Friday, December 28, 2007

santa, chicken bones, fairies and magic

It was christmas eve night at about 9:30pm. We were on the bridge back home enjoying light traffic and happy children despite the late hour and occasion. After a brief moment of silence the elder monkey blurts out: "I see a white sleigh in the sky!"
"You do? Where honey?"
"Over there by the hills daddy!"
"Just above them right there hon?" I pointed to a plane, low in the sky heading southward, making sure to sound convincing and enthusiastic, "Is it the one with the blinking light right there?"
"WOOOOWWWOWOW!!!!! That is soooo coool sweetie!"
"YEAHHHHH! SANTA!" she squeels.
"Wow. Santa must have a flashing safety light on the back of his sleigh just like mommy and daddy's bikes huh? You're eyesight is much better than mine but I can sure see the flashing light real well."
"Yeah, Santa has a flashing light on his sleigh so all the airplanes flying around don't hit crash into him. He's being real safe."
"Wow honey, not everyone sees Santa on his sleigh on christmas eve night!"
"Yeah, but I did!"

I've always wondered how old St. Nick gets around safely in such dense air traffic. Thanks to my knowledgeable and eagle-eyed daughter, I now know.

I was working on printing up a list of beer bottles available at a new bar here in oaktown. It specializes in belgain brews and features a few nice 'Merican ones as well. Have you heard of The Trappist? Like, damn, this place is cool. And, it has incredibly high alcohol belgian ales that encourage one to ride their bike rather than drive. I call that a step in the right direction.

In order to do a little homework before going and getting some exercise, I wanted to study-up on what's available, but my printer was acting all funky and paper was getting jammed. After trying three times with no success I finally pulled open the cover to have a thorough look. Nothing out of the ordinary except some tweaked and torn paper shreds. I cleared these and then slammed the cover shut in the prescribed fashion. Out popped a small object about 1/2 inch long and stick like, but with rounded edges and made out of some very light material. Oh crap I thought. Great, some tiny little tab of plastic snapped off and the printer is forever maimed. But the piece wasn't plastic. Or from the printer. It was one of those small chicken bones that always winds up being chomped on while enjoying chicken stewed in a chile verde. Apparently "someone" was not fond of having the bone in their possesion and it mysteriously ended up stuck under the edge of the printer. It reminded me of that maneuver where as a child you take the gum from your mouth and scrape it from your hand onto whatever edge your little fingers find under the folding chair at a family picnic. Only, I don't think anyone was sitting on top the printer while eating chicken verde. In a folding chair. That I know of that is.

But after my discovery, maybe I should look at it again and scan for gum too.

Once, riding the bike over to the farmers' market, the monkey spotted these and said "Look daddy! Christmas puppies!" I almost wrecked the bike laughing so hard.

I was reminded of this the other day, when we dropped H off at work and on the way home saw one of those electrical transformer boxes in Emeryville that are painted with stencil art. There are dozens of them, black shapes on yellow backgrounds. The one we saw was the typical profile view of a person (like the kind used in most crosswalk signs years ago) only this one had wings.
"Hey check out that art work over there; that person has wings!"
"Yeah I think it must be a fairy daddy!"
"You think?" I asked with a twinge of doubt, feeling myself slipping into playing the contrarian.
"Yes, a girl fairy."
"Really? How can you tell?"
"Because it has wings."
"You mean boy fairies don't have wings?"
"Not at all?"
"Well, they have one tiny little one, but it just flaps around in the breeze is all."
"Oh." I thought about it for a while then asked: "Sounds like it's better to be a girl fairy."
"Yeah, girl fairies are a lot better."

It really is a blessing to be in the presence of a set of eyes that don't have the same filters in place.

Why such big chairs? Well, it's kinda like around here when things happen or a new skill is demonstrated without any clear explanation of how exactly. It usually ends in "It must be magic daddy!"

Like this morning. Not sitting on such a large chair mind you, but unexpected indeed. I was making a dough when the elder monkey asked "Do you hear that Nutcracker music daddy? In the livingroom?"
"No. Do you?"
""Mmm hmmm," she says with a funny smile and then prances off. A few minutes later I walk in and discover that the Nutcracker is coming through the stereo and is about halfway through the performance.
"How did this come on?" I ask.
"I don't know." Said with a little shrug and smile.
"You mean it was just on when you came in here?"
"Yep!" Then she starts twirling around doing her best to be on her tippie toes.
"You sure you didn't turn it on sweetie?"
"Really I didn't daddy. I just used my magic!"

So according to that logic, from now on, all posting about food that contains a recipe will include an attempt to quantify the amount of "magic" that was used.

Call it a new years resolution of sorts.

Didn't think I was gonna get around to posting again, so sorry to sound repetitious but........

Happy New Year Everybody!


musiklvr said...

can't wait to see all the magic you come up with in 2008.

as a stay at home dad, you might appreciate this helpful hint...

search yummy recipes from your mobile phone using Boopsie.

perfect for dads on the go.

K & S said...

your monkey stories always bring a smile!

have a great 2008!

Chilebrown said...

My sister and I would hide vegetables behind the couch. We got away with it for two weeks. We then got a taste of Raw Hide!
I am not the person to preach. You can get a 502 on a bicycle too. Enough of a sermon,when do you want to go? Ms. Goofy and I want to check it out.
Peace, Paul

Anonymous said...

Little Bro, when you were a baby and I was 5 years old or so, I used to hide my peas in the milk carton. I would slip a child-sized handful into the milk on the table when adult backs were turned and who knows how many times I did this before getting in trouble. I was caught the day that a certain parental figure chugged some milk straight from the carton and got a mouthful of peas! That would be absolutely gross, I must say. Since you use milk in glass containers, check the bottom once in a while....

Love Sis

HipWriterMama said...

Isn't it wonderful looking at the magic through a child's eyes? Here's to many more magical moments. Happy New Year!

Monkey Wrangler said...

musiklvr: somehow, your comment has the aroma of an advertisement.......could it be true?

Kat: Thanks! 2008 promises to be good. At the very least it will be filled with some good homebrew.

Chile: Behind the couch huh? As you can see by my sis' comment she hid her peas in the milk, but as far as I know received no raw hide.

As for getting a 502 on a bike, I've heard that from others also and it seems like a mildly disguised excuse to go ahead and drive. My thinking goes like this though: sure I might get on my bike drunk, but there is no chance I'm getting on a highway, or for that matter going over 10 mph. Also, if I wreck it will probably only involve bodily injury to myself and maybe a touch of property damage from running into someone's shrubbery. And then.....the bike has nowhere near the mass and thus inertia of a car piloted by a sloshed driver. So, take all that into account and I'll gladly go do it again, thinking the bike is the superior vehicle to take for such high alcohol beer drinking events.

Sis: If only the peas would have choked said family member into not being such a nimkapoop.

Hip: Magic indeed! I look forward to the day I'll see it through BOTH monkey's eyes!

Happy New Year!

Chilebrown said...

Okay, just let me know so I can stay off the sidewalks. Unfortuanteley my excuses ran out a long time ago. Maybe that is why I stay home a lot. Your Monkey will be very dissapointed if you run into a car or a wall at 10 mph. I do not mean to be such a bummer on the first. Sorry!

Monkey Wrangler said...

Chile: You funny funny man you! I don't ride on the sidewalks, just the back streets of oaktown. (I might even ride by your ma's....let me know if I'm anywhere near it while going down Shafter and I'll reconsider the route so that I don't damage anything of hers) In fact, if I do any damage to anyone's yard it would probably be mine while trying to negotiate the driveway past the rose bushes. It's all about the helmet bro'.

Really though, I'd love to meet you and Ms. Goofy down there some time, but having been a few times in the past two weeks I'll have to postpone it till probably some time in Feb.

Happy New Year!

Psychgrad said...

Nice blog! Just found you on the Foodie Blogroll. Looking forward to your future posts.

Rev. Biggles said...

Yeah, magic. That sums up a lot of how I define things and happenings around me. I can then meander off in other directions without worry.


Monkey Wrangler said...

Biggles: Is that you magic-man?

I can't wait to taste more of your magic!



Monkey Wrangler said...

Psychgrad: Sorry I almost missed acknowledging you there. Thanks for dropping by the monkey ranch. We look forward to hearing from you in the future!

leena! said...

Happy (belated) New Years, Monkey Wrangler and Monkey Wrangler family!