Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Damn You, Eddie Izzard!

It seems that I shall never again receive a back rub from my wife…and it’s all Eddie Izzard’s fault.

You see, we were watching Ocean’s 13, my wife and I, about two or three weeks ago.

“Is that Eddie Izzard?” I asked, having difficulty imagining Mr. Izzard without his typical stage getup. He’s one of my favorite stand-up comics, but I’d probably walk right past him on the street if he weren’t dressed as an “executive transvestite.” I know he’s supposedly in a TV series now sans dress, but I’ve not seen it, so I was left to squint at the gentleman talking to George Clooney and mentally apply make-up.

“I don’t think so,” replied my wife.

We watched for a few minutes more before I once again interrupted the on-screen action. “I’m pretty sure its him.”

“Ok,” she hissed, more interested in the unfolding plot than in the presence or non-presence of Mr. Izzard.

Despite her affirmative response, I could tell she still didn’t agree. “I’ll bet you a back rub that it’s Eddie Izzard,” I smiled. I didn’t even have to look away from the TV to know that she was rolling her eyes.

“I’m not betting.”

My wife is not a gambler. Neither am I really. In the five years we’ve been together, we’ve never stepped foot in the casino a mere mile or so from our house. But, I’m up for throwing the occasional, non-monetary ante into the pot and a backrub seems pretty unthreatening. I mean…I’d be willing to give her one if she asked anyway, so we’re basically just fighting for the bragging rights. Besides, a nice, friendly wager seemed appropriate to the Vegas action we were watching.

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not even arguing with you. I’m not betting. And I’m trying to watch the movie”

“Sure you’re arguing, you said you didn’t think it was him. The bet is on.” She ignored me. “And you’re goin’ down.” Her silence continued. “Cuz that’s totally Eddie Izzard right there.”

“Shut up!”

Ninety minutes or so later, as the credits rolled, she rose from the couch and left the living room. She claimed it was out of need of a bathroom trip, but I suggested to her retreating back that she was merely trying to avoid the inevitable confirmation of Eddie Izzard’s presence in the film. My theory was supported when she failed to respond to either my suggestion or my shouts of victory as Mr. Izzard’s name crawled up the screen.


Now, a more gracious winner than I would probably have had a much better chance of getting that backrub. My wife, being the fine woman she is, is not a fan of the egotistical strutting I was about to engage in. I knew this. I understood fully that creating a situation whereby the only way I could get a backrub was for Moonshot to admit defeat in a contest to which she had not agreed was a guaranteed way to miss out on my prize. But, I had to weigh this fact against the infinite joy brought on by the absurdity of such apparent pride in recognizing a comic. You can argue that this indicates something warped in my mind, but absurdity wins out in this battle every time for me.

“Mmmm,” I hummed in mock anticipation as we crawled into bed that night. “My back is sooo ready for my reward.” She rolled over and went to sleep without another word.

Every night since then has played out in a similar way, although I have now taken to calling it my “Izzard rub” for the sake of efficiency. “That Izzard rub is just racking up interest, my dear,” I offer.

She shows no sign of cracking and I seem totally unable to stop myself from continually throwing one more log on the fire. I know the answer. I just need to shut up for about a week or so and let her offer me a backrub on her own with no strings attached. Then we’ll be back on track. Even that, however, is risky since we both know how likely I am to bring up Eddie Izzard in the middle of any backrub, even one offered in the spirit of kindness. Luckily, it’s not probable that we’ll even get to such a point any time soon considering that upon completing this post, I’ll probably walk downstairs and remind Moonshot of her continuing debt to my back.

Damn you, Eddie Izzard!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Project Looking Through (Curtain Call)

As the name suggests, this will be my final entry in Mark's Project Looking Through. Probably time to sit down and write some actual content intead of relying on my daughter's cuteness to distract eveyone from the fact that I'm not really saying much.

Further, how do I top this shot? I just honestly don't think I have it in me.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Project Looking Through (Basket Case)

Norah loves to help her Mommy fold clothes. Sadly, Mommy doesn't always appreciate this assistance. So, since I'm not really encouraged to help in the folding either (I don't do it right apparently) I instead attempt to keep the Little Lutine occupied and uninterested in her Mommy's efforts. The clothes hamper serves as endlessly useful in this endeavor.

This is my second entry in my good friend, Mark's photo challenge, Project Looking Through. Check out Mark's site for a list of participants or to contribute your own pictures.

And, as always, clicking the picture will open an image of Norah so huge you'll be thankful she's trapped behind those bars.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Project Looking Through (Norah's View)

Springboarding from the success of Anna's Project Yellow, my good friend, Mark has launched a photo project of his own he's calling Project Looking Through. The task is to post photo's that give the sense of looking through something.

Yesterday, I took a slightly extended lunch break to try out the newly availible recreation of the"family bike trip." Moonshot and various family went in to get me a new bike for Christmas and we fixed up the old bike (a loaner from my buddy Duke) so Moonshot could ride it. We also sprung for a swanky little towbehind contraption that will allow Norah to come along for the ride.

She squeeled in delight for the duration of the short test trip and did NOT want to leave her chariot when we returned home.

Norah enjoyed the ride as well ;)

Click the image to enlargify the viewing experience and Visit Mark's site to see a list of those participating in his project

Monday, April 14, 2008

Project Yellow (Looking into the Eye of Spring)

This is the last of my Project Yellow shots. I'm hoping spring gets the message and returns to our neck of the woods. It's been just above freezing and rainy for four days. And while, "Wow, can you believe this weather?" will get you through a short dip as you marvel at the meterological chaos, it's time to get back to saying that same phrase with wonder and appriciation for the warmth.

To see the "real" Project Yellow photos, jump over to Anna's site. You can also take a look at other folks who are on the look out for yellow and maybe take part.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Project Yellow (Bunny at the Wheel)

Norah loves her little toy bus. And Norah loves bunnies. It was inevitable that she would find a way to combine their awsomeness.

To see the "real" Project Yellow photos, jump over to Anna's site. You can also take a look at other folks who are on the look out for yellow and maybe take part.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Calling in my Muscle

“Hi,” I called, smiling innocently as I approached the group of college-aged rockers lounging on their front porch. They grinned back curiously and twitched their cigarettes in a lazy but friendly simulation of a wave. It was Thursday night, practice night for Troubadour Dali, the band that insists on cranking out concert level rock music at ungodly hours of the night, the band that routinely wakes Norah from her sleep, the band that had worked its way through all the good will I had tried for the last year to show to anyone following their rock and roll dream.

Nice kids when they weren’t lost in their rock star haze.

I had long since stopped knocking on their door to complain about their 2 am sound shows, the noise level high enough to hide anything so quite as a pounding fist. And while I had, at one time, waiting patiently on this very front porch for them to reach the end of a song so that my knocking might be heard, these days I just throw open the door and stomp my blurry-eyed way into their set. And they always look appropriately embarrassed. “Too loud?” they ask with genuine concern as if there were any other reason I would be standing in their living room in my bath robe and slippers.

But this time, my lovely wife had devised and even more direct approach and I was more than happy to implement it.

“I just wanted to come over,” I began, shifting my daughter’s weight in my arm, “to introduce you all to my daughter, Norah…the little girl you guys make cry every Thursday.” I smile and laugh to make the accusation as friendly as possible. Norah hears the word “cry” and responds by pantomiming the word, balled fists rubbing at her sad eyes as if she had been practicing for this encounter. The band responds with appropriate “awwwws”, especially the female bass player. It’s stereotypical, I know, but the girl’s presence on that porch was exactly what had kicked this plan into motion in Moonshot’s mind. And judging from the response she was giving my daughter…it was looking like Moonshot’s instincts where right. Even if everyone else on that porch got stoned and forgot about the volume, the bass player was our trump card.

We chatted there, the band and I…friendly like. I asked about their new cd and truthfully let them know how much I was looking forward to hearing it. I like their music, I explained, it’s just hard to appreciate it through the seething rage after it’s roused my family from slumber. They laughed uncomfortably.

Moonshot, Norah and I departed with neighborly good wishes. We smiled to each other once we were out of eyesight of the band, curious how the guilt trip would work.

Not a single bass rift or drumbeat invaded our sleep that night. Even rock and roll could not withstand the combined efforts of we Grens.

Project Yellow (Funshine Huggin)

To see the "real" Project Yellow photos, jump over to Anna's site. You can also take a look at other folks who are on the look out for yellow and maybe take part.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Project Yellow (With Lemon)

Not much of a story here. Norah, Moonshot and I met my brother Jet at a local Mexican Restaurant last night. Jet and I dominated the conversation with discussions of investment property (we're both entering the market as cluelessly as babes, and tend to obscess a bit) and I got strange looks by pointing my camera at random yellow objects on or near our table.

To see the "real" Project Yellow photos, jump over to Anna's site. You can also take a look at other folks who are on the look out for yellow and maybe take part.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Three Quick Pictures

Each of these pictures probably deserves more time and attention from your negligent blog host than I am going to give them as I consume my Amy's frozen tamale pie.

For instance, this past weekend found we Grens strolling the fantabulous St. Louis Zoo with Norah's good friend David and his folks. It was a wonderful time with wonderful friends in a wonderful place with wonderful weather. I should tell you the details...instead I'll just post this picture.

Another example: Anna, a wonderful photo blogger, started a bit of a meme she's calling Project Yellow in which she has called on her readers to post yellow pictures. I should probably have gone out and found exotic saffron subjects at which to point my lens like Mark did. Instead, I'll just post a shot of the amazing daffodils that are bursting into spring just outside my sunroom door.

And finally (and I'll admit that I am woefully behind on letting people know about this new update in my life) I'm leaping into the house flipping business. Lots of houses on the market and prices are low. I'm looking to buy some up, renovate them, and rent them out to make some extra money. I'll try to write a post soon on staggering amount of information I've already learned in the last few weeks (and the astounding amount I still have to learn). However, in the mean time, I'll just post a picture of this, my first little house. It will officially be mine tomorrow. Wish me luck.