Friday, October 31, 2008


13 clever quips
This Invisible Man costume seems to be working out for me this year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Detox or Die Trying

48 clever quips
My body is a temple that each summer is desecrated by Mr. Sam Adams; his London buddy, Mr. Gordon; and assorted hangers-on. Thus, with a chill in the air signaling the end of elastic-waistband shorts, I knew it was time for something radical.


Not Betty Ford (that would be "rehab" for those scorin' at home), but a detox diet. Get all the poisons out of the ol' system, reinvigorate the ol' noodle and recover all the randomly dropped "d's" and "g's" in my writin'. Maybe I'll even lose a few pounds and be worthy of the post-Jenny Craig Valerie Bertinelli. Rrrrowl.

Someone I trust recommended a best-selling three-week regime. This person lived to tell, so it must be a winner.

Then I read the detox details.

People, be leery of a 200-page book in which 126 pages are testimonies from Twinkie-stuffed bozos. Fred flippin' Flintstone, I didn't pay $24.95 (plus tax in you liberal, unpatriotic, unreal-American states) to hear about your problems!

Next, be suspicious of chapters dedicated solely to explaining why enemas are your best friend. Sorry, but coffee only enters this body through one portal and, pal, it is on a different end of the digestive system.

Then, worry if you need to buy a warehouse of supplements to fill the nutritional gaps caused by the cleansing. (Note: To save money, most of the supplement ingredients can be scraped off the floor of your local nursery. Also, did you know aloe vera leaves your skin soft and supple when you apply it externally and your intestines' smooth and silky when you consume it? Consider yourself educated.)

The actual detox instructions came down to this: eat only vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, but only after you boil them beyond recognition, toss most of the nutrient-filled water, then stick the remnants in a $500 juicer that renders them completely unrecognizable and tasteless.

(Oh, there was also a warning that detox-ers with unresolved "issues" in their lives may experience suicidal thoughts and bouts of unexplained public nudity. But this is just "a hiccup in the healing process," so don't panic.)

Sounds fun -- let's go!

Day 1: Not bad. You eat every two hours. By "eat," I mean you drink quarts of enzyme concoctions and herbal teas. All these things all fruit flavored, yet a nice crisp Macintosh violates the detox. Go figure.

Day 2: I'm peeing every two hours. Dear Lord, am I pregnant?

Day 3: Lost 4 pounds. Still, chamomile tea tastes like ass. And not Victoria's Secret quality, either.

Day 4: Neither light-headed nor dizzy today. I feel like I lost an old friend. I eye the stale box of donuts in the trash. Hmmm …

Day 5: Down 6 pounds. I make "cleansing soup." Gallons of vegetables and seasonings later, mmm, it tastes just like ... water.

Day 6: Since I no longer chew anything, I give up brushing and flossing. Bonus!

Day 7: Dear God, no more [radio edit] herbal tea. They all [censored] SUCK! SUCK MY [digitally altered] MOTHERHUMPING [bleeeeeeeep]!!

Day 8: Down 9 pounds. I haven't gone this long without alcohol since high school. I don't seem to have the DTs. Confirmation that I'm not an alcoholic.

Day 9: I'm craving a cigarette, though I haven't smoked in eons. Is detoxing like sex? Assuming sex is like "vegetable" juice, distilled water and gallons of [redacted] herbal [cuckoo] tea.

Day 10: Seeing the 180s again! This is because my body is free of all heavy metals, insecticides and other poisons. Or because I'm consuming only 348 calories a day.

Day 11: The book's last chapter warns about coming off detox too soon. Could send my body into fatal shock. Now that's incentive.

Day 12: Dropped 13 pounds. It's not that I miss food. I just miss flavor. Any flavor. Except [deleted] herbal ass tea flavor.

Day 13: Screw it. Going for a latte and a maple nut scone. Life's too [buuuzz] short to be thin, healthy and miserable.

Day 14: Went to and fattened up my rankings with many a smiley face.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sleeping With My Daughter

19 clever quips
It started innocently enough. Thing 1 began navigating the prison walls known as her crib at about 16 months, so we moved her into the spare double bed across the hall. That became my first mistake.

The bed was big enough and comfortable enough for two -- obvious, given it came from my swingin' bachelor days. (Did I mention it was only lightly used during my bachelor days? Insert your best guess as to why.) Nearly every night Thing 1 and I snuggled in until she fell asleep. One successful strategy consisted of me yawning as often and loudly as possibly to pass on the nighty-nighty contagion. It worked so well that most nights I conked out right next to her.

We were at the point of breaking this relationship off for the first time when she developed a horrible muck-filled cough. It was aspiration pneumonia -- a complication of what we later learned was her adventure with the autoimmune disease juvenile dermatomyositis. Now I felt a need to be there next to her in case she started choking on her own gunk during the night. That, and -- I was assured -- I was not required to assist in any way, shape or form with the breastfeeding of Thing 2 going on in the master suite.

Flash forward a few years to a new home, our current one. The bachelor bed has gone to a mysterious Mexican man from Craigslist under condition he'd used it only for religious experiences. It was replaced in our home by an even more comfy, more roomy model from Ethan Allen. The cough is gone but now Thing 1 had another issue -- monsters.

I assured her the contract we signed on the house had a "no monster" clause. I produced a state-and-county licensed inspector (who looked and smelled much like our old newspaper delivery guy) who certified the entire property as sprite-, spirit- and demon-less. I even walked her about her pink bedroom with a lit candle while I chanted sacred anti-beastie hymns that only the most discriminating ear would have recognized as vaguely similar to what the monks sing before the Holy Hand Grenade sequence in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

It took quite some time, but in the Year of Our Republican-Endorsed Lord 2008, we finally had two breakthroughs. First, Thing 1 stopped requiring me to cradle her head with my arm and shoulder. This has helped restore full feeling and circulation to the arm I use to change our home's many lightbulbs. Ah, my screwing skills haven't been this sharp since the Clinton administration. Second, one day this spring, Thing 1 made a proclamation:

"I'll stop needing someone to sleep with me when I start third grade."

Third grade is now entering its eighth week. It's been a slow, gradual withdrawal as we've tapered our co-habitation time from five minutes to now just 30 seconds. In a week or two, I expect to be able to give her a peck on the forehead, flick the switch and walk away.

Unless, of course, someone, say, leaves the front door open a little too long on Halloween night …
If I didn't put you to sleep, go to and give me a smiley face before I fall any lower in the rankings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Treadmill of Reverse Sexism

13 clever quips
I had three main fears about taking the stress test:
  • I'd have a heart attack on the treadmill.
  • I would survive the actual test, but the results would definitively prove I did have a something more than an overactive imagination causing my occasional chest pains.
  • I'd survive, have a clean bill of health, but My Love would kick my ass in the time trials.
Face it, I have ceded most of my so-called manhood in this married life. She brings home the bacon, I save the drippings in a Martinson's coffee can for unspecified use at a later date; she manages the household expenses, I clip the coupons and take them to the Stop 'n' Shop on triple bonus cash back day. I'm cool with all this … because the chicks dig it … once they pick themselves up off the floor from the laughing … and call their husbands or boyfriends to goof on me.

However, I will not lose to My Love in a foot race.

Sure, she's completed four marathons and one half-marathon in the 17 years we've known each other. She's also kayaked across Long Island Sound while I was sidelined with panic attacks and seasickness. However, on land, in anything under a few thousand yards, she's eating my dust … assuming one creates dust when running under the weight of an imaginary elephant on his back.

No sooner did I stumble out of the torture chamber, uh, stress test room, I came across My Love in the waiting room, sipping on a vitamin water with a wedge of lemon and a little umbrella in it. (I might have been hallucinating from lack of oxygen, but I also think she was using a Crazy Straw.)

"How'd (cough) you (hack) do?" I asked.

"I did well," she said. "Made the 'good health' category."

"So (blech) did (wheeze) I!"

"I could have made 'excellent' but it would have meant two more minutes of torture on that machine."

"Me, too! (groan) Wanna find (ack) a supply closet?"

"Stop it."

"So," I asked, "what was your time?"

"I got the 'good' category."

"I know that, but what was your time?"

"I didn't know this was a competition?"

"It's not," I lied. "I'm just curious. I've given up on you ever telling me your weight, so humor me on this one."

"Bite me."

"Any time. Now what was your time? I did 22 minutes, 17 seconds. 'Fess up."

After throwing on my "concerned spouse" face and laying it on thicker than Cindy McCain's foundation, she confessed to doing a little more than 17 minutes.

"What?! Women only have to do 17 minutes to qualify for 'good'? What happened to equal rights? Did Bella Abzug wear those horrible hats in vain? I declare reverse sexism! Bi-as! Bi-as!"

But deep down, under the fa├žade of protest and insult, I laughed the laugh of man whose freshly shaved chest was swelling with personal pride. Or cardiac fluid.
Can I get a defib over here, stat? Go to, register and give me a smiley to jump start my heart and ranking.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stressing about testing

23 clever quips
Some people celebrate the onset of middle age with a new Volvo C70 hard-top convertible (uh, that would be My Love). Me -- I spent it trying to maintain my dignity by not flying off the back of a moving treadmill.

If you've never taken a stress test before, you've probably seen one done on any of the zillion of medical shows on TV these days. My turn on it resembled a cross between "Mystery Diagnosis" and "Scrubs."

In retrospect, I'm happy it just didn't turn into "CSI." After all, who hasn't heard the following story at least once in their lives:

"(INSERT NAME HERE) was doing just fine. Then he went to the doctor for a physical and BAM! Coronary on the treadmill. Had to scrape bits of him off the walls."

I asked my test technician about this, hoping to uncover an urban myth.

"Oh, sure," he said. "It happens."

Someone should tell him that such an honest answer is not the way to an "exceeds my expectations" score on the patient satisfaction survey.

"But," he continued, "if you are going to have a heart attack, having one of during the stress test is the best time. You're already hooked up to all the right monitors and you're surrounded by doctors and the necessary equipment to save your life."

Then he started shaving my chest.

This was the second time a man had ever shaved me before. While not on my list of life's pleasures, this go-round did beat the time it was performed by the urologist.

And, we're moving, we're moving …

So, now, I've got circular sticky patches and wires galore on my body. Zero hour has come.

"You'll be walking at a brisk pace, 3.3 miles per hour," he said. Every minute, the incline will increase one degree. Don't hold onto the bar. Just use it to balance yourself briefly when you need to. Let's go."

The first few minutes were deceivingly simple. I'm on a lovely stroll! Up a little hill! Watching "SportsCenter" and debating the evils of the designated hitter with a man in a white jumpsuit! How pleasant.

After five minutes, I'm eying the clinic's "stress test record holders" who are framed on the wall in front of me. I recognize a few names. They're all marathon runners. Hey, only 26 minutes more to go before I kick their asses!

Then, somewhere around Minute 13, I started rocketing through the Five Stages of Grief over my own body's flabbiness:

Denial -- That clock has got to be slow. It's been at least an hour!

Anger -- I am going to kill my wife for talking me into this stupid physical!

Bargaining -- If I live, I'm never even THINKING about cheese again. Or red meat. I'll give up sugar, too. Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!

Depression -- Dear Lord, I'm going to die in a backless paper gown.

Acceptance -- This gown is a lovely shade of blue, isn't it. Carolina? Mmmm, more of a periwinkle, I think. It will go nice with the blood splatters.

I made it to 22 minutes, 17 seconds before my legs went jelly. I probably could have stumbled and sweated another two minutes to move from the "good" to "excellent" health category; however, being wheeled out on a gurney would have been so anticlimactic.

If you enjoy my pain, go to, register and give a smiley face ... and some oxygen -- stat!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Touch Me, Touch Me Not

19 clever quips

To learn the story behind this note, you will need to read my post on DadCentric today. Or you can just hang here and make your best guess.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Six Degrees of Quirky Uncoolness

25 clever quips
One day last week, for no apparent reason, this blog received about 200 random visits, two-thirds of which were from people searching for "Kari Mythbusters Mentos" or some derivative thereof.

Now, I did make a brief mention of my occasional daydreams of this red-haired vixen geek.


Back in July.

Sorry to disappoint you, Google oglers. However, if you had anything to do with the fact that a few days later my blog subscriptions increased by 33 percent, then God bless every horny one of you. For your trouble and your patronage, I give you this:

One random quirk deserves six more. For iMommy, MattDaddy and the many other bloggers who tagged me or awarded me yet more Pico y Arte (Spanish for "contagious lack of cash equivalent") awards in the last month, here are six random quirks of mine:

1. When my copy of Newsweek arrives, I employ the following methodology:
-- First, find and chuckle at the quotes and cartoons on the "Perspectives" page.
-- Skip back to read the "My Turn" column then curse myself for never submitting something because most of the ones they print are totally lame.
-- Finally, flip to the back-page column and, depending on the week, either wonder a) if Ambien CR pills are really ground up, compressed George Will columns that mention baseball, Tocqueville and/or the Federalist Papers, or b) how a woman as successful as Anna Quindlen can't get a better stylist for photo shoots. I mean, look at this:

Her new column photo is a bit better. But not much.

2. I roll the toothpaste tube from the end. My Love, however, is a squeeze-from-the-middle kinda gal. When the police arrive, please let them know this.

3. I put Tabasco on lasagna. Homemade or store-bought frozen, fresh from the oven or straight from the fridge, meat-filled or vegetarian, I douse it. My handiwork is rumored to have inspired that "smell of Napalm in the morning" line in Apocalypse Now.

4. When telemarketers cold call me for "charitable donations," I always say, "Yes! Please! Put me down for $50!" When the pledge form arrives, I feed it to the paper shredder. Eventually they call again, ask what happened to my pledge, I apologize and they send another form that I again shred. I got one alleged state firefighters' association to send me pledge forms six times. Suckers! **sniff** Is that smoke? Nope, just my lasagna.

5. See this scar on my knee:

Thirteen stitches from successfully blocking home plate so the go-ahead run wouldn't score during a baseball game at age 14. Unless you are my wife, my doctor or my massage therapist, don't touch it. Gives me the heebie jeebies. But if I pass out after one too many, it's fair game for you to draw smiley faces on it.

6. When the words won't come, I listen to one of two never-fail CDs: Utopia Parkway by Fountains of Wayne and Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy by The Refreshments. I've drafted many quarterly letters from CEOs to the beat of "Well I've been saving for a custom van/And I've been playing in a cover band/And my baby doesn't understand/Why I never turned from boy to man." Or the irony of this:

Oops, subscription numbers dropping again. Let's go down together, down together … and over to so you can give me a knee-worthy smiley face.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"There's This Girl"

11 clever quips
my love and thing 1Bittersweet defined.

Today, My Love celebrates her 40-somethingish birthday … and our family marks the sixth anniversary of Thing 1's diagnosis with juvenile dermatomyositis.

I'm not sure My Love was too big on the whole birthday thing before, but I know that memory doesn't make the triple-layer carrot cake go down any easier for her. She's told me a few times about the guilt she feels because of the whole giving birth/possibly passing on the bad gene thing.

Those are the few times I can call her "stupid" without soliciting a smack in the head. (Note to self: Make her remove engagement ring before using "s" word. Those carats hurt in more places than just the wallet.)

Here's another one:

My Love yesterday celebrated a day early by getting herself elected chairwoman of the Cure JM Foundation, the all-volunteer nonprofit that raises money for find a cure for Thing 1's disease.

Like she doesn't have enough to do. She's all over crazy stuff like that. But I guess someone has to be. Bless her.

As for me, rather than burden her (and you) with the details of that day again, I will make one request and one Casey Kasem-ish long-distance dedication.

REQUEST: For My Love's birthday, please dig into your spare change jar to find a dollar or two to support My Love (runner) and me (Gatorade hander-outer) in the Carlsbad Marathon and Half-Marathon as we raise funds to find a cure for all juvenile myositis' diseases. Make your tax-free donation at

DEDICATION: To you, birthday girl. You’re my island miles from all that's wrong.

Video: "This Girl," Jordan Zevon (yeah -- he's Warren's son)
For the lyrics, go to this site.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Canadian Connection

15 clever quips
sam from temporarily meToday, we have a special guest -- Samantha from Temporarily Me.

I interviewed Samantha as part of Neil Kramer's
Great Interview Experiment (I was on the receiving end of one of these interviews over the summer), and I must say, she held up far better in this prime-time interview than certain vice presidential candidates I won't name. This is especially notable because she had to deal with the fact my interviewing skills and legs are definitely no match for Katie Couric's.

One note: There may be a bit of a culture barrier for those of you not skilled in the mysterious ways of The Great White North. That is why I have included as many links, photos and videos as possible to help build your knowledge.

Also, Sam swears a bit. But with a way cool accent. Cheers!

Uncool: You want us to believe you are Canadian. Prove it in 38 words, four of which must be "eh."

Samantha: I was eatin' poutine, eh? While watching "Strange Brew," drinking my double-double, eh? Then it occurred to me that I forgot to feed my sled dogs today, eh? I put on my parka and toque and headed out, eh?

Well played. Can you hook me up with some cheap prescription meds? I'll pay the postage.

Can you really afford the postage, I mean ... after that bailout and all? I'll toss that in too, eh?

How conflicted do you feel about buying Molson now that it is owned by an American named Adolph?

I always knew he was a Yank, but dammit -- Adolph? Anyway, I don't buy Molson, I buy Labatt.

Enough Canadian talk. I see you are in the construction industry. Explain your job and how you respond to the apes who taunt your pink tool belt.

I work on construction sites. My job is to refer to the design drawings from the civil engineers draw up and make sure that the construction workers aren't cutting any corners, I help with troubleshooting and documentation during drilling. They guys are pretty well behaved; there's pretty strict sexual harassment laws here now, eh?

Is there any part of "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" you take issue with?

The fact that they were going to cheat on each other. Ironic that it was with each other though. Suckas.

Interesting. Me, I find singing about pina coladas denigrates my yardman's Mexican heritage. Now, why did you start blogging? Fun? Profit? Sentencing by a federal judge?

I was bored. I am a computer nerd and have no friends; to take over the internet and beat Bill Gates at his own game.

You've been blogging since mid-2006. How has your process and attitude toward it changed?

Totally. When I started I COMPLETELY sucked. Not even worth reading, then I began to read people that could actually, you know - write and I learned a little about how to create a decent read-worthy entry. *COUGH*BULLSHIT*COUGH* It was totally because I thought I would be able to pay my mortgage.

Have you really made friends through blogging or are they more like those "Facebook friends" everyone has but never really pays attention to?

Honestly, once they got over the fact that I'm not a stalkerish 90 year old pervert, I've actually become friends with a few bloggers. I mean, there's not really anyone that I talk to on the phone regularly... but there's a couple that I have talked to and met. I would say I still have some "Facebook friends" in the blogworld too. Fuck Facebook!

On a serious note, you've written about your marriage worries and problems. Why expose yourself like that? And do I need to slap some sense into the man? Because I know a guy in western Manitoba

I've taken to exposing myself and my marriage because I think too many people are very fake about the reality of marriage. Many appear to believe that if you fight and argue you're doomed for divorce. I don't think that way at all, marriage is fuckin' hard work and I'm not ashamed to say that living with someone 24/7 and having to agree on parenting styles, money and life changing decisions is stupid hard. I wouldn't be kidding anyone but myself if I tried to blow rainbows up your ass and say that everything was perfect all the time.

(The guy in Manitoba? Is his name Bob? Because I think I know him.)

Aren't they're all named Bob in Manitoba? Anyway, speaking of exposing oneself, if showing your last childbirth live on your blog would guarantee you 5 million hits and all the swag BlogHer can throw your way, would you? Why or why not?

Totally not. There is a line. And my cooch ain't gonna on the net for all the swag in the world. Those 5 million may be there for the day, but I can assure you they ain't comin' back after that. Plus, I believe child birth is a very personal and life altering act. Since becoming a parent, I've become very against exploiting child birth for television/internet whatever. I really hate those shows now.

You seem very worried about your parenting skills, or lack thereof. Why so freaked? Is it because your afraid they'll come back at you some day for naming them after a failed Democrat president and a bad Bruce Wills movie?

Har, Har, Har. You much be old because only old people make that reference. You're old, aren't you?

I am rapidly aging during this interview. Now, answer the question.

I worry about my parenting skills because this blog doesn't generate any money so I can't afford their therapist bills. Fair?

Quite fair. So, if you were not parenting (or fretting about it), what would you do with all that free time?

Probably do interviews like this every day.

Lightning round! Respond quickly with what pops in your head. Ready? Go:

Geddy Lee. Rush, dude! And poutine.

Earwigs. Fuckin' SICK {shudder}

earwig x-ray
Knickknacks. My stepmom.

Alex Trebeck. What is?... and moustaches.

Kiwi. They taste like strawberries.

Satan. Home.

Celine Dion. Her son looks like a girl. Not that there's anything wrong with feminine (why does that look so weird? I spell checked it and even listened to the creepy dude on say it ... feminine...) looking boys. *ahem*

celine dion and sonPoop. Fuckin' toilet training. I saw the biggest log of my life just a month ago and it came from my three year old.

McLovin. Sexy time. Wait, wrong movie.

Mike Myers. Git in mah belly!

I'm tapped out. God bless you, and God bless the beaver-rampant provinces of your homeland, eh?
And if you also love beaver, go to and give me a big ol' grin because "Beaver" is my nickname.


My Uncool Past