I Got Stuff Done

Got some stuff done this weekend. Not any writing, but it still felt good.

First of all, I fixed my vacuum cleaner. It was running and all, but not picking anything up. I cleaned all the filters and still nothing. So, went to the internet and found out the hose can clog. I took me a good half hour to clean out that bad boy. Now it works. Happy Valentine’s Day honey!

I also filed my taxes yesterday. This is the earliest I’ve ever done them, but I need the money. We use our nice sized tax return throughout the year on the usual house or car repairs that crop up unexpected. My check from Uncle Sam will be in my account before the end of the month. The best thing is that I was able to go to State Farm’s website and through them use Turbo Tax online for free. Commence Operation “Convince Wife we need to spend tax return on Nintendo Wii”.

My wife got me exactly what I wanted for Valentine’s Day: a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Now, I’ll have to decide what I want to get. She also made a cute heart-shaped booklet of pictures of our family. Very cool.

Well, my son is due to be born in eight days. I expect it will be before then. My life will be changing in a significant way very soon. I’m nervous and hopeful. I can’t wait to meet the little guy.

Photoshop Fun – Cool Snowman

snowman
Every now and then I look for photoshop tutorials on the web and give them a whirl.  Sometimes they even work.  It’s a fun way to be creative and I’ve found it’s a great way to learn how to use Photoshop.

Anyhow, I created the snowman image above.  I’m pretty happy with the results.  I’m still trying to think of ways to use it on the blog here or somewhere else.  We’ll see.   Here’s a link to the snowman tutorial in case you want to try it out yourself.

Thought of the Day

snuggie-couple-standing

In this life you are either Pro-Snuggie or Anti-Snuggie.  There is no in-between.  Just because you bought it in a totally ironic way, doesn’t mean you didn’t pay money for a horrific freak of nature lovechild between a bathrobe and a blanket.  With pockets.

Hmm, can you guess which camp I belong to?  Also, as I’ve said many times, you kids stay off my lawn.

Poe Valentine

poestampUS Postal Service

Today is a jumble, so this one’s gonna be short and possibly sweet.  First of all, my wife tasked me yesterday with picking up some stamps for our valentine’s.  A normal person’s brain would’ve interpreted this information, went to the post office, and bought normal stamps.  My brain, on the other hand, told me I had wanted to pick up those cool Edgar Allen Poe stamps, and this was a good chance to do that.

So, our Valentines are going to have Poe’s lovely mug on them.  Amazingly,  I didn’t get in trouble for this screw-up.  You can see what the stamps look like in the picture above.  Maybe I’ll draw little hearts coming from his head or something.

My wife has been reading my novel-in-progress.  In fact, she made it to page 54 all in one night.  That’s pretty amazing, as it’s single spaced.  I don’t think I could read as much of that un-polished novel in one night.  She even had a dream about it.  I consider this a good sign.  The only downside is she’s gonna want me to finish the story.

Not much else is new.  Vesper gave me a couple awards the other day.  I’m very grateful for that.

I still don’t know what I’m getting my wife for Valentine’s Day.  I’ll try not to get her anything Poe related, that’s for sure. 🙂

A Day at the Gym(nastics)

main_floor_2
Nittany Gymnastics

As I said yesterday, I spent the day home with my wife and daughter, partly because we were all tired, and partly because I knew my wife needed some rest. I’m so glad I did, because it was one of my best days ever.

It started at breakfast, when my wife asked me if I wanted to take our daughter to gymnastics. My first reaction was one of panic. I had never been there with my daughter and knew it would most likely be chaotic. Picture fifty or so toddlers running around, arms held over their heads, bumping into each other. Now add gymnastics equipment to the mix. Plus, I was exhausted, having only gotten a few hours sleep myself the night before. At the top of this post is a picture of the gym floor.

I think my answer was, “Let’s see how I’m feeling.” However, the look on my daughter’s face told me I was definitely going.

The more we talked about it, the more I was looking forward to going. It helped my daughter and wife were adding incentives for me. “We could go to Barnes and Noble after,” said my daughter. I was sold.

The funny part was that my wife called a few of her mom friends to let them know I was coming and to help me figure things out. Or as I said, to baby-sit me.

There really wasn’t much to worry about, really. It only lasted 45 minutes. There were roughly fifty or sixty kids there. None were running around screaming with their hands above their heads. I was one of two daddies there. That meant we didn’t have to stand in line to use the potty after gymnastics was over.

We also had a good time at Barnes and Noble. My daughter got to play with their “train table” and I got a much needed jolt of coffee. Good times.

After lunch home with Mommy, my daughter and I headed to the toy store. We have a great locally owned toy store called Pure Imagination in our town. I told my daughter she could pick out some “pretend food” she had wanted for a while for her Valentine’s Day gift from us. After 45 minutes of play, her and I of course, she chose the set below.

playfood

When we were done with the toy store, it was nearly dinner time and we headed home. It was a great end to a great day. I don’t often get Daddy/Daughter time, so it was extra special. *Sigh*

Did I already Say That?

Well, I’m home today with my wife and daughter. My wife has a sore throat and neither of us got much sleep last night. So, sick day for me. I may do the usual Monday rounds they normally do. Possible, I’ll be taking my daughter to the toddler gymnastics. That should be fun/insane.

On to today’s post. I’m on a few of these internety sites. I’m here blogging, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Some of you read me in all three places and are probably on all these sites too. Do you ever find yourself repeating yourself or is it just me?

I mean, how many different places do you find yourself saying, “I hate Mondays”? Facebook profile status, blog post, and Twitter. I’m sure it’s even worse for the reader.

I guess, I’m just trying to say sorry for the repetition. I’ll try not to repeat myself too many times, unless that day comes when I get a book published. Then I’ll probably scream it from the mountain tops (which will be many times because we have a lot of mountains here).

Oh, one more thing. I hate Mondays.

Saw Coraline This Afternoon

I went with my wife this afternoon for a matinee showing of the movie Coraline. We didn’t bring our 2 1/2 year old daughter with us. She stayed home with my parents.

Let me see what I can say about the movie. It was visually beautiful. Never once did I feel like I was watching “animation”. You can tell everything in the movie was hand made and animated with stop animation, rather than computer generated graphics. In the movie Coraline’s parents drive a VW Beetle. It was perfectly detailed in the movie. At one point there was a far away shot of the car and I could see the little VW emblem on the steering wheel (I know this car quite well as I’ve been driving my wife’s Beetle to work now that my car has the car seats in it).

The story was also well done and mostly faithful to the book. It was still just the right amount of creepy and not Hollywood-ified at all. The only quibble I have book -vs- movie wise is the ending. I won’t go into detail there, but I liked the one in the book better. The one in the movie is OK though.

I loved several characters in the movie. Coraline, in particular is well done. A brave, smart, sassy female character in the lead role just like the book. I also really liked the cat and The Great Bobinsky.

There were many kids at the movie today. You kinda have to judge your own kid on that. Obviously “the other mother” in particular was too scary for our 2 1/2 year old. My wife said her suggested age is 13 and up. I said 8 and up would probably be OK. My wife’s rule of thumb was “if you can carry the kid out of the theater, they probably shouldn’t have been there”. The movie is not violent or anything, just a little “dark”.

The more I think about it, the more I want to watch this movie again. I already told my wife I want to buy Coraline when it comes out on DVD. She agreed. This is big for us because we rarely buy DVDs anymore.

We even stayed to the very end of the credits and got the secret code to register to win the Coraline Nike Dunks. My wife is a saint for staying with me the whole time and spotting the code. At the very end it flashed for about 10 seconds, “For those in the know” and then has the code.

Bottom line is I recommend this movie. It is quite unique and enjoyable. Go see it this weekend.

Super Bowl XLIII Catch According To Tecmo Super Bowl

This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s Santonio Holmes’ touchdown catch from the Super Bowl as if it happened in the classic video game Tecmo Super Bowl. Check it out. It’s awesome. Thanks to Have a Good Sandwich for this.

The movie Coraline comes out today. I’m very much pumped to see it. My wife and I are probably going to see it tomorrow, probably our last hurrah our together before the baby arrives. The movie has been doing well with the critics such as the New York Times.

If you are planning on seeing Coraline, and have the time, I suggest you go this weekend. If you like well written or stop animation, or unique films, I suggest you go this weekend. You see, Hollywood places an enormous emphasis on opening weekend. A movie does well the first weekend, this generates extra press and buzz. This gets more movies like it made.

If you do go, make sure you stay until the end of the credits, as that’s where you will get the information on how to win the Coraline Nike Dunks.

Demetri Martin

Just thought I’d give you all a little comedy break. Here’s comedian Demetri Martin. There’s a little swearing at the end, so just be aware. I heard this bit Personal Information Waltz on XM and had to find it online.

One of my favorite lines is “I think bears and worms are not very similiar…until you think gummi, then they’re very similiar.”