Saturday, March 30, 2019

Ahoy, Captain Nemo! (Part 3: In The Doldrums)

Daddy Steve: Mikko and Tyler had many adventures with Nautilus.  They sailed beneath the polar ice cap, navigated the treacherous Sargasso Sea, and discovered the lost continent of Atlantis.  Eventually, though, the girls wanted their wardrobe back and thus Nautilus went into dry dock.  Our two sailors were left to ponder what they could ever do to top that grand adventure.

Tyler: I'm bored
Mikko: Me too.  Maybe we're having a mid-life crisis.  Daddy Steve is always talking about having one of those.
Tyler: Yeah, but he's got to be waaaay past middle age.

Tyler: I think the problem is that we've achieved success too early.  We're like F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Mikko: F. Scott Who?
Tyler: He was a famous American writer.
Mikko: Never heard of him.
Tyler: Me neither, but Robin was babbling on about him the other day.  Anyway, he became a success at such an early age that there was nowhere left for him to go.
Mikko: Just like us!  What can we do to top this last adventure?
Tyler: We peaked too soon.  >sigh<
Mikko: We're a spent force.
Tyler: How tragic!

Patrick: Those two.  Ridiculous.
Ravi: I know, but they really believe it.  They're really gloomy.
Rhoda: You need to do something.  They're no fun when they're not in trouble.
Patrick: Hmm.  I think I may have an idea...

Ravi: Good afternoon, gentlemen.  How goes it?
Mikko: Oh, it goes, I guess.
Patrick: Yes...well, the reason we're here is because we want to invite you to our next literary group meeting.  We'll be discussing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
Tyler: We lived that the past.

Ravi: That's why we were hoping you'd attend.  You could provide a first-hand account of how the book inspired you.
Mikko: We would definitely have a lot to say about that!
Tyler: I don't know...

Patrick: Look at it this way; you've already read the book, so it would be like starting school with all of your homework already finished.
Tyler: Oh, I like that idea!  You can count us in!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Band

Daddy Steve:  Ever since their debut last November, the Gregoropolis band has been practicing regularly.  As band leader Bowie likes to remind them, you can't make it in the music business without hard work.

Bowie: Okay, everybody, great session!  Let's wrap it up for today.
Rolf: Gut!  I haff a cramp in my hand.

Bowie: We really need to come up with a proper name for our group.
Gavin: Well, Daddy Steve calls us his 'little virtuosos.'
Valerie: Daddy Steve says funny things sometimes.  Have you ever noticed how he calls a movie theater the 'show house'?
Sebastian: Old people call things by weird names.
Rolf: I luff Daddy Steve.

Bowie: I've got it!  We'll call ourselves 'The Bowie Five'.  You know, like The Dave Clark Five.
Gavin: Why?
Bowie:  Obviously, because there are five of us!
Gavin: No, I mean, why Bowie Five?
Bowie: Because, well, uh, you know, I'm kind of a big deal!

Valerie: Just a minute!  If I'm not mistaken, Dave Clark was the drummer so it stands to reason that since I'm the drummer, we should be 'The Valerie Five'.

Valerie: As Patrick would say, it's only logical.
Bowie: Yeah, well, logic isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Alright, we can be 'The Valerie Five'.
Rolf: Yay!

Sebastian: "Logic isn't all it's cracked up to be?"  Nice comeback.  >snort<
Bowie: She caught me off-guard!  Anyway, I had to give in; I think she's sweet on me!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Home For Books

Daddy Steve: Gregoropolis is a book-loving household.  Daddy John loves to read and has a sizable personal library.  The kids, too, enjoy reading and have a lot of books.  Sometimes keeping them organized and tidy can be a challenge...

Anthony: These books are getting out of hand!  We need a proper place to store them.

My first thought was to build a bookcase myself.  I'm sure I could come up with something, but the problem is finding the time.  All of those boring but necessary activities like work, cooking, laundry, housework, etc. take up a lot of time. 

Marco: Daddy Steve said he might build us a bookcase himself.
Robin: >Sigh<  We'll all be in college by the time he gets around to that.

On to Plan B: Buy a ready-made bookcase, or at least something that could be adapted for the purpose.  I started searching the internet for things like 'curio shelves,' 'shadow boxes,' and 'drawer organizers' -- things that on a different scale would work as Sasha-sized bookshelves.  

One early find was this glass-doored cabinet, which was meant to be hung on a wall.  It's charming, and I think fairly old.  Unfortunately, it doesn't hold much.  We can still use it for dishes and other knick-knacks.

Meghan: It's a perfect place for our objet d'art.
Luke: Who's Art? What does he object to?  Why do you want to shut him up in that cabinet? 

I began to wonder if I was overthinking.  Perhaps it would be better to just search for  'doll bookcase?'  The problem was that all of the search results came up for 1/12 scale dollhouse miniatures.  But what if i were to search for '18 doll bookcase' -- as in an 18" (American Girl size) doll?  That's how I eventually found this bookcase on Etsy.  It's nicely made, and the shelves are even adjustable.

Frederick: Excellent craftsmanship
Daphne: And it matches our other furniture too!

Of course, right after I bought it I found the very thing that I had initially envisioned -- at Target for a whole $5.00.

I think it will work well for storing our toys and games.  We have a lot of those, too.

Sasha: It's nice to be organized.
Miguel: Indeed.

I'll probably repaint it because it has a sort of chalk-like paint finish that I'm not terribly fond of.  So we now actually have a surplus of storage space!  

And what to the kids say to this?

All: We need more books and games and toys!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Ahoy, Captain Nemo! (Part 2)

Daddy Steve: Mikko and Tyler have told Rhoda and Ezra all about their scheme to re-launch the Nautilus.

Ezra: That would be awfully cool!
Rhoda: You should use our wardrobe box; it's much bigger.
Tyler: Um, do you think we should ask Holly Belle first?
Rhoda: Why would she care?

Although Mikko and Tyler don't always exercise the best judgement, they're not total fools...

Mikko: We should probably ask Holly Belle.
Tyler: Yeah.

Surprisingly, Holly Belle was in an agreeable mood.

Holly Belle: Just plain water, right?
Tyler: Yes, ma'am.
Holly Belle: Well, that seems okay.  We hardly have anything in it anyway.  Just be sure you dry it out when you're done.
Mikko: Thanks!

Finally the big moment arrived.  New boy Nicholas, hearing all the commotion, joined the group.

Nicholas: I say, this is more exciting than the Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta!

Tyler felt the spring tighten as he turned the winding key.

Tyler: All engines standing by.

Mikko replaced the cork.

Mikko: We're watertight!

Tyler carefully lowered the sub into the water...

Tyler: Ready!

Mikko: Wow! Look at it go!
Ezra: How many knots do you think it's traveling?
Nicholas: It really looks like it's diving and surfacing!
Rhoda: Way cool!

Tyler: Too bad we don't have a giant squid to attack it.
Rhoda: I've got just the thing...

Rhoda: I've been saving this for a special occasion.
Tyler: Perfect!
Mikko: You know, Rhoda, you're okay!
Rhoda: Yeah, I know.

Mikko: "Helmsman, why have we stopped?"
Tyler: "Sir, a giant Kraken has fouled our propeller!"
Mikko: "Then we must surface and do battle with the beastie!"


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Ahoy, Captain Nemo!

Daddy Steve:  Mikko and Tyler like to go snooping exploring around the house.  They particularly enjoy dragging out my childhood toys (which they refer to as antiques).  I haven't saved a lot of things from my childhood; just a few special items like a working model steam engine that I received for Christmas one year.

Tyler: Wow!  This is the coolest thing ever!

Mikko: Can we start it up, Daddy Steve?
Daddy Steve: Hmmmmm...I think we would have to get the state safety inspector to look it over first.
Mikko & Tyler: Awwwwww

Sometimes parents are good at throwing cold water on hot ideas...

Duncan: Just as well.  Knowing those two, they probably would have blown up the house!
Alice: Oh dear, that's a worrisome thought.
Ann Marie: I don't think that's too likely.  Although, they probably would have made a mess that we would have had to clean up!

On another snoop exploration, they came across another beloved old toy of mine.  I was fine with letting them play with this one.

Tyler: Hey Mikko, look at this!

Mikko: It's the Nautilus, from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
Tyler: That's one of our favorite books.

Mikko: It's from England, just like us!

Tyler: When  you wind it up, the propeller actually spins!

It was at this moment, you could see the light dawn on both of their faces, when two great schemes came together...

Mikko: We fill the wardrobe box up with water...
Tyler: ...and launch the Nautilus!