Pit Stop

Okay, sooooo . . .  for the next week or so the Fam and I will be traversing through Orlando and Disney, sowing havoc in our wake like a pretty girl at an anime convention.  During this interim, I’m temporarily transforming the Pub into a photoblog, detailing our adventures like a children’s picture book with as few ‘writing’ as I can manage.  For some of you, who never really enjoyed ‘reading’ anyway (I’m looking at you Brigid), this will prove a chance to visit my blog again; for others, a chance to criticize my poor photography skills.

The take-home message: everyone wins. Continue reading

Mischief Managed

Lacey undergarment

One of the benefits of writing articles like this one is all the research I’m forced to do on the subject.

So times were pleasant for the people there

until finally one, a fiend out of hell,

began to work his evil in the world (Beowulf, ln 99- 101).

Bree’s eyes flickered with mischief as she handed the list over to me.  I had asked the girls to engender a list for Kohl’s, where Kev and I had planned to spend our morning for new running shoes and socks . . . yes, and the nearby Barnes & Noble for iced tea and the latest issue of Batman  — two birds, one stone.  We planned to depart for Disney at 3 AM Saturday morning, and the plastic frame surrounding the heel of my shoes had exploded from its fabric skin like an alien parasite and dug into my tendon.  World War II veterans would tell that survival requires protecting your feet at all times, and Disney like any other battlefield is no different, just more expensive.  Thus, after tossing my old traitorous pair to the dog (she loves new chew toys), Kev and I set out to the department store.  But not before consulting my sisters . . .

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Care Package for Charley Part 2

Yeah, so before we begin, I should explain that texting with my family is a creative experience, a workshop for the mind.  Most days I like to spice up our conversations in simple but unusual ways: reversing words (sdrow gnisrever), texting in the third person (Murph enjoyed Ridley Scott’s Prometheus), or conceiving complex stories moments from erupting in the midst of mundane arguments.  As an obsessive-compulsive reader, these are some of my favorite kinds of tales anyhow.  Outcasts entangled in affairs of grave importance and dire consequence . . . and zombies.  You can never go wrong with zombies. 

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Diamond is Forever

“So which one is Neil?”  Rodney asked me between spoonfuls of what looked like rice pilaf.  “Is he behind the zombie in the sequined shirt? Or is this still the cover-band?”

I laughed and inspected my friend’s face for some sign of irony.  Surprisingly, I saw none. Rodney repeated the question, straight-faced, serious.

“Dude, you do know who Neil Diamond is, right?” I asked, somewhat dumbfounded.  ” ‘Sweet Caroline?’  ‘I’m a Believer?’  ‘America?’  Any of this make any sense?”

“These are . . . songs?” he guessed, looking down at his plate.  “That ‘Believer’ song was from Shrek, right?”

“Dude, if you didn’t know Neil Diamond, why did you agree . . .”

“Hold that thought,” he cried suddenly, shocked at the sight of his empty plate.   “I need another quesadilla.” Continue reading

Basic Maternal Instinct

This photo has nothing at to do with the following post; however, the subject matter is more pleasing than what I found on the basement computer.

“You’re kidding!” Dasad laughed, nearly dribbling coffee onto the table.  “They left it up?  On the screen?”

“No, no, no,” I said, waving my hands, as if brushing away the misconception.  “It’s what the address bar listed.  You know how when you start typing, Firefox offers a few of the popular searches from the last week? Apparently, someone’s been visiting frequently.  All I typed was a ‘H’ and the site appeared, right below Hulu.”

“What was the name again?” my friend smiled, baiting me.

“Hotmoms.com . . . or something like it.”  My friend’s squeals filled the entire cafe like a fire alarm.  If the coffee and caffeine had failed in its primary function, curiosity and Dasad’s laughter proved a jolt of adrenaline. Even the baristas stared, whispering behind the counter and consulting their watches.  Only a boy and girl continued to ignore us, racing Hotwheels across a neighboring tabletop.  I lowered my voice.

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Packing for Success

Stack of BooksOur yearly sojourn to Florida launches in about two weeks.  Mom and the girls are already mapping out new summer wardrobes with the fervor of gold-greedy conquistadors: new shoes, dresses, skirts, blouses, jeans, sandals and even the accursed swimsuits.  The flotsam of many a shopping excursion litter their rooms, beds, and dressers like giant jigsaw pieces, waiting to be folded, twisted and rolled into a small leather case.   After two weeks, they scamper through the halls, racing from room to room, to stuff the last tube of toothpaste, or hair gel, or razor, or shampoo. Once that’s finished, I’ll hear the screams and shouts for headphones, magazines, iPods, iPads, phones, computers, pillows, chargers, gum, water, snacks, and DVDs to ease the long drive, most of which will be spent sleeping.  Somehow during this final stage, the men of the household are inevitably blamed for moving too slow, not helping, or not panicking enough for the girls’ taste.  Yet for the boys, an hour before departure proves more than enough time to stuff underwear, socks, and the untouched dregs of the dresser drawers into a duffel, download plane tickets, and depart.  Done. Continue reading

Wonderdog

My uncle once owned a dog that did not love him. Despite his owner’s constant adoration, affection, and regular meal offerings, the mustard-colored mutt escaped the confine’s of both yard and house with a regularity that would have impressed Steve McQueen. Whenever my uncle arrived home from inspecting train wrecks — that was his job — he would discover the yard empty, his food untouched, or the window screen torn asunder.  At such moment, my uncle would race down the street to our house, load my brothers into his truck, and slowly circle the neighborhood, shouting ‘Ralph!  Ralph!” — for that was the dog’s name — ‘Godammit dog, where are you?”

Ralph would always emerge a day or two later from the woods, wet from a swim at the reservoir, or covered in briars.  At which point, my uncle would hug and kiss the doe-eyed convict, while muttering in a sing-song baby voice “Such a goood dog!  Such a goood doggie.”  Ralph would be chained of course for another week or so, before his master would forgive his past transgressions.  The dog, who knew nothing of redemption, gratitude or the human parole system,  would immediately celebrate its freedom by running into the woods for another three or four days, chasing squirrels and sniffing deer pellets. Continue reading