Friday, November 27, 2009

You've got to know when to run...

This grin only pops out to say hello when Angie is shopping at Marshalls or when she is kickin' ass at poker. Luckily, we don't have a Marshalls in Germany, so I think even you lot can guess which event triggered Mama's cheeky exercise.

Before learning when to walk away and when to run, Dil stopped by.

Her name is really Nil, but the boys started it. It's just a damn good thing her last name is not Bert. She could have just as easily been called Mary Poppins with how quickly she was able to bond with our hellions.

Dil Poppins didn't stay long. For some strange reason, she had to suddenly go meet friends. I think I actually know that strange reason.

His name is Peter. He is my son. He normally plays table soccer without flashing his 'I'm freakin' insane' look at visitors. Then again, we don't get a lot of visitors these days. Hmm...strange.

Speaking of strange, Simone decided to kick off Poker Night by flashing us her boots.

After a few rounds, I can honestly say that those boots were not made for walking; they were made for losing. Big time. To make Simonelina feel less like a walking loser, we switched games. Everyone had to write down a famous person and stick it to the forehead of the player next to them, who then had to ask yes/no questions and guess who they were. Pretty soon, Angie was looking like a loser. Shaken, not disturbed.

At least copious amounts of wine helped to dull the little bit of shyness that Angie doesn't have. It certainly made me smile, but I was actually just mentally calculating how much freakin' cash were saving by not living near a Marshalls.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Nil come.
David: When Papa picked me up from the kindergarten.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't play with Davey by the kindergarten 'cause he was playing with Artin.
David: When I wanted Tom to play but he can't not 'cause he a baby.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play on Lilly's birthday.
David: To play animals with Peter.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Camel jockey

This only seems like one of those really Kool smoking ads targeting kids; it's actually just Tommy enjoy his first camel ride. If he starts smoking next year, though, I'm gonna sue the crap out of our local Zoo. I mean, come on - if they are going to stoop to such levels, they should at least have a Marlboro Man climbing tower and a Lucky Strike slide; even minors shouldn't be monopolized.

Before twisting innocent playground rides into Big Tobacco conspiracies, I was having fun of a different kind. I had been unwillingly nominated to be the ring master in a bizarre 'circus' invented by the Zoo Crew & Dalia, incorporated.

It looked like a simple game of Twister to me, but eventually the overabundance of freaks sold me on the whole 'circus' idea.

After breaking up the carnie reunion, Peter went with Mama to the Planetarium for the advanced version of last week's field trip. Surprisingly, David did not care much that he was not old enough to partake in this exclusive knowledge journey of the elders. Secretly, I think he was enjoying the Big Brother bonding time.

As it turned out, the whole 'bonding' thing did not take long. At this bench-point, David smelled shit and wisely checked his shoe. After finding nothing, he screamed out to the amusement of the zoo patrons passing by that 'Tom - he go kaka in he pants again'.

I would have never thought that there could be anything cute about a kid shouting out that his younger brother had just crapped his pants, but Tom got completely excited when David shouted out his name and started dancing around in circles. See, he has only recently passed the 'I know my name' milestone. Bravo, stink-o!

After cleaning Tommy's bottom, he was ready to put it to use.

What you don't see in this still is that Tom sat at the top of the slide for almost five minutes with the same shit-eating grin. After the first minute, I realized that Tom was actually scared. He's gone down our local slide alone before, but not this one. After three minutes, I realized that I needed to intervene to keep Tommy from getting his ass kicked by the impatient kids waiting in line. Why don't you brats go hang out with Joe Cool over there?

I finally unfroze Mr. Jitters by holding his hand as he went down the slide. I have to admit that it was a small and insignificant event, but I won't forget how proud and content Tom looked when he hit the ground. Even though I was the safety net catching him from certain death, he didn't look to me. Instead, he searched for his big brother and David was standing by and more than willing to dish out the high-fives. Kool.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we was meeting Grams and Opa and had Dalia over.
David: When I saw one by Peter Pan.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David maked his stinky feet on my face.
David: When I cannot to Artin.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to go to Dalia's.
David: Go to Dalia.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Three strikes and you're nuts!

I don't know what the hell got into the gooftards today. I thought about asking our resident expert on all things weird, but Mama was busy primping her shoes or doing some other Venus-shattering event. Instead, the Martians logically began an indoor game of baseball.

Every respectful ball game has to start with some crusty old dude playing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' on a dusty organ.

We have a piano, not an organ; but it is dusty. Lauri is not old and crusty, but Sami is. The tune that Beethoven Jr. banged out sounded more like 'Take Me Out to the Field and Shoot Me Now', but in a cute kind of way that only the deaf could truly appreciate. Play ball!

Intermission came with a surprise visit from the away team, who once again proved that there is no limit to their creativity when it comes to smuggling alcohol into the stadium.

I had really expected Johnny to show up with sandwiches for the famished spectators, but I guess he's already been burned once in a previous snack preparation endeavor. Thanks, Damo.

Instead, he brought a bunch of kick-ass gifts for the Zoo, including a t-shirt with an incredibly witty slogan that completely baffled Angie. I loved it, but felt a little bad that Karen had to witness me receiving clothes. It's obvious she needs help, so I will soon be launching my 'Patches for the kneedy' campaign. Hang in there, girl!

After a liquid lunch, the fans were rowdy for some action. I can honestly say, the crowd was not disappointed.

First, Tommy 'The Slider' tried to steal bath base. After sliding into the draining tub and crying a few tears of pure shock, he was scooped up by some fanatic nutcase who began streaking down the home stretch wearing nothing but a towel! After the crowd died down, the incredibly sexy and hairy-chested umpire tried chatting up the 'Green Machine'.

'So, you come here often?'

'I live here, Steve. What the hell are you talking about?'

'You already know my name - that's good. So, is green you're favorite color?'

'Have you been drinking?'

'Why? You want something?'


Initially, I took this obvious flirtation as a good sign, but as anyone will tell you, reading signs from female streakers donning wet green towels is a bit like the Rubik's Cube; it's freakin' impossible. Needless to write, I did not even make it to bath base with the 'Green Machine'.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we was on the computer and had the Sandman there.
David: When I go'ed with you and Tommy in the kindergarten.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Tommy almost fell down off my ladder.
David: When I can't not with Dalia play.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to go to Dalia's.
David: When tomorrow comes and Dalia come to play with us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bottom feeders

I came home from work to quite a bizaare scene. I know this might seem common place - and it is - but this was a completely different breed of weird. For starters, Angie was in the kitchen, and it wasn't just to get me a beer. The fact that she was not surrounded in a cloud of smoke was certainly unusual, but there something more. I could smell it.

I walked into the living room to investigate further and found Sarah kicking back with her feet up, reading a magazine. Sarah is not exactly the calm and relaxing type, so I was really starting to freak out. It was like the Twilight Zone for me and then it hit me - where the hell was the roar of noise that normally accompanied my arrival. Who the hell was this 'woman' in the kitchen and what has she and Lady Tranquility done with my kids?

I confronted Signorina and got a look that immediately told me she was in cahoots with the kitchen help.

'Che cosa, siete bello, Si dispone di un petto villoso!'

'Stop complimenting me - I get enough of that from Angie! Where are my kids?'

'Che cosa?'

'Oh, don't toy with me, devil woman. Dove mi bambinos!?'

It was at that point that I heard chewing noises. It was such a weird feeling. I mean, don't get me wrong - Angie can be quite the chomper, so I am used to a little vocal mastication, but she was supposedly in the kitchen 'cooking'.

All of a sudden, Angry Italian woman started waving her index finger to the space below our dining room table; a space I have been avoiding for over a year out of fear. What I found did not help my phobia much.

Under our table, I uncovered creatures crawling all over the place on top of layers of muck and disgusting shit that Tommy has thrown down over the past year of his existence. These 'things' slightly resembled my kids, but then again - so did that woman in our kitchen; I had to make sure.

'Who are you people and why are you so QUIET?'

'Oh, hey Papa. We're
'table monsters' and Sarah is feeding us to keep us from getting angry on you.'

It was like a cloud parted and a voice whispered in my ear to shut the hell up and just enjoy the absence of destructive sounds. This was BRILLIANT! Shove the kids under the table to eat their grub and they actually will. Why didn't my brain think of that?!

Man, I have so much to learn from the Principessa, aside from some of her more interesting hand gestures. Whatever! I just kept shoveling food to the 'monsters' below and was grateful that someone was actually testing the food that Angie had prepared. If that is her real name.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we was on the computer and had the Sandmaenchen there.
David: When I go'ed with you and Tommy in the kindergarten.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Tommy almost fell down off my ladder.
David: When I canned not with Dalia play.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to play in kindergarten with my friends.
David: Play with Tom.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mine's cooler than yours

After a 45 minute tour at our local Planetarium, David learned that the sun is hot and the moon is cold. Wow! That's great, honey - how much did this educational journey set us back? At least this precious nugget of information did come in handy when the boys went to buy postcards. See normally, David would scream, kick, and bite anyone that got in his way of having exactly the same thing as Peter. When I picked them up, I was quite surprised to see their prized possessions. David explained everything when he smugly whispered into my ear 'mine's cooler, Papa'. He then giggled his ass off the whole way to the diner.

At the diner, Tommy stomped up and down the halls grunting his demands for food twenty seconds after ordering.

The cook poked his head over the counter briefly, but the Stomach growled at him and the obviously French chef nervously retreated back into his culinary corner. Feed me!

The food eventually did come and all three boys devoured their sugary feast. Bowls of syrup with a few pieces of pancakes and chocolate milkshakes were more than enough to get them to that glazed look that parents dread.

If anyone is wondering, it takes approximately four minutes after the consumption of such a meal to get to that zombie stare. After that, it takes approximately thirty seconds for the undead to wake up. Ten seconds after that, the waitress is standing by you with the check, even though you didn't even ask for it. Pay me!
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the Planetarium.
David: When we to the Planetario go.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Davey keep talking by my Ladder Talk and not shut upping.
David: When I can not have a drink-brei by dinner.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to play with my new rocket.
David: When I play with Tom.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

After being gone for two weeks in Japan and China, I was pretty sure that I would not need any gifts to bribe the kids into a nice welcome home. On the other hand, they tend to take after Mama when it comes to materialistic displays of affection, so I thought I had better hedge my bets. You so wise, Papa-san.

The first thing that I noticed was that my kids had gotten skinnier. This baffled me, until I reflected on what two week's worth of Angie's cooking would do to me. It also explained why they were so thrilled to see me. Feed me.

After feeding the animals, we exchanged gifts. I gave Tommy a Chinese hand drum. I shit you not - the kid destroyed the thing within 35 seconds. So much for Asian durability.

After the robots, each of the elder Johnson's got matching t-shirts.

David got red, because 'I like red' and Peter got yellow because I could not bring myself to purchase the pink one he would have wished for. I lied and told him that they only had yellow in his big and manly size. I love gullible kids.

'Exchanging gifts' implies that I would also receive something, which I did. Oh, yes - I did.

First, Peter wowed me with his new gift of writing.

I still remember the response to my first scribbling attempts by my teacher at the time: 'Chicken scrap - dat wat dat is'. As you can tell, I never have done been gotten over dat. Instead of insulting the boy using improper English, I chose to praise Peter and his new 'gift'.

Destructo Dave must have been feeling a little left out, so he decided to show me his new globetrotting light trick.

There's no real trick - moments after this lovely shot, David threw the globe to the floor and pile-drove it into tiny pieces. He laughed, Peter laughed. I contemplated taking it back to the store for a refund and then laughed. Mama did not laugh, which made Tommy giggle. In Tommy's defense, though - he cracks up at anything these days.

Speaking of the Tomminator, he also had a new trick that he was dying to show me. And as I am sure you all expect, I was dying to see it.

Holy SHIT!! Check out Tommy. Just sitting there. You know, ...sitting...watching T.V. WOW! I'm not sure who taught him that one, but DAMN! Good on you!

Speaking of things that Mama will later deny, Tommy also learned how to blow-fish a window.

Man, at that age, kids pick up things so quickly. At some point in the afternoon, Tommy burped, which made the boys laugh for two hours and forty three minutes. I decided to save Mama the embarrassment and not ask where Tommy learned his new trick. You so wise, Papa-san.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: My best part was when I get that robot from you.
David: When you come home.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't play in kindergarten 'cause it was a free day.
David: When I play not with my pirate ship down.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with that I built.
David: Play with Tommy 'cause he so cute is.