Monday, November 30, 2009

Handy GK

We moved out of crime-free Midtown last February to East Memphis only to have stuff stolen from us. Sometime recently, I can't say when for sure, some piece of human excrement came into our backyard and stole my toolbox and a socket set from the storage room attached to the carport. We're in and out of the storage room a lot so, granted, it gets left unlocked from time to time, yet it is still very much on our private property.

Worthless people who steal from people who purchase things make me angry. A stranger in my yard so close to where my family sleeps makes me angry. And then, this evening, GK and I were horsing around and I was watching her do "somer-flips" on the bed when she decided she wanted to watch something on TV. I flipped around On Demand and she chose, emphatically, Handy Manny.

She never watches Handy Manny, so why this sudden interest in tools? And is her interest only in anthropomorphic tools, or is it all tools, even the heavy kind made of cold-forged steel and, decidedly, mine? Perhaps I've been cursing the public at large when, in fact, the crime was internal.

But where would a 3-year-old hide a toolbox? How would she even get to the pawn shop without my knowledge and help? What did she do with the money from selling my tools and could I borrow $20?

Internal or external, friend or foe, we will all keep the storage room door locked from now on and keep a vigilant eye on who may be around. We will stay on our toes and protect what is ours. And, God willing, we will never, ever have to watch Handy Manny again.


On another note, GK and I were playing later on in the evening when I impressed her with a bit of magic. This is important because GK has recently done some retooling of her Favorite People List and my name has dropped dramatically. I'm lucky to even be on the list. I'm somewhere just below whoever stole my tools (so she says).

We were playing with a Zippo lighter (that's normal, right?) and I made it disappear ... magic! ... and then reappear in her ear. She was transfixed, awed and on the cloudy edge of that fantasy world where anything is possible if you only believe.

She spent the next five minutes trying to cram that lighter into my ear. And I let her because I'm her father, I can do anything and because I'm better than whoever stole the toolbox from our storage room (so she says).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Once again we at Urf! have joined the great migration, packing everyone up and heading east to my grandparents’ house. We travel heavily with luggage, toys, computer, stroller and ravioli.

Travel at Thanksgiving is a tradition begun … well, a long time ago with the Pilgrims, a people who came to this country in pursuit of a decent homemade stuffing recipe. As brave and self-reliant as those people were, all they really did was take a sailing trip across an ocean – they even call it a pond – to get here. They never sat still in an unmoving Mazda van with four kids and a Quarter Pounder With Cheese pressing on the lower intestine on I-20 in Atlanta as they waited for cars to merge on and off of the 285 bypass. You want rugged? Try it with an iPod that won’t transmit clearly to your car’s FM receiver.

But we made it, as you’ll read one day in the history books. We arrived as those early settlers did, though bearing a cranky 3-year-old instead of smallpox. We were greeted by the natives here with arms wide open, food, wine and a decent internet connection so I can keep in touch with all you turkeys on the Facebook.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I was lucky enough again this year to be able to write my column, Because I Said So, in The Commercial Appeal for today. It’s all about Thanksgiving and travel and Pilgrims, but I didn’t come up with the smallpox bit until after deadline, so I wanted to put it in here.

I hope you’ll read and I hope you have a wonderful holiday, from my family to yours.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


C has been studying Greek mythology at school.

C: Dionysus is the god of wine.
S: Of what?
C: Wine, as in 'mom and dad drink it.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meat and pudding

A couple of things ...

Last evening I was yelling at S in the dining room to stop doing ... whatever it was she was doing, or to start doing what she should have been or ... something, as I was heading out to the patio to grill dinner. When I went through the living room, still shouting back at S, with a gallon-size Zip-Loc bag full of pork chops and marinade, JP looked up and screamed, "Aahhhhh! He killed S!"

Later, and on another food note, S was asking for dessert (she was not, in fact, in that Zip-Loc bag) and, as is typical, her mother told her that she could have some if she could get whatever it was she wanted for herself. Some time after that, Kristy was in the kitchen to get the last of the banana pudding that Heather had made and brought over for the ravioli feast last Sunday.

The pudding was gone.

"Who ate the last of the banana pudding!" she shouted, to which S replied, sardonically, "You said I could have dessert if I could get it myself."

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween Treat

Zeus, a zombie cheerleader and a mad scientist walk into a bar ...