Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 7:15 pm

Memie reports …

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 7:15 pm
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… on how the week with the grandkids is going:

We all had cake and ice cream last night for V’s bday. Except Hooper. Who asked for boiled peanuts instead.

That boy’s not right.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:02 pm

New health hazard: zombie mimes

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 9:02 pm
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Setting: My study, a few nights ago. DADDY is doing banking and/or bill-paying, I can’t remember exactly. Enter HOOPER.

Hooper: Daddy, I had a nightmare. (crawls into my lap; snuggles)

Daddy: I’m sorry, buddy. Do you remember what it was about?

Hooper: Yes. (pause) Zombie mines.

Daddy: What? ‘Zombie mines’?

Hooper: Yeah. (pause) Not the mines like you dig. The other kind.

Daddy: The kind that blow up?

Hooper: No. The kind that wear makeup.

Daddy: (understanding slowly dawning) Oooooohhhh. Zombie mimes.

Hooper: Yes. Those. I was scared of them.

Daddy: Well, I would be, too, buddy. But it’s OK. They’re not real. It was just a dream. (trundles Hooper back off to bed)

* * *

Only here’s the thing.

First, if a mime was a zombie, how, at any safe distance, could you tell it from a normal mime? Is there some special mimetic gesture that’s the equivalent of droning, “BRRRRAAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNNNSSSSSSSS”? And if so, why haven’t we been warned?

Second, that night, I also dreamed of zombie mimes. And they were, indeed, scary.

Friday, April 3, 2009 8:06 pm

Winning big

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 8:06 pm
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At this year’s Pack 104 Pinewood Derby, Hooper’s car didn’t win any races, but he won the Cubmaster Award, given to the Cub Scout whose Pinewood Derby car looks most like he made it himself, with no adult help. We had to leave before the derby was over, so we weren’t there for the announcement. When Hooper’s cubmaster brought the trophy to the house later on, he said the vote had been unanimous.

Hooper had been bumming a bit about not having won any races — he knew we should have added some weight to the car, but he had chosen not to anyway. But this trophy made him feel MUCH better. In fact, he tried to stuff the thing into his bookbag to take to school today. It didn’t come close to fitting, so it stayed home.

Monday, February 2, 2009 7:31 pm

Even worse than the Rock Wall of Death

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 7:31 pm
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Frank’s girls were here this weekend, and on Sunday I took all five kids to the playground for a couple of hours.

As I frequently do, I pretended to be a monster and chased Hooper around the playground equipment. He loves that game. He would announce that he was going to escape from me by “climbing the Rock Wall of Death!” or “sliding down the Sliding Board of Doom!” So his cousin Whitney started playing too — and brought the monster to his knees with laughter by announcing, “I’m gonna hide on the Swingset of Aggravation!”

The Swingset of Aggravation. Been there, done that, have the knee scabs.

UPDATE: Mom writes, “Loved the swingset of aggravation…. Wasn’t that in Pilgrim’s Progress?”

Monday, January 19, 2009 3:35 pm

Must … use … powers … for … good …

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 3:35 pm
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So we and the kids are over at a friend’s for a brunch gathering, and after a while, I find that as a result of Hooper’s powers influence charisma, I must have the following dialogue with another parent:

Me: So, does [your 5-year-old daughter] take off her shoes and socks and leave them in strange places, shoot people with Nerf dart guns, rave about Transformers and yell, “Me! Want! Brownies!”?

Friend: No.

Me: Well, she does now.

Not only that, but said 5-year-old daughter has come over this afternoon to play Transformers with Hooper. And they’re having a blast.

UPDATE: Hooper and this girl are now out in the backyard with swords, playing pirate. And he might have met his match. As I was attending to the girl’s bleeding thumb after a minor hangnail-related incident, she announced, “I’m only 5 and I can read chapter books. I’m a very interesting kid.”

Wednesday, January 7, 2009 7:39 pm

If only I could

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 7:39 pm
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Hooper (on not being able to connect to the wireless network):  Daddy! You’ve got to fix the Internet!

Saturday, December 27, 2008 9:36 pm

Christmas ‘n’ family

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:36 pm
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As the family (both nuclear and blended) grows more extended, it gets harder and harder to get everybody together in one place at one time for Christmas, even on just one side of the family. So we didn’t do that this year. But we still had a lot of fun.

Before we got together, of course, Hooper and Victoria had to register their demands requests with Santa. Santa had new digs at Friendly Center this year — bigger and airier — and we were fortunate to catch him at a time when there wasn’t much of a wait.

Victoria’s old enough to know better but quite happy to play along.

On Sunday 12/20, my brothers and I gathered at Mom’s condo, along with Frank’s girlfriend Christine and her kids. The kids, seated from left: Avana, Hooper, Taylor. Standing, from left: Whitney, Victoria, Jordan, Matthew.

This is how my brother Hugh, whose son Dylan is grown and gone, deals with the sound of seven kids in one condo.

On Christmas Day, we had Christmas dinner with friends in Chapel Hill. My friend’s uncle brought tissue-paper crowns for all the kids. Here’s Victoria in hers. Note, as she would insist you do, her new top and matching hand socks.

This weekend, V, H and I returned to Mom’s to get together with my stepsisters and their kids. As it happened, my cousin Lynn Margaret, her husband and their two kids were passing through en route from Connecticut to Florida, and so they stopped in for a bit as well.

Here’s Hooper playing Nintendo DS with his stepcousin Benjamin.

Lynn’s older daughter, who is 5, is also named Victoria.

Here are the two Victorias. You can tell they’re Alexanders. They’ve got that whole blue-eyes thing going on.

Victoria W., who is in kindergarten, is scary smart, just like her second cousin was at that age. She was practicing her cursive writing, and I asked her how she learned it. She said, “Well, I go to a Christian school, which means pretty much nobody does any bad things, so the teachers use the extra time to teach us cursive.”

Because Satan’s handiwork is a real timesuck and all.

Here’s Victoria W.’s 13-month-old sister, Isabella, who was just as charming as her big sister, albeit somewhat less talkative. She’s mildly annoyed here only because the phone isn’t beeping when she pushes the buttons. As is true of many toddlers, she don’t truck with no TOY cell phones.

And last but not least, our newest family member: my stepsister Kristi’s 4-month-old daughter, Madelyn. In this unfortunately unfocused picture, she’s opening her present from cousin Benjamin. We dubbed it the Maddy Lion.

I hope your Christmas was merry. And if I don’t blog again before then, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 7:11 am

Hooperian Physics

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 7:11 am
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Hooper: Daddy, do you know what the most powerfulest thing in the world is? It’s an electromagnetic pulse generator! Because it can destroy everything in the world! Except animals. Because they’re not electric. And humans. And trees, I think.

Daddy: Really.

Hooper: Yeah, it could knock out all the electricity and you couldn’t ever fix it.

Daddy: That’s very interesting, buddy. Where’d you learn that?

Hooper: On “Transformers”!

Sunday, December 7, 2008 6:33 pm

To the victors go the spoils trophies … and doughnuts

Filed under: Fusion,Hooper — Lex @ 6:33 pm
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Another one I’ve just now gotten around to pulling off the phone: Hooper receives his trophy from Coach Alex as the Fusion celebrates its undefeated fall season Nov. 15 at Krispy Kreme. It was a good season, Hooper had a (generally) good time, and Coach Alex did a great job.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:01 am

Dusting

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 12:01 am
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We got a dusting of snow early this morning, just enough to make schools open 2 hours late. Hooper, during whose life Greensboro has only gotten one good snowstorm, enjoys the dusting before school.

Hooper in the snow, 11/21/2008

Friday, November 21, 2008 7:13 pm

Apparently I’m not a total failure as a parent after all …

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 7:13 pm
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Sometimes he shouts, “I hate you!” And sometimes …

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 11:10 pm

Unintended consequences

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 11:10 pm
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Victoria: Daddy, Hooper was playing Minesweeper on Mommy’s laptop when he wasn’t supposed to be!

Hooper: Well! No massages for you!

Victoria: Massages? You’ve never given me a massage!

Hooper: No more!

Thursday, November 6, 2008 9:43 pm

How they think

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 9:43 pm
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Victoria: Daddy, can I have some Halloween candy for dessert? In light of the economy?

* * *

Hooper (reading aloud from verb-tense homework): “‘The turtle will trick the spider.’ Well, that’s gotta be future, because turtles and spiders can’t talk yet.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 10:57 am

Rogues’ Photo gallery

Time to get caught up on a backlog of photos. All these were taken with my cell phone, and to my surprise they didn’t turn out too badly.

First: Victoria rides a horse at our church’s fall festival, held at the farm of two of our more gracious members.
Victoria rides a horse at our church's fall festival, held at the farm of two of our more gracious members.

Next, Victoria took this picture at a Barack Obama campaign stop in Greensboro while sitting on my shoulders. Somewhere up there between the two lights is Obama, although I guess you’ll have to take my word on that.
Victoria took this picture while sitting on my shoulders. Somewhere up there between the two lights is Barack Obama. Really.

Hooper with a friend at the fall festival. As far as we know, Hooper is not a Parseltongue.
Hooper with a friend at the fall festival. As far as we know, Hooper is not a Parseltongue.

Hooper is ready to enter his team’s soccer game at a moment’s notice. Really.
Hooper is ready to enter his team's soccer game at a moment's notice. Really.

The closest we’re going to get to a full team picture of the Fusion.
The closest we're going to get to a full team photo of the Fusion.

The Buttercups, Fall 2008, after their last game of the season, a 2-2 tie.
The Buttercups, fall 2008, after their last game of the season, a 2-2 tie.

First Presbyterian Church at sunset.
First Presbyterian Church at sunset.

I haven’t attempted any action shots with the phone, primarily because you would have to get really close to the subject for it to come close to filling the frame. Still, it works pretty well on closeups, and I’ve got a particularly soothing Lake Norman sunset shot on my desktop at work now. (I’ve still got the Alexander tartan on my desktop at home.)

I sent the photos to Flickr at 800×600 to try to get the width to match the width of the text column of BOTR, but it looks like the biggest Flickr will render them is roughly 500×375. I guess that’s to accommodate smaller monitors than my 19-incher. Oh, well.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 5:38 pm

Family portrait

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 5:38 pm
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Perhaps the first shot of the four of us together since Disney World in ’05. Not sure what led Hooper to put his finger in his mouth ….

Portrait of the artist as a young camera-grabber

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 5:20 pm
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Sauce for the gander

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 5:09 pm
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Since I posted a photo earlier of Victoria with a fish she caught, it’s only fair to post one of Hooper. Good work, buddy!

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:26 pm

Fusion 3, United 3

Filed under: Fusion — Lex @ 9:26 pm
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At least I think it was tied at 3. I can’t remember for sure; it might have been tied at 4. This was a makeup of an earlier rainout. It also was moved up from 6 p.m. to 5:30 just a few hours before game time, which made neither coaches nor parents especially happy. Grr.

Fusion 6, Blaze 2

Filed under: Fusion — Lex @ 9:22 pm
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The Fusion dominated the game (this one was Saturday), and some of its individual players are really starting to stand out. But Hooper had a good game at forward, getting off three good shots. The first two were blocked. The third one was a thing of beauty, arcing over the leaping keeper’s outstretched hands — and going just wide of the upright. He felt good about his play after that.

Monday, October 13, 2008 8:39 pm

Well, yeah, but that’s not quite the point

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 8:39 pm
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On Sunday our church had a cookout (and pie-judging contest) at the chicken farm of a couple of our members, out near McLeansville. It featured a petting zoo, horse and pony rides and hay rides. As the tractor pulling our hay trailer started to move, Hooper looked down and announced, “Now we’re going to kill some grass.”

Earlier tonight, he told me about a dream he had on Sunday night: “I was in this town called Bakugan Town that had every kind of Bakugan there is. And I was the mayor. And *I* had every kind of Bakugan there is. (pause) And I had a butler. And it was you. That was a good dream.”

Saturday, October 11, 2008 7:32 pm

Flame 5, Fusion 4

Filed under: Fusion,Hooper — Lex @ 7:32 pm
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The Fusion finally got a second game in, what with all the rain. Unfortunately, they didn’t play very well as a team for most of the game. One of the Flame’s goals was an own goal. Hooper spent a quarter in goal and gave up two, but only one of them was anywhere close to preventable. He displayed remarkable equanimity after the game.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:21 pm

I know just how he feels

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 9:21 pm
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Hooper (earlier this evening): “I’m ready to go to bed, Daddy. I haven’t gotten a wink of sleep the whole day.”

Saturday, September 6, 2008 9:09 am

Hanna 1, Fusion 0

Filed under: Fusion,Hooper — Lex @ 9:09 am
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Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

Friday, August 22, 2008 7:29 pm

Return of the Fusion

Filed under: Fusion,Hooper — Lex @ 7:29 pm
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Remember the Fusion, Hooper’s soccer team when he was a 4-year-old? It’s back.

Hooper decided after his first season that he didn’t really like soccer very much, so since then it has been his big sister’s thing. But this summer, he decided he wanted to play again, so we signed him up and lo and behold, he got put on the same team he was on three years ago. Only two of the five who were on the team with him back then are still there, but one of them is his best friend from that team. Their first practice was yesterday, and he did well and said afterward that it was a lot of fun. I met both coaches, and they seem like really good guys.

Their first game, as is Victoria’s, is 9/7 9/6.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:28 pm

An appreciation for the finer things in life

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 9:28 pm
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Hooper: Daddy, do they still use a ball to break things?

Daddy: I don’t understand your question, buddy.

Hooper: You know. The metal ball that hangs from the crane?

Daddy: Oh, yeah! Yeah, they still use those sometimes. But sometimes they do something different. They use dynamite. They can set the dynamite in a special way so that when the building blows up, instead of pieces going all over the place, they all fall into one neat pile.

Hooper: Sweet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 9:57 pm

Well, um, yeah; your point being?

Filed under: Fun,Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 9:57 pm
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(as the curtain opens, we join a battle of wills between father and son that has been going on for 30 minutes already)

Daddy: Spell “list.”

Hooper: No! No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Daddy, I just want to go ride my two-wheeler in the cul-de-sac!

Daddy: We’re going to sit right here at this table until you have spelled your spelling words. Spell “list.”

Hooper: No!

Daddy: Spell “list.”

Hooper: You are. Such. A. Downloader.

Daddy: A what?

Hooper: A downloader! You know, somebody who does too much!

(the father prevails after about another 15 minutes, but we’ll spare you that)

* * *

On a lighter note, Victoria got the new Jonas Brothers CD tonight. All is right with her world.

And because Mommy took Victoria to see the Jonas Brothers last month, Daddy gets to take Hooper to see The Wiggles. This is not quite one of those gnaw-off-your-own-arm-to-escape deals, but, geez, it ain’t good. And they’re performing in the Greensboro Coliseum, which, last I checked, is a 23,000-seat arena, give or take. Assuming somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of attendees to be parents/guardians/babysitters, we’re still talking about more than 10,000 screaming kids in one room.  I’m just gonna go ahead and get my doctor to prescribe me something for a migraine now so I can beat the rush.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 9:23 pm

I believe the lawyers call this “arguing in the alternative” …

Filed under: Fun,Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 9:23 pm
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Victoria: Hooper, get your stuff out of my room!

Hooper: Stay out of your business!

Victoria: What’s in my room is my business!

Hooper: Well, stay out of my business, then!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 6:50 pm

I guess he had a good day

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 6:50 pm
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Daddy: Hey, Hooper — did you have a good day?

Hooper: What do you think I am, some kind of FREAK who didn’t have a good day?

Friday, April 18, 2008 6:50 am

Grasp on reality: tenuous

Filed under: Fun,Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 6:50 am
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Hooper: I didn’t throw the hula hoops in the trees!

Victoria: Oh, right. And Spongebob Squarepants is real.

Hooper (stunned): Spongebob is real?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:01 pm

Not-so-simple question, or, Who knew they taught epistemology in first grade?

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 8:01 pm
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“Daddy, what does ‘meaning’ mean?”

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