RB: I’ll prove I’m more knowledgeable than you. What were the names of the people on the Lewis and Clark expedition, not including Sacagawea?

RB: What should I give up for Lent?
Me: I have decided both of you are giving up your parents for Lent. We’ll go to Maui, and you guys can take care of the house and get yourselves to school.
RB: I… don’t want that.
Scout: *I’m* okay with that.

Shakespeare & Webcómics & Caterpillars

Have you checked out the 2009 Season Brochure from Georgia Shakes? You should. It’s big silly fun.

You should also buy tickets to their shows (and the other theaters around town, while you’re at it), but that goes without saying.

In the continuing effort to acquire fluency in Spanish, I’ve been searching for good spanish language webcomics as documented in my other LiveJournal, coheteelectrico.

SENI (or Sergio En Internet) has much the same feel as Questionable Content. Twenty-something angst and pop culture references in reasonably-decently drawn cartoon form.

El Maizo is a fairly young fantasy-style strip, which makes it a bit more complicated to read in a foreign language. I can spend 15 minutes trying to find what a word means, later realizing that it’s probably a made-up word specific to the universe of the comic. Like trying to find a definition of Ewok. I like the art of the strip and so I’ll keep reading.

My favorite thus far is El Bulbo, the adventures of a superhero lightbulb. His true calling is to fight monstruos gigantes, but he is often called upon to fight bad-guys who aren’t so bad, such as the Middle-Class Avenger (Clasemediero Vengador), who breaks into banks and forces the tellers at gunpoint to give good customer service.

As a result of attempting to read a superhero comic in Spanish, I’ve had to pick up a lot of action-hero related words:

dejar – to leave, as in ¡déjamelo a mí! or Leave it to me!
explotar – to explode
tirar – to throw, kick, knock over
vencer – to defeat, overcome, beat
soltar – to let go of, release
golpe – blow, kick, bump/collision
mentir – to lie
cumplir – to carry out, perform
sacar – to take out
enejo – anger
bala – bullet
bronca – trouble

That last one I tried to use in class, and my teacher admonished me not to use it. She couldn’t give me the specific connotations of what it means, but just that it was sort of like gang trouble, or a gang fight, or something like that.

I still haven’t found the Spanish equivalent of Scary Go Round or Girl Genius, arguably the best webcomics out there. I guess that’s asking too much.

When my son calls me up all excited that he has caught another caterpillar AND he got to pet a duck today, I remember that’s why I’m in this cube 8 hours a day and not bumming around living in a yurt on a beach somewhere, and all is right with the world.

Four Against One

I’m alone in the house with two five year olds and two two year olds. So far, I’m winning.

The girls are drawing with crayons quietly, the boys are downstairs wrestling loudly.

Occasionally, I have to stick my head downstairs and tell the boys to not wrestle on the stairs, or stop throwing knives, or to keep the open flame to a minimum.

L_ drew a little bit on Scout’s paper.
Scout: Daddy, L_ drew on my paper!
Me: She’s helping you!
Scout: Oh. (beat) Thank you, L_.

That never happens with boys.

Aprendiendo Español

Ayer en mi clase de español, dijimos unas historias que usó el tenso pretérito. Entonces, creo que puedo escribir en mi diario en español porque más de mi escritura son sobre el pasado. Ya no puedo escribir sobre el futuro.

Por ejemplo, por la noche pasada mis hijos estuvieron muy enloquecido. Creo que estuvieron entusiasmado por las vacaciones con sus abuelos en Kentucky. Los dos cantaron y saltaron en la cama cuando necesitaron estar durmiendo.

Vamos a ir a Kentucky esta noche… con el perro. Nosotros nunca viajamos con un perro, y estoy un poco preocupado. Lo está bastante difícil viajar con dos niños. Y si se perdemos durante el viaje, ¿qué?

Creo que voy a comer ahora.

10 o’clock and all’s loud

It’s 10pm.

And there is no letup on the running and cackling of the two 3.5 year olds.

Their voices have to give out soon… don’t they?

The Relax-on-the-couch-and-watch-a-Pixar-movie plan fell apart shortly after the opening credits.

My heart goes out to those with twins.

Dinner Conversation

, Rocket, Jr. and I were having dinner. The subject came up of the latest Atlanta Business Chronicle report on the local school systems. The three schools Rocket, Jr will attend all had high marks, with an average SAT of 1200. We talked a bit about how today’s 1200 is more like yesterday’s 1000, and a few other sundry things about standardized testing. I turned to Roan and said:

Me: I hope that by the time you get to college that SATs will be a thing of the past and better measures will be available to estimate your potential.
Rocket, Jr: (braaaaaap) I burped!


Too Sexy for his Jammies

This morning, I stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around my

St: Roan, Say “Hi Sexy Daddy.”
Ro: Hi Sexy Daddy!
Ry: Hi Sexy Roan!
Ro: (crying, running to Stacey) Daddy called me Sexy Roan!
St: Oh, it’s okay. It’s a nice thing to say.
Ro: I don’t want to be Sexy Roan!
St: Okay, you’re not Sexy Roan.
Ro: (walks away happy)

The Advent of Why?

Our entire household is recovering from the Great Sickness ’06. Stacey
and I are back at work today, though not with any enthusiasm or

At some point in the last couple days, Roan learned the question “why?”
Yesterday morning, I was huddled up in blankets on the couch with Roan
sitting on my chest asking “Why?” about every tiny detail in the
Wallace and Gromit video we were watching.

I would have been utterly charmed were it not for the fact that I wanted
to die.

So, my grace period has ended. Now I have to start Knowing Things.

The sky is blue because of the refractive nature of light through the
atmosphere, I think. I should confirm that, though.

One thing about Roan is that it is often hard to tell if he is sick or
not. A runny nose is about the only indicator we have, and that doesn’t
tell us the severity. Stacey and I both got what he had, and while it
knocked us on our asses for two days, Roan never wavered in his energy in
the slightest.

This is the same kid who was in the hospital with pneumonia and had to be
restrained from running up and down the halls. Doctors came from all over
the hospital to play ball with the kid with pneumonia. They’d look from
the x-rays of his chest to the little tasmanian devil and shake their
heads in wonder.

All of which means that for the past two days Roan has woken us up at 6am
jumping on the bed demanding to be told a story about him and his new
girlfriend Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl from Toy Story 2.

If we tell him to go back to sleep, he’ll just ask “Why?”

The fire is going to sleep, just like me.

There’s something haunting about the quote in the subject line. Which, of course, came from Roan tonight.

We got a cord of wood delivered today from Georgia Landscape Supply.

Yes, I own a house. Actually, it’s my third. And I have a wife, a job, a child, etc. But there’s something so terribly adult to me about ordering a cord of wood.

And it does make quite a large, imposing pile in the driveway. I simply just can’t wait to beginning labouriously toting it into the back yard, even aided by a wheelbarrow.

But the thing is that the wood is damp. But, excited by the prospect of not having to scavenge for fallen branches in the backyard to make a fire, I tried to get one going anyway. All day I’ve been trying. But it won’t do anything but char and sputter out. My father would have long since dumped motor oil on it to get it going, but that is one of the few ideas where my father and I firmly disagree. Actually, I can’t think of anyone who does agree that there’s nothing like the smell of burning motor oil to make a room nice and cozy. But that’s my father.

So the fire kept dying. Roan became increasingly concerned about it, and even (unfortunately) has overcome his fear of the fire to try to help. That’s also a very adult thing… to have your son take pity on your meager efforts and try to lend his self-professed expertise. Needless to say, I declined his kind offer, and told him to go back to watching Herbie: Fully Loaded1.

So, round about bedtime, I’d given up. I closed the flu and shut the glass doors on the wood stove. And I went to put Roan to sleep.

“What happened to the fire?” he asked, as I turned off the light.
“It’s in the fireplace. It’s gone out.”
“The fire is going to sleep, just like me.”

I know he’s probably not mocking me. But just the same, I’d like that wood to dry pronto.

1Which I liked. I’m a sucker for Herbie movies.