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Nobody Tells Me Anything



Oh, you hadn't heard? I'm not surprised -- I didn't know either. If you want to hear about it, this is the news. And don't be afraid to share a bit yourself; i encourage your comments. See how it all started, click here



Updated: 2014-10-04T23:11:09.889-04:00

 



Red sox dad makes his kid cry for liking the Yankees

2011-04-08T00:28:03.695-04:00

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/F2nkNogoBE4?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />
"But I don't like the Yankees!"  Poor kid.  But if the shoe was on the other foot, ...hmmm what would I say to my boy if he liked the Sox?  Probably about the same.



News from Southbury Moms

2009-05-30T07:14:02.068-04:00

My best friend of 32 years started a new blog in the same vein of "Nobody Tells Me Anything" where a few of us former Southbury residents will be able to post news that we hear from our best sources of info: our moms.
Are you from Southbury, and you've moved away and are missing out on all the juicy details? Or are you from a similar small town and have moved away, out of earshot from the local news? Stop by and have a gander. I'm sure you'll find it interesting, if not informative.



Still, Nobody Tells Me Anything

2009-05-27T15:37:16.249-04:00

I created this blog a few years ago to keep my family up on the happenings in my growing household. I had recently married, and we were having kids, and since my family were still living up in the North, it made sense.
But I didn't know what to call it.
Then I heard the news about my Grandmother kicking her second husband out, and *ding* there it was. The rest was history.
There have been other times that have come up since then giving me the opportunity to grouse about my lack of news from my Northern relatives. Usually it's about people getting married, having babies, or the health of my Grandmother. I deal with it pretty well, i think.

I just heard in an email from my friend that my Dad has cancer.

Okay, that's a little dramatic. He has a "melanoma" on his skin, his forehead I think, and he's seeking treatment for it this week.

Here's the email from my friend:
um, you did know this, right?

On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 9:26 AM,
Jeremy K <myfriend'semail @
gmail.com
>
wrote:
> Dude, sorry to hear about your dad. I hope everything goes well with
> the surgeon. Melanoma is serious business ... hope they get the sucker
> out before it gets too deep. We'll definitely keep him in our
> thoughts.
>
> Jeremy

When I first read it, i actually thought he was talking about his father. My heart dropped, my stomach lurched, i pictured myself on a flight to meet him in CT soon... all kinds of unhappy images. I sent him a quick reply back, asking for details and clarification.

I couldn't wait for a response and just called him on his cell phone, something I rarely do. Turns out he heard from his Mom that she saw my Dad over the weekend and he has a melanoma on his forehead and he's going to see a surgeon for it.

("Uh, Hello, Brain? Yes, this is Chest. Mm-hmm, it seems that we have lost contact with Head. Yep, the Jaw has gone slack and has dropped against our upper sternum area. No, no damage to report, but I can't contact Head to reel it back in. Right, totally unresponsive.")

My Dad? Holy crap. It crossed my mind that this was a joke of some kind, but that quickly got squashed because that's not really funny. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. Yeah, it's probably not as serious as he's making it out to be.

I walked out of my office and called my Mom on the phone. I can't explain why I didn't just call my Dad. In fact, I still haven't. I think I'm too nervous. So I get her on the phone and immediately launch into, "So what's this I hear about Dad and Cancer?" She says it's nothing big, no need to worry. He's going to see a surgeon on Friday to take care of it. "Okay. All right," I ask, "So, he just goes in and he snips off the bad part and he's all set?" "Well," she says, "It's a little more than that."

Aw jeez.



Angry about how things are turning out?

2009-05-27T15:01:26.776-04:00

Okay, okay, i know it's spam, but i got this in the mail the other day, and got a kick out of how angry it was. Take a read.To the youth ofAmerica, Thank you for turning out to vote in your first Presidential Election. Iam sure that many of you have never followed or been interested in politicsbefore and chose this occasion to be your first experience. You probablyvoted against your parents thinking that your youth made you more aware of thenew global environment than their years of experience inlife. Thank you for protecting the illegal combatants who are detained in GuantanamoBay. Ensuring their Constitutional Rights IS more important than yourright to live. Even though they waged a war against innocent unsuspectingcivilians in the United States, they themselves have been mistreated. Theinhumane torture that they were subjected to of being gently suspended on ablanket while having small amounts of water poured on their heads is far worsethan crashing planes in to buildings in urban highly populatedareas. Thank you for giving Congress a Democratic Majority. Now they are free topass legislation increasing the National Deficit by far more than it has everbeen after they campaigned on a balanced budget and reducing the deficit. Nancy Pelosi is now free from any charges of purgery from only being informedabout CIA interrogation practices rather than being briefed on them. Nowwe can move forward with prosecuting the former administration for keeping theCountry safe from Man Caused Destruction by means of the Over-seas ContingencyOperation. It is more important that Bush lied about the foreignintelligence that we received to get us involved for a war for oil than theDemocrats telling any partial untruths about Our military harassing andmurdering innocentcivilians. Thank you for helping keep our boarders open. For too long illegalimmigrants have tried to dangerously cross our boarders and exist in our countrywithout following the legal path to citizenship. Now all of those peoplecan live without fear of being sent back to their country of origin and receivegovernment assistance in the form of healthcare, childhood education, and foodstamps to which they do notcontribute. Thank you for helping to reduce Carbon Dioxide levels. We should not beresponsible for providing a resource to plants for their existence. Theearth has never regulated itself in the past from occurrences like volcanicexplosions until government came along to test the air quality. Maybe nowwe can find a way to tax the production of oxygen from the carbon offsetfarms. Thank you for expanding healthcare. Now non-citizens have expandedhealthcare coverage available to them at no cost. I suppose in this evershrinking job market you all have already found steady employment to pay for theservices that they are receiving. Businesses like hospitals should not bein the practice of making enough money to cover both their operating expensesand payroll when we have big government to decide who will receive healthcare,when, and to whatextent. Maybe now that all of the world's problems have been resolved we can focus oneducation. It is clear that in this country that we need reform. Wenot only need to be more competitive in the areas of math and science with therest of the world, but it is now clear that we need reform in American Historyclass aswell. It is apparent with sites such as http://www.moveon.org, http://www.codepink4peace.org, and http://www.communalprosperity.netthat radical liberalism has moved mainstream. Politicians such as JanetNapolitano have redefined radicals as people who believe in the Constitution andreligion. No longer are people in the radical movement confined to theoutskirts of society like they were in the 1960s. We now can be weary ofour veterans and people who want limited Federal Governmentintervention.Thank you for believing in Change,JasonSanbornFrom the soon to b[...]



Yankees going to trade with the Nats?

2009-01-11T20:59:07.078-05:00

MLB.com is reporting that the Nationals are in trade discussions with the Yankees in hopes of acquiring outfielder Xavier Nady and first baseman Nick Swisher.  Who would the Yanks get in return?  Let's take a look at the Yankee's needs:Well, obviously, if they ship both of their right fielders to the Nats, they need to fill that slot.They have Damon and Matsui for left field, and Melky for Center (plus newbie Brett Gardner, who could be a star).ARod and Tex at the corners, with Jeter and Cano up the middle.  Posada and Molina at Catcher. (Here is an obvious need -- look towards the future or upgrade this backup)Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, Joba and Hughes/Kennedy for the starting rotation.Rivera, Marte, Bruney and Albaladejo in the bullpen.  I would assume they would be looking to shore up the bullpen in response to Saito going to the Red Sox, or looking for depth at catcher, right field or Starting pitcher.And now a look at the Nationals' roster:In right field they have Dukes and Kearns.  Either would be decent, but I don't know I'd give up Swisher for either.As their backstop, they have Flores, Nieves and Montz.  Flores is a 2008 rookie who shows promise, hitting .256 with 8 home runs in 90 games.  I'm still looking bigger.  Josh Willingham is playing left field for the Nats -- I wonder if he would consider going back behind the plate?Tyler Clippard is in the Nationals bullpen -- could they be trying to get the Yankee Clippard back?  And the Nats have some interesting possibilities in their rotation, including Bergmann, Lannan and Olsen.  I have a feeling that this might be a package deal, but I don't see what the Nats want with more outfielders.  Adding Swisher and Nady just doesn't seem to be a great move for the Nats.  Thanks for reading. How about sharing the news with a friend? Send them this link: www.nobodytellsmeanything.blogspot.com They'll thank you for it![...]



Smoltz is a Red Sox pitcher now?? Aw crap.

2009-01-11T21:01:15.786-05:00

For crying out loud.


I'm obviously a Yankee fan. I've been a Yankee fan for as long as I have known about baseball. My little league team was named the Yankees, I worshipped Don Mattingly, and I collected all the baseball cards I could. I read every box score in every newspaper I could for summer after summer when I was younger.


(image) I've been a Braves fan, somewhat reluctantly, since I've moved to the Deep South. I justify it by pointing out that while the Braves are a National league team, my allegiance to the American League's New York franchise is not sullied at all. Besides, I always root for the AL during the All Star Game.


So, for eight years I have been rooting for John Smoltz. I have a John Smoltz figure in my office and another in Little Bubba's bedroom. I've programmed my son to respond "John Smoltz" to the question, "Who was the first president of the United States?" (it wasn't intentional, and it's a story for another day). I enjoyed him as a starting pitcher and i thought he was lights out as a closer. I was at his record breaking 15-strikeouts-in-a-game on April 10, 2005, versus the New York Mets.

And now he will be a starting pitcher for the Red Sox. Sorry John, but i'm rooting against you now.



Yes, Yes, I'm moving! Sorta.

2009-01-08T22:52:14.675-05:00

I may have mentioned on my Facebook page that I am packing up my house. I didn't explain it anymore than that. Perhaps I should have.

Here are some of the comments:
  • "Where you moving to? Come join me out in San Francisco!"
  • "?"
  • "Yea, where are Ack Estates going to be located?"
  • "Denver is ready for you."
  • "Hey ramblin boy why don't you settle down. Denver ain't your kind of town."
  • "Talked to your wife! Soooo glad you guys aren't moving to Denver. I was worried!"
  • "Jennifer, can you fill me in on the status of Chateau Ack? Or anybody?!?!?!"
  • "Yes, the goateed one has been very quiet the last few days on this"
  • "I think Matt wants to leave you all in suspense. I won't take away his fun!"
  • "Matt -- just talked to your wife -- good luck in your move to Kiev, Ukraine! What a bold an exciting move. I hear it's nice this time of year!"
  • "We're moving?" (that one was my wife)
  • "Where does one get a box big enough to pack a house into?"

Okay, so here's the news. We are clearing out the house in hopes that we can get it in a sellable condition. We are also going to be spending a lot of time with my Mother-In-Law as she recovers from her knee surgery. I'm hoping that we can sell the house quickly, camp at the MIL's house for a while (she has an expansive basement, almost an entire ranch house), and save up a whopper of a down payment.

We haven't started looking for a house. We haven't moved anywhere. We aren't going anywhere yet. Yet. And I'll try not to ask you to help move my stuff when that day comes.




The DeAnna Twist

2009-01-06T23:33:35.034-05:00

No, it's not a new dance.
It's all about the teaser trailer at the end of the first episode of the 2009 season of The Bachelor.  It looks like our leading male, Jason Mesnick, has some tough choices to make.  Among them could be whether or not to take former Bachelorette star DeAnna Pappas back!  

Well, at least that is what they lead us to believe.  It looks that Jason has some
(image)
 stressful decisions coming up, and that the girls don't make it easy on him.  While I think that it would make for some interesting TV to bring her back, especially if she had ditched Jesse Csincsak in order to get Jason back.  We can only hope -- what drama!

DeAnna mentions that her relationship is over with Jesse on her myspace page, but there is no update as of this writing on her blog.

My wife has also written up her prediction list for this year.  She has chosen a few of the girls who she thinks will make it into the later rounds.  Among them are Melissa, Molly and Raquel.  Who are your favorites?






Reality TV hasn't changed much

2009-01-06T22:46:48.040-05:00

I am not a huge fan of Reality TV in general.  Recently I enjoyed Wipeout, until it went off the air. My son loved it too, especially the punching wall.  This week I have started watching two new reality programs, and I've noticed some shocking similarities.   Basically, there isn't much different between The Bachelor and Rock of Love Bus.

Let's go over the similarities --
  1. Both shows try to find the leading male character a love interest from a large pool of women.
  2. The women generally "compete" for the attention of the leading male.
  3. There is an elimination ceremony where the leading male chooses who he wants to keep around, and who he wants to let go.
  4. There are lots of scenes where the women are in candid scenarios, talking with each other, plotting against each other.  You really get to learn about the girls this way.
  5. There are times where the leading male gives commentary about what was happening in the particular episode.
  6. The season culminates in a final episode where the leading male chooses his leading lady.
Here are some of the similarities that you probably didn't realize -- 
  1. There are heaps of unusually good-looking women with a few duds sprinkled into each group.  
  2. They all like to wear some form of cleavage-revealing attire, albeit they come off more often in the presence of Bret Michaels.
  3. The women can be catty, in ways that make reality TV worth watching, but can't be anywhere near real.
  4. There is always one "spiritual" or "cosmic" girl in the running.  She is usually getting jokes made about her by the other girls.
  5. There is at least one crazy girl, a girl who doesn't quite have a grip on how things are going, what she wants to be someday, where she is right now...
  6. Most girls refer to "fate" or "destiny", and how they are "ready to fall in love".  
  7. Many of the girls have an inordinate amount of "backstory" on the leading male, which makes them think that they have a lot of similar qualities to the leading male.  This also gives them the opinion that they have some advantage over the other girls.
  8. There is usually some drinking episodes and at least one girl needs to excuse herself to release some of that extra booze they consumed into a nearby toilet.  Ok, maybe not so much in The Bachelor.  At least they don't show it.
I'm sure there are other similarities.  I just watch 'em because they have the funniest drama.  Cat fights rock!



The best of You Tube, with Caitlin Upton!

2009-01-04T13:29:38.557-05:00

Miss Teen USA 2007 contestant, Caitlin Upton, representing South Carolina had an interesting response to her question. I'm sure you have already seen this, but in case you haven't, it's a hoot.

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Here is the link to the transcript -- it helps to have this available to understand what she said.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caitlin_Upton
I thought she tried to sneak an "Osama" in there, but it's just a "some" with flair.



Pre-Season Rankings

2009-01-11T21:01:46.551-05:00

By the way, I'm always looking for reliable pre-season fantasy baseball rankings. If you have a good source, let me know. I'd even settle for decent 2008 end-of-season rankings with a list of the probable rookies for 2009.



It's almost baseball time again!

2009-01-04T11:19:29.898-05:00

Ok, so it's just January.  Opening Day hasn't come.  Spring Training hasn't started.  Pitchers and Catchers haven't even reported.None of that matters.  Baseball is in the air.Christmas came early last month for my New York Yankees when they acquired Mark Teixeria to replace Jason Giambi at first base.  They had already scored the pitching services of CC. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, adding to an already stacked pitching staff.  They may still acquire Andy Pettitte for another year.  Of course the cherry on top would be nailing down Manny Ramirez as well, but it's unlikely that the Yankees will continue to spend at this current rate.The Yankees are heading to Atlanta for the first time in over six years this summer, and I am anxiously anticipating my opportunity to purchase tickets to each game of the series.  Yes, that's right, I'LL GO TO EVERY GAME IF I CAN.  If you are within the sound of my blog, and you have tickets, invite me.  I'll go.  Unless someone already invited me.  Which isn't likely, so invite me anyway no matter what you think.The problem with getting Yankees-Braves tickets, is that you can't.  You can't just buy them.  Oh no no no no... you have to register to win the chance to buy them.  Or I can get season tickets and purchase them at my leisure, but I don't have the money to spend on season tickets nor the wife who would let me go to 20+ games in a season.  (She let me do that one summer, and that was enough for her)I enjoyed my Braves season tickets while I had them, but it really is hard to get to the stadium that often.  And it's expensive!  Jeez, a dog and a Coke will crack you over the head for 10 bucks at least, and I'm not usually drinkin' Coke!  I like to get to Turner Field as often as possible, but it still only works out to about 4-5 times a year.I added a few stadiums to my list last summer: Camden Yard, Angel Stadium in Anaheim, and the park where the Myrtle Beach Pelicans play (BB&T Coastal Field).  I'm hoping to add a few this year, but we'll see where I can get to.  I'll be in Boston in May, but the Sox will be playing away games.  Maybe I can visit my buddy Jeremy in St. Louis for the All Star game!I always know when it is about time to start thinking about baseball when my email box fills up with league invites and roster notifications.  The one league i plan on focusing on is actually Jeremy's Friend and Family league.  It is fairly high competition, and good to keep my baseball senses sharp.  Jer's dad, Walt, emailed me my end of season roster from 2008.  I get to pick six keepers from the following list to start off 2009:Chone FigginsKosuke FukudomeVladmir GuerreroBrad HawpeRyan HowardEvan LongoriaRyan LudwickDioner NavarroJose ReyesWilly TaverasJoa ChamberlainRyan DempsterBrian FuentesTrevor HoffmanJair JurrjensGil MecheMike MussinaRoy OswaltJoakim SoriaIt's a great list, but a tough one to pick only six keepers from.  I can eliminate Mussina (retired) off the bat, and I don't keep closers as a rule so you can eliminate Soria, Hoffman and Fuentes.  Fuentes is so good, though, I might reconsider that.  Others like Navarro, Ludwick, Taveras, Meche... they don't even get a second glance.  But I have a bunch who are rock solid.  Maybe I can work out a trade.More to come... thank goodness for baseball.Thanks for reading. How about sharing the news with a friend? Send them this link: www.nobodytellsmeanything.blogspot.com They'll thank you for it![...]



Lars and the Real Girl

2009-01-03T23:44:02.360-05:00

It was my Wonderful Wife's turn to pick out the movie.  She decided on "Lars and the Real Girl."  I can't explain exactly why, except that she was trying to pick out something lighter and funnier than our last pick, "Burn After Reading."  And I was waiting in the car with my daughter, so she claims she felt rushed into making a quick choice.

I was a little surprised when she climbed into the car with this one.  I thought, wow, my wife picked out a movie where one of the lead actors (and characters) is a sex doll.  I kept it out of sight from my daughter.

One hundred and five minutes after the movie began, and the credits rolled, my Wonderful Wife turned to me and said, "That was a lot more dull than I expected."
"Oh, no," I said.  "I knew it was going to be that dull."
"No," she replied, "I said doll."

Yep, it was a lot more doll than I expected too. 

Spoiler alert.  Quit reading now if you were planning on watching this movie with wonder and awe.

Okay, it was kinda cute and heartwarming at the end.  The way the town accepts the doll as a part of the community is awkward and funny and amazing -- right up to how she was "elected to the school board."  Very creative.  It doesn't make up for how strange the entire idea is, and how awkwardly uncomfortable it feels.  Beyond that, I can't quite imagine a town small enough and so closely knit that they would all agree to go along with this one single person's delusion.

I have a difficult time recommending this movie to anyone for a few reasons.  Mainly, it takes a lot of guts to look into your loved ones eyes and say, "I want to watch a movie about a sex doll" without laughing.  And frankly I don't recommend ever doing that.  My wife didn't, she just rented it without asking.  
Additionally, it also takes a huge leap of faith to allow yourself to commit the time to watch this movie about this mentally ill person's delusion when you thought that this movie was going to be funny.  
The acting in it was very good -- I have high praise for Ryan Gosling, who was able to sell the delusion well enough that you can easily see and understand how he affects everyone around him.  The actress, unnamed, who plays his girlfriend Bianca, was also good, although she didn't have a speaking part.

I really don't know what else to say about this movie.  I liked it well enough not to trash it, but I'm not happy about it.  

It's my turn to pick out the next movie.



Burn After Reading, a Coen Brothers film

2009-01-01T22:55:51.650-05:00

My Wonderful Wife and I rented a move in lieu of any hardcore partying so that we could keep our sick kid home with us and keep an eye on her.  I rented Burn After Reading, mostly on my hopes that this would be another stellar Coen Brothers film.  

The first Coen Brothers film I ever saw, Raising Arizona, is one of my wife's favorite movies.  Back when I saw it, I didn't quite get it.  There were some funny parts, but overall it just didn't hit me right. But my wife loves it, so I figure that I can't go wrong with that.  She and I also saw O Brother, Where Art Thou together shortly after we started dating, and saw Intolerable Cruelty together a few years later.  We really liked both, so I figured that in the small world of movies that we can both watch and enjoy, I have a good chance to hit with this one.

My friend, Howie, asked me what I thought of the movie.  I couldn't tell him I loved it.  I did tell him that I liked it a lot, but not for any obvious reason.  

Frankly, I thought that the movie was genius.  It was supposed to be a comedy, I had thought.  It was such a dark, black comedy, that there wasn't a lot of actual comedy there.  In fact, in the way a classic Greek comedy would end, with a marriage or a generally happy ending, this movie missed entirely.  Ironically, as far as Greek comedies and marriage goes, this movie ends with at least two divorces and a few other broken relationships.

There were fantastic characters in this film.  There was no single "main" character, and throughout the film you aren't entirely sure which character's story you should be following more closely.  What struck me as especially strange, was that none of the characters were at all likable.  Even the ones that were well intentioned in some way, had some sort of flaw that made them unappealing.  I watched the entire film not really rooting for any one character to succeed over any other.  

And when it was over, it was over.  Credits rolled, and music played.  But I didn't have that "the story is over" feeling at all until i talked about it for a few minutes with the WW afterwards.  In fact, I think we half-laughed at some memorable movie quotes while the credits rolled just to make it feel like it was funnier than it actually was.  

I think i would recommend it to others, but not to anyone who does not have the time or the patience for an unusual, indirect sort of comedy such as this.  It was overall an entertaining movie with great acting and characters, but it left me feeling a little empty at the end.



Which reminds me... funny YouTube videos

2009-01-01T22:28:55.531-05:00

I found a funny YouTube video capturing a newly hired sportcaster mangling his newscast and I shared it with my family.  My sisters thought it was a hoot, my Wonderful Wife questioned my sense of humor (again, ha!), but the best part is that my kids walk around the house quoting the tagline, "Boom goes the dynamite".  It is all worth it.


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Which reminds me, I have posted a few of our own videos on YouTube. Some I've shared on the blog before, but you can find them all here: http://www.youtube.com/ilovetheschwartz



I love Microsoft Parodies

2009-01-01T22:15:30.904-05:00

I love any parody of Microsoft.  I can't help it, but the mega-giant of computer software deserves a few jabs now and then.  I relish every one.  Maybe it's because I have been a slave to Microsoft products at the job I have been working for the past 9 years.  Maybe it's because I felt alienated by Windows 95 when I first saw it, almost the same way I feel out-of-sorts when I look at Vista.  (I'm a Mac kid anyway).  

I recently found a website that cracks me up, not because of how directly funny it is, but because of how it speaks to ME.  Sarcastic Gamer has a way of making me laugh, mostly by its video parody of recent Microsoft products.  They are very smart, while being very silly.

Check out my recent favorite.

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Other websites I'm working on

2009-01-01T21:16:15.999-05:00

I am certainly no web guru.  I can barely hold my own, but I know enough to make a few basic things happen.  
I am working on a few different sites, and you are welcome to see the ones that are up and running.
www.cobbsingers.com is a website designed for a local community chorus that I helped establish.  The site is currently in its V2.0 state, and is a real basic website I created with the help of my macbook.
Another site I am working on is www.sandieschwartz.blogspot.com -- a site for my Mother-In-Law that will have some updates soon.  
Lastly, I am helping a friend launch his brand of barbecue sauce, an excellent condiment named Natty Patty's Bar-B-Q sauce.  As soon as this launches, I'll let you know.  I'm pretty stoked about this one because it will include a paypal order form for his sauce -- it's the first time I've done anything like that.  




Small tweaks and changes

2009-01-01T17:55:56.313-05:00

I realize that it doesn't substitute for a new post, but I have been adding and editing some of the elements in this blog.  Hopefully I will quit tweaking it soon and get back to the writing.
 
I have found some old stories and college newspaper articles that I wrote a long time ago.  I am going to get them up here some how soon.  I'm not sure how great they are, but it is an interesting look at how I was writing with a blog-voice over 15 years ago.

Happy New Year, by the way.  Got an interesting resolutions?



The curse lives on.

2008-12-31T22:13:05.417-05:00

At five o'clock tonight, my Wonderful Wife noticed that my daughter's fever was not going away with Tylenol.  We had figured that it was just a plain old ear infection, just like she always gets, so running her to the walk-in clinic for a prescription will be the best thing to do.

Three hours, one copay, and a Strep test later, we find out there is no ear infection, but rather a case of Strep.  Awesome.  She can no longer be sent off to Grandma's for the night, and that ends the plans.

I've convinced my WW that this is not a stretch of bad luck, but rather a curse.  We will have to see what happens next year.

Now, if I can stop being Mr. Matthew Moperson, and quit being such a mope, my wonderful wife might be able to tolerate me better.  The kid is finally in bed, I've rented a movie to watch (Burn After Reading), and at least I have the love and company of a beautiful woman.

I'll be fine tomorrow.



Sandie's new website!

2008-12-31T00:23:16.483-05:00

I just launched a new blog for my MIL.  She is about to have double knee surgery, and her recovery will be a long tough road. 

She'll need your prayers to make it through her surgeries -- drop in and leave her a positive message.  She will really appreciate it, and so will I.



Kids + New Years = No More Partying

2008-12-30T22:31:28.075-05:00

We had a good run, didn't we?There were so many awesome New Years parties, weren't there?  Yep, there sure were.  But we are in a lean time here... the recent New Years have not been up to par with the parties of the past.  And I'm not sure how this year will go yet.  Let me count 'em down for you, as best as I can remember.  As long as ten years ago, the parties were awesome. Celebrating the coming of 1999 and 2000, I spent New Years at my friend, Mike Walsh's, family restaurant -- Duffy's Tavern in West Haven, Connecticut.  The night began with a full dinner and the party would go from zero to sixty quickly from there, with full restaurant sing-a-longs and a full open bar.  Nice and full.  The restaurant was closed to the public those nights, so we had the place to ourselves, just me, Mike, his wife, and his fifty closest friends.  Good times.In celebration of 2001, I returned to Duffy's Tavern, but this time with my future Wonderful Wife.  I had flown her into town just in time for the party, and just in time to ride shotgun with me and everything I owned on the way to my new residence in the Deep South.  I remember exactly what she wore that night: a black catsuit that would slap the eyes out of your head.  I was stunned by her beauty, and I'll never forget how she looked that night no matter how hard the drinking throughout the rest of the night tried to erase it.With the coming of 2002, I celebrated with my Future Wonderful Wife and her entire dance team in New Orleans.  She had gotten a gig to dance for a corporate party and we were all flown in for the show.  I made friends with a bunch of people I would never see again, but still had a great trip, and an interesting New Years.To ring in 2003, my FWW and I, along with roommates Howie and Darryl, threw the party to establish all other parties.  Holy moly.  I think we crammed 50 people into our apartment and I spent the night playing bartender to a thirsty crowd.  People still talk about the Chocolate Martinis that were shaken that night.  The following year, we met good friends of ours at a local watering hole, only to find out at 10:30 PM that they were closing at 11:00 PM  (were they serious?).  So we invited those few people over to our new house to watch Dick Clark count down to 2004.  Disaster averted.In honor of 2005, a friend of ours hosted a party of their closest friends where I attempted to reprise my role as bartender.  It was a lot of fun, however I learned the hard way that the bartender should not taste everyone's drink to "make sure it tastes okay."  My WW and I decided that it would be best to ring in the new year 2006 at home with our 29 day old child.  And so it was that we napped until 11:30 PM, and woke up in time to feed the kid and watch the ball drop.We decided to try to recreate some of the party magic that happened back in 2003 to bring in 2007.  After a run to the walk-in clinic to diagnose our kid's ear and sinus infections, we dropped the kids off at the In-Laws and got the party started.  It was a lot of fun, but nowhere near the hootenanny that happened a few years earlier.  The party was somewhat dampened by the downpour that was happening outside, but the atmosphere was warm inside and our friend all had a great time.On the eve of 2008, we brought our kids back to the walk-in clinic for what seemed to be our annual New Years Eve ritual visit and diagnosis.  This time, however, they were too sick to leave with the In-Laws.  We dropped them off long enough for WW and I[...]



There's something in there...

2008-12-30T22:30:08.855-05:00

There is something in our dehumidifier, and i'm too chicken to see what it is.

My Wonderful Wife noticed a strange clicking/scratching noise coming from the dehumidifier.  The water catch basin is connected by a hose to a pipe leading outside of the house.  I'm not sure if there is any kind of screen on the end of the pipe, which would prevent entry into the pipe and hose.

Anyway, the noise showed up today, and she wanted me to see what I thought.  I listened, didn't hear anything, and dismissed it.  When she came down to listen again, there it was, just as she expected it.

Great.  Now I can hear it.  
I have chill bumps all over my body thinking about what could possibly be hiding in my dehumidifier.  
I'm wearing a t-shirt and shorts with no shoes or socks.  When I finally get up the nerve to open up the catch basin I'll have to outfit myself with long pants and boots, just in case.  I'll probably also need my dead-blow mallet, too, to provide some good melee action.  Maybe I'll also need a shovel to scoop up the dead carcass (*shiver) or to use in a defensive tennis move to ward off any jumping attackers.

I seriously need to quit the horror movies.
Actually, I haven't watched any in a while...
I seriously need to stop reading Stephen King books.



Seven Pounds

2008-12-29T21:50:24.988-05:00

I have been wondering what is up with the new Will Smith movie, Seven Pounds, since I saw the first trailer.  
Which Will Smith will we get in this movie?  The happy fun times one from Hitch?  How about the ass-kicker from Independence Day or Bad Boys?  Or is it the serious, heart-string-puller from Pursuit of Happyness?  I don't know.  Kinda looks sadder than that.  This Will Smith looks almost morose, saddened by his very existence.  What's up with that?  I don't really favor this kind of Will Smith.

And what does the Seven Pounds refer to?  I immediately thought of the Shakespearean comedy, The Merchant of Venice, and the pound of flesh that Shylock demands from Antonio.  Or perhaps the pound of flesh John Doe demanded from one of his victims in the movie Se7en?
A web search produces a whole bunch of people wondering the same thing.  What the heck is up with this movie.  Not many answers.  
Some think it might be a baby, some think it refers to the weight of the average human baby.  Neither of those are correct, by the way.  One magazine speculates that the movie is an elaborate way for Will Smith's character to atone for the deaths he caused in a drunk driving accident.
Hmmm.  Happy times.

Any way you slice it, it is interesting, and i am intrigued. 



Fun search results

2008-12-30T00:11:33.562-05:00

I love it when the oddest search results end up leading people to my blog.  Here are some of the latest:
"dibble dibble dop"
"gooped on gop"
"zombie eats children"
"madface jesus"
"special words for a wonderful daughter" (aw, ain't that sweet)
"want free music of irish wedding song may god bless this cople"  (yes, with the misspelling)
"Dipa Balakrishnan" and "Deepa Balakrishnan"  (huh?)
and there are a tragic number of death related ones that lead to my article about Pete Kamide.  I don't think that this is my version of Stephen King's "Rage" (which he later took out of print because of all the shootings he thought it contributed to).  But i think it is a little disturbing.
"died pomperaug high school"
"i with my gym teacher died"
"pete kamide teacher"
I am surprised at how many hits I get from people interested in Pete.



The Bedtime Story

2008-12-29T22:22:37.890-05:00

Bedtimes ain't easy.We have our rituals: bath time, naked time (this will be covered in a future post), pajama time, brush teeth and cup o'water time, and reading time. But the whole going-to-sleep-as-soon-as-possible-so-my-parents-don't-explode time ritual isn't quite worked out. For the past few months, in order to get the kids to sleep we would have to lay down with them in their big beds, and wait patiently for them to fall asleep or for them to dismiss us to our parental chores. The latter was rare.I discovered a minor miracle -- telling a new and completely made up story to each kid in their dark room fills their minds and encourages them to nod off much easily than in the past. The bonus is that we don't have to lay down with them, and are free to do more fun stuff (like do the dishes, or put away the chaos of toys in the living room) much earlier.My first story is called "The Magic Book". I made it up from scratch one night on a whim, and i have told it to them on most nights since then It starts out the same, has some similar elements in each telling, and ends in the same predictable way that lets them know it's time to sleep. Here's how it goes:"The Magic Book", by Matthew Ackerman(variations to be published later..., all copyrights are implied and enforced!)There once was a small boy who, when he got home from school one day, he decided to visit his Grandpa. So he got on his bike and went on his way.He rode, and he rode and he rode.He rode, and he rode, and he rode some more.He rode past the General Store.He rode past the Supermarket.He rode past the Library.He rode past the Town Hall.Eventually, he got to his Grandpa's house.He rode his bike up the driveway, pitched it into the front yard, ran up the front steps and knocked on the front door.*knock*knock*knock*"WHO IS IT?" boomed his Grandpa."It's me, Grandpa," said the boy."Oh, well now, come on in, son" said his Grandpa. "Come right on in. Can I get you a cold glass of Iced Tea?""Yeah, Grandpa. That would be great.""Well, then why don't you make yourself at home while I fix it for you." And off he went to the kitchen.The boy headed to the sitting room, the big room with Grandpa's big chair. He walked over to the chair, the cushy chair with the straight back and the funny smell. That funny smell of Grandpa's. He looked up at all the books on all the bookshelves on the walls. There were so many books he couldn't even count them all.There were brown ones.There were blue ones.There were red ones and green ones.There were even a few black ones.But there was one in particular that caught the boy's eye, a brown one just a little darker than the others on the bottom shelf. The boy walked over to look at it. He tried to pull it off the shelf but it was stuck. With two hands he gently tugged at the book and with a cloud of dust that tickled his nose, it came free.The book was heavier than it looked. He lugged it over to his Grandpa's chair, sat up in it, pulled the book onto his outstretched legs and opened the book to the first page."The Magic Book," read the first page. Hmmph, thought the boy, this book doesn't seem so magical. I wonder what makes it so special. And he turned the page.There were no words on this page. Just a picture.It was a picture of a wide open field.The field was marked by a stone wall on each side, and there were rows of trees on the edges of the field. The tall grass was gr[...]