Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good Morning, Captain

Well I had planned on spending this morning putting some letters together into words in this space, but instead I spent the morning trying to keep Judah one step away from complete meltdown.

It goes like this:

(Judah throws soccer ball repeatedly)
Me: Judah, you can't do that right now because you'll wake up the neighbors downstairs.
Judah picks up ball and throws it again
Me: Judah, if you do that one more time, I'm going to have to take the ball away from you
Judah picks up ball and throws it again
Me: Okay, I'm taking the ball away now.
I put the ball on a high shelf where he can't reach it. Judah gets upset and does the standard tantrum-style fall on the floor face down, hands and feet pounding the floor. I go to the kitchen to get some juice. Judah comes running after me and sees the juice and wants something.
Me: You want some milk?
Judah: (sniffling) Yeah
I grab the jug of milk and put it on the counter. I grab a purple sippy cup out of the cupboard.
Judah: No! No! No!
Judah falls on the ground crying
Me: Do you want a different cup?
Judah: (sniffling) Yeah
I grab a pink plastic cup out of the cupboard.
Me: Do you want this one?
Judah: No! No! No!
Judah falls on the ground crying. I grab a yellow sippy cup.
Me: Do you want this one?
Judah: (sniffling) Yeah
I grab the lid to the sippy cup.
Judah: No! No! No! No top! No top!
I put the lid down and grab the milk jug.
Judah: No! No! No! No milk! No milk!
Me: Judah? You said you wanted milk. Do you want water.
Judah: (sniffling) No
Me: Do you want milk or water?
Judah: (sniffling) Milk
Me: Okay
I pour a little bit into the sippy cup
Judah: Big one! Big one!
Me: Judah? I'm only giving you this much because I don't want you to spill it.
Judah: Big one! Big one!
I hand him the cup that doesn't have "Big one" in it.
Judah: No! No! No!
Judah falls on the ground crying.
Me: Judah, please drink this and I'll give you some more
Judah gets up and grabs the cup which barely fits in his little grasp. He takes a tiny sip and puts it down. He runs off into the living room to play with his trains. I grab his cup and my juice and head into the living room. I put the cups down on the coffee table

After playing for a bit, Judah grabs his sippy cup and takes another tiny sip. He almost gets it down to the table, but he lets it go early enough for it to tip on its side and spill all over some important documents. At least he didn't spill it on my computer. And the moral of the story would be: Don't cry over spilled milk. Or not enough milk in your sippy cup either.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Being the good Los Angeles citizen that I am, I'm quickly abandoning any semblance of using modes of transportation other than my car. The bike rides have become less and less as the weeks go by. There's always some lame excuse: It's raining. It's too cold. I have clients in today and I don't wanna be all stinky. I don't wanna crash and destroy my laptop. Etc, etc. Seeing's how I've spent a good majority of my life as a licensed driver not owning a car, I figure I can drive a bit in this town.

So in order to combat the high cost of burning fossil fuels, I use this little widget called, appropriately: Gas. The Gas Widget tells me where I can get the cheapest gas within a specified radius. Except sometimes I go to the station that the Gas Widget points me to, and the gas isn't the same price as it said on the widget! Can't trust anybody. Or any little computerized thingy called widget.

But recently I noticed there's a button on the widget that says "Spot". I clicked on it and it told me how I could become a "spotter", which is basically how the widget gets the information about what the gas prices are. As the legion of spotters drives by whatever gas stations, they're gathering information and putting it onto a website where you can then see on a map what the prices are in a given area. That info is then related to the simple little Gas Widget.

Spotting is no easy task, especially in Los Angeles, where there are bazillions of gas stations on every street. At first I took spotting sorta lightly. I'd drive past a 76 station, look at the sign, and speak aloud the cents part of the cost. i.e. "29 39 49", which means "$3.29, $3.39, $3.49". But the saying it aloud thing didn't work too well with remembering, especially after passing about 3 gas stations. So I started writing them down on a piece of paper. While driving. Hell, half the people I see on the road are either holding a cell phone or texting, so scribbling some numbers on a piece of paper can't be all bad now can it? For the greater good of all gas consumers?

If that's not enough, The GasPriceWatch website even awards points for every updated price you enter into the system. And they keep a running tally of which users have the most points every month, and the high score overall. Needless to say, I want the high score. So I'll waste a bunch of gas driving around LA to find gas prices so I can win!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Freedom of Choice

The moment had finally arrived. The moment I'd been waiting for since July, when I shipped my iBook G4 off to the winning ebayer: Macworld. Not just Macworld, but the Macworld where they were rumored to be releasing the replacement for my iBook G4: The new and improved ultra-slim MacBook.

But then the dream died. Steve Jobs didn't deliver. Well, he delivered a stunningly beautiful new ultra-slim laptop. But he didn't deliver what I had in mind.

Instead of replacing the MacBook at its price point, he gave us the MacBook Air for (in computer terms) considerably more money. Instead of giving us the same functionality, he took out the optical drive and the ethernet port and firewire. And if I may geek out even more, he gave us a slower processor and slower drive rpm than the less expensive MacBook. I guess I wasn't the only one who felt old Stevie didn't deliver:

That eleven-hundred bucks was burning a hole in my wallet. Coincidentally, my car didn't pass smog, so on the same day as the Macworld announcement I took it in for repairs so it would pass smog. And on that little trip, they found out that my brakes were shot, the ignition was faulty, and the car had an oil leak and a few belts that needed replacing. Price tag: $1100.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

If you managed to read the one-liner that comprised my last post, then you know that Lily was out of town for a week. Luckily for me, Mr. Jesse Clark was so extremely gracious as to fly down to Los Angeles to help me keep Mr. Judah Gardner alive until Lily came back.

And on one of the days that Lily was gone and the three of us boys were just hanging around the apartment, I heard Judah in another room saying "broken" over and over. I walked toward his voice to find him sitting near an outlet in his room where his truck-shaped night light used to reside. Except now he's got the truck part in one hand and the light part in the other. And like he said, it's "broken".

As I fully intend on shopping for a similar night light the next day - but it doesn't happen - I take an old night light in the hall that emits a lower level blue-ish light and I stick it in his room. Fast-forward to about 3:30 am and the little bugger is screaming bloody murder and waking his dad up and probably his uncle Jesse up as well. Experiment failure noted.

Next day I decided that the blue-ish light ain't gonna work, so a trip to Target was planned. An outing for the boys. Except that we barely made it into the parking lot before it became painfully clear that we weren't going to move, much less find a spot to park in. Actually it took Jesse making that painfully clear to me, and we agreed that I should just get out of the car and go in to buy the night light while Jesse and Judah found a parking spot.

I hurriedly go inside and pass all the schmoes who don't have somebody parking their car outside, and I head for the kid's section. On my way there I realize that I'm not really sure that's where the night lights will be sold. I briefly consider shoplifting the night light, because I know it's going to be a bitch to get out of here with my sanity. There's a Target employee nearby trying to act like she's working, so I ask her where the kid's night lights are. Her face assumes the look of "I don't have any idea", but she points me toward housewares. No dice.

Then it's a trip back to the kid's section, where I find another Target employee trying to act like she's working, and I ask the same question. She's more confident and she tells me "aisle N6". I go to N6. No dice. I wander around looking for anything resembling kids night lights until I find the flashlight aisle, and there are some night lights there. Not exactly the truck night light variety, but I find a nice star-shaped metal light that, from the picture on the box, emits a nice warm glow. Done.

After making my way through the riot-inducing Target checkout, I walked out the doors and spotted our car right near the entrance. Perfect. Jesse told me that he didn't see a single open parking spot the entire time.

When we got home, Jesse took the initiative of installing the star-shaped night light. As far as I can remember, I heard him say "looks great" and then "aw fuck". Apparently after he plugged in the light, he tried to adjust the metal star part and it broke away from the light part. Broken like it's a cheap piece of shit and it wasn't going to be anything other than a cheap piece of shit without an entire tube of crazy glue.

Well Jesse was again so extremely gracious as to get some scotch tape out and tape the hell out of the original truck night light and get it back into working shape. I plugged it back in. That night the boy slept soundly the entire night. Thanks Jesse!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Since You're Gone

Well, Lily's left me again. For a week anyway. My hands are full with trying to keep the boy alive, editing another lithium-fueled rabbit commercial, and just generally keeping my sanity. So LLMB is on hiatus until I can come up for air.

Thanks for reading, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!