July 31, 2007

Trading In My Pastel Suits

Three little factual nuggets before I get down to the point:

Fact One: I am, I believe, in good company growing up as I did in the Age of Silverstein. This Age succeeded the Ages of Milne and White and ran concurrently with the Carle Era. The Age of Silverstein was, of course, followed by the Ages Dora and Sponge Bob not to mention the Little Einstein Epoch.

Fact Two: The other day I stumbled on a rerun of Miami Vice. I remember when it was on in prime time. It was hip, cool and edgy. There were chicks in bikinis, fast boats, faster cars, chases in said cars, shootouts and, to top it all off, it looked like a box of pastels threw up all over the TV which, for some reason, was rad. Today? Miami Vice seems silly. Like a parody of itself. Didn't stop me from watching, but still...not so rad today.

Fact Three: In the late 1980's the most frequent target of my angst and scorn (besides my parents) was the PMRC, the Parents Music Resource Center. Tipper Gore represented everything that was wrong at the time, to me at least. See, Tipper heard a Prince song (Darling Nikki, if you're curious) and freaked the fuck out. She totally lost her shit and went on a crusade to censor music. She and the PMRC succeeded only in two things - they convinced the record industry to place labels on music and they got to sit in front of congress and say really uncomfortable things like "...chief among them is AC/DC's Let Me Put My Love Into You, Senator Kennedy."

I mention these three things because I've got a quandary on my hands. For her birthday, Mia was given a copy of Shel Silverstein's Who Wants A Cheap Rhinoceros? It is, like all of Silverstein's books, wonderful. With one noticeable exception. While recounting the advantages and disadvantages of owning a pet rhinoceros, Shel says, "And he is great for not letting your mother hit you when you haven't really done anything bad." This page will never be read to my daughter. It begins with the assumption that mothers hitting their kids is standard practice. That is unacceptable.

But where do you draw the line at censoring what your kids read, watch and see? At what point is shielding your kids from the outside world counterproductive?

The stuff on television these days is terrifying. To me. And I'm not a toddler or, hell, a 12 year old. We're light years beyond Miami Vice. I'm of the mind that any music is good music though I might prefer to avoid certain styles. I'll readily admit there are some terrible books out there but the act of reading can never be bad. But I really don't want my daughter tuning in to the misogynistic gangsta rap you can catch on the radio these days. Or picking up some trashy romance novel geared towards preteens. I have, in short, turned into the uptight, tie-wearing prick I so loathed in 1987. I'm not proud of that. The cause, I think, is simple - we spend too much time pushing the envelope without first considering the consequences.

So, I ask you again - at what point is shielding your kids from the outside world counterproductive?

Posted by Chris at 6:23 AM | Comments (34)

July 30, 2007

The Problem With Stuff

The problem with having stuff is that, at some point, you'll have to move said stuff. And moving that stuff requires an obscene amount of boxes, newspapers, tape and, if you're going to get all fancy, bubblewrap. Not to mention good old hard labor. Our problem? We have lots of stuff.

It's officially t-minus twelve days and counting until our great big move. It's under control although it looks as though a gigantic UPS truck exploded in our house (look what brow did for us). Throughout the process so far, I've been surprised and embarrassed by some of the crazy shit we've seen. How did we come to own this stuff? I'm not sure.

  • 4,205 coffee mugs, including several which display advertisements from the late 1800s and look as if they were made and used when the ads were still in circulation. Also, insanely large Marvin The Martian and Tweety mugs;
  • Cell phones. Not just one or two old cell phones but cell phones out the wazoo (somewhat painful, as you can imagine);
  • At least four dozen wine glasses. I'm sure even hardcore, wine-drinking alcoholics don't have quite that many wine glasses;
  • Inappropriate cookbooks. Given that we're vegetarians, it's somewhat perplexing that we had a copy of One Gazillion Ways to Cook Chicken and Pig Ass: 101 Recipes With Bacon. Okay, okay, so these aren't real titles but you catch my drift, no?
  • Three copies of Tropic Of Cancer and four copies of The Hobbit. I've read neither, nor do I care to;
  • A beeper from a job I had ten years ago;
  • A copy of the 2002 issue of Playboy featuring Tiffany (I'm a lech);
  • Kodak's first mainstream digital camera, circa 1996;
  • Enough computer cables to circle the globe seventy two times;
  • VHS copies of It Came From Outer Space, Teenagers from Outer Space, The Monster from 20,000 Feet, Destination Moon, This Island Earth, and Debbie Does Dallas. One of these is not like the other...;
  • A yearbook from a school neither Beth nor I attended; and
  • A box of remote controls to things we no longer own.

This, of course, begs some inevitable questions for you. What's the oddest thing you've stumbled on one day that you can't quite believe you own? What one thing are you most embarrassed or secretive about the fact that you own?

Come on. Answer. It'll be fun.

Posted by Chris at 6:26 AM | Comments (39)

Haiku For Monday #178

Monday? Monday? Mon
day? Monday? Monday? Monday?
Monday? Monday! Fuck!

Posted by Chris at 6:24 AM | Comments (4)

July 27, 2007

Schadenfreude Friday: Sucks To Be...

...Lindsay Lohan...Well, smack my ass and call me Edna. Lindsay Lohan got busted for drunk driving and cocaine possession. Screw Iraq, people. This is some shock and awe. Who could see this coming? Not even Jesus with a wicked-good pair of binoculars.

...Rumer Willis...The next Britney? The next Lindsay? Look no further than the spawn of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Yep, the 18 year old was in a hotel room in which several people were busted by the cops. The real issue is that the hotel was a La Quinta Inn. Surely no self-respecting Hollywood starlet-in-training who really wants to meltdown in public spends more than $100 per night.

...Tim Donaghy...The NBA referee is under investigation by and protection of the FBI after an investigation revealed he'd been betting on NBA games. Some of which he officiated.

...A Drunk Astronaut...Seriously. According to the good old Associated Press, on two separate occasions, astronauts were allowed to board and fly the space shuttle when flight crews and doctors knew they were too drunk to fly. I'm appalled. So appalled that I'd like to unveil - BADA, Bloggers Against Drunk Astronauts. Who's with me?

...Cyclist Rasmussen...The leader of the Tour de France got the boot this week after suspicion of doping. And the famous yellow jersey passed directly to someone else who, well, has a bit of a cloud of suspicion over him as well. Honestly, they should just hand the yellow jersey to Barry Bonds. Maybe he can hit his totally meaningless homerun while finishing up the Tour then he can get drunk, do some blow with Lindsay and fly a space shuttle.

Posted by Chris at 7:53 AM | Comments (23)

July 26, 2007

John Mayer And The Teenage Hookers From Mars

After a nice, long ten hour work day, I headed out with a few coworkers for a nice dinner in downtown D.C. Since I apparently don't give a shit about traffic or the environment, I was the only one who'd driven. While the others took the subway, I drove across town in search of the restaurant and a parking space. And while trapped in traffic of epic proportions, I noticed that I was, quite suddenly, surrounded by teenage hookers. They were everywhere. Fifteen, sixteen years old wearing things so tight you could actually see their internal organs. The conspiracy theorist who's watched too many 1950's sci-fi movies in me immediately jumped to the conclusion that we'd been invaded by the Teenage Hookers From Mars. Their mothership was nowhere to be seen as I inched along nervously towards my destination.

I managed to find a parking space after about five hours. (Okay, really it was like 10 minutes and I ended up in an underground garage that charged me something like $500 and my left nut to park for three hours but you get my point.) When I emerged from the lot? Surrounded by teenage hookers. I met my coworkers at the packed restaurant. It was filled to the breaking point with, you guessed it, teenage hookers.

"What's the deal with all the teenage hookers?" I asked one of my coworkers. "I mean, look, I can see that one's spleen."

"John Mayer concert," she replied.

"Oh, well, that explains everything."

So, it wasn't an invasion of Teenage Hookers from Mars. Just a bunch of John Mayer fans. And don't get me wrong. I like John Mayer fine. But you'll never find me in a tight tank top and short skirt at one of his shows.

My point (yeah, I actually have one) - don't parents pay attention to what their kids are wearing anymore? Or did someone change the rules on me and slutty is new conservative?

Posted by Chris at 6:49 AM | Comments (49)

July 25, 2007

24 Hours Of The Weird and Terrifying

Okay, so, I worked about a gazillion hours yesterday so forgive me for the brief and somewhat lame post. Still, I've seen some weird and terrifying shit in the last 24 hours.

Weird: The number of grown men I saw yesterday walking around downtown DC wearing cowboy boots.

Terrifying: The eight hour meeting I sat through yesterday. The one that was originally scheduled to last five hours. Those extra three? Hell on earth.

Weird: Seeing a business man pick up a hooker at 9:00 in the morning.

Terrifying: The number of emails I had in my inbox following aforementioned eight hour meeting.

Weird: The preview for the movie Stardust in which Robert DeNiro plays what looks to be a swashbuckling captain of some flying ship thingy (the technical term, I'm sure). I can't help but thinking of him in Taxi Driver. Somehow I can't see see him pulling off the swashbuckling thing.

Terrifying and Weird: The meeting I was in yesterday? One of the participants brought a teddy bear. I shit you not.

Weird: The fact that drinks cost a fortune in the city with the notable exception of street vendors. Everywhere else, you'd pay through the nose. The street vendors charge 50 cents a drink. File that away if you ever visit DC.

Terrifying: I spotted an interesting truck during my commute. A moving truck. The name of the company? Wrongway Movers. That can't be a good sign.

Weird: The message written into the back of another dirty truck during the same commute - "Do you know Jesus? You really should. He's the real deal. And Jesus said unto the people, wash my truck bitches, for it is dirty."

I'm off to work another gazillion hours. Wish me luck.

Posted by Chris at 7:04 AM | Comments (28)

July 24, 2007

His & Hers Harrys

Before reading, please be assured that nowhere in this post do I actually use any relevant facts gleaned from my reading, thus far, of the new Harry Potter novel. You need not shield your eyes, shove your fingers in your ears and run screaming from the computer. In short, if you are reading the latest adventure starring our intrepid hero, you won't find spoilers here.

Beth and I are both Harry Potter fans. We're not extreme fans. We don't line up outside bookstores at midnight. Well, we did that one time just for laughs. I spoke loudly while in line and remarked how much of a shame it was that our nephew Timmy couldn't be there to pick up the book due to the unfortunate lobster attack he'd been the victim of. Regardless, both Beth and I were out running errands separately on Saturday morning and we both returned home with a copy. Since then we've engaged in a little friendly competition to see who was making the most progress, teasing each other with fake plot points the entire time.

So, had you been able to overhear the conversations between Beth and I over the last few days you might have heard the following:

I can't believe it! I'm on page 65 and Harry's already dead. And the rest of the book is filled with line after line reading "All Harry and no play makes J.K. a dull girl."

Me: Have you gotten to the part where Hermione's dismembered by Harry's owl?
Beth: Yeah, that little bitch always annoyed me anyway.

The Weasley brothers better not all be related or that was one twisted fucking chapter.

Me: Hermione just took on the whole Quidditch team.
Beth: Didn't she do that in the last book?
Me: Maybe. They all run together for me.

Dumbledore really died from a crystal meth overdose? Man, that's hardcore.

Can you believe that Voldemort turned out to be star of stage and screen Robert Goulet? I always knew he was up to no good.

Who knew Hagrid and Buckbeak liked each other that way?

Posted by Chris at 6:51 AM | Comments (45)

July 23, 2007


Dearest Mia Bean,

Yesterday you turned two. Two whole years that seemed to fly faster than I ever thought possible.

Two years ago, I was in the operating room of the hospital in which you were born. I was worried - worried about your mother going through surgery, worried about passing out, worried what kind of father I was going to be, worried how I'd take care of you when I can't even seem to take care of myself sometimes. When the nurse handed you to me, bundled up in blankets, all those worries disappeared. My only thoughts were about you, our brand new little Amelia.

Yesterday we had a party for you. You wanted rainbows because you love rainbows so we did rainbows. It looked like a gay pride parade stopped and threw up in our living room. It was stupendous. You descended the stairs in the morning and, literally, the first thing you said was "wow". We ate pizza and birthday cake. We unwrapped your presents - a tricycle, a wagon, a doll, a dollhouse and, because your mother and father really and truly lost their minds, a drum - and played with them all afternoon. You were so excited you could barely go to sleep. But you did.

Your birthday is far more exciting than my own. These birthdays you're having? I've lived through those years and now I can watch you live them as well. And nothing brings me greater joy. Two years ago, you couldn't hold your own head up. Yesterday you counted to ten on your very own (okay, so, I had to help with "six" but the rest was all you). You are a little person with little wants and needs and desires and quirks and neuroses and a sense of humor that never fails to crack me up. I love that. I love that we can stare at each other over the dinner table and just crack up for no obvious reason. I love that you make me hide from you and show me exactly where I should do my hiding. I love that, when you see me across a room, you charge towards me at full speed, spread your arms, and hug me once you reach me. I love that, and you, more than you could ever imagine.

And see, that's my great secret as a parent - I love you with more feeling and more passion that you could ever fathom. One day when you grow up and have kids of your own, you'll probably understand. But don't grow up too fast, okay?

You are the best thing I have ever done with my life (of course, marrying your mom was a pretty great deal too). And I love you, my little Bean.


Posted by Chris at 7:09 AM | Comments (42)

Haiku For Monday #177

Wiped. All the strength I
can find will go to lifting
coffee cup to mouth.

Posted by Chris at 7:06 AM | Comments (2)

July 20, 2007

Schadenfreude Friday: Seussenfreude

First up, a football player named Vick
Who fought dogs (compensating for the size of his dick?)
Vick, with small willy, will soon be arraigned
No touchdown, no cheering, no talk of yards gained
There's no reason Vick shouldn't wind up in jail
With a dog-loving cell-mate, who's huge, gay and male.

Then there's the suit brought by Valerie Plame
Which was tossed out of court, no assignment of blame
See, Plame was outed by Bush and his cronies
After her hubby discovered Iraq reports were phony
Val will keep fighting, may win, may not
But her hubby feels lucky because Plame? Kinda hot.

Then there's Britney. Oops, she did it again.
She took off her clothes and dove in for a swim.
And Gary Dourdan, that CSI dude
Went hunting for photographers, copping a 'tude.
Tori, that's Spelling, is back on the air
Selling cheap jewelry on cable for everyone to wear.

And that's it, all I've got, all the schaden, and freude
But there will be more next week, there's too much to avoid.
Have a great weekend, day one and day two
Don't think about Monday because, just, well...ew.

Posted by Chris at 7:04 AM | Comments (27)

July 19, 2007

A Little Jumpy

Today I'm keeping it short, sweet and to the point. First, many of you asked for a picture of Mia and her (partially white but mostly) Blue Hat. And I aim to please.

And remember the forty hours of training I sat through last week? And the certification exam I've been dreading for a while? I passed I passed I passed I passed!!

Oh, and did I mention I passed?

Posted by Chris at 6:54 AM | Comments (53)

July 18, 2007

Mia New Blue Hat!

Whoever said that money doesn't buy happiness obviously never bought a $17 baseball hat for their daughter.

Mia has long been in love with my Washington Nationals baseball hat, dada blue hat as she calls it. The only baseball hat she owns screams I'm One! which is only accurate for a few more days. I told her it was time for a new one. I told her, last week, that we'd take some time during the weekend to get Mia a blue hat like daddy's. Mia new blue hat she said. I agreed.

Saturday found us walking through the local mall. We hit the sporting goods store. No luck. We walked through a couple of department stores. No luck. At one point I asked her to help me look. Do you see any hats I asked. She wandered through the mall shouting any hats? like a homeless dude looking for small change. It was hilarious.

Eventually, we found a hat store. In it - remarkably - we found hats. Blue hats. Mia sized blue hats. Bliss.

I paid the $17 and before the cashier could even think about breaking out a bag, Mia put it on. Then she walked through the mall proudly pointing at her hat shouting MIA BLUE HAT! while people looked and smiled. She ate lunch in the hat, napped in the hat, held it on her head while I changed her diapers and went to bed wearing that hat. We haven't been able to get it off of her since. Never have I seen her so happy about a thing and it humbles me to know that it's largely because her daddy has one just like it.

So, while money doesn't buy perpetual happiness, it does buy a few little pieces of it. It's the best $17 I've ever spent.

Posted by Chris at 6:10 AM | Comments (40)

July 17, 2007

Something Bathroom This Way Falls

As I was leaving work last evening, a bathroom fell on my head. I should have know that was the start of a downward spiral.

That last statement probably requires some explanation, huh?

I was leaving work and I dropped by the men's room for a little pit stop. What greeted me was a urinal doing it's best impression of Niagara Falls. An inch of toilet water covered the floor. I managed, Indiana Jones-like, to quell the surge and reported the incident to our facilities people. Then I stopped by the restroom on the floor under mine. Whilst peeing, pieces of the soaked bathroom above fell upon me. Now, it wasn't like a whole urinal descended from on-high like the ever-present anvil falling swiftly towards Wylie Coyote or stall walls fell down around me neatly boxing me in. But it was still disconcerting as hell. As I was brushing wet plaster and drywall from my head, I should have know it would be a long evening. And it was.

When I got home, my work laptop died. Then I wigged out about the test I'm taking tomorrow. Like, full-on wig out. And moving. Then Mia refused to sleep. So, um, yeah...fun evening.

You know, I might seem like a calm and collected guy but there's a big chunk of me that doesn't deal so well with stress. There's a rigid part of me that doesn't like change, doesn't like challenge, fears failure. That side rears its ugly head every once in a while reminding me that I'm not a big fan of that particular side of myself. The truth is - and pardon me if this seems self-indulgent but I need to say (or type) it out loud for myself - I'm a decent, smart guy who just puts an insane amount of pressure on himself to succeed. Occasionally, I should just cut myself some slack. Yet, I don't do that too well.

Whatever the outcome of the next few stressful days, remember, if a bathroom falls on your head seek immediate cover.

Posted by Chris at 7:04 AM | Comments (33)

July 16, 2007

St. Joe Leads the Good Life

When we put our house on the market, many of you recommended picking up a little statue of St. Joseph and burying it somewhere in the yard. This idea appealed to me on many different levels. It also, apparently, appealed to Beth. On Friday, our statue arrived in the mail.

Yet we didn't bury it right away.

Mia developed something of a crush on the pint-sized harbinger of home sales. She was all over him like the Pope on really big hats. Joe accompanied us on many of our weekend activities. If you'd eavesdropped you'd have heard phrases like St. Joseph's dress is too tight! or No running with St. Joseph in your mouth! or St. Joseph doesn't need a bath in the dishwasher. Mia adopted St. Joseph into her family of Little People - along with Pig, Cow, Baaaa (sheep), Emma, Guy, and the twins Paul and More Paul. And despite the fact that St. Joe somehow got a boo-boo and needed swift medical attention and a Care Bears band-aid, he got something of a reprieve this weekend. He lived it up.

I'd expected to send old Joe to work today, to find a nice spot to bury him amongst the red clay that seemed to refuse to allow any grass to grow. But we don't need to. We sold our house!

Posted by Chris at 7:08 AM | Comments (68)

Haiku For Monday #176

I'm having a 'ku
writers block. Must. Swallow. More.
Coffee. Or just nap.

Posted by Chris at 7:00 AM | Comments (5)

July 13, 2007

Schadenfreude Friday: Fill In The Blank Edition

If you've dropped by at all this week (and I wouldn't blame you if you hadn't - boooriiiing), you'll know I was stuck in training all week, isolated from the rest of the world, holed up in a hotel conference room taking tests and eating high-protein meals whilst stretching and doing breathing exercises and, quite possibly, being sucked in to a cult without my conscious knowledge. I haven't had more than two minutes to check out the news, scroll through the gossip rags and entertainment sites and poll some of my more secret sources of schadenfreude. From where I'm sitting (my basement, in my jammies with a cup of coffee as big as my head), I'm pretty ill-informed.

That's where you come in. I'm turning control over to you. Fill in the blanks below and you will come up with this week's schadenfreude. It's all up to you. No pressure or anything. Your answer doesn't have to be original and it certainly doesn't have to be something in the public eye. Whatever strikes your fancy. So, here you go:

"This week's schadenfreude has got to be _____________ because ___________. And I must say, you're truly the hottest daddy-blogger in all the land."

Posted by Chris at 7:13 AM | Comments (24)

July 12, 2007

Bullet Point Thursday: The Training Edition

All I got are bullet points.

  • Today is a glorious day for both me and you - it's the last day of this supposed training.
  • In other words, you won't have to hear me bitch about it anymore. Nice, huh?
  • This week, I've reconfirmed my belief that I'm no fan of school. Ever have that dream in which you've just realized you're late for a final in a class you've never attended? That's how I feel in any class or on any test.
  • Sadly, this almost happened to me for real in college. I was a somewhat reluctant attendee.
  • Even in my freshman year, I had to beg a professor not to fail me because I'd only been to one of his classes the entire semester. For some reason he gave me a D. No money or sexual favors changed hands.
  • This is why Beth drives me nuts. One reason at least. She used to skip classes with me and somehow she did much better in school than I did.
  • We had a rule in college - if you thought about skipping class it was already too late. Once the thought crossed your mind, the decision was made. Amazing how that worked out.
  • In general, I hate having stuff hanging over my head. Which is why I'm not looking forward to the big-ass test I have to take next Wednesday.
  • I think they keep the training room hovering around -32 degrees to keep us awake.
  • My nipples could cut glass.
  • I ruin more good shirts that way.

I fully realize I've served up a lot of sub-par posts so far this week. Thanks, as always, for reading them anyway. I'll be back to something approaching normal soon. Or, whatever's normal for me.

Posted by Chris at 6:24 AM | Comments (23)

July 11, 2007

Define "Real"

A few weeks ago, just before Father's Day, a publicist or agent or some such being contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in reading and reviewing a book. I love to read. I love books. I said sure. Then the book - Philip Lerman's Dadditude - arrived in the mail. I was instantly turned off by the subtitle - How a Real Man Became a Real Dad.

Now, my mom always told me not to judge a book by its cover. In this case, it's not even a metaphor. But that subtitle about real men becoming real dads...who says that? First, the real dad thing. You're either a dad or your not. You have kids or you don't. It's a pretty binary type of arrangement. You can be a good dad, a bad dad, a cool dad, a lame dad, a dorky dad, a hot dad...but every dad is a real dad. The part that bothered me most, though, was the real man thing. I'm sure Mr. Lerman is a fine guy. I even bet he can write a decent sentence. But what is a real man? Is there a weight requirement for testicles? Perhaps a mandatory number of hours spent at Hooters? Must one qualify for the real man title by logging time with a specific number of football, baseball, or hockey games in a weekend? Or maybe there's a high lapdance to forehead beer can crushing ratio you have to maintain? I wouldn't know because I didn't read the book. I was turned off by all its realness.

I realize, in the process, that I'm slighting Mr. Lerman and, perhaps myself, by not reading the book. I'm tired, though. I'm tired of feeling like I have to possess some insanely bizarre set of credentials to be a guy and, worse, to be a successful dad. Honestly, I'm more concerned about being a good person and about being the best dad I can be without being held up to some twisted set of standards with which I honestly want nothing to do.

Training Update: Training still sucks. Key thing I've learned so far? Sucks to get stuck in forty straight hours of training. Granted, I'm only halfway done but I can extrapolate. I was worn out when I got home last night so I blew off some steam with my daughter. She wanted me to wear a hat. Only the hat she wanted me to wear was actually her pajamas. I obliged. Then she wanted me to wear her shorts. Only not as a hat. As shorts. Luckily they were insanely stretchy. And pink. I think that's the closest I've ever felt to gayness. You might chuckle, sure, but I have the last laugh since that's the scary-ass image I'm leaving you with. Adieu.

Posted by Chris at 6:26 AM | Comments (26)

July 10, 2007

The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour: The Home Game

Several key facts before you proceed:

  1. Like nearly everyone in this country, I happen to think I Love Lucy Is genius.
  2. Ricky, in I Love Lucy, had this drum number he called Babalu. He'd bang on a big conga drum and scream Babalu. It was ridiculous. Like Ricky in general.
  3. Mia loves to run. The thing she likes to do more than running? Running straight into the arms of her parents.
  4. Mia likes to run most when she's naked.
  5. Mia has a very cute, slappable butt.

Take all these facts and you can only imagine what you would have seen or heard had you dropped by the Cactus-Fish house lately. Our pre-bedtime sessions have gotten interesting. Most evenings, had you indeed dropped by, you'd have heard and seen a very naked Mia running whilst screaming BABALUUUUU! followed by fleshy, playful bottom-slapping sounds and lots of good hugging. If you were really lucky, you'd catch Mia running while attempting to slap her own bottom screaming BABALUUUUU! at the top of her lungs. If you're insanely lucky, you'd manage to catch her during one of the times she falls over while attempting to play her own baby butt bongos.

You see, I taught her this. I am an immensely proud father. I think Ricky would be too. Although I'm sure we'd have some 'splainin' to do.

(Training Updated: I'm headed out to day two of this class thing. It's easily one of the largest wastes of time ever. Possibly a bigger waste of time than writing a song for Helen Keller or designing panties for Britney Spears. I'm displeased. Anyway, if you don't hear from me, that's where I am. Send help. You'll be happy to know, however, that I didn't commit any random acts of perfectly justifiable violence yesterday due to their no-coffee rule. As a matter of fact, as promised, I marched myself with in there holding my gigantic cup of coffee high. My classmates circled, held me aloft on their shoulders and ran me around the grounds of the training facility singing a song they'd just collectively penned about me. Okay, that last bit was bullshit but I did flaunt my coffee and it felt good.)

Posted by Chris at 6:30 AM | Comments (35)

July 9, 2007

Class Rebellion

It's early. And instead of getting in my car and heading to work, I have to attend the first day of a week-long training class. This is a professional thing. It will increase my marketability and add to the bottom line (my salary). Those are the only two reasons I'm doing this.

There are no combinations of words which adequately convey how much I am not looking forward to the next four days.

Based on the literature for this program that I obtained in advance and only recently perused, I am afraid the course is run by the same goody-goody asshats who were the most annoying classmates in elementary school. You know, the ones who outfitted themselves with a flashlight and pick-axe and climbed up teachers' asses the first time the mighty orifice presented itself and never managed to get dislodged. Reading about the course was a frightening experience. First, they encourage wearing comfortable, loose clothing (which I'm all for in the place of a suit and tie any day) because of all the deep-breathing exercises I'll supposedly be participating in. Now, I'm not a professional deep-breather. I don't see any reason to do it in a group setting. Then there was the spiel about "embracing the class", "maintaining a positive attitude" and "committing yourself to success". I want to be as successful as the next guy but I'm sure it's obvious by now that I'm already pretty much fucked on that second point. The best part, however, was the request that students refrain from consuming coffee or other caffeine for the duration of the class. I laughed so hard I blacked out. When I came to, I could only imagine the headline plastered above the fold on the front page of The Washington Post - Student Slays Instructor, Class of Twenty: Barricades Self In Starbucks

Long story short: No matter what you find yourself doing this week - sitting in a drab cube, pouring coffee, inspecting the genitalia of cattle, recording Britney's "comeback album" - remember, there's someone out there having less fun than you. And that would be me.

Excuse me now. I'm heading to my local Dunkin Donuts to find the biggest cup of coffee I can find. Fuck The Man.

Posted by Chris at 6:01 AM | Comments (22)

Haiku For Monday #175

The evil forces
have conspired once again.
Holy crap! Monday.

Posted by Chris at 6:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 6, 2007

Schadenfreude Friday: Let Me Count The Ways

Honestly, some weeks there's just too much schadenfreude.

  1. Scooter Libby. Apparently if you're rich and connected enough you can do whatever the hell you want. But the real story? What kind of asshat goes by the name scooter?
  2. Al Gore III. Busted doing 100 in a Prius. Who knew a Prius could go that fast?
  3. Paula. Trainwreck Paula Abdul opened her big, annoying mouth recently. When describing herself she exclaimed, "I have risen from the bowels of hell and come out tripping and singing and dancing. I’ve always been counted out, but I come back, like a stealth warrior." Stealthy just isn't the word I'd have used. Nutcase maybe.
  4. Microsoft. Xbox 360 is so problem-plagued, Microsoft will dole out over a billion dollars to fix them. Of course, Bill made that in the time it took him to drop a deuce this morning.
  5. George Dubya. Instead of dealing with important shit like, you know, the war and all, George took a break from commuting sentences and took in a Washington Nationals baseball game. Joke's on him - the Nats suck!
  6. Britney. Apparently that whole umbrella incident a little while back - the one in which she beat the crap out of a photographer's car - was just Britney lost in her role. See, she's a serious actress. She got caught up in her part. Funny thing? She didn't get the part she claimed she was lost in.
  7. Paris. She wants to become a true triple threat. She's mastered being a useless skank and crossed jailbird off her to-do list. Next up? Acting. Yep. Be afraid.
  8. Nicole Richie. She's knocked up. In seven months or so, we'll be able to see schadenfreude personified.
  9. Bill O'Reilly. Old Bill lost his Washington DC affiliate for his Radio Factor program. I'm so bummed I won't get to hear him anymore.
  10. John Edwards. Campaigning, in part, on his pledge to help the disadvantaged, it seems that Edwards gets pretty regular haircuts that cost somewhere north of $250 a throw. I sincerely hope he's getting a trim and a blowjob for that price.
  11. Ann Coulter + Perez Hilton. While surfing Perez's site, I noticed a rather odd advertisement. For Ann Coulter's site. I can totally see those two dating. They're both a little extreme and they're both almost men, right?

Posted by Chris at 6:53 AM | Comments (29)

July 5, 2007

Another Bullet-Point Thursday (Yes, I'm That Lame)

Allergies are kicking my ass all over the place and I've only managed to consume a couple sips of coffee. Bullet points are going to have to suffice this morning.

  • Are any of you other Americans out there completely and utterly screwed up by the whole mid-week holiday thing? It feels like Monday and also Friday which is really one of the strangest calendar-based sensations I've ever felt.
  • I'm slightly disturbed by the fact that a recent series of searches for jenna elfman donkey loving has resulted in visits to my site. Seriously, that's not what those scientologists are into, right? I thought they were into Galactic Overlord Zenu Loving.
  • Yesterday we did what every good American is expected to do on the Fourth of July - blow shit up and eat pie.
  • I dreamed last night that Tom Petty told me his song "It's Good to be King" was written about Larry King. It was disturbing and I lost any respect for Petty I'd previously held.
  • My friend Aimee wrote a brilliant post yesterday. Ya'll should seriously go check it out.
  • I was sitting in our basement playroom with Mia and Beth yesterday morning. Sitting. That was the extent of my physical exertion. And I pulled something in my neck. It still hurts like a motherfucker. While it's still preferable than the alternative dirt nap, I hate this getting old shit.
  • Yesterday, while at my parents' holiday cookout, Mia found a glass, raised it and said "more wine!" I swear we're good parents. Rarely to we let her booze it up.
  • No one's bought our house yet. I'm totally confident someone will but they should do it, like, now. I shall now pray to Galactic Overlord Zenu. Or donkey-loving scientologists.

Posted by Chris at 7:01 AM | Comments (26)

July 4, 2007

The Fourth

Occasionally, usually after watching a news report about a starving village in Africa or a tsunami-swept island in the South Pacific, I play the "I'm glad I was born..." game. You've probably played it. You know, "I'm glad I was born into the family I have" or "I'm glad I was born with two legs". And while I am immensely thankful for those things, a common theme for me, at least, is "I'm glad I was born in this country." Which is odd since I really wasn't born in this country. I was born in South America to two American parents. Which makes me American, regardless of the country in which the delivery room was located.

I still consider myself damn lucky to be an American. Even though I sit here sporting my "American Psycho" shirt, the one with Dubya's picture splashed on the front.

There are a lot of things I disagree with in this country. But it's hard to argue with a place in which, every four years, folks are voted in and out of power without an ounce of bloodshed.

Happy Fourth of July. And I mean that. Even though I look pissed in the picture. I was going for serious and ended up with homicidal.

Posted by Chris at 7:42 AM | Comments (27)

July 3, 2007

The Bedtime Dance

Last night, Beth went out to dinner with a friend. My job? Hang with The Bean and perform the bedtime ritual. There are many steps to this dance.

1. Dinner. Mia will eat but you must choose the right thing in the right color bowl with the right color fork and the correct beverage (and correct color cup with matching or complimentary-colored straw). You would be wise to choose noodles and cheese, pizza, or shredded cheddar cheese strewn around the table. Should you deviate from these three selections, you're on your own. Side dishes of grapes or raisins may augment the meal. Do not - and I implore you, the result won't be pretty - try to pass vegetables off as dinner.

2. Play. Immediately following dinner, you are invited to play any game you like so long as the selection is made by Mia. Popular games of late include Double Hiding (in which both players hide without having a designated finder...this game takes a while), Tower (predictably, this involves building tall towers of anything handy and watching them fall to the ground), Mommy's Shoes (wearing, walking, and falling in Beth's shoes, preferably heels) and Circles (running around in, you guessed it, circles, but strangely only in a counter-clockwise direction).

3. Diaper Time. This is self-explanatory yet it is nowhere near as simple as it may appear on the surface. This is largely due to the fact that every one of Mia's friends - her stuffed animals - apparently want their diapers changed too. Elmo, Pooh, Little Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Dog, Baby Payton (a bear that Mia has named after her new cousin) and Monkey are all sporting Huggies' finest.

4. Stories. Mia, having picked approximately 295 books, wants to be read to. Or, wants to read to you. Favorite still are the Biscuit books. Biscuit and his creator may well be Satan in human and fictional character form. But Mia likes them so yay Beelzebub.

Last night, in Beth's absence, we read a little Rolling Stone then kicked back for some righteous story action. It was a good night. You know, if we all took a little more time to run around - counter-clockwise or just plain old clockwise - and play and read, maybe we'd all be a little more relaxed and not quite as wrapped around life's axle, around the details, the things that really don't matter all that much.

Posted by Chris at 7:18 AM | Comments (29)

July 2, 2007

Rude Cactus Turns Four

If you've dropped by anytime in the last, well, forever, you know I'm not a big fan of Mondays. I seem to be allergic to them. I urge the universe to cease and desist when it comes to Mondays, mornings specifically, but it doesn't seem to listen. There's a bright side to this one though, a silver lining to the gray cloud that is the first day of the week - it's my blogiversary. Kinda.

If you troll through my archives, the most observant of you will note that they start in August of 2003. And this is not August. I can't get anything by you. But looks can be deceiving. In fact, it was June of 2003 when I started this little place. A month or so after getting it off the ground, the unthinkable happened - the site imploded and I lost everything. I rebuilt from scratch.

The site, like me, has evolved, changed. I hope it's gotten better. I think it has, but I've been known to be wrong before. What I do know for absolute certain is that you guys rock. I write for myself but you keep me doing it. My will-power sucks. I need that and I need you. All platitudes and cliches aside, I sincerely, from the absolute rock bottom of my heart, appreciate you - your visits, your comments, your email and, for those that have them, your own sites. I'm a little cynical sometimes. It's hard sometimes to remember that people are, on balance, pretty darn good and that there's a lot of nice in the world. You help me remember that. So, thanks.

Posted by Chris at 7:03 AM | Comments (51)

Haiku For Monday #174

In the name of Juan
Valdez, this Monday shit has
got to stop, okay?

Posted by Chris at 7:01 AM | Comments (6)