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Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Coworker? Tom Petty.


I think this qualifies as "live blogging" an event.  We are SO cutting edge.

So Jack enjoys hard work.  Especially when it includes YouTube of a Tom Petty concert.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

There Is Another... Skywalker

I flipped on the color teevee set this weekend.  If you keep up with CJMP on an annual basis, this is sort of rare.  Jack was/is pretty sick, and so I was pulling guard duty for the afternoon while Majesty tried to rest, or something.

There was some golf on, and probably some football games I have zero interest in.  But hey, what's this, The Empire Strikes Back is on.  I flipped it over there for a second.  Because, y'know, why not.  One of my favorites.

After maybe a quarter hour (this "parenting" thing is really hard), I look over to my left.  Jack has been standing there, stock still, eyes locked in on the screen.  "They're in outer space!" he declares as Star Destroyers drift across the screen.  "Daddy, what are those called?" (Those are AT-ATs, Jack.)  He's a pilot! (Yes Jack, Luke's a pilot.)  "Awwtoo!  Where's Awwtoo?" he asks as R2 disappears into the swamp.

It floored me.  We acclimated long ago to Jack's ignoring of whatever we're doing.  He fixates on microphones and guitars and destroying Christmas ornaments and doggedly pulling umpteen pairs of shoes out of our closets.  Darn near killed himself on the stairs while flopping around in my captoe bankers the other day.

But this time, he watched.  And he watched.  And he got in his little squashy chair and watched.  And he didn't move a finger when I put the infamous plaid blanket over him.

He erupted in laughter when kooky old Yoda showed up.  He cackled and belly laughed.  He kept on laughing.  The next overloud advert came on, and I heard him muttering Luke's "Hey!  Get out of there!" cracking himself up all over again.

Then there was a swordfight.  A.  SWORD.  FIGHT.  With SWORDS.  SWORDS THAT GLOW IN THE DARK.  The DARK.  He's kind of a connoisseur of sword fighting.  Considers himself a real expert.  Again, he was transfixed.  I actually caught the moment when those big liquid eyes and brain comprised of mushy bananas took it all in.  There was this slight smile, the kind with a bit of wonder in it, when the blue and red lightsabers started humming and zapping and popping.  He was hooked.  He was hooked just like I was - like almost every little boy of a certain age was - in 1980.

An interesting side note, and one that Majestad pointed out, was that the Dude was completely unfazed by Darth freaking Vader.  When Vader stepped out of that white smoke in the original, a very, very young El Commodoro got right outta town.  I mean, it was abandon ship, every man for himself.  There was no way I was sticking around for whatever the 6-foot-6 guy in total black with a toaster oven on his chest had planned.  That was sixty-five kinds of scary.

Jack isn't the big chicken his dad is, apparently.

All this does cause me to reevaluate this year's decision to keep the (talking!) Vader ornament off the fauxenbaum.  I'm breaking that sucker out, stat.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mr. Photogenic Strikes Again

My favorite random conversation of the week (compliments of my Cajunette dentista):

E.C.:  "So how're things?"
Cajunette Dentista:  "Ah, y'know, good.  The fight against decay never ends."

Boy, isn't that the truth.  I guess one of my presents this year is a nice new shiny white back tooth.  The Cajunette yanked the 25 year old filling, which had enough mercury in it to, well, actually be Mercury.  Looked like the bumper off a '59 Chrysler Imperial.

The most enjoyable development from past few weeks has been Jack's willingness to sing.  I know, I know, he always does that.  But now he's singing with us.  And with the radio.  And with CDs.  Like, loud.  In public.  We hear him pipe up in church and I usually crack up laughing.  It's so awesome.  And I mean that not making fun, but in a celebratory sense.  It just flips my pancake when he joins in.  Gets most of the words right, too.  Fake it 'til you make it, dude.

I'm staying busy ordering a frightening assortment of trum-tookers, sloo-slunkers, blum-blookers and hoo-whunkers and all sorts of other Christmas paraphernalia that arrives at our doorstep in a steady stream.  I keep saying this every year, but the very super bestest part of Christmas is experiencing it alongside a child.  Inexplicably, Christmas fell off my radar for several years.  Yeah it was fun, but I enjoyed it primarily for the time off from my sweatshop of a former job.  And that's not quite the point.

Enough.  Let's look at more pictures.  These are hot off the press, so enjoy.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Better Watch Out, Better Not Cry

They tell you whenever you can't write to just start typing.  So here we go.  I had a complete post done, entitled Naming Your Child For Dummies.  Scrapped it.  Wasn't worth outraging the relatively few strangers that read CJMP, people that will still talk to me or, friends and family I have.  Discretion is indeed the better part of valor.  Or something.  And now I'm stuck.

So how 'bout that weather?!  Right.

I'm reading a tremendous amount lately, at least for me.  I'm trying to deliver on the oft-broken read-the-Bible-through-in-a-year pledge.  I should finally make it this time.  Taking January, February, August, September, and most of October off didn't help.  Normally I wouldn't recommend the sort of procrastination/cramming routine I perfected in college.  But with the Bible, there's been a surprising side effect:  Greater perspective.

I can't overstate how helpful reading the Gospels through in a few days has been.  It's changed my view of them.  And more broadly, there's a huge benefit to arriving at Matthew right after slogging neck deep through the Prophets, wondering what it all means.  The folks in every Gospel account were wondering the same thing.  What are these amazing signs and new teachings all about?  Is this the one we're waiting for?  After John, my favorite, you blow right into Acts, swept up in the logistics and immense danger faced by those who helped build the church.  Romans comes, and it gives you an intense look at the doctrine and theology that was being laid out.  I have more to say on all of that, but no room here.  Anyway, the point being, try reading more than a verse here and there.  It'll change things.

Jack.  You remember Jack.  He's pretty pumped up for this Christmas thing.  He runs around, periodically yelling "MEWWY CWISTMAS, DADDY!" and "MEWWY CWISTMAS, MOMMY!" and "MEWWY CWISTMAS, MR. JACK!"  I think I've bought every legitimate* Christmas song on iTunes.   There's a slight problem with that, too:  The King (no, the other one) plainly sings, "Santa Claus is comin' tonight."  Jack tends to take that literally.  It's become kind of a nightly disappointment for him.

The Girliest Girly Girl is kicking and somersaulting, making herself heard however she can from the Occupy Majesty movement.  Darn little deadbeat hippie.  Majesty gets bigger by the quarter hour.  It's almost imperceptible, like watching the shadows move across your patio.  Wow.  I will probably never live that sentence down.  There it went, right there, hundreds of thousands of marital capital points.  Ah well, easy come, easy go.

I've been Christmas Decoration and Elf Management Czar this year, and did fearsome battle with the lights on the bottom part of our venerable old fauxenbaum one afternoon.  I ravaged that thing with a box cutter and strangled it into submission with strands of fresh lights.  Live porcupines must be easier to wrestle.  The tree looks (mostly) normal now, but stands there stark nekkid, still undecorated.  To this day I'm convinced it was a single, evil, tiny little bulb causing the dang problem.  I then put up Christmas lights on the front porch only to discover that my Lite-Brite of a fuse box that doles out the juice decided my GFCI outlets should die.  All of them.

So things are normal.  Like, pretty much.

One quick story.  My boss gave Jack this way cool interactive globe.  So you tap a country with a pen and it calls out "MONGOLIA" in a know-it-all voice.  You can play games and all sorts of things that geo-nerds do.  It's really, really neat, and Jack has been playing with it a ton.  So at 7am this morning, we hear The Dude screaming and crying.  He's kind of past the screaming/crying for no obvious reason stage, so I run up there expecting to see the place slathered in blood and carnage.  Jack is standing there, big old bottom lip poked out about 14 inches, with the (kinda heavy) globe suspended from his waist.  He had tied the pen's plastic tether cord around himself like a belt and had coiled it around about 10 times.  The thing was just mercilessly cutting into him, and he's got nowhere to go.  Can't walk, can't sit, can't untie it, and has to just wait for reinforcements.  (And no, I will not be sharing this story with El Jefe.)  Okay, so that really didn't go anywhere.  The Waist of the World?  Wide World of Shorts?  Atlas Whimpered?  No?  Alrighty.

Oh, we got Jack's picture made here at the house a few weeks back.  I'll upload a few of those in an upcoming post.  Probably.   But in the meantime, you know you love Lite Brite Elvis.  You KNOW you do.

Worst post ever.  I'm out.

*Any Mariah/Miley sort of ridiculousness is OUT.  Bing, Frank, and Springsteen are IN.