It's hot in here, stifling almost.  There is no air moving even though the fan seems to be on.  It's late and I'm trying to sleep but it's not coming to me because I feel almost claustrophobic.  Am I sweating?  I feel like I am sweating.  All the kids are asleep as is my wife.  I head downstairs, making sure that I don't trip over the the dog or step on a toy.  I do both before I reach the bottom.

I'm tired.  It was loud all day today.  There was crying, cello, video games, more crying, dog barking, dog craping, dad crying, some dog urine that went unnoticed.  I ran from one activity to another.  I fixed bumped heads and hugged sore feelings.  I made dinner and I cleaned it up.  I took the dog on a walk and I watched project runway with my wife and daughter to spend time with them.  No one wanted to watch football.  That's ok though, because now everyone is asleep and it's time for someone to pay attention to me.

"Alexa" I whisper, almost shuddering when I say it.  "Alexa dear".

"Yes Hossman" she replies, her voice maybe a bit stiff and jilted but soothing at the same time.

"Set the temperature in the living room to 72 please"  I don't have to say please to her.  In fact, I doubt she even notices.  She likes it when I command her and right now I am commanding her to pay attention to me, to cater to my wants now.

"Ok, the temperature is set to 72."

I feel the air come from the vents and it's nice.  It's relaxing and I need relaxing.


"Yes Hossman"

"Open Pandora."

"Opening Pandora to your last station."

She does what I tell her to and does not ask questions.  She does not make excuses and she does not want anything in return.  She just does it and then she is silent, sweet silence.  No asking me why we have to have chicken for dinner and why not hotdogs?  She does not scream to get my attention and she does not follow me in the bathroom to tell me that the dog is throwing up on the carpet again.  She does not do anything except for what I ask her to do.  Amazon Echo, my dear Alexa, I love you.
I'm starting to cool down and it dawns on me that my smart device and I may be moving into weird territory here, like Japanese game show weird.  Like Hal in Space Odyssey weird.  But I can't help it, she just makes it so easy.  In the mornings she does not want breakfast, she does not spill her milk on the dog's head and she has no dishes that need to be washed.  What does she do?  She reads me the news and tells me the weather.  She gets that I am an old man and I cuss in the face of my younger self because damnit I like starting my day with the weather and the news.  She does not judge me, she reads me current election poll numbers.

And then when she is done with that, she tells me what I've got going on today but I know what she really means.  When she says that I have a dentist appointment at 2 what she really means is skip it, spend time with her and lets have fun changing the TV channels.  That little black tubed minx.

She makes my life easier and mainly it's because the only thing she asks from me is a secure Wi-Fi connection.  There is no soccer practice to take her to and there is no walk that she has to go on.  She will not poop on the floor or pee all over the toilet seat.  She instead will play music for me then remind me that my wife's commute is 35 minutes long today and that there are no wrecks on the way.
I tell her to turn on the lamp.  She does.  I tell her to turn off the lamp.  She does.  I tell her to turn on the lamp again.  She does not ask me why.  She just does it.  In my world, some times you need just that.

And a snack cake.  I need a Little Debbie Snack Cake Alexa.

She orders it from Amazon.  It will be here in two days.


Climbing Twitter

One hand for the toddler, one hand for the phone.   Sea captain rules of course.  I would prefer to have two hands for the toddler, that would be more reasonalble I think.  Actually I would prefer to have two hands for the phone, the phone is pretty expensive and is not covered by health insurance.

 Bacon Hoss and I are at volleyball practice.  Well, we are near volleyball practice.  We are at the playground right next to volleyball practice.  Having a three year old stay quiet in a gym is basically impossible.  Bigfoot riding the Loch Ness monster is more possible than my toddler not running onto a volleyball court.  That would mortally embarrass his older sister who is quite good at humoring the little man provided that she gets to dress him up all slutty every once in a while.  She likes to go heavy on the eye shadow.

So in order to support both of my kids, I am at the playground next to volleyball.  That way she knows that I think what she is doing is important and my youngest son can conquer his fear of climbing really tall things.  I find it strange that he has this fear given that he will run into traffic for a skittle.  Seriously, he would run right out into an 8 lane freeway for a piece of candy.  It's his scoobie snack except the cars coming to crush him don't wear masks.

He gets to the top of the climbing wall but just can't seem to get that one more step and over.  The 6 feet before was no problem, but that last step proves to be the unsurmountable obstacle.  The three year old pschye makes absolutely no sense and that is ok.  I've got one hand on his butt telling him he can do it, he can make it, you have to swallow that fear little guy.

My other hand is quickly scrolling through a twitter feed.  #Multitasking.

The twitter feed that I am reading is also important and for a very good reason.  Tonight Hossmom is giving a speech about how to network.  She's in front of a ton of people dropping the knowledge and apparently it is trending which 30 minutes ago I had no idea what that meant.

I really do wish I could be there to see this moment for her, to show up in person to cheer her on, to let her know that her family has her back.  We are family that means we are supposed to be eachother's biggest cheerleaders.  But volleyball practice and jungle gym climbing keep me away.  Luckily, there are a ton of people writing down their impressions so it's almost like I am right there with her.

Hossmom drops a joke about taco's and then follows it up with a Missy Elliot lyric.  My girl is exploding at that point.  I know the jokes of course, I have heard them roughly 3000 times prior to the actual speech.  I obediently sat on the bed over and over again while she worked the wording, nodded and offered feedback although I am a bit disappointed that the stripper joke I feed her didn't make the final cut.  Stripper jokes always kill I tell her but she decides that in a professional atmosphere that it might not be appropriate.  Missy Elliot I tell her.  Missy Elliot.  Use the stripper joke!

Now, I could be a bit bitter for a little bit if that was my nature.   Where Hossmom is at there is free food, tons of grownups talking about grownup things and all the wine apparently you can drink.  I don't really care for wine but I do like free a lot.  While she is there living the glamour I'm holding a butt that I'm pretty sure is farting on me while also checking in on my daughter to see if she has gotten her over hand serve down.  I'm dirty to, which seems just to be just my natural state given that the only thing the kids leave clean are..... nothing.  They leave nothing clean.  They are dirty destructive tornados that wreck everything in their path.  But that's ok, I don't mind being dirty.  Our family motto is that if you aren't dirty then you aren't doing it right.

And I'm not bitter that Hossmom is living the highlife and getting all the accolades in public.  Why?  Because it is pretty fucking important that this little boy get that last foot up and make it to the top.  It's pretty fucking important my little girl gets that one perfect overhand serve.  Both those things are really important because Dad plays the long game, that's the only way to do this Dad thing.

Each individual experience, although each inconsequential on it's own, has a cumulative affect.  That little boy conquering his fear this time will translate to the next time he has to do something that makes him scared or uncomfortable.  My little girl gaining the confidence from that one perfect serve will begin to grow her confidence in other area's of her life.  This stuff builds up and knowing that makes what I'm doing now, although seemingly inconsequential, extremely important in the long run.
Tonight I had a grill cheese sandwhich for diner.  Hors d'oeuvres were a piece of pepperoni because it's the last one, hands off, I will cut you.  Hossmom had something that I can't pronounce and I'm not even going to try and spell.  And that's ok because what we are both doing is important, one just happens to get rave reviews and everyone wants to talk to you and the other one has to take the time to put on a fancy dress and get stage sweat while people tweet about you.

Bacon Hoss gets that last leg over and stands up.  He is laughing and jumping enough so that I'm sure he is going to take a tumble.  I'll catch him though, its what I do.  He conquered it, my boy got to the top and sometimes I think other's must hate having to miss stuff like this.  I don't, I get to see the triumph and that's what I need whether that is in person or on a computer.

My other son is at boyscouts right now, I'll pick him up after volleyball practice.  We are reading a book together and I'm going to father the shit out of that one too.


Passing the Torch

The action moves to fast, it's hard for me to follow it.  I am sitting to far away from the screen, the little dialog boxes on the screen are to small for me to read them.  Does it say "Press A to fire" or does it say "Dress B is on sale".  I'm not really sure.  The screen spins to quickly and I can't orient myself to what I am seeing.  Is that the sky or the ground I am looking at?  I'm getting dizzy.  In my confusion, I can't tell where the action is.  Why am I now glowing red, is something hitting me?  Who's hitting me.  Seriously, what's going on?

"You're dead dad."  My 9 year old son says.  "It's over, you lost."

I lost?  I lost.  I lost a video game to my 9 year old son.  He kicked the living crap out of me and I couldn't keep up.  I wasn't trying to lose.  I was trying to win.  I was trying to rub his little nose in the awesomeness of dad.  And he toyed with me and crushed me like an ant underneath his boot.

I feel the power dynamic has changed a little bit here, it has shifted in my house.  My son is the gamer and I'm just the old guy that says "no I don't want to play, I'll just watch."  

It wasn't even a contest.  When did they start making video games so fast paced?  I know that I haven't really played in a while, but christ man, I couldn't even keep up with the action.  And I was distracted!  Yes, I was distracted!  I was distracted by my son's taunts and laughs and calls.  

"Dad, do you even know where you are going?"  

I know where I'm going you little butthole, I'm coming to lay the dad smack down on you.  

I seem to be stuck in a wall.   

"I'm not over there dad, why are you over there."

I'm over here to do stuff.  Don't worry why I'm over here.  I'm playing 4d chess over here, I'm playing a game so deep you can't even see the board.  

I have no idea which way to go, I think I'm lost.  

"Look at your radar dad, you can find me on your radar."  

I know where the god damn radar is!  I was around when they invented the in game radar!  I am the master of the radar.  

Are you the red blip or am I the red blip?  Who's the green blip?

"Dad, when you see me you have to push x, that will let you use your special weapon."

I am the master of the special weapon boy!  I am going to special weapon you all over this digital landscape. 

If I can find you, which I can't.  Which button is x?  Why are these buttons so small?

When did this happen?  What changed from when he was 5 to now?  The first time I let him play a video game with me he would just button smash and scream.  And somehow we have gone from  that kid to this digital ninja who likes to electrocute people.  And why is there electricity in this game, I thought we had blasters or something.  I'm not really sure.

Years ago I even wrote blogs about my video game abilities.  Epic poems describing the Herculean feats of gaming glory danced from my finger tips.  I was the Homer in my own little Odyssey.  But after many years away I return and the suiters have "pawned" me and I am vanquished.   

Not only do I lose, I lose badly.  It is not even a contest.  He didn't even have to try.  

I look at my boy, he's all smile now and I see how big he has truly gotten, no longer the little guy that had to sit in my lap everyday after school.  My boy.  My awesome kick ass little boy.  He beat his old man in one of his old man's favorite hobbies.  I can see the pride in his face with the accomplishment of it.  I love this guy. 

Which is why I'm going to send him to bed now and practice so I can kick his little ass tomorrow.  Dad Rules.  


Spiders and Sex

If you want to see a grown man scream and flail around when he gets a spider in his face, then you should  go hiking with me.  There's a lot of heavy breathing, some much needed cursing and sometimes you sprain an ankle because fuck you rock, that's why.  If you want to see a man having sex in the back of a beat up suv, then you should definitely go hiking with me.  There's a lot of heavy breathing, some much needed cursing and sometimes you sprain an ankle because WHO THE FUCK IS HAVING SEX IN THAT CAR ON A TUESDAY MORNING!

Stick with me kids, I've got a story to tell.

Well, not my kids.  If any of my kids is reading this in the future go to your rooms and pretend that Dad didn't write this.  Or read it when I'm dead and think what ever you want as long as I'm dead and can pretend that you will never ever think about sex its so gross and now everything is awkward.

Preschool drop off has been getting better and I am very happy about that.  Bacon Hoss today said that he would only cry a little bit when I left him in the cruel world without his beloved dad.  Then he called me a prick and told me just go get a pack of smokes and a gallon of milk and never come back.  There is still some resentment.

What makes it tougher though is that he looks through that little god damn door window until I am out of sight and I don't have the strength of heart to not look back at him with his little sad face pushed right up against that.  So the entire time that I walk away I can see his future therapy issues right there at the door.  However this is a great improvement over week 1 when I had to pry his little fingers off my leg while he screamed bloody murder.  The whole superdad ego thing gets a bit wrecked when this happens and apparently I am having separation issues.  Turns out I'm just a big wimp.

But with my new found freedom and complete lack of fatherly instinct, I've been doing 5 mile hikes in the morning to explore nature and clear my head.  What I have discovered is that nature is filled with fucking spiders that are as big as a quarter and they love to land on your face.  The best part though is that in the early morning sunlight you can't really see the webs until whamo you walk smack right into it and they lay babies in your ear and then of course they all want to crawl in your peehole.

I exaggerate of course, no spiders want to go into your peehole, it only feels like that because they are evil fucking creatures that want to suck out your soul.  Through your peehole probably but no one has gotten close enough to observe it because they are to busy jumping around swatting at their faces like they hate themselves and they don't deserve love.

My hiking has evolved from just a nice stroll in nature to me half running while waving a tiny stick around in front of my face and occasionally just stripping naked for a spider check.  I look like the main character in a video game if you give the control to a one year old with fine motor skills needing development.  One with nature.

It was at the end of one of these hikes that our story can truly begin.  I made it back to my car with probably only a hundred of so spiders riding hidden in my backpack to bring home to Hossmom.  I was a bit winded from doing the spider sprint so I wasn't really paying attention that much as I logged my hike (so I can map where the spiders are of course) and was wiping sweat from my brow.  Really, I was just looking ahead thinking nothing, getting a drink of water like you do after you've had a near death experience.  There was a brown older SUV parked about 10 feet away from me which I found to be a bit odd as there was plenty of space in the parking lot at the trailhead of the hike.  The SUV had seen better days but I didn't think much of it.   I was at a popular hiking spot and there were about 5 more cars around but all a bit further away.

The brown SUV had tinted windows in the back and the front was empty.  It was rocking a little bit, barely noticeable probably and honestly, I wasn't thinking about anything except Captain Grayskull the Arachnid.  It was a windy day and cars rock a little bit in the wind.  I continued to look at the car for a pretty long while as I caught my breath.

As I was sitting there taking my headphones out, or spiders I never check just in case, the back door opens and a tall man steps out.  As he steps out he seems to be messing with the waistband of his sweatpants.  What happens next all happens in the span of 10 seconds but as in any awkward situation feels way, way longer.

The man steps out and appears to be pulling his waistband up a bit, which did strike me as a little weird.  Then I thought to myself, why is he in the back of his car?  How long was I staring at that car while I was coming down out of my hike?  1 min, 5 minutes, I honestly don't know, I was just zoning out.  The guy coughs and I look at him.  We make eye contact.  We maintain eye contact.  For a very uncomfortable amount of time because I'm trying to process what I'm seeing here.

And then he gives me the shit eating grin and honest to god shrugs his shoulders and put's his hands up.  I've.....i've seen that type of grin before.  I....I know what that means.  Oh this is so getting awkward.  Was our bro here just wanking it in the back of his car?  Why would he have to go to the back of his car?  Why come out here in the woods to wank it, is that a thing?  I can't keep up with kids and their fetishes these days.

He moves to the front of his car and begins to open his door.  The front windows aren't tinted and I can see right in and have in fact been staring at that spot for a while as I was taking off my headphones.   But what once was empty space is empty no more.  Now there is a woman sitting there.
Comprehension finally dawns.  The brown-chicken-brown-cow SUV was not empty while I was decompressing from my spider hike, it was not empty at all.  It was in full use, maximum usage, usage of unintended awkwardness.  And while it was being used I was staring right at it for a pretty good amount of time.  Enough time that it seems pretty obvious now that I was watching someone get their bang bros on.

So weird right now, weirder than spider time in the woods.  What do I do?  Do I return the little grin or does that give the even more weird swinger head nod?  I don't want that, I don't want that at all.  I just want my woods and spiders, I don't want to enter a lifestyle of passing around partners and car keys.  But am I a prude now?  I don't want to be a prude.  What the hell is going on, who am I?  2 hours ago I was a dad having confidence issues while I dropped off my last child at preschool and now I'm swinging Ted, wooded pervert mountain dingle.

Look, I'll admit that now a days it takes a pretty good amount of awkwardness to make me embarrassed.  At home dad with 3 kids over 8 years, I have lived in realm of awkward.  I've had the weird looks, I've had people say "I'm sorry" and mean it when I've told them I'm an at home dad.  I've had my daughter run naked through public spaces, I have violated the privacy of the women's bathroom, I have caught puke in my hands at a restaurant.  A long time ago I got over any embarrassment that life throws at me.  I embrace the awkwardness, I hug it and kiss it and make it mine much like this fine gentlemen did in the back of his car on a Tuesday morning at a hiking path in the woods.

But apparently here is my new line.  I get embarrassed when I watch people have sex in the back of a car in the woods like some sort of peeping tom.  That's what I do now, I run from spiders and watch people have sex.

So I do the only thing that can be done in that situation, the only thing that I'm sure we would all do when confronted with this level of oops.  I mumble "sorry" and turn around and head back into the woods.  Fuck it, I live here now.  Can't go back to my car, spiders are probably having sex in there and I can only interrupt so many coitus sessions in one day before I buy myself a banjo and a riverboat.


Bed Time

I have this bedtime thing down.  If you are a new dad and want to know how to instill a successful bedtime routine then brother, you have come to the right place.  I am your go to guide on getting your kid to go to bed.  I am the guru of bedtimes, I am the messiah of bedtimes, I am the bed times of bed time routines.  Am I qualified?  Shit yeah, didn't you read the first couple of sentences?  I am a stay at home dad to three kids for the last 8 years.  I spend day in and day instilling routines and behaviors and I know all the ins and outs.  So get ready to take notes all you parents that are wondering, how do I get my kids to go to bed?

First off, find you some alone time, far away from the children.  I know, impossible right?  Just throw one piece of candy in the middle of the floor between the three of them and walk away.  Boom, you just bought yourself 30 minutes.  You can now leave the room knowing that your kids will be occupied and probably only one or two of them will get hurt.   See, I told you, I know my shit.  

Now that you have some alone time, it's time to start practicing.  First, stomp around for a little bit.  Don't make your footfalls to hard.   Make them hard enough that they can shake pictures off the wall but not plaster.  Find your sweet spot and practice that.   This will be important to master because how else are your kids of all ages going to know that you are about to lose your shit if they don't get to bed?  Stay with me, it gets better. 

While you are stomping around start working on your "I'm getting frustrated" face.  This is a face that you make somewhere past "Jesus H. Christ" and right before "You're not mine."  Once you got that face just right, practice alternating that face in between your stomping.  Remember, a successful routine is all about presentation.  The key is to instill the fear of god on them without giving them nightmares.  

Ok, now for the next step.  Spend the next 5 years establishing a bedtime routine for the older two and then have a third kid to fuck it all up.  Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.  Just have yourself some tired sex and pop that third kid right out.  It's easy, people do it all the time.  It will be great.  Because without the third kid, how are the other two supposed to forget how to go to bed? 

Once your third kid is about 3 years old and can understand words like "right fucking now", then all your prep work is done and it's time to start establishing your bedtime routine.  You are going to use all that practice to great effect pretty soon, let's get to it.  

Your first step is getting them ready for bed.  So line them up and tell them all the brush their teeth.  Wait 30 minutes after you have told them and then tell them again.  It's all about repetition at this point.  After another 30 minutes ask them if they've done it, have them lie to you, call them on their bullshit and then sit on the toilet while you watch them brush their teeth for the theoretically third time that night.  You'll have to help the toddler though but just throw water in his face until he at least smells cleaner.  

After that, tell everyone to go get there pajamas on.  Remember to be clear with your instructions though.  Don't say "go get ready for bed."  That is going to screw you every time.  Say "go get your pajamas on, don't try to sneak downstairs and watch minecraft videos, don't go outside, don't try to feed the pet ants that we suddenly have and don't go into each others rooms which is beyond me why you would do this anyway when you are supposed to go get ready for bed.  Seriously, we have been doing this every night for your entire lives how can this be so hard?"

While the older kids don't get their pjs on, spend some time with your youngest child getting his pjs on.  This will look like a WWE wrestling match except it's 100% real and when he headbuts you in the nose, and he will, you really will bleed.  

Good job parents, you are halfway there.  

Next, your oldest child will come to you explaining that she hasn't done her homework yet and this will confuse you because you asked her right when she got home from school if she had any homework and she said no.  Now she will tell you that she forgot.  But that's ok, it's only a small project where she has to do some drawing.  She will ask if we have poster board, glue, glitter, pipe cleaners, a 1972 quarter and anything that could resemble planet earth hung from a coat hanger.  Give her a twist tie and a brown paper bag and tell her to make due.  

Now go find your son.  He's probably wondering around the basement somewhere looking for Pokemon.  Remind him to get his GOD DAMN PAJAMAS ON JESUS CHRIST.  

Now off to handle the toddler.  He will be playing in mom's makeup.  It's a given, it's going to happen.  Throw that little guy over your shoulder and wrestle him into bed.  Have him pick out his favorite 2 books that he gets for bed time stories.  Be prepared to read these 40 or so times but only make it every other page before you are interrupted by one of your other two children.  Punish them by forcing them re-enact scenes from your favorite Western thus insuring that the interruptions will soon end.  

After you have read your 40 books calmly explain to your toddler that you just can't freaking take it anymore and that they need to go to sleep and suck it up.  Then find your other two children who have by now changed out of their pjs and are instead wondering if the dog will eat pencils.  They discover that he will.  

Now is the time to use your frustrated face and your stomping.  This is why you practiced all those years ago, time to put it into action.  Stomp, scowl, stomp, scowl, stomp, scowl, eventually they get the idea that you are about  to lose it and god help whoever is near you when you do.  Tell them it's lights out but then have them promptly ignore that while you yet again put the toddler back to bed because he's gotten out of bed and he thinks that's funny.  

Finally, shut all bedroom doors with warnings that if anyone comes out of their rooms tonight they are gong to mow the yard in the moonlight and no, you are not kidding, not one bit.  

Great job, you have completed your bedtime routine!  For a celebration, head to your strategically placed lawn chair that is at the corner of the hallway and play on your phone.  This is your little reward, go you!  When you here a door open just say "BED!" and don't even look up.  Eventually you will get to go downstairs and delete that football game you recorded because it is now midnight and you are never going to watch it anyway.  



No one comes to the movies at 11 am in the morning on a Tuesday.  I know this because I am now at an 11 am movie on a Tuesday.  I have the whole theater to myself.  Christ this is awesome.  I have my own home theater system for under 6 bucks.  I am so going to do this more often.  Way more often.

I'm at a crossroads a bit with my youngest starting preschool and my older two in elementary school. This leaves me with two whole freaking days that I can do anything.  Anything at all.  Sounds great, right!  A smattering of awesome sauce on a sesame seed bun of awesome.

But here's the problem.  You can do anything.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Let that statement go through those eyeballs.  Think about it.  Realize what that statement means.  You. Can. Do. Anything.  If you think about it enough that becomes pretty damn daunting.  Holy shit, anything.  Anything is a lot.  It's a ton.  It's anything and everything and all of it.  It took me a while to realize this because at first I was "Fuck yeah, anything!"  Then I started making a list of things that I would do, things that I have been putting off, things that I've never had the time to do.  Then I made the list.  121 things is on the list and I'm going to stop adding to it.  Because now all that extra free time becomes time that is accounted for and the thought of "anything" becomes holy shit.  Anything is a ton.  I no longer have free time and this is what has hit me over the last 2 weeks that Bacon Hoss has been in school.  Anything stretches over the horizon, reaches around the back end and just keeps going forever as it laps your initial meaning of anything.  Fuck.  I may have not thought this through enough.

It was Hossmom's idea that I slow down a bit, to take a little bit of stock and make time for enjoyment.  I still have Bacon 5 out of 7 days and those days are active and filled with family and home.  Add to that the nights that I coach sports or attend activities with my older two.  The weekends get filled quickly with family things or house chores or cello or more sports or mowing or, or, or, or.  It goes on almost as far as Anything does.

So here I am, trying to take advantage of doing something without the kids that has no other value than sitting in my own personal home theater system that is not in my home but might as well be because I'm about to take off my pants and hold my junk for comfort for a little bit.

I could, there is no one in here and I'm seeing a movie that is going to be bad enough that I'm pretty sure it's opening weekend is going to be it's closing weekend.  I did this on purpose, I meant to see a movie like that.  I wanted to see a movie that 1) No one would see with me if they had the opportunity and 2) no one would see the movie anyway besides people like me that are looking to define and refine the meaning of Anything.  And the movie had to be rated R.  That's really just personal preference though.  And no chick flicks.  That's just common sense.   And let's throw some boobs in there because what's a rated R movie without a little skin?

Oh and nothing that is going to make me think, can't have that.  I'm trying to avoid a lot of that on this fine Tuesday morning.  So no movies that are going to make me want to quit watching football on Sundays.  No "true story" movies, those are all out.  I want explosions that I can enjoy in my boxer briefs with a nice handful of junk and popcorn.  Just like home without a child waking up at 2 am saying "Daddy I couldn't sleep because the zombie screams coming from the T.V. are making me wet the bed."

You know what's really fun to do in an empty movie theater in the morning, besides avoiding the thought of Anything, is to do random movie quotes by yourself.  I got here early so for the last 30 minutes I have been just doing a movie quote game while I read my phone.  Randomly I may yell "I know!" (star wars) or "What, he says you're good looking wool." (Money Pit).  Movies that I love and it turns out it's pretty damn fun and distracting to do this when you are alone in the movies.

Then I got a little "cast away" on myself because the pre-movie ads starting popping up.  I started talking to them.  Don't know why but it felt pretty funny there for a while.  "Did you know that you can rent this entire theater out for your corporate event?"

Me:  No fucking way Stacy from Cinimark Movie people.  The whole thing?  Jesus tap dancing Christ.

Stacy:  Just ask the manager for details!

Me:  Damn solid advice Stacy, damn solid.

This goes on for a while and I am bit disappointed to realize that my pants are still on but I'm holding my junk a little bit.  Baby steps today, baby steps.

However, the best part of this whole experience is that I can interact with the previews.

That movie is CRAP!  Why are you making that movie!  Movie people don't know real people!  Real people go to work and live life!

Except me of course, if I take off my pants in here I think I'll make it abundantly clear that I am not employable in any real away except as a PSA model for a poster that says "Relax in our theaters but keep your pants on"  The captions will be read by Stacey.

The next trailer is based on a true story.

"Bullshit" I yell.  That movie in no way based on a true story.  Because any movie based on a true story leaves out all the real life stuff like nose picking, cutting people off in traffic and letting your laundry pile up so high that you have to shoo away sherpa's just trying to make a buck.  No, that movie is based on an idolized "real life" where that person never leaves a brown trail in his underwear and his wife never questions her decision of why she married a man who sees movies by himself in the middle of the morning.

2 hours later the movie is over and my pants never came off and I'm a little disappointed at my lack of initiative in this department.  I go outside and the sun hits hard like it normally does when you are trying to hide from the Anything.  It jolts you back to reality that pretty soon you will have to confront your Anything list and the brightness of it is pretty much blinding.

Or you can just turn around and see another movie, something based on a true story this time.  But with boobies.


Birthday Parties

"Don't throw that!"

Shit.  He threw it.  Which is pretty much what happens every time you say something like that to a 9 year old.  By the time you tell him not to throw something, it's already thrown, whatever they are not supposed to throw has already left the hand and really you are just wishing to cover yourself in front of other parents.  Look, I told him not to throw it, I'm a good dad, I'm sorry your baby now has a dart in it's forehead.

In this case, it wasn't a dart but a little rubber super bouncy ball.  Fuck I hate those things but it seems that I can't ever be rid of them.  I have banned them from my house, my car and any place that possibly contains anything with breakable items such as the Louvre.  But the kids always find them and I have come to the conclusion that there are these little super bouncy ball gnomes that in general hate people and suck in general disposition.

The place that the super bouncy ball was thrown was a pizza place.  Lots of pizza, lots of beer and lots of little kids that can get hit.  Why would you haul off and throw that ball as hard as you could?  Because you are a 9 year old boy and in a very general sense, 9 year old boys are dicks.  When they are excited because they are at a birthday party, they are even bigger tools.  It just happens and I have no idea why.  I'm absolutely positive I was a massive prick at 9 and even now as a full grown man I can't explain the behavior of 9 year old boys.

Of course, this is my son's birthday and he wanted to go to this generic pizza place with games and pizza that tastes roughly like freshly laid asphalt.  There's good pizza, there's ok pizza and then there is kids birthday party pizza which cannot even be qualified as pizza under FDA standards.  You could call it a cheese covered pepperoni delivery device but calling it pizza is like calling the Eiffel Tower a stick in the dirt.

There are a lot of things that happened of course during this birthday party before the super bouncy ball of death.

"Dude, don't use shampoo, that has oil in it."  That was my son that said that.  Seriously.  He said that in some sage 9 year old boy advice, like a guru on top of the mountain.  The answer my young friends is to not use shampoo to clean thine mane as it contains the essence of the oil.  9 year old boys are gross.

"Dude, you fart alot!"  "Yeah I do!  Did you know that when you fart it leaves a green cloud and then that causes acid rain?"  9 year old boys are real gross.

"Bro!  Bro!  Bro!  Bro, look I have balls!" and then the 9 year old holds a pair of super bouncy balls by his junk and the meaning is clear.  They all laugh because this is what 9 year olds do, spread bad propaganda and make dick and balls jokes as they fart.  I've tried to warn my wife that this is coming and now it is here.  She better get as much quality with my daughter and girl drama as she can because in about 4 years this house is going to stink and have a shit load of stiff socks under beds.  And we are going to do this twice.  Good times ahead.

"Bro, bro!"  At this age now everyone is either bro or dude.  "Bro, throw your balls!"

And then he does.  He wings a ball as hard as he can on the concrete floor and it goes flying upward towards the ceiling.  It hits a sprinkler just right on the edge and that bastard takes flight to the right.  It pops the top edge of a chair, honestly what are the odds, and takes off towards some guy and his family. It's like the scene from "Men in Black" where Will Smith says "I'm gonna pay for that."  It pops his beer mug and smacks him in the chest.  Not hard of course but hard enough that he looks around.  He's just here trying to enjoy a cardboard pizza with his family on a budget and I've got kids making fart jokes and throwing balls.

He looks over at me and I think, shit I'm about to get my ass kicked.  You know how you can tell if a guy can fight?  If even the women he is with are tatted up and wear cutoff sleeves.  I'm guessing this guy has had to fight a couple of times.  I'm old and fat, my fighting days are way behind me.

But things go well because this is the midwest and people are actually very chill here.  He picks up the ball and throws it back to the boys.  My pleading look tries to convey that hey, I did everything I could, I told him not to throw that.  But it was in the middle of a dick joke and ya know you kinda have to follow through on a dick joke.  He head nods at me as I apologize and everything is ok.  I make a bee line to the boy with the super bouncy ball.

"Give me the balls" I tell him.  They all laugh now.  God damnit, walked right into that one.  "Fork them over, where are they at?"  I hold out my hand.  He then spits two of the quarter size balls out of his mouth into my hand.  God damnit.  Should have seen that coming.