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  • Ted Mann 10:25 pm on January 9, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Good Night, And Good Luck, Vermont 

    Turn off the lights, unplug the timer, afix the moving labels, and dig up the pet tombstones. My family’s Dorset house has been sold. Well, technically we still have about a week and a half to sabatoge the closing, scare off the buyers, and burn the house down because if we can’t have it then no one will, mawhahahaha. But we’re not bitter about all this. No, not bitter at all.

    Long story short: my mom announced over the holidays that she’d not only put the house on the market, but also accepted the first offer. So–guess what, kids!–we gotta move everything out ASAP ’cause we’re closing in less than a month. In other words, our New Year’s was about as much fun as a funeral for the family dog, which, coincidentally, we had two of. Both Tiger and Suzie, our collie and lab, respectively, were still boxes of ashes waiting to be buried. We said our good byes to them, the house, our memories there, and Vermont in general. And then we took the twins sledding.

    Right now my mom is taking care of the final formalities of the sale–the moving company, trying to withstand our constant bitching about the home sale, and overseeing the close. Above all, I’m bummed that, after so many happy New Year’s Eves at the house, our last one had to be overshadowed by its sale.

    Alright, somebody call me the whaaaaaambulence.

  • Ted Mann 10:30 am on March 28, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Goin’ Public 

    I don’t usually delve into the family bidness here, but my dad’s recent wheelings and dealings are pretty interesting. As friends and family may know, he’s currently running a company called Prestige Brands, Inc., which is basically a hodgepodge of name brand consumer products, like Comet, Chloraseptic, Compound W, Cutex, and Clear Eyes (if it starts with the letter C, it’s all good). Most of these brands were neglected by former owners, and my dad’s company has been fabulously successful at reviving them and manufacturing the products for less than behemoths like P&G ever could.

    So, about two months ago, the investment bankers came a callin’. They spent most of January and early February dragging my dad around the country on one of those grueling “road shows,” where he’s supposed to wow potential investors. And then on February 10, at last, the company went officially public. It was a huge success — alarmingly so, as I think Prestige Brands is now worth like a bajillion dollars on paper.

    My dad and his colleagues were supposed to ring the opening bell on the big day, but for some reason the turkeys at the NYSE bumped them for New Century Financial Corp. (I mean, come on, those dudes weren’t even going public!) Anyway, the Prestige team was invited back last Thursday to officially do the honors. I got a pic of the event, which I’ll paste below.

    As you can see from the close-up of my dad’s expression, instead of pressing the “ring bell” button, as instructed, he accidentally hit the one labeled “incite market panic.” Not very slick.



    • Korey 1:10 pm on March 28, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right — the market cap is currently $884,500,000.

      But the price-earning ratio is at 69. Usually it’s around 20, maybe 25. Anything above 30 is usually a tech company (or, once upon a time, a krispy kreme).

    • David S 7:29 pm on March 30, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Your daddy reminds me of Johnny Carson or Jimmy Carter… Heeeerrrrreeeessss TurkeyMonkey’s Dad!

  • Ted Mann 3:01 pm on February 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Sexiest Treasure Hunter Alive 

    Feb. 28 People MagazineWhen we returned to Philly last weekend, after spending a few fun-filled days skiing and Treasure Troving with the Mendes clan, the Feb. 28 issue of People Magazine was waiting by the front door. For once, just once, I leapt for it — knowing full well what was waiting inside. As I’ve said before, People is Ana’s version of bedtime crack. But to me, on this particular occassion, it held the cure to my recent bout of insomnia. A way to end the nightmares, the marital bickering over my newest hobby — in short, a quote from me in an article about “A Treasure’s Trove.”

    Lemme explain …
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    • Jesus 5:08 pm on February 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Ted, this is Jesus. Your marriage isn’t going to survive if you can’t lie to People magazine. You should have made Ana an integral part of the story, and given her lots of credit. Because you didn’t, you have been condemned you to six more months of aimless searching.

    • Jesus 5:10 pm on February 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Why can’t these angels take dictation without messing up?

    • dew 6:21 pm on March 1, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      hi ted because of that article you got me hooked and i’m a retired grandma. having a good time with the grandkids and the book. thanks dew

    • dino 8:23 pm on March 21, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Ted, did you provide this clue? “I give you the following: UGFXJ YPCK = EARTH WHRC” If so, my question to you is: How can this be correct? How can two different letters stand for the letter “R”?

    • Ted 11:26 am on March 22, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      I was wondering when somebody would pick up on that tidbit. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s relevent at all, but it does seem much stronger than any of the other crackpot theories I’ve come up with. I’m not ready to explain how I got it, but for the time being I can say this: As far as I can tell, this page doesn’t have a typical substitution cipher.

  • Ted Mann 3:47 pm on December 21, 2004 Permalink | Reply  

    Hanukkah for Christians 

    The blog police are on to me, pointing out that I haven’t posted in over a week. But po-po, I have an excuse–the same one I’ll keep returning to for, oh, the next two years. I’m planning a wedding!

    I mean, the event is over and done, but that doesn’t mean we’re not still working. Thank-you cards, albums for the parents, prints for friends and family. Come on, we all know that the planning and holding the event is only half the work. I’m not even sure we’re really over the hump yet.

    Please don’t be disappointed, fair blog readers, if the only thing you get from us this holiday season is a 4×6 or 5×7 glossy. If it doesn’t arrive in time for Xmas, the joint holiday/thank-you card should be waiting for you by New Year’s at the latest.

    On the topic of gift-giving, one quick question: Do any of you Jesus-goers out there find that Christmas has morphed into a two-week marathon of mini Christmases? In my recent experience, especially last year and this, I find that I’m hopping from house to house every other night to open presents with a different branch of the family tree. My parents’ divorce and the addition of Ana’s family to the holiday lineup have certainly added to this strange phenomena–not that I’m complaining (though I may well start if my wish for an Omnibot goes unfulfilled for the 27th year in a row).

    Pity the poor Pontiac Vibe that has shuttle us around on this most unholy itinerary: Last Saturday we were at my dad’s house, ogling Winifred, Frances, and Owen, and unwrapping a plethora of knock-off watches, purses and pens that my father bought on a business trip to Hong Kong. This Thursday we’ll be dining with Ana’s godparents; the night after that we’re visiting the Portuguese church in Elizabeth and more relatives; then we’ve penciled in Ana’s brother’s family for Dec. 25; and after that it’s up to White Plains for Xmas all over again with my mom and siblings’ families.

    We haven’t quite made it to eight days of present-opening yet, but I’m sure that with a little hard work, we’ll be able to find three more families to hang with and goose presents from in 2005. Then my transformation from Episcopal to Catholic to Jew will be complete. Now, if only we could start marrying off those triplets …

  • Ted Mann 11:30 am on July 6, 2004 Permalink | Reply  

    Post-July 4th Cool-Down 

    What could be better than having twin babies visit us in Philadelphia for the 4th of July weekend? Only one thing: having triplets and twins visit at the same time! Such was our good fortune this holiday weekend.

    Before the triplets arrived, we spent a fun, but strenuous and diaper-filled, two days with Winifred and Frances (note the corrected spelling, as pointed out by Doug after he stumbled upon this blog). The girls get cuter and cuter each time we see them. In only one weeks time theyve become incredible crawlers, zipping around the just-cleaned floors of our apartment and still managing to buff out another layer of grime (the undercoat, I suppose). With the threat of crying ever present, we treated W & F to a barrage of busy activities: their first trip to the Jersey Shore, dinner at the snazzy new Marathon Grill on 40th Street, and, of course, the obligatory visit to Pat’s and Geno’s. I couldnt get a read on how much they liked Philadelphia, but I do think they were impressed by the housing valuesat least, as they compare with Westchester, NY.

    On Sunday, the Mendes clan showed up at our apartment, led by a rabid Portugal soccer fan (who was primarily interested in watching the Euro 2004 finals — Portugal vs. Greece) and carrying Amish shoofly pie (from their trip to Lancaster County). Unfortunately, Portugal made a pitiful showing in the $30 pay-per-view futbol game, and lost 1-0. But on the positive side, the nine-year-olds proved to be excellent entertainment for the babies, giving our cats a much-needed break from the hair-pulling and tackling they’d endured for the past two days.

    The only major frustration of the weekend came with the 4th of July fireworks. Just like last year, we decided to camp out behind the Art Museum so as to avoid the crowds and watch the explosions directly overhead. But, unlike 2003, we weren’t living three blocks away, and so we decided to drive there. Parking took over an hour, and the only available spots were in straight-up ghetto. After we set up camp on a nice patch of green and dined on pizza and chocolate, the wait began. The sun went downmore waiting. The music stopped, but still nothing. Doug claimed that he remembered it didn’t start until 10:30 the year before, but everyone dismissed this as ridiculous, especially for a family event. In actuality, the fuses weren’t lit until about 11 p.m. The show was spectacular, however, with the light and loud noises somehow managing to put Frances and Winifred right to sleep. Thank god for that. Afterwards, with no Porto-pottys in sight, grid-lock traffic, and a one-hour ride home, I think a crying baby would have driven any one of us over the edge. The Mendes family didnt get home until 3 a.m.

    In the future, we will undoubtedly make a better game plan. Which, come to think of it, could be as simple as: Go to Boston … or New York … or even D.C. But, should we dare to do the Philadelphia thing again, there are a few simple pointers I found in the Inquirer (ex-post-facto, of course). For all who are curious, they’re listed below.
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    • Gabe 2:49 pm on July 7, 2004 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, we have Rui and Vicki to thank for the shoofly pie? Thanks! Sorry about the Euro 2004 loss to those cowards.

    • Rui and Vicki 3:19 pm on July 7, 2004 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome, Gabe. But you don’t really have us to thank. Say Obrigado to those tiny-footed, stinking, lazy Greeks. The shoofly pie — it’s made of people! Cowardly, defense-obsessed people who can only score on fluke headers. They’re good for nothing other than grinding up and cooking into Amish baked goods. Tasty, thought, aren’t they?

  • Ted Mann 10:32 am on June 29, 2004 Permalink | Reply  

    Babbling Babies … and Back on Atkins 

    We traveled up to Clinton Corners, New York, this last weekend to visit with my rapidly ballooning family. Mainly, though, we jockeying for time with the babies: Owen, Winifred, and Francis. Their parents were there, too, but very little adult conversation was made. Mostly, we spent our time trying to get Winifred and Francis to repeat their first word. No, not “Ma-ma” or “Da-da.” Much to the bewilderment of Doug and Tara, the twins’ first word was “kit-ty.” Too damn cute!

    Baby Owen, my sister’s pride and joy, was slightly more alert and active than the last time we saw him, but he was still focused solely on feeding. He’s put on a healthy amount of weight and now appears to have as many chins as his uncle Ted. Also, on another positive note, almost all of his back hair has fallen out. Unfortunately, it’s also started falling out up top, too, and his male pattern baldness is starting to look eerily familiar.

    As we all know, it’s cute for a baby to be chubby and balding. But sad and troubling for someone who’s going to be married in three months. Baby = cherub. Groom-to-be = Jabba the Hut. Seeing this picture made me shudder and realize there was only one solution: Go back on Atkins. Buy a few packages of frozen burgers, find two-for-one deals on bacon, get my lazy ass disciplined into a morning workout, and double up on the cologne. Time to get svelte!

    There’s one, and only one, reason I kept this picture: Motivation.

    Baby Winifred’s been practicing her Pope wave.

    She’s laughing here, but make no mistake about it: If you submerge yourself in the pool and then swim up to Baby Francis in the shallow end, you won’t be getting any of her adorable giggles. Just a blood-curdling scream and a day’s worth of the cold shoulder.

    • Korey 11:30 pm on June 29, 2004 Permalink | Reply

      Ted, I want to learn how to play golf. If you can incorporate some trips to the driving range into your fitness plans, let me know.

    • yaoi 4:04 am on September 25, 2004 Permalink | Reply

      Great site, was just reading and doing some work when I found this page

  • Ted Mann 6:24 pm on June 21, 2004 Permalink | Reply  

    How to Greet the Portuguese? Insult Them. 

    File this one under “how to interact with my future in-laws,” or maybe “other lessons learned on Ana’s birthday.” On Sunday, we were preparing Ana’s brother’s new deck for Father’s Day barbeque when Ana’s Portuguese aunt and uncle arrived a few minutes early (on time, actually, but we can chalk that faux paux up as a cultural disconnect). I greeted Aldina, Ana’s aunt, with a nice big hug, but she refused to release me until I acquiesed to the ol’ two-cheek kiss (chalk that up to cultural differences, too, I guess).

    “It’s so nice to see you again,” I said, in my most charming, butter-up-the-fam kind of way.
    Response: “Oh, you are really fat.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “You fat. Big belly.”
    “Really big belly.”

    Shocked and embarrased, I reached for the nearest blunt instrument. But then I saw Ana in the distance and thought better of thumping my future aunt-in-law. I put down the badmitten racquet. The only thing to do, I concluded, was play her game.

    “Well, at least I’m not as fat as you. And I dress well, too. That’s worth something.”
    “Oh,” she said. “Yes. Sim.”
    (More …)

    • Cristiano Ronaldo 1:24 am on June 24, 2004 Permalink | Reply

      Fear not, loyal Turkeymonkey readers & Portuguese football fans…the host nation has advanced to the second round of Euro 2004. Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

    • Figo 1:25 am on June 24, 2004 Permalink | Reply

      Cristiano is so ignorant…if he had read the earlier posts he would have seen that Portugal’s advancement was already dutifully mentioned.

    • Ted 3:59 pm on June 24, 2004 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome, Portuguese football fans. Now, I’m assuming you really are from across the pond, and not just Korey acting all goofy-like. So, provided you are the real deal, bom dia. Now that you’re here, could I take a quick poll? If you read this post, can you confirm whether or not “You’re fat” really is a complement, an appropriate way to greet someone in Portugal? Is my fiance just jerkin’ my chain, and, if so, does my future aunt-in-law really deserve that beat-down after all?

    • casino 6:33 am on January 11, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      I am a big fan of Cristiano ronaldo. I hope he stays at Manchester united for life.
      He has still to achieve his full potential but many people forget how young he still is.

  • Ted Mann 9:10 pm on June 13, 2004 Permalink | Reply  

    Karting with Flat Stanley C 

    Herewith, the third and final adventurous installment of our Flat Stanley trilogy. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (June 1 and May 20), we’ve been getting a series of little cardboard-cutout characters — all with the same unfortunate, but suspicious, name: Flat Stanly — from Ana’s nieces, the Mendes triplets. The goal is to provide each of them with a fully documented and illustrated adventure, something that’s sufficient to entertain a classroom of third graders. After treating Olivia’s Flat Stanley to a baby-filled weekend in Boston and Greenwich, and then taking Julia’s Flat Stanley to the new Phillies ballpark and the local dogpark, we knew the bar was set awfully high for the inevitable arrival of Gabrielle’s Flat Stanley. The solution, we decided, was to treat “C” to a day of racing go-karts.

    My dad’s company had organized a boondoggle to Lime Rock, a “Karting” track in northwestern Connecticut, where they were going to celebrate the latest consumer products company they’d merged with. He invited my brother, brother-in-law, and I to come race and take on the investment bankers. Bad idea.

    What I thought was going to be a lighthearted day of innocent bumper cars turned into a viciously competitive day of high-impact collisions. Little did we know that the “karts” manage speeds of about 50 miles-per-hour and that the bankers would use them to inflict bodily pain on anyone in their path. With only a helmet and rib-cage pad to protect me, multiple bruises and concussions were sustained (I think). The last impact took the wind out of me for so long that I had to retire from the race early — after the first lap, actually. Thank God Flat Stanley was safely tucked beneath the pad and racing jumpsuit or else I fear he would’ve been flattened into oblivion.

    Later on, I heard that Paul Newman had been at the track earlier in the day, racing the big-boy cars. This news was seriously depressing. Here I am at age 27, and I can’t handle a little bumping and grinding with the glorified Big Wheels, but 105-year-old Paul Newman’s out there leading the pack. And, as a random aside, I also heard that George Bush is going to be skydiving on his 80th birthday — for the second time, no less. The only conclusion that I can draw from all this is that I’m precariously close to pussydom, and I need to grow a sack fast. Bring on the bachelor party, I say! What better excuse to go bungee jumping and running with the bulls. If only there were a way to combine the two …

    –The extended Mann family. From left to right, Doug Mann, Dan Raiche, Ted Mann, Diana Wheeler, and Peter Mann.

  • Ted Mann 11:58 pm on June 1, 2004 Permalink | Reply  

    Flat Stanley B: Dog Lover and Phillies Phan 

    After busting our butts to give Flat Stanley a sufficiently impressive adventure, we thought we were finally off the hook. As I wrote in a post on May 20, we took Olivia Mendes’s school project (a little man, fashioned out of construction paper) up to Boston to meet my sister’s new baby, and then we created a little illustrated book, documenting our travels, for her to bring into her third grade class. Little did we know that another Flat Stanley (from Julia) was already en route, presumably having heard what great hosts we are.

    Ana’s family was already planning a trip to visit us in Philly over the Memorial-day weekend, so we decided to piggyback the two events, making the Mendes family adventure and Stanley’s adventure one in the same. Briefly, the weekend consisted of: taking Diesel, the Mendes’s hyperactive beagle (who stayed in our apartment for the weekend, along with the triplets, the parents, our two cats, and Ana and me), to the dog park; treating the girls to a showing of Shrek 2 at The Bridge movie theater; a gut-busting brunch at Abbraccio; a Phillies-Braves baseball game at the new Citizens Bank Park, complete with a guided tour from our friend Meg Leary; and another gut-busting meal at an Italian restuarant, Bucca di Beppo.

    It was all very tiring, but incredibly fun and gratifying. We’re now set to begin work on the second installment of our emerging Flat Stanley book series (Harry Potter, watch out!)

    A quick postscript: Flat Stanley C, from Gabrielle Mendes, just arrived in the mail today. Oy! I haven’t the foggiest idea how we’re going to be able to keep things fresh for this poor guy, but we’ll do our best. Oh, the pressure!

    Pictures from the weekend:

    –Gabrielle and Flat Stanley B at Brunch
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  • Ted Mann 5:03 pm on May 20, 2004 Permalink | Reply  

    Flat Stanley meets Owen 

    Ana and I returned from Boston last Sunday evening after a whirlwind weekend. There was plenty of baby ogling, of course. But also lots of praising and comforting the newly christened parents, Dan and Stacey:
    Green poop? “Yup, it’s normal.” Painful swelling of the booby melons? “Yeah, that’s pretty common.” Hairy back? “Come on, its cute! Adorable! Enjoy the monkey fur while you can.”

    –The past, present, and future of the Mann clan

    The cutest thing about Owen was way he wore two blue socks on his hands, like mittens. It reminded me of Steve Martin playing the retarded Oklahoman in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”–“Why is the cork on the fork?” The reason for the socks, my sister told us, was that on Owen’s first night at home, he put his teeny-weenie hands to his face and began rubbing his eyes. It was cute for about a minute, until Stacey saw that he was digging in deep. She said that it looked like he was jamming his fingers under his eyelids, like an infant Oedipus. Suddenly the adorable little digits, with their unclipped newborn nails, had become hideous eye gougers. Understandably, Stacey freaked and vowed to never permit the use of hands or fingers ever again. When my mom suggested this might not be practical in the not-so-distant future, when the baby starts eating, Stacey said that she’d consider granting finger privileges if, and only if, baby Owen could demonstrate that he’d grown to appreciate the responsibility.

    –Stacey teaches Owen that opposable thumbs are a blessing, not a curse.

    On the way up to Boston, we stopped in Greenwich and Westchester, and had a chance to check out–rather, lust after–the Tudor house that my brother and his wife just purchased. Their soon-to-be home is in White Plains, and though I can’t profess to know much about the town, the neighborhood was adorable–diverse housing stock, nice tree-lined streets, and, unless I’m imaging things, the same one that Monica and Chandler moved to. It’s amazing how in one year my brother can go from being unemployed and living in an apartment with two cats, to being a product manager living at a charming suburban house with twin baby girls. It’s not exactly the $150 million jackpot, but damn close–if not better.

    There was one other, less honorable, motive behind our trip: The need to document, and have, an adventure for Flat Stanley. Who, pray tell, is Flat Stanley? According to the letter we got from Ana’s niece, Olivia, he’s a man with a briefcase, who was squashed “as flat as a pancake” when a bulletin board fell on him.

    –Olivia’s letter, explaining the tragedy of and instructions for Flat Stanley. Take note of the postscript: “CAUTION: DO NOT LET SCOUT OR FUZZY GET STANLEY!!!!”

    –Owen and Stanley share some QT

    Why they’re telling this disturbing story to third graders is beyond me. Maybe it’s to prepare them for the inevitably disturbing real-life stories of bulletin boards falling on prisoners in Iraqi jails. Whatever the reason, Stanley and the accompanying letter were as charming as a koala in a top hat. Apparently he’s become this Harry Potter-like phenomenon in grade schools; a quick Google revealed hundreds of Stanley stories, told by just about every grade schooler from here to Honolulu. There was even one account of Stanley’s trip to the White House, where he encountered a kindred spirit.

    (More …)

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