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.