Friday, November 29, 2013

The Report

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Terrific family and friends and food.
And these guys.
Super grateful over here.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Thanksgivukkah Present

For night one of Hanukkah, we got Bob a block set. It is 400 overpriced, identical pieces of pine. To me this seems like the equivalent of giving your kid a big cardboard box, a big, empty, overpriced cardboard box. Of course, he loves it. And we're suckers.

Wishing you a Happy Hanukkah and a Thanksgiving filled with love and gratitude.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

That Time In Tenth Grade

Today some friends and I are telling stories about things gone wrong. 
Read about their fantastic fiascoes at:

And check out the post that inspired this blog hop by Alexandra from Good Day, Regular People.

In my sophomore year in high school I was fifteen, old enough to start driver’s education classes. At the beginning of the semester we studied the rules of the road via the Department of Motor Vehicles information booklets. Next, we were horrified by the gore and bad acting of the California Highway Patrol series of driving instruction films, Red Asphalt and The Last Prom. Then for weeks, we sat in the simulator, a small trailer with rows of “driver’s seats” facing a film screen. A machine allowed our teacher to track our success and failure as we “drove” down the simulated streets on screen. Finally, we were then able to obtain our learner’s permit and get behind the wheel of the driver’s ed car.

Our teacher, Mr. Riordan who doubled as a Spanish teacher, sat on the passenger side of the car, equipped with another brake pedal. My driving training was scheduled for the early morning hours before school. During that time, Señor Riordan would direct me and two other students on a course of his own choosing. Some mornings we drove along the shore down West Cliff Drive as the sun came up. The girls in the car were challenged to keep their eyes on the road while surfers changed into wetsuits next to their Volkswagons. 

Other mornings, Señor Riordan would lead us down windy back roads to a small diner where he would go in to get a cup of coffee and read the paper, leaving us behind in the parking lot. Even now, while driving exceptionally sharp turns, I hear his monotone voice in my head, “Break in, accelerate out. Break in to the turn, accelerate out.”

My final task was to master the manual transmission with my mom as my teacher. I was eager to show her all I had learned. On the day I started, my hands looked out of place to me in the ten and two position grasping the steering wheel of our blue 1979 Toyota Celica liftback. After fighting the stick shift out of neutral and into first gear, I eased the clutch out as I stepped on the gas, jerking the car to an abrupt stop, the Toyota's engine dying in the process. I restarted the car and repeated this move as we made our way down our street three feet at a time. 

I was near tears as I finally had success moving forward. I stepped on the gas, the engine straining in first, and then promptly killed the car again as I tried to shift into second. And then I did it again. And again. Finally the transmission screeched as I somehow managed to change gears. Picking up speed I veered wildly, jumped the curb, plowing down three garbage cans in my neighbor’s yard before coming to a screeching stop against a mailbox post. 

I sat behind the wheel and wailed to my mom that I would never be able to drive this, or any car. “I’m never driving again and I’m obviously moving to a convent and becoming a nun,” I cried and wiped my nose on my sleeve as I explained that I was pretty sure that nuns didn’t have to drive since they just got driven around in nun vans or something and that was my only logical life choice unless I planned to kill somebody and hadn’t she seen Red Asphalt? My mom quietly got out of the car and changed seats with me. 

I would not have believed then that my next three cars would be stick shifts. My current car is an automatic but some days I still find my foot reaching for the clutch. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Physics and Fro-yo

"... so see Bob, the future is always later from now."

"But Felix, what's the difference between the future and five minutes away?"

"Five minutes away is the future."

"But what about when the five minutes is finally here? It's not the future."

"Now isn't the future but then later it is."

"How much later?"

"I'm not sure."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Bob's Brown Bag Gratitude Tree

The leaves read:

I am grateful for
Ms. Lewis
Nature and God
Daniel (again)

And no mention of the parents. Ahem.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Adam and Eve
Needlepoint, Ruth Rosenberg, circa 1970s

"Mom, who's your very best friend?"

"I'm lucky. I have Dad, and Aunt Jen, and Auntie Karen..."

"My best friend is God."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What I Like About You

"Mom, you know who's cute?"


"Yeah, but besides me."


"Ali from my class. She's really cute. She wears a Buzz Lightyear jacket and she acts like a kitty.""

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


"Dad, don't rub Mom's shoulders. You're not a butler."

"I 'm a husband. How do you know what a butler is?"

"I know it's like a servant."

"I think you just like saying butler because it has "but" in it."

"No I don't... BUTT-ler. BUTT-ler. BUTT-ler... It is pretty good."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's Not An Excuse, It's An Explanation

"Mom? You know why I don't always get 100% on my spelling test?"

"Tell me."

"Because if I'm always 100% perfect, all of the girls will go crazy for me and chase me around everywhere and want to marry me."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

After the Bell

"Is today the day I'm going to Desmond's?"

"No Felix, you're going home."

"Are you guys coming over?"

"No, I think Bob and Bob's mom are just walking you home today."

"Yeah, because your brother is taking a nap."

"My brother?"

"Not your brother Desmond, Felix's brother."

"So no one is coming over?"

"We're all just going home. We're not doing anything good today."



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Check Up

"Mom? What did the nurse call the pee again?"


"And that's the same word as all pee?"


"And I go in the cup?"


"Because they just want to see if I can do it?"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I Embrace It

"Mom is weyerd
and Felix is weyerd
and John is weyerd
and Bob is weyerd"

At least I have top billing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


"Mom? Have you ever had a Sasquatch encounter?"

"Not that I know of. Have you?"

"Not yet."

"Why is Sasquatch on your mind?"

"There's a new show about people looking for him. Me and Felix are going to the woods to find the Bigfoot Sasquatch."

"What will you use to lure him in?"

"We're going to bring a lot of lizards. We're pretty sure he like lizards."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

My Grandfather, Robert Lee Zimmerman, England, 1944

Today we thank Veterans for their service and sacrifice. 
Happy Veterans Day.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Usual

"I'll have the vegetarian egg white omelette with fruit and an English muffin."

"Very good, and what can I get for you, young man?"

"May I have the kid's turkey sandwich with nothing on it except the bread and the turkey and a tiny bit of mayonnaise on whole wheat bread, toasted? And instead of fries can I have fruit with another extra side of fruit please but not with the green melon just with the cantaloupe and watermelon? And also a milk in one of the cups with the lids and also two straws? And can I have two extra napkins? And did you know I won a character award at school last week? Thank you."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Oh, Those

"Mom, I'm done with soccer."

"You have three more games in the season."

"I don't like parts of it anymore."

"Which parts?"

"The running and the kicking and the defense and offense parts."

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

At the Car Wash

"Mom, Danny said that if you don't go to college you have to work at a car wash."

"That's not true."

"But Danny's in fourth grade."

"College can be a great thing but if you don't go it doesn't mean you'll have to work at a car wash. I didn't finish college."

"You didn't?"


"Did you ever work at a car wash, Mom?"

"I did not."

"Yeah, but it looks kind of fun."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


"Felix? Our science teacher said his name is 'Jungle Ben.'"

"I know. He's cool."

"He said it was for real and everything. Do you think his first name is really 'Jungle?'"

"If he said it was, it must be true."


Monday, November 4, 2013

Water World

"Bob did you see that bunch of people out there doing a yoga class on the paddle boards?"

"Yeah. When I was out there I saw a red fish and a blue fish AND I did a yoga."

Friday, November 1, 2013


"Mom, I can't believe I won the award for Best Mad Scientist Costume even though I didn't even have my gloves on for that part. It was also really good that I was the only mad scientist."