Defense of Marriage Five

(Dear Readers, The following post is meant to be a long winded joke about the Defense of Marriage Act that was recently repealed by the Supreme Court of the United State, or SCOTUS, which is both shorter and funnier. It does however, contain some very strong language, terrible use of cliche, a ton of misogyny, and if not read in the spirit with which it was written could very easily offend just about all of my friends and loved ones. If you decide not to continue reading, no one will know. If you read this and are offended, I'm terribly sorry. If you read this and are not just a little mortified, then wow, what can I say, I did my best.)

Everybody knows what a fervent Bill Clinton fan I can be when I feel like it, so suffice it to say how mortified I was when the Supreme Court overturned his land-mark Defense of Marriage Act (or Doh Ma!) earlier this week. What really grinds my gears is that the staunch defenders have yet to come up with a single reasonable argument against the court's decision.

It's almost as if there is absolutely no reason to stahp homosexuals from enjoying the same sacred unions enjoyed by Kim Kardashian on multiple occasions.

So as we close out the month of June, here are Five actual reasons why marriage SHOULD continue to be defined as being between a man and a woman:

1. Disruption of the Family Values
What is to happen after Thanksgiving dinner when the men sit down to watch football and the women wander off to that kitchen place to magically remove left over food from the plates and make desert appear? Where are the gays and lesbians to go? And what if they both like football and there's not enough room on the couch? What if both of them are Wiccan and there aren't enough dishes to be cleaned with magic?

Without clear gender roles, chaos could ensue and grandma could die.

2. Check Please.
Customer service is hard enough as it is without adding on the complication of deciding who to hand the bill to. In fact, homosexuals should have to dine in separate areas and the partner with the highest credit limit should have to wear a white carnation in their left lapel signifying that dinner will be on them tonight.

3. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
You know who will lose their jobs? Catholic Priests. Weddings are big money, and all that effort going into learning latin will be thwarted because the groom's college roommate can now get a certification online. You know who will also lose their jobs? Caterers who don't have a vegan option. That's right. If all the choices are chicken and steak, you're gonna be out of business real quick. And please don't tell me that there is no correlation between homosexuality and vegetarianism, the whole organic food movement coincided with the pilot episode of "Will and Grace", and if there's not a conspiracy somewhere in there I'll eat my broccoli.

4. The Environment.
What's the first thing married couples do when they get home from their honeymoon? That's right, they throw out all their duplicated stuff. And we all know that homosexuals like the same things, so every time two gay men get married our landfills will become inundated with bear skin rugs and vinyl ABBA records and every time the lesbians get together the city dumps will be flush with power tools and healing crystals. Smoke tinted sunglasses have a half-life of twenty-seven billion years. Do you really want that on your conscience? Do you?

5. The Death of Satire
Funny is only funny if someone gets hurt. The best way for me to tell if I'm doing my job correctly is if I can imagine my wife reading my stuff and then having to make phone calls to apologize to people. So, if gay couples can get married, and I poke fun at homosexuality, then no one's gonna want to play on my Trivial Pursuit Team on Married Couple's Night, which is something we've haven't really discussed doing yet, cause it seems mean to exclude our unmarried gay couple friends from Married Couple's Night, just because they're gay and can't get married. But thanks to the overturning of DOMA the point is moot. If we ever want to host a Married Couple's Night, and I insist on making some off color jokes using homosexual stereotypes, we're just gonna have to go out and get more heterosexual married friends.

Past Pretense

Flipping through the pictures of our trip to the beach:

"Did they come out good?" She asks.

"Yeah, pretty good." I say "I think this is my favorite." I leaned over and showed her the picture from my phone. It was a picture of me gently running away from the tide and Calvin, with his back to the camera readying himself for the next wave. The background is perfectly trisected by the beach, the ocean and the deep blue sky. It's a GAP ad if ever I saw one.

"Of course that's your favorite." She says as she rolls her eyes, "Cause YOU look hot in it."

And she's right.

Cause I totally look hot in it.

And she's also right.

Cause that's why it's my favorite.

My usual self centered narcissism aside, how can one not like the picture the picture that makes them look good?

Who takes a shitty picture and then says "umm, yeah, totally, that one, that's my favorite."?

Nobody does that. And if they do its because it was a group photo and it was the only shot where the four year old wasn't making faces at the camera. But even then they'll tell the other person how pretty they looked before changing the subject. Never again will they stand idly by and allow their three chins and bat wing arms to be permanently etched anywhere. Then they'll remind themselves to be too busy to attend next year's Christmas party.

Cause diet and exercise are effing ridiculous.

Best never to hang out with anyone ever again.

Except me. You're always welcome at my house.

Just bring wine.

And a DVD.

Something funny with Vince Vaughn in it.

And while you're here we can sift through all the pictures we like of ourselves and set fire to the rest.

And we will do this for two reasons.

Reason number one: I just spent the weekend down in LA visiting my grand parents for their 90th birthdays.

My grandfather was an amateur photographer before it became the profession it is today, so he's more pioneer than amateur, but with all the other things my grandfather was a master at, he did it for the shear love of being a badass.

On a parallel note, my grandmother could have easily been a model for post WWII sophistication and sass. Think part "Rosie the Riveter"and Audrey Hepburn with a little Tennessee depression era "aww shucks" thrown in to make her easily one of the most delightful people I'll ever have the chance to share time with.

So it's no surprise that it took my cousin two days to sift, scan and copy all the photos she could find.

For these are fabulous people. Fabulous people who live wonderful lives. Fabulous people, living fabulous lives, with access to a camera.

Yet had they been in their twenties during the digital age, there would have been hundreds, nay thousands, possibly millions of photographs to sift through.

So, in my opinion, setting fire to 99% of every picture I've ever taken would not only NOT diminish my legacy, but will be a great service to my grandchildren when I turn 90.

Assuming I make it that far past the zombies and the global warming.

The second reason, which Beyonce and Senator Weiner know full well, a picture unless burned, will last forever

The pasty binge drinking awkward haircut depressing taste in clothing baby in the bath tub post swimming pool shrinkage double chin ex girlfriend photos are now one "Share" button away from being immortal.

Once you've gone ones and zeros, there's no going back.

Or something like that.

If we hit send, we become PRISM's Official bitch. There's no real way around it. What happens on the net stays on the net.

So yeah, I might post things, in hindsight, I don't want my great grandchildren sifting through, but its a share all society I'm an elder statesman of and I'm okay with photos of me with my kilt pulled up to my belly as long as its been passed through an Instagram filter first.

The reason 99% should feel the burn is because most of that crap is boring. If my binary bits are going to last forever, I don't care if they're offensive as long as they're fantastic.

So if I'm singling out photos for infinity, I'm gonna like the ones that make me look good, or cool, or disgusting, or obscene, or running down the beach hot.

Cause when I'm sitting on my SoCal veranda 53 three years from now I wanna feel proud of the life I've lead.

And I want these pictures to tell a story.

And I want that story to be a bit of a lie.

A slightly unnerving, fabulous lie.

No Friday Five

No cloud in the sky
No worries
No cares
No place I'd rather be
And No one I'd rather be with. 

Unfinished Tales

I've been at today's blog for almost three hours now, but I've got too much on my mind to write with any clarity, wit, or charm, and it's time to get the barbecue rolling.

I love you all, but there are priorities.

Father's Day Special Five

Oooh. Oooh. It's the first official Father's Day Friday Five!

And in true Friday Five offensive fashion . . .

. . . here are the top Five reasons Fathers are awesome.

(Note: If you are a mom and easily offended, just go ahead and stop reading now, because I will likely poke fun at some of your idiosyncrasies. Especially if you're my mom, who has no idiosyncrasies, and is made of rock, but soft loving rock, Mom, just go ahead and stop reading. Don't worry, I'll write something nice on Monday, after I've eaten all the Father's Day barbecue a man can eat and still fit in his pants.)

(Note Two: Single Moms should celebrate Father's Day too, because they're so kick ass they deserve two holidays, so even though this is a mysogenistic celebration of manly hood, you should be included in the revelry)

Number One:
Fathers don't keep score:
Dad does a lot of stuff for you. Even if most of it is behind the scenes. Remember that bike you got for Christmas? Dad had to get a second job at 7-Eleven to make that happen. Remember that college education? Dad's driven the same pick-up truck for 20 years to make that happen. Moms however, keep track of every pair of shoes, hair cut, misplaced lego, so that when you are in you thirties and want to marry that girl with a tattoo, she can say "How could you even think of marrying that trollop when I made you your favorite meatball sandwich back in the summer of 1993?"

Number Two:
Fathers keep score:
You are essentially the baseball card he can never trade away. Every single accomplishment of yours, from your first "almost" words to the time when you almost but not quite made the junior varsity softball team, is collated and inshrined on a secret invisible merit badge and matching sash that dad keeps behind your mother's shoe rack. I don't know Calvin's blood type, but I know in an instant what his little league pre-kid-pitch batting average was.


And I will always know what his little league pre-kid-pitch batting average was.


Number Three:
Dads can fix things.
Now don't get me wrong: Moms make things better, they make things brighter and more beautiful and their kisses heal wounds and their spit is like a bubble bath . . . and some Dads don't know which end of a hammer you use to screw in a light bulb, but it's his job to fix things. It's really the only thing he's good at.

Number Four:
Dads do not care how many Otter Pops you've eaten.
Please do not ask him again if you can have an Otter Pop. Of course you can have an Otter Pop. Its only a friggin Otter Pop. Just don't get his keyboard all sticky and go outside once in a while

Number Five:
You will never know how much dad loves you.
A Mother's show of love is infinite even if it is sometimes doled out depending on her mood and what you decide to wear on Thursday, but dad keeps his love tight to his chest. He doesn't want you to see the cards he has been dealt and he only has one little "tell"

You can get a glimpse of how much Dad loves you by giving him a hug.

No matter how long or how tightly you hold your arms around him, you will always be the first to let go.

Dad was the first person to hold you and every hug is a window to the very moment he became a man.

Number Five point Five:
Since I am both a father and a Step Father. Since I have both a father and a step father, and since my own father has been a father and an almost, but not quite step-father and he too has a father and a step father, I think I can say unequivocally, Numbers 1through 4 don't change, and as for number five, well, he may not have been the first person to hold you, but go ahead and give him a hug anyway. Because he's fucking awesome.


"Should I send it out?"

"I don't know."

"Are you gonna watch it?"

"I don't know."

"Cause if I send it out we can get something else."

"Like what?"

"I don't know."

etc, etc, etc.

We've had "War Horse" and "The Hobbit" sitting in their slim red Netflix envelopes for the better part of a month now. They're just sitting there. Unopened, unwatched, and unloved like the A/V club on prom night.

Why did we even bother getting them in the first place?

Well, in the case of "The Hobbit" it was because Calvin had wanted it and I was adamant about not paying money to see it, so I hadn't seen it, but it was a very popular movie, and I try to write about popular things and so I felt a certain professional obligation even though I'm not really paid to do this.

But it's three hours long and I can think of at least seventeen other things I could be doing for three hours.

I could cook dinner, eat dinner, spend quality time with the wife and still have two hours to spend on Youtube looking up novel ways to grow potatoes in small spaces.

And "War Horse" . . . well . . . I'm not afraid to admit I have a soft spot for Spielberg movies. Even when they are saccharine, or boring, or needlessly pedantic, its still fascinating to watch a craftsman at work. Otherwise Jazz and Ballet would have died out long ago.

Its based on a children's book that was turned into a play that was turned into a movie. That means artists from several different disciplines have been fascinated enough by the story to put their stamp on it, so if it looks like a duck and tastes like a duck and crosses the street in single file lines regardless of the traffic, then possibly there is enough meat left on the bones that would make a 2 1/2 hours commitment worth while.

But eh.

What can I say?


Due to my post project apathy, honestly, I'd prefer to take a nap right now.

After finishing this blog, of course.

And it occurs to me, just his moment, that if apathy where a disease, an emotional psychological disorder, then it could be easily diagnosed through the lack of interactivity in one's Netflix queue.

And it should be a disorder. The DSM should list it just before arachnophobia and just after anal-retentivness.

There's already a drug for it.

Its called meth.

And if you think the side effects of meth are scary, don't ever try to read the label on your aspirin bottle.

"Hundreds of Tweekers Agree!"

"War Horse is effing minestrone popcorn cheesy poofs!"

or so the poster might say.

But I don't have the time for another addiction, and wouldn't know where to look if I did.

So "The Hobbit" and "War Horse" will remain in apathetic limbo until such time as I care enough to watch them or to trade them in for something else.

and the cycle of abuse continues.

Friday Five: Choices

Two neat little options landed on my lap today.

One pulling me in one direction, the other in another. Both are just first steps to grander more dreamy things. Both require work, both require luck, and both could end up landing me back where I was before my alarm went of this morning, except maybe a year older and with a higher percentage rate on my student loans.

Doesn't really matter what they are.

I'm not going to tell you even if it did, but it did get me thinking about how I/we make choices and it also reminded me that I've got exactly 47 minutes as of right now to knock back a Friday Five.

So here it is: Five ways of choosing my fate for the next year . . .

in 47 minutes or less.

Number 1. Pro's and Cons List:
This is how you decide things in the most rational way possible. Just make a big long list and tally the points. Whichever option has the most, pick that one.

Doing this mean you will never experience the kind of regret that comes from flipping a coin nor will you ever have to make an alimony payment. However, this kind of logic based reasoning will never get you the cover of a magazine, will not impress your friends and is both boring and totally unsexy.

Number 2. Make the sexier choice:
Picture yourself doing what it is that you're choosing to do, and then ask yourself if you would hit that.

Then ask your self if anyone else would hit that.

and make sure by "any one else" you mean your wife.

But not really.

Cause she'll hit anything.

Number 3. Go full on Taoist and flip a coin:
You, my friend, are the unhewn log. Let the river pull you in the direction that you are meant to go. Give the universe a chance to be your guide. The greatest advantage you have over your enemy is that he is weak and smells of elderberries. And as the coin rises in the air you will know in your heart of hearts which path you really wish to take and you won't even have to look at where the coin landed.

You will anyway, and if its right, you'll narrow your eyes and nod your head in a creepy fashion.

And if its wrong, you'll just put the coin into your pocket and walk away from the person that gave it to you.

It's your quarter now.

God Dammit.

Number 4.
Choose the one that will disappoint your mother the most.
Just kidding.

Finally 5. Ask your wife:
Cause she is always right.


No matter what she's hitting.

If I Needed Someone

"Resist the urge to rub your eyes or wipe your sweaty face with your pepper picking hand"

Now there's some good advice right there.

Go ahead, resist that urge.

Cause you know your gonna have it.

And the sweat is gonna trickle from your temple down the left side of your cheek and your gonna wipe it off by rubbing your shoulder against your face, but that's not gonna do the trick and your then gonna want to stop what your doing and wipe your entire face with the bottom of you shirt.

But the sun is overhead and you've been squinting for quite some time and that hand that has been gingerly snapping jalapeƱos is gonna inadvertently head directly toward your eye socket and then the rest is history. You are now the stupidest person in the world and your wife is ashamed for ever having loved you.

I've been reading a lot of gardening websites this spring, its becoming something of a hobby of mine to watch my plants grow and to make my own decisions as to their care. Previously my garden has been in the hands of my father-in-law, who has done a beautiful job, but works his own hours, decides what and where he wants to plant, decides where and when he wants to harvest, and shows up in my backyard while I'm still sipping coffee in my underwear.

Which is all fine.

I love the man and I suspect he doesn't find me totally disagreeable.

But this year I wanted to try my hand at my own garden. Plant the things I want to plant. Harvest when I want to harvest. Learn something new.

Or in the case of the opening piece of advice, learn something I could've logically figured out, even if by trial and error, but didn't have to cause I read it on some website.

I can resist that urge.

And don't get me wrong. My father-in-law has no intention whatsoever of allowing me to run this show on my own. He still pops by a least twice a week to tell me that my lawn needs mowing and to apply some MiracleGrow, cause my squash is clearly not doing as well as it should be.

Like us all, he is willing to give up some control, but will never give up being needed.

And that's not just a guy thing. Being needed is the core of our self worth, even if it is just ourselves that are in need.

As a parent, not being needed is one of the three major tragedies, right behind the death of a child and stepping on a lego.

Can't wait for them to leave the house, but agonize over all the things we never got the chance to teach them, to tell them, to remind them.

But not being needed is also one of the three great triumphs of parenthood, right behind college acceptance and knowing that there are five cry babies on your son's little league team and your son isn't one of them.

So few things are greater than those first seven steps, the first plunge into the pool, letting go of the bicycle seat.

Or in Vito's case, seeing a four foot high tomato plant rising from the armageddon that used to be his son-in-law's garden.

At least I hope he feels a sense of triumph. A sense of contentment as he lets my pepper picking hands do the plucking. And I'm sure he will watch carefully as I resist the urge to rub my eyes or my sweaty face just as he secretly dowses my anemic cucumbers with enough chemical fertilizers to feed a plantation.

And the thought occurs to me that we are never not needed. Nor are we ever not in need.

But the word "Need" requires some extra classification.

It's too strong. It implies desperation. It implies all or nothing. It even implies, to a great extent, weakness. We may define ourselves by our ability to provide, but we're just as likely to kill ourselves to avoid helplessness.

Which is sooooo weird! Cause we don't even really have to ask. The people who love us see us dog paddling and are more than happy to jump in untethered. Whether its my mom sending me to see a specialist or my father-in-law spritzing my arugula, everywhere I look someone is taking a little extra step to make my world better.

And they're not "Needed" so much as they are the blessing that comes with all the baggage that a family can manage.

We need to stop thinking of the word "Need" as the cape of the martyr and the scream of a victim and soften it's edges a bit in order to help and be helped.

To love and be loved.

Cause the best way to tell someone you love them is to juice their zucchini once in a while.

And remind them not to rub their eyes with their pepper picking hand.