Sunday, March 30, 2008


While playing superheroes, Spider-Man (played by Maxfield) discovered Swamp Thing's (played by Bill) weakness.

It wasn't Krypotnite. It was not the color yellow. It was not water or fire.

It was a swift punch in the nuts.

It is also the weakness of Solomon Grundy, Juggernaut, Magneto, Lex Luther, Dr. Octopus, Electro, Joker, Black Manta, General Zod, Two Face, Dr. Doom, and Sabretooth.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Prom

I am trying to figure something out here and I need input.

There are lots of movies where the characters refer to their Senior Prom as "going to Prom."

The other night Lauren and I were watching TV and one of the people on the show said something about "going to prom".

Lauren turned to me and asked, "Why do people say going to Prom? We always referred to it as going to THE Prom."

I agreed. We say The Prom.

Now I am not sure if saying going to The Prom is a regional phrase, like "down the shore" is a regional thing instead of "going to the beach".

How do you say it? Prom or the Prom?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Meltdown Commencing...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greatest Invention

I would have to rank the alarm clock, that my MIL gave us for Christmas, somwhere after Television but before the computer as one of the greatest inventions ever.

This clock can project the time on the cieling or wall so you don't have to actually roll over to see the time. This clock just made the act of sleeping, lazier. How cool is that?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Friday, March 21, 2008

You know it is going to be a good night

...when your wife calls you at work and says, "I am sorry to do this to you, but I am having one of those days. When you get home from work, I need you to check the laundry tub. I think, no, I know it is clogged with poop."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I have been cast in a play in a community theater presentation of the Philadelphia Story. I am very excited to be involved in the whole process, since I have not performed on stage in over 2 years. I am also very nervous.

I have lines to learn, blocking to remember and a character to develop. The show dates are in May. That may seem like a lot of time but the reality is, it is not. I also have work, a house that needs attention, a wife who I enjoy spending time with, 2 kids to play with and teach, a blog to write and Guilder to frame for it. I’m Swamped.

Rehearsals started last week. My friend Dave is directing. He has been recovering from cancer/chemo/radiation and it is good to see him out and about and doing the stuff he loves. I am also lucky enough to have some of my friends (Josh, Seamus, Beeds) also in the cast. Two nights a week I get to hang out with friends who, for the past few years, I may have only seen once or twice. I never realized how much I missed them nor how much I have missed the creative process.

One of my pet peeves about rehearsing is the fact that people I know keep referring to it as “play practice”. For some reason, maybe I am a theater snob or something, but I always correct them and tell then that I have REHEARSAL. I think that sounds much better than 'practice'. If you look up the words practice and rehearsal in the dictionary they pretty much have the same definition. But rehearsal just sounds more, I don't know, more important, I guess.

But now I have given this much thought. I am not really rehearsing anything. I get to go to the theater and pretend I am someone else for a bit. I get to make believe that the stage is a living room or some other area. I get to wear costumes and use props. I am not rehearsing. I am not practicing. I am playing.

If you are going to be in the Philly area the second two weekends in May, come on out and watch me play.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Screams in the night

Lauren woke me from a deep sleep, in the middle of the night.

"Bill? Bill?"


"Did you lock the front door?"

"Yeah. I guess I did."

"Well I just heard someone outside yelling."

"Were they screaming 'Oh my God he has knife and is killing everyone'?"


"Then don't worry about it. Go back to sleep."

I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Candid Camera

A few weeks ago I took the kids to Wal-Greens to pick up some medicine. As we waited for the pharmacist to fill the prescription (which takes three minutes to actually get the medicine ready and ten minutes to complete the paperwork) we walked around the store for a bit. I navigated Wyatt in the stroller through the aisles when Max, a few feet in front of me, stopped dead in his his tracks. I followed his gaze to the cieling in front of us and saw he was staring at himself in a security camera monitor.

"Look Dad!" he said. "It's me and you and Wyatt on TV."

Max then proceeded to move his arms and jump to make sure that it was actually him in the monitor. Wyatt, then realized that he too was in the monitor, and wanted to get out of the stroller. The three of us stood in the middle of the aisle making funny faces and dancing and laughing. We caused quite a commotion for the other people in the store.

While we were carrying on I noticed that as I moved to my left, the person (me) in the montior moved to his left but to my (the real me) right. We each took turns getting closer to the camera and then walking away. We played for several minutes and I was fascinated watching my kids on the screen. Wyatt suddenly became bored with the dancing and and I watched him in the monitor walk down a different aisle to the right. I called him to come back but he did not.

I then turned to the aisle on my right and Wyatt was gone. I started to panic and I ran down the aisle, to the one that crosses, looked both ways, but he was nowhere. A little part of me freaked and I ran back to Max who was still watching himself. I called out for Wyatt but he did not respond. I yelled louder. Max and some other customers looked at me like I was nuts.

"He went THAT way Daddy." he said and pointed to the shelves to our left.

I turned to the left and there, ten feet in front of me, was Wyatt playing with some type wrapping paper.

Yes, I ran AWAY from my kid.

Stupid monitor thingy getting me all disoriented.

Side note: If you have little kids and want to keep them occupied for 20 or so minutes. Hook up your video camera with the AV cables to your TV or computer and let them watch themselves. I did this last night and it gave me time to do the dishes and clean up their toys.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Maxfield's fascination with superheroes has resulted in a change of our typical bedtime stories. He no longer wants me to read him Where the Wild Things Are or The Caboose Who Got Loose but instead wants me to tell him stories about how superheroes got their powers.

Over the past month I have covered every villian's and good guy's secret origin, with many repeats. When I tell the stories I try to keep away from any violence and I stress the positive aspects of the story. For some reason every character acquired their power because they worked hard, ate all their dinner, listened to their parents, did well in school, cleaned up all their toys and of course were caught in a Cosmic Rays/came from Krypton/bathed in lightning and chemicals etc. etc. His two favorite stories are The Flash and Spider-Man.

When telling him the Spider-Man origin I explain that since Peter Parker was such a good student he went on a field trip for school when he was bitten by the radio active spider that gave him his powers.

Last week Maxfield's preschool went on a field trip, down the block, to the local library. While walking back to the school one of the moms, who chaperoned, asked Max what he thought of the trip.

He replied, "It was fun but I did not get bit by any radio active spiders."

The other day, when Lauren took Max to school, a different mom told Lauren that Max asked the Librarian if there were any radio active spiders.

I was hoping Max would pick up on the "ate all their dinner and cleaned up all their toys " part of my stories.

Apparently not.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hot Date

Many weeks ago Lauren's mom agreed to watch the kids on a Saturday night so Lauren and I could go out on a date for Lauren's birthday. We took her up on the offer.

It rained most of the day on Saturday but by the time Lauren's mom arrived at 5pm it had cleared up. Lauren and I were out the door by 5:30. We decided we would go to Doylestown. Doylestown is a quaint little town with lots of bars and shops and restaurants. We figured we could walk around, holding hands, and window shop and bar hop like we were young and in-love and without responsibility. Lauren loves live music and we figured we could catch a band at one of the cool haunts, after we ate and had a few drinks.

We parked the car at 5:50 pm and started to walk towards a group of shops. The sky grew dark and the wind kicked up something fierce. I saw a comic book store that was open and I asked Lauren if we could stop in for a quick second because I wanted to get Max a few comics. She agreed but I think it was due to the fact she wanted to get out of the weather.

We entered the store and were met with a half dozen or so lanky, rag-a-muffin, greasy haired, acne pocked, gothy teens. They were all sitting at tables playing some type of fantasy Dungeons and Dragons type of game. All of their heads turned towards Lauren because all of the sudden there was a hot chick in the comic book store and that only happens, like, well, like never.

Two tables back, sat two not so lanky, rag-a-muffin, greasy haired adults that were playing some type of fantasy game. I paused for a moment and soaked in the atmosphere. Although I never was the type to sit in a comic shop and play games I did collect comics for many years and I embrace my former nerdiness.

As I walked past the tables Lauren grabbed me by the arm, almost to use me as a shield, and followed. We made our way to the back of the store and Lauren said, "My Geekometer just went on full tilt."

I laughed it off. I wasn't sure if she was talking about me or the other patrons of the store. I think she was referring to me. I browsed for a few minutes and I found some comics that were appropriate for Max. The storm outside was coming on pretty strong.

At 6:04pm, I was paying for the comics when my phone rang. It was Lauren's mom. The power went out at our house and she did not know where to find flash lights or candles. Lauren hung up and sighed. We had to go home.

We spent Lauren's birthday date in a comic book store. It was Hot.

We did end up getting to go out later that evening, but just for dinner.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Bean Soup: 1982

Between the ages of 6 and 10 I did not eat dinner at the family table. Being that there were usually 11 people eating dinner, and we all did not fit at the table, my brother Lawnwhisperer and I sat in old wooden desks that were off to the side of the kitchen. We called them the satellite tables. We were truly the middle children, cast off and forgotten at dinnertime discussions. We had it good then.

The dinner table was of average size with a chair at the head of the table where my mom sat and to her immediate right, on one of the long benches, sat my dad. The rest of the kids sat on the bench with my dad or on the other bench on the opposite side of the table. My sister sat at the other head of the table. Somewhere around the age of 11, I was moved to the kitchen table. I never realized how good the satelitte desks were.

Since my dad and I were the only two lefties in the family, I had to sit to his immediate right to prevent any elbow bumping from anyone else. The problem with that spot, was, it was dead center of the table and was considered the “passing lane”. Anytime someone wanted something they asked me. “Bill Can you pass me the salt?” “Bill, pass the mashed potatoes.” “Bill, pass the ketchup.” This interrupted my eating every night on a regular basis. The passing requests started right after everyone had their first servings or after they had finished and wanted seconds. In an effort to enjoy my meals I usually ate very fast.

Eating very fast and being in the passing lane caused me lots of grief. We had a rule at our house; you had to eat everything on your plate. If you did not you had to sit at the table until you were finished. Some meals you could be sitting there all night. Most nights this was not a problem I was a pretty good eater. But some nights, like the Bean Soup Episode of 1982, I was in a very bad spot.

My dad loved bean soup, the rest of us, not so much. One night my mom made bean soup. We all had to eat at least one bowlful. Since it was bean soup I could not eat it as fast as I usually did. I finished about two thirds of my bowl when the passing requests started. My brothers wanted every, and any type of condiment to mask the flavor of the bean soup. I was so distracted passing the salt and pepper and ketchup back and forth that I did not see my brother Kevin empty the contents of his bowl into mine. Kevin asked to be excused and he left.

I started eating my soup some more so I could get up from the table. I was almost finished when the passing requests started again. I think my brother Dan, who watched Kevin, got my brother Dennis to distract my parents. As they were distracted and I was passing the rolls, they emptied their soup into my bowl. My bowl was full again. Dennis and Dan were excused from the table. I couldn’t say anything to my parents because most times my siblings and I had some kind of code about getting each other in trouble. I also did not want to be a tattle.

Slowly, everyone else finished and were excused, except for me and my brother Pat. Pat was always the last to finish, but on this particular night Pat finished before me. I sat at the table for what seemed like 3 hours trying to finish 4 servings of soup.

To this day, I still cannot eat bean soup.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Failing as Parents

Yesterday Maxfield had his 4 year old check-up at the doctor. They gave him the full rundown including a hearing and a vision test. He was so cute to watch as he tried to cheat on the vision test. He just did not want to be wrong and I think he had a small crush on the nurse and wanted to impress her.

He is at 90% for his height and 75% for his weight. Which is an "A" and a "C" and is not really honor roll material but we can work on bringing the "C" up to a "B" for the next time. I joke but, a child's physical exam is also a mental/emotional exam for the parents. Of course you want the child to be healthy but as the doctor asked us, the parents, questions I just hoped that we got all the answers right. It feels like the SATs.

Does he play well? Yes. Does he go to school? Yes. Two days a week. Does he eat normally? Well yes. Lots of fruits and vegatables? Yes. Oh of course. He loves his fruits and veggies. Since I said "Love" maybe he will get extra credit. Sleep Normal? Yes. In his own bed? Well yes. Since he was two. Again extra credit. Well occasionally he sleeps in our bed but that is only if he has a nightmare and maybe we should not let him, but you know. Is it wrong? I took too much time one on that answer. Just need to finish the test and go back to this one? Is he involved in any other activities? No. No? Should he? Maybe he needs to be more involved in other activities. We will sign him up for soccer and piano and pottery at the local art center if it means the doctor will give him a A on this exam.

I think there were few moments that Lauren and I actually looked at each other as if we were trying to "cheat" on the answers. We reallly want to succed as parents.

Everything checked out okay except for one area. We mentioned to the doctor that Max has been having some problems with the potty training. He was fully trained but then, a couple of months ago, he started having accidents. I call them "on purposes" because I think he knows when he is going to pee himself. It was and is getting to be very frustrating. The doctor explained that this is somewhat normal and that with all the stress over the past few months this may be Max's way of dealing with the stress.

Then she, the doctor, examined Max's belly and discovered that he is full of poop. So full, that we had to take him to get x-rays to make sure there are no serious issues. He passed his x-ray with flying colors (thats my boy)but is still full of impacted poop. The doctor explained all the hows and the why's and that Max's clogged bowels are causing him to have accidents. She then told us we needed to give Max an enema once a day for the next three days.

I went to the pharmacy and purchased three Children's Fleets enemas (the pharmacist did not appreciate my joke about having different flavors for children) and some stool softener.

Last night, with some degree of difficulty, some tears and wincing (I am not saying whose) we attemtpted to give Max some "heinie medicine". That was what we called it because he already had five booster shots earlier that day we figured he may be okay with one more, so to speak.

Lauren and I failed miserably as parents. I held him down, she inserted. Fluid from the enema bottle sprayed everywhere. She held him, I inserted. Again fluid sprayed everywhere. Whatever we tried we could not get the enema to work. He is either that impacted or Lauren and I are the worst enema givers in the whole world.

After fifteen minutes Lauren and I decided to wait it out and see if any of the medicine worked its way in. Max has still not gone.

Round two is tonight.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sun Sneeze

Lauren and her mom were sitting on the couch under a window in the den. Wyatt was playing quietly on the floor and he looked up towards Mommom and the sun light, shining through the window, caught his eyes just right and it caused him to sneeze. He then looked up again and sneezed again.

Lauren's mom said something like "I hope he is not getting a cold."

"He is all right." I said "It was probably the sun that caused the sneeze."

She looked at me like I was a little off. "The sun?"

"Yeah. You know how when you walk out into the sun and it catches you just right it causes you to sneeze?"

She just looked at me.

I explained again.

She just just stared at me like I was nuts. "I have never heard of that." she said

I thought she was nuts. I thought the sun caused everyone to sneeze. I know it causes me to sneeze, it causes Max to sneeze and I guess it makes Wyatt sneeze.

Lauren spoke up at this point and called it photic sneeze reflex. Her mom never heard of it. I never heard of the phrase but I knew what it was.

I did some research online and I found out that Photic Sneeze Refelx is a genetic quirk that affects 18 to35 percent of the popluation.

I have thought my entire life, that sun light can make any one sneeze. I thought it was normal.

Lauren's mom, for her entire life, never realized that the sun can cause sneezes. She thought it was abnormal.

With this genetic quirk only affecting less than one third of the popluation Lauren's mom has been, all this time, correct about me. I am abnormal.

For scientific purposes I need to know, have you heard of this Photic Sneeze reflex? Do you have it? Do you know someone who has it?

Now a few people left some comments on this post (Susie, Mainline Mom, Crumb, Ali ) all equated a sneeze to an orgasm. I have Photic Sneeze Reflex. Jealous?