Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Dark Knight

Daddy Steve:  When we posted our Gregoropolis Christmas photo on the Sasha Facebook page, one person commented that Anthony looked like Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman).  Anthony liked that comment a lot!  As the only non-Gregor in Gregoropolis, he sometimes feels a bit invisible.  Ever since reading that comment, he's been spending a lot of time in front of the mirror and talking in a very deep voice.

Anthony: I'm BATMAN!
Robin: Are you catching a cold?

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Daddy Steve:  Christmas Eve morning in Gregoropolis!  Some of us (Frank) are having a little trouble waiting to dig into the holiday sweets.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Change -- But Not Too Much

Daddy Steve: My two German boys, Rolf and Paul, loudly announced they were cold.

Rolf: Daddy Steve, you must buy more coal!
Paul: Ja, I haff got goosebumps on my legs!
Daddy Steve:  We don't heat the house with coal, and I think the problem is that you boys are still wearing your shorts.  Why don't we get you two changed into some warmer clothes?
Rolf: Hmmm.  Well, maybe.

Paul: Will we still match?
Daddy Steve: Very nearly.  I've got the overalls and shirt that Rolf wore last winter, and I've also bought a new shirt and overalls.  Aren't they nice?
Rolf: Hmmm.  Well, maybe.

Daddy Steve: Rolf, as senior Götz boy, you get to have the new outfit.
Rolf: Oh, no, Daddy!  Das ist mein outfit!
Daddy Steve: Oh, yes, sorry Rolf.  Daddy is old and sometimes gets strange ideas.

Daddy Steve: How's that, boys?  Better?
Paul: Much better!  I'm warm now.
Rolf Ja, Daddy Steve.  Change is gut!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

'Continental' Cookies

Daddy Steve:  This weekend I baked Christmas cookies for the boys (including the big one I'm married to).  Minnesota Public Radio was playing lovely Christmas music, which helped me get in the mood.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not very talented at shaped cookies.  They go into the oven looking like trees, stars, and candy canes and come out vaguely resembling continents (Africa, in particular).

Kaveh and Giancarlo assure me that they still taste just as good.

Kaveh: They smell yummy!
Giancarlo: When can we have one?

And with that, Gregoropolis has reached 100 posts!  
Thank you for reading and here's to the next 100!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Decking The Halls

Daddy John: Time to decorate Gregoropolis for the holidays, and two volunteers nominated themselves as my helper elves.  Benjamin Roy and Pete decided they would decorate the tree....well, the branches they could reach anyway.

BR: A Santa ornament should always go on first!

Pete: What's this one, Daddy John?

Daddy John: My mother got that for me when I was about your age.  If you look carefully at the brim of the boy's hat, you can see my name etched on it.

Pete: Be careful with this one, BR!  It's one of Daddy Steve's favorites.

BRGood grief!  What is this?!
Daddy John: Ha-ha!  Daddy Steve bought me that one a few years ago.  He thought it was funny and he remembered I like Bigfoot!

Pete: Well, better not tell Sasha about it!  He'll never come anywhere near the tree!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Happy Hanukkah!

Daddy Steve:  Ezra would like to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah.

EzraChag Sameach!

Friday, December 8, 2017

What's In A Name?

Daddy Steve:  You might recall that I assigned Rolf and Sebastian the task of choosing a name for their new Götz brother.  They presented their choice to me just before the new boy was scheduled to arrive.  They seemed quite pleased with themselves; obviously they believed they had picked a winner.

Sebastian: Daddy Steve, we've made our decision.
Rolf: Ja, it's the name ov a very famous German
Sebastian: Very famous.
Daddy Steve: Okay, boys, lay it on me.
Sebastian: His name will be...
Sebastian & Rolf: PAUL!

Hm.  I have to admit I was a bit surprised.  Now, Paul is a handsome name, and no doubt popular in Germany as it is in many other places.  However, after that build-up, I was really expecting something more along the lines of Ludwig or Johann.

Daddy Steve: Oh, great choice!  So, who is this famous namesake?
Rolf: Ve vill show you.

Rolf & Sebastian: Ta-Da!
Daddy Steve: It' octopus.  You want to name him after an octopus?
Rolf: Eine deutsche Krake.  A German octopus.
Sebastian: Daddy Steve, he's not just any German octopus.  Tell him, Rolf.
Rolf: Nein! He is Paul, the Psychic Octopus!

For those of you who lead sheltered lives, Paul the Psychic Octopus was a resident of Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany.  A common octopus who was anything but, Paul gained worldwide fame for his astonishingly accurate predictions of World Cup Soccer winners.  In his short life of two and a half years (an average lifespan for his species), Paul achieved an 85.7% success record in his predictions.

Paul, deep in concentration.  Will it be Spain or Germany?

I suspect that our junior marine biologist Stephen Orange may have influenced this 'unique' choice.

Stephen Orange Octopuses have a highly evolved nervous system.  They are very intelligent, with complex thought processes, long and short term memories, and unique personalities.  They can use tools and learn through observation.
Sebastian: Cool!
Rolf: Sehr interessant!

Avid soccer fans Mikko and Tyler were no doubt big supporters as well.  Their arguments tend to be quite enthusiastic, if not terribly logical.

Mikko: Paul was an awesome octopus!  I bet he knew David Beckham!
Tyler: I bet he could make things appear just by thinking about them!
Mikko: Like hot dogs.
Tyler: And race cars.
Sebastian: Wow!  That's way cool!
Rolf: Ja, I like hot dogs.

The only question that remained is what soon-to-be-named Paul would think of his name.  The answer, of course, is that he loved it.  After all, what little boy wouldn't want to be named after a psychic, soccer-loving mollusk?

Paul: Danke, Meine Freunde!  I haff the best name ever!

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Daddy Steve: There's a new boy here in Gregoropolis!  He arrived several months ago as a little "Happy Birthday to me" present (one of the few privileges of entering middle age is that one gets to go through one's second childhood).  He's an early Götz school boy, complete with all original outfit.

I saw him a few months earlier on Shelly's site and fell in love with his big, dark eyes.  The seller very kindly agreed to a lay-away payment, and after a few months of bread, water, and ramen noodles (just kidding) (sort of) he was mine.

Such big handsome eyes!

His outfit is really in good shape for its age, although I think Rolf's outfit (made by Marti Murphy) is superior in tailoring and finishing.

The early Götz shorts were quite short!  Fortunately, he's got the legs for it.  Daddy Steve would not look good in this outfit.

He has the classic Götz boy haircut: neat on the sides and back, and a little longer on top.  This is really how most boys wore their hair in the early-to-mid 1960s, before a certain group of mop-top lads hit the scene.

I wondered how my other Götz boys would react to this new arrival.  I was pretty sure Sebastian would be cool with it, but Rolf is another story.  As you probably know, Rolf can be quite apprehensive about new things.  Although he's often said how much he would like another German brother, actually meeting that brother in the flesh (vinyl) might be an entirely different matter.  We would all just have to wait and find out.

Rolf: Vot do you think he vill be like?
Sebastian: Relax, Rolf.  I'm sure he will be nice.

Eventually the big day came.

New Boy: Guten Tag!
Sebastian: Hi!  Welcome to our home.
Rolf: Oh, ja, willkommen.

Rolf was immediately fascinated by this new boy who was so similar to him.  They quickly became good friends.

I think it may have helped that Rolf privately believed he was slightly more handsome than the new boy.

When I first told Rolf and Sebastian about their soon-to-be new brother, I gave them the job of choosing a name for him.  I believe I told them to "pick out a nice German name."  My boys are usually very good about completing any task that I give them, however it's not always done in quite the way I would have envisioned.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thankful Follow-up

Daddy Steve: The boys spent Thanksgiving morning thinking about the things that they were thankful for.  They then wrote them down on leaves and hung the leaves on the tree.

Sasha: I'm thankful for Daddy Steve.
Stephen Orange: ...and Daddy John!
Miguel: And all of our internet friends.

Tyler: We're thankful for soccer.
Mikko: And adventure!
Charles: And frogs.
Kaveh: I'm thankful for my trains.

Luke: I'm thankful for my dog, Krakatoa, and he's thankful for me.  Isn't that right, boy?
Krakatoa: Yip! Yip!
Sebastian: I'm thankful for my music.  What are you thankful for, Rolf?
Rolf: My handsome nose!

Anthony and Robin: We're thankful for good books.
Blake: Especially Harry Potter!
Frank: I'm thankful it's almost dinner time!

Ravi: I'm thankful for you, Patrick.
Patrick: And I'm thankful for you, Ravi.
Bowie: I'm thankful for my sweetheart, Rebel.

Emile: I am zankful for my rich and beautiful French 'eritage that I can zhare wiz my brothers.
Giancarlo: Hmmph.  I'm thankful that your bedtime is earlier than mine.

Benjamin Roy: C'mon Pete, let's hang our leaves.  What are you thankful for?
Pete Dakota: Well, um, I'm thankful for you and Annabelle.  How about you?
BR: I'm thankful for Annabelle, too.  And my best friend.
Pete: Who's that?
BR: You, you goof!

Sasha: There's a lot to be thankful for!
Anthony: There certainly is.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Daddy Steve:  Last Thanksgiving the boys had a lot of fun assembling the turkey craft kit I got for them (and it kept them out of my hair while I made dinner).  It was such a success that I decided I had to find another project for them to work on this year..but what?

Once again, Target came to the rescue--a 'Thankful' tree kit.

It's a heavy felt tree with acorns and paper leaves as decoration.  You can write down messages of what you're thankful for on the leaves and then hang them on the tree.  I thought it would be a nice way for the boys to reflect on the things that are important to them.  If they wanted to embellish their thoughts with a little artwork, that was fine too.  Creativity is always encouraged in Gregoropolis!

The only problem was that the kit came with only a dozen leaves.  >Ahem<   Now, I must admit that I have more than a dozen boys.  Exactly how many more I'm not going to divulge (here, or to Daddy John).  Let's just say that we needed quite a few more leaves.

So, I assembled my 'A-Team' and put them to work making extra leaves.  Some of the boys have short attention spans, but I can always count on these five to get the job done.

The A-Team at work

Sasha and Miguel used the leaves that came with the kit as patterns to trace out more, while Patrick and Ravi cut them out.

Meanwhile, Kaveh tied the strings to each leaf.

Ravi: Oops, I cut into one of the lines a little.
Miguel: That's fine.  It doesn't have to be perfect.
Patrick: Real leaves aren't perfect; that's how you know they're real.

Kaveh: These knots are tricky to tie.
Sasha: Would you like to switch jobs?  I'm good at knots--I get them in my shoelaces all the time!

With all of the leaves made, we were ready for Thanksgiving Day.  

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Gregoropolis!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Smoothing Ruffled Feathers

Daddy Steve:  Giancarlo is still a little miffed about Emile's 'help' during his Italian culture presentation.  The boys are trying to cheer him up while I wait for a package in the mail--a package I'm quite sure will improve his mood.

Kaveh: But Emile meant well.  He really thought he was helping.
Giancarlo: Hmmph.
Ravi: It was still a very nice presentation.  We all enjoyed it.
Luke: We sure did.  It was so funny to watch your face turn all red.

Kaveh & Ravi: LUKE!

Giancarlo: I was humiliated in front of tutto il mundo!
Luke: That's not true.  Hardly anyone reads our blog anyway.

Blake: Hey, Giancarlo!  You got a package in the mail.  It's from Marti Murphy.
Giancarlo: La donna who makes le belle scarpe?  Let me see!

Giancarlo: These shoes! They are amazing!
Kaveh: Try them on.

Giancarlo: Sì, sì!  Perfetto!  You know, we Italians have a great appreciation for fine footwear.
Blake: Nice!
Kaveh: Very stylish!
Ravi: Hello Gorgeous!
Giancarlo:  I feel just like one of the fashionable giovane that you see in Milano.
Luke: Mill-on-o?  Where's that?  Is it near Stockport?