Thursday, March 30, 2006
Happy Belated Birthday to my brother Dan (Sorry I forgot).
Happy Birthday to my Brother Mix Master K (His is today. I did not forget).
I have lived in Orlando for about 13 months now. Since my arrival in the land of citrus and palm trees, gators and geckos and tourists I have had the benefit of having five of my eight siblings visit the central Florida area. They have come down from Philadelphia for various reasons, vacation, business or sports tournaments.
The five that have made the trip are Pat (Max’s Favorite Uncle), Kevin (AKA Mix Master K), John (Lawnwhisperer), Dan, and the youngest sibling, Jim. (Sharon, Dennis and Mike have yet to make it to Florida).
My brother Dan was the latest to visit and I got to hang out with him on Monday and Tuesday nights. Like every one else in my family, Dan is funny. We had fun and laughed and we had a good time.
After Dan left I did a mental count of how many of my brothers have traveled the 1000 miles and realized that I was lucky to be able to spend time with them. I started to recall each of their visits the circumstances and the time spent together when a thought occurred to me:
My mom only called me one time during all of these visits to check on the traveling individuals, to make sure they were okay. She only called the time Jim came into town to make sure he was safe. Jim is 30 years old.
Apparently she did not care about the Safety of Kevin, Dan, John or Pat. Only Jimmy.
Can you tell who her favorite child is?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Although we encourage this anonymous blog commenter to read other blogs and to enjoy the experience of blogging, we would like to state that the opinions and statements that he makes in NO WAY reflect the Opinons and Statements of either William or the Lawnwhisperer.
We would also encourage the Anonymous commenting brother to give himself a “handle” as he likes to call it (please note that the Anonymous brother was given a CB Radio by his godfather for his 12th birthday and he seems trapped in the 70’s). We in the computer age would like him to use the phrase "User Name". We suggest the user name for him to use should one of the following: PEZ, The Bowler, Mix Master K, or Carson’s Roommate.
Monday, March 27, 2006
At the end of every episode of Dora the Explorer, Dora and Boots the monkey sing the “We did it” song. They sing and dance and explain how they figured everything out. It is at this point in the show that I have to leave for work. I finish my coffee, go into the living room and dance the “We Did Dance” with Maxfield say my goodbyes and head out the door.
This morning, I walked into the living room with my “We Did It” dance groove going on, ready to prance around the living room, when I noticed Max quietly playing in the corner with his trains. I, of course, dance by myself. Max was not interested. He left me hanging.
I am not sure which is worse/more sad...
1. That I use the end of Dora as the time that I am supposed to leave for work.
2. That Max may be outgrowing the whole dance routine.
3. Or that I continued to dance by myself.
Friday, March 24, 2006
While growing up, my brothers, sister and I all had weekly chores. They were divided up by age/skill appropriate chores. For instance, once you were twelve years old your weekly chore was to mow the yard. (I lucked out because the Lawnwhisperer enjoyed cutting the grass so much, he kept that chore up until he was at least 16. Since he is a year older than me I skipped the whole lawn-cutting chore). I always volunteered to clean the bathroom. We only had one (Yes there was 11 of us in the house with one bathroom). It usually only took me a half hour to do every Saturday, where other chores could take hours to do on the weekend. Along with the regular chores, we all had a Dish Night. Each of us had a specific night that was our night to do the dishes. Sunday night was the worst one to have because that was always the big meal night (lots of pots and pans). The rest of the week consisted of leftovers from Sunday or simpler meals, so those nights were easier.
Besides the weekly chore and dish night there were always other projects that my dad had us working on. One of the worst things that my dad could ever say to one us, the 7-word phrase that could doom us was “I need five minutes of your time.” (Or the same thing in a question.) “Can I borrow you for five minutes?”
“Sure.” We always responded because there really was not the option of saying “No.”
I know it does not sound that bad. 5 minutes. No big deal. Right?
Never in the history of my family did any task that started with that statement take any less than 2 hours. My dad was skilled at disguising the biggest projects as a five- minute favor. He planned to build a shed from scratch in those five minutes. He figured we could clean the entire basement ceiling to floor in those five minutes. He believed that one 12-year-old kid could Rototill the entire property, front and back yards, in 5 minutes.
Once we got into our teens he slowly changed the way he asked us for help. He would casually say to one or more of us, as if he was really interested, “Do you have any plans this weekend?” (Please note 7 words again). And whoever responded with “Nothing” He would then say “I could use your help on Saturday” (7 words.) We would be stuck cleaning out gutters for a few hours because we did not think of something to do on the weekend.
It is funny how all of this comes around full circle. I know feeding the dog should only take a few seconds but I don’t mind working with Max as he places the food into the bowl one piece at time. It is time that I get to spend with him. It is a time I get to show him new things. I wonder if that is how my father felt. Would he make the five-minute projects longer so we would spend more time with him? Was he just trying to get us out of our mother’s hair?
If he was doing it for those reasons, I never really did appreciate it until now. But I also realize he simply could have said, “Who wants to go get ice cream?”
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
While I was at work I called home. Lauren answered the phone this is what I heard.
Lauren: Hello? HellOOoo?
(Maxfield giggles in the background)
(Maxfiled giggles some more)
Lauren: Sorry Bill. We answered the banana, but no one was there.
Picturing Lauren and Max with banana's next to their ears made me laugh.
The other night the phone rang and I could tell by the caller ID it was a telemarketer. I let Max answer it. I wish I could have heard the person on the other end.
Monday, March 20, 2006
St. Pete’s has a small room in the back for people with kids, so I knew we could attend the mass without too much trouble. We took up a few seats in the back of the room and Maxfield was being very good, sitting somewhat quietly, playing with his trains. There was the occasional “shout out” to the statues of Mary and Joseph that were hanging on the wall beside us, but for the most part he was much more well-behaved than the other children in the room. We made it through the readings, the Gospel, and the collections when he started to get a little fidgety. I let him go through the diaper bag to find more toys, when he pulled out two pacifiers.
With one pacifier secured in his mouth and the other switching from hand to hand, I let him roam around the room a bit. He had his eye a 3 year little girl in a pink dress who was playing quietly on the floor with some coins her mother gave her for the collection plate. The little girl of course did not put the money on the plate when it came by; she simply put the money on her seat and quietly counted the quarter the dime and the penny.
Maxfield loves coins. He loves putting them into his bank. He loves throwing them into fountains at the mall. He loves playing with them. I knew that there might be a battle between Max and the little girl over the coins so I kept a close eye on him.
At first Max just tried to grab the coins but the girl was too quick for him and she snapped them up like a professional Jacks player. Max whined. I pulled him away and told him “No”. He tried another approach. He smiled and batted his eyes in an effort to charm the coins away from the girl. She smiled and the two shared a moment. During this moment, Max made another attempt to snatch the coins with his pacifier free hand. The girl was too quick for him again put both her hands over the coins. Max whined a little more loudly than the first time. I moved closer ready to intervene. I could see that Max was coming up with a new plan.
He smiled again at the little girl and he took his pacifier and offered it to her as he eyed the coins in her hand. She looked puzzled, but she was considering his offer. I could not believe it. Max was going to sell his pacifier for 36 cents. I stepped closer and grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the girl. I told him “No” again and made him sit on my lap. He got real fussy and started to whine louder, but eventually he calmed down.
The congregation stood to recite “The Lords Prayer” when Max started to throw a fit. I could not figure out what was bothering him, but he was not happy. Moaning and whining and saying “Nah, nah. NO!”
I whispered, “What’s wrong?”
“NO! Nah nah. No!” he yelled back.
Then it struck me. He thought I was going to put him to bed. We say the “Lord’s Prayer” as part of his nighttime routine, and he was NOT ready for bed. He made a scene and so we left the church. I now know that I need to change his nighttime prayer routine.
Score Max-4 Churches 0.
There is an ironic part to this story and I could not make this stuff up if I tried. The Gospel at the mass on Sunday was from John 2:13-25 Where Jesus kicks out all the vendors that are selling stuff in the temple. My son hears this and then tries to sell his pacifier. I shit you not.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
It is also why I do not take my shirt off outdoors because I may be mistaken for IT.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
While Lauren was setting up she realized that we did not have any cash to be able to make change for people who may buy our stuff. It was 8 AM on a Saturday so no banks were open. I figured I would take Max to the grocery store and buy a few needed supplies, use the debit card to get cash back and we would have change.
Whenever we checkout at a store Max likes to hand the credit/debit card to the people working there. He also likes to take the receipt. Max handed the lady behind the register the debit card. “What’s this?” She said very curtly. “ You need to slide this yourself.” She handed the card back to me without a smile.
I swiped the card. I entered my p.i.n. and keyed in $15.00 for cash back. Max was getting antsy in the cart. The lady behind the registered handed me a ten and a five.
“I’m sorry.” I said handing her back the cash. “Can I have this in all ones?”
She looked a little miffed because I was probably depleting her change so early in the morning. “I don’t know if I have it.” She snipped. “What do you need the ones for?”
I did a double take. Why was she asking what the singles were for? She was not being polite but kind of bitchy.
“What do I need ‘em for? What difference does it make? If you don’t have all 15 can I at least get 10 in singles?”
The lady sighed and huffed loudly. “I have the 15.”
She counted them out and rolled her eyes and handed me the 15 singles. I cannot stand rude people. Especially when they are working in a place like a grocery store and are supposed to be nice.
“Thank you.” I said. “It’s Father/Son day at the Nudie bar.” And I left.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
Anyway, last night Maxfield has shown another side of himself that I can take credit for as a parent and I am very proud. You see, Maxfield likes Olives. I love Olives. Always have and always will. I like all types, black, purple, Kalamata, green, pitted, stuffed with garlic, roasted red pepper, jalapenos or citrus peels (my favorite). If I was stranded on an island and I could only have one food it would probably be Olives (I would have said Chicken Pot Pie or Cheetos, but neither of those grow on trees and Olives do. I know that Olives don’t grow in all their pickled-cured-brinery goodness, but they do grow on trees and I am sure if I were on a deserted island there would be more of a chance of an Olive tree growing on the island than a Chicken Pot Pie tree). Lauren on the other hand hates Olives (which is good because then she won’t eat mine.) She won’t even let me kiss her if I have eaten Olives.
Last night Lauren picked up some Olives for me at Whole Foods. I was eating them with dinner, when Max became interested in them. I bit off a few pieces and handed them to him. He devoured them. He could not get enough of them. He ate both the dark ones and the green ones. He did not care for the citrus stuffed at first but after a minute or two you could tell he liked them just as much as the others. I am very proud that he inherited some of my tastes. Lauren on the other hand was grossed out, although she did take kisses from Max.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
“Yea. Are you going to see it? (Pause). Yeah I want to but I don’t know if I will be able to. (Pause) You kidding me, I am definitely looking forward to it. I just hope they don’t mess it up. (Pause). No. No. (Pause) Oh you mean Peter Rasputin. Colossus. He wore the red and yellow top with the blue boots. He was Kitty Pryde’s boyfriend. Ariel or also know as Shadowcat. She could walk through walls. I think she was called Phase at one point. (Pause) His body turns into an organic steel and he is super strong. Him and Wolverine were known for the Fast Ball Special where he would throw Wolverine at the enemy. (Pause) He is playing Beast. He was normal but tried to fix his mutation and ended up making it worse. So he is all blue and hairy now. (Pause). Well Nightcrawler was always my favorite. I loved the first two X-Men films.”
It was at this point that I looked up and saw Lauren’s shamed look. I kind of raised my eyebrows to silently ask her what was wrong.
She shook her head and said, “I can’t believe I married such a dork.”
As the kids were playing and Lauren was conversing with Dee and Scott I went over to pet the dogs. I was scratching the Rott on the head and back and sides as well as under his chin, when Scott said to me, “He (the Rott) may be a little moody. He just had surgery and has stitches.”
“Oh” I said as I stopped petting the dog. “I hope I didn’t pet him where he has the stitches.”
“I hope not.” Scott said, “He had his anal glands removed and I hope you weren’t petting him there.”
I think I met my match in the neighborhood for saying things that shouldn’t be said but are too funny to pass on.
On another note I noticed since the LawnWhisperer started his own blog he has been very lax on commenting on this one. Go and check it out. It is funny. And yell at him for not commenting over here.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Our bedroom is off the back of the house as well and we have a floor to ceiling window that overlooks the back yard, which the previous owners of the house had done an excellent job with the landscape. Lauren made a Roman blind for the window, which we open every morning to let in the natural light. Our back yard is fairly private so we are not too concerned about our neighbors seeing us. Lauren and I plan to build a slate stone patio off of the bedroom once the screen room is done. I am not a big fan of having the patio or the screen room eat into our yard, but so far it looks good.
This past Saturday I was in the back yard cleaning away some of the debris left behind from pruning the bushes that were close to the future screen room area. Maxfield was dying to come outside and help so instead of allowing him to play in the thorns, I decided to take him to the park. His Godmother Bridget sent him very cool trucks that are perfect for the park’s sandbox.
We played for an hour or so, both of us, digging and dumping sand all over each other and by the time we were finished we were covered head to toe with sand. I decided it would be easier to take Max into the shower off our bedroom with me and use the handheld showerhead to remove the sand from him. Lauren agreed that would be the best way to clean him off and she left the bedroom. When we were done with the shower, I did my best to dry him off in the bathroom before taking him upstairs to change him. It is difficult to dry oneself off while also trying to dry off a 2 year old. I called for Lauren to assist me but she did not hear me. “She must be upstairs.” I thought. I figured Max could stay naked for a few minutes while I got dressed then I would take him upstairs.
I folded our towels and I left the bathroom, holding Max’s hand so he would not fall on the slippery floor. We slowly made our way across the bedroom to my closet so I could get dressed. Lauren walked into the bedroom as Max and I were standing there naked looking for underwear.
“Bill, What are you doing?”
“I am getting dressed. I called for you but you didn’t hear me.”
She started snickering, “Don’t you care about the guys in our backyard?”
I turned towards the window. Sure enough there were three workers standing in my backyard cleaning up the concrete. I am standing there, bare ass naked. I quickly put on a pair of shorts and asked Lauren why didn’t she tell me they were there while I was IN the shower.
She was too busy laughing to come up with an answer. The worst part, seriously, was not the fact that a bunch of workers saw me parading around in my bedroom buck naked, it was the fact that I did not have my hair combed. I am very vain about my hair.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Pete the minister asked that everyone open their bible, (we didn’t bring one, because, well because it’s a church, you would think they would have some there. You don’t bring medicine to a hospital right?) and follow along in the chapter he was going to cover. Without the music to keep him entertained, Max started to get a little antsy. He proceeded to empty the diaper bag of all its contents onto the floor. He played quietly for a few minutes and then decided it would be okay to empty Lauren’s wallet onto the floor. Lauren, not wanting her credit cards and Gym Membership cards to make it to the collection plate, took the wallet away from Max. Of course he started to whine. Not loudly but enough to show us his displeasure.
I picked Max up so Lauren could put all of our stuff away. Max let out a scream. An usher approached us as I was trying to slip out of the row of seats, trying to make a quick exit. The usher whispered, “We have a daycare center you could take him to.”
I thanked the usher but said I would just go outside until Max calmed down. As we were leaving the church I heard Pete the minister say to the congregation. “I am Sorry. I just lost track of where I was. Usually when something like this happens I am pretty good about keeping on track but that really distracted me.”
I could feel the eyes of the whole congregation staring at us. I even saw some of the people give me, not dirty looks, but the hairy-eyeball of judgment looks. We exited through the back of the church and went outside to play. I didn’t even look back to see if Lauren was behind me, which she was not. She stayed through the rest of the service.
When it was over, she told me the minister was distracted by Maxfield, and it took him a minute to get back on track. We were both somewhat embarrassed by the whole thing. We made a beeline to our car and we boogied out of there. So far the score is Max 2 -Churches 0.
Again thank you for the comments, the email, the links and the thoughts and prayers. You blogger people rock!
Friday, March 03, 2006
Which then the person who was tracking the 16 days says something to the effect of “Well I just wanted to prove that you don’t do it everyday.” Which then the other person says, “Again what’s your point?” and then the other person says, “My point is that I can actually put the stuff away.” And then the other person says, “That’s my point.”
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Lauren made play table (she is crafty that way) for him to play with all his trains on so we may actually get our coffee table back to be used for what it was designed for, holding magazines and a place to rest our feet while watching the tube. Max tried to help her build the play table but he got caught up in just wearing the safety goggles.
Lauren arranged for a bunch of mom’s and their kids to meet at the playground for sandwiches and cupcakes and I was told they all seemed to have a good time. One girl split her lip, which was a shame but she seemed all right. I was sure there were going to be other casualties but there was not.
We went to Chuck E Cheese for dinner and I think Max had a good time. He played Ski-ball, which is now also known as Chuck the Wooden Ball at Circles. He played Whack-A-Mole. And he played video games.
We went home and had Ice cream and cake and Lauren and I sang happy birthday to him.
He was wired from the sugar and was truly the life of the party.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Horace is 34 years old and Gavin is many, many years older than him (she will get the joke) They have an 18 month old daughter, who by the way, is the first girl Max ever kissed that was not related to him.
About a year ago, Horace had surgery to remove melanoma from his lymph nodes. (2 were positive). He took high dose Interferon-A for the past year. He finished with the interferon about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, his CT scan last week showed three cancer nodes in his lungs, moving him to Stage IV Melanoma. That is stage FOUR with the roman numerals people, not the pansy ass number 4, but roman numeral four. One node is 10mm. In his other lung are two other nodes, which are 5mm and 4mm respectively. As you may imagine, Horace is getting some contradictory advice at the moment, both from oncologists and surgeons. It seems that the most important thing Horace can do is to get advice and treatment from the TOP people in this field. As you know, Horace has to make his decision on a course of treatment very soon.
This is a part of email that I received from his brother Sarge.
So this is where the blogger people come into it. I know there are a lot of bloggers out there. I know a ton of them in Texas. I need your help, for purely selfish reasons, due to the fact that with a disease like cancer we all feel a little helpless and at least I can feel I am doing something for Horace and Gavin and their beautiful daughter (who will be Max’s future prom date) by using the blog to get some information.
We have our eyes on the leading Oncologist at the leading cancer hospital in the country. It is in Houston and is called MD Anderson. The blog would be great as we are looking for someone to identify the best oncologist there and to get someone to make an introduction to that person. Horace has already got meetings with the other 2 lead oncologists at the best hospitals (Mt Sinai in NY and one in LA).
This is what I am looking for.
Does anyone in the blogosphere know who this top Oncologist at MD Anderson is? If so please leave a comment with the information or email me through my blogger profile with information. As stated before Horace already has appointments with Mt. Sianai and a place in L.A. Please only email me if you have the information that we are seeking. I do not want to burden Horace and Gavin with any advice or information that they do not need at this time. I have burdened them enough with years of sleeping on their couch, my flatulence, me not cleaning the kitchen when I was supposed to and not having beer money.
I would also ask that if you can, please either put a link on your site to this post, or maybe, if you can mention to your readers on your site what Horace is looking for and we can see if this blogger world can generate some good information.
If you do know a specialist in this field even if they are not from MD Anderson, and you can arrange to have Horace talk to this person, please let me know. I also ask for your thoughts and prayers and good vibes for Horace and Gavin. And if you are praying for them, also pray for the Flyers to do well because I know that would make Horace happy.
Thank you for whatever you can do. You bloggers are truly wonderful people.