Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Final Hunkdown! (Sweetie's LAST EVER Hunk of the Week.)

Just in case the title didn't get you humming the song it rips off, here you go:

That intro, as the title suggests, is appropriate because we have come to The Final Hunk of The Week, ending this long-running, beloved series for two reasons:

1. My ego can no longer take listening to Sweetie describe, around her drool, why she likes each Hunk, and

2. Pretty much, Number 1 is the only reason.

So this week, I talked it over with Sweetie and we had this discussion:

Me: I'm thinking about ending Hunk of the Week.

Sweetie: Whatever you want to do. I'm still going to google images of half-naked men constantly while you're at work.

I'm kind of reading between the lines, there, because what Sweetie actually said is:

Sweetie: Okay.

With that, I asked her to pick one final Hunk of the Week, and she came up with:

Max Ryan!

You Don't Know HIm WIthout You Have... Boy, I thought I could do this without getting teary-eyed, but I don't know. Now I'm thinking back on 65 weeks of Hunky fun, and I'm starting to mist up. Unless that's sweat dripping into my eyes from having to go up into the Babies!' room 27 times to get the balloon off the ceiling because Mr Bunches wants to take a nap holding his balloon from this morning, only he keeps letting go of it and it floats up to their super-high ceiling, and he won't let me tie it to something, and we don't have any string around here. What kind of house doesn't have string? I feel like I'm less than an adult if I don't have a junk drawer that has some kind of old string in it.

Max Ryan was apparently in the latest Sex and The City movie, cleverly titled (I think) 2 Sex, 2 City. Or maybe it was Sex & The City 2: Beyond Thunderdome, judging from the ads where they wander in a postapocalyptic wasteland and Samantha is some sort of zombie propped up by chemicals.

Sweetie saw Sex & The City 2 (or, as I just thought of calling it, Golden Girls: The Movie) last week with Middle and Oldest as a belated, and only a little inappropriate, Mother's Day present from the girls, and immediately came home and picked Max Ryan...

Remember him? He's this guy:

As her next Hunk of the Week, and she also said that he'd be fitting as the last Hunk of the Week, although I'm not sure why that is. In talking about it with her -- because sometimes Sweetie and I talk in between all the balloon-chasing and husband-murder-television-show watching - -in talking about it, I gathered that Max Ryan is some sort of Ultra Hunk, perhaps the greatest Hunk ever...

Although if he is, I don't get it. He just looks like an old guy to me:

And his image is not being helped by the fact that his shirt in that picture has two breast pockets. I'm pretty sure that went out of style in 1974, Max. (You know what doesn't go out of style? Blue crocs with a pair of green cargo shorts and a Green Bay Packers' t-shirt. I'm timeless.)

Beyond Sex & The City 2 (can "Sex & The City 3D: These Girls Are More In-Your-Face than EVER" be far behind?) Max Ryan hasn't been in anything you ever heard of, or at least not anything I ever heard of, except that movie The Box which nobody saw because we all instantly understood that there was no possible way to turn a clever moral question into a 2-hour movie and have it still be entertaining.

You know what is entertaining? This:

I just watched that twice in a row and laughed through it both times.

Thing That Makes You Go Hmmm About Him:
Where to begin, where to begin? I'm over my mistiness now. You know the old saying:

For every door that closes, God opens a window and then humanity says "
What are you doing, the air conditioner is on" and God says "You shouldn't yell at me, I'm GOD," and we say "Yeah, well, are you paying the electric bill?" And then it gets into a big conversation about whether or not God needs to contribute a little more to the household, and also, could there maybe be some good music at Church? Once in a while?

Yes, that old saying. I've got it cross-stitched on a pillow I'm going to give my mother-in-law for her birthday.

I could start, with Max Ryan's hmmm-iness, by talking about how he played a character named "Conceited" in a movie called "Yoorinal," which is described as this:

Paul Kaye outlines the differences among the variety of yoorinators. He explains the proper etiquette that should be practised by all men whilst in the washroom.

But why just live with that description when you can watch the actual movie? I can't embed it, but I can link to it... so click here if you've ever wanted to see a movie that begins with a guy trying to pronounce "urinal" (and getting it wrong.) Plus, there's British slang! Ponce! What's not funny about that?

On the other hand, I could say that Max Ryan's Hmmm-iness has something to do with the fact that if you read his biography, on his website, you'll realize that the movie The Box that he was in wasn't the movie that you (I) thought it was. But since that video above is totally hilarious and I just chuckled just thinking about it, I'll just go ahead and say I'm right about which version of The Box he starred in.

But really, the thing that makes you go Hmmm about Max Ryan is this: What's going on with his hair in this picture?

Even he seems to be asking that question, doesn't he?

Reason I Assumed Sweetie Liked Him: He looks kind of like he'd play a bad guy in a movie, doesn't he? Look at this:

That smile makes him seem like he'd play the kind of guy who dates a girl just so he can marry her, get into her father's company, work his way up to the top, then kill the dad, take over the company, break it into bits and sell it off to make himself rich, and then be ready to divorce the woman, too, but at the last possible minute, just before he signs the papers, he looks back at his wife and the little girl they adopted from Romania, who only wanted a daddy and a Big Wheel here in America, and changes his mind, so they drop the divorce and move into a new, big house in South Carolina, and live happily and richly ever after.

And also he has to keep hiding that he killed her dad.

Like the way Richard Gere and Diane Lane got to live happily ever after, somehow, when they chopped up that guy in that one movie Richard Gere was in where he was in a relationship with someone almost his own age.

(Note to Max Ryan: If you're interested in that script, I can send you a copy. I haven't decided on a title yet, but we could go with "Sex & The City & A Bad Guy.")

In case you didn't figure it out, I'm saying that Sweetie liked him because he's got kind of a bad-boy vibe about him -- but it's a bad boy wrapped around a good guy, which is the perfect kind of guy for most women. You ladies know you all dream of getting the bad boy who won't fit into society... until he meets you, that is, and you show him how great it is to wear a tie and not beat up people at the gas station and buy you flowers even though you didn't do anything.

Actual Reason Sweetie Likes Him:
I asked her this, and Sweetie started gushing like a BP oil well. (Too soon?) I caught bits and pieces: Gray hair... super hunky... the total package, and at that I accused of her having seen his... well, of having seen his Max Ryan, if you get what I mean (and if you don't get what I mean, you are seriously in over your head on the Internet, because calling his penis his "Max Ryan" is the tamest thing you'll see on any site anywhere on the Internet.)

Sweetie swore that Max Ryan didn't go naked in Sex And The City 2: Dazzling Lights And No Close-Ups, EVER.

Then she admitted she'd seen his butt.

Point I'd Like To Make About Sweetie's Actual Reason For Liking Him: First of all, I think she's still going on about why she likes him -- and it's been several days now.

Second of all, the last time I checked, you have to be naked for someone to see your butt. And I'm 100% positive about that, as it was the title of the essay I wrote to get me into law school.

Click here to see a list of, and links to, the previous sixty-four Hunks.

Want the Hunks to keep coming? Email me, or leave a comment, or Twitter me. Is that right? "Twitter Me?" I'm not sure how that even works.

Friday, June 04, 2010

In retrospect, Saturday's activities would have made for a better post. Sorry! (Saturday's Adventure, 3)

Better late than never: As the Babies! and I plan for "Cows On The Concourse" tomorrow, here's a look back at last Saturday's adventure, which was actually Sunday's adventure:

The Monona, WI "Dream Park."

About 30 minutes from us, on the other side of Madison-- everything in Madison is 30 minutes from everything else, because it's a terrible area to drive in -- is one of the first of those phenomenal, community-built, all-wood playgrounds that are all the rage nowadays, replacing the old, rusty-metal deathtrap playgrounds I grew up on. Last Sunday Sweetie and took Mr F and Mr Bunches there -- moving Saturday's Adventure to Sunday because of the Memorial Day weekend.

Hey, if mail can be delayed by holidays, so can adventures.

We had to split up because Mr F and Mr Bunches both went their separate ways. Mr Bunches preferred the more adventurous play. He liked climbing up the chains...

And walking down the staircase made of old tires -- each with a dangerous hole in the middle that he carefully avoided -- but Sweetie was still worried:

He even made a friend -- everywhere he goes, Mr Bunches makes a friend, these days. He and this other kid followed each other around, climbed over fences together, and played "Run Across The Rickety Bridge Really Fast," while laughing:

Mr F, on the other hand, spent a more sedate time at the park. Here's Sweetie sitting outside the little enclosure; Mr F is inside the fort to her right, just sitting quietly.

Not being a fan of heights, or of slides, Mr F only cautiously, and with lots of hesitation, let me carry him up to the lowest level of slide on the castle -- and then would only go down the first time sitting on my lap. But he liked it so much that he later led me back up to it, and was almost going to go down alone before he decided things were a lot safer on Daddy's lap, probably because I barely fit between the rails and that slowed us down a lot:

Mr F enjoyed finding the little musical-bell area that is in the playground for some reason. At least three of the playgrounds that I know of have some sort of musical bell area. A fourth has a giant Tic-Tac-Toe game.

Mr F was not as impressed by the smaller slide over towards the baby area -- but probably because the slide, even with its neutral-green color, was about 150 degrees.

We didn't stay very long, actually: the humidity was 9 billion percent, and the Babies! seemed a little tired from the day before, when we'd gone for a nature walk, taken them jogging, gone to the Splash Park and the regular park, and then taken them for a drive that night.

there wasn't a thing that didn't respond (Friday's Sunday's Poem/Hot Actress 51)

Daddy Fell into the Pond.
by Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.

We had nothing to do and nothing to say.

We were nearing the end of a dismal day,

And there seemed to be nothing beyond,


Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,

And Timothy danced for sheer delight.

"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!

He's crawling out of the duckweed."


Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,

And doubled up, shaking silently,

And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft

And is sounded as if the old drake laughed.

O, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond


Daddy fell into the pond!


About the Poem: I liked the lack of pretension in the subject matter, I liked the fact that it followed a regular rhythm, I liked that it rhymed. If you're going to read poetry, you want it to be poetry, to show what language can do when it's challenged. Here, words form an almost bubbly, laughy kind of beat. Plus, it rhymed. All you highbrow poets writing free verse about Romania hoping to get published in The New Yorker... take some time today to write a fun, rhyming poem.

About the Actress: I'm not sure she is an actress, but I use that term loosely anyway. Belinda Carlisle was on the Joy Behar show last night, prompting me to say she looked kind of old, and Sweetie to say she looked good, and me to agree that she looked good but that I was surprised that she looked ... older, and Sweetie to comment that she thought Belinda Carlisle had Botox, although I don't know how she knows or suspects that. Something about the forehead. Anyway, Belinda Carlisle looks good and is maybe around 50 (?) so she's getting her due here.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Somebody To Love (From the Cheesecake Truck to the End of the Line, 13)

Just before I got married to Sweetie, I made a mixtape to take on our honeymoon road trip to New York. The other day, I found that tape and decided to tell the story of our honeymoon through the songs on that tape. This is part 13; click here for the Table of Contents.

New York is big. I've said many times that you have no idea how big this country is unless you drive across it, and that goes doubly for states that barely exist in your mind, like New York.

New York state must have an inferiority complex, the way Illinois must have an inferiority complex, both of them being states that exist, in people's minds, mostly as a city. Illinois wouldn't be a state if it wasn't for Chicago, and Chicago is the only thing most people know about Illinois. New York is even worse -- New York is known for New York, the city -- which isn't, as I always believed, called "New York City," but is simply New York, with people appending on the city to clarify that they're talking about the city and not the state. But they needn't bother: when I say (or type) New York, is there anyone in the world who doesn't automatically add on the "city" and picture Manhattan -- Manhattan being what everyone in the world thinks of when they think of New York?

We all do it, and because of that, I had no real idea, on our honeymoon, what "driving across the State of New York" would be like. Since I hadn't really figured we were going to the state of New York, I also hadn't given it any thought: when booking us into hotel rooms in Niagara Falls, I hadn't realized that Niagara Falls was in New York (the State) . I hadn't, in fact, realized that Niagara Falls was "in" anywhere -- Niagara Falls had always existed, in my mind, as a sort of place that was somewhere without ever being any-particular-where. It just was; it wasn't in a state or anything.

There were -- are-- places like that still in my mind, places that exist without being a part of another place. Some of them are geographic features, like Niagara Falls, or the Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon has no real location in my mind -- it's in Arizona (I'm pretty sure) but not in my mind; in my mind, the Grand Canyon is its own place, not in anywhere. Some cities fall into that category, most notably Las Vegas, which I know, intellectually, is a part of Nevada, but which in my mind also exists in its own limbo, as though it were its own state, or it's own country a la the Vatican.

New York (the state) and New York (the city) posed a similar but not exactly the same problem: I knew, going into the honeymoon, that we were going to New York (the State), and that we'd have to drive across New York (the State) to get to New York (the one everyone thinks of when I say New York.) But I'd not given any thought to what that drive would be like, because I literally had no mental image of what New York (the State) would be like. Anytime I tried to picture it -- including up to right now -- I pictured only Manhattan.

We set out from Buffalo with one goal on Day 3 of our honeymoon: Get to New York City. I imagined we'd be there pretty soon: all we had to do was drive across one little state:

Which didn't seem that hard, especially because in those pre-Mapquest days, I didn't know exactly how many miles it would be -- I could never figure out those little keys that say "This much: _____ equals 50 miles," mostly because I'd try to measure them using my fingers, or a knuckle, or something.

So we headed out and I figured by, say, 5 p.m., we'd be in New York. We drove along, past mile after mile of countryside that looks more or less like all countryside looks: houses, some trees here and there, a few gas stations, nothing spectacular or scenic, and we talked about nothing much in particular.

As a break from listening to my honeymoon tape, we listened to the album Sweetie had bought the night before at the Buffalo Mall -- she'd shopped for some stuff and I'd looked in vain for Doug Flutie, or at least Doug Flutie's Flutie Flakes (I've always wanted a box of Flutie Flakes and I'm pretty sure they don't make them anymore, but I would have, at one point, have paid almost anything for a box of Flutie Flakes. If you know of someone who has them, let me know so I can start bidding on them.)

The album Sweetie had bought was the soundtrack to the movie Armageddon, a movie that Sweetie had loved and which I'd kind of liked; I didn't like any of the soundtrack except for the song "Leaving On A Jet Plane" by Chantal Kreviazuk, a version which is beautiful and sad and which we listened to over and over again on that trip; to this day, that version of Leaving on A Jet Plane makes me think of my honeymoon and my wedding, so it's become almost an unofficial, de facto wedding song for us.

The only highlight of the entire morning that sticks out in my mind, otherwise, was when Sweetie pointed out that I was speeding; I was doing 57 or 62 or something, just over the speed limit -- my usual method of driving because I don't like to go the speed limit but I don't like to get tickets, so I've always followed the rule that cops won't pull you over if you're doing less than 7 miles an hour over the speed limit.

I don't know where I first heard that rule, but I've always believed it, even though I once got pulled over for speeding when I was going only 5 miles per hour over the limit. That time was about 3 or 4 years later, after our honeymoon, and Sweetie and I were in the car again, this time heading down highway 33 in Baraboo, Wisconsin. We were going down a slight incline and the car's speed hit 30 in a 25 mph zone, which didn't cause me any worries at all because, of course, I was still below the 7-mile-per-hour limit.

Then a cop siren went on and a cop pulled me over and asked me if I knew why I'd been stopped. I told him that I honestly had no idea. He said I was speeding and I said "I was only going thirty, and it was downhill..." thereby admitting to the "crime" without thinking about it. The cop took my license, went back and sat in his car for about 20 minutes while Sweetie and I talked about how stupid this was, then came back up and said he'd let me off with a warning this time and I could go on my way.

So in a way, that proves the 7-Mile-Rule, because while I got pulled over, I didn't get a ticket.

That day, on our honeymoon, as I hit 62 or whatever speed I was going, Sweetie said "You're speeding," and I explained the rule to her about how 7-miles-per-hour over the limit was not speeding, and kept on going along at my just-over-the-limit rate of speed.

That conversation sticks out in my mind because of what happened later that day; I finally gave Sweetie a chance to drive -- that marking one of the very few times in our relationship that Sweetie has driven while I've been a passenger. I don't like to give up the wheel, primarily because if I'm not driving then I get seriously bored in a car and need something, anything, to do -- except that the anything can't be talking. If I'm sitting in a passenger seat, just talking, my mind begins to overheat and goes nuts.

Here's how it works, and how it worked that day: We switched drivers, after a couple of hours -- probably after lunch, giving Sweetie a chance to drive and me a chance to go slowly insane in the passenger seat. For the first few minutes, I was okay. I watched the road and talked and tapped my fingers on the side of the door.

Then I began to adjust the volume on the tape deck. Then I opened the glove compartment and looked in there. Then I locked and unlocked the door, and adjusted the vent system so that it was blowing up, then down, then left, then right. I tried to shut it down entirely. I tried to turn it so that the air blowing out would deflect off the window and back into me. I turned up the cold, then the hot. I opened the window and closed it. I reached into the back for a soda and a snack, and then began opening up the little armrest between us and playing with the things that are supposed to hold change (but which didn't have any change in them.)

That was all in the first 20 minutes. During that time, Sweetie continued to drive and talk to me without realizing that I was about to start doing jumping jacks or something equally insane. I tried as hard as I could to control it, and did so successfully for about 2 hours before I made us switch back.

Don't misunderstand: I'm perfectly capable of sitting still, almost anywhere. I can go to Church, or movies, or sit in my office, or at home, motionless, sometimes for hours (I could do it for days, but I keep having to get up and eat or go to work.) I can do that anywhere except a car. If I'm in a car, it's as though the walls around me, restricting me from activity, make it almost unbearable to not do something, and I have to try.

I have a theory about this, one that relates to other things in my life, like exercise. Sometimes, when I exercise, knowing that I can quit is all I need to keep going on. If I'm running on a track, doing laps, it becomes easier, sometimes, to keep going; at those times, my mind starts wanting to quit, and I tell myself Just one more lap and keep doing that until I work past the quit and am just running again. The fact that I could stop lets me keep going just a little further, where if I was running outside and had to walk all the way home if I stop running, I'd never get started -- the inability to stop anytime without a penalty makes me not start.

That doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes, the ability to stop works against me and I quit because it's too easy, but mostly the ability to stop anytime lets me go further or do more. That's how I worked my way up, back then, to running more than 17 miles. Without any kind of training schedule (and as a 2-pack-a-day-smoker) I went from running a half mile to a mile to 5 miles to 10 miles to 17 miles, all at once, by setting it up so that I could quit anytime without a penalty: I'd prearrange with someone to wait by a phone, and I'd run as far as I could, and then call my waiting person and have them come pick me up. On those runs, when I'd get tired, I'd keep going because I'd think just another 1/4 mile, or just another song and work through it.

Similarly, when I'm sitting motionless at home, or anywhere else, it's easy to keep doing that because I can stop at any time. Last week, I was laying on the couch reading The New Yorker on a Saturday afternoon, and then I decided to stop reading, and I just laid there, doing nothing. Nothing at all. I just laid and listened to the day, and thought random thoughts.

Periodically, during that time, I thought I should go do something, and I could have gone and done almost anything. I just didn't. I laid there and thought how I could do something, but I didn't have to, so I didn't. The ability to go do anything I wanted to let me do nothing at all -- because I could quit doing nothing at any time.

In a car, it's just the opposite. I can't stop doing nothing. I'm trapped in a car and can only do nothing, so I go slowly (or quickly) nuts because there's no escape -- I've got to do nothing and live with it.

Driving, I'm okay -- because I'm doing something and that distracts me a little. But passengering is a different story. If I'm going to be a passenger in a car, I've got to read, or do a crossword, or something, besides sit and talk.

On my honeymoon, though, I couldn't do that: It didn't seem right to say "Okay, you drive, I'm going to read for an hour or two" and then lapse into silence, so I tried, I really tried, to just sit and talk and not be completely deranged, and I think for the most part that it worked, or worked long enough that Sweetie got to drive and speed, something I noticed along the way.

"You're speeding," I told her, and she was -- she was going about 75, way over the speed limit.

"I know," Sweetie said -- and didn't apologize or slow down, even though that morning I'd been pretty sure she was telling me I was speeding because she felt I should not be speeding. But Sweetie has always applied her own rules to herself, even if it means ignoring the rules, and even if it means making me feel like a wuss after a Mexican vacation.

I'm talking about the Jet Ski Incident, in Mexico. Sweetie and I went to Puerta Vallarta on an us-only vacation, about a year before we got married, and as part of that vacation, we rented a jet ski to ride together. The guy who rented it to us showed us the area we could ride it in, and gave us instructions on speed. He pointed to the speedometer and said "Don't take it over 12, especially on turns." With that comprehensive safety lesson done, he turned us loose.

I was the first driver, and I did what he told me to. With Sweetie hanging on to me, I got us out onto the water, and zoomed -- "zoomed" this way and that, turning carefully and not taking it over 12. After about 10 minutes, it was Sweetie's turn to drive.

We slid past each other, with me pointing out to Sweetie the grips and throttle and saying "Remember what he said," and then I'd barely sat down and hadn't really grabbed onto her yet when Sweetie yelled:

"HANG ON BABY! WOO HOOO!" and gunned the engine, nearly throwing me off and ripping into this sharp curve at full speed. Water flung out, we raced across the bay and narrowly avoided hitting some rocks, with Sweetie going faster and faster and faster while I clung on for dear life and prayed she knew what she was doing.

"Isn't this fun?!" she'd shout now and then. I tried not to fall off and agreed that it was fun -- and then Sweetie started saying "Isn't it more fun than how you were driving?" and I wanted a chance, then, to prove that I was a man and could drive a jet ski fast, too, but by that time our rental was up.

Since then, Sweetie has from time to time reminded me that my ride on the Jet Ski was pokey and tame, and hers was exhilarating and wild, and my protests that I was only doing what the guy told me to do and she'd ignored the rules have fallen on deaf ears.

It didn't surprise me, then, that Sweetie would speed through New York (the State.) Or that she'd insist that she could speed, while I shouldn't.

What did surprise me was that 12 hours after we'd set out, we still hadn't seen New York (the City.)

"Leftover pizza" is officially retired as a good thing. (3 Good Things From 6/2/10)

I've permanently retired "leftover pizza" from the 3 Good Things -- so I'll just mention that Sweetie ordered pizza last night and I got to commence a new round of 24 Hours Of Pizza. But here's the other 3 Good Things from yesterday that help me get through today:

1. The t-shirt I'm sending to Patrick Rothfuss arrived. As you probably already know, my "Take A Book" promotion continues in modified form. The next step I announced was to mail a copy of Eclipse to author Patrick Rothfuss in hopes he'll sign & return it to me, and continue the trend of having important, famous people sign that book until someone buys it and the proceeds go to charity.

(More on that whole thing at that last link, or here.)

Patrick Rothfuss requires a gift to sign one of his books, so I'm sending him the "Righteous Indignation," t-shirt and hoping that'll do it.

2. "Can't help you till the zombies commit a crime, miss." The latest Lulu Eightball is more hilarious than usual, and I read it yesterday:
Read more of Emily Flake's stuff here, 'cause if you go read it, she won't get mad at me for reposting it (fingers crossed!)(knock on wood!) and she'll keep making those strips.

3. Early bath!
I ordinarily give the Babies! their bath around 8 or 8:30. But yesterday I went up to change clothes before dinner -- not because I'm like Mr Rogers but because the pizza hadn't gotten here yet -- and Mr Bunches followed me up. He thought we were going to take a bath, which I figured out as soon as we got to the bathroom, where he darted in and immediately stripped.

Rather than disappoint him, I simply gave him and Mr F their bath at 5:30 instead of later -- so they were clean while they ran around during dinner.

136 Down, 10,867 to go
: The Polyphonic Spree is more than just a weird cult group that secretly has Obama's backing to force us all to undergo mandatory cholesterol checks. They also make great music that among other things helped me quit smoking. Today's song is Light & Day. It'll get you going:

But I wish we didn't have to live with those freaky substituted-mouth things that people keep doing. Those creep me out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Actually, the whole day was good things but I have to narrow it down. (3 Good Things From 6/1/10)

I've gotten a little behind on these and I'm not sure when I last rounded up the good things, so here's 3 Good Things from yesterday to start afresh...

1. The review copy of Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy by Joe Sergi arrived. I'm very excited about getting to review an actual book that I was actually asked to review, and I plan to start reading it right away. Only... having to read it makes it like a chore, and I don't like to do chores... so. Um... I've got to think this through.

2. I got to listen to Mark Belling's show in Milwaukee. I lived in Milwaukee for only about 5 years, before going to law school, but some things stuck with me, and one of those was Mark Belling's late afternoon show. He's a conservative local talk radio host and I don't always agree with him, but he's not nuts like some, and he's funny and entertaining, and yesterday for my drive home I got to listen to his show for almost the entire trip from Burlington to Madison, hearing about the police dispatcher who was fired for posting on Facebook that she's addicted to drugs, and about the New Berlin mayor who called his constituents bigots. Madison needs a show like that in the afternoon -- Sly's okay in the morning but "The Wisconsin Guys" in the afternoon are stupid.

3. The library has "learning backpacks!" I took Mr F and Mr Bunches to the library again last night, as part of my workout & compromise: Mr F wanted to go for car ride, Mr Bunches wanted to go for a stroller-ride or walk, and I needed to go jogging. So Sweetie dropped us at the library where we read airplane books for a half-hour (Mr Bunches is into airplanes and helicopters right now), and then we walked to the park to play, and then I loaded them into the stroller and jogged home.

But at the library, I found they had pre-made backpacks full of books and DVDs and stuff to help teach kids things, so I checked out the "music" backpack and tonight I'm going to teach Mr F and Mr Bunches music during Learning Time.

135 Down, 10,868 to go: The newest song on my iPod -- well, newest if you don't count the Sex & The City 2 Soundtrack I downloaded for Sweetie as last night's Tuesday present -- is Clementine, by Sarah Jaffe: