when I started this blog five years ago, I was a pet sitter and the name animal-crackers made sense. now I'm a stay-at-home-dad and freelance writer, but rather than confuse everyone by getting a different blog, it's just easier to keep posting things here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

nice to know

LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

posted by todd at 11:22 PM 2 comments

Sunday, October 29, 2006


And he only needed help with the Rs.
posted by todd at 10:19 AM 1 comments

Saturday, October 28, 2006


We're taking Josh out of preschool. For the past 10 weeks he's attended a daycare that scores high and seems popular. But we've never been impressed. Neither the director nor Josh's teacher showed any interest in him. Communication was nonexistent, even after I talked to them about it.

But Josh seemed to like it. Until about four weeks ago. Apparently he quickly became the demonchild of the institution -- although the director didn't say anything to us until two weeks ago.

He didn't do what he was told, and worse he argued with them. One time, he kicked playground gravel at the teacher. Also, the director said, Josh was exhibiting symptoms of ADHD. She didn't say ADHD -- she's probably not allowed to. But that's what she meant.

To top it off, during this time Josh was acting out at soccer. After several incidents we pulled him from the team. Too much stress for everyone involved.

(Ok this is weird. Just as I typed that last line, Josh said out of the blue "I'm sad about soccer." Totally out of the blue. Weird.)

(Oh, and by the way I was being sarcastic about the arguing. Of course he argues. His parents got the belt, back hand and/or wooden spoon many times for arguing with their parents. It's genetic.)

Back to Josh. We tried working with the school, but they clearly have no interest. They feign interest, but not very well. I don't care how critically acclaimed this school is. It sucks. Not because they don't like our child, but because they show no interest in him. They want to label and dismiss him because they're not good enough teachers to help him.

After much worrying, Andrea and I agree -- Josh is not ADHD. He's not a perfectly behaved child by any means. But he focuses too well to be ADHD. He builds complex Lego structures. He pays attention when we read books or tell stories. He often plays with a specific toy for up to an hour.

No, part of the problem is Josh has not been institutionalized. Although he has attended a Mother's Morning Out program and five weeks of summer camp -- this was his first daycare. Most -- if not all -- of the other kids have been in daycare since they were six weeks old. They know how the system works. They know the unwritten rules of daycare behavior. And they know to game their teachers.

Josh hasn't learned these things yet. He doesn't know where the boundaries are -- and the teachers have no interest in explaining them because they're used to dealing with institutionalized kids.

It's sad to think Josh will be institutionalized -- as we all have been. I just hope he doesn't lose himself -- as many of us have.
posted by todd at 11:27 AM 0 comments

Friday, October 27, 2006

changing faces

For those who check this regularly, you've probably noticed some template problems. Sorry about that. I've tried some different looks and can't seem to get it together.

So I'm sticking with this generic blah blogspot template. For now at least.
posted by todd at 11:11 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The crawl

posted by todd at 10:01 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The soccer monster

posted by todd at 5:28 PM 0 comments

Monday, October 23, 2006

MeToo YouTube

posted by todd at 4:58 PM 0 comments

Thursday, October 19, 2006

new looky looky

So I'm experimenting with blog templates. Can I just say that Blogspot template choices suck.

For several months my blog put people to sleep with some beige-on-beige concoction. Then a few days ago I switched to something crossed between the Matrix and black tar heroin. Too creepy.

Now I'm with what appears to be Syracuse Orangemen Computer Geek. Too orange? Too geek?

Sigh. The search continues.
posted by todd at 11:01 AM 0 comments

Thursday, October 12, 2006

a little dark humor for the day

A study released by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad said that more than 600,000 people have died violent deaths in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

"I don't consider it a credible report," Bush has said.

The study was based on interviews of 1,849 Iraqi families -- or 12,801 people -- in 47 neighborhoods of 18 regions across the entire country. According to these people, about 2.5 percent of Iraqi's population has been shot, exploded, bludgeoned, disappeared or nuggied.

Now, these 12,801 Iraqis have no reason to lie. They love us there. I've seen the pictures, which arrive fam-spam (mass e-mails from family members who otherwise would never write). Iraqis are hugging our troops and waving American flags -- as those ingrates should. So they're not lying.

And it can't be the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. After all, Baghdad is in Iraq and the Iraqi people love us.

So it must be the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This insidious group of liberal tree hugging croissant-eating queer-eye-for-the-straight-guy watching Christ-hating funkadelic-acid dropping pot heads hates our troops. Worse, they hate America.

Why do you hate America Mr. John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health?

And why oh why would the school -- which receives 25.2 percent of all federal research funds awarded to the 37 accredited US schools of public health -- want to lie?

I think I feel like answering my own question with another question: Why Mr. John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health does your name include "Bloomberg"?

Why?!? Because -- while the school was founded in 1916 with money from John D. Rockefeller, the most un-American of un-Americans -- it also has received a contribution from Michael Bloomberg, who was a successful businessman before becoming a Republican New York City mayor.

Don't you see? Spreading these lies about 600,000 Iraqis dying since we invaded is like hitting a wasps' nest with a stick. All the Muslims and Arabs around the world get stirred up and strike again -- maybe this time wiping out half of Manhattan. And Mayor Bloomberg has what he has always wanted -- a Rudolph Giuliani moment. Bloomberg will be the hero of the day, pulling together the survivors of the New York City Crater, and melding them into a political force sure to launch him into the White House, the only house in America where it's legal to smoke un-American Cuban cigars.

Damn you Michael Bloomberg!
posted by todd at 9:28 AM 2 comments

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

towel boy

posted by todd at 8:08 PM 0 comments