Sunday, January 25, 2009

Run for Someone's Life

16 clever quips
CARLSBAD, CALIF. -- Along the Pacific Coast today, four dozen people will run up to 26.2 miles to help a handful of children with a potentially fatal disease.

One of the runners is My Love.

One of the children is Thing 1.

This is their cause:

Thanks to all of you who have donated to our efforts. We have exceeded our $25,000 family goal and Cure JM met its overall fundraising goal of $150,000 for the event. You are the most generous, literate blog readers around. You also smell fantastic.

Thanks to our 16-year-old neighbor (and occasional babysitter) for helping put the above video together. In five years, your first legal beer is on me.

Thanks to the rest of you who put up with my begging and pleading here and elsewhere on the Web over the past six months without unsubscribing. I'm grateful and humbled ... but not dumb enough not to try to get you to fork over a fiver or two one last time at our donation site.

Back with the funny later this week. Cheers!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Having Fits over Fitness

26 clever quips
If you are like most Americans, you made a New Year's resolution to get fit and live healthy. Then, you blew it all during the first week by doing something like diving face first into a convenience store display of Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies.

"Bur hroatmurr res grud fer ruu," you sputter.

True, oatmeal is good for you (you have marshmallow fluff, right there … no, higher … got it), but your transgression proves a theory of mine. New Year's resolutions are like speed limits -- always broken but never without an excellent excuse.

Getting fit, it is said, is a long-term process you achieve through baby steps (unless, of course, you're of a tax bracket that allows it to be a short-term process you superficially achieve through plastic surgery -- in that case, kudos to you). Therefore, if you make small adjustments to your everyday routine today you'll be healthy not tomorrow, not next week, but maybe just in time to drop dead from old age. And old age is a good long-term goal!

Don't believe me? Then let me guide you through some popular ideas for creating a healthy lifestyle in 2009 that people making a lot more money than I am have been spouting on the talk shows and in respected medical journal's like O Magazine:

Skip the elevator/escalator and take the stairs! A great cardiovascular workout and it tightens the glutes, so I can't argue with this … if you live and work on the 83rd floor of the Empire State Building. In the town I live in we have like three buildings over four stories high. I blame our region's planning and zoning commissions. I demand restitution for their inadequate contemplation of our collective buttocks!

Park as far from the front door of your destination as possible and walk! This is not usually a problem in my town, especially when it's raining, you're in a hurry or -- like my children -- you occasionally forgot to put on pants. So when I plan to indulge in a particularly heavy, fatty meal at a fine restaurant, for example, I counterbalance the extra calories by parking even a little farther away than normal. Like in south Jersey (I walk the Parkway, not the Turnpike back -- the added curves and tolls enhance the burn!)

Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day! Recent research has raised doubts about this long-held belief. However, I say, poppycock! Balderdash! Antidisestablishmentarism! The study author obviously doesn't have two kids and a wife who conspire to be in the potty every frickin' time he needs to relieve himself. The "I gotta go but I can't go here" jig works muscle groups I can't even begin to discuss with you because of my subsequent giggling.

Two shots of vodka, a little rum, some bitters, a smidgen of vinegar, a shot of vermouth, a shot of gin, a shot of scotch, a little brandy, a lemon peel, orange peel, cherry, some more scotch! Ooops, that's the recipe for an Alaskan Polar Bear Heater. I don't recommend this. Especially near open flames.

When talking on the phone, stand, stretch and move! Of course, until you build up your stamina, you might find yourself being a little winded during phone conversations and breathing heavy. Pro: You might get a date out of it! Con: You might be slapped with a harassment suit!

So you see -- there's no miracle cure, folks. Just try to eat better foods, consume fewer calories and exercise more. If you must, consider joining a good gym.

But not until about Feb. 13. That's when all the other people who made resolutions to get fit and healthy give up and sell their annual memberships at drastically reduced prices. This is so they can afford to purchase Whitman's Samplers for their favorite phone callers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's All Downhill From Here

10 clever quips
... if you go over to and read my post about taking Thing 2 and his friend sledding.

What? You thought I was talking about the fledgling Obama administration? Do I come across as that cynical?

I remember the wee-morning hours after Clinton first got elected. A bunch of my suburban reporter colleagues and I were drinking in a bar, because that's what we did best in those days, talking about what had happened and what was to come.

One reporter, who has since gone on to cover Congress for a major Southern newspaper, said her biggest hope for the Clinton administration was that he would change the tone of our nation.

She was sick of the hatred, ugliness and fear the Newt Gingriches, Lee Atwaters, Rush Limbaughs and Pat Buchanans had been spewing during the Republican Revolution and recent campaign.

She didn't want a hippie lovefest. She just wanted less of the "if you aren't with us, you're against us -- you dirty un-American bastards" view being spouted.

She was, and still is, right. Like I tell my kids, everybody doesn't have to be your best friend, but you have to learn to get along with people whether you like them or not. And just because a lot of people agree with you doesn't make you right.

So, Big O, even though some see you as the Second Coming (which would mean I made a big mistake doing a 5-year renewal on my Entertainment Weekly subscription), I'm not expecting miracles. I'm keeping my expectations low based on others' past performance. Just for me and my kids' sake, though, show by example -- every day -- how we can all play nicely with each other again.

However, if you do have a little extra pull Upstairs, could you do something about all this frickin' cold and snow?

Video: "Sunday Shining," Finley Quaye

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Top 10 Things President Bush Should Say in His Farewell Address

32 clever quips

10. "Remember this, America: 60 million of y'all wanted a second helping of this here Texas meat."

9. "Soon as I'm out of the door, I'm putting all my efforts toward finding the real killers."

8. "Imagine what would have happened these past eight years if I was still drinking?"

7. "The only man creepier than Vice President Cheney is Karl Rove. And, yes, they're both a-holes."

6. "Anybody need some mesquite brush cleared? Cheap?"

5. "Condi is totally smokin'. I could tap that."

4. "The media fails to acknowledge the bright side of an economy in ruins and a tainted reputation abroad -- we've solved our immigration problem."

3. "That new Kanye West disc is off the chain."

2. "Let this be a lesson for future generations: Never make a decision on invading another country after six Amps and a Red Bull."

1. "Oops."


"One last thing, America. Don't vote for this Uncool guy at Is that enough of an endorsement for ya?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Favorite Waste of Time

16 clever quips
I have the best lurkers in the world. Fifty-five of you in 24 hours! You rock harder than diamond! (That's the hardest natural substance in the world, by the way, just edging out Avitable's doodle and Ann Coulter's skull. May the twain never meet.)

Thanks again, and nice to "meet" so many of you. I appreciate all of you wasting your time with me. Even those of you who don't comment, though now I don't know what to do with your checks.

Enjoy the song. Look how sweaty Marshall got singing for you. Resume lurking if you dare.

Video: "(You're My) Favorite Waste of Time," Marshall Crenshaw

Monday, January 12, 2009

Show Me Your Wares

68 clever quips
This, I've learned, is "Delurking Day." It's when people who regularly read a blog but don't normally comment (known as "lurkers," "voyeurs" or "glue huffers") are supposed to finally show their cybergoodies by posting on said blog.

At this blog, those people would include:

  • My Love. Though I suspect she sometimes has her admin break down my posts into bullet points for insertion into a PowerPoint presentation she can quickly review between conference calls on weighty subjects such as how to best correlate carbonation levels in fruit-flavored, non-caffeinated beverages featuring artificial sweeteners with Band 10 retirement package for executives in non-G8, non-Democratic but vaguely American leaning global markets with excessive helium reserves.
  • The Mortician Babe (who calls My Love to tell her how funny my blog is ... prompting the need for the PowerPoint presentations)
  • The 16 people who receive this blog by e-mail. I know all your names and Social Security Numbers. Comment or I start issuing credit cards in your names to the people who do comment here.
  • The 163 people who regularly visit my site every month in search of "Kari from 'Mythbusters." This peaks, I recently discovered, every time they re-run the episode where they put Mentos in diet soda. Think about it. Google it. You'll understand.
  • The 127 people who visit here every month wanting to know whether the actress who plays the mom on "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" is pregnant. Wikipedia says she was, squeezing out a little girl in May. Now go buy her a gift. Oh, while you're at the store, get a life. And maybe a dark chocolate Milky Way for the drive home

Even if you do comment here, on occasion or regularly, do so again. My goal is to finally break 50 comments. If I do, I'll be incredibly pumped because I'd finally have achieved a goal!

Then, I'll be incredibly depressed because I would have gotten the most comments ever for writing absolute tripe filler.

Then I'll be incredibly pumped again because that means I have friends out there in the ether!

Then I'll be incredibly depressed again because I know I only got them by begging, pleading and whoring myself.

Then I'll be incredibly pumped again because these moods swings will qualify me for some real sweet prescription meds!

Which, in the blogosphere we know, is a prerequisite for snagging a book deal.


Voting for me at will also ease your troubled mind and remove embarrassing stains from your contour sheets.

Friday, January 9, 2009

As The Scalp Itches

36 clever quips
"Dad," Thing 2's voice whimpers from the answering machine, "my head is really itchy and it won't stop. Can you come pick me up? Call me back at school."

You, undoubtedly, have read or heard about parents who develop momentary superhuman strength to be able to free their trapped children by dead lifting tractor-trailers or Thomas Pynchon novels. Yet in this instance, I am simply unable to simultaneously grab the receiver before my boy hangs up and Google "lice."

After a good guttural scream normally reserved for Mets' bullpen collapses and phone calls from my Mom (after she's been put on mute, of course), I ring the school. Meanwhile, images like these flood my computer screen:

close up of hair with head lice
I immediately regret not washing down breakfast with the surplus holiday eggnog I found in the basement fridge.

(Have you developed phantom itches yet? Don't worry, you will. Keep reading.)

The school receptionist says Thing 2 has left the office. Nice. My boy is undoubtedly rubbing his creepy crawly head against every finger painting and essay on Martin Luther King Jr. on display in the hallways at this moment.

Maybe this will make it easier for me to beg out of the spring bake sale?

"Could you track him down and have him call me back. Kinda important," I tell to her.

I run upstairs and strip the sheets off the bed. My bed. The one the little parasite-toter staggered into about 3 a.m. I hope I have bleach. Or a gallon of Tabasco. Could I Ben Gay the bastards?

The phone rings.

"Dad …"

"Little Dude, don't move," I say. "Do. Not. Move. Do not touch anything or anybody. I will be there in five minutes."

When I arrive, he's seated in the front office. He's wearing a Corbin Blue concert T-shirt, coat on his lap, Spider-Man backpack at his feet, his face red and glowing with sweat.

But he's very, deathly, still.

"Grab your stuff. Quickly."

We make it to the Minivan of Manliness, missing the villagers wielding torches and cans of Raid.

"Dad, why is there a garbage bag on my car seat?"

"Hold on," I say, "I've got one for you to slip over your entire body."

Once home, I consider dangling him by the ankles into the icy heap remaining on my porch from other day's snowfall. That is not a recommended treatment for lice, but Thing 2 doesn't know that and it would definitely improve my disposition.

Instead, I sit him down at the kitchen counter, fire up a 500-watt halogen light from my workshop and start scrutinizing every strand of hair on his oversize blond head.


Not a flake of dandruff nor even a stray green clover or blue moon marshmallow from breakfast.

"Does your head itch anymore?"

"No. It feels fine."

"What the Donavon Frankenreiter? Was this all a scam so you could come home early and play more Nintendo DS?"


Then it hits me.

"When was the last time you showered?"

"I don't know."

"Were you at recess right before your head started itching?"


I take him upstairs and start the shower. While I fetch the shampoo and conditioner, Mr. Monk will fill you in:

monk explains it all
Now, smelling of coconut Sauvé, I help Thing 2 towel dry. I kneel and look him squarely in the eye.

"Dude, I don't want you to be the stinky kid at school that no one plays with and everyone makes fun of. You need to shower at least twice a week. And, for crying out loud, we've had this talk before, put on clean underwear and socks every morning. Recycling is not an option for underclothes."

"OK, Dad. I love you."

He didn't say the last three words. But I'm hoping he'll realize the need to someday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Turn It Up or Turn It Off

7 clever quips
I'm not on an extended spiritual quest. Not yet, at least. I've just been busy.

Make-a-Wish trip to DisneyWorld.

Lice scares.

Building the strengh and volume of my thinning hair.

Oh, yeah, and a deluge of actual paying work. Crazy times.

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I'm over at DadCentric today. It's about how Thing 2 helped me overcome yet another crushing defeat in my life. Go have a look. Have a giggle at my expense. Leave a comment so I don't suffer alone.

Speaking of clicking links, by doing so a few weeks back to read my column in the latest Aetherial Relaxation Spa newsletter you helped raise another $200 to support research into curing juvenile dermatomyositis and all its evil relatives.

Did I mention generosity looks stunning on you? It's so slimming. Especially in that back pocket area.

Your assistance with that, plus a few added helpings from other friends and some of My Love's co-workers, puts us less than $2,500 short of our $25,000 goal with two weeks to go. If you are waiting to make that heroic donation -- big or small -- to put us over the top, now is the time.

Please. I really want to stop sounding like a public radio pledge drive.

Video: "Turn It Up or Turn It Off," Kevn Kinney (the original hard rockin' version by his band, Drivin' N' Cryin', is on YouTube.


My Uncool Past