Friday, December 23, 2005

Working the Man

Julia sat back and let Allie lay all the groundwork. Allie's pitch got off to a slow start, but after a 45 minute wait to see Santa there was no way she wasn't going to make the most of it.

What did she ask for?

An end to war and hunger.

Yeah, right. . .

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Define "Bad Dad"

This evening, as Allie was changing into her pajamas, I decided it would be fun to see if the kid would go outside in her undies.

The concept isn't a new one for me. A long time ago my brother and I got bored one very cold evening and decided to run around in the snow in our underwear.

It was a stupid idea then.

Stupid -- but kind of exhilarating and it certainly alleviated our ennui.

So I thought I'd make Allie's evening by betting her a dollar she wouldn't go out in the snow. She looked at me and said that I was right; she wouldn't go outside for a dollar.

Next I tried to get her to go out by letting her know I'd join her.

She still wasn't interested.

Finally I got down to my skivies and grabbed her. I threw open the door. I lifted her up by her hands and we ran down the front walk to the driveway. Then I let her go and she sprinted back to the warmth and safety of our foyer.

That's when I noticed she was crying.

Turns out she wasn't crying because she was cold. Instead she was crying because, oh - I don't know, I might have told her the police will arrest little girls who venture outside in their underwear (or something like that, I'm not sure). What's more, she saw a car go by as we ran around our front yard, in our undies, in the icy breeze. By then Allie was convinced she needed to prepare for whatever a five year-old imagines prison to be.

Now here's the kicker: She asked, "Will Santa come if he finds out I went outside in my underwear?"

Not only did I traumatized the poor girl, but I had jeopardized her good standing with the big guy in the red suit. Suddenly I was the bad dad who ruined Christmas.

It didn't take Deb long to console Allie. During the quick process of calming her down Allie looked at her mom and emphatically declared, "Daddy's weird!"

Can't argue.

But she wasn't bored. No doubt about that.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


This came to me at work the other day.

At first it was all the stamps that got my attention.

But then I couldn't help thinking about the disturbing amount of dried, human saliva I probably was holding in my hands.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Merry Christmas - I can't feel my fingers.

Want to know how your guarantee yourself a shitty Christmas tree this season? Go shopping for one in three degree weather.

I cold.

Julia chanted this forty or fifty times as we walked to catch up to Deb and Allie. They were ahead of us checking out the selection of $12 trees that this particular lot uses to lure in holiday bargain hunters. Occasionally, if you’re willing to look long and hard, you can find a decent tree here. Unfortunately three degrees means none of us were willing to sort through the freeze-dried, dyed-green, tumbleweeds.

The girls looked miserable. Deb’s nose was beyond rosy and Allie and Julia’s cheeks looked as if they had been rubbed raw then shellacked. “Isn’t this fun?” I asked. All three quickly replied, “No.”

As we got deeper into the lot Deb found a little frazier fir for $25. It was short and narrow. “How about this one?” she begged. As soon as she designated her choice Deb whined a little and fled with Julia into a building where they make wreaths and take your money.

I asked Allie if she liked the tree. She said she didn’t. “Well, let’s go look over here for a better one,” I said and started walking away from Deb’s choice.

“Daddy, I’m freezing.” Allie said.

“Come on, don’t be a baby.”

“I don’t want to look anymore.”

“Do you like this tree?”


“Then let’s go find a good one.”

I left Allie standing there and took about twenty steps away from her to look for another tree. It only took twenty steps to realize I no longer cared what tree we got as the three degree weather was frosting my nuts. So I walked back and grabbed the little tree without saying a word to Allie and she didn’t say a word to me.

While Deb paid $25 I threw the frozen fir into the trunk of the Mazda. I used bungee cords to secure the trunk lid. As I pulled one of the cords to attach it to the car’s bumper it snapped back and thunked me in the forehead. Fuckin’ cocksucker motherfucker! The other people in the lot looked my way as I held my forehead and grimaced at them. “I could’ve lost my damn eye,” I said out loud as I tried to reattach the cord. I really don’t think anyone who heard all this cared; but I thought they should know.

So Christmas has officially begun despite the fact our tree hasn’t made it to the living room yet. It’s in the garage. It might stay there for a while. At least until the bump on my forehead goes away.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Dear Abby,

My body hates me.

It doesn’t want me in it and isn’t just quietly suffering any longer. Things are getting bad.

It craves salt and fat. It loathes exercise. Its skin absorbs heat and UV radiation so readily that it turns candy apple red when exposed to a 75 watt bulb for more than 30 seconds. It has been exposed to a host of chemicals which await release from fatty tissues in order to cause disruption, corruption and mutation at the cellular level.

The evidence that my body desires a long term separation is overwhelming. I find bumps, scales and strangely colored patches on my body’s skin. There’s a knee that makes strange popping noises in the morning. There are ankles that feel as if they’re ready to cave with the least bit of provocation. It demands a surplus of air after lifting small children up just two flights of stairs. There is constant belching, farting and the excretory experience is only consistent in that it is never consistent. Plus, it’s fat.

Boy; is it fat.

It’s never been larger or heavier.

I’ve tried to force my body to accept our relationship by attempting some improvements. In fact, last week I fired my first salvo by doing the breakfast thing, choosing the right foods, limiting my portions.

I gained three pounds.

Granted, I didn’t keep it up over the weekend and ate crap what wasn’t good for me. But that’s what I do every weekend. One would think that if I behaved during the week and then continued with my regular habits for just a couple of days that I could at least maintain.

So, it’s clear my body hates me.

I know; I need to get my body to love me once again. But how do you rescue a relationship after it has gone so badly for so many years? Anything I do garners a nasty reaction. A trip to the treadmill therapist winds up becoming a massive, sweaty struggle that leaves me exhausted and convinced that I should never return for a repeat session. If I attempt to romance my body with gifts of cruciferous vegetables and fruit it pushes them away and whines for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. I’ve read books, magazines, scoured the internet and looked to others who have overcome these types of problems for inspiration. Nothing seems to work.

My body is angry, resentful and wants an attorney. And what makes these relationship problems all the worse is the fact that there are children in the mix.

I know my story isn’t uncommon, but I’m coming to the end of my rope (and at this weight, it’s really freakin’ difficult to hold on).

Beyond Husky

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Last year I wrote about this photo I saw at my Grandma's house.

If you'd like to get a better look at the photo and revisit the post click here.

Want to see what Grandma looks like today?

Click multimedia and watch the video called Gertrude.

Ambien Cookies

Today Deb started making Christmas cookies with the girls. If you go to the Flickr! photostream there are a few pictures.

It doesn't end there.

If you know the password click password please. There you can see this year's Thanksgiving in glorious 2 inch wide QuickTime.

If you don't know the password and are really bored (and I'm not joking here; you've got to be really bored) click multimedia. Deb shot some video of me getting ready to go for a ride on Gus.

Gus is the new motorcycle.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Podcasting Woes

I’m sorry some of you are experiencing difficulties listening to our Podcasts. I'm sure it's because I don't know what I'm doing. Despite this some people have been able to download these files.

If you can play MP3s on your computer, then you shouldn’t have any trouble listening. If you’re getting a screen full of indecipherable symbols then you might need to download or update your media player.

I think all computers should have QuickTime but Windows Media Player will do.

Once you have installed these players you shouldn’t have any problems hearing the Podcast. And once you’ve listened, you will wonder why you went to any trouble.

For example, here's me trying to get the girls to go to bed.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Can you read this in 30 seconds?

Lately I’ve found myself skimming The Bleat. That’s never really happened before. I’ve always gobbled up every word James Lileks metes out to us on his Web site. Now I find myself quickly searching his paragraphs for word combos like Jasper & run over or Gnat & therapy or Target & Apple & bankruptcy court that might pique my waning interest.

I’m surprised. Particularly when James seems to have eliminated (or at least relegated to another blog) all the not-too-keen political screeds that once peppered his Bleats. He now provides a pipeline of 98% pure saccharine in the form of tales about peddling his latest book or raising his daughter or hours spent watching film noir or digging through his endless collection of ephemera.

It’s everything I could ask for from the man.

And yet I skim.

I feel guilty but more significantly I feel a little suspicious of you.

You’re skimming me. I can sense it. Unless you see words like vomit or dead hamster you’re slamming your browser into second gear and heading over to Gawker to read about Tara Reid’s new breasts. I can’t say that I blame you but DAMMIT - I’ve put a little effort into this crap. What does it take to hold on to you for 30 seconds? [And, by the way, that’s how long it takes to read this post, up to this point. I timed it.]

Blogger has a featured blog called Bored Housewife. She keeps you reading her posts by showing you her cleavage (okay I didn’t actually read her posts). I have cleavage, but there’s hair all over it.

That’s not good for anyone.