Category Archives: Fine Literature

I don’t read very often… but when I do it must mean it’s a good one.

DLG’s Top Five Books


Day twenty-five of 30 blogs in 30 days

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My kid loves to read.  I credit myself because I used to read to her when she was still in her mama’s belly and when her ears were nothing more than nubby pinholes.

She loves a good episode of Yo Gabba Gabba or Wonder Pets… but nothing beats cuddling up to her old man and reading a book.  I also enjoy it because it’s the only reading I get besides Entertainment Weekly. 

And there are pictures. 

And they’re only like twenty pages.

And there are pictures.

So here’s a countdown of the top five books that DLG likes her daddy to read to her:

5. I Love You Through And Through

Books hardly come more heartfelt. 

The book allows you to hold your kid close and tell them how much you love them.  If you haven’t read it before it will also help your kiddo learn different body part and emotions as the book tells you, “I love your hair and your eyes… your giggles and your cries.”  If you’re anything like me then you’ll have kissed your kid 20 more times after the book is over.

4. No, David!

I believe that we got this book at a baby shower before DLG was even born.  I remember skimming through it and thinking that I would never read it to DLG because it seemed so negative.  It basically follows David as he does all these bad things (jumping on the bed, chewing with his mouth open, etc.) and yelled at to not do something in a varying number of ways (“Not in the house David!” or “Stop that this instant”, etc.).  Why would I want DLG to be hit with all that negativity?

Also David looks like a little demon with his sharp little teeth.

What I didn’t know before she got here is that it is a very visual stimulating book for the little ones and it’s easy to follow along.  Since “No” is one of the first words most kids learn then they can really get involved with the story and “read” along with you. 

After reading it several hundred million times… I don’t see that the book has had any reverse effects on DLG regarding it’s “negativity”.  I was perhaps just being too much of an anal father before she was even birthed.

3. Where’s My Teddy?

This book was also purchased for us before DLG was even born.  What was once a crisp, new book is now a ripped, torn, chewed on mess of pages held together by a few staples.  The book kinda plays into my own fears: the deep dark woods, being alone, etc.  But what surprises you is its element of comfort at the very end.

It also rhymes and (like a song you hear on the radio) you’ll find yourself repeating the words while you carry on your menial tasks throughout the day.

2. Little Pea

Little Pea is a clever spin on the whole “getting your kid to eat their vegetables” idea.  Little Pea is… well… a little pea who main food consists of candy, while his dessert is spinach.  It’s a simple idea… but one I didn’t think of.

Little Pea’s authors also have two other books: Little Hoot and Little Oink with clever spins as well.

We don’t actually own this book.  I have checked it out from the library four months in a row now though.  Her birthday is coming up… I know at least one thing she’s getting.

1. Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

I don’t know what it is about this book… but DLG loves it.  Between her mama and I, we’ve read it no less that 150 times.

I always think it’s humorous when these books are “written by” someone.  All this book does is recite what differing animals see in the zoo.  It ain’t a book on nanotechnology so I can’t imagine the author spent a long time grinding their teeth on what was going to happen next.

Regardless, Eric Carle is the artist who’s has drawn all the pictures in the book and he’s fantastic.  I didn’t know this until recently but Eric Carle has written and illustrated something like 75 books and DLG loves every one of them.  But Panda Bear holds a special place in her heart because it’s the first book she was able to “read” (or memorize) all by herself.

Also check out “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See?”

What books do you read to your kid(s)?  What books do you remember getting read to as a kid?

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Who gets the esteemed privilege of getting their blog linked to today?

Well… God Will Provide is another one of my Catholic friends who writes about her walk of faith, her children (she’s preggers with #6), her struggles and other things we all like to release upon our bloggy friends.

If you know what’s good for you (like I do) then go visit my bloggy friend LauraZim at God Will Provide and suck up a healthy dose of  what’s good for you!

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Mother Goose Needs Therapy


Long before DLG was even a twinkle in my eye… I had bought children’s books for Bunny that I would read to her before we went to bed.  I saw it as kind of a romantic thing to do because with each passing book I bought, it always went in the bookshelf accompanied with the thought, “One day we’re going to read these to our kids!” 

With each book also came a quick passage of my undying love for Bunny as well as the date I presented it to her.  When our kids are old and then read these books to their kids… everyone will know how gross it was that Grandma and Grandpa used to read these books to each other and then DO IT

“EEEEWWWWW GROSS!!” I can hear them say.

The first children’s book I bought for Bunny was “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” nearly seven years ago.

I had remembered what a cool book it was when I was a kid and she’d never read it… so to me… it offered her a glance into my childhood.

The passing years we were together brought more books like:

AND

AND

One of my personal favorites…

Each added book to our pile made having a kid that much more exciting… I even read to her while she was still in her mama’s belly.  Although it wasn’t as cool reading to her when she was a tiny fetus in her mama’s uterus as compared to now when she’s almost two YEARS old (and comfortably outside her mother’s uterus).

I really believe that reading to her from early on has paid off in her development as “The World’s Smartest Kid” (it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records… look it up wise guy).

Every night when I sit down to read to her though… there’s one book that I honestly can’t stand… and it’s been around forever: Mother Goose and Her Book Of Morbid and Sadistic Rhymes.

For example:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

Humpty Dumpty seconds before death…

You can’t tell by the rhyme itself… but Humpty Dumpty is a giant living egg.  Then he falls to his death while breaking into a million pieces.  While it makes about as much sense as a land where it rains meatballs or a dog whose farts help rob a bank… its central character dies!  These are supposed to be stories that parents read to their kids before they drift off into dreamland.  I don’t want my kid dreaming of some “Egg-man” falling off a wall and shattering his body into a million bloody pieces!

Another example:

Three blind mice,
See how they run!
They all ran after a farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife.
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

While the central characters in this rhyme didn’t die… they got their tails cut off!!!  With a carving knife no less!!!  Don’t get me wrong… I don’t want mice in my garage more than the next guy but I’m not sadistically cut off their tails!!!  I’m going to set out a mousetrap.

How about this one:

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth,
Without any bread,
Whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed.

Man… what a bitch.  Call social services!  Sorry about your luck having to live in a shoe (how’s that possible anyway) but it ain’t your kids faults!!  This lady just “didn’t know what to do” so she starved them and whipped them.  Ooooookaaay… where’s the good moral fiber in that story?

Again:

If all the world were paper,
And all the sea were ink,
If all the trees
Were bread and cheese,
What should we have to drink?

Okay… that’s not sadistic… it’s just stupid.

One final time:

Rub-a-dub-dub
Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker —
They all jumped out of a rotten potato!
‘Twas enough to make a fish stare.

W… T… F!  Okay, so I want my little daughter envisioning three men in a tub together.  No.  And how I ask you… HOW… did they jump out of a rotten potato?  What were they doing there in the first place?

I could go on forever… but I’ll stop.

What a sociopath!  I don’t know who “Mother Goose” was or why she felt the need to reveal the innermost workings of her twisted mind to CHILDREN!  All her stuff is a mix of randomness, death, torture, child abuse, etc. etc. etc.  I think she’s really more suited to write lyrics for Slipknot as opposed to writing books for kids!

Rumor has it that the dude in the lower left corner is actually Mother Goose!

I know I may seem a little extreme and I’m not seriously on the “blacklist Mother Goose” bus but seriously folks… seriously… if they made Mother Goose into a movie it would be rated X.

What do you think?

 

I Imagine It Going Something Like This:


Believe it or not… I’ve never been in a (fist) fight.

No… I’m not a wussy.  I’ve just never been in the situation.  I like to think that my demeanor leads me to be the peacemaker more often than not.

But I’ve played out an entire scenario in my mind as if it was happening right before me.  It goes a little something like this:

I had made my way down the dark alley to try and shave a few minutes off the clock in an effort to get to work on time.  Before I could make it to the light at the other end of the alley, I was surrounded by seven shady looking dudes.

“Gimme your money”, belched the immensely fat ringleader whose massive face was adorned with a tribal tattoo, “Better yet, give us yo money and them fancy shoes you got!”

Several of the other gang-members lightly prodded me with their steel pipes and iron tubing all the while cackling at their newest catch of the day.

If only they had known what they were getting themselves into.

I quickly snatched one of the steel pipes that had been poking me for the last several seconds.  In one fluid chopping motion I forcefully laid claim to the skull of one of the gang-members.  Surprisingly, I clocked him atop his skull with such force, that his body began to separate into two pieces as if he were a vertically standing stick of butter being sliced in half by a samurai sword.

A mere second after I’d snatched the pipe… one gang-member had officially become two gang-members.  The only thing holding his left and right gang-member parts together were the jeans he’d been wearing far below his waste-line.  The blunt, rounded steel pipe could not cut through denim after making its way through human flesh and bone while bouncing off vital organs.

One down, six to go.

“Pauley V!” yelled the dude standing next to him.  “You’re going to pay for what you did to Pauley!” and he ran directly at me with his head lowered as if he were a battering ram.

I simply punched the top of this guy’s head and without much effort at all, telescoped his head inside the inner-workings of his rib cage.

Two down, five to go.

The other gang-members, sensing their rapidly diminishing group, decided to attack me in a much more formulated manner.  Three rushed me and I was forced to take the brunt of a few kicks and punches.  While two held me back, the third punched me about my person.

Gaining confidence at their ability to kick my ass, they made a costly mistake: they loosened their grip.

Given this advantage, I quickly reached inside the laughing mouth of the tool that had been punching me, grabbed his brain and ripped it back out through his mouth.

Three down, four to go.

Before the brain I was holding could stop pulsating, the two thugs who had held me down reached into their pants and pulled out their revolvers. 

Noticing the immediate danger of this, I grabbed one of the steel tubes that had used to previously prod me and bent it into a “U” shape.  As the shots were fired, I effectively caught the incoming bullets inside the tube which consequently turned the bullets around on the shooters.  They both fell to the dirty alley floor having shot each other in the face.

Five down, two to go.

Sensing this fight to be a losing battle, the face-tattooed ring leader started to run down the alley while saying “Shadrack… kill him so I can get away!!”

Shadrack appeared to be rather large, muscular Amazonian woman.

“Now it time to finish this silly game,” she said in broken English.

Shadrack then picked up an entire dumpster full of trash like it was nothing more than a bowl of cereal and tried so smash me with it.  With moves I learned while in the British Special Forces, I slid between her legs as she smashed the dumpster to the ground with such force it sent cracks deviating from the area the dumpster landed.  As she picked up the dumpster again and turned around for round two, I put all my force behind a roundhouse kick that sent her knee in the opposite direction of the way it normally bends.  As her knee continued to bend in this unnatural way, the weight of the dumpster helped shatter the femur and tibia en route to blowing the kneecap clean out of her shredded skin like a frisbee.

She screamed a scream I can only closely relate to a baboon scream and fell to the ground.  The dumpster fell on her head and smashed it like a ripe cantaloupe.  “Seeds” and roughage splattered the side walls of the alleyway. 

Six down, one to go.

The tattooed ring-leader of this newly minted “one man gang” was now near the end of the alleyway and about to make his escape from getting handed a one way ticket to hell. 

I once again grabbed another steel tube, this one still straight, not bent.  Once upon a time, I had thrown javelin for the US Olympic team… but that had been a while… and I wasn’t trying to hit a moving target.

Before “Face Tattoo” could break into the light that separated the alley way from  everything representing his freedom from me, I slung the steel tube with such force I could have sworn I tore something in my throwing arm.  The hollow tube whistled through the air and quickly found its mark.  It penetrated the ring-leaders back, right between his shoulder blades and made its way through the fat man’s person and produced a few feet of tube protruding through his chest.

He stopped several feet short of the light, turned around and looked at me.  He grabbed the tube and slowly and agonizingly pulled the tube from his body.  When the tube was extracted, a “core sample” of himself fell out of the tube and onto the ground.  Several inches of back fat, spinal cord, heart and sternum bone fell out of the tube and landed perfectly formed as you might see before you cut some Pillsbury sugar cookie dough from the grocery store.

Looked something like this… except without the wrapper, chocolate chips and sugary after-taste….

“Who… are… you?” he managed to say before collapsing on his core sample.

I shrugged my shoulders and laughed, “My name’s Phoenix… Phoenix Blade”.

Then I went to work… I got in trouble for being a couple minutes late.

Or something like that.

Choose Your Fate


Do you remember those books when you were a kid that made you the decision maker on the fate of the character in the book?  They were called “Choose Your Own Adventure”.

For example, from the book “The Cave of Time”:

You come to a fork in the road.  If you travel to the left you are going down a paved road that would seem to be easy on your aching feet and there also appears to be a Hooters at the first  intersection.  If you travel to the right you are going down a beaten path through the horrible woods of Cragglesnot, known to be a place where people go to have their muscles torn from their skeletal system .

If you decide to go down the road to the left, turn to page 37.

If you decide to go down the road to the right, turn to page 89.

If you were like me… you’d go down the road on the left!  “HOOTERS!!  Hell’s yeah!!”

What a combo right!? (wanna make your own sign? Click here)

But… SURPRISE!! I’d turn to page 37 to find out that:

You travel down the paved road to the left and you were right… it’s much easier on your feet.  As you reach the Hooters… you realize it doesn’t actually say “Hooters”… it says “Zombies”!!  Shortly after your initial disappointment you feel a stinging sensation in your right calf.  Looking down you see one of the patrons of the restaurant latched to your calf and gnawing away at your leg which quickly becomes torn from your hip socket.

And you thought you were going to Hooters… SUCKA!!!

Now with only one leg, and like a wounded animal, you try to escape back to the fork in the road where you made this awful decision.  But it’s too little… too late.  A few of the other restaurant employees catch you before you make it much further.  They divide your body into white and dark meat sections and you’re consumed for Friday night’s dinner special.  They shrink your head and then they fry it until it’s a nice golden brown and placed with the other fried, shrunken heads as part of the appetizer known as “Fried Heads”. Who knew these Zombies were so efficient?

The last thing you think before being separated into drumsticks, thighs, lats, pecs and delts… is “I wonder what was down the other path?”.

YOU’RE DEAD!

THE END.

Wow.  You didn’t see that one coming did you?!  I thought I was going to be enjoying some “tasty” wings at the “fine” establishment known for its “tasty food” when BAM!!!!!! 

Zombies.

Now… if you were suave enough to notice that the road to the left was “too good to be true” and decided to take the more treacherous path… well… let’s see what happened if you turned to page 89:

Believing that what you’re seeing must be too good to be true… you decide to take the path to the right which appears to be more dangerous. 

*GULP*

As you travel down the path, you are continually startled by the sounds of cracking twigs and rustling bushes.  You’re minds playing tricks on you.  You fully expect at any moment to be torn to pieces.

Suddenly, you walk into a clearing and are shocked to find yourself standing on the beach.  Sand dunes stand taller than houses, a cool breeze runs through your hair and you can hear the ocean calling you.  You make your way over a few sand dunes and walk onto the beach.

grayton-beach-dunes.jpg image by 1HOTWGN

WAIT!  WHAT?

As you stand staring at the ocean, wondering why there was such a horrific story associated with this forest, a beautiful model in a designer bikini splashes out of the ocean.

It’s not just any model… it’s a tall, beautiful, brunette fitness model.  She asks you if you want to play beach volleyball with her and her other fitness model friends.

A few short seconds later, you’re the only guy in a bikini volleyball game between The Girls That Exist Only In Your Dreams and The Girls Who Would Never Give You The Time Of Day Except In This Stupid Book.

The furthest thing from your mind at this point was what could have been down that other fork in the road.

To “accidentally” fall on that tall brunette to your left, turn to page 55.

To impress the girls by finding some way to flex your muscles, turn to page 98

To pretend you’re having a heart attack just so they’ll try mouth to mouth resuscitation on you, turn to page 22.

To poop your pants because you don’t know what else to do, turn to page 100.

Wow.  You didn’t see that one coming either did you?!  You thought you were going to die and all of a sudden you were playing a volleyball game with buxom girls in bikinis!

So what’s the point of this whole post?

I really don’t know. 

I had a reason when I started and then my mind kind of wandered off in a different direction as I wrote.  Maybe because those kinds of books are stupid?  I don’t remember.

Regardless… I may have happened on a fairly interesting concept for blog posts here!  I could post a situation with a few options on what to do.  Then you (the reader) could leave me a comment on which path to take.  Then in a following post, after all the votes are tallied… I can write the outcome!

What do you think?! 

If you want me to continue on this path… leave me a comment.

If you don’t want me to continue on this path… leave me a comment.

Either way… leave me a comment you commentless bunch of readers!!

Book Review: Once Upon A Potty


You may remember the last resolution I had on my resolutions post.  It was to have Daddy’s Little Girl potty trained by 12/31/2010.  DLG is my first kid… so I didn’t know what to expect as far as reading material went.  When Bunny said she was going to check out some books at the library I thought she meant for us to read… not “story time” books to read to her.  Nonetheless, my diligent wife went to the library and checked out a couple books we could start reading to DLG and get the ball rolling on this thing.

I came home from work that evening and got greeted by the usual happy, smiling laughing, little girl who is DLG.  She quickly made me aware of her new books that her and mommy had checked out of the library.  This made me happy because I get tired of reading the same books for her over and over and over and over again.  A couple of new books at bedtime would be a welcome relief from “Goodnight Moon”, “Curious George Goes To A Toystore” and “No, David!”

After changing into my comfortable clothes, she approached me with the first book and thus began my first experience with children’s books on potty training.

It seemed innocent looking enough.  The first thing I noticed was that this book said “girl” on it.  There obviously is another book made exclusively for boys.

I continued on reading to DLG in “daddy talk”, i.e. overemphasizing words, raising and lowering my voice quickly, etc.

Allow me to read you an excerpt from page three:

*ahem*

“Just like you, Prudence has a body, and this body has many nice and useful parts:

A head for thinking

Eyes for seeing

Ears for hearing

A mouth to talk and eat with

Hands for playing

A pee-pee for making Wee-Wee

Legs for walking and running…”

AND THEN YOU TURN TO PAGE FOUR:

 

 

WHAT? 

Perhaps it’s because I’m not a child psychologist that makes me want to laugh hysterically, cover my kids eyes and want to puke all at the same time. 

But… I guess to a 18-month old… this is all new to them… and it makes a lightbulb go off in their head or something.

So I continued reading to her.  Other pages made me giggle/cringe/throw up in my mouth:

Since when did pottys look like tea pitchers?  And when did kid poop start looking like fake dog poop?

YAAAAAYYYY!! Good job!!  Except that’s mommy’s tea pitcher and not the potty.  Go to your room.

So my virgin eyes have now been exposed to the world of children’s books on potty training.  If you read my blog, you probably know I’m not the most censored person.  I enjoy talking about just about anything.  But when it comes to pooping… that’s where I draw the line.  I don’t like to look at it, smell it or come in close proximity of it.  This makes it remarkable that I enjoy being a daddy so much because much of the first six months involves nothing but poop!  Remarkably… the one thing that concerned me the most before she was born was having to change poopy diapers… a fear I would gladly replace with all the other fears that infiltrate my mind these days.  But… part of being a daddy is pushing your boundaries, learning what you’re made of, learning a lot about yourself and having to bite the bullet and change a poopy diaper now and then.

If reading books to DLG about pooping with cartoon pictures of poop and bung-holes in it will eventually get her on that potty and get me out of having to change her poopy diapers… then I guess I gotta do what I gotta do.