this would be CPD's 'Here Comes the Snake')

Pressure - I play this so much in the car that wife.imp is starting to apply some 'pressure' on me...(an alternate would be about any Queen song ever recorded but 'Who Wants to Live Forever' is right up there)

The Who
Baba O’Riley - only because I had to pick just one. Really just pick an album select a track and play...

Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad - Sung at Sinatra's 80th. Love this Song!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Boy Scout Training- Not the Merit Badge kind either

Yes, I learned how to tie knots in the boy scouts...

Oh, before we get to knots there are several things I learned in Boy Scouts that probably should never be repeated (some of these I did participate in and some I was blissfully 80+miles away and only heard about it 2nd hand). These are also things that tend to make parents not allow their children to join the troop and rightly so:

Things I was present for but did not participate in:
- Snipes do not exist (however if you've hacked off the older scouts you might find yourself invited on a snipe hunt and tied to a tree for several hours about 1 mile from the camp)
- Tossing rotten eggs, burning hot egg shells or playing chicken with an ax (one unlaces the boots and spreads the shoe laces as far from the boot as they can then the other party paces off 5 steps, takes a sharpened ax and trys to cut the shoelace as close to the boot as possible--without hitting the boot or the person attached thereto - I will admit that this was an ill conceived game and one that was only mentioned to me once. It was never played after that--talked about yes. Played no.)
- Imagine that another troop messed with one of our younger scouts. Not a good idea. Because at night our older scouts would visit the offending party's campsite and would drop the tents in said campsite, grab the tent poles and beat anything that moves...

Things I was present for and did participate in:
- melting plastic milk cartons over the flames of a fire makes for very pretty flames (and also very toxic fumes- this practice that was quickly discouraged)
- it takes less than 10 seconds for a box of 5oo kitchen matches, once lined up, to burn neat diagrams into the tops of picnic tables - this occurred several times when I was not on the campout and once when I was.
- did you know that if you knock a hornets nest out of a tree with rocks, the little dears will chase you up to 1/4 of a mile. However if you are able to zip yourself into a tent before the swarm arrives then you'll be ok. It is advisable (i was later informed) to warn the people who were previously enjoying a relaxing morning, that something unpleasant was about to happen.

Things that happened when I was not present:
- During hunting season, many many hunters park their cars on the shoulders of the road. Sometimes passersbys might include boy scouts (you know, from the troop that had more street cred than most gangs). The cars might find themselves with 4 flat tires and might also be missing spark plug wires-...Might because a hunter might be leaving early and spot some of the felons-in-training and decide to introduce them to the barrel end of the Smith & Wesson that had been resting on his shoulder. I was told that one of the scouts dropped on his hands and knees and begged for sympathy while his co-horts scattered and ran for the woods.
- Picture fires, unopened cans of corn and a stopwatch. Explosive entertainment, so I was told.

How to tie a square knot:
- grasp the shoestring (one in each hand) cross the left shoestring over then under and through the right shoestring and pull snug.
- then make your bows and cross the right bow over then under and through the left bow and pull snug.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Odds'n'Ends at the Playground

R U right-handed? Do you have problems with your shoes coming untied--nano seconds after tying them?

Then you have been tying your shoes wrong! Absolutely, Positively Incorrectly for almost 40 years (this is just a guess on the age).

I was too. Then my brother (older) who is in the military called me with the secret. Tie your shoes with a square knot. Guaranteed not to come undone. No more double knots. No more cold, wet shoestrings that drug through that puddle you just could not avoid. No more catching that shoelace in the screen door when it shuts, jerking you off balance and causing you to drop all of your crap on the sidewalk!

yeah baby!

Has anyone else noticed that this time last week we were fearing snow and now we are outside enjoying nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures??

Global warming is an illusion my pink, pimply hiney!!!

I had other things to talk about but they slipped my mind...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Confession Time at the Playground

Honey, do you remember that old, teflon coated saucepan we used to have? Well, we still have it but once the fumes clear out of the kitchen I will have to get rid of it. No, the problem is not with the pan itself. The problem is that my attention span rivals that of a monkey on drugs. Here I was getting the pot roast ready in the slow cooker and then I noticed the breakfast dishes.

Which really was not too difficult as we have the same counter space as Barbie's Dreamhouse. Well, the dirties were starting to pile up and I started pushing them around to make more room when I heard a hissing from the stovetop. I ignored it, because how could anything be hissing?
ALL the food was in the slow cooker. Still more hissing...

Yes, you guessed it. I melted the handle of the meat fork into the saucepan.

'But honey!' (yes, I can hear what you are thinking) 'But honey, I can understand melting the handle to the saucepan. But into the saucepan..?'

Yes, Into The Saucepan. I was not aware but the plastic handles on utensiles nowadays will run exactly like melted butter when heated.

Anyway, here is hoping your Monday at work has been moving along smoothly! If you need to, call me on the cell phone. I will be shopping later this a.m.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

girl.imp said:

'There is nothing bad at Panera!'
Yes, we here at the playground frequent 'frou-frou' food establishments!
(Sorry Betty and Tony but the Col. Sanders is sometimes dead to the imps)

'I am stuffed, puffed aaaaand a little bit fluffed!'
(this statement was uttered upon g.imp's completion of Panera's Chicken Noodle Soup)

'Daddy what does gay mean?'

ummmm, folks I grew up in rural America. Yes, this means boots were not referred to as 'kicks'. They were 'Shit Kickers'. We had school uniforms; t-shirts, blue jeans, and the aforementioned 'kicks'.

So what I am saying is that my childhood was not in the most liberal area of the country when it came to social interaction. Mind you, we did not host Klan rallies but I was informed in high school that we were 45 minutes from a Klan branch. (loverly that)

So when girl.imp popped her question I first kicked myself because I was speaking about the development of a character of one of my stories (wife.imp wants me to have my Oprah Moment). I have been hung up on this character. He works in the oil field and is too one-dimensional. So I was thinking of introducing a gay character into this last bastion of the 'Man's Man' industry.

By the way, did anyone see Oprah on Friday? wife.imp was home sick, so Oprah was on the Educational Deathray. She took this trip with a friend and they were showing clips aaaaaand, except for the one State Highway Patrolman in Kentucky, BORING!!!

But the one thing that Oprah can do, even with the content of the clips having the ability to put an insomniac under, I stood in the doorway and watched 10 minutes of the show Because.She.Is.Oprah!

Back to the book: I decided not to make the character gay. I would probably fall back on the homophobic cliches because you tend to write what you have experienced and my experiences stem from this rural, conservative community. So, if one cannot be honest to the character, kill the character or change it. Since I have nothing without this character, we are stepping back to safer ground and will work on a different conflict to experience.

To answer girl.imp's question:
'gay means happy (re: spongebob happy).'

I went on to stress a person with an overall positive outlook on life. Ok, this will also conincide with the actual dictionary definition. Which means I wimped out. Life lesson avoided. Wait until she asks about drugs, sex and rock'n'roll!! (Lord help me if 'The Monthly Problem' crops up).

Dad of the Year? I somehow think the nominating committee will 'overlook' me in 2007.

oh, I probably also missed out on my 'Oprah Moment'.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

aaaaaaaah, Spring is in the air and it is time for--

--Antisceptic and bandages!

Yes as Winter wanes and wild, wonderful, winds blow in the spring showers, the imps will be out of doors, playing, running, climbing, jumping...falling.

In the spirit of the scraped knees, elbows, faces, bloody noses, sprained ankles that will crop up across the blogoshere like crabgrass, I thought I would list a few of the minor, little injuries acquired in my pre-teen (teen injuries require another post) years that promted a certain hospital staff to question whether or not the parentals were abusing us (the answer was NO and you shall soon see why).

1 - as an infant, I managed to kick over my high chair striking my head on a floor grate. At the hospital I had 4 stitches (without medication because the doctor told my dad that it would take it longer to numb the area that it would to complete the stitches. Dad told the doctor to go ahead and let him know when it was done. He was going to the lobby to get away from the screaming).

2 - I was probably no more than 4 years old when I fell out of my first tree. I barely remember this tree. I can remember sleeping in the branches. I do not remember falling out of it. I have a 3" scar on my side from said fall - no hospital visit. (I climbed another tree when I was in my teens and stepped on a dead branch and fell 10 feet onto a pile of wood - also no hospital visit).

3 - Running + Yellow Jacket nests in the ground next to our neighbor's house = PAIN

4 - Did you know that if you hold your breath with a heavy weight on your chest you will pass out? Neither did our babysitter. I woke up with my head in the bathroom sink and the babysitter slapping the sh#@ out of my face.

5 - It is hard to believe, really, really hard to believe that if one were to ride a bicycle full-tilt into a curb that one would NOT achieve a wheelie! I mean, the math is there to say that it IS possible. I also found out the math also said it was more probable that one will flip head over heels OVER the handlebars and land face first on the ground chipping one's teeth in the process.

So, moms and dads, my advice is to store large bottles of bactine and love, cause your little one's will probably need both!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

This is for Betty. Hope it Brings a Smile. III

Sorry Betty, but I had three topics and was just too dang lazy to change the title. BUT after today, I am off, flying in new directions!!

One of the earliest lessons of my childhood is one that parents everywhere try to drill into their children's heads. Go to the bathroom before getting into the car for a trip. Can you guess how this lesson finally sank in?

So this brings us to:
The Day I was left behind and STILL did not get any Ice Cream - Dammit!

There were 4 of us back then. Baby sis (literally a baby) and myself and the two boy sibs. It was a warm, summer, Saturday afternoon and dad was inexplicably not busy tinkering with anything. Being that the last thing he ever wanted to do was stay in the house (re: cooped up with 3 boys hyped on boredom and one new baby) dad suggested a trip to the park.

While everyone was concerned with getting shoes on etc...I bolted to the bathroom. Yep, no surprises for me this trip. I was soooo going to enjoy sitting in the car...The car that was backing out of the driveway.

Hey! Mom! Dad! Hey! Wait for me! Hey!
(I was pounding on the window of the 2nd floor bathroom pleading with dad to stop the car and, well for the flow to stop)

I think it took less than two seconds from when I left the bathroom to exit through the front door, leap off of the porch and sprint across the front lawn into the road!

Yes you read this right I sprinted into the road, then down the middle of the road, waving my arms, screaming my fool head off, watching my brothers (seated in the rear facing seat of the station wagon) waving their arms in the air at me, watching the car and my family fade into the distance.


I must have stood in the center of that street for a dogs age, staring at...well staring at nothing really. Finally I had to go back home. At least the front door was unlocked and I would not be forced to wait on the porch.

"hey, dennis" (it was the neighbor across the road. Mr. Gould. he and his wife were retirees, they were pretty funny folks, they had grandchildren and a freezer full of ice cream. Mrs. Gould practically never allowed Mr. Gould to give us any ice cream bars. He had to sneak them out of the house if he wanted to give us any)
me: (I think I just looked up and started crying, sobbing, wailing...the works)
mr. gould: You didn't catch them then. I saw you running, but I thought your daddy would not hear you.
me: they left me! we were going to the park and they left me! (continue crying)
mr. gould: you have any idea how long they might be gone?
me: all daaaaay!!!

Mr. Gould tried for several minutes to cheer me up, telling me funny stories (well not funny then), trying to reassure me that my parents still loved me before he found the secret to stopping a desolate, forgotten boy's pain.

mr. gould: would you like an ice cream bar?
me: (sniffle, sniffle) uh huh (sniffle sniffle)
mr. gould: I think mrs. gould is out hanging her laundry, if you promise not to tell I'll go get us an ice cream.
me: (sniffle, sniffle) uh huh (sniffle sniffle)

mrs. gould: ...where do you think you are going with that ice cream?
mr. gould: ...and his family drove off and left him
mrs. gould: (stomping around the house and seeing me) it's true then? your mom and dad drove off and left you? they're not at home?
me: uh huh...huh uh
mrs. gould: (to her husband) well you can just wait a minute. They're bound to see that they don't have all the children and come back. You know that I don't want you to give our ice cream away to everyone in the neighborhood!
mr. gould: but--
mrs. gould: just wait!

several minutes went by...NO parents!

mrs. gould: ok, i guess he can have an ice cream.
me: Thank you!
mr. gould: alright. I'll just go get you one.

When Mr. Gould reappeared, I was probably the happiest kid on the street. I was getting ice cream from the Goulds!!

Honk! Honk!

"Hey Dennis! Ready to go to the park?"

Right then! Right effin' then! Dad and fam drove up. Mr. Gould was in the process of taking the final two steps to reach me and hand me the ice cream.

Mrs. Gould: (to mr. gould) ok then, you can put the ice cream away.

Effen! Effity Eff Eff!!

I started to hate that damn park!

End Note:
Dad and mom told me that they did not realize I was not with them until they reached the park, after stopping for gas on the way. It seems that my dear brothers were too busy laughing to inform the parentals that I was missing.

Dad did claim that he looked in the rear view to count heads as they pulled down the road but all he heard was screaming and could only see arms and hands waiving everywhere, and so assumed everybody was in the car. Mom was busy with the baby.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This is for Betty. Hope it Brings a Smile. II

Of course Betty over at W.A.Y.A. posts about topics that bring back long forgotten memories, and instead of posting them in the comments section of her site, I am taking the opportunity to share here at the Playground.

As promised here is:

'The Day I Convinced My Younger Brother to Run Away.'

I think I was 5, maybe 6 and my younger sib was either 4 or 5. It was summer. I would like to claim June, but it could have been May. It probably was not any later because Mom and Dad spent the afternoon riding on bicycles.

I ran away because mom yelled at me. I can no longer remember why, but I tend to think it was because of something I did. I remember thinking, "I'll show her! I'm running away aaaaaaand I'm taking little bro with me! Aaaaaaaaaand she'll cry!"

See I got that idea because our older brother did it for a few hours the week before, except he flew solo. However, it's the American way to see a good idea and build on it.

(a few years later when older sib ran away--i know...OVERDONE--mom sent me out to find him and bring him home. Damn! Damn! Damn! I wanted his paper route!)

here is the conversation as I imagine that I remember it:
me: little bro, are you doing anything?
LB: no. mom is mad.
me: I know. She hates--us.
LB: no she doesn't.
me: yes she does.
LB: nuh uh. she yelled at you.
me: yeah, but she's gonna yell at you next
LB: nuh uh
me: uh huh
LB: nuh uh
me: we're running away
LB: no, i'm not
me: it won't be forever, just today
LB: no way!
me: mom's gonna yell at you next
me: trust me. I have a plan.
LB: where are we going? we're not allowed to leave the yard.
me: i know. we're going to hide in the pine trees by the path out back
LB: in (i cannot remember the name) yard?
me: yes.
LB: can we come home for lunch?
me: no! we have to stay out until dinner! besides mom and dad won't miss us until after lunch.
LB: dinner? I'm hungry
me: we'll pack sandwiches
LB: what will we do
me: we'll sit under the trees and watch mom. She's gonna miss us and cry
LB: then we'll come home?
me: so she can yell at us? No! we'll wait until dinner.
LB: that's a long time...
me: we'll bring pillows
LB: and blankets?
me: and blankets!

I sent LB off to get the pillows and blankets while I made peanut butter sandwiches. After that we snuck out, after telling older bro that we were running away and in case we fell asleep we were under the pine trees out back. He laughed and told us that we should go further up the path. He made it to the end of the block and almost went up the hill.

After we got settled in, we ate lunch and waited. We had a good view of the back of our house and a good bit of the road out front. It did not take long for mom to start calling. We laughed. It was soooo coool. Mom and dad would never find us. We could stay out under the pine trees...forever.

It seemed like hours passed, but it probably was no more than 30 minutes when dad came hustling out into the back yard. He looked around and we edged further under the trees and hunched behind the pillows. We were laughing and giggling like mad.

Oh, they were going to be sooo sorry for yelling at me--us. Then we saw them, riding their bikes up the road. Just like that, they forgot about us! They were having fun! Riding bikes while we were hiding! They didn't care! That did it! See if we ever came back! They would cry then. They would be sorry they rode their bikes and did not come looking for us! Serve them right!!

After what felt like a few more hours passed (probably no more than 30-45 minutes) older bro came out to our hiding place.

OB: have you seen mom and dad riding their bikes (big smile on his face)
me: yes. Looks like they're having fun.
OB: yeah? Well they have been looking for you and LB. They have the neighbors out looking too.
me: yeah? Good.
OB: you're not coming home?
me: no. It's nice here.

LB: is it dinner time?
OB: No, it's only 2. Mom and dad asked me if I knew where you went.
me: they did?
OB: Yeah, but I told them I did not know.
me: you did?
OB: then dad asked if you ran away. I said I thought maybe you did.
me: what did dad do?
OB: He told me that it was pretty hot today and that he was going to go get some ice cream and that if I saw you to tell you.
me: but we were planning on staying here until dinner, right LB? LB?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday at the Playground

sure it is St. Patrick's Day. sure girl.imp is HYPED! She marked it on the calendar last week.

'St. Patrick's Day. T.V. all day'

and she watched t.v. all day (except for the OSU v. Xavier bball game--GO BUCKS!)

after the game and some gratuitous pushing of things around the house to make it look neater, we had to decide on dinner. Spaghetti was our first choice. No noodles. Roast? Frozen and no fresh veggies. Pizza? Not likely. KFC? Sorry Tony, the bucket did not do it for us. So we saddled up and headed out for grub.

at the restaurant we bought the imps and expensive meal (meaning anything that does not come in a paperbag with a toy) and boy.imp decided to fill up on:
a) lemonade
b) his paper napkin

he finished up the meal by scooping up a humongous spoonful of applesauce and waving the spoon in the air.

girl.imp merely ate her dinner with relatively little fuss and kept commenting on the basketball games showing on the t.v.'s around the room. We could not have been any prouder of her!

Friday, March 16, 2007

This is for Betty. Hope it Brings a Smile. I

Yes, I am posting this primarily for Betty over at W.A.Y.A. concerning her post about 'Mother of the Year'

It got me to remembering the times when I was a kid that my parents were not there for me (or so I thought) or that I just wanted more independence.

This is the first of 3 posts:

- The J.C. Penney's Hide and Seek
- The Day I convinced my younger brother to run away
- The Day I was left behind and STILL did not get any Ice Cream - Dammit!

The J.C. Penney's Hide and Seek
Back in the day when the world was a kinder and gentler place. Where strangers thought nothing of helping people. Where men were men and sheep were scared...(this is a story about my high school football team).

Yes, this happened in the early 1970's. Mom and Dad took us Christmas shopping at the local mall. While we were wandering around, looking at clothes and shoes, it was discovered that elder sib had disappeared. Mom and dad decided that they needed to canvas the store and that taking us along was only going to slow them down. They plopped us down in the electronic dept. in front of the t.v. and asked if we would be ok if they left us alone for a few minutes.

Yes! we cried. T.V. and no parents? Hell, Yes!
They promised to be back in 15 minutes. After a few commercials had zipped past, I got to looking around and decided that it was waaaaaay longer than 15 minutes and that me MUST go to the car to make sure that Mom and Dad had not yet left (hang around for the 3rd installment and you will understand).

So after a little fast talk, I convinced younger sib to wander the parking lot with me (at night) to find our car. We eventually did. And seeing that nobody was in it, I reasoned that the parentals were still in the store. So, after even more convincing, little sib and I took off through the mall to find our parents.

About an hour after that we wandered into the t.v. section of the J.C. Penney's to find mom and dad sweating bullets. However, since they were a few minutes late to begin with, we were not in any trouble.

We also were never taken on any subsequent Christmas shopping trips.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

As Heard Around the Playground

boy.imp: mommy when I grow up I don't want to be a doctor
wife.imp: why?
boy.imp: because doctors are girls

On the bright side, I still have my left-side infielder...

on explaining to girl.imp why boys are different from girls.
wife.imp: ...remember boys don't grow up. They just get older...

on the phone at the end of the day with sick boy.imp:
me: honey? so what time are you leaving? I've got this pounding headache. I've had it all day.

I finally found a babysitter that could come watch the imps on short notice (10 minutes) so that wife.imp and I could go out. To watch a 'date movie'. This, of course means that the movie about the 'Biker with the Flaming Skull' was out. 'Black Snake Moan'? Out. 'Hannibal Rising'? Out

No we went to 'Music and Lyrics'. A Romantic Comedy. Of course I agreed on the outset. I'm no fool. This was a light, frothy movie that was more like brain candy.

Of course I was thinking that after the show, in order to pump the testosterone levels to near normal, I would have to go get into a fight or find a stage that involved dancers, floor to ceiling mirrors and a pole.

However the comedy was tight. There were no real lags while the 'drama' played out and the dialogue was pretty good.

I would probably not turn this over when it comes out on cable next month.

Fun with Telemarketers...redux?

Because boy.imp is home sick and I have been woozy the last few days and fielding an absurd number of calls from companies asking for my money, I am dusting off some old stories for your amusement (yes, these actually happened).

I usually do not mind telemarketer phone calls. That is until recently. Recently they have been calling the Playground PAST 9 p.m. and on SUNDAYS!! The callers also, sometimes, work for the same company but different call centers, which means I have to turn down the same product 3-4 times a day (Discover Card, are you reading this? Think maybe you have too many people on the phone??)

All in all, these calls are very annoying. It is not too hard to guess the countries of origin: India, Philippines, or our own USA. But as annoying as these calls are, either in sales content or interpreting the accents, I never seriously considered the infamous "Do Not Call" list.

Where would be the fun in that?

If we had signed up for that list would I have ever been able to do any of the following:

1) Convince the caller offering me a 'most expenses' paid trip to Branson, Missouri to help me plan a way to take my mistress instead of my wife on the trip. The problem hinged on the fact that she could not figure a way for me to take wife.imp to the mandatory, pre-trip sales meeting (spouse ID had to be verified) and somehow leave her at home while I vacationed with the mistress.

Before you judge me, wife.imp was sitting on the sofa beside me listening to my side of the conversation. And there never was a mistress so stop the hate mail.

2) There were lots of calls made by the same male telemarketer asking for wife.imp. I usually do not get irked unless a telemarketer calls and refuses to leave the name of the company/purpose of the call. I mean if you are going to be that persistent, throw me a bone here!

But if you don't and you insist on constantly phoning day after day after day...I might just go on a rant accusing you of being my wife's current lover and that if you wanted to keep her you had better improve the quality of jewelry...etc.

I never did find out what product he was hawking. Wife.Imp thought it might be Discover trying to send another card.

3) I felt bad (marginally) accusing that previous caller of having an affair with my wife and swore not to use that particular strategy again. So the next caller that tried not to identify himself got the "paranoid, conspiracy theorist" ranting about how these calls are 'The Man's' way of keeping us under his thumb...

However none of these compare with my elder brother's masterpiece:

After ordering a complete replacement of all the windows in his house, he 'let it slip' that he did not own the house and asked if that would be a problem. The telemarketer was somewhat new and agreed it wasn't and then had to backtrack.

The gloves came off... My brother claimed he really wanted the windows and could the telemarketer call back later as he shared a party line with the landlord. But when said telemarketer called back, could he not let on that my brother spoke to him as the landlord was still upset about receiving the bill for the installation of carpeting and a few other improvements throughout the house.

The telemarketer called back 2 days later and my brother started speaking in a faux old man's voice. The first thing the telemarketer did was inform my brother that his boarder ordered 10 new windows and could he schedule a time for the company to come out. At this point my brother went off, ranting about having to pay for new carpets, refinished kitchen cabinets and new appliances. He then moved into a line about evicting the tenants.

The telemarketer, being waaaaay out of his depth, then spent the next 1/2 hour trying to convince my brother not to evict the tenants (which of course included said brother, his wife and the family hound).

I can only aspire to such greatness. But in the meantime, practice makes perfect.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Playground's Google Anonymity - 1st Quarter 2007

Much like everybody else in the blogosphere, I wanted to see where my 'peeps' were coming from. I noticed bloggers like Cynical Dad posted lists of search terms that brought the unsuspecting to their sites. And I joined the lemming heard.

In posting the search terms (pitifully few in the case of the Playground), I decided that there were other interesting stats:
- Country/City of search origin
- How long did you actually give the Playground some luv'n??
- IP Address (for those of you searching from work...thank you and IT's OUR SECRET!!)
- Search Terms

Foriegn Imp Searches:
Those who chose not to stay and enjoy the Playground and ALL it has to offer:
Greece – Athens, Attiki, 0 seconds 1 page view
Netherlands – Utrecht, 0 seconds 1 page view,
Search Term: ‘imps blogging’ - everywhere! They're like Tribbles!! buuuuwhahahaha!!!
Indonesia – Jakarta, Jawa Barat, 0 seconds 1 page view
United Kingdom: - Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 0 seconds 1 page view (IP Address: Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology)
- Manchester, 0 seconds 1 page view (ISP Address Manchester City Council)
- Bradford, 0 seconds 1 page view
- Hammersmith, Hammersmith and Fulham, 0 seconds 1 page view
Spain – Madrid, 0 seconds 1 page view – 3 visits
Philippines – Koronadal, South Cotabato, 0 seconds 1 page view, Search Term: ‘flying machine impormation’ - umm- have you tried the Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology?
Canada:– Timmins, Ontario, 0 seconds 1 page view
Brazil – Mairipor, Sao Paulo, 0 seconds 1 page view
Croatia – Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, 0 seconds 1 page view

Our Worldwide Friends who stayed for a visit. Come back again!!
United Kingdom - Rochdale, Rochdale, 11 seconds 2 page view
United Arab Emirates – Dubai, Dubayy, 6 minutes 5 seconds 5 page views, Search Term: ‘imp of exercise’ - ok ok, you got me! I should be doing more!
Canada - Ottawa, Ontario, 5 seconds 2 page views
Norway – Hinna, Rogaland, 41 seconds 2 page view

USA Imp searchers that could not give the Playground any Love:
Brookline, Massachusetts – 0 seconds 1 page view, ‘imp 1 pow 14 answer’ - Sorry no cheats here!
South Dennis, Massachusetts – 0 seconds 1 page view, ‘graded school house west dennis playground disability’ - good luck with your search
Superior, Wisconsin – 0 seconds 1 page view - so...superior to what??
Hollywood, Florida – 0 seconds 1 page view - so close and yet sooo far! Correct, Tony?
Silver Spring, Maryland – 0 seconds 1 page view (IP Address: National Asphalt Pavement Association)
Evansville, Indiana – 0 seconds 1 page view, Search Term: ‘barefoot in walmart’ - ummm hopefully never again
Metairie, Louisiana – 0 seconds 1 page view
Lead Hill, Arkansas – 0 seconds 1 page view - I need to know who named this city!!
Moberly, Missouri – 0 seconds 1 page view
Dayton, Ohio – 0 seconds 1 page view, Search Term: ‘professional behavior’ - well depending on the profession, let's say that you were dancing on a stage in front of floor-to-ceiling mirrors and the stage had a pole and you spotted a $20 bill being waved...but I don't really have any idea of what I'm talking about. (really honey! I'm just running on at the mouth here)
Manhasset, New York – 0 seconds 1 page view
Jacksonville, Florida – 0 seconds 1 page view, Search Term: ‘rush hour jam cheats’ - oh come on! Cheat Codes for

Imp Friends who came for a visit and enjoyed the sites:
New Lebanon, Ohio
– 29 seconds 1 page view
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – 5 seconds 2 page views
Newark, Delaware – 15 seconds 2 page views
Mount Laurel, New Jersey – 5 minutes 38 seconds 1 page view
Leipsic, Ohio – 7 seconds 2 page views - Leipsic? I will google you!

Theology 101 by Prof. Girl.Imp

g.imp: dad, did you know that God and the devil are twin brothers?
me: oh?
g.imp: Yes but other than that they really do not have much in common. Except that they both hate spinach. Because I hate spinach too.

We probably should not get the Pope on the horn over this revelation. I mean, what with the Discovery Channel 'claiming' to have found the tomb of Jesus and all, this little nugget from my daughter might not be well received. However, for a really good fiction book about God and the devil being brothers, read 'Waiting for the Galactic Bus'.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stupid Things that have Crossed My Lips

Have you ever opened your mouth and suffered the aftertaste of your foot for years and years?
So have I. I wish I was known as that guy who is the compulsive gambler or the sex addict or even a straight-up bank robber. But not me. I am that guy whose tongue is made out of shoe leather. As incredibly hip, cutting edge, sensitive and loving I might appear, there is a dark side. And over the years it has proven to lurk just below the surface:

Ok, the rules for this list is that nothing verbalized while in an extremely emotionally agitated state (anger, fear, desperation inebriation (drunk or high - I've never been either...), or depression) can make the list.

I have only ever been cold, sober, which makes what I am about to reveal, that much the sadder:

1) I love you - has this line ever worked for loosening the willpower of the opposite sex? I tried it in high school and in college and it never workd. Oddly when I asked the girl when she was going to take me to a dinner and a movie...that line worked.

2) That has got to be the ugliest baby I've ever seen - Yes you read this right. No, I was in full control of my faculties. I was not hypnotised. I was a senior in high school. My girlfriend's SIL had just had a baby. A girl. She was an angel. I was kidding. I do not think my girlfriend's mother has ever forgiven me. Her SIL did. My girlfriend did (until she broke up with me two years later to marry the boy she broke up with to date me). The baby girl is now fully grown and is getting married this year. I have not been invited to the wedding.

Are you still reading?

It gets worse.


3) No pain, no gain! - No, I was not at a sporting event. I was, again, in high school. It was winter and my brothers, sisters, mom and I were standing on the driveway at the edge of our sidewalk, staring down at my father who had just slipped and fallen on the way to the car

Want to hear what makes this statement worse? (yes, it can get worse) When it reaches the driveway, the sidewalk is approx 3-4" above the driveway surface. Dad landed so that his lower back (kidney?) hit the corner of the sidewalk. At the time I spoke, he was ashen, writhing on the ground and gasping like a fish out of water.

4) I don't want to hear about what you are planning to do, just tell me when you actually do it - yes, this bit of supportive dialogue was directed at my younger brother. He had dropped out of college and after years of my parents asking and his waffling, he came over for a visit and told me he was seriously considering going back to school. I, of course, lovingly told him where to get off and he did, delaying his re-enrollment by at least 5 years.

5) alright! Honey, this
(this happened approx one month after our marriage we were visiting the newsroom and were greeted by the Managing Editor of paper I just left. I also forgot the names of my fellow reporters, the City Desk Editor, photographer, various other personnel...every other personnel. Of course wife.imp knew everyone by sight- because she listened when I talked...)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

snippets and little ditties from the playground

wife.imp: "dorks are geeks that are not smart. and geeks are dorks that -- that are smart"
wife.imp:"No, sh--!!"
(often in response to an observation of mine)

wife.imp: I still have this headache. It doesn't seem to be going away.

me: ahhh, it's all in your head

Verses wife.imp likes to sing to the kids:

"I smell cake and ice cream scoop, I smell boy.imp's stinky poop"

"I try hard not to get wet and not to see boy.imp's pwet (butt)" (sung at boy.imp's bathtime)

Coming soon: Stupid things I have uttered over the years.

If You Were A Superhero, What Super Power Would You Have?

Girl.Imp occassionally likes to remind me that, at one time, we used to watch teenage superhero t.v. shows:
- Teen Titans
- Static Shock
- Cyberchase

So she decided to ask this question whilst I was chauffering her to school one morning.

me: ummm...
(X-Ray Vision! I've always wanted that ever since I was a freshman at the State University...But then I'm old enough that it would make me 'that creepy old man'. So, super speed? Flight? Too many military ramifications. I like my freedom and the government already intrudes too much with life here at the Playground, every April, with its hand out asking, 'gotta dime, buddy?')
me: I would want to know what women were thinking.
g.imp: You would want to know what women were thinking?
(wtf? are you really that kind of lame-O loser daddy?)
me: sure! just think, I could charge people a dollar per question! I could make millions!!
g.imp: millions?
me: millions!
g.imp: That would be a great super power!!

Ok, every so often I like to post about boy.imp. Usually it involves poo! His poo. His nasty, smelly, often explosive poo. But not today. Today b.imp critiqued my singing ability.

(If I have never mentioned this, I never Karaoke. Not since my niece booed me off stage at my sister's wedding reception. To be honest I sucked. I was actually relieved that she gave me the excuse to give up the mic. However, my imps do not get to boo me...)

me: When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...That's Amore!
b.imp: ow! ow! ow! That would hurt daddy!
me: hurt? how?
b.imp: the moon is too big! if it hit your eye, your eye would be bloody and hurt and would die!
me: oh...
b.imp: the moon cannot hit your eye daddy! ow!
me: oooookaaaaay....
(Note to Deano, when you have the time during your celestial repose, can you rework the lyrics and get back to us? B.imp would like lyrics of a less violent nature...)

MDF - matt damon factor has not helped recently and shall therefore not be re-applied for this post

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

It Is Experiment Night at the Playground

1 tired wife.imp
1 not-so-tired boy.imp
1 really really good sitcom 'Fawlty Towers' starring John Cleese

Picture the scene:
After dressing boy.imp, who is just out of the shower, wife.imp decides that the kewpy doll with the energizer battery is just a bit much. So she sits on the toilet (the toilet seats were all down) and she and boy.imp had the following conversation.

b.imp: mommy! mommy! blahblahblah blabbityblahblahblah...
wife.imp: (moving lips- no sound)
b.imp: mommy! who turned on the mute?
wife.imp: (moving lips- no sound)

b.imp: mommy! turn off the mute? fix the mute mommy!

This carried on for a few more minutes before b.imp came running to me in the kitchen. I, of course, had no idea what was going on and I was busy tidying up the kitchen and getting organized for trash day tomorrow. SO I told him to go sort out his problems with mommy...

(for those who have not seen Fawlty Towers, John Cleese was a hotel manager who, in one episode, did the exact same thing with a guest at the hotel)

Sleeping through my errands and Target the new Port-o-Let of Parents with toddler imps?

How can one ascertain 100 percent that something is not quite well? Let's say that if you fall asleep at the wheel (while parked) in line at a 'quickie' oil change facility. Yes friends that was me yesterday. However the kind employees of said facility allowed my nap to stretch to 10 minutes.

(they apparantly took bets on how long I would actually sleep but when I stayed asleep it was decided that they needed to actually do some work, so someone had to tap on the window to wake me up)

Did you know Target is a cure-all to constipation? Wife.Imp noticed. No, she was not the one in need.

Boy.imp is the recipient of the newly-discovered, curative powers of Target. It seems no matter the day, time of day, or even if he just had his diapers changed. He will fill them 'to the brim' when shopping at Target.

Of course this also could mean that somehow Target has affected his psyche and now just being in the store literally scares the crap out of b.imp..?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Inane Ramblings from the Playground

So I'm in the shower the other day staring at the shadow between my feet wondering why we hear things like, 'You'll grow hair on your palms' or 'You'll go blind' or 'Ewwwwwwwe' or the chorus to 'I'm turning Japanese' when discussing masturbation and male imps.

But when we think masturbation and female imps, things like 'Girls Gone Wild', 'Pay Per View' and the chorus of 'I'm Turning Japanese' leap to mind.

Then I thought about passing a 10lb. bowling ball and decided I'd spent enough time in the shower.

Yep, thanks to the blogging world, I realize that this talk, among other things is rolling down the boulevarde toward the Playground, and I will not be able to avoid it.

Yeah me....

At this time I do have to admit boy.imp is beginning to freak me out a little. While having his diaper changed he has taken to grabbing his feet and pulling his ankles up past his ears. Honestly this is not the image I need at any time during the day.

However the image is secondary to the fact that IF I was ever drunk/stupid (never been drunk but I've been plenty stupid) to try that same maneuver, the sound of popping cartilage and tearing of muscles would precede the screams by nanoseconds.

Another shower story
Girl.imp loves to shower with b.imp. She enjoys washing boy.imp 'down there'. Not because of a sexual gratification, but because he is different and, at this age, different is hilarious. She has also figured out that Daddy is also 'different' (and if you're still reading this, then so have you). So, when daddy is in the shower, g.imp likes to find reasons to be in the bathroom at the same time, reasons that center around her 'bladder'.

While relieving the stress she likes to do things like slowly pull back the shower curtain or just simply grab it and try to yank. But thanks to the death grip I inevitably have on said shower curtain all that happens is she gets to complain.

g.imp: awww man! Daddy when are you going to let go of the shower curtain?
me: when you or mommy pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

I really do need to fix the lock/latch on the bathroom door. But, because this house is sooooo old, this would entail removing the door frame, several feet of Pergo Flooring from the hallway, the trim around the floor and door and reinstalling a new frame/door, trim and the old flooring.

Honestly I am waiting until she decides on which college to attend and moves out.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sights and Sounds Around the Playground


boy.imp: Mommy! Mommy! I want to hug you!
wife.imp: Hey! I'm on the toilet right now!

p.m. during dinner:
me: You know that Kim Possible just didn't wake up sart doing what she does? You know, she had to train and train for years to be able to save the world AAAAAND not muss her hair! She did not even get her own TV show until she was in HIGH SCHOOL!
(we're discussing the philosphy of Practice-Makes-Perfect with gir.imp. -- I did lean over and ask wife.imp how bad was it that we were in public and using a cartoon show to teach good work/practice habits to our imps? Need to discuss a role model in class kids? Come on over--we have lots to choose from: Kim Possible, Scooby Doo, The American Dragon, Jake Long, Hannah Montana, That's So Raven...---Disney sooo owns our souls!!!!)
girl.imp: (very excited) I love how she does the flips and kicks---heeeeya!
me: Yes, but she practices.
g.imp: huh (not so much excitement now)
me: You see it every episode. She practices a lot!

p.m. after dinner:
girl.imp: daddy, you now that once we get home the new episode of Kim Possible will be on?
me: Yep! (kim possible rocks!).

On a side note: After the imps went to bed we watched some Dr. Who episodes (of course!!!). Then we watched a DVD that my brother highly recommends, "Red Dwarf". Having read the books, I have to admit to being interested. It was a 'train wreck'. One of those BBC programs that had little funding but seemed to somehow catch public imagination. I wanted to turn it off. Several times I reached for the remote to turn it off. Almost two hours evaporated before I eventually found the off switch. I still am uncertain as to whether or not I was entertained or just horribly fascinated with how bad the show actually was..?

G.imp managed to hit herself in the eye with the foam stick (approx 3' of padded foam over plastic pvc pipe about as big around as my thumb) and came into the kitchen crying. B.imp then walked in and calmly headbutted g.imp's stomach. I of course yelled at b.imp because g.imp is now wailing.

B.imp runs to the bathroom where wife.imp is in the shower and stands in the open door shrieking at increasingly louder levels because wife.imp does not immediately leap out of the shower to join in on the fun.

Later, during Mass, boy.imp was starting to become...distracted. So I pick him up to keep him quiet. He immediately puts his arms around my neck and begins planting kisses on my cheek. After 5 or 6 kisses he leans backward:

"Ok, can I get down now?"

Saturday, March 03, 2007

We are Stuggling as a Family

No...the marriage is rock solid! The Magic is still in the bedroom, the dining room, hallways, family room, stairs, laundry room...

...but not the Kitchen!

We just cannot get 'In The Mood' for food--so to speak. There is no desire to cook. There is no urge to plan the fam menues. It's not that we are out of food. We are out of creativity for cooking food. In the past week we have had the 'Upside Down' day three times (re: breakfast for dinner).

  • Hot dogs and eggs and rice (yes, spam and eggs can work here too)
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancakes

Meanwhile we have meat frozen and waiting for that creative inspiration to hit. However, short of the 'Takehome Chef' materializing, we are stuck with the food funk. Even the leftovers are being shunned (until they grow enough 'fur' that they can walk themselves down to the corner on trash day).

So today we had the 'What do you want for dinner' conversation:

wife.imp: I don't know what to cook..!
me: I don't know. We have food in the freezer
w.imp: I don't know...I don't have any ideas
me: I know. Not that nothing appeals...
(silence - but it is somehow heavier..?)
I suppose I could go throw something on the stove
w.imp: (pause) Ok!
(knowing that I would have to go start throwing raw, frozen meat in a pan, toyed with not doing today's blog)
w.imp: I don't know. I feel guilty now.
me: (really??? Can I capitalize on this?---Silence)
w.imp: (waving a package of frozen meat through the kitchen door) I really don't have any idea...
me: Weeeell, we could go out..?
w.imp: (SMILING) OK!
me: (now I just have to pick someplace she'll like...)