Five Reasons

Calvin sits on the couch.

I motion for him to move over.

Why do you always sit in this spot? Why can't I sit in this spot

Here are five reasons that its my spot.

1. I'm left handed and on this side of the couch I can reach my wine better.

2. I'm right eyed dominant, so I can see the TV better from here.

3. It's on the side nearer the kitchen for when the soup needs stirring.

4. My butt has a particular shape that has molded over the years in this particular couch,

And 5,

Because its mine goddamn it, so move over.


Is Santa real?

What do you think?

Ethen says Santa's not real?

Does Ethen tell you the truth a lot?

No. He says he has a million dollars.

He might.

No. I don't think he does.

Me either.

Do you believe in Santa?



Well, it's been many years since Santa has brought me anything. I think that Santa becomes less real as you get older. So, when you hear older kids talking about Santa not being real, it's because he doesn't bring them anything any more.

So he really just likes bringing things for little kids?

Good little kids.

I'm still little?


Do you have a million dollars?


Does Santa have a million dollars?

He doesn't need money.

Then how will he get me an XBox?

Why don't you let him worry about that.

Kay. Wait dad?


I'm hungry.

Raining Five

Going to be quite the storm this weekend.

Here are five of my favorite rainy day things.

Movie marathons

Flannel comforters

Grilled cheese

Tomato soup

And someone to share them with.

Have a lovely weekend.

I got nothin.

Today's a tough one.

Usually, Monday's post is inspired by a weekend of intense mulling, or a flash in the pan idea I got from the radio on my drive home.

But we all know what is dominating the cultural conversation, and social pop culture commentary will either annoy someone with its frivolity, or hurt someone with a misplaced sentiment.

So, I got nothin.

Christmas is almost here.

My wife wants a dog, but she's not getting one.

My brother is getting married on Saturday.

He already has a dog.

Read a great quote today with which I'll share:

"Why do poets always take the weather so personally?"

Don't remember who said it.

My wife made me turn off the 49er game last night and I did cause they were winning 31-3.

So I missed that game.

People are still making Mayan calendar "End of the World" jokes and I am still hating them for it.

Victoria Jackson is apparently an Ultra Conservative blogger now.

I'll bet she has a dog.

A bunch of my friends have given up Facebook for a while.

Sometimes the only thing worse than thinking about things is discovering what other people think about things.

My lemon flavor mineral water has 70mg of sodium in it. But has hidden that fact by stating that it only has 35mg per serving.

The bottle is "about" two servings. and I would need to drink about 25 bottles in order to get my recommended daily allowance of sodium.

Not sure how I feel about that.

Like I said . . .

I got nothin.

Five Little Notes

So, I finally get the chance to sit down at my desk, a little worn down, a little cranky, and a little ready to set fire to all Post-It notes staring me in the face.

They all know I hate Post-It notes.


But they are a necessary evil.

Like black licorice or the Republican Party.

Here are the five notes I got (names removed to protect the innocent)

Josh-I need Monday off

Josh- The grinder is broken

Josh- My paycheck is wrong

Josh- is it possible not to work past 1:30 or even 2:00 on Christmas Eve? Cause I have to go to my Father-in-laws because my wife's parents are divorced and they can't be in the same room and we need to spent at least a little bit of time with each of them cause this is our first Christmas as a married couple and (see other side) he lives far out in the Bay Area and we want to beat some of the traffic, but if you can't, I understand, but it would be really nice.

Josh- you're a good boss and I don't need anything.

I know it's not manly, but the last one made me cry a little bit.


Saw the new Bond movie today.

And there's really not that much to tell.

Either you are a Bond fan, and have already seen it and made your mind up about it.

Or you're not, and you didn't even realize there was a new one out, what with your weekends being taken up with standing in line for the new Twilight movie.

And if you are a Bond fan, and have already seen it, you probably enjoyed it.

I too, enjoyed it.

Which is not much of a review I'm afraid, but again, words will be wasted on either side.

Now I was a little disappointed that it wasn't magnificent.

But not as disappointed as the lady behind us.

To her every thing was "Ridiculous!"

Bond would ride a motorcycle off a bridge and land on a speeding train, "Ridiculous!"

Bond would try to interrogate an assassin while dangling him from a window on the 44th floor. "Ridiculous!"

Albert Finney would flirt with Judi Dench, "Ridiculous!"




There were only two things I could think of: One, pray to god that none of her spittle would hit me in the back of the neck, and two, what exactly had her expectations been prior to buying the ticket?

This is a Bond film.

Did she wake up from a 50 year coma and insist upon seeing the earliest show available, not realizing that Skyfall is not a Capra title.

She must have been stupid.

No, she was stupid.

And a heavy breather.

She actually entered the theater 20 minutes into the flick, taking each step of the aisle very slowly and huffing and puffing to herself as if one of the three little piggies lived in the projector booth.

I may or may not have spent too much of my movie time thinking about Mrs. Ridiculous and not enough about the movie at hand.

But it was good. Not magnificent.


And it wasn't a rush out and buy on DVD the moment its available. But it was worth the price of the matinee and maybe even the popcorn if Joann and I hadn't already gone out to breakfast already.

I was also a little disappointed that breakfast wasn't magnificent either.

We had been out yesterday and rode our bikes past a little hole the wall diner that we had never seen before. I made a mental note for us to come back in the morning after Calvin had been dropped off at school.

I don't know how the rest of you feel about little hole in the wall diners, but I absolutely have to try them, just in case they are as good as the dream I dream about how good a little hole in the wall diner should be.

It should look a little run down.

Its should have terrible service, spotted serve-ware, sour coffee, and food so hot and so good that it will burn the roof of your soul.

And there are rules to this magical diner:

You should listen intently as the old timers tell you a thing or two and you should tip that crusty old twat of a waitress like she was the concierge of the Waldorf Astoria.

And when we got to the place, and the door knob was sticky, and carpet was dingy, and there wasn't a soul to greet us, all I could think of was "Heaven, here we come."

But after waiting three minutes in an empty hall, a nice looking man in a floured apron rushed up to us and told us that his produce delivery truck was late and that he had no food for breakfast. He was very adamant about how fresh his food was and how if we could come back in an hour or two he'd be ready.

"But I'm hungry now!" said my stomach.

Or that could have been my wife.

Either way,

Waiting is ridiculous.

We headed to our normal diner, for we were feeling more peckish than adventurous.

And we had a 10:40 movie to get to.

Fresh produce four apron guy is gonna have to wait until our next outing, when we have time and patience.

But even our normal spot wasn't all that good.

Which was really ridiculous.

It was much busier than a normal Monday. And my over medium came out over easy, and my normal crispy chicken fried steak had clearly been microwaved and the waitresses were more frantic than disinterested, which is how I prefer my waitresses, and the guy next to me kept knocking the festive holiday decorations off the table and the old ladies behind me smelled like old ladies.

And nobody wants to eat microwaved chicken fried steak with the smell of old lady in their nostrils.

But I did anyway.

Cause this is America and we should be thankful for microwaves and old lady perfume and the fact that we didn't have to wait an entire hour for fresh produce.

And I ate it gratefully, for I refuse to become Mr. Ridiculous, with a heart full of spite and condescension. And I tipped my frantic waitress lady that same way I would have tipped floured apron guy, who is probably feeling pretty sad that we left and never came back.

But I have become Mr. Ridiculous.

Cause when I'm hungry, I have plenty of things to eat.

When I'm tired, I snuggle into the ridiculously high thread count sheets of my queen sized bed, and sleep.

When Calvin coughs, I have a pediatrician on speed dial.

And when Joann says's she's fat, I have an entire room to disappear to and wait out her ridiculousness.

And I could totally afford the ridiculous price of movie popcorn whenever I don't have a belly full of runny eggs.

So who am I to judge?

Actually, the answer is easy.

I'm the guy sitting in front of you at the movies.

So shut up.


It's 5:43am Monday morning and Calvin's tummy hurts.

He's not sick.

It's Monday and he's worked himself up into a tizzy about returning to the classroom.

He understands that there is no real danger.


And that he has no choice in the matter any way.

But he just doesn't want to go to school.

And its making his tummy hurt worrying about it.

And I don't blame him.

If there were any two traits of mine that I did not want him to get, it would be cavity prone teeth, and a complete distaste for public education (or really any large bureaucracy that concerns itself with the lowest common denominator and of which I'm subject to)

And there is no recourse. None. Nada. Zilch.

The only thing bulky organizations do better than small picture incompetancy is aggressively shut down dissension.

Now Taylor, much like his mother, is brilliant at school.

They're like: "Show me the rules and get me a pencil. I'm gonna whip shit up!"

And Calvin, much like his old man, is pathetic at school.

We're like: "Eff your rules. And get your shit outta my face."

Except he doesn't have quite the four letter vocabulary of his pater familias, so he's more like: "My tummy hurts."

I can't blame him.

My tummy would hurt too.

I got this letter regarding the results of his standardized testing. And I'll admit, I was a little disappointed with the scores.

They were average. Like 62nd percentile average.

Which seemed weird to me.

For two reasons.

One, his old man is great at testing. I would fail your class all year and ace the test. That's just how I roll. Do not pester me with daily exercise and nightly dittos.  Give me a goal, and then for the love of god, stay out of my way. And then if you really want to get my attention, show me something cool.

And Two. . .

As tightly wound as he is, Calvin doesn't have a comprehension problem. Okay, maybe I do have to remind him that zombies aren't real, but his understanding of how to navigate and manipulate the world around him is far more advanced than some adults that I know.

Example: He wanted me to do something and I didn't want to do it, so I told him that I didn't know how. Ten minutes later he calls me to the computer and makes me watch a YouTube video on how to do precisely what he had asked me to do. And then informed me that the only reason he can't do it himself is because the drill is too heavy.

I don't think Dick and Jane is too esoteric for him. I think he doesn't care. He actively doesn't care. He painfully doesn't care.

How regressive has the system become that it's already churning out disillusioned 7 year olds?

Goodness me.

And then there's the note at the bottom from his teacher:

"Calvin should read nightly to show more improvement"

Wait . . . did I miss something, Mrs Teacherlady?

Show more improvement?

The boy clearly has both the ability to learn and an insane thirst for knowledge. The only limit to his education is the education itself.

Do you not see what I see? Or can you not?

And the answer is: She can't.

With 32 children and a standardized program that is paced for the 50th percentile, there is no depth to her ability to instruct, only chaos management. And because she herself is a successful byproduct of such a system, not only does it have her trust, she doubtlessly lacks the intellectual pessimism that would lead her to question the rules in the first place. And even if she could recognize its fallibility, what exactly could she do to make it all better?

The world runs on the blood and sweat of the 50%. She's not paid to polish gems, she's paid to quarry stone.

She's got 31 other minds to manage. And most of them come from genetic lineage that still believes in Jesus Christ and trickle down economics.

So shame on me for getting all bent out of shape. I should be reading with him nightly and that's all there is to it.

Whether he is a diamond or a chunk of concrete, he's my responsibility.

And yeah, if I do nothing, maybe he will learn to soar, or maybe he will sit perfectly still in the 62nd percentile range.

And yeah, if I make him a constant project, maybe he will learn to soar, or maybe he will sit perfectly still in the 62nd percentile range.

Crap shoot.

Can't guarantee that I'll make him a star.

But  I can show him cool stuff.

Which, if you will excuse me, I've got a drill to charge.