Saturday, February 16, 2019

Meeting Royalty (Meeting The New Boy II)

Daddy John: The rumors are true: a new boy has arrived at Gregoropolis!  He'd barely walked in the door and set his bags down before BR, Pete Dakota, and Stephen Orange were there to meet him.

Prince Nicholas: Hello fellows!  I am Prince Johann Paul Nicholas Sahara.  But, please, you can call me Nicholas.
Benjamin Roy: Hi, Nicholas!  I'm BR, this is Pete Dakota and Stephen Orange.  Welcome to Gregoropolis!  How was your trip?
Nicholas: Thank you, BR.  It's smashing to meet you lads.  The trip was frightfully long and I am so pleased to be at my new home.
(Pete Dakota, to himself: That's some hat...)

So as not to overwhelm poor Nicholas, the boys gave him some space to take a little nap and change clothes.  BR and Pete changed clothes themselves and Stephen Orange, remembering what it was like to be the new boy, suggested they meet with him one at a time.

Pete decides the best way to get to know someone is!

Pete: Hi, Nicholas.  Would you like to have some pizza with me?
Nicholas: Smashing!  I've never had it before.  I've lived quite a sheltered life up 'til now.  
Pete: Really?

Nicholas: Oh yes.  In fact, these are my very first pairs of denim trousers and trainers!  I've only ever had my royal suit to wear.
Pete: >giggle< ...and that hat.
Nicholas: >groan<..and that dreadful hat.

Nicholas: So, this is pizza you say.  Quite good.
Pete: It's pepperoni, my favorite.
Nicholas: Say, Peter, I noticed you wearing a kilt earlier.  I've also a kilt, but never had a chance to wear it.  Maybe we could find a day to each wear them?
Pete: That's a...smashing idea!

Nicholas then caught up with BR, about to take Annabelle for her walk.

Nicholas: Ah, Benjamin, here you are.

Nicholas: Who is this charming creature?
BR: This is my dog, Annabelle.  She's very friendly, she won't bite.
Nicholas: Shall we go for walkies, girl?

BR: Do you have any pets, Nicholas?
Nicholas: Sadly, no.  Wasn't ever allowed to have any.  The life of a prince was never as glamorous as one would think it to be.

The boys (and Annabelle) continued their walk and BR filled Nicholas in on the other kids and goings-on in Gregoropolis.  Soon it was time to feed Annabelle, so Nicholas went to meet with Stephen Orange in the lounge...

Nicholas: Now, Daddy John says you'd like to become a marine biologist one day.
Stephen Orange: Yes, I love everything about sea life and the oceans.  

Nicholas: This is a delightful aquarium.
Stephen: I'd like to have a larger one, but Daddy John says this all I can have right now, especially with the other thing I just got.
Nicholas: Whatever can you mean?
Stephen: Come with me and I'll show you.

Nicholas: Whatever is this?!?
Stephen: It's a baby hammerhead shark.  It's not mine!  I've got it on loan from the university; Daddy John and I had to fill out tons of paperwork to be approved for research.
Nicholas: Great Richard the III's ghost!  Just look at it.
Stephen: The hammerhead's distinctive head shape, or 'cephalofoil', gives it the evolutionary advantage of seeing around telephone poles.
Nicholas: How fascinating!
Stephen: That was a joke.
Nicholas: >ha-ha<  Very droll, sir!  And Benjamin said you didn't have a sense of humor.
Stephen: ...
Nicholas: Oh, dear...

Looks like Prince Johann Paul Nicholas Sahara, or Nicholas, is going to fit right in with the gang at Gregoropolis!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

La Vida Es Sueño

Benjamin Roy: Hi Pete, how was soccer practice?
Pete Dakota: Wow, I'm beat.  The coach really put us through our paces.
BR: Come sit down and rest up.

Pete Dakota: Whew, that's better.  What are you up to?
BR: Oh, I was just listening to some music and surfing the 'Net.  Stephen Orange isn't working on anything, so I got some actual computer time.
Pete: That's cool.  Is it Barbie and Skipper's turn to make lunch today?
BR: What?

Pete: What what?
BR: What did you say?  Who are Barbie and Skipper?
Pete: What?  I asked if Holly Belle and Daphne making lunch.  Who are Barbie and Skipper?
BR: Yeah, who are they?!
Pete: What are you talking about, Ken?

BR: KEN?!?  BEN, not Ken!
Pete: What?  I said Kenjamin!
BR: I'm telling Daddy Big Jim on you!

BR: >GASP<  What the heck was that?!?!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

A Cold Week

Daddy Steve:  It was an absolutely frigid week here in Gregoropolis.  How frigid, you ask?  On Tuesday night the low was -28°F, with a wind chill of -50°F (that would be -33.3C and -45.5°C). By any measurement, that's darn cold!

"Am I inside or am I outside?" ponders Holly Belle.  The truth is that stately Gregoropolis Manor is really a drafty old barn.  When the temp plummets, many parts of the house, such as the front hall, feel more like the outdoors than the indoors.

Holly Belle It's good timing that we got this warm outerwear set at the Sasha Festival last year!

To combat the frigid invasion, we keep the doors shut and use rugs to block drafts.

And the portable electric heater follows us from room to room.

The kids stay warm by snuggling under fleece blankets...

Duncan: What if it never warms up?
Oliver: I'm sure it will.  By July.

...and drinking lots of hot tea and cocoa.

Kaveh: Is Earl Grey okay?
James: Thanks, as long as it's hot.

The cold weather brings out a lot of...interesting fashion choices.  Back when Daddy Steve and Daddy John started school, many girls still wore dresses to class.  However, when it was very cold they would often wear slacks or jeans underneath.  Daphne and Harriet thought they would give it a try.

Daphne: It's not haute couture, but at least we're keeping warm.
Harriet: We can be fashionable in the springtime.
Rhoda: Well, I see you two are finally dressing sensibly!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Burns Supper

Daddy Steve: January 25th is the birthday of the great Scottish poet & lyricist Robert Burns (1721-1784).  Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.  His work is admired around the world, and has provided creative inspiration to many other artists, including novelist John Steinbeck and singer/songwriter Bob Dylan.  Burns is perhaps best known for penning the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, the song many of us sing on New Year's Eve.

The kids thought it would be nice to honor Burns this year with a traditional 'Burns Supper.'  After all, there is actual Scottish blood in the Gregoropolis household; Daddy John's Scots ancestral names include Saunders and Shand.

Beyond this, the kids simply thought it all provided a good excuse for a party!

Holly Belle: It gives us a chance to show off our tartan.
Wesley: Aye, lassie.

The kids started off by researching the menu of a Burns Supper...and quickly concluded that sometimes it's okay to break with tradition...

Daphne: That's what haggis is?!?  Oh, my.
Frederick: Perhaps we should just stick with beans on toast?
Daphne: Oh, yes!  I like that idea.
Frederick: We can still make cock-a-leekie soup.
Luke: And don't forget shortbread cookies for dessert!

They had to improvise a little with the music as well.

Stephen Orange: That's great, but can you make it sound more like a bagpipe?
Gavin: No problem!

The supper then began with Patrick making some opening remarks and giving the Selkirk Grace.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be Thankit!

Next, the 'Address to a Haggis' was performed.  In this case, it was an address to beans on toast and was basically ad-libbed.

Everyone:  All hail the beans on toast!

After dinner, there was the traditional 'Address to the Lassies'...

...followed by the 'Reply to the Laddies.'

Pete Dakota recited Burns' poem 'To A Louse'

Pete Dakota:
Oh, would some Power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!

Sebastian and Valerie performed the song 'A Red, Red Rose'

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly spring in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune

And the lovely evening concluded with everyone joining hands to sing 'Auld Lang Syne'

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot
and auld lang syne?

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Who's Difficult?

Daddy Steve: Emile objects to the assertion that Sasha dolls are difficult.

Emile: Non, non, non!  I for one am certainly not difficult!  I simply know my own mind.  And I 'ave the very high standards, n'est-ce pas?

Giancarlo: >sigh<  Emile, that's not what they are talking about.
Emile: Boof.  Are you quite sure of zat?
Giancarlo: Yes.

Emile: Well, then, mon ami, perhaps then you could be a pet and make me some more tea?

Giancarlo: Certainly not!  You're perfectly capable of getting your own tea.

Giancarlo: >grumble, grumble<

Emile: Well!  Now zat ees what I call difficult, non?!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Amazing Paul

Daddy Steve:  You may recall that Gotz boy Paul was named after a German octopus who also happened to be psychic (if not, you can read about it here: What's In A Name?).

At the time, the kids thought it just seemed like a cool thing to say, but now some are beginning to wonder if Paul really is psychic.  Opinions are divided...

Oliver: He really can predict the future!
Patrick: That's illogical.
Ravi: And just plain silly.
Ezra: Well, how do you explain it then?

How indeed?  It could be that he's merely a keen observer of human nature...

Paul: It vos Frank who ate all the doughnuts.
Holly Belle & Meghan: Oh, Frank!
Frank: >burp<  How did you know it was me??

Perhaps he's better at keeping track of time...

Paul: Daddy Stefe vill be home in 5 minutes.
Tyler: Oh no!
Mikko: We'd better clean this mess up!

Or maybe he's just good at telling people what they want to hear.

Paul: You vill meet a rich und handsome nobleman.
Daisy: Oh, I knew it!  Just like a Barbara Cartland novel!

Whatever the explanation, Sebastian and Rolf have decided that Paul's 'gift' could be a lucrative business.

Rolf: The Amazing Psychic Paul vill reveal your future for a mere 50 cents!

Paul: Ask me a question about your future und I vill consult the crystal pyramid.
Bowie: Aren't you supposed to use a crystal ball?
Paul: The crystal pyramid is better.  It gets right to the point.  That vos technically a question, but I vill let you haff that vun for free.
Bowie: Oh. Ah...okay...will I ever be a famous rock star?

Sebastian (whispering from under the table): "Reply hazy, try again."

Paul: Sorry mein freund, your future is not quite ready to reveal itself.  Come back later.
Rolf: Ja, und don't forget to bring another 50 cents.  Next!

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Whole New Year

Daddy Steve:  Sasha and Miguel got up early on New Year's Day to greet 2019.

Sasha: It's a whole new year!
Miguel: So many possibilities!

Sasha: New things to learn.
Miguel: New places to explore.

Sasha: Time to play.
Miguel: Time to create art.

Both: This is so exciting!  High five!

Meanwhile (actually, a few hours later)...

Frank: Uhhhgghhhh...Is the party over?