RIP Daisy (7/05/03- 12/30/11)

Daisy, originally uploaded by fat overactor.

You were a wonderful dog. I had always wanted a Boston Terrier and I could not have found a better dog than you. Long before we had our daughter, it was you sleeping in my arms like a baby.

You loved your sunbeam; chasing bunnies; playing fetch with your ball and frisbees; and cuddling on the couch. I will miss your OCD kisses (I MUST lick you 47 times!) and the way you would make me laugh rolling Larken’s ball all around the yard on your hind legs.

Sure, you snorted and snored, burped, farted and other unlady-like behavior, but to me you were nothing short of precious.

I hope you, Hope and Star are all together now in Heaven, having a good time running and playing with no more pain. I miss you and I can’t wait for you to run into my arms again when my time comes.

I love you my sweet angel.




The break area of one of the buildings at my wife’s hospital as seen from the parking deck.

I love how art can transform a dreary claustrophobic space into a beautiful escape for the mind. For a brief moment of your day you can escape the gloom in your own little Tuscan villa overlooking the ocean!

The Thankful Post That is Supposed to Happen Thursdays (6/19)

This week I am thankful for…
~ My wife.  We celebrated our 7th Wedding Anniversary on Monday! Somehow, she still likes me after all of this time, so I am a very lucky man!
~The Sun.  I actually SAW it this week after many days of rain!  I was able to mow the lawn for the first time in two weeks before it started raining again.
~True Blood is back on HBO with a new season!

Last week I was thankful for…
~Date Night.  Grandma took care of our daughter so that my wife and I could spend an evening ALONE.  We went to Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre to see the World Premiere play by our friend, (and Best Man at our wedding) Chad Kirvan.  We had chicken noodle soup, salad, prime rib, fried chicken, pork loin in béarnaise sauce, tilapia, baked potato, Normandy vegetables, peanut butter pie, cheesecake and Oreo parfaits…Whew!  I think I gained about 10 pounds but the food was excellent, the show was funny and it was wonderful to have a date with just my wife again.  Bonus: the author and his wife joined us at our table for Act II.  How many people can say that at a theatrical performance? 🙂

~My creative daughter.  She had me watch her “talent show” while we were playing outside.  I sat on the bench it the middle of our backyard while she emceed the show starring her imaginary friends.  She would do the introductions and we would both clap.  She closed out the show with a song and hula-hoop tricks.  Look out, Hugh Jackman, NPH and Sean Hayes; she is gunning for your future Tony hosting gig!

Thankful…Friday 1/29

Today was my daughter’s annual visit to the Cardiologist. She stood up straight and tall while the nurse measured her height and weight, and sat still while she took her blood pressure and pulse/ox level.

We then went down the hall for an echo sonogram of her heart. She once again was a perfect angel while the technician attached the leads and spread the warm goo all over her chest. “Finding Nemo” was on the TV, but she was more interested in seeing and hearing her heart on the monitor.

Once we got back to the room it was time for an E.K.G. reading and 10 more stickers and leads stuck all over her body! In the past, this test took forever because she was doing so much wiggling and crying they could not get an accurate reading. Not today though! She sat so quiet and still the test was done in seconds! All of the nurses and technicians were commenting on how mature she was acting for a three year old!

The doctor finally came in and said everything looks great! She still has a SLIGHT murmor, but it is not anything he was concerned about at this time. She is basically a “normal” three year old requiring no medication and no activity restriction! We celebrated with a nice lunch and she got to pick out some new books for being so good.

So this week I am thankful that my daughter is a healthy “normal” toddler, and that she was so well behaved at the doctor!

Songs for a New Diaper

This week’s entry is a song parody I came up with over many diaper changes with my daughter during her first three years.  I discovered that if I sang to her while changing her diaper it helped calm her down and made her wiggle less.  The problem I faced is that most of the songs I knew by heart were from contemporary musicals by Jason Robert Brown, William Finn, Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz (among others).  While these are all awesome composers, they usually write complex melodies with lyrics that are not very “kid friendly”.

 One day I started singing the opening chorus of Songs for a New World to her, changing the lyrics on the fly to suit the situation. I don’t know if it was because I was amusing myself, but I managed to get a big giggle from my daughter, and our new diaper changing song was born!  Over the course of MANY diaper changes, I was able to flesh it out to a verse and two choruses, which was usually long enough to cover even the messiest changes! 

 So without further adobe, I present to you the lyrics to my recently retired (for now) diaper changing song…

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Goodbye Old Friend


I finally said goodbye to my ’98 Saturn yesterday. After 11 years (9 owned by me) and 170,000 miles, I think it served its purpose well. This was the first car that I chose and paid for myself, and since it was not a hand-me-down, it had a lot of unnecessary sporty features like a power moon roof, performance tires and a spoiler. Even though the black paint was difficult to keep clean, and the black interior was very hot in the summer, I felt cool driving it. It was my own affordable version of K.I.T.T.

Through the years, it had its share of problems, from electrical and transmission, to a leaky moon roof and windows, and finally the head gasket/engine and exhaust. It caused me many a headache and heartache this past year when it would die at stoplights, but through it all it was still MY car.

The engine roared for me a final time this weekend, as I moved it out of the driveway in preparation for the tow truck. It died just as I made it into the street, never to start again. The starter, knowing its fate, had given up on life. I donated the car to charity, so even though it has died, the proceeds from the sale will help children live. (Plus a nice tax deduction for me!)

Goodbye, old friend, I shall remember the journeys we took together and the good times we shared, especially the warm summer nights with the moon shining through the open roof and good tunes on the tape deck.


Watch a Trailer, Save a Life. It’s That Easy!

Many of you probably know that my daughter was born with a congenital heart defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) and required open-heart surgery a week after she was born.  (More info can be found from this post.)  Today she is a healthy, active, “normal” two year old thanks to the doctors at Children’s Hospital of Illinois and research funded by The Children’s Miracle Network

Now you can help save the lives of millions of children just like my daughter without spending any money or exerting much effort.  WordPress and Showtime have teamed together to support the Children’s Miracle Network.  All you have to do is scroll down to the red box with the CMN logo on the bottom right side of my blog and click on the box that says “Help now. It’s free”.  Showtime will ask you to watch a short trailer for one of their series.  (When I clicked, it was for Nurse Jackie, which looks like an awesome show starring Edie Falco from The Sopranos.) 

 That is ALL you have to do and Showtime will make a donation to The Children’s Miracle Network!  (C’mon, it’s not like you weren’t going to watch some trailers on the net today anyway!)

UPDATE:  (11/12/09) Showtime’s sponsorship has ended.  Thank you to everyone that watched a trailer and left a message.  With your help we raised over $5,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network!