Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Secret Celebrity Plot, Discovered! (Sweetie's Hunk of the Week 62)

In honor of our 10th Anniversary, Sweetie has picked, as her 62nd Hunk of the Week...

Robert Downey, Jr!

You Don't Know Him Without You Have: Been alive in the past 5 years. It's been impossible to go see a movie in the past half-decade without seeing Robert Downey, Jr., in that movie. He's been Iron Man, and Iron Man 2, and Sherlock Holmes, and A Bunch Of Things I Didn't Want To See, and probably he's been on 30 Rock or hosted Saturday Night Live or something, too. And I think he helped pass Health Care Reform. Or he was against it. Or he ran Goldman Sachs.

Simply put, if it happened between 2005 and now, Robert Downey Jr not only had something to do with it, but he was also critically acclaimed for whatever it was he had to do with it.

That alone might have gotten him chosen for the coveted 62nd Hunk of the Week when I nixed Sweetie's first choice.

Sweetie's first choice was me, but I told her that she couldn't pick me as a Hunk of the Week. Sweetie was trying, I think, to be nice and romantic because it was our 10th Anniversary this week, and I made our 10th Anniversary very special for Sweetie -- I even (I don't mean to brag here)(well, I do mean to brag, a little) I even got her a carpet steamer, although technically that was a gift for both of us, because I waived my usual present in honor of our anniversary: I told Sweetie that instead of a contribution to the Piano Tuning Fund, I wanted "one-half of a carpet steamer."

I wanted that because I knew that Sweetie would then want the other half of a carpet steamer. I knew that because I knew that Sweetie actually wanted a whole carpet steamer, as Sweetie is frequently thrown into despair by the state of our carpeting, which used to be colors like "blue" and "white," and now is colors like "ground-in-chocolate-chip-cookie" and "something the cat threw up." So for our anniversary, I said that I wanted Sweetie to get me one-half of a carpet steamer.

And, bowled over by the sheer romance of that, Sweetie then tried to pay me back by naming me the Hunk of the Week, but I had to decline the honor, mostly out of respect for the post of Hunk of the Week, and partly out of respect for the fact that I'm not really able to suck in my stomach enough in photos anymore to qualify as a Hunk of the Week.

So I told Sweetie to pick a different Hunk, and said that if she didn't, I would choose the Hunk. She then blurted out "Robert Downey, Jr,"
which I assumed was mainly because we'd just seen Iron Man 2 last night -- part of AnniversaryGanza -- but also a little because Robert Downey, Jr., is in everything. (I think he's actually the model for Booberry now, too.)

Thing That Makes You Go Hmmm About Him:
You maybe think I'm kidding about him having been in everything in the past 5 years, but he's been in 16 movies in that time, and has another 6 or so scheduled to come out in the next 3 years, all of which isn't the thing that makes me go Hmmm about him.

Nor is the thing that makes me go Hmmm about him all that stuff about how for a while there he was always being arrested or was on drugs or in jail or dead or something. That's just America, nowadays; we've gotten away from the old ways of getting famous (being talented, working hard, sleeping with Orson Welles) and have now new ways of getting famous (having lots of babies, getting in legal/drug trouble and cleaning up, sleeping with anyone famous and then retaining Gloria Allred) and I'm okay with that, even though it means that I'll never myself be rich and famous because I can't have babies and I don't like Gloria Allred. That's our society now, and we're stuck with it for better or worse (worse.)

No, what makes me go Hmmm about Robert Downey Jr. is that on his IMDB page it notes that he was born at 1:10 p.m.

If I assume that the day someone is born is important -- because exactly one year later it marks their first birthday, and so on -- if I assume that, I'm still left wondering why is the exact minute of someone's birth important? Why isn't just the rough time of day that someone is born what's noted? Do we really need to know that Robert Downey Jr. was born not "in the afternoon" or "sometime that day" or even "around one-ish," but exactly at 1:10 p.m.?

If you're going to go that exact, why not have the seconds in there? It's ridiculously specific for no reason whatsoever.

I don't even recall the time the Babies! were born. I recall it was "sometime on the day they were born," and I'm lucky to remember that, because for two years, I'd routinely give people the wrong day -- for some reason I remembered their birthday as September 6, not September 5, their actual birthday. (Now, when you ask me, I recite "9-5-06" as quickly as I can, having memorized it that way to avoid screwing up in the future and giving them complexes.)

I have a theory, though, about why Robert Downey Jr.'s exact time of birth is noted, and it's this: Celebrities are sick of us regular people, and so they're going to distance themselves from us in any way they can.

They're doing this in response to articles like "Celebrities: They're Just Like Us!" in those gossip magazines Sweetie reads all the time: I think celebrities are aghast at the thought that we think they're just like us, and even more aghast at the fact that nowadays, "Stars" as used in things like "Dancing With The Stars" includes such obvious non-stars as "Erin Andrews" and "That Guy Who Went Into Space Who's Not Neil Armstrong" and "Kate Gosselin." Celebrities have looked at articles saying they're like us, and have looked at TV shows like Dancing With The Stars and have decided: Enough! We're NOT like you, and now they're setting out to prove it in any way they can.

They already live in gated communities, in California, where no regular people live, but that's not enough, so they're taking other steps.

They're taking other steps like starting up TV shows in which celebrities make fun of regular people ("The Marriage Ref") and they're arranging to have real celebrities call fake celebrities and remind the fake ones of their fake status (as Ellen did for that kid who sang Lady GaGa's song the other day), and they're no longer hooking up with regular people like they used to -- leading to huge catfights among people like Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson as they fight over the only single guy in Hollywood (Gerard Butler), and then they're doing even more subtle things, like, say,

promoting the fact that they were born at exactly 1:10 p.m. Right, Robert Downey, Jr.?

That helps separate him from us through this simple mechanism: By promoting the time of birth, people like me and you and Sweetie can no longer say we share a birthday with a celebrity. When we say, as I do every year, "Hey, I share a birthday with Gilligan!", celebrities, in the future, will say "Um, excuse me, common person who nobody cares about, but you don't share my birthday. I was born at 1:10 p.m. Were you born at 1:10 p.m.? I didn't think so. Now please shut up and get me my coffee."

Thanks to me, you'll know it's coming: The Day Celebrities Turn On Us. Because I cracked the code. Take that, Robert Downey Jr.!

Reason I Assumed Sweetie Liked Him: Like I said, Sweetie and I capped off our AnniversaryPalooza with a trip to see Iron Man 2 on the Imax, and then ordering pizza and deep-fried foods (Classically romantic -- that's us.) So I figured that when I told her to pick a real Hunk of the Week, she just went with "the movie star I saw most recently."

The Actual Reason Sweetie Likes Him: I thought that, that is, until I asked "Why him?" and Sweetie said, without hesitation, "He has a surprisingly good body."

Without hesitation.

Point I'd Like To Make About Sweetie's Actual Reason For Liking Him:

Consider this: When I said "Why?" about Robert Downey, Jr., Sweetie said: "He has a surprisingly good body." And nothing else.

I then told Sweetie to write that down, as I was going to take Mr F and Mr Bunches on our Saturday Adventure before I posted this, so I didn't want to forget it.

She wrote me a note and left it next to the 'puter, and now I'm home and doing this and the note says this: "Has a surprisingly good body and is funny."

Nice, isn't it? Sweetie is trying to cover for herself in a note, claiming after the fact that she also likes his sense of humor. A sense of humor that is amply on display below:

I'm sure that when Sweetie looked at that picture, she was only looking to see if Robert Downey, Jr., had just said something really funny, and not to see if that blanket was about to slip off.

Friday, May 14, 2010

McDonald's, 2 (Jobs v. Life)

Jobs v. Life is an exploration of my life through the jobs I've worked. McDonald's is the second job I ever had. The Table Of Contents is here.

I go to McDonald's all the time. Sweetie and I were talking about that yesterday, when we got on the subject of whether you'd get sick of the food you make if you worked at the place that made the food.

We started talking about that as we were sitting in the drive-through of a Kentucky Fried Chicken, waiting to get our (turned-out-to-be-disappointing) 10th Anniversary Dinner. I was watching the people inside make fried chicken and assemble dinners, and I said to Sweetie "Imagine working in a KFC. That'd be great."

Sweetie then said "I bet you'd get sick of the food. But maybe not." She remembered that Oldest worked at McDonald's and ate at McDonald's all the time, then, and now.

"I don't think I'd get sick of it," I said. "I didn't get sick of McDonald's food when I worked there, either. And I ate Subway sandwiches twice a day for about four years and never got sick of them, either."

I then regaled Sweetie, for about the 50th time in our marriage, with the graphic description of how to really make a meatball sub at Subway, something she's heard all too often.

(That was all just part of the romance of our 10th Anniversary. It wasn't all the romance, because we also went to Panera and got her a Frozen Mango drink, and we watched two episodes of Modern Family, and we also -- I don't like to brag, but if you're the jealous type you won't want to read this -- we also played "balloons" with Mr F and Mr Bunches.)

I never did get sick of McDonald's food when I worked there... and I never actually got sick of working at McDonald's, either. People talk about "McJobs," but as a 16-year-old fresh into the labor market, I found McDonald's to be exciting and fast-paced, and also pretty greasy.

My first task, at McDonald's, was to work the fry vats. The McDonald's that I worked at, I'm sure, bears little to no resemblance to your modern-day McDonald's. I see glimpses of McDonald's nowadays and see computer screens and weird grills and all kinds of dispensers and things, and I don't recognize any of that.

I do recognize, largely, the layout of almost every McDonald's, as almost everyone of them is laid out just about the same. With minor variations, almost every McDonald's you see if going to have the main ordering counter midway through the building. It's going to have a gap on the left side of that counter (as you face it) where employees can come and go between the working-portion of the restaurant and the customer-portion of the restaurant. The drive-through window -- sometimes spelled drive-thru, for no reason whatsoever beyond the reasoning that drives people to rename everything as an acronym or shortened version of something -- will be just to the left of that entrance, and just to the back of that drive-through will be the fry station.

That's the layout of the McDonald's that I go to all the time now, the one that's about a mile from my house, and that was the layout of the McDonald's where I began my 'real job' career, working the fry station.

I'm not sure what it is about McDonald's that makes them put their least experienced person on the most dangerous thing they have. I'd say it's crazy and it makes no sense, except that there are several reasons not to argue with their tactics:

First, I didn't injure myself, even as a clueless 16-year-old who had (has) a tendency to zone out and forget what he's doing, and

Second, McDonald's is wildly successful and therefore you should think long and hard before you question what they do.

I think that a lot nowadays: I think, a lot, be careful questioning those who clearly know something about what they're doing. When you're young, it's hip and clever to say things like "Question Authority!" and I did my fair share of that kind of posturing -- remember, I formed the hip, radical, entirely-non-loserish group called "Rebellious Youth Without Phones" at my high school -- but as you get older, you start to say stuff like "Wait a minute, why should I just blindly question authority? Shouldn't I maybe start to wonder how they got authority in the first place, and shouldn't I sort of respect that fact, and try to learn from them what they did to get that authority and how it's working out for them, before I just question them?"

In short, questioning authority -- or criticizing McDonald's procedures -- is dumb. It's the kind of dumb thing people do without thinking about how dumb it really is, and I've learned to recognize that over the years.

Most recently, I had to apply that thinking twice in my current job. Over the winter, one of the bosses at the firm was thinking about making some changes. The details of the changes aren't that important, not for the point I'm making. He was just going to make some changes. And almost everyone in the office was critical of the changes.

The people in the office range from the twenty-something receptionist to nearly-retired secretaries to paralegals to 20-year-plus lawyers, and they all have one thing in common: None of them have ever run a successful business.

I have that in common with them; while I've run a business -- I had my own law practice for two years, with myself as the sole employee -- I have never run a successful business. My own law practice, being my own boss, led me to a time that Sweetie and I refer to as "The Weekend of No Money," and that is not a fond memory.

So when my boss now was contemplating making these changes, and everyone was up in arms about it, I reminded them, from time to time, that The Boss might just know what he's doing. As I put it to Sweetie: "He's built the firm up from nothing to a really successful business that keeps on growing and doesn't even advertise. Maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt."

Eventually, everyone else in the firm talked The Boss out of it, and he didn't go through with his changes.

Then, more recently still, I had to re-apply that idea to myself -- having gotten into a dispute with The Boss at work, too. It wasn't much of a dispute, not really. It was just that a couple of minor gripes that I've had for a while built up and up and up until I decided to address them, and when I did address them, meeting with The Boss and The Other Boss, they didn't take my advice for how to address what I saw as the problem. Instead, they applied their own advice, their own advice being, essentially "You've got to put up with it."

They didn't say that, in so many words, but that was the end result of a very unsatisfying lunch meeting we had: not much is going to change, and I've got to deal with that -- "that" being employees who I don't think are doing all that they could be doing, and who I don't think are doing very well those few tasks they bother to try.

That may be ironic. I'm not sure it is, or if it's merely coincidental, or if it's poetic justice. It's probably all three of those. What's ironic/coincidental/poetic justice is that I was nearly driven to distraction (and many times am driven to distraction) by being surrounded with people I view as not being very good workers: many (but not all) of my coworkers don't (in my view) work hard and don't do good work.

That's not just my view. The Boss and The Other Boss said as much -- they said that in the entire firm there's only two "go-getters," and that I'm one of them. And then they said I've got to live with that, and not hold people to the standards I hold myself to.

That's the coincidental/ironic/poetic justice part: If you were go to any boss I ever worked for that someday, I would be having a meeting with the two people I now work for, and if you were to say to that prior boss that the conversation would be how I am unfairly expecting people to work just as hard as I do, every single one of those prior bosses would say:

"Are we talking about the same person?"

I have never before been categorized as a hard worker or go-getter. For most of my career, I would have been categorized as a "space filler." I took up room and did what I was told, some of the time, but not very well and not very quickly.

And that all began at McDonald's, which saw fit on my first day to put me on the fry vats in a 2-hour shift.

McDonald's, back then, worked employees like me mostly on a 2 or 3 or 4 hour shift. Longer shifts than that were rare. Almost nobody that I was aware of worked more than 4 hours at a time. 8 hour shifts, I think, were for shift managers and day managers and "crew chiefs," a position that I almost immediately coveted once I learned it existed, which wasn't for quite a while because even though McDonald's trained me and showed me videos and told me how they were organized, I wasn't really paying attention and so I had to gather through experience all the things they tried to just tell me.

For my first two hour shift, I reported in my blue polyester pants and my blue polyester shirt, and I had, I believe, a visor. I'm pretty sure that by 1985, McDonald's was beyond paper hats. Pretty sure, but not entirely sure, because while I think I recall wearing a visor, I also recall the only crew chief who I remember -- a really big fat guy named Terry, who had reddish-blond hair and freckles and a red face that I thought was from the heat of the kitchen but which was really probably from high blood pressure -- I recall Terry wearing a paper hat. I also recall it being brown, while I'm positive that my vest was blue.

So don't trust my memory, is what I'm saying.

As the fry-vat guy, I had several duties. First, I was responsible for making french fries. That meant taking big paper bags of frozen fries, ripping them open, dumping them into wire baskets, and putting the basket down into a large vat of boiling hot oil. I then had to hit a button atop the vat to get the timer going; things at McDonald's are not left up to judgments as to when they're done. Everything was timed to the second, with little square buttons of red and white and yellow and lights flashing and timers clicking.

Once the fries were done -- signaled by lights flashing and beeps -- I was to take them and dump them into a large steel area with holes in it, to allow draining of excess grease. I then sprinkled salt on them and scooped them into bags, small and large size.

That's something I've long wondered about: how we settled only two sizes of french fries when we have numerous sizes of everything else. You can't get, so far as I know, a medium fries anywhere. It's always small and large (or regular and large in the marketing parlance we've all come to accept -- Americans are conditioned by now to never refer to the smallest size of things as the small, but as the regular. Which makes every other size irregular, but never mind.)

You can only get two sizes of fries. But you can get 3 or 4 sizes of popcorn at the theater, and you can get, I believe, five sizes of soda at a convenience store. Meanwhile, McDonald's has four sizes of soda... but only two sizes of shake.


That's a head-scratcher. I've always wondered about it. For 25 years, I've wondered why some things demand a billion different sizes, while others are allowed only one size. I wonder that the same way I wonder why anyone, including me, buys a large soda when they're going to be eating in the restaurant and refills are free. (I used to always buy a large soda, even when refills are free, but then I thought about it one day, and decided that I wouldn't do that anymore, because why? I can get up and get a refill, free, so paying more for a large means, essentially, donating money to that restaurant. And they don't need more of my money.)

McDonald's had a special tool for bagging the fries, back then. It was a scoop with a wide front and narrow base and a handle on the right side, and the base was just the right size to fit into the mouth of the small white paper bag that McDonald's used, and has used, for as long as I can remember for their small fries.

(There's something comforting about the fact that a small fries still comes in that little white paper bag at McDonald's. I like to buy Happy Meals for the Babies! because they come with a small fries, and I like to see that little white paper bag. It makes me nostalgic, just a little. And happy, because there are things that don't need to change, and if they don't need to change, they shouldn't change. That white paper bag didn't need to change, and it hasn't, so at least one tiny little thing in the world makes sense.)

And I didn't think then, but I have since, how fascinating it is that not only does McDonald's have a whole system for cooking fries, but they even have special tools to make it faster to cook fries. I don't know if McDonald's invented that fry-scooping tool, or if they bought it from someone els, or if someone saw someone somewhere trying to scoop fries with a regular scoop and thought I can make that easier. What I do know is that we have a society in which scooping fries into a small white paper bag was made a little more efficient and easier to do, which seems both perfect and perfectly crazy to me. How much time is saved, and how many fries are saved, by doing that? Why did we need a special tool just to do that?

I know that during my time at the fry vats, saving an extra second or two wasn't really that big a deal. When it was slow, saving time on the scooping of fries wasn't an issue at all. Someone needed fries, I'd scoop them up. There was enough time to do that without worrying about losing precious microseconds to an inefficient scoop.

When it was busy, microseconds might have needed saving, but it wasn't fries that were holding up the works. I was able to, when it was busy, get the fries bagged and ready (sitting in their own little rack next to the scooping area) and they'd be waiting there for someone to grab, so saving microseconds per bag -- or even a second or two per bag-- wasn't necessary. I had the time to do it, and I had the time to do it because there wasn't really a way to speed up the process of getting the money from people, or handing them their change, or them ordering. The delays, if there were any, were in those things, not in the time spent scooping fries.

But nevertheless, McDonald's had a scoop to make fry cooking more efficient -- and it no doubt did, shaving several seconds per shift off the process.

McDonald's was still hampered by employing people like me, and by serving people like me, people who will dawdle and delay and forget that they're cooking fries because they're watching the guy in the drive-through, wishing they could work the drive-through, people who will burn the Filet O'Fish because they didn't realize that that particular beeping was for them, instead of for someone else.

But they would save seconds on the scooping.

In between cooking fries, I also, as hinted above, had to cook other fried things, which included back then Apple and Cherry Pies, and Filet O'Fish filets. Those were all fried up in the same vats as the french fries, and as each other -- although never together. I was told that: don't put filet o'fishes, or fries, or pies, in the same fry basket. It was okay to dump the fries from a basket, then put some filets in it and cook those, then dump those and put pies into that same basket and cook them in the same oil, but you couldn't put fries and pies into the same basket at the same time.

"Why?" I asked when told that. My boss looked at me for a second and said "Just don't."

So much for questioning authority.

Dumb as old medallions to the thumb (Friday's Sunday's Poem and Hot Actress, 50)

This morning, Sweetie and I had one of our philosophical discussions, the highly intellectual kind that have marked our marriage's 10+ years so far. It went like this:

Me: I've got a little more to do. I have to post the Poem.

Sweetie: The what?

Me: The poem.

Sweetie: Po-em.

Me: Poem (pronouncing it pome).

Sweetie: Po-em! Arrggh. (She really did say Arrgh!)

I then tried to find a poem that would settle that debate, in my favor, but I couldn't. So I settled for Ars Poetica, which is at least about poetry.

And, Sweetie suggested Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Hot Actress today, which also seems fitting, as she recently had her name misspelled on her star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, which is kind of similar to the debate Sweetie and I had because... well...

Okay, I don't know how it fits in. Here's the poem:

Ars Poetica
by Archibald MacLeish

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.


A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind—

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.


A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea—

A poem should not mean
But be.

Note: I also think a poem should rhyme, but that's just me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Very Special 3 Good Things!

It's my 10th Anniversary today -- the 10th Anniversary of the day I suckered Sweetie into actually going through with marrying me. As I said in the card I gave her today (and yes, I gave her more than a card -- the inventor of the Tuesday Present knows how to give proper gifts), "I don't know why you stick with me, but I'm glad you do."

To celebrate, bloggerwise, I'm going to take just a little time this morning to give you A Very Special 3 Good Things. Since I don't need 3 Good Things to keep me in a good mood today (it's my anniversary and I've got the day off, to boot), I'm giving you 3 Good (But In A Strange Sort of Way) Things About Being Married To Sweetie:

1. Sweetie knows surprising things, like how to cook bacon really good.

Sweetie is always watching crazy shows, and she went through a phase a while back where she really liked cooking shows. Sweetie isn't much, though, for gourmet food. (Neither of us are; we'll probably celebrate our anniversary with pizza. Update: Sweetie just told me it'll be KFC!) So I assumed that the shows were just for entertainment, until one day, Sweetie cooked bacon as part of the dinner and the bacon was actually crispy and really good. It was restaurant-style bacon, which I've never had outside of a restaurant.

It was then that I learned that Sweetie had gotten, from her cooking shows, all kinds of little tips, like how to cook bacon in an oven on a cookie sheet to get it crispy. So being married to Sweetie gets me restaurant-style bacon for life.

(Being married to me gets Sweetie "a variety of deep-fried things, including many things that probably were better off not being deep-fried.")

2. Sweetie's soft streak shows up in unexpected ways. Sweetie is, as everyone knows, an amazing softie who nonetheless says I have no backbone just because I cave in and let Mr Bunches take a second bath at 9:15 at night because he really wants to.

Sweetie's kindheartedness overflows and affects her at all times, like when she cried during a Futurama episode (the one with Fry's clover), or when she cried during a Cheerios commercial. (The one about adopting a baby.) But the worst/best ever was this:

We were watching Anaconda, or maybe Anaconda 2. I'm not sure. It doesn't matter. We were watching it, and there's a monkey in there, and [SPOILER ALERT?] the monkey got into some trouble, lost in a cave full of snakes or something, and Sweetie got very upset. When I asked her why she was so upset about a movie-monkey, she said "The monkey reminds me of Stormy!"

(Stormy [full name: Stormy Jet Risotto] is Sweetie's cat.)

(Update: Sweetie read this part and cried.)

3. Sweetie is HOT. That's not surprising. Not to me -- I knew Sweetie was beautiful when I met her, and when I married her, and each day when I wake up. And I get it reinforced by the number of guys who hit on her all the time, sometimes in front of me. (Hey, guys, show a little class, okay? At least wait 'til I drive off.)

But I wanted you to know. I'm spending my 10th anniversary with the most beautiful woman ever. (And she cooks bacon!)

129 down, 10,820 to go
: It's the song Sweetie and I danced to at our wedding: True Companion by Marc Cohn. All you other couples... this is OUR song. Back off.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Will Smith is like Sara Lee, only with more Scientology involved. (3 Good Things From 5/11/10)

I was this close to getting a chance to do some 'puting yesterday... and then I remembered about having a job and all. Even with as busy as I was, though, I still got 3 Good Things out of the day to keep me happy as I head into today, and today, they're all quotes:

1. "Awesome." That's what Mr Bunches said when we were getting ready to head out on errands, as Mr F noodled around with my guitar. Mr F was picking at the strings and horsing around, and I said "Play a chord," so he did. And Mr Bunches said "Awesome."

2. "Meow." That is what Mr Bunches said when I helped him get some milk before bed. We'd put him and Mr F to bed, but they hadn't gone to sleep yet. Mr Bunches had announced he wanted milk (by pounding on his door as hard as he could) and I'd brought him downstairs to get some, where we ran into our main cat, Scruffy. (Full name: Scruffy Jean MacDougal.)(Yes, she's Scottish.)

Mr Bunches tries to talk to Scruffy, who he's now good friends with. So as we walked by and she looked at us, he said "Meow."

3. "What is going on here?" That's from The Boy, whose main activity these days is sleeping; The Boy sleeps so much that Mr Bunches calls him "sleep."

The Boy was sleeping on the couch downstairs last night when I came down, after the Babies! were in bed, to Lost-ercise: jogging on a trampoline while watching an episode of Lost. I put in the DVD and began jogging/being mystified, and the dialogue woke up The Boy, who was crabby from being woken up, and also pretend-crabby from having constantly to pretend that everything I like is terrible and everything he likes is good; The Boy will not admit that something I (or Sweetie) likes is good, or will at best grudgingly do so. So when we loved The Watchmen, he went to see it but left halfway through (only to then watch it on DVD and say it was "okay.") He only began to like MGMT when I announced that I didn't like them anymore. And he absolutely will not watch Lost, even if it means, in this case, that he's got to get up and go to bed, which he did, after loudly proclaiming "What is going on here?"

Only a teenager can act as though using your own stuff in your own house is an affront to humanity.

128 down, 10,821 to go: I was talking with my boss last night about music we liked, and he said he didn't particularly care for, and I quote:

"That music, what's it called, where they talk over the other music... spoken word?"

I thought about that for a second and said "Do you mean rap?"

Yes, rap," he said. "I don't like that." That's a shocking statement, I know, coming from a rich, golf-loving 60-year-old lawyer; here I thought my boss was the key rap demographic. I told him, though, that there's some rap that's good and that I'd try to find some raps he'd like. Here's the first: Switch, by Will Smith. Who doesn't like Will Smith?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Every Saturday we have an adventure; some are moreso than others. (3 Good Things From The Weekend.)

I didn't come in over the weekend, making this my first 2-day weekend in a long time; instead, Mr Bunches, Mr F and I made Sweetie breakfast in bed. That might be one of Sweetie's 3 Good Things for today; here's mine, looking back over the whole weekend:

1. Mr Bunches made a friend! I took Mr F and Mr Bunches to the mall playground Saturday night; it was raining and cold and crummy out, so our Saturday adventure -- every Saturday, we go on an adventure -- was going to the mall.

While there, Mr Bunches finally made a friend to play chase with. For his whole entire life, Mr Bunches has gone to playgrounds and gatherings and tried to get other kids to play chase: they chase him, he chases them. He usually picks out older kids who don't play with him, but who he (heartbreakingly) thinks are playing with him, resulting in the sad sight of Mr Bunches running after bigger kids until he realizes they aren't playing.

This time was different: This time, Mr Bunches found a kid his own age, who also wanted to play chase, and for 40 glorious minutes, he and the other kid alternated chasing each other and tackling and wrestling each other and having a great time.

It just goes to show: dreams do come true.

2. I discovered "Cursing Mommy." Cursing Mommy is apparently an ongoing feature of The New Yorker. I'd never heard of it until yesterday, when The Boy took Sweetie to a movie for Mother's Day (A Nightmare On Elm Street, the best Mother's Day movie you could imagine) and the girls went shopping and Mr F and Mr Bunches actually napped, leaving me 2 hours of free time, which I spent lying on our living room couch, reading back issues of my New Yorker subscription.

Cursing Mommy -- specifically "Rx From The Cursing Mommy" is one of the funniest things I have ever read. Click that link to go read it.

3. Middle proved that Bret Michaels wears a wig. Middle looked at Sweetie's People Magazine and noted that Bret Michaels, in the little inset photo, doesn't have long hair.

I was very impressed with her powers of observation.

127 Down, 10,822 to go:
I was going to go with All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem, but then I used that as the song for the latest 5 pages on my "5 Pages" blog, and then I was going to go with Forbidden by The Violent Femmes, but (a) nobody's put that song on Youtube yet, and (b) I got distracted by The Violent Femmes on Sabrina The Teenage Witch:

Which taught me that lead singer Gordon Gano's name is pronounced Gain-o, not Gon-o like I'd always thought...

...yeah, I watched it, at work. So what?

So in the end I went with Hypnotize by The White Stripes.