Thursday, April 29, 2010

Furry Vengeance!

21 clever quips
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I promised you a post about my brush with the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Ain't happening today.

Why?
Murphy woke up at 3 a.m. violently shaking his head like a bobblehead doll in an earthquake. My Love guessed it was an allergy-related ear infection, gave the poor dog a Claritin and stuffed her head back under the pillow.

I slept through it all.

My brain must have automatically shut itself down to rest up after deducing that my waking day would be spent leaving a trail of cotton balls and tea tree oil around the house as I tried to corner a veterinarian-hating, 75-pound Labrador retriever whipping his long floppies from side to side like a hula dancer on crystal meth.

Or maybe I knowingly ignored all the wee-hour commotion. Maybe I was exacting revenge for the countless early mornings past on which I answered someone's needy barks to go outside. And for the six months spent picking up someone's parasite-laced intestinal explosions around the yard. And all the many power-washings and disinfections needed to remove unplanned detonations from someone's kennel, an activity done while I repeatedly muttered "crap in a wrap, what died up inside you, dog!" and wondered if certain student loans really, truly needed to be repaid given this unpaid, full-time job they had netted me.

Nah.

Must have just been my subconscious just trying to help stockpile needed energy. My brain is a far more complex beast than I am.


Video:"All Men are Liars," Nick Lowe

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy

8 clever quips
hillshire farm go meat logo
Nothing of great consequence today, friends, unless you want a second chance to:


My favorite meat pushers (wow -- that didn't sound right) have authorized me to give away another load of sausage, deli meats and other products, this time by hosting a drawing on DadCentric. Entry rules are similar to what I did here last week, so get over there and comment.

Come back soon for a new post about my brush with the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Meanwhile, enjoy Hanson doing a wicked Blues Brothers imitation.

Thinking 'Bout Somethin'

HANSON | MySpace Music Videos


And yes, that is Weird Al on tambourine.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Meaty Weiners ... I Mean -- Winners

11 clever quips
Sure, you love me, your humble scribe and beleaguered at-home dad, but I know where your true affections lie.

hillshire farm go meat logoThey lie on the grill.

And in the oven.

Maybe even in a crusty cast-iron frying pan, smothered in sauteed onions, peppers and artery-clogging yumminess.

Yes, my friends, you love your Hillshire Farm meat.

And you love it free.

For one whole year.

In all, you submitted more than 240 entries into my "Win the Sausage!" giveaway, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (assuming you didn't enter a similar once-in-a-lifetime affair elsewhere in the blogosphere) sponsored by the generous, intelligent and totally smoking hot folks at Hillshire Farm.

And I have sorted through them all and come up with this ...

First, some surprise "bonus" prizes so I can:
  • better comply with FCC regulations,
  • avoid problems with the IRS, and
  • hide the evidence of any possible sausage abuse from my doctor.
Runner-up prize No. 1: A copy of The Hillshire Farm Cookbook
This 64-page, full-color paperback includes a whopping 42 meaty recipes featuring Hillshire Farm products as well as tips on cooking, grilling and entertaining. And, it goes to an entrant -- chosen at random -- who happens to be named ...

James (aka Seattle Dad), author of the "Luke, I am Your Father" blog

Runner-up prize No. 2: An official "Go Meat!" white apron

This must-have article of cooking attire is being awarded to the person I believed submitted the most logical, literate and honest rationale (in the form of a naughty limerick to boot!) for her winning the grand prize. Here's her entry:

There once was a woman from Weaselville
She had very sore knees due to ... (cleaning well)
A year's worth of meat
Would keep her off of her feet
And focus her efforts in pleasureville.

The apron and congratulations go to WeaselMomma!

GRAND PRIZE: A year's supply of Hillshire Farm Product(s)

The winner, chosen at random, is a Midwestern man with
  • a heart of gold (soon to be replaced with saturated fats) ...
  • a unibrow of steel wool, and ..
  • The Cheek of God on WordPress. 
It's ...
Brian from Cheek of God
 Brian (aka TysDaddy)

Congratulations to all my winners and thanks to all of you for entering, commenting, tweeting and making not-so-thinly-veiled penis jokes. I hope the many of you who entered but are not regular readers at Always Home and Uncool will come back even when I'm not offering free animal products. Special thanks to the folks at Hillshire Farms for providing the goods.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yes, I Know 'No' and Yes, That's Not 'No'

29 clever quips
no no logoUNCOOL: Do you need anything from the store?

MY LOVE: No. I just need some new underwear.

UNCOOL: So, yes, you need something from the store.

MY LOVE: Yes.

UNCOOL: Then why did you say "no."

MY LOVE: I didn't. I just said I need new underwear.

UNCOOL: No, you said "no" then you said you needed something. The correct answer to my question was, "Yes, I need some new underwear."

MY LOVE: That's what I said.

UNCOOL: No, it wasn't.

MY LOVE: You know when I said "no" I meant "yes."

UNCOOL: So when I ask you for something-something later and you say "no," I should just interpret that as "yes."

MY LOVE: No.

UNCOOL: You mean "yes."

MY LOVE: No. I mean "no."

UNCOOL: C'mon. If I don't buy you underwear, you'll already be half way there.

MY LOVE: But you're going to buy me new underwear.

UNCOOL: Yes. I'm not.

MY LOVE: So, are you buying me underwear?

UNCOOL: Oh, yes, you know I'm not.

MY LOVE: We'll see.

UNCOOL: So, can I buy you something from the store?

MY LOVE: Yes. Buy me some underwear.

UNCOOL: Thank you.

MY LOVE: You won't tonight.

UNCOOL: I expect nothing less.

* * *
Seriously, you have yet to enter my drawing to win a year's supply of Hillshire Farm meat products? The contest ends Thursday night! All you have do is go to this post and leave a comment.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Son, The Fashionista

18 clever quips
It dangled limply out from under his plaid pajama bottoms.

"Thing 2, what's that?"

"It's my Sock BandTM. I have three. See?"

leg with sock bands

"Those are just groddy socks that you have worn the bottoms out of and shoved up your leg."

"Yeah. Sock BandsTM. I invented them."

"And what purpose do they serve?"

"I dunno."

"How long have you been wearing those ripe babies?"

"Two weeks."

"To sleep?"

"Yep."

"To school?"

"Yep."

"You showed your classmates your Sock BandsTM?"

"Yep."

"Do they all wear them now?"

"Nope. They don't know how to make them."

"Maybe you need to incorporate and go into business selling them."

"Hmm. Maybe."

"It's tough being an fashion innovator, let alone the stud of the second grade, huh?"

"What's a 'stud'?"

"One lucky bast--, er, boy."

"Yeah. That's me."

"Rock on, son."

"OK, Pops."

+ + +

Have you entered to win a year's supply of Hillshire Farm meat products from "Always Home and Uncool" yet?  All you have do is go to this post and leave a comment.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Play Win the Sausage! (Hiding It Later is Optional) - CLOSED!

212 clever quips
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED! 
But don't leave empty handed! Go back to my home page, read a post or two and grab a laugh.
-- The Uncool Management
 * * *  
hillshire farm go meat logoDid my last post make your mouth water? I know it wasn't my scintillating writing, so it must have been the lure of ...

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A YEAR'S SUPPLY
OF HILLSHIRE FARM PRODUCTS

The lovely Liz from Hillshire's PR/marketing agency sent me an e-mail last month that:
  • Didn't refer to me by the wrong name or gender.
  • Offered a product I can actually relate to. I'm thinking Liz made the "meat for a meathead" connection, but I'm hoping it was something far dirtier yet more flattering, you sweet thang, you.
  • Wasn't tied-in to a worthless reality star. Yes, I know I'm being redundant.
Liz's minions (which I'm sure she has many of and she dresses them in lederhosen and St. Pauli's Girl outfits) shipped over some Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage and Polska Kielbasa, both of which survived the great Uncool Power Outage of 2010.

I was planning on making one of the recipes she also sent, but My Love got a hold of the sausage (that's what she said) and tossed it into a pot with some crushed tomatoes and a mess of red and black beans.

Simply: Oh, baby, goooooooood!

Here's what you can do to get a chance at

WINNING A YEAR'S SUPPLY
OF HILLSHIRE FARM PRODUCTS

1. Leave a comment on this post by no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT, April 22, 2010. Any kind of comment will do, but if you want to entertain the judges, we do like originality, poise and the occasional naughty limerick.

2. Earn extra entries by Tweeting a link to this post (just include @homeanduncool in the Tweet so I can count it).

A winner will be selected at random on April 23, 2010. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter so you'll need to check back.

Meanwhile, Go Meat!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mocking The Lame (PR Pitches I Receive)

18 clever quips
Since a woman first declared 2010 "The Year of the Daddy Blogger" (she might also be a mom, maybe even a mommy blogger, but the use of a woman's ovaries are best left up to her own devices -- or, more precisely, the lack thereof -- so I shan't speculate further), my inbox has literally gone from zero to half a dozen PR pitches a day.

Unfortunately, most of these pitches are lame and the products and services lamer. For example:

They are about mom/woman things. I'm not talking cleaning, ironing and cooking supplies, you presumptive reverse sexists. Those are my areas in the household and there is nothing wrong about that no matter what says the Mother of All Uncoolness (hi, Mom!). I'm talking expensive jewelry for babies, confession Web sites for moms who don't have their own blogs to confess on, and items that provide, um, uh, girly freshness. Is my content that feminine? Where are the microbrewers? The makers of Blu-Ray DVD players with built-in WiFi (like the Panasonic DMP-BD85K or maybe the LG BD570 -- do you need a mailing address)? Damn it, where's my XBox360!

They are addressed to "Mr. ____." A half-point for getting my gender right. However, if you don't know my last name then don't leave it blank, you unpaid PR intern monkey. What's that? You're a VP at the company? Then hire a PR intern monkey, idiot! Geez, at least address me by my first name (hint: it's in my FAQs and my URL.) If nothing else, be a creative suck up. Starting with "Dear Mr. Well-Endowed Blogger" is not going hurt your chances around here.

They hype products tied to idiotic, overexposed "celebrities." I have written about my waistline issues but why would I give a slutty Kardashian about what type of girdle one of those reality show harlots wears to squeeze in her post-baby belly? Especially without sending me an actual slutty Kardashian to model it for me. (Note to that marketing agency: I'm partial to this one, especially in this saucy pirate outfit:

kim kardashian pirate outfit

And, yes, I'll pay for the postage. Delivery only, though.)

They are about inappropriate products. I'm not talking sex toys. Those are perfectly fine between consenting adults, assuming your household contains adults (mine -- yes) who consent (meh). I'm talking items that run quite counter to my core beliefs. My favorite to date? Right after I ranted about overpriced high chairs, a company sends me an e-mail pimping not only a $600 baby stroller but some bizarro artwork some "well-known artist" did of said stroller. First, people who are well known don't need to be introduced as such. Second, what the fluck, flunky flak?

That's why I'm happy to announce an actual PR pitch worthy of this little blog that benefits me and YOU, my dear loyal readers and irregular commenters. (No, it's not a deal with Fiber One, but that also would be appropriate for our collective colons.)

Details will appear here Thursday. Tune back in then.

Meanwhile, fill me in on the most inane PR pitch you have every received. Or your favorite Kardashian. Sex toys, optional.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shopping with Father

20 clever quips

The Things found themselves clothing-challenged when global warming relocated southern New England’s normally wet and chilly first week of April into the steam room of mid-August.

Thing 1 dripped about the house in one of her many pink sweat jackets.

Thing 2 sweltered in a dual-layer football jersey, leaving behind a trail of his own brine.

justice-perfume-irony “I know what the calendar says, my little ones, but please dig into your drawers! (No, Thing 2, not THOSE drawers! Get your hand out of there this instant!) Delve into the deepest recesses of your closets! Shorts, T-shirts, flip flops! Chop chop! Vamos! Stat and hang a bag of Ringer’s lactate!”

“Oh, but father! My Hannah Montana shorts and High School Musical T-shirts are soooo outdated!” declared Thing 1. “My classmates shall make a mockery of me!”

“Yeah, Pops. And my butt and belly are too big for mine,” piped in Thing 2. “Yo, yo, yo – pass the chips!”

A silence followed filled with the ticks that our digital clocks would make if only they understood artistic license.

“To the mall! To the mall!” the Things cried in unison.

I scratched my thinning grays then pinched my thinner wallet.

Lord, oh, Lord – to the mall, forsooth.

The discount admirals of Old Navy were most kind to the boy: three pairs of shorts, one shirt the color of a Hawaiian sunset luau, pre-stained with dribbled poi.

The girl, though, the girl.

“Old Navy, pish posh. No self-respecting Diva-in-Training would stoop so low, father,” said the Thing known as 1. 

She wanted justice.

Sorry, that’s Justice. With a capital “J.” And ubiquitous peace signs. And many items in Paradise Green, Real Purple and Fuchsia Rose.

"I don’t like these shorts. They stop above my knee and that means too much sunscreen to slather below,” she said after trying six pairs of varying hue but, alas, the same style.

We browse. We disrupt neat stacks in search of sizes. We re-fold poorly but sincerely.

“I like those but I know you, father,” she said. “You won’t let me wear them because they are too short.”

I’m taken aback with confused anger.

“This is the second time in memory I have heard you express this opinion of me, daughter, and I must ask, when have I ever objected to your clothing because of its length?”

“Then how about these,” she said, holding a tattered washcloth that had apparently been barfed up by an anemic rainbow.

“Too short.”

“Faaaaaaaaaaaaaa-theeeeeeeer!

“What? You were the one complaining five minutes ago that the other shorts didn’t go past your knees!”

Thirteen pairs of discards later, we stood in the checkout line. Thing 1, feeling full of femininity and high on retail ecstasy, browsed a perfume display close at hand.

“Mmmm, smell this. I like it so, father!”

“Sweet Thing,” I said, ripping the strip from the tester pad, “you need to first spray the perfume on the paper before you smell it. All you are inhaling are dust mites and cotton fiber.”

I grabbed a bottle, squirted, then waved it under her eager nose.

“Mmm mmm mmm! Oh, father! This is the scent I like best of all,” she said. “What’s it called, father dear?”

My fingers rotated the glass bottle until its name snickered to me.

“Sweet Thing,” I said, “it’s called, ‘Bright.’ ”

* * *

Today’s post is brought to you by “Fatherhood Fridays” at Dad Blogs. Visit, click, show them your bare bodkin:

image

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Miracle at the Mets Game

8 clever quips
I mean, aside from them winning on Opening Day Monday afternoon.

Read all about a very special family moment I witnessed at Citi Field in my post "Score!" over at DadCentric today.

Or just stay here and enjoy this tuneful montage of photos from Uncool Family outings to Opening Day from 2000 to 2010.

Or do both. You're good enough, you're smart enough and, doggone it, I like you!


Video -- Uncool Opening Days: 2000 to 2010

No more baseball talk next week. Unless, by another miracle, the Mets are still undefeated by then.

UPDATE: The Mets, down 6-1 last night, rallied to tie it 6-6 ... only to blow it in extra innings. You're all spared.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It’s Opening Day, Baby!

13 clever quips

The Always Home and Uncool office is closed for what should be a national holiday. The following first appeared 10 years ago on our family’s old AOL Hometown Web site. Enjoy and may your home team win … unless you root for the flippin’ Florida Marlins. Let’s go, Mets!

* * *

On April 3 (2000, Thing 1) made her Major League debut at the Texas Rangers' Opening Day in Arlington, Texas. It was actually more like Opening Day back at Shea with the Mets – chilly, windy and the home team won. We only made it through seven innings, but she handled it well, sleeping through most of the game.

Thing 1 first opening day 2000 If you plan on taking your 6-week-old baby to a game, here's what you need to know:

  • Get to the game early. Feed baby right before going inside. Burp well. Repeat if necessary.
  • Bring diapers. Hope the stadium has baby-changing tables in the restrooms or else plan on changing your kid on top of a garbage can, which isn’t too bad if only it makes diaper disposal that much easier.
  • Put baby in one of those holders that you strap to your chest. Saves wear and tear on your arms, makes her and you feel secure. Also, frees your hands for beer drinking and scorekeeping, plus you don't have to pay for an extra ticket.
  • OK, your hands are mostly free. Until baby falls asleep, leaning on your chest, you must support baby's neck. This makes keeping score quite a feat (really, a knee -- which supports baby's neck while you grip scorebook and pencil), but eating and drinking are doable. It helps if you are adept at shelling peanuts one-handed. Or enjoy eating peanuts in the shell.
  • Yes, drinking with baby in tow is acceptable also long as you are not breastfeeding (or at least, the breast feeder) but only in moderation. Not only don't you want to get sloshed with a child strapped on your chest, you want to limit your own bathroom trips ... for obvious reasons.
  • Having baby at a ball game makes you a chick magnet. Drunken groupies, girlfriends dragged to the stadium, ice-cream vendors -- they all love you and the baby. Heck, it’ll even makes a few guys teary eyed.

TODAY
by Greg Shea

Today you'll dig in the closet for your glove 
    and snap a ball into it while sipping your morning coffee.
Today as the toast comes out of the toaster,
    you'll still remember how to execute a perfect "pop-up" slide.
Today you'll drive to work and admonish yourself
    to "keep your head down" and your eye on the road.
Today your team will be in first and planning to stay there.
Today you'll end your contract holdout.
Today you'll still be able to turn the double play.
Today you won't lose a business deal in the sun.
Today you'll find yourself rotating your arm around your head
    to stretch the shoulder and keep it loose.
Today someone asks if you'll be at the meeting
    and you respond by saying, "Let's play two."
Today you spend an hour in the attic
    with old baseball cards and dusty Sports Illustrateds.
Today sunflower seeds strangely find their way into your back pocket.
Today you find yourself muttering something about "Bill freakin' Buckner."
Today you'll think of wearing a black suit to match the eye black.
Today you'll have the steal sign.
Today you slip up in a meeting and mention "our sales team ... vs. lefties."
Today a hot dog and peanuts for lunch will sound about right.
Today you tell a co-worker to "warm up."
Today the only strike you'll know about
    is above the knees and below the armpits.
Today you'll wear your jacket only on your pitching arm.
Today you'll buy two packs of gum
    and stuff them in the side of your mouth.
Today, during lunch, you'll wonder why Coke doesn't come in a wood can.
Today you'll scratch yourself and spit for no apparent reason.
Today you'll wonder why stirrup socks never caught on.
Today you'll be the rookie looking to make it big.
Today you'll be the wily vet with just a little something left.
Today you'll look for the AM dial on your radio.
Today your glove is hanging off the handlebars of your bike.
Today seems like a good day for an ice cream before you head home.
Today is box scores and Baseball Tonight.
Today is Donnie Sadler and Keith Osik.
Today is Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.
Today your first coach is cheering. Still.
Today Mom's watching.
Today Dad's in the backyard -- with his glove.
Today it'll still be a kids' game.
Today you'll be a kid.
Today is Opening Day.
Copyright © 2000 The Closer

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Aromatherapy Stinks

17 clever quips

If this piece reeks, blame aromatherapy.

Specifically, you should complain to my wife. She's the one who bought this bottle of Focus Oil, which its New Zealand maker says is a blend of bergamot, lemon and cinnamon that should "promote clarity of thought."

The label also denotes the essential oil mix is "'energising.'" Please notice the manufacturer uses a Kiwi-fied spelling to show authenticity of the product's origin. It also puts the word in quotation marks to indicate its marketing team either is trying to be folksy or is letting you in on the joke.

aromatherapy-for-her Therefore, in the name of science and desperation to finish this post, I'm huffing these heady vapors like … uh … like … um -- (SNORRRRRRRRRRT … ahhh) -- like Tommy Chong at a marijuana farm brushfire.

Whoa. Duuuuuude! You see that?

Filling our home with scents other than Windex (the cleaning people), spilled beer (me) and the funk of the unwashed (the kids) falls squarely on my wife. The origins of her relentless burning of scented candles and warming bowls of liquefied salad seasons remain mysterious, though I can offer three guesses:

  • Her first whiff of our Labrador retriever fresh from the rain
  • An attempt to delay the changing one of the kids' diapers until I showed up
  • Five-bean chili night

Whatever. All I know is nowadays the rest of us have to live with the stench.

Yes, I said stench.

The occasional hit of lavender at the spa, in a bubble bath or on a laced-trimmed silken negligee as it mingles with a warm summer breeze rising with the musky essence of her … umm … uh … wait … (SNEEEEENX SNORT SNORRRRRRT … brrrbrrrbrrr) -- is heavenly.

But most every weekend, My Love pours another vial of Lavendula phewitreeksalotis or something into a porcelain cup on the kitchen counter and shoves a lit tea candle under it to smolder. For 16 hours straight.

When the wind's right and the windows are open, our neighbors must think we were running a renegade potpourri lab out of our house. The overwhelming fumes makes a guy want to head outdoors for fresh-air activities like picking up a week's worth of doggie doo.

Hold the phone.

That sneaky woman o’ mine!

donut-candle I'm not saying there isn't any sense in scents. Smell gives us the ability to taste beyond the tongue's basics of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and the all-powerful savory (think: grillllled meeeeat). Studies have shown scents to be a more powerful memory trigger than sight or sound. And no one can ignore several findings over the years by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago that nothing gets a man's blood flowing -- you know, down there -- like the universally sexy, sensual aroma of pumpkin pie, doughnuts and licorice. (Obviously, Coco Chanel and Donna Karan aced marketing in school but flunked chemistry.)

Face it, too much of even a good smell can be bad thing. For example, back when I worked for a national homebuilder during the boom years, our salespeople would run a bread maker or a miniature cookie oven in the model homes to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere that would entice buyers. Look where that got us.

Home mortgage crisis!

Wall Street meltdown!

Unemployed communications professionals overusing exclamation points!

Hold it. Do you smell that?

It smells like … (SNUKUKUKUKX sniff sniff SNIIIIIICKERS) "the end."

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