Exciting news!  I’ve finally got a partner for The Amazing Race.  It’s none other than my old former Transporter nemesis and current rival blogger Tara Yelland (http://tarayelland.wordpress.com/ – Check out today’s entry for her most shocking grocery line confrontation yet.  You won’t believe the last five minutes!).  Earlier today, she sent me an email cryptically titled “So?”.  Normally, I redirect her missives to my spam folder but this one intrigued enough for me to check it out.  The message: “Should we team up for amazing race? “.  I told her of course.  We both have complimentary skill sets to bring to the table. She could handle all the navigating, manual driving, puzzles, and heights while I handled all the eating challenges.

Now that I have a partner, Step #1 of my dream to compete in The Amazing Race is complete.  Step #2 is a little trickier and involves one of you guys adopting Tara and me since we, as non-American citizens, aren’t technically allowed to compete on the show.  Kindly post your reasons for why you think you would be a good parent to Tara and me. We will consider all candidates and make a decision and official announcement before Christmas.

Did High Tea today with my friend and former Stargate publicist Kim Cowan.  I hadn’t really planned on doing High Tea but we met up too late for lunch so I had to settle for tiny sandwiches and desserts fit for an elderly Lilliuptian socialite.

The ideal lunch portions for diners with tiny little hands. Please ignore the patron seemingly being sick in the background.

Continuing my perusal of almost every ongoing comic book series out there…


Back when I was first reading comic books, I collected both the Avengers and X-Men.  Today, there are so many variations of both teams that it’s difficult to keep up with all the titles and the various roster moves.  The Secret Avengers are made up of Black Widow, the Beast, Moon Knight, Sharon Carter, War Machine, Valkyrie, and Shang-Chi under the command of Steve Rogers (formerly Captain America). Their mission: “Locate hidden high-level threats to population safety. End threat by any means necessary.  Get out without being identified.” Each of the issues I read was a self-contained story and while, on the one hand, they were very clever and offered the satisfaction of a beginning, middle, and end, on the other hand, it felt like they wrapped up a little too quickly and conveniently at times.  22 pages doesn’t offer a lot of space to deliver a complete tale yet Warren Ellis avails himself nicely.  Still, the necessity to focus on story doesn’t leave much room for character development and ongoing arcs, and these were elements I missed.

Verdict: Well-written but, ultimately, the standalone nature of the stories makes it a tough series to get into.  The line-up raises a couple of questions as well: Is Beast splitting his time between the Secret Avengers and one of the numerous X-Men off-shoots?  And what’s with Moon Knight?  I was never a fan of the character because he always felt like a light-weight Batman but suddenly he’s psychotic?  I recall that his secret identity was Marc Spector and, in fact, at one point somebody calls him “Marc”  – and yet in issue #19, he’s Steven Grant. What gives?  Finally, I have to make mention of those two gorgeous covers by John Cassady and Paul Mounts.  Beautiful.


Barbara Gordon is wearing the cape once again.  And walking!  What the what?  I’m a big fan of Gail Simone’s work (especially her run on Secret Six), so I’m interested to see where she takes the character. The villain, Mirror, struck me as conspicuously old school and felt a little out of place in an otherwise sharp narrative.

Verdict: Looking forward to seeing what Gail Simone does with the character.  On we go…


Tales from WWII featuring Bucky, Captain America’s sidekick.  I’m a huge fan of Brubaker’s work but didn’t love these Bucky stories.  He does a nice job of capturing that old-timey comic feel but, at times, it all feels a little hokey.  Coincidence and convenience seems to be the linchpin of our hero’s successes and, after a while, it really stretches credulity.

Verdict: I’d probably move on if not for the fact that the title changes direction next issue with a new creative team and arc.  A fresh start. It’ll have another three issues to win me over.


Hmmm.  In past installments, I’ve voiced my concerns about Green Lantern’s potential for silliness.  The two previous titles I read, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, surprised me by eschewing the sillier elements in favor of darker, more mature narratives.  New Guardians, however, is the flip side of the coin.  It’s over the top and, at times, clearly feels like its geared toward a much younger audience.

Verdict: Two for three for the GL titles.  Pass.

X-FACTOR #223-237

X-Factor was one of the last titles I followed before life got in the way of comic book reading.  I very much enjoyed Peter David’s writing, the detective agency backdrop, and our oft-put upon protagonist, Jamie Madrox.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find the other characters quite as engaging.  At times, Rictor and Shatterstar feel like they’d be better suited to 90’s title.

Verdict: A good book but, unfortunately, most of the characters don’t appeal.


Outside of Alan Moore’s take on the character, I’m not that familiar with Swamp Thing so I was all sorts of curious to check out this updated version, especially given that Scott Snyder is at the writing reins.  The three issues do a nice job of laying out the backstory while still advancing an interesting narrative.  Surprisingly dark and downright creepy at times.  While not exactly hooked, I am intrigued.

Verdict: Pretty good.  I’m on board for now.

39 thoughts on “November 28, 2011: I’ve finally got my Amazing Race partner! High Tea! Thoughts on comics!

  1. Sorry about the snow monkeys.

    @Deni: Is your daughter in the blue or the black? I’m thinking the black because she was kicking ass.

    Patrick’s only means of communication broke tonight. We were able to get to the Apple store at 7:50 tech consult time. He decided we needed a new one. I assumed they would transfer the data if it was possible (not completely dead). The guy shook it and it apparently came on, but gave us a new one (old IPad, not IPad2). We then realized that we were backing up Patrick’s communication program (the icons we programmed so he could talk to the universe) in the IPad, but didn’t realize it needed to be backed up as a file share in my computer. UGH. I have to be at Patrick’s school at 9:00 for an appointment regarding the gala (first chairperson’s meeting–gotta be there). At 10 the Apple store opens at which time I’ll see if they still actually have the IPad there. If so, hopefully meeting will be over. Forty-five minutes to mall, give him new IPad, pick up old IPad (we’re probably now at 11:00-ish depending on how fast I walk into the mall, into the store, etc.). 11:15 hopefully in car, home, shake the IPad until the screen comes up, hold really still, with my other hand, click the file share area, back up the file on my hard drive. The shaking is what is going to be the iffy part. IF, and this is a big IF, I can get home by 11:30, it magically works the first time I shake it, I get out of my house at 11:45, back to the mall by 12:00, in the store by 12:10, back out to the mall by 12:30 (depending on how many people are in there and how fast I can swap them back out), then I drive like a madhatter down to the medical center in Houston for a endocrinology followup appointment at 1:30. Hopefully she is on time. I have to leave out of there regardless of where we are appointment wise at 2:45 to get back here by 3:45 so I can get Patrick bus from 3:55-4:15. I then watch him for 1 hour or 1 hour 15 minutes, then Jeff comes on and then it’s time to go to work. Did I mention I only slept 2 hours last night and my schedule today was as crammed as this?

    He was SO frustrated tonight not having it. I cannot imagine how school will manage tomorrow without one for the entire day.

    Note to Santa: I need a backup IPad please.

    If it was just because he liked his IPad I would NEVER do anything like this. But since it is his only means of communication, it’s my duty as a parent to make sure he can, right? So this entry, combined with my one below will put me in the running for your adoptive parents.

  2. Never having SEEN the Amazing Race, I don’t know which of my qualifications will stand out for you. You very well know my past 7-year battle with our school district for Patrick’s right to be educated. I used every arsenal in my bag: Kindness and cooperation and when that didn’t work, more admant, and when that didn’t work resorted to tactics beneath me to get the job done.

    I have a pool where you can do laps to build up your stamina. And it’s heated. And Houston tends to have pretty good weather, except for tonight when it’s going to be close to freezing and I discovered someone stole my coat (I left it somewhere in public and I called every place where I was from Tuesday to Wednesday night–it was a nice coat–hope that person needed it!) I have no backup (again, what is the pattern of not having backups! Oh wait, I lost a lot of weight and have had to buy a whole new wardrobe so I only have 1 coat for right now).

    I live in The Woodlands, which was once voted by Forbes magazine in 2008 as one of the best places to live:

    It’s now almost at 100,000 people, but it has that small-community feel. We recently hosted the an Ironman triathlon, many winners of which are going to Hawaii. Our community generously supported it, lining up along the route to cheer them on! http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7540255

    Here is another place where you could discover about where I live. It is the ideal place to train: http://www.thewoodlands.com/

    We are proud to say that Laura Wilkinson, Olympic gold medalist diver, is a resident of The Woodlands. So is Torrie Wilson, retired professional wrestler, the person who was with Lou Diamond Phillips towards the end of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! So are many athletes.

    I basically wait on my child(ren) and the center of my universe revolves around him (or you both). All my needs become secondary.

    All your animals would be welcome and taken care of. You would find out what it is like to live with a golden retriever. Patrick would teach you a new language and hone your skills in nonverbal communication. He would also try your patience level, making you even better competitors. I’m a pretty consistent disciplinarian and if you threw a fit in this house, you would be completely ignored. It would not phase me in the least. Even getting in my face to get my attention would not work.

    We are short on rooms here, however, so you would live on air mattresses in the livingroom. Jeff is up at 4 a.m. I’m going to sleep at 4 a.m. (or never) so it would help test your ability to either go to sleep under extreme conditions or test your ability on how long you can hold out without sleep.

    And if you get injured during your training, we have top-notch medical facilities here (I would recommend travel insurance). I even have a well (a deep, dark well) of doctors from every medical field imaginable that I’ve already tested out for you, as a mother would.

    As far as Jeff, he’d love it. He’s always wanted more children. But a forewarning: Once you meet Patrick, he will crawl inside your heart forever. Me: I’ll just give you a headache. Jeff will make you play Call of Duty co-op with him. Tara and I can go shopping, just like a mother and daughter would.

    If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. Thank you in advance for your consideration in allowing me to adopt you both.

  3. I think it’s time to lobby the producers of “The Amazing Race”, as well as the network showing it in Canada, for an all-Canadian season. Most of the GOOD current series, IMHO, are Canadian-made; “Sanctuary”, “Once Upon a Time”, “Falling Skies”, “Hell on Wheels”, “Castle”…wait, sorry, that’s a Canadian-made lead actor.

    Joe & all, who has the bluest eyes? JR Bourne, Nathan Fillion, or Brent Spiner?

  4. If PBMom adopts you, then there WILL be a road trip to San Antonio. Patrick & family can enjoy Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement park designed with differently-abled folks in mind. Joe & Tara can train in critical thinking, weightlifting and relay skills by helping me de-clutter my house.

    1. @Gilder: Love this idea. We’ll make them bike-ride it all the way to San Antonio while I follow in the car, ever watchful that I don’t run them over. Is the Amazing Race partly endurance?

      Then, we can do a road-trip up to Dallas where I know several blog followers are located (in or around).

  5. Caution: major long-windedness ahead!

    @ Deni – Watched the video! Thanks, that was fun! Now…what’s that called again? Brazilian… jiu jitsu? Huh. That sure isn’t what me and Mr. Das call it… 😉

    Also got your other video – lol! Joecito! 😀 (And no, Joey, it’s not a video of you…just your 1970s Cuban alter-ego. 🙂 )

    Ball’s in your court, Deni! 😈

    @ Zed of Earth and Debra – Back when I got married, Mr. Das was into comic books. He liked Superman, Batman, the Hulk, Silver Surfer…and I told him that the books were infantile, stupid, and overly violent. Also, way too many boobs. 🙄 I never bothered to look at one, to read and see what he saw in them. It just wasn’t my thing. I wasn’t an avid reader, but when I did pick up a book it was a nice, cozy British murder mystery, with Agatha Christie leading the pack.

    Now, over the years I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. Nothing I’ve had to take meds for, it’s just something I live – and deal – with. No worries – nothing to fuss over. However, fast forward to December of 2001, and the sudden death of a very dear friend. It was the last straw after a whole year of miserable straws and it finally broke me. Something happened the night I got the news, it was like my brain shut down and no longer wanted to accept new information. It literally felt like a steel curtain came down between my eyes, and my brain, and anything I tried to take in just bounced off. I could write, and I could understand what I wrote, but if I tried to read a magazine, a book, the caption under a picture – anything – my brain just could not absorb what I was reading, no matter how many times I read it. I told no one what was happening, and basically got through life by winging it. From December 2001 until May 2006 I barely read a thing more than a few sentences long, and though I was able to keep up with discussion forums, I must admit to writing more than I actually read.

    Now, I did try to read over those years. I managed to struggle through Peter Pan (it took me three months), and though I started both Treasure Island and The Epic of Gilgamesh, I never was able to finish them. Then, in 2006, we were at a friend’s house and someone wanted to watch the X-Men movies (to get ready for the third one coming out in May). I reluctantly agreed. I had NO interest in this movie with some Freddy Krueger guy with a bad hairdo running around. 🙄 Well, I watched the movie, and much to my surprise I discovered that the Freddy Krueger guy – a.k.a. Wolverine – was a pretty complicated guy, and I needed to know more about him. So, I bought a comic book. And then, I bought another…and another. For the first time in a little over 4 years, I was reading a story again. An entire story, even stories.

    The beauty about a comic book/graphic novel is that the pictures tell one part of the story, and the words another. The combination of the two held my attention, got me involved, and helped me maintain that focus until I completed the book. So, for about 3 years I read comic books, some good, some bad, but all helping me to relearn how to read, retain what I read, and – most important of all – to really enjoy a story in the process. Then, if I recall correctly, on or about the beginning of 2009 someone around these parts ( 😉 ) suggested I look into novels about a certain pallid doomed lord with a soul-stealing sword, and I did. I gobbled up book after book, and before I knew it, I was really reading again! It took 7 entire years but I was finally back into books, and I’ve read so much since – more than I ever did before.

    So, don’t poo-poo all comics. If you know anyone who can’t finish a book or who hates to read because it takes too long, a comic book can be the gateway ‘drug’ to novels. And there are many good comics/graphic novels out there (though I am finding the amount of horror-based comics a bit disturbing). Not all are superhero books. For instance, Marvel has produced many classics in comic book format, including Pride and Prejudice, which I own: http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudice-Marvel-Illustrated-Butler/dp/078513915X . Maybe you know a young girl who might enjoy the story, but is overwhelmed by the wordiness of the actual book. Give her the comic and if she loves it, it just might encourage her to read the source material.

    Many of my favorite stories aren’t superhero books. Sweets, by Kody Chamberlain (writer and artist), is a detective murder mystery that takes place in The Big Easy, and is one of the best examples I’ve ever seen of art perfectly fitting the atmosphere of the story. Yes – sometimes the art just doesn’t work with a story, but when it does…hoo boy, it DOES. 🙂 I’ve enjoyed graphic adaptations of Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane, Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and Eastwood’s ‘Man with No Name’. There are also some original graphic novels (never published in monthly comic book format, but directly to ‘book’ format) that shouldn’t be ignored, such as Petrograd, a fictionalized, yet historically accurate, account of the assassination of Grigori Rasputin: http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Reviews-Essays/Petrograd/ba-p/6211.

    And then there’s Craig Thompson’s Habibi, a book I have not yet read but have on order, and have heard nothing but good about: http://www.habibibook.com/about/

    So, there are many ‘comic book’ stories out there that have nothing to do with superheroes. Romance, historical fiction, the classics…you can find it all. Sure, the superhero and horror genres may be flooding the market, but if you look hard enough, you just might find something that tickles your fancy, and, hopefully, captures your imagination.

    @ Zed of Earth – RE: Old movies. Yes, I do enjoy the murder mysteries! I like some comedies (Hope/Crosby Road movies, anything funny with Cary Grant, and Abbott and Costello, to name a few), and dramas, and the occasional musical, but murder mysteries (from the light Thin Man flicks to the dark noir films), and Hitchcockian suspense are my favorites. Most of the movies that I own fall under the latter two categories (along with the Grant comedies). I also love British murder mysteries, like Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, Cadfael, and Midsomer Murders. But the love of my life? The cream of the crop? The detective who beats them all, hands down? My beloved Columbo…O how I miss him!

    @ Joecito – Nitey, nites…or good morning. I won’t hold it against you this time because I have taken waaaaaay to long to type all of this. Thanks for letting me ramble, as always, I do appreciate it.

    That said, I better not show up in one of your novels. 😉



  6. Joe (aka future son), I offer up an alternative: Australia, the southern hemisphere Canada. The *other* place Hollywood goes when they want to save some money by shooting outside of the U.S. Here in Australia we have our own Amazing Race that would probably be easier to get into. As for me adopting you, I’m very dog friendly. I figure it would be mutually beneficial as there are things we could learn from each other: You could teach me to cook, and I could show you, well, I’m sure I’ll figure something out, son. Also I’m 21, I’d be the most laid back parent you could have…

  7. @PBMom
    Your talk of ‘file share’ and ‘Ipad’ is strange to me…But it sounds like you’re having a difficult, frustrating time, I hope everything works out for you and gets easier soon. Best wishes. 🙂

  8. @Gilder
    Who has the bluest eyes? Hmmm…Would need to carry out extensive testing on subjects. Further data required – greater pool of test subjects – add David Hewlett and Paul McGillion to testing pool – also add David Nykl as imperative to progress of science to determine if subject’s eyes are blue or green. 😉

    ‘(edited to delete awkward body painting remark).’

    *raises eyebrow*

    I love how Boxers bounce! Elway’s v. cute – looking forward to seeing vid of The Amazing Self-Cleaning Dog. And congrats on your daughter – you must be so proud! 😀

    Glad you liked the vid! I’m a sucker for cute animal vids, espesh ones where they exhibit behaviour convention says they don’t. ‘Fighting like cats & dogs’? ‘Snuggling like cats & dogs’, more like! The dog in the vid is one laid-back pup: there’s also footage of him asleep with the cat & bunny sat on him – when he wakes up, he’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m a cushion, so?’ 🙂

    Alas, I fear I will never get into comics – they’re expensive to purchase here, & not readily available at libraries, so even if I wanted to get into them, I couldn’t really. If someone gave me a bunch, though, I’d read them. I’ll read pretty much anything, me. 🙂

    Cleaning = bringing order to chaos = soothing 😉 I just find it more soothing to think about than to actually do. 😀 Also, the Hoover is out to get me…

    ‘my cousin who went as far as polishing the copper plumbing pipes in the basement…’

    @Mr. M
    Nice pic of Kim Cowan – what a lovely smile! The cakes are cute – small but perfectly formed. 😉

    Max still doing well, I hope? What a trouper that pup is!
    How is The Saga of Akemi’s Paperwork going?
    Stargate reunion – update?

    Best wishes to all having troubles. 🙂

  9. Why I would make a good parent to Tara and Joe:

    Central location – I’m smack dab in the middle of NJ between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Also 2 hours from NYC. Can you say FOOD?!

    Accommodations – I have a pretty good sized sectional couch. Plenty of room for you, Tara and my dog Brandi.

    It’s FREE! (almost) – We would of course expect you and Tara to pitch in around the house. How are you at concrete repair and sewer snaking? Not so much? That’s OK. We always have “the Google”. Oh, and I do need my basement cleaned out. But don’t fret. I’ll supply the trash bags and dumpster.

    Wharton State Forest – I live at the border of the largest state forest in NJ. Not only that, it’s also one of the most popular dumping sites for the Mafia. Nothing says “fun” like randomly occurring pungent smells in the backyard.

    I know it’s enticing! Give me plenty of notice though. I have to make a few trips to Wharton before I can accommodate more guests.

    1. @JimfromJersey: False advertising! 😉
      Jim said:
      Central location – I’m smack dab in the middle of NJ between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Also 2 hours from NYC.

      Sorry, Jim, but I grew up in Hunterdon County. Anything south of I-195 (East–West from “Trent’un” to “Belmahr”) is SOUTH Jersey. Burlington & Ocean Counties are probably good for flat training, but you’d have to take J&T up to the Sourland Mountains for hill & valley runs.

      I could contact the current owner of our farm and arrange horseback lessons. City boy Joe isn’t allergic to or phobic about equines. *sarcastically* RIIGHT.

      Oh, and if th “Falling Skies” aliens should invade? Sadly, you’d be toast, since you’re located within 100 miles of NYC, PHL and Joint Base Dix /Lakehurst /McGuire. For that matter, so would I, thanks to Joint Base San Antonio. (*shrug* So sue me, I’m into FS now.)

  10. I think PBMom has it hands down. Das might be a good one too if she’s interested.

    Hope you have a great day!!!!

  11. I vote for PBMom, and I can be the crazy auntie (on most places online, I go by Anti M = Auntie Em = Aunt Margaret). And no, I’m not in Kansas, now or then or anymore. I got out of Dodge, literally (stuck there on a road trip once, eep).

  12. Hmmm…parenting application.

    I practice positive discipline so ya’ll won’t have to worry about being put in time-out unless you just really need the time to chill out.

    You can watch all the TV you want (if you can fix or buy a TV).

    There’ll be an age gap with your siblings so I hope you really, really like doing Christmas crafts. Help us out and don’t tell them the elves that do mischief at night are plain old dolls. Unless you have convictions that prevent you from lying to kids – I’d respect that.

    I don’t know many families with kids at home your ages so you’ll be in charge of arranging your own play dates.

    I won’t make you go to school. I’ll just be supportive of reasonable pursuits and provide you with resources if I can.

    Bad news for Tara – she’ll be sharing a room with a bed-wetter. On the up side, I bet she can convince a 4 year old girl to sleep elsewhere.

    All guns must be locked away or secured on your person while you’re at home. I hate to be a tyrant about it, but it’s a non-negotiable until the younger kids get more impulse control.

    I’ve just seen glimpses of this Amazing Race show. Is it dangerous?


    Ha. I just read Tara’s blog some more. I guess I already know how she feels about Christmas crafts and guns. How come I’ve been reading Joe’s blog this long and I haven’t learned that much about him?

    Oh, and the rule about guns applies to crossbow bolts, too, and stays in effect until the younger kids AND Tara get more impulse control.

  13. N/m about the TV. We have one now. My mother-in-law just tricked my husband into taking her shopping for “Christmas lights” and she sent him back with a TV. She’s pressuring us to be normal.

  14. PBmom: I hope you get the ipad up and running. Is there any way to make a mirror image backup like they do in pc’s? It won’t help now but if it happens again, then you will be covered. Poor Patrick! I’ve had laryngitis before and not being able to communicate is frustrating. I know his experience is much worse than that!
    The weather is so weird this month. Saturday it was 78F here and last night it snowed.

    Deni: She is awesome! I’ve watched BJJ on TV before. I am fascinated by other styles.
    The video of Elway wiping his feet would be fun too. I could show it to my son, hubby and cats. Maybe they would learn something. Hmmm, probably not but you never know.

    Mr. M.: you guys could stay here. You would have to share a room. Tara is cute, so you probably wouldn’t mind that too much. (Although, Akemi might not like it.) Plus, how do the dogs feel about rooming with three cats? Only one of the cats is pyscho but she is on meds now.
    I got a big kick out of your post today. Covering the food challenges? You would definitely kick butt with that category!
    It reminds me: Hubby wanted me to go with him to the office party until he looked at the menu. One of the courses is “Buffalo steak with a foie gras butter”. Hubby doesn’t eat ANYTHING unusual. He is a big meat eater, so he could probably love it. If you move in, you could go to the office X-mas party with my hubby and eat both steak entrees!

  15. Always liked Swamp Thing, even the television series (which I went so far as to purchase for streaming). Maybe it’s the swamp connection, since I hail from the swampy Louisiana…

  16. I would totally adopt you guys except that I’m also from Canada, so no benefit there I guess. I too have always thought it would be great to be on TAR. I’ve watched it from Season 1, but I have to say the last couple of seasons are getting a bit, well, boring. And the hour long FORD! advertisement that was the last episode on Sunday was just annoying. Now, the latest rumour is that the next season is going to include Brendon and Rachel from Big Brother seasons 12&13. Great – take the two most annoying people ever and put them on (what was) my favourite reality show. Thanks, CBS!

    I remember reading Swamp Thing when I was a kid! I was going through that whole transitional phase where I was CLEARLY too old for stuff like the Disney comics, but still liked comics in general. So, I went to titles like Swamp Thing, and some of the other “horror” comics. Yikes, that was a long time ago.

  17. @ Joecito – My vote is for JimFromJersey, too. Not only is he smack dab in the middle between Philly and AC, he’s only a stone’s throw from…ME! Woo! 😀 I would adopt you, too…buuuuut…I only have one bathroom (and we ALL know who would be in there all the time, don’t we, Mr. Manscape?). 😉 However, I would be willing to babysit you two for Jim once in a while. You could come to my house, help me clean the windows, rake the leaves, clean out the shed (spiders! eek!), empty the litter pan, and – oh, yeah…detail my car. Then, when you’re done all of that, I’d let you show off your culinary skills by cooking a 7-course meal for hubby and me, and all my relatives. And a few friends…maybe a neighbor, or two…and the creepy guy down the street. How’s that sound? 🙂

    @ Zed of Earth – My copper pipe-polishing cousin was South Philly Italian. I think it’s something in their blood. Every one I know – both in the family and out – are meticulously clean, at least the old school ones. Plastic covers on the chairs, plastic runners on the carpet – that sort of thing. Not sure about the younger generation. The gal who cleaned the oven while in labor is also a South Philly Italian. She also washes ketchup, mustard, etc. lids and bottles after each use before putting them back in the fridge. That sort of attention to detail would drive me nuts.


  18. I dare you guys to apply to the Amazing Race anyways. You have until midnight tommorow. Since when has a few lame rules stopped you from doing anything? I say laugh in the face of the CBS Amazing Race Frequently Asked Questions and apply anyway.

    Reality shows aren’t paragons of the truth. Rules are to reality shows as marriages are to a Kardashian.

    You do have work-ish statuses with the US companies, and you feel free to use my address as your supposed US address; it’ll be like how Andrea Zuckerman used her grandma’s address in order to go to Beverly Hills High.

    When I saw those lady doctors forcing down the roasted goat heads I thought now that is a task Joe would excel at.

  19. @PBMom: Hey! I was just in the Woodlands for a family wedding! My brother and his family live there. It was lovely.

    @Joe: Since you obviously don’t need a place to stay, I’ll focus on the other benefits of being adopted by me: I love to travel and almost always take my kids along with me. I live near Chicago, which is a great place to visit (especially since we are not having the Olympics here next summer). I’m a pretty darn good cook and love to share my kitchen with guests.

    Ummm. I’m afraid that’s about it. Can’t offer training facilities unless you count the fitness center where I work out.

    @das: 😉 back atcha.

    1. @Sparrow_Hawk: OMG. So, so close! Next time you are down here we MUST get together. Email me: HildaBowen@comcast.net

      I just got to meet Avabird and her family a week or so ago. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and wished we had more hours to chat with them. The time flew by too quickly.

  20. Hello Joe,

    Just told Tara that I should sponsor you both so I cold dogsit Jelly and the rest of the Pups.

    (Accidentally replied to the wrong blog)

    Have a Geat evening,


  21. Good news! Apple told me they had already shipped out the product, but when I got home and I set up the IPad after my volunteer stuff at Patrick’s school today, just like 10 minutes ago, I went into his communication program and all the communcation icons were there in the order we had them and not the original program! What a sigh of relief! I guess backing up the IPad did indeed back up the words folder, too, automatically. But just in case, we’re saving a copy to our hard drive. Patrick’s teacher will be SOO happy.

    Also, I found my coat! It was exactly where I originally thought it was–in the donor services’ office at Patrick’s school where I was on Tuesday morning. School had told me they looked all over and could not find it. So I cancelled my order for a new one today.

    The universe smiled on me today and gave me a reprieve.

  22. @ PBMom – If you don’t get custody of Joe and Tara, will you adopt me? You sound amazing. It would be like having Julie Andrews for a mom. Do you sing too?

    @ Deni – Your daughter is very pretty. I bet you feel totally safe when you are with her.

  23. @Joe: In answer to your query regarding the Beast, Hank quit the X-Men over Cyclops’ formation of X-Force as an off-the-books wetwork squad, so he was free to become part of Steve Rogers’ Secret Avengers team.

  24. @Ponytail: Thank you, I think so too! I do feel safe with her, and she’s very protective of me anyway. 🙂

  25. I don’t know Joe. You and especially Tara look like a handful to me. I’m thinking you wouldn’t mind me and do what I say. You would be spending all my money eating out at expensive fancy restaurants and buying tons of dog treats. I’d give you two the 1988 Toyota Corolla to share, but you’d probably want to trade it in for a Lexus. I’d yell at you to eat the candy I give you, but you would cry and say “we don’t want Twizzlers! We want chocolate from MarieBelle or La Maison du Chocolat’s”. I’d say “du what?”. Tara would probably take her gun with her when I sent you to the grocery store. She would get in a fight and they would blame me. They always blame the parents. In short, you’d be a pain in the ass Joe.

    But your dogs . . . they’re in!! Come to mama!!

  26. Dear Joe,

    It is with sadness that we must give up our attempts to adopt you and Tara. At first we thought of how much you would enjoy the fresh air, fresh fare from the garden (during the summer), and quality, locally-raised beef, pork, and chicken. Not to mention venison! We have two dogs, too, large ones who would LOVE to share a bed with you, so long as you didn’t mind the Collie engaging in loud personal hygiene at 3 a.m.. The fact that we lack a spare bedroom for you seemed a minor thing; we felt surely we could have come up with something. An air mattress in the office? An RV parked in the drive? Whatever it took, we were prepared to do it.

    But then reality began to sink in. The restaurants nearest us have menus that tend toward chicken strips, fries and beer. How many times could you blog about fried chicken pieces? Granted, they come with a wide variety of…what, six?…dipping sauces, but after you’d sampled all of those, what then? What then, Joe?

    We couldn’t even offer to take you to a food truck because the only one we’ve ever seen in the area is one that serves small orders of french fries. Also medium orders. And, for variety, large orders.

    Though it’s hard for us to face, we just wouldn’t make good parents for you after all. We hope you and Tara can find a good home.


  27. Y’all may recall that I volunteer at Animal Defense League of Texas. Husband & I spent this afternoon coaxing & caring for a stray that wandered in our very busy neighborhood. Long story short, this Chihuahua mix (?) had no collar /tags and no microchip, and there was no room at ADL, so we’re fostering & socializing “LittleBit” until Friday. He’s settled but whining in our laundry room now because of my allergies, but we’ll play in the screened patio and fenced back yard tomorrow.

    PBMom, that was great news about the iPad. Is the same app available for IPhone? That would give you triple redundancy. And maybe your changes were saved not on the device, but on a remote server?

  28. @Gilder: No false advertising! I said I’m smack dab in the middle between Philly and AC. And I am. I didn’t mean north to south. 😛

    As far as any alien invasion or zombie apocalypse are concerned, I’m well armed. We’ll be good to go. Priorities in either situation are: Guns & ammo, water, shelter, food. In that order. Because if you have guns, you can get the rest.

  29. I would be happy to adopt you so that you can compete on ‘Amazing Race’. I am an American citizen but speak Canadian fairly well, eh? I’m a Marine so I can give you and Tara gentle encouragement with a litany of words and phrases that would make weaker souls weep. And, what people skills I didn’t learn from my drill instructors, I learned from my Golden Retrievers. Wag more, bark less.

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