Seize The Day

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Prince is dead. A sad fact, to be sure, but I must admit that I don’t share the same sense of loss as many of you. I only have room in my life for one tiny purple man, and that man for me is, and has always been, Willy Wonka. For every choice lyric or quote you give me from Prince, I can easily fire one back from the madman of candy:

  • Anything you want to, do it; want to change the world… there’s nothing to it.
  • A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
  • If the good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented roller skates.

I had an epiphany yesterday and it actually happened before learning about Prince’s death. I needed an epiphany, as I have been struggling a bit lately. Caught up in my own head, I have recently been tortured by all the questions in life which seek to derail an otherwise optimistic existence, questions like, “Will my son ever learn to lift the toilet seat?” or “Why does the pharmacist hate me so much?” I have let life’s tiny irritations accumulate to the point where they almost fully cloud my field of vision. I noticed my problem this week when I thanked my wife for cleaning the entire kitchen and doing the dishes by telling her she forgot to start the dishwasher. (Sorry Amy!) All the insignificant minutiae details of a stay-at-home parent life have caused me to fall into a sense of ennui. This is particularly troubling because I don’t know what that word means. I can’t see the forest because of the trees.

So what was this epiphany? My discovery came, as many good things in life do, from one single word: Kennyfuckinloggins. “Danger Zone” came on the radio yesterday while I was in my car and electricity shot through my veins. Obviously, it wasn’t words that had an impact, for the song is really just an undecipherable ode to why you shouldn’t pronounce the “G” in words that end in “ING.” (Seriously ! Listen to the song and here is what you get: revvin’, howlin’, beggin’, headin’, spreadin’, jumpin’, and shovin’. Its like a description of the RNC convention if it were held in the deep south! I’m all for colloquial pronunciation, but sometimes even Kenny takes it too far.)

No, the song was able to inspire me with its unique ability to conjure the image of grown men playing volleyball while wearing blue jeans and no shirt. (In case you were born in a barn, the song is the mainstay of the soundtrack to the movie, “Top Gun.”) Oh sure, the guys could have put on shorts and tee-shirts to finally settle who the most manly men were, but how homo-erotic would that be? Fuck that. They greased up their finally chiseled torsos, strutted around like dopey roosters and provided, in slow-motion at times, enough sexual energy to make straight women, gay men, and casual volleyball lovers all lose their damn minds.

So here’s where we get to my epiphany. Those men, those heroes, had a lot on their mind at the time. Maverick had daddy issues, the guy from ER dies, there’s sexual tension everywhere, and, to top it all off, the US was under attack. Holy shit! Yet, with all that is going on, the flyboys were able to shed their woes (and their shirts!) to get down to the heart of the matter. They could have easily not played, or played in appropriate athletic attire. But they didn’t. They put on their jeans, lubed up their glorious pecs, abs, biceps and deltoids and did their best impression of Karch Kiraly, all while wearing police sunglasses. USA! USA! USA!

When the song came on, I felt the parallels to my own life immediately. The world around me is constantly pressuring me to keep my proverbial volleyball shirt on. “Don’t enjoy your son,” life whispered to me, “concentrate on his bathroom etiquette.” “Harp on the negatives,” it continued, “no matter what the people in your life do for you.” The whispering continued, drawing me farther and farther away from where I want to be. When I heard the “Danger Zone, I realized, I don’t want to live like that! Somewhere on Macarthur boulevard, after dropping Malcolm off at school, I decided I wasn’t going to let life drag me into the abyss. Think Goose or Iceman obsessed about their pharmacist’s steely glare? No! They played with vigor and sunscreen, hugging and high-fiving until the large crowd that had gathered was in a virtual frenzy. That’s what I want to do.

Tom Cruise aint got shit on me! Except a good body. And glasses that aren't broken.

Tom Cruise aint got shit on me! Except a good body. And glasses that aren’t broken.

Obviously, I don’t think this means I should play more semi-naked volleyball. Rather, my discovery is that I need to seize the day. If I don’t thoroughly enjoy this moment, it will be gone, replaced with something that is actually shitty. I don’t want to waste any more time on hangups. As often I can muster the strength, I need to celebrate those around me and the amazing opportunities that life offers. I want to be a spectacular husband! I want to be a great dad! I want my experience with everyone, whether as a friend, son, or prescription picker upper, to think, “Damn, that kid is bringing it!” Put simply, I need to stop getting in the way of myself. Willy Wonka said, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.” Paradise: I coming for you!

Then again, Wonka also said, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Maybe I just need to drink more.

The 6 Stages of Adele Infatuation

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

I saw Adele on Saturday Night Live the other night. (By the way, if you are an SNL fan upset over how terrible the show has become in the past few years, you should check it out. It was the best show they have put on in quite a while.) After watching Adele’s performance as the musical guest, I thought I should chronicle my “journey.” Enjoy!

Stage 1- Denial

When Adele took the stage, I immediately thought, “Oh good, I get to watch this white girl croon about getting dumped again? Ugh!” She’s such a wet blanket, I don’t understand how she ever got anyone to like her in the first place. Maybe she should sing about something funnier, like touching your private parts after handling habanero peppers. People like to laugh and maybe then guys wouldn’t dump her and break her heart. Just a thought.

Then she started to sing.

Stage 2- Anger

My jaw dropped after the first word in the song, “Hello.” Was she really covering Lionel Richie? Yikes! Is it me your looking for? No. You’re looking for a new songwriter. (And the number for Barbara Streisand’s nail salon.) After one lousy word, I was already irritated. With the exception of Sinead O’Connor, people shouldn’t get upset just watching a variety show. It didn’t start off good.

Stage 3- Bargaining

Not wanting to hit the fast forward just yet, I decided to give it a listen.  Adele is very talented and I thought maybe, just maybe, she can turn it around. It would be a lot easier if she stopped saying, “Hello” though! I decided to let it go until at least the chorus.

Stage 4- Depression

When Adele hit her stride 1:07 into the song, I got a little goosebumpy. Then she started singing about being sorry about something or other and it made me feel. I am not quite sure what, because I didn’t really understand the lyrics. But still, it made me feel. Her voice will do that to you. It’s like a free trip to the therapist’s office.

As the song progressed I found myself saying, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve Done.” I’m not sure why, but I apologized for my past misdeeds. I thought of all the times I have been a jerk to people and done wrong. I thought of the sacrifices I chose not to make and the people who would have been a lot better off if I had just been a better friend/family member and tried harder. I thought of our dog Nomad, who we once forced to sleep outside because he was chewing up everything in the house. That dog wailed all night! Shortness of breath hit and I started feeling a deep sense of melancholy. Damn you Adele!

Stage 5- Acceptance

Whoa, that woman has some pipes. As the last chorus approached, I thought, “Adele is going to be the next president of the United States of America.” I don’t even care what her take on the Syrian refugee crisis is. Anyone that in tune with her heart has to be a good leader, right? Besides, it would be heard for Putin to be a dick during arms negotiations if she started singing “Someone Like You,” to him. As the song wound down, I was completely transfixed. Adele for President!

Stage 6- Inebriation

Adele’s music is really just an invitation to plop down on your couch under a warm blanket and drink a giant glass of wine. Don’t lie and tell me you don’t feel the same. To get the same sensation at work, some women are now wearing comfy sweaters and filling their entire Nalgene with merlot. It’s true! I would probably do the same if I had to.

At the end of Adele’s set, I was reduced to a bleary eyed mess, the kind of blubbering idiot version of myself that you usually only see on an airplane. (I have cried to both “My Giant” and “Mulan 2” while on White Russian fueled binges.) In the light of day, and sobriety, it seems a bit silly, but I liked her music more than I thought. Not enough to listen to it more than my normal mix of Weird Al and dirty rap music, to be sure, but certainly whenever my thoughts turn to sad dogs or cartoons about mistreated Chinese girls. I considered her performance on SNL to be a smashing success.

To the confused people on the airplane who couldn't figure out why I was crying during Mulan 2, "I'm sorry."

To the confused people on the airplane who couldn’t figure out why I was crying during Mulan 2, “I’m sorry.”

There’s only so long you can go after mentioning Lionel Richie music before you go listen to it, so that’s what I’m going to go do now. Hey Lionel, it is you I’m looking for! By the way, don’t Google, “Cartoons about mistreated Chinese Girls.” Pretty rough stuff. The kind of stuff that would really bum Adele out.

The Stay At Home Dad’s Guide To Downton Abbey

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

We started watching Downton Abbey last Christmas, and I never expected to like it. I mean, a period drama about the life of British aristocrats? No thanks. That kind of stuff is reserved for crazy cat ladies and men with much greater hygiene than I. At first, I sat there and watched with my family wondering how anyone could get into watching the posturing elite and the servants who grovel over them. Then I realized that this is precisely what reality TV, entertainment news, and Congress is. (No wonder it’s so popular!) Slowly but surely, my appetite was whet. I would ask, “Why is that white guy so mean to that other white guy?” Then I would ask, “Why is that old white lady so mad at that other old white lady?” By the time we learned why Mr. Bates walks funny, I was hooked.

I wish I was the kind of person who could unabashedly stand up and tell the world that I watch the show. Sadly I cannot. I don’t tell people I like Jewel, McDonald’s french fries and I definitely don’t tell people I like to get drunk and cry at movies when I travel by airplane. (I drank five White Russians and cried during a movie starring Andre the Giant on our honeymoon. Andre the Fucking Giant.) I guess I want people to think I am a badass, even though I am more of a [insert the opposite of badass here. Good face?]

There is no doubt that “Downton Abbey fan” does not fit the archetype for whatever I am trying to sell myself as. It has nuance. It has costume design. It has stuffy accents and while there are a lot of scenes involving food, it’s British food! (British food is the cinematic equivalent of a movie starring Andre the Giant.)

Instead of embracing the show, I hide from it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I have compiled a how-to guide for appearing to not like the show very much. Here it is:

Rule #1 – Do not, under any circumstances refer to the show by its proper name. Instead, call it Downtown Abbey. When people correct you, they will unknowingly assume that you have been dragged, kicking and screaming, along this journey. After all, you can’t really be into the show if you think there is anything urban about it, can you?

Rule #2 – Don’t use social media. The start of Season 3 has brought with it a torrent of social media coverage. Everyone is all up in the Grantham’s business, and the chatter is everywhere. It will be all to easy for you to “like” when someone’s facebook status is “Give me an old, one arm Lord any time!” and you will definitely be tempted to retweet comparisons of O’Brien to the real housewives of Atlanta. Stay off the social media, or you’ll be exposed.

Rule #3 – Never take sides in a DA argument. Your friends will invariably engage in debates over who is the spicier spinster Martha Levinson or the Dowager Countess or the effectiveness of the “sex talk” between Cora and Mary before the big Season 3 wedding. Stay far away from all of that shit, even if someone insinuates that Carson is not a complete Dbag. Instead, whenever someone brings up a character from the show, just ask, “which one is that?” It’ll be tempting. (There are people out there who think that Mathew DOESN’T have the bluest, dreamiest eyes in the world, can you believe it.)

Rule #4 – Never use their real names. The show has approximately 147 characters (more if you include dogs, horses and 2nd footmen.) If you can wade through that morass of character memorization, you have to have put a decent amount of work in. Avoid doing this. Instead use the following names:

Robert Crawley – The dad. (He appears to be the first stay at home dad. Sure he appears to play army dress up every now and again and tries to look good for his wife at dinner, but when it comes down to it, he is a fuckup. How many times has he lost his family’s fortune? Yep. Welcome to the land of the stay-at-home dads. Play dates are Mondays.)

Cora Crawley – That girl from “She’s Having A Baby.”

Violet Crawley– The Old Funny Woman

The Sisters: The Old One, the Hot One, and The Other One

Mathew – Uh, He’s OK Looking (I guess)

Mathew’s Mom – Tootsie

Mr. Carson – The Butler with the Giant Melon

Mrs. Hughes – The Librarian

Mr. Bates and Anna – The Unluckiest Dude In The World and The Blonde Who’s Probably Really Hot In Real Life

O’Brien and Thomas – The Meanies That Used To Hate Everyone Together But Now They’ve Turned Their Bitch Rays On One Another (They are the modern day equivalent of House Republicans and Senate Republicans.)

Honestly, there are a few dozen more characters, but I have a hard time telling them apart and they all have much nicer teeth than I expected. Hope you enjoy the show this season. I won’t. I don’t even really follow it that much.

What I Would Do With All That Money

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

The lottery is being held tonight for a half a billion dollars. That’s a lot of money. While driving home from dropping off Malcolm just now, I got to thinking of how many Slim Jim’s I could buy with that money. Then I let my mind really wander and here’s what would happen if I won:

1. I would buy the Slim Jim company and rename it, “Fat Paul.” Eating all those Slim Jims would take its toll.

2. I would buy tickets to opening day for the Giants. I recently looked for tickets and found upper deck tickets for $163 each, plus a $25 (per ticket!) “convenience fee.” Grand total for the three of us to go was around $550. You shouldn’t need to hit the lottery to watch your team play baseball. Shame on you Giants.

Spring Training. This was nice. There's be a lot more of this.

3. I would get a nanny. It would have to be a guy, making him more of a manny. He would teach Malcolm to play baseball, cook and learn math. He’d be like me in every way except one: he wouldn’t be filthy stinking rich. Rich people throw tantrums, they don’t put up with them.

4. I would buy a plane. That way, I could fly wherever I wanted whenever I wanted without having to check on someone else’s schedule. Then I would paint it brown and name it Slim Jim. Planes can’t get fat, can they? Besides, I have never seen a dark brown airplane. I bet it would look sweet. I’d probably put a tape deck in it.

5. I would buy my plane a plane. Where does a plane go to get away from it all? Anywhere it wants when it has its own plane.

6. I’d buy Canada. Amy would hate it, since she doesn’t really like cold weather, hockey or gravy, but I like most of those things. I’d turn all the French speakers into an army of drones dead set on churning out the best cheeses this world has ever seen. Then I’d change the national anthem to something by the White Stripes, (probably Seven Nation Army, just to confuse people.)

7. I’d start a non-profit dedicated to women’s health. By “women’s health,” I mean wine. I guess I am saying I would just drink a lot of really good wine.

8. I would start a school for cats. Cats really serve no purpose in life. That must change. No one gets a free ride when I am a power broker!

9. I would buy Amy a nice pair of sunglasses. I’m not saying her glasses now aren’t nice, I’m just speculating that they might be better with 500 million dollars in the bank.

10. I’d download some new music. I’ve been waiting a while to get the Mumford and Sons album. Maybe I could just hire them to become the soundtrack for my life, humming theme music for my day and making it seem that I smell really good.

11. I’d buy a monocle.

12. I would rename my self Taco Cobra. We had a guy in our dad’s group who used that as his screen name. We thought it was the coolest thing ever. The first time we met him, he brought bacon wrapped jalapenos. He had a chain attached to his belt in TWO locations. He was awesome. He’s gone now, though. I would love to meet him again and say, “Who’s the Taco Cobra NOW, dog?”

13. I would get counseling. It seems like my list of things I want to do after winning the lottery is to just rename everything. That’s weird.

14. I’d rename my counselor Mister Fixit. Or Doctor Feelgood.

What would you do?

Birthday Party Invite List Shenanigans

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Sometimes kid-related issues sneak up on you with their trickiness. If you find your kid and his buddy in a hammock with their pants down performing what looks like a penis puppet show, should you say anything, or just slowly back away and hope they didn’t see you? If your child dresses himself, but insists on wearing their clothes backwards, do you make them turn it around? What excuse do you use when your kid asks to go see Disney On Ice? The list goes on and on.

Birthday parties used to be so simple. Invite your best friends over and laugh when your kid went apeshit over being given cake. Now, it's a whole big thing.

One of the trickier subjects involves the guest list for your kid’s birthday party. It would be nice if your child has a summer birthday party and you can just invite everyone your child knows to the park for some running around. Malcolm’s birthday is in November and the threat of rain always forces us to consider indoor alternatives. (That was one of the many reasons I wanted to delay’s Malcolm’s conception way back when, an argument I ultimately lost as being, “Totally stupid.”) This year, Malcolm will have an indoor soccer party at a local gym, and they have told us that only 20 kids can come to the party.

We sat down with Malcolm over the weekend and tried to hash out which 20 kids were going to make the cut. Of course, his first list contained exactly ten kids, all of which were the ten kids on his soccer team, and, since he had played a game earlier that day, they were the last ten kids Malcolm had seen. (He even seemed to select them in the order of their skill on the soccer field, and I am sure that he was going to just take all the good kids on his team at the party to ensure that his soccer party was one big face crush.) While it would have been nice to only pay for the ten kids, we were forced to suggest some names that he may have not considered, which he reluctantly agreed to add to the list. In case you find yourself in the same situation, I have put together this hierarchy of relations to assist in your birthday party plans:

1. Family. You’d be hard pressed to be able to ignore your brothers’ and sisters’ kids if they live in the area. This is true even if you don’t particularly like the kids, or even your brothers and sisters. Amy and I don’t have any brothers and sisters, so we skate on this one.

2. Family friends. You know these people. You like these people. These are the bread and butter invites, and, since they know your kids better than anyone else, they are likely to provide your child with the best gifts. Try and fill up your guest list with these people, as they will be the most forgiving when your child acts like a spoiled brat on his/her birthday.

3. School mates. I have a difference of opinion with most people here. Some people invite most of all of the class to their kids’ party, or at least invite every kid who invited your little angel to their party. Fuck that. Birthday party invites are a valuable form of currency on the playground. Last time I checked, we don’t live in a socialist state, so use those invites to show where the people stand in the free market. Don’t invite the biters, paste eaters, or kids who just won’t calm the hell down. If your kid insists that they want to invite them, tell your child that the troublemakers are busy. It may be a tad uncomfortable talking about the party in front of families that invite your kid to their kid’s party, but hey, they raised the dipshit, not you. Invite only the kids that you think are cool.

4. Sport’s team members. Similar to schoolmates, except you should invite the coaches kid if you think it will get your kid some more playing time. Give preference to the current sports team. Malcolm’s tee ball buddies won’t know that they weren’t invited to his party until next spring. That’s gold!

5. Old friends. Kids always seem to talk about old acquaintances that have no connection to their current schedules. Malcolm periodically asks about old friends from school/sports/play groups. I usually tell Malcolm that the families have moved away except for a few special instances. If the child has a hot mom/dad, are richer than you, or have tickets to your favorite sports team, you are permitted to invite them. Remember, these invites are currency! Sue me.

6. Neighbors. Should your child be punished just because someone moved onto your block with a child the same age? No way. Don’t invite them unless you like them.

7. People who are busy. Around Malcolm’s birthday I am hyper-diligent about knowing people’s travel schedule. If I know that they are going to be out of town, I invite them knowing they will be unable to attend (even if I wasn’t going to invite them in the first place.) This often results in getting extra presents for your child and also allows you to make them feel guilty for missing the most important day in your child’s life. Guilt is a pretty cool currency in its own right. Every once in a while, this will backfire, and their empty-headed nitwit will show up if their plans fall through, but trust me, you should still come out ahead.

After going through some tense negotiations (involving statements by us like, “Are you sure you want to invite Billy? I thought he threw up all over the birthday boy at the last party he went to.”) we came up with a list of 18 kids that we all were comfortable with. Some of you readers will make the list. Others will be told that Malcolm isn’t having a party this year out of respect to those affected by the flooding in Thailand. It’s not noble, but to the guy who hides from his penis-wielding kid in a hammock, nobility is overrated.

Birthday Wishes

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Today is my birthday. Everyone knows you get to make wishes on your birthday, and as long as they aren’t for more wishes, they all come true. Here are my wishes:

I wish for unlimited wishes (D’oh!)

I wish that every politician I thought was really cool didn’t turn out to be a pervert.

I wish that Malcolm could hit a home run on Saturday. He has been coming really close and he really wants it. The other parents know he really wants it too and we all seem to be rooting together. A home run in the final game of the season would be really cool. It would almost make managing the little turds at practice worth it. Almost.

I wish that I could have dim sum for lunch, pizza Napoletana for dinner, and Amy’s homemade cake for dessert.

I wish Buster Posey was playing.

I wish my face weren’t so fat. I just saw some old pictures of myself, and wow. I look I’m storing 15 or 20 Gobbstobbers in my mouth at any given time. Ick.

I wish I had more hats. It’s hard to spend money on a second hat, though.

I wish the close grocery store had better produce. It looks like I am going to have to drive across town now.

I wish I didn’t like Journey so much.

I wish I hadn’t kept those overdo movies from the library so long. $10 late fee for Stuart Little? That seems like too much, (unless you’re Dayna.)

I wish my knee didn’t hurt so much. I used to like doing things.

I wish Malcolm’s best friends at school weren’t all leaving next year. Four of his besties are going elsewhere next fall. He’ll be bummed because he doesn’t get to play with them, and I will be too, because their parents are all pretty cool.

I wish I could CapITAlizE and Punctuate better?

I wish chicken skin was good for you.

I wish I was a detail oriented person. Mind you, being a big picture person is cool too. Don’t believe me? Check this out:

Here's me thinking about the big picture. Impressive isn't it?

I wish this post were finished, this is getting a little old.

Christmas Carols For The Degenerate

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

I listen to a lot of Christmas songs over the holidays. Sometimes this can be a bit embarrassing, like when I got in the car with a softball buddy the other night and Jewel singing “Joy To The World” was playing on the radio. In the midst of all the holiday music, sometimes my mind wanders a little and I think, “What would this song be like if it wasn’t a seasonable celebration of good tidings?” Let’s find out!

A Serial Killer Christmas

I need to go home.

It’s very cold outside.

Thanks for the lovely evening, I really had a good time.

Really, really cold out there.

My parents are expecting me. I should get goin’.

The fire roars. Must not upset the fire.

OK, maybe I’ll have another drink.

Good idea, we’ll listen to some records. It’ll be cool.

What’s in this drink?

Don’t worry about it. Have some more.

Hiccup! I can’t feel my face anymore.

I’m gonna hold your hand now. Isn’t this nice?

No! No! No! I am saying no.

(Moving even closer) You’re hurting my pride. I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

I gotta get out of here.

It’s really quite cold outside, and there are no more cabs to take you anywhere.

[Smooth jazz playing in the background.]

I have to leave.

Still freezing.

The answer is no!

Look out the window. No one can save you now.

I have a sister, and she loves me very much.

Your lips look delish. I might try them with some fava beans and a nice mulled Chianti.

My brother is tough and doesn’t take shit from no one.

Just imagine you are on a nice, warm beach. It’ll be much easier that way.

(nervously grabbing a cigarette) I even miss my wicked Aunt. Please,

In fact, I bet your whole face is pretty tasty.

I gotta get out of here! Can I borrow a coat?

You can, but you really don’t want to know what it’s made of.

You’re a nice person. You don’t have to do this.

Your hands are so soft. It puts the lotion on it’s skin.

People will miss me. They’ll talk.

I’ll tell them you caught pneumonia. It’s cold out there, you know.

Muffled violence.

Later the monster sings a duet in his basement with a decapitated head: “Baby, it’s cold outside!” He then eats the head with some Christmas cookies.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Paul’s Rules For Weddings

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Weddings are fun events where you get together with your friends and celebrate the fact that someone else will soon start arguing over who has to put away the laundry. We just got back from a super-fun wedding and I thought I would help you all out by giving you some practical guidelines to help maximize the entertainment value.

DO show up for the ceremony. I know it is tempting to just go to the reception site early and starting drinking all the free booze, but occasionally something bizarre happens at the ceremony, and, when it does, you surely don’t want to miss it. At Saturday’s wedding the priest asked the bride and groom if they had a ferret. Yes, a ferret. This was right after “Love is patient, love is blind…” and right before “I will love and honor you all the days of my life.” Totally random! The only way to appreciate the awkwardness of this moment was to sit through it, and that is why you always go to the ceremony. DO NOT go to the ceremony and confuse the sacraments with free booze. Trust me, you should not be asking for seconds at the head of the communion line.

DO have a few drinks at the cocktail reception. Drinking alcohol at this time is socially acceptable and will help you deal with the people staring at your tits (I am especially self-conscious about mine, and it is so much easier for me to shout, “Eyes up here, buddy!!!” with a drink in my hand.) DO NOT do shots at the cocktail reception. I repeat, DO NOT do shots at the cocktail reception. You may have a shot later in the evening if you suck at dancing and want to get better at it. You may also have a shot later if the stranger you have been randomly making out with has breath reminiscent of a sea otter. Both of those loopholes occur much later in the evening, though. If you do shots at the cocktail reception, you will most likely be the be the guy mistaking the groom for a waiter. Don’t be that guy.

No dirty dancing here!

DO have a fun time dancing. It doesn’t matter if you are any good at it (I’m awful) as long as you bring enthusiasm and keep your elbows down. DO NOT dirty dance with the bride. For that matter, DO NOT dirty dance with any parents of the bride. In fact, let’s just say, DO NOT dirty dance. When you dirty dance, you are really just telling the world how sad and lonely you are. I guess I should also say, DO NOT break dance, dolphin dance or humpty dance. Nothing good will come of it. By all means, if “Total Eclipse of the Heart” comes on, DO NOT stay on the dance floor. I learned this one the hard way, and wound up at the bottom of a huge dog pile with beer and dirt all over my suit. That song just packs to much raw emotion and should be avoided at all costs. When you hear Bonnie Tyler say, “Turn around,” DO so, and run for your life!

DO thank the hosts of the wedding, telling them how lovely the event was. DO NOT nod at them on your way out the door, holding every unopened bottle of alcohol that you can manage to get your hands on and singing “God Bless America” at the top of your lungs. That is tacky, and I shouldn’t have done that. DO make an exit. DO NOT make a stupid one.

DO attend a post wedding brunch, if you are so invited. It’s a good way to wrap up the weekend and tell silly stories about what happened the night before. DO NOT stalk the married couple, banging loudly on their door early in the morning and yelling, “WHERE THE DONUTS AT?”

That’s about it, I have to find a dry cleaner and some donuts now…

What I Would Do For A Dave’s Taco

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

I am a simple man. Oh sure, I can put on airs and extol the virtues of foie gras or a properly executed bordelaise, but that’s not really me. Truth be told, if the police ever stumbled upon the pile of cadavers I’ve got locked away in our crawlspace and I had to choose one last meal, it would be a taco. Not any old taco, mind you. The taco of which I speak is special, holding an almost magical quality over me for the last 20 years. No, the taco befitting my last meal would be a Dave’s taco.

I find this picture oddly arousing

A dave’s taco is simple: tortilla, meat, sauce. I could bore you with details about the grilled tortilla, or the oyster sauce marinated tri-tip, but honestly you could get that anywhere. The thing that separates a Dave’s taco from the rest of the taco world is the sauce. The sauce is good. Really fucking good. Smack yo momma good. Rich, orange and spicier than a baboon’s ass on the Fourth of July, the sauce elevates the taco into a symphony of heat and flavor. I don’t usually eat garbage, but when I see all the plates thrown out at Dave’s garbage can, I actually consider diving in there and licking plates clean. I’d tell you what’s in the sauce to make it so special, but I have no idea. Dave won’t tell me, and I am not sure biochemists could break down all the ingredients involved.

So every time I am in Bakersfield, I treat myself to a taco orgy, consuming at least eight at each sitting. Dave still knows my name, despite the fact that I once went 10 years without eating there. And when I am done with my bender, my face and fingers still dripping with sauce, I wonder, “When will I be able to eat here again?”

I started thinking the other day about the things I would do if it meant I got to eat at Dave’s. For your enjoyment, here is what I came up with:

I would become one of those deodorant testers who stick their nose in other people’s armpits.

I would wear the Hot Dog On A Stick uniform in public.

I would go to Bakersfield, even in summer!

For a gallon of the sauce, I would watch a movie narrated by Bjork while eating popcorn seasoned with salmon salt.

If Dave opened up a delivery service, I would wear crotchless chaps in a mosquito breeding tent.

For a “Tacos of the Week” basket, I would use a Q-Tip laced with whale diarrhea.

If you gave me the recipe for Dave’s sauce, I would wash your back. If you made it for me, I would wash your front. (Thanks Fletch, for that one!)

Lastly, if you could somehow convince Dave to move into our guest bedroom (without a weapon and a few lengths of rope, which turned out to be not such a good idea) I would do it all, on national TV, on Superbowl Sunday. Naked. They are that good.

Speaking of tacos, it’s lunchtime here, and I gotta start moseying…

Never, Ever Let Me Babysit Your Kid

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

I have issues. I know this and most of you know this. For some reason, there are still people on this planet who think it is a good idea to let me watch their kid at a wedding. Not a good idea. Jeannie and Anne, thanks for inviting us to your totally fun wedding and post-wedding brunch. Kristi and Conrad (parents of the newborn shown in the following montage,) you need to pay more attention to who looks after your child.

At first I thought it would be funny if I just made it look like their daughter was missing her parents, and then I realized I could do so much more with a little creativity.

I got a few takers, but no one had any cash on them, so I continued. The wine was flowing pretty well at this point, and I hit my stride.

This had the unforeseen consequence of actually waking the baby (sheer genius usually does.) In a moment of desparation, I fell back upon the best parenting tip I ever came across.

Yep, I fed the baby some wine. It’s a little trick I picked up from Britney Spears. Did it work? You be the judge:

Like a charm! That baby couldn’t hold its liquor though, and soon she passed out, unable to express just how hungry she was. Little Bayly needn’t worry though, for I had her back:

Luckily, the parents soon returned and rescued cute little Bayly from the evil clutches of the sweaty fat man. This scenario is doomed to repeat itself until the word gets out that Big Daddy Paul is NOT the name of someone you want looking after your child. Miraculously, Amy still does, even after this picture was taken:

Uncomfortable Family Photos

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Not all pictures of parents with their kids turn out well. Need proof? Read on!

Fa La La La La WAAAAAAAAAH!

One of the people in this picture just farted. (I'll give you a hint, it wasn't my mom.)

W-W-W-W-Water t-t-t-t-toooo c-c-c-c-cold!!!

If this meathead wasn't groping me inappropriately, I would totally get down and jettison out of this thing.

OK, I am gonna take your picture on 3. One, two, click.

At some point, we thought this was a good idea. It may have been, but taking a picture of it? Not so much.

Will someone please get me away from this sweaty fat man!

Someone get me away from this sweaty fat man!

I don't care about the fucking Buckingham Palace, daddy. I want to go home!

OK, today we are going to learn how to use the abacus. Step one: take off all your clothes.

I will not give you a good "Father-Son" picture on your birthday. I won't! I won't! I won't!

Paul, I am beginning to think that sledding down the Great Wall of China isn't such a good idea.

Hey, creepy guy. I swear, if you make me hold up this sign for one more photo...

Me: Isn't Versailles fabulous?! Malcolm: meh.

Me: Isn't Versailles fabulous? We're having such a wonderful time! Malcolm: put down your arms, nimrod. You're embarrassing yourself.

OK, not technically a family picture, but still. Stop! No, keep going. Stop! Wait, do it again. Stop!

Luckily, they don’t all turn out weird.

Happy Mother’s Day Nancy Schwartz!

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

That’s my mom. She’s pretty cool. There a million reasons why she is awesome, but I fear that your attention spans are too small to handle anything more than 500 words. So, here are the 3 coolest things about my mom:

1. She can kick ass.

Whether it’s beating the snot out of a heavyweight boxing champ or cooking for 300 people at their church, my mom gets things done. She tackles challenges that would cause me to hide in my closet, and I wish more of her chutzpah would have rubbed off on me. If you are ever in Bakersfield and need someone to get things done, call her, she’ll deliver.

2. She’s a goof.

I love clowning around with my mom. She is a laugher, and very warm. I must have heard the phrase, “You’re full of beans!” 1,000 times growing up. She has a million friends all over the world, and that is because she takes the time to spread her cheer with everyone she ever meets. In many ways, she’s like a cheery fungus. Once she’s nice to you, she’ll never go away.

3. She was once cool.

I found this picture staggering. Everyone assumes that their parents are lame. That is, in fact, their job. When I saw this picture, I realized that she is cool, and that gave her so much street credibility that I thought she might start a rap career. You go, mom!

4. She is the best Grandma ever.

Apologies to all the other grandmas out there (including Jean, Malcolm’s other grandma) but this is my blog and I get to brag about my mom all I want. My mom is so patient with Malcolm that it boggles my mind. Malcolm adores her, and I can’t help but smile when I see them together. I could not ask for a better connection between my son and my mom.

Mom, thanks for being the cool, ass kicking, clowning around grandma that you are. I truly am lucky for having you in my life. Happy mother’s day!

Dad’s Group Love Triangle

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Just so there is no misunderstanding, this post is not about how hot I think Luke is, and how this upsets Randy. No, I like all the guys in my stay at home dad’s group equally (even if they all hate me!) I speak today of Malcolm and the lurid details of the little girls he spends time with every monday afternoon. While I thought the kids were developing healthy and fun relationships with each other, they were actually spinning a web of lies and deceit, a social scene of such intrigue that it makes Dangerous Liasons seem like a hug fest. After drafting the story up, though, I realized that it was a little lame. To spice it up a bit, the part of Malcolm will be played by a high school freshman who thinks he is a rapper, and I will be played by a Francophile librarian who is relating the story to the large herd of cats he keeps in his apartment.

The drama hung thick in the air at dad’s group on Monday, little ones. Malcolm and Samara made a fine couple on the play structure with each other. When some other kids got there, Samara was all of a sudden playing with a younger man. His name was Hudson and he had the dashing looks of a pre-pubscent Harrison Ford. Oh, the ribaldry! Hudson, a provocateur glad to have all the attention he was suddenly getting, smiled, sending Malcolm into fits of jealous rage, yelling “I’m a stone cold killa! ”  Hudson had no idea what his part was in this tawdry affair, but quickly was handed the business end of a long, slow tackle that ended only when Samara went elsewhere and started sweet talking the hunk holding the Pirate Booty.

Mia, Samara and Meredith with Malcolm

Later, Malcolm was able to convince Meredith and Mia to play house under one of the tables. A walk on the spicy side, that is for sure, but it ended abruptly when the girls held hands and announced that Malcolm was a boy and they couldn’t play with him any more. Mee-yow! Malcolm shouted, “AH-HEARGH! Yallz a bunch of beeyotches anyhow.” I consoled his broken heart little ones, but I fear the sadness of a forbidden love that would never come to pass was more than his little heart could take. He sat down and ate his lunch quietly.  (Notably, he did NOT sit next to Samara, who was still plopped down next to the Pirate Booty guy. Harlot!)

Finally, Priya showed up. Her dad brought goodies for the kids, but Priya didn’t want to tell anyone what the goodies were. Merde! (Sorry Stu!) Evidently, Priya wanted to dangle her savory concoctions over the other kids until their sense of excitement could not be contained! Malcolm told her to “quit frontin'” or she was “gonna get jacked.” Not wanting that, Priya finally opened the goodie bag to reveal she had brought Mini M & M’s and cupcakes to share with all the children, a true bon vivant! After all the other kids had their cupcakes and left, Malcolm and Priya were left at the park to play, two islands in a deserted sea free to enjoy what each other had to offer. Priya would coyly take Malcolm’s hand into her own, and Malcolm would reply, “Bring that sweet bootie over here baby girl, you fine!”  The end of the afternoon was simply splendid, no drama, no tears.

Until next week, little ones. Until next week.

Big Daddy Paul Will Solve All Your Problems

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

So, I have a cool new feature on my blog. My wife might call it “Enhanced Functionality,” but if she did I might call her a “Nerd.” You can now ask me a question. In the upper left of the blog, under the “About” button, you can click “Ask Big Daddy Paul,” and it will let you submit a question to me off line. I will then put your question in a post, and entertain you while I solve all the problems in your life. So, please use the cool new gadget that my superhero Kevin at Wayfire Media set up for me, you’ll be glad you did.

WIth a little help from me, soon you may be this happy.

In case you need some help, here are some things that you can ask about:

How do you teach your kids to dance like hip hop stars?

Should I stay with my man/woman?

When should I bathe my children?

What do you do with a dead pet?

How long can you legally keep the mormon missionary boys locked in the basement?

Is this mole cancerous?

How do you potty train your child?

How do you potty train your husband?

Yes, just fire a question my way and I will kill it dead. If you don’t ask, though, I can’t fix your problems. You’ll have no one to blame but yourself!

Get To Know Big Daddy Paul

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Many of you have already seen this, but I thought I would share the link anyways. We were interviewed by a local weekly newspaper and when the article came out, we were on the cover! Pretty neat. Here is the electronic version in case you haven’t seen it yet. I promise that the trials and tribulations of fame will not affect the quality of the posts here. (It’s hard to get worse than they already are!) Having seen the pic, I think it is definitely true that I have a face for radio.

Amy smiles, Malcolm gives a "sad clown" and, of course, I am talking.

Am I Literarial, Or What?

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

I visited my friends Tunzel and Matt this past weekend.  They took me to Matt’s parents’ house in Maine and we had a splendid time.  Mostly, we ate and talked about where we were going to eat next.  They are truly good friends, as they put up with my whining about how cold it was and listened to me drone on and on about how much I know about everything.  They also politely ignored all the bad advice I dispensed about how they should lead their lives, not a difficult task considering I mistook hand saniti

zer for soap while in the shower and liberally applied a gob on my head.  (I could detail why I was using hand soap in lieu of shampoo in the first place, but it wouldn’t really help my cause out that much.) At least my hair is now sanitized, which is nice.

Tunzel gave me some feedback that the lame clip art that I use as eye candy for my blog is tired, and I need to use more pics of Malcolm and I.  Since they are both talented writers, they also told me that I needed to have a presentable “author photo” to use to show off my literary side.  I thought, “Better my literary side than my back side, so, without further adieu: My Author Photos.

#1 - Writers write books.  Maybe I wrote all those books behind me.  Maybe I read them all.  Either way, I'm pretty literate.

#1 – Writers read and write.  Maybe I wrote all those books behind me.  Maybe I read them all.  Either way, I’m pretty literate.

#2 - It is a well known fact that serious authors have menacing cats.  Tunzel and Matt told me so!  Such a pretty kitty. Such a serious author.

#2 – I have it on good authority that serious authors have menacing cats.  Tunzel and Matt told me so!  Such a pretty kitty. Such a serious author.

#3 - All that reading and writing causes good authors to need glasses.  Sometimes good authors think about things.  I am thinking these glasses don't taste very good.

#3 – All that reading and writing causes good authors to need glasses.  Sometimes good authors think about things while gnawing on their glasses.  I am thinking these glasses don’t taste very good.

Good authors usually write indoors, causing their skin to become a sad pale hue.  So, your pictures must be in black and white.  I am really hitting my stride here.

#4 – Good authors usually write indoors, causing their skin to become a sad pale hue.  So, your pictures must be shot in black and white.  Plus, check out the bitchin’ wildlife art in the background.  I am really hitting my stride here.

#5 - I got to thinking, if good authors need glasses because they read and write so much, then really good writers must need twice as many glasses.  Plus, I get to look down my nose at you, you with your shocking grammer. Don't dangle your prepositions here!

#5 – I got to thinking, if good authors need glasses because they read and write so much, then really good writers must need twice as many glasses.  Plus, I get to look down my nose at you, you with your shocking grammar. Don’t dangle your prepositions here!

#6 - I want people to think that I am so prolific that I have four hands to write with.  This really has it all, I am pale, blind as a bat and thoughtful.  Who wouldn't want to read my writing?

#6 – If I need twice as many glasses to do all that reading and writing, surely, I must need twice as many hands to be as prolific as I am.  I really got it all, I am pale, blind as a bat and prolific.  Who wouldn’t want to read my writing?

Which do you like best? Vote in the poll!

Oh Balloon Boy’s Daddy, You Did It All So Wrong

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Balloon boy’s daddy appears to be headed to jail for a while.  Of course, as a parent, I revel in delight at others’ misfortune.  Everything bad that happens to somebody else is something bad that is not happening to me.  At the very least, I take the opportunity for it to be a teaching lesson, things that the rest of us can do to avoid looking this bad.

Do Want Your Kid to End Up Like This?

First, don’t name your kid Falcon.  For that matter, don’t name your kid after anything in the bird species.  I know that certain baseball fans out there will think I am crazy, but bird names are creepy.  There absolutely needs to be a person on the other side of that conversation, being the voice of reason, “I want to name our kid Falcon. No!!! Kids named after birds hide in boxes in the attic! What about  Jimmy, or Steve?”  If you must name your kid after an animal, at least make it a horse.  Ponyboy or Clyde(sdale) are much better.

Second, never conspire to commit a felony with a 7 year old.  I got this one from Randi Rhodes.  Seven year-olds will generally not withstand the scrutiny of intense questioning, so if you are going to try and perpetrate a fraud, don’t team up with someone who will give you up for a candy bar.   I have a time coming up with things I can do to commit crimes, but, being a dad, if I did come up with a Jim-dandy of a plot, I can guarantee that it would absolutely do not involve my son.  Kids are young minds to mold into greatness, not accomplices.  If you are looking to exploit your kid, have them work in a coal mine like the good ole days.

Lastly, never, ever try to put yourself in the limelight.  It will never work out.  Most of the time, the public will seize on something that you do, like hide your kid in a box in the attic, and use it to make you look bad.  I myself have many things that I don’t want the public to find out about.  I collect ice cream men.  You know the creepy guys who go around selling ice cream in weird vans? I have about a dozen of them locked up in our crawl space.  Seems rather innocuous to me, but I could see how a news story about me might portray us in an unflattering light.

So, I should be just fine. My kid’s name is Malcolm, and not Pigeon, and I do not use him to outsmart the authorities. We are not going to be famous, and the bevy of weirdos will forever remain hidden in our crawlspace.  Yep, everything is fine in the Wilson-Schwartz household.

Oh, It’s On Now!

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Here’s my new blog!  After a fight several months ago, Amy flipped me a $20 bill and told me to go buy myself something pretty.  I think she was trying to condescend as $20 is more money than I made all last year.  Of course, my first thought was to spend $10 on a huge, greasy double cheeseburger and the other $10 on a pretty new pair of sweatpants.  (That would show her!)  Upon further reflection, I decided instead, to upgrade my blog.  Sure the old blog was nice, with its standard templates and its flaccid score on the excitement scale.  I wanted to be proud of something, though.  My softball skills have eroded quite a bit, I haven’t ever won a fantasy football championship, and the only other objective measure of my success as a person (Malcolm’s development as a non-knife wielding human) isn’t going very well.  For all intents and purposes, I am a complete failure.

I needed something to jump start me into being a winner again.  So, I redesigned my blog.  You could say that this is chapter one of “How Paully Got His Groove Back.”  You could also say that Kevin Henney, a web designer did all the work redesigning the blog, but let him get his own groove back!)   This blog is my new precious, and I am going to cherish it.  You’ll see new kinds of posts.  You’ll also see better versions of the old kinds of posts.  Consider this your one stop shop for articles on food, parenting, goofy stories, children’s book reviews, movie/TV reviews, and weird pictures of squirrels.  Plus, I am going to start torturing myself and my family by going on weird diets!  So, stay tuned, the best is yet to come.  If you have an idea that you want me to comment on, let me know! If you don’t like me or what I do, let me know!  So, poke around a little bit and enjoy the new site.  I know I will!

P.S. Thanks Kevin.  Kevin, for those who don’t know him, is my number one fan.  How do I know this? He signed up for my facebook fan group first.  What number will you be?

Do We Really Need That Many Cats On The Internet?

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

I am constantly looking for photos to include in my blog, so I do a lot of searches for images on Google. I have noticed that, despite whatever search terms I use, pictures of cats invariably come up. We have a cat, so it’s not like I am a dog loving, anti-catter. I just wonder why is it that so much of the internet is dedicated to the enjoyment of silly cat pictures.

Don’t think it’s a problem? While looking for pictures of “funny roast chicken”, I got this.

My search for “Jazz Hands” came up with a ton of cats, most of which looked like this:

Sadly, even my search for “absolutely nothing” returned this pearl:

I am not sure if Google is a dumb, cat obsessed computer, or if it is rather savvy and knows that people will click on cat pictures no matter what else they are doing. I do know that we are obsessed with the kitty pics, as there are even support groups on the internet for people who really enjoy looking at pictures of cats. Things have gotten so bad that a counter movement has started and 9/9/09 was designated as “Day Without Cats” day. And these are just the pictures. If you enjoy watching videos of cats, you can spend the next three years of your life watching the 965,000 cat videos on you tube. Luckily, I don’t have to deal with that, as my blog is not multi-media, yet.

Careful what you ask for in life, you just might get it

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

When we remodeled our house several years ago, one of the things that excited us most was the addition of a cat door. This two foot by one foot slice of heaven allowed the cats to go outside without us opening the door for them, and as a result, eliminated the need for the indoor cat box. Some might question whether it is wise to spend several hundred thousand dollars so that you don’t have to open the door when your cat wants to go outside, but anyone who has scooped cat diarrhea out of a box knows, this was pure bliss.

Actually, we had stopped shoveling anything and everything out of the cat box prior to the remodel, only because we found the job so revolting and frankly, beneath us. After a little research (google search: automatic kitty litter box), we purchased an automated kitty litter box. That thing was awesome, it looked like Darth Vader and used some combination of technology and magic to somehow scoop the poop, but not the litter, into a tray below. Cleaning this futuristic cat box required only that you clean out the tray every few days. Alas, this was too much for us to handle, and we took so much joy from the Darth Cat Pooper that we never remembered to clean the tray. This was unfortunate, because when the tray backed up, cat poop stuck to the outside of the giant globe, causing everything to stink and making Darth look quite unsightly. Things got so out of control that we eventually turned over the entire upstairs master bedroom, orange shag carpeting and all, to the cats’ boudoir. Enter an architect, constructions crews, a boatload of money, and voila, cats go out the cat door and start using the neighbors yard to relieve themselves.

This worked out well until I started noticing that on some mornings, the cat’s food bowl would be empty and that the water bowl was filthy. After a few weeks of this, I discovered what was happening. One night, as I was watching TV with my cat on my lap, I heard the cat door open and something enter the house. I got up to investigate, and lo and behold there was a mid-sized raccoon going to town on the cat’s food. The little critter turned, looked at me, turned back for a few last gulps of food and then retreated back through the cat door. I was shocked and outraged! I called animal control who’s advice was this: “Oh, you don’t want the raccoon coming through your cat door? Close up the cat door.” Obviously, this was not going to be the solution, as we had just remodeled the house with this important feature in mind, and we surely not going to going through another remodel just to come up with plan B. We tried to close the cat door only at night, and this worked well for keeping out the masked intruders, but also had the predictable consequence of making the cat’s shit inside the house. Poop covered Vader was no longer an option, so we decided to grin and bear a little raccoon presence every now and again, hoping that our cat was not being subjected to this.

Having resigned ourselves to the reality that semi-wild animals were welcome to enter our house and possibly chew off Malcolm’s face, I recently noticed that other cats have now started coming into our house. The other day, while we were sitting on the couch reading books to Malcolm, a nice, fluffy white cat jumped in the cat door and started goofing off with our cat. Our kitty seemed inclined to show the newbie around, so he did. He lead a little tour which went something like this: “Over here is the food and water. The bowls are usually full, but you probably shouldn’t eat late at night, or you run the risk of a raccoon coming in and chewing off your face. Here are the people sitting on the couch. The little one is dangerous, likes to pull tails and sit on top of you when you he gets the chance. The big one is nice enough, although he smells a little funny. This is my favorite blanket to sleep on, and I’m sure you’ll find it quite comfortable.” The tour continued for a few minutes, and then the white cat lied on the floor for the rest of the night.

A week or so later I went upstairs to get dressed and when I got up there, a different cat came bounding out from underneath our bed and ran down the stairs and out the cat door. I have seen this cat a few other times, and I have definitely noticed the smell of cat urine in our bathroom on a number of occasions. So, if you’re keeping score at home here’s the play-by-play, in order to eliminate the need for us to have a cat box, we have invited the neighborhood cats over and pee all over our floors. Why can’t all cats be potty trained? There is no justice in this world. Every time I see any of these other cats frolicking about the house I make a run at them to scare them into thinking I am about the place kick them through the cat door, but I don’t think they are scared of me. I think they enjoy pissing on my floors and then scurrying out of the house, knowing that I know what they have just done.

Things got worsened the other night, when Amy went upstairs to find a huge pile of hair in our bedroom. She originally thought that I had done some manscaping in anticipation of our trip to Florida, but the straight, oily hair could only have one origin. Fucking cats! Actually, to be more precise, these were shitting cats, because accompanying the large pile of hair was a large turd right in the middle of it all. I am not 100% sure what happened, I judging from the physical evidence I can reconstruct what occurred: Neighborhood cat comes into the house, to piss on the floors and then relax on our bed. Our cat comes home and catches him lazing the day away in our room with an empty bladder.
A fight ensues, with much pawing and kicking, and hair pulling. A brief time out is called so that one of the participants can squeeze a loaf off, then the festivities are resumed. Eventually, the neighborhood cat gets tired of pulling out all the hair on our (relative wimpy) cat and leaves to go have sex with the slutty short haired vixen across the street. Now I know what you are thinking, because I have already thought about it. I will not take this to CSI for an episode on cat mischief, as I do not want our cat to have to live a life under the microscope that fame brings.

I guess there is only one real solution. We have to kill out cat and cover up the cat door with cement. Actually, that will probably not work (I have stuck the cat in a burlap sack twice but have been unable to pull the trigger and whack the bag against the side of the house.) People get attached to their pets and I want our kitty to live a long and fun filled life getting its ass kicked and living in perpetual fear of the masked bandit breaking in at night. I guess we’ll just live with this too, so if you visit our house and use the bathroom and it smells like pee. Be mindful of the fact that it is totally the neighborhood cats and not just poor aim on my part.

As I write this, I am sitting in our kitchen which smells strongly of fish. Amy cooked fish last night, and the house still reeks of it. Why not just open a window you ask? Well, the reason why is that when the cats are not pissing and shitting in our house, they are doing it right beneath our kitchen window. When you open said window, instead of lovely fresh air, you get cat box aroma. Sometimes, I hate my life.

Mary Poppins, Rebooted

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

My son Malcolm has an almost fetishistic love of the movie, “Mary Poppins.” We own the DVD, we listen to the CD in the car, and we even have the sheet music at our house so Amy and her parents can play the songs on our electric piano while at home. POPPINS PIC We even saw the movie at the PARAMOUNT THEATER here in Oakland, and enjoyed it on the big screen as if we had never seen it before. We’ve probably seen the movie 30 times, and no matter how hard I try, every time it is on I get sucked into it and start humming to the music.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the movie. It is sweet, has catchy music, and, unlike every other Disney movie I have seen, it contains no gun violence. Most of all, the movie has characters to take note of. Poppins allows the children to explore their imagination and creativity, the mother is passionate about political causes, and the father, while flawed, is capable of personal growth. Moreover, the entire subtext of the movie is that a truly loving and happy family is one that is enthusiastically involved in each others’ lives. For my money, you can’t beat that kind of stuff.

Even so, I was watching the movie again yesterday as Malcolm was sweating off his fever, and wondered whether the movie, made in 1964, could use a remake. Movies like Batman and James Bond were recently given new treatments and the newer versions were, in my opinion, awesome. With that in mind, I decided to rewrite Mary Poppins to reflect to world in which we live in today, and here is what I came up with.

Two children, Madison and Hunter, find themselves without a nanny. Their previous nanny-share arrangement fell apart when the father was nominated for a cabinet position and it became apparent that family had not paid payroll taxes for the household help. The mother, unable to care for the kids because of her duties as a blogger, marches around the house constantly extolling the virtues of one of her many book clubs. The father posts the position to Craig’s List, but the posting was mysteriously deleted by a kind and technologically savvy nanny who arrives whenever the political winds change.

In steps the hero of the movie, (and anyone who knows what I do for a living knew this was coming) Manny Poppins, the stay at home dad, played by this guy. (This name is remarkably perfect: What do you call a male nanny? Manny!) Manny rides in on his Hybrid Umbrella and blackmails Mr. Banks into giving him the job, (something about some illicit conduct in an airport bathroom). Manny gains instant credibility with the kids with his sweet IPhone, and downloads music easily while watching the children clean up their room.

Manny and the kids set off to the park, and, once there, run into Bert. In this version, though, Bert is short for Roberta, and is played by a lesbian contractor with a nose ring. Bert can’t find work because of the housing slump, and is spending the day at the park updating her facebook profile on her laptop. Bert and Manny take the kids on a magical adventure, changing reality television star’s bios on Wikipedia. In an ironic turn, they change the entry for “Super-cali-frag-ilistic- expi-ali-do-cious” to “Paris-Hilton-has-a-dog-whose-face-is-quite-atrocious.” The rain comes, shorting Bert’s computer, and the children are whisked home, where they are given a spoonful of Splenda with their Tom’s of Maine Bronchial Syrup. Alcohol free!

The next day, Manny takes the children to Uncle Albert’s house, but instead of having a tea party on the ceiling, Manny plays poker with his friends and the kids play Wii. During the poker game, the following conversation takes place:

Manny: I knew a guy named Smith who has a wooden leg.
Albert: That’s not cool, dude. My cousin was in Iraq and now has a prothestic.
Manny: Oh man, that sucks. I didn’t know that.
Albert: Ya, they may have been able to save the leg, but VA is so fucked up that they couldn’t help him in time.
Manny: Well, yes, but Smith was just going to ask…
Albert: It’s shit like that which caused the American’s With Disability Act to be created in the first place, you know?
Manny: Oh.

The group returns home, and Mr. Banks, angered that the kids still didn’t know how to do math, prepares to fire Manny. Manny reminds Mr. Banks of his indiscretions, and convinces Mr. Banks to take the children to work so that Manny can go golfing the next day.

On their way to work, Hunter sees an old woman in front of the Capitol protesting genetically modified corn, and he tries to give her a dollar. Mr. Banks, receiving large sums of money from ConAgra, refuses to allow this and takes the children inside to show them the financial advantages of medical savings accounts. Once inside however, the children become frightened over a fracas on the Senate floor about gay marriage, and run home wondering why the Senators have nothing better to do.

Mr. Banks cannot survive the many scandals he has gotten himself into and is ousted from the Senate. He returns home, makes a giant bowl of genetically modified popcorn, and sits down with the kids to watch American Idol. Manny, seeing the family together again, slowly withdraws, knowing that his work is done. As he does, he hears the family singing together.

Oh, oh, oh, let’s go watch TV.
We love reality.
Let’s go watch TV.
‘Cause books are boring.

Kids go get me beer.
HD is crystal clear.
Idol is on … toooonight!

Now that would be epic.