TBT: Summer of '79

You know what this picture says?

It says I spent my third birthday in Tijuana with my best friend, Superman.

or . . .

Superman Piñata has seen some shit.

or . . .

"Cake now."

or . . .

"What? We was just talking. Ain't that right Clarky?"

I could probably go on all day.

All day.

But I would be very remiss if I didn't at least mention how supremely creepy a Superman Piñata is.

And, I don't know how my mother managed it, but how was she able to tuck my shirt into my belt?

The belt isn't holding up anything.

It's literally just wrapped around my belly.

At least I know where my son gets his cowlicks from.


Week in Review: End of the Birthday Month

Making a list. Checking it twice.

Turns out, I actually embibed stuff this week.

No, I don't mean all the birthday scotch, though . . . thanks for that too . . . no I mean I read things and listened to things and watched things worth actually reviewing.

So lets just fire away:

Week in TV:
Joann found our DVD copy of Planet Earth (Yes, of course the David Attenborough version, I love Sigorney Weaver just as much as any red blooded American should, but voice overs and Jane Austen adaptations should always remain in the hands of the English). Morgan Freeman is the exception to the rule. Which . . . I think is something that follows his name more often than any of us would suppose.

If you haven't seen Panet Earth, I feel sad for you. It's like never having been to Disneyland or experiencing a foot-rub. It is awesome in the true sense of the word, as in, awe inspiring, will leave you in awe, like totally. If you don't have either the DVDs yourself or, god forbid, a high definition television on which to watch it, you are welcome to come over.

Bring beer and nachos.

This Week in Music:
A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a little bit Sarah Mclachlan. I had a show where I was asked to play some country. I didn't know any country, so I played Beatles instead. The United Kingdom is a coutry too, right? Anyway, I wanted to add something to the rep. (short for repertoire) and put out a call for suggestions.

None of you were helpful. ('cept Shelia, Thank-You)

I may learn Folsom Prison Blues just because I live so close.

I may also do a smash-up of Billy Ray Cyrus and Leonard Cohen. "She tied you to her kitchen chair, she broke your thrown, she cut your hair, but she won't break your heart, your achey breaky heart.

I still haven't decided.

Anyway, I was reminded that I actually knew a country cover song, Racall Flatts' Broken Road that I performed for a friend's wedding last year, so I got that going for me.

I was also asked to do a Ryan Adam's cover, but he's most famous for doing a cover of 'Wonderwall' the version of which is almost as taboo in singer/songwriter circles as 'Hallelujah'. I did find a very nice country-esque song of his that was very simple, so two birds, one stone.

Then we get to Sarah. Oh Sarah. Her new album "Shine On" is very pretty. She has a sound, that I'd want to say is so impossible to get away from, I actually found myself a little irritated at the fuzz tone 'Avril Lavigne-Light' song that popped up near the end, but there is no such thing as a sound that is impossible to get away from. I want her to do the whole thing again, but this time accompanied by a guy with a Fender Mustang, a tube amp with a blown speaker, and a drummer who hasn't changed his heads since the Clinton administration, and I want her to chain smoke through the whole session.

Just cause.

I would pay retail price for that.

Lets make it happen.

This Week in Books:
I got a text from my wife asking me to send her a list of books I might want. I sent her the list and hour later and she did not disappoint. I knew she was at our favorite used bookstore so I sent her a list of old books that I hadn't ever found or stuff that I had loaned out and/or given away.

Vonnegut's Slapstick: Its an older one of his, very short, less than two hunderd pages. I finished it in an afternoon. There's a lot of stuff in it, but there is a thru line where every human gets a new middle name, randomly generated and the idea is that people with the same middle name are now part of an extended clan, in an effort to bring humanity closer together.

It's poignant because there's a recent push to get everyone to update their geneology online in order to have a Great Big Family Reunion in NY next summer. Same premise, same language, Vonnegut just hadn't experienced the internet yet.

Bill Bryson's "English and How it Got that Way."
I'm fascinated with etymology. This book is in-depth, funny, and for geeks only.

Lastly;

ALL THE SONGS: The Complete Guide to Every Beatles' Recording.
This breaks down the genisis of each song, how it was produced and how it was recorded. It is a two inch thick, coffee table book, weighing almost as much as my son does. I finished it this morning. And now I have to go back through it again and pick out all the recordings an out takes that I don't currently have in my library.

So much for next week.

How to Chinese Food

I don't know how, or exactly why, but I've noticed that chinese food has been getting very complicated. Part of that, I'm sure, is just having children who are constantly redefining what it is they like and don't like. There is a crazy new fight between my son and I about who is the person responsible for picking the cabbage slices out of the chow mein. I will win that particular fight, but not without a metric ton of screaming and crying and name calling and a possible restraining order.

Menus have gotten a little out of hand as well.

There are lunch deals and dinner deals, two items from Column A but only one item from Column B. There is a little picture of a pepper if the item is hot, a picture of broccoli if it's vegetarian, and a picture monk setting himself on fire if the item is gluten free.

There is also brown rice to choose from.

I have an opinion on that.

If you want to eat brown rice then please go hate yourself somewhere where there aren't so many sharp things to poke you in the face with.

There are also varying degrees of restaurants to choose from. There are the fast food places with zippy lines and styrofoam bowls. There are the upper scale fusion places where the wait staff makes your sauce right there at the table, and then there are the mom and pop shops from my childhood memories. I failed to mention the mongolian barbecue places because, although I have had some tasty meals at those places, I've never been a fan of paying to load my own plate. If I'm gonna go out, I'm gonna go out.

The fast foot places are great for lunch and for a quick grab when your running late. Easy menu, crunchy egg rolls, and hot mustard in packets.

The upscale places have been kinda terrible lately (everyone's cutting costs) and the food has that freshly microwaved gloppy texture to it. If you want the fresh stuff  and the best service, my advice is to hit those places right before 5:00pm on a Friday. The evening crew is just getting in and getting situated the food is fresh off the burner and the beer you ordered arrives before desert.

That's advice for all restauranting, not just the hoity toity chinese food places.

That leaves the Mom and Pop places.

Or as I like to call them "Hit or MISS!"

My mom's got a good rule to weed out the misses. Check the chicken. If it's pressed (like the stuff in a chicken nugget) then stay away.

Joann always goes by the quality of the chow mein. Leave it to an italian to judge a chinese food place by it's noodles.

I usually go by the quantity of filler (celery and cabbage) and the crispness of the broccoli in the beef and broccoli dish.

Finding a good chinese food place can be as complicated as picking out wine or finding a good mechanic.

Rule One for how to Chinese Food:
Ask a friend. Avoid Yelp! and any online rating social network. Those communities are made up of douche bags and compulsive liars and marketing directors. Friends will usually not let you down, unless you were unclear on what you were looking for or it has been more than a year since they went to a particular place. Changes in management/recipes happen all the time. If your friend's information is out of date, it's a coin toss.

Coin Toss. Flip a coin for the nearest shops and work your way out in concentric circles. Never forget, never surrender.

Other things to look for is a good distribution of lazy susans, a lot of old people (they know what's up), and place mats with the chinese zodiac signs. Without those placemats how are you ever going to know if your dragon is compatible with you wife's rat (they are), and find that geeky kid that was born in January and likes to make a big deal of the fact that his year is off?

Once you have found the place. Make it your place. Put it as a contact in your phone and mark your territory with unacceptable amounts of urine.

Pro Tip: Because Chinese Food is like the ultimate "I don't feel like cooking food." Make sure that you find an acceptable place between your office and your home. If you work from home, then you just need to find a place between your wife's office and your home.

Rule Two:
Learn to chopistick. You yutz. There are many YouTube videos for this and yes, it does in fact make you look like a provincial if you use a fork.

Rule Three:
Know your dish. Like I said, Joann's is chow mein, mine is beef and brocolli, every place has a version of those two things and knowing exactly what you want makes rule four that much easier to abide by.

Rule Four:
When ordering in a group, pick the leader. The leader is resposible for gathering the orders and communicating them to the waitstaff. Each person gets to choose one dish, plus an order of fried rice, an order of chow mein and one egg roll per person unless you're eating with Joann and then make sure that there is at least two egg rolls for her. Know your dish, but feel free to get adventurous if something catches your eye or someone else in your party has already chosen beef and broccoli. If you do not pick a leader, or if you don't know what you want, chaos will ensue and god won't help you.

Rule Five:
The clear stuff is vinegar, the brown stuff is soy sauce. Use both sparingly, and tap, don't shake.

Rules Six through Eighteen: The Left Overs.

There will be left overs. Oh yes, there will be left overs. Beautiful, bountiful, left overs.

Left overs always go to the poorest nation.

College students first, parents with infant children, parents with college students, single people and finally grand parents.

If you are selected as the poorest nation, you have one obligation and one obligation only. To eat all the leftovers. You have two days, so tuck in. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks for 48 hours. Failure to meet this obligation sends you to the back of the line.

Pro Tip: Keep the left-overs on the top shelf in front of everything else. The second they get pushed back behind something, they will be forgotten until Thanksgiving.

If, like me, your family is unable to eat the same food in consecutive fortnights, then you got to take it on solo. Sorry dude, thems the breaks.

Reheating left-overs: Single bowl microwave method (Only sanctioned method)
Noodles first, gooey stuff in the middle, rice on top. 1:45 on high, stir, repeat. Let sit in microwave for a few minutes so the bowl can heat up food. I don't know how the bowl gets so hot when the food stays cold, but then I don't understand wine coolers either. 

On a plate, food stuff seperated, = crazy.

In the paper box with the metal handle removed. = Insanity.

Cold, right out of the fridge = Zen Master.

Pro Tip: If Joann hasn't eaten all the egg rolls, then reheat them in a toaster oven. She taught me that and I don't think she has ever been more right about anything.

You are allowed to add any sauce you want (Tabasco, Sriraccha, and spicy mustard are my faves, but if ranch dressing is your thing, well . . . go on girl, those arteries aren't gonna clog themselves.)

If you live with other people, there is no sin greater than eating all the good stuff and leaving a paper box filled with cabbage and bok choy. (Looking right at you Taylor)

Punishments for such a sin can and will include a removal of car privileges and I swear to god if you do it again I will replace your toothpaste with denture cream.

Once the 48 hours is up, throw it all away regardless of your fortitudinal failures. It won't ever get eaten at that point and will only grow hair.

Better luck next time.

Other Rules of note: It is only acceptable to tweet your fortune cookie results if you are a virgin, same applies to making jokes about how hungry you'll be in thirty minutes.

Also, never, don't ever, purchase a chinese cookbook. It will cost you three hundred dollars worth of ingrediants you will never use again for anything and you really don't want to know what that spongy slimey stuff in the Hot and Sour Soup is. You really, really don't.

(It's Tofu, and doesn't sound scary, but wait until you see how it's packaged.)

As with all other things, good night and don't order the brown rice.

You've been warned.



A Curious Case of the Mondays

Even when I was working a forty hour work week, I didn't get touched by 'The Mondays' very often. Mostly because I wroked Tuesday thru Saturday, so my actual Mondays were spent sleeping in and puttering about the house.

Tuesday mornings were sometimes draggy, but I always walked through the doors with big plans if not a totally shiny attitude, and as soon as the coffee started kicking in, I was good to go.

It helped too that all my clientelle had been through their Mondays already, so there was no struggle through osmosis. No communal sharing of negativity.

Yes, that was, in fact, planned.

I just got through two super huge weeks. Not only the celebration of everything that is my birthday, but I did six shows in twelve days, and to be honest, that kicked my butt. Which is funny, cause I remember a time when I would do six shows in three days and still feel perky come Monday morning (Insider Pool: Theaters are closed on Mondays, so that's usually an actor's only day off).

Pushin 40 is no joke and I don't recommend it.

I know that you're only as old as you feel, but I'll believe that when the social security checks start rolling in.

Funny part too is that my voice is just fine, it's my fingers that are all tore up. Apparently I've been stringing my guitars with razor wire. Which is a terrible thing to string your guitars with.

Actually, I've just been playing too hard.

I've got a John Denver sound, but I play like Johnny Ramone.

Gotta work on that this week. Gotta work on a lot of things. Gotta work on a lot of things that are seriously unexciting and have pretty much given me the case of the Mondays.

I have to learn a Ryan Adams song, plus something country. Always gotta have some country in your repertoire. I don't know why it's taken me this long to figure that out. Just stupid I guess.

I've got to update a few websites I've been neglecting, and I'm exactly one essay away from sharing my new book with other people. Sounds like homework. It's a week full of long division and I have to show my work.

I think it might be the heat too.

It's frigging hot out here.

Mayhaps a change in the weather will bring a change in the overall mood.

I was thinking of going all Garfield and making some lasagna tonight just as an ode to a tired tired joke, but my brother dropped off a basket filled with fresh produce from his garden and so instead it's going to be 'pasta al tono' tonight and stuffed zucchini tomorrow, and maybe something with fresh garden salsa. Mmmmm.

Ever made red sauce with homegrown tomatoes?

If not, go do it. Do it now.

It will change your life.

Or, if you're a pesimist slowly dragging yourself through your own case of the Mondays, it will ruin everything else in life.

Which is cool.

Once you've ruined your ability to eat spaghetti sauce from a can, you'll start to discover that there is a whole nother universe of pleasurable things that never even occurred to you. You might start drinking fresh coffee. You might start turning off the A/C in your car and just roll the windows down. You might stop wearing a belt. I know, for me, there is a bike ride in my future, and a hair cut, and a trip to Guitar Center for finger picks and a speaker stand. 

Grilled salmon steaks, good books, four days till my next show, some fantastic wine, some seriously fantastic scotch, fantasy football less than a month away and the little one starts school in two weeks, which means a whole new routine for all of us.

If you could take a pill for a case of the Monday's, I'd say take it, but if you can't, then go ahead and plan a meal. Food makes everything better.

And take care of your fingers.

They're important.

Week In Review: So you say it's your birthday

Don't know about you, but it seems like this has been and will continue to be a very busy time of the year.

It's not all about me.

Mostly, but not all.

I will say this, I didn't listen to a single piece of music worth mentioning, didn't read a book, no TV or movies, got lots of chores done (which are boring) and went to the water slide park (Not boring, but I wrote about that yesterday, didn't I?)

Anyway, here are a few notables:

Week in Performances:
I did a nice two hour set at a local club for happy hour. Not a huge crowd, but everyone seems to have fun. I was followed by a local weekend warrior group (The Brazen Hussies) and I was thinking of staying, but two hours straight and I was too tired to hang and drink beer. I hope they had a good show.

I also played at a Jim Boy's Tacos. Seems like an odd gig, but it was delightful and the crowd was made up of executives and they seemed to enjoy the show. The best part is that I think I might have some additional phone numbers just in case I need to get a real job one of these days.

Then there was the four hour gig up in wine country. That was a blast. It was hot, but I lost seventeen pounds and at all the carbs I could fill my tummy with. The best part about the show was when I got my first request, "Anything Paul Simon",  I rolled with The Boxer and nailed it. Then I got another request for something country, but I don't know any country songs. Ooops. Gonna have to fix that, but I wouldn't even know where to begin.

If you're reading this, and you're country fan, send me a list of your favorite songs and I'll see what I can do for next time.

I also broke the nail on my left index finger, which sounds like a girlish complaint, but it does mean no plucking for a week, which means the two shows I've got booked for tonight and tomorrow will be strummed. Got a pretty gnarly blister too, but that's manly.

Tonights show, at the Powerhouse Pub in Folsom is a biggie. If I nail it, it could lead to some larger gigs down the stretch, but I'm pretty pumped. The set list will be all twelve string and the show is gonna rock. If you don't have plans after sending me your list of country songs, you should totally come out. Like totally.

Week in Birthday:
My wife introduced me to the concept of the Birthday Month, which I think is wonderful. That means that post July 4th it's all me me me me. There will be parties, and food, and presents, and scotch, and foot rubs, and golf, and cake, and scotch. You should come.

Week in Sports:
No I didn't play any sports, but a few years back my brother introduced me to Fantasy Football, and I'm terrible at it, but it's an addiction to rival heroin eight months out of the year. I couldn't wait any longer for my brother's league to get going, so I joined an open league and took part in a draft last night. I didn't do terrible, but my wifi kicked me off just as I was about to make my third pick and I had stupidly filled my queue with defensive players for the later rounds and I ended up with a line backer instead of a top shelf wide receiver. Ooops. 

But it was free, and there was a ton of smack talk going on, so it will be fun.

Week in Religion:
An audience member at the winery gig asked me if I was a Christian musician. I said that I wasn't, but that I have acquaintances that are. She told me that a lot of my original songs sound like christian songs. I took the compliment. Cause . . . you know . . . fans.

And it was a nice thing to say cause how many times have you been flipping radio stations only to land on a song that sounds really good and then you realize you've been listening to a christian rock station for twenty or so miles? Christian rock is very cleanly produced with solid melodic structure and extremely honest heartfelt performances. Nothing wrong with that category, and in fact two weeks ago I just sent out some of my earlier recordings to a christian label looking for the kinds of songs I just described.

I don't think I'd make it as a christian rock star, cause . . . well . . . reasons, but I'd happily trade my songwriting skills for a turkey sandwich and a devoted fan base. So who knows? I would have to tone down the sarcasm a bit. I don't think I could sell a song like;

"Gee, Thanks for the Birthday Present Jesus. Look Everyone . . . Bread!"

or

"Hell is for sinners, so how did you wind up in Winnamucca?"


But you know, there may be an indie-punk-christian-rock side genre that I could fit into quite nicely.

Anyway, that's my week.

Just like any other week, but this one's mine.




How to Water Park

We have been living about half a mile from a water slide park for the better part of a decade. I have two kids who can swim and like doing things and yet I've never taken them. That seemed kinda wierd to me.

My little guy mentioned awhile back that he really wanted to go. That may or may not have been two years ago. I told him that when he could dive to the bottom of grandma's pool then I would take him. That also I'm pretty sure was two years ago.

This year he decided to take the plunge.

Like literally.

And I'm a man of my word.

Like colloquially.

So we picked a nice quiet Monday (yesterday) grabbed one of his friends and off we went.

I cannot remember the last time I went to a waterslide park.

We went every year for my birthday.

Summer birthday's are the best.

But I think that last time we did that, Kurt Cobain was still alive.

So it's been twenty years.

Like mathematically.

And we had a great time, cause we planned ahead, and used some common sense. So today's How to Tuesday is all about the WaterSlide Park, some do's, some don't's, and some strategies to make it a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

First, planning ahead. The nice thing about the WaterSlide Park as opposed to other theme parks is that it does not require any 401K adustments. It's not cheap, but it is reasonable.

Things you will need to bring:

Towel. You're gonna get wet. Please just asume that's part of the fun. If you are the kind of person who goes to a water park and expects not to get wet, then you're stupid and deserve just about everything that ever happens to you ever.

Sun Screen: SPF 50 and look for the stuff that says both UVA and UVB. I don't know why, but that's what it says in the dermatology section at About.com. I lathered myself and the boy up before we left, and felt pretty good about it, but, as it turns out, a post lunch second coating would have relieved me of this slight burn I'm suffering through this morning. It's not bad, just itchy and sore. Oh, and it's lethal. Sun burns can be lethal. Forget the lotion and you might as well take up drunk driving as your new hobby and stop brushing your teeth.

Flip flops, cheap breakable sunglasses, and an extra $6.00 incase you forget your sunscreen, are also good things to have on hand.

Dress Code:
For Boys: Swimming trunks, tshirts.
For Girls: You're on your own. But please consider that someone's grandparents can see you.

Things you're gonna have to buy:
Entry fee, locker, and food. (We lucked out cause our park shares the lot with an In And Out Burger) A locker is a must, because you're gonna need a safe place to put your stuff (Wallet, Cell Phone, Towels, flipflops, Sunscreen)

Sucker Purchases:
Inner Tubes: They have them for free already and in fact, the best way to tell which line is the shortest is by seeing how many of the free tubes are waiting. More Tubes=Less Line. No Tubes=Big Line. Plus, there are many slides that don't require a tube, and since the tube won't fit in your locker, someone is going to have to make the waiting sacrifice. Or you're going to have to get a personal cabana.

Yeah. You heard right.

A Cabana. The water park rents out three different sizes of shaded cabanas for weary parents and rental tube storage. Now I can totally see the appeal. Quiet place to rest, relax, get out of the blistering sun, maybe read a book or listen to a pocast of Fresh Air. Maybe it's a birthday party and you want a nice place for the women to gossip and share recipes so that the dads can go run around and gawk at all the girls who didn't take my clothing advice. Maybe you've got the baby and he's cranky. Whatever.

But, I guess, I guess I'm either just super cheap or super pragmatic. I've already paid the entry fee, why in god's name would I pay to have a little place away from the place that I just paid to get into?

And on top of that, if you would like to sit in the shade and read, why not send everyone else to the water park and enjoy a quiet house for six hours?

I understand that we parents do not have the luxury of boundless energy, six hours running, climbing, jumping, gawking, is a lot to do. But the water park understands you need a break, and it has invented one of the greatest inventions ever.

The Endless River.

Grab one of the free tubes and you can float for hours around the park. It's refreshing, quiet, peaceful, and there is never a line. There are waterfalls throughout, just incase you need to dowse yourself, and yes, sometimes the older kids splash past you, but again, if you go to a water park not wanting to get wet, well . . . 

Safety:
Once you're in, before you do anything else, pick a safety spot where everyone can go when you are seperated. Pick a place that can be seen from just about anywhere in the park. A spot right by the entrance to the Endless River is ideal because instead of waiting in the sun, I just go round and around until the boys return from whatever back breaking super shotgun slide was on their "Must" list.

I trust that you already know to use the Buddy System.

Hygene:
Just about every surface of your skin and most of your orifices are gonna be bleached and enema'ed. The only thing I do suggest is that you go to your locker and grab your flip flops for visits to the bathroom. You may feel confident that those are puddles of water you're standing in, but it gives me the heebeejeebees to think what they might be.

Rated PG13 for Brief Nudity:
There are a lot of different body types in the world. And at the water park, you're gonna see most of them. In great detail.

Like visually.

But we don't live in the Victorian Era, mercifully, and we don't live in a partiarchal nor specifically god fearing society either. There are a few inconsistancies (ie Boy Nipples=Okay, Girl Nipples=Not Okay, Girl Bikini Bottoms=Normal, Male Speedos=Outlawed).

But it's a water park. Everyone, including my chubby pasty self, is going to err on the side of too little clothing. There are going to be bodies that you certainly don't want to see, and bodies that you certainly don't want your wife to see you seeing. I honestly was more impressed by the places that people put tattoos and the various places that hair seems to grow on foreign men than I was by the scantily clads.

I actually felt kinda sorry that there really wasn't anything of perverse interest for the girls to look at. Teenage boys are pasty, awkward, and dopey and for the most part either all knees and elbows, or in a weight class all their own. And the rest of the men were all like me (splump shouldered, puckering manboobs, past their prime, dancing on the edge of a midlife crisis) or much older and much less groomed. I didn't see more than maybe three guys out of three thousand that would have made the call-back for a WB television show.

I guess all the chiseled man/boys are stuck at the gym, or out doing some kind of good deeds, or lining up as extras for the next Avengers movie.

However, if you think I'm describing come kind of Peeping Tom Paradise, then please do yourself, your mother, and the rest of humanity a favor and seek some help. If your fantasy machine is that limited there are groups and drugs and internet sites for that. And when you see someone with that wolfish, lip-licking look on their faces, it's socially acceptable to spit into their open mouths.

Final Tips on How to Water Park:
Check out how long the lines are and how fast they are moving. I stood in a puddle for twenty minutes until I realized the slide I was waiting for had been shut down. Also, find the shorter, less maniacal rides: They are fun and the wait is always nill. You can slide those like fifty times for every supertwisty shotgun blaster.

Don't run. Don't gawk. Check your body and your children's body for signs of redness and dehydration, and if your son is all skin and skeleton, hypothermia.

Read the signs: If it says it's bad for your back, it will be

Pay attention to the life guards: They may be teeagers, but they are there to keep you alive.

And lastly, and again, if you're over 35,

The Endless River.

It's awesome.

Like totally.

Mid Summer Nights Five

Reaching the mid summer point.

Pretty soon my birthday month will be over and I'll have to figure out how to start getting up early enough to take Calvin to school.

So since we have reached the midsummer point I thought I'd Five Out with some of the cool goings on.

First: Lots of Shows
I had three shows in June, I'll have done six in July, and another four already booked for August.Man, it's kinda like I was planning on doing this for a living. 

Second: Killed a Black Widow
Das rite. Since we canceled the ridiculously expensive pest control dudes we've been finding a few little bugs here and there. Found this monster black spider with two marble sized egg sacs not more than a foot away from my rosemary plant. One thing I'd like to point out is those things are fast. And if you want to end their tyranny quick, you're gonna need at least a half a can of spider spray. Calvin got to watch and I told him never to tell his mom what he saw and like a trouper he stayed close lipped. I broke the news to her after she found the can of spray under the sink.

Third: Finally washed my car.
Now you wouldn't think that would be a big deal, but there is a strict water conservation policy in my home town and they want us all to take our cars through the car washes instead of apply our own handiwork. But this means I have to wait until the Echo runs out of gas so I can take it through one of those gas station car washed for $6 bucks instead of the $20 dallar ones. The problem: The Echo never runs out of gas.

Four: My lawn is overrun by crab grass.
Gosh I feel terrible about this. But it's green at least. It had been brown for so long. It's gonna take a hellava lot of effort to fix. Maybe I'll make that my next summer project.

Five: "Honey, Now that you're meatier you can finally fit into this linen shirt."
Yeah. She actually said that. "Now that you're meatier." And it's true. I'm totally meatier. I meant to get my ass into shape with all kinds of excercise and good eating, but it's been so hot outside and carbs are so delicious.

And, in her oddly put defense, she does insist that she likes me meatier.

Who am I to argue with her or a plate of potato salad?