Monday, February 28, 2011

Acceptance speech.

I am overjoyed, overjoyed, overjoyed, overjoyed to receive this award! I can't stop jumping! I almost dropped the microphone! It's hard for me to hold! Hold on a minute, I need to run around in circles. Happy! Happy! Happy! Ok excuse me. I hope you don't mind if I sit down a minute. Ok I'm done.

When I was first nominated for this award I --- sorry, hold on; goddamn ITCH ITCH ITCH --- well I didn't understand it. I still don't really understand it. Can I eat it? Is it a toy? Who cares!

Where were we? I'm hungry. Oh yeah. Award! So, thank you thank you thank you to the Academy. I'm tired.

What's that music. Is it time to go? OK. Let me just say there's a lot of other talented individuals who should've gotten this... this treat. Some of these individuals really have tremendous butts. I've, well I've smelled them. I won't lie. And they haven't hesitated to smell mine.

(Speaking of which, I hope you won't mind if I just scoot mine across the floor for a minute here. SOMETHING is stuck in there. Ok).

My relationships with my friends are a big part of my success. We have a hierarchy I guess, but not the usual pissing contest you see in Hollywood.

So thanks again to them. I'm happy to share. Grrrr not too much.

In closing I want to thank the Academy. Did I do that already? Winning Best Supporting Dog has always been a dream of mine. You like me! You really like me!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Interview with the Author.

...Asked about the source material for his "blog posts" as he calls them, the infamous writer and society darling Eric Martindale said, "I guess it's the profound moments found in everyday life that strike me." Martindale takes another sip of his jasmine green tea and adjusts his monocle, an accessory he has inexplicably brought back into style.

"Just the other day, for example, I made a really good sandwich --- I mean a world-stopper of a lunch --- and I thought 'Hey, this is a story that needs to be told.'"

Through the open window I hear activity in the courtyard three stories below his apartment, which overlooks the trendy 3rd Arrondissement. Seeing the troupe of journalists and photographers arrive this morning a crowd had gathered, hoping for a look at Paris's favorite ex-pat.

"It's that kind of stuff that nobody, I mean nobody in the world, writes about. Or perhaps even understands the importance of caring about. For example one of the kids shit his pants last week. I wrote 20 carefully-crafted paragraphs on this poignant moment, the still frame in a living allegory of modern life. Nothing but silence from the critics." Martindale, however, settles comfortably into the role of misunderstood genius.

Quick with a tortured pose, staring intently at a blank page in his Moleskine for example, the lines in his brow like the battle scars of countless hours spent waiting for inspiration, waiting as the specter of human history's untold chapters whisper at his shoulder, begging to be born, we see a premonition of countless book-jacket photos to come. The world waits.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quote of the day

"I hate this weapon! It hits me in the nuts. I'm gonna do it again."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Zuo Gu Shen Jing Tong Wan

Desperate, still studying up to the minute before the mid-term, I asked E to make up a mnemonic for this Chinese Patent Medicine formula (pronounced roughly "zwuh goo shen jing tongg juan"). It treats sciatica so I was especially interested in remembering it, not just for the test. Because she gets that sometimes.

"Zephyrs go sailing just to Washington?

My sciatica was acting up at the Zoo.
I sat down to rest in a pile of Goo
The shen of the sun
and the jing(le) of bells will always remind me
of borrowing tonggs from the Zookeeper named Juan.

Fuck. I don't know."

In the end I went with "zoo goo" and it helped. The formula happens to be made with monkey shit, so even better. (Just kidding. But there really are herbs made from cicada shells [treats aphonia], squirrel feces, a bear's gall bladder, even plants soaked in baby urine).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

To Mom, Love All of Us.

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My mom.

This covers about half of it:

Happy Birthday to my awesome mom. For those that don't know her she is: kind highly articulate funny delightfully dramatic the best storyteller musical inquisitive a true teacher and writer deeply spiritual takes great care of people she loves VERY smart. She's your biggest fan and best friend. You can't forget her. Thanks for keeping me afloat in more ways than 1 often thanklessly. Happy Birthday to my awesome mom.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Childhood Nightmares: Now in Traumavision!

Some idiot babysitter let me watch this movie as a kid and the thing that happens 1 minute and 13 seconds into this promo clip haunted me for years.



I wouldn't look through binoculars for the longest time. I remember staying up late at night in bed running the sequence over in my mind, trying to comfort myself that maybe it wouldn't be so bad learning to live with NO FUCKING EYES. I kept revisiting it, hoping if I faced it head on it wouldn't scare me so badly. I never knew what the movie was called because after seeing that part I hid under a blanket. I only just hunted it down recently. Turns out, from people's comments, that generations of other kids were totally fucked up by it too. We should form a support network. Guaranteed, group activities for our community would not include birdwatching.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Something's got to give.

When there's just too much happening at once, such as now, mid-terms, work, kids and three cub scout events three nights in a goddamn row, the chorus of this song always runs through my head.

Monday, February 21, 2011

You can have my heart - when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

I was going to write about my Valentines' Day present, which was a trip to the shooting range, but Elizabeth covered it better than I could. With as much accuracy as her target shooting. See here:


The only detail she left out of her superior writeup was the weapon we used, a  It was a Glock 9mm pistol. Oh and my own targets. Not as good as hers, but I got the job done:

Really this dude doesn't have anything to be smiling about. When I took a picture of this target tonight I realized just how creepy it is. Look at the slight tilt of the head.

If you know me, you know how I feel about zombies, and about shooting them (i.e., my obsession with Sega House of the Dead, which is largely what gave E the idea to go to the range). I was thrilled to find out you can buy zombie targets at the shooting range. You can also get Osama Bin Laden. And a combination of both: Clearly I need more training for the real zombie apocalypse, when only brains will count, but at least I would've shot the jaw off this zombie/terrorist.

Her heart, my head. Isn't this romantic?

Friday, February 18, 2011

From in between.

In American Gods there's a sequence where Wednesday and Shadow step behind the scenes to escape the bad men who pursue them. Behind-the-scenes as in behind the reality in which we play out our lives. Behind the scenes is a barren, alien landscape of smooth stone where rules don't quite apply. Reminds me of a dream I had.

In the dream everyone I knew was on a train, but I had somehow fallen through the space between the cars. Far from being on land, the silvery train in fact rocketed through a howling expanse of empty sky, a sky which was blindingly bright, and pale, and through which only a hint of the world below was visible in bland patches between insubstantial wisps of streaming cloud.

The wind and the sound of the train roared as I floated above, limbs thrown back, lifted and pinned and buffeted in the sky by roiling air, struggling so hard to dive back down again into the train for safety, having slipped out from between the cars.

Now I ask you: which life is real? Is it the train, with the appearance (or the fact) of a bottom, of sides, and of a top, a train traveling on a determined course? Or is it in fact the expanse of directionless, limitless sky howling imperceptibly outside? Hmm?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Angry birds, angry children.

I let Ambrose play Angry Birds on my phone when he was home sick today.

"Die pig!
I'll put revenge on you!
Uh oh... I have company."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Straight from the nothingness' mouth.

Stressful day. There were seemingly more things to do, all of them imminent, than I could possibly get done, and I'd been up until 2:30 last night after a 14-hour day.

Thoughts were moving fast, listing all the tasks and scrambling for clarity on getting them done. I decided to quickly consult Lao Tzu for an answer. I emptied my mind of thoughts and flipped to a random page in the Hua Hu Ching. Here's what it said:

"...Agitated effort is not necessary. Just be aware of the great Great Tai Chi."

It was calming to the point where getting things done no longer mattered. All was as it was. I settled into myself. It so happened that I got them done anyway.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FAIL.

I am posting this Wednesday with the date of Tuesday because I should've blogged Tuesday. Was up until 2:30 doing actual work-related writing, so...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day.

Pho, Psych, gelato, zombies, Spartacus (blood, and sand) samoas.

"Mario Melodies:" An Original Arrangement of Themes from Super Mario Bros. by Ezra, Age 10.

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From his public debut, February 12, 2011, for Chris Jones' Benefit for MacPhail School of Music at Butter Bakery Cafe, Minneapolis.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Clarification.

My mom was totally confused by the last post. It was about a faux pas. I originally posted the faux pas story as a comment on mommywantsvodka. I feel cheap reposting comments I've made. It's like when people say "I said the funniest thing yesterday" or forward you the hilarious email they wrote to someone else. But I wanted to tell the story. So if you think I'm cheap, or self-aggrandizing, well, so's your mom. (Not you Mom).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Faux pas: the comment repost.

It feels cheap to post comments I've put on other people's blogs on this blog. But I wanted to tell this story that made me laugh and cringe, so suck it.

Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka (one of my favorites) posted this bit about foot-in-mouth moments and some 70 people weighed in with their own stories, which I've been enjoying. Here was my own:

I hesitate writing this one because nobody will like me after but WTF right?

In college 2,000 years ago I had a group of friends who loved to play “The Dozens,” e.g., sling mom jokes. We graduated. (Not from mom jokes). Email had just been discovered and there was a chain going back and forth about, I dunno, getting together for drinks or something.

Background, there was a personal rivalry between me and “J” which sometimes got heated. Lately he had been at my mom (and no, I don’t mean “AT” my MOM) and I was out for blood.

The email chain was going back and forth. Someone pointed out the bad spelling in one of J’s responses. My fingers flew:

“J never learned English correctly because his mom used to staple his tongue to his forehead so he wouldn’t scream when she fucked him with her big, purple, cock.”

I got an email from just one friend seconds later: “Dude! My PARENTS were on that list!”

His parents were very Catholic and in their ’70s.

Perhaps they violated him with rosaries instead? Anyway. My foot has teeth marks from many subsequent faux passes. Thanks for sharing.

Which is a worse faux pas, reposting comments or commenting about purple cocks? I don't know. Go ask your mom. (If moms are a sensitive subject, and right there I've committed a meta-faux pas, PLEASE forgive. ALL moms are awesome. Especially yours. She's so enormous that...)


*One time we were on a road trip and a car pulling a speedboat passed and someone said "Hey Dave. Is that one of your mom's bath toys?" That still makes me shoot Mountain Dew out my nose.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Zen of Wii.

You reach your weight goal, only to discover it was not the goal. The goal is another ten pounds lighter.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tonight driving home

we passed "Dick's Sports" and Ezra said "Ew, dad don't ever shop there." Ambrose corrected him. "No Ezra," he explained quite earnestly, "that's just a place where they sell nut cups."

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Blogging award.

Give it to someone else or to yourself. You know who you are.
The I Have Middle-Class Problems award.

Monday, February 07, 2011

A Latin word for balls?

"If my balls offendeth thee, cut them off," I said.

The reply was that balls always were offensive. I think this is the balls version of misogyny, the hatred of balls, and I set out to find a Latin word suitable. Misandry, Boboli, Misanthrope (since "humankind" has typically been referred to as "mankind"), Misorchiny, all these ideas were submitted. My favorite is my own. "Misotesti." It sounds like me so testy.

If this post offendeth thee you can suck my balls.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Philosophical question

A baby gorilla with his dad.
Can dads be as affectionate and physically nurturing of their kids as moms can?

(I hate the word "nurture" but it's too late for the fruitless myopic slog through the pages of the thesaurus).

Having to ask this question is one of the very few bad things about being male. No offense to the ladies, but it's not bad enough that I'd jump at the chance to switch genders. The number one reason for staying male is of course 1) My lady is not gay. But there are others:

2) I can not imagine carrying a squiggling organism around in my stomach for almost a year. I grew up watching Alien. 3) is the idea of that organism sucking on my nipples after it came out. For me nipples are one of those seldom-touch zones. If reincarnation exists I was some kind of political dissident in a past life who got this nipples shocked with a couple of clamps and the battery from a blown up Jeep. 4) I jumped ahead: between carrying and nursing this organism is pushing it out through a very small opening in my body in what, I'm sorry, I still can't think of as anything other than a screaming bloody mess*. And I've watched two of these things now. 5) Being pressured to have grown up playing with girls' toys. Along with the images of horror that stuck with me watching Aliens is the serial-killer's-dungeon image of the bedrooms of my friends' sisters growing up. Nude, armless Barbies lying face down on a dirty rug, their dead, dry, straw-like hair dyed shocking colors and pulled straight roughly from the holes in their heads. But I do envy the connection between mothers and their children.

I guess I can't get over the insecurity or self-doubt that parenting will always be a leap for me because it is not in my nature. As if really, I'm programmed to kill things and wander off in the woods, and being a dad is like being a dressed-up monkey.

I am affectionate with my boys. Ambrose is still so narrow and tiny his round-apple shoulders stick out over his skinny little arms, and he is likely, at random, to get crushingly squeezed many times throughout the day, perhaps even tilted back nearly upside down and kissed. Ezra retracts his shoulders so he can shrink as far as possible from my arms and makes his body dead. But he will still remind me if I forget to give him a good-night kiss. I don't hug my kids because I am especially kind or loving. It is as much a part of my nature as I suspect would be throwing spears at a boar.

I tell myself cave-men were softer and kinder than we think**. I think of those Emperor penguins where the dads take care of the babies. And I think of what a male Silverback gorilla would do if you tried to hurt one of his kids. Maybe the idea that fathers are less emotionally available is not something from nature. Quite the opposite. Maybe it's just a primitive idea humans made up.


*When my mom was pregnant with my brother she was going to Lamaze classes. One time she couldn't find a babysitter so I had to go. She told me we were going to watch a movie. A movie! I liked those. She said the movie was about childbirth, and that childbirth was the most beautiful thing ever. Movie, beautiful, Disney. I pictured technicolor birdies and butterflies. I got a woman screaming, sweat-streaked hair plastered to her anguished face, and so much blood.

**This picture materializes when I have this thought, of a caveman with his arm around his wife leaning down to pat his little mogwump affectionately on the head. He has this soft expression. But when I was little and it was the 70s I sneaked a look at that Joy of Sex book once, and around the same age I took a lot of trips to the Natural History museum with its primitive man dioramas, and the memories got mixed up in my confused childhood mind so I have to stop the diorama caveman from turning into the hairy Joy of Sex dude in my imagination because I don't want to be that guy. He was enough to put me off procreating altogether.
A caveman and his lady.

My childhood impression of childbirth.
Actual childbirth.

The Joy of Sex dude and his lady.

Kris Kristofferson.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Saturday 2/5/11.

Made a fire with this morning with E, played House of the Dead and earned enough money to upgrade my gun, cleaned the house, took the kids to a Chinese New Year celebration with lion dancing, kung fu demonstrations, a tai chi story activity for kids, fortune telling, fan making, the kids got their names translated into Chinese characters on bookmarks they got to take home, had Thai food with E and her mom, sat in front of the second fire of the day talking, and now it's time for bed good night.

Friday, February 04, 2011

The wisdom of Kanye West.

I thought I should listen to some Kanye West because I'm behind on popular culture and I do like the hip hop genre. On eMusic they have My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy. I just listened to a sample now and then I had to check on Google to see if I had misheard the lyric "No more drugs for me / PUSSY AND RELIGION IS ALL I NEED." No, I heard right. I... just don't know what to say.

Ding.

A point goes to me, being very Tai Chi about angry text message from children's mother.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

2:18 pm.

(This country needs less prayer and more breakfast).

2:15 pm.

If you are a politician and you attend something called a "prayer breakfast" you must be pandering to somebody because that sounds awful.

Do NOT let prayer get in the way of eating your mutha fuckin pancakes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

This is getting old, and so am I.

Last night I cried out like a girl* and snuggled up against Elizabeth because I had a nightmare**.

In the nightmare I was looking for my dog's dog dish and this person I couldn't see said, "It's in here."
"Here" was a dark room. All of a sudden I was face down and the disembodied person had put the dog dish on my back. I couldn't get it off and I woke up screaming.

*I am a sexist. Last night I told Elizabeth the only reason she won Wii Boxing was because she threw "pussy punches," which apparently Nintendo favors over the brutal, swift and punishing force I meted out in a hailstorm of blows which in real life would have won the fight. She got mad. I told her I was sorry, it was insecurity. How would SHE have felt, I said, if I had beat her at, I didn't know, Wii Flower Arranging?

**Who gives a shit about someone's dreams? I'm sorry. This is the third post of one and another posts about the midnight slurry of my mind.

But back to the dream. A dog's dish? Really?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Third life.

"I am the dreamer, you, are the dream."

What if life really is one big giant video game. My kids play video games. They're always looking for things called "cheats" they find on YouTube, tricks letting you transcend a seemingly impossible level in Marble Blast Gold.

The following is a philosophical question, I don't have an answer: Are there cheats in this life?

In a dream, realizing you are dreaming is a cheat. There must be a waking equivalent...

On the subject of dreams, I can't wait to fall asleep tonight.