Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dropping the hammer

You may not recognize Raymond the firefly here from The Princess and the Frog. If not, check it out because it's really a great movie. He's got a lot of the same ingredients as Tarzan, with the additions of blueberries and bananas for the night sky.
The real fireflies will be out soon, and we've been enjoying the warming evenings and our new lawn (it's possible our house is still a Superfund site, but it isn't because of lead contamination in the backyard anymore!) by playing croquet.
I used to dismiss the idea of Cadillac-diving welfare queens, but once I got a taste of the dole ... *BOOM!* Break out the croquet mallets, Chaz, it turns out easy street is covered in a big sod roll of Kentucky Bluegrass and both tall and fine fescues! (Supa-dupa-fine fescue, if you ask me.)
So, we've been hitting that grass every night, Primo and I, and I have been PWNING him.
I mean, the world hasn't seen hammer-work like mine since Thor vanished in a puff of monotheism. I mean, my game ain't cro-k, it's 24-k. I mean, The Martinez family brought their body-boards over last night because they heard about the str8 playa in the house!
I'm not sure what exactly made it feel right, but almost from the start I've been talking trash about our croquet games to Primo. I've been singing snippets - with revised pronouns - of "Simply the Best," by Tina Turner; "We Are the Champions," by Queen and "You're the Best Around," by Joe Esposito (which gets to him the most- and why not?) I've been holding my mallet aloft Hacksaw Jim-style (and even letting loose with a cross-eyed "HO!" now and then.) I've been rolling around on my back after I knock my ball through a hoop. And he goes along with it. And emulates it. I don't think he completely understands the ridiculousness of it, but I think there's a sense. He smiles for all of it. I'm never belittling him and on the rare occasion it seems to bother him, I back off. And it helps that he wins sometimes and gets to do similarly goofy stuff.
My wife and I basically lay down for him when it comes to a lot of games, and we always stress fun and sportsmanship, which he's really getting (as fast as boys his age grasp such things.) But I think he likes having a chance to be a bad sport and a braggart. And croquet seems a fine place for it. I just hope he can rein it in by the time he goes pro.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Keeping it connected

At right is the Disney version of Tarzan. From the movie so nice, Tarzan's dad dies twice. He's an open-faced sandwich with turkey for the face, provolone eyes and roast beef dreadlocks. And no, you may not use "Roast Beef Dreadlocks" as the name for your indie band. Or "Provolone Eyes," for that matter. The floral embellishments are spinach leaves, kiwi fruit and sliced red and orange sweet peppers. Primo also got a banana AND - in an act of strict self-indulgence, as it was fully expected to go unappreciated by Primo and be possibly off-puttingly supercilious to anyone else - a square of Ghanaian chocolate.
I love the idea of single-origin chocolate. I don't know that I have the palate for it. I got a sampler on clearance at Target that promised hints of mangoes or flowers. As I opened the box I could practically taste the lava from the slopes of the volcanoes on which the Venezuelan plants grew. Mmm ... ashy.
In practice, it all tasted like chocolate.
I'm not sure why the lesson I've learned from wine didn't serve here. If red wine has "notes" of black cherry, "hints" of pomegranate or "had a plum pulled saucily across it's surface before bottling," it's going to taste to me, rather disappointingly thanks to the promises, like red wine. I pretty much need it to have a picture of the fruit it's supposed to taste like on the bottle. With wine, I'm like an African shopping for baby food. Say what you will about Arbor Mist, it's no "stone-fruit" tease ... Kendall Jackson.
Anyway, the vegetation all came back uneaten. Not the chocolate, though. I refrained from asking him whether it was enhanced by the whiffs of banana blossom and instead told him that the chocolate was grown not too far from where the gorillas in Tarzan lived. "That's kinda cool, huh?" "Yeah," he said.
But it was that kind of "yeah" that means "not really."

As of posting time, googling "Roast Beef Dreadlocks" only returns this blog entry.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bob-omb

At right is a "goomba" from the Mario video games made from red Thai rice, homemade naan and rajma masala (red beans in sauce - from a packet.) There are white sesame seeds to separate the head from the feet and the naan is doing double duty since it has light (eyes and teeth) and mottled (eyebrows and pupils) sides.
After the borrowing of the wii, I insisted on a break from Mario talk and got a none-too-subtle reminder to be careful what you wish for.
"Daddy needs a break from Mario for a little while, honey."
"Daddy, are you good at Whac-A-Mole?"
"Um, I'm okay, I guess."
"Have you ever won Whac-A-Mole?"
"I'm not sure I know what you mean."
"Like, I beat mommy at Whac-A-Mole."
"I got one and she got none."
"No, I don't think I've ever beaten anyone at Whac-A-Mole."
"What's your favorite part of Whac-A-Mole?"
"Oh, probably the whacking, I suppose."
***Thoughtful pause***
"What happens if a baby is born with a bad heart?"
"So ... Did Daddy ever tell you about the time he beat Bowzer in four-player Mario Bros.?"