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Monday, January 30, 2006

It is I-----Captain Vegetable!

It's weird now that my kids are old enough to be nostalgic about the TV shows they watched when they were toddlers. Going through the PT household this past week (thanks to Fudge) is the theme song to Captain Vegetable, our favorite new Superhero.

Three Cheers for Me Captain Vegetable---Crunch Crunch Crunch!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

You Know School Vacation is Over...

...when it's time for lice checking.

I don't know if this is done elsewhere, but in our school, kids are not allowed back in class after a long vacation without being checked for lice. I'm sure there is some sound medical reasoning for this degrading process that eludes me. But for as long as I have had kids in school, my wife and I (ok so it's mostly my wife) have had to participate in this process.

Which usually goes something like this: We wait until the day before school starts, then shlep all our kids to the school, then sign up their names, and wait for someone to call them to check. Occasionally either the Mrs. or myself will do some of the checking.

One year, when Curly was around 3 (he's 12 now), he got to come along for the ride while the older kids were being checked. One woman who was checking called out, "Who wants lice checked?"

To which Curly volunteered, "I want Rice Chex!"

Crossposted at Our Kids Speak

Take 2

Shall we try that again?

If you're in Chicago next Saturday night (February 4), stop by the Young Israel of West Rogers Park and check out The Band as we try once again to make it to our gig!

We're playing with Special Guest Drummer Matt Kanter, who was nice enough to drive up to Milwaukee tonight (or was it last night) for a grueling 4 hour rehearsal where we went through I think 40 songs! The guy is a machine, I tell you, A MACHINE!

Anyway, G-d willing, hope to see some of you there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

JIB Awards

Note: New posts will appear BELOW this one

Welcome to those who are visiting from The Jerusalem Post and Israellycool for the JIB Award nominations! For your convenience, I've collected some funny posts here. Also check out the Psychotoddler 101 and 102 posts. Enjoy!

Voting is underway!

Best Personal Blog

Best Jewish Culture Blog

Best Jewish Humor Blog'

Rose's Story, the series I wrote about my Mother's Holocaust experience, was nominated by a very nice person for Best Series.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Vote for Fudge!

Round 2 of the JIB award voting is underway!

Make sure to cast a vote for Fudge for best student life blog! She has a killer post about her first semester here.

Oh, and because she is my daughter and therefore psychotically deranged, she decided to name her blog More Tales of Crime and Treason on the High Seas (pick that when you vote).

And should you want to support Psychotoddler, you can still vote for me here and here and for Rose's Story here. And The Jewish Connection here.

What I SHOULD have said

Kevin: Stacey! What's shakin!

Kevin: Yeah, it's me, Kevin.

Kevin: Not too much. I'm in the airport. My flight's been delayed.

Kevin: Milwaukee.

Kevin: Wisconsin.

Kevin: You know where Chicago is? No? Never mind. Anyway, I have a few minutes, and I figured we haven't talked in a while.

Kevin: Yeah, you're the first person I thought of calling.

Psychotoddler: snort

Kevin: What am I doing here? Came for a job interview.

Kevin: Yeah, I'm in big demand. These guys are all fighting over me.

Kevin: Seriously. They offered me 50 grand, but I'm--

Psychotoddler: Forty grand.

Kevin: --hold on a sec. Excuse me?

Psychotoddler: Forty grand. I've heard you tell this story four times now, and the last three times you said it was forty grand.

Kevin: Am I talking to you??

Psychotoddler: Actually, yes you are. When you sit down right across from me, and you speak so loudly that I can't concentrate on the book that I was quietly trying to read here, then yes, you are speaking to me. I feel very much like I'm a part of this conversation and reserve the right to participate in it. By the way, say hi to Stacey for me.

Kevin: What are you, some kind of psycho?

Psychotoddler: As a matter of fact...

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Dad's Status

This is a downer. Consider yourselves warned.

I originally had a much longer and more detailed post written, but I'm scrapping it.

This has been a very hard year for my Father. I’ve written about it before, here, here and here. It’s also been a tough year for my Mom, having to make the kinds of decisions that have been put before her. It's also been very hard for me.

My Dad has pneumonia and is in the hospital. He seems to be doing well as far as that's concerned. He has also developed some infected sores on his legs, and had to have his left leg amputated above the knee. That's why I was in New York. Any crazy dream I may have had about my Father walking again and going back home is now gone.

I'm most concerned about his diminishing level of energy. Right now, it seems like even keeping his eyes open is a major effort. I've spoken with his doctors and made my own recommendations. I'm in touch with them and my family. That's all I can do right now.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog, already in progress.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Out of Blog Message

Sorry I haven't been responding to any of your comments. My father is ill and I've had to fly to NY for a few days. My folks don't have internet access and I'm just checking my mail at the Queens Public Library.

Please keep Eliezer ben Perel in mind.

Oif Simchas.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dear Doctor Bean

Dear Doctor Bean,

It was with great sadness that I read about the loss of your beloved Cross Morph Pen when you were making hospital rounds. We all have our "special pens," and to lose one in the line of duty was all the more poignant. I expressed my deepest condolences on your blog at the time.

Imagine my surprise when, a scant month later, I received the same pen in the mail, a present from you, my dear friend and colleague. I was touched. I don't know what prompted this spontaneous act of kindness and generosity. Perhaps, you took pity on me, forced as I was to rely on drug reps to supply their often inferior writing implements. I fear I may never know your true motivations, but I thank you none-the-less.

However, I'm afraid there have been some...unforeseen consequences of this bequeathal. Perhaps you did not really know my nature when you decided, out of the pure goodness of your heart, to spend an ungodly amount of money (plus shipping) on this gift. You may not have been aware, for example, of the inverse relationship between the value of a pen, and the time it takes for me to lose it.

You may also not have been aware of the intense jealousy that my wife has of any possession of mine that is both valuable and capable of being used for writing. Nor that even as I was unwrapping the pen from the enormous box in which it was shipped (and which she had originally assumed contained another one of those science fiction DVD's that I usually hide from her in the basement where she will never find them), she was already hatching a plan for pinching the pen and claiming it as her very own.

You were not aware of these things, but I surely was. And so I thought, "How can I hold on to this pen, and not lose it, or forget it somewhere on a desk, or leave it in the pocket of my pants, or the seat of my car?" And at the same time, I had to make sure that it was never visible in plain sight at home, lest my nefarious spouse have the opportunity to confiscate it.

My Lab Coat! Of course! I could put it in the pocket of my Lab Coat. But again, this was not as simple as it seemed. For the sad truth, that you could not have guessed, was that I never wore my Lab Coat. How could you know this? All you see of me is my Yahoo! Messenger icon, which looks like this:

So of course, you would assume that I wore a lab coat. But I don't. I prefer simple shirt-sleeves and a tie. And sadly, no, it is not because I try to make the patients feel more comfortable. I do it for my comfort alone. I get too shvitzy in the lab coat.

But I needed the Lab Coat in order to keep the pen safe! And so I dug it out from it's place of hiding behind some old shirts, a pair of pants with frayed cuffs, and a sweater that makes me look fat. I didn't know when I had last worn it. But it still had several drug pens, some old patient lists, and the wrapper from a Kit Kat bar in the pockets. And I put it on, and gingerly placed the new Cross Morph Electric Blue pen with the adjustable rubber grip into the front breast pocket. And I wore the coat for the next several days.

Oh, it was hard. I had to watch myself every second of the day. I would take the pen out, that was no problem. But putting it back! I would sometimes forget and put it in my shirt pocket anyway! And sometimes I would take the coat off, to go to the bathroom, for instance, and forget to put it back on! And then I would have nothing in my pocket to write with! It was beyond stressful. And let us not forget, coming home, I would have to quickly hang up the Coat on the hook behind the door, and then quickly cover it with my overcoat, before my wife could see it. I was living a double life! Praying that she would not find out what I was doing! The shame of it all!

Well, one day, I noticed that the coat was looking...grayer than usual. It had the air of having traveled too much. It needed to be cleaned. I decided that if the deed were to be done, it would best be done quickly, and by none but myself. I emptied out the pockets, took out the old parking permits and the St. Francis dictation instruction card, and put them carefully in a basket. I took out, too, 6 pens from various pockets, including the delicate Cross Morph Electric Blue Pen with its velvety smooth black ink.

I surreptitiously snuck down the stairs and into the laundry room. I put the now empty coat into the washing machine, and threw in a few pairs of underpants for good measure, and started the wash cycle.

Woe unto me! For in my haste I had erred gravely! There were not six pens in my pockets on that fateful day! There were SEVEN! And that seventh pen wreaked a mighty havoc on my coat and the few pairs of underpants!

Ruined! Ruined! In my selfish need to keep the pen all to myself, I had ruined the one innocent thing that should have meant so much more to me! And it will cost about $30 to replace.

So if you'd just, uh, fork it over...


Psycho Toddler

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Our Kids Speak!

One of the reasons I started blogging was to give myself an impetus to record all of the unintentionally funny things my kids have said to me over the years. The sad truth is that I have already forgotten most of them. But a choice few still remain in long term memory. Like the time my oldest son was 3 and he had to go to the ER and he told them they could put the "blood crusher" around his arm. Or the naming ceremony for my daughter Elana, where my son Rafi (also 3) asked "How do you spell Iguana?"

But there are many more zany sayings that I thought were hysterical at the time, and now I just can't remember what they were. So, one of the reasons for starting PsychoToddler was to have an outlet to record them. As I have made my way across the blogosphere over the past few years, I have discovered that there are quite a few other parents of vocabularily challenged tots out there, and it turns out that humans all around the world do in fact share one thing in common: The desire to make fun of and embarrass our kids in front of as many other adults as possible.

So it is with much nudging and prodding that I launch the inaugural post of Our Kids Speak, because Kid Talk, Kid Blog, Kid Speak, and Kids eat Boogers were all taken already.If you feel that you would like to be a part of this blog, email me at mskiermd at sbcglobal dot net.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Evil Dad part 2

Last night I took Iguana, my 9 year-old, to hear Simply Tsfat. If I had to use one word to describe that band it would be simcha (joy). I've heard (and played) many of those tunes before, but rarely have I heard them played with such joy and enthusiasm. Bravo.

Lest you think I am some kind of uber-Dad for deciding to spend some quality time with one of my six kids to make her feel special...actually, go ahead and think that. It's much better than the real reason I took her. Which was because I didn't have time to drive her home from her piano lesson and still get to the show on time. Let's just say her enthusiasm for the show was somewhat less than mine.

Anyway, they were playing in a rather far-off suburb and we had to take the highway to get there from the music store. It was dark and the signs were not well-marked. I had a hard time finding the entrance ramp to the highway. We ended up making a bunch of wrong turns in the dark and then trying to make U-Turns on streets that were clearly labeled as "No U-Turn" and I was getting increasingly pissed-off.

Eventually, after driving along the service road for a while, I did manage to find an on-ramp. Iguana was obviously relieved about that, as she proclaimed:

"Look, Abba! There's the Freakin' Highway!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Enhance your Calm, Psychotoddler...

OK OK. I think I'm taking these JIBs waaaaay to seriously. I need to prepare myself to be knocked out of the first round of voting. Otherwise I'm setting myself up for a big fall. I have to keep telling myself "this is only a contest, and one based solely on readership, and you don't have that big a readership..." Yeah, I passed 50K this week, but there are blogs out there that do that kind of traffic every month.

And I'm being totally clobbered by The Dry Bones Blog. My wife tells me, "Why should that surprise you? He's a professional cartoonist! What are you? A professional Doctor! You're just not that funny!"

So anyway, that got me to thinking. Actually, it should have got me to thinking that I'm taking this too seriously and I should just enjoy the blog for what it is and the great virtual friends I've made through it and the outlet that it has given me to express my opinions and frustrations and share funny stories.

But what I was really thinking was, "Cartoons! Any low-life can draw cartoons! How hard can it be!" Also it reminded me that I had already drawn a cartoon and posted it on the internet in response to one of Fudge's posts.

So without further ado, look out The Dry Bones Blog, and Toothpaste for Dinner. I give you the searing social commentary of...Dental Floss for Breakfast!

BTW, don't comment that you "don't get it." If you "don't get it," there is obviously something wrong with you, not me.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Cro Magnon Grooming

Tonight night Female need shave Cro Magnon Man neck.

WAIT!! Where you go? This not disgusting story!

Where Cro Magnon Man was? Ah, yes. Tonight need neck shaved. Female not happy with Cro Magnon grooming.

"Why Cro Magnon bother to shave neck," Female ask, "but not HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE?? Aiiiiii!!!!"

"What," Cro Magnon say, "Not like job Cro Magnon do? Then Female do!"

Heh! Female! Female think anything Cro Magnon do, Female do better! Cro Magnon see.

"OK," say Female, "but we do upstairs in bathroom. Cro Magnon hair make BIG MESS and Cro Magnon too cheap to hire Cleaning Neanderthal woman."

Grrrr....Female not complain about all Cro Magnon hair when she see all Cro Magnon friends bald. Bah...never can please this Female.

Cro Magnon and female go upstairs.


ARRRRR!!! Phone ring again! This time, Cro Magnon check caller ID first. Last time Cro Magnon answer phone, end up with free vacation to Orlando without airfare or hotel, and have to listen to long sales pitch about time-share and....

Cro Magnon not get into THAT now!!

Caller ID say "VK Singh Heating and Ventilation." Forget it! Not want to talk to them.

"OK Female, shave Cro Magnon..."

"Cro Magnon Father!!!! Telephone!!!"

ROOOOAAAARRRRR!!!!!! Why cave kid answer phone??? Remind Cro Magnon to eat that one later.

Cave kid bring phone. Fine.

"Cro Magnon here. Who this?"

"This ventilation company. We will be in your area next week. We would like to clean your ducts."

"WHAAATT??? Cro Magnon not have any ducks!"

"No, sir, the ducks in your house. We can clean them for you."

"What wrong with you? Not understand Pre-Historic English? Cro Magnon not have ducks!" SLAAAMM!

Female say, "Why you slam phone into sink? That not way to hang up. Press button!"

"Now, not worry about more phone calls. This phone never ring again."

Now, Female shave front of neck. Cro Magnon tell her she welcome to shave off beard.

"No, you too ugly with no beard. Female leave you for better looking bald guy. Bald guy have smaller ears and bigger chin than you."

Female right. One time Cro Magnon Man shave of beard, and middle cave son not come out of closet for 2 weeks!

Now, Female shave back of neck. Save Cro Magnon Man $12 on haircut.

Female wonder, "Cro Magnon, is this what it like to grow old?"

"No," say Cro Magnon. "This what it like to grow old together."

Friday, January 06, 2006


Jonah Goldberg has an excellent editorial on Spielberg's Munich at National Review Online. I liked this bit in particular:

Was the solution to the "cycle of violence" in, say, Schindler's List to get all the Nazis around a table and talk until they were blue in the gills while the gas chambers continued to churn?

Spielberg has done some great things, like his Shoah Foundation. This film isn't one of them.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Laugh Track

As I was washing the psychotoddler tonight it occurred to me that she's gotten very giggly as of late. She's laughing a lot. She's always been a moody child (hence the blog), and she still has her moments, but on the whole she's been much happier. In retrospect, I think most of my kids have hit a certain euphoric stage a the age of 4 or 5. Maybe it corresponds to starting school and getting out of the house.

You know what I now wish I had done? I really wish that I had recorded all of their laughs at this age. I have six kids with six different laughs. There's one that starts with an audible gasp followed by an uncontrollable paroxysm of huhuhuhuhuh. And there was the one who starts with a low-pitched series of huhs that quickly crescendos into a high-pitched hah! And the one who laughs through her nose. Well, they still laugh in sorta the same way, but I think when people get older they learn to control their laughs more. But at 4 or 5 the laughs are unrestrained and much more contagious.

So I guess it's too late now. It would have been better if I had thought of this back when Fudge was small. I could say that about a lot of things I guess.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Aristocrats!

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Have you ever heard of The Aristocrats? It's a movie, released last year, about an infamous old joke. Actually a series of jokes. These jokes have two things in common:

1. The punchline is always "The Aristocrats!"
2. The wind-up leading to the punchline is so absolutely filthy that it can never be said in public.

So who tells these jokes? Comics. They tell them to each other, each trying to out-do the next. It's one of those movies that I will never see.

I bring this up because a similarly little-known fact about doctors is that we have our own Aristocrats jokes. Except that ours are usually true and don't share a common punchline. But we each carry with us a selection of anecdotes that are so delightfully perverse and yet so obviously filthy that we can never tell them to anyone. Except other doctors, of course.

And so it was during one of my infamous little IM chats with Doctor Bean today that I stumbled my way into another one of these jokes. True story. Something that happened to me today. And as I got into it with the good doctor I began to realize that this would make for one heck of a blog post.

But once again, good judgment took over and I realized that there was no way that I could possibly write about it. Not because of confidentiality. That wouldn't be in danger. It's just too filthy. It is way beyond the boundaries of good taste. Even for this blog. But it would be hysterical.

Just for kicks, I'm going to open this up for opinions. Here are the options:

1. I can post the story here.
2. I can let Doctor Bean post the story at Kerckhoff Coffeeshop.
3. I can post the IMs between me and Bean at Kerckhoff.
4. I can bury it somewhere else and leave clues for those who have no taste.
5. I can post it here but blank out the dirty parts.
6. None of the above.

Let me know what you think.


I'm thinking a lot of people are going to be getting year-old prescriptions today.