Archives for the month of: May, 2012

You’ve heard this story before.  Young bachelor finds love.  Young bachelor buys love.  Young bachelor drives first love and finds second love.  Young bachelor marries second love.  Young bachelor and second love make third love.  Young bachelor, second love, and third love can’t all fit into first love.  Bye bye first love.

Trust Me. That’s Not a Real Smile…

As of today, my beloved 1993 Carrera (in red of course) will be leaving us and going back to the motherland.  After spending its youth here in the United States, the 911 will mark its 21st birthday in Germany.  It will be set free on the autobahn to redline to its heart’s content.  Maybe it will fall for a beautiful Maserati

As for me, it’s a bittersweet goodbye.  I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and blood into fixing up the quintessential, most recognized 911 model ever built.  But as my ears, nose, and family grow larger, it is time to make room for all that extra growth…and this Porsche is not equipped to carry more than Steph and I (until stashing kids and dogs in a trunk becomes legal in CA).

Bye bye 911.  Maybe we will see each other again someday…maybe 20 years from now when the fledglings have flown the coop and we, old birds, are looking to recapture a semblance of our youth.  Steph and I will once again be behind your steering wheel…this time barely able to see the dashboard and hear if the engine is on or off.  We’ll drive you with the top down, my toupee blowing in the wind and Steph’s silver-blue wig firmly planted on the rear wind screen after having peeled off of her head.  We will cruise in the fast lane at 25mph under the limit and never move over into a slower lane for speeding traffic, for our Porsche is built for speed even if we won’t use it.  It will take us 5 minutes to get into and out of the Carrera and we’ll wonder why they don’t build these damn cars for old folks like us.

This chapter is closed and a new one just opened.  I went from us two to we three in a blink of an eye.  I’ve morphed into family guy man.  So when you see me pull up to the intersection in my dirty minivan and our eyes meet, try not to look at me as a poor soul hampered by a van overflowing with screaming kids, squeaking toys and stale cookie crumbs.  When you rev your sports car and peel away from the light with me in your rearview mirror, don’t scoff and sneer.  Just remember this.  Chances are pretty good that my kids have flicked some boogers on your nice paint job.

Minivan, here we come…

Worm, car-ma is going to pay you back for this!!!

Gavin – 12; Dad – 7

I’m More Like Michaelangelo From the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…

I think Worm is getting tired of his toys.  We rotate them, but he may have already caught on to our evil toy recycling scheme.  We’re going to try something new.  Worm currently plays with plastic toys that are pre-designed, pre-made and pre-packaged.  Logically, the next creative step for Worm’s brain is to make something out of nothing.  To offer a truly plastic experience for him, I decided to make some good old-fashioned natural play dough!  This way, he can mold something out of the depths of his little mind…mu hu ha ha ha!

So a Train Conductor and Play Dough Walk Into a Bar…

I found a great recipe for play dough online at Skip To My Lou.  It takes only 15 minutes to make.  If you are married to a chef like I am, you may already have these ingredients in your kitchen.  Otherwise, find all this stuff in the cooking aisle of your supermarket:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar  (It’s not the same as tartar sauce.  Trust me on this!)  Substitute 2 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar if you don’t have cream of tartar!
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Food coloring

Mix everything together except the food coloring!  Toss it into a small pot.  The consistency should be like thick coughed up phlegm.

Turn stove heat to medium.  Stir continuously.  (Come on, use a little muscle!  Work up a sweat!)  The mixture should start turning sticky on the bottom of the pot.  It will continue to get more and more clumpy.  (This is the magic of cream of tartar.  Tartar sauce will not do this, although it will add more flavor.)

You can stop stirring when you’ve got a huge lump of dough.  It should now look like caucasian Play-doh of Germanic descent.  (I’m trying to be politically correct here.)

Turn off heat.  Let the play dough cool.

Grab the play dough and feel the consistency.  If it falls apart too easily, add a few drops of oil and massage it into the dough.  (If you massage too roughly, the dough may wince in pain.)

Now you’ve got a hunk of dough the size of a genetically modified naval orange.

You’ve got a few choices here.  You can be uber-creative and break up the play dough into pieces and add different food colorings.  Or you could be a lazy good-for-nothing parent and give your child the dough as is.

Today, I opted to be the minimum requirements parent.  One that does just enough to still be called a ‘Dad’.  I added 30 drops of blue liquid food coloring to the dough ball before me and called it a day.

Can I Feed Some To The Puppies?

And yes, you can eat it.  It won’t kill you…in small doses.

Store it in an airtight container.  If there’s hair growing out of it, throw it away.

20 lbs, 11 oz, the Tycoon of Teething, the Sultan of Spit-up, the King of Crawling, the Squirmin’ Vermin…it’s Gavin “The Worm”!

We had the 6 week weigh-in at the pediatrician‘s office today.  In 6 weeks, the Worm gained approximately 8 oz. which amounts to 2.5% of his body weight.  The verdict?  He’s still skinny.

Now, I’m no genius.  But if I remember correctly, something called a gene can get transferred from parent to child.  Genes can make a child look and act similarly to their biological parents.  I know it’s a stretch here, but I was a skinny baby and kid growing up.  So was my brother.  We were two crackers away from meeting Sally Struthers…”For just 25 cents a day, you are able to feed these starving young Indian boys and their 850 cousins…”  Some people are just more skinny streamlined than others.

I’m going to step out on a limb and say that my kid has a body like his old man.  I told the pediatrician this before, at Worm’s one year checkup.  But, I’m sure the words went in one ear and out the other.  I also told her that Worm is constantly on the move.  He doesn’t sit on the couch watching TV and eating chips.  I have to chase him all over the house just to feed him.  Worm is crawling, climbing, and blinking a lot during his waking hours.  Calories are being burned non-stop.

And to prove that we were feeding him more than kale chips and Altoids all day, we counted calories.  The Worm consumes anywhere from 800-1300 calories a day.  That’s normal to high for a 1-year-old kid.  (If I were to linearly extrapolate that amount to myself, I would be consuming 6400 – 10400 calories a day.  That’s a lot of cheeseburgers, although I have been known to eat 8 MickeyD doubles in one day!)

I don’t see being aerodynamic as a bad thing.  Sure he may never be big enough to play pro football, but he will always own the skill to squeeze himself through county jail bars should the need arise.  If he shares my metabolism, Worm should be able to throw down some serious grub and always look like a starving supermodel.  And 35 years from now when all his buddies hit their middle-aged spread, he’ll still be sporting a 6-pack.  Just like his old man.

You’ll thank me later for this one, Worm.

Gavin – 11; Dad – 7;

The Girlies On The Playground Say I Look Good With My Shirt Off!

It’s sushi and tacos and Cracker Jack!

It’s a San Diego Thing…

It’s baseball season and the San Diego Padres are our home team (until some businessman buys them and moves them to Hawaii).  I must admit, I’m not a huge baseball fan.  I don’t watch it on TV.  I don’t have a fantasy team.  I don’t even understand half of it.

But, that doesn’t stop me from going to a game or two during the season.   Especially when we get free tickets!  Petco Park is a great place for families, kids, and kids with families.  It’s a fairly new venue and dare I say that the Park is classy for a baseball stadium.  You can get the standard stadium fare (beer, pretzels, peanuts, cotton candy, slushees, etc.) and you can get gourmet fare (local brewed beer, shrimp burritos, fish tacos, sushi).  There’s even a gluten-free stand for those that wish to partake!  Plenty of food to choose from for your picky little eater!

Also, there’s a little field at the back of the stadium called “Park at the Park” with a kid’s sized infield and lots of space to picnic and just hang out.  It’s geared for families with kids that can’t sit still long enough to watch an entire baseball game.  Parents can set their kids loose in the 2.7 acre space and then kick back and watch the game on the big screen.  Just bring a lawn chair.  There’s enough space (about 2.7acres) in “Park at the Park” for the young’uns to run bases and wear themselves out.  These tickets are $5 each and if you’ve got a toddler like I do, he’ll probably like this much more than being confined to one seat for 3 hours.

Worm enjoyed his first visit to Petco Park.  It was a warm, sunny San Diego afternoon.  I think the immense size of the stadium structure with all the people amazed him.  He even let out a few drops of saliva on my leg in his excitement.

Worm ate nachos!  Worm ate burritos!  Worm I drank beer!  Some nice Padre girls even came over to make sure Worm was happy!  He even finagled some free schwag from them!  (Is ‘free schwag’ like saying ‘space meteor’?)  A fun time was had by all, for almost an hour.  Luckily, it was a short game.

Worm, You Gotta Look at the Camera!

If you’re looking for Padres information:

Padres Home Page

The problem with adults is that we place too much emphasis on stuff that doesn’t matter.  We’re free to dole out punishment against kids for a ridiculous number of things that have nothing to do with the big question “How does this affect my life?”

In the news today is an article about a young lad who is a basketball fan, Patrick Gonzalez.  Patrick is a huge fan of the Spurs’ Matt Bonner.  So much of a fan that he had a picture of his favorite NBA star Bonner shaved into his head.  (By the way, the picture is awesome!  Check it out here.)

Gonzalez faces an in-school suspension by Woodlake Hills Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, which he attends.

Matt Bonner himself chimed in on the controversy:  “Couldn’t you just move him to the back of the class?” said the red-headed 3-point shot ace. “Then nobody would see it; it wouldn’t be a distraction. Otherwise, the nicest thing a fan has ever done for me is ruined.”

So, obviously Bonner is touched with the gesture from a fellow redhead.

The part that bugs me is where the school decides that punishment for a haircut is worth taking away a child’s education for a week.  “It’s distracting.”  says unnamed foolish school official.  Oh yeah, you mean more distracting than the pregnant girls, drugs, and weapons that circulate through the halls.  Right!

But, don’t you think that making a big stink about a haircut is more distracting?  Maybe we should force every school-aged child to get a crew cut to attend classes.  There wouldn’t be any distractions then.  Right!

Just another day in America, where haircuts, pictures of girls kissing, and art are more dangerous than guns.

Original article:

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Last Friday I had enough.  Enough crying.  Enough barking.  Enough cleaning.  Enough playing house.  When I was a child, playing house was nothing like this.

It was more like:

Wifey – “Welcome home honey!  I baked you some fresh bread and started a bath for you.”

Hubby – “That’s great! But before dinner, let’s feed the kitty, walk the dog, and churn some butter.”

And we all lived happily ever after!

On Friday, the proverbial shit hit the fan and the real shit hit the carpet.

But, let’s start a few days prior.  Enter Wednesday, the hors d’oeuvre.

I thought I had everything under control until my back went out on me.  Yep.  Kaput.  I couldn’t stand upright, sit down, or lay down without sharp, searing, nauseating pain.  (It was three orders of magnitude worse than giving birth, ok?)  My entire lower back was as hard as steel.  (Why can’t my abdominals be like that?)

We added a third dog, Looney (aptly named), to the house just after my back fell apart.  (Steph and I had agreed months ago to pet-sit a friend’s dog for four days while they were on vacation.  It just so happened to start today.  Seren-f-n-dipity.)

And since the gods weren’t quite done pissing on my mortal soul, they plugged up our kitchen sink.  We tried Drano as if, just this once, it would actually perform as advertised.  (Does Drano ever work?  The foaming version?  Nope.  The gel version?  Nope.  The extra strength version?  Nope.  The mystical, magic crystal version?  Nope.  Drano only seems to open the drain in my wallet.  I digress.)  Naturally, the plumber couldn’t come out until Friday morning.  (Do you sense a bit of foreshadowing?)

Thursday was hellacious, but nothing like the day after.  Enter Friday morning, le plat principal.  (In case you were wondering, entree doesn’t translate to main course anywhere except for America.)

The plumber is coming this morning.  I go to the kitchen to clean up before he arrives.  The dishes from the past two days are piled next to the sink and as I get closer, the backed up drain smells faintly familiar.  Oh yeah!  It smells like a dumpster in here!  Super!

Worm is still in bed sleeping (off some vodka cranberry we goosed last night), so I take the opportunity to pick up toys off the floors.  Every Friday is vacuum day.  (I vacuum in Speedos the color of my vacuum cleaner, if you’re after some mental eye candy.)  I look down at the carpet in the front room and there’s quite a few new stains showing.  They must be fresh because I don’t remember them from yesterday.  I look closer.  Oh, they’re chocolate stains.  Which one of the damn dogs smeared choco-noooo!  This is dog shit!  And it’s everywhere!  Double super!

I’m irate.  How stupid can these dogs be?  There’s probably 3 piles of shit in the whole backyard.  WTF?  Aren’t dogs supposed to smell shit a mile away?  How could they step in it?  Don’t they look where they’re walking?

I go to the living room to ponder what to do next.  And what do I see in the living room?  (You know this is not going to be good either, right?)  It’s a large puddle of yellow-orange vomit on our awesome leopard print rug.  Triple super!

At this point, we’re only 7 hours into Friday and I need a drink.

The plumber gets to the house around 8 and Duncan starts barking his head off.  The baby wakes up from the ruckus crying and screaming.  Looney sneaks outside to fence fight with the neighbors’ dogs.  So, I’m screaming at Duncan to stop.  The neighbors are screaming at Looney to stop.  The dogs must have sensed my weakness because they just looked at me and laughed.  The chaos went on until the plumber left an hour later.  To make a long story short, I spent the entire morning scrubbing, washing, cleaning, bleaching, steaming, fuming, panting, bitching, moaning, screaming, and almost sobbing.  I even missed my stay-at-home dad’s day at the tavern, which I’d been looking forward to all week long.

Last Friday, I was pretty damn close to spontaneously combusting.  If I had, I’m sure the gods would have surely pissed on me then.

Worm, I Am NOT a Disney Land Ride!

…and may just keep Worm’s parents out of jail!

I’m sorry Nutella.  You’ve been wronged.  You’ve had to pay out millions of dollars to some ignorant person that couldn’t find the time to read the label.

This is a classic example of how stupidity gets rewarded in America.  There’s no need to be educated in this country.  It will never pay so much, $3 Million, for so little effort.  (Besides, an education takes time and costs money and all you’re left with these days is a huge student loan debt and no job.  I digress.)

Um, hello?  Woman who sued my new favorite food company?  Athena Hohenberg?  I’m sure you’re NOT reading this post because you either:

  • A) can’t read
  • B) don’t see any real benefit to reading
  • C) now have enough money to pay someone to read (and think) for you

I have Nutella in my house.  Have I ever thought it was a healthy snack?  No.  Why?  Because it tastes so damn good!  It’s spreadable chocolate, for Tebow’s sake!

There’s 100 calories per tablespoon in it!  Half of those calories are fat!  The first ingredient is sugar!  Is any of this not obvious?

Just because the label says ‘No Artificial Colors’ and ‘No Artificial Preservatives‘ doesn’t make it healthy!  Just because you see it on TV, doesn’t mean that you should believe it.  (But if you see it on the internet, it’s probably true.)

Gimme That Nutella, Dad! Toss it Here!

Now, back to you Nutella.  Thank you for putting such a magnificent specimen in a jar for me to spread on some lightly toasted Hawaiian style bread with a side of fresh banana slices.  You are now my shining light and savior!  It wasn’t until that foolish lawsuit popped up against you that I smacked my 5 brain cells together and manifested a wonderful idea.

Here’s how you solved a serious weight problem for our family.  I’ve got a skinny kid at home that “needs” calories, or else the pediatrician is going to call Child Protective Services on us.  Worm is slipping down the infant weight charts faster than you lost that $3 Million.  So, I’ve decided to supplement his diet with some high calorie foods.  I’m trying not to load him up on dairy (like the pediatrician suggested) and I’m looking for some alternatives.  Since Nutella is so dense in calories and chock full of taste, it’s a perfect food for my son!  No artificial colors or preservatives and high in calories!  Awesome!

I promise that if I can get Worm back into the 50th percentile for weight before his weight check next week, we will name our next child Nutella Licious J.  (Come on, that’s an awesome stage name!  Disclaimer:  To be christened though, I have to clear it with the wife first.)

I wonder if I can sue a butter company because it made me fat…you betcha’!  In America, anything’s possible!

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