Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'll stipulate to these

Courtesy BabyCenter, You didn't know becoming a parent meant...

• Stacking today's unread newspaper on top of yesterday's unread newspaper.

• Eating dinner like we're trying to break a world record for the most pasta swallowed in the shortest amount of time. Standing up.

• Letting your partner choose between poop and laundry as a topic of conversation.

• Figuring out how to pee without putting the baby down.

• Spending three hours getting the baby to sleep and then waking him up two minutes later to make sure he's still breathing.

• Forgetting what you were...


- AN "ONLY NIXON COULD GO TO CHINA" MOMENT: Stand by to be shocked, I'm going to give Obama a big thumbs up for his calling for more nuclear power, something Republicans have been calling for two decades but a GOP president could never get approved due to the hard left enviro-weenie anti-nuclear carping.

- I'M GOING TO DO IT AGAIN!!!!! Give credit where it's due to advance liberty and freedom, in this case Iran:
The Obama administration has waived some Iran sanctions so that ordinary Iranians can download U.S.-made software used in social media and networking Web sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, that help disseminate information bypassing government censorship.

- YOUR VALUES ARE STUPID: Left-wing Commercial Appeal movie reviewer John Beifuss up to his left-wing antics again in his look at "Valentine's Day," calling the decision to have one of the teenage characters abstain from sex before marriage "conservative" and "corny."

- NOW YOU KNOW WHY THE GREENIES CALL IT "CLIMATE CHANGE" NOW: Climategate U-turn as Scientist at Centre of Row Admits: There Has Been No Global Warming Since 1995.

- GREEN ISN'T THE SAME AS "IT WORKS": The Vancouver Olympics had to bring in a Zamboni from Calgary because their “environmentally friendly” ice resurfacing machines “kept breaking down” and delaying events.

- HEADLINE: Senators to NASA chief: Go somewhere specific

I prefer the Captain Kirk method of space exploration: "Second star to the right, straight on till morning."

- OH HOW VOCABULARY EVOLVES: From Memphis Memories for Feb. 1, 1885:
The leading topic among Memphis sportsmen is the passage of a law banning the exportation of live quail from the state. A leading Memphis nimrod said yesterday that he personally knows of two men who annually ship thousands of the birds every year to such places as Pittsburgh. He added that it used to be an easy matter to have a fine day of hunting near Memphis but that now, because of the out-of-state shipments, nimrods might hunt a week within 10 miles of Memphis without getting enough birds for supper.

- IF ONLY: A Memphis Memories from Feb. 1, 1960:
George W. Lee, Memphis and West Tennessee Negro Republican leader, last night predicted that if Senator John F. Kennedy (D., Mass.) is nominated for president by the Democrats, the Republicans will carry Tennessee. "If it's Nixon against Kennedy, the Republicans will win this state with a landslide," he said, noting that between 65 and 70 per cent of Negro voters in Shelby County are Republicans.

- OBAMA'S POST-RACIAL AMERICA STILL NEEDS WORK: One "step" forward, so to speak, for racial reconciliation in the country. A white sorority wins a step competition. One step back, after backlash about "traditional black" culture, sponsor Coca-Cola decides that there were unidentified "scoring discrepancies" and announces that the second-place team will share first place. I believe "scoring discrepancy" is corporate-speak for "unintended racial animosity towards our company."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cooper's breathing treatment

Here's Cooper tolerating his nebulizer treatment. He'll never enjoy it, but he'll take it like a man!

And of course, Mr. Short Term Memory has no problems after it's over!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cooper trying to order fiesta nachos

Cooper update, Guys on Idol

Cooper went back to his pediatrician yesterday for a follow-up. He might be doing a little better. He played for a while and ate his normal bottle last night for me, then slept his usual six hours overnight. Still has a coughing fit once in a while, which is the most troubling part because it really ticks him off. As it should. Val's still feeling yucky, too, unfortunately.
Last night on AMERICAN IDOL it was time for the guys to sing, and as predicted most were fairly lame. Like the girls' night, I watched this via DVR in fast-forward. I only cared to listen to Simon's remarks, which, considering he's leaving after this season, doesn't bode well for 2011. Even Ellen's been underwhelming.
Todrick, "Since You've Been Gone" - Bonus points for taking a risk in rearranging a song made famous by a former Idol winner, and a chick at that. Didn't really show his vocal range, though.
Aaron, "Here Comes Goodbye" - I was nervous about him singing a Rascal Flatts song, but he did okay. For a 16-year-old he needs to start singing upbeat puppy love songs and stop with the serious ballads.
Jermaine, "Get Here" - Ye gads. Too high, breathy and then screamy. I hit the FF button by this point.
Tim, "Apologize" - The 13th guy who got on because one of the original top 12 was kicked off the show, and hopefully he was just happy to be there and won't mind going home tonight. He needs to apologize for that rendition.
Joe, "You and I Both" - Don't know him, don't know the song, couldn't give a rat's patoot about the performance. About here I realized that none of these guys matters. We can debate the merits of the top 24, but let's face it, when we get down to the top 10 or so, we'll wonder why half of them aren't any good. Let's go ahead and eliminate 12 this week.
Tyler, "American Woman" - I wrote down, "Trying to be Jim Morrison" before Kara said it, so I guess it was obvious to everyone. Hair strong, vocals weak.
Lee, "Chasing Cars" - A few awkwardly missed notes when he tried to be grunty like Springsteen, which would explain why I didn't understand over half of the words.
John, "God Bless the Child" - Odd song choice, mumbling performance.
Big Mike, "This Love" - For a big dude he sure has a small voice. Still rooting for him, though, with the newborn and all.
Alex, "Wonderful World" - FAIL. Immediately. Seriously, from the first note this was the most awfultastic performance in show history.
Casey, "Heaven" - WINNER. For the first time this week when he started I said, "He can win this." Nice, good-looking down-home guy, decent voice, plays guitar, he can generate buzz more than previous "heartthrobs" like Ace could.
Andrew, "Sugar We're Going Down" - One of the stars of the audition and Hollywood rounds, yet very disappointing here.
Going home? Several to pick from, but I'll go with Tim and Alex, but Jermaine and John had better be packed and ready to go, too, just in case.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cooper's virus, Lost, Idol

Our poor little guy is sick. We took Cooper to the doctor Monday due to an ugly cough, a runny nose and labored breathing. Our pediatrician diagnosed him with a bronchial virus common among babies, but since we haven't even had our four-month checkup yet Cooper's too young for the good medicines. Instead, his treatment is a nebulizer every four hours to open up his lungs. If you aren't familiar with those, it's a very loud breathing machine that blows a mist of Albuterol. An adult would suck on the mouthpiece, but we only need to hold up the mask near Cooper's face and let him inhale the fumes. We're doing this about every four hours for the next couple of days. It seems expensive ($46 at Sam's Club, plus $10 for the Albuterol packets), but unfortunately with my history of pretty bad asthma as a kid I get the feeling that the doc thinks we may need this more than once as Cooper gets older. That would stink something fierce. I now no longer have to imagine how scared my parents were because of my asthma, having to take me to the hospital on multiple occasions, and I really don't want that to be my legacy to my son.
Then, on top of that, Val's not feeling too hot either, with a sore throat and general yuckiness due to drainage. Oh my. When both the cared for and the caretaker are ailing it does not bode well.
LOST - So Alt-2004 Jack has a son with an unnamed ex-wife and avoids giving him some of the same daddy issues that Jack had with his father, while Hurley gets him to take a trek in the jungle to do something they don't understand, as Hurley puts it, and he was put up to it by Dead Jacob who appears to Hurley like Obi-Wan. As usual for a Jack-specific episode, the doc has some righteous anger, does some deep thinking and acts according to Jacob's will even though he thinks it's his own. Meanwhile, Jin lies to Claire, conductor of the Crazy Train, who thinks the Others have Aaron and Jin's not about to tell her otherwise and put Kate in danger. Although, Not Locke is Claire's best island buddy now, so who knows how that will turn out.
AMERICAN IDOL - It was Ladies Night, and I didn't care. They all have unsucky voices, but not a one makes me say, "Hey, I'll root for her to win." I'm pretty sure the guys will blow chunks tonight, so I'm wondering if it's time to start thinking about making an exit from the show, if not now then at the end of this season. I watched the two hours in fast-forward last night, finishing in about 20 minutes, as long as it took to watch them perform and see what the first judge said, and then I'd zip along to the next. Uninspired, is what I am.
Or, maybe it's because Val goes to bed at 7 nowadays, so we watch it separately, and thus we don't team up to root for or against contestants, sucking all the joy out of the show.
Let's take a look at the top 12 women:
Paige, "Alright Now": Never seen her before. Simon claims she has the best voice, but we wouldn't know from a song which I couldn't tell what was her voice and which was the backup vocal.
Ashley, "Happy": The beginning was breathy and spitty, the chorus solid. You can tell that she thinks she's Super Awesome.
Janell, "What About Love": Tim Tebow's ex-girlfriend had a few off notes, then a few more. Lesson: If you can't sing Heart songs as powerfully as the original, don't try. 
Lilly, "Fixin' a Hole": With the white hair and dark eye shadow she reminds me of Tilda Swinton in "Chronicles of Narnia" without the charm, and yet she has this odd voice that reminded me of the lead singer of The Sundays, and her arrangement made the Beatles song work in her favor.
Katelyn, "Oh Darlin'": Simon says it was a "mess" that he liked, Kara criticizes her appearance and proves once again that even as feminists always get mad when female celebrities are criticized on looks, it's always other women who do the criticizing.
Haeley, "I Want To Hold Your Hand": The first train wreck of the evening, a screechy performance and an arrangement that made me hit the FF button so many times that I went five minutes too far for the next singer.
Lacey, "Landslide": I thought she was affected her voice interestingly during the song, and then the judges ripped her like she just killed a puppy on stage.
Michelle, "Fallin'" - Ellen called it "safe," and who am I to argue. Fine performance. The entertainment value, however, was Dull City.
Didi, "The Way I Am": The Knoxville native sang one of my favorites, though the judges went negative because they're trying to drive me away.
Siobhan, "Wicked Game": She has a Forrest Gump-like innocence, hard to get a read on her talent.
Crystal, "Hand In My Pocket": The girl in dreads (wash your hair, hippie!) who thinks she's too hip for the show nonetheless came out with a guitar and a harmonica to sing an Alanis Morissette ditty that looked like a performance you'd see way back on that "Puttin' on the Ritz" show.
Katie, "Feelin' Good": The Girl Whose Grandmother Has Alzheimer's tried to be mysterious and sultry. She's way too innocent for that. It came out creepy and odd.
Who's going home? My guesses would be Haeley and Katie, or Paige since she was first and mostly unseen in auditions and Hollywood.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Who are your new hockey overlords now, Canada, eh?

U-S-A! U-S-A!
If not for holding a sleeping Cooper, when the Americans scored that sliding backhand empty-net goal at the end to put the game away, I would've jumped up and down complete with some fist pumping.
In other Vancouver Winter Games observations ...
Watching our men's curling team blow match after match must be what it's like to be a fan of the Detroit Lions.
I was all excited for that young American ice dancing couple in second place last night, and then I find out there's a THIRD dance yet to do? Really? Can we take that many funky costumes?
So this weekend Val and I had a couple of free days while her parents watched our mini Cooper, a good chance for us to get a few chores done and catch up on sleep to get through another week, when we'll need to catch up again, and again, and again, and you don't feel sorry for us because you've been there before and you know that our work around the house will never be done.
II can't tell you how long it's been since it's taken me more than five minutes to fall asleep. Val's not so lucky, but she's always been a worrier, meaning it's my job to ease her mind and let her sleep better. Last week she started skipping her afternoon naps, which makes it easier to get to sleep by 7 or 8 at night. Last night was super easy since Cooper slept from 8 to 6, although he's had a stuffy nose, hacky cough and a bit of a wheeze, so we're taking the poor guy into the doctor for a checkup. I think it's too early for him to develop allergies, I hope, right? I'd hate it if he had as many bad allergies as I did growing up, especially if it's asthma related. I know I had my parents on edge because of that growing up, and I don't think Val could take it!
My biggest responsibility Saturday was to finally pick up all the limbs in the front and back that snapped off due to the ice and snow this winter thus far. I ended up with a pile almost as big as the one we had last summer when the June tornado in Cordova sideswiped my neighborhood. Now I see whether it will cost me anything. At the beginning of the year, Lakeland started charging for anything picked up on the curb but promised that they wouldn't do so after "weather events." However, I waited a few weeks, so does it still apply? If not, I'm going to start dragging my limbs onto the golf course in the back and let them take care of it!
Please bow your head for a moment of silence for Val's car. We went Saturday to the Toyota dealership to clean it out and say goodbye, probably for good. Rewind to two weeks ago, she was on her way home from the doctor's office when her oil pressure light came on. It had been flickering a month before but not since, so when she called for advice I told her that since she was almost home to go ahead and keep driving. Bad advice. A few minutes later she called to say that the car died on her and she pulled onto a side road in our subdivision. Me and Cooper picked her up and via AAA we had it towed to the nearby dealership.
They called a few days later to say that the engine had seized and it would cost thousands for a new one, much much more than the car's worth. Would it be easier to buy a newer, yet still cheap car? Because, after all, Val's not working anymore and finances are tight, so we can't exactly go out and splurge on a fancy automobile on a whim. Or a non-fancy, cheap, crappy piece of junk, either, for that matter.
If her car was a few years younger, I would have put a concrete block on the brake and crashed it into a tree, blaming it on faulty brakes being recalled. Darnit. In the meantime we'll have to teach her how to drive my SUV and figure out how to get her some new transportation that doesn't involve driving our son around on the back of a scooter.
Sunday we went to church to see our little guy in the nursery and go out to lunch and wish her dad a happy birthday. (Still 39, go figure.) We would've applied the spankings, but the pastor was there and well, he's new, so some things we should wait for him to experience.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Cooper!

Giving Daddy one of Cooper's smiles!

Remember when he was so tiny in his bassinet?

Trailer Park - Mishmash from here to May's blockbusters-in-waiting

Cop Out - OK, I admit it, this trailer makes me laugh, and I would probably really enjoy this movie. Hey, I'm happily married with a son, my days of wanting to see "serious" films died when my single life ended and I'm now one of the unwashed masses who wants to be entertained. (Feb. 26)

Alice in Wonderland - Seriously, what kind of drugs is Tim Burton on? (March 5)

Green Zone - Matt Damon is a bada** not named Bourne. Why not just make it the next Bourne movie and call it Number 4? (March 12)

Hot Tub Time Machine - There have been weirder titles of movies that everyone saw. "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure?" This movie will speak to my generation, four guys (including John Cusak???) time-traveling back to the 80s. Awesome retro-speak happens. Would have been even funnier if it starred, say, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe and Judd Nelson. (March 26)

Clash of the Titans - Big fan of the original, but who isn't? Still, this remake with modern effects could kick some serious tail, although I worry that the star (from "Avatar") looks like he's just looked at Medusa one too many times, i.e. frozen up. Didn't see any robot owls? What's up? (April 2)

Date Night - Steve Carell and Tina Fey in a wild and crazy night of mistaken identity. (April 9)

MacGruber - A 30-second SNL skit into a movie spoofing "MacGyver," a TV show from the 80s. Heck no. (April 16)

The Losers - It's like a wannabe A-Team. Action, violence, sex ensue. (April 23)

I Love You Phillip Morris - Funny if only because the lead, Jim Carrey, is named Steven Russell and he's gay. (Shout out to my buddy Steve, who will never live down those Google searches for the rest of his life!) (April 30)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ready for baseball season

It's like "Hello," only more honest:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

There he is!

Cooper loves to kick up his legs:

Still working on those belly exercises:

He's starting to grab stuff and actually kind of know what he's doing as he tries to chew on it:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Run, Scott, Run! Plus, VDay, Cooper and TV

Great Googly Moogly, my big bro, Scott, ran a marathon this past weekend. To only say that I'm impressed would be like saying that it's kinda cool that he invented lightsabers and worp speed. Not only will I never run a marathon, I would prefer not to have to drive that far, either, at any given time. The way I see it, the first guy to run a marathon, Pheidippides, died after 26.2 miles. This tells me that God didn't intend for us to do so, and that's why I don't. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Val and I went up to Jackson for Saturday night to enjoy our Valentine's Day. It's not far away, but it's enough to say that we got out of town for the night to spend some time to ourselves. We got a jacuzzi suite, watched the Olympics, slept in, and went to dinner at Asahi Japanese steakhouse, same as first date way back when. Of course, back then it was tucked away in another part of town and not so busy. Nowadays they're in a new building in the up-and-coming part of town and by 5 p.m. it was already so packed that we had an hour-long wait. Holy jeez, indeed. Once we did sit, among the four other couples at the table we learned that pretty people are boring. Except for the couple next to Val with some drinks in their system, the rest (who were all together) barely even looked at one another, let alone talked or played or giggled. Come on, folks, it's Valentine's and you're at a hibachi grill, let loose!
Cooper hung out with his Mammaw this weekend. No way she was letting him go for less than two nights, since last weekend she was in Texas and the weekend before we were all snowed in. He even slept 10 hours straight for her on Saturday night, so good for them! For us, he still only sleeps about 5 hours on average, and then won't settle down into a deep enough sleep to last in his crib, so Val holds him on the couch from 4 a.m. to 8 or 9 until he wakes up for good. When he's awake and not cranky, he'll play and laugh and kick and he's really starting to talk a lot, either to us or just to himself while he's in his playmat, swing, bouncer or crib. If he's really being fussy and doesn't want to go to sleep, we'll put him in the crib and turn on the mobile and he'll laugh and watch it go round and round for a good hour, wearing himself out and letting us get some chores done. He's the most precious thing in the whole world, that's for sure!
Now, the TV update:
OLYMPICS - Figure skating is fixed. I'm sure of it. Watching the pairs short program, the more the competitors fell, the better their scores got.
LOST - A Locke-centric episode, meaning I was about one million times more interested than last week when Kate was the focus. Not Locke is recruiting folks to his cause, and Sawyer is angry enough to say yes while playing cute with each other in Jacob's cliff cave dwelling. Did I forget the significance of the rock that Not Locke tosses into the ocean as the "inside joke?" I feel like I'm missing a lot of references in the Alt-2004-Reality as well. Speaking of, Alt Locke is still engaged to Helen and even though he's fired, Alt-Hurley The Positive Thinker comes to the rescue, as does Alt-Rose at the temp agency. And then Ben is working at the school where Alt-Locke ends up substituting. Line of the night comes from Frank, after hearing Ben give a "eulogy" of Locke that ended with an apology for murdering him: "This is the weirdest funeral I've ever been to." 
AMERICAN IDOL - I can't say that I'm invested in any of the Hollywood finalists, so I don't really care who makes the top 24. We won't have seen at least one-third of them anyway, so I'll start paying attention next week.
THE BACHELOR - Didn't watch any of it, just enough to see that Gia The Swimsuit Model got kicked off and hearing that Alli tried to get back in but Jake rebuffed her. (Our guess is that they'll end up together, a la Jason and Molly, soon after the show airs.) Surely next week's After The Rose special should be a hoot, but really the best stuff lately has been to read US Weekly's revelations on how awful a person that Vienna is.
PROJECT RUNWAY - Very disappointed in last week's designs. For what's supposed to be an April cover, the colors were far too muted in beiges. We needed some color, some POP! And that's why Anthony was such an easy pick to win, with his bright blue shape-hugging dress. Anna's out, surprising no one with a lack of pizzazz and clothes that belonged more on Teen Cosmo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Notes on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Even I was embarrassed on behalf of French Canadians, who are now portrayed to the world as punk fiddlers who dance Irish jigs.
The only more humiliating opening ceremony scene for a host country? When in 1996 in Atlanta they unleashed a bunch of cheerleaders and chrome pickup trucks.
I kept waiting for Costas to toss out a snippy comment, but nothing. You disappoint me, Bob.
We get it, you have plenty of native Canadians. Okay, so a couple of the groups looks like they walked out of The Gap to get there, but they didn't say what kind of natives, did they?
If that wasn't drippy, they throw out a "slam poet" found on YouTube? If that's all it takes nowadays to get in a ceremony like this, for our next Games I demand that they give five minutes to the "Chocolate Rain" singer or the kid who comes home from the dentist still woozy on drugs.
I liked what they did with the floor of the stadium. The "whales" swimming across and blowing water out their blowholes was super cool.
Comment of the night, courtesy my Darling Valerie: "Does Canada have many African-Americans?" No, and that makes them racists, Sweetheart.
Did you notice the locals in white suits lining the entrance for the Walk Of Nations? What an awkward bunch of honky Canucks swaying back and forth. (I can get away with saying that, as a Honky American swaying to music awkwardly.)
I don't think the Canadian prime minister was telling the world about how great his country is, I think he was trying to tell self-doubting Canadians that they can be proud of their country for two weeks. In case you're wondering what's worse than other countries thinking that Americans are the opposite, far too full of ourselves and our patriotic rah-rah flag-waving.
The only Canadian star missing, besides Celine Dion, was Robin, a.k.a. Robin Sparkles, from "How I Met Your Mother" singing "Let's Go To The Mall."
How could there be nothing in a Canadian ceremony featuring ice hockey? Isn't that like holding an Olympics in Memphis without mentioning Elvis? Or L.A. without an exhibition of plastic surgery?
It's pretty sad that they have a 50-foot polar bear but couldn't find a tailor for K.D. Lang. Did she borrow that suit from Shaq?
Sort of wishing that Jim Carrey would light the Olympic flame by bending over and talking it out of his butt.
Second choice: Kiefer Sutherland takes the torch from Gretzky, burns Gretzky with it on his leg and yells, "Tell me where the cauldron is!!!!"
Clark Kent wasn't Canadian, so why is his Fortress of Solitude the design for the Olympic cauldron?
So what are Canadians calling the lighting of the torch from now on? "The Glitch?" That will be one of those shared stories among its citizens for decades.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cooper loves his Pooh mobile!

Catching up on notes

- WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA? On Good Morning America, former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown admits that the Obamessiah "got the best press known to man. Let's face it." Howard Kurtz, host of Reliable Sources on CNN and a Washington Post columnist, corrected, "In the history of civilization." Brown quickly agreed, "In the history of civilization, incredible."

- CATS ARE EVIL. Oscar is a hospice cat supposedly with an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die. Sounds sort of creepy but sweet, right?

Wrong! That cat doesn't comfort people as they pass, it steals their souls a la "Highlander!" There can be only one Highlander Cat!

- I'LL TAKE YOUR "Gay Mentally Challenged Biracial Male Cheerleader Claims Discrimination," and one-up you with a Transgender Native American Schizophrenic Soldier With An Eating Disorder.

- WHAT GLOBAL WARMING? From London's Sunday Telegraph: "The United Nations' expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing fromt he world's mountain tops on a student's dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine." This is the same IPCC that was given a Nobel Peace Prize for their professionalism in revealing "climate change."

- UNEVEN JUSTICE. In New York, if a student brings a LEGO gun to school or writes her name on the desk, they get kicked out and taken out in handcuffs. If you're a teacher who impregnate a 16-year-old girl he met when she was his 13-year-old student, you're placed in a "rubber room" and given full salary ($94,000) for a decade.

- GREAT MOMENTS IN GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE: Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams flies to the U.S. to get surgery.

- HYPOCRISY WATCH. During his rebuke of the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address regarding a campaign-finance case, the Obamessiah didn't seem fit to mention that during his presidential campaign he was the first candidate in the modern era to reject public financing to allow himself to haul in $745 in contributions from the likes of lawyers and lobbyists ($43 million), health-care donors ($19 million), bankers ($18), real estate ($10 million) and Hollywood ($9 million). But hey, he thinks the case would "open the floodgates for special interests." ((Jeff Jacoby, Jan. 31))

- CLUELESS MUCH? Obama after Scott Brown won "Teddy Kennedy's seat" in Massachusetts and essentially killed health care reform: "One thing I regret this year is that we were so busy just getting stuff done ... that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people" As Jonah Goldberg notes: "In his first year as president, Obama ... has delivered 411 public "speeches, comments, and remarks," and 158 interviews - more than one public statement per day and roughly an interview every other day." He's given three nationally televised addresses to Congress now.

- CUCKOO!! Left-wing Chavez cuddling actor Danny Glover blamed the Haiti earthquake on inaction to fix global warming:
I hope we seize this particular moment because the threat of what happened to Haiti is the threat that could happen anywhere in the Caribbean to these island nations, you know. They're all in peril because of global warming, they're all in peril because of climate change and all of this....

When we look back at what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I'm saying? But we have to act now.

- HEADLINE: Toilet Reading Leads to Haemorrhoids - Cophenhagen Post, Jan. 27

What are these people reading on the john, "War and Peace?"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cooper adorableness

Playing with his tongue:

He really likes to play under his Pooh mobile.

On the TV this week

LOST - Not much happening this week, only setting us up for the future. I liked the confrontations between Jack and the Japanese Others Leader, but don't really care about either Kate or Claire, so the rest was passable. Best line from Sawyer at the temple, dripping with sarcasm, when Sayid was resurrected: "He's an Iraqi torturer who shoots kids. He definitely deserves another go 'round." Miles had an equally good line about how Hurley seems have become the group leader, with a full eye-roll to boot.

AMERICAN IDOL - Does anyone else dislike group night? It seems like a lot of manufactured drama for no extra benefit. So what if they can't work together to sing and dance? When in the competition will they have to use this skill again?

THE BACHELOR - By skipping all of the actual dates this two-hour show gets reduced favorably. So I started at 8:20 with Alli's meltdown after supposedly being told by her job that she had to pick between finding love or working, which, didn't she think of this before the show started?

PROJECT RUNWAY - An entire episode that made me hungry for tomato soup, the designers used the Campbell's Soup logo to make a red dress for a gala for women with heart disease. Some were clever, most were ugly and largely Val and I had the opposite reaction than all of the judges. Jesus wasn't the worst, but he has shown lack of style and flair, so he's gone.

THE BIGGEST LOSER - Thankfully, Faky McRedteamchick is gone, and didn't even get voted out. She gained a pound and automatically eliminated as a result. It was awesome.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Can Cooper say "I love you?"

Mommy conversing with her little precious!

Cooper's doggie towel

All nice and dry and warm after bath time!

Chapel Hill weekend, The Blind Side

Val and I took off for Chapel Hill last weekend so that Cooper could spend some time with his Grams, Aunt Lynn and Granddad, which also means quality time for his parents since Mom watched him at night and they gave us the afternoon on Saturday to go up to Cool Springs for lunch and a movie. Bless them!
Unfortunately, as good as Cooper was at Christmas driving back and forth, he was as bad on the drive up Friday afternoon. To say that it was a nightmare would be to insult nightmares. We tried to wait until he was asleep for his late afternoon naptime, or at least good and tired, but as soon as I put him in the car seat he woke up and started fussing. Once on the interstate he slept for a grand total of 20 minutes before waking up mad again.
We stopped in Jackson to change his outfit (he was sweaty, either from being hot or from all the righteous anger), feed him and try to get him back to sleep. Cooper was alert and playing the entire time we were at McDonald's off exit 85, then fell asleep in the car, again for about 20 minutes, then woke up vocally unhappy again.
We stopped again at exit 143 (Linden/Waverly), the customary stop at the last exit before we get off on the rural roads that lead to Chapel Hill. In the car we fed Cooper and we tried to get him to sleep. Fail. Fail. Fail.
So we took off on the road again in an effort "just to get to Chapel Hill already," all while my tummy was rumbly and full of four Imodium ADs taken at the same time, Cooper was wailing and for that last hour-and-a-half I drove on curvy and hilly two-lane roads in the rain at night. Not good times. Not good at all.
You'd think Cooper would give out eventually. You'd be wrong. There's no law that says he has to.
To say that it was a relief to get to Mom and Aunt Lynn's would be an understatement. With the pack-and-play in her room, Mom watched him both nights and we got two good nights' sleep, and Mom got at least one since Cooper was so exhausted from being upset on the drive that he crashed all night Friday night.
The drive home, Val stayed in the backseat with him the entire time, and he was 95 percent better. Amazing that he's the same baby.
Many thanks to Mom and Aunt Lynn for helping out with Cooper and providing the delicious food, and all I can say is, next month it's your turn to drive to Memphis!
Saturday, Val and I took the 45-minute trek up to Cool Springs and finally saw "The Blind Side."
Yes, we drove to Nashville to see a movie based in Memphis that was shot in Atlanta.
Of the 20 screens at the theater, ours was out in the alley projected on the back wall on a sheet. That's what happens when you see a movie two months late. No, but it was way back in the corner without signs or more than 100 seats. I've seen man caves on "Cribs" with a bigger screen and more seats.
The movie, at least, was as good as family and friends have told us. Forget the critics who can't see through a movie allegedly about "white paternalism" even though it's a true frakin' story, this was a heartwarming story with an Oscar-worthy performance from Sandra Bullock. We really really enjoyed it, though we don't know how much is true and how much is, shall we say, tweaked for entertainment purposes.
This isn't exactly the Memphis we know, although we hang out in neither the projects nor the rich areas, so no surprise. You just wouldn't recognize it as a movie based here except for a random shot of a MATA bus and a Memphis Flyer newspaper stand.
Hopefully audiences will realize that there is a large middle class in the city, and we don't just make decisions daily between $18 salads or dealing drugs and shooting each other for sport. At least most of the time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cooper in his car seat

On the road back home this Sunday, Val keeping him company in the backseat ...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Cooper and his Grams

Freezing up for the camera!

Boppy Cooper


When he's tired and won't go to sleep for us, he will fall asleep in the swing, and that's okay with us!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Jeff's Top 5: Super Bowl 44 Ads

Cooper will grow up in a world where the Red Sox recently won a World Series and the Saints are Super Bowl champions. What's next, the Clippers win the NBA title? A black man is elected president of the United States? Craziness!

I was rooting for Peyton to win his second Super Bowl, but I'm not disappointed that New Orleans won, since their fans are long-suffering yet jovial, sort of like Cubs fans. I'm sure vomit, urine and blood flowed happily last night on the streets. But hey, can we stop pretending that winning the Vince Lombardi trophy will rescue the city from the aftermath of Katrina, which, by the way, was nearly five years ago. How long do they get to use that as an excuse to be the Haiti of the U.S. in terms of poverty and crime? (I know, call me Mr. Insensitive.) Congrats on your football championship, though.

Now, for one of my post-game rituals, rating the advertising!

It seemed like every other spot was either for Doritos or Bud Light, but I found a few others worth mentioning ...

1. E*Trade - It kills me when "Milkaholic" and ditzy hoochie baby Lindsey pokes her head in the screen and says "Milk what?"

2. Bud Light - Guys talk all synthesized when it's time to party.

3. - Beaver violinist makes its way to the big stage .

4. NCIS - Head slap the new knuckle tap.

5. Bud Light - Plane crash, beverage cart party.

Honorable Mention:

Budweiser - Clydesdale and cow friends.

Budweiser - Bridge out for delivery truck.

McDonald's - LeBron and Dwight Howard play H-O-R-S-E, remake of the Bird-Jordan ad 20 years ago. - National Lampoon's Vacation revisited.

Snickers - "Playing like Betty White."

Boost Mobile - "Elderly" Bears re-enact Super Bowl Shuffle.

Bud Light - House made from full cans.

Bridgestone - Bachelor party morning after with whale, "Hangover" style. - Whiz kid puts out fire as infant, speaks Italian, births tiger.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cooper and his Grams

He had a good time hanging out at Grams' house this weekend!

Playing Peek-a-boo with the camera ...

Cooper, up close and personal

All smiles!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Cooper catnapping

Gives you that peaceful, easy feeling ...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Follies

- Taylor Swift, accepting a Grammy for best country album Sunday night, said "I just keep thinking back to when you're in second grade and you sing at your talent show the first time and people joke around and they say, 'Oh, maybe we'll see you at the Grammys someday.'"

Of course it's easy for her to remember back then, since it was what, three years ago?!?!

- Environmental Loony Irony Alert: Many communities in wintry areas that switched to LED bulbs in their traffic lights have seen an uptick in accidents and even deaths because they don't produce enough heat to melt the snow, meaning drivers can't tell if the signal says stop or go. The fix is either to have crews come by and clean them off or by air compressors to blow snow and ice off blocked lights, pretty much negating any positive "green" advantage of having the LEDs in the first place.

- Some Memphis Memories from the Commercial Appeal:

Dec. 30, 1934, the Mid-South's love of wrasslin' goes way back before Lawler and Kauffman set foot in the ring at the Mid-South Coliseum:
Professional wrestling again was the leading money maker in sports in Memphis in 1934. Attendance figures of 125,944 customers were well over the 1933 mark of 92,047, according to promoter Charley Rentrop. The largest gate of the year, grossing more than $4,000, was attracted by the Jim Londos-Pete Sauer set-to.
and Dec. 30, 1884, I think the writer disagrees with this judge's decision, but I can't be sure:
A wife-beater got off with only a $5 fine in Judge Hadden's court yesterday when he half-convinced the judge that he was just playing with his wife when he was found tapping her on the head with his boot -- and the woman half-heartedly agreed with her lord and master.

- The student body of Olathe Northwest high school tried to pull a half-court blindfolded shot prank on science teacher and girl's basketball coach Joel Branstrom (a former Kansas basketball player). Branstrom's half-court "make" would win him tickets to the Final Four. There was no actual prize, but the student body was instructed to go crazy regardless if he made the shot or not. One problem ... he made it.

- WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA? Time's Joe Klein, who describes Americans as "Too Dumb to Thrive":
Absolutely amazing poll results from CNN today about the $787 stimulus package: nearly three out of four Americans think the money has been wasted. On second thought, they may be right: it's been wasted on them. . . .

This is yet further evidence that Americans are flagrantly ill-informed...and, for those watching Fox News, misinformed.

It is very difficult to have a democracy without citizens. It is impossible to be a citizen if you don't make an effort to understand the most basic activities of your government. It is very difficult to thrive in an increasingly competitive world if you're a nation of dodos.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A docile Cooper

He's just chillin'!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Trying not to get lost on Lost

Did anyone else get the idea that the producers of LOST sat around for six months wondering just how many WTF?! moments they could string together for this season's premiere? My brain, it hurts.
Okay, so Jack's plan "worked," but how? Alternative reality? Back in L.A. they all seem to have converging stories, so will they end up back at the island, which we see is underwater as they fly overhead?
So the people at the Temple, are they Others? Different ones? Did some land via the Black Rock? And what timeframe are we at? What year is this supposed to be?
How many times regarding Juliet, Sayid, Charlie and Locke did we go, "Hey, he's alive, she's not, but yes she is, wait, he's dead? No, alive. But what about him?" Until further notice, they're all dead and alive to me.
Everyone pretty much had figured that Not Locke was the smoke monster, so I guess he's the bad guy, or is he? After all, Jacob got his kicks by trapping people on the island and didn't seem to run things with an eye towards utopia.
Is Jack's dad's missing coffin relevant? Locke's knives? Connected with the island reality?
Really, at the L.A. airport on the other side of customs, which takes a long long time to get through, there aren't any women in the bathroom? I mean, I was willing to suspend disbelief for all this other stuff, but seriously?
Man, is Sawyer pissed! And now that Jack thinks he failed, he's all "Whatever," going along with any and all crazy island mysteries. "What's that, Hurley, some dead guy who may or may not run the island told you to take our dying friend to a temple to resurrect? Fine."
I did like some of the reveals, such as the ankh in the guitar case that held the note from Jacob.
What I'm getting at is, I'm totally into the rest of the season, though I have no clue what's happening. It's a metaphor for my life.
By the way, for the Uncanny Timing Award Of The Week, Cooper started freaking out at 9:45 in time for the final two blocks. And that's why the good Lord invented the DVR, so that once I tranquilized the little dude I could resume the show. Priorities, I know.
- I don't know why, but didn't it seem obvious from the start that Miss Virginia would win MISS AMERICA Saturday night? She was actually refreshing, the only one who kept giving honest answers, so I won't complain. Another reason she - one of the few black women in the competition - stood out is that all of the other women looked almost exactly alike. The brunettes were clones, the blondes were all the same generic bombshells you've seen on every episode of "Gossip Girls," and surprisingly many of them didn't have that "gorgeous overly made-up beauty pageant" look. If the organizers really want the women to stand out, quit making them wear the same black dresses at the start and boring black bikinis in the swimsuit competition that won't be pinned up on any walls anytime soon.
 Oh, and gee whiz, did they really have to make them all dance to the Black-Eyed Peas off the top? For too many of the women it was not exactly Soul Train up there. These are robotic white chicks for the most part, who haven't danced since performing awkwardly at the age of 6 in pageants. Val pointed something else out, how we miss seeing the judges' scores during the rounds so you can see who they like. In fact, after introducing the judges at the beginning we never saw or heard from them again. Why bother? They had Rush Limbaugh on there, which I thought would be an awesome opportunity to reverse the damage the horribly left-wing blogger moron Perez Hilton did to Carrie Prejean at the Miss USA pageant last year. 
Good news: Miss Tennessee finished third! And lastly, Miss Kentucky may have personally ruined "On My Own" from Les Miserables for at least two years. Just awful. Couldn't she have butchered something from the ridiculous Cats instead?
- Points to HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER if only for the baseball references - including playing the music from "Major League" underneath a scene or two - and Barney pretending to be interviewed by CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz about his "perfect week," i.e., sleeping with seven women in seven days. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily admit to sharing a toothbrush, which is a definite "ewwww," except I'm sure all of us have something that would elicit a similar response. For instance, Val and I share drinks, which doesn't seem weird to us, but others may disagree. We also give each other blood transfusions once a week, but that's for another day ...
- Monday night on THE BACHELOR: BIMBOS NEED ONLY APPLY ON THE WINGS OF LOVE, when Corrie told Jake that she was a virgin, his lips said "I completely respect where you're coming from and that's something that's not an issue for me" but his eyes betrayed him with a clear "Oh crap does that mean no hanky-panky on our upcoming fantasy suite date?!" And so Corrie's out of here. When he said upon kicking her out that she would "never open up fully," I'm pretty sure he meant her legs.
- On last week's PROJECT RUNWAY, Ping was finally given the heave-ho by the judges who inexplicably kept her this long, if only because even they couldn't justify how her partner last week, Jesse, told them that he had to teach her how to sew and the model said Ping didn't even fit her in the dress. So you can see why Jesse didn't just throw her under the bus, he got inside and took control of the wheel to run over her a few times, dragging her ugly garments on the pavement.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The 'Lost' plane crash, '24' style

In time for the premiere...

In the mood now? I am!