"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

American Idol: I Assume "Dope" Is A Compliment

Judges pick the first songs for each of the contestants.

And so far, after the first two singers, I haven't ever heard these songs. Danny with "Dance, Little Sister" and Kris with "Apologize."

Unfortunately, neither one of those two stood out to me.

Adam stood out though. But mainly because his in-ear monitors were positioned in such a way that he looked like he had pixy/elf/Vulcan ears. My suspicion is that the new Star Trek movie paid for this bit of promotional exposure. Kind of like those silly Coke cups on the judges' table. Simon praised his own song choice of U2's "One" which kept with the theme of "Songs Scott's Never Heard."

On to Chapter 2: which I would like to be able to call "Songs Scott Actually Knows And Sings To His Children In The Car On Long Road Trips."

Like "You Are So Beautiful" with Danny totally mixing up the arrangement. Judges really, really liked it, but I personally was hoping his voice would've cracked at the end like when *I* sing it.

Kris is departing from my suggested theme by singing "Heartless" and strumming his guitar. Lyrically, it's not as complimentary to the ladyfolk as Danny's choice. Simon had written Kris off after the first song, but this song brought him back into the competition.

Adam's singing him some "Aerosmith." To quote Cindy, "for someone who screams so much, at least he screams well."

You know, there's so much more I could say, but The Biggest Loser is on right now AND Brynne needs her hair braided.

Duty calls.
I'm just hoping a lot of Adam fans have daughters with hair that needs braiding too.
...or wives with necks that need shiatsu-ing.
...or husbands with backs that need waxing.

Happy Birthday to the Newest Member of the Family

Yesterday was Cheddar's first birthday.
We celebrated by buying him his first canned/wet/soggy/nasty/"gourmet" dog food.
Which he ate none of.
He DID lick the hollandaisse sauce I ended up pouring over it to cover the flavor of canned/wet/soggy/nasty/"gourmet".

Cheddar THEN:

Cheddar NOW:
(Cheddar's the one on the right. On the left is our buddy, Ben.)

Happy Birthday, Cheddar.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Best Mother's Day EVER

That's right.
Cindy said that this was the best Mother's Day EVER.

Even better than last year when I nearly forgot and she got diddly-squat.
Even better than the year before when I nearly forgot and got a diddly-squat knock-off.
Even better than the year before that when she got two diddly-squats.

(Actually, I have no recollection of past Mother's Day and their respective gifts.)

Mother's Day always falls about two weeks after her birthday, so I usually look at the calendar at some point and say, "Are you KIDDING me? Another holiday to make significant?"

She's not even MY mother, but she is THE best mother in the world, so that's something worth celebrating.

And this is how we did it:

Eggs Benedict for breakfast, or a variation on it. Toasted croissants sliced and topped with bacon, poached egg and hollandaisse sauce. Pyur delishussness.

Cheese fondue for lunch. (Gruyere, Emantaler, and Cheddar, yummmmmmmmm.)
Mushroom salad with homemade strawberry vinaigrette dressing.
Chocolate fondue for dessert.

And for her gift, a KitchenAid mixer to adorn the kitchen counter. I saved $160 with some discounts, so I splurged and got her the one that's big enough to mix a whole elephant. I'd been saving to build a fence for Cheddar (whose birthday is tomorrow), but at the last minute I caved and decided to make up for the last 12 miserable attempts at a Mother's Day present.

I think she was surprised.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Love That Girl...And Her Smile

In just a few short weeks, we will have our first teenager.

So far, so good, but people have warned me about what's in store. Interestingly, they've all been women who've looked back and reflected on the monsters they were when they were teenage girls.

But not my Cassie. She'll always be sweet, and she'll always love spending time with me, right?

Like today.
Cindy and the younger girls were all at musical rehearsal at church, giving Cassie and me a little time to run errands and be lazy. Yes, it's possible to do errands AND be lazy at the same time when all of the errands have drive-thru windows: the bank, the pharmacy, the barber shop. (I made up that last one. Can you imagine leaning your head into the drive-thru window?)

For lunch, Cassie and I enjoyed some quiet moments over pizza, just the two of us. This was the highlight of my day. [The Swiss cheese dip I just devoured with my wheat thins was a distant second.] We talked about school and friends and junior high next year and creative ideas for future VBS's at church. She did a lot of giggling and smiling.

I recalled our friend Kristin's comment about Cassie on my post a few days ago: "I love when Cassie grins!"

There really are few treats as wondrous as Cassie's grins. They erupt out of nowhere at times. They feel like a subtle gift that she is bestowing on you to let you know that you're funny or loved...or insane.

It's not that these smiles are rare, but they're given very deliberately, and the look in her eyes magnifies the significance of the event.

Even when I'm embarrassing her (which dads do occasionally), I can count on the eyes rolling, but when the spiraling eyes are accompanied by her grin, I know that I'm not scarring her for life.

I wish you ALL were blessed to be the lucky recipient of one of these:

And for those of you who assumed that I would follow such a tender moment with some sarcastic or flippant bit of humor, shame on you for underestimating my sensitive side.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Am A Numbskull

I feel it is important for you to know that I am resting nicely in the dentist's chair as I type this.

He's left me alone for a short while as the novacaine works its way slowly across my entire body.

I've only had one cavity, and today's visit is to deal with that spot. Even though he said he's going to refill it or cover it, I have a suspicion that he's primarily going to hammer and chisel and buffet me with chains and rusty scrap metal.

Well, before the numbness spreads to my thumbs and prevents me from writing, I figured I better pen my last will and testament really quick.

I, Scotth, being of soundth mindth, doth herthby bequeathth...

Oh, time's up. I can no longer feel my tongue...or my spleen, and the dentist is sharpening his chain saw in the next room.

Tell Cindy I love her.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Fun Pills

My daughter Shelby (10) was concerned last night following the commercial about an antidepressant which could cause, among other things:

Mood changes
Thoughts of suicide
Increased risk of death
High fever
High blood sugar
Uncontrollable muscle movements
Impaired motor skills
Trouble swallowing.

It kind of made her confused about the definition of "antidepressant."

I won't mention the name of the medication. In case you're currently taking it, I didn't want you to get depressed about your imminent seizures, comas, strokes, death and all.

Sleep well!

Save The Toothbrushes

Historically, I have a hard time throwing anything away.

Most of the time, it's just old junk and eventually crawls up my leg and chokes my soul.

But occasionally, I get to say, "it's a good thing I didn't throw THAT away 12 years ago, because just look at this amazing use I found for it TODAY!"

Then this validates my hoarding gene for another 12 years.

Take your old toothbrushes, for example. It's recommended to replace your toothbrush every 6 months. That's why they try to schedule you twice a year for dental visits: so you can get your free toothbrush. Instead of you just buying a $3 toothbrush every six months, they schnooker you into a $120 dental visit so you can get your "free" toothbrush.

Well, that's a lot of old $120 toothbrushes for a family of 6 over the course of time.

Here are some uses for them that I have found practical:

-scrubbing the shower door track
-cleaning grout
-applying highlights to my wife's hair
-painting techniques
-brushing the dog's teeth
-scrubbing out stains on clothes
-getting that gunk out of the nose piece on my glasses
-I bet YOU have even more ideas

Now I'm trying to find uses for all my old, used dental floss...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

AI Top 4--Two Words: Suh lash

Actually, it's just one word: "Slash."

As in the name of tonight's mentor, in all his curly-haired, sunglassed, nose-pierced, 80's rock glory, who coached the contestants on how to rock it for our Rock n Roll themed night.

And who better to start the night off than Adam? He sang some Led Zeppelin song, and let's face it, i just dont know rock music. (I know. You're totally caught off guard by that bit of revelation, but it's true. Rock's not my language. Therefore, I'll have a hard time judging tonight's singing. So just humor me while i fake my way through it.) Well, Adam had this rock-y vibrato thing going on that I found less than necessary. The judges, on the other hand, loved him almost to the point of marriage proposals.

Allison, was much better for me with "Crybaby"...or perhaps "Cry, Baby." It didn't involve a lot of screaming or excessive eye-liner, so that's a plus. On the down side, she admitted she went to Adam's "hair girl." This explains the random natural purple highlights. The judges weren't overly excited about her performance, but they'd raved so much over Adam's perfection, that maybe everyone else should just go home.

Next is a DUET with Kris and Danny! The best parts were their harmonizations. I could listen to that all night. Randy agreed with me.

OK.During this commercial break, I'm going to throw in stuff from an American Idol post I did last Wednesday night. A lot of you just pop over here on Tuesday nights to read my reviews, so I'm including this again for those of you who missed this later add-on, because let's face it, it's mind-blowing. Those who are here throughout the week and already read this next part can just skip ahead.
You know what I haven't done this year yet?
Go ahead guess...

O.K. I'll give you multiple choices options:
a) Waxed my eyebrow(s)
b) Pumped out the septic tank
c) Pay my speeding fine
d) Provide photographic evidence of the comparisons between your favorite Americal Idol contestants and their twins in the world.

Actually, I've done NONE of these things yet.
I have no intention of waxing my brow.
I hope my septic tank continues to hold an endless supply of our waste.
I haven't paid my speeding fine (but I suppose I'll cave eventually).
And right this very moment I will share with you, my readers, the joys of knowing that we each have our doppleganger in the world somewhere.

For Matt Giraud, his twin is Tom Hanks.
Technically, it might be his father more than his twin, but these days with freezing embryos and all, I guess it could be possible for Matt to be the father of Tom. Who knows?

This one you probably spotted from day one. Danny Gokey and Robert Downey, Jr.
Now I think I've mentioned it three or more times that Allison is Rachel Ray's little sister.

If we could only get Allison in the kitchen to whip up a shrimp pasta, hearts of romaine salad and a creme brulee in under 30 minutes, you'd finally have the proof you were waiting for.

And don't you think that Kris has a cute, boyish quality?
Kind of like this cute, boyish chimp in space?Come on. You're not really taking offense at the fact that I'm comparing your boyfriend Kris with a monkey, are you? It IS a cute monkey.
It could be worse.

At least I didn't make the following comparison for him:

I know. I was speechless, too, when I first made the connection.
Maybe you've made your own observations about look-alikes for these contestants. I could be wrong about some of my guesses.
Until I get close enough to prick some fingers for blood samples, I won't be able to be 100% certain that Adam and Liza Minelli were wombmates. Until then, though, we also won't be able to rule it out.
Thanks for indulging me. Unless you didn't, inwhich case thanks for nuthin'.

Now back to our current show with Kris singing a solo, "Come Together" which I think is a Beatles thing. It was great, but Kara D. didn't dig it. I'm not going to put a lot of stock in the opinions of a judge who shows up in public in black leather and metal studs with her hair slicked back. Simon compared it to making a meal out of ice. Maybe he meant that it was "cool."

Danny's doing "Dream On" by Aerosmith, which I'm expecting be big, real big. It involves some screaming and shouting. Literal screaming. Like horror-movie-pull-back-the-shower-curtain screaming. Randy thought it was all right. Kara thought he took it too far. Paula's a fan. And Simon copied my comment about a horror movie scream, because he wants to be just. like. me.

And finally, Allison and Adam are going to holler us up a duet, "Slow Ride." Should I be concerned that my daughter is singing along? How does she know this song? Each did better on their own than they did together on this song. But the judges were more impressed than I. Final comments from this performance come from 8-year-old Jenna: "tight pants look better on girls than boys, ew."

All four singers are great at their art, so I'll have a hard time guessing who'll go home tomorrow night.
Based on past voting, maybe Kris or Allison.

But it's up to America to vote, and my fingers are too tired from typing to dial a phone, so it's up to the rest of you.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

We May Have Made Some Progress In The Area of Not Barking

We held off as long as we could.

It just seemed inhumane to attach an electric box that would send pulses racing through our puppy's neck each time he barked.

But compared to the electric pulses that were racing through our ears, down our spines and out each pore of our bodies--nay, our SOULS--we felt it was time to give it a try.

Our children had purchased a prank shock pen for April Fool's Day. When an unsuspecting [formerly known as] friend clicked it, it would shock them. So they'd practiced on themselves, and while it was shocking and unnatural, it wasn't consistently. lethal. And whatever number of years it's taken off their lives we really wont know for a while now, will we?

A couple of days ago we caved and borrowed a bark collar for Cheddar. It's designed to send a gentle pulse with the first bark, and then build if the barking continues.

So the sound around here the last couple days?

Instead of:

It's been:
"Bark! Yelp!------silence"

Sweet silence.

And it only took a couple of times for Cheddar to figure it out.

Today, the doorbell rang. Usually that's an invitation to bark in a manner befitting a lunatic hyena hyped up on espresso.

But tonight, when the doorbell rang, Cheddar just looked at the door and sat down wagging his tail. And he wasnt even wearing the collar, and hasn't since yesterday.

We're getting one of those collars for each of the girls before our next car trip.
Don't hate me because I'm smart.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"The Tale Of Swift City"

Kids can be so frustrating sometimes.

Amazingly, they can hop in the car with 20 or more items, but when you get home, they hop out and only take 2 of those things with them. So if you are familiar with math and the laws of physics, then you can calculate that there are exactly 762 items left in the back seat.

Invariably, when it's time for bed, they will want one of those all-important items.

For example, last night Cassie asked me if I would go out to my car to get "The Tale of Swift City" for her. Incredulous at her laziness (after all, it's taken me 38 years to master my laziness techniques), I asked, "Why don't you get it yourself? Are you incapable of walking out to a car?"

Her response was, "I don't know how to get it." Whatever that means.

I wasn't in the mood to give my smart alec daughter lessons on how to walk to a car, open the door, dig through the 762 items and carry back the book she was looking for. In the same amount of time it would take to belittle her and make me a bad dad, I could just go out and get the book myself.

So I marched out, making sure I sighed loudly enough to be heard across the house. I found at least 12 books in the back seat. We had gone to the library the night before, because they desperately "needed" more books or "we will die." After finding all their life-saving books in the back of the car, I wondered how any of them had survived the night.

Anyway, her requested book was not there. I told Cassie, "I found a dozen other books, but not 'The Tale of Swift City.' " This was spoken with the added visual effect of smoke coming out my ears.

She peeled her eyes off the TV and grinned really big at me.

"The Taylor Swift CD," she chuckled.

Oh, I knew right where that was.
Among the 762 items that I've left in the front seat.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Petticoat Junction

There are a few things that creep me out about being a husband and father.

I’ve never had a problem with the whole poopy diaper thing, and cleaning up vomit from sick children/wife is a piece of cake (or chicken or pasta as the case may be).

But here are a couple things you male readers out there will understand. At least I HOPE you will. I hate to think that I’m the lone freak out there.

Thing Number One (the husband thing):
Shopping for Lingerie
While we all have to admit that this stuff looks especially pretty on our wives, the buying of it presents a slight problem for some guys. You see, we have to actually go IN to a lingerie store or a section at a department store. And do you know who else is in those stores? Lots of women.
And college girls.
And teenagers.
And old ladies.
And perverted men. At least that’s how I feel.

This week was my wife’s birthday, and I wanted to get her some accessories for her birthday suit, so off to Victoria’s Secret I went. I also visited the “Unmentionables” department at Target. The mood was the same in both places. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. If only I’d had a big flashing sign that said, “It’s OK. I’m shopping for my wife.” Instead I felt like I had a big flashing sign that said, “Run away! I’m either a cross-dresser or I’m buying something for my mistress or whatever other filthy scenarios are fodder for creepy movies these days.”

My first trip to VS this week, I didn’t stay long at all. I realized I didn’t have my money with me, so I wouldn’t be able to buy anything anyway, and I didn’t want to be the guy who just drops in there simply to “browse.” When I finally had cash in hand, I felt a little more comfortable. Store employees (all of them) took turns coming by to see if I needed “help”. Unfortunately, none of them carried any of the muscles relaxers that I was needing to lower my paranoia level, so they were no help at all. I did, however, manage to mention “MY WIFE” no fewer than fourteen times so that all within ear shot would know for certain my reason for being in the store.

Finally, I found a mannequin that wearing exactly what I wanted to buy, but of course it was the last of its kind in the color I wanted. Given my irrational insecurities in that store, I was too nervous to ask one of the employees to strip down the plastic lady. They had one other piece in a different color which actually turned out much better for Cindy’s coloring, thank you very much. (I'll see if she'll let me take a picture of her in it. She looks greeeeeeeeat.)

Then I was off to stand in line behind all these young ladies who I’m certain were embarrassed that this almost-middle-aged man had to witness the cashier holding up each individual item.

As if the whole in-store experience wasn’t a big enough coronary experience, they packaged my purchase in a dainty striped bag that screamed to everyone in the mall that I'd been shopping at "Tawdrywear 'R' Us." That old lady with the walker couldn't scoot away from me fast enough.

I’m wondering if it might not feel so dirty if the name of the store was something other than Victoria’s Secret. It might be a totally different experience if it were called Victoria’s House of Bloomers or Victoria’s Shop For Men Buying Stuff For Their Wives.

Earlier in the post I’d indicated that there were a couple of things that were disturbing as a husband and father. After telling you about Thing Number One (the husband thing), I don’t know that I have the energy to talk about Thing Number Two (the daddy thing) until I’ve given my ticker a rest.
Maybe tomorrow...or never. I'll check with my doctor first.

In the meantime, do any of you men share my shame?
And are any of you women creeped out by men in your panties store?