Today I feel like I am a part of an elite team of warriors. The members of our clan are often sleep deprived for weeks at a time. We’ve been forced to do things we would never do for ourselves. We’ve been thrown-up on, peed on, and been sneezed on directly into our mouths.
No, I’m not talking about being a Navy Seals recruit, or frat boy, or a fetish porn-star. I’m talking about being a Dad. And since today is my first Father’s Day, I’d thought I’d throw in a link about how Father’s Day got started.
I could go on how being a Father, or a Dad, is different than just being a sperm donor and calling yourself a Father; but I think you know the difference and I have pancakes to eat.
So Happy Father’s Day to all you real Fathers and Dads out there and if you’re interested in reading more, click the link.
When I was a kid I loved mischief. It didn’t matter if I was taping the handle down on my walkie-talkies and placing them in my sister’s bedroom when she had friend sleeping over so I could hear their conversations, or was knocking on people’s door and running away. I just loved pranks when I was a kid.
Probably the worst prank, or today what I would call assholish behavior, that I did many, many times was egging people’s cars. Back in the day, my group of friends would jump in the bed of my little gray Mazda truck and we would hit the Safeway grocery store. We’d then buy 10 dozen eggs in the middle of the night. The grocery tellers had to know we were up to no good; either that or they must have thought we were really high and hungry, which was also probably true.
One night we deiced to go egging in Hawaii Kai—a wealthy area of O’ahu. My soldiers were in my little gray Mazda truck bed like looking out our targets as we did a drive-by just to get a feel of what we were dealing with—a reconnaissance if you will. Once we knew which house had what cars, we then began our egg assault against the Mercedes, BMW’s and Jaguars of the world. The more expensive the car, the more we wanted to hit it.
My first car was a white 1967 Mustang with red interior. This night, sitting on the main drag in Hawaii Kai, there happened to be an exact reverse of my first car. It was a red 1967 Mustang convertible with white interior, and it had the top down. I told my friends, “Leave that one alone.” I guess the car bond made me feel like it was the brotherly thing to say.
But I heard someone yell, “Fuck that,” and I started hearing, splat-a-tatt-tatt as at least half a dozen eggs hit the red ‘Stang.
I hit the gas to the floor to get the assassins away from the classic as fast as I could, but it was too late. I looked in the mirror and I could see the yellow yolks and egg shells running down everywhere like snot running from a child’s nose.
The snipers were laughing and yelling, “Turn around man, turn around! You have to see it.”
I really didn’t want to go back, but peer pressure got the best of me so I drove up about a quarter of a mile and turned the truck around and headed back toward the car. It was one of the saddest things I had ever seen. The innocent victims of war, I thought. I could see where the yellow yolk was streaming down the front corner panel, white shells flecked all over the red paint. I shook my head thinking about what if this would have been my car?
The guys were all laughing in the truck bed and then the front porch light came on where the Mustang was parked and everyone yelled, “Go! Go! Go!”
We drove up the street, gave it about five minutes and then drove back by the Mustang. There was a Japanese man rinsing his car off in the middle of the night, which made me feel really bad, so I decided we needed to halt the eggings and go get some food.
Apparently the others were not as affected by seeing the guy wash off his little piece of the American Dream as I was because I accidently turned down the same street about an hour or so after we saw the man rinse off his car. All the guys realized it before I did and I could hear them laughing. I looked at my friend who was in the cab with me and he just shook his head.
“What?” I said. He pointed with his head to the red Mustang and right when I was saying, “Ahhhh, shit!” the guys in the back of the truck hit it again—multiple times.
Why am I bringing this up? Because I when I did my food-related crimes, I was 17 or 18 years old. Dumb is built into the age. But this week in Boise Idaho, police caught a 74 year old woman pouring mayonnaise into the book return box at the county library. She is also a person of interest in 10 other condiment related cases.
Now I know if you live in a glass house you shouldn’t throw stones, but as a former condiment crook myself, I think the community should get together and egg her. She should get one egg for every book she ruined with her little prank and any neighborhood kid that she told to, “Stay off my lawn,” should be the one who’s throwing the eggs.
If you’re a betting person, America’s chances of winning are 80 to1. This doesn’t seem too bad considering that our first game is against England where our odds of winning are about 7 to 1. It would be about the same as us beating Italy or Brazil.
I used to play soccer when I was a kid. I was on two different teams. But when I moved to Hawaii, soccer wasn’t a big sport for boys to play there. You either played baseball or football and I played both sports until I hit my freshman year of high school.
I had played sports all my life but it was the summer of my freshman year that my mom said, “You sure you want to play high school football? I mean, you’re not very good at it.” That was the day that I stopped playing organized sports and even stopped watching them on TV. Not having to play on a team was one of the biggest burdens that I have ever had lifted off my shoulders. It freed me up to do other things, like learning to play pool and body-board.
I’ve always been the type of person who’d rather be playing the sport than watching it on TV. I kind of understood how people could sit around and watch a whole three hour baseball game, but only because I grew up watching the Cardinals until I moved to where they didn’t show it on TV. But to sit around and watch a 90 minute soccer game? That was unthinkable. That was until I moved in with my college roommate who was from Oman. Soccer or “football,” was his sport and Manchester United was his team. Everything would stop when they were playing a game, including classes.
I still remember the first year I watched the World Cup. It was in 2002 at my other Omani friend’s apartment, which was famously known as “415”. The USA was doing well in the tournament and I would brag every time they’d win a game. I believe the US won their first three games and by this time the shit talking was in full-effect. I would come over to friend’s apartment every morning after each game and say, “Did you see the game?” Like I was some sort of World Cup aficionado.
All soccer clubs have a song or chant they do and this was mine, “What’cha mutha-fucka’s gonna do, when we beat the shit outta you, you, you?” I chanted this pointing at the TV and to my Arab friends.
They took delight in my new found soccer enthusiasm, but knew it would be short lived once the US lost; which we did, I believe on the fourth game.
So what did I do when my friends were proved right and the USA lost? I did what any red-blooded American man would do after talking to shit to a bunch of Arabs. I took my medicine like a man—three days later.
I had decided that I needed a cooling off period, so I just stopped going over to their apartment for a few days. But I couldn’t stay away from them too long and when I returned it was on.
“Ahhhhhhhh!!! Kaaadooo!! Kaaadooo!!!” They teased rolling their tongues making the high pitched noise. They sounded like a bunch of coo-coo clocks. And I know that “Kaaadooo,” doesn’t actually mean anything, it was just their war-cry and a way to say, “You lost mutha-fucka,” as lovingly as they could.
I have not watched another World Cup as intently as I watched the one in 2002. I did watch the entire Italy versus France game in 2006. But this time I would like to catch a few games that the US is in and as long as they do well, I will follow it again. If not I’ll be like every other average American male and say, “Soccer’s for pussies.” But regardless of how well the US team does, it won’t be the same without my Omani brothers yelling, “Kaaadooo, Kaaadooo! You lost mutha-fucka!”
Remember when malls were the coolest place on the planet to hang out? You may have been wearing braces at the time, but at one point they used to be the hot spot. Today property owners are having a hard time keeping their retail space full. In fact, in St. Louis where I live, three malls have been shut down in recent years. Well, almost three.
If you are an artist and you need your own workspace, let me suggest a gem I just discovered. ArtSpace at Crestwood Court (which used to be Crestwood Mall) has been offering artists work and gallery space for two years now. Some of the rents on these spaces are as low as $100 a month. (Not including utilities.)
I have yet to make it over to ArtSpace but I plan on going sometime soon.
Here is a list of other artist’s spaces in St. Louis if you are interested.
And if you’re not an artist, maybe you can just have a cheap place to stay. You could live openly with other people watching you go about “your work,” and you could just call it a performance piece because everyone’s an artist, but not everyone knows they are.
I am sometimes rattled even when I feel like I have my shit together. I always get my work done in a timely manner and never feel that if someone had to check it, that I would have to explain myself.
I have never been audited, but last week the County Auditor popped her head in and explained that sometimes they have to do these things, and that sometime was now.
I found myself having to answer questions that I never really had to answer before. I have never had to explain my work down to every little detail, like how I photocopied documents or how I then placed those documents in people’s files. I never had to explain the process of how I schedule people for training or how my own personal spreadsheets work; I then had to give a detailed time-frame spent on each of these processes.
I am almost always polite to people the first time they ask me a question. But I sometimes I lose my patience once it’s the second or third time that they ask me the same question, which she always seemed to be doing.
I have never been cross-examined by a defense attorney, but that’s the image that I thought of as the auditor asked me all these different questions. About this time I became hostile, which can sometimes happen, so we took a break and won’t be continuing until next week. And after next week, I hope I never get audited again and I hope you don’t either.
(This was from a writing exercise that we sometimes do in my Lumina group. The exercise was to always use one of the three words in the title of this piece in every sentence. I can tell you right now, I will never do that again.)
I’ve decided to run a marathon. If you knew me you’d say, “Yeah freakin’ right.” But regardless of what some haters have said to me, I am going to do it.
The decision to run a marathon came about a month ago when a co-worker, who I’ll call Mrs. S., came into my office and began talking about how her two sons had just finished the St. Louis Marathon the day before. I looked at my officemate Ken and said, “That would us give exactly one year to train for it.” His response was, “Yeah.” He said it more in agreement of, Yes that would give us a year, and not in a, “Yeah, let’s do it,” kind of tone. But for some reason, in my head, we were both in.
I began looking up guides for beginning marathoners. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and thought that a year was plenty of time to train for it. Right when I decided, OK, I’m going to do a marathon exactly one year from today, Mrs. S. came back and said, “Oh yeah, I almost forgot. There’s another marathon here in St. Charles (where I work) in October of this year.”
“What?” I said. “That’s in like six months!”
“Yeah,” she said. “That would be exactly in six months.”
Before I could protest Ken said, “That’s the one I want to do.”
I whipped my head like a dog watching a fire hydrant pass him by in a car and said, “What? We won’t have time enough time to train for that.”
He said, “Well I know that I’m not going to run in the winter and this is about as flat as you’re going to get.”
Mrs. S. said, “Well good luck,” and left me feeling like I had been hit with dream wrecking-ball.
Part of me agreed with Ken. I’m a cold weather baby. What can I say? I grew up in Hawaii. It took me two winters before I learned you were supposed to dress in layers in the winter. So knowing that I’d be hard press to run outside in the cold, this bumped up my race by six months.
I began looking at training schedules. I soon learned that 26.2 miles could be accomplished with as little as five months of training as long as you were already in shape. I thought, Damn, I wonder if I can get active enough in one month to get up to par to start training for the five month training program?
After one month of training, I’m happy to say that I can run/walk 4 miles and this Saturday I’m doing five. I’ve created a hybrid run/walk schedule using this schedule.
Basically I run for three minutes, then walk for two minutes. Many programs say this is the best way for beginners to train. I wanted to wait a month before I shared it with most people because it seems like such a huge undertaking, especially after I started running.
The first day I literally wanted to quit within the first twenty seconds of running. On day two my legs hurt so bad that even though I was going to walk that day, I decided to ride my bike. The following day, I walked. The day after that, I rested. And so began my run, bike, walk, rest schedule, then I rinse and repeat with my long run on Saturday’s.
There’s a half-marathon on July 18th that’s called the Joker’s Wild Run. This half-marathon is exactly the half-way point to the full-marathon in October, so I’ve decided to run that too.
One thing I’ve learned about running is it’s all mental. Nobody wants to run at the beginning but it’s about pushing yourself to do it. After that, the distance becomes addictive. One mile, two miles, three miles down, before you know it, you’ve done your first 5K and that’s without any crowd there cheering you on.
So what’s your marathon? What have you always wanted to do but thought it was too big of a goal? What ever it is I can guarantee you can do it as long as you put in the prep work; but I encourage you to start now or you’ll be sitting around a year from now say, “Someday I’m going to _________.” My advice is pick a date that you want to accomplish something by, then cut that date in half. That way you’ll get your lazy butt up off the couch and doing something about it.
Mmmm…that smell. You know what I’m talking about. The only smell that can be smelled up to a mile away when you’re driving by it at 70 mph on the freeway? No, I’m not talking about a skunk. I’m talking about White Castles. And now you can have that Mighty Whitey smell in the comfort of your own home. White Castles has introduced a hamburger scented candle.
Why, you may ask? It’s for a good cause. They’re raising money for Autisms Speaks. Some have said that it smells like, “The steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions scent of America’s first fast food hamburger.” The candles are being offered throughout the month of May for $10.
Isn’t it great? Now you can finally have that White Castle smell without all the smells that come from eating all those White Castles. And you can also tell your kids to stop lighting their farts and start helping light a cure for autism. Believe me, the dumb look on their face will be worth the $10 bucks.
Want one? Can’t have one, they’re already sold out. But click here if you want some other W.C. merch.
Have you ever lent a hand to someone who asked for your help and then they criticized the way you helped them? They remind me of a having sex with a whore. At first you’re happy to be getting laid, but by the time the burning sensation sets in you’re wondering, why did I do this again?
The bad thing is I knew that this person would bitch no matter what I did. First of all, he’s a former Marine. “There’s no such thing as former Marine,” he’d say, “Once you’re a Marine, you’re always a Marine,”; except he was in the Marines twenty years ago and still is hanging on to it.
So knowing this, I decided to take the hard-line, which was difficult because the guy is the person who trained me for his old job. But because of this, he calls me every other day with some random request that has nothing to do with me. So I said, “No, I won’t look for the file that you saved, ‘Sometime last year.’ You can come down here and look for it yourself if you want,” and I then literally hung up on him.
I knew that all I had to do was type in the name of the file he wanted into to search bar and in a minute or so, I would find the document. So blind guilt led me like a Seeing Eye dog down this path of an evitable argument.
I printed up the document that the guy asked for and rode the elevator up three stories and handed the document to the guy. He looked at it and said, “What happened? Don’t you have a color printer?”
I knew the lack of color was going to be an issue, but since I never use color for any documents, I’ve never changed the cartridge. So I said, “I don’t use color.”
He then began to tell me all the documents that I have to use color for. When I kept saying, “I don’t use color for that.” He said, “Well what about…,” and he began rattling off other documents. “I don’t use color for that,” I kept saying, but he was like a pit-bull who latched on to a bone.
I finally lost my patience and yelled, “God damn it! I’m taking time out of my fucking day to give you this shit and now you’re chewing my ass for not having it in color! Fuck that shit,” and I turned and started to walk away.
He said, “What? I’m trying to say thank you.”
I thought to myself, that must be the way a Marine says, “thank you.” First he asks you (or the Navy) for help, then chews your ass for not doing it his way, and then gets offended that you didn’t know that’s his way of saying, “Hey buddy, thanks. Thanks a lot.”
Americans will celebrate anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s Super Bowl Weekend when you don’t watch football all year or St. Patrick’s Day when you’re not Irish, most Americans don’t need much of an excuse to throw a party.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, which translates to “Fifth of May” in Spanish, and marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The way that it is portrayed here in the U.S., you would think that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican Forth of July, but I can tell you from experience, it’s not.
My wife and were married on May 1st six years ago and we went to the Mayan Riviera for our honeymoon. On the fifth of May, we decided to take a collectiva—or taxi, up to Playa del Carmen to celebrate the holiday. We assumed there’d be drunk Mexicans shooting guns in the air and yelling, “Andale, Andale, Arriba, Arriba,” like Speedy Gonzalez. We were disappointed to find out that most Mexicans don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo like we do in here in the States.
Five years later, my wife and I went to San Francisco to celebrate our fifth year anniversary. We stayed in the Mission District, which is a predominantly Mexican area in San Francisco. I was excited to see if it would be different this time. When night rolled around we walked down to Mission Street, and there was absolutely nothing going on. We walked a few blocks further to a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and it was packed—with gringos.
So to all you folks would plan on going out and getting, “drunk as a Mexican on Cinco de Mayo,” you may want to re-think your plans.
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Coming up with new material everyday is harder than trying to understand Stephen Hawking after he’s had a few drinks in him. When I started this blog my goal was to come up with new material for my site at least once a week and even then I have to be on the look out for new material. I never know when inspiration is going to hit me like a Louisville Slugger to the cranium. So when I saw Daryl Cagle’s Political drawings on MSN.com I thought I’d give him a shout-out. Plus it makes it makes my job a little easier.
Cagle’s topics range from Wall Street Reform, to the volcano in Iceland, to Mother’s Days gifts for your oil spilling ass. Check him out.