This morning, Alex decided that he loved my company so much that he was going to bar the door so that I couldn't leave for work-- but after thirty seconds, he looked at me and said in his toughest voice, "I'm going to pee really fast, don't you dare leave" and then he sprinted to the bathroom.
As far as I can tell, any policy or strategy that is bi-partisan is doubly dumb; e.g. Big Corn, ethanol, energy independence, the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, etcetera (as for how dumb ethanol is: we get taxed on it three times-- we pay billions in subsidies to grow the corn, billions in subsidies to turn the corn into ethanol, and billions in higher food prices because there is more "demand" for corn to make into a fuel that pollutes as much or more than gasoline and uses more water and energy to create than gasoline-- McCain and Clinton both used to be against these subsidies, but since they started running for President they have changed their tune-- because of Iowa . . . I don't know why I bother to read about this stuff because it makes me angry for days).
I had to urinate for the majority of our hellish ninety minute ride to Queens last weekend, and by the time I got into the bathroom my bladder was ready to rupture, so I decided to count how long the stream lasted (without trying to extend the time by constricting the flow) and I urinated for 63 "Mississippis"-- and to put that in perspective, I had to whiz pretty badly yesterday after teaching three classes in a row and it lasted 20 "Mississippis."
I was pleased with the last minute name I thought of for our faculty band's "Rock the Vote" performance: "The Hanging Chads"-- it has it all, an allusion to voting, a vaguely phallic sound, and a "the" at the beginning (Jimmy Rabbit says that all the great band names start with a "the")-- but my fellow band-members didn't know what I was talking about, and even though we rocked to a packed auditorium, I think only one nerdy kid got the joke; I also think I had the best "look" in the band (my typical school outfit, but black, sunglasses, my school ID, a pencil in my pocket, and a FILA hat) though I needed to be cued to do my guitar solo (Bob said, "Mr. Pellicane on the guitar" to remind me and we had to backtrack to it-- other highlights included Bob and I singing different words to the chorus of "American Idiot" and what felt like ten minutes of fumbling around on stage before we found the right cords to plug in) and I also had the most rabid fans-- Alex and Ian-- in fact, Alex told me I was the "greatest rock guitar guy in the world" and that when he was big he "wanted to get up on a stage a play a guitar" so I'm sure that this stunt will cost me in the end.
Randomly reading recommendations that Amazon selected for me, I found this gem of a sentence-- if you're wondering about the future of popular music, here it is: "Thanks to the overwelming popularity of his Drumma Boi single Umma Do Me, Rocko is now at the forefront of the new Southern movement in hip-hop where business acumen and consumer awareness reign supreme."
After I took a plastic dagger and sheath away from the boys because it cracked and needed gluing, Ian tried to sneak behind my back-- walking on tip-toes and carrying the stool from the bathroom-- in order to retrieve the toy from the counter; even though he knew I was staring at him, he ignored me and set the stool up and climbed up so he could reach -- it was as if he believed that if he was quiet and didn't acknowledge that I was watching him, then I wouldn't stop him (then I put the broken weapon on top of the refrigerator and he moved the stool over to there, climbed up, and pathetically waved his arms-- a good four feet short of his target).
My parents took Alex and Ian to their church yesterday for an Easter egg hunt and to meet the bunny himself, but Alex was not duped: he said, "That's not a bunny, it's a man in a bunny suit, rabbits hop on four legs, but he walks on two-- he's more like Bugs Bunny."
Piracy has been so romanticized that I'm having a hard time explaining to my kids that pirates are thieves-- and often ruthless and sanguinary as well (there were actual instances of plank walking . . .) and I'm having further difficulties explaining that some piracy is okay-- like when Daddy uses Bittorrent to download hundreds of albums he'll probably never be able to listen to, because they have explicit lyrics and you can't have your kids swearing like a sailor when they're playing pirates, right?
It's official: Ian has toilet-trained himself (and with no encouragement, charts, stars, prizes, or treats-- which Alex thinks is unfair, since we did a lot more to motivate him, but Ian's reward is obviously intrinsic-- he doesn't like to walk around with a load in his pants).
This morning I awoke alone in bed and found Catherine asleep downstairs on the couch; I hoped that it wasn't a bout of noxious flatulence in the night that drove her out of our bedroom, but it turns out it wasn't my fault . . . it was the squirrels in our attic keeping her awake (the other night she woke me up at midnight, she was banging our ceiling with a rubber rain boot to drive them out) and she claimed this morning, (half asleep) "They're building something up there, some kind of big thing . . . and I can't stand to think of them peeing and pooping up there, while they're building some kind of nest."
Catherine told me I couldn't write about this because she didn't want people to think we're dirty, filthy people, but then it broke, so now I'm allowed to say it: on Sunday, I was calling Catherine and helping Ian urinate at the same time, and I dropped the phone into the toilet-- but I wiped it off and put it outside to dry in the sun and the wind, and after that it worked-- I talked to someone on it (and that's when Catherine made me swear never to tell anyone) but it stopped working yesterday, so I'm going to buy a new one.
For Sartre, "l'enfer, c'est les autres," but for me hell is a high school musical, and yesterday I was definitely in a circle that Dante designed especially for me: Catherine's nephew was in "Beauty and the Beast" and so we all went-- Catherine, me, Alex, Ian, Catherine's mom, Catherine's brothers and their significant others (I think the French have a more elegant word for this . . .) and I mention this only because there were a lot of people around to hear me complain, and complain I did, because it was hot as hell in the theater-- and those of you who know me know I have a low tolerance for heat, but this was ridiculous pumping death heat, rivulets of sweat rolling down my back heat, my buttocks floating in a pool of liquid heat, Ian getting red-faced and croaking "water" heat, and we were in the first row on the side (great for the kids, they loved it, and I must admit, it was an amazing production, hundreds of times better than what is put on at my high school-- but it was still insipid) which was right next to the speaker, and my ears are sensitive from years of listening to bad guitar rock, so I was miserable, and I took Ian out early before intermission because he was sweating so much, but Catherine guilted me into going back in after the break (and this thing was LONG) so I switched to sit back by her brother and his "le petite amie" but she tried to voice a concern but she was too nice to say it, and it was this: they were sitting next to an EXTREMELY obese woman who hadn't booked ahead of time and could only get one seat for her AND her two kids, so in my quest to finder a cooler, quieter place, I instead found myself punished for my complaining, and squashed against a mountain of flesh, with someone else's seven year old on my lap (and she kicked the thirteen year old girl in front of me and the girl thought that it was me that touched her head and kept looking back at me like I was some kind of child molester) and then we ended up waiting for pizza for over an hour at Pete and Elda's-- it was packed, so the kids went sort of nuts, and Catherine was mad at me because I thought that I should be able to drink beer at the restaurant because this was her idea and trip, and I didn't even bring up the rule of etiquette, which is this: the person whose family it is NOT gets to drink, but now is not the time to bring this up.
Alex and Ian were playing pirate ship on the jungle gym with a bunch of kids the other day, and Alex started yelling, "sirens, sirens, watch out for the sirens!" and I thought he was talking about some sort of aquatic police, but then he continued, "don't listen to the Sirens' singing! we're going to crash into the rocks!" and I realized that-- for better or worse-- that I am raising a nerd.
You know it's trouble when the dentist actually tells you something is going to hurt-- but I did learn something: a pus filled abscess infection can reverse the polarity of anesthetic, rendering it useless, unless the infection is irrigated and-- and this is the part that hurt-- the dentist gives you a shot of Novacain in the roof of your mouth.
We're meeting with the architect today to tell him what we want our new kitchen to be like, and I want to give him a few unrealistic demands-- just to keep him sharp-- so I'm going to tell him that I need eight kegs of beer chilled at all times, that once or twice a year I like to roast a camel, and that I cultivate escargot and need a large aquarium close to the range.
It's been a busy day (I had to sign Alex up for pre-school among other things) and I haven't been able to think of anything particularly clever for the sentence, but what am I?-- some kind of clown?-- some kind of talking monkey here to amuse you?-- do I look like your clown?-- your puppet?-- your marionette? your blow-up sex doll to be treated like a some piece of willing plastic?
Today is the day-- now I'm thirty eight!--
The Doctor and I share the same date--
If Seuss were alive, he'd be one-oh- two,
And if I were like Horton, then I'd hear a Who!
(Actually Seuss would be one-oh-four,
but that is a fact that I choose to ignore).
Alex turned four today, and he's he's having a few friends from school over, which is very weird-- that he has this life of his own separate from ours-- but then I guess I find it weird that anyone has a life of their own separate from mine; I generally think that when people I know aren't with me, then they're just hanging around thinking: "I wonder what Dave is doing?"