Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Book Review: Where Did I Come From?

Still can't type w/out pain, so a re-run from the now defunct FTTW-a book review on my favorite children's book...

I should preface this by warning that it contains some pretty graphic sex and quite possibly some hot photos, thereby insuring that everyone will read it…

Over the years I have read many books. To say I read a lot is an understatement. Oh hell, I’ll even admit that I used to read while driving, but I’ve never been arrested for it. Well, not yet, anyway. And I have never done a book review, until now. I have finally found a book worthy of review by me. I give you an unsolicited review my latest read:

Where Did I Come From? By Peter Mayle, with illustrations by Arthur Robins

I was taken aback at first by the golden emblem on the cover proclaiming “Over 2 Million Copies Sold!” I haven’t had much luck with the tofu and latte mainstream crap on the bookshelves, today and I shy away from pretty much anything “award-winning”, or “best-selling”. I tend toward the more obscure gems to be found when digging deep into the local used book dealer, with the only exception to popular authors being Stephen King. I don’t care what anyone says, Mr. King is a real storyteller, but I digress.

The reference on the back cover is however, impressive: Doctor Spock gives it top grades for humanness (I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds important) and honesty (I know what this is-honestly), but says some may be offended. I should note that Peter and Arthur have also teamed up to bring us What’s Happening to Me? and hopefully after this offering will reunite to answer the timeless, Whisky Tango Foxtrot? The current Mayle/Robins books are part of an awe-inspiring series that includes the powerhouse, Why Am I Going To The Hospital? and the chilling, ball-breaker titled, How To Be A Pregnant Father. Guys, don’t read this alone at night. Scary. Scary. Shit.

The storyline is pretty straightforward with a mere casual glance. A healthy nod is given to red-faced parents all over the world to jump-start the topic. If you have a kid older than 3, chances are you’ve been nailed to the post with at least one tough question posed 23 years before you were ready to give an answer. You know-your 3 yr old daughter catches you coming out of the shower and asks why your package is smaller than her tootsie-roll. “How do you pee with that little thing, daddy?” Yeah, kids are great.

The kids, themselves take the spotlight next with a few choice examples of speculation on where they came from. My personal favorite is little Tommy who nails it when he says that his dad got him from the saloon. How does one become so wise at five? So far, I’m thinking this is a great book and I’m gonna read it to the little one and then I turn the page. Holy Shit! There’s mom and dad playing together with a plastic boat in the tub. Pop’s wang is swinging in the breeze and he’s hung like a horse. Hello! What are they going to do with that little boat? Mom? Yeah, she’s got a decent rack, but fuck me if she doesn’t look like DAD wearing a wig!
Like I said, they need to reunite and answer the inevitable WTF? So while the fact that mom and dad are not made the same way is covered, you are left with a queasy stomach and wondering exactly how mom and dad are related.

The author tackles the subject with relish and doesn’t pull any punches when he tells children that breasts are like mobile milk bars and gives a quick thank you to breasts in general before moving on. One gets the feeling he wasn’t breast-fed as a child. A sort of honor roll of breast names is presented so our kids don’t get lost when their older siblings start talking trash about titties, boobs, bazookas, etc. After he touches on breasts, he moves on down, but I should not forget to mention I love the shot of the little dude getting a feed on, thinking, “ Ahhh. Milk. Wonderful Milk.”

When covering (or in this case, uncovering) the genitals, Mayle neglects the honor roll of slang. Wang, dang, sweet poontang, and all that. Then, he says that a penis is like peanuts, except without the “t”. WTF? I’ve been looking at mine for an hour and I just don’t see it. His only saving grace is that he promises mine is going to grow bigger someday. I am patiently waiting… He also notes that vagina rhymes with Carolina, so he must have heard the one about, well, never mind. Anyway, no slang terms here-I was disappointed. I mean, what a dick!

Nonetheless, he dives into bumping uglies with gusto! I mean he goes out on a limb to note that we only play hide the sausage in bed most of the time and only because a bed is nice and comfortable. Obviously he’s never done the horizontal bop on a pool table, or pulled the “O” face in the mud at a rock concert, but he’s obviously given the missus a really tight hug, once or twice. That’s right, according to this book, babies come from really tight hugs and the guy’s penis gets bigger because it has lots of work to do. (That’s what she said) Making love (that means fucking) tickles and makes you wiggle. He says it’s like scratching an itch, but a lot nicer and yeah, I suppose that is right on target, isn’t it? Anyway, he says it all ends with a big sneeze
and then it’s all sperms, eggs and babies growing in the “woom” with a b. The book closes with a baby who comes out yelling like a pissed-off football fan.

I suppose this book is appropriate for all ages under 13 and lays out all the necessary bits for a complete birds and the bees story. Sex and babies are covered honestly and simply, just what every parent needs to educate the little ones with only two faults, in my humble opinion. First, the author uses to many analogies. I think the child will toddle away remembering itches, tickling, wiggling and a big, fucking sneeze. I think the analogies should be left up to the parents, tailoring to the child’s age and environment. Second, the image of mom and pop in the tub getting ready to utilize a plastic boat is wrong and for fuck’s sake, mom should NOT look like dad with a wig!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

promises, promises

Bad blogger. I know, I know...

Typing is still difficult and my left hand has a long way to go. I "promise" to put up some pictures, at least, very soon. I've got shots of my as yet, unfinished bathroom, the winery and LP and I making our first batch of the Sangiovese. Yes, she helped the gimp draw the wine off the lees the other day. I also have some shots of mr. bud working his "other" job while I directed traffic (one handed) around the crane he used to set some rather large beams and a foray to some of the local waterfalls with he and the boys.

Life continues much as it has this break, slow progress on the bath, and on rehabilitation of my hand. Weather has been rainy every single day of the break until today, but the day is only half over. Yesterday, we awoke to a good snow storm and snow on the ground. Neither lasted long, but winter is here in the Copper Country, like it or not.

I'm still reading you guys, just not commenting much d/t the hand. Trolling is too damn easy with Google Reader, too!


ps. Blogger wants to correct Sangiovese to "angiosperm", which I believe is the scientific term for flowering plants that carry their seeds inside a structure called a carpel, or something like that-the other type being a gymnosperm, which I think are plants that have seeds on the outside of a structure called a sporophyll, like pine cones. Don't take that as gospel-i just read a lot and I think I remember it correctly, but I don't even know where I picked these tidbits up at...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sangiovese and a shower

So I'm still around, but trying not to type much. My left hand still goes numb, hurts and is really weak. Tonight was the night. Mr. Bud once again showed up after a rather nasty, wet day on the job and pitched in a few hours of plumbing and now everything is working, bar a nasty leak in the new sink drain (WTF??) and a temp install of the shower head until that particular piece of drywall is hung. In fact, two walls are stll waiting for drywall, but I plan to hit that tomorrow w/ PW. Still to come: Drywall, taping, mudding, painting and base molding. Hang the door, hook up the light/fan/outlets, install the shower door and cut in a new heat vent. Details.

Anyhoo, tonight I actually took a fucking shower, after re-plumbing the kitchen sink drain and screwing in the shower head.. It's been a while and damn it felt good:) I decided to celebrate and now I'm lounging around in sweats, with some leftover pizza from the corner bar and a bottle of Sangiovese.

By the way, in the midst of all this negative bullshit going on the past few weeks, I decided to do something positive. Tuesday, I stopped in at my local winery and started a batch of exactly what I'm drinking right now, the Sangiovese. It is yummy. Sweeter and less bodied than my favorite wines, like the Syrah and Multipulciano, but I felt PW would be more inclined to join me in heartily downing the first 32 bottles with this selection;)

I think tomorrow is the day I stop in to take the wine off the lees (sediments) and get it into a secondary fermentation vessel. I should note that as a geologist, I was pleased to see that wine starts with muddy water made from Bentonite, an aluminium phyllosilicate clay, consisting of mostly of the mineral, Montmorilinite. It is formed from the weathering of volcanic ash and it's purpose in wine making is to bond with undesirable proteins and precipitate out with the other sediments ( the lees) such as the toasted oak sawdust added to make up for not hanging out in a barrel for a couple years. My winery owners, Frank and Carmen were very informative as I whipped up my first batch and I find this shit fascinating.

Oh, one last observation: I love grape juice in addition to wine, of course. Frank had me taste the grape juice used for the Sangiovese and holy shit it was the best grape juice i have ever tasted. If you could put that shit in a carton for a decent price you could put Welches out business in a heartbeat.

To wrap things up; I'm most likely not heading to Alaska, or anywhere else for that matter, any time soon. The injury just threw off everything. Maybe Egypt or Angola in a3-4 weeks, but I'm getting a well-deserved break after all. I'll post a few choice pics of my bathroom experience in a few days, after the drywall, door and electrical is complete and I give my first born to Mr. Bud. By the way, please pray for dry weather and no wind before Mr Bud drowns or blows away. This has been the worst weather I have ever experienced up here and he has had a house COMPLETELY opened up for the last week:(

Thursday, October 11, 2007

injured, can't type, can't finish bathroom, can't go to work, family living in hotel

UPDATE: no typing allowed, yet. everything is still the same and still suks. tomorrow i see my physical therapist again. hotel suks but the sauna was nice tonite...

this sucks

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lay my headstone at the foot of the bath

I'm toast. Laid down for an hour an a half, Thursday night. Since then, I've divided my time between the basement, bathroom, attic and the local lumber yard/hardware stores. I think I've been up for 48 hours straight. They would be the only straight things I've come across in this odyssey of wood, plumbing, electrified wires and bad coffee. The general plan is to keep working right through tomorrow morning, throw some shit in a bag and head for the north pole about noon if the weather changes drastically from the constant downpour and mind-numbing fog that has not let a flight out of here in days. Still no bathroom fixtures, but the electrical is roughed in and, OH, my coffee is ready...


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

...and now I live in there (read: I am dying in here)

UPDATE, Friday night, midnight: PW and LP are living in a hotel. I visit every two days to shower and use the facilities. So far, I've managed to gut the room, tear out the floor, rebuild a rotten wall, sister in new floor joists, lay the sub-floor, frame in the enclosure for the tub/shower and put in all the missing nailers (it was built in the days of horsehair plaster and insulation-hence no nailers for drywall). Tonight (midnite to 6am) I'll plumb in the vent pipe, rough in and wire the exhaust fan, light, switches and outlets and insulate the walls. Tomorrow comes the hanging the vapor barrier, laying the finish floor and linoleum, building the final tub enclosure wall to be installed after the tub is laid, and getting the drywall purchased and started. Sunday is drywall, plumbing in tub, toilet, vanity and sink. HOLY FUCK am I screwed. I leave Monday morning if PW doesn't kill me for lack of a bathroom in the face of my imminent departure.

Promises are meant to be broken. I'm not posting pics of anything before I head for Alaska. I leave in 6 days. I have a bathroom that still has a floor, a few bits of lath on the walls and a working shower and toilet. I need to yank all that shit out, walls and floors included before I can even think about new floors (sub floor and even some joists-yay!), wall, plumbing, electrical, tub/shower, toilet, vanity/sink. I haven't done some of this shit in 20 years, I have 6 days and this is a 100 yr old house. PW and LP are leaving for a hotel in town and I'll be sleeping in the bathroom, at least once it has a new floor. Thank the gods mr. Bud has a cell phone and lots of patience.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I've been in the bathroom

Been busy, busy, busy. Working well past midnight lately, to completely gut the bathroom and keep it functional for the girls at the same time. A few minor setbacks like broken cast-iron drain pipes have cost me a day's work. Today we finally make the pilgrimage to Marquette for tub, toilet, vanity, etc. We'll wave to the bro as drive by, Maeve.

I promise to post pics at some point before leaving for Alaska next Monday...