I Finished My Book!

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Paul Writes a Book

PaulI freaking did it! Eight and a half years ago, I started this blog as a way to capture our adventures during a seven week business trip/family vacation to Europe. Five years ago, I decided that things got sufficiently weird during the trip that it would make for an interesting book. I wrote it, rewrote it, and then rewrote it again, weaving together harrowing tales of wandering the streets of Europe at three in the morning with a sleepless toddler with a larger take on what it is like out there for a stay-at-home dad. The result is a 70,000 word memoir, chock full of goofy stories, food reviews and the gender politics involved when a man performs the work previously done by women. I’m really proud of it, it’s appropriately inappropriate. Above all, it’s really funny, the kind of book that a book club can devour over some wine and laughs.

Why am I telling you this? I am new to this and need help! I would like to figure out if this is something I self publish and give to my friends and family or if it is something more: something that I can get published by real, live publishing house. I know that getting a book published is incredibly difficult, and don’t presume anything. Much of what is in the book, though, my journey from inexperienced dad to master of my domain, is a story worth reading. I would love to share it with a larger audience. To that end I am looking for two kinds of people:

  1. Do you know someone in the publishing business?

I need to get this in front of editors and agents. Do you know any? I know some of you do and I would love it if you could give me their particulars, or even better, an introduction! Cold calling about a book where I wander around the streets of Paris with ink on my pants is going to be tough. However, if you could vouch for me and get the book in front of someone, I would be eternally grateful. I have sample chapters I can send out and am finalizing a letter of inquiry. Let me know!

2. Are you a critical book reader?

I’ve never written a book before! I don’t know if I wrote this the right way. It’s funny, but so are videos of getting hit in the crotch with a nerf bat. Not everything is ready for prime time, and I would love your feedback. You could help me with how the book is structured and whether it is focused on the right things. This isn’t a opportunity for you to say “Sure, Paul I’ll read your book,” and then tell me a while later that you thought it was “neat.”  You can do that after it gets published in whatever format it takes. I am looking for people interested in giving this a serious critical eye, helping me transform the book in its current form into something even better. Are you up for it?

I am calling the book “With My Elbows In My Pockets,” a reference to cooking in a London kitchen that fit entirely in a small closet. It aptly describes my feelings of being hamstrung by society, by my own lack of experience, and the difficulties of life on the road. I hope you all get to read it someday.

Big Daddy Paul In The News

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Paul is a Dork

There’s a new article about stay at home dads out, and I was interviewed for it. It’s nice and chewy, covering some interesting research about stay at home dads and me getting a little goofy. Check it out!



Urban Montessori

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Soap Box

Hello people! Today’s topic is very special. I know what you are thinking, “But Paul, every topic of yours is special.” True. So very true. Today’s topic, however, does have a higher level of importance to me than, say, my post on eating ox penis or killing the tooth fairy. Today, on big Daddy Paul, I am going to talk about school.

A wise crackhead once said, “I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” (This is but one of the many ways Whitney Houston touched our lives. I tell Amy every morning that IIIIIIIIEEEEEEIIIIIIII will always love her.) In this country, we are not doing a good enough job at teaching kids well and letting them lead the way. We have replaced art, music, sports, language, and lunch ladies with “test prep,” “extra test prep” and “test prep for kids who really don’t get it.” Our educational system is designed to leave “no child behind” when it should be striving to “make all kids awesome.”

Oakland schools are particularly troublesome. According to a recent poll, 10 out of every 7 Oakland school kids are bad at math. (Just let that sink in for a minute.) Less than half of Oakland school kids are proficient in English. About a third of Oakland kids dropout before graduating from high school. To make matters worse, the corn dogs they serve for lunch are (gasp) soggy! You can screw with a kid’s future all you want in my book, but a soggy corn dog? That’s fucking sad.

Despite all this, I stand before you today to announce proudly to the world that we are sending our delightful little boy to public school in Oakland next year! “But Paul,” you say, “why would you do such a thing? You just got done telling us about how bad things are out there.” My friends, the answer is simple: we are insane.

We are insane because there is a new school opening up in Oakland next year, and we are so sure it is going to rock the educational world that we are sending Malcolm there. The school  believes there is a better way to educate kids. The school will develop a child’s love of learning, help them to think critically and become adept problem solvers. The school will teach grace and courtesy, soccer and foreign languages. The school? Urban Montessori.

Urban Montessori is opening? Huzzah!!!!

You could call Urban Montessori a school, but I like to think of it more as a social movement. The school will implement arts integration, design thinking and a montessori curriculum in its classrooms for a truly unique educational experience. I could try to explain what all these concepts mean, but frankly, I’m better at making jokes about Whitney Houston. Let’s just say they are all fantastic ideas and bringing them together in one classroom is even more fantastical. (It’s like the first person at a baseball game who thought, “You know what would be nice to have right now? A hot dog and a beer.”) If you really want to learn more about the school check out their website, or this really cool video they made.

Up til now, such innovative educational models have been reserved for people who can afford to pay for private school. Urban Montessori is a public school and will serve the diverse population of awesome people who call Oakland home. This means that people who can’t pay for private school, like single parents who work multiple jobs to get by, will have access the kind of elite education normally reserved for people with names like Winston Howell III or Baron von Schnicklepants. That sounds kinda awesome.

Now comes the hard part. The school has had it’s charter approved and will open this fall. It has money, but it’s not nowhere near enough. For comparison, let’s say you wanted to open your own barber shop, but your funders only gave you enough money for a bean bag, a weed whacker, and some Crisco to use as hair gel. Could you open? Technically yes. Would be a success? No.

The school needs money to buy things that it can’t right now, so I write today to beg for your support. Please give the school money. Give whatever you can.  $10? $20? I don’t care. Every little bit is going to help the school open and give the kids in Oakland a chance to thrive. I want everyone who reads this to follow the link here and donate money to this school. Sure bigger donations are better, but the real key is to have participation from everyone. If everyone contributes a little, the results add up. The algebraic formula can be read as follows: (a little money) x (a lot of people) = a lot of money.

Sadly, without your help, the school is probably not going to be able to accomplish its mission. That means a lot of kids running around with Crisco in their hair. Please, please, please give whatever small amount you can and help this awesome school get off the ground. Give because you want to ensure that everyone in Oakland has a chance at a quality education. Give because you want your kids to go to Urban Montessori whenever they are ready for elementary school. Give because you want want quality corn dogs. I don’t care. Just give. Thanks!


Funny Stats About My Blog

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Paul is a Dork

I am a stat nerd. When you combine that with my other nerd attributes (word nerd, debate nerd and nacho nerd) you can get a pretty good picture why I spend most of my time alone. Sometimes this nerdiness leads some interesting discoveries however. And today’s post is one of those times.

I started taking a look at the people who read this blog. At first, I found some shocking trends. Of the 700 or so people who read my blog last month, not one of the readers in Pennsylvania or France clicked on more than one post. Californians average 1.78 pages per visit and the stateside click leaders are from Louisiana, who average a whopping 7.5 clicks per visit. In the international category, readers in Iraq lead the pack with a hefty 2 pages per visit. I guess the shittier the conditions are where you live, the more interesting you find my writing. It works for me, although I would admonish les francais and les Stromboli eaters to get off their ass and click around a little more.

20 people read this blog from a dial up connection. Normally I take a great deal of pride in the amount of other people’s time that I waste, but at dial up connection speeds, I feel a little guilty. All that time downloading for some fart jokes? Sad, very very sad. Similarly, three people read this blog from a Playstation 3. Kids, you should not be reading my blog from a video game console. (You should be scoring touchdowns and beating up prostitutes!) Leave the blog alone ’til you have a job or kids and need a good excuse for ignoring them.

Just in case anyone out there is searching for "Salami Boy and Clown."

The most interesting statistics involve the search terms people use to arrive at my site. By far most common search term to get people here is “futility,” more than 28% of the traffic. I am simply beaming with pride! Second place is “funny chicken.” People also got to my site by searching for “horse racing betting top commentators,” “Paul smells like poo,” and “addicted to strippers.” From here, things get a little weird. “Big daddy making out with gay man,” “jazz cat,” “complex systems of my neighborhood,” also pointed people to my blog, although I am not exactly sure why. Someone asked the question, “Do shetland ponies have big penises?” and the good folks at Google thought it would be fun to send them to me for an answer. I seriously hope they didn’t get the asnwer they were looking for. The person who searched, “big soft poo pants” evidently enjoyed my site, spending seven whole minutes here clicking around looking for guidance. Someone looking for Nicole Eggert spent a mammoth fourteen minutes digging around the blog. Maybe I should should change my byline to, “Bigdaddy Paul, come for Nicole Eggert, stay for the fart jokes.”

Thanks readers, I have enjoyed getting to know you. I think.

Big Daddy Paul In The News!

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Soap Box

Amy and I are in the Sunday SF Chronicle! The best thing is that it is in the style section, which is the first time that the words “Paul” and “Style” have been uttered without the qualifiers “Has no” or “reminiscent of a homeless clown.” I will take it! Check out the cool article about how Amy and I met and how we got where we are today.

P.S. If you are worried that I will get a big head over this, don’t worry. My head is already as large as humanly possible. Seriously! Look at the picture they put up of me, It looks like my head is about three sizes too big for my body (and I am not a thin person!)  The photographer told me he was charging the Chronicle $5 per head for the photos he takes, and he was gonna charge $15 for ours! The title of the article needn’t be about Role Reversals, it should be about how I train my neck muscles to hold up a melon that size. Yowza!

Props to mother in law Jean for coming up with this joke and for not instructing Amy to dump me when we joined bank accounts when our relationship reached the ripe old age of 6 weeks old. Thanks Jean!  Happy late father’s day everybody! I am in Hawaii right now and will be blogging as soon as I can put down the mai tais….

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.

Hello There

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Paul is a Dork

Hi, my name is Paul. I write this blog. I am going to take a moment to depart from my normal hard hitting topics and discuss something of great significance with you today. Actually, my mind is kinda drawing a blank right now. Isn’t there somewhere in the world that is going through a great deal of suffering right now?  I guess I’ll spend the rest of the post talking about how nice my legs look in shorts. Yowza!

Actually, this is good. I can talk about my blog. I started this blog to talk about what it is like to travel to Europe with Malcolm and Amy. Then, I wrote long posts about funny things that happened to us in the world. Now, my blog posts are shorter (yay!) but occur more often (boo!).  They usually have a specious link to reality and reveal a shocking lack of taste. I try to also show lots of pictures of Malcolm.

I write this blog because I enjoy trying to make people laugh. If you have ever met me, you can undoubtedly tell a story or two about how I have removed my pants at an inappropriate setting or taken a conversation so far outside the bounds of polite society that you cringe and laugh at the same time (Linging? Craughing?) I am a ham, and this blog allows me to ham it up. I am forever grateful that Amy lets me do this instead of clean the house or learn how to cook meatballs. Plus, I writing about the pain of child rearing is cathartic. I don’t really know what that means, I just want you all to be impressed that I know how to use fancy words (like craughing!).

That’s where you all come in. You brighten my day when you tell Amy or I that you enjoy reading this. I love waking up in the morning and a) I don’t find any Vietnamese men around and b) I find reader comments on the blog. Comments on a blog are like applause after an ice skating routine. I don’t watch ice skating, but I imagine it would be pretty embarrassing to finish your magical routine only to have an entire arena sit on their hands. A comment tells me that you’re reading and that you might be coming back tomorrow. I really do appreciate them.

So, here’s what I want you to do. If you like the post, leave a comment. It obviously won’t be as witty as the stuff I write, but that’s OK. I am quite clever. You can tell me what you ate for breakfast. You can tell me what book you are reading. You can tell me that you find me oddly attractive, like if you put Tom Selleck’s head on a corn dog. You don’t even have to introduce it, just write things like “Biscuit, or Catcher in the Rye.” Sharing is caring, and I would love to hear from the people who read this. I guarantee that if you leave a comment with a totally useless piece of information in it, I will smile. If you are so inclined, you could also become my fan on Facebook, the button should be on the right of this page. Then we can share irrelevant information on multiple platforms.

Lastly, tell a friend.  I don’t know where this thing is going, but I could get their faster if everyone in the world read my blog. Actually, you know that place in the world where all the people are doing all that suffering? It would all end if they just tuned in to bigdaddypaul.com. The only way to save them is to get the word out. Thanks everyone! And now, without further ado:

Look at dem ham hocks!

Look at dem ham hocks!