Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No More Baby Talk

The most popular story on the New York Times Web site right now is a piece about how parents don't talk enough to their babies and toddlers.

The article also exhorts parents to stop using baby talk:
Avoid “baby” words and baby talk, which can confuse a child who is learning to talk. Teach your child the correct words and names for people, things, places and body parts, including “breast,” “penis” and “vagina.”


I fear that I've committed this crime myself with Elliot.

But that all stops now, people.

This morning when I changed his diaper, I was sure to use the correct terms:
"I'm changing your diaper because it appears to contain approximately 10 cubic centimeters of urine and trace amounts of fecal matter. Excuse me, sir, could you please keep your hands away from your genitalia during the procedure."


Unfortunately, he's STILL not talking!

The Rise of Asian Power?

In the 1960s and '70s, the Black Power movement used aggressive protests and guerrilla tactics to advance their agenda.

Today, an Asian Power movement appears to taking shape. And they've adopted their own strategy.

For instance, when we recently bought a new hard drive, this threatening note was included with it.





What will happen if we don't follow these orders...who can say? I'm not foolish enough to find out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where's The Volume Control?

Elliot has an iPod-themed onesie.



Maybe we can fast-forward through potty training.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Official Wine of BuboBlog

Kelly found this at the market: Bubo Pinot Grigio.



I hesitate to endorse it yet, since we haven't actually opened the bottle.

But I do think it's safe to make the following statement...


"Bubo Wine — More Delicious Than Icelandic Candy!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ahead Of His Time: Part Two

Elliot may have started the trend, but it's hard to beat this dancing baby — I mean, hand gestures!

Ahead Of His Time

Elliot was doing Beyonce-themed videos before it was cool.



Thursday, September 24, 2009

Correction

It's been brought to my attention that Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. did not in fact make a baby in "Enemy Mine."

Louis Gossett Jr.'s character reproduced through asexual reproduction. BuboBlog regrets the error.



Also, Simon & Simon were not brothers in real life, but only on television.



UPDATE: Wait, what's that you say?

Any mention of "asexual" requires me to bring out the QT-BAGL mascot?



In that case, this was all worth it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'You Piece of Drac Slime'



Elliot has subversive pajamas that appear to promote the idea of alien friendship.



There's a space mission that starts out hostile...



...before a truce is forged.



I liked this plotline better the first time, when it involved Dennis Quaid having a baby with Louis Gossett Jr.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wishful Thinking

An ambitious housecleaning service left a bunch of their fliers all over this abandoned building on Folsom Street.



I'm not sure dusting is this place's top priority right now.



Fun fact: In 2003, the building (935 Folsom) was raided by the Justice Department for being an illegal sweatshop.



Last year there was talk of it becoming a condo building, but I wonder if the economy has derailed that plan.

With unemployment at 12.2 percent in California, maybe we should bring back the sweatshop?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Leather or Leathers?

I should probably know this — since we live off of Folsom Street — but is there a difference between saying you sell "leather" and "leathers"?

This is the sign at the EagleRider, a couple blocks from our place:


Can I admit to having a tinge of disappointment at learning they didn't mean fruit leathers?



[Any puns inferred from the phrase "fruit leathers" are unintended. -ed.]

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Moscone Conference Uses Hard Words

This week you'll probably be hearing a lot visitors to the city saying, "Yo, I'm at TCT2009, beeyotches."

We were passing the Moscone Center tonight and learned what that means.





I so want to party with these guys.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Missed Opportunity

You may have seen this clip of a news broadcast in New York. The guy inexplicably appears to say, "Keep f***ing that chicken."



What disturbs me most is it was a perfect opportunity to say, "Keep Monday-to-Fridaying that chicken." Or "Keep monkey-fighting that chicken."

I am deeply upset that these epithets have yet to take off.

That Ain't Right

I know AOL has been going through some hard times, but it looks like they're not researching things as carefully as they once did. This is from their home page:


I don't remember "The Cosby Show" that well anymore, but I'm pretty sure the eldest daughter wasn't played by a blonde South African.

(In the apartheid-era 1980s, that would have been especially weird.)

To set the record straight, Sondra Huxtable was played by this lady. And Charlize Theron refuses to marry until gays are granted the right.

UPDATE: While I'm correcting things, I'd like to point out the Pelle Carlberg song "1983." It has a lyric about Cosby being on TV. But the show didn't debut until 1984.

In Mr. Carlberg's defense, he's Swedish.

Just Wonderin': Part Two

(For part one of the series, click here.)

JUST WONDERIN': The local NPR affiliate is having its pledge drive. If you decline the free gifts, they donate the equivalent value to the local food bank. I'm all for food banks, but shouldn't they just donate the money to, I dunno, THEMSELVES? If you donate money to UNICEF, they don't offer to give free gifts to the Sierra Club.

JUST WONDERIN': There's a company called McGraw-Hill. And there's a country-music power couple called Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Has anyone noticed this? Odd.



JUST WONDERIN': Did you know the Italian alphabet only has 21 letters? Does this make it easier for Italian children to complete the alphabet game on long car rides?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

R.I.P. Froggie the Toad

When I was young (this was back in the 1980s), I asked for chameleons for my birthday.

We went to the petstore in Santa Cruz and picked out two chameleons, along with a terrarium for them to play in. As an afterthought, I also got a small frog (he stood out because of his brilliant red belly, and I thought he might be a nice addition to the ecosystem).



I was told to feed meal worms to the chameleons and tubifex worms to the frog (which turned out to be a toad — but I didn't find that out until at least 15 years later). Let me tell you, handling meal worms was pretty gross, but the tubifex (also known as sludge worms) were downright disgusting.

I would have to keep them in a bag in the refrigerator and pinch out a few of the wrigglers each time the toad needed feeding. A certain number of them would be dead, so the bag always had a putrid odor.



As it turned out, the toad (named Froggie) thought the tubifex worms were pretty disgusting too. He decided to eat the meal worms instead.

I didn't realize what was happening until it was too late, but the chameleons starved to death within a few months. (The poor things were desiccated husks when I pulled their bodies from the terrarium.)

Meanwhile, Froggie was thriving. I decided that since he would apparently eat anything, we would just start feeding him crickets (they were easier to obtain, and less disgusting).

When I went to high school, Froggie was still living it up all by himself in the terranium. He actually managed to escape a couple times, but he would collect so much dust as he moved through the house, it was easy to track down the hopping dustball and put him back.

When I went off to college, I entrusted Froggie's care to my parents. They continued to go to the petstore every week or so and purchase approximately 50 cents worth of crickets (clearly, this is a very lucrative recurring revenue stream for the pet-supply industry). Sometimes, my mom would feed him crickets from her garden as well.

When I graduated college and moved back home, Froggie was still there. When I moved up to San Francisco, I again left him in my parents' care. That was about 13 years ago.

Today I learned that Froggie the Toad has died. My parents came back from vacation to find him dead — surrounded by crickets, so it wasn't for lack of food. I can only assume the cause of death was being incredibly old. (I won't go into the existential crisis that the crickets must be having right now.)

No one quite remembers when we got Froggie, or how old he was exactly, but he was well into his 20s. You could say this is a warning to petstore shoppers about making last-minute add-ons to their purchases. But Froggie has brought us untold amounts of wonder and joy over his improbably long lifespan. So maybe it's a story about serendipity.



We will miss you, Froggie.

Is It Candy or Medicine?

When I was little, I liked to pick out white Smarties, which I would carefully place inside the aspirin container in the refrigerator. (Why did we keep aspirin in the refrigerator? In retrospect, that was odd.)

I guess I hoped to "punk" my parents by having them accidentally eat a Smartie instead of an aspirin. I seem to recall doing this several times, but I don't actually remember anyone falling for it — or telling me about it, at least.

This is one of those stories where Kelly usually responds, "Your childhood makes me sad."

Anyway, I came across this chart online that helps kids tell the difference between candy and medicine. So apparently the opportunity to make this mistake/prank is greater than ever.



According to the chart, Smarties are most easily confused for Tegretol...whatever that is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Statistically Speaking, I Care About Society

You may have seen the recent college-ranking issue from Washington Monthly. Unlike U.S. News and others, it rates schools based on the value they provide to society: "In our eyes, America’s best colleges are those that...emphasize the obligations students have to serve their communities and the nation at large."

So instead of measuring if a school is "good," they look at whether it does good. Get it?

Anyway, from the looks of the list, I must be HELLA contributing to society.

Haverford is ranked fifth in the small-college category.


And Berkeley (where I went to grad school) is No. 1 among universities.


In other words, I'm the most conscientious person you know. (Unless you know someone who went to Amherst and Berkeley. If so, please tell them that they're trying a little too hard. It's embarrassing.)

You should know that I take the responsibility of my credentials very seriously.

Just this morning, I had the opportunity to set a homeless man on fire. But did I? No. I care too much.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Parenting Year One: Lessons Learned

With a full year of parenting under my belt, I thought I would share some of the surprises I've encountered.

These are things that you won't read in any baby book (actually, since I didn't really read any baby books, I'm not sure about that. But, well...they were surprises to me!).

Before I Was a Dad, I Didn't Know:
1. That babies don't cry over dirty diapers (ours doesn't, at least). The only thing forcing you to change the diaper is your conscience...or sense of smell.

2. That our brand-new crib would look like this after Elliot starting teething (apparently you're supposed to protect it with a plastic cover).


3. That doing Elliot imitations with Kelly would provide hours of hilarity (she does a much better Elliot than I do).

4. That we would spend the first two months desperately trying to get him to acknowledge us...and then spend the last two months having him cry whenever we leave the room.

5. That babies could be so ingenious — but only in pursuit of things that are dangerous, fragile or messy. (I'm pretty sure Elliot could build a rocket to the moon if he heard there was a pile of uncapped pens there.)

6. How much of a blanket fits inside a baby's mouth.

7. That infant clothes have an absurd amount of pockets (which Elliot has never used once).

8. That he would so often prefer adult objects to baby toys.

9. That babies are seemingly indestructible (and the smaller they are, the more impervious to injury).

10. That our son would go from a 6-pound burrito to a little boy in a matter of months.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Talk About Time Travel: Part Two

Remember my post about Sarah Jessica Parker playing younger women on-screen? Well, now there's word that the new "Sex and the City" movie may contain a 1980s flashback sequence — in which the women play younger versions of themselves.



In all seriousness, are they going to hire the special-effects team from "Benjamin Button"? That's the only conceivable way this idea could work.

Unclear on the Concept

Apparently the California Highway Patrol doesn't know what the term "frequently asked questions" means.



This is the third question listed on the site:
I have a car that has three lap belts in the back seat. The front seat has lap and shoulder belts. I have three children. The oldest is 5, weighs 45 pounds and rides in a booster seat; the second is 2, weighs 30 pounds and rides in a forward facing car seat with a 5-point harness; the third is 2 weeks old, weighs 9 pounds and rides in a rear-facing infant seat. How do I safely secure them?


Wow, I wonder how many people have asked that?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Juice Is Not Loose

I'm confused. Are we still making double-entendres about O.J. Simpson?

How else do you explain this AM-PM mini-mart promotion?



In fairness, O.J. is back in jail these days. So the message remains relevant.

But couldn't marketers focus on more popular celebrity inmates?

To help, I worked up this promotion for Office Depot.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Still a Freak

Elliot had his one-year doctor's checkup. He's now in the 95th percentile for height but just the 50th percentile for weight.

In our household, that makes him Manute Bol.



The doctor said it's too early to tell if Elliot will end up being tall when he grows up. But the doctor seemed a little too eager to say that Elliot would surely be taller than me. (Jerk.)

To prepare, I'm practicing saying to Elliot, "You think you can take your old man?!"

(Also: "You think you're better than your old man 'cause you learned to read?!" That one will surely come in handy at some point.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Costco Saves Money on Baby Models

You have to respect Costco's ever-vigilant focus on cutting costs and passing on the savings to customers.

Apparently this even applies to the use of models for its Kirkland-brand Baby Wipes. As you can see here:


I mean, no offense to the baby, but is this really the best they could do? Was there a broad casting call for models for the Baby Wipes package, or was this just somebody's niece?

Compare it with the babies used by Huggies and Luvs. Cute!



Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Blueberry Monster

Elliot's first birthday coincided with his introduction to sugar — with very messy results.



We celebrated at the Jordan Pond House in Maine, where they served him a blueberry cobbler with blueberry ice cream.





After a while, it looked like a scene from an Eli Roth film.



Afterwards, we stripped him to his diaper and hosed him down in the bathroom.

May this be the last birthday that ends that way, Elliot.

'I Feel Good'

Elliot is delighted with the "Feel Good" button.

Others, less so.

Worst Alarm Clock Ever

It's hard to sleep late on vacation when this thing is in your room.



Every morning between 6 and 7 a.m., Elliot would pop his head up out of the Pack 'N Play — gopher style — and start making noises.

We would try to lie very still in bed, hoping he wouldn't see us.

It didn't work.

Usually he would begin slapping any nearby surface in an effort to rouse us.



I'm glad to be back home, where he's not sleeping in the same room. It's a lot easier to pretend like I don't hear him.