The Real Full House – One Direction?

This is what happens when you’re bored over Christmas and your college Freshman is studying media.  The first semester video class is paying off!

I love my kids!

 

 

Tinkle Twins at Disney World

restroom-signs-unisex-handicap

All three girls, my parents and I went to the bathroom at approximately 11:15 AM on January 1 before we pulled out of the driveway for our eight hour junket to Florida.  Before noon, we had stopped once for a bathroom break.  DJ had a sick stomach, and the man I had admired for years for the size of his bladder had taken this opportunity, “just in case.”  Not only did we stop for him in the Tar Heel state, we also visited rest stops in the Palmetto State, the Peach State and the Sunshine State.

I had embarked on a five day journey where the focus of our trip would not be on which attractions we would see at Walt Disney World, but on where we could find the closest bathroom.

My mother’s bladder is the size of a garden pea.  They say I have my father’s nose and jaw line.  I have my mom’s eyes and urological functions.

For years on vacation my mother and I would plead for stops while my older brother and father would roll their eyes, with bladders the size of camels’ humps.  My, my, how the tables have turned.

It did not matter who in the family needed to relieve themselves, my dad joined right in.  I suggested he owed my mother and me an apology for years of urination ridicule.  He blamed old age and refused to atone for the past.

When we booked the trip, I expected my mother to go…and go…and go.  That was no surprise.  What I’d forgotten is the length of time each visit would take.  My daughters explained that when their grandmother approaches an unfamiliar potty, she meticulously wipes it down.  She then wraps the seat, double ply, with toilet paper to ensure that her epidermis does not touch the unknown surface.

Because she is cold natured, she wears a sweater in July mid-day on the beach, imagine the layers of clothing that had to be removed in January in order to proceed with elimination.

I’m not sure what she was wearing on the bottom, but on the top she had a camisole, a t-shirt, a shirt, a sweater, a vest and a white Pillsbury Dough Boyish puffy coat.  Children approached her at the Magic Kingdom asking for her autograph.  They thought she was a character.

To enter Disney World, you hold your Magic Band, a Fit-Bit type bracelet, up to a monitor and then scan your fingerprint to gain admittance into the park.  Time and again, my mother’s Magic Band would work, but the monitor could not detect her fingerprint.  My dad said it is because she washed them off.  The final ritual of her bathroom experience is a full scrub down of any potentially exposed areas of her body.  I have never seen it, but I think she washes her hands, legs and sometimes her hair (depending upon the overall cleanliness of the stall) after each visit.  If you washed your hands 27 times a day, 432,525 days in a row, you would be devoid fingerprints too.

It actually worked fine because the girls and I could wait in line AND ride the more adventurous attractions in about the same amount of time it took her to go to the restroom.

We actually had a lovely vacation, and, we visited bathrooms from around the world.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Tanner Family (with our real names)!  Our 2015 Christmas card was created by the oldest Tanner kid, DJ.  That George Washington University media class paid off.

Thank you for following our blog.

Christmas Card Picture 2015

 

The Coveted Puffy Shirt

Puffy shirt

I got the puffy shirt!  Only for half of the shows, but a puffy no less.

Two years ago in Ira David Wood’s A Christmas Carol, I was cast not only as a townsperson, but also as a dancer in the second act’s Fezzy Wig dance.  The entire cast is on stage for this number but only about twelve are dancers.

It was perhaps the most stressful, nerve-racking thing I’ve ever participated in – including giving a speech to over 1,000 people, having surgery and riding The Beast, my first roller coaster.  Although I can shag and step to the beat when Let’s Groove Tonight is played at a wedding, sticking to set choreography that someone else is dictating is much more difficult for me.  I like to feel the music and do what comes naturally – can be a beautiful thing.

So, last Friday when I received an email from the play’s choreographer, not the same one from two years ago, informing me that one of the male dancers had “hurt” his foot and would not be able to perform Fezzy Wig the opening week of shows, a hinge of nausea overcame my being.

I wanted to know what was wrong with his foot.

“What do you mean ‘hurt’ his foot?  Is it broken?” I asked.  “Have you seen it?”  “Could he possibly get better?”  “Can I see a note from his doctor?”  “Can I take him some soup?”

He’s like 15.  He has to have a quicker healing cycle than someone my age.

I considered sawing a toe off.  I mean ten is a lot, and that would have to top his injury.

I would be filling in with only one practice and a dress rehearsal between me and 2,000 audience members who had paid money to attend this show.

Thankfully, Stephanie was also in the dance.  The floor in our den needs to be refinished because I made her go through each step with me countless times Friday night and Saturday.

Surprisingly, and thanks to a patient and diligent instructor, I caught on fairly easily.  Mind you, I made a few logistical changes to the dance steps to better fit my abilities.  At one point, because of my position on the stage, I was to do a 540 degree turn, and gaily clap across the stage to my next position.  I cut my spin down 450 degrees to 90.  I was afraid I’d get dizzy and land in the orchestra pit.

In addition to dancing, we are also supposed to sing.  I can’t walk and chew gum.  That ain’t happening.  I tried, but I continue to catch myself mouthing 1, 2, 3, 4 rather than come and join our rondelay.  I don’t even know what that means.

I’ll have to admit I’m sort of proud that I stepped in and thus far have not fallen on my behind.  Oh, and the best part of the dance for me?  All male dancers get to wear a puffy shirt – like Captain Hook!  Argh.

Come see Ira David Wood’s A Christmas Carol at DPAC this weekend:  https://tickets-center.com/search/durham-performing-arts-center/a-christmas-carol-tickets/?venueId=6022&performerId=6&venueName=Durham+Performing+Arts+Center&performerName=A+Christmas+Carol&vaid=123&pfaid=269&tagid=102&atid=1&nid=1&cid=86145766985&akwd=christmas%20carol%20%2Bdpac%20%2Btickets&mt=b&network=g&dist=s&adposition=1t1&device=c&ismobile=false&devicemodel=&placement=&target=&aceid=&random=9232261882099785294&vx=0&locp=9009736&loci=9060500&gclid=Cj0KEQiAqK-zBRC2zaXc8MOiwfIBEiQAXPHrXuGYDX_ueDQKslaw6_I0OLXEMrRa6OcXxXnS4uiEBf0aAq8N8P8HAQ

Hairy Face

Bruce with beard

Once again the Tanner clan, well three of us, are fortunate enough to participate in Ira David Wood’s A Christmas Carol  which will be performed at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, starting tonight, and at the Durham Performing Arts Center next week.

It is both wonderful and insane.  The insanity is primarily related to trying to fit three to six nights of play rehearsals/performances into an already blistering work, church and school schedule.  The wonderful part is the diverse and zany cast.

Although simply a chorus member, I have an assigned identity – this year, I am the cheese-maker.

David Wood encourages us to take on a persona, to really live into our character imagining what an early 19th century cheese-maker might actually be like.  I think my cheese-maker has a good sense of humor.  He smells bad, showers were hard to come by back then.  I envision him with Popeye like forearms (due to all that churning) and chronic back pain from lifting those humongous blocks of cheese.  Oh, and he’s making lots of money this time of year cause you gotta have cheese at a nice Victorian holiday drop in!  So he is happy at Christmastime.  I’m guessing he also has facial hair.  I mean who has time to shave when you’re up to your ears in Gouda.

This year, back in early October, the play costumer suggested that some of the performers consider growing beards.  I was committed to my character but spend six weeks pondering the fate of my chin.

I talked with the girls, Michelle and Stephanie were encouraging.  I asked several co-workers who also gave the green light, although now I’m thinking simply to have another reason to razz me.  At any rate, I took the bait.  I have not shaved since the Friday before Thanksgiving.

It’s interesting the comments you get when you change something significant about your appearance.  I wonder if women who color their hair get the same feedback.

Oh, there are many who act as if they don’t notice.  Perhaps if you can’t say something nice, it is better not to say anything at all.  Others have grossly differing views:

“Cut that crap off your face as soon as you possibly can!”

That one hurt…

“I think it’s a fine look, if you’re TRYING to look older.”

Oh my…

“I think it makes you look sexy.”

The guy who said that is weird anyway.

Or, “You’re just trying to look sexy,” a co-worker bantered in the break room.

I can assure you, looking sexy was not a major motivator for not shaving.  I’m a realist.  I know there are a lot of words that could be used to describe me.  Sexy, not top of mind.

In fact, last year a friend of mine, Sarah, shared that she was on a walk with another woman and my name came up.  I think they were pondering who they might set me up with.  The other woman said, “Tell me about Danny.  Is he cute?”

I asked Sarah how she responded.

She said, “Well, my first response was, ‘he has a great personality!’”

“Geeze Sarah.  Great personality?  I mean seriously.”

How many times have I used that line when describing very kind people whose personal strengths are not visible to the naked eye?

THE KISS OF DEATH.

Anyway, I’m not shaving for three reasons:

1)  I have an excuse:  the play.

2)  I have always wanted to see what a beard looks like on this face.

3)  I ABHOR shaving.

It’ll be off by January.  The damn things itching me to death.

Come see our the performance: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Theatre-In-the-Park-a-Christmas-tickets/artist/1003849

Parking? At Target? At Christmas???

parking jam

I found myself in the undesirable position of shopping on December 23.  It made me so stinking mad!

Discount the long lines at the register, the lack of percentage off on any item that I desired, and my inability to make a purchasing decision; I was already miserable because I could hardly get into the parking lot.

I started at North Hills Mall, a relatively new outdoor complex.  On the back corner is a Target.  I spend $118 there each week of my life.

I don’t know why, but every time I go, the sales clerk informs me that the total is $118.  Target is so sophisticated that I scan my card and sign that I agree to the purchase before the employee even finishes scanning my items, so I can’t back out of it.  Whatever the total, I’ve committed, I’m in.  And it is usually $118.

I believe that a polite regular customer like me should be able to call in advance and reserve a parking place near the front.  I mean, I’m there on a rainy Tuesday in February at 8:30 PM when no one else in the world is thinking about giving them $118.  Shouldn’t they stand by me two days before Christmas when I’m at my most vulnerable purchasing moment?

“Hello.  This is Danny Tanner, #118.  I’m tired, frustrated and in a hurry.”

“We’ll have your spot coned off.  Pull up right beside the basket return on row 2.”

It doesn’t have to be THE closest space, just top 20.

You’d think they’d offer that service.  But no.  I’m out there scrapping for an 8 foot by 12 foot space just like every other Tom, Dick and Harry – those damn dudes who haven’t graced the Target since last December.  It’s like the once a year church goers.  Where were you in July when the baby Jesus was 7 months old?

On the 23rd, I had to park six miles away from the front entrance.  Even the spots reserved for “Parents with Children” were taken.  I am a parent, and I have children.  None of them were with me, but I was gonna park there anyway – nope, it was minivan city, not an opening to be found.

In the parking deck, there were three great spots.  I approached all thinking I’d won the jackpot only to discover the sorry putz parked next door had crossed the painted line so far that there was no way to squeeze my mid-sized SUV in the space.  I was livid!  It is a time like this that I would like to put my car in park, get out and rake my house key down the entire driver’s side of the asphalt bogart’s vehicle.

And what is up with the “C” spaces.  Compact cars get priority?  I tried parking in one of those at Crabtree Valley but we all had to climb out the back hatch of the car.  That ain’t cool, especially if you’re on a date.

Oh, and what about the always open reserved spots for plug-in cars?  There is a 1 to 2,456 electric car to reserved electric car parking space ratio in the City of Raleigh.  I would love to park my car, hook it up to a gas pump, and come back in an hour with a free full tank.  What is up with that?

I finally found a space, well sort of.  It was half a space right beside the curb and the mulched evergreen border.  I parked two wheels on concrete and two on the greenery.  I have that same plant by my driveway, and you can’t kill it.  DJ backs over it daily and the stuff is a hearty as the day before she turned 16.

It ended up being fine, because I hadn’t jogged that morning.  I got my three miles in, did not commit vandalism and purchased everyone’s favorite candy.

Next year I’m gonna start shopping in February.  Anyone know the shelf life of Snickers?

 

Sunday Post 200: Sing and Dance!

Sometimes we just don’t let loose.  You ain’t lived til you sing and dance.

This is some of the choreography from the play the girls and I were in this Christmas, Ira David Wood’s A Christmas Carol.  You don’t get the full effect without the costumes, but this is essentially our biggest number.

Next time you get the chance, let it out.  It’s therapeutic!

 

(In the new year, I’ll be posting every Wednesday as usual.  I’m cutting back on the Sunday posts though.  I’m too busy right now to keep up with writing two blogs every single week.  I’ll toss one in when I have something interesting to say.  Hope you’ll keep up with me mid week!  Thanks for reading.)

 

Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

Merry Christmas To All!

IMG_0191 (2)

For some reason, the kids and I feel compelled to do something out of the ordinary for our Christmas card.  Hope your day is grand.

 

Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

The Horizontal Christmas Tree

xmas tree horizontal

It’s never, ever, ever good when you get that urgent Christmas tree catastrophe call.

Text last Monday:  The Christmas tree fell.  Come home now.

I’ve received that communique twice in my life.

I like pretty big Christmas trees; we have two.  This year, the small one has about an 8″ diameter trunk.  I screwed the supports into the booger with the same vigor I used to bolt my tires onto my car.  I mean business!  I actually use pliers to twist the metal in – sap oozes down my fingers.  When I was finished, the jessie was standing as straight as Miss Alabama in the Miss American contest.

I evened out the ornaments and gave it a little shake to make sure it was secure.

It stood for days – and then, ker-plunk!

Special ornaments were busted and Fraser fir needles were scattered around like germs from a sneeze.  I’m gonna be vacuuming those dudes up in July.

Why can’t they make a tree stand that can hold a durn tree up?  Would you make Tupperware that couldn’t hold soup???

As if getting the lights to stay on isn’t enough of a challenge, we have to deal with this too!  You can’t buy a Christmas tree stand that is big and sturdy enough to ensure verticality.  Would we try to balance the Statue of Liberty on a thimble?  I think not!  Target, Walmart, Home Depot – HELP US!

xmas tree horizontal 2

I lifted the thing back up, rehung the lights that once lay on the top of the tree but had moved to its waist, and tied her with bobbed wire onto two separate door handles.  If it comes down again, the door frame to my front porch is coming with it, and I’m gonna take it directly to the street – lights, ornaments, garland and all!

Errrrrr…

Sunday Post 198: Unpacking Memories

I put them in the attic early each January.  I wrap them up carefully because they are so incredibly special.  I store them in boxes eleven months of the year, and then, right after Thanksgiving, the kids and I unpack these holiday memories.

There are so many.  There is the mule ornament from our Grand Canyon vacation.  Her mother surprised us with a donkey dive into the vast hole.

The guide proudly announced, “We’ve never had a mule fall into the canyon.”

Although I was grateful to hear this good news, even the thought of dropping 6,000 feet while clinging onto the mane of a donkey threw me into a full-on panic attack.

I told Lisa, “My ass ain’t gettin’ on that ass.”

I wasn’t a virgin, and this was not Bethlehem.

When Lisa returned, her legs permanently bowed and her derriere scabbed over, it was difficult not to say, “I told you so.”

As she walked toward the shower, I let a little “hee-haw” slip from my mouth.

She flipped me the bird.

I laugh each year when I think of that day.

Usually, memories strike like a slow sink drip.  At Christmas, they pour out like a fire hose.

Cards from old friends who have long moved on.

Those hymns we sing but once each year.

The annual Christmas pageant, the one she directed ten years ago.

Those cookies I work to recreate with limited success.

It’s not just Lisa.  I seem to remember my grandparents more at this time of year – Grandmother Tanner’s seven layer cake, an annual Thanksgiving tromp through the woods with my granddad.

The beautiful thing is that the girls and I now have new memories that have been created:  the late night Christmas Eve service which we couldn’t do when they were younger, the creation of some sort of wonky Christmas card picture, big colored lights on the tree which were outlawed before.

Even though they can be painful, I’m thankful I have fond memories.  I just wish they’d come a little bit slower at this time of year.