The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Why, even though we aren't voting for him, John McCain isn't a Stupid Bad Guy.
Why we think telling him to ask people if they "like gladiator movies" is really, really funny.
Why it's ok, even good, to fail sometimes.
The difference between a longboard, a quad fish, and a bonzer
Prop 8 and why it's absolutely not ok
How poop is made
The importance of bringing girls flowers
Why one can't have any pudding if one doesn't eat one's meat
How a helicopter flies
Why he can't watch "Raiders of The Lost Ark" (two words: melting Nazis)
The bass guitar
Why we can't eat at Ikea every night
The importance of a cool hat
Jellyfish and why they don't make good pets
The World Series
How meatballs are made
The rules of football
Why he probably won't want to live with us when he's 24, even though that sounds like a good idea to 4-year-old him.
We conclude Mom Week with my chat with Tracey Gaughran-Perez (it's pronounced "GAH-ran, BTW), aka
We conclude Mom Week with my chat with Tracey Gaughran-Perez (it's pronounced "GAH-ran, BTW), akaSweetney. Sweetney is a blogger's blogger; along with her killer personal site, she runs the show over at MamaPop and also co-runs We Covet, which my wife is not allowed to read. I had proposed a formal interview, in which serious questions would be asked and answered. She countered by saying, dude, that sounds like too much work, and I said, yeah, there's a reason why I didn't go into journalism - the whole "asking serious questions" thing seems way, way difficult. So over the course of the week we carried on an IM conversation. It went a little something like this:
I'm not a fan of Squirrel Nut Zippers. Huh? No, not the band - they were okay - just one of many bands that came and went in that glorious decade of music, the 90s. No, I mean the candy, Squirrel Nut Zippers - that peanutty chew with the wax paper that got stuck in every nook and cranny, which led you, totally frustrated, to either throw the offending piece away or chew on it and spit the paper out as you came across it. How the hell is that enjoyable? Are those the decisions you need to make when eating a piece of candy? Do I just throw this abomination away or increase the fiber in my diet? No, my friends, that is not how candy is enjoyed.
See, this is what happens when I start getting controversial. I can't stop. Last week it was Red v. Blue - Conservative v. Liberal. Now I'm pitting the Celebrated Confectionery Coalition (CCC) against the Penny-Candy Partisans (PCP - heh). Me? Card-carrying member of the CCC. There are some aspects of the PCP platform I was once in favor of especially in my youth when I was still naive to the ways of the candy world. Candy buttons, candy cigarettes, candy bracelets, wax lips, pixie stix - what was not to like? Sugar, sugar and more sugar on the cheap. What 8-year-old was gonna turn that down? Not this one, that's for sure. How do you explain being able to run around from 8 in the morning until 9 at night with nary a break or any real food? (btw bologna and cheese is not really food.) Go ahead, try doing that crap now without needing a nap.
Since then my tastes have matured and I find myself to be more single-issue oriented: Ghiradelli, Lindt, Hershey, Dove, Godiva - leaders and trailblazers of the CCC. They offer choices I can rally behind and I can be confident I'm going to get something I will truly enjoy. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter - how the hell does a wax bottle compare to those? Two words: It. Can't.
This has really just been a long-winded way at getting to the actual point: with Halloween coming up, what sorts of candies did you look forward to getting in your plastic jack-o-lantern/pillow case? Did you ever avoid a house because they were giving out crap candy? Did you ever go back and egg that house? (kidding - no serious - did you?) Ever, on the sly, switch your crap candy with good ones a sibling got? Did you ever foist that same candy on your parents? Did you notice your stash always looked remarkably smaller when you woke the next morning? DadCentric readers want to know and if you give out good candy we want to know where you live. Kidding. No serious, where do you live? I'll be the one dressed as a haggard father. Trick or Treat!
Redneck Mommy is Tanis, a Canadian pie maker and tattooed gunslinger. She puts the Mmm in MILF. She's the stuff dreams are made of- and I have the stains on my sheets to prove it. She looks great for forty.
It's no coincidence that my interview with her falls on hump day. I planned that shit. I'm clever like that. Redneck Mommy thinks that sort of thing is hot, so I encourage her. She humors me.
wants to scratch her eyes out understands.
Whit: Do you think I was too sexual in that opening? I didn't even mention your mind or the fact that you're a talented, funny writer with a great blog. I assume those things are true. In my defense I also didn't mention your boobs. I'm calling it a wash.
RM: You were sexual in that opening? I was too distracted by the fact you mentioned I was forty to even notice. For the last damn time people, I am 33 years old. Born in 1975. I'm so getting a voodoo doll in Backpacking Dad's (some other blogger that's not me, which is kind of killing my buzz- Whit) image and sticking the pins in his gonad region (okay, my buzz is back).
Wait...was that too sexual? Cuz I was aiming for vitriolic with a touch of bitterness, just so we're clear. Hell hath no fury like a woman with a great rack who has to constantly defend her age.
(See how I managed to slip in a boob reference? Don't worry Whit, I've got the titty talk covered. It's sorta my thing. It stems from years of being flat chested to suddenly waking up one morning and having marvelous mammaries.)
Whit: Were you still at the plastic surgeons at that point? And does Canadian socialism cover boob jobs?
RM: Whit, Whit, Whit...all of this majesty (she says as she points to herself) is completely 100 percent Canadian goodness. Who needs the charity of our beloved Canadian socialism when you sit on your arse all day, drinking Canadian beer, munching on homemade pie and twittering? It's a secret combination that the boob fairy and plastic surgeons don't want women to know about. It brings on a healthy glow and bestows big breasticles in the process.
Whit: My glow is more radioactive waste than healthy. I hope I still get breasticles.
Your internet handle is Redneck Mommy, what's the story behind that name? I've seen the tattoos, there are many colors on your neck. What made you decide on red?
RM: Dude. I live in the middle of Butt-fark Alberta, Canada. The land where everyone has a gun rack mounted behind the curtains of their 4x4 truck and liberalism is a dirty word. In order to survive out here in the wilds I have to pretend I am one of them.
The reality is I am a city girl transplanted into an old school farming community and both my family and my husband's family are very conservative. I am the black sheep, what with my insistence of wearing shoes in the kitchen and not being constantly pregnant. That and I have this annoying tendency to buck the trend and support social policies. Not that I admit that publicly. Not if I don't want to be publicly flogged and then lynched.
When I decided to start blogging I thought it was hysterical to call myself a Redneck when I am so very opposite of what a Redneck is. I mean, to the best of my recollection I haven't married my cousin and I still have all my teeth. If I was smart, I would have googled Redneck first. However, no one has ever accused me of being smart.
Whit: I believe it. So why did you start blogging? Did you notice a void that needed to be filled or did you just want to be on CNN?
RM: I just wanted to be on CNN. My next goal: Oprah, where I hope to actually sound less Redneck-y and more white trash-ish. I have this dream where I once again appear on international television and don't yell into the camera "Quick! Pass the beer, y'all!" I hope to wow the Queen of Daytime Reality programming with my heaving C-cup bosom, inked and pierced skin while I look directly into the camera and tell the world I started blogging in hopes of becoming the next great World Leader. I figure with my charm and wit and her deep pockets, I could rule the internet. Or at least get more than 10 hits a day.
Maybe then my husband would actually believe me when I tell him I did something worthwhile that day other than scrubbing out the toilet.
Whit: When you say hits you're talking about pot, right? Canada is awesome. By the way, your husband doesn't appreciate you. I'd love to come home to a clean toilet but I never leave my house.
I've noticed that you're always talking about shooting stuff- mostly coyotes. Do you expect Americans to believe that there are coyotes in Canada? Do you shoot them from a helicopter? Do they have helicopters up there? Shouldn't you be shooting moose, or do you not traffic in politics?
RM: I don't always talk about shooting stuff. I mean, I do like to spice it up with the occasional boob reference and sex talk. I'm all about variety. Heh. As for shooting moose, I'll let Sarah Palin have that one. Six-pack Joe seems to like it when she talks about that sort of stuff. I wouldn't want to take the shine off of her during her big moment.
Whit: All I heard was boobs, sex and beer. Mainly because I was making helicopter noises with my mouth. Can you do that? Wait. Better question. Speaking of mouths, you seem to think that American beer is swill. You do realize that we have much better stuff around here than Budweiser and Coors, right?
RM: Prove it. I've been to America. I've tasted your beer. Any beer with less than 6% alcohol is for sissies and the elderly. Neither of which I am. The stuff we brew will not only keep you warm on a cold winter's night but put hair on your chest. A true sign of a Canadian. Just so you know.
Whit: Well, color me Canadian. What about the hair on my ass, what does that imply? Wait, are you saying you have hair on your chest?
RM: A girl has to keep warm somehow, Whit. Besides, I hear guys dig a little nipple hair, right? As for your behind, well your wife keeps telling me it's a thing of beauty, ass hair and all. Personally, I don't believe it. Why don't you bend over and show us?
Whit: Hey, slow down. This is a family site. The only reason we can talk about boobs so much is because they're part of the circle of life and play an important role in the rearing of children. Ha. I said 'rearing.' Is this interview as awesome as I think it is?
RM: Even more so. We so blow The Bloggess and BHJ out of the water with our coolness. Heck, we are the next Sonny and Cher. Except with more chest hair and less talent.
Whit: Damn skippy, although you shouldn't say "blow" around BHJ. Or Jenny. Okay Tanis, we should probably wrap this verbal Viagra up. My last question is this: without talking about your boobs can you tell our readers why they should read your blog, and also share one fact about yourself that might surprise people and make them think we're not 12 (or forty)?
RM: Damn it, Whit. You know I don't do well with boundaries. I can't tell people why they should read my blog. I can tell them I want them to read it, though. I want people to remember that no matter what crap they may have to trod through, how dark the skies in their life appear, there is always joy waiting to be found. I want people to know that sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and try not to stumble. But joy will find you. In the most unlikely places. I am walking proof of this.
I also want people to know I can put my feet behind my head and walk across the kitchen floor using only my butt-cheeks.
Whit: Wow. That's deep. Also disturbing. You must mop a lot.
Okay, I'm spent. Thank you, Tanis. It was a pleasure or other such nicety.
RM: No, thank YOU, Whit. It was a delight. But my husband wants me to tell you to stop asking to see pictures of my boobs. Just so you know.
Whit: That ain't happening.
In closing I'm going to sing you a song. Groucho Marx wrote it. Or maybe it was Karl. I read too many newspapers and magazines to keep my facts straight. Wanna hear it? Here it go:
Oh Tanis, oh Tanis, say, have you met Tanis? Tanis The Tattooed Lady. She has eyes that folks adore so, and a torso even more so. Tanis, oh Tanis, that encyclo-pidia. Oh Tanis The Queen of Tattoo. On her back is The Battle of Waterloo. Beside it, The Wreck of the Hesperus too. And proudly above, waves the red, white, and maple leaf. You can learn a lot from Tanis!
Photoshopping courtesy of Will at Gaming With Baby. Nice job, Will.
BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: Hello out there. I’m here, on your computer screen, with Jenny The Bloggess in Houston, Texas and Good God Jenny—you are so fucking nice. From the moment I started blogging, I was harassing you with email, and you always responded. Are you that nice to everyone or are you just totally into me?
JENNY THE BLOGGESS: I'm actually nice. "Weird" and "nice" are the two things I get called the most. The third thing is "busty".
BHJ: Totally into me then. And busty. It sure is great to be in Houston. I’ve only been here once before when I was 6 to meet my Dad. I remember there was this little girl who was always at the pool. She taught me how to swim underwater, and she also took my hand and thrust it into her crotch. Was that you?
JTB: I don't know how to swim, so no, unless "she taught me how to swim underwater" is a euphemism for "she had nice floaties", in which case that was almost definitely me. Do they say "floaties" where you’re from? Because I've heard some people call them "water wings" and those people should be shot.
BHJ: That’s the second time you’ve mentioned your tits in like a minute and a half. This interview rocks. Alright. What’s your take on the reason Texas is no country for old men?
JTB: I don't know because I haven't seen No Country for Old Men but I saw The Dark Crystal and it didn't have anything to do with Texas at all.
BHJ [???]: If Mexico defeated the US in 1848, you’d be a Mexican. What’s it like to have such a tenuous identity?
JTB: If Mexico defeated the US wouldn't we *all* be Mexicans? And anyway, I'm half Czech and that's almost like being Mexican. We both like to make sausage.
BHJ: I wish you wouldn’t correct me when I bring up history. Moving along. You were recently in a hurricane. Jenny, could you tell us a bit about your experience in the eye of a hurricane.
JTB: I wasn't actually in the eye of the hurricane because I evacuated a few hours from the worst part. I was more like in the crotch of the hurricane because it was still damp and uncomfortable and even though you wanted to enjoy it you just couldn't because you kept remembering where you were. I was in a tornado though once and it sucked. The roof started coming off and then water poured into our utility room where the gun cabinets were and we had to move all the guns and everywhere we moved them another window would break out. It was like God was purposely trying to destroy the guns. Now we have a waterproof safe to protect the guns from God.
BHJ: You’re so fucking brave, Jenny The Bloggess. And busty. Who’s your favorite mythical hobbit? Mine is probably Pippin because of the way his curiosity leads his hobbit brethren into so many zany pratfalls. Or Dooce. Who’s your favorite mythical hobbit?
JTB: I don't use the H-word anymore. Like, ever. But my favorite mythical creature of all time is Brittany from the Chippettes although it used to really bother me when she would go out with human boys because, you know, she's a fucking squirrel. That's actually legal in Texas, by the way.
BHJ: Medusa is pretty sweet too. Her snake hair kicks ass. How awesome would it be to have snake hair? Anyway, your blog, The Bloggess, is very popular and lifts the spirits of millions 1 or 2 times per week. However, there is a growing number of childless critics who bemoan the effects of blogging on our children. Do you think blogging will inflict permanent damage on your daughter? If so, how do you live with yourself? Are you a monster?
JTB: My blog is read by tens of people every day and most of my best friends don't even read it so I can't imagine that my kid (who will probably want nothing to do with me when she's a teen) would be even slightly interested in reading about her mom's vagina on the internet. But to answer your question, yes. I am a monster.
BHJ: Whenever my wife reads The Bloggess, she taunts me with your popularity and says you’re funnier than me. Are you having an affair with my wife?
JTB: Popularity is fleeting, fickle and largely based on chance. Unlike having an affair with your wife, which is awesome.
BHJ: Could you briefly compare your blog to Bil Keane’s The Family Circus?
BHJ: O look at you shut down mid-interview. You're like the wind, Bloggess. Let’s close with some blogging questions. How long have you been blogging? Why do you blog? And what kind of advice would you offer to someone who was just starting a blog?
JTB: I've been blogging for 3 years. I started for a lot of different reasons but the main one was to find my voice so that I could write a book, which I can't write now because I'm too busy blogging. Advice to someone who just started a blog? Write often. Comment more. Find your voice. Wear a sweater. Not that sweater. Because it makes you look like a floozie, that's why. Okay fine, wear the damn sweater. Avoid the h-word. Avoid ponies. Don't step on the lines on the sidewalk or bears will eat you.
The name of the Things' elementary school popped up on my Caller ID, bringing to mind two immediate thoughts:
1. Someone forgot something.
2. Someone is bleeding, broken or bruised.
If it was Thought No. 1, that child would soon be experiencing Thought No. 2. Last week, after my fifth trip in 20 school days to bring lunch, homework, sunscreen and/or underwear that one child forgot to pack or put on that morning, I clearly laid down the law.
"Next time you forget something, do not even THINK of calling me. I will not comply with your request no matter how sad, cute or pathetic you sound on the phone," I decreed. "I will no longer enable your absent mindedness. This is the Word. Now, where the hell are the toothpicks?"
My righteous indignation was tempered when I picked up and heard the vice principal's voice. He opened with, "First, let me tell you that Thing 2 is just fine …"
Did he poop himself? Whip it out? Take hostages in the cafeteria and demand an attache case filled with unmarked Pokémon cards? What man, what!?
"He was putting something in his cubby and one of his classmates was lying on the floor where she shouldn't be. When Thing 2 started walking back to his desk, she reached up and grabbed him. In the private parts."
"EEEE-ooooo-OW!" I said.
He seemed surprised by my wincing aloud. "Has this happened in class before?"
"No, no. But, as a fellow member of the male condition, I'm sure you understand my immediate need to walk around for a few seconds."
"Ah," he said. "Gotcha. … Well, your son knew that this was not an appropriate place for someone to touch him [take that, McCain!] so he went and told his teacher right after it happened. The girl's in my office right now, writing a letter of apology."
I thanked him, which in retrospect seems inadequate. Is there a proper etiquette for handling phone calls from the authorities regarding the condition of your child's genitalia? Should I send him some Omaha Steaks?
But my real question is this: What is it about my 6-year-old boy that makes others mentally paint a bull's-eye on his poor Little Dude? This is Incident No. 2 in three months. I mean, I have no illusions of grandeur for the boy. It's not as if it's presenting a bigger-than-normal target -- by absolute or proportional measures -- and it just keeps jumping right in harm's way.
If it's not a big tool, is he just being a Big Tool? As much as I could buy into that, intelligence reports fail to confirm.
Perhaps he is doomed to always be on the receiving end of Life's Neverending Kick to the Crotch? That's so Old Testament.
It is settled. Tomorrow, we head to the sporting goods store. A boy's never too young to learn about Protection.
So, it's been a while since Jason posted about throwing the entirety of DadCentric's weight behind Sen. Obama. And although I respect his decision to do so, it's really not an accurate depiction of the true make up of the DC staff. Without knowing the leanings of every other member, I'm pretty sure I can say that I am the only right-leaning one. The Conservative. (Cue ominous theme music....now!)
To use Jason's restaurant analogy for a bit: imagine you have soured on Applebee's and its fare. Now, imagine a new guy comes to town. Little is known about him but he comes amid great fanfare -- there's glitz and there's flash and there's real buzz. He speaks about how he knows you HOPE for something different in the same-old restaurant scene; about how he knows how much you want to CHANGE it; and he asks you if you can taste something different and everyone answers, "YES, WE CAN!" Then his people hand everyone in attendance two slices of bread just before they and the new guy leave town. After a while, when the euphoria has worn off, you realize that you've got nothing but an empty sandwich. It's empty because no matter how much HOPE and CHANGE you put on two slices of bread all you have is two slices of bread (h/t Dana). How is that good?
I'll be honest about something right up front: I am begrudgingly voting for McCain. Now, before that whips some of you up into a frenzy, let me explain. I am a Conservative first, Republican second. I know that might be hard for some to understand, but there is distinction. I subscribe to the Conservatism of Burke, de Tocqueville and Kirk among others. As Bob Dole wrote in Why I Am a Reagan Conservative, "It is a faith; the humbling perspective that not every change represents progress; a fierce defense of individuals and national freedom; and a healthy skepticism toward institutions too large, too remote, and too impersonal to be truly democratic." That's what I look for in my candidates. If a Democrat held these same values, I'd certainly consider them as well. I'm not beholden to a party; I'm beholden to a set of ideals, a philosophy. So, I'm voting for McCain because, for me, he espouses enough of those values, with some exceptions mind you, but exceptions I'm willing to overlook because the alternative, to me, is just unacceptable.
Whether the connection is as benign as the Obama camp makes it out to be or not, a relationship, any relationship, with a known, unrepentant domestic terrorist is a non-starter. Bzzzzzzz - who's our next contestant, Roddy? Listen, downplay, shout down, talk over this as much as you'd like, but had this type of relationship been found in my past when I was getting my security clearance, the most secure place I would have been allowed would have been the kitchen walk-in, that is if I hadn't been disinvited from the military all together. And that was during the Cold War when names like McVeigh and Nichols and groups like al Qaeda were unknowns. Now, when we should be appalled, people are busy making excuses - nothing to see here, move along - would we be so quick, so glib to brush this off were it April 1995? October 2001 rather than October 2008? I think not, but then again, I might have misplaced too much faith in the American electorate.
I'm pro-life and I don't think that's a position that I need to justify...to anyone. But somehow, as Conservatives, we have to justify - explain ourselves - that we believe that life begins at conception (like Sen. Biden), is sacred and that we neither believe in nor condone abortion. I really do not care what you do in your own life - not one whit - it's your choice, not mine. In all honesty, I believe Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision and should be returned to the states. But I'll leave that to people much smarter than I in Constitutional law. That's really not my point, anyway. My point is if the procedure is going to be performed, we should have standards in those cases when it fails. Thankfully, we do in the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. However, Obama, along with five other Democrat senators, voted to kill a, Illinois bill identical to this Act - a bill that unanimously (with an endorsement from Sen. Barbara Boxer no less) passed the US Senate.
I think, as a former soldier, I'm in a unique position to say some things about war. I trained every day for a period of my life for just such an eventuality - so much so that I knew the Fulda Gap better than I knew my own front yard. I am not pro-war, nor am I a chicken hawk (I've worn the uniform). But I believe that war is sometimes necessary and that protection of this country's sovereignty; the defense of the Constitution; and the safety of this country's citizens reigns supreme. I swore an oath to defend the same as did every other soldier serving now. When I raised my hand I knew what I was getting into - I'm a fairly smart guy - you don't learn to accurately fire an M16A2 because it's cool (but it is though). Soldiers are a prideful bunch - we don't take kindly to losing...anything. A bar fight, a simulated battle or a firefight - losing is not an option. So when members of Congress talk about timetables and withdrawals, it raises the hackles of vets and those serving now. We don't leave with our tail between our legs. Never again. I trust the judgment of those wearing the stars, not those mingling with stars. In the same vein, I don't give a flying fig what some cheese-eating surrender monkey thinks about the US. This is not his country, it's mine...ours. I don't apologize for who we are or what we do. I think saving the world...TWICE...allows for a lifetime pass.
Finally, if you've read this far, I appreciate it. It's not comprehensive of what I believe, merely a smattering. I know these opinions won't win me many friends in the blogosphere, nor will they change minds, I'm just trying to be open and honest. And to show that some of us are smart.
We're in the midst of a urinary crisis. Our 4.5 year-old is on a bed wetting streak - the likes of which hasn't been seen since Little Joe Cartwright pissed his way to the Olympics. It's been sporadic for a few months now and, as much as it frustrated us, it was few-and-far-between enough that we could deal with it without much hoopla. However, she did become a little apprehensive about letting us know she had these accidents and sometimes flat-out lied about it to point of even blaming her older sister sleeping in the bunk above her (right! right?). What was getting us was that we'd go to put her to bed only to find out she'd peed in it the night before. Gross! Anyway, like I said, it was infrequent enough that it wasn't a big issue and she was sometimes going several weeks without incident.
The past couple of weeks though...man...she's been going at it. 4 times in 10 days. Her mattress went from a nice white color to yellow marble. There's a hint of smell emanating from her bed and I've actually pulled the mattress out in to the afternoon Sun to help dry it out. Kind of nasty. It was getting a little intense for us, to be honest. And I will admit to initially not dealing with it well at all It wasn't until I did a little research that I realized I was being a poor Dad about it. And then I felt real bad.
I now understand it's most likely hereditary. Check! When thinking back, I can remember marking my Serta territory there a few times at an older age than she. I also remember my Mom being a little less than happy about it too. And I remember feeling guilty about it. I think I've been repeating that mistake with my daughter.
I also learned that, other than making sure she pees before bed and cutting off the liquids earlier in the evening, there's not a helluva a lot else that can be done. She can't feel that she needs to go. There are various reasons that could be responsible for that lack of bladder awareness, but, bottom line...it's completely out of her control. Hence the term accident.
After educating myself on this, my failure at properly addressing her bed wetting filled me with guilt to the point that I rushed home to make it right. I sat her down, apologized for getting upset about it, let her know that it's OK to have accidents, that it's not her fault, that it will eventually go away and encouraged her to just let us know when she pees in the bed so we can make sure to pull her sheets off and let things dry. I've also started praising her the mornings that she wakes up dry. All that with a promise to not get upset anymore. Now, I just need to live up to that promise.
Now, how many times can she do this before we have to replace the mattress. Anyone?