First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Knucklehead Blog-Off Rd 4: Seussified

This is the semifinals of the big knucklhead blog-off. This week's challenge: Write something in the style of Dr. Seuss. As I said last year, I am deeply apologetic to the good Dr. for the following piece. 
Please, read everyone's entry, and then vote here. Voting starts today and continue's through wednesday evening. I promise, if I win, I will share my trophy with all of you. We can take turns like they do with the Stanley Cup.  Ok, here we go.

Drawn from the Cat in the Hat, among others.

Our mother was leaving. She had work, then a date.
"You'll see," she chirped brightly, "you'll get along great."

We'd met him before, this new beau of our mother's
I'd give him a 4 when compared to the others
There was Clarence with candy, the dentist name Joel
Fat sweaty Ned and Alex the Mole

Bruno the butcher,  Cedric the Chemist
Mom loved'em and left'em, her record unblemished
Her latest distraction, this newest toy boy
was the rigid and beady-eyed Officer Roy

He'd worked very hard to get date number second
With flowers and candy, he'd pleaded and beckoned
So off Mommy went, racked with hungorous pangs
"Five thirty," she'd told him, "At P.F. Changs."

She kissed us goodbye, her pace started to quicken
as she left she was mumbling "ooh, Kung Pao chicken"
We didn't mind, we were used to the drill
We rarely got bored but still,


This particular day was much harder to fill

So we invented a game called "what did you find?"
Closets, cabinets and toy chests were mined
We went in to Mom's room and went through her drawers
Found things we won't speak of; unspeakable horrors

As we retreated, wretching and spastic
Sally's hand slid across a bag made of plastic
She grabbed it on instinct, we ran from our doom
When we looked in the bag, it was full of mushrooms

These mushrooms were strange, twisted, and dried
dusty ol' fungi that looked mummified.
But mushrooms they were, we felt certain and sure
we'd seen porcinis like that at Trader Joe's #4
(It was mom's favorite shoppingest grocery store)

Sally said, "Let's make pizza or stuff them with cheese,
brew them in water to make a fine tea?"
"Jesus." I grumbled and snatched them right quick
pulled one out of the bag and gave it a lick.

"Musty" I thought then said, "what the heck?"
through the teeth, down the hatch inside of my neck.
I ate one, then another, then two dozen more.
Then my brain introduced us, my face and the floor.

I doubled over and slouched to my knees
put my face on the floor, it was cool as the breeze.
I manage to glance a glance that was glancing;
Sally was doing some floor-facing prancing.

We were writhing and moaning, the shrooms made us sick.
The sunlight flashed wierdly, my saliva was thick.
Then the sickness was gone, quick as it came
And I knew that I'd never see things the same.

Sally, I smiled, do you see what I hear?
Songs of red over here, vivid music from there.
No, she grinned back, I'm busy with meeting
this loquacious young ficus whose sir name is Keating.

Our goldfish was exquisite, the colors entrancing
fiery golds, rippling silvers, his scales were dancing.
He peered into the black of my frisbee sized peepers
"Stop staring" he blooped, "you give me the creepers."

The room came alive, shadows shifted, congealed.
"This couch feels so good," my prone sister squealed.
"Look at me," she continued, "look at me now.
The couch is a ship and I'm up on the bow."

"From this bow I can see the garden outside.
Oh, the flowers are singing!" my drugged sister cried
(I can confirm with sanguinity that she hadn't lied)

The roses were crooning a good tune for hoofin'
As a mum honked along on a saxamagroofin'
The lily smashed cymbals as big as my noggin
The carnation strummed notes from a banjamagoggin

The sunflower, towering high into the air
blew on a BassooneTrumpaphoneClaronare.
The notes that they played on their odd instruments
were perfumed with the odor of each of their scents

There was no way around it, we were higher than birds
We spent fifteen minutes eating our words
Sally then thunk a thought, one that I thought was great
"I'll be Mom and pretend that I'm out on her date."

I ran to the kitchen and grabbed our old mop,
"This mop can stand in for her friend, Roy the Cop."
That's when the fun suddenly screeched to a stop.

We knew we were screwed, dead, fucked and in trouble.
"Clean up this mess," we both screamed, "On the double."
It was no use of course, our trips were still tripping
You can't clean when the fabric of time is a'ripping

My sister ran by at a panicky scamper
as I carefully placed the lamp in the hamper
We grabbed armfulls of everything, pots, games, and clothes
Most of this stuff we stuffed into the stove

We were attempting to kennel the cat with the fish
when we heard from the driveway a wet tire-y swish
they were home, we were done, it was up with the jig
We'd have to face up to Mom and her Pig.

Mom came in first, Roy was carring the park
She turned on the light (we could see in the dark).
She looked at the house, and then looked in our eyes
She made not a sound, her mouth gaped with surprise.

She recovered quite quickly, and said with a bite
"To your rooms, in your beds, you're done for the night.
Don't whimp a whimper, I'll deal with Roy
And when he has left, We'll talk, girl and boy.

We heard her say "sorry" and "my head is quite sore."
You could tell Roy had visions of an evening of more
But he finally left, we heard his car start and depart
And Mom yelled, "I'm coming to get you, that's your head start!"

She ranted and raved, talked of grounding and smacking
She'd get a lock for her door, and a lead pipe for whacking
She said and she said and she spoke and she clamored
Our asses were "anvils " her hands were "the hammers."

"Get out of my sight," she yelled with great force
and we scrambled to do so, gladly of course.
We decided as one, to never again
speak of the time we ate psilocybin.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Many thanks/ Don't f*ck with the BTU/Naptime

This post will be all over the place.  First, I got a lot of votes this round over on Knucklehead's blog-off. Thank you very much to everyone who has been voting so far. I'm having a blast. A good chunk of those votes are due to one group I must single out. Thanks to the Best Teacher's Union.

A certain contestant made a disparaging remark about teachers--he has since apologized; he was having a bad day--my wife saw it, and that was that. She rallied her union chums to do some reading and voting and made sure to keep me in the contest. The lesson, as always, don't fuck with the BTU. Or my wife. Especially the latter.

Speaking of which, the venerable The Holmes (is that right?) wrote this over at DadCentric today. A very good post that has to do due with the difficulties of finding your kid a reliable public school education these days.  Mostly, you can't, if you believe the press. I'm hoping my kids get into the School of Rock.

On that theme, two other items: this post I wrote last year about Arne Duncan, our Sec'y of Education. Upshot: he sucks. And then this article from the Washington Post that deals with the pile of celluloid bullshit that is "Waiting For Superman," the movie that was supposed to inspire the resurrection of the American Education system. That movie was so full of shit, it seems, that the Academy of Arts and Sciences refused to nominate it for an Oscar for best documentary. They said it wasn't accurate enough. Do you know how inaccurate a documentary has to be before they notice in Hollywood? This year's front runner for the award: Hot Tub Time Machine.

More fun with Superman here, from the NY Times Review Of Books. I didn't even know it was a book first. Go figure.

Then, there is this little piece of business:

We lay down together on the couch. My arm is tucked just so, between his hips and his rib cage, at the small of his small back, buried slightly in the couch cushions. This is the best way to get him to nap. Lucky for me.

My rough, worn, time-scarred face presses lightly up against his soft, smooth, cool cheek

Read more at DadCentric


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Knucklehead Blog-off Rd 3: Pot-n-Kettle

Welcome to round three of the Knucklehead Blog-off. Phew. We made it. Thank you very much to everyone who voted to get this blog this far. The others competing in this competition are well established blogs with much larger follower counts than my own. Your votes are needed and much appreciated. This week's genre: Satirize a current event. You can vote here, here, or here. Voting begins today and goes through wednesday evening. The following opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily those of the management. Although mostly, they are.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Italian premier, he is very popular with the ladies. If by popular you mean willing to pay for sex, and by ladies you mean teenage hookers. Mr. Berlusconi is a well known dipper of the linguini, but recently he's gone too far, even by European standards.

Italian prosecutors-Il Prosecutorios--have recorded conversations of parties who were lucky enough to have spent a weekend or two at the Premier's Milan estate--Il EuroPlayboy Mansionini. The parties describe the villa as a brothel with topless girls, who on one occasion were offered nurse and police uniforms. Because when you're the leader of a country, no matter how illegal you like your sex, safety comes first. A local police union formally protested the wearing of their uniforms to perform sexual acts. Apparently, there was no overtime pay offered.

Prosecutors also placed Berlusconi--henceforth know as "the Dripping Cannoli," under investigation for allegations that he paid for sex with a 17 year old hooker nicknamed Ruby. Hey, that's my dog's name! No shit. Small world.

There is one organization that has decided to take The Dripping Cannoli to task for his indiscretions. One organization with the moral gumption to stand up against criminal sex acts. That organization--The Catholic Church -- Il Panini del Boyo.* Talk about the pedophile calling the whoremonger black.

While not mentioning the Dripping Cannoli by name, Pope Benedict said that public officials must set moral examples and furthermore that public officials must “rediscover their spiritual and moral roots.’’
Oooh, Silvio, you're in troubllleee.

Pope B went on to say that, "The singular vocation that the city of Rome requires today of you, who are public officials, is to offer a good example of the positive and useful interaction between a healthy lay status and the Christian faith."

Let me translate. I think what the Pope is trying to say here, is "hey, Dripping Cannoli, we got enough trouble with all the boy fucking. We don't exactly need the Italian government  slathered in teen hookers." Now picture that being said with a German accent. There you go. 

Partners in Pimpin'

Berlusconi (Il Douche') has got to give this some consideration. If I were a car thief, and an official told me I should stop stealing cars, and that official was the head of the largest human organ black market ring on the planet, I'd stop to think about it. 

The Catholic Church might be on to something here. A systematic "don't piss in my pond' system of moral thought. Utter homophobic slurs -- receive an indignant letter from Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist church. Murder someone -- find yourself on the wrong end of a stern (and ghostly) lecture from Pol Pot. Sell crack to kids -- get an angry phone call from the CIA. 

This could be just what we need as a society to put us back on the straight and narrow. It might've made a difference in my own life. I may have spent a lot less time by myself in the dark as a kid if only I'd had a single, tough, heart-to-heart with PeeWee Herman.

All information in this post gleaned from this Boston Globe article.

*Rough translation: The Sandwich of Boys

Homemaker Man

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Knucklehead Blog-Off Rd 2: Science-y is Everywhere.

 Welcome to Rd 2 of the Knucklehead Blog-Off. This week's category is observational humor. You can vote here. The voting begins today at 10 am Pacific time and goes through Wednesday evening. Please read all of the entries and vote based on merit and not on the fact that I would give each and everyone of you a kidney. Based on my regular stats, that's a total of nearly one dozen kidneys. Thanks everyone. As always, your readership is much appreciated.

Science-y is everywhere. As I type this, all over the world actors are posing as scientists to deliver us the latest in vaguely scientific sounding bullshit. It's like pseudoscience without the effort. If pseudoscience is like astrology or economics, then science-y is like Shape-Up Shoes.

Shape-Ups show us a dramatization of someone wearing the shoe and we can see the flexing calf muscle. The advertisers toss out the word "kinetic," and Joe Montana tells us it works. Suddenly, it's a billion dollar a year market -- for Frankenstein shoes. We had a name for those when I was a kid. We called them orthopedic shoes and the people who wore them had bad feet.

There is this Wisk commercial out now. The claim -- Wisk doesn't just clean dirt; it cleans "particulates." Then a fake microscopic "reveal" shows the offending particulates, and little hexagons start bouncing all over the screen. The hexagons have two letter abbreviations in the center: Pt for particulate, Oi for oil. Clearly, we're supposed to be reminded of molecules and more specifically, the periodic table of elements.

"Oooh" we'll gasp, "That stuff has to work. It's like . . . science and shit."

The thing is, last I checked, "Oil" is not on the periodic table. Neither is "Particulate."  The periodic table has stuff like gold (Au) and, uh, other things.You can't just make shit up and pretend it's on the periodic table. I wish you could. I'd have done much better in high school chemistry. And there would be an element called Cakeium. (Ck)

Oh and a particulate can otherwise be defined as soot or dust particles suspended in the air. It's dirt. That's not science, Wisk. Not even a little.  That's Science-y.

We had a personal experience with science-y sales when we bought our mattress at a store called Sleepy's. Before they would show us the mattresses, they made us each lie down on another mattress connected to a big computer-esque machine. This was supposed to tell us what our perfect mattress would be. It whirled and chirped and lights flashed and I'm pretty sure I saw an Oompa-Loompa. I asked what the science behind the machine was because I'm a douche bag like that. The salesman said, "Well, it's from the Sleep Institute."

Whoa, the Sleep Institute. Really? Well then. I'll never forget when Dr. Von Snoozenburg won the Nobel Prize for Sleepology for his work on pillow drool.

Science-y is very useful for selling us shit. Show us an x-ray of the human body or a drawing of a pulsing red quadricep and we're convinced your product is the one for us. It's gotta work, it's science. 


Friday, January 14, 2011

Decisions decisions, and Leave a Comment, you.

Over on DadCentric, I posted the story of how we told the Pnut about the passing of our oldest cat Xiu Xiu The Eldest. 

The cat took the big catnap a few days before xmas. 

Yesterday, we went out to a shelter to look at cats. Kittens and young cats. We didn't go to pick out a new cat and bring it home, just to look. 

I think I can best explain what happened next by letting you in on this conversation between My Wife and the Pnut.

"I want on of those little kittens."

"I know honey, but those kittens are too small to bring home because your brother is still a little too rough."

"But I want one.  We can leave Pumpkin Man here and take the kitten."

So . . . 

This is Matilda. She's 5 months old. She practically threw herself at us. At the shelter, the kids were on her like fire ants on a wounded wildebeest, and she did nothing but purr. The decision was out of our hands, really.  

Praise Jesus and Pass The Catnip

Cute Pics Ahead:

The Pman made it home too. They work together to find the guard's blind spot.

2 Peanuts

Bonus Snow Pic:

The shoveling involved here, well, just, fuck. It is pretty though.

Finally, today is national de-lurking day. So for any readers of this blog who usually read it like this:

Please, come on out. Leave a comment.  It will be very much appreciated. 



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Hey folks. 1st order, thank you very much to those of you that have read and/or voted for me in the Knucklehead Blog-Off Rd 1.  Voting for round one ends tomorrow. I am very grateful. You, on the other hand, are now obligated to continue voting for the rest of the competition. It's in the by-laws or something.

Second, There is this about cats, death, and truth:

Well, the cat's dead. Was she the best cat ever? That is a childish question. And yes. Empirically. If you want, leave a comment and I'll email you the documentation. I'm not here to eulogize the cat though. That's over on Cat Fancy's dead cat of the month page. 

The P-Nut turns 4 in April. She's getting pretty hip to what's going on. Including the fact that the cat--Xiu Xiu (zhu-zhu) the Eldest--had disappeared.

We had to have The Conversation. 

Read more at DadCentric . . .  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Knucklehead Blog-Off Rd1

Welcome to Rd1 of Knucklehead's Blog-off 2011. It goes like this: There are nine competitors. In the 1st two rounds, the 2 competitors with the least amount of votes will be out. So, I hate to ask this stuff, but please, please, venerable readers, if you would go and vote your hearts out, it would be much appreciated. Of course, please give the other competitor's equal time and only vote based on merit. And remember, that I love you all. A lot. Bordering on inappropriate. On to the show...

Tea Time

It happened at my house after school.

Most days at that time, the house was empty except for me, a classic latch key kid kickin' back and soaking up life lessons from Mother Television.

Either that, or I was experimenting.

The places I put my penis in those formative years; well, don't eat that bagel, is all I'm saying.

This specific time though--the time of The Tea-- I had a friend over.

Two hormone cocktails with under developed cerebral cortexes and time to burn. Nothing was on tv.  We were bored like only 12 year old boys can be -- "Wanna go see a dead body?" bored.

When you're a pubescent boy with a friend and boredom overcomes you, unless he's a really good friend the bagel route is out.

What's left? Boyish cruelty--"let's hit each other/your sister/the cat with these nunchucks" -- or intoxication.

I don't know how we ended up in the kitchen. I'm sure one of us mentioned having tried pot or wanting to smoke some (probably me) and the other said, "yeah, me too." One or both of us was lying, but by then it didn't matter. 'Course, we knew no one who could get actual marijuana.

So, we ended up in the kitchen and I'm pretty sure it was my idea. I'm pretty sure (almost positive) I'm the one who said, "Dude . . .  you can get high from smoking tea!" Probably after banana peels had been discussed and discarded as "stupid" and "we don't have any." And tea, my mother had in abundance.

My poor fool friend didn't even blink.

"Yeah." He said. "Awesome! Let's do it!" like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Because when you're a teenage boy, everything is the most natural thing in the world. The same lack of working synapses that allows a teenage boy to jump into the window of a moving car (did it) is the same phenomenon that convinces him the he "totally heard, for sure, that smoking tea will get you wicked baked." Despite all logical arguments otherwise. Like, "they sell it in the supermarket" and "nothing happens when you drink it."

So we ended up in my little kitchen, and we got that shit on.

"First, we have to roll it." I announced. The Professional.

Rolling it consisted of breaking open a couple of English Breakfast tea bags (known in the tea smoking world as"commercial") pouring them into a paper towel, and loosely rolling said towel into a sort of tea scented flattened taquito shape. Then, we lit it on the stove and inhaled. Mmmm, tasty.

We sucked bitter smoke and hundreds of tiny tea embers past our young palates and into our young lungs.

We coughed. We coughed and we stumbled around my kitchen half blind with tears from laughing and coughing. At least, he did. I kept it totally together.

Then, we lied.

"You feeling it dude?"

"Are you?

"Totally. You're not?"

"No, I am, I mean, I totally feel high."

Of course I'm sure we felt a little woozy.  Smoke and lack of oxygen and the constant background hum of dumb boy-puberty hormones will do that.

From there, we decided the English Breakfast didn't taste good. We moved on to the good stuff.

We found the Chamomile ("Dude, Herbal!"). Chamomile, Lemon Zinger, and finally the dankest of the dank, Sleepytime.

By this point, we weren't even bothering with the rolling anymore. We would just set one side of the tea bag on fire and inhale straight through the other side. The smell of singed eyelashes mingled with the tea smoke.

The kitchen was a swirling firestorm of tiny burning leaves, a miniature tea forest firebombed by tweenage stupidity.

The whole thing lasted maybe half an hour.

The kitchen was a smoky ruin. Junkies don't do clean-up. Torn, blackened tea bags and burnt paper and ashes and tea leaves on every surface. It looked vaguely like some sort of a half-assed drug den. A pleasant, lemony-tea smelling one, but still, I imagined a couple of people driving by would treat us like a crack house:

Driver: "Hey, you see that place? That's a tea house."

Passenger: "You mean, like scones and shit?"

Driver: "No.  Like drugs!"

There were very few ill-effects from the Tea Incident. I never found myself wandering the streets, offering to perform sex acts for cash so I could score a bag of Constant Comment.  "C'mon Mister. I'll suck ya dick for some Oolong."

My mother and stepfather came home and found the mess of course. They just laughed and my mother  said something to the effect of, "You tried to get high of off smoking tea? You idiot."

Imagine if it had worked though? My drug kingpin name would've been Earl Grey.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Parent Teacher Conference

I went to the Parent teacher conference last night. Just the Pnut's teacher and me, locked in a room prepared to battle to the death over who knows what's best for my little girl. She had brass knuckles. I brought a halberd to the party.  As the saying goes, "Never bring brass knuckles to a halberd fight."

It went well, actually. She opened with the line, "I feel like we don't even need to have this conference." 

I didn't let her off that easy, but it was a good way to start. Apparently, the Pnut is doing very well. Her class work is great, her homework is great, she's polite, and so forth. She is still shy, but it's improving. 

For my part, I asked lots of questions, including "is there anything else we need to be working on at home?" and "You know she's a genius right? A delicate genius.  Say it!"

I'm a mess. 

In other news, I am participating in the 2nd annual Knucklehead's blog-off 2011. It's sort of a bloggy American Idol. I'm obligated to participate this year as last year, I crashed the contest without an invitation. Mr. Knucklehead was very gracious.

This year's (felllow) competitors:

There will be voting involved in this contest. I will post all the necessary links. Posts will be on Sundays starting Jan. 9th. If you have time, scroll around, do some reading and voting. These are all fine bloggers and I am happy to be associated with them. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This Image, well, now you're stuck with it too.

We got a little potty training going on here. Just the first yellow trickles in what promises to be the thawing of the Great Diaper Winter that has been our lives for 3 + years.

The Pumpkin Man is on his way, pee-pee style. Lawdy dawdy, we likes to potty.

I mention this only to give context to the brief scene I'm about to portray, one in which the Pman spends the entire time sans diaper. And also because I'm proud of him. Ok

So, after spending some time on the potty, doing the deed, and being lauded for it like he just saved a life, he pops off and toddles over to where the Dora rug rests nearby on the playroom floor. As I've mentioned before, he's got a pretty sick thing for Dora.

He walks on to the rug, plops his naked nude parts on Dora's face and lays down on his back. He has positioned himself--incidentally, one hopes fruitlessly-- so that his dingle is dangling just millimeters above Dora's smiling face.

He then starts opening and closing his legs so that her face dis and re-appears every half second or so and to his movement he adds a cheery "Hello! Goodbye. Hello! Goodbye. Hello . . . "

I think maybe the worst part about it is that he still had his shirt on.

Dora says "he's harmless" I told her to get a restraining order, fast. I'll testify against him.


This is a second hand story. I was in the kitchen while my was witnessing this. I am lucky.

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