People in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Stow Thrones

There are ever more and more figures of speech I hear thrown around from time to time, but from my throne I only hear just a few and regard even fewer of them still. You know how it is, a pound of advice is only worth an ounce of experience so, for me, my ounce this week came in the form of being magnetically locked in a glass house and I now better understand at least, at most and at worstedly best one of these so-called Figaro’s of speech.

Between the pajamas, the Spiderman chair and the fact that I`m sitting in a shower, I just don`t know what`s the most ridiculous.
Between the pajamas, the Spiderman chair and the fact that I`m sitting in a shower, I just don`t know what`s the most ridiculous.

I’ve always heard that people in glass houses should never stow thrones, but I never understood it. First off, what’s a glass house, then what does “stow” mean, and while we’re at it, let’s tack on the question of what the heck a throne might be?

It’s all very confusing in abstract form, but once it got real to me, too very real at that, I got the message and (my parents took) the picture. I get it, it’s no fun.

glass-houses2Left – This was shot on a different day. You can see how, without having a throne within the glass house, it’s very easy to find sadness even if I did insist that I go in there.

The metaphorical “glass house” is a deep, convoluted, metaphorical sort of pseudo-place. It’s one from which those who have some shortcoming are made painfully clear. Apparently people who live in these sorts of transparent cubicles of dwellery are inherently predisposed to stowing all sorts of things from shower gel to shaving cream to leave-in conditioner… to thrones. People in Glass Houses stow thrones.

I can’t speak for why (or much coherently speak) but I know this much to be true, even as strange as it may sound.

But it’s no fun, I swear it. I even said “no ,no!” which is as strong a verbiage as I’m able to muster in evidence of dissatisfaction… just give me a year, I’ll step up my game.

I have learned to have (and hold) two new beliefs. First, people in glass houses should not stow thrones, and secondly, that I don’t want to play in the shower stall anymore. It’s more confining and less fun than it looked when I came up with the idea, which was my mistake.

Above - I've got my throne, my glass house, my shampoo and conditioner, and I'm happy as a clam. Even with my still-visible eye poke from the other day I'm still so visibly delighted I just don't know what my final argument in this article will be.
Above – I’ve got my throne, my glass house, my shampoo and conditioner, and I’m happy as a clam. Even with my still-visible eye poke from the other day I’m still so visibly delighted I just don’t know what my final argument in this article will be.

 

New Board Game ‘Candyland’ Needlessly Complicated

Sometime back we got a new board game. Now mind you, we’ve never had much occasion to play such sorts of games. We prefer tag, slap-tag and triple-slap-chase tag, but we were ready for the complicated step up to the next level. We just had no clue how needlessly complicated this new fangled “Candyland” game would be. I have to tell you, it’s many, difficult rules have me stumped all around.

The look on this man`s face should tell you, he`s the shark in our minnow infested water. Remind me not to gamble on the game.
The look on this man`s face should tell you, he`s the shark in our minnow infested water. Remind me not to gamble on the game.

I’m not sure how new this game is, but I’ll assume you’ve never heard of it. It’s based on a mysterious, unimaginable land of candy, called “Candy Land” in which players must progress. There’s a “die” which is a terrible name for a component of a children’s game, a bunch of cards with inexplicable pictograms on them only interpretable by parents (who you can only hope are being honest) and little pieces that progress without rhyme, reason or order around the board.

You roll the die (which still amazes me, a “die”? Can’t we do better than that?) and then move forward a random and unpredictable number of spaces that no one understands or fully trusts, to a color. When you try to move it out of turn, say to another spot or a better color, other players object for no clear reason. Then it’s the baby’s turn and he grabs his piece and tries to eat it, but that’s not a legitimate move either.

What are we supposed to do with these pieces if not move them as randomly as other people do and eat them? It’s Candy Land, right? Shouldn’t we be able to at least lick the pieces?

Then you pull a card that tells you what to do, which is silly because the game doesn’t need any more mandates, and all of the sudden you’re way ahead of your opponents, or they’re way ahead of you. Why, because the card says so? Under whose authority is this “card” acting? I don’t approve of this random advancement, this needs to go to a vote and I’ll cast mine right now — I vote it’s unfair.

Above - Sometimes the pieces out of play are more interesting than those on the board. At least I don't get in big trouble for tampering with them out of turn.
Above – Sometimes the pieces out of play are more interesting than those on the board. At least I don’t get in big trouble for tampering with them out of turn.

But then it’s time for your opponent to roll the die (still kills me) and draw their own card. If you try to move your piece when another player is rolling, staring blankly at their card or wiggling their piece forward across the snake squiggly path of the board, you get in trouble.

How am I supposed to get ahead in this game if I don’t give 110%? The only way I can do that for sure is to show initiative and work harder than the other players. That’s all I’m doing when I take double and triple turns, I’m putting in the extra effort it takes to insure a win.

But then when it’s all done and you win (or lose) nothing happens. No flashing lights, no trophy, no music and fanfare, not even a piece of candy, just a moderate familiar “Yay” declaration. Where’s the fun in that? I get that kind of prize for not wetting myself, plus the benefit of not being wet. So, what’s the point?

Best I could find there aren’t even tournaments or city, state nor national finals. It’s a game dominated by amateurs, but it doesn’t get an Olympic slot for the summer. What kind of game is this?

So to sum up Candyland, it’s Rubik’s Cube complicated, it’s rules are impossible to memorize, strategy cannot be employed, cutting corners is forbidden, there’s no scholarships or organized leagues and you’ll never win a trophy playing it, no matter how good you are, no matter how many of the very many rules you actually understand, which is surely going to be zero.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the deck’s been shuffled and we’re about to play it again, and I must go.

Above - Here you can see us struggling to find the "die", which is apparently not a component of Candyland, despite my insistence otherwise.
Above – Here you can see us struggling to find the “die”, which is apparently not a component of Candyland, despite my insistence otherwise.

 

Golden Potty Chocolate Unveiled

I know this may sound a bit unsavory, but I feel it’s my doodie to explain even this, an off-color development. It’s the new household program of golden potty chocolate in trade for personal performance.

Alright, you win, I`ll use the toilet... for candy.
Alright, you win, I`ll use the toilet… for candy.

Sweet, no? Yes! I’ve tasted my hard earned chocolate and it’s great.

Maybe I should back up a tad and tell you about the reward. I think you got the objective, hopefully you’re already clear on modern bathroom use, maybe even embrace it, but what’s this golden chocolate business?

We got these fancy golden coins the other day and I confess I fell in love with them straight away. I wanted to hold them all and touch them as my own. What I didn’t know is that they aren’t really made of solid gold, but something much more valuable. Daddy-O cracked one open and, to my surprise and delight, it was full of chalky, waxy, delicious chocolate.

Amazing, simply amazing.

So rather than burn out the novelty and force toddler-onset diabetes on my fragile constitution, they’re now my reward for using the bathroom like a big boy. I’ve known how for a long time, I just never saw the reason to get consistent with it. Now I’ve got my reason, and boy is it truly golden.

I like this new potty chocolate program so much, I must have hit the head a good dozen times today. I’m barely squeezing out a thimble-sized specimen at a pop, but even a hard forced dribble of drops gets me my legal tender doubloons de cocoa. So pretty, so sweet, so delicious.

If you’re a big potty trainer like me or a long-time latrine abuser, check in to getting chocolate for you trouble. You don’t do your business without pay and neither do I, that’s just how it is.

And if you think you’re too old to get chocolate candy coins for not messing yourself, I challenge you to make your demands known and wet yourself in-cubicle for noncompliance. Once the ammonia waft hits your co-workers, I’m sure they’ll come around and chip in. Sure, it’s mostly for your benefit, but there’s no real losers in this equation.

Here's a fine close-up, in which you can see the intricate, gold funny business about the foil. Don't worry, I washed my hands before I got to the tasty, chocolate insides.
Here’s a fine close-up, in which you can see the intricate, gold funny business about the foil. Don’t worry, I washed my hands before I got to the tasty, chocolate insides.

 

Odd Tooth Brings Equally Odd Slobber

I’ve been an admitted two-toother since almost forever* now, but the arrival of this freakish “third tooth” has brought odd numbers and, even more oddly, many’s of most peculiar gallons of newfound slobber.

Maybe you can`t see it, but right there up top, got me a third one.
Maybe you can`t see it, but right there up top, got me a third one.

I’ve never been allowed to use scissors, even though I promised not to run** with them, yet I still successfully cut two teeth even without. This third one, however, is giving me a lot more trouble.

Seriously, why all the slobber? Where does it come from? I can soak through entire trucks or bears’ adornedly shirty-garment in under an hour (without any trouble). In the course of any given day I’m typically slobbering through half my body weight in clearest, stringy, sticky spittle. Can we at least agree that this is a bit odd?

The odd tooth is itself more odd than it’s undeniably odd numerical placement. People are supposed to be symetrical. Two arms, two legs, two nostrils, two antennae and two proboscuses. Three may be prime, but it’s absolutely odd. How should I feel about this?

I know this is early, but I have to go. My hands, my shirt, indeed the whole computer and keyboard assembly are now running over with my personally, salivary-styled lubricant. We could short circuit any second, so I bid you farewell.

* Maybe not forever, exactly, but as long as I can remember, which is a very, very long time. Much of my life. Maybe a hundred thousand years or so, give or take.
** Can’t run, can’t even walk, so this promise is as good as gold.

You can always check the quality of a horse by a quick inspection of the gums. I'm no gum reader, but I think I checked out just fine.
You can always check the quality of a horse by a quick inspection of the gums. I’m no gum reader, but I think I checked out just fine.

 

Pencil Poke in Eye Narrowly Edges Out Sharp Stick

I don’t like naps, but I agree to take them. I don’t like vegetables but I can be convinced to chew up a few before spitting them out again. All these things beat a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, or so I’ve always been told, and so does being poked in the eye with a sharp pencil, but only just barely.

Seen here the day after the injury, gleefully sticking my Spiderman slippers up in to the air like I just don`t care.
Seen here the day after the injury, gleefully sticking my Spiderman slippers up in to the air like I just don`t care.

It’s not like I haven’t heard plenty of “in the eye” warnings, ranging from the classic “you’ll poke your eye out to” the other only other one, “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick” with conveniently few stops in between. It’s sort of an express train that way, but what does it mean? Why the obsessions with poking and eyes?

It’s not like I only have one, I don’t, I have two. What would be so bad about pushing the limit with just one of them?

It was early morning when I woke up and mama and the brothers were downstairs. I don’t get many opportunities to seek independent trouble like this, so I apparently headed straight into the parents’ room where sharp objects are stored. I say “apparently” because I’m the only one who really knows and I’m incapable of expressing it with the written word. Whatever, that’s not the point.

I snuck into the parents’ room and I was caught. Daddy-O was lying in bed as if he was waiting for me. I smiled and waved, walked to his nightstand and handed him his glasses, but he just laid there snoring as if to fake me out. I called his bluff, grabbed the mechanical pencil and put it up to my face, but he didn’t even budge.

I tasted it, tried unsuccessfully to draw a bit on my face, and still he just sawed through snoriest logs. Nothing huh? Fine, you win, I’ll poke myself in the eye…

sharp-stick2Left – If you see a dichotomy between the eye injury and the smile on my face, I beg you bear in mind that the fact that the wound didn’t photograph very well, so we enhanced the heck out of it in PhotoShop. Don’t take my word for it, try to find the mark in the lead photo, you’ll see, it’s actually much tamer than we’ve made it out to be.

Wow, joke was on me, that hurt worse than anything I’ve ever experienced!

Dad gave up his sleep charade and Miss Mama-Lady ran upstairs and the high drama trauma scene was set. I screamed until I choked, cried until I was nauseated and refused to let anyone observe my wound.

“What’s wrong with you people? Why did you let me sneak into your room, take your otherwise locked up pencils and poke myself in the eye while you were pretending to be asleep?” I asked, or at least thought really, really loud.

I mean, what kind of world do we live in where children are stored in the same location as objects without soft, padded cushions on each and every edge? Sure, crayons would be useless if they were safe, but can’t we replace them with a kind of Play-Do that stains on contact instead?

As soon as I allowed them in to have a peek at my peeper, it was clear I’d done no permanent damage and did not require professional attention from anyone beyond a professional photographer, so all in all it was more traumatic than damaging, but even without a lasting pink dot, I suspect I’m going to be scarred for life.

So if you’re unsure or unclear on the meaning of all the eye poking figures of speech, I suggest you just take it from me. The eye, as it’s came to me as a bit of surprise as well, is really a sensitive area. I don’t recommend poking that area at all, and I for one vow to do somewhat less of it in coming days and months, with a mandatory review period as it pertains to years to come.

 

Carnival Mirror Makes Dressing, Grooming Nearly Impossible

I like to blame all the problems in my life on other people and the rules imposed on me by outside forces such as “the law” or maybe “parents,” but of whom seem to assert that just taking whatever you want from the shelves of stores is somehow wrong, that it costs money, and that I’m trying to “steal,” even though I don’t understand such things. In this case, however, the blame falls squarely on my small, angular shoulders. I was the one who picked out the mirror and it’s turning out to be a real problem indeed.

Witness, if you will, the humorous nature of our reflective shortcomings.
Witness, if you will, the humorous nature of our reflective shortcomings.

There are very few mirrors in our house. Sure, there’s one in each bathroom and another in the parents luxury suite, but when it comes to ones we can see in to there are literally none. If I’m supposed to be learning how to dress and groom myself, clearly I need to know what I look like at any given time. The solution to this problem was graciously allowed to fall on me, and I’ve totally messed it up.

My first choice was a security type camera with a closed circuit loop pointing back at me. I love seeing myself in cameras or camcorders and, given the opportunity, that’s how I’d choose to dress and observe myself. Apparently the costs of setting up such a camera and monitor are too much for our paltry production budget. It’s sad, I agree, but what’s more sad is the direction I took it next.

There are so many mirrors on the market, and I was afforded the luxury of selecting my own. Round, square, tall, pocket, 2-way, there are so many great choices, but having been to the fair myself, I had no choice but to pick out the very best of all mirrors, the Carnival Mirror.

carnival-mirror2Left – Here I can be seen looking entirely like a cartoon charicature of myself. What you can’t see, and I know because I couldn’t see it either, was how well I’d dressed myself and if I looked anything other than completely silly.

We logged on to CarnivalMirror.com and bought the best and cheapest one on the market, received it a couple days later, then set grandpa to work building us a ridiculously elaborate frame for it. Mind you, you don’t have to build out a fancy frame, it comes with its own set up equipment that even affords in more flexibility, but we went the long and painful route, as is so common for us to do.

Grandpa did a great job, the funhouse mirror performs exactly to specifications, and now we have it all set up and running, but we have no serious idea of what we look like. Frankly, we look pretty dang hysterical in the mirror, and that’s worth a lot too, but it doesn’t help me dress or groom.

Now, I guess it’s possible that I’m actually made of quicksilver, but I’m inclined to doubt it. I look at the brothers’ reflections, which are just as wiggly-weird, but I look over at them and they’re still as solid as ever. That means I’m solid too, right? Strange really because the mirror tells another tale.

So I dress, I groom, I finish off my work and check myself out and I look all Salvador Dali. I feel like I need crutches to hold up my drippy parts, it’s hard to explain.

If you’re looking for fun and festivity, I recommend CarnivalMirror.com without hesitation. But if you want to know what you really look like, not skinny to a half pound, not fat to five hundred, not with odd pock distortions in the middle of your face, I have to recommend a more traditional, flattish sort of mirror than my own.

Above - This is my favorite shot from the whole two-day set of shots we took. Even though I look all caliwhompus in the face, it's nothing compared to how utterly ridiculous that brother Patrick looks, both with his big face and also with his semi-matching little face.
Above – This is my favorite shot from the whole two-day set of shots we took. Even though I look all caliwhompus in the face, it’s nothing compared to how utterly ridiculous that brother Patrick looks, both with his big face and also with his semi-matching little face.

 

Free-ish Thinker Gets Crawl On

I’ve long watched my elders with their Christopher-style* walkin’ and ramparace ambulability, but I’ve never been very good at it myself. Sick of licking rug, I got up on my haunches and got my crawl on.

It wasn`t easy, but since I got my limbs beneath me I`ve been off to the races.
It wasn`t easy, but since I got my limbs beneath me I`ve been off to the races.

I’m not the free-est of thinkers around the Perplexing newsroom. That title’s perpetually fought over by both my elderberry brothers, but I still pride myself on my own modicum of free thought, and now that I know better, I freely choose the crawl.

We’d previously reported that the only alternative to mock quadriplegia is crawling, but that needs some revision. Thanks to my walker’s wanderings I could stroll and bash with the best of them. Even as a tummy-wiggler, I could inch and roll to traverse the breadth of the Sahara. Still, this crawling development is a big step ahead, despite the lack of first-foot forwardry.

It ain’t easy, but I’ve done it. You have to raise to all fours and throw yourself about in a difficult and precarious manner. It’s a lot more work, but you can get around in record time. Well, your own personal best record at least.

I was reluctant to take up this crawlery, but now that I’ve got it, I can’t see myself going back. Sitting up is still fun, but now I’m just one briefly turned back from escaping to another room. Go ahead, turn your back, I just dare you. By the time you turn off the oven timer I’ll be halfway to Mexico. Probably working in the circus or something, who knows.

No matter how mobile or “im” you are, I’ve got my crawl on and I’m going to be hard-pressed to turn it back off. Lock up your valuables and double-secure your low level drawers. I’m officially a baby on the go and there’s no looking back. Well, not much at least.

* Get it? It’s a reference to famed character actor** Christopher Walken.
** Well, he’s got one character anyhow, but he plays it like nobody else.***
*** Jay Moore does Walken pretty good too, in all fairness.

 

Baby Baggies Curb Kid Kicking

I’m getting older every day, or so I’m told, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been thrown into a bag like this. It’s a high-fashion bag for sure, but it stops me from my greatest desired passion; that of kicking.

All the rage in Europe, I`m told.
All the rage in Europe, I`m told.

Whether on the floor or in your arms, I love to flail around and dig my heels where e’er they falleth.

One favorite of mine is kicking Dad in the groin while he’s holding me. It gets a big reaction out of him, but this bag makes it a lot harder. I have to go back to head and/or face bashing, which is only my second favoritist thingy in the wigglesome world.

But seriously, a yellow bag with arms? What sort of fashion is this? Is this honestly the style I’m reduced to? It’s like I’m wearing a mitten for my legs.

While I’m assured that these kiddo-satchels are all the rage in Europe, I just don’t spot them dapper, myself. I’m no male model or anything and I just don’t see the appeal. All that, and it restricts my otherwise rampant kicking action which is really important to me. It’s practically a trademark for me, if not for all journalists my age.

Join me in my dreams of a junior-bag boycottery. Stylish and handsome or not, it’s a bag full of me, and that’s just not acceptable.

 

Double Bathtub Offers Cleanliness, Dish Soap

n our ever-progressing culture of cleanliness and personal hygiene, I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing. I’ve welcomed the anti-bacterial gel (assuming it’s accompanied by a cartoon spokesman or at least some fun, guttural scrubbing noises,) but what I’ve discovered this week trumps them all quicker than Captain Comb-Over can shout “you’re fired!” story868

I’ve reviewed bath time and bath tubs with equal vigor, but this newest one, though apparently age-old in my own house, has proven to be a wonderful addition. It’s great because it affords the opportunity to take a bath and hang out with a sibling and check out which dishes have already been washed.

Besides all that, it’s the first bath tub I’ve seen that’s high up enough to actually offer a beautiful view of the kitchenscape, plus the fact that it’s the first I’ve seen that allows for pairs to bathe without fear of accidental bumping of naughties. It may not sound like much, but the accidental bumping can be very embarrassing when you’re totally naked.

double-sink-animatedLeft – Here you can see how the whole thing works. We can lather up and rinse down side by side like always, except without actually sharing bath water. (Also, click here to see this animation enlarged.)

But the double bathtub offers still more. Did you know that a bath tub can have a garbage disposal? I’m not saying I need one or anything, but think about it for a minute. If you should have a bath time accident, which you shouldn’t, but you just never know, you can just flip a switch, grind it up, and it’s thrown out like the baby’s bathwater… But don’t answer what you’d pay just yet, listen to this!

This double bathtub allowed me to flip sudsy bubbles on my brother free of fear that he might kick me. It also allowed me to look over the progress of cleaning our dishes to see that, yes, in fact, there are enough clean cups, spoons and bottles handy to keep me and the brothers in juices and Cheesy Mac for the foreseeable future.

I hope you’re starting to see the benefit of this countertop bath spot. It really is that good, nay, better than (the previously ill-defined) “that.”

If you’re looking to rethink, review, revise and remodel your place of humano-scrubbery, I’ll throw my hat in the circular ring for the double-tub. It’s big enough, fine enough, fun enough, offers ample access to hand or dish soap, homestead vistas and the cleanest of hand scrubbed dishes. Isn’t that at least worth it’s weight in stainless steel?

Above - Graciously sharing the bubbles.
Above – Graciously sharing the bubbles.

Piano Duet 3rd Worst in World History

Tuesday evening, brother Patrick and I sat down to perform a lightly rehearsed piano concerto. Perhaps it was our lack of practice or maybe bunk instruments, but one thing I know without hesitation, it was terrible.

At first it was all fun and games, then we began.
At first it was all fun and games, then we began.

One major limitation was the pianos. I figured since mine had only four keys and his only seven it might simplify matters. You know, the old “your age plus three” rule of how many notes you should work with. I just don’t know though.

The pianos were pretty and a combination between a xylophone and a harpsichord. Individual notes rang rich, but in concert they were something less than harmonious. The fact that his could be played with the keys or an optional plastic dog bone should have been a red flag for me, but it wasn’t.

Within seconds of banging, clanging, and yes even chang-ing (not changing, mind you, CHANG-ing, it’s an onomatopoeia) we grew frustrated with each other. We had no rhythm, no harmony, and no coordination. We stopped our own music to try to help each other out (as seen below) but I think by then it was already too late.

Within about two minutes we surrendered to popular demand and gave up. If it was just our parents there it would have been one thing, but it was our parents who are also reporters and/or photographers for news organizations like Glossy News and Perplexing Times (ever heard of ‘em?).

As I age, my sense of journalistic responsibility sadly increases, and I’ll be the first to admit that this recital was nothing less than horrendous. I can’t concede that it was the worst ever, nor can I cite which two in world history might outrank it on the misery chart, but I’m confident there must be at least* a couple.

CDs, MP3s and music videos will not be forthcoming.

Seen at left trying to help him out and at right being helped. In neither case was the net result worth anything at all.
Seen at left trying to help him out and at right being helped. In neither case was the net result worth anything at all.

* Whether “at least” or “at most,” my count still stands accurate.