Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 789 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked what the kids should be thankful for. Seventy-two percent thought the kids should be thankful for their family -- something I hope Emma and Andrew will remember when they go through their unruly teenage years. Eighteen percent thought the kids should be thankful for this blog, and a surprising nine percent thought the kids should be thankful for me. So to the one person who voted for me, I tell you this: you must have a serious drinking problem and I beg you to seek help.

**********

With Thanksgiving behind us (Literally! Look at my fat butt!), we only have one more stressful holiday to close out the year. Lisa and I are almost halfway through our holiday shopping, but still have a lot more to do. In terms of the number of family members we need to get gifts for, Lisa's side of the family is much larger than mine. And as for the number of friends, once again Lisa's list outnumbers mine. But then again, it's not too difficult to outnumber zero.

Lisa and I haven't decided what to buy Emma and Andrew for Christmas. Throughout the year, we end up buying them little toys here and there so they are never in need of something new. Also, our family and friends are very generous so the kids will be getting more than enough toys, books, clothes, and fruitcake to last them for months.

So I started to think whether or not we need to shower Emma and Andrew with holiday gifts. We will of course give them presents to open, but maybe there's not an immediate need to stress over their gifts right now. We could wait to see what they don't get and then buy those toys after Christmas. What do you think?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 788 - Eat, Shoots, Leaves & Bad Captions


I think it is evident from my blog that my mind is often warped and quite peculiar. I see the world differently from others mostly because I tend to see the bizarreness in people and situations...and I also have a bad astigmatism. But even I have my limits...

Case in point: the picture to your right. Or if you're reading this in a mirror: the picture to your left. This is a photo from last week's Picture Friday. The caption I posted was: Andrew recreates how a pantless Daddy snuck up behind Mommy and forced her on a first date.

My intention with the caption was that the only way a pathetic person like myself would be able to get anyone to go on a date with me was to grab them and force them on a date. Even to this day, I still have a problem getting Lisa to go out on a date. I have even tried the pantless approach and still nada.

As I was checking my email today, I received some upset comments about the picture caption:

I know you joke a lot and have a twisted sense of humor, but I found the caption on picture #2 very disturbing and NOT funny at all. -- Anonymous I agree. You finally went over the edge Mr Ichikawa. -- Anonymous Go for it Scott! Get rid of that nastiness! -- Anonymous

Me no rikey Crazy Grandma Dance! Blahblahblah! Grrgrr! -- Crazy Grandma

I was racking my brain trying to figure out what catalyzed this strong response to a picture caption. Since I've been so disgusting and inappropriate on many other occasions, I wasn't too sure why people were suddenly going Crazy Grandma on my ass. But then I realized...

...the combination of the word "force", the position Emma and Andrew were in, and the lecherous expression on Andrew's face made me realize that people were interpreting the picture to mean...um...well. Even I find it too tasteless to mention. Let's just say that people thought Emma and Andrew were doing something that Lisa and I haven't done for the past seven months.

Needless to say that was not what I was implying. I guess I better be more careful with the way I phrase my captions the next time since it seems as if readers of this blog know me for what I am: a shameless huckster of bad jokes, innuendos, and cheap laughs. Luckily enough for me, all characteristics Lisa was looking for in a husband.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 787 - The Crazy Grandma Dance


Something that has been a revelation to me about the kids is that they are at a point -- for better or worse -- where they will copy almost anything you ask them to do. If you ask them to say a word, they'll try to say it. If you ask them to tickle someone, they'll tickle them. If you ask them to hunt down a bully from 3rd grade that has been on your mind for the past 25 years, they'll hunt that bastard down.

Recently, I've been teaching the kids to do silly dances. I have taught them to do the "Mommy Dance." Since Lisa trips over things easily, the "Mommy Dance" is basically walking and then falling to the ground. The "Grandpa Dance" is pretending to use the remote control and then falling asleep. But the highlight is definitely the "Crazy Grandma Dance."

Crazy Grandma is known for nagging and grunting in frustration. So the "Crazy Grandma Dance" is saying "Blahblahblah" followed by grunting. Here are Emma and Andrew performing the "Crazy Grandma Dance":

video

The dance was such a hit that this inspired Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) to compose a little dance mix of the "Crazy Grandma Dance." Please note that the voice sampling is done by the actual Crazy Grandma nagging and grunting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 786 - Picture Friday

Auntie Anne makes the kids into musubi babies.


Andrew recreates how a pantless Daddy snuck up behind Mommy and forced her on a first date.


"Crap," bemoans Crazy Grandma. "I got another damn baby to take care of now."


Sometimes you need to be creative to shut a kid up.


What you don't see in this picture is Andrew on the other side of the crib trying to crush Emma.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 785 - Happy Thanksgiving


The time of the year has come again when we give thanks for all we have by overeating, complaining about our health, and sitting on our asses the entire day watching parades and football. Happy Thanksgiving!

Our day started off watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with the kids. Emma and Andrew took quite a bit of interest watching the festive floats, marching bands, and gigantic balloons. What shocked me was how many balloon characters they recognized by name. They knew Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, and Kermit the Frog. I thought the size of the balloons might've scared the kids, but the only thing they ended up being scared of was Al Roker.

For the past two years since the kids were born, we ordered the Thanksgiving Box Feast at Marie Callender's. The turkey has always been pretty tasty, but the sides have always been a little disappointing. So this year, we only ordered the turkey and a pumpkin pie; we decided to cook everything else.

When we thought about it, the sides for Thanksgiving are not very difficult to make. We made sweet potato casserole, garlic mashed potatoes, string beans, oven-roasted corn on the cob, stuffing, and rice. That's right. I said rice. America has Miracle Whip, and the Ichikawas have rice. Live with it.

Since the kids have grown accustomed to eating food that we eat (i.e. fried foods, fatty foods, and more fried foods), it was the first Thanksgiving since they were born that we were all able to eat together at the same time as a family. Emma and Andrew really enjoyed their dinner, and everything went smoothly except for one thing.

While Emma was eating her dinner, she wiped her face and something went up her nose: a piece of corn. At first it was pretty funny, and Emma didn't seem to be too bothered by it. The corn was still sticking out so I thought it would be pretty easy to pull out. It wasn't.

Each time I grabbed the piece of corn, it went up a little farther up her nose. I started to panic. I tried to massage the corn down her nostril. I also plugged her other nostril and asked Emma to blow which was a bit of a disaster because she ended up spitting food on me. To make matters worse, everyone was telling me what to do.

"Get tweezers," shouted Lisa.

"Don't use your fingers," shouted Crazy Grandma.

"Tell her blow into kleenex," shouted Auntie Anne (pretzel maven).

"Where's the remote control," shouted Lazy Grandpa.

Through a combination of nostril massage and finger manipulation, I was able to get the piece of corn out of Emma's nose. Thankfully, Emma did not cry or whine even once. This whole episode was especially embarrassing for me because I've had a lot of practice picking my nose so I felt like I let people down.

And with that, our Thanksgiving was over. I hope you had a great holiday, and hope it wasn't as corny as ours.

"Dude...we got fat."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 783 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime

With Thanksgiving just days away, let me put to shame all of your crazy family and friends around the dinner table with another edition of...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!

When your mother becomes a grandmother, there are several tried and true gifts. You can make scrapbooks, art projects made by the kids, or just give her the damn bastards from the ages of thirteen through twenty-one. Something that I often give Crazy Grandma are framed photos of Emma and Andrew.

For one of the holidays (I think it was National Toasted Marshmallow Day), I gave Crazy Grandma a rotating picture frame display. After taking a very long time trying to figure out which pictures were the cutest and most adorable, I finally selected three pictures of myself; I also put in a picture of the kids.

This past weekend, we were having a family dinner at our place. After Crazy Grandma put down her bottle of Crown Royal, she started to ramble about how cute she thinks the kids are. But any compliment by Crazy Grandma would not be complete without a jab or a nag.

"Emma an An-doo are sooooo cute. But yu gave dat pic-cha of An-doo that no good at all. No good!" exclaimed Crazy Grandma. "It dat pic-cha of An-doo and Emma where An-doo hair rook awwwwful! Awwwwful!"

I wasn't too sure what Crazy Grandma was talking about...as usual. So I asked her why Andrew's hair looked so bad.

"An-doo hair rook so straight and have bad bangs. You know wha An-doo rook rike? Hitler! An-doo rook rike Hitler!"

''Heil me!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 782 - Poll Results & New Poll


A few weeks ago, I asked if it was a good idea to limit the praise we give the kids. Sixty-seven percent of you thought that we should lay on the praise like a big gob of Nutella on top of a piece of toast: thick, sweet, and gooey. Thirty-five percent ignored the question all together and sarcastically suggested that we also limit the number of crayons around the television. To that response, I praise all of you for being such terrific smartasses.

Although I don't totally agree that you should lavish praise upon your kids 24/7, I do believe that you should not criticize. I also believe that you should try to encourage them as much as possible and make sure they do not give up on things. For example, just a little while ago I was encouraging Emma and Andrew not to suck so much at coloring, and if they gave up I warned them that I would burn their toys.

**********

I can't believe another year is almost over and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Although the holidays can often be stressful, I try to remember what Thanksgiving should be about. This year, Thanksgiving reminds me of several things: 1) New Moon is my new favorite movie, and I want to marry Taylor Lautner. 2) On Black Friday, Best Buy is selling a 50" Panasonic 1080p television/blu-ray player bundle for $999. 3) We're lucky to have such a great, supportive family.

As much as I make fun of everyone in my family (both the Ichikawas and Ichinagas), I know the kids are very lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of people. So what do you think the kids should be most thankful for this holiday season?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 781 - Return of the Maven


Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) has made her way back to Los Angeles to spend a few weeks with the family. It is always nice to have her around because when she hangs out with us it's like taking care of another baby. It's like free birth control!

Since Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) is playful (i.e. mentally slow), the kids really enjoy hanging out with her. Emma can actually say, "Auntie Annnnne." And Andrew is pretty close too. He can almost say, "Beeeetch."

Last night, Crazy, Lazy, and Pretzel Maven were at our place watching The Amazing Race. During a commercial break, we told the kids it was time to go to sleep. I asked Emma to give everyone a hug and kiss. Emma went around to everyone like a good girl and proceeded to walk into the bedroom. As for Andrew, he laid on the sofa watching television ignoring my request.

So, I told Auntie Anne to turn off the television. Once again, I asked Andrew to give everyone a hug and kiss. Andrew got off the sofa and started to run towards Auntie Anne. But instead of giving her a hug, he ran around her and turned the television back on. I told Auntie Anne to turn off the television again.

This time, Andrew pointed at Auntie Anne and said, "NO!" He walked back to the television and turned it back on. Finally, I turned off the television as I dragged Andrew into the bedroom against his will.

I think with Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) back in town, I won't have a problem figuring out what to write on the blog for the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 780 - The Musubi Baby

Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse Auntie Susan visited today with her family. They were in town for a wedding, and of course they had to come to visit the kids which I am sure is a cover so they can actually visit their favorite in-law...moi.

As usual, Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse Auntie Susan brought the kids some gifts. Instead of the usual gauze and IV kit, she gave the kids some cute t-shirts and books. Notice I did not use the word cute to describe the books because these books have got to be the most bizarre picture books I've ever read.

The book that was given to the kids is called The Musubi Baby. For those of you who do not know what a musubi is, it is a Japanese word for a rice ball. What I am about to describe is pretty much an abbreviated version of the actual book. This is no joke! You can't make this stuff up.


If the cover of the book doesn't clue you in that there is something terribly wrong going on here, check out the lack of pants and penis on Papa Musubi.


The story begins when a boy musubi who loves to run finds a girl musubi who loves to run, too.


After a short courtship, they decide to get married.


Pretty soon, they decide they want to have a musubi baby. Since it is impossible to have a baby due to Papa Musubi's lack of a penis and balls (Ironic, since he is actually one gigantic ball), they decide to make one. And of course every musubi has a heart made out of Spam... and a liver made out of Lipitor.


While running around the beach, the musubi family comes upon a lunch truck that is out of rice.


Pretty soon, hungry people start to chase after the musubis with chopsticks.


Add ImageBut no worry to the readers because at the end of the book is a recipe on how to make your very own musubi baby that you can eat.

Murder, castrated men, and eating babies. These are just a few of the topics you can discuss with your child after reading this book. And if you're unable to find this book in your local library, please feel free to contact me for a copy of this book. Seriously. I'll personally deliver this book to your house in a Papa Musubi costume.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 779 - Picture Friday

Question to Andrew: What does Daddy look like when Mommy farts in bed?


"Look what I got! Jon and Kate are just giving them away for free!"


"Someone call for a singing telegram?"


Emma learns from Mommy and Daddy that the only way to make a baby eat broccoli is to hit them over the head with it and then shove it down their throat.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 778 - Something to Think About...


As I sit here at work and the kids are asleep at home, I began to wonder whether or not I would want them to work in the entertainment industry. Although I have always found it an exciting thing to do, I would definitely hope they would choose a job that is a little more stable and not as stressful like an air traffic controller or street mime.

I went through a few of my old resumes and was shocked to see how many shows I've worked on. I once heard a story from someone who told me he knew someone who only worked on three television shows his entire life: Taxi, Cheers, and Frasier. That's twenty-seven years of solid, continuous work!

As for myself, I have been working in television for about fourteen years, and according to my count I have worked on at least thirty-five productions -- a mixture of presentations, pilots, and shows. For the curious, here's the current list: Hangin With Mr. Cooper, Crimes of the Century, Chicago Sons, Rewind, Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher, Maggie Winters, Citation of Merit, Martin & Claudia, Movie Stars, Hype, The Norm Show, Bliss, Fastlane, Operation Junkyard, Primetime Glick, Imposter, Face Off, The I Do Diaries, Wife Swap, Junkyard Wars, Renovate My Family, The Hollow Men, The Wife & Times of Teddy Berman, Wanda at Large, Joint Custory, Aisha Tyler Pilot, Washington Street, Hot Properties, Community Service, The War at Home, Notes From the Underbelly, Valerie Bertinelli Pilot, Californication, The End of Steve, and The C Word.

And if you knew more than five of those shows, you really watch way too much television. Go outside for a walk, you freak.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 777 - Good Night Chat


Due to long work hours, I have resorted to video chatting with the kids before they go to bed. Lisa will set up the laptop at home and all of us will have a little internet family bonding.

There was one time when all of my co-workers were in my office watching Emma and Andrew saying good night to me. I thought I would have the kids do some of their tricks to show what vastly superior babies they are. After the kids recited the periodic table and rattled off a few simple algebra formulas, I thought it would be cute for the kids to hug and tickle each other.

I told Andrew to hug and tickle Emma. And he did. My office went "Awwwww."

Then I told Emma to hug and tickle Andrew. And she did. Except when she tried to tickle him, she pushed him over and his head hit his crib. The next thing you know, Andrew popped up in front of the webcam holding his head and screaming for revenge. Lisa abruptly ended the vidchat.

The next thing you know my entire office was criticizing me for causing Andrew to hit his head. So I had to resort to using my authority at work by saying, "If I hear one more criticism coming out from anyone's mouth, I will use my middle management powers to talk to upper management to have them possibly talk to the boss who may or may not make an official report to human resources in which this report would be officially filed and tucked away in a banker box and taken to a warehouse in Sun Valley. Don't MAKE me do that!"

It's great to wield such mediocre power.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 776 - Bad Photos

Although it's important to have cute photos of your children, I find it just as necessary to keep the photos that might make people wonder whether or not they may be inbred. It's great for a laugh and blackmail for later in life. Here are a few...







Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 775 - Poll Results & New Poll - DELAYED AGAIN


Not to be a whiner again, but I am finishing up my last week of actual production on this television pilot. For those of you not familiar with television production, a pilot is like having a colic baby while having a root canal and a colonoscopy at the same time...for eight straight weeks.

So this week I will do simpler posts than usual. Perhaps a few photos. Perhaps a Crazy Grandma Ichikawa comment. Or maybe just an update on my stress level and angina.

Until next week!!! Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 774 - Conversations with Emma


At the end of dinner, the kids receive a treat. We grab a box of toddler cookies, and we give each of the kids one banana cookie and one alphabet cookie. The cookies are rather plain tasting, but it's exciting enough for the kids. I mean they get excited over eating newspaper, so what the hell do I know.

Emma can have a voracious appetite, but she is also a picky eater. So if her dinner plate doesn't interest her, she will start to ask for her cookies. The other night I had this conversation with her.

EMMA: 'Nana coookie!

SCOTT: Emma, you have to eat more of your dinner. Look at this lovely burnt toast and over-cooked chicken that Mommy made for you.

EMMA: 'Nana coookie!

SCOTT: You need to eat something on your plate before you get your cookie.

EMMA: 'Nana cookie, pleeeze!"

SCOTT: Okay. If you eat this broccoli, then you can get your banana cookie.

Scott hands the broccoli to Emma. Emma takes the broccoli and stares at it.

SCOTT: Emma. You have to eat it.

EMMA: 'Nana cookie?

SCOTT: Eat the broccoli first.

Emma brings the broccoli to her mouth. She begins to open her mouth to take a bite. But then she suddenly closes her mouth and rubs the broccoli crown all over her lips as if it was a tube of chapstick. Little bits of broccoli stick to her face making it look like she just made out with Oscar the Grouch.

EMMA: Dere! All done! 'Nana cookie! Now!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 773 - Stunt Babies

The kids find the strangest things to play with: torn cardboard, zippers, and my belly button lint. What they have discovered with our sofa is that not only is it a place to sit down or soil, but it is also a great place to do belly flops and falls.

With the pseudo-supervision of an adult, Emma and Andrew love to run and jump on our sofa until they sweat like a Shakira music video. I remember as a child that I used to like to imitate Dick Van Dyke when he would do his pratfall over the ottoman on his television (I watched it in syndication, people! I'm not THAT old!). There's something quite liberating about falling and rolling when you know it is safe to do. Unlike Lazy Grandpa falling and rolling because of a bad back.

Here's a video of the kids doing their latest stunt gag: falling backwards off the edge of the sofa.

video

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 772 - Picture Friday

"Dude...someone change this woman's diaper."


Big shoes on Andrew=cute. Big shoes on Scott=oafish.


This picture reminds me of the first time I met Lisa at that bar in Hollywood.


"Hey, Dad! Your show hasn't been canned yet. Jack this puppy up to 74 degrees!"


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 771 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime

What's a bigger disaster than the movie 2012? Why it is...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime 2009!

People make fun of Los Angeles because it always has the same weather. But it's not true. During the fall and the winter, there are actual times when I may have to dig out of the closet some longs pants and socks. Brrrrr!

Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa only have a handful of weeks here in Los Angeles before they return to Sacramento. Although Sacramento can get blazingly hot and frigidly cold, Crazy Grandma has found the last few nights in Southern California a bit on the cold side.

While overstaying a visit with us, she mentioned how cold their apartment is.

"Oooooh! I tell yu. Ow apahtment is sooooo cold and cooooool. I dunno why it soooo cold for!" complained Crazy Grandma as she pantomined how cold she was.

I mentioned to her that it really hasn't been that cold yet. For the most part, the entire month has been in the 70s.

"Ahhhh!" dismissed Crazy Grandma. "But it no 70 at night time! Night time is cold, stoopid! You bettah make sure kids are warm at night. No catch cold!"

I explained that our place doesn't get too cold, but I would take out a space heater to stop her complaining. At this point, Crazy Grandma said something that she didn't mean to say, but with her accent it came out sounding like another word with an entirely different meaning. And just to clarify things, she meant to say the word, "Warm." Now, let's continue with the exciting conclusion...

And Crazy Grandma ended by saying, "Yah, your house not so cold. Dat true. Our place is a cold house; your place is a whore house."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 769 - Dancing Fool


After a long day at work, I usually rush home so I can see the kids before they go to bed. Yesterday, when I returned home I saw the sight of Lisa, Emma, and Andrew sitting on the couch watching Dancing With the Stars. I don't understand the huge appeal of this show because there's so little at stake. Is it really necessary to support a washed up b-list star to win a trophy that has no value at all? The true prize of the show is that a Willie Ames-like celebrity can earn a paycheck for a maximum of thirteen weeks.

Anyway, when I got home the kids were too entranced by the fancy footwork of Aaron Carter to give me a second of their time. Quite literally, when I said hello to the kids all that they did was turn their heads in unison towards me, then turned their heads back to Carrie Ann Inaba embarrassing Japanese people across America for another week.

I was annoyed that the kids ignored me, so I went up to the couch and demanded their attention.

"Daddy's home! Don't you want to say hi to me?" I pleaded.

The kids again turned towards me and with a touch of mockery mumbled, "...hi..."

Well that did it. I was determined to make the kids respect me. And what better way to earn respect than to dance for it.

I started to wave my legs and arms wildly in front of the kids. I did some fancy footwork and even jumped up and down a few times. The kids began to look at me! It was working! My dancing made my kids' hearts open up for their desperate whore of a Daddy. They love me! They really love me!

And then Emma ruined the party. She glared at me, waved one arm in the air, and shouted, "Stop! Stop Dada! Stop Dada!" And then turned her attention towards Bruno Tonioli dry humping Len Goodman's arm.

Maybe it was a mistake. I did a box step.

"Stop Dada! Stop Dada! Stop!" commanded Emma.

Nope. Not a mistake.

I felt slightly embarrassed and defeated that my two year old daughter was telling her goofy father to stop dancing. I felt even more embarrassed and defeated that Lisa was rolling on the sofa laughing at me. And where was Andrew in all of this? I suppose he was the only mature one in all of this sitting on the sofa...picking his nose...and sitting in his poop.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 768 - Poll Results & New Poll


Two week ago (I was sooooooo tired), I asked what other children shows would be appropriate for the kids to watch. Thirty-three percent of you thought Little Einsteins and Yo Gabba Gabba would be good choices. The rest of the votes were varied enough that even the Showtime lesbian-centric show The L Word made the list. Personally, I'm a Red Shoe Diaries sort of person, but lesbians are a-ok in my book, too.

I haven't had the kids watch Little Einsteins yet, although we have watched Yo Gabba Gabba enough times that it has given me nightmares and cold sweats. What has actually helped us with the variety of shows the kids watch is that I can now stream Netflix to my PS3. You can stream a large number of children shows including Blue's Clues (aka Couscous), Dora the Explorer, Barney, Thomas the Train, and The Wiggles. You can also watch the first five seasons of The L Word and wide selection of Ellen DeGeneres television shows.

**********

Lisa and I try to be very positive and encouraging around the kids. If the kids accomplish something like putting their shoes on by themselves, cleaning up their room, or coloring a smaller area of the television screen, we like to tell them they did a good job. But I have read some studies that show being too generous with plaudits can actually hamper a child's development. Possibly, too much praise could cause children to become unmotivated and cause performance anxiety (...at least I have an explanation for Lisa now regarding my own performance anxiety...).

What do you think? Should Lisa and I try to be more discriminating with our praise of Emma and Andrew? Or are the kids still at a young enough age where they really need a lot of encouragement and motivation? Or should we just say the hell with it because it'll all go out the window once they become teenagers?