Friday, October 29, 2010

if you already read the last post, you should maybe re-read it

as i was re-reading the last post i authored, i forgot about some stuff i wanted to mention regarding the greater cooper family Christmas card photo shoots.  if you haven't re-read yet, i recommend that you do so.

yours truly,

the blogmaster

Thursday, October 28, 2010

all words (we totally rocked barry manilow last weekend), no pics (but some comments on the ones below)

mis amigos, it's good to be back in front of the keyboard.  you should know that writing on the blog is therapeutic for me and, so, i thank you for allowing me to express myself on a no-charge platform that is available to anyone with an internet connection.  you're too kind.

couple things.  first, we totally rocked barry manilow.

thanks to some good friends of ours, this last weekend mrs. blogmaster and i did something totally crazy.  i'm talking wild stuff... way out there.... something we'd never done before.  in fact, i'm almost embarrassed to say just what it was, but since this is pretty private forum in which i often express my most personal and sentimental secrets, i'll share:

we went to a barry manilow concert on the strip.  there i said it.  it's out there.  now i feel so free and cutting edge.  hopefully none of you think less of me, but this is just who i am.  and this was no ordinary barry manilow concert... it really actually was your parents', or maybe even grandparents', barry manilow.

this was a once in a lifetime opportunity i couldn't afford to miss and so i passed up not one, but two invitations to go watch some boring mma fights.  as if.  that's just not how i roll.  i live life on the edge.  i wallow in places most of you would fear to tread.  i mean, c'mon, it's barry manilow we're talking about here.

i'm not sure how old barry is, but based on the way he runs across the stage i'm pretty sure he's had a couple knee and hip replacements.  the guy looks pretty feeble.  that being said, he can still sing and play the piano.  it's clear the guy is talented, but i've got to think there's a lot of extremely talented people that never get nearly as popular as he does.  i don't quite get it.

i also don't get older, more mature women who still coo over barry and his finely frothed and feathered hair.  it was kind of funny to see them stand up for as long as their prosthetic knees and hips would allow and wave their arms or cheer their longtime hearth throb along, funny in a good and bad way.  i half expected to see some depends or granny trow to be thrown up on stage.  although, i have to admit, i was up on my feet a couple of times myself feeling the love with mrs. blogmaster.  but, it was kind of nice to be able to sit for most of the concert.  very relaxing.  just the way a concert should be... if you roll an oxygen tank into the concert with you.

actually, the concert was pretty enjoyable even if we were the youngest people in the audience and i only recognized about 4 of the songs (the copacaban encore was sizzling).  barry puts on a good show and has some catchy tunes, so it was a memorable experience i will cherish for many years to come.  plus, we always have a good time with our friends... so, to them and barry, i say thank you!

as for the family pics below, it's kind of funny i ended up posting them because at the time we took them i was certain they weren't going to be any good.  let me set the scene for you: taking pictures on a sunday afternoon with our boys at an extremely dusty underpass.  not a good combination.

i didn't want to be there.  the boys didn't want to cooperate.  and dust was getting on everything.  aim, on the other hand, was all over it and kept us sharp.  and i'm glad she did because when i was checking the pics out on the camera a week ago i saw some potential in them i hadn't noticed before (which is most likely due to the fact that i was threatening the boys within an inch of their lives on numerous occasion during the photo taking).

taking group pictures with uncooperative kids.  i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  there's a special place in hell for the most nefarious of satan's minions where such ilk are banned to an eternal damnation of being forced to try to get kids to hold still, look at the camera, and smile... and all at the same time.  maybe it's just my kids.

actually, i know it's not just my kids.  every year my parents, big jeff and special k, have this grandiose idea to take a pic of the litter of their grandkids for a Christmas card they send out to half the world.  they always have a theme that focuses on Jesus Christ given the holiday and so the kids are typically dressed up in nativity garb and playing the parts of those involved.  traditionally, the nativity is seen as a very holy, even sacred, event that is viewed as a hallowed moment in time to billions of people throughout the world.  our photo sessions with the grandkids are anything but that... and with the Christmas season fast approaching, i thought it appropriate to share some about our joyous experiences in snapping photos together.

first, there's the older kids.  now a days they're doing a lot better when it comes to holding still and looking at the camera, but they're not so great about leaving the younger kids alone.  it is virtually impossible for them to not irritate they're younger siblings.  then there's the younger kids who won't sit still or look at the camera.  and usually at least on of the younger kids is essentially on strike and boycotting the picture altogether by passionately crying and temper tantruming his/her way into the wonderful world of photoshop.

to make matters worse, special k is usually running the show which is kind of like the blind leading the naked.  big jeff, on the other hand, has become especially adept at spotting the futility of such situations and so he's long gone by the time the cameras start clicking usually at work on the day of thanksgiving or shortly thereafter.  he has gotten to the point where he contributes as a third party advisor to the end product and financier of the endeavor.  and then there's the rest of us, the parents.

every year, no matter how futile our attempts were the previous year, we all still stand behind kenna jo trying to get the kids to look up, hold still and smile.  herding cats is the cliche that comes to mind.  and it doesn't help that special k holds off on taking the pics until everything is perfect.  not gonna happen, mom... just fire away, shoot now and ask questions later.  and so in attempt to get the kids to look up in sync and smile, we've attempted many creative antics to catch their attention, but most of the time we just sit there and snap, whistle, yell, or clap at the kids.  it's as if we think that 5 adults all yelling at the kids from different directions to look at us is going to convince them to do just that.  it's pure chaos.  it's no wonder we can never get them to focus.

of course, there was the year that i put a pair of pantyhose over my head and ran around behind my mom like an escapee from an insane asylum.  the overall shock factor of seeing such a display caught the kids' attention for a few minutes, but that didn't last long and left most of them with a look of awe/horror.  then there was the year uncle ryan puled up his shirt and started slapping his belly to the children's utter delight.  this technique was met with great success at first, but once the novelty wore off we were back to the drawing board.

we've tried everything.  hiding fruit snacks behind the baby Jesus, having my sister strategically place herself in the photo to prop up a child who can't actually stand, bribery, threats, etc.  nothing seems to be overly effective.  but, somewhere between the mysterious workings of luck and the modern technological marvels of a program like photoshop and the paid professional efforts of a graphic designer, we get an acceptable pic and my parents are eventually able to put out a decent product.

however, i usually approach the entire experience with mixed feeling since my three boys are generally relegated to the stand-in roles of shepherd 2 or 3 or the non-gold bearing wise men.  it's rare they get the money roles of joseph or baby Jesus and i don't even have any girls to be mary or an angel, although that doesn't stop my mom from letting a baby girl be baby Jesus... something she and i don't see eye to eye on seeing as how i feel cross dressing at such an early age has to be contrary to the spirit of Christmas.  at any rate, with the recent influx of new grandkids in the greater cooper family, the boys have been moving up the ranks to take on such coveted roles as shepherd 1 or the wise man who gets to carry the gold... seems like we even expanded the angel role to include some dudes now.  joseph, however, has still been an elusive gig for us to land and colston ate himself out of the baby Jesus role his first year, but we're still encouraging the kids so that they know as long as they meet the right people, shake the right hands, and get a solid spray tan or two before the photo shoot that even they have a shot at getting a premier spot on the greater cooper family Christmas card.

back to the blog photos...

get excited, zombies.  there are more pics from that photo shoot on my sister-in-law's camera coming soon.  btw, thanks adam and t-cakes for putting up with us.  if i looked like i wanted to break your camera at the time, just know that it wasn't you, it was me... actually, it was my boys.

but, as the barry would say, "i can't smile without (them)" or "looks like we made it" through yet another photo shoot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

more pics (good witch, bad witch), with some words mixed in (colston exacts his revenge)

it's that time of year again when a good little mormon girl known better known as my wife, gets dressed up like a person who makes a habit out of practicing in the art of black magic and joins a coven of like-dressed individuals to sip some word of wisdom forbidden tea, aka witches' tea.  isn't all hallows eve great?

seriously, i really enjoy halloween.  of course, i'm the guy who made the pitch for salem over cape cod and have always wanted to tour the haunted mansions advertised in the airport of new orleans.  as i've said before, i'm a sucker for the supernatural.  i'll admit it, i love the prevailing spooky atmosphere, the excuse to dress up and pretend to be someone you're not, and the desire to watch scary movies.  problem is, with all the costume parties and technological advancements in children's costumes, halloween is becoming almost as expensive as Christmas.

when i was a kid, a costume pretty much consisted of a sheet, some hand-me-down clothes, or a plastic jumpsuit with a character printed on it and a cheap plastic mask.  now, my kids get all diced out in body armor suits that feature ripped abs, biceps and pectoral muscles.  and then there's the adult costumes... i found a pretty sweet green lantern costume that i was really tempted to purchase because it actually looked like green lantern, but it was too pricey.  aim, on the other hand, doesn't have as much self control as i do and she has more reasons to dress up.  problem is, most female adult costumes in this day and age seem to be patterned after the wardrobes (or lack thereof) of many of the professional dancers making a living in this town.  i can hardly take my kids with me to shop for costumes anymore.

at any rate, as noted above, the costumes aren't cheap and it doesn't seem like we can just stop at one anymore.  for starters, we did a group theme thing with some friends at a get together last weekend.  i must admit, we looked good and it was fun, but, i don't know that i'll ever wear the stuff i wore at that party again and i wasn't even trick or treating there.  then tonight, aim threw on the witch garb and got her broomstick on as you can see in the pics.  side note: if i must, i'll take credit for the white witch idea and, yes, i think she looks amazing, so deal with all the pics or skip over them.  so far, aim = two costumes, jer = one.  then colston wanted to be the flash, jameson wanted to be snake eyes, and luckily caleb chose one we already had in stock: beyond batman.  i don't even want to do the math.

plus, if i throw in the cost to replace the window colston broke last week, and the dvd player he ruined, or the couch cushions he drew on (yes, all last week), then i start to really get depressed.  then there was his incident from last night.

so, i was sitting in the kitchen talking to a friend when all of a sudden colston comes down saying he's hungry and goes straight for the candy.  i shoot that down in a hurry and tell him to go to bed (it's like 9:30), but he pretty much ignores me and keeps saying he's hungry.

i assume he's really not hungry but just wants candy, so i don't give him anything.  he persists, so i finally give him some grapes and a cookie and send him on his way.  i don't hear from him the rest of the night and conclude that he's either passed out due to severe starvation or gone to sleep.  either way he's being quiet.

fast forward to this morning.  the boys are getting ready for school and the older two head into where  colston is sleeping.  all of a sudden i'm hearing all this talk from the room about how colston has pooped his pants.  my first thought is that it's not likely seeing as how he's potty trained, but the complaints keep coming.  my next thought is, well if he did drop a deuce in his drawers, at least its contained within his drawers which means there will be minimal mess to clean up on the bed, floor, windows, and any other conceivable thing you'd never think a kid could get doo doo on.

but then, the words that pierced my ever so sensitive ear drums left one of the boys mouths: "he pooped on the floor."  at this moment a feeling of extreme frustration overcame me as this is not the first time colston has dropped trou and unloaded in his bedroom.  usually it's number one, but it's not like that's any better.  at that point i go into his room to get to the bottom of this and tell him to clean it up.  of course, he's too tired to do it; but, i'm not about to let him slip out of this one because he's conveniently tired, so i tell him he's still going to have to take care of it when he gets up.

next thing i know i'm out of the shower and catching some breakfast downstairs on my way out the door.  before i leave i pause to ask my wife is she was aware of the fact that colston had gone number two in his room upstairs. the main reason i do this is to make sure that in case colston hadn't cleaned it up yet, she would take care of it before i got home (that's a veteran move right there).  well, it just so happens that she had heard the news and, in an effort to keep me informed of what's going on in our children's lives, she relayed to me that when she asked colston why he pooped on the floor in his room, he told her the reason.

his reply: because i was hungry.

this can only lead me to believe that this was his passive aggressive way of getting even with me for not giving him any candy the night before and sending him to bed: going number two on his bedroom floor.  it's pretty funny actually if it's not your kid, but, as luck would have it, colston is just that: my kid.

in closing, let this be a lesson to us all:  the next time you don't get what you want, public defecation is an effective form of retaliation as it makes a powerful, if not pungent, statement without anyone getting hurt.

well played, son.  well played.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the 15 year itch: trophy husbands and high school reunions

first, and most importantly, mrs. blogmaster is doing much better.  she still has her moments and isn't quite out of the woods yet, but overall, i would have to say she has improved dramatically.  this is a good thing.  i'd like to blame my recent absence from the blog on my all consuming efforts to take care of my dear wife in her time of need, but that would only be partially true... depending on who you ask.  rather, i am caught yet again with my pants on the ground searching for a new inadequate excuse for neglecting my faithful followers... if there are any left out there.

so, on that note of reconciliation, i will attempt to jump start this idle blog from the dead in effort to see if i can regain the hearts and minds of the zombie nation.  and in my triumphant return to the keyboard, i will hearken all the way back to the summer of 2010 and recreate mrs. blogmaster's first outing in public following the epstein bar diagnosis.  it just so happens that said outing occurred for the sole purpose of attending aim's 15 year high school reunion in provo, utah.

for starters, before you fill up the comments section of this post with all types of "15 years? you don't look old enough to have a 15 year reunion already" let me just say, you're right.... at least for me.  aim is actually 7 years older than i am.  just kidding.  yes, we are that old... actually, i'm older.  i'll be 35 in december.

back to the reunion.  i've never attended any of mine and, in general, i'm not a huge fan of them.  more on that some other time.  but, being the good spouse i am, i was willing to support aim in attending her own as the dutiful trophy husband i've become so accustomed to being.  apparently, this is important to her and i've learned to accept the fact that mrs. blogmaster basically married me for my frighteningly good looks and unusually large head.

at first, i was slightly offended when she would ask me to not talk around her friends as i felt that i was so much more than a simple piece of eye candy... albeit a delectable, if not succulent, hunk of a finely chiseled gourmet chocolate... you know, the european stuff and not that plasticky american crap; but, eventually the whole charade kind of wore down when we moved back to vegas as she knew it was pointless to carry on as before since everyone already knew me anyway.

but provo is a different story... all her friends there still fall for the ruse.  and if it's important to her, it's kind of important to me as long as i get something out of it and it's convenient.  such was the case here because i got a new pair of sunglasses.  problem is, all of the stores in provo quit selling sunglasses in june and start stocking their shelves with their fall and winter apparel in july.  apparently, the sun doesn't shine during the fall and winter in provo and sunglasses are unnecessary.  i had to go to three different stores before i could find a pair that i liked enough without paying a grip of cash and then aim didn't seem to think they passed muster when i modeled them for her.  it's rough trying to fulfill the ideal trophy husband image when your wife doesn't think the sunglasses are up to par... i was feeling self-conscious already.

once purchased, and not a moment too soon, off we went to the park during the day (i would never wear my sunglasses indoors or at night even though i like the song).  having become comfortable with the glasses, i was able to take on a completely different persona and, as a result, slid right into the trophy husband character aim needed right then.

and for those who don't quite get where i'm coming from, you need to understand that as far as i can tell aim was something of a big deal at her high school back in the day and, so, i guess her friends need to see that she married someone that appears to be as big of deal as she was back then.  enter me.

actually, she will never admit to this stuff and will actually be quite upset at me for typing any of it at all, but that's what she gets for making me be her trophy husband for all these years... besides she doesn't know the password to the blog to get on and delete this, so she'll just have to deal with it.  no way i can give her that information... she'd delete the majority of my best work.  that's just the way it is... one of the perks of being a trophy husband i guess.

what?  i won't even give my brother-in-law the password to his facebook account i set up and manage for him, no matter how uncomfortable it makes him.  he pretty much freaked out when i set it up for him and invited a bunch of people to be his friend since he seemed to think that essentially meant he was asking each of them to go steady with him.

at any rate, the reunion was a success.  i tore off my shirt five minutes after i got there and did ab points for hours to the absolute delight of her high school buddies and then finished up with chris farley's chippendales routine to round things out.  i feel like it reinforces our children's sense of security to see their dad doing these kinds of things for their mother, so, all in all, i'd have to say it was a quality family outing.  add to it that before the event had ended, at least 43% of aim's friends told her she'd married the exact kind of guy they thought she would.  i saw her smile and beam with pride even though she was pretty wiped out from the epstein bar stuff.  that made it all worth it for me.

i guess that's about it... and just in case the satire is lost on all y'all, aim demands no such thing of me and i did no such things while at the reunion (my abs aren't even fully visible unless i get an artistic spray tan).  this much is true: we did go to the reunion and an attendee did tell me he's a zombie, but that as i type up my blog posts i need to be more vigilant in stopping sooner than i do and backing away from the keyboard.  so, with great reluctance, i will now stop and back away from the keyboard.



iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog