30 December 2009

Happy Birthday Nana

So my Mom is getting super old...she just turned, like, 101 or something on December 29.

We tried to call on her birthday but she was out. So I decided to get the kids to sing Happy Birthday to her on video. What a mistake!!! Brooklyn is sick and Justin is 7 going on 17 with all his bloody attitude. So recording a simple Happy Birthday song devolved into slamming of doors, tears, banishment from Wii, etc.

Here are a few of the many outtakes. Sheesh. Happy Birthday, Mom!

26 December 2009

Christmas Dinner

Brooks got her hair straightened for Christmas dinner at the Kim's house last night. She was so happy to have "beautiful" hair. Sheesh, if it was straight she'd want to curl it I'm sure.

Mrs. Kim put on a good spread...turkey, stuffing, kimchi, jellyfish salad, tuna sashimi, spicy pork ribs...all washed down with a little Christmas cheer!

23 December 2009

The Year Without A Christmas Card

The Christmas cards we ordered from Kodak weeks ago got lost in the mail. We only received them today...the 23rd!!! Needless to say, no one is getting a Christmas card from us this year!!!

I put up our cards for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005 and 2003...not sure what happened in 2004 and 2006?

14 December 2009

The White Stuff is Coming...

Yesterday I swept the snow off the walk. Yes, I said "swept" not "shoveled". Yes, with a broom, not a shovel. Yes, we who live in lotusland are wimps. I had a snowball fight with the kids for about 10 minutes and then all the usaeble snow was gone, so we went inside. I did manage to get a snowball down Brook's shirt so she went in crying anyway. Bad Apa!

More snow forecast for tonight...about 10 cm...turning to rain tomorrow and for the rest of the week. That's what they said last year before we got blasted with 3 feet of snow in December!!!

At least we got the house ready for Christmas. Lights are up, tree is up, Christmas train is chugging through the living room, and the liquor cabinet is stocked!

12 December 2009

The Super Mega One Year Blog Anniversary Post

Can you believe a whole year has passed since I created this blog? The blog with a stupid name about nothing? I surpassed my goal of achieving 72 posts...this is number 93. That works out to one post every 3.92 days, for those of you who criticize me for not posting often enough. And they said it couldn't be done!

In following the Lobster With Kimchi tradition of posting about nothing, I have a monster post with pictures, music and video!

The pictures portray the events of the week at the Lobster household. First I bedazzled the outside of the house with lights and shiny red balls. Judie hates it but everyone stops to look...I think it looks great, and what else matters, really. Now if only I could get an inflatable Santa to stick on the roof....the possibilities are endless! After much debate about getting an artificial tree this year, we ended up with a 7 foot Douglas Fir, and I have to admit there's nothing like the smell of a real tree filling the house...unless you're the poor sap covered in sap from wrestling the damned thing into the stand and into place. I've had squirrels following me around for days now!

The kids did a fine job decorating the tree, and although Judie won the battle of white lights over multi-coloured lights this year, the kids won the battle of homemade decorations, construction paper and all. Bwahahahahahaha. Brooklyn was so excited she decorated the tree with her toy beads and necklaces as garland before I even got the lights on it. If you click on the fourth picture of the kids standing in front of the Christmas tree you'll notice Brooklyn is holding a bottle...it is the "Florida Snowman" melted in a bottle that Mom sent us years ago. The kids finally "got" the joke this year. Sheesh.

Justin also finished up his skating lessons today. Congrats, dude, you really gave it your all this time around.

Seems like the whole city is gearing up for Christmas now, and I guess it's just around the corner. One of my favourite Christmas songs is by the Vancouver band, Payola$. Yes, the same Payola$ that sang "Eyes of a Stranger". As far as I know, this song is out of print, which is a shame. Here is "Christmas is Coming" by the Payola$, a great song that kind of makes me miss my brother Barrie this time of year.

The video is from Brooklyn's dance recital. Ah, watching 4 year old girls dance is just so...so...so painful!!!

Thanks for reading...and hey, if you really want to encourage me to post more often, how about leaving a few comments, would ya?

Merry Christmas,


11 December 2009

Snow Miser - Heat Miser

One of my favourite songs of the Christmas season, Snow Miser - Heat Miser is from the 1974 classic "The Year Without A Santa Claus". Snow Miser kicks ass!

06 December 2009

Disney On Ice

As if the kids didn't get enough Disney this year already, Brooklyn took in the Disney on Ice spectacular last week. The Little Mermaid seems to be her favourite of the moment, and the show didn't disappoint! The merchandise was even more of a rip off than at Disneyland itself, and that is no small feat!

I didn't think my daughter liked licorice, but there she is in the picture eating it...

Christmas Shopping in New York

After the intense pressure of Board meetings and an openly combative session with the 38 banks that finance our company this week, I was glad to have arranged for 2 days of doing nothing away from the kids in New York. Judie flew down on air miles and we ended up getting a great rate at the Millennium Broadway. They upgraded us to the Premier wing, you know, because I'm such a mover and shaker.

Friday was clear, cool and crisp...a perfect day to stroll down Fifth Avenue. I hate shopping at the best of times but I have to admit I enjoyed it. Shopping and people watching in New York is always interesting, and close to Christmas there is a great vibe in the city with all the shops and streets decorated for the season. The tree at Rockerfeller Center, which is fantastic, had only been lit on Tuesday, so everyone was in a festive mood. Lighting the tree sort of kicks off the holiday season in New York and people come from all over to check it out. The ice rink looked a bit dodgy though, like skating in slush.

We had lunch at Tao, which is supposed to be "the" super trendy place to go for Asian food. It's a rip off of Buddha Bar, with a giant statue at the back of an immense space. The rent must be astronomical! The food was good, but being a spoiled Vancouverite, it didn't hold a candle to the quality and flavour of the Asian cuisine we enjoy on the west coast. So I'm glad we did the $24 three course prix fixe lunch menu instead of battling for a table at dinner, spending a ton of money and being disappointed. I'm told that Spice Market in the Meat Packing District is the same idea with better food.

Back on Fifth Avenue, Judie tried on every pair of UGG's in the city. They are aptly named boots...Ugh! If she had tried one more pair I would have gone postal! I got back at her later making her wait while I tried on suits at Macy's. The discounted prices had an additional 25% off!

All the department stores doll up their windows for Christmas, and I understand that taking your kids into the city to view the "holiday windows" is another New York tradition. I liked the classical approach of the Lord and Taylor windows, but Macy's were more contemporary and a lot more fun for kids. Having said that, the controversial XOXO live model display at 38th and Fifth was my fave! Every guy should check out the hot chic changing her clothes at http://www.whatwillshedonext.com/. Merry Christmas to me!

We also watched some excellent break dancers on the street up by the Plaza. Maybe they don't call it break dancing anymore, but whatever, the kids were great.

After a super late Italian dinner at Lattanzi on 46th, we ended up at the bar at the W until early morning. Yikes. Drinking in New York is not nearly as fun when you're paying for it yourself instead of on an expense account!

On Saturday the weather was a little dodgy, so we scored cheap scalper tickets to the matinee of "A Steady Rain" with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. I thought it was great but admittedly it wouldn't have made such an impression on me without the two big stars. I thought Hugh Jackman was a better actor.

A great couple of days, but nice to get home to see the kids! I spent more than Judie, heh, heh, heh...

28 November 2009

Pool Rats

Congrats to Justin and Brooklyn on their swimming lessons! Justin passed level 2 with flying colours and will move up to level 3. He can float on his back, tread water and do the front crawl the length of the pool. No diving yet but he loves to jump in and then swim back to the surface.

Brooklyn finished the "salamander" level and will move up to "sunfish" next time. She can float on her back and glide and is starting to do the front crawl.

Both kids love, love, love the pool and their swimming is really progressing well. Great job, mini-dudes! Maui in April is going to be a blast!

23 November 2009

DJ Justin

Yesterday I was cleaning up some "lost" songs from an old cassette tape on the computer using a software program called "Audacity". The program can take out or mask the hiss of a cassette tape or the crackles and pops of a vinyl record. But it also has a number of mix effects you can use and you can splice and edit the sound recording any way you want - it is really just up to your imagination.

Justin walked in and for whatever reason he was very interested in how the soundwaves appeared on the screen and what the program could do. We opened up Devo's "Whip It", one of his faves, and did our own remix. Crack-crack-cr-cr-cr-cr-crack that whip! Talk about cheap entertainment...I never would have thought something like this would capture the attention of a seven year old boy.

DJ Justin's in da house!

31 October 2009

Happy Birthday Brooks!

My little girl is 4 years old now. Wow!!!

We had 18 hyperactive kids screaming around the UBC gymnastics building...you would have thought that would be enough to burn off all their energy but n-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!!! They just kept going and going and going. There was a cake frenzy followed by a present frenzy followed by a loot bag fenzy!!! And all this leading up to Halloween tonight!

Happy Halloween!

I do like Halloween.

This is the first year the kids have gone trick or treating with their friends - Justin and Brooklyn joined Callum and Anika, Wesley and Jaden for a romp around the 'hood. Justin went out as Jango Fett from Star Wars and Brooklyn went as a Princess...although she was originally supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood.

It was also the first year Justin drew his own face on his jack'o'lantern. He struggled to carve it but at least he gave it a shot!!! I was cursing my decision to tackle the Scooby Doo pumpkin. I was pressed for time in between Brooklyn's birthday party this afternoon and Justin's skating lesson to get it done.

Seven o'clock and only 11 kids so far...and not only is it Saturday night, it's not even raining!!!

13 October 2009

How Kids Respond to Music

Strange what songs kids respond to...this one is a couple of years old but when it came on my iPod the other night the kids started bopping around the house in the goofiest way ever! A big hit.

Dirty Pretty Things - Bang Bang You're Dead

Michael Jackson's "Bad" is also a favourite around here. Justin has invented his own version of break dancing to go along with the music!

...and Devo's "Whip It" conjures up all sorts of bizarre dance moves from Brooklyn!

09 October 2009

Hotel Must Haves

Now that I’ve become a road warrior again, I decided to do a post of all the things I now consider as necessities in a hotel / room. Now, some of you may take these things for granted, while others may think I’m a princess, but I now what I like and trust me, you don’t always get what you expect to get, especially outside North America…or in New York.

- full length mirror
- bathrobe
- slippers – the ultimate sign of a good hotel, but oh, so rare in North America!
- hair dryer
- complimentary soap, shampoo and conditioner
- some kind of moisturizer or lotion, especially during winter on the east coast
- one more towel than people staying in the room
- alarm clock / radio with jack to plug in your iPod
- safe
- luggage rack
- closet with ample coat hangers
- phone book
- functioning temperature control
- a sink that drains (often a problem in New York hotels)
- a toilet that flushes (I had to fix my own toilet at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai)
- kleenex
- a dvd player is a luxury but nice to have if you want to pop in your P90X dvd

As a business traveler:
- iron
- ironing board
- PLUGS!!! Give me a BLOODY ELECTRICAL OUTLET for the iron!!!!!!
- in room coffee maker
- bill under the door the night before
- in room check out
- mini-bar with snacks as well as liquor, especially if the bar closes early or there is no bar
- shoe mitt
- wireless internet access
- a 24 hour gym
- a 24 hour business centre with a printer, stapler and paper clips (yes, freakin’ paper clips! I’m obviously printing a document if I’m in the business centre and I need something to hold the pages together!)
- 24 hour (or at least late night) room service
- complimentary local area maps
- complimentary luggage storage (some Manhattan hotels charge)

Useless things the hotel room can do without:
- a phone in the bathroom (I’m not taking any calls while I’m doing my business)
- trouser press (mainly a UK thing I guess)
- voice mail (call my mobile for goodness sakes)
- all those poofy, dysfunctional, designer pillows you have to throw on the floor to sleep in your bed
- a call from the front desk to make sure everything is ok with your room – I’ll bloody well call if there’s a problem

What did I forget? I’ll have to update my list as I continue my travels.

04 October 2009

Coffee Wars (Part 5)

My final day of sampling different coffees got delayed due to travel, but I finally got to Cafe Artigiano to sample their regular, straight up, drip roasted coffee last week. Cafe Artigiano is a growing Vancouver based chain with several outlets around the Lower Mainland and Calgary, and they are the undisputed champions of espresso drinks...they definitely make the best cafe latte in town. In fact, they have consistently placed in the top 10 in the Canadian and World Barista Championships (coming soon to TSN, right after snooker and darts).

I therefore had high expectations for their regular coffee. However, without going into all my other factors on price, convenience, cups, etc., I have to say it was the worst sludge I've ever tasted. 1 bean out of 5, and only for the caffeine I needed. I literally couldn't finish the cup, which means it was really, really bad. I have to say it was an utter disappointment.

I've decided to expand my search for the perfect cup of coffee...if I stop now, McDonalds will have the top spot!!!

Trafalgar Park

Just a couple of pics of Justin and crazy-hair Brooklyn playing at the park...I didn't comb her hair before we left the house.

01 October 2009

Happy Birthday Justin!

Wow, I can't believe my little boy is already 7 years old! Halfway to being a teenager!

Happy birthday, dude!

We had an army of 7 year old boys at the Play Palace for his party and it was pure and utter chaos.

I was going to interview Justin on turning 7, but now that I've explained that the entire world can read my blog he's clammed up!

13 September 2009


Our plum tree is loaded this year...which is not a good thing because it attracts raccoons, birds, skunks, squirrels, wasps and all manner of city critters. The combination of plums and critters makes for a huge mess and this time of year when it's dark, I'm always fearful of a standoff with a skunk while I'm taking out the garbage!

The picture represents less than a fifth of the plums on the tree this year. We're bagging up plums for everyone we know, making plum cakes, and sending a load to Harmoni for plum wine! I'm even dreaming about plums and concocting ideas on how to harvest the top of the tree!

07 September 2009

Disneyland 2009 (Part 6)

It was a great California Adventure for everyone, but it the blistering heat was too much to bear. It was so hot we actually convinced Justin to go on the whitewater rafting ride. Boy, did he get SOAKED!!! He loved it but he got drenched...so we went on it again and he got it all over again!

We finally found a good place for Justin to hang out and left him in the Toon Town jail!

05 September 2009

Disneyland 2009 (Part 5)

Life isn't always a cup of tea, but the Mad Hatter Tea Party is always fun. Brooklyn and Justin made us spin so fast I literally stumbled out of the teacup. The more I threatened them I was going to barf on them, the faster they went.

We also spent time at the adjacent Disney California Adventure Park, which has a lot of Disney-Pixar inspired rides and attractions. The kids area, based on A Bug's Life, had no lines and no waiting at all this time. In addition to the new Ariel ride I mentioned, they're building a Pocahontas water show and a whole new area based on the Cars movie. The best ride at either Disneyland or California Adventure has got to be the new Toy Story 4D shoot 'em up arcade game/ride. We all loved that one, especially with the comment-tater entertaining us in the lineup! Don't we look cool in our 3D glasses?