HTT: How To Bath

I'm a shower guy.

And it's a good thing too.

Because at around hour 27 passed my last shower, all kinds of things start leaking out of my pores. Things like garlic, onions, full diapers, and wet puppy dogs.

Joann calls it 'Man Smell'

Not, 'Josh Smell'

Man Smell.

She'll say it with a smile, but I can clearly see her ear twitching and her left eye filling with water.

At night she'll just roll far away from me and press the bottom of her cold cold feet against my thigh like  a battleship firing a warning shot.

Come no closer.

So my rule has pretty much always been 'Shower every day . . . sometimes twice.'

But today's How to Tuesday isn't about how to shower. Showering is easy. It can be done before you've had two cups of coffee. And my rule is if something can be done before you've had coffee than it probably doesn't need an instruction manual.

Actually, I just made that up.

But the logic is sound.

No, today's HTT is about the Bath.

Taking a bath is something that should never be considered before you've had a cup of coffee. That's like trying to play Russian Roulette while naked and covered in soap.

There are a lot of hard surfaces in the bathroom and you need to be aware of their abilities to conspire with both gravity and your lack of grace.

Simply put: Your bathroom is trying to kill you.

But baths aren't just household killers, nor are they just water-wasting, time-wasting, Man-smell irradicators.

No, baths are soothing.

They're calming and relaxing. They open the pores and the sinuses, they wrinkle the fingers and wrinkle the toes. They clear your head and make you sleepy.

The drawback is that they are like cat-nip for serial killers, but if you believe everything you see on screen, they are also a prelude to really hot sex.

I like those odds.

Anyway if you are a beginner or a seasoned bath professional, here are a few tips and tools to make your bathing experience safe and delightful:

First thing: You need a bathtub.
I know that sounds obvious, but this is advice for the people househunting and or apartment shopping. My wife and I didn't have much of a choice when purchasing our first home and we lucked out in sooooo many ways, but the bathtub situation . . . well . . . rather sad.

Our bathtub is a little more than four feet long, and just a bit more two feet wide, and just shy of 18 inches deep.

That's not enough tub.

We obviously make do, but this is not the tub for hard core bath enthusiasts, and there certainly isn't room for serial killers . . . or, you know . . . the other thing.

So make sure when you are house hunting, or even hotel trolling, that you consider the size of the tub.

Next: You're gonna need a book.
To really enjoy a bath, takes time. The water has to fill, the bubbles have to bubble, the steam has to rise. But if your thoughts are anything like mine, you probably don't want to be alone with them for that long.

The book you choose should be a paper-back (hard covers don't like steam), it should be trashy (cause all books should be trashy), and it should be the kind of book that you can read a few chapters and then forget about until your next bath.

Magazines are okay, I guess, but I find them to be unwieldy.

I have an entire shelving unit filled with mass-market paperbacks, all of which I've read two or three times that are perfect for baths because I don't really care if they get wet or if I lose them all together. Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, and any and all science fiction. Don't overthink it.

Thirdly: Bubbles or Bath salts.
You choose. Doesn't make much difference to me. I prefer the good smelling stuff. Essence of lemon grass or lavender, whatever. If you're a girl it's just gonna make you feel good about your life and if you're a boy, it's perfectly acceptable to be a little gay.

My mom gave me a big tub of bath salts that makes your skin feel all tingly. And as I said, a bath is not just a way to get clean, it should be a heightened experience.

In a pinch you can use dish soap.

Fourthly: Something to drink.
If you bath right (with hot hot water) you're gonna sweat and you're gonna need to replace that salty brine with some kind of fluid.

I go old school and stick with ice water. Juice can be a thing too, but milk is just gross. Now if you're planning on going straight to bed then alcohol is reasonable, but it should be cold and something you feel comfortable drinking out of a plastic cup.

Glass is dangerous.

Chilled white wine is a good choice. You can even bulk it up with several cubes of ice. I won't tell.

Beer is outlawed.

While farting in the tub is both fun and refreshing, burping can make your body unstable and either splash water all over the place or make you drop your book.

Next: Relax and enjoy for a bit.
Let the soft white noise of the falling water lull you. Let the steam fog up your head. This is 'You Time'

Now, when the water reaches it's peak height, turn it off and enjoy the silence. As the water cools you will cool with it. Gravity relaxes it's grip and long before Jack Ryan finds the Red October, you will find yourself at peace.

However, it used to be perfectly fine to let a little water out and add more of the hot stuff, but we are in a drought, so, you know, be a little earth conscience.

Once you are done there are two methods of getting out:

The first, and my favorite, is to put my book away, drain the last drops of my watered down chardonnay, pull the plug, close my eyes, and feel gravity slowly pull my body (soul) back down to earth. If you choose this method, be sure to get up very very slowly cause you're still naked and covered in soap and just a little punch drunk.

The second is to stand slowly, grab your towel and dry yourself off as you exit the tub.

Either way, remember that all kinds of sticky dirt/deadskin/toe-jam/buttbooger stuff is going to pool on the surface of the tub without actually running away with the water. If you love your wife, you will spray it down with the shower head for a few seconds after you've regained your composure.

It's one thing to be earth-conscience, it's another to avoid hours of scrubbing with caustic substances to remove years of ugly rings.

Finally, for Safety:
Remember, your bathroom is trying to kill you. Always move slowly and deliberately and really try to limit yourself to the amount of alcohol you would drink before driving your child and his friends on a class field trip.

Also, remember that your son has no intention of knocking, and doesn't need to see you naked, so lock the door.

Locking the door is also good because . . . well . . . serial killers.

but make sure your wife has a key

because . . . well . . . the other thing. 

Road Rash

So my son fell of his bike this morning.

Yes, he was wearing his helmut.

Yes, that is how you spell 'helmut' but it's always gonna look weird.

No, he didn't break any bones.

But he did get quite a nice bit of road rash from the middle of his calf all the way up to his knee.

Don't worry, there was hardly any blood.

Yet for a kid who seems so fearful of the big scary outside world, he sure does crash and burn a lot. So much in fact, that we are almost out of band aids. For his birthday in a few weeks I'm seriously considering getting him a jumbo sized first aid kit.

Just what every boy wants.

An unlimited suppy of gauze and anti-bacterial wipes.

He also had this tiny knick on the end of his big toe.

He insisted that that too needed a bandaid.

Which is why we've run out of bandaids.

It's not the pain of the wound that freaks him out, it's the sight of it.

So after calming him down and covering him head to toe with neosporin, he was back outside and ready to take on the universe.

Resilience.

That's such a good word for such a fascinating concept.

Resilience.

I often stop to think about what 'success' means. Or in corporate speak what success 'looks like.'

What's the Big Picture? What will the view be from Journey's End. And the project can be small, like losing the last inch before you squeeze your butt into those old jeans, it can be big, like, quiting your job to chase a dream, or it can be monsterous, like, maybe living a life worth living.

And there are such highly towted atributes such as strength, fearlessness, courage and preseverance.

But we honestly use those kinds of words when we really mean single-minded, pig-headed, dogmatic, insane, or too stupid to take no for an answer.

But resilience is something different, isn't it?

It's fluid, malleable, you might even say organic. It responds to the blows of life, not in the way heated iron might respond to the blows of a smith's hammer, but in the way a lake might respond to a skipping stone.

The lake doesn't ignore the stone. It doesn't spend any time seeking ways to protect itself from future stones. It ripples and then lets the stone sink in for a bit and pretty much goes "Okay . . . well that happened."

Imagine all the things that happen within a day, a week, a lifetime, all the damage, from contusions of the skin to compound fractures of the heart. It's not courage or strength that calms the waters, it's resilience.

Resilience can be like a big fat tube of Neosporin. Apply liberally to the affected area. Repeat until you're all healed up.

But it can't be applied to everything. Obviously a zen approach to life isn't going to magically wash the dishes or write this blog, and . . . if I hadn't been too pig-headed to take 'no' for an answer, I may never have been able to convince my wife that I was the love of her life.

You gotta pound the pavement sometimes.

I don't suggest you do that literally by falling off your bicycle.

But pound the pavement none-the-less.

And pound it with the understand that the metaphorical road rash is gonna be a thing.

And after the pain and the blood and the tears and the anit-bacterial wipes are all gone, just think about running out to your friends and slowly peeling the bandaid back; "Dudes . . . check this out."


Danglin Dog-Day Five

Summer's almost over.

Kids go back to school next week.

Poor things.

And I have to start getting up early and making breakfast.

Poor me.

Anyway, it's been a lovely summer and I thought I'd reminisce.

First Up: The Rubik's Cube competition
In February, my son made me learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube cause he wanted to learn how to do it too. By April we were ordering speed cubes so that he could get his time down. By May he was averaging less than a minute on the 3X3, and less than twenty second on the 2X2 and the Pyraminx. By June, at eight years old, he participated in his first competition. He came in fourth from last place, but was the youngest dude there and is now a nationally ranked speed cube competitor.

If that last paragraph didn't absolutely reek of parental pride then you gots to go get your nose checked.

Second: The Harmony Pedal
For really the first time I made an investment in my sound rather than in hustling for gigs. The vocal harmony pedal took my live show up a good fifteen notches and I finally feel good up there.

Third: The Water Park
Calvin finally convinced me to take him to the water park, which despite living right next door to it for almost a decade, we had never done. Well, we've done it now.

Fourth: The Little Garden that Couldn't
We did everything we could, even got the experts involved, but our pretty little vegetable garden hasn't harvested much more than a handful of hot peppers and cherry tomatoes. There is hope though; With the cooler weather coming in, some of the plants think it's spring and are flowering, so who knows?

Fifth: The Moment I've Been Waiting For

I got offered a gig.

Which doesn't sound all that exciting.

But I got offered a gig from a venue that I've never solicited.

Did you get that?

A venue actually sought me out!

I just got 'word-of-mouthed'

In a video game we would call that 'Leveling Up'

I wonder what next summer is gonna look like.

TBT: Breakfast at Lego-land. Table for Two

Yes, I know this picture isn't exactly a throw back.

But it really should be.

And I'll tell you why;

Christmas 2011 my brother got my son this beautiful, massive Lego set. There isn't a kid alive who doesn't like Legos, just as there isn't a parent alive without scars on the bottoms of their feet.

Now a curious thing happens with Lego sets come birthdays and christmas. My son was born with three sets of grandparents, a plethera of aunts and uncles, and a host of children in the cul-de-sac. So when it's time to open presents, my wife and I have become masters of toy organization. There are the "I need to play with this now!" kind of toys, the "We're gonna have fun with this in a few minutes" kind of toys, and the "This is not the time or place to pop 3,672 little plastic pieces out of their bags, Oh look, Cake!, Lemme just put this box in the car." kind of toys.

Guess which pile the Legos head for?

And as I said, this was a beautiful massive Lego set.

So it didn't fall under the later category of "I'm bored" or "What should I do in the seven minutes before soccer practice.

This was a rainy-day Lego set.

But here's the thing: It never rained that year.

Sure there might have been some drizzle. The might have been like six or maybe even seven dark looking clouds, but 2011 took us right into the drought and beyond.

And because this massive beautiful Lego set was in a perfectly rectangular box, it stored very comfortably in the toy closet of no return.

Now don't get me wrong. The Closet of No Return isn't exactly on the other side of the river Styxx. About four times a year my wife, realizing that she can't handle another day without being able to slide the closet shut, will do a massive reorganization/donation/bon fire with all the old and forgotten toys.

And each time she has done this, she has pulled out this beautiful massive Lego set and stared at it for probably at least like eight minutes, tryng to figure out the most ideal time to break it out and let the boy get his play on.

But it never rains.

And although the box clearly says it's for ages 8-14, such a suggestion is a lie. This was going to require some adult supervision, at least until the build is finished. Once the build is done, the kid can do whatever he wants with the pieces. That is the way of the world.

But if this thing requires adult supervision, then it's probably going to require a time investment, and Daddy can be a bit of a prick when it comes to unscheduled time investment.

Me, I'm daddy.

So I was surprised to see this box open and spread out on the dining room table as I made my way from the bathroom to wherever it is we keep the coffee pot.

"What the hell?" said prick daddy.

"Calvin wanted to play Legos this morning." she said.

"Of course he did." said prick daddy as he began microwaving his blackbean and spinach fritata.

"I thought you two could have fun doing this today." she said.

"Of course you did." said prick daddy as he grabbed the sriracha sauce out of the fridge, his fritata out of the microwave, and sat down to blindly eat his breakfast, listening closely for the coffee pot to finish gurgling.

"That looks good." she said.

"It is. Would you like some?" said a slightly softened version of prick daddy.

"No I already had a bagel." she said as she wandered off to do the kinds of things girls do when they're getting ready for work and nothing fits them.

So slightly softened prick daddy ate his meal and watched his son diligently putting together what would turn out to be the body of a four headed dragon.

And then something happened;

Slightly softened prick daddy got a little jealous. And he got a little nostalgic. And he remembered every movie ever where prick daddies finally come to understand that the joy in life isn't in money or cars or high class hookers, it's in spending gobs of time doing eight year old things with eight year old kids, preferably ralated to you.

And, as I said, this was a beautiful massive Lego set.

And my wife straight up told me to take the day off from writing and play with your son, god-dammit!

Who am I to argue?

But then another thing happened.

Completely softened prick daddy suddenly became very worried that this might be one of those moments where eight year old boy wants to test his mad skills and has no intention of letting prick daddy muscle in on his territory.

Prick Daddy felt very sad about that possibility, but he wasn't going to let his guard down so quickly.

"So . . . kiddo . . . would you, uh, would you like to put this together all by yourself, or, um, would you like it if I helped?" I asked.

Apparently, asking my son to let me play with his Legos is exactly like being in highschool and trying to ask a girl out on a date.

I could honestly feel zits growing in places zits haven't grown for over twenty years.

"You don't have to help me." he said.

OMG he was trying to let me down easy.

"You should do what you want." he said not looking up. 

Is this some sort of code?

Long pause.

"I just think it would be funner if you helped." he finished.

Awe Heels Yeah!

I grabbed an instruction booklet (there were three), a fat bag full of random plastic fun-ness, and dug in.

Now, modern Legos are a bit mystifying.

There are a lot more specialized pieces than I'd ever seen before. Pieces that would have made me wet my pants with glee three decades ago. We didn't have snake teeth or marble firing dragon heads.

We had, like, blue, and yellow, and square, and you had to be extremely careful when putting together two thin rectangles of the same size, because you were never going to be able to get them apart again.

And there are a lot of little pieces. I mean little.

And there is a lot of manual dexterity involved and sometimes the pieces don't slide in the way they're supposed to slide in (Calvin's fingers acutally slipped at one point and he got a nice little gash on his thumb).

But complexity and potential blood-letting aside.

A morning with my son and a beautiful massive Lego set is a morning well spent.

Even if it should have happened years ago. 


Week In Review: Poverty To Poets

This week marks the end of a very long stretch.

When I go back and think about it, it feels like last week started out at the end of June. 

I'm not complaining, July 2014 turned out to be the kind of month I had anticipated when I started this little adventure. Ten shows, with just a few days off in between, spent gobs of time hanging out with my little dude, finally harvested an edible tomato (just one, but it was delicious), got into full swing fantasy football, and had dinner on the table for my pretty little wife everynight.

But I must say, when my wife turned to me last night and said "We don't have any plans this weekend do we?" I realized how glad I was that that was true. Again, not complainin, but a touched relieved.

Of the ten shows I played, only two of them were inside. The rest were all about banging on the guit-fiddle under the terrible sun. I spent a good portion of this month very damp. Although, I did discover which shirts show sweat stains the most. So . . . like yeah . . . it's all about learning.

Anyway, this week we slipped gently into that cool August, and it went something like this:

This Week in Success:
Because I've finally got the equipment I need to put on a show, and enough solid material to MC just about any event, there was for the first time this year, a positive balance in my cash flow. This is the first week I've been able to buy more than a week's worth of groceries, fill up my gas tank, and pay a credit card bill. All with Music Money.

Feels freaking amazing.

This Week in Music:
Joann and I have started working on music for her to sing. A project that has been on the back burner for, man this is sad, for over a decade now. We're just picking songs and trying out keys at this point so don't race off to fund the Kickstarter Campaign just yet, but it's a treat to be starting something, even if it is just the suburban indie equivalent to the Mah&Pah Family Band.

This Week In Shows:
Had two back to back shows this weekend. One, a street show for Sacramento's Second Saturday Art Walk. This is always a treat. I play, we have a few beers, pass out some business cards, get some pocket money in tips, try out new songs when nobody is paying attention.

There was an episode though. A homeless guy (?), a little scary looking, probably stoned, probably just a bit off his rocker, came right up to the gate while I was playing one of my slow songs. He was pacing back and forth, staring me down and violently running his hands through his hair like he was getting pumped for a knife fight.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm a bit of a sissy when it comes to confrontation. I will avoid it at all costs, because, and this is true, there's a part of me that makes a switch from scared, to very, very, angry. And this dude had me cornered real good, while my wife and son stood watching about ten feet away.

So I'm in the middle of playing a soft love song while in my head I'm trying to figure out which piece of equipment has the lowest dollar to deadly ratio. Like, I could Jimi Hendrix this nut, and that would be the end of that, except it would also destroy a $700 guitar. There is also a heavy speaker and a dangerously knobby mixing board, but I'd have to be pretty quick with unplugging all the chords and neither would give me much reach.

I was kicking myself for not bringing my brass music stand.

Anyway, I had settled upon the microphone stand as my best choice. Cheap, easily replacable, good reach for both a jab and a swing, and there were enough people out on the street to stop the fight if I missed.

I hoped.

But then logic kicked in, remember I'm still singing and playing at this point, and I realized that I should probably just try looking intimidating first before considering bashing in his solar-plexus with a fist full of SM58.

So I stared right back at him.

And winked.

That chilled him right down and he smiled and backed up a bit.

But he didn't go away.

Which was fine, he had every right to be crazy on a public sidewalk.

Except he was scaring off my audience.

And I was having a good night. People were crossing the street to drop cash in my tip jar.

A song later, he came up and introduced himself as Ernesto.

I shook his hand and gave it a hearty squeeze. His grip was weak.

Gotta lose respect for a man with a weak grip. Now instead of scared, I was just annoyed.

Dude was costing me money, but it was the end of the night anyway and my wife gestured for me to continue playing until he went away. But that wasn't really the kind of hint he was going to take, so I finished up my set and started tearing down.

The first thing I did, obviously, was to grab my tip jar from my street side table. Once the cash was out of sight, I did my normal routine. Somewhere in the middle of that, Ernesto came up to me, and almost politely asked if I could give him two dollars for beer.

And I said "Sorry, I don't have any cash on me."

Which was absolutely technically true, all the cash I had was tucked away in my wife's safe keeping (cause that is the way of things), but he looked at me like I was crazy and finally walked away.

Now, here's the thing. A good chunk of me is a socialist. I honestly believe in a regulated distribution of wealth, especially when it applies to social programs such as education and healthcare. I also believe in paying taxes. A trillion dollar US company shouldn't be allowed cheat with an offshore account, nor should an investment bank pay less taxes on their capital gains than I do with my sweat and blood.

So there's that.

And here was a guy, who knows when he had his last meal, who knows when he'll eat his next, who knows what his mental challenge is or what good-will he burned along the way because his neurons don't fire off in a socially acceptable manner. A Forty of Olde English might quiet his senses a bit, and probably provide half a day's worth of calories.

And what is two dollars to me?

Me, who is packing two thousand dollars worth of equipment into a twenty thousand dollar car so I could snuggle up to my pretty wife in our three hundred thousand dollar home.

So I'm clearly a bleeding heart liberal when talking about twenty million of Donald Trump's cash flow and clearly a Tea Party Libertarian when it comes to two dollars of my own.

There's certainly some hypocrisy there, but I gotta be honest, I don't like pan-handling. I don't like door to door salespeople, and I don't like Geico commercials. Street Bums and Insurance Companies have no product to offer other than relieving me of a small piece of guilt.

Had the dude sat down with a bucket and a pair of sticks and done his best to bang out a rythym, then hell yeah I would've dropped a Jefferson on him, and yes he scared off some of my audience, but he also could have easily grabbed my entire tip jar and ran away with it.

I wouldn't have chased him.

In the end, I didn't have to. He went his way, I went mine.

I did say that I had two shows this weekend, but if you think the first show had a story, wait till next week when I give you the D.A.M. Festival.

Which brings us to the final part of this week's Week In Review;

Week in Williams:
We all found out Monday afternoon that the great comedic actor Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Tiburon, an apparent suicide.

That is sad.

Fame, Fortune, and Legendary Iconic Status.

As much as we'd like to believe, none of those things are ingredients in a fat slice of Serenity Pie.

Shame that we chase those things with such singular relentlessness.

But if you want my opinion, and I know you do, there are some sure fire things you can greedily consume that will make the difference between a successful life, and a life well spent:

Go get yourself some laughter,

from a giggle to a cackle. 

And a little human touch,

must be requited.

And good food,

any kind.

And a queit nap, and a new set of guitar strings, and an unscheduled weekend.

But that's just my recipe.

You can always add raisins if you want.




HTT: How To Turkey Bacon

I'm pretty sure that I've said this before.

But I think we all need to consider Turkey Bacon as an actual food.

However, and this is a 'must understand', there have to be a few ground rules. The breaking of any one of which will undermine all the progress we've made so far as to dismantle the entire theory that one can enjoy Turkey Bacon with impunity.

Since there never will be any formal study, for the pork lobby is too strong, and the health food lobby weakly protein deficient, I've taken upon myself to run several taste trials and method experimentation. My data has been tracked informally, and yes, you might be able to say that it is just one man's opinion and therefore scientifically invalid, but I assure you, as both a proponent of sizzling belly fat, salt, apple-wood smoke, foodie purist, and a champion of good eats, I'm simply the best friend turkey bacon will ever have.

Also, I doubt very highly that Ron Swanson reads my blogs, so there shouldn't be fear of fictional retrobution.

Anyway . . . 

Here are the ground rules:

First and Foremost: Turkey Bacon is NOT a bacon substitute, but it can be an alternative.

Case in point, you can use a slices of cooked Turkey Bacon to seperate the layers of deli meat in a club sandwich, but you cannot make a BLT with it. You can't, don't do it.

Also, you can have eggs and Turkey Bacon for breakfast. It is salty and chewy and rich in animal protien, however, you can not order it at a breakfast cafe. You do not go to cafes because you're interested in making good decisions. You go to breakfast cafes to be bad.

Be bad.

Also, Turkey Bacon is not acceptable to be used in soups, stews, and god have mercy on your soul should you hand me a bowl of chili with Turkey Bacon bits.

I will gut you.

(Same chili rules apply to yogurt instead of sour cream, and any form of mild chedder.)

Next, Turkey Bacon needs to be fried, in a pan.

My method for pig belly bacon is to bake it in the oven at roughly 400 degrees on a foil lined cookie sheet. This does magical things. It not only cooks the bacon evenly, but because of heat diferentials in every oven ever, there will be a range of slices that go from chewy to crispy to extra crispy all on the same sheet. Major plus for a household of picky bacon slice eaters. It also has the added benefit of collecting all the bacon fat so that you can crumple the foil to form a little bowl and let it congeal before throwing it in the garbage. Never pour bacon fat down a drain. Unless the cute girl next door happens to be both a runway model and a part time plummer.

But Turkey Bacon cannot be cooked using the magical bacon method. No. It has to be fried in a pan under medium high heat until the slices start to sizzle, then it has to be flipped and you have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't over cook.

Extra-crispy Turkey Bacon is not enjoyable.

Now . . . 

When going to purchase Turkey Bacon it is important that you read the ingredients. It should have turkey in it. And salt, it's definitely gonna have salt. Oil too. Probably canola oil. Then we get down to the flavoring and preservative parts. Most likey it's gonna have some sodium nitrate in it. That's the stuff the makes hot dogs hotdogs. If you can stomache hotdogs, you're good to go.

But . . . 

Do not purchase if the list contains sugar. Sweet Turkey Bacon is pretty gross.

Also, and super super important, do not purchase if there is any hint of some kind of liquid smoke flavoring. Not only is that stuff freakishly over-powering and just a nasty thing to do to your olfactory senses, but it will repeat on you for like three days.

I am a man who enjoys a good burp, but liquid smoke will just linger in the back of your throat and make you wish you could get through life without eating another thing again.

Do not hide Turkey Bacon in things. We all know the difference. Even though the Turkey Bacon producers think they're terribly cute in cutting the slices to look like bacon, no one is fooled. 

If you are the primary cook of your household and are considering making the switch to Turkey Bacon for health reasons or because it's a little cheaper, make sure you pass the idea to your SO before placing a plate of the stuff in front of him or her on some random morning.

If you do that, they're gonna be dissapointed. Possibly angry. And if you did it before they've had a cup of coffee, you're likely to get some mild verbal abuse.

Instead, start the conversation before you go to the super market with something like this:

Hey Honey?

What?

I was thinking about trying Turkey Bacon.

That sounds terrible.

Well, it's a bit cheaper, doesn't have quite so much concentrated animal fat, and I've been trying to think of simple ways to get  back into that catholic girl school uniform that you used to like.

Oh?

Yeah. Remember back when we could both fit in the shower together?

Yes honey. Yes I do.

Well?

Well what?

Can we try it?

Yes dear. Yes we can.

It really is that simple. Don't force it. Make it a "Why don't we give it a try?" adventure, instead of a punishment for putting so much cream cheese on your pastrami sandwiches.

Turkey Bacon is not a cure-all.

But it can be tasty.

And that's all that really matters isn't it?

Doctor Recommended

There are two bottles underneath my bathroom sink. Both are large plastic bottles with some sort of 'Cool Blue' liquid in them.

One is my doctor recommended mouth wash.

The other is hand soap.

I keep grabbing the hand soap after brushing my teeth. Then, realizing I've done it  yet again, I bend back down and grab the mouth wash instead.

Don't feel bad for me. It counts as two or three reps of core training.

When you look at both bottles side by side, they actually don't look that much alike. The hand soap bottle is sorta blockish with strong sloping shoulders while the mouth wash bottle is that classically thin model with the large cup sized cap. Looking at the two side by side, one might think I'm an idiot for confusing them more than once.

But we're talking, like, everyday.

And the reason is the 'Cool Blue' color.

In my defense.

The hand soap is the exact same 'Cool Blue' that I remember from my grandmother's guest bathroom. In the early days, 1984 thru 1987, She always had two different kinds of mouth wash. There was the Mint Green Scope, and of course, the cure-all pee yellow Listerine.

My brother and I opted for the Scope because gargling with Listerine was like rinsing your mouth out with sin.

When she ran out of Scope we made sure that evening to spike her dinner milk with barbituates so that she would be far too sleepy to remember that we needed to brush out teeth.

Then, one day, the Cool Blue replaced the Mint Green, and our worlds were changed forever.

It was so soft and so sweet, it was like the angel food cake of mouth washes.

For years, it was the stuff.

But as I got older, I kind of sensed that maybe it was too soft. Maybe the Buddists are right and the only way to enlightenment is through pain, which means clearly, Listerine is the best mouth wash to use, and for a time I switched to the equivalent of oral flaggelation.

That was right about the time Listerine came out with it's own 'Cool Blue' color.

But Listerine's 'Cool Blue' was much darker, much heavier, much more likely to inspire fear.

It was a lot like the color of my current doctor recommended mouth wash.

I think I still prefered the yellow pee stuff. Cool Blue Listerine just felt like a cop-out.

And then one day, I read something about something, and in it was chapter on false advertising, and in the chapter on false advertising was the landmark case against Listerine, for not doing any of the things it claimed to be doing.

Apparently it was as effective as rinsing your mouth with salt water. (or hand soap for that matter)

And once again, my world changed forever.

I'd just been givin the keys to an adult perspective on virtually everything I've ever touched or consumed. The was a wild moment of actualization.

I don't believe in conspiracies (mostly cause I don't think people are that smart) but I do believe that the temptation to take things at face value, an evolutionary defense mechanism in all of god's creatures, is like cat-nip for the unscrupulous.

Thirty years after Linsterine caughed up $10 million for false advertising, get this, Listerine was sued again for claiming that it's mouthwash was as effective as flossing. The company actually fudged the test results and got caught. 

Catnip.

That was 2005.

In that same year I got into an argument with a psychologist over his prescription of Prozac for my step-son. Prozac is an anti-depressant, but in young children it has been found to reduce symptoms of obsessive compulsion.

"Really Doc? Really? Cause the only thing I ever found about Prozac being able to reduce OCD is a single, nine child study, when seven of the nine were relieved of symptoms. That's it, just one. And further more, Prozac is a life long commitment. There are no studies whatsoever, NONE, that suggest methods of how to reduce dependence and eventually eliminate dependence."

I was absolutely convinced that the drug solution should only be considered if there was a considerably well mapped out escape route. Drugs were fine as long as they were used like a compress to stop the bleeding, but in no way should they be considered as good as stitches for repairing the wound.

Such an escape route, alas, does not exist.

Nor will it probably ever.

The single biggest failure of a capitalist society is that there is no money to be made getting people off of drugs.

Please don't forget that I am a Cool Blue Blooded Capitolist myself.

But there is a reason why Ideology and Idiocy share a homophonic ancestor.

And I lost the fight to Big Pharma anyway.

Cause, well, unlike Listerine, Prozac worked as advertised.

Just like the dark cool blue doctor recommended mouth wash I use now.

I say 'Doctor Recommended' not because that's what's on the label, but because an actual doctor actually recommended it to me.

I have extremely porous teeth and this dark cool blue stuff is supposed to help with strengthening the enamel. More enamel = Less Cavities, which means less $ spent at the doc's office.

The doc has no financial interest in my lack of cavities.

And since a date with his drill costs some serious coin, and since I was going to be buying mouthwash anyway, I decided to give it a go because, you know, "What if?"

I continue to buy it now, despite it's hand soap camoflauge, because I haven't gotten any cavities since. I don't know if it really works works, but it's a zero investiment with a positive and cost saving outcome.

See?

Capitalist.