Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dear Visitors of the Morse Museum

The Morse Museum has a strict “No Stroller” policy. Although they offer the services of their own strollers they do not want you to bring your kids in their own strollers. So the double stroller that you may bring to keep both of your children in check as you try to admire the incredible leaded glass artwork of Louis Comfort Tiffany, will not be allowed into the museum.

Also they do not allow any photography. So if you have a child whose name is inspired by Maxfield Parrish, the masterful illustrator of the early 20th century, and you want to take a picture of your child in front of one of Parrish’s originals paintings that hangs in a gallery, they will prohibit you from doing so. Or if you have a child, with the middle name of Blue which is also inspired by the artist Parrish, who is renowned for his use of blues, which the phrase Parrish Blue comes from, and you want to take a picture of your child in front of one of Parrish’s original paintings that exemplifies his use of blue, they will also not allow that.

The security guards were very nice and helpful and they make sure to give you the hairy eyeball any time your out-of-the-stroller two year gets too close to any of the pieces of art.

Otherwise the Morse Museum is a great place to visit with stellar artwork from some great American artists.



PS. If you happen to view the huge stained glass door panels from the August Heckscher House, made by L.C. Tiffany himself, the smaller finger smudges and snot on the lower left hand corner were not made by the artist. My apologies.

Happy Anniversary

December 28th, 1963 ("Late December back in 63", as Frankie Valli said, "What a lady, what a night.") My parents got married. So that means that today they have been married lot of years.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Every time you click a link an Angel gets it's wings

For the long weekend I figured I would be creative with some links to other great blogs.

T'was the Few nights b'fore Christmas, when all through the Blog
Not a creature was stirring, not even Soozie’s Dog

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Right next to Bucky’s crotchless underwear

The children were nestled all snug in their bed,
While visions of Rude Cactuses danced in their heads,

And Gumby in her 'kerchief, and Metrodad in his cap,
Had just settled their brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the monitor there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Using Microsoft "favorites" I clicked with a flash
Tore open the Windows and the blogroll cache.

The light from the 'puter, emitted it’s glow
Gave the lustre to the many blogs below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should address,
But blogger, Livejournal and some Wordpress,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew I would stop by to see Oddmix

More rapid than Dial up the loaded pages came
As I whistled, and chuckled, and called them by name:
"Now, Nilbo! now,Toady Joe! now CK and Klog!
On, Kami! on Eclectic! on, Sharkey and StepBLOG!
From the click of my mouse and through the firewall!
Now post away! post away! post away all!"

May I also recommend these other sites.
The Blogfathers, Desperate Working Momma, Flailing my Arms, Todd's blog, and say hi to Effie who will be having a baby soon.

I know this was cheesy and I took some serious poetic license but, what the hell. I know it may have sucked.
Anyway, Have a Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays.

Moon Moon Moon

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Laurie Berkner's DVD is one of the few kids videos that I enjoy. Sure she has a fun and entertaining songs, but watching Maxfield get into them is the best part.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Last week, while at MOPS, Max was stabbed with a fork near his eye by some two year old girl. I believe they were arguing over who is the best Little Einstein when she broke out her plastic fork and attacked. The ladies in charge of the kids said Max cried but he did not ask for his mommy and he handled it very well.

You cannot really see it in this picture but the scratch goes from right under his left eye all the way to his ear.

I think the girl likes him.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Names, names, names

We used to be a team, partners. I used to be able to count on Lauren to help me out. I could trust her, no matter what the circumstance, to cover for my weaknesses. If we were out, and met people that knew me, but I did not remember their names, she knew to introduce herself in an effort to help me get their name. All I had to do was give her a look and she knew. She knew to help me out.

However, recently our relationship has changed. I did not see it coming.

Sunday night Nikki, one of the moms in the neighborhood, called our house to see if we were bringing the kids to the parade of boats at the lake. The parade of boats is a tradition in our neighborhood where a bunch of boats are decorated with lights and what-have-you for Christmas. I told Nikki we would meet her, her husband, and her kids down at the lake. I do not know Nikki or her family all that well, I think they are good people and I enjoy their company the few times I have seen them at the playground. Lauren knows her and her family better than I do.

On our walk down to the lake, I asked Lauren what are Nikki’s kid’s names. Lauren laughed and said, “You can’t remember? I am going to make you figure it out.”

(I am the type of person who used to be good with names. I used to have my own nicknames for people that I could use association tricks to remember their names. The guy that worked for Philly Extract was Jake from Philly Extract. The guy that worked for the aquarium was the "Fish Guy". The woman that worked for Gelmarc was Gail from Gelmarc. I did not need to know their names, I would just call them by what they did or how I met them. Big Mike was big. His name may have not been Mike but that is what I called him. Bubblegum Bob always had bubblegum. Crazy Bill was, well crazy. You get the point. But when it comes to people's real names, I suck.

I don’t like the fact that names are difficult for me. And I don’t like to be embarrassed at the fact that I do not remember names. Especially children's names. I like when other people remember my kid's names only after meeting them once or twice. It makes me feel good. Like they left an impression. So when I see other kids, I like to return the favor so to speak.

“Just tell me. It would easier that way.” I asked.

“No. Figure it out.” She said.

“Tell me her husband’s name.”

“You don’t remember?”

“Greg? No. Mark? No. It is a “G’ name. Right?”

“I can’t believe you don’t know this.” Lauren said tormenting me.

“Just tell me the kid’s names.” I pleaded. “I know their girl is Madison because Nikki said that on the phone. But what is their son's name?”

“I am going to let you figure it out.”

“Lukas? No he is Greg and Janelle’s Boy. Janelle’s husband is Greg right? No Greg is Nikki’s husband. Wait a minute. Nikki's husband works for a retirement home. Greg works for NASA. You are seriously going to make me figure this out on my own, aren’t you?”

Lauren just laughed. I ran through a bunch of names and she did not even give me a sign whether I was hot or cold. We finally arrived at the party and greeted Nikki and her kids. I listened closely trying to figure out what her son’s name was, to see if she would say it. Nothing. After about 10 minutes Nikki apologized to Lauren about something and Lauren said, “That’s okay. Bill doesn’t know that your son’s name is Jared. He has been trying to figure it out for the past half hour.”

She threw me under the bus.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I am...


Friday, December 15, 2006


The other night Lauren and I put the kids to bed, gathered up all the bows, ribbons, tape, paper and gifts and we sat on the living room floor. I had made a pot of coffee to give us a little boost as we planned to wrap all the gifts while chatting the night away. Since most of the gifts need to get shipped up to PA we wanted to get all the wrapping done early. It was quite cozy.

I started with the red and green striped paper to wrap a gift for Luke as Lauren sized up the white patterned paper for a gift for Jess. My cut was a little off, but for the most part it was straight and I had, surprisingly, cut enough paper off the roll to cover the entire gift. Lauren was centereing Jess' gift on the paper before she made a cut.

I folded to the left, tape, tape. I folded to the rght, tape, tape. I folded both sides, tape, tape, tape and just one more, tape, for good measure. I cut a small piece of paper off the roll, wrote "To Luke" and taped it to the gift. Done. I looked over to Lauren who was carefully folding each corner to make a perfect crisp line on her gift. I went to get a cup a coffee.

When I came back into the room, Lauren, who was carefully tying some ribbon criss-crossing the corners of the wrapped box, looked up at me and said, "I will wrap the rest of the gifts."

"No. I will help." I said as I sat down and grabbed another gift.

Lauren's hand reached out to stop my hand from grabbing the roll of paper. "No." She said. "I really don't mind. I will wrap the rest of the gifts." And she looked over at the gift I had wrapped for Luke and then back to me and she nodded to indicate to me that it was okay for me to leave the room.

I think she was just jealous of my quick, efficient, Martha Stewart like wrap job that she did not want me to wrap more gifts than her.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


One weekend, a while back, I received a phone call on my cell. I could see from the caller ID that it was from one of my co-workers Ben White’s house.

I answered in my usual manner, “Hi, this is Bill.”

I was surprised to hear a woman’s voice. “Yes. Hi. I need help with my home computer.” She said.

I found this to be a strange request because I am somewhat of an idiot when it comes to computers and the fact that I have never spoken to Ben’s wife before. “Uh. Okay.”

She could tell from my hesitation that maybe she called the wrong number. “Well, This is the Geek Squad, right?” She asked.

“Excuse me?” I replied.

“I am looking for the Geek Squad.”

I was perplexed. “This is Bill. I work with your husband.”

She hesitated, “Oh, I am so sorry. I was looking for the Geek Squad.”

“Well I am sorry. I wish I could help you.”

She started to chuckle, “Oh you see, Ben wrote down a few numbers on a piece of paper and next to this one, he wrote Geek."

I laughed myself. “So now I know how your husband really feels about me. He thinks I'm a geek.” I said jokingly.

She was caught off guard. “Oh no. There is another number under the word Geek. That must be the one to the Geek Squad.”

“Riiiight.” I said sarcastically.

“No. Really. I am sorry I bothered you.”

“That’s okay. I am just glad it does not say ASSHOLE next to my name.”

Which, now that I think about it, it probably does now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Note to self..

...when the crotch buttons on the onesie pop open by themselves, it is a good indicator that the baby's diaper is full.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bad Compliment

“You know Lauren, You are a complete 180 from when I met you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean? That I am NOT the same person that you met and fell in love with? What’s so different about me that I am a complete 180 from when we met?”

“I mean…uhh…ummm. Just that I am so impressed with how you turned out.”

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sign Language Study

For one of my scientific studies(Last year I asked about the invisible phone).

So in the holiday spirit of spirits....

Do you know how you may be at a party or maybe Sears and you want to signal to someone that a third party, maybe, has had too much to drink, without coming right out and saying it, so you use the universal hand signal, where you hold up your hand to your mouth to symbolize the alcoholic drink and you make the quick one-two wrist flick towards your mouth while you roll your eyes towards the said questionable drunk person. You know what I am talking about.

Well, are you the tip-of-the-thumb-to-the-mouth-pinky-extended type of "Yo. That Dude is drunk" signal giver or are you the form-your-hand-like-you-are-holding-a-cup (if you look at your hand your index finger to your thumb looks like the letter "C") and-you-take-an-imaginary-sip-from-the-edge-of-your-thumb "Yo. That Dude is drunk" signal giver?

And as a side question, what type of imaginary spirit do you think of when you are making this gesture?

And just an obeservation I made about myself while reading last years imaginary phone study and this imaginary booze study is that I can "drink" from my "phone".

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Olive you, this much

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dan Howard

Every good parent wants what is best for his or her children. Every good parent has a responsibility to raise their children until they reach adulthood and beyond. Every good parent looks towards their kid’s future (first days of school, vacations, first dates, high school and college graduations, marriage, success, and eventually grandkids) with hope and a bright outlook. All of these moments make for great memories. But good parents, mostly, live in the day to day of raising their children. Most times the day-to-day is not memorable. Some days the kids get the best of us, where we want to bang our heads against a wall. But most times, parents get the best of the kids, where we can relish in the smallest of achievements of our little ones.

As a parent sometimes I need to be reminded to make everyday memorable. Sure, I look forward to my children’s major accomplishments in the future, but I admit I often get caught up in my life that I miss the little things that are happening today, right in front of me. I often think, what if I am not around to see my son graduate? What if I don’t make it for their wedding? And I realize that I need to make sure that I enjoy them right now and smother them in love and happiness.

I cannot picture my children’s lives without me in them. I want to teach them how to hit a baseball. I want to help them with their homework. I want to show them how to shave. I want to video tape their graduation. I want to witness them marry and have kids. Some of this may sound selfish but some of it is payback for all the long sleepless nights that parents get due to worry. Some of the role of being a parent is not selfish but for every major accomplishment they achieve I know I will be proud, proud of the fact that they are mine. That sense of pride is for me. Maybe it is selfish to want to witness all of this but I know …hell I don’t know. Yodas and shit.

My kids are younger than 3 at this point and I still feel the need to be part of their future lives. Think about it, just picture for a minute, you as a parent not being able to share those major stages of life with your kids. It hurts doesn’t it?

Back in March I posted (click here for the story) about my friend “Horace”. In the post I asked for information about different doctors and the blog-o-sphere came through with tons of info and recommendations, for which I am very grateful. My friend “Horace” whose real name is Dan Howard has passed away. He was 35. He left behind a wife and a two-year-old daughter named Mara. Dan was a good parent. He wanted to be a part of Mara's future. He wanted what was best for her. It is very sad.

The last time I spoke to Dan, which was a while ago, I told him that I loved him. Which is something at the time, I am sure, felt as awkward for him as it did for me. But I am thankful that, at least, I got to tell him. Dan and his family were strong and I am sure that when he finally passed, he was at peace with his situation. But what really pains me, to the point of tears, is knowing that, no matter how positive he stayed through his ordeal, is that somewhere in the recesses of his mind he knew he was not going to see his daughter grow up here on this earth. That he would not be able to teach her to hit a ball. That he would not video her graduation. That he would not be the one to give her away at her wedding. And, that, to me, is a burden that no parent should have to deal with. The fact that I know Dan well enough to know he was thinking these thoughts makes me weep.

Hug your kids today. Tell someone that you love, that you love them today.

Dan was out of work while fighting the cancer. I am sure he had huge medical bills. Dan’s family has set up a fund for Mara’s future. Please go to Mara Howard Fund (click for link or go to and read Dan’s story and if you can, donate a little something for Mara’s future. They have it set up that they can accept checks and PayPal. If you have some loose change in your PayPal account (and it is not enough to buy that Yuengling Lager((Dan Loved Yuengling)) beer tap you wanted on Ebay) please send it to Mara.

Go Flyers.

Hide and seek

You would think, that after the scare I had at Home Depot (see yesterday's post), that Maxfield would have some mad skills when it comes to Hide and Seek. The video below is evidence that he does not grasp the concept of the game.

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Monday, December 04, 2006


I was standing in the middle of Home Depot, like I do every weekend, trying to figure out the best type of weed and feed to get for my yard. I was actually out in the garden center at the corner where the shelves of this-and-that end, and the sea of table tops on cinder blocks covered in plants begins. I was facing the shelves with my back to the aisles-upon-aisles of various plants. Maxfield was standing on the ladder that clearly stated "employees only". A woman wearing the Home Depot orange approached and I hurried Max off the ladder in an effort to look like I was respecting the rules.

"Do you need help?" She asked. "He is okay on there as long as you got him." She said referring to the ladder.

"Yes. Actually I do. Thanks." I let Max climb the ladder as I held his hand. "I need a weed and feed that will also kill grubs and other insects. Do you have anything like that?"

She walked further up the aisle as she said something over her shoulder. I escorted Max from the ladder and started to follow the Home Depot Lady. Max stopped, he was fascinated with a bird feeder. I let him inspect the feeder as I followed the lady. The further I got down the row of fertilizers the further I was away from Max. He was too far away from my comfort zone and I called to him to catch up. Max ran up and grabbed my leg as the Home Depot Lady smiled at him. She realized that she walked us in the wrong direction and we headed back down the aisle towards the ladder, the birdfeeder and the rows upon rows of plants. She led us past the ladder, I could no longer "feel" Max at my 5 o'clock position. I stopped, looked, and saw he was at the birdfeeder. I called to him and he came running.

As he ran by, the Home Depot Lady said something about the type of granules I should use and she pointed to a bag and, and, and, he ran BY?

"Did Max just run by me. " I thought, the Home Depot Lady was on her way to help another customer. I turned toward the direction Max was heading and I could not see him anywhere. All I saw was thousands of plants of various sizes and colors. My heart stopped.

"Max." I called out. "MAX." There was no reponse. "MAXFIELD ALEXANDRE." He does not know his middle name but I knew using it would make ME feel better. Still no reponse. I could not see over some of the tables of plants, into the next aisles, due to the size of the lush green leafy plants.

My head started spinning. "Ohmygodholyshit.Wherethefuckishe.Ohmygodholyshit. Hewasjustheretwofuckingsecondsago." I thought as I ran up the aisle I thought he was in.

My brain would not let up as I ran back and forth through every row. "Ohmygodholyshit.Wherethefuckishe. Not here. Holyshit he could run out into the parking lot from here and get hit by a truck. Oh fuck. Not in this row. He could get run over by a fork lift in here. Where the fuck is he? Oh Fuck a stack of paver stones could fall on him and crush him. Wherethe fuckishe? Holyshit. Someone could take him. Should I call 911?"

I stopped running. I called his name, first, middle and last, a few more times. My feet were cold. My fingers were numb.

I mentally tried to quiet my surroundings to see if I could hear his footsteps. "Shutthefuck up beep beep beep of the fork lift in the back, I am trying to listen for my son. Fucking Cash register is too loud at the front of the store. Could someone please fix that squeaky shopping cart. Someone needs to run out to the parking lot and tell people to stop pulling in here. Everybody needs to stop right fucking now. I have to tell someone to put the store in lock down. But if I take time to get someone Max may get hurt. My son is missing! What the?"

"Sir, Are you all right?" A woman asked, snapping me back to reality.

"No. I am looking for my two year old. He just ran through here." I muttered.

"What was he wearing?"

"What?" There was a ringing in my ears. "Holycrap I can't remember what he was wearing. why didn't I write it down when we left. Am I suppoed to know these thing? I guess so. I am his father. What the fuck was he wearing? Was it his red shirt? Maybe, but was it his red shirt with the white stripes or the blue stripes? Was it his red shirt at all? What the hell was he wearing?"

The lump in my throat and the dryness of my mouth made the word "RED" sound like a groan as it escaped my lips. The woman started to look for Max as I took off up another aisle. "How could he possibly be gone? He is fast but not that fast. I bet that weird dude I saw over in lighting department followed me out here and took him. Oh God. Where is he? Wait, was that a flash of red?"

I looked. "No. It was just the Poinsettias. Why does he have to be wearing red at Christmas time?"

I tunred a corner. "There, another flash of red. Or are my eyes playing tricks?" I ran to the next row. I looked. There was Max running down the row towards me. All smiling and playful.

"Little fucker". I thought. I picked him up, as all my senses came back to me. I gave him a hug and kiss as I scolded him.

I have been in many scarey situation in my life. Car accidents. Fist fights and brawls. Gunfire going over my head. But I have never been as scared as I was for those 90 seconds that Max was gone.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Pop Culture

I really enjoy the show The Office. In my opinion it is one of the best acted shows on television. The writing and the humor is so over the top and so subtle at the same time that sometimes I am not sure what I am laughing at. There are also moments that the characters do some things that are so off the wall or so wrong that it makes me physically uncomfortable while I am watching. I can feel myself being embarrassed for the characters. To be able to achieve that type of emotional response from a viewer in a half hour sitcom, to me, is outstanding. It is one of those shows where you either get it or you don’t.

One of the greatest aspects of the show is that it is always funnier when you talk about it with other Office fans. There are three or four people that I talk to every Friday about the show from the night before. We discuss different parts and lines from the show that we found funny. More often than not, we all found different parts funnier than others. They get it.

About two months ago, I found out that J. and A., our neighbors down the street, are Office fans. J. and A.’s kids play with our kids and I have been in their company about 2 dozen times in the past two years. I know them well enough to consider them friends, but most of our interactions have been at birthday parties or holiday gatherings where I am usually in mixed company with other people that I do not know and that I try to be on my best behavior. So I don’t know if J. and A. get ME. Besides our kids, we have other common interests but I was very happy to learn that we shared an appreciation for the same show and we discussed different aspects of the show.

The main character in the Office, who often causes my embarrassment for him and for the other characters, is Michael. He is always saying or doing the wrong thing. One of his recurring wrong phrases is “That’s what she said.” For instance, if someone is talking about taking a difficult test, they may say to him “It was long and hard.” And he responds with “That’s what she said.” no matter how inappropriate.

A few weeks ago I was at J. and A.’s house for a birthday party. I went into the living room to check the score of a football game. On the TV was a Nascar race that no one was watching. I grabbed the remote, surfed through the channels, found the game, checked the score and put it back to the race. J. and his dad came into the room to catch up on the race when J. noticed that the race was no longer on the High Definition channel. I must have put the race back on, on the normal channel. J. clicked the remote and the picture changed to unbelievable clarity and, well, high definition. The surround sound was incredible.

As I turned to leave the room, I heard J. say to his dad. “HDTV. Isn’t it amazing?" He pointed to the race on the screen and said, "It’s almost like you can feel the rubber burning.”

Without missing an opportunity to show my quick Office wit to my newfound Office fan friend I said, “That’s what she said.”

I got no reaction.

I paused ready to explain myself but figured it may be a lost cause and I left the room. It bothered me the rest of the night. I kept thinking to myself, “Great, this guy thinks I am a total perv. Maybe he didn’t hear me. The surround sound was pretty loud. Maybe he did, but thinks I am an ass. Maybe he didn’t get the Office reference. Should I explain myself? No. Then I may look like a bigger ass. I will just let it go.”

But I couldn’t. I thought about it and thought about it. I was totally distracted by the thought that J. did not get it or me.

I bet if you were watching me, I would have made you physically uncomfortable.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Look kid, you're bothering me.

I used to get this look from my older brother John all the time. Well actually I still do.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Concert in the Garden

Over the weekend I was busy with a landscaping project. I was removing 16 small diseased Azalea bushes from my front garden. I was using all the typical gardening tools; a gas powered edger to clean up the garden bed, a shovel to dig up the plants, a fan rake the empty spot over with mulch and an I-Pod with fast tempo “pick-me-up” music to make the chore go by faster.

About an hour into the project I was in a zone. Lost in my own world of dirt and mulch and the music. It was just me and the music doing the landscaping. I was edging a little faster to the Counting Crows. I was digging to the beat of Peter Gabriel. And I was rocking the rake to Dave Matthews. I took a step back, while holding the rake, to catch my breath and survey the next section of the garden. Dave Matthews “Grave Digger” began playing on the I-Pod. This song is a very moody song that starts slow and picks up pace.

Without realizing what I was doing, like I said I was in a zone, I was playing the air guitar. Well actually I was playing the rake like it was guitar, my head slightly rocking back and forth to the beat. Half singing, half humming the lyrics.
When you dig my grave

“Bill.” I faintly hear my name being called. Someone in the crowd holding up a lighter.

Make it shallow,
So that I can feel the rain.

“Bill” My named called again only slightly louder than the first. The fans were digging the tune.

Little Mikey Carson 67 to 75
He rode his bike like the devil
Until the day he died.

BILL!” Someone was calling me.

I was immediately transported back to my front lawn. I turned around, still strumming the rake to see the lady from up the street trying to get my attention from her van. I acted like I was just trying to remove debris from the rake.

My face, it was already red from working.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Walking the dog

Six or seven years ago, before we had kids and when Lauren and I lived in sin, we attended a wedding of someone somehow related to me. In between the wedding and the reception we were going to meet my siblings at my sister’s boyfriend’s house for drinks. Before we arrived at the house, Lauren’s dress got caught on something and ripped down the back seem across her butt. Once at my sister’s boyfriend’s house she went to the bathroom to check the damage. When she came out she said we had to go home so she could change her dress. She asked that I not say anything to any of my brothers because she did not want to risk being further embarrassed. She knew that they could be pretty relentless when it comes to making jokes.

I told my sister that we had to run home. When she asked why, the first excuse I could come up with was that we forgot to feed the cats and we wanted to make sure they were okay for the night. My brother Dennis heard my lame excuse and immediately announced to the rest of the group with the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-if you-know-what-I-mean nod of approval.

“Lauren and Bill are going home to feed the cats. Alright!” he said and he slapped me on the back.

We left more embarrassed than what the ripped dress would have caused. When we got to the reception everybody there was like, “Alright, feeding the cats. Way to go. It’s nice to be young and in love.” All with the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-if-you-know-what-I-mean type of stuff.

A few years later I was in a meeting at work with a couple of guys, a few who happen to be my brothers. This was not a serious meeting but more of a bullshit session. At one point I got up from chair to walk across the room. I had a noticeable limp. One of the guys asked me what happened to my leg.

I said, “This morning I was walking the dog and I slipped and twisted it wrong.”

One guy said, “Alright. Walking the dog. Is that what you call it? Good for you Bill.” All with the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-if-you-know-what-I-mean head nod of approval.

“No, seriously,” I said. “I wish that is what caused my leg injury but I was really walking my dog this morning.”

“Alright. Lucky you. Walking the Dog. I like that. No wonder you are in a good mood.” Another guy chimed in with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge.

Another guy said, “I thought you called it feeding the cats.”

“I like Walking the dog better.” Said somebody else. “How often do you walk the dog, Bill?”

“Twice a day.”

“Twice a day? You are one lucky man.” Everyone was laughing including myself.

Now I can never mention the fact that I walk the dog to any of my brothers without getting the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-if-you-know-what-I-mean chuckle and head nod of approval. And if we are ever late or cannot make a family function someone always says that Lauren and I had to feed the cats.

Now for all of you pet owners that read this, think about this the next time you walk the dog or feed the cats. Wink-wink-nudge-nudge-If-you-know-what-I-mean.

Besides the standards, do you have any codes or euphemisms that you use*? Wink-wink-nudge-nudge-if-you-know-what-I-mean.

*Mom you are not allowed to answer this question.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mothers Anonymous

Lauren joined a M.O.P.S. (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) group a few months back. MOPS provides a good place for Maxfield to meet other kids and for Lauren to meet other moms and learn crafts. Since Lauren has a masters degree in craft-ology she goes just for the social aspect of the group.

Every time she tells me she is going, she says,"I am going the MOPS meeting." I always chuckle because I picture a bunch of women drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes in the basement of a church telling their story.

"Hi. I'm Lauren."

"We love you Lauren."

"I hit rock bottom when I had my second kid in June....."

The other day she was telling me about the upcoming events at MOPS.

"Then we are going to tour a firehouse. Which will be cool for Maxfield to see the fire engines up close. Oh and they are also hosting a moms exchange. "

"Oh really." I said. "Who do I get in exchange for you?"

"Well, there are some real cuties there at MOPS."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wyatt Getting Big

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

De-Lurkey Turkey Day.

I hope everyone in the U.S. has a great holiday and I hope that all of my international friends have a great..well... rest of the week.

When checking my sitemeter I know that I get an average of 350 visits a day. My brother Kevin makes up for about 25 of those because he likes to Blog Block with his comments. Lawnwhisperer likes to do the same thing. They, well, I, call it BlogJacking.

Blog Jacking basically goes like this: I write a decent post about whatever, and then one of my brothers leaves a comment that is funny. The rest of the comments that follow are not about MY post but more about their comments. They Blog Jack my blog.

Today and over the weekend if you a regular visitor here at Poop and Boogies please leave me a comment. Even if you don't normally leave a comment, if you are just a lurker, please say "Hi", tell me how you found Poop and Boogies or just say where you are from.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pictured Framed Eggs.

The middle school I attended (6th through 8th grade) had six six-week grading periods. Besides the normal classes like the three “R”s, the students had to take secondary classes like Art, Woodshop, Swimming and Health. These classes would switch every six weeks and would fall on the “off” Gym days. One of the secondary classes was Home Economics.

In Home-Ec we learned to sew, balance a checkbook and how to wash dishes (drinking glasses first followed by the silver ware, then plates and finally pots and pans). I believe it was in 7th grade where we actually learned to cook a few dishes. One of the dishes we learned to make was Pictured Framed Eggs.

Since my brother John, AKA LawnWhisperer, was year older than me he learned how to make Pictured Framed Eggs first. He loved the idea of cutting a hole in a piece of bread, buttering it and frying it with an egg, over easy, in the center of the bread. A fried egg framed by a piece of bread became his favorite breakfast. For the rest of my sixth grade year (his 7th grade) he made Pictured Framed Eggs for us almost every Sunday. If the eggs were done the right way, you could break the yolk on your plate and use some of the fried bread to sop up yellow nutrients and eat it.

When I finally took the 7th grade Home-Ec glass I was practically a pro at Pictured Framed Eggs. I knew my plate would be the best in the class in taste and presentation. You see we would use a wine glass to cut the center of the bread so the hole was perfectly round. We would take the rounded center and cut a triangle “mouth” into it so it would look like Pac-Man. We would toast the Pac-Man and serve it with the meal. How could the teacher not like this? Toasted Pac-Man and Pictured Framed Eggs: what a delicious and kid friendly breakfast. Anyway, in class, I got too excited, I was cocky really, and I broke the yolk while it was frying in the pan. It still tasted good but my presentation was shot to hell even with the Pac-Man toast. I was not as good as my brother John.

I still make Pictured Framed Eggs, but for a long time I was not concerned with presentation. But now that I have kids I know the importance of presentation. I need to make delicious and kid friendly meals. Recently Lauren bought some cookie cutters that have yet to be used for cookies. Take a look at the pictures.

Take that! John.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Just so you know...

...I am not a wuss because I asked my wife to open a jar of tomato sauce that I could not open myself.

Besides, she could not open it either.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Young Grasshoppers

In the event of my untimely death I know that Lauren would be able to raise the kids and that she would have the support and love of my family and hers to help her. I know that Maxfield’s and Wyatt’s Godparents (and Lauren) would see to them knowing about me and what I was like as a person. But part of me always thinks that there may be some lessons in life that I learned that may not get passed onto my kids. I have often tried to write them a letter, explaining to them how much I love them as well as trying to include tidbits of my limited wisdom but they always end up too mushy and sappy and I end up deleting the letters.

After much thought, I realized it would just be easier for me to write them a list of things that I think they should know and provide them with names of people that can help them out if the need arises, if I were to die early.

Max and Wyatt,

If you are reading this that means I am not around to teach you things that I think you should know. This will be a very long list but I am sure at some point in your life it will come in handy. Since I am not here to teach you these things I ask that you seek out these people to teach you.

Every boy/man should learn how to fish. I would recommend that you go to both PopPop and Uncle Pat. PopPop will teach you how to bait your hook, cast a line and how to catch a fish. Uncle Pat can teach you how to do all that with one hand so the other is free to hold a beer. If you want to actually catch fish, use Pop Pop’s method.

If you ever need a lawyer, call Uncle Dennis or Aunt Bridget McV. If you need legal assistance because you allegedly committed a crime call Aunt Bridget. She will not lecture you. If you are involved in a lawsuit call Uncle Dennis. He is an excellent attorney who dots all his “I”s and crosses all of his “T”s and could likely bore anyone into a settlement.

Always return your library books. Just ask your Uncle Moon.

Every Boy/man should learn not to gamble but at least HOW to gamble. I think the best teachers for this would be Uncle Tony (He is the bald Italian guy you see sometimes at holidays) for card games and Uncle Kevin for Dice. Uncle Tony will teach you about Chips, Steaks, and pots as well as chips, stakes and pots. Uncle Kevin may not know the odds on a Craps table but he knows how to hoot and holler like he is winning.

If either of you ever get into a jam that may require a more discrete but extreme solution or problem that no one else can help, I want you to call Dave C and Will D. They will know what to do. They are like the A-team but without the black Van. Plus they can teach you all about bourbon. They love it when a plan comes together.

I am sure I will be adding to this letter but it is all I have so far.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Kid's Crest Cavity Protection Sparkle Fun Flavor. I seriously could just put it in a bowl and eat it for dessert everynight. It tastes that good.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I went to Albertson’s supermarket, during my lunch, to pick up a few odds and ends. Since I was limited on time, I did not walk up down each aisle, but actually paced the front of the store and looked up at each sign that hung in the aisles that indicated what the aisle contained.
The signs read “4A- Soups, Canned goods, Coffee”, “5B- Cleaning supplies, Detergents, Household.” “6A-Snacks, Soda,”

It was typical of every supermarket I have ever been in; the sign indicated a generic description of what was located in the aisle. As I was looking for the aisle for diapers I noticed a sign that stuck out at me. I forget what else was listed on the sign but, what struck me was, one of the items listed was Marshmallows.

I couldn’t believe it. Marshmallows got their own place on a sign. I thought they would fall under a different category like candy, or Baked goods, or snacks. But marshmallows got their very own mention.

I find this to be weird. Do you?

Family Resemblance

Lauren was sitting in the living room with Maxfield and Wyatt and I was checking my fantasy football scores in the office. I could hear Max grunting as he was working on a good size bowel movement.

Lauren called to me from the other room, “You know he looks like your brother John when he is pooping.”

I called back, “I am quite disturbed by the fact that you know what my brother John looks like when he is pooping.”

I could hear her eyes roll from the other room. “ I meant when Max is pooping he looks like your brother John. The way Max makes that face.” She said.

“Oh.” I said. “What does that say about my brother John?”

Friday, November 10, 2006

For the record

Do you know how the tallest person in the room is always asked to get something down, say from a top shelf, or high cabinet. Well I think it is perfectly okay to ask the shortest person in the room to pick up stuff that is dropped on the floor.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


It was 11:15 PM. I was struggling to keep my eyes open so I could catch the end of the Daily Show. The weight of the day was slowly lifting off of me and my muscles were becoming paralyzed; relaxed by the warm comfort of the blanket. Just a few more minutes. Blink. Just a few more…Blink. Just a few...A really long blink. I could feel the remote sliding from my hand. I let it go.

What seemed like a second was actually fifteen minutes when I shot up in bed to the scream I heard on the monitor. Max was yelling. A bad dream. He was calling out in his sleep. I waited a moment, hoping he would fall back to sleep. The green indicator lights on the monitor went quickly from four back to one. Silence. I put my head back on the pillow. I checked the alarm clock to make sure it was set. Blink. I looked at the monitor lights again and could see them pulsing from one to three. What was that noise? It sounds like Max is jumping on the bed. He yelled again.

I went upstairs to calm him down. I opened the door to see that he was on his knees, half hopping half rocking back and forth on the bed.

“Hey Max.” I whispered knowing the monitor was still on in our bedroom. I did not want to wake up Wyatt or Lauren. “What’s wrong?”

Max mumbled something I did not understand. He said it over and over again. I reached and maneuvered him back onto his pillow. “It’s okay. Daddy is here. Go back to sleep.”

He mumbled again as I stroked his hair. He was quickly back asleep. I went back to bed. I checked the clock. 11:35. I grabbed the remote and flipped the channel to Letterman. I heard the intro music and I was asleep again.

“DADDY!” Max’s scream, amplified by the monitor 10 times, woke me up a half hour later. It was not his normal voice. He sounded terrified. I ran up the steps two at a time. I flung open the bedroom door. He was standing on the bed with his arms outstretched, his eyes wide with horror. Once I got close enough to the bed he leapt into my arms.

“What’s wrong Max?” I said looking him up and down for any injuries.

He mumbled. “Hisawpomosis. In the bed.”

“What?” I asked trying to figure out if he was still sleeping.

“Hisawpomosis. Hisawpomosis. In the blankets.”

I moved the blankets and the pillows looking for whatever was bothering him. “What Max? What do you need?”

“Hisawpomosis. In the bed. Hisawpomosis.”

I put him on the floor. I looked into his eyes. He was awake. “I am here. It is okay. Tell me slowly, what is bothering you?"

“His. Awp. Omosis.”


“Yes! In the bed.”

I picked him up and took him to my bed. Needless to say I did not get any sleep that night. And I also need to call an exterminator.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


There are two docks down by the lake near my house. One is a low boat slip dock that sits about a foot above the water level and juts straight out about 15 feet from the shore. The other, which is about 50 feet from the boat slip dock, sits about 8 feet above the water level is used mostly for fishing. The fishing dock is in the shape of the letter “T” with a narrow walkway about 10 feet long, leading out into the water, to the larger platform area. Maxfield calls this “the bridge” because you have to walk over the water to the platform.

The other day, Max and I walked down to the lake to plunk stones. We do not skip stones because Max is only two and has not been able to get the arm movement down to actually skip stones across the surface of the water. As we approached the two docks I noticed a couple on the fishing dock, lying on top of a blanket, making out. They looked like a couple of teenagers enjoying a romantic picnic. I tired to steer Max to the boat slip dock but he wanted to go to the fishing dock.

“Bridge, Daddy.” He said pointing to the larger dock.

“No. Max. Let’s just over here.” I said trying to give the couple some privacy. Hell, I was a teenager once.

“Bridge, Daddy.” He said again and he headed to the fishing dock.

“Max, let’s go to the smaller dock.” I grabbed his hand and directed him towards the smaller structure trying to avoid an awkward moment.

“BRRRRIIIDDDDGGGE!” He yelled at the top of his lungs.

I looked over at the couple to see if they heard him. The girl broke off the lip lock and lifted herself to onto her one elbow and looked over towards us. We made eye contact. “Great.” I thought to myself. “She now thinks that I was staring at them and that I some type of a perv.”

Max freed his hand from mine and ran towards the larger dock. I hurried to catch up to him before he could walk down the entrance planks. The guy at the other end of the dock sat up and shook his head in frustration as the girl twisted and straightened her top.

“I’m sorry.” I called out to them. “We’ll only be a few minutes.” I said as we crossed the bridge and intruded upon their space. As I got closer I realized that the young couple were not teenagers but were actually in their mid-twenty’s. I did not feel so bad now. I mean teenagers need a place to be romantic. An Inspiration point so to say. But mid-twenty-some-things I think they should understand the risks of getting frisky in public.

Max threw some sticks into the lake as the young couple sat in silence waiting us out. Max lost interest after two minutes and wanted to head over to the little dock. As we walked back down the “bridge” I turned towards the couple and said, “Look I am really sorry about interrupting your, uh, romantic afternoon. I mean, I remember I used to have romantic afternoons too, but they led to him.” I pointed at Maxfield. “I don’t have romantic afternoons anymore.”

Monday, November 06, 2006


For the midterm election my extinguished colleague has decided to run an “attack ad” against me on Dad Vs Dad. So I now have to run one.

I am William and I approve of this message.

I will not stoop to attack Dad Vs Dad. I will merely state the facts.

My wife is beautiful. Fact.

My kids are cute. Fact.

Poop and Boogies Blog posts to date= 522.

Dad Vs. Dad Blog posts to date= 102.

Poop and Boogies Average posts per week=4.

Dad Vs Dad average posts per MONTH=3

My Mother loves me more than she loves him. Fact.

My Dad *can beat up his dad. Fact.

If you leave a comment on the LawnWhisperer’s blog that means the terrorists won.

*I know that we have the same same Dad, but Lawnwhisperer often contends that I am the offspring of the mailman.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Not a good way to start the morning.

Lauren: I think we need to pick up diapers for Wyatt.

Bill: Why? There is a bunch of size fours up in his room?

Lauren: Well he is only a size three.

Bill: I put a Four on him last night and it fit fine.

Lauren: Really? They are not too big?

Bill: Yeah. They fit fine. He has got such huge fat thighs. I think he gets that from my Mom’s side of the family.

Lauren: I don’t think so. We should use the size threes that we have.

Bill: Well then he gets it from your side of the family.

Lauren: What?

Bill: Well. Ummm. I have to go to work.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Lauren made an excellent dinner the other night. She cooked a Turkey London Broil in the crock-pot. She also whipped up some home made mashed potatoes and some turkey gravy. There were plenty of leftovers for another night. As I was cleaning up the table and doing the dishes (one of the reasons that I won the Sexiest Husband award 2 years in a row) I had to wrap up all the leftovers. I wrapped the remaining turkey in foil and the mashed potatoes in a Tupperware type container. There was plenty of gravy that needed to be stored as well.

I went through the cabinets looking for the right size container for the gravy. I looked at the measuring cup pitcher thing, which, the gravy was served, and saw that there was about eight ounces left. I looked at some of the Glad containers and they were either too big or too small. I could have just put plastic wrap over the measuring cup but what if we need to use the measuring cup for another meal? I needed to find something else. While going through the cabinets I saw the perfect container. It was designed to hold liquid. It had measuring lines on the side and it would not take up too much room in the fridge. It was also a container we would not need for a little while.

So I put the gravy into one of Wyatt’s bottles and put it in the fridge.

Lauren did not like my selection of containers

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


You know the type of fear that causes the hair on the back of you neck to stand up and your feet to get numb and tingly? The type of fear which causes your legs to feel like rubber and you get chills down your neck and back? It is a true emotional reaction to something you see or hear or feel that you just can't shake, even though your body automatically shakes for you. The feeling is a combination of real fear and some phobia mixed up with a serious case of heebie jeebies. A fear that causes a mental, a physical and emotional reaction.

Well there are not too many things in this world that cause that reaction in me. I have a short list of that type of fear.
1. Lightning. I have tried to face this fear many times. Each time there is a storm I get better and better at dealing with the lightning. It still scares the shit out of me and I live in the lightning capital of the world.

2. Puerto Rican Joe. That his name. He was not Puerto Rican from what I could tell it was just what the other wanna be gangsters called him. He scared me.

3. Walking through a spider web. There is nothing that causes me to change into a panic stricken fool like feeling the invisible threads of a web being pulled through my eyelashes. If you ever walked face first into a web you know what I am talking about. Hours after you have clawed it off your face you can still feel the threads in your hair. I think the reason I fear this is because what is attached to the webs.
4. Spiders. I can't stand spiders. I don't like most critters or insects but I can deal with them. Spiders however, I do not mess with. Here are pictures of what I found in my back yard this weekend. I will stop doing the yardwork completely until this thing leaves. Lauren looked it up on the internet and it is not poisonous and actually gets rid of a lot of pest bugs. She will not kill it for me. I swear to you it was the biggest fucking spider I have ever seen in a real situation. From head to butt it was about two inches. In an effort to face my fears I took the pictures. It is a big fucking scary spider.

Look at it. It casts a frickin shadow. Spiders are not supposed to have shadows.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I can’t eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup without thinking of Mark McMahon.
When I was a kid, and we returned home from Trick-or-Treating my mom always used to check our candy. We would dump the contents of our pillowcases on the kitchen table and with the help of my mom and dad we would make sure that all the candy packages were sealed and that there were no razor blades in any of the apples. Part of checking the candy would consist of taking all of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that we received and set them aside. There was a boy, Mark McMahon, in our neighborhood who was allergic to most foods. The only candy he could eat was Reese’s because they were all natural.

My mom always let us keep one or two, but the rest had to go to Mark. She assured us that he would trade us, piece for piece, with what he brought home in his Halloween bag. Each of us kids would tell my mom what we wanted in trade. I always wanted Tootsie Rolls. They were and still are my favorite candy. My mom would gather all the peanut butter cups and would tell us she would make the trade with Mrs. McMahon the next day.

I am sure there were five or six of us kids who gave up our peanut butter cups each Halloween. I estimate that we probably each gave four or five of the Reese’s to the cause. That is about 25 peanut butter cups out for trade. Most of us would forget the fact that we had some candy coming back to us because we already had so much other goodies that it didn’t really matter.

Now that I think about it I don’t think I ever got any of my Tootsie rolls that were owed to me. Either my mom made up the whole allergy thing so she could keep the Reese’s herself or Mark was a pretty good scam artist.

The way I look at it either my mom owes me about thirty Tootsie Rolls or Mark does.

I am still waiting.

Lauren is dressing up as a celebrity trying to avoid the paparazzi.

Maxfield is Old McDonald......andWyatt...

With an Oink Oink here and an Oink Oink there.

Monday, October 30, 2006


When we drove up to PA in September, I had fastened a portable DVD player on the back of the driver’s seat for Maxfield. Keeping him occupied on the long drive was a must and anything by Nick Jr. usually kept him entertained. At the beginning of each DVD, Nick Jr.’s frog logo, a big frog and a little frog, would appear and the their theme music would play and then the frogs would ribbit. I have yet to take the DVD player out of the car. Every-so-often, Max requests to watch a video on a short trip to the store or to the park. We always say no (I really need to take the player out of the car).

Last week we went to run a few errands. I dropped Lauren and Wyatt at a store and Max and I headed to the bookstore. Lauren was going to meet up with us later. We were in the bookstore for about 10 minutes when Max decided to misbehave and have a meltdown over the fact that some other kid was playing with a green train. We promptly left the store, Max screaming all the way to the car. I fastened him into his car seat and I got into the driver’s seat. We would just go and pick up Lauren and Wyatt. I looked into the rearview mirror to make sure Max was calming down when he pointed to the DVD player and said, “Daddy, frog.”

“No Max. We are not watching a video.” I said looking at him in the rearview mirror as I backed out of the parking space.

“Daddy, frog.” He said again. But this time he was looking at my reflection. I could see his tears starting to fade.

“No Max.” I said and I straightened the car and slowly drove along the storefront. “You need to learn to behave. I am not letting you watch a video.” I stopped at a stop sign and looked at him again in the mirror.

His face went from sadness to terror. “DADDY. FROOOOGGGGG!” He screamed. I followed his eyes as they went from the DVD player to his lap and then across the van.

His scream and his eyes told me he was not mad but scared. He was shaking. I pulled over to check on him. I was not sure what was wrong but I was worried about him. Why did he have such a scared look? As I opened the sliding door he was struggling to get out of his harness. He was petrified. He pointed to the seat next to him. “Daddy, Frog.”

I comforted Maxfield as I looked over to the other side of the van. Sitting on the other door was a frog. It was a good size frog. Where the hell was Lauren? She usually handles this type of stuff (unless it is snakes). I don’t like critters. I told Max everything was going to be okay. The frog must have been on my headrest and jumped onto his lap which is what caused him to freak out. I grabbed the camera and took a few pictures. I then went to the other door and opened it and waited for the frog to jump out. I wasn't going to touch it. We waited for a while. I waived a few cars around us. We must have looked pretty funny sitting in the middle of the drive, with all the doors open, just waiting.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Keeping it Strong

Lauren refuses to let me, let Max be a pimp for Halloween this year.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fresh Fruit

In just a couple of weeks some of the these Ruby Red Grapefruit will be ripe. This is one of my favorite things about living in Florida; having a grapefruit tree in my back yard. These grapefruit are sweet with the perfect amount of tartness and make the perfect breakfast or snack. Now I wish I had a Vodka tree as well. Because there is nothing like some fresh squeezed Vodka with some grapefruit.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If you ask a question....

Ring Ring went the phone at my house last night at 8:45 as Max was just falling asleep.

"Hello." I answered on the second ring, knowing it was a telemarketing type of call, but wanting to stop the noise before the third ring.

"Yes?" said the voice on the phone somewhat surprised that I answered. "Hello. I am calling about your recent service with your KIA dealer. On September 19th you took your car in for service and I wanted to conduct a brief survey about that service."

"How long will this take?" I answered. I have no problem with these types of call because I know how difficult cold calls can be.

"Three minutes, sir."


She then continued to ask me a series of questions about the service at the local KIA dealer.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being very bad and 10 being outstanding, how would you say was the scheduling of your service?" She asked.

"Eight." I responded.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being very bad and 10 being outstanding how would you rate, the process of dropping off your vehicle for service?"


"On a scale of one 1 to 10, 1 being very bad and 10 being outstanding how would you rate your satisfaction with the service. "

"The car was just there for an oil change. I guess I am satisfied. Unless they put gravy in it. I am going to say an Eight."

She asked me several more more questions.

"On a scale of 1 to 10...."


"On a scale of 1 to 10..."


"On a scale of 1 to 10..."


This went on for more than the three minutes she told me it would take. I finally said, "Miss just put me down for an eight for all of the scale of 1 to ten questions."

"Okay." She replied. "I just have a few more questions that I do not need a number response."

"Okay." I said. She asked me some other questions and I was getting more and more annoyed.

She then asked, "What could have your local KIA dealer provided that would have made you give them a higher score?"

"Hookers and beer." was my response.

"Uh. Umm. I am not sure I can type that in." She said stuttering.

'Why not?" I asked. "H.O.O.K.E.R.S.B.E.E.R. It is pretty simple."

"Well, Sir, I was looking for a serious response. "

"Seriously. Hookers and beer."


Lauren has been re-facing the doors on the kitchen cabinets. She has removed all the doors and has been working on them in the garage. The other morning she asked me to hold one of the finished doors in place while she screwed in the hinges. It only took a few minutes, but due to the weight of the door and the angle, which I had to hold it in place, my arm cramped up. The finished door looks good.

When I got home from work I entered the kitchen to see that she had hung four more. I called to her in the living room. “Lauren?”

“Yes.” She said in a slightly raised voice so I could hear her from the other room.

“Are you having an affair?”

“No.” She called back matter of fact like. “Why?”

“It’s just that I see that you hung some of the other cabinet doors. I thought you needed someone's help with these.”

“No. They were easier than the first one.”

“Okay.” I said admiring the work. “Because if you were going to have an affair, it would be okay by me if the guy was also going to be doing work around the house.”

Friday, October 20, 2006


Yesterday I took the day off from work. Wyatt had a doctor’s appointment in the morning and instead of re-working my schedule I just took the whole day off. Besides vacation and the occasional time off for the birth of my kids, I try to never miss a day of work. I enjoy my job and I enjoy working. I look forward to going in everyday.

As far back as I can remember I have always been like this. Even in school, grade school through high school, I never wanted to miss a day. Sure there were a few times that I was sick but for the most part I always wanted to go to school. Except one day, Senior Cut Day. It was tradition at my high school that all of the seniors would take off a day from school. The day was decided by what year the seniors would graduate. I graduated in 1988. So with 88 days left of school all the seniors would cut classes for the day.

I was pretty good kid (good, not great) and I remember asking my dad if I could cut classes that day. I knew if I had his permission I could not get into any trouble. Sure the school might give me a suspension or a week of detentions but I knew I could handle that. I did not want to get into trouble with my parents. Any time I needed my dad to sign a note he would simply sign a blank piece of paper and have me fill in the reason. If I needed a permission slip for a class trip, he would sign the bottom and I would fill in the details. If I had to miss a few classes due to a doctor’s appointment or because of other obligations, dad would sign a blank piece of paper and I would write in the excuse.

I always wrote the truth as to the reasons for my excuse, but more often than not, I would add a little flourish. I would add drawings of me at the doctors or maybe put in a line about the fact that my parents thought I had super powers. But for the most part I always wrote the truth.

So I asked my dad if I could cut for Senior Cut Day. He agreed and signed the blank piece of paper. “Make sure it says you are taking off for Senior Cut Day.” He said as he handed me back the blank note with his chicken scratch signature.

Senior Cut day came and went. About two weeks later I came home from school and my dad was waiting for me. “Bill, when you submitted your excuse note for Senior cut day, what did you write down as your excuse?”

I could tell he was angry. I could not think of what I wrote down as my excuse but I knew for a fact that the note did say I was going to be off for Senior Cut Day. I hesitated before I answered. “Um, Uh. Senior Cut Day.”

“Are you sure?” He said with raised eyebrows.

“Yes.” I said tentatively, not quite sure of what I had written.

“Then why did I receive this letter in the mail?” he said as he held up a piece of paper. Before I could answer he walked over to the phone and dialed the school. I could hear him ask for the principle. He stated that he received a letter from the school saying that I had cut classes for the day. The letter also indicated that some of the parents were not aware of the cut day and that if they, the parents, provided notes for the kids, the notes were not truthful as to why their kids cut class. The parents need to respond so their kids do not suffer punishment from the school. My dad asked the principle to pull my file and read the excuse note. He waited for about ten minutes. When the principle came back to the phone this is what I heard on my dad’s end of the conversation.

“Okay what does his note say? Can you read it again? Read. It. Again.” My dad glared at me and I thought I was in serious trouble. He went back to the phone conversation.

“Read the first part again. That’s what I thought. Now what part of “My son will be missing school so he can partake in senior cut day” makes me a liar? Well clearly the letter you sent to me says I was not truthful. I DO NOT care what the rest of it says. I do not like being called a liar. What do you mean him taking off for senior cut day is not a valid excuse? I excused him. That is as valid as it gets. You have kids missing school for trips to Disney World as so called educational trips. What is educational about Mickey Mouse? Listen, I excused my son and that is as valid as it gets. This letter I received makes it sound like I was lying and I look forward to receiving an apology letter from you.”

He hung up the phone and looked at me through gritted teeth, which, within seconds turned into a broad smile.

“Jack ass.” He said referring to the phone. “I am sorry I doubted you Bill. But that letter from the school was insulting.”

I let out a big sigh of relief.

My dad chuckled and asked, “Why did you have to write, “P.S. he may or may not be abducted by aliens?”

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Camera

We finally got a new digital camera, since Max puked on the last one. We decided to get a camera a step or two above the normal point and shoot types. I am just fuguring it out, but so far it seems to be working.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


If you have pets and plan to bring home a new pet or a baby, Veterinarians will tell you to bring home a blanket or article of clothing with the new pet or baby’s scent on it for the animals to smell. This will get them acclimated to the new scents that will be invading their territory.

For the most part Max has been excellent with Wyatt’s presence in our house. We made every effort to assure Max that we still love him and that Wyatt should not be a threat to him.

Over the past two months, however, Max has become somewhat territorial. For instance, I am Max’s daddy, not Wyatt’s. I am not allowed to hold Wyatt. Only Mommy can hold Wyatt. If I am playing with Wyatt, Max will make a point to get in between us. Wyatt cannot watch TV. Only Max can.

Now that Wyatt is more active and actually has the ability to grab teethers and toys Max has started to declare what toys are Max’s and what ones are Wyatt’s. For the record they all belong to Max, because he says so.

I am thinking that before we brought Wyatt home, I should have had Maxfield sniffing his onesies because maybe he would not be so territorial.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I am conducting a survey for scientific purposes.

Breakfast sausage: Do you prefer links or patties?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This past weekend the family packed up the mini-van and went to the beach on the West coast of Florida. Lauren has a friend who owns a vacation home just North of Clearwater and told us we could use it whenever they were not. The offer has been out there for about year and we finally took them up on it. Since the house is only occupied every so often, when we arrived, we had get the house situated. We had to turn on the water, the hot water heater, make the beds and what not.

We enjoyed a semi-relaxing weekend. I say semi because with a 2 and 1/2 year old and a 3 month old, one can never be completely relaxed. We spent time at the local aquarium down by the docks where Max got to feed Manta Rays and pet turtles. We window-shopped in the town that is the self-proclaimed sponge capital of the world. We also enjoyed the beach.

Before we departed back to Orlando on Sunday we had to make sure that the house was exactly as it was when we arrived. During the time we were there we made sure that everything we used, was cleaned and put back in order, as we used it. We did not want to spend all of Sunday cleaning so we did as we went along. We wanted to leave the house perfect for Lauren’s friend, who would be coming down in November.

We spent Sunday morning at the beach and when we got back to the house Lauren ran the vacuum and watched the kids as I used the bathroom to pee and take a shower. Lauren then took a shower as I stripped the bedclothes from the bed and gathered the towels to do the laundry. We wanted to make it like we were never there. While I was gathering the laundry I also grabbed one of the red placemats from the table that Max had finger painted with mustard.
As I was switching the laundry from the washer to the dryer I realized that the tan colored towels looked a little, okay not a little but a lot, pink. Oh Shit. The damn red placemat bled onto the rest of the laundry. I inspected everything and realized it was only the towels that were affected. Now I had a moral dilemma. Do I hide the towels? Or do I confess to Lauren what I did? Surely I could just hide the towels in the linen closet and act like nothing ever happened. But that would not be the right thing to do. Lauren’s friend was nice enough to lend us her house, free of charge; I should just fess up and hope that Lauren and her friend would understand my stupidity. They are just towels.

I explained to Lauren what happened. She said that she would just email her friend and explain what happened and that it, hopefully, would be no problem. We finished cleaning and packed the car and did our final check of the house.

Hot water heater off? Check.
All doors locked? Check.
Laundry and dishes done? Check.
Everything back in place? Check.

We headed out the door and Lauren asked me to wait before I turned the water off. She had to use the bathroom and wanted to do a final walk through of the house. I waited in the car with the kids. When she came back out and got into the car she said, “It is a good thing that I need to use the bathroom.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because someone forgot to flush the toilet.” She said.

“Oh. I didn’t flush it because I did not want to wait for the shower temperature to change. I forgot to flush it when I got out of the shower. It is good that you went back in there.”

“I know. That would have stunk if it had been sitting there for the next month, when they finally come back down to use the house.” Lauren laughed.

“And here, I was all worried about the pink towels.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Is it wrong... teach other people's children how to give wet willies?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Uncomfortable Moment

The water softener salesman is standing at my kitchen sink. He wants to show me how clean the water is as it pours through his filter. He wants to show me how soft water is better for cleaning dishes, clothes and my hands. He hands me a bar of soap and says, "Get a real good lather going and then hand me the soap."

I chuckle and say, "The last time a man said that to me was in prison."


Monday, October 09, 2006

Maxfield (2 and half)

Max kept telling the photographer that he did not want his picture taken. "No, No, No."

Friday, October 06, 2006


Maxfield and I went to the playground the other night. As we walked up to the sand box I noticed a little girl about Max’s age eating a picnic dinner with her parents. I nodded a silent “hello” in their direction and Max and I continued on to the swings.

We played for while and after the little girl was done eating she came over to play with Max. The two of them did the whole “monkey see monkey do” thing that toddlers often do at a playground. Max would go down the slide, so would the little girl. The little girl would run over to the merry-go-round and so would Max. They were both keeping a safe distance from each other but at the same time playing together. Meanwhile I was making small talk with the girls parents.

Max eventually got bored of the little girl and went off to the corner of the sandbox to play in the sand. I walked over and sat down with Max and we started drawing in the sand. I would write a letter or a number in sand and Max would tell me what it was. I would smooth the sand over and start again. We were doing this for a few minutes when the girl and her parents came over and sat with us.

“Look Ryan.” The mother said to the little girl. “They are doing their letters. You know your letters.”

Now that Max had an audience he wanted to show off a bit. He wanted to draw the letters himself. I would tell him the letter to write and then I would hold his hand, with his pointer finger out, and help him write it in the sand.

I then asked Max what letters he wanted to write.

“Eff.” He said. So we wrote an F. I smoothed the sand and asked him for another.

“Ew.” He said indicating the letter U. I erased the U after we wrote it, the little girl and her parents watching us.

“What next Max?” I asked.

“See.” He said.

As I started to write the letter C it occurred to me that even with the total randomness of his letter requests there was a possibility of him spelling the word Fuck. I started to have a discussion with myself.

“What are these people going to think of us if he does? Yeah but what are the chances that he actually does? He has a 1 in 26 chance of the next letter being K. But what if he does say K? Will they notice? Will they pick up their kid and go home? No, they won’t notice if it is the letter K. And if they do notice they will understand that it is totally random. But what if they don’t realize it is random. But if I stop asking him what letters he wants to draw surely they will pick up on that fact that I am stopping the game. Plus I am kind of interested to see if he does say K because really what are the chances of that? And how funny would that be?”

I took a deep breath. “Max, What next?” I braced myself. I looked over at the other parents to see if there were interested. The look on the mother’s eyes said to me that she WAS paying attention. I waited for Max to respond.

“Doubba Eww.” He said.

I breathed a slight sigh as we drew a W.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I could have been a contender Part 2

I already wrote about how my brothers are responsible for me not being a great professional athlete. (Click to read).

I realized at an early age that I was not that gifted when it came to sports. Most of my brothers had natural ability or skills in athletics. Me, I played sports like a retarded gorilla. As a matter of fact my nickname on the basketball court was Grape Ape. In an effort to make myself standout I developed an interest in other areas, one of which was theater. Wouldn’t you know it? My brothers are also responsible for me not being an Academy Award winning actor.

Many a times over the years they have either willingly or unwillingly thwarted my attempts at acting. It started when I was in elementary school.

In fourth grade, my English class was going to perform a short play for the entire school and parents for the Halloween assembly. None of my brothers had done any shows before; they were too busy perfecting lay-ups and jump shots. This was my chance to break out and shine, to do something better than them. The play was "The Headless Horsemen". I got a few small parts in the play. In the “Headless Horseman” I was cast as one of Ichabod’s students as well as the Headless Horseman’s horse (shut it, it was a start).

When the big day arrived I made sure that my mom was going to make it to the school on time. She had been to countless Little League games and Pee Wee football games that I knew this was going to impress her. My mom assured me she would pick up Jimmy, the youngest, from morning Kindergarten, and they would both be there. Some of my brothers attended the school so by default they would have to be there for the show. I was going to impress them as well. I knew my lines. I knew my cues. I knew my blocking. I was ready.

The curtain opened with Ichabod, played by Matt Brigaman, teaching his students. He asked his students to recite their ABC’s. That was my cue. I smiled, and in character, belted out my line. “A.B.C.D. E. F…..” Live theater was such a rush.

Just as I reaching the letter "K" my little brother Jimmy, from the back of the Gym, yelled at the top of his lungs, “SHUT UP BILLY.” It echoed off the cinder block walls and the backboards of the basketball nets. “Shut Up..up up up. Billy Billy... illy.”

The audience started laughing. I broke out into a cold sweat. I was in total shock. I was embarrassed. I froze. Live theater sucked. I couldn’t remember the rest of my lines. It was only the rest of the frigging alphabet, but I was stuck. “What the heck comes after ‘K”?” I asked myself. My mouth went dry. My throat closed and my vocal chords started to squeak. Thankfully, Jimmy Elliot, another one of Ichabod’s students bailed me out. He finished the rest of the alphabet.

We finished the scene and I went backstage totally flustered. I could not concentrate on anything else except the fact that my brother totally made me mess up. Before I knew it we were approaching the end of the play.

“Billy.” Mrs. Webb hissed. “Where is your horse costume? You are on in two minutes.”

I rushed to put on the costume. In my haste I did not align the eyeholes properly. I went out on stage as a blind horse, which caused the whole Headless Horseman chasing Ichabod climax ending to be a total disaster. My blindness caused The Headless Horseman, played by Bob M, (who did a magnificent job I might add) to miss Ichabod with the thrown pumpkin. Apparently I was facing a wall.

This was the first of many botched theater performances caused by my brothers.

That's me on the left.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Parlez Vous?

Lauren and I, every so often, talk about the number of kids we would like to have. It does not make much of a difference to me regarding how many, but more importantly that they are close together in age. I think siblings should be no more than 2 years apart. If I had my way they would be only a year a part. I think the closeness in age is good because of the built in friend factor.

My parents had 9 kids in 10 years, no twins, and there is a three year gap between two of my brothers. Do the math. Anyway, growing up, I benefited from having "built in" friends. When I was freshmen in highschool I went through a shift of friends. Besides my best friend Bob, the rest of the crowd I hung out with was constantly changing, except for my brothers.

The brother that is closest to my age is John, AKA LawnWhisperer. When I was freshmen he was a sophomore. We even had one or two classes together. One of the classes we shared was French 1. Due to alphabetical seating arrangements we even sat next to each other. Madame Brust, the teacher, insisted each student pick a French name to address each other. I picked Xavier as my French first name (well you know because of Prof. Charles Xavier the founder of the X-Men) and John picked Jean, because when it was pronounced in French it sounded like John. The teacher, until she learned our names, addressed us by our last names. We, my brother and I, were Monsieur Mitchell*

I remember thinking, "This class is going to be great. John and I could practice speaking a different language at home. We could help each other with homework. We would learn French and have a secret language that no one else in our family would know and we could speak in code. Sibling rivalry will make us compete for better grades. It is so cool that my brother is in my class."

Midway through the school year Madame Brust took an extended leave and we had a substitue teacher for two weeks. Her name was Mrs. Kalmanor (pronounced Cow Manure, No joke). Now, as most times with a subsitute teacher, the class got a little out of hand. The kids, including John, were doing their best to have a good time. If a kid got too out of hand Mrs. Kalmanor would make that student sit in a chair right next to her desk. It was the highschool equivalent of a time out. At one point Mrs. Kalmanor had had enough of John's shenanigans.

"MISTER MITCHELL." She yelled referring to my brother John who was laughing with a fellow student named Jim. "COME UP HERE and sit in THIS chair." She turned her back to the class as she wrote on the chalk board. John walked to the front of the classroom and sat in the chair. I, of course, also being Mister Mitchell walked to the front of the class and sat on John's lap. The class was doing its best to stifle their laughter. It took a few minutes for the teacher to stop writing on the board and return to her desk. She sat down oblivious to the fact that John and I were sharing a chair. She did a double take at us. The class erupted in laughter.

"WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING?" She screamed.

"Well," I said "You told Mister Mitchell to sit in this chair. I am also Mister Mitchell."

"I meant the other one." She said through gritted teeth and tight lips.

"You should really have specified then." John said.

Mrs. Kalmanor lowered her head into her hands and with a barely audible whisper she said, "Both of you, return to your seats."

Needless to say, when Madame Brust returned to the class she was not happy with us. She separated us to opposite ends of the room for the remainder of the year. With the separation we could no longer assist each other in French. We both failed the class for the year.

Now that I think about it, maybe it is a good idea that my kids are a few years apart.

*Mitchell is not my real last name. If I used my real last name on the internet my mom would have a bird.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It doesn't get any better

Television does not get any better than a Antiques Roadshow episode I have not seen, followed by a Monday Night Football game with the Eagles.

I am an Antiques Roadshow junkie.


Every so often I sleep on the couch. Not because I did anything to piss off Lauren but sometimes it is the only way I can get a good nights sleep. Why? Because I snore.

You see Lauren is a light sleeper. She still gets up with Wyatt, every so often, in the middle of the night and then she has a difficult time getting back to sleep. Sometimes my snoring keeps her awake longer. She is very good about waking me up to try to get me to stop snoring.

“Bill,” she whispers. “Roll over. You are snoring.”

Or she will just gently nudge me to let me know I am keeping her awake. Sometimes this happens 3 to 4 times a night. How is a guy supposed to get any sleep with someone waking him all the time? So every so often I just get up and go to the couch.

The other night, she woke me up for the 4th time and I had had enough. I stumbled into the closet to grab a blanket from the normal spot and headed out to the couch so I could get a good night sleep. When Lauren came to wake me up, she laughed at me, “Bill, Do you know you are using a curtain as a blanket?”

Apparently Lauren reorganized the closet.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Brain Surgery

Last night on Grey’s Anatomy there was a guy who needed brain surgery because he had no internal filter and pretty much told people what he was thinking and often it wasn't very nice. The truth hurts.

Lauren thought that I could have starred in that part. Ouch.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wyatt Blue, 3 Months

At 3 months old he is already showing the signs of being disrespectful.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


While driving up to PA, Lauren says to Bill, after reading a billboard,

“Do you think that Truckers really care that Woo Kim’s massage parlor HAS truck Parking?”

Which started a discussion which I posted about over at the Blogfathers. Go read it and let me know what you think.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Love Bug

One of the interesting things about living in the south is dealing with the different species of animals and critters that are unique to this part of the country. This time of the year the prevalent critter is the Love Bug. They are harmless but they are everywhere. Read about them here and here.

Basically these bugs are like little lightning bugs (without the light) and they fly around with the male stuck to the female. They get all over everything. I was telling Lauren that the problem was even worse over on the coast.

"You should see the amount of love bugs they have over in Tampa. It's worse than here."

"Well that makes sense. The first time I ever saw or heard of a love bug was when we were visiting Clara in Sarasota." Lauren replied.

"Yeah. Me too. It sucks driving. You know it is bad enough when a bug splatters on your windshield but with these bugs it is always two splattering on the winshield at the same time. They are so hard to clean off."

Lauren said, "Yup. But, you know what's gross? You know, as they fly around, they are DOING IT. "