Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I’m a Grocery Genius!

I was at the grocery store the other day and it hit me that I’m a Grocery Genius now. (Just call me GG for short.) When I was single I had no clue where stuff was at the store and now I can break it down by isle and sometimes know the shelf so well that I can walk by and grab the product on the run. This, of course is only true when you’re there late at night, there’s no one standing in front of the item and you’re not being hounded by the GAGWOWTH. (Granola Apron-Wearing Guy Who Only Wants To Help.)

Yes, you guessed it, I shop at Whole Foods, the cartel of all that is organic and if you decided you wanted to be a rebel, live in the city, and never attend college (but get steel appendages all over your body) then this is the place for you to work!

It’s scary, I was about to leave the house around 8:00 pm the other night and I’m looking at the list my wife has put together. For someone who is a type “A” (her) personality I have to laugh that the list has no order and me, being the type W (W for “Why do it now, really?”) I need to have order. Maybe it’s the genetic male shopping gene (GQ-7-11) which points us like a compass to the area or item we want to buy without the dilly-dallying that women are experts at. I take the list and I start numbering the items by row in the store. For example:

Cucumber 1
Milk 2
Honey 3½
Stir Fry Veggies 8

This way I know where everything is and I don’t miss something on the list. I also scratch off each item as I buy it so I know what I still have left. It amazes me that Terri doesn’t do this and the randomness of looking at the same item on the list, which is already in the cart, would drive me insane!

Have a lovely shopping day,


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Raisins, DVD Critic, and "Where are we going?"

Hello everyone,

Happy New Year, I hope this finds you happy, not to heavy on the bill or weight department and ready to get through the next couple months of winter before spring comes back.

The kids are getting big. Emily’s birthday was Sunday and she turned three…three going on 18! “'I need raisins', or (in a very whiney voice) 'Nose wiiiipe!,'” are examples of some of the statements she makes to us. We have to reply to her with the Parents Handbook of Etiquette for Little People a.k.a. P-HELP Affectionately known as "Please-Help". (Soon to be available at your local Borders Books or in the automotive section of 7-Eleven.) P-HELP’s teaches us to say to our kids, “I need raisins PLEASE.” Instead of Emily sounding like a Russian czar demanding more raisins be brought in by peasants from the fields.

She’s potty trained 90%. I say 90% because if she gets lost in a DVD some times I’ll walk into the room and there’s an odor that wasn’t there a minute ago. Ah, the odor of poo and the joy of being able to go when and wherever you want. Not to be confused with the popular book, The Tao of Pooh, my Tao is no poo! That other 10% is also us having to ask her if she has to go pee-pee or poo-poo so it’s not automatic. I want to say to her, “Hey, hey, hey! (Almost yelling because I can't get her to take her eyes off of Dora the Explorer) Emily, don’t you have an urge or thought that something needs to happen…now?!” Luckily she’s learning and cute so it’s all part of the process.

I’ve decided my next career move (#33 of 50 for those of you keeping score at home) will be that of a kids DVD critic. I like to make comments about Dora, The Little Einstein’s, and Sesame Street since I’ve seen them 9,000 times and because I know the story so well it’s time to start looking for the 'easter eggs'. Dora the Explorer, for example: In the opening credits she’s singing with a singing monkey who knows English as well as she knows Spanish. Twisting and turning on vines and holding on to a rope that’s coming from a moving airplane and landing in a moving car. When I was 3-5 years old I don’t recall these abilities. Hum could that be an issue with me or the alcohol I consumed my freshman year in college…ah, life’s mysteries.

Then, thanks to the Short Attention Span Theater that my daughter is a troop member of like every other three year old, Dora has to repeat the goal of the episode in song 78 times. “Where are we going? Tallest mountain! Where are we going? (clap, clap, clap) Tallest mountain! Where are we going? Tallest mountain!” In another episode everyone is singing, “One big wish”…then again in Spanish and it sounds something like, ‘Un des blah-blah.’ All together now: “One big wish. Una des blah-blah.” Dora’s best friend is a monkey named Boots who loves to wear boots. After watching this episode again my friend is a guy named Knob Creek and he’s very smooth.

My version is: “Where am I going? To the ‘mute’ button!”

“Where are we going? To the liquor cabinet!”

“One big drink…una tequila mas grande.”

Besides that they sing on a bike and manage to maneuver on a road that twists and turns all the while looking to their right at my kid. Pretty amazing vision if you ask me. Dora also has a clairvoyant backpack and map that are friends of hers you have to call their names out—multiple times--in order to get them to listen to you. I’m waiting for an episode where Emily will say “Backpack!” and the backpack will say back to her, “I want raisins!” Backpack magically knows what you need like pepper to make a whale sneeze, a rope to climb Rainbow Mountain, and roller blades with gloves and helmets. I didn’t know Dora could lift 50 lbs of stuff on her back…while holding on to the rope on the airplane. There is also a crazy Hispanic band named Fiesta Trio who seem to appear magically as each part of the goal is accomplished. I think they need to change their name to “Fiesta Trio: Masters of Teleportation.” Then they can give David Copperfield a run for his money. (Maybe they can make the Statue of Liberty really disappear versus the rotating platform that Copperfield used in his trick back in the 80’s.) At the end of every episode Dora and Boots break into song and sing, “We did it! We did it!,” while dancing. Terri and I sing the same song but don’t dance each night after cleaning up the living room from the twins using the bookshelf as The Discovery Channel.

Ah, the twins. They are so different from Emily at this age. She was the one who wasn’t that messy and is still pretty organized and structured with her toys, like lining up the rubber ducky’s at the dinner table. Jordan and Grace are in to everything! We had to move books off the book shelves to give them more room for their toys so they could play and discover more stuff. Being in to everything is a far departure from Emily who didn’t tear in to everything like these two do.

Grace has started standing unassisted for 5-10 seconds at a time and when she does she raises her arms up above her head and gets excited. It’s almost like she is having her own personal “come to Jesus” moment. This along with her finally getting some teeth is the big news for the beginning of the year. Ms. Gracie is my ‘Little Rascal’ and I just know she is going to be the one who gets a tattoo her junior year of high school and fails to tell mom and dad. She’ll be doing something like pulling on the plexiglass cover we have over the stereo system under the TV and I’ll say to her, “No, no, no Gracie.” She will then turn around and give me this sly grin ‘I know what I’m doing daddy and don’t you worry.’

Jordan wants nothing to do with standing but is very “chatty” lately. He holds something up and will babble something like, “ba-ba-ga-du-eck,” and look at you. He’s getting frustrated easier because, we think, he wants to communicate but can’t do it. Kind of like one of those movies, Look Who’s Talking, where he really wants to say, “Hey, parental figure! Time to get this damn diaper off me and give me something interesting to hold versus the stupid cubes or plexiglas blocks with trapped animals in them. And don’t even think about pawning off the crunchy bag of wipes as fun and interesting! Give me a break.” I will give him this, he is such a boy, he knocks stuff over, crawls over his sister to get daddy’s baseball cap that she’s holding, and yet he’s sensitive. Which, Terri will tell you, “It’s nice to know one man in the family can cry.” (I had a tear in my eye at the end of The Great Debaters…it was touching.)

Have a great day and next time I’ll be writing about a new stock index I want to push, BABY, and My Day As a Baby.