Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fun with Kids; Fun with Food

I love my kids!

I love the way they leave food out on the counter, like milk, butter, raw liver, jars of pig’s blood, so that it will turn rancid and attract hordes of insects, many of which have never before been described by science.

I love the way they leave plates of half-eaten food, grease, ketchup and other former food items in their bedrooms. I am confident that one day a cure for cancer will be found in the mold and fungus that grows beneath their beds. Also, I love the way when they leave a half-drunk glass of milk on their nightstand until it turns into a solid. It’s sort of like delicious flan, but with a kick!

I also love the way they smear food--peanut butter, jelly, butter, syrup--onto the outside of every food container in the house. What a wonderful tactile experience to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and to come away so covered in goo that it feels as if I have velcro hands. And there was that one time when the substance on the outside of the jelly jar was a strange orange-brown--definitely not jelly. It was so gross I could barely stand to lick it off my fingers.

Did I mention that I love they way they leave their spills out for someone else to step in, slip on and then clean up? There was that one time that I stubbed my toe on a rock hard three-day-old pile of macaroni and cheese dropped beneath the counter.

If I had known what great fun kids were, I would have had none!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've Got a Question for You

Which is more important to a great baseball team, pitching and defense, or offense?

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Did Hope Just Rear Its Ugly Head?

Mrs. Lefty started a new job yesterday.

It has been more than 3 months since she quit her old job, and we have been running on fumes. I’m not sure how we made it, but we did. (Okay, yes, I do know how we survived, and that big stack of overdue bills will back me up on that one.) And while having another paycheck coming in will bring some relief, it won’t solve Mrs. Lefty’s serious money problems, nor will it solve my codependent behavior with respect to her massive spending.

Thank God for therapy. And beer.

On a brighter note, I did ask Mrs. Lefty to go with me to a Debtors Anonymous meeting. I think she was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of people and their non-judgmental attitudes. She felt many of the stories there echoed her own feelings and fears, and we will be returning next week.

I’m also pleased at the way I handled Mrs. Lefty’s jobless period. Not once did I get angry or frustrated or suicidal or homicidal or bitter or resentful over the fact that while I went to work every day and stressed out over money she stayed home and took long naps, watched her soap operas, read dozens of books and talked on the phone. Not once.

Did I also say that I’m a pathological liar?

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

No, I'm the One Who Is Magic

Somebody--and we won’t say who--is a little hyper over the fact that a new Harry Potter movie is coming out soon. I’ve read one chapter of one book (bored me silly) and have seen the movies (not bad), but I just don’t understand the allure.

But now, Harry Potter is getting older and graduating soon, right? That means there must be a new Harry Potter, a new character to take his place. I suggest me. I could be Lefty Copperbottom, running around performing magic and saving my sidekick friends, the klutzy Tommy Armpits and the beautiful Angelina Jolie-Muggle.

Reasons why Lefty Copperbottom should hit the big screen:

  • My Tapatio hat and yellow blazer would drive women crazy.
  • I am fluent in that snake language.
  • I like jelly beans (except the vomit flavored kind).
  • I have an oh-so-sexy American accent.
  • I know how to do things with paperclips.
  • I could use the money.

If you all begin a letter-writing campaign to Warner Brothers, together we can convince them to make Lefty Copperbottom and the Order of the Curmudgeon.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Truly Random World of Lefty

Mel gave me some work to do. I am to report 7 random facts about myself. In order to accomplish this, I have created a Random Facts Wheel. I have divided my life into 8 distinct time periods as follows:

The Infancy Narrative
The Challenges of Toddlerhood
Tales of an Elementary School Pariah
I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Remembering College, Forgetting to Study
The Mail Order Groom
I’m Too Handsome to Be a Father!
The Present Troubles

Each period also has a subwheel that is divided into months. Every single month of my life is represented on the 8 subwheels, including the partial months of my birth and May 2007. Each month, of course, also has its own subwheel. On the monthly wheels are listed every single event of my life and every single fact about Lefty.

I chose the facts by spinning the wheels until I had gathered 7 bits of information. These are truly random facts, my dear readers. They are presented in chronological order.

  1. When my parents brought me home from the hospital, they did not put me into a car seat. In fact, no one in the car was even wearing a seat belt. Instead, while dad drove, my mother held me out the window while I peed so that I wouldn’t soil the cloth diaper.
  2. While I was in “daycare” (code for a lady without a proper license but who watched several young kids in her home while their mothers worked), one of the younger kids came up to me, lifted up my shirt and bit me on the belly.
  3. One summer, during a full moon, Mrs. Welco went missing. The authorities never found her. In truth, I clamped my jaws down on her throat while she was watching Happy Days before I dragged her into a field and devoured her entrails.
  4. The first time I ever got drunk--really smashed--was in college. I became so sick that I didn’t touch alcohol again for years.
  5. My future first wife picked my face out of a catalog and sent me a letter promising me a plane ticket to the United States and the fast track to citizenship if I would marry her.
  6. Since I have been married, my wedding ring has been off my finger for a grand total of about 90 seconds. (Sometimes to clean it or because my daughter occasionally asks to look at it.)
  7. I don't usually bother to heat up leftovers from the refrigerator.

I am supposed to follow the rules by tagging 7 others. Instead, in true curmudgeonly fashion, I refuse.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Meet the Queen of Lefties

Over the weekend I met a 103-year-old woman. I sat with her at an event while her son went to bring the car around for her wheelchair. Despite her physical weakness, she is mentally sharp and can talk up a storm.

While we waited for her son, she said, “I’m always left waiting. I should be called ‘Lefty.’” That gave me a chuckle, of course. It turns out that she is also left-handed. She was born in England, and when she was 3 (1907!), she attended school for the first time. The teacher would tie Old Lady Lefty’s left hand behind her back so she was forced to use her right hand. Old Lady Lefty (OLL) said she made such a fuss about it that the teacher finally gave up.

Later, the family moved to the United States. The only way for OLL to attend high school was on scholarship. Some organization gave her $8 per week to go to high school.

Now, she’s stuck in her wheelchair waiting for other people to take her places. I wonder what life would be like for me at 103.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Do-it-yourself with Lefty

Literally thousands of readers are clamoring to know how I fixed my poor old pair of pants using only a paper clip and good old fashioned ingenuity. As promised, I have prepared a series of diagrams to explain how I accomplished this great feat. Keep these handy in case you, too, need an emergency fix.
And again, thanks to the Goddess of Pants. RIP Old Greeny Pants!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

So I’d been seeing a lot of those funny Mother’s Day jokes about giving Mom a day of rest and relaxation, feet up watching television, catered to, etc...just like being Dad for a day. Wow, that’s a funny one.

This year, I decided Mrs. Lefty should really be Dad for a Day! Yesterday, Mrs. Lefty mowed the lawn, changed the oil in the cars, cleaned the garage, painted the back fence, hauled a bunch of junk to the dump and went to the office for 8 hours. But when she came home, she got to drink beer.

Yeah, I know I'm going to hell. But I've been there already, and it's not that bad.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Goes Down Must Come Up

A few nights before my business trip, I was restless and uncomfortable. I couldn’t sleep. I chalked it up to the five cups of coffee I had that evening. About 1:00am, I got up to watch television.

During a DVRed episode of The Daily Show, I started to feel nausea. Before I knew it, the nausea was at full tilt. I’ll spare you the specific details, but for the next three and a half hours, in 45 minute cycles, I was running between the bathroom and the couch. I had never before been this violently ill, and there seemed to be no end in sight.

I asked my wife to take me to the emergency room.

The only times I have been to the emergency room previously were to have the doctors sew up various open wounds on my body, mostly on my face. I’ve had more thread in my body than a Central American sweatshop.

This time, though, I was sick. I was extremely grateful for the anti-nausea meds, which allowed me to sleep. Mrs. Lefty sat in the corner of the room, patiently reading a book. As I was starting to fade out, I thought about wonderful tricks I could play on the ER staff.

I could pretend to be delusional, asking my nurse why there were hundreds of spiders crawling out of the cupboards, or who was that man in the orange jumpsuit and carrying a roadside flare who kept coming in and messing with my IV? Or, maybe I could feign a sharp pain in my abdomen that kept moving around each time the doctor thought he had located it.

But no, I behaved. I didn’t want to be responsible for the death of some car accident victim just because I was playing a prank on the doctor.

Maybe, though, I’ll try it out on my family doctor after I have to sit two hours in the waiting room.

As for the illness, the doctor speculated it was only a severe flu and not food poisoning. It took me a few days to get back to normal, but fortunately I was well enough to drink myself silly on my business trip.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Gray Days of May

The saga of my hair continues. After my last haircut disaster, I chose a different barber. He was a chatty, conventional fellow, so I figured it would be a good match.

We discussed my particular haircut needs, and when the question of length came up, I tried to describe what I wanted. He was a little unsure of what I meant, so he said, “I’ll cut it to a medium length, and if you want more, I can cut more.” Apparently, what he meant by “medium length” was “so short everybody can see the lice crawling around on your scalp.”

Mrs. Lefty, who always thinks my hair gets cut too short anyway, was furious. “You’re never going to him again,” she said.

Then, as we were riding in the car this week, my wife snorted at me with glee, “You’ve got gray!” Ack! It is true. I have never before noticed gray on my head, but there they were, accentuated by my new haircut, two wiry, gray hairs.

I guess this is it. My life is rapidly coming to an end. You can all begin to prepare your remarks for my memorial service. I’m sure your tributes would bring tears to my eyes if I were still alive.

Also, coming up this week...
  • The long awaited paperclip-buttonless pants diagram.
  • My trip to the emergency room just before I went out of town on business.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Still Away...

I'm still traveling, but am done for the day. Time to go to the bar, have a beer and watch some basketball.

It's a rough life, I know.

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