This is What Yesterday’s Blog Should Have Been About

Burned chicken lasagna, a lettuce leaf, and some tea.

Ok.  As you all know we went to Vince and Gail’s for dinner last night.  They’re the ones with the 41 kids.

As soon as we arrived, Vince said, “Did you bring your camera?!” because he wanted to be in all the pictures.  When his kids asked, “Daddy, what are you doing?’ about all the picture taking, Vince said, “Kids, this is what grownups do for fun when they’re old and have a bunch of kids.  We take pictures.”

I’m thinking Vince’s spring break will be much like Darling Husband’s was.   (Vince teaches 8th grade and their spring break is coming up soon.)

Since Vince wanted there to be lots of pictures and lots of material for me to work with for the blog, he made us reenact everything that happened over the course of the evening.

In the above shot, here’s what happened: Darling Husband went into the kitchen for some more chicken lasagna.  But when he came out, he had a fat strip of burned cheese from the bottom of the pan.

So, Vince said, “Hey!  Let’s pretend that all we offered you guys for dinner was burned cheese and a leaf of lettuce!  And then gave you a baby fork to eat it with!  And half a cup of tea!”

Do NOT touch the centerpiece!

Vince is a little particular about the centerpiece apparently, because every time I touched anything in the centerpiece he got a little tense.  He realized he was getting tense and decided to embrace it and admit that it was bothering him, which led to another picture.  “Take a picture of me not letting you touch the flower pot!”  Darling Husband took this one.

Do NOT touch the stylus!

Soon after the flowerpot incident, Darling Husband was showing Vince the ipad.  Darling Husband looked up to see Vince squishing the top of the stylus.  This time Darling Husband tensed up and said, “No no!  Don’t do that!”  So, the above is another dramatic reenactment of the “Don’t Touch The Stylus” incident.

I'm winning!

And here’s the playing board for the game we played:  Loaded Questions.  Obviously, I’m the yellow playing piece.  You can tell because I’m the one in the lead.  The others aren’t even out of the start box yet.  Here’s how to play:

When it’s your turn, you ask everyone a question from the cards.  They write down their answers, but don’t let you know what they wrote.   When everyone has written down an answer, one of them will read them to you.  You have to guess who said what.   For every person’s answer that you guess correctly, you move forward a space.  I tend to be really good at this game.

Gail is VERY polite.

In this one Gail made the mistake of asking me what I did at Photo Club last week.  So I gave her an unwanted lesson on shutter speed (4 second shutter speed in the above shot).  I rambled on and on and on.  And on.

And on.

Hey, it’s not my fault!  Gail is a talented actress and looked completely mesmerized with the lesson.  It wasn’t until I’d been talking for quite awhile that I realized she was probably bored out of her mind, but was just being nice to me.  Gail is a very good friend!

There were lots more pictures, but these were the ones that made sense to blog about.

My Answer to “How Are Babies Made?”

Ate one of my favorite meals for dinner: spaghetti noodles with canned Hormel chili (without beans) on top, and on the side, garlic toast made from last week’s homemade bread.  And the week old homemade bread is still good!  No mold, which is always a happy discovery. (Look dear, no mold!  We can eat tonight!  Yay!)  Simple, elegant.  A feast.  Next time you visit for dinner, you can look forward to this delectable dish.  Lucky you!

Aside:  No Victor, we don’t always eat so poorly.  I keep forgetting to make the salmon.  And is it “eat so poorly” or “eat so badly”?  I need an editor.  If I could pay you to be my editor, I would.  It takes me forever to proofread for my errors.  I’m sure you could do it much quicker than I could.  Or is it “could do it more quickly than I could”?  And you’ve probably noticed the crazy use of commas.  I can never tell when I should put them in or leave them out.

Wedding reception at Li's Buffet.

For lunch, we went to the lovely Li’s Buffet where there were panels of white lace hanging from the ceiling.  Huh?  Apparently, a wedding reception was going to be held at Li’s later in the day and the white lace was separating part of the restaurant for the wedding guests.

I suppose that if I was forced to have a wedding, I could be persuaded into having a reception at Li’s.  But I dislike weddings, so will do my best to avoid having them in the future.  For which I’m sure Darling Husband is grateful.

Though we did go looking at wedding rings for Darling Husband today.  Apparently he’s finally lost his wedding ring for real this time.  That’s pretty good considering that we’ve been married for 19 years and 8 months and considering that he loses the ring about once a month.  I was sure we’d have had to replace it well before now.  He usually finds it again with a week, but this time, it’s been a few weeks.  Instead of buying a real ring, I told him to get a ring out of the gumball machine like our friend Michael did.  No one can tell.  And it’s just a quarter.  If he gets tired of it later, he can get a new ring for another quarter.  Win-win. Yes, I’m serious.  Michael’s ring is from a gumball machine and I really think Darling Husband should do the same.  We’re not too sentimental around here.

Quads the night away.

While we were at Li’s, I made Darling Husband play a board game with me.  I wasn’t sure whether I should throw the game and let him win so he’d enjoy winning so much that he’d want to play again, or if I should attempt to win the game, so that he’d demand a rematch.  In the end, my competitive nature won out and I couldn’t stop myself from playing to win.  And I did win, but probably because I’ve played the game about 4 times now, and Darling Husband has never played it.  I don’t think he’ll be so easy to beat next time.  Much as I brag about it, I’m actually not very good at games.  I just like playing and posturing about winning.

The name of the game is Quads, and when I sang, “I wanna play Quads with you (quads with you) all night!  We’ll play Quads the night away!”  to the tune of “Rock with you” by Michael Jackson, Darling Husband seemed more pained at my singing than impressed by my wit.  People just don’t appreciate my cleverness.

Li’s Buffet is opening a new Chinese restaurant across town.  The new location used to be a restaurant called the Mayflower Chinese Buffet, but now it will be JJ Hibachi Buffet.  I’ll have to ask Jin if they’re going to use all new recipes at the new restaurant.  Here are pictures of the Coming Soon sign:

And a picture of the entrance to the Mayflower with their old sign torn down over the door.

Here’s an up close picture of a Chinese dragon dude smoking a cigarette outside the restaurant.  He can’t smoke inside the restaurant, after all.  Here he is, straight from the camera.

Straight from the camera. No editing.

Here he is converted to black and white with no other editing.

Converted to black and white only

And here he is with editing.

Dramatic black and white

I was inspired by Thornberrie, another blogger who happened to stumble upon my blog one day and “liked” one of my posts.  I looked at his blog and I love his posts!  Here’s a link to his blog.  You all know I usually don’t like black and white photographs at all.  But his black and white pictures are so striking that I made an attempt to recreate his dramatic look.  I hope he doesn’t mind.  Probably not, since his dramatic black and whites are much better than mine.

He’s from England and uses all sorts of English slang.  I love reading the slang.  Like, he calls candy, sweeties.  I love it that they call candy sweeties in England.  Sweeties sound much much tastier than boring old candy.  And you have to say the “t’s”.  No “sweeDies.”  It must be sweeTies.”

BMW or Children?

While we were out looking at rings, Darling Husband saw the car he had wanted to buy, but we had kids instead.  When the kids were little and used to take baths together I would tell them the story of how they came to be our children. Here it is:

One day, your father and I visited the aquarium.  Waaaay up in the top of the aquarium, where the rain forest is, there’s a little stream of water running through the forest.  The stream ends in a pool under the bridge.  And in the pool under the bridge were two little Boy Fish.  You!   As soon as we saw you, we knew we just had to have you.  So, we asked one of the aquarium workers how much you cost.  He said, “Well, it will cost you a BMW, $35,000 a year, plus all future cost of living raises and promotions, and the company match for your 401K.”  And we said, “They’re worth it!”  So they scooped you up in a big green net and put you in a big fish bowl.  We tied the fish bowl to the top of the Geo Metro and drove you home and dumped you in the bathtub.  And here you are now!

They loved that story.  But that story’s not true.  We didn’t really buy our children from the aquarium.  We bought them from the circus.  (Har har.)

Games and TV

Somehow or other my homeschooled kids got wind of the fact that non-homeschooled kids take a day off for Martin Luther King day.   Last night when I said something about “school tomorrow” I may as well have been speaking to two gritty miniature Clint Eastwoods.  They were preparing to make their steely-eyed stand and things were gonna get ugly.

But since darling husband was off work today, I let the boys have the day off.  It’s not fun having school when dad’s at home.

Instead, we watched a lot of tv.

A few Get Smart episodes.  Get Smart is another show I remember watching after school and loving, but it’s really dumb now.

A Twilight Zone: the guy lands on Mars and the Martians put him in a zoo.

Star Trek during exercising:  The one with Zefram Cochrane and the Companion.  I still have issues with Star Trek.  The women on Star Trek are such loose cannons.  You just never know when they’re going to fling the back of their hand to their foreheads and crumple to the ground.  Get a spine, ladies!

And Planet of the Apes, the original.

Sigh.  Planet of the Apes.

I have been waiting years upon years upon years to share the twist at the end with my children.  (Rod Serling was a co-writer of the screenplay.)

I gave everyone around me gag orders not to give away the ending.  Anytime someone mentioned something about Planet of the Apes, I’ve had to lunge across the room and tackle them to the ground for fear they’d give out a clue.

So, finally, after 9 long years, we get to the end of the movie, and I’m waiting to see their astonished reaction to the end…and when we see it, the Boy says, “Oh yeah.  I knew how it ended.  I heard Dad talking about it one day.”

Oh well.  The ending still brings tears to my eyes, even though I know it’s coming.  (I really love Sci-fi.)

Other than watching 10 hours of tv, we played some games.  The games you see in the picture.  What I like about these games is:

1.  You need only 2 players.

2.  They take 5 to 20 minutes (tops) per game.  Is there a more exquisite torture than having to play a never-ending round of Sorry with two small children?  No.

3.  They’re strategic.  They are not games of chance.  Games of chance are dumb.  Seriously.  The whole point of winning a game is to prove to everyone else that you’re the smartest, right?  Right?!?

It wasn’t until after I got out of school and had no chance to join a sports team that I realized I have a serious competitive streak in me.

Really, it’s not pretty.  I try to tame the beast, but sometimes it comes snarling out.

Anyway.  I was completely proud of my nine year old today.  He managed to outmaneuver me on Quixos—twice!  Games are much more fun when you’re pitted against a worthy opponent.  The victory is all the sweeter.

If you care, the games are by Gigamic (see website here) and the ones I own are:

Marrakech

Pylos

Quixo

Quoridor (kids version)

Sputnik

Skybridge

Quads