Thursday, February 26, 2009

Transmission

A couple of months ago I turned on the receiver part of our baby monitor so I could listen in on the kids as they played in their room. After a few minutes of silence I suddenly heard a woman's voice come through the monitor asking "..help clean up these toys?'

I turned, looked at Lauren, who was standing in the same room with me and she had the same What the Hell expression on her face as I did on mine. Who was asking Maxfield and Wyatt to clean up the toys? I walked into their room and they were playing nicely. There was no woman in the room with them. I looked at the transmitter part on the baby monitor and it was turned off, which was weird because we leave the transmitter on all the time. One of the kids must have been playing with it and turned it off. I realized since our transmitter was off, our receiver was picking up the signal from another baby monitor somewhere. It was most likely the family a few houses away.

I explained my theory to Lauren and she agreed that was the most likely explanation. She then made a joke that the family a few houses away was probably picking up on some of our family noises. Like I said, we leave the transmitter on all the time. I am sure we have been broadcasting our lives to the neighborhood. I felt weird about that for a bit until I realized that all anyone probably ever heard was the kids screaming or me screaming at the kids. No big deal since I am sure our neighbors would hear us even without a monitor.

But the fact that there is the potential that someone, at any given time, could be listening in our house has given me a great idea. You see, now sometimes, when I walk by the baby monitor transmitter and no one is around, I just say random things like, "I hope I don't get abducted by aliens AGAIN tonight." Or "I really need to by a better set of binoculars to spy on my neighbors." And "How did John Wayne Gacy do it? I can only fit two or three in the crawlspace."

When I have a little bit more time I try subliminal messages. I will repeat over and over again,
"Send money to (and I say my address." Or "This is your guardian angel and you need points with God. Go and clean the gutters at (and I say my address)."




Do you have any suggestions of what I could say? Keep it clean Anonymous.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Creative Writing

Back in October 2007, in a certain online magazine article , the following statement was made about me.

"The guy is clearly not a writer." (My brother John makes sure to point that out to me whenever he gets a chance.)

I appreciate the fact that Poop and Boogies got the attention that it did and the writer of the article, Lisa Cullen, did say some nice things about the blog, but that one statement stuck with me (maybe because John's reminders).

I started this blog four years ago as a way for people to stay in touch with me and my family. I never set out to be a writer. I have found that I have fun with the feedback of the blogging medium. I like telling stories. I enjoy writing.

A few weeks ago I started taking a creative writing course at the local high school's adult evening school. Why? Well, I want to be a better writer for this blog. Which is funny because I have been spending all my free writing time working on the assignments that I have not had much time to post here. It is a bad cycle. I want to improve my blog, so I take a class that sucks up all my time, that I neglect the blog I want to improve by taking a writing class.

Here is what I have learned so far from the creative writing course.

1. There really is nothing creative about it. It is more like a grammar 101 type of course. Which, believe me, I need all the help I can get in the grammar department but I thought the class was going to be more of a creative exchange of ideas and what not.

2. I really need to improve my word choices in my writing.

3. I make a terrible student. Not because I don't listen or pay attention but because I moan and sigh and get frustrated with the way the teacher teaches. She talks down to people as if they should already know the answer to her questions or criticism. Which cracks me up because if a student knew all the answers they would not feel a need to be taking a course and would not be in the room to have the teacher talk down to them. If they have a bad experience they may not take another class and then they will forget what they learned and have to take a class again. Another a bad cycle.

4. I hate when the rhythm of a class comes to a screeching halt because the teacher has to make sure the slowest student is "getting" what she is teaching. I call it teaching to the lowest common denominator. I can't stand it.

5. I need to learn to edit my writings (I may go through my archives and edit some of the posts to sharpen them up).

6. I hate being the lowest common denominator.

7. Back to the grammar- I get the importance of grammar. I have a basic understanding of grammar, punctuation and syntax. I know that this is an area in my writing that needs improvement. That being said, I do not find grammar jokes funny. The jokes are not at any one person's expense, they were just "humorous" stories shared by the instructor and other people in the class about improper use of a comma, apostrophe or a word. They giggled and chuckled the whole time. I didn't get it. I equate grammar humor to making women watch the Three Stooges and asking if they thought it was funny. Women don't get the Moe, Larry and Curly.

8. If I can work on numbers 2 and 5 as well as punctuation and grammar I will have a solid backbone, foundation if you will, to be an okay writer.

I hope when the course is over I can take what I have learned and apply it to my writing here. I hope that I can improve my blog and maybe get some advertisers or other people interested in actually paying me some money for the use of some sidebar space. I can then use that money to take another course to learn about search engine optimization and RSS feeds and HTML and other web stuff (which I really need help with this stuff) so I can improve their advertising impressions. And when I take the course I will neglect their ad space because I am busy trying to learn about web advertising. Another Bad cycle.

Actually, I hope to improve Poop and Boogies just so people will come back and read some more. Maybe I will get another four years out this here blog. And maybe, one day, someone will say "This guy is clearly an okay writer."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stupid Cats

video

About a year ago I installed a pet door into the door of a large utility closet to keep the cats locked up at night. What I mean by large, is that the cats basically have their own bedroom. You see Bogart, our orange fat cat, likes to wake everyone up in the middle of the night by knocking stuff over or starting fights with the dog or jumping on our faces.

I used to have to chase the cats, every night, trying to lock them up just so we could get a good nights sleep. The stupid cats caught on and did their best to hide from me at night. It would take me a half-an-hour, every night, to herd the cats.

So I got the pet door.

Before I go to bed, I flip the red switch on the pet door which allows the cats to go into the closet to use the litter box or get food, but it locks the door preventing them from coming out. No more chasing cats. No more cat's ass on my face in the middle of the night. My problems were solved.

It took the cats one year to figure out the fricking piece of shit pet door. Watch the video.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jackson's Eye


I do not remember at what point the eye color of my kids became obvious. Max has super blue eyes. Wyatt has real dark brown, almost black, eyes. I think with Max it was around the one year mark where we were convinced his eyes would stay blue. Wyatt's eyes gradually became muddier and muddier and then one day he woke up and his eyes were completely dark. We are still waiting to see how Jackson's turn out. They look different every day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dentist

I was at the dentist office yesterday getting some work done. You know how it is when you are at the dentist, they have drills, saliva suckers, cotton and other things in your mouth while the dentist asks you questions and has a conversations with the assistants and all the time you can't actually answer or participate in the conversation because your mouth is full.

This is all the stuff I wanted to say but never got the chance.

"If my mouth looks like Newark than I guess my ass would be Camden."

"Rihanna has herpes? Was it Eye Herpes?"

"You guys should sell advertising space on all the walls in here."

"That's what she said."

"Can we please stop talking about Rihanna."

"A-Rod sucks. Not because he took steroids but because he is a Yankee."

"Holy Ca-rap! That hurt."

"Moooooon River. Are you using the whole fist doc?"

"That's what she said." (again.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Leaving Church Early.

Is it wrong, while in church, to stare at the butt of the woman in front of you the entire mass?

I need to explain.

I took Maxfield and Wyatt with me to church. We settled into the pew and I gave them each their toy and a distraction snack. The distraction snack, this particular Sunday, was a baggie filled with a mixture of raisins and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. With enough activities for the boys we usually make it to the 35 minute mark of the service before they get rambunctious and i feel the need to leave. The Mass started and everything was good.

The second time the congregation stood (you know how Catholic masses are sit, stand, kneel, stand, sit, kneel) is when the service became interesting. Wyatt stood and leaned over the front of the pew spilling part of the contents of his snack bag all over the seat in front of us. I quickly reached over and cleaned up most of the scattered food before the occupants of the pew in front of us sat down again. I did not want the people to sit and hear the popping crunch of Cheddar Goldfish meeting their demise. In my haste I missed a few raisins which the woman directly in front of me did not miss with her butt when she sat down.

When we stood again I looked down to see if I could pick up the fallen raisins. They were not on the pew. I looked up and saw that two raisins were stuck to the left cheek of the woman's jeans. I started chuckling to myself. I couldn't just reach out and wipe them off. I would surely get smacked. It was then time to kneel and I hoped that the motion of kneeling would knock them loose. I watched as one of the raisins slowly peeled away from the denim and fell to the floor leaving just one dangling from the seam of the back pocket.

As I stared at the woman's butt, watching the raisin, my mind started to panic. What if Max or Wyatt sees the raisin. Neither of them has mastered the art of the whisper. I pictured them blurting out "Dad look. That lady has a poop on her butt." I could hear in my mind the fits of laughter and giggles this would cause a five year old. I could feel the premature blush of embarrassment creep up my neck. I stared more intently at the raisin trying to will it to fall.

The congregation stood again. I hoped, I prayed (I was in church after all) that now that the raisin was in direct eye level of the kids, that they would not notice it. I did my best to keep the kids occupied on our side of the pew all the while I watched the woman's butt. Eventually the woman sat down again and when she stood up the raisin was gone. I looked at the bench and saw the flattened raisin squished onto the seat right next to her purse.

I reached down, and using my fingernail of my middle finger, I tried to scrape up the raisin guts. One of the people in the woman's pew noticed me reach over and must have thought that I was reaching for the purse and they gave me a dirty look. I held my up finger with the raisin stuck to it and showed them what I was doing. I quickly realized that it appeared as though I was flipping the bird to the person.

I sighed deeply and knew that I would not be able to explain the situation and decided it was best if we left Mass early.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Unlucky Love

Since it is Friday the 13Th and the day before Valentines Day I figured I would share with you some blogs that I love.

I always find it difficult to explain why I like certain blogs. I know that most of my favorites are funny, positive and well written but after some serious thought I realized that the common element they all share is that they all, to me, read like a conversation between me and the poster. 9 out of 10 times their posts make me want to comment on their site.

My latest favorite blog is Creative Breathing . My wife recommended her site a month or so ago and it took me a while to start reading but once I did I was hooked. When you first go there it looks all girlie and "sugar and spice and everything nice" but don't let that distract you. Her stories are awesome. Her attitude reminds me of the next blogger.

What Was I Thinking (Susie) was one of the first blogs I started to read. That was four years ago. Her posts have had the most influence and impact on me as a blogger and as a person,than any other blogger I have never met. She shares a birthday with Jackson I have given her the title of his Blog Mother.

The Wind In Your Vagina. Black Hockey Jesus is just so entertaining. You never know what you are going to get.

Bogart in P Towne Lauren says he is my blogger boyfriend.

Oh The Joys She paints word pictures without using 5 dollar words.

And, of course there is Gigglepotamus. Lauren is the hottest blogger that I know. She is gifted beyond belief. I love her blog and I love her, and I want to be the father of her babies...oh wait...I am.

Happy Valentine's Day. Tell me what blogs you love.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Smell and Memory

Today Jackson is exactly 5 weeks old. Maxfield is becoming an exceptional big brother and has been really great. Wyatt... not so much. Wyatt is adjusting, not only to having a little brother, but also to having to share a room with Max. Wyatt also made the transition from crib to twin bed. Almost every night over the past five weeks I have ended up sleeping with Wyatt in his bed. He claims he is scared but I know he just needs a friend. As soon as I lay down to comfort him he throws his arm around my neck and instantly he falls back to sleep. When I try to get up, he wakes up and fusses. It is nice to know that I bring him some comfort and peace in this trying time for him. The nights have been long. Or short. Depending on your definition and how much sleep is required.

From the day we brought Jackson home I have been conducting an experiment which I will not know the results for another 10 years or so. I have read various articles that claim smell and memory are closely linked because the olfactory nerve is part of the brains system that is closely associated with memory. When Jackson is just fed and content lying in my arms, I hold various sweet smelling things in front of his nose. I have used Strawberries, Kiwis, Bananas, Ginger and Cinnamon spiced tea, Oranges, Blueberry and Pomegranate teas, candy canes and other mint candies.

I hope that when Jackson is older and he smells these various smells he will remember a peaceful and calm time and, for purely selfish reasons, he will remember his dad as a calming and happy person. Then, when he is 3 and he throwing a temper tantrum I can spray a Citrus scented air freshener, which will trigger the calming memory and he will immediately settle down. Or say when he is 15 and he becoming a bitter and angry teenager, I will simply hang Ginger scented car air fresheners in his room and he will change his attitude.

Like I said I won't know the results for a few years.

I am going to have to reprogram Wyatt. Now that I spend most nights in his bed, he is going to associate the smells of garlic morning breath and farts with being comforted.

What smells remind you of happy times?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Jedi Mind Tricks

There is a scene in the original Star Wars film where Luke, Obi Wan Kenobi, C3-PO and R2-D2 cruise up in the land speeder and are stopped by a bunch of storm troopers. The storm troopers are looking for C3-PO and R2 and they start to question Luke and Obi-Wan and they ask for ID.

Obi-Wan raises his eyebrow and waves his fingers and says "You don't need to see his identification."

The Storm trooper pauses and says "We don't need to see his identification. "

Obi-Wan then tells the Stormtroopers "These are not the droids you are looking for."

The Storm trooper responds, "These are not the droids we are looking for."

There are a few more lines in the scene ,but the basic gist is that Obi-Wan uses Jedi Mind Tricks on the Troopers. A combination of the Force and telling the person what you want them to think and you accomplish the Jedi Mind Trick.

In Return of the Jedi, Luke tries to use the Jedi Mind Trick on Jabba the Hut and Jabba responds by saying, "That old Jedi Mind Trick won't work on me boy."

Wyatt will be three years old in June. He has never seen Star Wars but he is already trying the Jedi Mind Trick. Anytime he is caught doing something he is not supposed to be doing, he simply tells us that he is not doing whatever he is doing and hopes that we buy it.

Wyatt will be dancing on top of the coffee table. I bark, "Wyatt! Get off the coffee table."

"I an not on a coffee table."

"Yes you are." I am starring right at him on the table.

"No I an not. I a just dancing."

"Get down from the table."

"I an not on the table dad."

This will go back and forth until I either cave in (which is usually me laughing at the fact that he is in complete denial and yet in total control of the situation) and let him continue his business or I tell him that his Jedi Mind Tricks won't work on me.

I have been trying to capture the whole Mind Trick exchanges on video but for some reason I can never get the full effect. Here are just some tidbits of our exchanges

video

I am still not the favorite

My mom, Momo9, has picked the winners of the Proflowers contest. Although I am still not her favorite there were some decent arguments made by all the commenters.

Here are the winners.
G-Side Pride, Kcinnova, Cherioak, Nape, and Maria from NJ. I need all of you to contact me via email in the next 2days so I can send you the web codes for your gift certificate. My email address is listed at the end of my profile. Thanks to everyone who played. Thanks to Proflowers. My mom said she had fun reading all the comments.

Honorable Mention (but no gift certificate) goes to LawnWhisperer for stating his case that I am my mom's favorite son fathered by the mailman. Every one called our mailman Rocky because he wore one of those hats that had flaps to cover his ears. The same kind of hat that Rocky the squirrel wore. I always thought our mailman looked like the mad painter from Sesame Street. At a very early age my brothers always called me Rocky's son because I was the most different than the rest of them. My mom, always laughed at this, she never denied it, she just laughed.

There were/are many other bloggers who had this contest. There still may be a chance to win the gift certificate by visiting their sites.


http://chris.pirillo.com/
http://www.gearlive.com/
http://www.techronical.com/
http://Ploomy.com
http://artofmanliness.com/
http://mommydaddyblog.com
http://dadtalk.typepad.com
http://www.pkmeco.com/familyblog/index.html
http://joeprah.com
http://www.buildingcamelot.com/
http://dadomatic.com
http://www.patricksays.net/
http://poopandboogies.blogspot.com/
http://www.athomedad.org/
http://www.rudecactus.com/
http://www.noodad.com/wp/
http://agoodhusband.net/
http://www.dadcentric.com
http://www.disfordad.com
http://daddyforever.com/
www.youserved.com
http://emailourmilitary.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 02, 2009

Flower Contest

My mom used to call me every Valentine's Day or Mother's Day to thank me for the flowers she received. Not for the flowers that I sent but for the ones she received. But she called me every year to thank me. Because every year someone sent her flowers signed "Your favorite son."

She called each of her 8 sons and thanked them. Some years I sent her flowers signed "your favorite son". Some years I did not.

ProFlowers.Com sent me an email, well, actually one of their marketing companies did. They offered me Five $70.00 gift certificates to give away to readers of Poop and Boogies if I had a contest of some sort promoting ProFlowers.com. The gift certificates are actually gift codes to their website where the winners of the contest can get or send flowers or gifts from ProFlowers.com for Valentine's day. The gift certificates are only good for orders in the US.

The marketing company asked me to use certain key words in my contest which I think I just covered in the last few paragraphs.

I suck at contests. I suck at entering them. I suck at winning them. And I suck at creating them.

I was going to ask people to leave me comments on the most romantic thing ever done for them. Or maybe tell me their favorite home made card. Or they could tell me what I should get Lauren for Valentine's day. But I decided to go a different route for the give-a-way.

Many of the people that read Poop and Boogies have been doing so for a while, so you know that my mom reads this blog and that she sometimes comments. To enter the contest for the ProFlowers. Com gift certificate give-a-way, in the comments section, leave a comment trying to convince my mom why I should be her favorite son. I will close the contest on Wednesday 2-4-09 at Noon. Sorry but the gift codes are only valid for customers in the US.

My mom will pick her five favorite answers. If you want to kiss up to my mom, I am sure you can find all kinds of good information from my archives.


Please make sure you leave a valid way for me to contact you if you should win.