Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Resolutions, aka the list of things I never intend to get too.

What Now?

As far as New Year's resolutions go I am great at making them. If you take a look at my resolution lists from the past 10 years you might say to yourself "wow, this dude has his shit together!" I would put up my list next to anybody and feel pretty darn confident that I would put that person to shame, they would forget resolutions all together and go crawl under their bed. My "R" lists rock that much.

It's too damn bad that about 99% of what I put on those lists never get done. What the hell? I talk such a mean game, but at the end of the day, well...not the end of January 1, maybe two or three weeks down the road say...I go back to my old ways, my usual pattern, my comfort zone. I don't know what the problem is. Maybe it's because my lists suffer from too much awesomeness, that I can't possibly live up too them. Or maybe I am just a lazy P.O.S. and never intend to carry through with any of the items I put down on my list. Who knows, but I feel change on the horizon. Can you feel it too?

It started a couple of years back when my wife started her crazy quest to become a triathlete and live a healthier life. I joined her and decided I wanted to finish the STP cycling classic (200 mile ride between Seattle and Portland in two days). I did it that year. Last year I wanted to finish a marathon, knowing full well the longest distance I had ever ran was a 10k, back in my mid-20's. In may I completed the CD'A marathon. Along the way I set weight goals as well, and today I vary between 189 and 195 lbs, the lowest I have maintained since college.

So, today in my basement I was trying to figure out how I can increase the healthy living I enjoy, and it really came down to a couple of eating indulgences I enjoy, often, that I know are not good for me. Beer and sweets. I love beer, and I love anything sweet. So much so that sometimes I can binge on either item without even a thought of what it will do to me later that night or months down the road. So....with that in mind, and with a little insight from my much better half, I give you my first two resolutions for 2010.

1. No beer for the year.
2. Sweets once a week, no more, no less.

I was going to go no sweets for the year as well, but my wife thought that would be too extreme. So once a week I will indulge, if I feel like it. I think if I continue my training and diet plan I already have in place and add these two items I should feel and look even better than I already do.

So, that is it. It's in my post so it must be so. And yes, I know the chances of me keeping to these resolutions is slim given my track record, but...I never thought in a million years I would run a marathon either.

Until I think of another good "R" for 2010....

Peace out!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Say what?

What Now?

The past couple of days have produced some of the funnest quotes my 6-year old has ever said. Two days ago I was in the kitchen and my wife was sitting here at the computer desk. "R" strolled over to the laundry room right when the dryer was finishing a cycle. Next thing you know "R" is yelling to her sister "K, come over here and stick your head in the dryer!" My wife responds quickly with "Do not stick your head in the dryer, nobody can stick their head in the dryer." Without even blinking "R" replies "Can I stick my monkey in the dryer." "Sure, go ahead and stick your monkey in the dryer." says my wife with a chuckle.

Yesterday my wife and I were trying to figure out what to feed the girls for lunch. I was excited to sample some homemade applesauce, a new recipe from my wife...or as you know her, the born again but never was vegetarian. All she is missing are the Burkenstalks, hairy arm pits and the smell of someone who hasn't bathed in a very long time. Anyway, her applesauce is the shit, with chunks of apples and everything. My girls have a different take on it, and when I asked them if they would like to share some of Mom's applesauce with me "R" says no, of course. I ask why not and she responds with "because it has apples in it!" Hard to argue with that.

Peace out dads!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Where the hell have I been?

What Now?

It seems like forever since I last posted, just over 2 weeks, but in the land of bloggers that is forever. The amazing thing is I picked up a few new followers during that dry spell. Maybe the blogging universe is telling me something...stop posting and more people will like it. The truth of the matter is I spent a week in Disneyland with the family and the second we returned home I have been busier than busy. Between my current job picking up, my new part time job, holiday madness, family birthdays, training for my next marathon and general family life this little blog has taken a back seat, way in the back...like nosebleed back.

So, what can I write about today. How about I start with a joke my now 8-year old told me the other day. She had received a book of holiday jokes from her teacher and wanted to try a couple out on me. She is a very good reader, but will occasionally read a little too fast and mix up words.

"K" - Dad, what is a snowman's favorite food?
Me - I don't know..what is it?
"K" - Cold cunts!
"Me" - (after a laugh outburst) Do you mean cold cuts?
"K" - Oh yeah, cold cuts...I don't get it?

What else, well the holiday season is in full swing here. My wife and I have finished the present buying and now just are counting down the days until the kids make like the Tazmanian Devil and tear into them. I struggled a little with what to buy my wife...year after year she wants some new kitchen tool. Come on, that's not helpful. If she wants something that helps her in the kitchen she should just buy it. I suggested maybe some new underwear. That suggestion was met with little enthusiasm.

Oh, we had a fantastic time at Disneyland (I can't believe I almost forgot to report on that). I think the thing both of my girls will remember most is getting a new little friend at the Build-A-Bear Workshop, which is not even in Disneyland for crying out loud...but whatcha gonna do? For me it was taking on the Tower Of Terror ride in California Adventure Park. I have this terrible fear of heights, so this ride was my Everest. Not only did I conquer it, but I actually enjoyed the ride as well.

Well, that's all I have for now. Sorry it took me so long, but better late than never they say. Until we meet again....

Peace out dads!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Going to the happiest place on earth

What Now?

This Sunday the long wait is over. My family will board the plane that takes us to the happiest place on earth...Disneyland. For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis you know of my love for all things Disney. I love their movies, their music, their cable network and most of all their "land". This will be my 6th trip to the magic kingdom and I could not be more excited. I can almost see the eyes rolling in most of your head right now, because I know there are some of you parents who think a trip to Disneyland is equal to a trip to hell. I guess it all depends on your own experience and perspective. For me Disneyland represents so many wonderful things.
First, it takes me back to some of my favorite childhood memories. I remember packing up the car for family road trips with Disneyland as the main attraction. We would make stops along the Oregon and California coast, and then sometimes Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake on the way back home (there were monster trips with lots of miles, but also lots of fun). There is just something about that place that kids can identify with in the greatest way. It was so magical, so special, so Disney. On my 3rd trip to Mickey's home I went with my wife, her first trip. Lucky for me she fell in love with the Disney magic just like I had several years before. We only spent one day there, but I could tell we would be back. When our first daughter turned 3 we decided she was old enough to enjoy DL. Our youngest was only 1 so she got to spend some quality time with her grandparents, something they both enjoyed a great deal. Taking your child to a place you loved so much when you were younger is so amazing, and at 3 years old it was all so real to her. She went on every ride she was tall enough for, and I swear she talked about it everyday for almost a full year after we returned. Our next trip came when our youngest turned 3, oldest was 5. This was our first full family vacation, and was a treat it was. Our oldest was an old pro now, almost acting as tour guide for the rest of us. We were lucky enough to go with good friends of ours and their kids. We stayed at the park and spent just about every waking moments between DL and California Adventure Park. To this day we look back fondly on that trip and bring out the pictures about once a month to remind us of the fun that was had.
Well, in just a couple of days we return and I have to say I have been so excited I can hardly stand it. Most of my excitement comes from the fact that this will be my first time at DL during the holiday season. Next to Disneyland, Christmas is one of my all time favorite things in the world. The combination of both is almost too good to be true. Oh, there go the eye rolls again. Well, I can understand why you might not appreciate my excitement, but for me there is a special connection I share with my kids when it comes to all things Disney. They will get their parents undivided attention and for at least one week, they will get a Dad who act more like a kid than a adult....and what kid wouldn't love that?

I'll be back after vacation, armed with some great stories I'm sure.

Peace out dads!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!!!

What Now?

This time of year is busy for everyone with the holidays in full swing, but it seems like I have been dropped head first into an out of control shit storm and my plunger is broken. Don't get me wrong, I love this time of year, and this busy is a great kind of busy. Besides hanging the stockings from the staircase with care (yea, no fireplace at our house) I also have the following items to attend to: Both girls birthdays, plus my own, new part time job, my other career has started to pick up again after a long, long downturn, family vacation to Disneyland, interviews for a couple of other full time job opportunities, quick trip West as part of new part time job and starting up training for next marathon.

Hell, I actually feel like I don't have the time to come up with clever and wildly entertaining blog posts right now. So, instead you get my personal to-do list for the month. Lucky bastards! What I am hoping for is some new perspective to write about so hopefully all this extra activity will benefit my blog. In the meantime, stick with me until I get a handle on things will ya? Thank, you're the best!

Peace out dads!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why a daughter needs a dad - #2 and #3

What Now?

I forgot last Monday's edition of "why a daughter needs a dad" (excerpts from the book of the same title written by Gregory E. Lang - great book, go buy it!) so I have two for today.

A daughter needs a dad who will make sacrifices so she will not have to sacrifice.

A daughter needs a dad who will laugh at her at all the right times

Peace out dads!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Giving Thanks

What Now?

It's Thanksgiving week and that means it's time for my family to kick it into high gear. There is not slowing down from this point until a day or two after New Year's. Besides the normal hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we also mix in both my daughter's birthdays, my birthday, several cousins, aunts and uncles birthdays and a early December trip to Disneyland. Needless to say I'll be lucky to keep my head above water for the next several weeks. Before I shut down my blog for the week I wanted to give thanks to those who mean the most to me:

Thank you Gigi and Poppy. I can honestly say I hit the in-law jackpot when I married your daughter and being a part of your family has meant the world to me.

Thank you sisters and brothers. Some of you I am stuck with by blood, some by marriage, and all I know is I could not have hand picked better people to be stuck with.

Thank you Mom and Dad. For almost 39 years you have been great parents and great friends. I am so thankful that my girls get to have you in their lives as much as they do.

Thank you kids. It's impossible to imagine what my life would be like without you. You became my world the second you entered it, and I would do anything for you.

Thank you Mrs. Whatnowdad. It's you, it's always been you and it will always be you. Almost 2o years ago you brought this boy into your life and helped make him the man he is today. I don't know how many people get to marry their best friend, but I am thankful I am one of them. I love you more than you will ever know.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oh Lord, how she tests me!

Hey, after you read my super awesome blog post make sure to head over to Dad Blogs for Fatherhood Friday. You might find some bloggers you like as much as me. Peace out!

What Now?

My wife is out of town for work so I am Mr. Mom with my two girls until tomorrow morning. As I have mentioned (in probably every third post) my youngest, sweet 5 year old "R", can be a bit stubborn. This morning her list of complaints and refusals almost sent me over the edge. Here is a quick recap of that list:

6:30am - "K" (her older sister) always gets the warm blanket in the morning.

6:33am - "K" always get to pick her show first to watch.

6:38am - No, I don't want to watch that show (the one she just about always picks).

6:45am - No, I don't want any of that for breakfast (when given five different choices, all of which she likes.

6:55am - I don't want to finish my applesauce, it tastes old (after giving in to that breakfast choice and opening a brand new jar).

6:58am - You gave me too much milk, I can't drink it all.

7:20am - I don't want to wear that shirt.

7:21am - I don't want to wear that shirt either.

7:22am - I don't want to find a shirt...I want you too.

7:32am - You put too much toothpaste on my brush.

7:33am - I don't want to brush my teeth with the sonic care.

7:34am - No, I don't want you to brush my teeth either.

7:45am - I want to wear these shoes to school (after picking out sandals to wear, it's 35 degrees out and raining mind you)

7:55am - I don't like that hat, I don't want to wear it (while trying to get them out the door and to school on time).

8:03am - "K", stop singing, I don't like it (while driving "R" and "K" to school).

8:10am - I don't want to go to the gym and play basketball after school (while I kiss her goodbye, not even remembering we had talked about going to the gym after school last night).

OK, to be fair she is a a little under the weather, and her mom is not home so I will give her a few points for that. But you can imagine my state of mind after I pulled out of the school's parking lot. You know how it's not recommended to go grocery shopping when you are hungry? Well, our local supermarket was having it's 13 hour wine and cheese sale today, and I can safely say it's not recommended to go shopping at a wine sale just after your 5 year old has frustrated you to the point of almost no return. I don't know what I dropped there today, but it's not a good sign when the store employees line up at the door and thank you for shopping there (I think some were even chest bumping and doing the Arsenio arm pump).

Peace out dads!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tag, I'm it

What Now?

I have officially been tagged in the new to me game of blogger photo tag. My tagger was FeliciaE from the blog "Living Just Like Grandma". I have only checked out a little of her blog so far, but I plan to become a follower and read more, I suggest you do too.

Here is how this game works, and I take this text straight from FeliciaE's blog post:

The person who is tagged goes to the first photo file on their computer and to the tenth photo in that file. The tagged person post the photo on their blog and tells the story behind it. Then the person tags a few people from the blogs that they read.

So the picture I get to post is from our first family trip to Hawaii back in March of 2008. What a great trip that was. We went to Kona on the big island, and that was a first for me. What made that trip so special was we met my wife's parents, her two sisters and their families to celebrate my father-in-law's 60th birthday, the anniversary of my in-laws and the marriage of my sister-in-law (my wife's youngest sister). It was two weeks of eating great food, drinking great beer and wine, exploring all the big island had to offer and most of all relaxing in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. We were lucky enough to go back this past spring as well. I could really get used to spending two weeks in Hawaii and getting out of our dreadful spring weather!

OK, who to tag next. I think I'll pick on a good friend and great parent blogger Weasel Momma and her blog World Of Weasels. She is hilarious and she knows it. Go check her out now, now I say!
Peace out dads!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let mamma see those pearly whites

Now What?

Many of you know that in the Spring I made the bold decision to get braces at the tender age of 38. This is my second go around with this oral torture device because as a pre-teen I did not heed the words of my orthodontist when he said "keep using your retainer" and threw it in the trash instead (which I have come to learn was a mistake made by many of my peers). Needless to say my teeth started moving again and unless I took action soon I stood a great chance of loosing one of my bottom front teeth to the back of my mouth due to over crowding. So, I sucked it up and got the full tooth bling treatment.

One of the side effects I was lucky to get was some serious staining around each bracket. I'm not talking about a little extra yellowish color, I am talking dirt brown. My dentist said it looked like I had been smoking for the past ten years, which is better than saying it looked like I just ate a shit sandwich before coming in for my cleaning, but the meaning was still there. I was told it was just a hard spot for the toothbrush to reach and some people just react that way. Thankfully it was just superficial and could be cleaned off.....but at what price?

What they ended up using was the equivalent to a power washer shooing out a mixture of salt and water to blast off the shit, I mean plaque. After two hours my lips and gums felts like they had been worked over like a Mike Tyson punching bag. Oh, did I mention I needed to get a cavity filled in too...so half of my face was numb as well. I love my dentist!

I will say the results almost make up for the payment. My teeth have never been whiter. My wife stops me dead in my tracks about 10 times a day to check on them. I feel like one of the kids now "let me smell your breath to make sure you brushed your teeth well" I can almost hear her say. I will turn 39 in a couple of weeks and I am hoping to have the braces off by my next birthday, the big FOUR O. Only time and about 10 more dentist cleaning visits between now and then.

Peace out Dads!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why A Daughter Needs A Dad Monday #1

What Now?

My wife gave me a book a few weeks back titled "Why A Daughter Needs A Dad, 100 Reasons" written by Gregory E. Lang and photographs by Janet Lankford-Moran. It is a fantastic book with 100 short reasons why Dads are so important to their daughters. I thought it would be a great way to start each week on my blog with one of these reasons. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Why A Daughter Needs A Dad #1:

To learn that when he says it will be okay soon, it will.

Peace out dads.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where's the beef? Part 2

What Now?
OK, so maybe my wife was dropping subtle hints about less meaty eating plan at our house before the infamous "tofu taco" night. I remember her remarks about how cute the pigs were after going to the county fair, and what a shame it was that we ate them. Heck, we've been on turkey bacon for over a year now and I've kinda gotten to like it, that was until I had a sample taste of real bacon on a recent Costco trip...hmmmmm, real bacon. They needed the janitor to come and mop up my drool puddle. My wife is also a bit of a Internet news junkie, and focuses on stories related to how meat is processed and all the additives and preservatives they use in it. She already feels that our kids are exposed to way too many unnatural things and that feeding them standard (and by standard I mean not "organic) meat will just mess them up more then I already do. So the grassroots campaigning for a less meaty house diet was in the works for months, the action plan came with tofu tacos. The insurgence came a few days later at breakfast. We had my wife's sister and her two sons overnight and the next morning I came downstairs to the smell of a big home cooked breakfast. All the kids had already cleaned off their plates and my wife and sister-in-law were digging into theirs. I grab a plate and start to load up. Pancakes, eggs and sausage. Yummy, yum...hey, what a sec. What's up with the sausage? It looks a little like the sausage that comes in the fake food set we got the girls for Christmas to go with their Dora kitchen set. Oh well, I am still trying to wake up and I'm starving so what the heck, I load it up. A few bites in I must have a look on my face that triggers my wife to ask "how do you like your breakfast honey?" I turn to answer her, with a mouth half full of food "um....is there something different about the sausage this morning?" "Well, yes...it's not real sausage...can you tell the difference?" I swallow it down, take a big gulp of water and reply "yes, because I do know what real sausage tastes like, so yes...I can tell a difference." Now any married man who likes to avoid conflict will tell you the worst possible time and place to question your wife's cooking choices are anywhere that one of her family members is present, especially her sister. I calmly took my plate over to the table and dreamt about real meat while eating my breakfast.

Now please don't take my comments to be a negative attitude towards my wife or her family diet choices. I understand her need to feed our family healthy alternatives and try to keep as our bodies as chemical free as possible. I also know that I will get used to the new diet plan and probably be better for it. I'll just need to come up with creative reasons to make more trips to Costco so I can visit Marge, the real bacon sample lady, to remind myself of what meat really tastes like. Oh Marge, I love ya baby!

Peace out Dads, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where's the beef? Part 1

What Now?

There is a conspiracy going on in my house. I don't know exactly when it started, and I'm not sure how long it is going to last, but it is something that will affect me in a deep and possibly disturbing way. My wife, the family chef and buyer of food products, is slowly but surely working meat out of our family diet. MEAT MAN...MEAT I SAY! A few days ago it was taco night at our household...a weekly tradition loved by myself and our kids. My wife worked in the kitchen preparing the meal while my girls and I set the table. We all sat down as my wife brought out all the fixings....taco shells, black beans, lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocados, cheese, sour cream and the taco meat..."um, what is wrong with the taco meat?" I asked. "Nothing, why?" she replied. "Well, it seems to be a different color than I remember." I say, trying real hard to to have any critical tone in my voice whatsoever...remember, she is the sole provider of eatable meals in our house so I don't want to rock that boat. "It's a little different, that's all" came her response. OK, no biggie I guess...and I join the rest of the crew and load up a couple of nice, nice tacos. After a couple of bites I glance at my wife and she is looking around at us with a very sheepish look, almost like she knew something and was trying to see if anybody else would figure it out. Our eyes meet and she asks "so, how do you like your tacos?" Now I am growing suspicious....I mean, she knows I love tacos so why ask. And that look...something is up. "So what makes this taco meat different from before?" I ask in a very probing way. "Just a different brand I guess." she says. Hmmm, what is my next move. Ah ha..."oh, looks like I need a little more water.....I'll be right back." As I head to the kitchen to refill my glass, I can feel her stare on the back of my neck like a hot poker. I stroll by her dinner prep area and see it, stop in my tracks, pick it up and turn around to look back at my wife. In my hand is a box for "tofu taco filling", on my face is a look that can only be described as a giant WTF. I am about to blow the lid off my wife's little trickery when she says, a little louder than normal "so girls, how do YOU like your tacos?" "Great!", "Love them!" Then I get the look from her that can best be described as "DON'T OPEN YOUR DUMB PIE HOLE!" I drop the box back on the counter top, get my water, return to my seat and continue to eat my tacos. To be honest, they are pretty damn good. I don't know what her game is...but after we put the kids to bed I am sure as hell going to find out....

Peace Out Dads!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lame Blogger

What Now?

I think with everything in life sometimes you just don't got it. I really started to find my groove with this blogging thing and then BOOM, nothing last week. I don't know if it was a lack of material, a lack of interest, or just staying busy with other things. Last week I had actual work related stuff I needed to take care of, which was nice for a change. Plus, the local university posted a job that I am really interested in getting so I spent a lot of time working and reworking my resume and cover letter (with the help of my loving wife and many, many others!). We also had a crazy weekend with two, yes two, kids sleepovers. Friday night my wife's sister was in town with her boys and the next night we had some of our girls friends over while their mom went out on the town. Plus there is all the normal day-to-day stuff that will swallow you whole if you let it. My wife and I have determined that a lot of our time is taken up with laundry, cooking and dishes. Just when we get clothes put away we have a basket full again. Between breakfast and dinner we eat off of and clean more dishes than I thought we even owned (thank goodness the school feeds the kids lunch on weekdays, bless you popcorn chicken and yummy cheese sandwiches!).

I know, all very lame excuses but it's the best I got. I think there was also a lack of inspiration and interest on my part. Sometimes I just don't want to write about things. I know this makes my number one fan, my wife, sad. She loves reading my posts just to remember something funny that happened in our family or to get my take on a certain situation. My wife just emailed me with thought on topics I could touch on. She suggested talking about living with a wife trying to go vegetarian...not bad, but I should save that for another time...too good to put in this post!

I think I'm just in a blogger slump. I think all bloggers must go through this, just like areas of life. But I'll pull out, and already I can picture my next post "WIFE TRIES TO FORCE FEED GREEN VEGGIES TO FAMILY AND CUT OUT MEAT....OH THE HUMANITY.

Peace Out Dads!

Monday, November 2, 2009

No tricks, no treats, no way, no how!

What Now?

Kids are funny. Just when you think you have them figured out they hit you with something straight out of left field and send you back to the parenting drawing board. Case in point, my 5 year old and Halloween. For most kids, normal kids, Halloween night is second only to Christmas morning on the kids holiday scale of awesomeness. You get to dress up as whatever you want, you get to stay up way past your normal bedtime and you get more candy than you can possibly eat in one sitting. Does it really get any better than that?

Well, for my youngest child it can. Leading up to the big night she acts like any other normal year old child. She decides to be Strawberry Shortcake, and can it get more adorable than that? Funny side story here, when my wife googled Strawberry Shortcake costumes for our little girl she found this. Not exactly what she had in mind for our child, but I thought it might work for her...she was not amused. Anyway, back to my story. After deciding on a costume our youngest helped decorate, carve pumpkins and participate in just about all other pre-Halloween activities.

The one thing we knew going in was that she is scared of most of the spookier Halloween decorations. Hell, she won't step one foot in the door at Micheal's because of the stuff they have on display there. Even knowing that, we didn't expect the full on boycott of all things trick or treat when the big night came. Our usual plan is to pack the kids in the car and drive to certain houses/neighborhoods so we hit all the really good houses and see friends in the process. The first couple homes we hit were of the scary variety. Our oldest loves going to these homes because they also give out the best candy. It's these trips that I stay in the car with the youngest while my wife takes our oldest door to door. After the first couple we see some friends and some standard, jack-o-lantern only types houses. Nope, not getting out even for those. "What, come on "R", these houses aren't scary." Nope, not getting out of the car, not going to the door and not interested in the candy. Really? This kid is not candy motivated? Shit, what else do we have then? I mean, if we can't even get her out of the car to walk a few feet and say three little words for candy what chance do we have to get her to do anything? Candy is the one motivation most parents keep as plan Z when nothing else works. I could offer my oldest candy as a reward and get the house cleaned, the dog walked and lawn mowed all before 10am if I needed too.

So, there I sat in the car trying to talk our youngest to at least give it a try...nope, not a chance. We got home and my oldest started organizing her candy and getting set up for some late night movie watching. My youngest took off her costume, put on her pj's, and wanted my wife to take her to bed. When my wife came back down I just looked at her with amazement over the nights activities. She smiles and said in a calming voice "at least we won't have to worry about peer pressure with her." Good point!

Peace Out Dads!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spam you very much

Happy Friday Everyone. While you are wasting time on the internet make sure to head over to Dad Blogs for Fatherhood Friday. Great bloggers are found there...do it right after you read mine!

What Now?

As a little Internet experiment I am going to post the subject line of the next few spam emails I get, with my own commentary of course. While I absolutely hate getting spam, I sometimes find the subject lines to be very entertaining, I hope you do too.

ADD POWER TO YOUR HUSBAND\'S HAMMER - I don't have a husband, and if I did I don't know how powerful I would want his hammer to be...sounds dangerous!

Magic stick - Is this some Harry Potter promotion or something? My wife is the HP fan, maybe I should see if she needs the Magic stick?

Do You Honestly Think You'll Be Able To Ever Retire? - Boy, I hope so. Maybe I should quit my Starbucks addiction, that should help.

Pick your free 800% BONUS - Now we're talking! This should help me retire...suck on that emailer from before!

your score has been updated - What score...what did I miss? It's really hard to win if you don't know someone is keeping score or what it's been updated too? I hope this doesn't mess up my 800% bonus!

Bring your manhood to an unbelievable level - Don't all guys want girls to believe the unbelievable when it comes to their manhood? Me, I like working with the believable so nobody gets let down.

Discover the reliable source of cheap and quality drugs - First off, nice English! I am surprised the manager of this supplier for good, inexpensive drugs let this email fly out the door before proofreading it. I bet it hurts their business to have such poor work come from their employees.

If you have a huge stick, women will never tell you to get out of bed - Unless this huge stick can start the coffee, make breakfast, get the kids ready for school and take the dog for a walk my wife will not be allowed to stay in bed.

Find cheap alternative to expensive American medications - I think I've just uncovered the solution to our health care problem!

Fox News are liers - When did the White House start spamming, and do they know about the cheap alternatives to expensive American medications?

Get a deal on your own dance floor - Thank God, I can't tell you how expensive your own dance floor can be, and these Jazz hands aren't working on the linoleum so well.

10.31% off Halloweeeeeeeeeen Sale on Car Swag - This is such a better deal then the lousy 10% you usually get on Halloweeeeeeeeen Car Swag!

Enjoy your day everyone!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fakin' it

What Now?

We have all done it. My friends did it. My brother and sister did it. My wife did it. Hell, I did it all the time. Every kid that has gone to school has done it at least once in their life. Faking sick to stay home from school. The weather sucks, you have a test you haven't studied for, your friends pissed you off the other day...whatever the reason is you just don't want to go to school and the only way your parents are going to let you skip classes is if you are sick, really sick. When you grow up and become a contributing member of society you still do it, but you call it a mental health day. You make your voice sound raspy and out of breath, call your office and tell them you just don't feel well and think it's best that you stay home. Kids don't get off so easy. Their performance is in front of a live audience. An audience that that discredits their act even before it starts, and looks for any and all flaws that might prove the performer is just "acting" the part.

On Saturday our youngest was complaining of a sore throat, upset stomach and headache and she was burning up, 102 temperature. My wife, ever the illness inspector, took her in to see the doctor right away because, in case you are unaware...there is apparently some pig virus causing a bit of a panic right now. It turned out not to be the pig thing, and instead was just strep throat. We spend the weekend in chill mode and waiting on her hand and foot, because that is what you do with a sick child to keep peace in the house.

It was determined on Sunday evening that our patient would have to miss school on Monday. It only took about 15 minuets after that decision was made for our oldest to sharpen up her thespian skills and put on her show. "Dad, Mom....my stomach hurts." You could almost hear the violins playing in the background. As a veteran of such theatrics I knew what was going on here, but my wife insisted we take her seriously just in case she was indeed "sick".

Our oldest must have gotten such a good night of sleep she forgot act 1 of her show and proceeded to go about her normal morning routine, full of energy and ready for the day. After a little while the light bulb must have gone off. "Mom, Dad....my stomach still hurts and I don't feel well". Really???? I immediately start with 20 questions, trying to break my daughter and make her admit this was a fake out. Again, my wife interceded and checked my daughter out. No temperature. I knew it!! FAKER, FAKER....NOW I HAVE TO TAKE HER..too school. My wife convinced our oldest to go to school but did give her a get out of school card free with promise we would come get her if she started feeling worse.

It was a miserable day. Rain, wind, dark sky. Heck, I wanted to leave my office, go home and crawl into bed. It was about 1pm when I got the call from the school nurse. "Your daughter is here in the office complaining of a stomach ache" (how do kids know to go with the stomach ache....no way to tell if it really hurts or not, brilliant!). Again, no fever but she says she feels bad. She must have looked out the window too. And, it didn't help that one of her good friends from school left with his parents about an hour before because his stomach hurt. What to do, what to do. If I go get her I give her the knowledge that faking a stomach that hurts gets you out of school. If I don't get her I am the Dad that keeps their kid in school with a potential life threatening stomach pain. Hmmmmmmmmm, tough choice.

After I picked her up and got her home she again suffered a quick memory lapse by running upstairs and in a very healthy sounding voice told her sister she got to stay home too. Big faker! You win this round little one, but I am on to you.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

That really grinds my gears!!!

What Now?

Like all good parents who don't want their children get violently ill from the seasonal flu we scheduled shots way back in early September. The earliest we could get in to get their shots was late October. That seems a little late considering it only takes 10 seconds per kid, but whatever, we can be patient and hope Mr. Flu does not visit our house for almost 2 months. Yesterday I get a call from our pediatrician informing me they had to cancel the flu shot appointment for my kids. Hmmm, OK...."why?" I ask. "It's because we have ran out of our seasonal flu shots." says the nice lady on the other end of the phone. "When can we reschedule?" I ask. "We are not sure since we don't know if we'll be getting anymore of the seasonal flu shot." says the lady on the phone. "Ummm, OK...."what are you suggesting parents do in this situation?" I ask. "Um, well...you could try going to a local pharmacy." said the bitch on the phone who clearly does not care if my children get sick or not. I normally hate using just acronyms in my blog posts but WTF!!!! How in bloody hell do you run out of the seasonal flu shot in mid-October? Did you not think the same number of parents would want their kids to get it, or do you think that exposing kids to the seasonal flu is a better option then giving them the fucking shot? My wife looked up reasons for running out of the flu shot and found out the same people that make the seasonal flu shot are also making the H1N1 vaccine....and we don't have that around here either.

After a week of hearing about banks making record profits but still not lending to clients and investment firms paying out their huge bonuses again I was already loosing my faith in the American Dream...then I get news that my kids can't get flu shots because they ran out!!! That shit really grinds my gears. I am normally pretty level headed and don't rant that much, but come on people!

Am I alone on this, do you feel the same way, is there something that really grinds your gears? Let me know about it and I'll post the best gear grinders in my next post!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Make my day!

What Now?

For most families there is a certain routine to each and every day of our lives. Of course you get the odd event that changes the daily routine slightly, but for the most part each and every day is the same. I could draw a road map of my day, give it to a complete stranger, and rest assured they could follow it just like I do without fail. It's the routine that sometimes drives us crazy, making us long for the days when you never knew which direction your life would take from the second you opened your eyes to wake up each morning. It's also the routine that reminds you what is really important in life. With that I would like to present the top ten things I look forward too each and every day, routine or not.

1. I am the first one in the family up most days to make the coffee, start the computer and let the dog out. I'm half asleep and most times wishing I was still in bed, but I love the 15 minuets of quiet!

2. My girls are usually awake about a half hour after me. They zombie walk downstairs, curl up on the couch and turn on a little morning TV. After they have woken up a little bit I take their breakfast orders. I am not the cook in the family but I am the breakfast maker. I make a bit of a production out of it by taking their orders, setting a nice table, calling them to eat. It's not gourmet, but it's good enough for me.

3. My wife is the last one up, but she deserves it. She comes down, makes her coffee and we exchange a kiss and a booty pat/grab. It could be my favorite part of the morning.

4. My wife and I take turns dropping off our girls at their school, and I love when it's my turn. To see how excited they get meeting their friends for the day is so heart warming. Oh, if I could be a fly on the wall for the whole school day!

5. It doesn't happen every day, but there are some mornings my Mom will call me to join here for coffee. We meet at Starbucks and catch up a little. I feel pretty lucky to have that connection with my Mom, and I love the coffee!!

6. I get to pick up our girls from school each day and my youngest rides a bus from her kindergarten class to the main school. I make sure to be there waiting before the bus pulls up so I can wave to her (and all of her classmates) as the bus drives up. When she gets off the bus she runs to me yelling "Hi daddy!" in the cutest voice ever. Those are the moments that just melt my heart!

7. When we get home from school and before my wife comes home from work I have my opportunity to work out. It is my time for me and I love to work up a good sweat. That one hour each day makes the other 23 so much better in so many ways.

8. When my wife gets home from work I get my kiss and booty pat/grab for the second time of the day, but since it's been about 8 hours since I last saw her I milk it just a little bit longer. If not for the kids wanting 100% of her attention I would carry her upstairs and do very adult things with her....but, that is not the life of a parent so I gladly step aside and give in to MOM time.

9. After dinner, game/movie time and book reading it's time to put the kids to bed. My oldest, in an attempt to stay up longer, will give me about a weeks worth of information all at once. While I know this is a going to be prevention exercise, I just love listening to her. It's really my best opportunity to hear what is going on in her world straight from her.

10. After the kids are asleep and the house is quiet again it's just me and my wife. Even if numbers 1-9 on my list don't fulfill my day like normal I know that this one will. I almost hate going to bed knowing I have to wait so long for that time again, but when it comes it's so worth the wait.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Let the music play

What Now?

I am sitting here in my office listening to http://www.pandora.com/ trying to decide what to write about. I love pandora! My wife introduced this music web site to me a few months back. She knows how much I love music, all music. I can listen to just about anything, it just depends on the mood I'm in. This time of year usually makes me drift toward the crooners. Singers like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett...the good old boys. My favorite is Dean Martin. GOD I LOVE DEAN. I recently heard my favorite Deano song "Sway" on a car commercial. Even a techno, funked up version gets my blood going. I mean really, dim the lights, start up a few candles, pour some big glasses of red wine, start a fire and turn on Dean Martin and enjoy the company of my beautiful wife....my perfect night!

There are other times when nothing hits the spot like some hard rock. Give me AC/DC, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Kiss when I just gotta rock. It could be mowing the lawn, going for a run, cleaning out the garage...sometimes I gotta turn it up and let it go! When I wanna rock, I believe these too be true:

1. If it's too loud, you're too old!
2. It's better to burn out than fade away!
3. She's Knockin' me out with those American thighs
4. I get up, and nothing gets me down. You got it tough. I've seen the toughest around.

My senior year of high school and first couple years of college were dominated by the rap music. From Young MC's "Bust a Move" to Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" and everything in between I loved it all. My last couple years of college and first few in the real world were all about the Seattle Grunge scene. I lived in the Pacific Northwest so this was my music. One of the best concerts I have ever seen was Pearl Jam in Seattle for their Vs. tour. It was the last show of that tour and it was AMAZING! Eddie Vedder beat a hole into the stage with his mic stand and crawled down it after their last song. For their first encore the whole band crawled back through the hole to get on stage and they played "Jeremy"....at the time I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen.

As the years passed I took my turns with pop country during the Garth and Shania days. I rocked hard to the rap/metal bands like Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. These days I try to keep up with singers like Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson when I just want to mellow out. And I have even found kids music that both my girls and I can enjoy like Lauri Berkner and Justin Roberts.

To me all music is good music and without it our lives would be rather dull and quiet. Oh, Pandora just played the Elvis version of "Fever".....nice! I think of "sexy time" whenever I hear this song. I need to send my wife a quick email now, then I gotta figure out what I'm going to write on this blog...until then I'll just "Let the music play, she won't get away, This groove she can't ignore, she won't leave me anymore - No, no, no!"


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I am the biggest loser

What Now?

"I am the biggest loser!" That is what I either say out loud or think to myself every time I join my wife to watch that show. Why, oh why, do I watch it? It is her favorite, the one show she will make time to watch during it's regularly scheduled broadcast without wishing she could zip past the commercials with the help of the DVR. She has been a fan of the show since it's first season with that pudgy, blond female comedian as it's host (wonder what she is up too now?) She got me hooked in about 3 seasons ago, what the fuck?!?!?! How did I, a consumer of fine television, get sucked into watching this crazy world of 18 hour a day workouts, blatant product placement, two gender obscure trainers (she is way more masculine than he is!) and some chick who's day job is playing a train wreck on one of the still remaining noon time soap operas (and how in the hell did I know that was her day job????).

Not only do I watch, but I also get into discussions about the show with my wife. She is really into it, and so am I. For some reason I care if a constant only loses 4 pounds after spending their last chance workout playing tug-of-war with the manly Jillian while she screams "why the f$@k are you so fat you fat fatty fatterstein!!" I censored the bad word in this sentence because you can't say "fuck" on TV. Last night we cheered, yes, stood up, clapped our hands together and verbally cheered when the biggest girl on the show dropped a 16 spot to give her team the big win. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME? I haven't cheered that loud while watching TV since Micheal Jordan sank the game winning shot against the Jazz to win his 6th NBA championship. But here I was, standing in my nighttime uniform (that being t-shirt and flannel pants, you know...what you where after you get out of your work clothes but before you get on your sleeping uniform. My wife wears a hoody sweatshirt and chino pants. It's our thing.)

One of the contestants didn't even know there was a cash prize for winning....he was just happy to be there to loose weight. WOW, that guy is clueless. My wife has a plan to gain a shitload of weight, get on the show, loose it all and then pocket the $100k. Yes, we had that conversation, and yes...I think she may be a little serious about it.

I can't really explain my fascination with this show. If I could then I would be able to tackle other time sucks like Facebook, bubble shooter, TMZ, The Twilight movies, Jon and Kate Plus 8, The National Enquirer (do you qualify to be a reader of this publication if the only time you look at it is in line at the grocery store, hmmmmm?), boy band music, the local paper obituaries and city council meetings. I don't know and I probably never will....thus, I am the biggest loser!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Separation Anxiety

What Now?

Since we moved into our current house about 5 years ago our two girls have shared a room. The upstairs has the master suite (or the adult playroom as I like to call it), another large room and a smallish room plus another bathroom. The bathroom is plenty big for both girls and even has two sinks, not that they ever use it. I basically share a bathroom with three women. Sometimes I think I should take over the girls bathroom, but that is for another post.

We decided it made the most sense to put both girls in the big room and use the small room for toys, games, puzzles and all the other things we are accumulating as parents. Our girls are only two years apart (7 and 5 for those keeping score at home) and get along like best friends 90% of the time (the other 10% they are mortal enemies sworn to destroy each other). This set-up has worked out great for us but my wife and I knew a day would come when our oldest would want her own room....and my friend, it seems that day is now!

Our oldest has been dropping hints for a couple of weeks now. "Dad, when I get my own room can I paint it a different color?" "Mom, how old were you when you got your own room?" To be honest I didn't think she would want to move until she was a little older and that these questions were just that, questions.

Well, she flat out said this weekend she would like to move into the toy room and make it her bedroom. We even inflated the guest bed (yeah, we use a blow-up bed for guests...guess who doesn't like guests???) and put it in the toy room so she could try it out. It didn't take long for redecorating and wall color planning.

My wife and I say it every day "The girls are growing up so fast, can you believe how big they are getting, did you hear what she said...damn, it's like she is a teenager already!" This move for more independence is just further proof that we can't stop our little girl from growing up, we can only hope to contain her (EPSN reference for those of you keeping score at home). My biggest fear is how our youngest is going to take this move. She clings to her older sister like gum on the bottom of a table. While big sister is ready to spread her wings and fly a little higher, little sister likes keeping her feet on the ground in the same room together.

One of the positives we see is the ability to put the girls down for bed a different times. Our oldest struggles a little having to go to bed as the same time as your younger sister, but unless we want meltdown mayhem each and every night we have to keep it that way. Also, I see this as a real opportunity for our youngest to find a little independence for herself. She will always be the baby in my eyes, but having her own space may be just what she needs so she doesn't always feel like the baby.

Since it looks like there is no way to prolong this move any further we are going to start to make the change this weekend. Moving beds, clothes, books and a couple of very heavy pieces of furniture will begin on Saturday morning and should be all completed by Sunday evening. That will be the true test for both girls. As for me, I think I need to buy a magazine rack for the girls bathroom....I'm feeling the need for my own form of independence.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Loving the Fall

What Now?

I am a HUGE fan of the Fall season. I always have been and always will be. My wife kind of dreads the Fall because of the colder weather. My kids want to blow right past Fall and get to winter. For me, give me Fall anytime. Why do I love it so much, well....let me count the ways:

1. The scenery. Where I live it gets just beautiful this time of year.

2. The start of school. Not only for my kids, but the local university and it's surge of students bring a energy to our town that I love.

3. The soups. Colder weather means more soups at meal time. My wife makes great soup and it's a lot easier to enjoy when there is a nip in the air.

4. The wardrobe. My cold weather wardrobe is so much better than my warm weather one. Sweaters, jeans, cords, jackets....I'm much closer to a J. Crew model in the Fall than I am in any other month.

5. The county fair. Have I mentioned how much I love the fair?

6. Football. Enough said!

7. Halloween. My second favorite holiday during my most favorite time of year. Dressing up, candy, parties....and the kids seem to like it as well.

8. The coffee. I really don't like my coffee on ice, but I sweat like balls if I drink hot coffee in the summer. When the weather cools down I like my coffee HOT, like my wife!

9. The beer. My favorite beer of all time, Kona Brewery's Pipeline Porter is released in the Fall after disappearing from the shelves in the Spring and Summer. I've already gone through two 6 packs...man that was a fun night!

10. The pumpkins. The past couple of years we have grown our very own organic pumpkin patch. It is great fun for the whole family and we take great pride in it. This year we started seeds inside at the tail end of winter, got them in the ground in the spring, and just cut them off last week. I am very proud to report we had our best crop yet, including 3 weighing in at 84, 90 and 104 pounds respectively. Now that is a big pumpkin

For these ten reasons, and many, many more I pronounce my love for the Fall! Now, time for a coffee run!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WND Updates

What Now?

I think Tuesday is a great day to lay down some updates from from previous blog posts, so here goes.

1. Trip to the county fair - I received a lot (and by a lot I mean about two) of comments from parents telling me how much they dislike the good old county fair. One even went as far to say that they hate Disneyland too, like you can just lump the happiest place on earth with the freak show county fair. I know there are some families that are not into the mouse house...but our family is not one of them. In fact we have a trip planned there this December to celebrate our girls birthdays. The one downer is the price of food, I must say. You could eat all night long at your local county fair for the price of one meal at Disneyland...and almost get as sick.

2. Screaming soccer child - We have had three games since the devil possessed that little girl on our team, and I am happy to report she has been exorcised and is back to her normal sweet self, kind of. My wife, the assistant coach of the team, did have to get a little stern with her during one game. After it was over my wife had that "I'm going to kick that little girl into the goal" look....but cooler head prevailed. Another game tonight....hope full there will be no bloodshed.

3. Doctor visit - After poop smearing a piece of cardboard, getting my junk groped and welcoming Mr. Gooey Finger into my most private of privates....I have high cholesterol again! I was on medication for it about two years back, and it really helped. After loosing about 25 pounds with diet and exercise I thought I could go off the medication and all would be good. Wrong! I am here to tell you that genetics trumps good living. So now that I am back on medication I'm thinking of kicking back on the couch for about a month eating nothing but donut holes and cheese wiz. Suck on that genetics!

4. Home alone - My wife got back from her trip late on Friday night. The house was stills standing, the kids were still breathing, and I was still sane. I don't know how much longer it could have gone that way without her there. I'm glad you are back B, I love ya so much!

OK, that catches everybody up on my little life for the past couple of weeks. Have a great Tuesday and catch y'all next time.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to be a good father

What Now?

As a general rule I try not to give too much thought into what I hear from the sit-coms I watch when it comes to my life. There are the exceptions like how I felt when my wife and I had our first child, I remembered this exchange from "Cheers":

Norm Peterson: Coach, you've had kids. Does a baby change you?
Ernie 'Coach' Pantusso: Are you kidding Normie, it can't even change itself.

Or the time my wife and I were about to have sex for the first time I thought of this little diddy from "Seinfeld":

George Costanza: Why do they make the condom packets so hard to open?
Jerry: Probably to give the woman a chance to change her mind.

Well last night while watching my new favorite show, "Modern Family", I heard another one, and this one really hits home. It was said by Jay Pritchett, played by Ed O'Neill of "Married With Children" fame. He asked this question at the beginning of the show - "what does it take to be a good father?" God, don't we all want to know that!!! After 30 minuets of pure funny he answers his own question with this - "90% of being a good father is just being there."

So simple and so damn true. I consider my Dad to be a wonderful father, but if you ask me what exactly I learned from him, or what great things he told me, or what my favorite all time memory of my childhood with him was it would probably take me a while to think of something, and more than likely it would be only be half right. The one thing I know for certain is that he was always there. When things were good, bad or ugly, he was there. And back when I was growing up not all fathers were like that. Most moms stayed home to raise the kids while the dads worked long hours only to see their kids about an hour out of each day. Being an accountant meant long hours during tax season for my Dad, but he spent most of those hours working when we were in school and after we had gone to bed.

I don't think it's any surprise that many kids that have issues or problems live in homes where either the father is hardly around or gone forever. When I go to pick up my girls from school I know the kids that don't have fathers around just by the way they act, and I feel so sorry for them. Not that single mothers can't raise good kids. It's done all the time. But, I think that is a small minority.

I want to be a great dad. I want my girls to always love me and want me to be around. I know that will not always be the case. I can already sense my 7 year-old is getting that "dad is such a lame ass" attitude about her. There are going to be a lot of things that are going to be out of my control, and I accept that. But, the one thing I know I can control is to be there for my kids. It may not always be convenient, or necessary, or interesting for me...but I will be there.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home Alone (with the kids)

What Now?

As part of her job my wife has to travel every now and again. It's really not too bad, maybe once a month for a day or two at the most. This summer we actually used one of her longer trips as a little family road trip. It was blast for the kids and we got to hang with her the whole time. Yesterday she left for California and won't be home until late tomorrow night so that means it's just me and the kids. I have been alone with them enough to know things will be fine, as far as keeping them safe, feeding them, bathing them and in general making sure they are in as good of shape when their mom gets back as they where when they left. They may get to stay up a little later than normal, or eat at McD's once or twice, or even watch a little more TV, but for the most part they will be no worse for the ware. They will have their moments when they will cry and want her home like, NOW....but like anything else with young children once their mind focuses on something else they will be fine.

I on the other hand will be counting down the seconds until her return. Don't get me wrong, I understand that her job requires her to travel, and right now it's her job that is keeping our family afloat, and for this I am truly grateful. I just hate not having her around, even for one night, let alone three. I will fill my time cleaning the house, doing laundry and even getting some yard projects taken care of that have been on my to-do list since Spring. It will pass the time and I know she loves coming home to a clean, calm home. I like doing these things and I know she appreciates me doing them. But I truly miss her. Maybe I am odd because I really don't have anyone else to talk to about the things we talk about, which is everything. She is my best friend, my career councilor, my bartender, my health care expert, my cheerleader, my exercise partner, my TV guide and the person who keeps things hot when it's "business time!"

That is a lot and she manages to do it all while still being the best Mom on the planet, a critical employee and a terrific sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, grand daughter and friend. I know I have written other posts in the past talking about the amazing woman, but in my mind I don't write enough about her and how wonderful I think she is. It really can't be put into the right words or talked about enough. She is simply the best.

Before her work trips she goes into a sense of dread, not wanting to leave but knowing she has too. I hope she knows how much her family will miss her, how much we appreciate her, and how happy her husband will be when she gets home. I miss you B, and I love you so much. Can't wait for tomorrow night.


Monday, September 28, 2009

You're sh!##ing me, right doc?

What Now?

This week I get to enjoy the wonderful experience of the yearly physical. I have started making these visits each year for the past 5 or so, you know, when you hit the early to mid-30's, things start to not look like, act like or feel like they used to when you were younger. I myself would probably have been one of those pig-headed guys who only saw the doctor when I had a major problem, like a dangling limb or severe head trauma. But, I have a paranoid mother and a more paranoid wife that would not let me get anything done until I made that annual appointment. Now, in their defense I must say they only pester me because they care about me and would like me to hang around this floating rock as long as possible. Either that or they have conspired together to pester me so much that I will die of annoyance soon and they will be rid of me once and for all. Hmmmmm.

It is in my best interest to get the innards looked at once a year. My family has a history of high cholesterol and prostate cancer (just found out Dad had it a couple of weeks ago). At my appointment a couple of years back I found out my cholesterol level was on the low side of bad, which is very close to the the high side of good so I don't know what the big deal was. I went on medication and dropped that number like it was hot. Then I got on this exercise and health kick and have lost over 20 lbs. since that appointment and have been off the medication since the first of the year, so I am excited to see where my numbers are now.

Here is where my story gets ugly. A week before I get to be fondled and invaded by a dude, I have to get my blood taken for lab work. This has never been an issue in the past so I had no worries as I checked myself in that morning...oh, except for fasting. I was horse eating hungry by the time I got to the office! I was called in, the nice nurse lady took three tubes of blood, she told me that I needed to leave a urine sample before I left, and then she pulled out the white envelope. I have never seen the white envelope before. It must be some kind of survey or something, you know..."How are we doing, did you enjoy your visit, should our nurses be better looking", that kind of thing. The next sentence out of her mouth would change me forever....

"This is your stool smear packet, it's pretty self explanatory but I can go over it with you if you like."

What the what? Are you kidding me? I am sure she could have gone into the gory details for me, but just hearing the words "stool" and "smear" alone made me throw up in my mouth just a little. I grabbed this little while envelope from her, pissed in the cup, and got the hell out of that place. I had the damn thing open before I hit the seat of my car and started reading.

Now, I too could go into the gory details of this little surprise with you, but I imagine you get the gist of it. I got home and set it on the table. My wife looked at it, looked at me and asked "is that a.......", before she could even finish I said yes and left the room. I could hear her laughing as I marched upstairs and crawled into bed. I don't know what it is about this little test that is causing such a problem for me. I have helped raise two human beings and there is not much that grosses me out anymore. This however raised the stakes...big time!

Well, as I right this post I can say I have completed 2/3 of the test (oh yes, there are three parts!) and I am doing OK. I should finish up soon and be ready for the real fun of the actual physical. Three cheers for getting older!!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


What Now?

Yesterday the girls' fall micro-soccer season began. Both of my girls love soccer, well..my oldest loves playing soccer and my youngest loves putting on the uniform and the after game snacks. As in past seasons we volunteered to help coach with our friends who's two daughters are best buddies with our two girls, that way they could play on the same team (the oldest girls play on one team and the youngest girls play on another). We showed up a little early so the kids could all meet and talk before the first game. I walked K, our oldest, over to her field and got her set up (which she really doesn't need anymore, but I still like to pretend I am needed in this respect). My wife and I then wait for our coaching friend at the field R will be playing at. And we wait...and wait...and wait. It seems she is running a little late so we gather up the kids so we can get the game going. Just before the first kick she comes screaming in with both of her girls in tow. She recently took a new job and so her being a little late is no big surprise. She looked a little frazzled, but my wife was there to help so I ran over to watch K's game.

At halftime of each of the games my wife and I try to switch so we can watch each girl. I ran back over to R's field to make the switch...that is when all holy hell broke loose. Our friend, the coach, was trying to console her daughter before the start of the second half (the coaches are on the field with the kids in our little league)...and that little girl was having nothing to do with that. It was clear she wanted her mom, she wanted to go home, and she didn't care who knew it. So coach mom ran back onto the field followed by her screaming daughter. And when I say screaming I don't mean just screaming. I mean she was screaming like her hair was on fire. So coach mom is trying to coach, trying to settle her daughter down and trying not to loose her mind. Thinking I could help I yelled across the field to her to see if she wanted me to take over coaching duties. She said no and continued this craziness. Another mother of the team who also knows the coach mom and her daughter tried, unsuccessfully, to calm this child down. Now, I have never met the devil, but I swear it was possessing this little girl at that moment. I even think her voice dropped several octaves and steam started pouring out of her ears while her face turned the shade of a firetruck. I could tell coach mom was about to loose it...and I mean in a big way. I can't imagine what her day was like before this, but if there was ever going to be a chance of a soccer mom coach going postal this was it. As I surveyed the scene I did overhear the devil child say she wanted to watch her sister's game. Thinking fast, for me anyway, I told her I would take her over to watch the other game...and, after giving me a look that shook me to my very core, she agreed. I ran over to the other field and dropped her off with my wife who was watching K's game. She seemed to mellow out and all was good from there on.

After both games my wife went to talk to coach mom and all coach mom could do it hug my wife and cry. I felt so bad for her...clearly this was the topper to a pretty shitty day. As the kids all enjoyed their after game snacks we talked about upcoming games and schedules. Coach mom was coming down some and devil daughter seemed to have been released from her possession. Our next game is tomorrow....might be a good one to skip.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome to the county fair, please don't feed the freaks

Happy Fatherhood Friday and the end of summer!

What Now?

Were I live you know Fall has officially arrived when the good old county fair comes to town. I love just about everything about the fair. I love the ginormous pumpkins people bring in for show, I love seeing all the farm animals, even with the smell, I love the overpriced games you play and have very little chance of winning, I really love the fair food even though you feel like it wants to claw it's way back out a few hours after eating it. I even love the carnival rides, even though I am not much of a fan of heights or fast moving objects that I am sitting in being held in place by a thin band of woven fabric being labeled as a seat belt. It is all good.

The one thing I really don't love about the county fair are the large number of freaks that I get to share my experience with. And I'm not just talking about the folks that work there. You would be amazed at some of the people that attend as well. I don't mean to sound elitist...but some of these people are only a bad choice away from starring in the next episode of COPS. But these same people must be doing better financially than I am because they have no problem dropping several hundred dollars at the fair. Of course that only gets you about 30 minuets of entertainment these days....it costs less to take your family to Disneyland I swear.

While my fear of this crowd caused me to use the kung-fu grip while holding my kids hands walking through this maze of freakness, they still don't hold a candle to the run of the mill carnie. That is a whole different kind of freak in my book. It didn't even faze me when my daughter said the tooth fairy must be keeping busy at the fair since some many of the people working there were missing their teeth. No shit. She would use her time better handing out toothbrushes I said to myself.

The best story of the night was the great ferris wheel ride my wife took with our youngest (little know fact courtesy of Wikipedia - The original Ferris wheel was designed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., as a landmark for the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago. The term Ferris wheel later came to be used generically for all such rides.) They got in line and waited their turn. Our youngest is not big on rides so the fact she was willing to ride anything was a big deal. I took our oldest to ride something else and grab some cotton candy. We came back to the ferris wheel about 20 minuets later and my the line had hardly moved. What the hell? It may cost more than Disneyland but the lines usually move faster. So I grabbed a seat and we waited. 20 minuets after that they finally get on. I didn't pay too much attention, but after my wife and daughter got off she had a look of total amazement on her face. "That was the most fucked up ferris wheel ride I have ever been on!" she said.

Instead of shuffling passengers on and off in a systematic fashion, their top notch ride engineer decided it was best to unload the whole wheel, load people on one at a time, give them one spin, and then unload the whole thing again. Kind of like sitting at a stop sign that only turns green for one car at a time until there are no more cars then it's green forever. All told they spent close to an hour in line and on the ride without going around more than once interrupted. At least they got their moneys worth.
ps. Thanks to those to heard my plea for more followers...I have 4 new fans so only 69 more and have my 100...keep 'em coming!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

My 100th post - break out the beer!!!

What Now?

Here it is. The wait is over. The time has come. You are one of the 5 to 7 people reading the 100th post of my blog "What Now?" It is also number 10 on the WND Top Ten list I have had going for the last couple of weeks. Pretty big stuff, eh? What started as random ramblings from a new dad blogger has turned into random ramblings of a dad blogger with 100 posts. Wow, the feelings I am feeling are...well, hmmmmm. Not much different, but I have to kinda make a big deal out of it, right? I mean, when a TV show hits 100 episodes they all eat cake after taping. When someone turns 100 years old the Today Show wheels out good ol' Willard to slap a Smuckers logo on their face. Elementary schools always make a bid deal out of the 1ooth day of school (usually that means my kids bring home 100 pieces of garbage I have to secretly throw away after they go do bed).

So what should be done to commemorate this dad's 100th blog post. I have a few ideas that I'd like to share with you...come and enjoy:

1. Maybe 73 other bloggers can become official "followers" of my blog are bring me to 100 total. I can't tell you how excited I get now when just one more person becomes a follower of my blog.....my kids call it "Daddy giving seconds of desert night!"

2. My boss could get me a more comfortable chair at work so when I write my blog posts (you know, the real important work) I can do it without jerking around like a fish out of water. I don't know what it is, but I can't sit still for more than 2 minuets these days. I'm like Kramer's girlfriend who had the "jimmy legs".

3. Getting a personal "congrats" message from the President, or at least my favorite blogger currently, Jason Mayo of Out Numbered. Here is a guy I can really relate too. He is the only male in his house....so am I. He writes a blog about him and his family....so do I. He is devilishly handsome...so am I (Thanks Madonna for helping me with this little tribute).

4. I could be wearing my most comfortable t-shirt and jeans sipping on a ice chilled glass of my favorite beer, Pipeline Porter, while my wife, wearing her sexy camisole and boy shorts, pops peanut butter filled pretzels into my mouth with Jimmy Buffett or Dean Martin playing in the background. Oh wait, that's heaven I'm talking about.

5. Maybe my sweet, darling daughters will, for just a little while, get along, clean their room, eat their dinner, brush their teeth, make their bed, do their homework, feed the dog, set the table, not watch T.V., get themselves dressed, stay in bed and everything else my wife and I ask them to do without saying "why?" afterwards. Oh wait, this is reality I'm talking about.

Instead of holding my breath for any of these things to happen, I'll just pat myself on the back, pack up for the day and go pick up my girls from school. To my 5 to 7 faithful fans, I hope you have enjoyed reading my first 100 posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Until number 101....


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WND Top Ten - Back to high school

What Now?

Almost there..the end of my WND Top Ten list and my 100th blog post. So, number 9 on the list got a lot of reaction when I first posted it back in July. It goes into my feelings about my 20th high school reunion and I think there are two sides of this issue for most folks my age. The first side can't wait for the reunion and to catch up with old friends. The other side would rather shove a hot poker up their ass before they would go. This has a lot to do with the kind of experience you have in high school. I myself had a great one, and I looked forward to the event and when it was all said and done I had a great time. I was lucky enough to attend my wife's 20th as well a month later. I think she actually fell somewhere in the middle....kind of wanting to attend but not super excited about it. I told her we should go, she would have a good time.....and about an hour into the first event I thought she was going to kill me. From a weirdo ex-boyfriend type trying to pawn his daughter on us to the snobby bitch breaking into every conversation like we wanted her there it was bad. The food kinda sucked too so there went my enjoyment! Fortunately she rallied and it ended up being a great time. The jury is still out on if we'll make her 30th or not.

The 20th Reunion

This post is number 80 for me and my little blog. To be honest I started this blog with no real idea of where to take it or what I wanted it to accomplish. There were time early on that I just about walked away. But, thanks to the encouragement of my wife, the computer dork and currently my sugar mama, I continued. And I am very glad I did. Being a part-time-stay-at-home dad does have it's many adventures, and what a great outlet to talk about them. I have met some other great dad (and mom) bloggers out there in the interweb and have become a big fan of their blogs. This technology really is amazing. As a good friend of mine said recently "I think this Internet thing just might catch on!"So, to mark this mini-milestone I thought I would talk a little bit today about another milestone in my life, my 20th high school reunion. My god, how could this be happening now? It seems like not too long ago I was going to my 10th. Since that time I have moved back to my home town, changed jobs twice, had two kids, lost about 30 pounds and settled into my new role as PTSAH dad. The only thing that is the same is my marriage to the most wonderful woman on earth (I love ya crouton!).I have talked to several people much, much older than me about the big 20th reunion and they all say it will be so much better than the 10th. No one will showing off, name dropping, job bragging, big timing like at the 10th. People are more real, they have families, they really are there to see old friends and tell old stories. To be honest I really enjoyed my 10th and have been looking forward to the 20th. There is however some nervousness I am feeling the day before I see people I haven't seen in over a decade.I am terrible with names. I can meet someone for the first time and forget their name 5 seconds later. How the hell am I going to do with people I haven't seen for years? How many "Hey buddy, hey champ, hey dude, hey lady" intros will I be able to get away with before I just freeze? I dug out my yearbook to try and cramp for this reunion exam, but that will only help if everyone looks the same as they did 20 years ago...fat chance. I can hold out hope for big ass name tags I guess, but if they don't have those I am screwed.I really should be no big deal. My wife thinks I'm a total dork for even worrying about it. She is my ultimate back-up plan for social events like this, introducing herself to everyone right away to get a name. It works pretty well, unless she forgets...then I really look like a fuck up. "Uhhh, Mrs. Whatnowdad, this is....uhhh, O shit...there is so-and-so, please excuse me!"What I am really excited about is the family picnic. Here I will get to see what the offspring look like, and try to imagine if they are anything like their parents were back in the day. Will the nerds have nerdy kids? Will the alternative/punk/goth parents dress their kids up in black? Will the hicks ride in with their kids on horseback. Will the jocks be tossing the old pig skin around with there kids? Will that one really hot chick from 3rd period science have a really hot 21 year old daughter and will they be wearing matching bikinis? Is that last one pretty sick? Probably...but you gotta wonder, right?And what will everyone think of my kids? Do they at all resemble what I was like as a kid, or are they more like me now? Maybe a good cross of both.After the weekend I'll give a full report on all the activities as I'm sure there should be some nuggets of entertainment to share.Until then....