Saturday, July 30


What has 3 heads, a donkey's tail and weighs 35 lbs?


My children on a jackass!

Tuesday, July 26


Soup's on!


This is pretty much what's cooking in our kitchen these days.

Just like there's always laundry to do, there's always bottles to clean and formula to mix. A large canister (for Callie and Declan) is good for about 3 days. I haven't done the calcuations on exactly how much we spend on formula a week. Frankly, I'm afraid to.

Sunday, July 24



This comment is from Choco :

Guess you won't be at [Artscape] this year on account of babies.

For the unintiated, Artscape is a long-running city fesival located in the "Mt. Royal Cultural Corridor" of midtown Baltimore. Although physically centered around my alma mater, while there are gallery exhibitions, ironically the main focus of the two-and-a-half day extravaganza seems to be eating and music. Oh, and trinkets. Lots of folks selling jewelry, pottery, clothing. Sort of like the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show, but a little more upscale, a little less stinky.

My personal history with Artscape began in 1989, while a student/guard at MICA. The usual mundane rounds and key-turning became a three-ring circus of jackassery, between the city staffers running the gig, techs running two concert stages and the general influx of clueless people known as "the general populace". The best part was after a shift at the (notorious) Mt. Royal Tavern. A U.N. of sorts where the disparate folks who really ran things that weekend could comiserate, and mingle with the regulars over cheep beer and pinball.* Having this introduction to Artscape has certainly placed me on the cynical end of the spectrum.

Yet, in years past, I've still darkened the proverbial doorstep of the festival. Close friends had worked the Fox Stage, allowing me access to the "stage couch" to enjoy the show from the wings. I'd made pilgimages mid-afternoon fighting deathly heat and pouring rain to see acts like The Iguanas or BR549. My last visit was with Heather the Summer before we wed. We came to see Etta James sing "At Last". It was our song, along with several hundred other people because you could feel the collective swoon as the first notes played.

This year, no, we will not be going. It's too difficult with the babies right now. Packing a diaper bag and a feeding bag, plus another for clothes. Add to that each child is still on a monitor that's about the size of a VCR. Plus, parking is always a treat. (Last visit had us parking just north of North Avenue.) Besides, I can't imagine coping with a crowd that large, each wanting to experience the circus train that is triplets in a stroller.

Let me know how the Drive-by Truckers were, okay?

*amongst other substances.

Thursday, July 21


F.U.Q. answer key 2

These questions are from The Idiot, aka Bill.

What's the last life lesson you learned and why did it take so long?

I couldn't make someone love me back, no matter how hard I tried. It took so long because I was tenacious beyond the point of reason. ...stupid, stupid, stupid.

You have a vehicle with a full tank of gas and an empty weekend. Where are you going to get away from the (heat, people, job, family, ex) within a 250-mile radius of where you live? (and what are you driving?)

I'd take Heather to Philadelphia in the Galaxie.

Sum up the thing you wish you could go back and do over in your life in one word.

highschool. (No, really.)

What's the dumbest thing you never got caught doing?

Driving beyond drunk.

What should you have accomplished in life by now, according to the 18-year-old version of yourself?

You mean besides an illustration for a Rush album cover? I figured I'd just have, you know, more.

Wednesday, July 20


F.U.Q. answer key 1

These first questions arrived via e-mail from my brother, aka Uncle Mark, this Monday.

10. If Mickey was a mouse and Pluto was a dog.... What was Goofy?

Ah, yes. The endlessly ponderable question, first posed by the character Vern, in Stand By Me. Goofy is a dog. Perhaps the Homo Sapiens to Pluto's Neandertal, but, a dog none the less.

9. How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

He wouldn't; they don't. Next question.

8. Why is the reservoir in front of WHHS not the drinking water for Wayne

A bit of trivia about our old piece of ground in our hometown. In my opinion, in a contest between logic and irony, irony wins.

7. What's a jobber?

It's someone who resells close-out stock from another retailer at a discounted price. Or another 'Dadism' for a doohickey or a thing-a-ma-jig.

6. How many licks does it take to get to the Toosie Roll center of a
Tootsie Pop?

"Let's find out...."

5. What became of Michael Quint?

More Wayne, New Jersey trivia. Michael was the youngest son of our across-the-street neighbors on Adelphia Road. He was our sometimes friend, sometimes nemesis and almost always misbehaving local little bastard. (Teddy Stammer was a close second.) Once we moved across town, we lost contact with just about everyone from Sheffield Park. Last I saw Michael Quint was my freshman year of High School, 1983. He was a senior, with a bimbo blonde on his arm, a raging mullet and a gold cross in his ear. He said, "T'sup, Todd," and went about his day. My best guess is he's a roofer/carpenter/drywaller and probably bought his brother's 1975 (Bitchin') Camaro.

4. Whose turn was it to feed Egbert?

More TV commercial trivia. As kids, Mark and I would re-enact our favorite TV commercials, in-between teasing and bickering with each other. Either way, still a way to drive Mom and Dad nuts. This question is about Tender Vittles cat food. In our tiny, half-minute drama, Egbert was the cat noboby wanted to feed. His canned cat food was smelly and messy, and.... well, I guess you had to be there.

3. Why would anyone name their child Toppie Smellie?

Even more TV commercial trivia. Oven Fry chicken coating had a testimony from an old Southern lady with this unfortunate name. She was a character straight from Characterville. With what little research I've done, apparently a band has seen fit to name a song after her.

2. Why does Dad yell into the water like a seal?

This is one of my father's "party tricks". Get him in a pool and he'll shake his head vigorously while screaming, just over the surface of the water, making a sound like a bark of a seal. Why? Because the kids love it.

1. Who invented barbed wire? (I know this one, I'm just checking my

You mean it wasn't Barb Dwyer?

Monday, July 18



Hey folks.
In an effort to keep this blog interesting and informative, I'm taking all questions you may have on a variety of subjects discussed here at TIYS.

Although, who am I kidding? The only thing I discuss are the children. I hope I've quenched the collective inqusitive thirst you may have for all things Brizzlet, but, if not, please jot me a short e-mail via the HIT ME! tag on the left margin.

If I get any nibbles, I'll post the answers next week.

Thursday, July 14


Emmett's Song

Emmett is our littlest and hardest to settle, mostly due to his reluctancy to burp and then to vomit. This, at times, requires the better part of an hour keeping him upright on the lap, much like Charlie McCarthy. That's a lot of time to keep a fussy and arching little man entertained.

Not one for too much tradition, I've begun a series of freestyle verses based upon "Mockingbird". Admittedly, it's mostly for my entertainment. I mean, I could probably recite the tax codes in a calming voice and get the same results.

Hush, little baby, don't make a peep,
Papa's gonna buy you a brand new Jeep,
And if that brand new Jeep won't run,
Papa's gonna buy you a cinnamon bun,
And if that cinnmon bun is stale,
Papa's gonna buy you a pint of ale,
And if that pint of ale goes flat,
Papa's gonna buy you a siamese cat...

By this point, two things have happenned. I've painted myself into a corner, lyricwise, and Emmett looks at me like he can't wait to burp and end the madness.

Wednesday, July 13


Howdy from the Triple B Ranch

Lou and Callie

Dad visited for the day on Monday. Now that the kids are less preemie and more infant, they require a little more attention. As you can see, we've adopted a "working vacation" policy for our guests. It's like a dude ranch; if you visit, you will be put to work.

Friday, July 8


I'm almost afraid to go to bed.

It's been a hell of a day.

Heather awoke me to news about the London bombings. Then a tornado apparently hit just north of where I work. Then some middle-aged tool in a yellow Lotus nearly ended my life on York Road.*

I had an evening shift with Mom that was a round-robin of crying babies. They finally settled about 12:30.

Sweet Jesus, I hope Friday goes better.

*balding with a ponytail, natch.

Sunday, July 3


Aches and pains.

I stubbed my pinky toe last night and it still hurts like a bitch.

Yeah, yeah, I know; it's not like I had major dental surgery done recently, but this sort of thing feels enormous, combined with exhaustion and a lost sense of time.* Just when I settle for sleep, I'l roll over and tap the toe-in-question on the quilt or some other dastardly cushy surface. Auggggh! Then it stings all over again.

I have noticed, when I average about five hours of sleep at a time, I'm ready to eat anything at random times. I suppose I'm expending energy taking care of the kids, so I justify those Pop-Tarts right after that second helping of leftover chicken scampi with no problem.

And it, uh, makes my toe feel better. Yeah. Sure. Trust me.

*What is today anyway? Sunday? Monday? Thursday? August? 2006? Armegeddon?


Miracle Grow

Saturday was action packed around here.

At noon our new nanny started her first shift. It's weird to white that down; "our new nanny". I suppose it's another indicator that this triplet thing is really real. I never though I'd ever use that word in a non-ironic, said-through-the-teeth, Thurston Howell sort of way.

Her name is Niki. She came highly recommended by our pediatrician where she is a part-time office assistance. She's a nursing student and the oldest of five, which shows with her gentle way with the children. We figure for now Niki can be back-up for one of us while the othe naps or runs errands.

Or, for example, do some yardwork. Despite my best efforts to stop all the germinating, the grass still grows, the hostas get bigger and the moss stays mossy. Among the usual business, I made some discoveries. Like the small patch of mystery berries growing on spiny bushes in between the forsythia.* By contrast, I remember as a little boy, the blackberry bush that grew in the Quint's yard across the street. That was like a low shrub, that happily offered ripe berries every June. These bushes play hard-to-get. Sort of like they're daring you to try something funny. If anyone out there can name that berry, drop me a line.

When I was trimming back some ivy, I also discovered a baby snake in the iris patch. Usually I find them dead under the brown leaves come September, but this guy was alive and kicking, so-to-speak. I sent him on his way to patrol the crikets and beetles for the meantime, mice and such later.


We also had some folks drop-in for some baby visiting and some killer barbecue from Big Bad Wolf's yellow brick house. Bill and Jen arrived minutes behind Nate and Kristen. They brought in some lanky kid they claimed was their son Stellan. At eleven months old, he's literally walking straight into Toddlerdom. I saw him last as a baby at the shower in April and now he's a little kid. Crazy.

Just when I think the triplets are big, I see my near future and remember I need to savour how small and precious they are right now.

*mental note: trim the forsythia this Fall.

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