Thursday, December 20, 2007


Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero and a member of the Fantastic Four. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, he first appeared in Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961).

Possessing a mastery of mechanical, aerospace and electrical engineering, chemistry, all levels of physics, and human and alien biology, Richards is often considered one of the most intelligent human beings in the Marvel Universe, alongside Bruce Banner, Professor Charles Xavier, Doctor Doom and a few others. He is the inventor of the spacecraft which was bombarded by cosmic radiation on its maiden voyage, granting the Fantastic Four their powers. Richards gained the ability to stretch his body into any shape he desires.

He is the leader of the Fantastic Four, although his methodical manner sometimes makes him seem cold and distant to his teammates, particularly best friend the Thing, who somewhat blames Richards for his transformation into a large, rocky creature. Whenever he is confronted with a scientific challenge, his attention can be so focused that he can neglect even his own family which has caused marital problems between him and Sue and has put his family in danger on rare occasions. He is, however, the husband of Susan Storm, father of son Franklin Richards and daughter Valeria Richards, and mentor of the Human Torch. According to BusinessWeek, Mr. Fantastic is listed as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional characters in American comics.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Hope you will be having a good Thanksgiving. I'm doing what I have done for many years, running down Peachtree. In the old days I would be glued to the TV set watching the football games, but it doesn't matter much to me anymore who wins what. All the "pros" make too much money nowadays and it shows in the way they play the game. Occasionally, I will get caught up in the excitement of a game if it is a close one. I didn't watch one baseball game this season and didn't care who won the World Series. Performance enhancement being put in a pill where someone can crank out more homeruns kind of sours the game for me. Having commercials which has a guy explain what the tattoos on his body mean doesn't appeal to me either. The same thing is going on in celebrity world too. Has the average IQ of Americans taken a dip? Seems like every day another body part has been violated with a piercing. And how many wrecked Mercedes does it take to make one realize that you need to grow up? And what ever happened to good-looking? It is hard to find anyone out there that I want to know what they've got cooking anymore. How does anyone drop a Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie? I would always have this crrrreepy feeling that I was about to kiss Jon Voight every time Angelina puckered up. The only time I enjoyed Jon Voight is when he played Mr. Sir in "Holes."

Friday, October 19, 2007


Here is another jewel from Andrea. Keep in mind that, save my mother, I have never seen anyone talk as much as her. Hope you enjoy it.

A couple of days ago, Ava asked me why people have to work. Why does daddy have to go to work? We've already had this conversation but that did not stop me from launching into a loooong explanation about the basics of life and how these basics cost money and how, in most cases, you have to work to earn money. Things like houses, food, electricity, heat, health care, clothing-- these things are not free. Almost everybody has to work to make money. and then we talked about about how sometimes just the dad works, sometimes just the mom works, sometimes both the Mom and dad work. Sometimes there is just a mom and she has to work. Sometimes there is just a dad and he has to work. And then I was knee deep in a whole thing about how even though I stay at home and don't bring in an actual paycheck, I still work too. Many, many words later and I was still explaining what it is I actually do. I even threw in something about how I occasionally teach to make a little extra money.

Then she asks about the paycheck and how does that actually work? Do you get real live dollars or what? This should have been a short, sweet little answer comparing the similarities between a weekly allowance (which we've just starting giving her) and a paycheck but then, I don't know, somehow I managed to turn even that into a big long overblown blahbiddyblah about how checks and debit cards work and how the bank works and what happens when people bounce checks and how important it is to keep track of how much money you have and how important it is to save money, to set aside some for a rainy day. Even though I am certainly in no position to be telling anybody anything about the act of saving money.

So I was sort of proud of how thoroughly I'd broken it all down for her and I wanted to tell her that conversations like this, they're a big part of my job too. but of course, I didn't say that. I just asked her if she had any more questions about work or money. Or anything else. She told me no, not really. Because it's too much, it takes too long. Well, some questions have longer answers than others, I said. Sometimes there's a lot to tell you about something and it's my job to make sure that I answer your questions in the best way I know how. Sometimes it takes a little longer to explain things. Which is when she told me that actually, it's a lot of times, mom. A LOT OF TIMES!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


(This is an episode that my son's wife, Andrea, recently wrote about)

Ezra has done something with the tub of butter. When I asked him about it this morning, he seemed to know all about it. Then, when gently pressed for more details, he said he 'don know where dat budder is'. Kind of funny at first, but now I'm scared. I've been looking for the butter all day long.

we are all still looking for the butter. I'm telling you, we've looked everywhere-- under beds, couches, chairs, in toy bins, sock drawers and trash cans. Ezra's story changes on an hourly basis. yesterday morning, we decided to call off the search, get out of the house and explore the city. Which meant a trip to the farmers market, a ride on the streetcar and a stop at little Finnegan's (where we bought hello kitty erasers, tiny wind-up robots and put Ezra into the photobooth with a viking hat on his head). Later that afternoon, the subject of the missing butter resurfaced. again, cryptic answers from a giggly, TOTALLY GUILTY Ezra.

I know it's time to let it go. I know the butter (well, earth balance) will eventually turn up. Hopefully when I'm in a good mood. Hopefully on a day when I need a good laugh. And hopefully soon. but I'm having great difficulty letting it go because how does an entire tub of butter go missing like that? Where could it be? It's making me loco. Which has me thinking of how crazy I get when I lose things. I lose things all the time-- mainly my car keys and cell phone but every once in a while, I lose something special, something irreplaceable. Once, I lost my brother's wedding ring. On his wedding day and just moments before the ceremony was to begin. Total nightmare situation for anyone, but especially if it's your first stint as maid of honor and the groom is your brother and he is counting on you (of all people) to keep your head on straight during such an important sort of day.

Well, that ring-- it just disappeared. At least, that's what it felt like. The second I realized it was gone, I was a mess. I remember wildly dumping the contents of my tiny purse over and over and over again, all the time whispering no no no nooooooooo. I remember getting on my hands and knees in my floor-length dress, frantically searching the dressing room, the bathroom and hallways of the church, beads of sweat forming along my upper lip as I scanned every possible surface. Then it was time for the ceremony to begin, which also meant it was time to come clean and tell The Bride. Omg, omg, omg what would Kendra put on Nate's finger when it came time to exchange rings? I wanted to cry, my eyes were watering and I felt sick to my stomach. Where could that ring be? Where where where? When I lose things, I tend to repeat words. As in: Where, where, WHERE? Why, why, WHY? and NO, NO, NO! Just seconds before I was to walk down the aisle, we asked my cousin if we could borrow his wedding band-- just for the ceremony. Then I sped down the aisle at a most ridiculous pace-- step together step together step together in double, triple, quadruple time. I remember feeling nervous and stupid. I remember trying not to cry. More than anything, I remember thinking WHERE COULD THAT RING BE? Beautiful ceremony, yada, yada, yada. Slight look of befuddlement on Nate's face as Kendra slips a yellow gold band onto his finger instead of the white gold one they'd picked out together. And then they were pronounced husband and wife (at which point, the sounds of the Jackson five's ABC filled the sanctuary, a pleasant surprise to us all). in this moment, I was happy. I'd forgotten about the lost ring, that I still had to face my brother (and everyone else) afterwards. I knew he'd understand, I knew he would not hold it against me. Still, I hated that I was the one responsible for losing his wedding ring. I couldn't stand the idea that this would be one of the stories they'd tell about their big day and that I'd forever be the flaky, flighty sister who lost the ring and then lost her head over it.

Immediately after the ceremony, the entire wedding party (turned search party) convened in the back dressing room. Groomsmen dumped make-up bags and pawed through pots of lip gloss and tubes of mascara. Bridesmaids crawled around on all fours and looked under tables and chairs. Pairs of wadded-up pantyhose were carefully inspected. Kleenex boxes were torn apart. And the bride and the groom were there too-- when they should have been basking in newly-wedded bliss and posing for photographs, they were back in that hot little room with me and everyone else, tearing everything apart, desperately hoping to find that ring.

And then I felt it. Something cold and small pressed against my chest. I closed my eyes and slowly reached inside the front of my dress. There, near the bottom of my bra, was The Ring. It had been there all the time, nestled comfortably in the dark hollow of cleavage that I'd been so careful to conceal that day (because who wants to showcase cleavage on your brother's wedding day? I mean, really). Time stopped just then, as the rest of the room realized that the ring had been recovered, that it had been with me all long (and in my bra, of all places). Ah, just the visual my brother wanted on his wedding day, I'm sure. Well, at least I'd found it, okay. Unfortunately, that didn't change how stupid I felt. I then remembered having a conversation with a few of the bridesmaids about the ring. I was worried that I would lose it and joked that maybe I should cram it inside my bra for safe-keeping. That way I would know exactly where it was, I said. Ha. Obviously, not one of my better plans. really, how could I have forgotten that? How did I get through the whole ceremony without feeling that thing rolling around in there? How, how, how?

What this has to do with a lost tub of butter is... not a lot. Except that I think I will feel just as relieved when that tub of butter is recovered. The moment the great mystery of the missing butter is solved will be right up there with the moment I pulled Nate's wedding ring from my cleavage (in terms of personal triumph, that is). Ah, but only the little viking knows the answer, folks. only the viking.

Days later...

We found the butter inside a huge silver stock pot and way up high, in the back of one of the kitchen cabinets. I don't even want to know how he got up there. How did he get up there? How did he get his hands on a pot that I have to use a step stool to get to? I swear, I haven't had that big pot out in ages. I laughed out loud when I saw it and felt like taking a victory lap around the house. Look buddy! I yelled. it's the butter! We found the butter! How in the world did you get up there? Huh? HOW? He smiled that little closed mouth half-moon smile. I sorry mommy, He said. I din mean to, I SORREEEE! Still with that half moon smile and me standing there, holding that tub of liquidy yellow goo, completely puzzled.

Monday, May 21, 2007


What is this crap about Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco getting back together? These are probably two of the most dull people on the face of the earth. You just know there is a reality show in the making in the hopes that they might kill each other on camera. Shouldn't they both be in prison somewhere? If this show goes on the air I will have to take my TV out in the yard and shoot it.

Last year, scientists described the body of a squirrel-like rodent found for sale in a meat market in Laos. They believed it belonged to a previously undescribed family and named it Laonastes aenigmamus. Upon closer analysis of the creature's teeth, a second group of researchers determined it was a member of the previously known rodent family, the Jimmynastes Cartermus.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Saintly Man, Recently Retired Wrote...
It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to yell at them. Some are oversensitive, and there's nothing worse than an oversensitive woman.My name is Jim. Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Peggy. When I retired a few years ago, it became necessary for Peggy to get a full-time job along with her part-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age. I usually get home from the golf club about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Men's Grill at the club so eating out is not reasonable. I'm ready for some home-cooked grub when I hit that door.She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed. Another symptom of aging is complaining, I think. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean). I like to think tact is one of my strong points.When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me, too. I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Peggy. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older. However, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help each other.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim died suddenly on March 27 of a perforated rectum. The police report says he was found with a Calloway extra long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II golf club jammed up his rear end, with barely 5 inches of grip showing and a sledgehammer lying nearby.His wife Peggy was arrested and charged with murder. The all-woman jury took only 15 minutes to find her Not Guilty, accepting her defense that Jim somehow, without looking, accidentally sat down on his golf club.

Friday, March 09, 2007


When my son's 2 year old son was at the house around Christmas, he played with my daughter's son's matchbox car set he had brought down with him from Indiana. When my daughter's herd got ready to leave, Matt said that one of his cars was missing. Ezra did not offer us any clue as to where this car might be, and a search of the house turned up nothing. It was concluded that Matt, a math whiz at school, had simply miscounted the number of cars that he had brought. He insisted that he knew one was missing, but caved in to the majority ruling. Fast-forward to March, I got home from playing golf and as I removed the golf bag from the car, I thought I heard a faint rolling noise in the bottom of the bag. Thinking thatI might have dropped a ball down in the club area, I brought the bag in, removed all the clubs and turned the golf bag upside down and shook it. I couldn't help but laugh when a miniature 1968, Z28 Camaro fell out of the bag and onto the floor. My guess was that little Ezra had taken an imaginary road trip into the den where my man-toys were stored, and driven it off into the abyss of the golf bag. Being unable to retrieve the Camaro, he probably went and got another car from Matt's collection to finish his trip.

On my birthday we all went out to eat at Longhorn's. The child plate included some grapes. While the adults were engaged in conversation, Ezra suddenly and emphatically demanded every one's attention. We all turned in unison to see what his problem was. On each side of his mouth you could see a grape bulging in his cheeks. His arms were raised with his fists clinched and when he saw that he had every one's attention, he slammed his fists into his cheeks, we watch him get this huge grin on his face as the grapes exploded in his mouth. The kid's got talent.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Things seem to be unraveling this week:

The bizarre trip of Astronaut Lisa Nowak putting on an Astronaut's diaper and driving 900 miles to do harm to Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman in Orlando Florida, for catching the affection of Astronaut William Oefelein. Guess she hasn't come down from space yet.

Anna Nicole Smith dying hours after Rosie goes on a rant about her, bad timing.

Ryan O'Neal thinking he was in a movie set saloon, shooting a hole in his ceiling to restore law and order in his household after finding his younger son Redmond tied up in a dog run by his older son to prevent him from taking anymore drugs.

Al Gore apparently rendered despondent by the weight of his environmental knowledge, wants to have it that the greener-than-thou crowd is saintly, while the producers of cars, power, food, fiber, roads, and roofs are appalling. The simplex "good vs. evil" theme of his little movie.

This got Nancy Pelosi to thinking that she would look good in a swankier jet that produces 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide an hour, and tried to rationalize her own contribution to global warming.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Mr. and Mrs. Coots are retired and Mrs. Coots insists her husband go with her to Wal-Mart, but he gets bored with all the shopping trips. He prefers to get in and get out, but Mrs. Coots loves to browse. Here's a letter sent to Mrs. Coots...

Dear Mrs. Coots,

Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite acommotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and may ban both or youfrom our stores. We have documented all incidents on our videosurveillance equipment. All complaints against Mr. Coots are listed below. things Mr. Bill Coots has done while his spouse was shopping inWal-Mart:

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them inpeople's carts when they weren't looking.
2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at5-minute intervals.
3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the restrooms.
4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in a officialtone, "Code 3" in housewares.............and watched what happened.
5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag ofM&M's on layaway.
6. September 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a carpetedarea.
7. September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and toldother shoppers he'd invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.
8. September 23: When a clerk asks if they can help him, he beginsto cry and ask, "Why can't you people just leave me a lone?"
9. October 4: Looked right into the security camera, used it as a mirror and picked his nose.
10. November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department,asked the clerk if he knows where the antidepressants are?
11. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously loudly hummingthe "Mission Impossible" theme.
12. December 6: In the auto department, practiced his "Madonna look" using different size funnels.
13. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsedthrough, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"
14. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumes the fetal position and screams "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!" And last but not least.............
15. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waitedawhile, then yelled very loudly, "THERE'S NO TOILET PAPER IN HERE!!!"

Regards, Wal-Mart

Friday, January 05, 2007


I think my son's-wife's-brother's wife had an interesting start to her new year.
What do you think?

So the last two days have been a ride. It's been like a series of crazy incidences. Odd things have been happening left and right! I mean, how often do you find your 12 month old wandering around chewing on a snow globe? How often do you pick up that child with a snow globe in her hand, and begin to wonder why your sleeve is wet? And when you look down at your sleeve you find the snowglobe leaking its odd liquid all over you? And then you realize that is why your 12 month old was sucking on it? And how often do you freak out and call poison control because your daughter ingested "snow globe liquid?" And how often do you hear someone say "we have no recorded incidences of stomach pumping because of a snow globe?" They did however, warn us to keep an eye out for the big V or big D and fever, due to bacteria in the liquid. Shaved another couple years off my life...! Zaine seems to be fine aside from some crazy diapers (her body fighting the substance, thankfully) but--I keep waiting to find glitter or some fake snow....

Then today I was in the basement with the girls watching Nate build the walls. Our basement is unfinished but we are trying to get it built before the end of the month, and he is doing all of the work he can before hiring out. So we have this big rule about "wearing shoes" because, of course, there are dangerous things lying all around like nails and splintered boards and such. Well Luxie had a moment of dancing around crazy and I had to calm her immediately because just behind her was this board with nails sticking up out of it. I could just see her step back on top of it or worse yet fall onto it. And no more did I get the words out of my mouth before I stepped back RIGHT onto a nail pierced board. Yes, I know, slippers hardly count for shoes and I ought to know better, but WOW was I surprised by that nail. "A NAIL! A NAIL! I STEPPED ON A NAIL!" I must have said it 700 times while balancing on one foot with Zaine in my arms. Nate grabbed my foot and pulled the nail board out and im not kidding, I felt a little suction "pop". "Take the baby, take the baby, take the baby..." was all i could get out and when Nate grabbed her I headed for the stairs crawling up on my hands and knees. All I could think about were those horror stories of lockjaw and I knew I hadnt had a tetnus shot in YEARS. I was heading straight for the antibacterial whatnot--anything to prevent the side effects if there were going to be any! What's funny is that when I got to the bathroom, I realized there wasnt much pain, and actually, there wasnt any blood. The hole was there.. small, but definitely there, so I have no idea what happened! And thankfully, it never really ended up hurting too badly. And my jaw seems to be working just fine, so another tragedy averted....

And now Im off to bed, to get some rest before a new day dawns. I have no idea how to prepare for what mishaps await me in the morning!