Saturday, May 27, 2006

Three Days of Happy Happy Joy Joy

Been a long time since we talked. Many excitements have occurred. I have spent a great deal of time sifting through all the possibilities, and I have hand selected only the cream of the entertainment crop, if you will, for presentation today. I know that it's a holiday weekend, and your time and attention span is limited. So I'm giving you only premium-grade, top quality stories today. Not that everyday dreck you might find over at CJ's or Spankolio (RIP), but real, side-splitting humor.

They don't call me the Ellen Degeneres of Comedy for nothing.

Or do they?

But right on with it anyways. Thursday was once again Fat Camp. Once again, people practically broke down the door trying to put in their lame-ass excuses for why they couldn't go biking. I'm starting to think these guys are trying to out do each other in order to see if I use their material. Well, I never use anyone else's material. It's 100% mine. Except for the stuff I steal from my wife, but hey, she's on the payroll. It's not like I'm not paying for it.

With my soul.

Here's this week's list:
  • BrainkyP: I work until feven[sic] o'clock every evening. (He's a product of the California public school system, and thus sometimes appears to be a moron. Mostly just when he talks. I can say this even though as of Wednesday he became my boss again cuz he stopped reading weeks ago. Shhhh. Nobody tell him, or he'll want to talk to me. And when he talks...)
  • TommyO: I'm sick. And I'm too big a pussy to go biking when I'm sick. (Or hiking, as it were, given his hill climbing abilities.)
  • Spanky: I'm not in the mood. (Yet in the mood for drinking afterwards, oddly. Hard to find fault with that part. Though, being dead, Spanky isn't much of a conversationalist anymore.)
  • StinkyJ: My leg is still broken. And I'm too big a pussy to go biking with a broken leg. (The broken leg comes in handy at lunch time when we get to park in handicapped. 'Course, StinkyJ became too important to eat lunch with us a couple weeks ago, so we've only gotten this perk once. Still, that's once more than most of you idiots.)
Funny story (though, aren't they all really?). On Thursday morning, The Mrs. was trying to open my closet door to get at the clothes hamper. Our closets have big, mirrored, sliding doors. The doors are about 4'x8', and there are two per closet. Well, being that they're about 34 years old, one of the wheels on one of my doors isn't working like it did when it was brand new. Thus, you have to push kinda hard to get the door to slide. It works fine, you just have to use more force than would normally be necessary. So The Mrs. is like any other woman, meaning basically devoid of any rational thought process detectable by a man, and she decides that it would be easier to lift the door and move it aside rather than to just push it hard. She's giving it the old heave-ho in no particularly useful fashion, but nonetheless she manages to get it open enough to get out the clothes hamper.

Well, I had been watching this, and I'm having a fit. You really had to see it to understand why. She's just sort of randomly lifting and jiggling and dropping and grunting. It was like prom night all over again, as they say. Mostly I'm having a fit because I'm standing there waiting to get my shirt out of my closet, and she's covered up the half of my closet I was trying to use with the sliding door so that she can get into the other half of my closet. So then I go to put the door back so I can get my shirt out, and I note that the door won't budge at all as it is now completely off the track and resting on the carpet on one end.

I grumble. Married men are never given a pass on grumbling. No. It is all my fault, I am informed. I should have fixed the door by now.

And you should have fixed breakfast by now.

The reason I haven't fixed the door yet is that it is 4'x8', covered in glass, weighs about 50 lbs., and I need someone to help me lift it. It's not like I can't lift 50 lbs. It's that I can't lift something that big and awkward and maneuver it around in the tight space that is the dressing area without breaking anything. The Mrs., ever the understanding one, says this:
I bet BrainkyP could do it.
Upon investigation, he concurred that it would imprudent to try to do this without help given the awkward nature of the task. StinkyJ also concurred, though he added that it would not stop him from doing it himself. Probably to be believed, coming from the guy who rode his ladder down nearly 30' to the ground when cleaning his gutters one day. No, that isn't how he broke his leg. I heard he broke his leg falling down his stairs drunk, but I think he may have made that up to seem cooler than he really is.

Looking back at the Fat Camp list of excuses, you may note that AndyP is not on there for the first time this season. Yes, he actually managed to show this week. And a fine showing it was. Why, he made it completely all the way up the first hill to the signpost without stopping to rest, which is an accomplishment TommyO can only dream of. And he managed to talk smack while he was doing it about how easy this climb was compared to his normal route in. Oddly, I still had to wait at the top a meaningful amount of time for him to catch up, and I am by no means a mountain goat. Smack talking can really slow you down.

That was, however, to be the crowning achievement of the ride. AndyP shortly thereafter developed a bad case of chain suck, and he kept coming to abrupt halts on uphills. My guess is the fact that he never cleans the bike has led to this equipment failure. You gotta clean it out regularly if you want your equipment to function right. We knocked off early and headed to Jake's for beers, pizza, and wings. Spankolio met us there. Nothing that happened there made the cut for this post.

Friday, I took the day off from work. I was really busy, and we were right in the middle of a crisis that was partially real and partially imagined at work, but I took the day off anyways. This so I could take the Loving Fambly to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Now for us, the Aquarium itself is no longer the event. No, now we have to make the whole day into a string of events. Luckily, I can switch into photoblogging mode a bit here to save myself some typing. It's already 11:30pm, and The Mrs. just told me not to stay up too late. That wife-speak for , "I'm expecting you to get up early with MaxieC tomorrow while I sleep in."

I've been married long enough to be able to translate simple phrases of wife-speak into normal English. It's a bizarre language filled with a lot of misdirection and poorly defined meaning.

So, here are the youngsters pretending to be Penguin hatchlings. Seconds after I snapped this, HannieC jumped on MaxieC, knocking him to the ground, and began hugging him with a sumo death grip. Luckily, she can be distracted with shiny things. Lucky for MaxieC, at least.

We didn't really take that many pictures inside the aquarium. It turns out that taking a picture of your kids looking at fish is kind of a waste of time. I've got tons of them from previous years. Fish just aren't all that exciting to begin with, and then the two dimensionality of photographs just sucks whatever life there is out of the fishy subjects.

The next big even of aquarium day is lunch. We almost always go to the same place. I can never remember the name, except that it is vaguely dirty-sounding. Hmmm... Ahh, here it is. Bullwackers. Nice place. Kids like it cuz of the open fire pit in the center. It's also never super crowded. This time, this piratey guy tried to sneak up behind MaxieC, but MaxieC did his patented "smack him in the junk and run away giggling" maneuver. Arrr...

But wait. Fun doesn't end with lunch. No. This time, we did something really special. We rented a "surrey". This apparently means "big, heavy, slow, quadcycle thing" in Italian. The Childrens get to sit up front, and The Mrs. and Me, CherkyB, sit in back and pedal. I got to steer, too. Here is the fambly looking all happy by Fisherman's Wharf.

You'd figure the aquarium, then lunch, then surrying would be enough. But wait, there's more. On the way back from the bike rental place to the aquarium, there are a couple of vagranty womens who make their living letting people pet their baby ducks.

I know, that sounds even dirtier than "Bullwackers" did. But here's a picture of HannieC holding a baby duck, MaxieC petting it, and Me, CherkyB, restraining the range of motion MaxieC has on his petting arm. This cuz he grabbed the baby duck and squeezed the heck out of it moments before. A move he learned from the way his sister treats him. You can hardly see the baby duck because of its natural camouflage blending in with MaxieC's duck-hunting camouflage print jacket.

So it was back to the Aquarium for a few more hours. It was Friday, so all the school field trips cleared out around 3:00 and the place got a lot less crowded. Finally, they shut it down at 6, so we had to leave. But do we go home?

No, of course not. Aquarium Day never ends. Will no one put it out of its misery? No?

We are now off the Dennis the Menace Park. Apparently Hank Ketchum was from Monterey or something. I'd look it up, but I really need to cut this short and go to bed. It's now after midnight, and MaxieC will be up in 6.5 hours.

This park features a real locomotive that you can climb on and gash yourself open. Here I am trying to keep both childrens from killing their respective selves while The Mrs. goofs around framing up just the perfect shot. Which she never got, so this'll have to do.

After that, HannieC hit the climbing wall, which is a much safer climb.

Now, I promised you three days of fun, and I've talked of only two. Here's a taste of today. We spent the day at Bonfante Gardens, a local theme park for young childrens. It was a bit of a chore today, as the kids were still not completely over the excitement of Aquarium Day. Below are MaxieC and Me, CherkyB, yukking it up in the tail of "Apple and Worm", which is a mini-roller coaster that has a vertical lift of about 20 inches and just goes in a circle.

I learned today that HannieC is a roller coaster purist. She will ride only in the rearmost seats of a coaster, not caring if she has to wait three extra cycles to get that seat. She and I rode in the rearmost seat of two coasters (not this baby one - the real ones) about seven times today. We could have gone many more times as there was no waiting for the middle seats, but she wanted to wait for the perfect seats.

There was a wedding at the park today. I think it was Katie and Justin, but The Mrs. thinks the dood's name was Jason (and I think we agree on Katie, but I can't remember). On the way home from the park, we got passed by a little car with "Just Married" painted on the back window, and it had paper streamers coming out of the trunk. The Mrs. said, "I wonder if that's the people who got married at the park today."

I said, "Poor kids. They had their whole lives ahead of them. And now they're married."

The Mrs. replied, "Do you wish you weren't married?"

AAAaaaaa!!!! My brain jumps into high gear. What possibly could be the right response to this? I could say, "Of course not." And then she would go off on some diatribe about how I shouldn't disparage marriage (an oddly rhyming pair), especially in front of the children, and how it's hurtful to her, and blah-d-blah-blah-blah. Or I could say, "Damn straight!" which I'm sure would open up even more of a deluge of lecturifying. Maybe I could go with something ironic, like, "Why don't you tell me, dear?" No, that's kind of unclear. She might think I was asking her to tell me if she'd be happier not married, not that I'm asking her to tell me what my own opinion is since I don't know my opinion on anything until she gives it to me. What to do? What to do? Ah ha! I know just the right response.

I didn't say a word.

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