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Archive for May, 2008

Technogirl Claire

May 25, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood, Technology


IMG_2460, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Claire’s always taken after Daddy in being good at art. She loves to draw, paint, etc… Well, one afternoon I had my Wacom tablet out doing some editing from a recent trip, and Claire kept climbing into my lap. Finally I figured out that she wanted to do what I was doing. I opened a new file in Photoshop, set up the brush, and let her go! She loved it and drew with Wacom on my MacBook Pro using Photoshop for quite some time.

Video Games in our Family

May 24, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood


IMG_2486, originally uploaded by nooccar.

I had a Commodore 63 and a Texas Instrument, eventually it was Atari & Nintendo. Then I left video games until college when Donna introduced me to Heroes of Might and Magic IV on the computer. I played it until I got a "Real job" then had no time. I am a strong proponent of computer games to enhance intelligence, and now my daughter has her first computer game. Mama and Claire playing her Shrek video game recently. I still think we should get her a Wii.

Vinni’s sweater

May 22, 2008 By: turtlegirl Category: Claire

me:  "Claire, you look good in Vinni’s sweatshirt."

Claire:  "yeah"

me:  "Are you going to have lots of boyfriends when you grow up?"

Claire:  "Yeah, all of them"

me:  "You’re going to date every boy?"

Claire:  "No, every Vinni!" 

me:  "Really?"

Claire:  "Yeah, all three of them."

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

May 20, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Adams, holidays, Pittsburgh

In late May 1994 after I had just finished up my freshman semester of college at Penn State University, I’d planned on hanging around all summer. My bother, Jaime, and I headed to a party with these people we’d just been getting to know. At some point in the evening we played spin the bottle. A young woman with torn jeans, red wild hair, and glasses spun the bottle and it landed on Jaime; he kissed her. Later in the evening I spun the bottle and it landed on her. I moved in with all the charm I could muster. I reached forward across the center circle, and went for it. Needless to say we quickly forgot the bottle, but we never ever forgot that 14 years ago today my brother kissed my wife before I kissed her!

To keep the traditions alive, on May 20, 1999 I had just finished my Master’s Degree at Duquesne University and Donna had just now finished her degree in management from Lock Haven, and we had much to celebrate. I decided to pack a cooler of KFC chicken and a couple Sobes before driving Donna out to South Park south of PIttsburgh. We roller bladed around the park before heading up to the "Stone Shelter" where my parents always said they made out when they were our age. So sitting up there, I was very nervous, and eventually I just went for it. I leaned in, pulled the small box out of my pocket, tossed it into her lap and asked loudly "Wanna Get Hitched?" This proclaimant and several feet of green phallic graffiti behind us on the wall was I needed to woo Donna to marry me.

She said yes, and we moved to Arizona a few months later. We never looked back. Happy Anniversary, Honey!

SwimKids USA: Love the program, don’t know about other parents

May 19, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood

Claire’s been going to SwimKidsUSA for about a year now, and she’s slowly moved up in her classes. She’s been in a class with Danielle now for a couple of months, and we’ve really enjoyed Danielle and that this class is after 5 so Donna can enjoy it with us. The only real problem has been this parent who likes to sit on the stairs with his and her son. I say his and her because it doesn’t matter if mom or dad brings the kid, the person always sits on the steps. The way the pool is shaped, the parent chairs are kind of right behind and off to the side. So if I want to watch Claire, I can’t really see because of this person.

Now don’t get me wrong. Yes, they are fat people, but that’s not my issue. It’s that they need to get their butt outta the water so we can all enjoy our kids.

When I got to class tonight the father was in the pool on the edge. Another lady with her kid was there, too. Sitting on the stairs. Danielle was not there. I was kind of checking it out, and I didn’t know where to put Claire. I finally had to just ask. The sub told me to sit her on the side. OUTSIDE the Water. Now don’t get me wrong, but this is a friggin’ swim lesson not a Sit-on-the-pool’s-edge lesson. For that I could save my $100 a month and prop her on the block wall at home! The sub was ok though, had my kid swimming in a few and then stuck her right between these two people.

Yes, they were both bigger, and yes, my kid was sitting on their feet with her arms pressed down at her sides. Not a good deal.

I glanced around and saw the Deck Manager through the window outside. I went out around to the play area and approached him. I told him that to see my kid, I had to move all the way around the other side of the pool (where they definitely don’t want parents!), and if I was paying the cash then I was enjoying the kid learning to swim! He agreed and commiserated.

He told me Danielle was out for summer vacation and Mr. Tony was her instructor beginning in a week, and if it was ok they’d switch Claire to some other class. I told him that didn’t work for me, and I was actually thrilled Tony was going to teach her since he completely and utterly rocks. I’d even say I have a man crush on him, maybe. Well, I at least wish I looked like him. Except maybe a white version, but anyway, Bryce the deck manager said he and I would talk to Tony before next week’s lesson and figure out a way to get these lard…. errr…. nice people out of the pool so I could see my kid.

Devon or Darryl?

May 19, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Travel


IMG_2263, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Last week I was in Chicago at a wedding, and my wife shot this outside of Starbuck’s in Hinsdale, IL. I don’t think either of us could even fathom how much I am beginning to look like my father. Part of it is the outfit. Dad always wears a charcoal suit and purple shirt, and I just happened to be wearing the same thing. How uncanny.

Claire visits the Dentist

May 19, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood


IMG_2342, originally uploaded by nooccar.

This May Claire was scheduled with our dentist for a "chair ride", which means she comes when we’re getting a cleaning and she sits there. They root around in her mouth for a minute to prepare her for the idea of a cleaning. They also want to see if she’s mature enough to start going. They decided her teeth looked ok, and they said she may be kind of young to come there. (She kept running in circles.) They said to bring her back next year, and later Donna said that since she just signed the paperwork to get Claire dental insurance that someone will damn the well see her! Cheryl, the dentist’s receptionist, said to try a pediatric dentist, which we will do.

Why do people deface private property?

May 18, 2008 By: nooccar Category: House

We’ve been working on our house for a year or two now, and things have been coming along. But then this last week I was driving by our newly stuccoed and painted wall along the road, and I saw graffiti all over it. Nothing gang related, but stupid kids writing their names, like "JAZ WUZ HERE" and stuff like that. I was pretty annoyed because I am still waiting for Donna to call Sonoran Exterior to have them come touch up the stucco where it’s cracking away; this is now just one more thing. I was annoyed then and now today there was more graffiti, and I am now more annoyed. I talked to my neighbor to see if she knew anyone by the names etched in my wall, and she suggested I call the cops. I immediately called the police and they came out. The cop was really nice, and he interviewed all of my neighbors for me. Looks like I will probably have to paint it myself again and hope it doesn’t happen again, but it wasted an hour of my life so far. Damn.

New Kids On The Block

May 16, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Leisure, Miscelany, School

This is wild. Talk about things coming around. I’m not going to run out to buy concert tickets, but there was a time in my life when my parents were building our grape arbor. I’d skate all night long with friends and my cousin, I had my first ear piercing, and New Kids on the Block were HOT! I loved listening, and, in secret, I still do. I love tossing on "Right Stuff" or singing in my fake high voice to "Didn’t I Blow Your Mind?". Now it’s been 15 years. YES, FIFTEEN YEARS. Yes, I am getting older, and they are back. I remember when Meatloaf returned. And now I am going to remember when NKOTB (as they were later called to look cooler) returned.  So here’s the video. Enjoy.

Claire wears out 3 babysitters

May 11, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Travel

We met Julie several years ago after we moved to AZ and really enjoy her company. We knew her through a boyfriend or two before she met Patrick, and the short version is that we were graciously invited to her wedding. Catch was that no kids were allowed (except someone brought one!) and the wedding was in Chicago. We played back and forth with the idea of going, and we finally bought tickets. Julie & Patrick were ecstatic, our friend Kris is from Chicago and offered for us to stay at her parent’s house, but we just needed to find somewhere for Claire.

We started with our former school nurse, Davida, but Davida pointed out it was Mother’s Day and she couldn’t do it. We finally decided we’d ask Adrienne, who is Claire’s regular babysitter, to watch her. She agreed, and Donna wrote up pages upon pages of directions for the babysitter. We left Claire Friday at daycare and Adrienne picked her up to bring her home to our house.

Everything seemed to be running smoothly until about 20 minutes before the ceremony on Saturday, when Adrienne called to tell us that she’d been up all night sick in our bathroom and couldn’t make it much longer. We quickly hung up and looked for Plan B. We had several people on our emergency list, and we typically would call Angelika since her son is a year and a half older than Claire, but Saturday night was Angelika’s graduation party. So Donna called Kacie, her friend from work. Kacie acquiesced and drove over. I also called Angelika who agreed to pick Claire up in the morning, so Kacie could spend the day with her son.

We called Sunday morning and everything was still coming together. When we touched down in Arizona, we hurried over to Angelika’s from the airport to get Claire. Angelika looked exhausted, and we felt bad. But now that it’s all over, we are joking about how Claire wore out three babysitters this weekend while her parents were off galavanting around the country!


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