Feel-Good Friday

Well, this isn’t your regular Feel-Good Friday, mostly because it centers around Princess P.

You see, her elementary school’s talent show took place yesterday, and Julia wanted to show off her guitar talents. For those who don’t know, Princess P learned to play guitar online. There are a few really great sites which will help people become more adapt at musical instruments.

In the past few months Julia went from novice to really good. She practices every day in her room, then plays for me when she feels like she has the song down.

So when the talent show came around, Julia wanted to play the guitar, and then decided she would try to sing while playing the guitar. Julia never sang in front of a crowd before, and I think she was a little nervous.

Julia walked onto the stage, stood before the entire school, and played “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback.

Mrs. Earp was able to attend, and was good enough to tape her performance. You can see it below.

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A Happy Homecoming

Our 12-hour shifts start today for the coronavirus scare, but I wanted to put out a few things I may have missed this weekend. First, the kids are already going stir crazy, so they’re doing their best to entertain themselves. For example, Julia chalked a self-portrait in the driveway. I think it came our pretty nice.

Second, my Planet Fitness is officially closed, and since I gained a few pounds on the Texas road trip, I wanted to do something physical. Yesterday I took a three-mile jog in 44 degree weather – that’s not too cold for Philly – and made it all the way through without stopping. I haven’t jogged for a few months because of the weather, but I guess the gym is keeping me in okay shape. I averages 12-minute miles, which is kinda awful, but I assume the times will get better.

Finally, Princess P chalked out a really nice welcome home banner for me and Kyle’s arrival. You can see it below, and click on the pic to make it a little larger.

She’s a good egg.

The Land Of Chocolate

I hate my daughter. Yes, I realize that may sound a little harsh, but Princess P (above) deserved every ounce of bile I could muster. Allow me to explain.

After work Monday night, I went into the kitchen and saw the below baking pan on the counter top…

The sign said “Brown E’s” with another note saying, “Could not find tin foil.” This is a common occurrence in our household, because we go through tin foil like Ana Navarro goes through Twinkies. So I hovered over the pan, like some kind of ‘henge, and figured I better take a brownie before the kids wipe them out.

Besides, it was an awful night at work, and chocolate always does the body good…

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Patience, Grasshopper

My youngest son Kevin has been learning martial arts for a few years now. The experience has totally transformed him from the shy, nervous kid, to a confident young man. After last month’s dance recital, Julia mentioned she may be interested in martial arts to “keep me in shape for dance.”

Last night was her first lesson.

She learned a few basic moves, including how to get out of a choke hold, and with the exception of responding, “Yeah,” instead of “Yes Sensei,” she did very well. Sensei Julian said Julia’s legs are very strong, to which Mrs. Earp replied, “Well, she’s a dancer.” Julia told me she had fun, and wants to continue with it. It also helps her big brother is a martial arts guru.

So, with my gun collection, three older brothers, and her martial arts training, I truly pity the kid who comes knocking at our door expecting to date my Princess.

God Bless Julia!

Princess P made her first Holy Communion yesterday with her third grade classmates. She had been practicing for most of the school year, getting procedure down, remembering her prayers, and memorizing the songs. The training apparently worked, and yesterday went off without a hitch.

One giant bonus? We were able to secure preferential seating because Mrs. Earp works at the school now. *swish*

Afterward, we held a party for Julia at Casa de Earp, with family and friends. It is the first time we’ve had beer in the house since my depression, and I actually had one without getting violently ill. The food was good, the drink was good, and the company was perfect.

It was a good day for Princess P, and she reveled being the center of attention.

Skating Toward Success

Princess P’s second grade class has been working on a project for the last month or so. The assignment was a wax museum, where the students were to choose a notable American citizen and write a report about their life.

The students were to also dress as the person profiled, and pose in the school’s human wax museum in the gymnasium. When visitors approached, the student would recite certain facts about their citizen.

Julia’s teacher sent home a sample list of Americans, most of which are the same boring suggestions every child receives: Susan B. Anthony (our ugliest president), Amelia Earhart, and so forth. Yeah, we weren’t having any of that. The teacher said we could add our own suggestions, and being a tremendous hockey fan, I asked Julia if she wanted to research Cammi Granato.

Who is Cammi Granato? She is the first woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and is a member of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and International Hockey Hall of Fame. She was captain of the 1998 U.S. Women’s gold medal hockey team, and scored the first ever Olympic goal for that team. She is the U.S. Olympic team’s all-time leading scorer and received an invite to the New York Islanders training camp.

Granato is also a member of NBC’s hockey coverage and a color commentator for the Los Angeles Kings. Outside the rink, Granato supports special needs children by starting Golden Dreams for Children Foundation. She also runs an annual hockey camp during the summer in Chicago for young girls.

Julia embraced the idea of representing Cammi in school, and wore a USA hockey jersey and brought Kevin’s hockey stick. Mrs. Earp attended the wax museum, and said she did a tremendous job.

That’s my girl.

Video of her presentation is below the fold…

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Prayers, Please

Pink Javelina

Princess P will be spending this evening at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. She has been having throat issues and some trouble sleeping, so the doctor scheduled a sleep study. They think she may be dealing with sleep apnea, a diagnosis which freaks me the hell out.

The other issue is Julia’s tonsils. The ENT doctor said they were unusually large, and after the sleep study we may have to have a conversation about having hers removed.

As of now, I will be spending the night with Princess P, and I expect to get zero sleep. I’ll bring a book and pump myself full of caffeine in case there are any issues. The Princess is not worried about the visit, and hopefully, everything will go smoothly.

If you’re the religious type, a prayer or two would be appreciated.

UPDATE: The sleep study went well. Julia fell asleep – eventually – and I got about an hour’s sleep. We’ll know the results sometime this week.

Loading A Different Type Of Bomb


When I am not working, coaching, or chasing my rugrats around the house, I like to unwind with some violence. And since I can only beat my wife until she falls unconscious, I need something more. That something is usually World of Tanks. The game is video crack, and I am the city’s biggest crack whore.

While Mrs. Earp was with Kevin at Krav Maga, I had some quality time with my new computer. Julia was on the older computer on the other side of the room playing games.

My match was going well. I already had two kills and dealt a crapload of damage. Then I got cocky, moved out from behind cover and was instantly ammo racked by a Russian KV-2 (above). Forgetting who was in the room, I yelled, “F**K!”

Seconds later, I heard Princess P.

“Daddy, you said the baddest of bad words. You need to be slapped.”

Julia came over to my chair and slapped me in the face. Hard. She then told me not to do it again and calmly walked back to her computer.

What was I gonna do? She was right and I was wrong. I deserved to be slapped.

Skate Or Die

Julia At FDR Skate ParkOn Friday, I took Kyle to FDR Skatepark in South Philadelphia. FDR is a skate park built by skaters for skaters. Every part of the park was built my the community; no government assistance required (or needed).

Kevin went the week before, so naturally Julia wanted to go Friday. Kyle brought his BMX bike, while Julia and Kevin brought their scooters.

We lucked out with the weather – not that it would matter, because the park is located directly under Interstate 95 – literally. We also lucked out with the clientele, since there were only a few other skaters besides the kids. This gave Julia free reign, and since she didn’t exactly pay attention to where she was and almost caused a few wipeouts.

That said, by the end of the day, she was a true professional, and gained more confidence as the day went along.

Julia also had no problem with heights. She climbed to the top of the superpipe for this photo, but wasn’t ready to attack it with her scooter.

Julia Atop Superpipe

I don’t blame her…

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The Kids In The Hall

Erik And Julia Reading

So while I was working last night, Mrs. Earp sent me this photo. Apparently, Erik decided to lie down in the upstairs hallway to read. Okay. A few minutes later, Julia joined him, and the two read books for almost an hour. I thought the hallway was an odd choice, since their bedrooms are only feet from where they were lying, but if they’re reading, I’m happy. I just thought it was a nice picture.

Oh, and for the record, the plastic bag behind Julia is not trash. It’s clothing.