November 29, 2009

Kid Quote of the Week

"I wish Jesus had been born earlier in the month."
Ian, lamenting the amount of time he has to wait for Christmas Day to arrive.

November 28, 2009

My Wife is So Great

Just a few days after I wrote about Edy's special holiday flavors of ice cream, this appeared in our freezer.

I've only gotten to have one bowl of the Hot Cocoa flavor - as I expected it was a mild milk chocolate ice cream with mini-marshmallows mixed throughout - and it was pretty good. However, she bought the half gallon just a few days before Thanksgiving and consequently I've been distracted from the ice cream by the out-of-this-world cherry pie she made for dinner at my dad's house. But now that I've finished off the pie, I can turn my attention back to this ice cream.

I love the holidays. So much good desserts to be had.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

All the years I've been blogging and I've never used this classic print from Norman Rockwell.

I hope everyone has a relaxing and happy Thanksgiving.

The weather here in Chicago will be sort of crummy, but that's okay, we plan to be inside anyway. The kringle is out the parades will be on TV soon, and Heather is already working on the desserts for dinner tonight.

I'm looking forward to sharing Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and sister this year - something that doesn't feel like has happened for a number of years now. Growing up you start to take for granted that your brother and sister will always be around on holidays, but then when we become adults with adult lives things change. I'm thankful that the three of us will get together this afternoon at my dad's house.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 25, 2009

I'm Getting Old

I returned home late Monday night and found Ian was still up churning away on his homework. He had had basketball practice after school and more than his usual load of homework, consequentially he was up beyond his regular bedtime trying to finish up his school work.

Ian is easily distracted, so sometimes it will take extraordinary efforts from Heather and me to keep him on task when there is a deadline involved. In Monday’s case, that deadline was trying to get him finished and into bed before 10 o’clock.

He had wandered down into the kitchen and started asking a question about something that had no relevance to his homework, school, or sleeping – so I cut him off and planned on redirecting right back upstairs with a firm declaration that he was running out of time.

I don't recall exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of, "That isn't important right now. You need to hunker down, get focused, and finish your homework so you can get to bed. It's already 9:30."

Ian stopped dead and looked at me.

"'Hunker down', what does that mean", he asked while giving me one of his more confused looks. "Hunker down? Who says that?"

I dismissed his questions with a wave of my hand and sent him back upstairs to his room to (finally) finish.

While he was climbing the stairs I started thinking myself. Where did I come up with 'hunker down'? I can't remember ever using that phrase before. Even if I had, it's not really that strange of phrase, is it? Why did Ian seem so confused by it? I've heard that phrase used for years.

Then I suddenly felt old.

It was like when my sister called me out for naturally and conversationally using one of our Dad's favorite phrases. Talking like your dad means you're turning into your dad, which means you're getting old. I don't care how cool you may think your dad is; he's always old. Talking like him is one of the first steps in getting old.

Now with my little turn of a phrase, not only was I feeling old because I was obviously using the vernacular of old people but my son was recognizing my oldness and highlighting the generational gap in his confused face.

I guess it's going to be all downhill from here on out.

Jeepers, this sucks.

November 24, 2009

5 Things I Think

  • I don’t think I want to talk about football anymore. Between the Bears and the Fighting Irish, this has been a horribly depressing football season.

    It’s only going to be the Blackhawks from here on out.*

  • In the footer on many pages of the website, there is a section highlighting some of the photos you can find elsewhere on their site.

    For the last few weeks they have been using this image for the "Get your Bears on section".
    No matter how many times I see it, I always think it's my nephew Declan; even though I have found the original photo which identifies the kid as 6-month-old from Mt. Prospect, IL.

    It's starting to drive me a little batty.

  • Nora Jones has a beautiful voice, although I don’t care much for her music. However, I cannot not watch her video for Chasing Pirates. I think it’s the short haircut. She's adorable.

  • We're in the market for a new computer. I've always planned on buying another Mac because I love the simplicity and reliability of the operating system.

    Every once and awhile I start thinking it would be cheaper to go with a Dell or HP computer running only Windows, and then the Windows machine I use for work craps out on me again.

    I wasted 30 minutes untangling the machine after it had locked up because I moved the laptop from one room to another. I don't care how glorious people might think Windows 7 is. I'm sticking with Mac.

  • As much fun as I had watching 5th and 6th graders playing football, I think 5th grade basketball is even more fun.

    I am so glad Ian decided to join his school’s basketball team.

    * Who am I kidding. I’ll still watch every painful snap of the Bears and Fighting Irish to the bitter end.
  • The Holidays Can Begin

    Our kringle order is on the way . . .

    November 20, 2009

    Hey, Ron Turner, Pay Attention

    Considering the difficulty the Bears have had breaking into the endzone, maybe Ron Turner should consider adding this to the playbook.

    November 19, 2009

    Something for the Shopping List

    Edy's is rolling out their limited time holiday ice cream flavors, and this year they've add a new one to the mix.
    Hot Cocoa

    I'm always a skeptical when someone tries to take a hot food/drink and present it as a cold food/drink, but I'd be willing to give it a try.

    Just need to slip it onto Heather's grocery list and hope she doesn't notice.

    November 18, 2009

    Can I refill your eggnog for you?

    Between everything Rankin & Bass have produced and Bing Crosby’s propensity for working a Christmas scene into many of his films, come December I’m always scrambling to fit in all the Christmas movies and shows that I want to watch.

    How much Christmas-ier would it be if I could slow down and enjoy an annual viewing of a modern Christmas classic like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation while sipping a holiday beverage from one of these:

    Replicas of the mouse cups Clark and Cousin Eddie drink Eggnog from during the film.

    A Christmas Story House Gift Shop – the online presence for another fantastic Christmas movie – is selling these replicas mugs to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Christmas Vacation.

    How cool is that.

    November 17, 2009

    5 Things I Think

  • Just when I am ready to completely write-off the Cartoon Network because of their inability to stay true to their name, they go and do something that makes me think that the stuffed shirts in the boardroom don’t all have their heads completely up their asses.

    Following up on a seven hour marathon of Looney Tunes cartoons this past Sunday, the Cartoon Network has scheduled an hour-long block of Looney Tunes cartoons every weekday at 10am Central.

    Cartoons on Cartoon Network. What a novel idea.

  • A message I can stand behind: Life without cartoons is just life.

    I think the people behind the marketing campaign for the Ottawa International Animation Festival understand me.

  • I don’t think I will ever learn to enjoy pork chops. Doesn’t matter how many different ways they are prepared, I ultimately end up with the same reaction – bleh

    I enjoy other pork products – bacon, ribs, roasts, and sausage.

    What makes the chops different?

  • Considering the depressing state of Chicago football, it’s nice to have a Blackhawks hockey team on the rise. In fact, I think the best sports news I’ve heard in the last few weeks is this:
    Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith close to new contracts

  • I thought this was funny:

  • November 15, 2009

    Kid Quote of the Week

    "Why don't the hang giant brown turkeys?"
    Zoe, challenging the practice of breaking out the Christmas decorations the day after Halloween

    November 12, 2009

    De-cluttering Myths

    Gretchen Rubin tries to make the practice of de-cluttering your space easier with her "Eleven Myths of De-Cluttering" blog post.

    In our house, one of the big struggles in de-cluttering comes down to her fifth myth:
    5. "I can’t get rid of anything that I might possibly need one day." How terrible would it be if you needed a glass jar and didn’t have one? Do you have gigantic stores of things like rubber bands or ketchup packets? How many coffee mugs does one family use?
    I want to throw everything out. Everyone else in our house always seem to come up with a reason why we should keep things.

    November 10, 2009

    5 Things I Think

  • I think it is fantastic that my godmother/aunt continues to send me a birthday card with a cash money gift enclosed equally how old I am turning.

    This year I received a card with $37 included.

    Considering my aunt’s personality, love of life, and her own parents (my grandparents) longevity, I’m thinking I will celebrate my 60th birthday by receiving a card from her with three twenties inside.

  • I know everyone in Chicago was all a-twitter over the 70-degree weather that descended upon the region this past weekend, but I think there is something inherently wrong about wearing a t-shirt and shorts in November in Northern Illinois.

    Al Gore better fix things fast.

  • After the success we had renting and using a Rug Doctor this past weekend, I can't imagine us going back to paying someone to come in and clean our carpets.

    Same price it cost me to have a service come once, I can easily clean the same space twice on my own.

    I wish we had thought of this sooner.

  • I think I had forgotten how much I enjoy Kelley Jones' work on Batman. At random I pulled the three-part Batman-Deadman team-up story done by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones in Batman #530-532 from the summer of 1996 out of my collection and have been reading it this week.

    What fantastic, dynamic art Jones creates. Sure, he has some difficultly in keeping some characters looking the same from panel to panel, but that doesn’t matter in the end. I can let things like that pass so I can enjoy the moody and energetic pages Kelley Jones produces.

  • I would have thought that something like this would have been tried sooner.

    But regardless of when it was thought of, it will always be a stupid idea.
  • November 09, 2009

    Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty

    Kevin Huizenga drew these fictional nemeses for the Famous Fictional Villains show in St. Louis.

    Kevin Huizenga draws Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes
    See the larger piece on Huizenga's blog.

    Football Grumblings

    I don’t even want to talk about the Bears.

    If it wasn’t obviously from the last two weeks that the Bears coaching staff – namely Lovie Smith – is unable to prepare the team to play football each week, then yesterday’s sad little performance should have made it painfully clear.

    I’m considering jumping on the bandwagon and becoming a New Orleans Saint fan for the rest of the season.

    Instead, let’s talk about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

    Many football seasons ago, when Lord Charlie Weis was handed the keys Rockne’s office, the sports pundits and football intelligencia proudly spoke of Weis’ superior skills in designing offensives and building up quarterbacks. Certainly that would translate into good things in South Bend.

    Nearly five complete football seasons since then and what does the Irish have to show for Weis’s leadership?

    A potent offense and spectacular quarterback, but not much else.

    No defense. No special teams. No team identity.

    Notre Dame has an Offensive Coordinator running the team. They don’t have a Head Coach. If they had a Head Coach I think the Irish would have beaten Michigan and Navy. Maybe even USC. But the Irish don’t have a Head Coach, they have an Offensive Coordinator.

    At what point does Charlie start paying attention to what is happening with Jimmy Clausen isn’t on the field and start working on making the defense play as intense and consistent as the offense? Is that even possible?

    November 08, 2009

    Kid Quote of the Week

    "Mommy has to make Dad a birthday cake tomorrow,
    If she doesn't, Dad will kick her butt."
    - Zoe, making up her own song to sing to Heather before bed the night before my birthday.

    November 06, 2009

    November 05, 2009

    Moving from Indifference to Hatred

    Apparently the New York Yankees won their MLB-record 27th World Series last night when they finished off the Phildelphia Phillies 7-3.

    I say apparently because until I saw the headline online this morning, I was completely oblivious to the fact that the Yankees were on the verge of winning the series.

    I never considered myself a Yankees hater, like so many other people I see out there who spit bile when ever the team is mentioned, but seeing how the series had gone 6 games and I was unaware of it being played made me think that at subconscious level my sports awareness shuts off when the NY Yankees are mentioned. Over the past number of years, even if I wasn't watching every game, I have been at least aware how the World Series is playing out. That didn't happen this year at all.

    I found that sort of interesting. Made me wonder if there are other teams that I instinctively block out. Have the Lakers won the NBA championship yet?

    Then again, maybe it's time to become a Yankee hater. Especially when their players throw quotes like this around:
    "It feels better than I remember it, man," captain Derek Jeter said. "It's been a long time."
    Yes, I bet those long nine years have been torture on your fan base.


    November 03, 2009

    5 Things I Think

  • First thing I thought of when I saw the title to this article in the Chicago Tribune: "I wonder if 'get a new offensive line' counts as 5 or 1?"
    Chicago Tribune: "Top 10 ways for offense to improve"

  • I don’t think I'll ever understand kids.

    For weeks Ian and Emma begged and pleaded with me to not put up the giant inflatable Scooby-Doo wearing a witch hat at Halloween. They were "so embarrassed" by it and wanted to know why couldn’t we have "scary decorations" like other people on the block.

    So I didn't put him up.

    (Zoe, and avid fan of Scooby, was surprising quiet)

    Then three days before Halloween all three kids are asking me when I'm putting Scooby up.

    "I thought Scooby wasn’t cool. I thought you were too old for Scooby."

    "No," the all adamantly responded, "It won't be Halloween without Scooby!"

    So there I was, Saturday morning, putting Halloween Scooby up for one day.

  • I think is a wickedly wonderful idea.

  • I can cross this item off my to-do list: Plan extraordinary 25th wedding anniversary for 2020

    I'm going to book a room at The Galactic Suite Space Resort, which plans to open for business in 2012.

  • I don’t think I am feeling well enough to come up with a fifth item this week.

    Damn you, flu season!!
  • November 01, 2009

    Christopher Walken is Fantastic

    He turns Lady Gaga lyrics into comedy gold.

    Kid Quote of the Week (Classic)

    "You don't give fruit snacks for Halloween!"
    - Ian, age 4, venting his frustration with one of our neighborhoods who he apparently didn't believe understood the rules of trick-or-treating.