Five things Boys do

So This happened.

Which, of course it did.

Summer is here and it's time to get rid of the facial hair.

But before I go all baby faced, it's seriously time to sport a little lip fur.

A nose caterpillar?

A "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

And it was actually my wife's idea. She was totally hip to the idea of a handle bar mustache like the boys in the sepia toned daguerreotypes.

Yet, I come out of the shower like this and she won't kiss me.

It's creepy.

And it makes me look like I'm forty.

No one wants to kiss a guy with a shaggy snot rug.

I had to sport one of these once for two whole months while playing a member of the WPA in an appalacian depression era play. My character's name was Wilson Walker.

"Hi, my name is Wilson Walker and I'm from the WPA."

except it sounded like "DubbYa, Pee Yay"

Mother's would hide their children and I'd have to repeat this: "It's for a play" over and over, but the girls never stopped laughing. I don't think my girlfriend would kiss me then either.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about all the weird stupid stuff that boys have to do, because, well, they're boys.

We're boys.

Number One: Unique Expressions of Facial Hair
Let's see, I've done the goatee, the Hulk Hogan Handle Bars, the Civil War muttonchops, and of course, of course, the Luke Perry 90210 Quarter Sideburns. Takes me weeks to get the five o'clock shadow look, but that's the easiest to maintain and hides nicely my developing double chin.

Number Two: Eating a live bug
Chocolate covered insects, dead goldfish, or juicy boogers don't count. Gotta be live, gotta be squirmy, gotta have antennae.

Number Three: Greasy Bloody Knuckles.
The kind you get when you have to work on some kind of motor. And you have to, at some point, work on a motor. Extra points for something cool and classic, but a lawn mower will do just fine. If you don't know the taste of your own blood and 40 weight, return your man card to the nearest book club and head to Sears.

Number Four: Play a Sport.
Doesn't have to be an awesome cool sport like football or badminton. And most importantly you don't have to be any good at it. It can even be super nerdy, like, a week ago I saw all these tubby PC gamers gather together at a park, dressed up like world of WarCraft Characters (if WOWc universe had ample amounts of duct tape) and fight with padded swords. Kids who couldn't make it all the way around the track without stopping to walk, fighting like medieval knights, so, you know, it doesn't have to be ESPN 3 worthy, but there should be the possibilty, however remote, of a broken bone. Golf . . . Does . . . Not . . . Count, unless you're a tree and you're between my brother and the flag.

Number Five (and most importantly): Something stupid to impress a girl.
Or boy. Homosexuality isn't a "Get out of Jail Free" card when it comes to awkward behavior. The ability to move to the back beat on a dance floor only increases your potential for epic failure. But the lengths you will go, the leaps you will take, the depths to which you are willing to dive, well, those are the things that give you a lifetime of great stories with which to regail your grand children with. Without them, however observed a life you may have lived, there's gonna be nothing for your loved ones to laugh about at your death bed. 

I myself, not ever even attempting to dance, dyed my hair jet black once. A decision that took years to grow out.

Actually, on second thought, I did try to learn how to dance.

I have the shoes and the scars to prove it.

Now give us a kiss, lil lady.

TBT: Baby Bath

So I was doing this dishes this morning and this thought occurred to me:

Once upon a time this was a baby's bathtub.

Then another thought occurred to me:

There aren't enough naked baby pictures on Facebook.

Which made me think, that, no, well, there are clearly WAY too many naked baby pictures on Facebook.

And then I got sad thinking if the zombie apocalypse comes, then this sink will never host another naked baby again.

And then I got kinda grossed out because I don't remember the tile grout being this white.

And then felt a little better knowing that after eight years I've stopped needing red and blue sippy cups.

And then I felt really smug knowing that Calvin will find this post like another eight years from now and be totally embarrassed by it. Or even better, some girl who's gotta crush on him is going to find this and think its the most adorable thing ever.

Of course kids won't be using Facebook any more, probably won't even be using the internet. To get away from their parents they're gonna have to invent a whole new sort of sign language and take selfies using stone tablets and chisels.

One day you're just happy taking a bath in a sink and the next day you're teleporting to school with a hammer in your back pocket just in case you need to tweet.

The future is gonna be a weird place.

A Monday Memorium

Today is Memorial Day.

For most of us, it's a three day weekend topped with backyard barbecues followed by a shortened work week. Or, you know, if you're in retail, it's a busy morning followed by a quiet afternoon and a nice little bump in your hourly wage.

It's good to celebrate things, no matter how you feel about the subject matter, any excuse to gather the ones you love at the dinner table will never be anything less than the best of times.

I have three grandpas who donned uniforms in their childhood, though I am shamefully unequipped to tell any of their tales.

I think every boy considers going off to war, I know my moment was very breif, but my baby brother was one genetic disorder away from storming the beaches. (They don't send you out with a rifle if you're color-blind anymore, pity)

And here in the land of the free, the home of the brave, we actually have two holidays to commemorate the boys and girls who've become soliders; Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.

Veteran's Day is a day to honor those who serve.

Mermorial Day is the day to remember those who died.

I was a highschool freshman the day we launched Desert Storm. I remember looking around my first period english class that day wondering if anyone in the room had a brother/sister/father/mother who was actively involved.

I remember how flag wavingly gung-ho we all felt about having the opportunity to show the world how quickly we could crush Iraq like a late afternoon mosquito.

I remembered my dad saying something about how that's exactly how everyone felt at the beginning of the Vietnam War, but I don't remember ever being taught that in school. Vietnam=Bad. Desert Storm=Good.

By the time Operation Iraqi Freedom came around, I was three months from being married and just about to take my new bride to LA and become a rockstar. Dreams of being Tom Cruise in Top Gun had faded away years before. 

And I was clearly on the hippy side of that particular march.

In 1991 General Colin Powel was a totally kick-ass hero, in fact, I would have ABSOLUTELY voted for him for President in 2000. Al Gore may be cool now, but I'll always think of him as the husband of the twat who lost to Dee Snyder in the fight for music censorship.

Like really, who gets their granny panties in a huff over a Cindy Lauper song?

Yet despite the radness of the Powel-meister, I think we can all agree his speech to the UN twelve years later about weapons of mass destruction left everyone with the taste of bullshit in their mouths. You can even see how slimy he felt delivering it, like he couldn't wait to get home and take a shower.

YouTube it before you bother disagreeing with me. The dude is covered in flop sweat. He clearly didn't have the sociopathic hutzpah that his job required right then. (Lookin at you McNamara, Lookin at you Kissinger. Lookin at you Rumsfeld.)

Weird times man, weird times.

And please, for the love of god, don't think I'm a peace love and understanding liberal. There are terrible people in this world doing terrible things, I actually lean way way way to the RIGHT and think a bit of American Imperialism might be a good thing for some quarters of the world. Super tough to be a violent extremist when Starbucks rolls out the pumpkin spice lattes in late October.

Anyway, the point I was making is that we should take a chunk of this day to do two VERY important things:

First, remember the price of freedom.

Second, remember the cost of war.

Do those two things, and maybe we CAN have a little peace love and understanding.

Bucket Five

So I just finished crossing off a biggie from my bucket list.

Gotta say it: Feels good.

Now I'm not a super adventurous man. I have no intention of ever traveling to see the great pyramids of Giza, or running with bulls. Most of my "gotta do before I die" involve pretty simple accomplshiments or deal with food.

I will find the perfect fried chicken recipe, oh yes, I will.

And I'd like to be part of a movie, but that's just so I can have an IMDB page.

I'd also like to grow some healthy tomato plants (really, god, its not too much to ask is it?)

But there are some things, maybe a little outta character, maybe a little crazy, maybe a little dangerous that I would like to look back upon as I lay dying in an oxygen chamber, 372 years from now:

Be in a high speed chase.
Not sure if I want to be the cop or the robber, but I totally wanna drive through The City in a suped up mustang and a leather jacket.

Go Hunting.
Not sure about the getting up before dawn part, or firing guns part, or the deer urine part, and I'm terribly sorry if you're on the meat is murder band wagon, but hunting sounds like a hoot. I will take precautions. Lots of day glow orange and a safe distance behind Dick Cheney.

Go Sailing.
Not boating, yachting, or ocean cruising. But adjusting the jib on something almost but not quite a skooner and not being within sight of anything that can be considered land.

Blow something up.
I don't mean out of proportion, I mean standing behind protective glass and counting down.

Start a Forest Fire.
Not in one of those Batman "Some people want to watch the world burn" kind of ways, but you know, maybe a thin little brush fire with the flick of a cigarette on a hot August night. Just big enough so that some one has to get a fire extinguisher from the car and not so big that you can see the smoke from space.

Actually, fires are not terribly funny. Very dangerous, very destructive and not really at all the kind of thing I would feel good about having caused.

Unless it was part of the best fried chicken recipe ever.

TBT: He's got the look

Now, it's odd, but my son looks nothing like me.

Sharp angular face, button nose, dimple on the left side of his face.

Do a side by side comparison, and well, he has more  shapely qualities with his half-brother.

Not that paternity is in any real question.

When Joann and I would take a nice summer stroll with our new baby, everyone knew I was the father and assumed she was the nanny.

He may not look like me, but he sure as hell doesn't look like an olive skinned, dark, curly haired, italian either.

So, yeah, it might be some time before he grows into any of our family features. Which is fine.

You kind of hope that your kids get the best of the two of you, but that doesn't happen, really, at all.

Like, I have straight teeth. They're made of sponges, so they're stained and filled with cavities, but straight.

My wife, teeth made of steel.

A steel jack-o-lantern, but what her parents paid in braces, they saved in root canals.

Calvin, his choppers are all deformed and made of chalk.

I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, but our children will never turn out to be the amalgam of our greatest strengths, but instead, our children have to grow up to be all the things we hate most about ourselves.

I'm a narcissist, so, by the rule stated above, he will look, nor be, anything like me.

And then I found this picture.

Sure, this is me at a little over a year old. Fat, toe headed me.

And when Calvin was this age, thin, blonde, but with the kind of red highlights that is every soccer mom's dream, so not much of a comparison.

However, look at that face.

That is a kid, with a thing in his hand, that is the most important thing there ever was or ever could be.

A bomb could go off right next to that kid and he would have no idea what happened.

He probably wouldn't even look up until he was ready for a diaper change.

Well, my friends, that is the exact look that Calvin has while working on his twisty puzzles.

The concentration, the dedication, who needs a DNA test when you can just compare the look of obsession?

Of course, he's usually trying to solve a complicated puzzle, and this is a picture of me trying to figure out if this is something I can eat,

but the look is the same.

He must be my boy.

Pulling Teeth

Monday afternoon at the dentist office. 

It's also Rubik's Cube Day, for those of you who follow such things. 

Found a competition for Calvin to go to in Sunnyvale, but there's no heat for the Pyraminx, so he's not sure he wants to go. 

He's been looking for competitions for the last month and it's funny cause he'll run into the living room and ask me where New Jersey is or how far away Las Vegas is.

And I tell him they might as well be on the moon. 

Sunnyvale is close though. And we can be back by eight, just long enough for me to set up for a show that night. 

Might be the weirdest Saturday ever. 

Cubing in the mornin, rockin in the evenin. 

Calvin keeps asking when they are gonna call him.

I don't know. 

Getting information from a dentists receptionist is like pulling teeth. He he. 

There are no cell phones allowed in the treatment room so I have to finish this entry quick. Or be the kind of rule breaking ass hat that puts a hard working receptionist in a position where she may or may not have to say something. 

"Sir sir " she might say and then point to the sign on the door. 

" Oh right" I might say in response. Like I didn't see it, but we both know I didn't care. 

But, I hate being that guy, so we're gonna play by the rules if we can, and I'll keep this quick. 

It's Rubik's Cube Day!  40 years of the puzzle. Go to Googles front page and there is a digital cube for you to solve if that's the kind of thing you do when you do things.

I'll be twiddling my thumbs, or you know, futzing with the cube because I forgot to bring a book.

There are four dentist chairs and each one has a little clock, but all of them are different, and none of them are right. One is five minutes off, one is twelve minutes off, one is seven minutes off and the last is only two minutes off, but it's in military time. 

It's not OCD that's compelling me to fix them all, just a little common courtesy.

What does it say about a group of people that have that many clocks in their office and no one has bothered to get them to work in sequence?

Also, just as a side note, dentists should never put any clocks in their offices. Do you really want a nervous eight year knowing exactly how long they've been waiting?

I hear drilling. 

Boy is that a terrible sound.

Happy Cube Day : )

Not My Thing Five

So my phone rings.

It's a number I don't recognize, but it's local, which I always have to answer, cause it could be a booking agent, and when the booking agents are making phone calls, the first musician to answer, gets the gig.

But it wasn't a booking agent, it was Guitar Center.

I had filled out a customer service survey on a piece of equipment I'd just bought and won a $50 coupon for my next purchase.

Very cool, except for one thing, I don't use coupons.

I'm just not a coupon kinda guy.

Coupons are not, shall we say, my kinda thing.

If the product I want is not available at the price I'm willing to pay, then I don't want that product.

Pretty simple stuff.

But $50 is $50.

And I kinda need things from Guitar Center on a regular basis.

Like guitar strings.

Mostly guitar strings.

So I printed up the email coupon they sent me and put it on my piano for future perusal.

So yesterday I noticed that the expiration date for the $50 was going to be today. Hmmm. That puts me in a bit of a conundrum, cause I don't like using coupons, but if I got my ass in gear right this second I could go get enough guitar strings to last me all summer.

For practically free.


And while I was standing at the counter picking up five sets of my favorite strings, a thought occurred to me that not being a "Coupon Kinda Guy" was kinda frigging ridiculous.

Especially when driving two hundred miles to play a show for tips and two free beers.

Singer/songwriter economics are really screwy like that.

So I guess, if there is no possible chance that logic plays into my dismissal of coupons, then it must be a total ego thing.

Which is nice to have, if you can afford one, but the other part of singer/songwriter economics is that you really really cannot afford an ego.

Confidence, yes, ego, no.

So I'm a coupon guy now.

Which made me think of all the things that are not my "kinda things" that I'm slowly having to learn.

Number One:
Talking on the telephone. Don't know why this makes me feel so weird, I think it has something to do with lack of body language when you're not talking to someone face to face, or it could be that half a second delay between you talking and them hearing, but for some stupid reason I hate talking on the phone. Even just shooting the shit with friends and family, I pace about the house, use violent hand gestures and scratch my butt way too much to be healthy.

Number Two:
Writing Emails. Yeah right, cause it's not like I'm writing all day every day. But I can never seem to make emails flow correctly. Back in my retail days, I would write at least two versions of an email, the first being the "Let me give you a real piece of my mind" and the second being, how can I convey my feelings in a professional matter. Then there would be the funny one, but not too funny, dry, but not humorless, it could take me an hour to dash off a sales report. Now, of course, I have to write fifty emails a week that are all of those things and personal at the same time. Hrumph.

Number Three:
Marketing. I've always believed people go into marketing because there was too much reading involved in an english lit degree. But, guess what? I'm terrible at it. And now, there's only me to blame if something doesn't sell. Grrr.

Number Four:
Style. Now, you wold sorta think that someone with my level of narcissism would lavish tons upon tons of energy on good clothes and fantastic shoes and expensive hand creams, but I've just never given my look any serious thought. My wife this morning was like "You really need a hair cut." and I'm like "Lets wait till I have a gig or something" I really want to spend my life in sweat shorts and old tee-shirts. What do you think the chances of bringing in the couch potato look would be? Zero? But there is a chance?

Number Five:
Going Out. The whole reason I have a house is because I don't like going other places. I don't like over paying for beer, I don't like trying to have conversation with friends when it's too loud, and I hate finding a sitter (Which is ridiculously easy cause I have two grandmas within bicycle distance) And now, as a chosen part of my professional life, I am spending hours a day begging to play at the places I couldn't be dragged to a year earlier. Huh?

Well, at least thanks to singer/songwriter economics, the free beer is reasonably priced.

Sometimes, I think, success, in anything you do, is just learning how to get out of your own damn way.

Have a lovely weekend, all y'all, and don't forget to check out some upcoming shows.

TBT: The Death of Old Smokey

I didn't really name my barbecue "Old Smokey"

Cause, well, she was a barbecue and not a smoker.

I could have named her "Barbie" but that would have elicited all kinds of terrible puns, none of which are family friendly.

I think I may have called her "The Que" from time to time, but that would have been more conservation  than colloquial.

She was, without question, the finest barbecue ever built by man.

I can say that, cause I built her.

Now purists may scoff at the notion that a gas grill could ever compete with charcoal, but to that I say nonsense. (I have one of those too, but for a party over eight people, you're gonna need some real fire power.)

Four, dual side burners for perfectly controlled temperature, cast iron grills for that seasoned taste, and big enough to fit three full racks of baby back ribs and still have room for hot dogs and burgers for the little ones.

In fact, she was the first purchase made (A gift from my mom) when we moved into our new home.

We had a barbecue before we had curtains.

And I spent more time with her than I have ever spent with any intimate object, with the possible exception of my six string and my car.

She was a year round cooking surface, for there is no winter in these parts, and there wasn't a single food item that I didn't get around to tossing her way at one point or another. (Lettuce maybe, but had I known about Kale in those days, I would have given that a go)

She survived hundreds of summer parties and pretty much watched all of us grow up.

She would have lasted centuries, but all those wonderful little meat bits that missed my metal brush were just too much for the neighborhood hornets to resist and for several years in a row, she became infested with swarms of those terrible little creatures and we had to let her go.

So as cueing season begins in all earnesty, let us raise a toast to the forgotten cues of our past.

Black on the outside.

Pink in the middle.

The Definitive Five

So, last night I accidentally broke a salt shaker. I felt kinda bad about it cause it was the shaker that was part of our dining set.

Although, truth be told, it's lasted  more than a decade in a kitchen run by a total clutz, so it really beat the odds.

And, just as it happens, there is a salt and pepper set (a very nice Nightmare Before Xmas gift) that has been sitting empty and unused on my counter for months cause I just haven't bothered filling them yet. And it also just so happens that the gift giver herself is visiting next weekend so, that actually worked out nifty.

So I filled the new ones up and went about my remorseless existence.

Now, for some reason, I always just assumed that the salt shaker has the three holes and the pepper shaker has just the one. And that's how I filled these ones. But, wait, what's this? They're actually labeled and the one with three holes is for the pepper and the single one for salt. How could this be? The Disney Corporation doesn't make mistakes. I've clearly been wrong my entire life.

It's moments like these where I question if I'll ever be a grown-up.

But I had to go to the internet for the diffinitive answer, cause that's what the internet is for, and I discovered something; there is no diffinitive answer. Some salt shakers have lots of holes, some just one. It's really up to the manufacturer.

Which I think is wrong.

Freedom does not give anyone the right to needlessly complicate things.

Three holes for the salt.

One hole for the Pepper.

I have spoken.

And since that is now resolved, I think it might be high time to difinitively answer all kinds of questions.

Number One:
Where should we go to eat?
Unless you planned this ahead of time an got all parties to agree in writing, then deciding where to go when everyone starts to get peckish is problably one of the most complicated aspects of social interaction. So the new rule: If someone evers says where should we go to eat, the answer is now officially Pizza. Everyone likes it, everyone can afford it, and your buddies new girlfriend who is kinda too young for him and refuses to eat foods that require a blank tile to spell out in Scrabble, can be easily pointed over to the salad bar.

Number Two:
What's on TV?
The answer is nothing. Read a book.

Number Three:
Can I have a cookie?
Yes, unless I have to get up from the couch, then, no.

Number Four:
Analogue or digital?
Digital, unless I have to get up from the couch, then, analogue.

Number Five:
Boxers or briefs?
Yes, please do.


Had this beyond wicked dream last night.

You know those dreams that are lucid and powerful and so believable that you wake wondering how you got back to your own bed?

Yeah, one of those.

I'll spare you most of the details, although if you're interested later, please feel free to ask, but the crux of the dream was me sitting in a grand hotel, with a package of high quality products in my lap and listening to a man at a podium talking about wealth and free enterprise.

It was a pitch for a Pyramid Scheme.

Tall men with good hair, and expensive suits who talked nothing but Hawaiian vacations and Mercedes interior.

As per my usual MO, I don't dislike capitalists, if I could, I too would be sipping very old scotch and playing more than my fair share of golf. And you gotta kinda pity the unsuccessful capitalists, pacing like vultures in their used cars lots or doing their best to interest people in life insurance.

And I'm no socialist either. I'll fight to the death for my children, but if it ever came down to it, I would have no compunction about eating yours.

Lets just say that I am having steak and kale tonight for dinner.

But there was this moment, just like in every sales pitch, a moment where you are on the "fully couldn"t care less" side of the pitch and all you can think about is how to get away, get home, and catch up on Game of Thrones.

I got roped into attending an Amway meeting back when I was a much much much younger self and I remember being almost sold. Older successful looking gentlemen talking about big houses and cool cars.

Cools cars are incredibly important when you're 18.

The only reason I drive an Echo now is because it's the best car ever built, and married at 37, there simply is nothing on four wheels that is going to increase my chances of a sexual encounter.

What I also remember is how ugly the severance conversation got when I finally had to put my foot down and walked away.

I think about it now and get angry, like "How dare you try to shame me into buying into your twaddle."

I feel, pretty much, the same now as I did then, so lets all let the record show, I have no need for make-up, jesus, pest control, life insurance, cookies, extended warranties, or products that erase the scratches on my headlights.

Ask me again if I want a club card and I will fucking cut you.

Point is is that I've grown to dislike being sold to, and feel pity for the people doing the selling.

But as a content provider myself, one with a product to sell, I think about "selling" a lot.

A lot a lot.

In the beginning I had this naivete that all I needed was a good product, one that I beleived in, and then I could just find people who liked it, and then you know, ask for some money, or food in trade.

But art doesn't work like that. So much of it comes to us free of charge (not really, but very little of that check you sent to Comcast goes to the guy who wrote the theme song for the Simpsons)

(Danny Elfman is doing just fine BTW)

Art is not only subjective, but subjective in an open market, an open market that is saturated with content providers, all of them dreaming about big houses and cool cars.

I've been trying to employ a lot of capitalist practices, into what essentially, is a very socialist endeavor, with varying degrees of failure and success, and I've been feeling a bit annoyed with myself for not being more aggresive.

I could make a lot more money going door to door selling my album than I could writing this blog.

A lot a lot.

But I could also make a ton by standing out on a street corner in a firemen's uniform.

So, you know, there's gotta be a line drawn.

But the modern world is ALL about sales, and if you dissagree, good luck with the hunting and gathering thing.

Yet, no matter how much mulling I've been doing on the subject, I gotta be honest this time, I really don't have an answer.

There are, in fact, far more rock stars on the streets than there are Mary Kay Cadillacs, so that Pyramid Scheme that sounds so reasonable, has about as much chance of making you rich as your highschool garage band.

I can say this though, try not to make yourself feel bad for not becoming something you don't really want to become. Big houses, cool cars, more than three "likes" on a post that took you hours to write, these things are okay, i guess, but I'll take a good cuddle and a cheap bottle of wine over those any day.

Not everyone who writes a song becomes a star, just as not everyone with a carpet bag gets to own a Yacht.

In fact, most of it is dumb luck.

A lot of dumb luck.

like, a lot a lot.

Yay for dumb luck.

A Really Hard Five

So I met up with a bunch of old coworkers yesterday.

It was nice to catch up, hear the latest gossip, load up on hugs and I miss you's.

One of the girls (On her way to be a parent with twins) was talking about how her husband, a very bright and studious man, was spending all of his waking time working on Calculus stuff for school.

She said he loved it, but that it was very hard.

Ha! I thought.

That's not hard.

First of all, do something you love and you'll never "work" a day in your life.

True dat.

Second of all, for those of you who don't know, math is art form, and like any art form, it's a constant puzzle, how to get everything to fit right. I'll bet he sits down at his drafting table and doesn't even notice that seven hours went by. It's like a meth addiction that doesn't mess up your teeth.

But it did get me thinking about things that are really hard.

Like really really hard.

Like so hard they border the impossible.

And giving birth is cheating, cause it is actually impossible for boys, which his like two and a half percent of my audience.

Thanks for reading dad.

Anyway, here are things that are really tough, not like super lame calculus.

Number One: Putting a baby to sleep.
I can't even begin to list the amount of crazy shit that we've all done to get those little imps to crash. In fact, I'm not gonna. In fact, I think you aught to send me you examples and I might make this a theme for next week.

Number Two: Admitting you're wrong.
You put a lot of thought into everything you do and say, and when, in those moments of weakness, you come up snake eyes, well suicide sometimes seems like a much more reasonable response than, oh say, telling your wife she had it right.

Number Three: Getting others to admit you were right.
Harder than number two, no one likes to hear an "I told you so." But even more impossible is to turn that "I told you so." into a verifiable "Are you gonna listen to me now?"

Number Four: Getting out of bed.
New Years Day 1997, I was abruptly woken by my flat mate pounding on the door and telling me that my car was almost underwater and that if we didn't start stacking the sand bags the house was gonna flood. I shit you not, my response "Yeah, okay, gimme a minute."

(Secondary side note to number four: I spent nearly fifteen years rising long before dawn and maybe overslept thrice in all that time, and yet, and yet, didn't change a thing to my sleeping pattern. No alarm means not getting out of bed, period.)

Number Five: Finding a dentist, that is reasonable enough that you don't fantasize about killing their children in front of them.
Most of us have around 32 teeth. A family of four, roughly 128. My teeth are perfectly straight, but they're made of sponge, so I get a cavity every time I breathe in. The rest of my family, well, my step son actually has wisdom teeth growing out of his left ear hole. My biological son got spongey gnarled fangs, cause genetics works backwards in this household. In ten years we've gone through seven dentists, all highly recommended by people whose opinions we trust. Every single one of them have been ginormously expensive, thoroughly conniving, and ridiculously stingy with the Novocain. I'd honestly rather spend time with a door to door pest control salesman who obviously didn't see the no soliciting sign Joann posted on our front door.

or floss.

I'd rather floss.

TBT: An Ode to Joy

Rube Goldberg.

If you're not quite certain who that is, that's fine, I didn't know until my senior year of high-school when I was assigned the dreaded Rube Goldberg Project in a Physics class.

Although, back then, I had to make my way across campus and spend like whole minutes flipping through a card catalogue until I found the guy, and then had to actually cross to the other side of the room to find a book that had examples of his illustrations.

And no, that wasn't cause my mommy took my smart phone away for missing curfew.

There was a time when Mister Dewey Decimal was the fastest search engine on the planet.

Even faster than AOL or Netscape.

If you're not quite certain what those are, you seriously need to consider getting off my lawn.

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and inventor who was famous for these drawings of very complicated machinery to do simple tasks. I would describe in detail, but he's not really the point, so go ahead and Google him after you're finished reading it.

The reason he comes up is because there was this real life example of a Rube Goldberg-esque water fountain at the pumpkin patch (circa 2007). My son, being mesmerized by the noise and movement, would burst with giggles when the flow of water reached this particular apex and hit a frying pan with an extremely satisfying clang.

I could have watched him, watch it, for hours.

gurgle, gurgle, spurt, clang {Giggle}

freaking hours.

It took me a good ten minutes of just pure Daddy satisfaction before I realized I should totally get a picture of his face the second the water hits the pan.

I got a lot of great shots during that amazing moment, but his is the one where his face lights up like red phosphorous on a match stick.

There is nothing but joy in that gummy little smile.

Now, just so we're clear, you couldn't pay me enough to travel back in time to that moment, knowing all the muck that I would have to trudge through in order to get to where I am now. I did not live an unobserved life, so my memories are just as good, if not better than the real thing.

It's ridiculous to ache for a past when there is clearly so much future ahead.

But that doesn't mean we should be afraid to close our eyes and play out this moment again and again and again.

Cause, well, these moments you will never be able to Google.

gurgle, gurgle, spurt, clang {Giggle}