Friday, January 30, 2009

Laboring Over Grammar

We're. They'll. I'd. O'clock. Should've. Doesn't. He's. You're. Ma'am. 'Twas. Ne'er-do-well...

Explanation: I'm practicing for contractions. According to the childbirth video we saw, the contractions start out small and slowly build up over the course of labor. In the beginning, the contractions are spaced out and you barely notice them:

'Tis but a minor discomfort. The last one 'twas five minutes ago. Please, there's no need to for the formality, you don't have to call me "ma'am."

Then they build up for the second stage of labor:

It's quite painful! I've had 'em since 4 o'clock! I'd like to see what you'd do in my place - you wouldn't last a minute. I should've gotten an epidural!

At the final stage of labor, they are the most intense and almost continuous:

M'ke th' p'n st'p! Why'd y'u d' th's t' m'??? I n'd m'rph'ne!

This concludes today's lesson on grammar and childbirth. Stay tuned tomorrow as we discuss why women in labor just don't appreciate puns.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Game of Garb

I enjoyed a rousing game of Garb last night.

Explanation: Last night, Sarah wanted to play a game. Other than Monopoly, I had no objection, so I left it up to her. She suggested we play Garb. We've played all sorts of games, but I had never heard of Garb. I said, "what's Garb?" She said "GARB!" I asked a few more times, but didn't get an answer. Eventually, she took out the cards and started shuffling. Apparently, it was a card game of some sort. I took the opportunity to ask again. "What's Garb?" At this point, she thought I was toying with her, because I kept asking, and clearly it was obvious what Garb was. Well, to her. I still had no clue. Maybe it was a word she picked up from Word Twist? I asked several more times and she busted out laughing, thinking I was just being silly. Finally, she explained it.

Turns out she wanted to play cards. She just has a cold.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Real Snow Day!

Oh the weather outside is gorgeous, but we're stuck in here in chorus... Wait, let me start over.

Explanation: I'd just like to take a moment to thank all of my friends who took chorus in high school for forever ruining the song Let it Snow for me.

It's a snow day! An honest to goodness real snow day! Do you know how exciting this is? Do you know what this means? Well I'll tell you!

It means I have to answer the phone at 5:45 in the morning when the school calls. Then I tell my wife she can sleep in and then lay awake for the next half hour, unable to fall asleep, knowing full well my sleep won't amount to much since I still have to get up for work in a few minutes. That's what it means!

Even worse, since she has the day off, I told her she gets to shovel today. She's totally willing to help out, but apparently I have to carry the baby for her while she does that.* I just can't catch a break today.

*Anyone know where I can get a good rate on a womb rental for the day?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Day Off is a Day Off, I Guess

I am still a little confused by my wife's "snow day" yesterday.

Explanation: Yesterday started like any other Monday in our household. Sarah went off to school at her normal time and I started work at my normal time. The day was just churning along until around 11:00am when I looked out the window and saw Sarah's car heading toward our house.

She's a teacher. She doesn't just come home at random hours during the day. And she's nine months pregnant. My heart stopped. I sprinted down the stairs to meet her in the garage, figuring out (quite impressively, if I do say so myself) exactly what I needed to pack for the hospital along the way. When I opened the door to the garage, she complimented me on my reaction time, but said that there were electrical and fire alarm issues at her school and they had to close early. No baby, just technical difficulties. Lucky duck - she got a snow day yesterday without the snow.

This morning there IS snow on the ground and she headed off to work anyway. Seems to me THIS is the kind of day where she should be home early. Oh well - at least I know what I'm packing for the hospital now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

We Have a Name!

It's official! We finally have a name!

Explanation: After nine months of book reading, deep ponderance, strenuous debate, hemming and hawing, intense cogitation, focused meditation, spirited conversation, and my personal favorite "Hm" sound which means "There's no way on God's green earth that we're going to choose that name," we have finally decided on a name! That's right! Our little girl isn't due to enter this world for another two weeks our hardest decision as expectant parents is over with. All of this stress is finally over - Sarah can now just kick back and enjoy the rest of her pregnancy with all of her problems washed away. And now for the formal announcement:

I am going to go by "Dad".

Thank you for all of your support in helping us make this difficult decision.

Friday, January 23, 2009



Explanation: Last night, as I headed out of my neighborhood, I saw the stop sign at the intersection with the main road. My mind saw it and immediately started churning out the words you can create with those letters. This would be an indication that I have been playing way too much Word Twist on Facebook. Just for the record, the following words can be created from the letters in STOP (3 letters or greater):


Special Blog Challenge: The letters in STOP can be used to create 12 different words of 3 letters or more. Can you find a four letter word which will create more than 12 words?*

*I should note that I don't actually have an answer to this question.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Frontrunning 101

I think I'll start caring about college basketball now.

Explanation: Last night at approximately 8:37pm, I got a phone call from my father. He asked if I knew anything about college basketball this year. From what I've gathered on ESPN recently, I told him that I only knew one thing: Wake Forest is number one. He told me that was correct and that Virginia Tech was playing them and beating them on ESPN2. So, at that very moment, I decided to care about college basketball this season. Tech went on to win the game. So now that I care, let me say this:


Stay tuned tomorrow as I try to explain that I've been an Arizona Cardinals fan for years.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Best Thing on TV

Did anyone catch that awesome rerun of Home Improvement at noon yesterday?

Explanation: I needed something interesting to watch at lunchtime, so I flipped immediately to TBS, where they run old episodes of Home Improvement. It was hysterical! In the beginning, Tim and Al are filming a scene for the show and Tim goes a step too far in modifying a tool. Al tries to warn him, but Tim just brushes him off and demonstrates his modification. Hilarity ensues.

Then, Tim does something that upsets Jill. He's all frustrated because he doesn't understand why she's so angry at him, but then he talks to his neighbor, Wilson, who explains the situation by using an elaborate metaphor involving the wacky thing he happened to be doing in his backyard at the time. Oh, and you never see Wilson's face! Just his eyes and his hat! Man, that's good stuff.

Anyway, Tim then reconciles with Jill, referencing (and mismangling) what Wilson said, but still figuring out enough of what he did wrong to allow him back in her good graces. Oh, and I think the youngest kid might be gay.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Word Twist

Excuse me while I diktat a message to my peepbo.

Explanation: So, I am now addicted to a game on Facebook called Word Twist. Word Twist gives you six or seven letters and you have to make as many words as possible out of those letters in a given amount of time. You play against other players, getting points as follows:

3 letter word: 1 point
4 letter word: 2 points
5 letter word: 4 points
6 letter word: 6 points
7 letter word: 9 points

So, the larger the word, the more beneficial it is to your score. But that's not all. There is also a 25 point bonus if you find the longest possible word from the given letters. So, if you have six letters, you actually get 31 points per six letter word. Furthermore, each six letter puzzle forms at least one six-letter word. Same goes for the seven letter puzzles and seven letter words.

Because of this 25-point bonus, the big word is clearly the most important word to your score, because in many cases it's worth more than all of the other words combined. It is essential to figure out the big word in order to win... which takes me to my complaint.

The other day, I got the following letters: PPEBEO. The game tells you there are 6 three letter words (which I got) and 3 four letter words (which I got) along with the one six letter word. With two minutes total, I found all nine of the small words in 1:08, leaving me 52 seconds to find the big word. After floundering for the first 30 seconds, I spent the final 20 or so seconds randomly trying letter combinations, thinking it might be some obscure word I didn't know. Sure enough, when time ran out, I was presented with "PEEPBO" as the word I missed.

This led to a moment of puzzlement, followed by quite an obscenity-riddled tirade before I finally decided to utilize the post-game recap feature where you can click on words to see their definitions. For instance, say you missed FILO, you could look at their definition and see that it means "first in, last out" - a useful feature in a game where their dictionary makes all the difference. I looked up PEEPBO to find out that it means "no definition found." Very useful to know, in case I ever come across the word in the future. In fact, after scouring the internet, the best I could find was that it might be some sort of derivative of "peek-a-boo." Luckily, my opponent did not get the word either, so it didn't influence the final score of the game.

Last night, my wife destroyed me in a game because she guessed "DIKTAT" and I did not. Interestingly, after looking up the definition, it also appears to be a synonym of PEEPBO, meaning "no definition found." Also useful to know.

Anyway, I'm done with their definitions of words. I'm just making my own up from now on.

Diktation complete. Please send this message to my peepbo and copy me on it. Thanks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Little Feet -> Little Socks

Man, those are some little socks.

Explanation: In more preparation for the arrival of our newest family member, Sarah washed a load of hand-me-down baby clothes. If I put five pairs of my blue jeans through the wash, they A) completely fill the washer, B) cause it to shake violently during any agitation cycles, and C) take approximately 2 hours to dry in the dryer. So, I wash four pairs of my jeans at a time. That's all. By contrast, the load of baby clothes consisted of approximately 73 outfits, complete with approximately 146 little tiny socks.

On the bright side, my wash loads are much easier to fold and put away.

In related news, I defeated the car seat this weekend, installing the base in the back of my car just in case. Go me!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dr. Mutantstein, I Presume?

My eye doctor might be a mutant.

Explanation: I had an appointment with my eye doctor yesterday. I should first say that since I moved to New Jersey, I've only seen her once or twice. As I have a history of "never getting around to" making appointments, I finally was smart this past summer and scheduled one for the fall.

They day of my appointment, unfortunately, I had been selected for jury duty, so I had to reschedule it. The rescheduled appointment had to be rescheduled again because I was selected to be on the jury and that conflicted as well. The court case ran extra long, so I had to reschedule the appointment again. Then, the day before my appointment, I had a medical emergency and decided to cancel it and postpone it indefinitely. This was in October. I finally got back there yesterday. I was absolutely certain Sarah would have the baby yesterday just because I would have to reschedule again. No such luck. Anyway, I last saw my doctor in 2006, so I barely remember what she looks like.

I arrived at my appointment on time. That doesn't seem to matter with modern medicine, as I had to re-submit my paperwork (which has not changed one iota since 2006) and then wait for 20 minutes to be called. The nice nurse lady checked my eyes with contacts and then realized she had mistaken me as a patient of another doctor, so I went back to the waiting room for 10 minutes. Then I was called back, where the same nice nurse lady had me take my contacts out and measured my eyesight again. I could have saved her the trouble - I can't see a thing without my lenses in. She then left me in the exam room to wait for the doctor.

TWENTY minutes later, the doctor walked in. I just have to say that twenty minutes of sitting in an exam room is quite boring. Every doctor seems to have this second-tier of waiting these days. Sitting twenty minutes without being able to see anything is excruciating. Mental note: next time bring my glasses... and an iPod.

The doctor finally came in and was quite pleasant. She checked my vision and talked to me about my eye health and concerns and whatnot. It was actually pleasant enough to make me forget about the 20 minute wait. She then sent me off to the contact room to put my lenses back on so I could be on my way.

Last night, I saw somebody at volleyball who I thought looked quite a bit like my doctor, except for one minor detail: I realized that I had never actually SEEN my doctor because my lenses were out the whole time.

My doctor could literally be a mutant with three eyes, two noses, and a giant arm sticking out of her head and I wouldn't know. She may have even been some sort of ninja turtle - I was blind. What would I know?

"Good afternoon. I'm Dr. Raphael. You may feel a slight poking sensation..."

So there you have it, kids. If you have some sort of horrible deformity that you don't want anyone to ever see, become an eye doctor. Just don't make me wait in that damn room for 20 minutes, OK?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vaguely Familiar

This white stuff falling from the sky looks vaguely familiar...

Explanation: It is snowing here. Finally. The last four or five times a "wintry mix" has been in our forecast, I've endured a rainy day while listening to my family (who live a mere 40 miles away) talk about the inches and inches of snow they had. It's 40 miles. How much of a difference can 40 miles make?

And don't even get me started on the great white north that is Poughkeepsie. I think they've been under four feet of snow since November.

Special Blog Bonus: Speaking of snow, this is a great time to point you toward one of the best LEGO creations I've seen in a long time. I present to you, the 5x10 foot Hoth base diorama, LEGO style, complete with little LEGO foot prints in the snow:

It's cold out, but it's not quite "crawl inside the dead carcass of a tauntaun" cold. You can find more photos in this photo stream.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Margin of Error

I weigh approximately 195 pounds, with a 29 pound margin of error.

Explanation: Sarah had an ultrasound yesterday evening to get an idea of the baby's size. They estimate that our little girl is currently 6 pounds, 13 ounces, or 6.8125 pounds. As a dad-to-be, this makes me quite happy as she is somewhere in the 75th to 90th percentile in size - healthy, but not huge. Their estimate, however comes with a 1 pound margin of error. Hence, her weight could be off by 15% in either direction.

As this margin of error seems perfectly reasonable for an unborn infant, I was thinking it could be even more useful for adults. For example, I have happily broadcasted my weight to the world this morning and yet really all I have given is a 58 pound range in which my actual weight resides.

Special Note: Last night I ate 7 Buffalo wings for dinner, plus or minus one wing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Oddly, I'm working from home and yet my commute was much longer than usual this morning.

Explanation: To make our afternoon scheduling easier, I drove my wife to work this morning. I understand that most people do this sort of thing every day, but I am not most people. Furthermore, if I do have to leave the house first thing in the morning, I would prefer that it wasn't during the coldest spell we've had all winter. Anyway, I am now back at home, but a bit more cold and confused than normal.

Special Blog Bonus: Ever wonder how to make a Penrose Triangle out of LEGOs? Here are the simple instructions:

If you still have difficulty, you might want to consider this model for help:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thank You, Cruel Doctor

I find it rather cruel that an office for gastroenterology and digestive disorders has the Food Network on in its waiting room.

Explanation: I have had the misfortune of having to visit a GI doctor several times over the past few months. The first time I went, I found it rather odd that they had the Food Network on in the waiting room. The second time, I realized it wasn't a coincidence. It's always on in there and I always walk out hungry. Seems kind of cruel for a place that specializes in digestive disorders, doesn't it?

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Volleyball Season!

One volleyball match down, zero new injures. So far, so good.

Explanation: I played my first volleyball match of the season last night. This is not exactly a high-flying just-try-not-to-get-hit-in-the-face league I'm playing in. Nope, this is my lazy Thursday night league, where until this season, I've always been the youngest player on my team. This season that changed a bit, as one player's son is now on the team, which helps because I don't feel all that young right now. In my mind, my volleyball game still looks something like this, where my actual game looks a little more like this. At one point last night I went up in the air to play a ball and the ground came back about half a second faster than I expected it to. One might say this is due to deterioration of my vertical leap, but instead I like to think that gravity is already in midseason form while I'm just getting started. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Most importantly, I walked away from last night with out major injury. Major soreness? Yes. Major injury? No.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mmmm... Potatoey Goodness

Knothing is knicer than knoshing on a knish on a knasty day.

Explanation: I don't know, I just like to knosh on a knice knish when it's rainy and knasty outside. Knothing raises my spirits like that warm potatoey goodness.

I'm also looking pforward to the Pfabulous Baker Boys tomorrow, pfor my pfavorite Pfriday pastime is to watch movies pfeaturing Michelle Pheiffer.

Special Blog Bonus: In other news, I'm not sure if you missed it, but Apple introduced a new laptop:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stay Off the Juice, Kids

Remember kids, steroids are bad for you.

Explanation: Just a friendly public service message from all of us at Jeremy's Status Message to you in this new year. We know you have a new year's resolution to lose those extra pounds, get in the gym and snap yourself into shape, but steroids are not the answer. Sure, you may have an upper bowel inflammation, an eye injury leading to blurred vision, or a systemic reaction to poison ivy, but this miracle drug isn't as miraculous as you might think. It can do more harm than good. Stay off the juice, kids!

Think you can't get big without steroids? Look at Uncle Walt. He's totally clean (assuming Tastycakes and Diet Coke aren't performance-enhancing drugs) and he can squat six people:

EDITOR'S NOTE: As we are currently covered with a rash due to an allergic reaction to a steroid we are taking, we felt it was a good time to remind you all of the dangers of drug use. Now if you'll excuse us, we have some serious scratching to do.

Special Blog Bonus: Speaking of spreading like a plague, this animated map of Walmart's growth across America is pretty interesting. And no, it is not a link to a YouTube video.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rick Astley, Your Fifteen Minutes Are Over

Rick Astley is SO 2008. I'm thinking about Ricky-The-Dragon-Steamboat-Rolling people this year.

Explanation: Rick-Rolling is totally lame. Now that we're in 2009, we need to move on and find an alternative. That's all I have to say about that.

Special Blog Bonus: Time for a round-up of some of the awesome links I stumbled upon while on my holiday vacation. Enjoy!

  • In this YouTube clip, some not-so-bright college students spell out "2009" by using old beer bottles as dominoes. A word of advice to the guy leaning against the table: broken glass is sharp.
  • I saw a bunch of great new LEGO creations over the break, but this one takes the cake. It took a team of Google employees three years to build this life-sized replica of the Millennium Falcon, but I think it was time well spent. The life-sized Chewbacca is my favorite part.
  • In celebration of the Eagles' playoff game against Minnesota, a local Philly station held a Gus Frerotte "headbutt the wall" contest. The video they posted on YouTube is hysterical. I'm doubting the winner even remembers the contest.
  • I know there's nothing fancy about the production of this video, but I just like seeing a snow bank fall off roof onto Christmas carolers. It was a "white Christmas" for those poor singers. Take special note of where the giant icicle landed. Ouch!
  • You may have seen this one before, but if you haven't you should definitely check out the Robin Williams comedy routine where he acts out the birth of Jesus. His Virgin Mary monologue is hysterical.
  • And last but certainly not least, make sure you take a gander at the Nike commercial where Usain Bolt races a duck. I can't say much more about it without giving away the punchline.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Enjoying It While It Lasts

Best. Football. Week. Ever.

Explanation: The best football week ever was comprised of four games, starting last Sunday and ending yesterday:

12/28/08: Philadelphia Eagles 44, Dallas Cowboys 6
An underachieving Eagles team that was 5-5-1 with 5 games left in the season went 3-1 in their next 4 games and had the stars align (Oakland defeated Tampa Bay and Chicago lost) in the last week so that their game against the hated Cowboys and the even more reviled Terrell Owens amounted to a "Win and you're in" scenario. The Eagles delivered, annihilating the loathsome Cowboys. It's always fun watching a Jerry Jones team get destroyed.

12/31/08: Vanderbilt 16, Boston College 14
If you missed the coverage of this game, allow me to sum it up for you:

  • Vanderbilt was in their first bowl game in 26 years.
  • Matt Ryan, now with the Atlanta Falcons, played at Boston College last year.
There was actually also football played, but you'd have never known from the television coverage. My wife's alma mater started their regular season 5-0, only to finish 6-6. Still, the six wins was enough to get them in a bowl game, where they knocked off the #24 ranked Matt Ryans in an exciting game. There was much joy in our household and we will savor this victory, as Vanderbilt is not scheduled to win another bowl game until 2065.

1/1/09: Virginia Tech 20, Cincinnati 6
A rebuilding Hokies team that I had zero confidence in this year somehow managed to win a four-way tiebreak in the ACC Coastal division with an 8-4 record, beat the aforementioned Matt Ryans in a rematch of last year's ACC Championship, and then won the team's first Orange Bowl by dominating #12 ranked Cincinnati. As Virginia Tech is actually incapable of scoring when in the red zone, the score does not quite reflect how convincing a win it was, but just trust me - I was convinced.

1/3/09: Philadelphia Eagles 26, Minnesota Vikings 14
The same underachieving Eagles team won a playoff wildcard game on the road last night, setting up a rematch with the hated Giants (yeah, Philly fans apparently don't like anyone) next week at the Meadowlands. I will not jinx the team by saying anything further.

A SPECIAL NOTE TO ALL YOU FACEBOOK JUNKIES OUT THERE: As I have recently joined Facebook due to an interesting series of events, I have decided to extend Jeremy's Status Message to Facebook. As you can see, I've been updating my work status on this blog for almost two years, and for several years before that (just trust me on that fact). If you are at all amused by this blog, I am glad and you can stop reading this post now. If you are not, then I don't mind. Your status message is stupid anyway.