Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Run for this Cure JM Kid’s Life

16 clever quips

The good news is two meds have been dropped from Li’l Diva’s regular routine of pills and shots to keep her juvenile myositis in check.

i need a cure jm The bad news is we are visiting a local children’s hospital today so she can get a 4-hour IV of a new med, Rituximab, that may or may not help and carries with it the usual suspects of “rare” side effects.

You know: fever, aches and death from a brain infection.

It’s the see-saw battle we fight regularly; the tightrope we walk between employing a treatment that may finally reset her immune system to its proper working order and risking the potential dangers, short- and long-term, caused by introducing all these toxins into her system.

We have done this for nearly a decade now and we will continue to until the right combination of science and luck cures her. Giving up is not an option.

There’s nothing you kind people do during today’s infusion other than keep her in your thoughts and, if you are inclined that way, your prayers.

If you would like to do something beyond today, here’s my request:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Time for a Pupdate

21 clever quips

murphy-chairI squished in a puddle, which shouldn’t be news given the regular deluges in our suburbs this spring.

Except I was walking in my kitchen at the time.

I trekked upstream to the laundry room and pushed back the door. Inky liquid dribbled over the edge of the swamp we used to call “the slop sink.”

“Just what does this have to do with your dog?” you say, inferring correctly from the headline and photo.

Well, everything.

An emergency call to the plumber and a few hundred dollars later …

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chain-Reaction Letters I Never Sent

22 clever quips

Dear Connecticut Light & Power Company,
Thank you for sending the crew to trim trees in my neighborhood. monkey at typewriterAs you know by the repeated angry phone calls, our block has a tendency to lose electricity whenever someone in the vicinity sneezes too violently. However, the twigs your crew snipped off could barely take out a chipmunk let alone a power line.

Dear People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),
I do not endorse the bludgeoning of chipmunks but to put your furry-minded minds at ease before I snap, I suggest you come immediately and liberate every little Alvin, Simon and Theodore residing in the Swiss cheese they have made of my lawn. If I were you (but I'm not because I consider cheeseburgers an essential food group), for added critter safety I would also put all the Chip and Dales from the surrounding properties into WITSEC.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bra Shopping with Father

0 clever quips

junior miss bra

Some claim that I, a straight American male, am biologically hard-wired to notice the female breast. I won't argue with science.

Unless the breast in question belongs to my tweenage daughter.

Just the other day there she was: a sweet little thing in a princess gown, buckled snugly at 5-points in her car seat, singing about the yumminess of fruit salad. Then I blinked, and ... OMIGOD! WHERE DID THOSE COME FROM??!!

After I recovered from hysterical blindness, my little angel announced that I needed to take her shopping.

For a bra.

"I need it for my dance recital Sunday," she said. "My costume has really thin straps so the teacher said I should get a strapless bra."

I know bra shopping is one thing she has done before (and would rather do) with the adult women in her life. So why me, Lord? Why now?

Process of elimination. My wife was on a business trip; my sister, on vacation. Ladies and gentlemen, I am literally … the booby prize.

"Uhhh," I said wittily, "To Target."

+ + +

I'm surprised by just how big the lingerie department here is. By big, I mean, their key demographic must be body doubles for Sofia Vergara. It's also dazzlingly colorful like one of those candy stores where the walls are lined with tube after tube of exotically flavored jelly beans. 

After wandering around, we find the juniors section. 

Seamless bandeau, structured bandeau, Spandau Ballet. 

Scoop, demi, Ashton.

I have not been this overwhelmed by selection since I shopped Home Depot for sheet metal screws.

"Will this work?" I say. "The tag says it's a convertible bra."

"No. It has straps."

"Doesn't convertible mean the top comes off?"

"I don't know," she says.

And I think to myself, I hope you never will until you're married.

It's then that I spot her: A woman by the sports bras with a cart. It's overflowing with a mish-mash of clothing, sporting goods and toys. More importantly, she wears a bright red jacket and a bull's eye name tag.

"Let me go ask that clerk ..."

"Daddy, nooooooooooooooooooo!"

"All right," I say. "Just remember that answer when you're on stage and the girls make an unexpected curtain call."

Finally, we find some strapless bras. They are in hot pink. In “passion purple.” Day Glo green. Vegas showgirls wear less flashy outfits.

Finally we locate a couple that would not be noticeable from a nautical mile in London fog. They also happen to be in her size.

Not that my daughter knows her bra size. That would have been too easy. I've been down this road before. Not with bras, but nearly every other piece of clothing my children own because in own house – this dad does the shopping from groceries to garage doors. So before we left the house, I went to my daughter’s room, found one of her bras and checked the tag. Now, the next time some marketing genius tells you women make the vast majority of family purchasing decisions in the United States, you have the permission of this member of the minority to kick that person squarely in the statisticals.

She heads to the fitting rooms, and I am alone. Suddenly, I forget what to do with my arms. Fold them? No. Hands in pockets? No -- NO!

This keeps me perplexed while I wait. And I wait. And I wait ...

Suddenly, I am a child again. Waist high to a headless mannequin in a tube top and bell bottoms in some long-demolished women's department store. I'm confused. Lost. My mom has dragged me shopping with her again. The hopelessness. The suffering. The boredom. … The boredom. Things start pulling away and I'm falling down a hole walled with endless racks of frilly rack holders. I'm weightless, I'm floating! Below, I can almost see my boyish self ...

Wait a sec.

I really can see my boyish self.

It's my 9-year-old son. I forgot we took him along on this expedition.

"Son," I say, extending my right arm and index finger. "Pet supplies, office supplies, greeting cards. Choose your pleasure."

After a contemplative look, he picks greeting cards. I tell him we'll be there in a few minutes.

+ + +

The next morning, the sun still rose in the east.

And this Sunday, when my daughter bounds across the stage for her final curtsy, I will be there applauding and standing proud and tall.

Just. Like. Her bosom.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Award of the State

25 clever quips

Time to play “What the devil is going on in this photo?” in this week’s Fill ‘er Friday. Here is the bedeviling photo for the week:


Clue: That blur is me in the lower left corner.

Good eye! Yes, I AM wearing one of the free suits I got for a blog post two years ago. This must be a big event I’m at if I left my normal work attire of beer and baseball team T-shirts at home.

Yes. This photo was taken by My Love, who demonstrates why even despite my proven lack of shutterbugginess, I usually don’t allow her near a camera on vacation.

Am I leaving a court building for crimes against typing and headline puns? Not completely accurate …

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It’s in His Jeans

12 clever quips

deney terrio My son, Excitable, may be a hit with the ladies for his dance moves, but eventually his allergy to showering will overpower their love of his inner Deney Terrio.

Then there’s his clothes.

I love the boy because, among a myriad of other reasons, unlike his sister he is not constantly begging me to take him shopping. He tends to wear clothes until they are tattered and holey. Then he continues to wear them tattered and holey.

I keep expecting calls from his school like this:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Not What it Seems

7 clever quips

What first comes to your mind when you look at this photo of Excitable about to plunge off the back of our vacation houseboat and into the clear waters of Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona?


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Me on TV. DadLabs TV. Via Internet. So, Me on the Internet. Big Whoop.

8 clever quips

Scene: Our kitchen, last night, My Love wanders in from work, exhausted, spent, the day’s burdens pinning her shoulders for the three count. Me – bouncing up and down like a pup, pre-neutering.

ME: “Guess what, honey, guess what? I’m going to be on the Internet!”

MY LOVE: “Uh, you’re on the Internet every day.”

Bubble. Burst. Ka-BLOOEY!

Actually, here’s the deal:

I will be appearing / stuttering / flop-sweating live via Skype today -- Wednesday, May 2 -- at 3 p.m. Eastern time on DadLabs UStream show.

The topic: juvenile myositis, The Cure JM Foundation and the work my family does to find a cure for this rare autoimmune disease that our daughter has been battling with for almost 10 years.

Sounds heavy but you know I won’t be able to go more than 15 seconds without some sarcastic remark that will get me in trouble with the authorities. Or worse, in trouble with My Love.

DadLabs.com, if you don’t know, is a great parenting site whether you are a male or female. Lots of fun videos and information about kid products, parenting technology and general parenting advice … and humor.

You can watch the show without registering, but if you want to comment via chat you need to register here. This show will also be archived for posterity … and future blackmail.

Wish me luck.

Better yet, wish my antiperspirant extra strength.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fear and Dancing in Las Vegas

16 clever quips

Our recent family vacation started and ended in Las Vegas. fremony street experience las vegas uncools It may seem incongruous to bookend travels with children in a place known as Sin City or for me to use a 10-cent word like “incongruous.” However, I have plenty of photos of us enjoying “wholesome” touristy things to prove otherwise.

Like …


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