Sunday, December 31, 2006

You tell me...

Is it wrong that I feel emasculated jealous that my parents got Honey Mustard the 80 gb iPod for Christmas... which makes my 60 gb feel inadequate small?

Granted, they got me one of THESE... but still... her iPod has 20 more gigs than mine does...

I am jealous... is that wrong?

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Message of the Season

From Me, Honey Mustard, The Peanut Butter and The Jelly:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Soul-Cleansing Post or A Very Special Episode

Some of you may have noticed that I have been lax in posting the last few months… the truth of the matter is, I’ve been lax in everything for the last few months as I’ve battled through a deep-blue depression funk depression.

A variety of factors influenced these feelings… but the driving force/factor was my job and career... or rather, the lack thereof.

Something happened within me and I’ve turned a corner this past week. I don’t know what it was, but something has changed within me and I’m moving with purpose and aim now rather than wallowing in self-pity and loathsomeness...

If I knew what (or who) happened that rocketed me to this point, I would tell you

(Actually, I would first patent it, market it, make a killing at it, then tell all of you about it...)

All I know is I’m not in a funk anymore... I’m excited about my job, excited about a few job-prospects, and looking forward to a new year.

But the more I think about it... the more I slowly start to realize what happened that helped start me down this road.

It’s been a hard year for me, but then I realized that it hasn’t been anywhere as hard on me as it has for one particular cousin of mine.

In October, she lost her husband in a horrific traffic accident. This past week she lost her older brother (who was under the age of 50) to cancer.

Suddenly... all the problems I had been worrying/complaining about seemed insignificant in comparison… and in talking to my family this past week... I realized that.

Sure, I don’t have a perfect job that pays me what I’m (ahem) worth... but I have a job, I’m healthy, and I have a beautiful and loving wife, two beautiful and loving daughters, my parents, my older brother and an extended family that consists of four Aunts, two Uncles, a plethora of 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins, two nieces, four nephews and a surfeit of in-laws...

I’m lucky... I’m blessed... I’m happy...

... and I’m back.

About friggin’ time huh?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

It’s back… it’s bad… it’s totally rad…

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon…

  • Did we really need an actual study to determine that couples have pre-marital sex?? In other news: the sky is blue, water is wet…
  • 5 days to go… and The PB & The J can barely stand it…
  • Can you guess what band has a new album coming out in March? Guns N’Roses. Follow-up question: will anyone care?
  • How many of you saw the Christmas episode of “Studio 60?” If you liked the musician’s version of ‘O Holy Night’, you can download it for free on… it’s worth it.
  • Open question to the Chicago Cubs… $23 million for Jason Marquis? Really??
  • Newest Hollywood couple: Christian Slater & Sharon Stone. What can be said besides; ‘Eeeeeewwwwww…’
  • Last year The PB & The J had to watch ‘A Christmas Story’ once a day… this year? “The Polar Express”. I can’t decide which is worse…
  • Best Fark headline of the day: “In the latest cunning plan to unseat Ted Kennedy, bill seeks to ban trans fats from Massachusetts”
  • Tom Cruise has announced he’s gonna make a movie based on a novel by scientologist founder L. Ron Hubbard… cuz earlier attempts to do that did oh so well…
  • 1/20/2009…hee hee hee hee
  • A few phrases that got people to my small, insignificant corner of the blogosphere: “disney princess electric roadster”, “weekend at bernie's a guilty pleasure”, “word escape me” (coming from Japan’s Google), “placebo”, “kemp” (coming from New Zealand’s Google), “"donte stallworth parents” (only result for that inquiry)…
  • Today’s superfluous, blatant attempt to draw people to my small, insig— you get the idea… “super pants”
  • Today’s gratuitous and spontaneous blog plug is: Back to Me
  • Today’s mental iPod Song of the Day: Christmas is coming, so it’s a Christmas song… “Elf’s Lament” by Barenaked Ladies featuring Michael Bublé.

I'm a man of reason, and they say "'Tis the season to be jolly"

But it's folly when you volley for position

Never in existence has there been such a resistance

To ideas meant to free us

If you could see us, then you'd listen

Toiling through the ages, making toys on garnished wages

There's no union

We're only through when we outdo the competition

I make toys, but I've got aspirations

Make some noise

Use your imagination

Girls and boys, before you wish for what you wish for

There's a list for who's been

Naughty or nice, but consider the price to an elf

A full indentured servitude can reflect on one's attitude

But that silly red hat just makes the fat man look outrageous

Absurd though it may seem, you know, I've heard there's even been illegal doping

And though we're coping, I just hope it's not contagious

You try to start a movement, and you think you see improvement

But when thrown into the moment, we just don't seem so courageous

I make toys, but I've got aspirations

Make some noise

Use your imagination

Girls and boys, before you wish for what you wish for

There's a list for who's been

Naughty or nice, but consider the price to an elf

You look at yourself

You're an elf

And the shelf is just filled with disappointing memories

Trends come and go, and your friends wanna know why you aren't just happy makingcrappy little gizmos

Every kid knows they'll just throw this stuff away

We're used to repetition, so we drew up a petition

We, the undersigned, feel undermined

Let's redefine "employment"

We know that we've got leverage, so we'll hand the fat man a beverage

And sit back while we attack the utter lack of our enjoyment

It may be tough to swallow, but our threats are far from hollow

He may thunder, but if he blunders, he may wonder where the toys went

I make toys, but I've got aspirations

Make some noise

Use your imagination

Girls and boys, before you wish for what you wish for

There's a list for who's been

Naughty or nice, but consider the price

Naughty or nice, but consider the price

Naughty or nice, but consider the price to an elf.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I’ve been very, very lax in posting lately, and for that I apologize… my life has been in a bit of flux lately, and, while it hasn’t totally leveled out yet, it’s getting there. And since Mr. Big Dubya posted my daughters picture on his mantel, I thought I better spruce the place up a bit before more people stop by…

I have a story to tell…it’s about sex… murder… and debauchery…

It really isn’t, but those three words should get me some interesting visitors via Google, don’t ya think?

Actually, it’s a quick post to say to you all: thanks for stoppng by. I’ll be funny and informative again soon… I have one post ready to go, but it’s on my laptop at work (the bastards took away my blog access at work so I can only work on this and my other blogs at home – let me rephrase that, I can only POST at work, I can still type posts up at work)

Have a good day, and for all of you visiting for the first time, check out my Top Ten Posts on the right… no, not there, lower… no, farther down… keep scrolling, keep scrolling… there ya go.

Also be sure to check out my ever-famous ‘100 Things’ post… also on the right.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Funny as hell!

This is an absolute hilarious mix of "Peanuts" and "Scrubs"...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Was Gordon Gekko* Right?

Christmas is fast approaching, and that can mean only one thing… do you know what that one thing is?





It’s greed.

The children, and let’s be honest, some adults, are getting greedy and The Peanut Butter and The Jelly are right in line with all the other 3-10 year olds.

Now I don’t think this is something that purely affects my children… I think all children of a certain age experience this concept of greed at Christmastime… it’s natural… they’ve been getting these brightly-wrapped packages that they are not only allowed to tear open, but are encouraged to tear open, and inside are things they get to play with or wear… how could they not get greedy?

The Peanut Butter and The Jelly are four, and they now know that Christmas = Presents. It’s a pretty easy equation along the lines of 1 + 1 = 2 that anyone (save for our current “President”— sorry, I should save that kind of talk for my poli-blog) can understand…

We as parents try to teach them the true meaning of Christmas, whether it be from a secular (the birth of Jesus) or non-secular (love to all mankind) standpoint… but who can compete with the constant barrage of catalogs, friends & cousins, TV & radio commercials and the like that are children are being inundated with?

At our house, we’ve been receiving gift and toy catalogs since mid-October… and the girls seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to those. They can sniff ‘em out and pour over them faster than people running from a Kevin Federline “concert.”

So where should we, as parents, place the blame?

Ourselves? I’m a firm believer that it’s up to the parents to make sure a child does what is right and doesn’t do what is wrong, so with that I say yes, but with a qualifier: we were probably the same way when we were their age and we turned out alright. And as I said above, we try our hardest to teach them the true meaning of the holiday, but sometimes we’re outgunned and outmaneuvered and it’s easier to pick your battles and know which ones can be won or lost.

Who else can be blamed?

Cousins? Well, I could blame a couple of my nieces and nephews who seem to exacerbate the greed with The PB & The J, but that would be unfair…

The media? Well… the media definitely seems to be an aggressor/agitator/make-it-worser (it’s a word it I use it) when it comes to children and greed, but I don’t think I can place the blame solely on them.

Greed is not necessarily a bad thing in moderation, and odds are my kids will grow out of it eventually… I did. But for now, “get while the getting’s good” seems to be the mantra for Christmas 2006.

Next year, I bet it will change….

* “…greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.”

Monday, November 27, 2006


I no longer have access to blogs at work... so... if you thought my posting had been in a lull lately, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Seriously though, I will try and post as much as I can in the evening hours after The Peanut Butter and The Jelly go to bed.

First Scott loses his access, then me... who's next??

11/30/06 UPDATE: Hmmmm... something very strange is going on here... at times I have access, other times I don't. It seems as though someone is sitting at a computer monitoring station somewhere and every once in a while, just to piss me off, they'll take away access to bloglines...

Where's the Christmas love man? It's not like I'm surfing through porn (like any man I do that in the comfort of my home after my wife has gone to sleep...), it's a blog...I'm trying to keep up with my blogmigos (some of whom seem to be ignoring me now, but that's another post for another day)

What will the next hour hold? Access to blogs... or no access to blogs? Come back later and find out... I know I will.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy this snippit (about 5:30 minutes in length) from what I consider the best Thanksgiving sitcom episode EVAH!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Words Escape me...

Word's escape me in trying to describe this, supposedly one of the 'hottest' toys this Christmas.

This is supposed to be a children's toy, but first blush brings to mind a toy of a more "adult" nature...

Your thoughts?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Edmund Fitzgerald Redux

Kemp's Note: Today is the 31st anniversary of the wreck of the USS Edmund Fitzgerald. I wrote a post about it last year (classified to the right as one of my Top Ten Posts), so I thought I would post it again, this time with a useful LINK HERE, to a story from WJRT-TV. Enjoy.

The Great Lakes cover over 90,000 square miles and supply one-fifth of the world’s fresh water, with Lake Superior being the largest. The Chippewa Indians call Lake Superior “Kitchi-gummi” which means “great-water”. Later discovered by French explorers who named the lake, “le lac superieur”, which translates to upper lake.

Lake Superior is one of the busiest shipping lanes in North America and is connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway. More than 1000 ships travel its waters each year landing either in the port of Duluth in the United States or Thunder Bay in Canada. Lake Superior is also large enough that it has considerable effect on the weather, especially when winds blow across its surface. Duluth sees over 50 days of fog between spring and fall and sometimes during a particularly cold winter the entire lake will freeze over. Another weather phenomenon common to the region, and particularly to Lake Superior, are the sometimes-vicious “northeasters”, which are gales that occur (mostly in November) and are formed when intense low pressure systems pass over the lake, thus creating hurricane-force winds that churn up enormous waves.

(Locals refer to these storms as “the witch of November.” It’s little wonder that the bottom of Lake Superior is littered with the skeletons of no less than 350 ships, most of them falling victim to the temperamental November ‘witch’)

That’s fascinating Kemp, but why the hell are you telling us all of this? And why the hell so many links?

Simple. Today (Thursday, November 10, 2005) is the 30th Anniversary of the most famous sinking on Superior (as well as the most baffling): that of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald.

This is a story that has always interested me and I knew, after realizing that the anniversary was today, that I had to write about it and give all you loyal readers the means to find out more, thus the superfluity of linkage.

The Fitzgerald was one of the largest lake vessels of her kind at 729 feet long, 75 feet wide and with a cargo capacity of 27,500 tons. The 7,500 horsepower engines were built by Westinghouse Electric Corporation and helped the ship set different shipping records.

The captain was Earnest MacSorley and gale warnings had already been issued when MacSorley steered the Edmund Fitzgerald, loaded down with taconite, out of Superior, Wisconsin’s docks shortly after 2PM. Meanwhile what looked like a typical November storm was intensifying. On the morning of November 10, heavy rain was falling and winds were gusting from the Northwest in excess of 60 mph as the storm tracked toward Canada, pummeling the Fitzgerald. A little after 3PM that same afternoon, Captain MacSorley reported that his ship was suffering damage and listing. At that time, another ship (The S.S. Arthur M. Anderson) that was sailing close to the Fitzgerald, agreed to stay close until they reached the calmer waters of Whitefish Bay.

In less than a half hour, the storm intensified with wind gusts clocking in at over 100 miles per hour. Shortly thereafter MacSorley again called in to the Anderson, and reported that the ship had lost all radar. Both ships continued on through the worsening conditions, the Anderson keeping track of the Edmund Fitzgerald on her radar screen. By early evening, around 7PM, meteorologists believe the storm’s pressure reached its lowest point; this combined with energy from the jet stream and created a series of enormous waves that first slammed into the Anderson and then into the Fitzgerald. The Anderson sustained damage but survived the onslaught and immediately The captain of the Anderson, Jesse Cooper, radioed the Edmund Fitzgerald to warn the crew of what to expect. The last words that came from Captain MacSorley were, “We are holding our own”.

Ten minutes later, around 7:25 PM… the big freighter had disappeared from all radar screens and the ‘witch’ had claimed yet another victim.

The day after the wreck, Mariners' Church in Detroit rang its bell 29 times, once for each life lost, a memorial that continues to this day. Every year on the anniversary, the church reads the names of the crewmen and rings the church bell.

An investigation by the Coast Guard suggested that the Edmund Fitzgerald had likely suffered enough initial damage that she began taking on water, causing the ship to list. Already unstable, the Fitzgerald was unable to ride out the onslaught of the massive waves once the northeaster worsened and she foundered, plunging to the bottom of Lake Superior with enough force to snap her in half. That report proved controversial, with the most common alternate theory contending that inoperative radar forced the crew to rely on maps that were woefully inacurate and, as a result, the Fitzgerald ran aground on a shoal without the crew knowing it and received bottom damage, thus causing it to gradually take on water until it sank.

The Edmund Fitzgerald now lies rusting under 550 feet of water. None of the sailors bodies were ever recovered. On July 4, 1995, a submarine expedition salvaged the ship’s bell and replaced it with another (as a tribute to the sailors and their families) with the date of the disaster and the names of the dead engraved on it. The bell is on display at the Whitefish Point museum near Paradise, Michigan.

The mystery of exactly how and why the Edmund Fitzgerald sank has never been discovered and the attachment of the ship and the story lives on, helped by the Gordon Lightfoot song: “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” (lyrics to the song can be found here)

After reading a piece about the sinking in Newsweek, Lightfoot was inspired to write one of the signature songs of his lengthy career (and also one of his greatest hits) that turned into an improbable Top 40 smash.

Maritime historian Frederick Stonehouse, when speaking about the song, states: “In large measure, his song is the reason we remember the Edmund Fitzgerald. That single ballad has made such a powerful contribution to the legend of the Great Lakes.”

Three decades after the tragedy, the Fitzgerald remains the most famous of the 6,000 ships that disappeared on the Great Lakes. And the reasons for its sinking will probably never be known.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Much left to learn, young grasshoppers...

Last night I was talking to my brother on the phone about the (euphoric) events of the past few days. In doing so, I mentioned that since Rumsfeld resigned earlier that day, and since the Democrats won control of the House and the Senate, that “Dubya is curled-up in the fetal position and crying.”

The Peanut Butter and The Jelly immediately asked; “Cuckoo-Bananas is crying?”

I obviously have taught them well...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Something Wicked this Way Comes: The Book Meme

I’m a reader. An avid reader. So I’m gonna change it a little and make it ‘More Than One Book That…’

Why? Because I’m suffering from a severe case of Blogstipation (should that be capitalized?) and think this could be the very thing to get me out of my blogging-doldrums.

What gives me the authority to change it? Well… it’s my blog so, conceivably, I can do what I want.

1. One book that changed my life. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Quite possibly the best book I’ve ever read with a message of tolerance, acceptance, and friendship. Another one is Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict. My parents (both Sociology majors in college) made me read this book when I was in 8th grade… and I understand why. For those of you who don’t know the book, it’s an examination of cultural studies that many say is as relevant today as it was when it was written in 1934.

2. One book I read more than once. The problem with this question is that there are quite a few books I’ve read more than once. Some of them include: Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

3. One book I'd want on a deserted island. Okay, changing this one to more than one sort of voids the premise, so I’m gonna keep this as ‘one’ and say To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s one of those books that every time I read it, I notice or read something new.

4. One book that made me laugh. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Actually, let’s throw in the entire series while you’re at it and add a couple of his non-Hitchhiker’s works like Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.

5. One book that made me cry. I’m a man… we don’t cry… what are you thinking?? Me cry?? Hey! How about them Rams Bears Colts? Sigh… no one’s buying this so I might as well ‘fess up’. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Cried like a girl baby…Also Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene. While it’s not a tearjerker per se, it’s full of wit, wry comedy and poignancy. If you’ve never read Graham Greene, I highly suggest you start off with this novel then progress to The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and one of his plays: “The Potting Shed”

6. One book I wish I'd written.. This is a toughie. Do I go with something that made the author a shitload of money or do I go with something that changed society and/or people?? I’m gonna have to go with one of my favorite all-time books and say The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Granted, he probably didn’t make a whole lot of money from the book, but his ancestors are and let’s face it; it’s changed a lot of people and probably has altered some lives.

7. One book I wish had never been written. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen “Whiny-Ass Bitch” Covey. What a bunch of claptrap; pointless, inane, and chock full of shit that should be freaking COMMON SENSE!!!! It’s not that hard… Why do I wish it had never been written? Because some people take it to heart (if you’re one of those people: I feel for you, I really do) and try to live their entire life by it. I read it the first time in high school and felt like I needed a shower afterwards. I don’t mean to get off on a rant here, but if more people stopped reading Covey and started reading real books, then we wouldn’t have this problem with every person in the world thinking that they can solve the problems of everyone else despite not having any training or education in that area…

Whew… I’m okay now…

8. One book I'm reading now. QB VII by Leon Uris & The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra.

9. One book I've been meaning to read. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I’ve never read it… I’ve meant to… I’ve wanted to… I just never have… but I am meaning to read it… just give me some time…

10. Tag, you're it: Scott, MetroDad & Croutonboy.

Monday, November 06, 2006


There’s less than 24 hours to go and while many politicians (and Liberals) are contemplating sedatives (if not something stronger) there is an election tomorrow and we at TBWA (and Kemp's Blog) want everyone to get out and vote…

You can’t vote by sitting in front of your computer (at least not yet).

And you can’t vote by sitting on your couch at home…unless of course you have an absentee ballot.

You have to go to your respective polling place and pull the lever, punch the chad, push the button, scan the optic or fill-in the oval (which one of those do you think sounds sexual?).

In short; you must vote.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, republican, Independent, Libertarian, Communist, Green or even a Mickey Mouse party fan… you must get out and vote.

If you think your ballot is worthless and doesn’t carry any weight you’re wrong.

According to The Voters Paradox by Leon Felkins and Mack Tanner the importance of any single vote declines the more voters as having made a rational decision.

The other side of the coin says that with fewer voters, the influence of an individual’s vote rises. Furthermore, if you don’t’ vote, you’re allowing others to speak for you… and that ain’t right.

You want another reason? Voting is a profound statement of our democracy, a birthright if you will, that no one, absolutely no one, should take for granted and ignore.

Every voice counts.

Every opinion counts.

Every vote counts.

So get your ass out to the polls and vote tomorrow.

Now… if you want to use your own brain and make an informed decision that will help our country, then vote Democratic.

If you want to screw the country with it’s collective pants on while maintaining the status quo, then vote republican.

If you feel guilty and want to vote your conscience while drinking coffee from a styrofoam cup, vote Green party.

If you want to vote with an eye on common ownership, vote Communist.

If you want to vote with an eye towards being free to do whatever you want, vote Libertarian.

However you decide to vote… just vote.

Cross-posted at The "Bush"Whacked Administration

Monday, October 30, 2006

When sports means more than just a pastime

My life, lately, has been rather pathetic, sad and depressing.

Deaths in the family, a fruitless job search, a current job hanging by a thread, difficult personal financial situations (all of which have caused problems with the wife and I. I know, I know… we shouldn’t let those problems effect us, and we sincerely try not to take the problems out on each other or the kids, but as most of my readers know… it’s hard. As MetroDad says about marriage: "...marriage is like a duck. On the surface, it looks cool and effortless, but underneath, everybody's paddling like hell." But I’m getting far off the point…) have all made my life very, very stressful. And while my life lately has been enough to make one incredibly depressed and despondent (which is how I’ve been for the last couple of days weeks months…), this past Friday night, something… something that some people might call insignificant… happened…

My baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, the team my parents, my aunts & uncles, my cousins, my brother and I have followed for as long as I can remember, won the World Series for the first time since I was a nine-year old lad in 1982.

Granted, it may not have been the most exciting World Series for non-Cardinals and non-Tigers fans to watch; after all, it was sloppy, short… and very, very wet.

But for Cardinal fans; it was bliss… and since it happened on a Friday I had a whole weekend to revel in it. More importantly, since I live in the Chicago-land area, I had the whole weekend to enjoy the victory in front of Cubs fans that had to live through the cross-town rivals winning it last year and their long-time league rivals winning it this year… talk about a sweet moment(s).

For a short time, the victory helped me forget my troubles and focus on the joy of a city and the joy of ‘Redbird Nation’…

And for that moment, and the euphoric moments that followed… all was right with the world.

Now I only hope that it continues and transmissions to something more vital... like a new job, a new outlook on life and better financial standing... otherwise I might be hoping for an ever-unlikely Super Bowl victory for my Rams... and I think we all know the chances of that happening...

Saturday, October 28, 2006


All the experts said it couldn't be done...

They all said the Tigers would win it in 4, 5 or 6 games... one jackass even said 3...

The "worst" world series ever some sportswriters said...

To them I say two simple words:



My boys... the team I've followed my entire life, won the 2006 World Series.

After the humiliation of 2004...

The agony of 1987 and the Garbage Bag's "fans"...

The blown call of 1985...

The 1982 championship against a team that's now in the National League...

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series 4 games to 1.

If you all don't mind, I'm just going to savor this for now and will write a more meaningful post about it later.

For now... I have some beer to drink, some people to call (Cubs fans mostly), some gloating to do (mostly Cubs fans, but a few Tigers fans) and some air to walk on...

In the words of Jack Buck: "Go crazy folks, go crazy. That's a winner!"

Thursday, October 19, 2006


It's on Queen...

Cross-posted on Draft Day Suit

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It’s getting worse...

My blogstipation is turning into a severe lack of posting-desire.

Any suggestions?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ultra-quick Random Thoughts

  • I’d like to thank everyone who expressed their well-wishes to me last week, I truly appreciated it. Thank you.
  • Big thanks to Kara for making me laugh last week with this “special” post.
  • I am the proud new owner of a Motorola Razr… talk about a sweet phone. The phone was free, and I’m getting a free Bluetooth wireless headset as a rebate as well.
  • I took a picture with my new phone on Saturday. It was a picture from a store here in town of a Christmas display… on October 6th… Christmas hype starting in five… four… three…
  • How many people visiting this blog would elect me President if I promised to pass a law making it illegal to start selling Christmas before Thanksgiving?
  • Looking for a job sucks moose cock…
  • I am suffering from a severe case of blogstipation. I can’t think of anything to write for any of my blogs. I haven’t started to panic yet, but just wait.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Bad Week

For those of you asking why I haven’t been posting this week, I’ll let you know...

Last Saturday night, the husband of one of my cousins was killed in a car accident near St. Louis... a car accident that resulted in the deaths of five other people.

Add to that the news that another cousin (one who retired two years ago after 30 years in the army) is going back to Baghdad as a private contractor for one year.

And even more, it was a year ago yesterday that the daughter of another cousin was murdered (along with 3 others) and we received word this past week that the trial has been set for mid-November.

So needless to say, the past seven days have not been easy on my family and me, so I just wanted to let all of my faithful readers, and blogmigos, know where I’ve been.

I’ll be funny again next week, I promise...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Yep, we're that sophomoric...

Honey Mustard was reading a bedtime book about planets to The Peanut Butter & The Jelly tonight.

She turns the page and reads: "Can you find Uranus?


She and I burst out laughing... meanwhile the girls are looking at us like we're strange (which, of course, we are)... and we can't stop laughing...

Must be our juvenile sense of humor...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Sans cast

The six weeks is over...

The cast is off...

Things are returning back to normal at Casa de Gemelos as The Peanut Butter had her short cast removed yesterday (her long-cast was removed 2-weeks ago) and is now, cast-free.

Let me get a ‘whoo-hoo’ for The PB!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It Begins

I know it was inevitable, I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

Pop quiz; what do candy bars, popcorn, wrapping paper, books and pizzas all have in common?

You give up?

They’re all things that kids are forced asked to sell while they are in school.

You can see what’s coming next, right?

They’re only four (and ½) years old, but The Peanut Butter and The Jelly have already started a ritual that every student in the United States has to endure for years & years and years & years…

That’s right, The PB & The J are selling stuff for their school.

Four years old… in preschool… and they’re selling stuff.

Well, not them so much as Honey Mustard and I.

They are selling popcorn… and not just any popcorn my friend; “Gourmet” popcorn (which in layman’s terms means small amounts of “relatively expensive” popcorn) There’s no normal buttered corn here, no sirree bob… this popcorn has flavors like Macadamia Crunch, Chicago Style, Chocolate-drizzled Carmel Corn, White Cheddar cheesecorn, Cookies and Cream and Rainbow (green apple, cheery, peach and two other flavors that have NO right being anywhere near a kernel of corn)

The girls did a good job of asking people if they wanted to buy popcorn (as good as any four-year old could), but let’s face it – when kids are this young and are assigned to sell something, the schools are expecting the parents to do it.

I remember selling stuff in grade school, junior high and high school… but not preschool.

Candy bars that were small and pricey (never mind that you could get essentially the same thing in the story for half that amount), pizzas that tasted like ass, popcorn that never fully popped, tins of popcorn that had probably been sitting around since the Eisenhower administration, wrapping paper that was ugly and magazines that no-one ever wanted to read… ever…

The strangest thing I ever sold? Poinsettias. Not for a garden club or anything, but for the speech/debate team in my high school.

My questions to you, dear readers and blogmigos, what age do you remember starting in on this grand tradition and what was the strangest thing you remember selling?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

They're Aaron Sorkin junkies...

Having been subjected to seeing every episode of "The West Wing" since... hell, since they were in the womb, it's no wonder that The Peanut Butter and The Jelly are big West Wing fans.

On Monday & Tuesday nights (my wife is at school those nights. BTW, cheer her on blogaudience as, after this semester, she has only two classes left towards her Master's Degree), when I ask the girls what they want to do- their response is usually the same: play legos and watch West Wing with Daddy.

(Truthfully - how many 4-year olds do you know who will ask for West Wing by name?)

So we'll play legos and watch one episode of West Wing (their favorite episode is "Privateers" from Season 4... probably because in one scene, Josh mentions Captain Feathersword) before I turn the TV off and read them one two three four books before it's bed time.

Now... it seems I've gotten them hooked on "Studio 60..."

I recorded the first episode last week because Honey Mustard and I weren't home, and when I watched it last Tuesday night, they sat on the couch next to me... somewhat mesmerized.

Because HoMu was at school last night, I taped it for her and me (I was watching the football game)

When I picked them up from school this afternoon, on the way to their grandma's, The PB asked: "Daddy, Sunstriptudi tonight?"

I can only assume that she was asking me if we were going to watch "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" tonight.

What can I say, my kids are Aaron Sorkin junkies.

Maybe I can use their love of all-things-Sorkin to get "Sports Night: The Complete Series" on DVD.

It's worth a shot...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Psst, hey... buddy...

Did you know that tomorrow is the First Anniversary of Scott and mine’s Poli-Blog – The BushWhacked Administration?

You didn’t?

Well… now you do.

What do we have planned?

We have a guest post by a friend of mine about her feeling’s towards former Texas Governor Ann Richards, a couple of reflective pieces by Scott and I, a wrap-up of the last 12 months and last, but certainly not least, a special post by everyone’s favorite Goon Squad leader;

BTW; if any of you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge... I do mean any of you) want to write a guest post for TBWA, by all means, let me know at… even if you’re a conservative (there must be a few out there who read my blog) we’ll post it as Scott and I both believe in practicing tolerance for those that disagree with us… no matter how wrong they may be.

So be sure to stop by TBWA tomorrow and say hi.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Only a matter of time...

Knowing that my daughters each have one at home, I'm waiting for the day when ALL the electronic Elmo dolls become self-aware, fight back and eventually rule the earth.

It's like Small Soldiers meets Maximum Overdrive meets Chucky; death, carnage, toys...

Think about it...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Doing a Solo

Yesterday, Honey Mustard, The Peanut Butter and The Jelly had a baby shower to attend at Noon...

Which means that I was home alone...

You read that right; home alone.

As in no kids.

As in no wife.

Not a single person... just some beer, some cheese, some chips, some football... and me.

It was like I had died and gone to guy-heaven, where it’s always football-season Sundays and you can eat all the cheese, chips and beer you want and not get fat.

It also gave me some perspective as I totally get Superman’s Fortress of Solitude now… he wasn’t going there to meditate; he was going to get away from saving the world every five minutes. He went there so he could watch some football, drink some beer, stick his hand in his tights and veg-out.

Don’t get me wrong though, I absolutely love my kids and my wife... but sometimes... a man just has to be alone in his Sunday-glory with no worries except the occasional fantasy football-related question such as: “Why didn’t I draft the Bears ‘defense?” Or “What the hell was I thinking in drafting Lamont Jordan?”

(Being alone watching football also allows one to scream obscenities at the television with impunity when you see that your Wide Receiver on the Lions can't catch a fuc**** pass to save his life even though he guaranteed a victory the previous week... but I digress.)

Solitude is a good thing... unless your Emily Dickinson of course, then I wouldn’t advise it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

'Cast'ing Call

It's been four weeks already.

Today is the day that The Peanut Butter gets her full-arm cast taken off and replaced by a half-arm cast, which she will wear for the final two weeks.

When Honey Mustard and I asked her what color she wanted, she responded with a hearty shout of "Orange!"

When we asked her why, she said; "Because orange is sissy's (The Jelly) favorite color..."

Cries of ‘Aaawwwww... isn't that precious,’ in five... four... three... two...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

Writer’s Block... again... and I can’t think of a damn thing to write, and when I do… it makes no sense whatsoever.

While that would qualify me to be a member of “President” Bush’s speechwriting staff, it’s not good enough for my loyal reader.

But I can still spew-out vapid, random thoughts… so here ya go.

  • Hmmm… what do I care less about? Brittany’s second baby… or results from "Dancing with the Stars"? Damn, that's a toughie...
  • From the people who brought us the picture of the python that exploded after eating an alligator, comes a python stuck in the road after eating a pregnant sheep… yes, you read that right, a pregnant sheep… click HERE for the picture goodness…
  • This week’s Give me a fuc**** break award goes to Florida Circuit Judge Susan Roberts for warning the mother of two murder victims to NOT cry on the stand. Whether it makes legal sense or not, and personally I’ve never heard of this before, it’s cold and shows an obscene lack of empathy.
  • Google is celebrating banned books this month (do not get me started on censorship!) and, being one who firmly believes in the First Amendment and have read most of these, I wanted to link the site. Check it out, some of them will make you scratch your head and wonder; ‘Why the hell would someone want to ban this book?’
  • Want to post your own message on a McDonald’s sign? Try this LINK.
  • What a cheap-ass stunt (pun intended…)
  • Fark Headline of the day: “Triple amputee arrested for assaulting wife. Even though he was unarmed, state attorney says he hasn't leg to stand on with self-defense claims.”
  • No fair… my iPod only has 60 GB
  • El Niño is back… mwahhh hah hah hah hah hah hah hah…
  • Search flashback. These things brought people to my corner of the blogosphere recently: “Kids electric vehicles corvette”, “menards marion il” (second time in as many months), “edmund fitzgerald stream”, “EIU Pemberton mary Hawkins”, “PMS-irritable moods”, “magic kingdom trip parade”, “kemp high school squad”, “Donte Stallworth parents”
  • Today’s phrase written only as a blatant attempt to attract readers (which I’m “borrowing” from Sarah): doodlebops without makeup
  • This weeks wanton Blog Plug: Back to Me

All I got... have fun with 'em...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Do you feel a 'Draft'?

The Blog Pound Draft is done… after 3 ½ hours, we all had our teams… we all had trash-talked… and (most) had drank…

The players on the draft, done online AND over the phone, were BIYF, Bump, Child’s Play x 2, CroutonBoy, Genuine, Me, Marginally Clever, MetroDad, More Diapers, Queen of Spain & The Kaiser

I liked having it both ways, but at times I was listening to the phone conversation and missed an online mention of QoS’s boobs, but I did hear everyone at one time make fun of Jeff George (BTW, I met him once while he was still a “student” at Illinois and I can tell you this – he is as big a dick as you’ve heard)

By all accounts… I have a pretty good team (Name: The BushWhackers)

The strange thing is… I didn’t draft one St. Louis Ram…

I didn’t get the exact team I wanted as I did lose out on some of my preferred players. For example, everyone’s favorite ‘Goon-squad leader’ Sarah, drafted one ahead of me and took Cadillac Williams before I could… and Carson Palmer before I could… and Aaron Brooks…and Reggie Bush… wait a minute… she has my team…

Anyhow… I’m still optimistic about my final team. In case you want to know, here’s my team and “expert” analysis, let me know if you agree… if you don’t… meh.

  • Matt Hasselbeck, QB - Underrated with minimal risk of interceptions
  • Jon Kitna, QB - Good back-up as he now has offensive guru Mike Martz as his O-coordinator
  • Frank Gore, RB - Should come into his own this season
  • LaMont Jordan,RB - Ditto, but with a better ‘O’ line… and the possibility of Jeff George
  • LenDale White, RB - Only a matter of time until he’s starting in Tennessee, with a small, ‘but’…
  • Travis Henry, RB - Ditto, but with a much-larger ‘but’…
  • Duce Staley, RB - Will replace ‘The Bus’ on certain downs and should be an okay back-up
  • Donte' Stallworth, WR- Could be a breakout year as he now has a QB and his QB now has a target
  • Roy Williams, WR - Should benefit from the high-flying attack of Martz
  • Michael Clayton, WR - One of Simms’ favorite targets
  • Peerless Price, WR - Always a good back-up
  • Ben Watson, TE - Could put up WR numbers this year… plus Brady loves him like Bridget Monyhan…well, maybe not quite the same way…
  • Jay Feely, K - Meh… he’s a kicker
  • Panthers D - Strong…
  • Cowboys D - On the upswing, and should fill-in nicely on Carolina’s bye week

The first game is still a week away (The Kaiser), so it should be an interesting season.

Go BushWhackers!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To separate or not to separate; that is the question

Go ahead, research it… talk to other parent’s of twins… read the book…

You’ll find the same opinions Honey Mustard and I did… opinions that are split down the middle of which of the two options is better.

I’m speaking of separating twins in school.

I bring this up because a
few people have asked if the decision to separate The Peanut Butter & The Jelly in school was HoMu’s and mine. They also wanted to know how we came to arrive at that decision.

It was a mutual decision, and it was ours solely.

After talking to other parents and researching, it was the behavior of our children that prompted us to divide and conquer and split them up.

The reason?

The J tends to speak for, and over, The PB, so we decided that having them in different classes would benefit both of them… and after three days – it has. The PB is speaking more and getting involved in class, as is The J.

The school district here (the one where I was almost chosen to be on the school board), does not have a strict policy regarding twins in the classroom and leave that decision to the parents.

I’m not going to say this it the best option for everyone and would suggest you do your own research and talk to other parents (and I can almost guarantee that the opinions you get will be the same as my wife and I encountered, split right down the middle)

My best advice on this decision, and please remember this is only my opinion - I’m not an expert, is that you gauge your children’s attitudes and behavior and use that as the barometer for making the decision.

Will their separation be the way it is for their entire school careers? Doubtful, but it’s hard to tell at this moment, but for now, it’s working out very well.

But stay tuned…

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

'I don't remember growing older, when did they?'

Today was the second day of school for The Peanut Butter and The Jelly… and their first day riding the school bus, and since Honey Mustard had an early-morning meeting, I was in charge of getting them onto said bus.

If you read yesterday’s post, I didn’t cry when they went for their first day of school, (HoMu did) though I did wax poetically.

I cannot say the same thing for this morning...

I’m not even sure why I cried… but when they both stepped onto the bus steps, turned to me and said “Bye Daddy, we love you,” well... that was the ball game... it was as if the universe imploded and…… I snapped.

I broke down and cried like Adam Morrison (well, okay, maybe not that badly… but I did cry, and I'm not ashamed to admit it... though I will be checking out pictures of naked women immediately after posting this...)

If I'm like this now... what the hell am I going to be like when they start dating?? Will I have to be locked-up like Hannibal Lecter when the boys come-a-callin'?


It continues...

(Note: This is the fourth attempt at posting this entry... to which I say: "Blogger sucks it!!")

Monday, August 28, 2006

'Was this the little girl(s) I carried?'

It’s done…

The Peanut Butter & The Jelly have officially started their first day of school… book-bags and all.

Were there tears?


... and no.

No tears from them...

Me? Well, sort of (trying to maintain my ‘masculine’ image here... give me some slack...)

Honey Mustard? Yes... though that could have had more to do with the fact that they didn’t cry when we dropped them off at their respective rooms, essentially telling us (in my wife’s eyes anyway) that they don’t need us anymore. “Mom? Dad? Who’s that? I don’t have time for them now, I’ve got paste to eat…” (Note: My kids have never eaten paste… at least not yet… but give ‘em time, I’m sure they will now that they are surrounded by kids that do/may)


Am I making too much of this?

I know, in reality, that it’s a good thing that they are starting school... but... damn, it sure did go by fast. It seems like only yesterday that they were born... and only yesterday that they started to walk... and only yesterday that they started to talk...

Now they’re in a pre-school program for five mornings a week... next year is Kindergarten... then first grade...

Son of a bit**...

It only goes downhill from here, right? Next thing I’ll know they’ll be freshmen in high school (like my oldest nephew who was 2 years old when HoMu and I started dating; now he’s a freshman), then college, then marriage, then kids, and then... and then... breathe... breathe... in with the good air, out with the bad... aaaaahhhhhhh...

It's only just begun...

(Note: Granted, their first day of school did allow me to take my mind off more pressing things in the world (hurricanes, IranIraqNorthKorea, politics… and my fantasy football draft on Wednesday night – you guys are going down!!! –

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Happy Anniversary

Well, well, well... it’s been a year...

That’s right, you heard me (sorry Sarah), my blog is one-year old today.

Yes, today, August 24, 2006 - Kemp’s Blog turns one...

When I started this little venture, I had in mind that I would post stories about my twins (The Peanut Butter and The Jelly) or my wife (Honey Mustard) or myself (Da man!)... but it’s become so much more than that.

I’ve garnered a few steady readers... I've gotten into some verbal skirmishes... I've postulated... I’ve ruminated... and I’ve made more than a few f r i e n d s (Sorry, there aren’t enough letters in the word to link all of my blog-migos... and yes, in my opinion it is possible to be friends with someone even if you’ve never met)

I came into bloging ass-backwards.

A friend of my wife’s, also in the Twins Club here, sent me an email with a link to a Multi-Dad Forum on

I checked it out, signed up and started reading and posting... then I noticed a section entitled ‘Father’s Blogs’

Having taught computers and marketing (separately), I knew about blogs and their ability to create new communities and relay business information, but I never gave them much thought…

I read some of them, and I was hooked.

It was at that moment that time contracted... space exploded...

I knew that I had to create my own blog...

A place where I could wax poetic about being a father of twins and being a stay-at-home-dad for 18 months of un-employment (which, sadly, could be happening again… but that’s a post for another day)

I’ve always been a creative person... I’ve acted... I’ve been on speech and debate teams (in fact, at my community college and then at my university I was on a Speech scholarship... I was that good if I do say so myself)... I’ve ghost-written speeches for people... I’ve written poetry (and even had one published)

I’m a creative type... and, according to my wife, my creativity needed an outlet that wasn’t being quenched by my avid reading, my crossword puzzles, my videogames, my job or my teaching. So she strongly supported and suggested I start a blog.

So I did.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Having just gone through the Hell of posting my Top 100 Albums, I am NOT going to post my Top posts… but rather, I’ll throw a few links out there to some from the list on the right; a few posts that I am especially proud of.



And HERE...

And hang on, next month, my poli-blog: The “Bush”-Whacked Administration, turns one... now if only I can get Scott back to the land of blogs...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

  • Do alligator attacks signal some sort of a reptile dysfunction?
  • Who knew that the Dutch had F-16’s???
  • Hell… who knew that they had an Air Force…
  • Sadly… I don’t think I am going to be able to be in the much-anticipated Fantasy Football league with many of my blogmigos… with my unfortunate, up-in-the-air job situation (crap shoot from one day to the next if I still have a job at the end of that day), I can’t really afford to do it now… I am very bummed and more than a little depressed (about everything really) that I can’t… sorry guys
  • THIS is more than a little unsettling… and odd… a graphic adaptation (read: comic book) of the 9/11 attacks??
  • This blog turns one year old tomorrow… who-da thunk it?
  • Who knew that cows have regional accents? Furthermore… who the hell really cares if cows have regional accents?
  • A new study shows that Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the “hardest-drinking city in America”. Insert your own, 'Well what else is there to do in Wisconsin?' joke here...
  • Available: One relief pitcher. Has blown 9 saves this season and consistently gives fans of his baseball team heart attacks whenever he pitches. If interested, see St. Louis Cardinals General Manager Walt Jocketty.
  • This is definitely one of the strangest headlines I’ve seen in awhile; Osama bin Laden might be sweet on Whitney Houston…. Eeeeeewwwww…
  • Am I the only one laughing their ass off at Tom Cruise being dumped by Paramount?
  • After reading THIS STORY from the St. Louis Post Dispatch, methinks the FBI is a tad on edge…
  • This week’s gratuitous blog-plug of the week comes from another of my Daily Kos acquaintances: Current Dirt
  • Here’s a list of searches (and snarky comments) that have brought people to my little corner of the blogosphere… sadly, none arrived via my last gratuitous phrase of ‘salma hayek naked’. “wilco mermaid avenue download”, “how did you feed your twins at the same time”, “Fema/Putz” (I assume they were looking for info on Michael Brown), “arturo sandoval download”, “Diamonds and Buttermilk”, “blog father of twins”, “ronald reagan challenger speech critical analysis”, “scout aims rifle in to kill a mockingbird”, “aston kutcher twin” (Jesus, isn’t that a scary freakin’ thought?), “you never know who you might meet, a movie star or maybe even an indian chief” (at the car wash, whoa whoa)
  • This week’s gratuitous phrase used in a pathetic attempt to draw people to my site is: “carnivorous wasps”
  • Today’s Mental iPod Song of the Day is… what the hell? Oh my… son of a bitc— I want these motherfuc**** snakes out of my motherfuc**** iPod... Sorry, today’s song is “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” by REM

This here is the place where I will be staying.
There isn't a number. You can call the pay phone.
Let it ring a long, long, long, long time.
If I don't pick up, hang up, call back, let it ring some more.
If I don't pick up, pick up...
The sidewinder sleeps, sleeps, sleeps in a coil

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.

There are scratches all around the coin slot
Like a heartbeat, baby trying to wake up,
But this machine can only swallow money.
You can't lay a patch by computer design.
It's just a lot of stupid, stupid signs.

Tell her,
Tell her she can kiss my ass,
And laugh and say that you were only kidding.
That way she'll know that it's really, really, really, really me.

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.
Baby, instant soup doesn't really grab me.
Today I need something more sub-sub-sub-substantial.
A can of beans or black-eyed peas Some Nescafe and ice,
A candy bar, a falling star,
Or a reading from Doctor Seuss;

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.

The cat in the hat came back,
Wrecked a lot of havoc on the way,
Always had a smile and a reason to pretend.
But their world has flat backgrounds
And little need to sleep but to dream.
The sidewinder sleeps on his back.

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.
I can always sleep standing up

We've got to moogie, moogie, move on this one

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It starts...

The Peanut Butter and The Jelly start school next week...

Every morning they will get up, eat breakfast, get dressed and go off to a half-day of school, five days a week....

It’s not possible, is it?

It’s not possible that these two, my little princesses, are going to be going to school already...

It's just not possible... is it?


Sigh… it is.

I think I'm still in denial that my precious little girls are already at that age...


... where does the time go?

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Man and His Lawn

I have a confession to make...

I love doing yard work...

I love mowing my lawn... love it, love it, love it...

I always have. I developed my love and talent of maintaining a perfect lawn under the tutelage of my Dad.

That’s one of the reasons I have (one of) the nicest lawn on the block…

Does that make me a freak?

Before you answer, let me tell you this little story and then you can make up your mind.

Saturday, with The Peanut Butter having a broken arm, we were limited in what we could do (no water park, no splash pad, no park)

So since we had a battle-plan for late afternoon (after they took their nap) I decided to mow the lawn.

Not just mow the grass mind you – this was going to be lawn maintenance to the extreme… mow, edge, trim, prune, rake, water, – the whole nine yards.

This is where the freaky part of the story comes in... I enjoyed it and had a lot of fun doing it.

I plugged in my iPod, started my ‘Lawn’ playlist (yes, I have a lawn playlist) and went to work.

I trimmed.

I edged.

I pruned.

I mowed.

I raked.

I blew (the excess grass and such, get your minds out of the gutter people)

I watered.

And then, four and a half hours later, I was done... and the lawn was perfect. (I had a picture, but Blogger bites it and isn’t letting me put it up... the bastards…)

The girls were playing and Honey Mustard was doing laundry and some reading for her next two Master’s classes.

So I made myself a Shandy, opened our patio umbrella... and sat back and had a rush of pride and accomplishment sweep over me as I marveled at my work...

And then something hit me… I was taking pleasure in seeing the finished lawn... some serious pleasure...


Because there’s something about a finished lawn... no long grass… no grass creeping over the sidewalk… no excess weeds in the garden...

Just a perfect backyard on a (relatively) cool Saturday afternoon.

And then something else hit me... I enjoyed doing the yard work…

I really, really enjoyed doing the yard work...

I am a freak... aren’t I?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ulna: a long bone, prismatic in form, placed at the medial side of the forearm, parallel with the radius

They’re four years old and, despite being somewhat rambunctious, thrill-seeking, stunt-girls, we’ve never had a broken bone...

Until now...

The Peanut Butter broke her arm yesterday while at Grandma’s house.

How you ask? Well, she was standing on a toy, a toy mind you that she has been told many, many times before not to stand on, when she fell off and used her arm to break the fall. (btw, the toy was in the trash when I dropped them off at Grandma’s house this morning)

The culprit? A Little Tykes Classic Alligator Teeter Totter...

She broke it in two places; the radius and the ulna.

Now, some of you may be asking yourself if she cried and screamed...

Only when she first broke it.

After that, she was mommy and daddy’s little trooper (or maybe mommy and daddy’s little Navy Seal would be a more apt description). She did not scream, she did not cry.

At all.

Not when she had the X-Ray done...

Not when she had the full-arm cast put on...

She was an absolute rock.

She’ll be in the full-arm cast for 4 weeks and then a short-arm cast for 2. So, this means she’ll miss her last swimming class and she will not be able to start dance in 2 weeks...

But at least she, with her seizure disorder, didn’t hit her head, as that could have been disastrous.

So we say thanks for littler things...

And in case you’re wondering what color her cast is, she made Daddy proud when, upon being asked by the Doctor what color she wanted, she responded with an enthusiastic (and unprovoked) ‘Cardinals red!’

That’s my girl...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Top 100: 20 - 1

Ok… we’re getting there… only 20 more to go. And in the last 20, 7 are The Beatles and 3 are solo-Beatles, so 10 of the last 20 are, essentially, Beatles albums.

The others continue with my eclectic choice of music that everyone who reads this blog knows I am “famous” for.

I’ll apologize now (and by apologizing I mean saying ‘F off’) because I know some doofus is gonna talk smack about there being so many Beatles music (group and solo) on my Top Ten. But here’s a secret… I. Don’t. Care. This is what I like, and if you don’t like it… tough tata’s…

So, without further ado, rather than split the 20 up, I give you #’s 20… to 1. Yes, we’ve reached the end… and here are my Top 20 Albums.

What a long, strange trip it’s been…

20 – Let it Be by the Beatles. Good album, but I’ve always wondered what it would sounded like without Phil Spector's wall of crap… sorry, wall of sound… on it. Hmmmmmm…… stay tuned… Favorite Song: “Across the Universe”

19 – Celine Dion by Celine Dion. What can I say about this album other than… psyche!!! I’m kidding… it’s a joke. NO Celine Dion… absolutely not on this list… N.O. No! The real #19 is Free Fall by Michael Penn. Unfortunately, the album is out of print and only a few of the songs have been fused into a re-release of Penn’s first album, which you’ll see higher-up (lower-up?) this list. Favorite Song: “Free Time”. BTW, who thought I was serious with Celine Dion?

18 – Revolver by The Beatles. I find it hard to sum-up why I love Beatles albums. I just do… this one is another triumph. Favorite Song: “Taxman”

17 – Please Please Me by The Beatles. One of their (very) early albums. I’m sure you’ve all noticed a lack of their earlier stuff on this list and have wondered; ‘What up with that?’ Well, I love their earlier stuff, but it’s their later albums that I grew up on because they were more, for lack of a better word, ‘recent’. Or as recent as any album released in the late-60’s could be with someone born in the early 70’s. Favorite Song: “I Saw Her Standing There”

16 – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. It’s the classic… the album that helped define a generation. What else can be said? Favorite Song: “She’s Leaving Home”

15 – Summerteeth by Wilco. The first album I ever head by Wilco (my brother gave it to me as a birthday present years and years ago along with the ‘Swag’ album) and I was instantly hooked on them. Favorite Song: “A Shot in the Arm”

14 – Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. There’s nothing I can add about this album that’s hasn’t already been said by people who have more music-knowledge than I. Favorite Song: “The Chain”

13 – Cloud Nine by George Harrison. A low-key album with some absolutely great music on it… all written by Harrison (except for the remake: “Got My Mind Set on You”) and produced by former ELO-lead Jeff Lynne. An underappreciated gem. Favorite Song: “Devil’s Radio”

12 – American II: Unchained by Johnny Cash. The beginning of his resurgence and popularity with today's crowd really started with this album and his take on some, how do we say, un-Cash-like music. Favorite Song: “Rusty Cage”

11 – All Things Must Pass by George Harrison. Critics have called this the BEST solo album of all The Beatles. I don’t totally agree, but it is a phenomenal album. Favorite Song: “All Those Years Ago”

10 – We Are in Love by Harry Connick, Jr. His best album. Better than When Harry Met Sally even. His voice is in tip-top shape, his piano is in perfect pitch, and he's having fun. Favorite Song: “I’ve Got a Great Idea”

9 – Songs for Silverman by Ben Folds. Again… why is Ben not bigger and more popular? I just don’t get it… Favorite Song: “Late” (written after Elliot Smith’s tragic suicide)

8 – London Calling by The Clash. How can you not like this album? Just ask CroutonBoy… Favorite Song: “Rudie Can’t Fail”

7 – Let it Be: Naked by The Beatles. Yes, it is that much better than the original as it has none of Phil Spector's overbearing, crap-handling. If you haven’t heard this version and you like the Beatles, I highly suggest you give it a try. Favorite Song: “XX”

6 – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. Yes, another Wilco album, and this one is my favorite. Each song has the style and nuance that makes Wilco such a fan-favorite. Hard to believe that this album almost didn’t see the light of day because the original studio didn’t think it was good enough and marketable. Favorite Song: “Heavy Metal Drummer”

5 – Flowers by The Rolling Stones. My favorite Stones album. I don't know why I like this one so much better than the other Stones albums on my list, but I do. Could it be the memories of my friends and I listening to this disc everyday for 2 months after we graduated high school… in 1991? Favorite Song: “Mother’s Little Help”

4 – Abbey Road by The Beatles. Favorite Song: “Golden Slumber/Carry that Weight/The End”

3 – March by Michael Penn. One of my favorite albums since its release. Not a lot of people know about Michael (yes, he is the brother of Sean and Chris) but know about his wife; Aimee Mann. Favorite Song: “No Myth”

2 – Band on the Run by Paul McCartney & Wings. Recording in Nigeria. A studio with dying equipment. The demotapes being stolen by bandits. Members of Wings quitting. Paul forced to play every. Damn. Instrument. All of these things formed a confluence of Aristotelian proportions and gave this masterpiece. And a prize of 'Good Job!' for anyone who can tell me the actor who is standing among the Wings on the cover. Favorite Song: “Mamunia”

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... waiting with baited breath for... waiting so your life would be complete and you could die a content death...

Kemp's. Number. One. Album.




1 – The Beatles (The White Album) by The Beatles. At times, you can hear the angst and anger in their voices, yet it still has some excellent songs and lyrics. Ignore the ‘wailings’ of Yoko Ono and concentrate on the music. Pick a song, any song; from the irreverence of Revolution #9 to the soulful guitar of Mr. Harrison on While My Guitar Gently Weeps to the mystified lyrics of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, this album has got it all. Favorite Song: “Rocky Raccoon”

And now... it's done so I bid you... adieu...

And this vow: Never. Again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Top 100: 30 - 21

Damn it... we're so close... yet still so far away...

I promise, after I get this list done I have a post in the pipeline about the latest escapades of The Peanut Butter & The Jelly and am making a vow here; I will NEVER.EVER.EVER.AGAIN. Do a list of this sort on this blog... it just takes too much time...

But enough bitching and moaning and groaning... let's get on with it...

30 – Kamakariad by Donald Fagen. This album can almost be considered a Steely Dan album as Walter Becker produced this album, plays guitar on this album, and co-wrote one of the songs on this album. I still consider this better than Nightfly, though I know a LOT of people will disagree with me on that one. Favorite Song: “Countermoon”

29 – Colossal Head by Los Lobos. They are so much more than ‘La Bamba’… and this album proves it perfectly. Favorite Song: “Mas y Mas”

28 –Presents Author Unknown by Jason Falkner. Quick show of hands; who here has ever heard of Jason Falkner? I bet a few of you have, but not many. FYI. He also recorded a beautiful lullaby album of Beatles songs. My brother got it for The PB & The J when they were born and it worked like a charm. Favorite Song: “I Live”

27 – The Complete Recordings by Robert Johnson. Yes C-boy, while it’s “technically” a box set, his original albums didn’t exist back in 1990 when I first heard his music and subsequently bought the album. And you want to hear him as this is blues music the way it was supposed to be played. He was a genius who led a hard life. Favorite Song: “Sweet Home Chicago”

26 – Headquarters by The Monkees. Yes… I’m a Monkees fan. Yes, I LOVE this album. From Mike Nesmith’s bluesy/country tunes, to the pop-bubblegum tunes sung by Davy Jones, to the rockin’ and rollin’ anthems of ‘No Time’ and ‘Randy Scouse Git’ it’s a great album... trust me. Favorite Song: “No Time”

25 – Appetite for Destruction by Guns ‘n’ Roses. I used to hate GNR… I mean hate with the intensity of a white-hot flame. But then one night, at a party, I heard this album all the way through and all I could say is; wow. Favorite Song: “Paradise City”

24 – Rockin’ the Suburbs by Ben Folds. Why is Ben Folds not bigger? Whether it’s by himself or with “The Five”, he knows what he’s doing and he’s doing it well. Favorite Song: “Still Fightin’ It”

23 – Dookie by Green Day. Not my favorite Green Day album, but pretty damn close as this one has some hard-rockin' tunes with some insightful lyrics. Favorite Song: “Basket Case”

22 – Figure 8 by Elliot Smith. His earlier fans dissed this album from the gate, and that’s unfortunate as it’s a fantastic album full of explosive lyrics and amazing storytelling. It’s also unfortunate that this talent was cut short too early in what could have been a stellar career. Favorite Song: “Son of Sam”

21 – McCartney by Paul McCartney. The solo album that started, and ended, it all. Favorite Song: “Maybe I’m Amazed”

Top 100: 40 - 31

We’re getting there, we’re getting there… I really want to be done with this list… not so much as I haven’t enjoyed it doing it as much as it’s been going on for too damn long… like a bad SNL skit (is there any other kind?)

There’s another soundtrack on this portion, but I offer no apologies. With an eclectic musical taste like I have, is it any wonder I like the eclecticism of soundtracks. Odd though that this soundtrack is by one “group.” Oh well… on with the countdown…

40 – Saturation by Urge Overkill. Another entry in the ‘why didn’t/aren’t they bigger than they are?’ tag. UO had a lot going for it, some wickedly-good lyrics, some nice harmonies and a group of musicians who knew their way around their instruments… yet they never really took off. They flirted with success with a song on the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack (# XX on your countdown), but never really lived up to the hype. This album shows what might have been had they continued recording. This is a phenomenal piece of music that will definitely get in your head. Favorite Song: “Erica Kane”

39 – The Commitments Soundtrack by The Commitments. What can I say, this is a terrific album with some truly excellent takes on some R& B classics. Favorite Song: “Try a Little Tenderness”

38 – Double Fantasy by John Lennon “and” Yoko Ono. Sigh… it was to be Lennon’s album that marked his musical return… instead it was his goodbye as it was released less than a month in 1980 before that infamous Monday December 8th. I still live under the theory that Mark David Chapman was aiming for Yoko and not John. Some of the songs are, ‘meh’, but others are pure gold. Favorite Song: “Watching the Wheels”

37 – Lady in Satin by Billie Holiday. I have two different GH compilations, but it’s this album that really stresses the legend. And it’s Ms. Holiday’s personal favorite as well. Favorite Song: “I’m a Fool to Want You”

36 – At Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash. There are a plethora of reasons why I love this album, but I can sum it all up in 11 simple words; “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” Favorite Song: Do I really need to tell you??? Naturally, it’s “Folsom Prison Blues”

35 – American Idiot by Green Day. Yes, yes, yes… I’ve heard the complaints about this album, I’ve heard the reasons as to why it’s not good… but here’s a newsflash for you if you couldn’t tell from my list already… I tend to ignore what critics say… especially music critics who tend to like something so they can look cooler than they really are. Case in point; the “music critic” that I’m forced to hear from every week in the Chicago Tribune; Greg Kot. A mindless tool if I’ve ever seen one. Anyway, I love this album. Favorite Song: “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

34 – Out of the Cradle by Lindsay Buckingham. Love this album. Buckingham has never had the solo career of Stevie Nicks, but this album shows that he should. Favorite Song: “Wrong”

33 – Nevermind by Nirvana. What can be said about this album that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over? It’s a great album. Favorite Song: “Lithium”

32 – Whatever and Ever Amen by Ben Folds Five. As another fellow-blogger said (I've forgotten who… my bad), why isn't Ben Folds and Ben Folds Five bigger than they are? This album is great- filled with anger, angst, raw emotions and perfect pitch. Favorite Song: "Song for the Dumped"

31 – My Aim is True by Elvis Costello. Another debut album on my list. I love this one. From the moment Mr. Costello speaks to the end of the final chord, each song is incredible. Favorite Song: “Watching the Detectives”

Coming later this afternoon; 30 - 21...