Lil' Genghis, future world leader Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Thursday, November 30, 2006

When friends move

mom grew up in the same town, mostly the same house, and has had friends who can't even remember how long they've been friends, how long it was since they met. dad seems to move a lot more, having lived for some time in five states. He was trying to remember the other day the last name of his buddy Alex, from whom he moved away in 1985.

Americans have become more transient, more likely to move, and the rate only increases each year. Our Lil' Genghis will surely move a few times, if only because her first home will be a rental. Likely, there will be moves after that, and times when she leaves.

These days, we're realizing that girldog in particular is losing a friend. This is a story of three dogs, a summer romance, and fun times. There was Piper, a sweet, intelligent, patient, good-natured guy. You know, the kind of dog (or person) that just gets looked over but remains everyone's best friend.

girldog, of course, ignored the nice guy and went for the dog equivalent of the tattooed, black-leather-motorcycle-jacket-with-chains wearing, thrash metal band drummer: Van Gogh. She spent a few months with him basically acting as a giant earring; after the ear bites, they'd start to chase each other. It was romance.

Not all summer romances end well, and this one went flat as the days became shorter in 2005. These days, now, Piper and Van Gogh are setting out with their dedicated mom for new digs. We wish 'em well, and will forever cherish those precious memories of their playful romps in the summer sunshine.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Boydog's cousin

Curiously, we'd always referred to boydog as a "power mop." He has an ability to simply flop over on the ground. He likes getting pushed and even spun around on the hardwood floors. And he's a bit shaggy. So "power mop" seemed to work nicely.

Yeah. Then you should see his cousin online for a real power mop.

Nuckin' futs!!

Things you only see in a home with a pregnant woman:

Scene 1: mom gets back from work tired, walks dogs, cooks dinner, cleans, all before dad comes from an equally long, tiring day. mom tells dad she's going to shower before she indulges in some high quality TV. She walks into the bathroom, undresses, and all of a sudden she starts having some funny deja-vu. She thinks she might have already showered this evening, but she's not completely sure. She simply can't remember whether she took a shower in the past hours. Not that cleaning oneself up twice in the same evening is a bad thing, mom is Brazilian and thus very fond of showers no matter how critical others may be, but what really drives her crazy is simply the fact that she's blanked out and can't remember. So she proceeds in looking for clues to solve her maddening question: she touches her towel to see if it's wet, she checks inside the shower. Not happy with her unsolved dilemma, she goes on to sniffing her armpits. Now that's not a pretty scene, unless you come from a Bonobo culture, where the habit is widely accepted and doesn't cause anyone else to cringe. Luckily, dad was in the TV room and didn't have to bear witness to that.

Scene 2: mom gets home hungry, goes to the bathroom, realizes she needs a feminine hygiene item that is currently stored in a cabinet adjacent to the kitchen. While there she decides to save some time and grab something to cook for dinner. She picks a package of noodles, goes into the kitchen and fills a pan with water to boil and prepare the noodles. Then she starts looking for the cooking instructions for that particular brand of noodles and she reads frantically looking for cook time, when to add the powdered sauce... on the box of pantiliners. While doing that she was also emptying the dishwasher because mom is ever the multitasker. When she realizes she's reading the pantiliner box for cooking instructions she starts laughing at herself in a mix of disbelief and embarrassment and when she looks for the package of noodles she can't find it.

You probably solved the puzzle by now if you are not pregnant.

Where are the noodles?

In the dishwasher, of course. Where else??

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Modular baby storage

Associated Press photographer Julie Jacobson captured this priceless picture of the latest in modular infant storage, which coincidentally would work for both Lil' Genghis, boydog and girldog.

Eighteen-month-old Olivia Rose, right, peers out of one of the kennels next to Basset Hound, Daisy Mae, while visiting her veterinarian mother, Dr. Bev Cappel, at her clinic, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006, in Chesnut Ridge, N.Y. Olivia briefly eluded her mother, who was speaking to a visitor, and wandered into the kennel and closed the door on her own. She was discovered shortly after by a vet technician. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Is it too late to add to our Christmas list?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Naughty and nice

We all know that Santa keeps a list of who is naughty and who is nice. Santa already delivered early to some of our friends and family, what, with our baby on the way and all, and much of the family overseas. But we've already gotten some early reports of people who are really, really naughty and opened their presents SIX WEEKS (or more) before Christmas. Let's put 'em on the wall of shame here, shall we?

Joe and Cady
Chris and Lelia
What kind of message are you sending to the children?!? =)

It's actually some of a Brazilian standard to open presents on Christmas Eve after an evening of food. dad's family was always different. This was the typical routine:
  • Christmas Eve, afternoon: Big turkey dinner
  • Christmas Eve, early evening: turkey leftovers. Placed call to Domino's pizza for three big ones.
  • Christmas Eve, mid-evening: turkey leftovers.
  • Christmas Eve, late evening: turkey leftovers.
  • Christmas morning: Wake up and open presents before bleary-eyed parents
  • Christmas breakfast: Cold leftover pizza
  • Christmas lunch: Turkey leftovers
  • Christmas dinner: Cold or hot leftover pizza
  • Days after Christmas: Blush at the thought of how much food was consumed, then swoon at the memories about how good that cold pizza was.

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Two! Announcements! In! This! Post!

    First, dad felt Lil' Genghis thrashing around inside mom's belly the other day. The experience simply can't be described adequately -- neat, breathtaking, emotional, ...

    Second, after some 15 months without a real job, dad is getting ready to return to the workforce. This will help him clothe Lil' Genghis with the second income, of course, but most importantly will give him a break from her crying. =) Thanks for all your support!

    The new job seems to carry some level of professionalism -- they're even mailing a letter of intent (!). This is better than the previous job:

    Yeah, that really was his boss. Well, one of seven bosses he had.

    Finally, for those friends out there seeking better employment (coughcoughcoughAuntLeeannecough), we need to share some basic employment tips:

    Please note that that was one of only two funny things that Carlos Mencia ever put out.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    A birthday gift to another dad

    We've blogged before about Marcus, the young lad who might, in time, be a dating prospect for our dear Lil' Genghis. But we haven't said a whole lot about Marcus' folks: one is a childhood friend of mom, and the other is seemingly missing from a mental institution.

    It's to the latter that we dedicate this blog posting, for it's Chris' birthday. He turns 14gbx96as years old today, in crazy people years.

    So, yeah, he's odd. dad thinks his big snake is pretty cool and all, but there's the fascination with bladed weaponry that makes some people a bit nervous. But, still, Chris is a dad, so we have to work within the confines of the system. I mean, yeah, in our town you need a license to own a dog, but they just let him breed, so it's the general public that ought to worry.

    On that note, then, we offer Chris a mal-adjusted children's book, featuring mass murder, homicide, rampant carnivorism, and, of course, firearms.

    Chris, dear buddy, share this book with your precious boy. Pick it up at your local library, as we did, and bask in the loving glow of a murderous rampage, brought to you through a children's book.

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Guide to Brazil (3): Nature

    Note: This is a follow-up to the Brazilian booze and work ethic entries in the guide. Like the work ethic, this was started by a lazy American spending time in Brazil, and then blown off for weeks.

    As dad thinks about how to introduce Lil' Genghis to Brazil, he's staring out a window at a lush, verdant green. Here a few Australian eucolyptus trees remain to compete against fresh plantings of native Brazilian flora. A few chickens run about; in the early mornings and at some dusks, two-foot-tall gorillas echo their huffs around the mountains.

    Brazilians, far more than Americans, are in touch with nature. While Americans might freak out and buy two quarts of pesticides as soon as they spot a single intruder, Brazilians recognize that nature is close and nature makes Brazil what it is. No windows in Brazil have screens; some Windows cannot even close. The latter typically have strong but beautiful protective grates, presumably to keep out that special, gigantic breed of insetos known as "Argentinos."

    This cohabitation with nature extends beyond the merely unusual. Many Brazilians consider it a sign of good luck and future prosperity if your first-born child is carried off by fire ants. On our next visit, mom and dad plan to use a Brazilian conoction known as "adhesivos" to keep Lil' Genghis in place from all but the "jaguarinho," which is somewhat smaller and less potentially violent than a Maine Coon Cat but much bigger than boydog.

    This communing with nature also extends into the bathroom. Some Brazilians place broad, thin boxes on their roofs, used to heat water for showers. Many Brazilian homes, on the other hand, simply offer one temperature of water from the tap.

    To compensate, Brazilians jazz up their showers. Here is a sample:

    Here, we see plenty of controls. Liga, or "on," makes the water pressure tepid; desliga, or "off," makes the water pressure tepid.

    Quente, or "hot," makes the water temperature tepid. Morna, whatever the hell that means, makes the water temperature tepid. Finally, for tepid water temperature, you can flip the switch over to Super Quente, or "super hot," which brings you the variety of the truly tepid.

    Some residents of a suburb of a Brazilian city called Juiz de Fora get back in touch with nature simply through the water they drink.

    Here we see the wall of a cemetery, and a freely flowing pipe that offers water. From the cemetery. A sign cautions that the water should not be drunk until it's been boiled and treated with chemicals both, but the cemetery's caretaker suggests that all of that is unnecessary. In fact, many Brazilians believe the cemetery's springwater offers healthy benefits, straight from nature.

    Other Brazilians -- like those who are more educated -- suspect the water offers higher levels of protein and calcium than normal springwater.

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Preparing for Turkey Day

    Our dear friends and other random readers may be wondering why we're getting so lazy with our postings (thanks for pulling our legs, Bernie), but like every other American or half-American family we're preparing for the biggest feast of the year: Thanksgiving, the eagerly awaited Turkey Day. mom still has trouble dissociating turkeys from Xmas but lo and behold, Lil' Genghis'd better enjoy the bird 'cuz she's having it twice a year, while mom, notoriously a "let'em damn birds alone" person will stick with some Tofurky, at best. Yum!

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Guide to Brazil (2): Work ethic

    Several weeks after posting the guide to Brazilian alcohol, we'll continue with the Brazilian guide to work. Of course, this was written by dad the American, so it was started about three weeks ago and never actually finished. That's the American work ethic. Go figure.

    Guide to Brazil (1): Work

    Lil' Genghis is wrapping up his first visit with the Brazilians-in-law, leading dad to think he ought to get the little feller learned up in the "ways of Brasil", or jeitinho.

    So dad has begun writing this blog entry on Sunday, or "Domingo," just on the eve of Monday, which is considered, in Brazil, to be the second day of the week. Thus, it gets the name of "segundo-faire," or the second market day of the week for housewives, presumably. Business executives stuck in Sao Paulo's renowned traffic sometimes refer to the day as "O seguinte dia eu desejo ter um atacque com um FN FAL," which is very close to America's equivalent of "It's a Monday."

    Nevertheless, Brazilians are renowned for their work ethos*, which leads some to work six, seven, or eight days a week. Brazilians across the nation work hard every day, educating children, cleaning houses, running railroads, building condominiums, and fixing presidential elections.

    Here are industrious Brazilian workers pouring concrete some 40 minutes after the sun set. Can you see them working with an impressive work-light rig to maintain quality control? You can't see them? That's because you're not working hard enough to see. A Brazilian would work until he succeeded.

    After hard work, Brazilians often like to practice their multi-cultural abilities in places such as the New York Motel. The name itself is, of course, written in English, based on an American city, while the grounds feature a scaled replica of the French-built Statue of Liberty. Aiming for the high end of the market, the New York Motel and its nearby competition feature "Executive Suites," priced at around R$30, or US$15, for some four hours. Many hard-working executives practice their English or other skills at these establishments, with their secretaries readily at hand to offer assistance. These outtings typically include a meal. Because of that, they are often scheduled for the lunch hour.

    *except for those lazy Cariocas, or residents of Rio de Janeiro.

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Caution: this is contagious

    Look at this kid. You just can't help laughing too.