How my inlaws Post-It

Take Your Base

Calvin got beaned.

Right in the head.

With a baseball.

Thrown by an over zealous eight year old, so you know it wasn't going that fast, but still, right in the head.


That was the sound the overly zealously thrown baseball made as it beaned Calvin right in the head.

"That's why they wear helmets." One of the other parents said.

But I wasn't listening.

I was dissecting every little nuance of Calvin's reaction. I watched how the bat immediately dropped from his hands. I watched as his spine straightened and his shoulders rose up to his ears. I watched as he paused for a split second and then spun around and looked for me out on the bleachers.

"Dafuq just happened?" his face seemed to say as his eyes caught mine.

I held my breath.

The coach skipped over from third base.

We all held our collective breaths. You could cut the trepidation with a knife.

And then . . .

. . . nothing happened.

Calvin reached down, picked up his bat, and settled right back in the box.

"No, No dude." said the coach as he reached the batter's box. "Take your base."

"But I wanna hit." Calvin said in his whispiest doll-like soprano.

"Sorry buddy, you got hit. Take your base." said the coach as he ushered Calvin out of the box and down the first base line. "Them's the rules."

So Calvin plodded down the base line, until he got about half the distance to the bag and realized he was now gonna be on base and then galloped the rest of the way to first.

And we all breathed out.

Or at least I did.

Because I remember what it felt like getting hit with a baseball. And I remember that for the rest of the season I would cry like a little baby when it was my turn at the plate, and I would stand so far out of the box that the pitcher would only have to get the ball over the plate three times for me to strike out.

I would never play a second season of baseball. That was it for me. One hit and I was done.

Yet my own boy, a boy, need I remind you, that ran in fear of butterflies and motorcycle noises and warning labels, a boy that was afraid of water, and fire, the possibility of the world exploding, my boy gets hit right in the head and it only phases him long enough to bend over and pick up his bat.

This day, and there aren't very many of them, this day gets to go in the "Win" column.

So much of our lives are spent in the dugout among the dust and the grit and the empty sunflower seeds, cheering on our friends and telling dirty jokes to the guy next to us.

So much of our lives are spent in right field, doing our best to stay attentive and secretly hoping the ball never comes our way.

But sometimes we're at bat. Sometimes the ball is good and we miss. Sometimes the ball is bad and we don't bother swinging. Sometimes the ball is bad and we can't help it, we gotta swing, and sometimes the ball is good and a connection is made and for a split second, everything is infinitely possible.

And sometimes,

we get beaned in the head.

In life, however, we have two choices.

You either run out of the box crying, and vow never to swing again, like I did.

Or you pick up your bat and you dig in, like my boy did.

But not in baseball.

In baseball, if you get beaned in the head, you take your base.

Them's the rules.

Friday Five: All That's Left

Dear Friends, Loved Ones, Family, and Random Passers-by,

The mixes are done.

Or at least as close to being done as they will ever get.

And they really are beautiful.

Or at least as beautiful as any parent finds their children after five years of gestation.

Nothing came out the way I planned, for nothing ever does, and there are sour notes, and empty holes, and most of the time the right ear doesn't know what the left ear is doing, but the mixes are in.

And they're beautiful.

Now there are only five things left to do.

A Friday Five (one might say)

One . . . 
Send the mixes off to be mastered 
(To make the sparkly things sparkle and the shiny things shine)

Two . . .
Send the masters off to be printed/digitized/delivered. 
(For the masses to consume)

Three . . .
Quit my job and tour the world 
(only kidding mother)

but not really kidding.

Four . . .

Five . . . 
Find a nice quiet place to eat cheese, 
drink wine, 
grow fat, grow old, 
grow thin, grow young, 
and die in some pretty girl's arms.

And by 'pretty girl' . . .

 . . . I totally mean my beautiful wife.


Unless of course she dies long before I do and explicitly states, in her will, that I am to die in the arms of a pretty girl.

But she would never do that.

Because she is mean and spiteful.

And by 'mean and spiteful' . . .

 . . . I totally mean 'Pretty'

Oolongs and Zeitgeists

So I watched 2001:A Space Odyssey for the first time yesterday.


I know I was.

A couple of months back, I ran across a list of the 20 most important films. Films like Casablanca and Citizen Cane. Films by Kirosowa and Antonioni. I was shocked at how few of them I recognized, let alone seen, so I queued them up on my Netflix and summarily forgot about them.

Yet as I was reading the list , I came across several that I should absolutely have seen and for whatever reason, just hadn't.

I won't share with you all of them, but most shocking was that I had never seen Kubrick's Space Odyssey

I'd seen pieces.

I got all of the references. I knew who HAL was and why he wouldn't open the pod bay doors, but I'd never sat still for the entire three hours and watch the damn thing.

And now that's done.

And I will never have to do it again.

I never had to do it in the first place, but one has to do something in between naps.

The movie did, however, give me a lot of time to think. A lot of time to ponder each scene. To take in everything from the direction of the narrative to the hand stitching on the leather seats in the passenger section of PanAm's flight to the moon.

More of a painting than a film. A symphony of space and time about space and time. Kudos to Kubrick for making space as boring as watching me typing this paragraph and then staring off into space and sipping my tea as I wait for the next paragraph to come along.

And then be enthralled when the A/C clicks on.

Way to go A/C!

But what'll happen when the temperature reaches the optimum level?

I can hear it winding down now.

Soon the fan will shut off.

and all that will be left of my experience will be the sound of Calvin killing foes with his wooden sword two doors down and the hum of the refrigerator.

The slight sticky feeling of my bare feet on linoleum and the metallic aftertaste of an over extracted Chinese oolong.

This scene needs more half naked girls and laser beams.

And yet, having experienced one of Kubrick's masterpieces, I kind of wonder if I need to experience any of the other movies that I haven't seen and probably should have.

I mean, we all have lists. Lists of chores, books to read, movies to watch, children to feed. We have our dream lists and our bucket lists and our lists that will make us happy and lists that will make us successful. We have people we have to call, letters to write, emails to send, and pages to like.

We have lists of things that we should stop doing along with lists of things we did stop doing but would secretly start doing again in a heart beat given half the chance.

Smoking, I miss smoking.

God how I miss smoking.

I won't watch Mad Men, even though it sits on the top of the list of TV shows I should watch if and when I watch TV, because I can't sit still and watch people enjoy their cigarettes.

And I do have my tea after all.

So I've got that going for me.

So who's gonna know if I never actually watched "The Seven Samurai?" or the spaghetti remake "The Wild Bunch"?

I did see "The Three Amigos" so I've got all the plot points I need.

And I'll never forget Ernest Borgnine in "The Black Hole" so my references will check out if anyone ever needs me to pass a test.

I know you can't have Pixar without Star Wars and you can't have Star Wars without Howard Hughes, but I don't need to see "Hells Angels" to enjoy a good X-Wing fight.

And doesn't this line of reasoning include all of pop culture?


and No.

I think you do need the Beatles.

But do you need the Rolling Stones?

You absolutely need the Count of Monte Cristo, but you can die just as peacefully without the Man in the Iron Mask.

Hamlet's a must, but the Tempest can rot in eternity with the freshman english teacher that made me read it.

So there you have it.

What pop culture necessity can you live without?

I'll await your answer whilst sipping my tea.

Friday Five: Because boys are easier

Got some fun response from yesterday's post.

It was one of those last minute things as I was staring into space trying to think of something witty to say when Joann, from out of somewhere, asked if we would be just as happy if we had had girls instead of boys.

I didn't pause for a second.


And I don't know if she was more hurt by the fact that I was too curt or too cold or if I was being dismissive, but she shot right back at me with "You can't possibly know that!" as if she was worried that I had already given the matter extensive thought, and had come to the right conclusion years ago.

Which I have.

And I did.

The "What if" scenario is a popular topic in my marriage as I'm sure it is in yours, or will be when, and the  situational fantasy of having had girls instead of boys comes up after almost every commercial. I myself have written about it several times, since the theme is ripe for classless one liners, and is a wishing-well as deep as race relations and airplane food.

Yet, as I was in the shower this morning, it occurred to me that we couldn't possibly love our children less  (yes we can, but that's for another post) and parenting no matter what the circumstances is the impossible scenario where no matter what you do, you will have done it wrong.

So why boys over girls?


Boys are just a little easier.

and here's five reasons why:

1. Boys don't need clothes.
Yes, of course they need clothes, but look what happens in the first six months. If you have a girl, you are showered with all kinds of cute outfits. Dresses, shoes, bonnets. All stuff that will be worn once, if ever, and finish out the rest of eternity in a plastic wardrobe bin in the garage. If you have a boy, you are showered with diapers, formula, onesies, and a mother load of butt wipes and hand-sanitizers. Things you will need in perpetuity.

2. Boys don't cry.
Ridiculous. Of course boys cry. If they are anything like my boys, they cry all the time. All. The. Time.
But when my boys start to cry, I can walk out onto the base ball field and say things like "Are you crying? Really? Are you really crying? Fine! Why don't you just cry your little heart out? The rest of us will just stop and wait and watch you cry until you decide to grow a pair of testicles and we can get on with the game." and then storm back into the dugout. Can't say that to girls. Mostly because they don't have testicles.

3. Boys have testicles.
Much easier to keep clean.

4. Boys grow up to be . . . well . . .  boys.
Their stuff gets bigger, faster, louder and they might take on a few essential skills, but once you've gotten used to the dirt, the smell, and things breaking all the time, you're good to go. Girls, however, grow up to be teenagers, then ladies, then women. One more terrible stage after another. You will never know who and or what is going on.

5. I love my boys.
Oh, I'm sure if they were girls, I would love those just as much,

but not really.

Snack it up

Wait dad? Can you make me a snack plate?

Sure thing.

Makes and delivers.

Wait dad?


Did I say anything about cheese?


Wait Dad?


Can you go to jail for saying a bad word?

Not in this country.

Cause today, a fifth grader, was singing "We Will Rock You" but instead of saying "Rock" he said "We Will, We Will, Eff You."

Very funny, but you know you're too smart to use those words, right?

Uh huh.

Wait dad?


Is it better to say "The Eff word" or to say "Bleep" like they do on TV?

It's best not to use either, but if you do have to make mention of a bad word, then just say "A Bad Word."


Do you know who recorded that song?


A band called Queen.


And the band had a lead singer named Freddie Mercury, and the guitar player, Brian May used a silver coin instead of a guitar pick.

Oh . . .  wait dad?


Where's mom?

Its no secret that I can get rather curse wordy when the spirit moves me. If you have a delicate constitution, its best not to be riding shot gun when I'm merging onto traffic and you probably don't want to read some of my earlier posts.

I've been toning it down a bit on paper, but out loud, out loud, I've been getting a little carried away.

There's no doubt that Calvin's little ears have resonated with the sound of his own father spewing the kind of sonic filth one might hear at a Dead Kennedy's reunion tour. So he's far more world weary than his deceiving little doe-eyed face would have you believe.

But he is only seven. And I should set a better example.

I don't remember my parents swearing much, so I don't really know when I adopted a sailor's vocabulary, but it was most likely due to the music I listened to and the books I read and the people I hung out with.

Suburban lower middle class white kids sure know how to talk hard.

I do remember dropping the F-Bomb when my paternal grandmother was in the room, but I immediately apologized and changed the subject.

Sometimes I wonder if other languages are as rich in dirty expressions as the english one is. Or if they are as versatile. To be a poet in one breath and a pimp in another.

Quite a mean little feat if you ask me.

Yet I think its time to start being a little more wary of the language I use around my children, and around the other people that have to share a room with me.


Unless you are in my car.

Then all bets are off.

Its her 34th Birthday

Well WaitDad fans,

it's ButMom's 34th birthday . . .

And to celebrate, and because I'm mean, and because it's more fun this way, I've hidden five presents somewhere in the house.

Five Presents.

Five Clues.

Friday Five.

and a Happy Birthday to the girl I love:

Clue Won:
This one's easy, but only cause I'm such a tool.

Clue Too.
This one is from Calvin. Or for Calvin. But she did ask for it. And it is in fact right where it will end up in a tomb of its own.

Clue Three:
This one is also, most likely, exactly where it will end up, especially since she just created so much space for it, assuming thats why she created that space.

Clue Fore:
Now that she's on her Magical Mystery Tour, she may find this after a Hard Days Night, and assuming she takes a right on Abbey Road she won't need any Help with this one.

Notice the very subtle Huey Lewis reference.

Clue Five:
This one is hidden with the first present I ever gave her. It's also the oldest. Unless you consider the diamond on her engagement ring to be the oldest. Which I clearly don't. At least for the purposes of these clues.

But it does bring up a thought.

What if she doesn't remember one of the first presents I ever gave her?

What if she is racking her brain right now, so embarrassed that she can remember who played opposite Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" when she is half asleep, but she can't for the life of her remember this one particular present?

Well hmmmm?

That would be pretty sad wouldn't it?

At least she's got a good six months to find it.

If she hasn't locked me up in some dungeon in Italy and made me spend all my stolen money on just a few morsels of food.

Alright then.

No more clues.


Waitdad is taking a day off this blustery Monday to work the soil with his wife and catch an early evening baseball game.

Regular posts will resume tomorrow.

Go Diamondbacks!

Jurassic 5

On the road with ButMom heading to see Jurassic Park in 3D at the iMax theatre in downtown Sacramento.

It's her favorite movie and April is her birthday month.

Five lines from Jurassic Park from memory on highway 80 in Friday traffic.

"Clever Girl"

"Spared no expense"

"God creates dinosaurs, god kills dinosaurs, god creates man, man kills god, man creates dinosaurs" - woman inherits the earth.

"I don't blame people for their mistakes, but I do expect them to pay for them"

"Veggie saurus"

Not the best list.

Not even in any semblance of order.

But I'm out with the wife on a Friday night. So wit can just chill out and wait till Monday.


Talk of the Nation

I read today that NPR is canceling Talk of the Nation.

And then I read the Peter Dinklage is being replaced by Warwick Davis on Game of Thrones.

And then I looked at the date.

And then I had to go back to the NPR article and see when it was posted.

Which was three days ago.

So NPR is in fact, canceling Talk of the Nation.

And Peter Dinklage is still Tyrion Lannister.

And Warwick Davis is still the best link between Star Wars and Harry Potter in the competitive world of Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon. He's also the reason why we couldn't have named our son Willow in case our boy had the misfortune of being born a girl.

I say misfortune because I have a hard enough time being human, let alone being a girl one. That must just be awful. I also have this feeling that I'm gonna need to purchase flowers after this post has been finished.

So a friend of mine, a girl, posted that it was sad that Talk of the Nation was going to be canceled and replaced with a show that is more news centric. I agree with her that it's sad. I too like Talk of the Nation.

And yet.

And yet.

I secretly hate it too.

And I hate it because I hate listening to most people talk.

There . . .  I've said it.

Most likely, if you're talking about something, I hate you.

Because, most likely, your gonna say something stupid, or illogical, or simply something I disagree with, but I am in no way able to debate you on the subject matter.

Case in point:

A guy walks into my shop. It's Monday, he's cranky and he's also very upset about the new health care laws because he works in the health care industry and this is the day that he has to begin a whole new regimen of bureaucracy.

I get it. I too hate bureaucracy.

Sooo much!

But this guy starts talking about how the government should "just stay the hell away".

At which point I snapped back a little.

Cause his children go to public schools. And he got to my shop on public roads. And the water used to make his coffee doesn't have any cholera in it.

If you think you want to live in a world with no government involvement, then I seriously suggest you rethink the entire scope of your existence.

And don't drink the water.

Because Government is lazy. Government is corrupt. Government is an overly complicated dog fight mess.

Government doesn't want to fix things. Fixing things suck. Government wants everything to work right and stay working right.

Government will go out of its way to not have to fix things.

So imagine how absolutely shitty a job you have to be doing in order for the government get off its ass. You literally have to be killing people.

And even then it might take decades. You know why? Cause they do things badly. Cause they're lazy and corrupt and overly complicated.

So yeah, dude, it sucks sometimes, but its kinda your fault. Enjoy your coffee.

Now if he had said that he has to fill out three forms instead of one, and that the government sucks sometimes, I'd totally agree.

Hell yeah it does. Enjoy your coffee.

But no, he had to take one little gripe to a totally irrational conclusion.

Which is why I don't like listening to people talk.

Except when they're talking about something that they know a lot about.

Which is why I secretly loved and hated Talk of the Nation.

If you're not familiar with the program, the format was simple:

Take a subject.

Any subject.

Then bring in 2-4 experts in that particular subject with differing view points and backgrounds. Then for the first hour, have a lively, literate, logical debate about the subject, moderated by a person well equipped to let you state your case, keep you from rambling, a smart enough to tell the difference between discourse and propaganda.

Sounds like a good hour.

But then, lets invite people to call and weigh in on the subject.

Good god.

Like fingernails on a chalkboard.

To go from smart people talking a bout things they know a lot about, to the other 90% who live in misinformed opinion land . . .

And the worst part wasn't the conservatives, for at least they were brief, the worst part was the jackass liberals who just didn't know when to shut up.

Meat is murder.

By the universal scale, so is breathing in and out.

Ga head.

Stop breathing.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because Calvin has decided he wants to be Both-Handed. I asked him if he knew the word for someone who is both handed and he said "No."

I told him the word was "ambidextrous" and he said "Oh" and ran away.

I remember wanting to be Both-Handed. I was in the second grade and I saw a picture of a college class room where they had those teeny tiny writing desks. A desk solely for right handers.

I, being left handed, thought I was going to have to learn how to write with my right hand if I was going to ever get to college. For a few weeks I filled up pages and pages of lined notebook paper with right handed writing before I gave up, or most likely forgot about it.

But Calvin wants to throw with his left hand, so our nightly game of catch is getting a little farcical. And I just want to tell him that it's okay to just be right handed.

Be right handed and get good at throwing the ball.

Be like the first hour of Talk of The Nation.

Before they let the nation talk.