Sunday, December 23, 2007

She Must Have Me Confused With Santa


I was making lunch yesterday for Peanut & The Champ, which usually means they get peanut butter and fluff sandwiches. I asked them if they wanted their sandwiches cut into squares or triangles.

I looked to my son first.

"Squares, please," said The Champ.

I then turned my loving daughter, "Peanut, squares or triangles?"

She looked up at me with her beautiful blue eyes.

"I want diamonds."

When did De Beers start advertising on Noggin?

Speaking of beer. I picked up a case of Samuel Adams Winter Lager. There's one for you and you and you. This is much better than a tray of homemade cookies, don't you think?

Everybody take care and have a Merry Christmas.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Every Nor’easter Has A Silver Lining

A good friend of mine, Big D, has season tickets to the Patriots.

No, that is not the reason why I said he is a good friend.

Every year he invites me to a game or two. All I have to do is pay for the ticket and parking. He drives there and back and handles everything for the tailgating. And no hot dogs and hamburgers either, I’m talking BBQ chicken or steak with a little chili, maybe some cocktail shrimp. The beer is even included. I can usually choose which game I want, so I try to pick an early Sunday afternoon game. Living almost 90 miles from the stadium means a 2-hour ride each way. Leaving the house early isn't a problem but you couple that with some post game tailgating and you have yourself a long day with a late night/early morning if you go to a night game.

Earlier this year, when he showed me the Patriots schedule, I was irritated because most games were night games. So I decided on the Jets game that was played this past Sunday. Which I thought early in the season was to be a great choice with the whole videotaping controversy.

So last Wednesday night, Big D & I were out having a couple beers, talking about the game and the Nor’easter that was due to arrive Sunday morning. He has had these season tickets for at least ten years so he is pretty good judge when it comes to planning due to the weather. He figured we better leave by 9 am if it’s snowing, earlier if its sleet and freezing rain. I told him to call me Saturday to tell me what time and I would be ready to go. Who cares about a little weather, I thought, I will be in Foxboro watching the Patriots.

Saturday afternoon came and so did the call.

“I don’t think we’re going tomorrow. It’s not because of the weather during the game. It’s the weather for traveling.”

Instantly, I was a tad bit upset with Mother Nature.

He had a point, though. While our area was supposed to get mostly snow, the weathermen were talking about nothing but freezing rain in Foxboro. He told me the last time he went to a game and it was freezing rain, the trip to the game took him 5 hours while the trip home took 6. I mind as well have picked the night game, I thought. Never mind, once I got home I would have had to clean up my driveway and sidewalks from the snow.

But then the skies opened up and the sun shined bright.

“Don’t worry, we will go to one of the playoff games, instead.”

Oh, darn, I thought. Instead of spending who knows how long in a car, watching the Patriots kick the lowly Jets' ass, in the freezing rain and then come home to 4-5 inches of snow, I have to go to a playoff game.

So my apologies go out to Mother Nature. Apparently you created my own little “perfect storm”. One request though, can you please keep the weather in check for the playoffs?

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Sit Still And Eat Your Frittata


An invitation arrived a last week addressed to Mrs. Joe & I. It was from Mrs. Joe's stepfathers’ sister, Aunt B, inviting us to a brunch in honor of their mother’s ninetieth birthday. Mrs. Joe’s stepfather and his family have always included us in their events, so this invite didn't really come as a surprise. The surprise might have been the events that transpired at the brunch which was held this past Sunday.

We knew the brunch would be tough on Peanut & The Champ. We gave them the most sincere “you have to behave” speech imaginable. And we also knew that expecting a 6 year old and a 2 year old to sit still for at least an hour at a place that didn't serve chicken nuggets was a lot to ask for.

We made sure to arrive on time but we all ended up having to wait as the room we were to eat in was still being set up. As Mrs. Joe stepped away to say hello to someone, Aunt B came up to the kids & I.

“Oh, look we have unexpected guests.”

Oh, Shit!

Now nowhere on the invitation did it say our children were not invited. I know some people like some events free of the little ones and in most cases I can understand. But she did not lead us to believe this was the case. Up til then, there had never been an instance when our children were not invited to one of their gatherings.

I did the smart thing. I kept my mouth shut, gave her a kiss and thanked her for inviting us.

A few minutes later, she came back over to say hi to Mrs. Joe.

“I didn't know you were going to bring the kids.”

After shooting me the same "Oh, Shit" look, Mrs. Joe did the smart thing as well. She gave her a kiss and thanked her for inviting us.

Once the room was ready, we made sure we sat at the end table, closest to the door. This to allow a quick escape if need be. My in-laws sat next to us to aide in the assumed rebellion by the kids. Early on, they were quiet, mostly due to the waffles they were stuffing in their mouths. But once the waffles were finished, the trouble began.

With the sugar from the syrup kicking in, it would have been the best time to leave. The problem was that by now, everybody had finished eating and all those “back in the day” speeches were being given. You can’t just up and leave during those.

“Excuse me Uncle Larry, Can you hold off on that story about you and Gram at the pond when you were kids for just a minute? Gram, thanks for the free meal. We’re leaving now. By the way, Happy birthday.”

So the children began to run and Mrs. Joe & I each ordered another mimosa.

Midway through the third speech, there was no hope. They were running all over the room, playing in the curtains, jumping on and off the chairs. Mrs. Joe & I, along with my in-laws, gave a valiant effort to contain them but to no avail. Finally after five speeches, and maybe 3 mimosas, it was over. We were able to say goodbye and get the hell out of there. I guess it could have been worse, nobody broke anything.

I just don't think Aunt B will be inviting us to anything anytime soon.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

For Us, He Comes In Through The Dryer Vent



The Christmas Season has officially begun in our house. We went and cut down our Christmas tree Saturday and decorated it that afternoon. There were a few more decorated trees in the field, but nothing really worthy of posting.

After Mrs. Joe retrieved the plastic totes from the attic that held all the ornaments, we opened the one tote that held the most fragile ones. You have a few of those, right? The ornaments that have been in your families for years and can break into a million little shards if you even hold it wrong. Well, right about the same time Peanut reached right in and pulled one out Mrs. Joe & I decided that those ornaments would be staying in the tote this year.

Along with trimming the tree, came all the other Christmas decorations; the Santas, the snowmen, the stockings and everything else Mrs. Joe has stashed up in the attic. And who can forget the Christmas books and videos. The Polar Express has already been played in my house three times.

Yesterday, after viewing yet another holiday video, The Champ came up to me and asked me a very important question.

“Dad, How does Santa get into our house? We don’t have a fireplace.”

With quick thinking, I answered him honestly.

“Go ask your mother.”

Mrs. Joe gave some answer about coming in through the basement. A better answer than mine nonetheless. At least she didn't pawn him off like I did. My question to you is what have you told your kids?

How did you explain to your kids how Santa gets into your house if you have no fireplace?

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Kneeling In The Blogosphere Confessional


Forgive me, my neighbors for I have sinned.

See, I am that guy.

You each have that guy in your neighborhood.

The guy who still hasn't raked the leaves that have fallen from his trees.

The guy who wants to only rake once, so he waits for all the leaves to fall.

The guy who’s leaves are now all in your yard because the wind was blowing around 20-25 miles per hours Saturday.

Yeah, I am that guy.

Although, I have already begun to serve my penance.

Yesterday, I spent about 4 hours raking the remaining leaves that were left in my yard.

The high temperature was 23° F, with freezing rain.

And the oak leaves still have to fall.