Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is it over yet?

It never amazes me - Americans can take a perfectly average person and elevate him or her to God-like status when so many truly amazing people are out there doing wondrous things every day. Why aren't these people on every news channel, being interviewed by Oprah, getting book deals?

I've just got one thing to say...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

JAM + Piano = this guy

Have you ever heard of TED? No, TED isn't a guy, it a conference where very smart people get together and talk about changing the world and spend time inspiring one another. It's uber expensive, ultra exclusive (you need to write essays on your application - they want a cross section of people, not all monochromatic like usual conferences) and brings together a truly amazing cast of speakers to stimulate your senses. I can't help but think that this type of environment might kick me in the right direction - get me interested in taking a leap of faith and get me to follow through on one of my brilliant ideas that I'm always too chicken to do anything with because of a whole host of factors - money, insurance, mortgage payments, you know, the little stuff...

Someday I hope to go but in the meantime I'm pacified in that many of their talks are available online - here's the 2009 conference website. It seems that most of the vids they put out are posted through their blog.

In looking at the site today I came across this performance. If you've got a few minutes, and want to see something that I think is pretty unique -

Yeah, this is definitely what JAM would do if we ever got him 20 years of piano lessons.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I've changed my mind

Forget back to school time, November is definitely the most wonderful time of the year!


That's right, college basketball season is back baby!!!!

Happy days, happy days.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy day to the Pudge

My smallest man turns two today. And as Wifey has learned to her dismay all the family pics are stuck on our hard drive which happens to be sitting in my office at work so I can't even post the obligatory baby pic of the Pudgey goodness. I suck at life, my apologies.

In typical parent-of-the-year fashion we're not doing a whole heck of a lot today. After Wifey's blowout last weekend we're just about tapped out - in every sense of the word. Does every kid need a huge party each year? Where do you think we're from, Westchester? We started the day off with a fun filled present opening session - soon to be followed by a huge meltdown on the part of Red who just couldn't get the whole "that's Pudge's new toy and no, you may not grab it from him" thing.


I love watching little kids open presents. After all the thought that goes into them, the staying up late to wrap them, the hoping that they're just the right thing... it is so funny to watch them tear into the package, ohh and ahh for a minute then drop them in search for the next thing to unwrap. Too funny.

Things got better after a while when we got the kids outside for the first time in a very rainy four days or so. They played in the front while I got a bit further along on my preparations for winter - I cut up 5 pallets for kindling and put the Rubbermaid woodshed back together.

During nap I got to take JAM to see a movie down at our historic local movie theater - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I thought it was brilliant, and we both had a blast eating ourselves silly on popcorn and laughing our heads off. Except for the whole needless love interest smoochy-face thing it was a perfectly funny kids movie.

So now nap is almost over, and when the babies wake up we're headed down to the lake to meet up with some other families to play and picnic for a while until the sun goes down. Then hopefully a few of them will be interested in joining us back here for some cake and ice cream to put a nice touch on Pudge's day.

Let's hear it for quiet weekends!

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to know you're a geek...

...and/or a moment I never want to forget.

I've embraced my geekdom. Better yet, I should say Gleekdom. I admit it, I love watching Glee. I guess I'm realizing that I never really got over my unfulfilled high school musical potential. Without going into therapy-like detail, there was a legacy for me to live up to in my school - my brother was a high school musical superstar and since it was what I saw it became what I did. I wasn't half bad either. But, I was as socially inept as it comes and I screwed up that scene royally and had to quit everything after my junior year, even though I knew I was good. I was making all-county choirs and leading our school's (kick-ass) choir without even trying but like I said, I drove those relationships into the ground. I told myself leaving was a good thing - I'd never have to deal with those people, and that horrible teacher, again. But truth be told - I missed it once I left. I knew I missed out on a good thing, if only I'd have known how to act.

Wow, getting off the self-pity express now...

So yes, Wifey has successfully gotten me reconnected with my geek self in the form of being hooked on Glee and I'm not one bit ashamed. I mean I'm the one leading the pack trying to get people to join me for our periodic trips to Howl at the Moon (if you don't know what that is you are not even close to cool enough to be reading my space - go fix yourself) so yeah, even after the wanna-be trauma of my high school days I still do enjoy to sing. For her birthday this past weekend (man, I need to post about that party - it was fantastic!) a very nice person got her the Glee Season 1 Soundtrack. It's pretty much been on ever since.

Where's this incredibly off-track/rambling story going? Tonight, as Wifey was putting the little rug-rats into the tub I was being all domestic taking care of the dishes and blasting the Glee on the CD player. I was having a ton of fun, and I'm pretty sure I'd be beaten up in a second if I ever said something like that during a pickup basketball game growing up. Yup, 34 years old, doing dishes and rocking out to pretend teenagers singing the best of the 80's, 90's and today! I ooze cool. Someday I may teach you how.

Unlike what I just mentioned, which I should quickly go get partially lobotomized just so I don't ever have to remember my full descent into geekdom, there was a part of the evening that I don't ever want to forget.... Not wanting the singing goodness to end I threw on the Rent soundtrack after Glee finished. Yeah, I'm a fan. In fact, except for the F'ing Weird song (Tango: Maureen), and the "mooing song" (Over The Moon), I really love to sing to the whole damn soundtrack. With tubby time over, Red came back downstairs just in time for two of my favorites. We rocked out together, dancing all over the kitchen and drumming on everything in sight, including each other, to Today 4 U. Then, I sat on the floor and sang Santa Fe to her. I love that song and sitting there, just the two of us, on the floor of our little kitchen singing together is something I never want to forget.

Singing is good for the soul - and even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket everyone should do it every day.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

27 is a lovely number

I won't belabor this. It's probably best to keep it nice and short seeing as how EVERYONE who reads this post will be lumped into the category clearly labeled "hater."

As Wifey will attest, these last few nights have been very stressful, and I had to watch much of the series in fast forward on the DVR because I just couldn't handle all the waiting for the next pitch or to see if Swisher or Tex struck out again.

In the end, it was magic, and the Yanks are back on top where they're supposed to be.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wayyy too early

Have you been into a Target or (*ewww*) Walmart recently? Actually, forget recently - how about the last six weeks? Notice something a little unusual? Such as - CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS UP IN SEPTEMBER????? That is just freaking ridiculous don't you think? I get it that the economy is in the toilet. I understand the stores are trying to get us to buy Christmas crap decorations over a longer period of time so they can make their money to stay in business. But it wasn't even Halloween and I was getting accosted by elves at Costco for crying out loud.


Okay, calming down now. I love the Christmas season, really - it's my favorite time of the year right after September. I love the lights, the presents, the snow (really? in Maryland?), the family, the presents.... My favorite Americanization of Christmas has got to be the outrageously ostentatious light displays set to music.

Witness my two favorites:


And, a new one! To me anyway...

Why is all of this coming out now? I saw this on the FAIL blog today -

That's my kind of guy. And you know it was a guy.

Halloweens Collected

I liked my idea of the family pics post, where I can collect pictures of the whole family, so I thought I'd try to copy that for different events. First - Halloween.

2009 - Pudge's award-winning costume, a mermaid and Commander Cody at your service.

| |

2008 - Star Wars all around with Pudge starring as Yoda, Red as Princess Leia (episode 4 NOT episode 6 thank-you-very-much), and JAM leading the way as young Anakin.

2007 - A Maryland Terrapin themed year with Red as a cheerleader (*SHUDDER*) and JAM as his favorite Terp basketball player - D.J. Strawberry. Pudge makes an "appearance" as well.
| |

2006 - JAM sports the second-best costume ever (keep reading) as Greenbelt Road. Red completes the theme as a very cute, almost-sitting-up-by-herself, stop light. And, Red gets to take a picture in the family pumpkin costume. Pudge got out of it in 2008 thank goodness but as you'll see, JAM didn't in 2000.
| |

2005 - Year II of the firefighter. Can you guess what the intended vocation was?

2004 - Now ~~~THIS~~~ is the best costume ever. People - when JAM came to me and said he wanted to be an ambulance we knew two things. First, we lived too close to a major road where we hear sirens at all hours of the day and night. Second, Wifey and I were screwed. But, behold - the Mooney Family Rescue Squad is here.
| |

It's hard to see in the pictures above but I went out and got snap lights and those push lights you're supposed to use in your closets from those annoying commercials to add to the costume. JAM had a blast with it as we trick-or-treated around his cousin's neighborhood. We definitely would have won a contest had there been one! And, how cool is this -

2003 - Year I of the firefighter. We were up in CT at Mem and Pepe's house and JAM got to trick-or-treat to all Wifey's old neighbor's houses. That was fun.

2002 - Apparently we were VERY lame and except for a brief trip across the hall to our neighbor's place we didn't go out. I know - parent's of the year right? JAM did dress up as a cowboy though. Does that count for something?

2001 - Again, no official trick-or-treating this year so this is the closest I can come up with for Halloween pictures. We went pumpkin picking in VA with my brother and his family with a very small JAM.

2000 - Obligatory pumpkin costume with JAM. He even had his own carved pumpkin.
| |

Don't judge me - It's about survival!

Wifey beat me to the punch, already having posted about our Halloween festivities. I tried to remind her that I'm supposed to be the one who posts the photos but she wasn't having any of that - something to do with a maternal instinct or whatever. Well, since this is my house I'll have to put up a few pics of my own.

As usual, we stormed the DaB's house and gathered with friends to pillage take advantage of the townhouses built very close together in Old Greenbelt. As I was explaining to a friend, even if only 1 in 5 houses are giving out candy the sheer number of homes packed into the very small area of Greenbelt make for some hearty loot. I know as the kids get bigger we'll be going home with multiple bags but right now we're still moving at the pace of some very small legs.

Here's Pudge with a very sweet E who seemed to have taken a shining to our little man. Maybe she's just happy to have someone else little to take care of that's not her own little brother? :)

They all got into the act. JAM wanted to be SOMETHING Star Wars related (of course) so we got him a Commander Cody (I think) costume and Red was practicing for what she wants to be when she grows up - a mermaid. No, seriously - she's absolutely locked onto the idea she's going to be a mermaid when she grows up. I was happy that about halfway through the night she even started to say "trick or treat" and "thank you" to the people handing out candy. For a little someone who talks as much as she does, and can get as loud as a passing ambulance, she certainly can clam up at times.

Our little fisherman Pudge was a natural. Even though the people mostly couldn't hear him say it he said his "trick or treating" to everyone (yes, it was trick or treating) and most of the time a "shank you" followed. No, he's not threatening jailhouse violence on anyone, he's still working on his th's thank you very much. :)

Here's the whole group - including a trying-to-hide Wifey who had to join the picture in order for Red to participate. Too funny! I'm such a proud papa... There's JAM, ready to eat the entire pumpkin full of candy in one bite and Red looking like a deranged serial killer for pic #2. Thank goodness Pudge had E there to hang out with. I'm thinking we're going to have her over to babysit - I don't care she's only in elementary school!


And, after seeing those two group pics you're probably already anticipating the next photo. Yes, it's a tradition (okay, maybe only in my mind) that trick or treating down the dark paths of Greenbelt makes for a perfect opportunity to enjoy a beverage or three. Again, don't judge me - after 60 minutes of this motley crew how could I not need a drink???

Happy Halloween everyone!