30 September 2009

Things that amuse me

Here, as the title might suggest, are a few things that have been amusing me lately:

1. It says a lot about my current lifestyle that I only knew how long I slept in the computer chair recently by looking back at the pre-dawn browser history and measuring the gap between Repentant man breeds 4,600 scorpions and Driver Wears Monkey Mask in Speed-Camera Tickets. It was 37 minutes, by the way.

2. You know you're dealing with one of the greatest pools of obsessive nerd wisdom on Earth when you come upon the film category of Bully Comeuppance at the IMDb. (Also, Copped Feel.)

3. A house nearby to ours is on the National Register of Historic Places, and I recently saw the latest issue of This Old House magazine sticking out of their mailbox. This is a lot like seeing some old lady walking her poodle while clutching Dog Fancy magazine, or a grown man in bedazzled Crocs holding Pedophiles Monthly.

4. Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) should think twice about scaring people with closeups of unexpected Old Man Eyebrows in their e-mail boxes as a desperate campaigning tool. Secondly, I'm not sure what makes him think I can help him all the way out here in Povertyville, Illinois.

28 September 2009

Classic quotes, Vol. 19

Here is the latest batch of quotes from my 2-year-old daughter M- and my 5-year-old son D- (my wife J- and I haven't been interesting in weeks, apparently):

M- (as loudly as you'd expect, pointing to the balloon-infested cover of Elmo's Feliz Cumpleanos book): Look at his BALLLLLLLS!

M- (frightened as usual, referring to the roaring of hundreds of gallons of water pouring from the giant bucket over the kids' area at our pool): It's like lightning from the bucket, but water!*

D- (catching sight of junior-high soccer fields): Hey! The big soccer boys are out! And the big girl-boys, too!

M- (after being asked if she prefers J-'s Red Sox or my White Sox, giving a politically AND artistically astute answer): Ummm.... I like the Pink Sox!

M- (with exaggerated gestures, defying my idea that making "the girl toy" in a Happy Meal a little notebook is lame): It's NOT a toy... it's a NOTEbook, and it's imPORtant, and nobody else can touch it, but me... not ANYone in the WORLD... imAGine that, in your BRAIN.**

* This astute comparison of the sound to thunder makes me as proud as when D- said something was, "as dry as SAND!" a few years ago. They'll be writing bad poetry in no time, just like their ol' man.

** I swear to God/Allah/Yahweh/Michael Jordan that she said this to me-- I was at the computer at the time, and I typed it out before she even finished saying it.

25 September 2009

Huggy Bear's House of Coffee

Looking for a sordid tale of titillation at a Washington coffeehouse? Head on over to HotDads, to see my latest post with this great group bloggers of which I'm lucky to be a part.

If it doesn't make you want coffee with an unhealthy urgency, then I guarantee twice your money back.

23 September 2009

Important Question: Or is that kind of sleep orgasmic enough?

These are the things about which one begins to wonder when forced to read or watch a story more than 10 times:

If the nice fairies in Sleeping Beauty had the power to alter the evil fairy's killing spell, why didn't they just say that when she turned 16, she'd touch a spindle, receive a deliciously near-fatal orgasm, and then develop a lifelong obsession with spinning wheels?

Why make her, the royal family, and everyone who works in their castle, fall asleep indefinitely while waiting for a chance encounter to bring them back to daily life? How is that the easiest solution, even if we decide they were limited by adapting the language without the intent of the spell?

Can you imagine missing out on a decade without realizing it? Strutting around with bell bottoms and pork-chop sideburns when everyone else is gelled up with Hammer pants... the horrors go on.

Which decade would you pick to skip, and why?

After you're done pondering this, you might want to weigh in on some other of Life's Most Important Questions, especially the original.

21 September 2009

Parenthood is...

...watching an iguana defecate on the neighbor's kitchen floor and being less bothered by the sight and smell than by the knowledge that the kids will be talking about it nearly constantly for at least the next year and a half.

18 September 2009

Next we could hit The Place, then The Restaurant

I just had to say something when I read this:

RadioShack To Become ’The Shack’

Whatever happened to an established name being irreplaceable in the marketplace? Do they skip that section in business school nowadays?

I mean, England still has a store (a huge chain of them, actually) called Carphone Warehouse, for God's sake. They know what they're doing, silly as they may sound now, at least 15 years since anyone expressed an interest in buying "a car phone."

But then nothing says, "Come on in and browse around," quite like a place referred to as The Shack... Traditionally speaking, if your shack needs no modifiers to make people understand which shack is being referred to, it is most definitely a shack no sane person wants to get near.

You know who else felt comfortable hanging out in a shack filled with shelves of electronic odds and ends? The Unabomber.

This falls right in line with another development I'd read about, which I'll share with you in case you hadn't heard:

Pizza Hut Soon to be The Hut?

Now, they claim that they're only using this name on some new buildings, but it's clear to me they're just trying to soften up the market before the big switch at some point. Also, of course, they want attention. Mission accomplished, idiots!

The So-Called SyFy Channel: Honorable mention goes to whoever's in charge of the SciFi Channel. That person who decided that their channel, and indeed their job and very existence, wasn't stupid enough, so they should change the spelling of the channel to the uselessly cutesy "SyFy Channel".

All this just so you can own an otherwise generic word? All of your networks' shows are now subconsciously graded down one star in my mind before I even seen them. Just you wait a couple of decades for that to really mean something. I know I will!

16 September 2009

Marriage is...

...When the cryptically referenced "services rendered" birthday present from your significant other is his putting away the gigantic f***ing pile of laundry you've let pile up, again, over the past few weeks.

Happy birthday, J-!

14 September 2009

Storybook Weddings: Elmo, assault, rampaging horses, and idiocy

I came upon an older article recently about 13 wedding horror stories, including a massive brawl at a lesbian wedding, and a groom arrested for violating his new wife's restraining order, and I figured I'd share my amused observations on a few of them:

Bride Drunkenly Assaults People - I'm pretty sure the lady in this amusing mug shot is the yin to the yang of this bride I posted about awhile back.

Bride Thrown From a Runaway Horse-Drawn Carriage - You may question his methods, but you can't argue with the results when God decides to point out that you're being kind of a douche.

Bride's Dress is Ripped by Dry-Cleaners After her Wedding - Really? This is on par with being arrested, poisoned, or nearly killed by a truck?? I'm thinking they ran out of good ones but still wanted to have 13, for the gimmick.

Husband and Wife Brawl With Police When Renewing Vows - When your name is "Elmo Jesus", there's bound to be a few assault charges anytime lots of people are gathered.

Woman Swallows Engagement Ring - This one was fated to end disastrously from the moment it was conceived. If this lady is anything like my wife, he should have already known that you do not put anything you value between her and a Frosty.*

Man Scales Side of Brooklyn Bridge to Retrieve Ring - This one answers the age-old question, "What does an idiot do when he drops something?"

* I know that sounds bad, and she'll probably groan and hit me, but it's true, and I would never lie to you people, or even withhold unflattering information. Honestly, I don't blame her, though-- those things are good! Have you ever dipped a fry in one?

Editor's Note: With that winning note, speaking of brides, I'd like to announce that today is my wife J-'s birthday, which has always been one of the biggest highlights of her year. Since it's not yet been made a national holiday (though it was, much to her chagrin, named a national day of mourning 8 years ago), the day is tarnished by her having to go to work.

Wanna help me brighten her day with some well wishes?

12 September 2009

PSA: Child Passenger Safety week

Sorry, this post is not sarcastic, for once. It's an actual Public Service Announcement.

I wanted to let everyone know it's National Seat Check Saturday today in America, and over the coming week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is trying to raise awareness of the subpar safety level of children in our cars.

I normally don't do this kind of thing, but since I've already spent roughly 10% of my predicted lifespan installing, uninstalling, and reinstalling carseats, I consider myself a bit of an aficionado, and the subject is near and dear to my heart.

I've seen some pretty ridiculous "installations" in other people's cars in the past, and it always makes me itch to offer help or suggestions for the sake of the kids. It can't hurt to have someone check to make sure you're installing your carseats correctly, right?

Here's a page where you can find the carseat inspection stations in your area: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/CPSfitting/index.cfm

And here's a little video they made for this event:

11 September 2009

Confirmation of Blogger-Authors' greatness

As I promised a month ago, I'm here to offer my thoughts on (Dad Gone Mad) Danny Evans' first book, Rage Against the Meshugenah, and (Baby on Bored) Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's latest book, It’s Not Me, It’s You, after reading them both in the past few weeks.

RAGE AGAINST THE MESHUGENAH: Why it Takes Balls to Go Nuts

Book cover - Rage Against the MeshugenahI wholeheartedly agree with every other reader I've heard from that this book is a must-read for anyone who knows someone (especially a man, or a generally reserved woman) who might be depressed.

This includes, of course, pretty much everyone, and I can't decide who would get more out of it-- people who know they know someone who's depressed, or people who haven't yet put all the signs together.

The tone of the book is not all dark and depressing, which would kind of defeat the purpose, nor is it all wisecracking superficiality. It's the same blend of both aspects (and others) that you get in the most rewarding, memorable conversations you have with good friends.

I know I'm not saying anything everyone who's listening hasn't already heard before, but I felt compelled (as someone who has faced a lot of the same struggles as Danny) to build on my preview post to confirm that yes, you really, really should read this book, one way or another.

IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU: Subjective Recollections from a Terminally Optimistic, Chronically Sarcastic and Occasionally Inebriated Woman

Book cover - It's Not Me, It's YouAs much as I enjoyed Stefanie's first two books, Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour, I appreciated those on a much more superficial level, as a parent laughing at how ridiculous children and their parents can be sometimes.

Stefanie's new book is different, in that it's a straightforward, self-assured comic memoir, which is a genre (led by David Sedaris) that I particularly enjoy.

To keep you invested in her biography without getting caught up in a weepy tell-all, Stefanie sprinkles in just the right amount of references to the deeper drama and conflicts in her life that led to the amusing and occasionally bizarre stories that are the star of this book.

The result is a fast-reading collection of essays that can be taken all together in order, or separately and at random, without missing information that would keep you from appreciating her humor or storytelling abilities. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes humorous memoirs or personal essays.

In unrelated news (about which I'm sure you'll see, hear, and read a great many more stirring tributes and remembrances than I can muster), today is of course the 8th anniversary of the hijackings of 9/11/01, for which I'm almost totally sure you can hold these two folks entirely blameless. How's that for an endorsement??

09 September 2009

Amusing searches, Vol. 2

Here are more of the most amusing searches that brought people here recently, this time a batch of private-part related questions and statements.

(All search strings are reprinted exactly as they were entered.)

attack of the one eyed monster - Please allow me to disillusion you... I think "attack" is really an unfair world. He's usually very friendly, though perhaps occasionally a bit overeager.

I went pee in toilet and someone else's urine touched my vagina - From, wait for it... Regina*, Saskatchewan.

can you get an STD from someone else's urine splashing onto your vagina - This was the very next day after the last one, from the same person, and seeing that made me wish I could somehow scream across the Internet, "No, you fool!"

vaginal wash chimpanzee what is a experiment - I have no idea what would prompt this search, nor what I'd have to offer on this front, but suddenly I have an urge to check up on whoever is in charge of washing our nation's strategic supply of chimpanzee vaginas.

orangutan ass picture - Only the finest quality product do I offer to you, dear readers. And now we've added yet another satisfied customer from Wroclaw, Poland.**

"he's too pretty for his own good" - I'm impressed that my reputation has stretched as far as Kiel, Germany, but I'm not entirely surprised.

Sure, you might say, this one doesn't really involve private parts, per se, but I've included it here because whenever you think about how pretty I am, honestly, don't yours just get a nice, warm tingle?

i keep catching my 4 year old son plays with his penis - This is one of those searches that clearly telegraphs the gender of the searcher.

And my question for her is as follows: Is your problem that you keep catching him doing it? 'Cause if you're looking for him to stop entirely, you've got a long line to get behind, and that line starts with the females of something even simpler than a squirrel monkey.

* Pronounced, of course, "Reh-JI-na".

** I get searches for orangutan pictures every single day, and sometimes as many as 5 in one day, just because of that one post months ago. Who knew??

07 September 2009

Not to belabor a theme, but...

I was informed by my son's school calendar that apparently today is something called "Labor Day".

Not having been a part of the traditional work force for almost two years now, I'm not quite clear what this means beyond my having to entertain a five-year-old for one extra day this week.

Calling on all my powers of deduction and forensic etymology training, I can only assume that this day must have something to do with honoring the struggle and sacrifice of our nation's childbearers.

Care to share any entertaining stories about your (or your significant other's) own labor experience?*

* Before you answer, keep in mind that my wife J-, rightfully portrayed here most times as an overworked saint and generally sympathetic figure, had such fast labors that she has since declared a handful of other things as more painful than childbirth. Begin hating her... now!

04 September 2009

A conversation with J-: She could make that happen pretty easily

My wife and I have recently been looking wishfully at houses that are pretty far from Chicago, out where prices are lower and space is more plentiful. Being as disorganized as we are, we know that whenever this happens, it will mean a huge disruption in one or more areas of our lives.

For instance, if we bought one of the houses in a particular town we've been scouting before that $8,000 tax credit offer expires on December 1, J- would be looking at either a 3-hour daily commute each way, or some kind of other temporary living arrangement for 6 months, until the end of the school year.

After considering for awhile yesterday (on the phone during J-'s already long commute) all the many paths our lives might take in the coming months, I accidentally signaled the end of our discussion, as I often do, by clashing in tone with my much more earnestly speculating wife:

J-: I mean, it'd be really hard on both of us. You'd be alone with the kids all week, day and night... you'd basically be a single parent.

Me: Does that mean I could date?

J-: ... No.

Fellas, I highly suggest you try this one at home yourself next time you're tired of being taken so seriously as an adult having a serious conversation at the end of a long workday. It's totally worth it!

02 September 2009

Tropical Storm "Douche"

As Mexico braced itself for the impact of Hurricane Jimena, American assholes everywhere remained steadfastly unconcerned:

Category 4 hurricane threatens Mexico's west coast

But with the weather still mild Sunday, Jim Patterson, a tourist from Big Bear Lake, California, could not muster up much concern.

"Are you saying it would be a good idea to stock up on tequila?" he joked at a seaside restaurant. "No fear. I've been through tornados* and earthquakes and everything else, but never a hurricane."

This is Mexico we're talking about-- why hasn't somebody kidnapped this guy yet? Or does he walk the streets unthreatened because even 2-peso hoods can tell no one would ever pay a ransom for this jerkoff?

If I send THREE pesos down thataways, do you think somebody would kidnap him just to tie him to a post down at the docks for the duration of the storm, with a SMITE ME sign posted over his head?

* Supposed to be spelled tornadoes, of course. But the Associated Press has an image to maintain, after all. Just think of the disaster if they set our expectations for basic copy editing too high!