Monthly Archives: January 2009

Lunch Deceased

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a pretentious art school student but I was hampered by attending a regular high school with my good and very nerdy friends. In order to gain my pretentious art school street cred, I made all my friends participate in my daily creation of Lunch Deceased.

Lunch Deceased was half found-treasure sculpture and half performance art. I gathered up everyone’s left over lunch trash (McDonald’s packaging, cafeteria Styrofoam, and brown bag effluvium) and stacked it as high as I could. My lunch companions were allowed to add to the sculpture but I held divine right to nix the addition if it didn’t fit my ever changing vision of the day’s work. Each day the title for the work was “Lunch Deceased” and then a number. I seem to recall a very complex numbering system involving the date and the number of items divided by how many days until the weekend. I don’t remember the exact calculations but it added up to a suitably pretentious title for each work of “art”.

It was silly and made us all laugh and I recall my friends humoring my ridiculousness with much grace.

I’ve thought about Lunch Deceased quite a lot recently as Liza has taken to creating Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Deceased on a daily basis. This usually involves shredding the food she didn’t eat into crumb sized pieces. She smashes those pieces with her cup and examines the bottom of the cup. She then scrapes the bottom off and starts over. Repeat until I am so disgusted I make her get down and clean up the squishy mess.

Part of me is glad to see the tradition live on and part of me just wishes she’d move on to the next developmental milestone. Regardless, watching her create it everyday has brought back many fond memories for me.

Liza says, “Sleep is for the weak!”

Do you remember when I used to complain all the time about Liza’s lousy sleep habits? Well everything old is new again.

Liza’s current run of lousy sleep has me offering to give her to people I barely know. The rotten part is, several people have agreed to take her but decided against it when I tell them she’s regularly up two-five times per night and sometimes for more than two hours at a time.

The past three weeks I’ve subsisted on six hours of broken sleep per night or less. The first week Stephen was out of town. Last week was a bit easier because he was home, so he helped with the night time horrors. This week he is gone again and I am a barely functioning zombie of crankiness.

I thought it was her teeth. Then I thought it was an ear infection. Now I think she has redeveloped some terrifically lousy habits. I am also afraid that at least some of her nighttime awakenings are due to wanting to hang out with someone.

I ask all of you that tonight when you are falling asleep, think of Liza and pray to whatever sheep you count that she will stay asleep or failing that, will just stay in her bed quietly so I can sleep.

ESPN, Take Note

Today, while watching Duke’s basketball team feed Maryland’s into a wood chipper face-first, Eli started doing play-by-play announcing.

“Duke’s got it, and then other Duke’s got it, and he throws it in the air, and it hits the front and falls.

“And a red guy’s got it, and now another red guy, he throws it but Duke grabs it and now there’s another Duke guy, he throws it and it goes in!”

Sadly, I’d still rather listen to him than Billy Packer.

Birthday Thaumatropes

What are thaumatropes you ask? Thaumatropes are Victorian spinner toys. In this case they are also Eli’s birthday party invitations. I got the idea from my new favorite author Ester K. Smith. The thaumatropes are from a book called Magic Books & Paper Toys. You hold the strings, twist and see the robot open and close his eyes and mouth. Eli is obsessed with them. While I was working on them, he claimed all of my prototypes and goofs.

Front & back of cards and many buttons.

You can also see the buttons I made as party favors in the foreground. Eli can’t decide which robot he wants to keep for himself. I have this sneaking suspicion that I’m going to be making four or five more buttons for him to keep for his very own.

I have gotten a ton of crafting tools (the button maker! and a Bind-it-all!) and books at Christmas and since then. There’s going to be many, many craft/making things posts in the days to come.

Eli vs. the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook, 4th Ed.

Cover from the Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook, 4th edition

“That says ‘player’s handbook’. There’s a woman on the cover. Why is she holding some fire?”

“I guess because she thinks it looks cool.”

“Oh, look! There’s a dragon and he’s holding a thing to fight with!”

It’s also nice to see Wizards of the Coast returning to tradition and placing a woman with semi-covered breasts on the cover.

Painting with the kids

Today we did some painting since it was way too cold and snowy to go outside. Here are the kids in action:
Click the photo for more painting!

Also, here’s a photo I got of the kids watching tv. They aren’t often that still that close to one another so I had to memorialize it.
Liza, Wendel and Eli watching TV.

I’m a Mac, and I’m Ubiquitous

He’s Just Not That Into You.
Still Waiting.
Serious Moonlight.
Youth in Revolt.
Drag Me to Hell.
Planet 51.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel.

Nine movies, all scheduled for release in 2009. One thing in common.


Justin Long.


Justin Long!



The smirk is inescapable.

Also, I have now typed “Justin Long” enough times that his name looks very strange to me.

This factoid courtesy of last night’s WhatTheCast taping, in which we pre-judged the 2009 movies.

Today’s Geek Observation

You can tell someone is a child of the 80s if they make a Gauntlet joke. But you can tell what kind of geek they are by which character they use when they say, for example, “Wizard needs food, badly!”

The coldest day of the year

This morning while driving the kids to school the temperature was 19° F at 9 a.m. It was snowing heavily but the sun was shining as well. The sun caused the snow to sparkle like glass as it was swirling in the breeze. It was like being on the inside of a snow globe.

This is probably not unusual for those of you that live in snowier climes. For me, it was quite remarkable.