Monday, December 22, 2008

back on the grift

lately, like many out there, i find time to worry and wring my hands over the dark clouds in life. the times are tough as nails, so who wouldn't sweat it really? at the same time, there's this side of me, something i'm still getting to know, that seems to enjoy the unknown, the giant gray area lurking around the corner. i realize that anyone in his right mind wants to control or have a finger on the pulse of things. of course the counterpoint is that philosophy sucks the unpredictability and chance of adventure from life and lends a contrived vibe to the whole thing. regardless of how i romanticize it in what's becoming a lame opening, we have clearly lost control and better get in rhythm with chaos.

sometimes this all takes me back to part of my life where i managed similar circumstances, and suddenly i know i'm going to be just fine. that part of my life was college.

each class of every semester began the same way - the teacher, matter-of-fact tone, calling me and few other deadbeats out for having a star next to our names in the class roster. in grammar school a star next to your name meant something swell, worthy of praise. suddenly a star means the bursar wants to see your ass about the unpaid tab and figures humiliating you before your classmates with this implication will get your attention. my parents had shit for money then, so i plunged deep, up to my neck, in loans and grants and had to come up with a few grand per semester to cover what financial aid didn't - no small feat for a college kid. to come up with that kind of coin i suppose i could have taken a job on campus, worked and saved obsessively over the summers, or both. instead i became something of a grifter.

i don't say that boastfully or necessarily with a swell of pride. it's not like i wanted to spend my college years with a pit in my stomach pertaining to tuition and rent on top of grades. naturally my preference would have been for my parents to cover me, which seemed to be the standard around me, so i could focus on school. alas, the dealer dealt me a different hand, so i learned to play the game with a chip on my shoulder and a series of bluffs to boot.

since i'm out on a virtual limb here and need to protect my name professionally and parentally, i can't go into tremendous detail about how i pulled off college life on the grift. maybe in 20 years when i retire, when the coast is clear, i will dispense the duplicitous tales. to do so now would be career suicide. not to mention, it would draw some real dirty looks from friends and family at imminent holiday parties.

i guess can share a few maneuvers. for example, to eliminate the classroom shame factor, i wised up by checking in with my professors before the bell to report that i was "working it out" with the bursar. this generally satisfied them and kept my name from being orally disgraced. and it was true - i was working out a plan with the bursar. looking back i wonder if that bursar considered it strange when each month i'd stand in line and make tuition payments with cash money. i certainly felt shady doing so.

in the end, i managed to pay for college, graduate, and grow up. i do feel compelled to acknowledge that i burned some bridges and made some enemies along the way. i am not proud of that either. still, as i've said so many times in my adult life, to change that path is to change who i am right now, so i can't say with any shred of honesty that i wish it all transpired differently.

back to the present and what looks to be modernized version of month-to-month existence - this time with kids, careers, and other such heavy commitments at stake. i think i still have it in me to make it through. this time around the grift will be rated PG-13 and result in zero burned bridges, i hope. and to the probable chagrin of my shrink, i'll fish that old chip from a junk drawer and re-apply it to my shoulder.

don't get me wrong - i'm not mad at the world or rocking a vendetta attitude, but i think some grit and raw energy will be in order if i'm going to make it through the rough sledding ahead. like i said, i've done it before on another stage, so i have no reason to think i can't do it again. hell, i didn't think i had half of what it takes to be a father, but somehow when a challenging occasion emerges on that front, i dig deep and rise to it. so i guess this is all by way of saying, i'm not afraid of what's coming. wow - typing that made me feel light.

Friday, October 17, 2008

to whom it may concern

A typed letter found stuffed in my mail slot last night said this:

To whom it may concern:

This is Danny. I am the kid from Friday night. I would like to start off by thanking you for not involving the police and apologizing for what I did. I had been drinking pretty heavily and only remember bits and pieces of what happened. My dad says I took a few things but I cannot even remember what was in my pockets aside from the iPod. I always do stupid things, however usually to smaller scale, when I drink and then have to clean up my mess in the morning. For what it is worth I do believe that when I woke up the next morning I would have seen your things and tried to return them to your car discreetly as possible, but there is no excuse for what I did. I have a habit of doing things without thinking them through all the way just for an adrenaline rush and that night was one of those times. I consider it a good thing that you caught me because I may have wound up making the same mistake on another night of drinking to another person who is less forgiving. I cannot begin to tell you how bad I feel for being so belligerent that night. I wrote this letter because I was not sure if you wanted to hear this from me face to face or not. If you would like to meet with me or if there is anything else I can do to make up for what I did, my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Please call me anytime. Again, I cannot tell you how stupid and terrible I feel and I appreciate the way you handled it.


Now, somehow, I feel for this kid, despite the fact that he was trying to rip me off. I think I will call and invite him over for a chat to let him know I certainly made and make my share of mistakes on the road of life and that there are no real hard feelings. I might even burn him the Arcade Fire collection to come off as an even cooler cat. Then I just might float the idea of him raking the leaves that are already starting to take over my yard. After all, my back is killing me (yes, I'm decrepit), so why not? It would beat the hell out of chain gang work. Will post later on how it goes.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

play dating other people

It has begun, and my social anxiety disorder can't stop it. Our 3 year old, Jack, with his sass, charm, and wit is building bridges in the neighborhood that we will cross, for better or worse. As it's my nature, I am being dramatic. I don't have social anxiety disorder, at least not a clinical case, and I recognize the bright horizons of getting to know other families in the neighborhood. Still, I can't deny, and hope I'm not the only one, that it stirs butterflies in my stomach now and then. Worlds colliding and all that...

The emails and calls began to trickle in a few weeks ago, once Jack had entrenched himself in the preschool scene and began spending alternate days at a DC Parks day program for kids - mothers suggesting play dates with Jack. It's terribly cute on one hand, sure. On the other, it means meshing and placating to a certain degree. Not to mention, now that we're bound to be crossing paths with other parent/friends, I need to pay a lot more attention to how I carry myself around the neighborhood. After all, there are eyes everywhere now.

Just the other day some guy rolled through a stop sign at an intersection blocks away from us and nearly side swiped me. Of course, I raised my arms to say WTF and moved on. Now suppose I bump into that guy at the preschool pot luck dinner in a few weeks. It's completely possible. So, do you see what I mean?

This reminds me of something that has been nagging me - the concept that everyone has multiple personality disorder. I mean, when you are in your car alone, aren't there certain behaviors you execute that you would likely never do in front of anyone? Once my wife received a voice message at work from a client who failed to end the call from her car after she finished her message. Here's how it went without her knowing she had an audience:



Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!


So that's a racist side of someone, but it's likely her friends and family don't know her to be a racist at all. It makes me wonder, is our true self what we act on when we are alone? I really don't know. But I completely digress.

Like I said, worlds are colliding. I am ready for the unsolicited parenting advice, the pot luck, and, even better, the terrific bonds I will develop with other parents in the same trenches. It's no cake walk, despite the shiny fulfillment, so there has to be strength in numbers. Here's to hoping so.

See you at the tunnel slide.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

i went out into the night

There was no question as to the presence of ants in my pants last Friday as I watched the clock tick away the minutes of the afternoon. Guys night does not exactly come every week, or every month for that matter. Usually when it does, it's on a Thursday, which requires a certain degree of clenching the reigns to have some semblance of game for work the next day. In this case, we owned the night. The District would be our oyster.

As it happened, for better or worse, our oyster turned out to be the upper Northwest quadrant of the District and consisted of three stops, in descending order of quality: Buck's Fishing & Camping, Chevy Chase Lounge, and my basement.

I know, off the chain, right? Allow me to explain - when you're happily married with kids, the concept of grazing sceney clubs, bothering with velvet ropes, and scouting ass is not a paramount objective. "It's not like I'm trying to get laid," was a direct line I dispensed to Rebecca, my friend and amazing bartender at Buck's who was rightfully giving me shit when I told her the next venue would be Chevy Chase Lounge. So after strong drinks and warm conversation at Buck's we headed further uptown to the aforementioned Lounge.

Locals might know that the scene at Chevy Chase Lounge is extremely inconsistent with any coolness the name might imply. The typical patron brings to mind that dusty, old, hide-a-bed sofa relegated to a forgotten spare bedroom in your grandparents' home. You've never seen so many sets of crows feet in your life. In fact, the sole reason for going was that one of the guys wanted to see game one of the ALCS. The Lounge was a stone's throw away and has televisions, so it worked out.

After the game, for some reason my friend Ethan and I decided it would be a good idea to roll over to my place, mere blocks away from the Lounge, to continue with the drinking and smoking. Extending the night always sounds like a great call in the vacuum. The next morning, of course, regret finds you.

However, in this instance, our irresponsible behavior paid off. At 2AM, after a couple of vodkas, we decided to call it a night. I told Ethan I would walk him over to Connecticut Avenue where he could catch a cab. The walk, I figured, would do me some good. When we tiptoed out the front door so as not to alert my wife of our stupidity, I immediately noticed that the driver side door of my car was wide open. A few eye squints confirmed that some large person was in the car rifling through the console. Ethan said something like, "Does that guy think he-"

In a blurr, I was at the car door with a grip on this guy's collar, very impolitely asking, "WTF?" As you might imagine, he was completely shocked, and for that I don't blame him. I mean, in my neighborhood, hilariously referred to recently by the Washington City Paper as Upper Caucasia, what grown-up homeowner would be on the street at 2AM? Well, this one apparently. Naturally he flailed his arms in an attempt to break loose, which prompted me to do what I have done less than a handful of times in my life - I fed him a knuckle sandwich. This caused him to stumble out of the car, at which point I realized he dwarfed me in stature. It didn't matter, according to my fueled brain, so I literally high-jumped to get my arms around his neck and we both hit the street hard. Fortunately I ended up in a better position and managed to head-lock him on the ground where he hollered and begged to be released.

Immediately, based on his voice, I deduced he was a teenager, which quelled concerns that this could get uglier. No longer was I inclined to do damage. Why bother when a verbal assault would suffice. The dialogue from there was of this flavor:

Ethan: Wrong. Car. Mother. Fucker.

Me: Empty your pockets now.

Thief: I'm so sorry, please, please, please!

Ethan: Let's call the cops.

Thief: Please don't!

Me: Empty your fucking pockets!

From his pockets came my iPod, blackberry, iPod adapter, and at least $10 in quarters along with his phone and wallet. I scooped it all up with one hand while I held his neck in the cradle of my other arm. Soon I realized he was going nowhere, so I plucked the driver's license and tossed the wallet onto the ground next to him.

Thief: Please let me explain.

Me: It's pretty clear.

Thief: I just wanted your Arcade Fire!

Ethan: You can get lost or we can call the cops. Or...we can beat you down.

Eventually he got the picture and receded into the shadows, still muttering about Arcade Fire. I suppose a normal person would have called the cops. And by normal I mean not drunk on the Chevy Chase streets in the early hours of the morning. The last thing I wanted was to interface with police, and I suspect the last thing this kid's parents wanted was a cop on their front porch at that hour.

Instead they got me on their porch at 9AM after I'd slept and showered. The Jackal was coming with me on errands, so we dropped by the house, only half a block away from mine. As I conveyed to the dad that his 19 year-old son was caught with a pocket full of my electronic devices at 2AM, I experienced very mixed emotions. I couldn't really make eye contact with the guy, as if I was guilty of something.

Looking back, I think it was internal wrestling match with hypocrisy on my part. My wife and I often laugh about what it will be like to punish our kids for the same dirty deeds that litter our very own records. I guess this was my first confrontation with that sort of thing. I mean, I've done worse than what this kid tried and did not get caught, so naturally it felt strange ratting him out to his dad. When on occasion I did get caught, I faced the music. These days I guess the music they want to face is Arcade Fire, which reminds me of a rather appropriate lyric from "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)":

I went out into the night.
I went out to pick a fight with anyone.
Light a candle for the kids,
Jesus Christ don't keep it hid!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

dear blog

dear blog,

it's been almost two months since my last confession. since then i have committed too many sins to count or catalog, but i've peppered a few good deeds here and there just to balance the seasoning. it's not that i don't enjoy our time together, because i really consider it a luxury, but i have to admit - i have been cheating on you with other social media mistresses, namely
twitter and facebook.

truth be told, these forays have left me feeling hollow, empty, even cynical. sure, i have picked up "friends" and "followers" on this path of darkness, but i'm beginning to see that i need more than 140 words or the occasional wall scribble to peel this onion.

it all seems so fly-by-night, a progression of cheap thrills. it's the social media movement, where it's at, but getting on board sometimes leaves an odd taste in my mouth. suddenly i'm back in the 7th grade rocking parachute pants though i secretly can't stand the "swish" when i walk or the incredibly awkward fit. not to mention, they just don't pair well with my wide-tongued adidas sambas.

maybe i need to knock the chip off my shoulder and get over the internal dilemma as to whether it's perfectly acceptable for someone to glamorize the fact that for breakfast they ate an egg sandwich with havarti cheese purchased from the farmers market. i mean, perhaps it's truly earth shattering when some cat muses into the twittersphere about the wheels of his airplane being up or down. and when some gal is out on the town with tangible friends and manages 10 or more tweets throughout the night, i suppose it's fine that she's carving out time to broadcast each step to her followers instead of really soaking up the experience with her physical cohorts.

let's face it, one premise of social media is that the general public gives a fuck about your web 2.0 reality show. and i know, i know - i am a pig rolling around in the same muck, covered with the same shit, so i am calling myself out here too. i also broadcast
slices of my life and portray myself as a modern fonzie the same way everyone else does.

the thing is, i can't see myself bailing on these avenues. it's almost like a car accident - much as i want to look ahead and drive past, i can't resist that urge to rubberneck. so i guess what i'm saying is, can we give polygamy a shot? i can't quit you, so please don't quit me.

love and rockets


Friday, August 8, 2008

joyeux anniversaire!

another year under my belt - the 35th to be exact. to celebrate, i'm going against the snake plissken grain and escaping to new york to kick it with some of my best friends in the world and to see radiohead at liberty state park at the all points west festival. tomorrow night i'll be scaling their wall of sound, man crushing on thom yorke. it won't be the first time, or the last.

i had all of these reflections stirring in my head last night, big plans for my 35th birthday blog post. alas, my friend rebecca, the world's coolest bartender who runs the scene at buck's fishing and camping, set us up very generously last night. in other words, my head is full of clouds. not to mention, i need to pack and hit the road toute de suite.

here's to another year. each time i hit this benchmark i'm pleased and sort of surprised. nyc, here i come...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

we can't all be friends?

my friend adam in brooklyn, who i really hope is there when i'm in nyc for radiohead soon, impresses the hell out of me with the video treats he exhumes every day. on my first watch, i just laughed at the surface of this one. when i watched again, it made me think of the term "friend" as it's used in the social network context. which is less meaningful - friends online or friends made on a reality television show?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

personality disorder

so lately i'm getting lost in the shuffle of my own life. you could call it living. that's how i prefer to look at it. i know one scary day, devices might be fused with our bodies so that reflections, streams of consciousness, fleeting lapses of genius, and general thoughts will be poured into files and edited to become content. instantaneous blogging, twittering, facebooking, and whoring ourselves out! the good thing about now is you can get lost in life and actually consider it a good thing.

bullshit, man. i'm trying to justify ignoring this blog again, covering up for my general apathy and a case of writer's block. whatever...

as you might know, my wife is in the web 2.0/social media space. we have terrific conversations, usually over a bottle (maybe 2) of wine and a few sneaky cigarettes after the kids are in bed, about this new frontier and its population, growing at a rate that you might as well strike the "new" label there. i am fascinated by the sociological aspects of all this. what really grabs me at the moment is how it enables split personality disorders across the globe.

alert: generalizations dead ahead.

when you read a blog (or other media), do you assume the person behind the curtain is consistent with what you glean from the content or the brand? when i got into this, i assumed as much. then i began to know or know about other bloggers, and it occurred to me that so many out there are really nailing it with the smoke and mirrors, promoting their brands that don't seem to match up with the real mccoy. for instance, there's this social media god at my wife's firm who has his virtual feet kissed 24/7 in the world of web 2.0 these days. to everyone out there buying in, he's fantastic, wonderful. in real life he's a prick. then there's a woman who i really like in person when i see her on occasion, but i borderline loathe her social media persona. i can cite several other examples of inconsistency, but you get the point.

much of it's in the name of self promotion, which sometimes frightens me. i am so curious about people who devote so much time and energy to putting themselves out there, endlessly in search of new friends or networks. "star fuckers" is what my wife calls them. to me it's exhausting and makes me wonder about whether the real world of flesh and blood has become that much of a drag. can our true selves be so boring that we need virtual alter egos to feel alive? it's possible, really.

i have to acknowledge a bit of jealousy on my part. it's like when i drive down rock creek parkway and see joggers or bikers everywhere within eye sight, i sort of assume they are all young, maybe single, getting their workout on before a night on the town, and i have a fleeting "grass is greener" moment. so when i see how active and dialed in star fuckers are in the new media world, you could say i wish i had that much time on my hands to flex my mind and soul.

maybe i'm just in the midst of an online identity crisis. or is the crisis in my real life? i guess i should send out an SOS via twitter and see if my "friends" can throw me a lifeline. those venues do seem to be where the answers are coming from lately, yes?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


so i finally stepped to the plate and set up a facebook account. i have struggled with the concept for as long as i can remember for a number of reasons. the paramount reason is that there are certain people in this world i wish to hide from. as you see, this blog is anonymous. some of you know who i am; others never will.
almost immediately, a close friend in nyc sent the first message to my facebook inbox that gave me a serious case of cognitive dissonance:

part of me was really hoping that you would never join FB so that i could forever duck the shame one of my true friends seeing that i have more than one self serving profile picture, over 300 FB friends and other shameful social networking acts. welcome to FB prepared for the zombies and ghosts of past that lurk in the shadows waiting to poke, comment on your wall and generally disgust you with who they've become.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

meet me in st. louis

We're headed to my hometown, St. Louis, tomorrow where everyone asks everyone where they went to school, and they don't mean college; they mean high school. I decided somewhere along the line that the reason behind this is that most St. Lunatics do not live outside the shadow of the Arch. If you are roaming the streets or sitting on a bar stool, the assumption is that you must be from here, which means I can make a snap judgment about you based on where you attended high school.

Forget that you might have graduated 15 years ago and could have extended yourself outside the particular stereotype married to your high school, which did not necessarily apply to you in the first place. I don't care; I'm still assuming things about you regardless.

Private same-sex high schools abound in this town. I happened to attend an all guys Jesuit school. In that deep private school pool the guys' schools tend to intermingle more with the girls' schools. This tends to perpetuate stereotypes and rumors, especially about the girls.

So back to that bar stool.

Oh, you went to Ursuline? (Whore.)
...Visitation? (High brow whore)
...Cor Jesu? (catholic white t)
...St. Elizabeth (inner city t)
...St. Joe (alright, fine)

Of course I no longer subscribe to any of the above, but those are a few samples that floated around in the early 90s. I have no clue what applies these days. Mental note to do some research this weekend.

In any case, here are a few hometown favorites - usual suspects - I will be crossing off the mental checklist over the next 5 days:

  • Cardinals vs. Cubs, July 4th

  • Lion's Choice :2 sammies, fries, large Dr. Pepper

  • toasted ravioli : early and often

  • Ted Drewes : hot fudge concrete

  • Imo's Pizza : large pizza, house salad

  • Niche : date night...picked one of Food & Wine's top new chefs from the grab bag of amazing restaurants in town

Friday, June 20, 2008

unfortunately not overheard this morning

at 6:30 this morning i went through a hateful ritual of putting on a suit and driving to tysons corner for a networking breakfast. long story short, our firm is a member of a business development community called the breakfast club (read: pyramid scheme) that hosts events to draw together professionals (read: whores) to build networks and business. the breakfast is once a month. i have managed to weasel my way out of representing the firm at these glad hand shows for a solid span of 8 months. my arsenal of excuses is exhausted, so there i idled along chain bridge road soaking up some jose gonzalez and practicing my canned responses and intimations of placation.

instead of mixing it up in the crowd, i tend to shuffle my feet in one place in the corner hoping i can make it through the coffee and chitchat hour in the banquet room without having to press my card into a single hand. this is clearly impossible, but i am proud to say i managed to walk out of there with only one card in my pocket. it turned out to be a woman, a guest, who seemed to hate these things as much as i do. in a way we were the greasers at the party of socs, maybe kindred spirits. in any case, i usually survive and should admit that occasionally i have a good conversation.

in these situations, voices in my head, possibly from a darker comedy side of myself, mutter things that i'd dare not literally speak in a social situation. there have been times when i've had to put forth a concerted effort to suppress the urge to blurt one out. these impulses, banal and childish as they may be, put a smile on my face, so i thought i'd share a few with you.

scene 1:

ron: hello, i'm ron pella. good to meet you. (extends limp fish handshake)

me: hi, ron. say, how's your wife doing?


see, that wouldn't work out so well. raises lots of questions, gets someone hot under the collar pretty quickly. it assumes so much. still, wouldn't you love to say it just once? no?

scene 2:

subtle grunts followed by explosive shit sounds come from the single stall in the country club men's room. snickers come from men in suits pissing at the urinals or picking their noses in front of the mirrors. i'm waiting to enter said stall due to case of stage fright and inability to piss at these particular types of urinals lacking any edge or partition. eventually i give up and decide i'm bailing early on this thing anyway and can make it. before i go, i rap my knuckles on the stall door a couple of times.

poor bastard: what, it's occupied!

me: i know...i just wanted to see if i could get your business card when you're done.

poor bastard: what?!?

me: it's okay, i'll wait out here for you. i'm just going to slide mine under the door now.

scene 3:

a guest speaker, the cliche chest thumper, rants on and on over his slide show presentation. he's so into it. it reminds me of tom cruise's character, frank mackey, in magnolia - the self help sex book author and motivational speaker who coaches guys on getting laid. in a zone out moment i almost expect today's speaker to start chanting "respect the cock!" like frank mackey. when he wraps up his diatribe, he asks if there are any questions.

at this point, i wonder how the crowd, a mixed bag of generations, perceives the breakfast club film reference in the title of this quasi club. each and every time i've been to one of these, the speaker offers to take questions, and the obvious question, which judd nelson framed perfectly, just had to be asked.

yeah, i got a question. does barry manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?

alas i survived and made my exit during the follow-up speakers bit, telling a colleague i was headed to the restroom. he knew i was ghost and whispered me out as i passed with a "keyser soze."

Friday, June 13, 2008

leave it to cleavage

earlier this week human resources informed my wife, through one of her female colleagues, that she is showcasing too much cleavage at the office. apparently some guy went to HR and said he was unable to concentrate in a meeting because he could not stop staring at my wife's breasts. this prompted the HR woman to enlist one of my wife's peers ,who is not her supervisor, to deliver the news.

the ripples of this have not completely settled yet, as my wife is naturally flustered and annoyed for a number of reasons, and i don't blame her. there are a few things about this matter that are not sitting well.

her chest happens to be pronounced these days due to the fact that she's breast feeding. (i enjoy this aspect, of course, but that's another story for my erotica blog.) still, she has not changed her style - classy and elegant - one bit since she joined the firm over a year ago and is suddenly being asked to do so because some guy can't keep his eyes off her breasts and goes so far as to dispense what can be construed as a lewd comment about her. by the way, they were gigantic during her pregnancy, but no one had concentration issues then. does my wife work in a bible camp or a religious setting? ummm, no.

the fact that the HR woman sent one of my wife's colleagues to deliver the news strikes me as inappropriate. this might add up if the HR director was a man. i am not knowledgeable in the ream of HR laws and policies, but i think any HR issue, especially one like this, should be handled with sensitivity and confidence. she should have approached my wife directly instead of threading someone else into this.

the whole thing seems circuitous and messy. some guy - the poor victim - makes a comment, so HR sends another woman to deliver the news and handle it. to me it's almost a watered down version of those terrible rape stories you hear about or see depicted in court dramas on television: well, she shouldn't have worn that sexy outfit. how could i restrain myself from tossing that roofie into her drink? i'm a man after all.

it's hard enough for her being a working mother in a global pr firm where the reward for hard work is more hard work, so, as you might imagine, to be billing in the neighborhood of 60 hours per week, getting thrown under the bus by people covering their own asses (life in a pr firm), catching this kind of hell from HR has found her near the end of her rope.

the situation will obviously not boil down to this, but one of our close friends is a partner in a big law firm's employment law practice. he makes a living raking large corporations over the coals for gigantic settlements. in jest, to lighten the mood of all this, i suggested that she contact him so we can score an early retirement in the name of her boobs. we could buy a place in the BVI, get a yacht, and name it "cleavage." how fantastic would that be?

yes, far fetched, but that won't stop me from rolling down the street to barneys to buy a few low cut items for her on my way home tonight.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

melbourne beach memoirs

we are relatively fresh from five days in melbourne, florida, my wife's hometown. the following is a random snapshot of some standout memories...

"dad, look at that bald guy!"

for those of you who don't know me, i am bald. there was a time when i obsessed about it, but eventually i realized that i pull it off nicely. for those of you who are balding, i pity you, but trust me on this one - the destination is generally better than the journey. balding sucks, but once you get here, and assuming you don't have an oddly shaped head, its fine. still, i have a real appreciation for hair, so it's only half a joke when i tell people i intend to live vicariously through my sons' hairstyles. enough back story.

recently i explained the whole concept to the jackal, and he embraced it so much that on the flight to and from orlando, he pointed at several bald or balding men and exclaimed "dad, look at that bald guy!" or "he's bald!" for a fleeting moment i empathized with these guys since it can't feel good to be called out by some 3 year old with a lush head of cascading hair, especially if you are self-conscious about it in the first place (most guys are). then i snapped out of the empathy and laughed my ass off. sorry fellas, sort of.

fear of flying cured

to me, flying is a necessary evil. generally i'm a basket case on a plane and can only be pacified with pills and booze. when traveling with kids, a completely different fear trumps that of mechanical failure and plane crashes. i'm talking about the horrifying prospect of your kids melting down and causing an unnerving scene. i think i have mentioned this before, but i used to be that guy scowling at such scenes on planes. since washing down a xanex with a jack & coke won't fly (no pun intended) with the parental responsibilities, you have little choice but to face the music and hope for the best. somehow we managed both flights without incident, save a couple of milk projectiles on my shirt, but i was always on high alert, ready to make a complete fool of myself to turn a frown upside down. when it all boiled down, i didn't have capacity for panic and sweaty palms for a change.

recently run into the ground

inevitably on any trip some object or phrase becomes a theme that you and friends/family run into the ground. this time a mcchicken sandwich filled that role.
looks tasty, yes? it all started at the mcdonald's drive-thru where after too much sun my eyes were bigger than my stomach and i practically ordered the entire dollar menu. the original purpose was to score a happy meal for the jackal, but i went overboard. when my brother-in-law clint returned from the beach sunburned, he was in search of lotion. i recommended that he rub the leftover mcchicken sandwich in the refrigerator on his skin in lieu of aloe based moisturizer, and the lame immature joke was on. not only did the mcchicken sit out on the counter the rest of the trip like a demented sculpture- clint and i would act completely offended if one of our wives attempted to throw it away when cleaning up - it made its way back to dc in one of my backpack's obscure pockets, courtesy of cint. oddly enough, with no one watching to appreciate the gesture except myself, i double bagged the sandwich and stashed it in the bottom of the freezer. i guess you could say the joke is in a cryogenic state right now and will resurface when the time is right. by the way, i'm months away from 35. what the hell is wrong with me?

scenes from disney world

yes, we rolled the dice and took a shot at the magic kingdom. it was a good way to break the monotony, not that hitting the beach and kicking it poolside was a real drag. still, a month or so ago we promised the jackal we'd take him and he sort of held us to it. no regrets, no apologies, but definitely some lessons learned. for example...

- judging from their behavior, for kids in the 3ish age group, there may as well be a gas chamber, dentist, or barber at the end of the line, not some fun ride with their favorite disney characters. the good thing for parents is your kid is definitely not the only one melting down in line. instead of being irritated by the frightening redhead kid shrieking in my ear, i actually took solace, knowing that mine was not the only one with a short fuse that day. literally, at the ticket counter, they should hand parents some sort of chill pill. hell, the tickets cost enough, so why not?

- asians and white trash love them some disney world. in fact, i think i found evidence of crossbreeding: asian americans walking around gnawing on turkey legs. asian american trash? sure, why not?

- mickey mouse is a high class whore these days. i'm no cheapskate by any stretch, but the $230 cover charge for wifey, the jackal and i to enter seemed sort of extreme. on our exit route down main street usa we hit the souvenir shops, which are completely obnoxious. the jackal was too overwhelmed by the selection and maybe a bit distracted by the lady screaming at her daughter to get really into it, because he didn't seem to be feeling it. thankfully he had zero interest in the cliche' mouse ear hat. when he spotted a matchbox mickey mouse tour bus, he was sold. my wife's clever line on the way out the door resonates: "don't lose that bus, it's worth about $250."

lasting memory

on our last day i woke up early and took baby cole with me on a coffee run to give wifey an extra hour of sleep. as usual we'd put off packing until the morning of our flight, so i had some angst in my stomach. wifey commented several times when we passed the blueberry muffin diner that they have, what else, the best blueberry muffins, so i stopped with cole to grab some on the fly. at the counter sat a couple of red necks who looked like they made it through the night on piss, vinegar, and maybe a little crystal meth. while waiting for the half dozen blueberry muffins i ordered, i couldn't help but overhear their conversation: man, my old lady asked me to go out with her the other night - i said no and went out with the guys - when i got home round 2am she was real wasted - i could tell because it took her a while to throw the rubber to me - but i took care of business and she puked after.

i'll close this diatribe with a quick fuck-off to the washington examiner. before we left town i remembered to put a stop on the washington post delivery while we were away, thinking that would eliminate the dead giveaway that we were out of town. when we pulled up to the house, what else littered my yard but 5 or 6 rain-soaked examiners. i never asked for this half-assed paper and want nothing to do with it. so like i said, fuck off. you are wasting paper and never asked if i wanted to be part of it.

okay, back to real life. bring it...

Monday, May 12, 2008

good morning sunshine

this is the visage i see around 6:00 each morning, tucked between me and wifey, immersed in the remnants of dawn's receding shadows. the total package comes with greedy grunts signifying hunger and a general desire to have solo time with mommy and daddy. sometimes i roll over and take a crack at burrowing back into slumber, but more often than not i accept that the day has begun and wallow in the moment. really, how bad can any day be if it starts with this cat smiling and cooing at me as though his life depends on it? talk about launching a day with a healthy and wonderful dose of perspective.

Friday, May 9, 2008

facebook, really

RIP Caesar

Our dear friends' boxer Caesar left this world yesterday. To me he was the epitome of hilarity and always had me giggling. He was also a good friend to my chocolate lab Baci. Many recognized that he was sort of misunderstood. Aren't we all? In any case, while some might say it's just a dog, I would say dogs are members of families and play a part in the day-to-day and can be part of the bigger picture. That being said, it's with tremendous sadness for my friends and their sweet daughter that I pay tribute here to the Great Caesar. His giant paw print will always remain.

"Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, And I must pause till it come back to me."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

email of the day

My boss just shared with me this email from his wife about their black sheep son's latest misadventure at their second home in West Palm. She's a high end DC woman and very proper, which makes this sort of funny to me:

Max had 2 beers, 4 mojitos, white sangria...threw up at the restaurant...I had to go into the men's room to get him while another guy was taking a pee in a urinal...he almost toppled the table...well he did...threw up out the front window of my car...which I have washed...he is lying down on the sofa in the loggia...threw up black beans on the patio...Ellie started eating his throw up...and Caroline and Mary Walsh are attending to him...because he said it was the food and he has a high tolerance to fuck me. xoxo mom

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

is there a dentist in the house?

this pittsburgh groom, a dentist by trade, literally kick-started his marriage when he delivered a kungfu kick to his new bride en route to their holiday inn room. what ensued would make amy winehouse and the late ike turner proud as hell. smacks of class, doesn't it?

Friday, April 25, 2008

back to basics

this weekend we're sans kids, staying at a hotel downtown and celebrating 7 years of marriage while my mother and sisters are in town to watch the kids. we tried this last year in chicago and it did not end up as we expected. wifey was ill the entire weekend - symptoms we attributed to pregnancy upon returning and doing a pregnancy test.

so, we're trying this again and staying local this time. she has already shared this information, in case you tune into her blog, and i like how she framed it so will leave you with that. this time i'm making no predictions since that all sort of fell through in chicago. the only call i will make is that we won't come out of the weekend with another bun in the oven.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

after school special

generally i have a small threshold for annoyance at the gym most mornings. in fact it would be fair to say i am completely cynical as i make my rounds there. it's not that i'm mad at the world or generally unhappy. simply put, i'm tired and don't particularly like working out. i mean, who does? to me it's a necessary evil.

i'm probably not the only one who feels put out when people invade my personal space or, god forbid, ask if they can work their cycle into mine on a particular machine. i find that i'm especially chafed when someone asks this and i look around to see barely a soul in the entire place.

when you get back into a gym routine faces of people become familiar, as do their quirks. this means there are plenty of targets for projection and dirty looks...enough so that the guy whose body odor smells like spoiled milk can be the bane of your existence one morning and the lady with a bad perm and camel toe can play scapegoat the next. basically it's a crap shoot every morning, as you walk in not knowing exactly who will grate on your nerves, only knowing that someone will.

lately i've noticed a guy - normal, well groomed, generally inoffensive - marching around with a rather urgent gait and a seemingly genuine smile on his face. this would all be rather unremarkable except that his atmosphere merges with mine more than i would prefer. the worst is when he power walks to the pull-up bar, which faces the butterfly machine where i am stationed, and executes a set of gyrating pull-ups. since the brim of my cap is typically pulled low, i'm able to avert my eyes and find a happy place. still, it's odd and grounds for irritation, right?

last night i'm rocking cole in my arms on the front porch and watching the jackal wrestle baci on the lawn (thank god that kid gives the dog attention because i'm borderline dead beat dog owner lately). out of nowhere a voice says hello. i look up to see a priest - clerical collar and all - standing on the sidewalk clutching a rosary. i return the greeting and look closer, realizing that standing before us is none other than the gyrating pull-up guy from the gym...and he's a priest!

some pleasant conversation landed me with knowledge that he's a priest at the catholic church a couple blocks away. nice guy. he even weathered the spanish inquisition the jackal tends to lay on complete strangers these days with a smile.

as he walked away i devoured the plate of humble pie i deserved for misjudging the guy at the gym in the first place. i even brought leftovers for lunch today. yummy...

Friday, April 18, 2008

gushing about kate nash

my friend
adam is a whiz with integrating music content into his site. we have traded emails and plan to connect so he can tutor me on the back end magic that requires.

in the meantime, i thought i'd recommend an artist in an apparently primitive way - word of mouth.

one of the hottest things about my wife is that she digs music and tends to keep up with new bands the same way i do. if i could only see her in one of her power suits rocking spoon or maybe neutral milk hotel. another of my weaknesses is a hot woman, which my wife happens to be, in business gear.

anyway, she recently picked up kate nash. driving her car the other day, since it's more economical and i had to drive to tysons corner, i played the cd. let me say that it kicked me in the balls. it's like the first time you heard the sugar cubes.

check it out when you can. the song, "foundations" will rock you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

famous last words or just too much information?

driving home last night, my own fragility came to mind when an oncoming car on rock creek parkway swerved slightly into my lane and stirred the butterflies inside. i consider myself to be a good driver and at the wheel generally feel in control and safe. this minor non-incident last night reminded me that my own driving abilities don't really matter and that someone else could show me the exit from this world by being a shitty driver.
as i peered into the rear view mirror and exhaled, of all things this blog came to mind, which i found odd because, while i enjoy it, this is not a major facet or priority in my life. but it must be on some level, right? otherwise it would not creep into my head seconds after i almost wrecked. in any case, the context of my consideration of the blog was this: what will my last post say about me?
with that in mind, i have an experience to share that falls into the "way too much information" category. i have shared this story with a few friends and questioned whether or not to blog about it. unanimously i was told that i should, so here goes...
the other day i was doing some manscaping on my netherworld with my trustee hair clippers (#1 guard setting). this happens about every two weeks. the obvious question one might ask upon hearing this is, why the hell do you do that? to which i'd reply, why the hell wouldn't i do that? it would hypocritical for me to ignore that bit of grooming since most men sort of expect that of women, yes? the funny thing about it is that as an adolescent i couldn't wait to have pubes, and as an adult i want none or very little.
at any rate (typing this is almost making me blush), i had to sort of straddle the toilet while i went to town downstairs, lest the clippings fall all over the bathroom floor. about halfway through the job, so about 20 seconds in, the clippers slipped from my hand and plunged into the water. like a fool i did not think, i just reacted by grabbing the cord, which sent a minor jolt of electricity up my arm. it all happened so fast, but i vaguely remember yelling "what the fuck!" before yanking the cord out of the wall.
looking back on it now, i wonder what the nanny downstairs must have thought about the racket i made. i also wonder what it would be like to cry and laugh hysterically and simultaneously at my funeral, knowing that i was found naked on the floor with half my pubes shaved and hair clippers in the toilet. the scene, which thankfully did not play out that way, reminds me of the death scenes six feet under used to open with - ordinary people dying in their homes in rather extraordinary ways.
you'll be glad to know the clippers actually survived. after i dried them off they were good to go, so i finished the job.
so if this is my last post, it's sort of embarrassing. let's hope i make it through tonight.

Monday, April 14, 2008

gay for a day

Last week I promised my wife that Friday night would be my swan song. This is a tongue-in-cheek commitment to 86 all vices and clean up my act. She reminded me that I've been singing swan songs the past 7 years and have enough material to put out a greatest hits record and launch a world reunion tour. It's true, I have battered the swan song concept to death, which is why it's sort of an inside joke now. In fact, I can hardly utter the words to her these days without giggling like an obnoxious child.

Not one night last week did I drift naturally, peacefully to sleep. Instead I passed out after too much of this or that. When the going gets tough, sometimes the tough self-medicate. At least that's what yours truly did every night last week starting with Sunday. I know, as a father of two I should be ashamed, maybe even fitted for concrete shoes and tossed into the Potomac for such behavior. Well, all of us adults (hopefully all of us) figured out once we crossed a certain age threshold in our lives that our parents are fallible and generally don't have all of their shit together. In other words, they are human, not necessarily the super heroes we used to place on pedestals. Now don't get me wrong - I am not lobbying for parents' rights to do damage to themselves and shirk parental responsibilities by any stretch. I would not even say I did that since I did not imbibe last week until the kids were down for the night. Regardless, I was in a bit of a funk and skidded on the slippery slope last week. It happens to the best and worst of us, I guess.

Not lost in that haze was the awareness that I should pull over to the shoulder and get it together, which brings me back to the latest swan song remix on Friday night.

My friend Joe had tickets to the Nationals game. They were hosting the Braves, but I couldn't have cared less since I was mostly interested in checking out the new ballpark and eating unhealthy food. I'm a baseball fan - the Cardinals come first - but this early in the season it's more about the experience than the game itself, at least for me. The best part about it, probably the earmark memory for me, is that I got to be gay for a day.

Joe is gay. That label would be otherwise completely irrelevant in my book - I don't really say my "gay" friend Joe or my "white" friend Sam - except for that fact that it's sort of relevant in this instance. As a side note to that, Joe might be the biggest sports fan I know, which seems to be unique for a gay cat. In any case, we met at Joe's house late afternoon to get the drinking and smoking started. He went out to the car, and I lagged behind. When I rolled out the door, he was sitting in his VW Cabrio with the top down. I hopped in and said something like, "We are so gay together today."

On the ride there, which took a mere 5 minutes, the glances thrown at us proved that passers-by considered us a gay couple. When Joe turned on and cranked the discotheque mix at a stoplight next to a car full of meat head marines near the barracks on 8th Street I looked to the sky and cackled. The dirty looks of judgment we caught from these dudes were priceless. I can honestly say that for a second there I experienced a faux moment of gay pride, despite the fact that I am clearly not gay. Well, my wife says that I am just gay enough. So maybe there is a slight percentage of gay in me. So be it.

The rest of the night was a mess. We didn't last past the 3rd inning, and I have foggy memories of Joe spilling onto the floor at Five Guys near the ballpark. Whatever. None of it really stacks up the ride there.

What a swan song...except that I got drunk as nuts the night after at a dinner party. Such is life these days.

Friday, April 4, 2008

escalator rage

you ever have one of those mornings when you want to time warp back to college, draw the shades, rip bong hits all morning, and let indifference wash over you? i had one of those today. a wave of chaos built up around monday, crested on wednesday, and crashed our shore this morning. it's nothing new really. i mean, working parents with two kids and a meathead chocolate lab - that scene automatically lends itself to a dust storm now and then. so i get and accept it. that does not mean i am always cool and collected, which brings me to an incident this morning.
en route to the gym, i rolled out of the house, leaving the symphony of a whining 3-year-old and screaming 3-month-old behind me. i was close to jumping out of my skin. the icing on the cake was potting soil and flowers strewn about the front porch and yard. apparently a gaggle of squirrels went medieval on the asses of the flowers my wife and the jackal planted last week. needless to say, this added more edge to the morning. basically i was a time bomb, and the only thing that would diffuse me was some arcade fire on the ipod and a steady dose of cardio.
i work out at the washington sports club in the bowels of the chevy chase pavilion. the creature of habit that i am, i park in the same spot in the garage, next to the hotel elevator, and shuffle down the same escalator to get to the lower level. today was no different, except for the crusty, crotchety, curmudgeon of a woman wearing crocs and high-water, pleated khakis who decided to walk right on my heels to the escalator and down it. now, i don't walk at a snail's pace by any means. i've lived in the city 10 years, so i maintain an urban gait wherever i go. apparently that was not enough for her. neither were the two or three quick glances i threw over my shoulder to signal enough with the fucking tailgating. basically she left me no choice but to stop on the moving escalator and call her out.
do you mind?
huff. i'm in a rush to get to work. sorry. (in a very put-out tone)
i can feel your breath on my neck.
looks like you left your social skills at home in your rush out the door. now how about some personal space?
sorry, lady whoever you are. you became my scapegoat today. wrong place at the wrong time, i guess. but you know, you kind of earned it. and that outfit is likely to draw the ire of others who cross your path today. so, good luck with that.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

every whisper, every waking hour

rem's new record, accelerate dropped today, so with a blend of anticipation and dread, i rolled to the borders near my office and picked up the cd/dvd combo. (not that i expect to watch the dvd much, but it was like $4 more so what the hell...) i know itunes and other such mediums are more efficient and the wave of the future, which seems to be now, but for certain bands i still buy the hard copy material. somehow i feel like i'm remaining true to my fan hood, not to mention i like to check out the art work on the inserts.

to date myself, rem has been an obsession of sorts for me since 1986. i remember the days of michael stipe flying around the stage, his arms and ass-length braid cutting the air like an old switch your baptist grandmother might have torched you with when you were a child, of course after you cut said switch from the crabapple tree in the back yard. i digress, but it's not a terrible analogy since back in the early days, there was much angst to do with southern baptist guilt and defining one's self in light of that in their songs. after all, they originated and headquartered themselves in athens, ga for so many years, so how could the bible belt not flail into the collective stream of consciousness on occasion?

i must admit that i ripped off many of stipe's on stage dance antics when i fronted a band for four years in college. hell, i even incorporated a megaphone into the act, which he did a lot in the late 80s and early 90s. belting out lyrics into a microphone via megaphone is something i would recommend to anyone. it's a rare opportunity that fucking screams "rock star," even if it's in the framework of a college band getting by on covers and a few tragic originals.

well somewhere along the line, the band lost its mojo or plainly stopped giving a fuck. the last 3 or 4 records were unremarkable at best and forgettable at worst. it seemed like suddenly michael stipe transcended music to become just a personality, a diva maybe. don't get me wrong - i think anything the cat does is interesting, creative, and intelligent, and it would not be terribly far fetched to say that he falls onto a short list of man crushes. but his thing stopped being music, and music is what brought him to the dance, yes? it almost pains me to say these things since i have such an allegiance to this band and the ripples they have created in the artistic world. that said, i am thrilled about the reviews i've picked up so far and can't wait to check it out, tomorrow morning at the gym.

yes - it would be fantastic to soak it up tonight, but it's bath time, then there's where the wild things are, down by the bay, goodnight moon, and the very hungry caterpillar to read.

how cool would it be to read the bedtime stories through a megaphone?

hmmmmm, yeah, not really cool at all, right...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

happy birthday jack!

overheard, over-analyzed, and overindulged at the jackal's 3rd birthday party this morning:

endangered squeaky voices

the party this year was almost a carbon copy of last year's brunch affair with a few remarkable exceptions. and as i mentioned last year, throwing these events in the morning flows with a certain logic my friends get. now understanding it and pulling it off after you and your wife killed over half a bottle of scotch along with a couple cigarettes the night before are two different things. somehow i pushed through, only puking in my mouth 2.5 times, and tackled the morning errands, which landed me at that depressing friendship flower shop on wisconsin, next to cafe deluxe, the same place i scored the balloons for the 2 year affair. when i walked in i thought i'd browse the flowers and maybe bring more home to compliment some decorating my wife had already done at home. it wasn't a long shot for this guy to know my name since i rolled in 10 minutes after they opened. he told me the balloons were ready (27 of them - 9 red, 9, yellow, 9 white - to go with a fireman theme the jackal decided on) and quoted the price of $60. that cued an immediate U-turn away from the flowers. sticker shocked, i was.

in any case, a couple of father friends of mine were asking me about the party favors, taking mental notes. see, since we're all generally improvising this parenting bit, we tend to ask the right questions and absorb pertinent information that will make life easier. in other words, short cut hints on how to keep the kids happy and maybe even occupied for a few more minutes per day, while we maybe catch a breath of fresh air and maybe a smoke, are always welcome, and encouraged. so i relate the helium story, and one tells me there is a helium shortage in our world these days.

probably old news, but new news to me. since i don't have much need for balloons or a high pitched voice, i couldn't really care less. still, i had to laugh at the fact that this otherwise irrelevant crisis pinched me a little today.

moon bounce

we are now the not-too-trashy-but-apparently-trashy-enough owners of a moon bounce. i pulled the trigger online last week and amazingly did not experience as much cognitive dissonance as i expected, at least not until my friend dave reminded me that "the economy is taking a shit and you're buying moon bounces." my retort was that someone has to try to keep things moving, so i'm doing my part.

the kids naturally loved it and got their wrestlemania on. i recall only one report of heads colliding, which is not so bad. oh, and someone told me i could advertise the thing on craigslist and rent it out. probably won't happen, but can i really say i am above it now that i went so far as to purchase one of these gorgeous monstrosities in the first place?

presence or presents?

so like any kid, the jackal loves gifts. before i get to that, i should address my perspective on gifts and birthday parties. my wife and i sort of debated this topic after she launched the evite initially. see, our friends are terribly polite and considerate and wonderful. i think the same of their kids. now that kids have entered the scene, we're all figuring out how to integrate them properly. the thing is, most of us are integrating them into a world much different from the one we came up in, especially in fiscal terms.

my first 8 years, believe it or not, we're headquartered in a trailer park. my single mother and i lived in arnold, missouri until she remarried and relocated us to st. louis. jack is growing up in one of the most high profile cities in the world, in a pretty solid neighborhood, equipped considerably compared to this guy 30-ish years ago. the circumstances of our growing up could not be more different, which tells me i am doing something right.

my point is that sometimes we can be all thumbs about incorporating our kids, given that the circumstances are new, and still get the job done right. to that point, often you wonder when and where to say "no gifts please" when announcing a birthday party. we've said it before, and our friends still show bearing gifts. likewise, friends say "no gifts" and we ignore them.

here's why: it's a birthday party. kids absolutely love gifts (we did back then). and none of us are in bad financial shape.

i completely get the whole concept of suggesting "no gifts" and respect the politeness of the gesture. i also catch that it can spoil them, et al. still, the kids are great and they get this once a year.

well, in the end we decided not to edit the evite, and he got way too much stuff, leading us to hide half of it, fearing him being overwhelmed and scatterbrained.

that is to say, we can completely see both sides of the matter.

[hands thrown into air]

cute, not subtle

speaking of way too many gifts, a pile of them in the corner of the dining room had a tractor beam like the death star because i noticed the jackal drifting toward it on many of my passes through the room. we'd told him to wait until everyone left since we thought it might spark a lord the flies re-enactment. that didn't stop him from asking (nagging) me or his mother about it.

jackal: mommy, i want to open one.
mom: no, remember...when everyone leaves.
jackal: (turns to woman mommy is hanging with) can you go home now?

dog farts

really thrilled that my friend joe brought that raunchy bone filled with processed meat for our dog baci. at the time it was funny the way he wrapped it in birthday gift wrap and tricked the jackal with it. not so funny is the way baci farts like a senile old man since he devoured it. not only do they echo, they gag you. the gift keeps on giving. thanks!

(happy belated birthday, meathead!)

Friday, March 28, 2008

throw-away line of the day

hideki matsui, a japanese, new york yankee, outfielder also known as "godzilla," married in a secret ceremony in nyc recently. creepily, he announced it and shared only a pencil sketch of his new wife as evidence of her existence, evidently in an attempt to protect her privacy.

the best part of all this is the throwaway line the new york post used in the story, as if it's some passing comment that should give no one pause for any reason:

Matsui, also known back home for his large collection of porn films, said he and his wife have been planning their wedding for a year. He began dating her during the 2006-07 off-season. He said the nuptials took place in New York City at an undisclosed chapel


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

in absentia

My abs have gone straight to hell. At least that's my speculation. To be honest, I don't know where exactly they went. All I know is that they are no longer here and that I miss them terribly.

Without so much as a "Dear John Basedow" note, text, or Facebook message, my abs bailed on me. I half expect to see them on a milk carton some day soon.

Spring is here, and soon I will be at the beach. Vanity has not escaped me, despite my age, so I'm on a mission to find them. They are Harrison Ford and I'm Tommy Lee Jones. To take the lame Fugitive analogy a step further, they are truly innocent. The hernia is the culprit. Being ordered to lay off any core workouts 5 months prior to hernia repair surgery and 6 weeks after did me no favors.

So it's back to the gym and avoiding eye contact in the locker room. Just how I love to start the mornings. I guess it beats the hell out of getting on that Basedow train. Fitness Made Simple, and Creepy. I mean, look at that guy. The scary thing is, he probably gets laid all the time.

It must be the abs, damn it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

writing the b-sides

more often than not many post ideas that hit me ultimately become farts in the wind. by the time i get around to weaving them into something intelligible, they have lost their potency, their ability to offend, so i chalk it up to another day with nothing said. my wife sometimes asks why i have not posted recently and reminds me that it doesn't have to be war and peace every time i sit down.

great blogger = shitty parent? good parent = shitty blogger? these are questions i live and breathe. so be it.

as i mentioned last year, i am haunted and best represented by the junk drawer. to be fair, i should express that in the plural sense due to the fact that i am the shameful owner of about 6 junk drawers, if you include my desk at work. since i have so many in the literal world, it probably makes sense to to have at least one in the figurative dimension. so,now and then i think i'll throw a random mess of stories, anecdotes, bad jokes, and whatever else hits my radar screen. here goes nothing...

i had you at "fuck"

recently i took a new client out for drinks after work and in the course of the night experienced an epiphany of sorts. something i believe i always knew in the back at my head occured to me in fluid words, and one of those words happens to fall onto my list of favorites - fuck.

we decided to catch beers at lia's, the only nonchain restaurant that's worth a damn in chevy chase where i work. i have a dilemma with the place since it's owner, chef geof, and his wife, nora o'donnell, both sort of irritate me, but i can't knock the setting or food, especially for chevy chase. now normally i'm straight after the liquor when i sit at a bar. really, i can't stand beer and typically do wine only with dinner. otherwise it's a splash of club soda on whatever color liquor i've chosen. but at happy hour with a complete stranger - fully suited while you chose dark jeans with a blazer that day - you can't hit the hard stuff.

in any case, about 30 minutes and 3 beers into chatting with this guy, who turns out to be a solid cat by the way, he suddenly hatches a sentence with "what the fuck..." i can't believe the rest of what he said totally escapes me, but it didn't matter after all. after all, can you blame me?

i had this cat at "fuck." once a stranger becomes your buddy and drops that f-bomb, he's down. you two are tight just like that. enough said.

it reminds me of a great eels lyric in "dirty girl":

i like a girl with a dirty mouth, someone that i can believe...

that reminds me of a plug- eels are playing this sat (3/29) at a venue i've not checked out but plan to downtown called the sixth & eye historic synagogue. i've caught them at 9:30 twice and have to say they put on an ethereal show. it's fierce.

so, as i was saying, when my suited friend threw down the "fuck," what did i do? i turned to the bartender and ordered a scotch. what else?