Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I woke up early this morning to make sure I made it to the Pentagon by 7:30am.

I worked hard all day long in what some would consider an important job.

I dropped off my dry cleaning.

I made dinner- to be honest I warmed up left overs, but I still nourished my family and that should count for something.

Kids are clean.

I snuggled with both of them- twice.

They fell asleep knowing they’re loved.

I got the dishes done and a load of laundry folded.

I did all of those things, but if asked what my single biggest accomplishment of the day was I would say “I fastened a rubber chicken keyring to Cayden’s book bag”.

Okay, strange I know but hear me out.

Before Cayden got in the shower tonight he reached in his front pocket and pulled out a keyring with a little rubber chicken attached to it. 

From what I gather he had to trade something “way cool” to get it- but luckily the Gods were pleased with him today and he was now the proud owner of an inch long rubber chicken keyring.

Rubber chickens are friggin funny.

Not as funny as monkeys- but then again I haven’t read a single Internet story of a dude getting his genitals ripped off by a rubber chicken- I think Cayden made a solid trade.

Cayden asked me to attach it to his book bag- “important stuff Dad, don’t forget”.

I put his prize in my pocket without ever acknowledging him.

Funny thing is, if I was Cayden I would have repeated my request.

I would have pushed until I got a response because rubber chicken keyrings are important and I wouldn’t leave anything to chance.

“Listen old man I need you to look me in the eyes and tell me you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth- THE KEYRING GOES ON THE BACK PACK, GOT IT? NOD YOUR HEAD YES!”

But Cayden didn’t say a word. 

Trust.

It took the kids 45-minutes to fall asleep tonight.

I ironed my pants and shined my shoes.

I brushed my teeth, washed my face and put on some jammies.

I emptied the change out of my pockets and in the pile of change was a rubber chicken keyring.

It’s likely that no one will recognize the work that I do, how good dinner tasted or how crisp my pant crease are.

But tomorrow Cayden will recognize that what’s important to a little boy is important to a little boy’s Dad as well.

For at least one more day I’m deserving of his trust.

The most important thing I did today was put a rubber chicken keyring on my son’s book bag.

You might be crazy if…

December 16, 2010

Every neighborhood has at least one crazy resident- but our neighborhood “Crazy” tops them all.  Meet “Muffy” (I changed his name and erased his face to avoid being sued for slander)

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t Google “Insane transgender gentlemen drinking soda” and steal the image to give my post merit- this joker actually lives down the street from us and can often be glimpsed walking down the middle of our community’s main thoroughfare.  I won’t comment as to how I came in possession of the photo- let’s just say I know people who know people.

If there’s any doubt as to “Muffy’s” level of insanity- the “7-Up” inspired mini-skirt should pretty much clear it up for you.  Coupled with the fact that he accessorizes with bow ties and pocket protectors and you have proof positive that Agent “A” is one strange ranger.  I’m not going to comment on the gladiator sandals because right after “300” was released on DVD I ran out and purchased a pair for myself.  However, to my credit, I never teamed them up with young lady’s active wear nor did I own a bow tie.

Rumor has it that he’s totally harmless- to which I reply “BULLSHIT”.  First of all, no man wears a skirt in public unless he’s looking for a fight.  Secondly, I’ve personally witnessed him cursing at the stop sign in front of my house and having words with the my neighbor’s mailbox.  He also tried to challenge my driveway to a fight but when I walked out to break up the altercation he scurried across the street and began Olympic power walking towards the shopping center.  Those are not the actions of a “harmless” person.  Rumor also suggest that old boy goes “commando” during the warm summer months- that, in and of itself, is enough to cause me severe mental anguish further discreditting the “harmless” theory.

Aside from having arguments with inanimate objects Muffy spends most of his time walking from his home to our community shopping center.  His normal route takes him straight down the middle of the street much to the chagrin of the 15 or so vehicles unlucky enough to get stuck behind him.  Apparently, Muffy is unable to hear motorists spitting vulgar obscenities at him because not once have I ever seen him react to their taunts.  I find it perplexing that he’s capable of hearing every word my stop sign utters, but a car horn at 5:00 am gets no reaction?  Selective hearing or schizophrenia- I’ll let you be the judge. 

He didn’t always walk, when we first moved here he was actually motorized via lawn tractor.  My first “Muffy” sighting was him motoring down the road on a lawn tractor wearing a hard hat, safety vest, suit jacket and cargo shorts.  He had a brief case strapped to the back of his tractor and he appeared quite determined to make it to the office on time.  I guess I should have known right then that he was legally insane, but he moved with such purpose that it didn’t really register.  It wasn’t until the police took away his “lawn mower operator’s license” that I realized that maybe not all of his bolts were tightened to the correct torque- i.e. he’s friggin crazy.

I’m guessing that someone out there in the blogosphere is just itching to submit a comment designed to make me feel petty and small for ragging on someone less fortunate than I- okay, I got it- point taken- you win.  But come on, do you really expect me not to say anything?  If you do, then you give me way to much credit.  Besides the way I look at it if he can stroll past my home with his balls dragging behind him like a couple of oranges in pair of pantyhose then I can most certainly blog about it- so step down from the moral high ground and cut me some slack.

I’ll leave you with this, if you’re down in my neck of the woods and happen to spot what appears to be Abe Lincoln wearing a Mylie Cyrus “Baby Doll” Tee, construction boots and a ballerina tutu take a deep breath and relax, you haven’t gone crazy- you’ve just met my neighbor.

WTF is a ptarmigans?

November 12, 2010

I was helping Mack with his “5th grade” vocabulary words the other evening after dinner.  All that was required was to write a sentence for each vocabulary word.  I often help Mack with sentence structure because if I didn’t lend a hand, every sentence would sound like this “I have good nation“, “He has a solid” or better yet “My butt is lubricated” (you can probably see why I choose to help him).  Here is how the drill went the other night.

Dad- Dude, The word is environment- “Mankind cares for the environment by recycling garbage” (how’s that for being uber-PC?)

Mack- Too long Dad, how about this- “The environment is nice” (brief and single syllable is Mack’s mantra)

Dad- Right-O buddy I can live with that

(The next word on the vocab list was ptarmigans- I’m not shitting you- I’ve read the word 50 times since that night and I still can’t friggin say it correctly)

Dad-  The next word is p-tarmeeg-ans, fart-nar-geums, puntang-a-reemis, ptarmigans- WTF is a ptarmigans?

Mack- Is that spelled with a “ck” or just a “k” Dad?

Dad- Dude, seriously, what the hell is ptarmigans?

Mack- I don’t think that’s an appropriate sentence either Dad

Question, in what world does a 5th grade boy actually find the opportunity to use a word like “ptarmigans”?

The answer is- none, unless you reside on planet “Nerd” where warring tribes scrabble to the death as a means of resolving  ancestreal feuds.

I’ve been alive for over forty years, traveled to more countries than I care to remember and not once in my life span have I ever found the opportunity, or need, to use this word in a sentence.  Come to think about it, I’ve never heard anyone else use this word either- not even on Discovery channel!  So the question is why is our school system cluttering the limited space left in my kid’s brain housing unit with completely useless words?  Why don’t his educators teach him a word that MAYBE he’ll have a opportunity to use? I think both questions are completely reasonable?  But before I rant further let’s find out just what a ptarmigan is.  Who knows maybe it’s an up-and-coming word that everyone will be using in the very near future- you know, sort of like “Holla”, “Aiight”, “Fo-Shizzle” or even “Snap!”.  It could be that I lack hipness and this word is on the verge of being the next big thing.    Drum roll please- So just what is (are) ptarmigans?

ptarmigan

ptarmigan

Oh look, it’s a frigging bird.  Now that’s a word my son can use- why not put that on his vocabulary test?  I bet you if he replaced “ptarmigans” with “bird” in casual conversation he would receive a lot fewer ass kickings.

Now that I know what it is let me see if I can correctly use it in a sentence-

“Ptarmigans taste like chicken.”

“Last night I watched the classic Alfred Hitchcock film The Ptarmigans.”

“Look at all of the ptarmigans flying south for the winter” (makes me think of those creepy-ass flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz)

“A giant ptarmigan shit on my windshield” (again imagine a flying monkey dropping a deuce on your vehicle just after you had it waxed)

“A-well-a ptarmigans, ptarmigans, p-ptarmigans the word
A-well-a don’t you know about the ptarmigans?
Well, everybody knows that the partimigans is the word!

That shit doesn’t work either- but if you replaced ptarmigans with the term “bird” that little ditty turns into an iconic song that very nearly defined an entire generation.

Bottom line I don’t like this word- nor do I like those people who do.

BTW, if your some sort of Bird-Guy, don’t bother trying to explain to me why this word is necessary- I ain’t buying what your selling and I will only ridicule you for trying to educate me.  I am un-educatable when it comes to making things more complex than they need to be.

Here’s my moment of tolerance

You like “po-tay-to” and I like “po-tah-to”,
You like “to-may-to” and I like “to-mah-to”;
You like “ptarmigans” and I say shut up it’s a friggin “BIRD”

Guess not, no tolerance tonight- where’s the wine?

Subject #1- “Let me poke you in the butt”

Subject #2- “No, it’ll hurt”

Subject #1- “Don’t worry I’ll only stick it in a little bit”

Subject #2- “No way- you’re not putting that thing anywhere near my butt”

Subject #1- “Come on, I stuck it in my butt and I didn’t feel a thing- watch” (sticks it in his butt- Doesn’t even flinch)

Subject #2- “You barely stuck it in- I don’t trust you, you’ll shove that thing all the way in if I let you do it to me”

Subject #1- “Fine- can I stick it in your arm?”

Subject #2- “Ehh- sure, why not”

You should be completely ashamed of yourself for the dirty thoughts you’re having right now.

The above listed dialog is nothing more than my son trying to convince his best friend that being stabbed in the hip with a cocktail sword isn’t really all that bad.  Okay, I get it- a little strange, but not nearly as strange, or disturbing, as what you were likely thinking when you read it the first time.

Here are the facts:

Connie and I treated Mack and his best buddy to sushi the other night.  We ordered them some Japanese dumpling thingies as an appetizer and as fate would have it they came with a whole glass full of those cute little cocktail swords.  You know the ones I’m talking about- the little swords used to skewer the olives that adorn your favorite martini.  My boys don’t drink martinis so they have no idea of their intended purpose.  My boys do engage in sword play however, so that’s exactly what they used them for.

Unable to claim a clear victory (because it’s difficult to draw blood with a 1.5 inch plastic saber) they decided to take turns voluntarily stabbing each other to identify the toughest ten-year old at the table.  Eventually they got around to stabbing each other in the butt.  The conversation that started this post is exactly what they said to each other. 

Connie and I were laughing so hard we couldn’t speak.  Not because we have personal experience with that conversation, but because, like you, we’re immature and inappropriate.  Its kind of like when you’re at the zoo and you see a monkey pleasuring himself- you know you shouldn’t laugh or encourage their behavior but you can’t help giggling like a school girl because it’s friggin funny- inappropriately so, but funny none-the-less.  For the record I also laugh uncontrollably when monkeys fling poop or playfully wrestle each other (at least that’s what I tell the boys they’re doing).

If I could have gained my composure I would have ended the banter before the rest of the restaurant’s patrons became offended, but sadly every time I opened my mouth to end it Mack would say something even more inappropriate.  I’m truly ashamed of my lack of discipline- but not ashamed enough that I won’t share this experience with as many people as I can- because like I said, it’s friggin funny.

Next week I promise to share with you the discussion Cayden had in Home Depot about the size of his “Caulk” (I’m not making this shit up)

I had a rough time last night getting the “Man-Apes” into bedtime mode.  It wasn’t an a-typical evening.  You say “Brush your teeth”, but what my boys hear is “hey guys, it would be really delightful if you ran through the house like your asses were on fire until you broke something of substantial value”. 

Note- they’ve never actually been able to ignite their asses- but they have mastered imitating the behaviors of someone who has.

I was tired last night (which is understandable when you get up at 0430 everyday). 

I may have been short of patience (which is uncommon because I consider myself the most tolerant person on the planet).

I may have raised my voice (actually it was more reminiscent of a “Brave Heart-ish” bellow for “Freedom”.  Sorry for the Mel reference- I don’t like him anymore either.)

I don’t like to yell.  It’s a sure sign that my boys have achieved the upper hand- they made me react to their “jack-assery” and in doing so gained control of the situation.  BTW, they know exactly what they’re doing- pushing Dad’s buttons is completely intentional.

I like being controlled by a pair of pre-pubescent boys about as much as I like seeing Lady GaGa sporting ground beef panties.

But my disdain for falling into their trap didn’t alleviate the guilt I felt for sending them to bed knowing I was angry.  Rule of thumb, never send your kids to bed on a bad note.  This rule can also be applied to spouses- but if your married to a meat-head like me be willing to break it on occasion.

So after the lights were flipped off and the kids settled down I climbed the ladder to Cayden’s bunkbed to make amends.  Just as I was about to lay down Cayden spoke up.

Cayden- “What are you doing Dad?”

Dad- “I thought I would come up here and snuggle for a minute”

Cayden- “Are you done being mad?”

Dad- “Yes Son I’m done being mad, can I come up?”

Cayden- “You can come up, I want to snuggle too”

I laid down next to Cayden and he wrapped his “way-to” skinny arms around my neck.  I apologized for raising my voice and he offered this bit of wisdom in exchange.

Cayden- “Don’t worry about it Dad, not even Tony Hawk is pefect”

He’s right. 

Every parent makes mistakes.  

If we respect our kids enough to ask them to forgive us- they probably will. 

Because they know, that not even the great Tony Hawk is perfect.

Chimps eat people…

October 1, 2010

When you have an hour or so to kill Google chimpanzee attacks; you’ll be amazed.  Believe it or not there is story upon story of every day folks who purchase chimpanzees and raise them as if they were human children.  They don’t even consider the fact that your average human child doesn’t have inch long canines, weigh 200lbs and have super human strength.  Human kids are also not covered in fur or sporting thumbs on their feet- but that’s not really a pertinent point to this post.  

Apparently the aforementioned “monkey anatomy lesson”  is a bit of insight that escapes people on a routine basis because they purchase chimps anyway.  An incredibly unwise financial investment considering the amount of available literature detailing what happens when chimps become disenfranchised and decide to go “ape shit” on their human parents- sorry for the pun.

I don’t consider myself a primate expert, even though raising two boys has given me a rudimentary understanding of how primitive man must have interacted with his environment, but I am educated enough to know that trying to domesticate wild animals rarely ends well.  Does that make me especially intelligent- not at all, it simply means I can “Google” chimpanzee attacks and reach the conclusion that a hamster or goldfish would be a more appropriate, and yes, less life threatening addition to my family.  Granted neither of these pets is one chromosome shy of being a relative- but who the hell wants to live with their relatives anyway (no offense guys).

Where was I going with this?  Oh, so people buy baby chimps; the baby chimp is cute; the chimp grows older (and may I add larger), the chimp experiences mid-life crisis, the chimp lashes out at the very people who loved and nurtured them through childhood, maybe they aren’t as developmentally different from human children as I first thought. 

But, when I say lash out what I mean is they get angry and then proceed to violently remove every available appendage from their owner’s body.  When I say every available appendage I mean EVERY available appendage- lips, ears, nose, fingers, toes and yes, even your man-parts.  Holy Shit!  I’ve never heard of a single documented case of  an angry beagle gnawing off its owner’s genitalia- but that’s exactly how an angry chimp operates.

Evidence- Chimps become pissed off in captivity

Evidence- Chimps become pissed off in captivity

So, should we be angry at chimps?  Should we eradicate the species?  Boycott the circus or set fire to monkey Island at the zoo?  Absolutely not- it’s not the chipmapanzees’ fault- they are wild friggin animals.

Insensitive as it may sound maybe we should point the finger at the people who thought they could change a chimpanzee’s natural animal instinct by wrapping them in Huggies and teaching them to surf the Internet.  After all, they not only volunteered to put themselves in a precarious position, they spent big dollars to get there- stupid.  So, don’t bitch and moan to the media when your pet chimp gets a wild hair up its ass and decides to go medieval on you- research shows that’s kind of what they do.  Maybe you should have considered looking at that research prior to slapping down your visa at the exotic animal emporium. You would have discovered that, historically, chimp owners rarely make it to a ripe old age with all of the extremities they were born with.  It’s not difficult to locate this information- simply type “stupid painful shit that I shouldn’t do” into your favorite search engine and I’m sure “purchase a 200-pound, potentially hormonal gorilla” is somewhere near the top. 

I think I’m done- I feel much better.  You’ll never know the amount of time I spend on a daily basis trying to keep people safe from themselves.  My humanity really is curse, but it’s a burden I’ll gladly carry if it prevents members of my species from doing potentially stupid shit

Where does the time go?

September 4, 2010

 This used to be my favorite picture.

 This is the picture that took its place.

Is it just me or am I the only one getting younger?

This is an email that Connie sent me the other morning while I was at work:

 

So I had the strangest dream last night…

 

You and I were sitting outside in the backyard having a glass of wine while the kids played kickball.  Suddenly, your head fell off.  Next thing I know, we’re kicking your head around the yard like a soccer ball.  Yet you were actually fine?  Later we had dinner and your head was back on.

 

No Honey your dream isn’t strange- it’s disturbing.  But the dream itself isn’t as disturbing as the meaning that may have been assigned to it.  What does this dream really mean?  Should I be concerned?  Do  my children have similar dreams?  Is my “Gourd” the only thing being kicked around in my family’s REM state sleep?

 

I did a little research to uncover the underlying message of Connie’s dream and I now have a few ideas of just what’s bubbling up in Connie’s subconscious mind. 

 

1.  How neat, my husband’s head is void of anything of value and can sustain severe trauma without negatively impacting his intellect.

 

2.  I wouldn’t normally play kick ball, but what the Hell, we’re using Shane’s head…”batter’s up boys, roll me a heater!!!”

 

3.  As long as his body can still push a vacuum, cook dinner and lift heavy objects who cares if he’s headless?

 

4.  Tom Hanks had “Wilson” I’ve got “Shane”- hmmm, not sure who got the better deal.

 

Don’t get me wrong I know that my wife loves me- and honestly, I can’t really blame her for the obvious enjoyment she found punting my head around the backyard to the cheers of my offspring.  The only issue I have with the whole scenario is the improbability of my rolly-polly head being able to sip wine on a fine summer day- and that my friends is an injustice that I am simply unwilling to accept.

 

Sometimes I rant…

September 1, 2010

In case you don’t know me very well I have a tendency to embellish while I rant. 

The truth is the family and I had a great time in Canada.  And  even though it was expensive (what vacation spot isn’t) and the potential for getting drenched is significant I would still recommend making the trek.  After all, every kid should see the “Falls” at least once before they become old, bitter and cheap- and no, I am not referring to myself.

If asked what the high light of the trip was for me however, it wouldn’t be the Falls.  The high light for me was spending some time with a group of friends that we met on  our cruise last winter.  They live in Canada and when they got word that we were crossing the border into their backyard they packed up the family and came down to hang with us. 

You guys made the trip.   Connie, the boys and I are really looking forward to meeting up with you soon- we have so much to catch up on and talk “aboot”.

C-ya soon- S

The family and I recently traveled to Niagra Falls (the Canadian side) for an end of summer “get-away”.  Connie informed me that I couldn’t call it a vacation because we only went for a few days, all of us walked away still wanting to be related and my American Express card didn’t burst into flames from excessive use- it smoked and sparked but stopped short of full on “torch mode”.  Had I purchased one more authentic native American arrow head (stamped made in Taiwan)  or “Niagra Falls” themed snow globe my whole wallet would likely be in ashes, but luckily we escaped before the boys located anymore “must have” items.

I hope I don’t sound cheap, because I’m not (reference Cayden’s 426 “Silly Bands”)- but for the amount of money I spent on (1) “Canadian” bottle of water I could have purchased (3) large sodas at our local IMAX or (2) hot dogs and a set of mouse ears at Walt Disney World.  What does that tell you?  It should tell you that for the price of riding the “Maid of the Mist” I could have paid off my house ten years ahead of time or given enough change to UNICEF to allow them to give away an IPOD touch with every bowl of rice.  I’m not bitter, how could I be?  For the small fee of $190 I got the once in a life time experience of riding an open bow boat with three-hundred of my closest non-hygienic European friends.  But wait that wasn’t even the best part- get this, we did the whole thing while “Mother Nature” blasted ice cold water into our smiling, unsuspecting faces with the ferocity of a friggin fire hydrant.  Who wouldn’t pay top dollar for that experience?  Friggin “Maid of the Mist” my ass- there is nothing maidenly about that hag.   At some level I understand that getting wet while visiting the Falls should seem intuitive because… well, because it’s a big friggin water fall.  But I’m an American, I want to view the falls in a comfortable manner fitting of the natural splendor which is “NIAGRA”- i.e  ice cold adult beverage in one hand, hot wing in the other (maybe there is a Niagra Falls cable channel which enables you to experience the whole thing from the comfort of a local Micro-Brewery (hmmm, potential money maker- any backers?).

But did that occur?  Why no it didn’t- thank you for asking.  Instead, I was wrapped in a blue garbage bag and pushed out into the elements to suffer with the rest of the multi-national crowd that made up the crew of the “S.S. THIS-SUCKS-ASS”.  I think I’m going to sue Canada for PTSD triggered by excessive dampness and a horrendous case of cold water shrinkage that won’t seem to go away no matter how friction I apply to it.  I think next time I feel inclined to experience the Falls I’ll save the money and just head to Abu Ghraib and ask a couple of CIA henchmen to water board me- same experience, less expense.

Don’t get me wrong we did a lot of other things while visiting Niagra Falls- here is a quick list:

1. ” Journey behind the falls”- got friggin drenched

2.  “Niagra-Fury”- got drenched and once we were wet it no-kidding snowed on us- no shit!  WTF, where in the world does it snow in 100 degree summer heat?  Why in Niagra Falls of course-and it only cost us about $150 to experience it.

3.  Swam in the hotel pool- we were all ready wet so we didn’t even bother to put on swimsuits.

I’ve got to sign off an get some sleep, but I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I think Canada sucks- because it doesn’t.  Canada is a great time- especially if your an independently wealthy former resident of Atlantis.