Thursday, December 1, 2022

Advent 2022: Day 1: Holly Belle & Noah Conrad

 It's that time of the year again, and this time Holly Belle has taken charge!

Noah Conrad: ...you want me to what, now?
Holly Belle: >heavy, long-suffering sigh< Open the first day on the advent calendar.
Because you're our newest resident, I thought you should pick first!

Noah: I see.
Holly Belle: Well?
Noah: And who are you again?

Holly Belle: >heavier, longer long-suffering sigh<
My. Name. Is. Holly. Belle.  I'm in charge of the calendar this year.
Really, I'm in charge of everything, but the advent calendar is my special project.
Noah: Right...

Holly Belle directed Daddies John and Steve to pick out a nice, quiet calendar.  Something all the kids of Gregoropolis could enjoy.  So, this year we have Lego: City


Holly Belle: Here we are! None of those dreadful Hot Wheels 
or that weird Harry Potter this year!
Noah: Right...

Holly Belle: There's the little door, go ahead and open it up.

Noah: Yes, I do know how an advent calendar works.

Relishing the idea of having something to put together, Noah gets into the spirit!

Noah: Ho, ho!  What do we have here?!

Holly Belle: Oh dear, so many pieces.
Noah: Let me at 'em!

Noah: There we are.  A neat little Yuletide helicopter.

Holly Belle: I'm not quite sure what a helicopter has to do with Christmas.
Noah: Maybe Santa is upping his present delivery mode game.
Holly Belle: >Sigh<


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Thanksgiving Aftermath

Nathan: Definitely a turkey coma.  He'll come to in a few hours.

Gavin: We're going to try to walk off the meal.
Pamela: How far do you think you'll have to go?
Blake: Maybe 20 miles.

Serena: What a mess!
Natalie: Perhaps it would be easier to just burn down the kitchen.

Duncan: Turkey sandwiches? Again?!?
Daphne: Get used to it, Sweetie.

Ezra: What is that?
Jennifer: Leftover lime Jell-O salad with marshmallows, pineapple, and shredded carrots.
Ezra: It looks like the aquarium froze over.

Meghan: Eeek!  Christmas is only a month away!
Holly Belle: Quick, we have to decorate!
Meghan: Yeah, deck the halls and all that jazz!
John Martin:  >Sigh<

Frank: Mmmmmm...Piiiieeee....

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Paris, Revisited

 

Louisette: Emile, 'ow do you like my new dress?
Emile: Ah, très parisien! In other words, eet ees perfection!
Louisette: Merci, mon petit lemon.  I weesh we could go to Paris right now.

Emile: But we can, mon chéri, through ze magic of Gregoropolis.
Observe as I snap my fingers.  >Snap!<

Emile: Et voilà!
Louisette: Ze city of lights, we are really 'ere!  Emile, you are a genius!
Emile: Oui, I know.

Louisette: Look, we even 'ave musicians to serenade us.
Emile: Mon Dieu, not zose two.

Louisette: Now, now, Emile.  Zey are good girls.
Emile Bof, zey put pine cones in my shoes ze ozzer day.
Neverzeless, we are in Paris and nozzing can ruin zat for us.

Emile: Come, mon chéri, let us 'ave tea at zis charming café.

Louisette: Don't look now, but zat rude Italian waiter is coming over 'ere.
Emile: Sacré bleu, we cannot get reed of heem! 'e ees like ze bad centime.

Giancarlo: Emile, I've told you before.  Leave me out of your silly daydreams!

Emile: Bof, 'e ees ze only person I know who could be in a bad mood in Paris!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Nightmare Before Christmoose


Nicholas Sahara: So, Peter, tell me what you're getting dear Benjamin for Christmas.
Pete Dakota: He's pretty easy to shop for.

Pete: I usually get him some new Hot Wheels cars and a gift card for music.
You can't go wrong with a gift card. 
It's not even Thanksgiving, why are you thinking about Christmas now?

Nicholas: I wanted to get an early start.  Never hurts to be prepared!
Pete: Mmm.
Nicholas: You know, when I asked Scout what he wanted in his stocking, 
he made the oddest request.

Pete: What'd he ask for?
Nicholas: He asked that I bake him a giant mousse.  Can you imagine?
I've no idea how to bake a giant mousse! I'm all a-dither over it.
Pete: You should ask Gino; he fancies himself our resident Paul Hollywood.
Nicholas: A smashing idea!  I wonder what kind of mousse he'd like,
Strawberry or chocolate?

Later that night, it's not sugar plums dancing in our poor prince's head!

Nicholas: ...mousse...giant mousse...giant...moose....

Giant Moose:  GRARRRRWWLLLRRR!!!
Boys: AAAIIIEEEEEEE!!!

Nicholas: >gasp< Oh my sainted aunt! >pant< >pant<
No, you can't go wrong with a gift card...

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Days and Ways

 Daddy Steve:  The internet is the ultimate 'Wayback Machine.'  If you're willing to waste spend the time, you can recover-and purchase-anything from your past.  

It was 50 years ago this fall that I started school, and I have been feeling reflective.  These reflections eventually turned to my 1st grade reading textbook.  One thing led to another, and before I knew it, a copy arrived in the mail.  For a 54-year-old textbook, it's in surprisingly pristine condition; much nicer than my original Minneapolis Public Schools copy was back in the day.



Dan Ryan: Since it's from Daddy Steve's school days, I would have thought it 
would've been printed on vellum, or mammoth hide or something.
Carolyn: You know, it's actually the same age that we are.

Dan Ryan: Yes, but we're eternally young.
Carolyn: True.

It's interesting to look at something you haven't seen for decades.  I was struck by the illustrations; their quiet, understated charm and humanism (remind you of anyone?).  They're so different from the rather aggressive, garish designs and graphics aimed at kids nowadays.




James: They look like us!
Daphne: Yes, beautiful!

The cover art always appealed to me--all of that busy energy.  I was not a suburban kid; I grew up right in the middle of a big city, so that milieu was familiar to me.


Colin: Gosh, where do you suppose all those people are going?
Daisy: Probably home to they can read our blog.

On the subject of reading, it's amazing to think that when my classmates and I started first grade, we were all more or less illiterate.  By the end of the year, we could read anything in this book.  So much ground to cover!  The next time you talk to a 1st grade teacher, be sure to say 'thank you.'

Paul: Thank you, teachers!
Rolf: Ja, danke!

Nanny Wendy: You'll love learning to read, Mikey!
Mikey: More than cookies?




Saturday, October 29, 2022

Jolly Jack

 

Logan: It's nearly Halloween!  Do you know what that means?
Frederick: Sugar comas?
Logan:  Well, that too, but I was really thinking jack-o'-lantern time

Katie: We're way ahead of you.  We picked up this pumpkin when we went shopping
with Daddy Steve.  Don't you just love his cute little squiggle on top?

Logan: Now we need to design his face.
Frederick: Alright, but can we make him happy?  I don't like scary jack-o'-lanterns.
Katie: I agree.  Everyday life is too scary already.
Logan: Fair point.  We'll give him a happy face and call him "Jolly Jack."
Let's start by sketching it out.

Logan: There.  Not an ounce of menace in that face.
Katie: Hey, that looks really good!
Logan: They don't call me the 'Two-Eared Van Gogh' for nothing!
Frederick: Nobody calls you that.

Logan: Now to paint in the details 'cos Daddy Steve won't let us use a sharp knife.
He's such a killjoy sometimes...
Frederick: I think parents have to be that way.  It's in their contract or something.
Katie: It just gives Jack another reason to be happy 
because he doesn't have to go under the knife!

Logan: Finished!  What do you think?
Katie: Oh, that's perfect.  He looks very cheery, if a bit goofy.
Frederick: Actually, he sort of looks like...

All: FRANK!!!

Logan: I'll never be able to un-see that now.