12/31/07

Doing Hard Time

Prisoner 48726 sits in her solitary and stares at the wall. She is thinking about how she came to this point. She is thinking what went wrong and where it went wrong. She is thinking about frozen microwavable fishsticks.

She didn’t follow “The Man’s” rules. She knows this but she just can’t make herself care. Damn “The Man.” Jackass.

She is doing a five minute stretch and laughs at it. Shit, she can do a nickel standing on her head any day of the week. She thinks that giving her a nickel was a little bit of an over reaction but in this penal system, fairness does not favor the 2 year old crowd. She tried to claim age discrimination at her trail but of course it fell on deaf ears.

She didn’t even get any credit for time served as she was clearly being held in lockup in the living room for 2 or 3 minutes. She tried to appeal the decision by screaming loudly and doing the social protest but the only backers in the public that she had was the dogs and they eat the cat’s poop, not a great support system.

She has been in and out of toddler jail for the last 7 months or so, which is a little less than ½ her life. The experience has made her hardened but she will be damned if she sees fit to change her ways. They need to change for her, not the other way around.

This current stretch is on a domestic violence rap. She punched the dog, not once, but twice. When the prosecutor brought this up to the judge he went hard on her, especially once it was brought to light that she broke the #1 rule. You know the one, the one where they say “No!” once you do something once and you decide screw it, and then do it again.

But the dog had it coming and her street cred was on the line. She was playing with a big huge bouncy ball that her Uncle Bricksalesman got her and was having a good time. Then she thought she would throw it at the dog’s head and it would be funny. It was.

Then the dog decided to get uppity and started playing with the ball without her. He was jumping all over it and having a good time. She told him that she wanted it back but he just didn’t listen. What was she supposed to do, let him get away with this lack of respect? What is she, some sort of clown, is she put here for his amusement.

So she popped him. Right in the nose. She should have stopped but the bloodlust was already high. She heard “The Man” say “No!” but it was to late. Who the hell does he think he is anyway? She follows nobody’s rules unless she gets a cinnamon tic-tac out of the deal and she didn’t hear no jingling in his pocket. She stared him down and raised her hand.

She waited a minute while looking at him, trying to dare him from stopping her. Then she hauled off and hit the dog again and got her god damn ball back. The Man doesn’t know what it is like down here on the carpet streets of the living room. One show of weakness and the next thing you know they are chewing up your dolls and using your favorite snuggle buddy as a chew toy. At this rate, the cat would have been using her blankie as a place to crap and she couldn’t have any of this.

So she made a choice. Do the time or let her rep go down the drain. So she hit the dog again and it was all down hill from there. The five-o swooped in like it was a damn swat drama show and cuffed her. The trial was quick and her lawyer didn’t call any witnesses, mainly because he was the other dog and we all know how they stick together. Within seconds the punishment was handed down and she was on the bus to her Attica bedroom.

She’s kept in solitary while she does her time because The Man doesn’t trust her not to throw some bo’s while she is in there with other people. He claimed “for you own good.” Bullcrap. She knows that he’s trying to break her but a nickel isn’t going to do it.

She knows that the real reason she is in solitary is not for her safety but because The Man is worried what she would do to the other inmates. Yup, she thinks, I would be worried about the other inmates too. She can find no fault with his logic there.

But this doesn’t mean that she is going to go quiet or be the model prisoner. Screw that. She wants to make things difficult for him, let him know who he is messing with. Shit, the prison guards won’t be able to last 2 minutes with her.

She takes off her pants and then her diaper, let’s see how the chump likes that. And man, I shouldn’t have had so much juice earlier while watching the Backyardigans. Oh, well will you look at that, I peed all over the blanket. What a shame. That should show that peckerhead.

He’s got to come back in here sooner or later and until then, she will just sit and eat her goldfish crackers and sharpen her shank.

12/27/07

My Time-Out

My neice went to her mother and said: “Uncle Hossman needs to to go to time out.”

“Why?” her mother asked.

“Well,” she said. “Uncle Hossman makes bad decisions.”

My niece is 3 ½.

What is it when a 3 year old calls you out that make you feel like crap? I gotta give her credit though, she was right. On this particular occasion I may have said something inappropriate at the dinner table, thus proving her point that yes, Uncle Hossman on the rare occasion makes a bad decision.

But like the world today, I refuse to take responsibility for it. No! I shall blame someone or something else, because that is what is done and what is expected. I take my example from big time CEO’s who often say that well, they didn’t really know and that it was someone else’s job to make sure the orphan’s home was not demolished and it was all just a big misunderstanding.

I do have an excuse. And after being married for 6 years, together for 13 (long story), I am full of useful excuses. I should write a book on excuse making that completely chronicles my exceptional career in the field. From the time I was six and I told my mother that Dad said it was OK to spend 20 bucks on ballpark pizza to my most recent excuse of why the sheets weren’t completely clean for the maid. My excuse on that last one was that my wife told me to WASH them, NOT to dry them. It’s all about clear communication people! Parley.

So for today’s excuse of why my niece thinks I should be in time out, I will blame genetics. This is something that I have touched on before in previous blogs so I will once again bring it out.

There are times that I am socially awkward. Even around my wife’s family, it happens. I can’t help it. I have no idea of why it happens but it does. I know all of her family very well and consider both of her brothers some of my best friends. I appreciate that my sister in law tolerates me and the truth is that I love my mother in law very much. So I can’t understand my social awkwardness around them, even after 18 years?

Please, someone explain this to me. And it doesn’t happen just around my wife’s family. This is all the time, even around my own family. I have created more awkward moments in the history of the Hossman family than there are stars in the sky.

It all comes down to my mouth and the words that come out of it. Most recently my wife has suggested that perhaps I actually think about what I am gong to say before I actually utter them. But that really isn’t my style, don’t try to change me baby, I’m a rebel.

It’s either that I get wrapped up in the moment or there is an uncomfortable silence which I am not good with. Either way, something comes spewing out that should remain locked in the tower labeled “Don’t ever say this in front of company.”

I once tried to prove a point at a family discussion about religion that compared to Hitler, I should get into Heaven without a hitch. I’m not religious at all but that does not mean that I am a bad guy. I’m actually quite a good guy that has made a career out of helping desperate people that are in a very bad way. In my head, it was a good argument. However, when it was said, there was a hush in the room and people looked around like they just spotted Elvis, anything not to make eye contact with me. But I still believe that my point is valid, I’m a much better guy than Hitler.

Just look at my last blog about the witch comment. In my head, that sounded funny as hell. When I said it, I actually whispered it so no one heard it. But that didn’t take away from the funny of the comment? However, it may have pissed some person off. So to you, I offer my humblest apologizes that you didn’t get my joke.

See how I did that? That’s straight from the school of Enron.

So this happens a lot and it happened in front of my 3 year old niece who apparently even knows better than I do. I can’t say I disagree with that for now because in hindsight it is a pretty bad comment.

It was along the lines that Jesus probably wouldn’t be upset if you didn’t eat your dinner because after all, he is dead.

And there it is, there is the silence. I can feel the collective intake of breath from all my readers. I’m even awkward in a blog. Fucking great Hossman, f’ing great.

I have no idea why I said it. I can’t even remember thinking it before I said it. But say it I did. The whole table immediately clammed up like I had just divulged the top secret nuclear codes for the entire western hemisphere.

“Dude” Uncle Bricksalesman said.

My wife just looked at me like she didn’t even know me which I can’t really blame her. I would distance myself from that comment faster than a sprinter from Balco.

“Hossman!” she said, which is code for “I’m really in deep shit. Deep enough that there will be a very long discussion about how inappropriate I am that will result in me attending charm school.”

There was a discussion later with Hossmom who pointed out very passionately that the comment not only was inappropriate but did not help out my Hippy Brother in Law who had been trying to get his daughter to eat dinner.

It was my niece who came up with a solution for our particular little situation, god bless that little thing. She decided that I needed to go into time out and I completely agree with her. It was an inappropriate comment that should have never been said, even if it was a valid point. So tonight I vow to not play any Xbox. I will give the controller to my wife and refuse to play. You will have no idea how hard this will be.

I will spend that entire time thinking of all the things that I have said to everyone and feeling bad about them. I will feel sorry that I called my mother in law a witch when she was being gracious. I will feel sorry that I once stated that I was a better guy than Hitler. And I will feel sorry that I told my niece that Jesus told me that it was probably ok not to eat her dinner.

And to make further amends, I will offer gifts. I will give my hippy brother in law a new compost heap, to Uncle Bricksalesman I will let him tell me how bricks and propane accessories are made for an hour, my mother in law a new broom and to my wife I will give 32 consecutive “yes Dear”s for the very long discussion that I’m sure to get by printing this last paragraph.

See, it’s a disease, I can’t help it.

12/24/07

We are at my mother in laws house visiting for Christmas.

My Niece: "Where are your puppies, Baba?"

My Mother in Law: "I don't have puppies, dear."

My Niece: "Why don't you have puppies?"

Me: "Because witches have cats, sweetheart."

I am ready to go home.

12/20/07

Weekly Conversations

Over the last several weeks I have kept a log of things that have been said in my house. My 21 year old self would have to come and kick my ass if he knew that this is what the conversations would be like. But when you have 2 kids, well, normal means something else entirely:


“She pooped in the tub again? Fuck it, I’m not cleaning it up. You do it” Let’s face it, I was just tired of doing it.



“It’s your mother calling. I’m not answering it.” I won’t even tell you which parent said that.


“Don’t you try and get into a test of wills with me little missy, you’re going to lose.” Nothing like talking smack to a toddler.


“Look, I told you to leave the cat alone and you didn’t. What did you think was going to happen?” This was my daughters first experience with true consequences of not listening to her father.


“For the love of god, quit eating the cat food, dinner is almost ready.” This is a constant battle, every day.

“Quit begging, it makes you look pathetic.” I’ll just say on this one that my wife just had another baby. Other fathers out there will understand this statement.

“Where’s Little Hoss? Did she go out the dog door again?” I will give it up for my kid though, she is a problem solver!

“Rock, paper, scissors on the count of three. One, Two, Three! Damn it!” I always lose the Rock, Paper, Scissors game when we play to see who changes Little Hoss’s diapers. I hate that fucking game. I don’t even know why we keep playing.

“Stop trying to hit the dog in his balls!” I once again admit that my dog is not castrated nor will he ever be. Call me an irresponsible pet owner, I don’t care. I call myself a Male Humanitarian.

Me: “Shit, shit, shit.”
Uncle Bricksalesman “Dude, there are kids here.”
Me: “Crap”
I’m afraid that my daughter will grow up to cuss like a sailor.

“Kids! Front and center!” I have no idea why I say this other than the fact that this is what my own father said to me when I was busted for something. I think I expect my 3 month old to get up and walk on over. One day, precious, one day.

Me: “Where’s Little Hoss?”
Hossmom: “She’s with you.”
Me: “If she was with me then I wouldn’t be asking.”
Just one of my many parenting screw-up’s. So where was Little Hoss? Halfway up the stairs. She has learned how to knock down the baby gate. She is like the toddler incredible hulk.

“Help! Help! Help! Pssshhhht!” Bubba Hoss thought it would be funny to puke on my face when we were playing. Hossmom thought it was funny to.

“Touchdown!” My daughter said this while we were watching a Nike commercial. Close enough.

Me: “What’s for dinner.”
Hossmom: “I don’t know.”
Me: “OK.”
We left it at that.

“One. One. One. One.” Little Hoss says this when she wants “one” more cinnamon tic-tac. She will never stop asking until the whole box is gone and out of sight. She will then dig in my pockets saying “One. One. One. One.”

“Mine.” Everyday about everything, everywhere. Welcome to raising a toddler. When she met her brother, this is what she said.

“When baby vomit hits my chest hair, it makes like a little paste. I bet I could market this as some new dry walling technique.” I am sad that I know this.

“I will give you five thousand dollars to feed the baby at 3 am. Seriously. I will pay it.”

“Honey, is this poop on the floor or mud? I can’t tell.”

And finally—

Me: “Bubba Hoss looks like me”
Hossmom: “No he doesn’t. He looks like me. He has my eyes.”
Me: “Nope, that’s my boy, 100%. He’s a hoss all the way.”
Hossmom: “You don’t want him to go bald by the time he is 20, do you?”
Me: “Ok, you’re right, he looks like you.”

12/19/07

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Hey man, what’s up. I know that I haven’t written you in a while and I do apologize for that. Things have been busy with the kids and all and we can’t really count college as I don’t remember my first two years. But you’re Santa, so you have to forgive me, right? You’re a Saint, so be Saintly.

How’s the Ms.? I saw her on the Rudolph Variety Hour the other night and she looked great. Pass along my love when you get a chance.

So you may have guessed that I need your help and that is the reason I am writing my first letter to you since I was 8. And let’s be honest, that last letter I wrote I know was total bullshit but I had to do it so my sister still believed, I’m a great big brother.

But this year I really need your help if you have time. You have come through for me so well in the past and this is a favor that I’m afraid that only you can really do.

You remember back in 81 when you brought me the Castle Greyskull for my He-man actions figures? That’s the level of help I need now. The Castle was impossible to find that year but you did it, you rock. And who can forget the first Nintendo you brought me in 86? I played the shit out of that and it shaped my Christmas’s for years to come.

Granted, things got a little bit out of hand after that. Whenever I would get a new game I would secretly unwrap it and play it in the middle of the night with my friends. This went on for weeks until I rewrapped it and put it under the tree. By the time Christmas morning came along, I was already listed as high score but Mom and Dad never seemed to catch on. We’ll just chalk up that to the “Naughty years” and be done with it.

Because now I’m a changed man. I’m a father myself now with 2 great little kids. Sure, I talk a good game but the truth is that I know that I spoil them a little. I can’t help it, I’m sure you understand in your line of work. I provide for my kids and wife and keep everyone safe from alien abductions, what more can a father do?

And for the most part I don’t ask for a whole lot for myself. Just the occasional peace and quite, that’s about it.

Except at Christmas because there is something this year that I want and I’m afraid that only you can give it to me.

As I’m sure you know, my family encompasses my wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs over 50 pounds and two psychotic cats. I know that I kid around a lot and joke about them, but the truth is that they are my family and I love them.

So for Christmas this year, there is only one thing that I want. Its free of charge and doesn’t take that much effort but I don’t think it will work out because it has never worked out before.

What I want is simple. I want my whole family in our bed. That’s it. I don’t need nothing more. I just want the kids and the dogs and the wife and the cats to all be snuggled up against me so that I can truly appreciate the minions that I have.

I have created this. I have made this and I don’t think it is to much to ask that Dad gets a little snuggle time sometime Christmas morning with everyone at one time. We have a king-sized bed, everyone fits.

I have tried this in the past but as you can see by this letter, it never works. Someone will eventually whack me in the nuts. Whether it’s a paw or a kid’s little fist of fury, it usually happens. This will then set the dogs off who then freak out the cats who then decide to use my face as the leaping off point to freedom. I am a little amazed that somewhere along the way these past Christmas’s I haven’t ended up with a wooden leg or an eye patch, destined to sell the high seas.

Is it really to much to ask? Is it to much to ask that all of my little Hosslings are in the bed and cooperating so that Dad can have a good damn Christmas? I don’t think so but Little Hoss seems to disagree. She’ll snuggle, but just not in the bed. As soon as she is in there she has to start pulling some dogs ears or a cats tail. Then someone will whine and again freak out the cats who then take vengeance on my feet under the covers.

So Santa, that’s it, that’s all I want for Christmas. I want a good hour of family time in the bed without the need for a first aid kit nearby. I want a dog on my side, a cat on my feet, a wife on my shoulder and a kid on my chest. I would then be the happiest guy in the entrie world. If you can get me this, then we’ll forget all about that hand me down Barbi Trike you got me in 78.

But if you can’t make this work, then I would like an old decommissioned Sherman Tank.

Sincerely,
Hossman

12/18/07

A Christmas Miracle

My dear, dear readers. I feel that I owe you my eternal gratitude this morning. The prayers and support that you offered were overwhelming, surely my Xbox did not deserve such kindness.

And because of this love and support, I have happy news to tell you.

Last night I received my Xbox back and after a few tense moments, it started up without a hitch.

I am shocked. Not because it started up, but because it got back to me so soon. You see, my Xbox was only gone for 13 days. When I first called up the support center they told me to mail it in and that I would receive it back within 4 to 6 weeks. As you can imagine, this news was somewhat devastating to me. I had just gotten a new game and was about to dispense some Hossman Justice and now I was denied.

But somehow, someway—it came back to me, thus this was meant to be. I set her free and within 13 days she was back in my loving arms. I have no idea what occurred so that this could happen so fast. The only thing I can think of is the positive force generated by my readers, kind of like that book “The Secret” except less gay and full of crap.

I have no other explanations other than that. That my readers, in sure force of numbers and purity of their thoughts, contacted God on my behalf and got me my Xbox back faster than anyone could have imagined. God loves you all and so does my eternal digital justice.

How do I repay such kindness? How do I show the people that sent your good thoughts my way? How can such a humble man such as myself truly give enough thanks for what has happened?

From this moment on, I will dedicate my online digital ass whipping justice to you. Every alien that I mow down I will do so in your name. For every terrorist that I show American Justice to I will do so with you in my heart and your vision as my aim. For every snotty ass 16 year old that feels my wrath, I shall sacrifice his virtual character and lay the bytes at your feet in homage. Your greatness shall be known alongside mine. We will build a mountain of vengeance and chainsaw carved truth.

There shall be none that escapes our wrath. There shall be none that hide from our duty to honor you. Every horde that is lurking quakes with fear as I make this pledge to you. Every online gamer now quivers at the thought of this mission because they know that I will not stop until my debt to you is fully paid.

It will begin tonight. Tonight I will arrive once again on the online gaming world with a roar that Hossman has cometh, and with me I bring an honor bound promise to give tribute to those of you that made my resurrection possible.

Repent, you stoner college kids, because tonight you dine in hell.

12/17/07

How many 5 year olds Could you Take in a Fight

In two weeks I am going to be a full time stay at home dad. As such, I need to train to handle the riggers of the position. But before you start training for a position you need to get a baseline assessment of where you are starting off at.

With this in mind, I took a quiz called:

How Many 5 Year Olds Could You Take In a Fight.

I figure that given that my daughter is gourgous, this might come up and I need to be prepared. Good Lord I love on line quizes

Let’s see. First we start with body type questions and arm reach. There is no selection for “Badass Vengence Giver”. Obviously this quiz is culturally biased.

“How high can I kick”. That’s a tough question as I have never measured myself and in general I try not to kick high because it leaves the sack and potatoes exposed, not a good fighting strategy. So lets just put “Not Very High.” Alright then, let’s keep moving.

The next question is “How many fights have you been in.” Here we go, now we are getting to the nuts and bolts of it. I am counting the fights I got into with my brother. And I’m counting the fights I got into with my brother at my side. And I’m counting all the fights I got into because of my brother. It’s about here that I realize that my brother might have been a bad influence on me growing up. Let’s say more than 8.

“Do you have any experience fighting swarms”. Well hell yes, I fight the alien swarms on Xbox all the live long day, Poncho.

“Have you ever been trampled.” Only by the ladies.

“Would you fight dirty.” Hell yes. Those that say they wouldn’t fight dirty don’t know how to survive. You gotta be willing to throw some dirt and kick in the junk if you want to make it out of the bush.

“Would you feel morally comfortable picking up another child and using him as a shield.” Tough question. Although since I already admitted to fighting dirty, I suppose this would count. Sorry kid, tough luck.

“How do you feel about fighting a bunch of kids”. For that, it really depends. Are they like Zombie possessed kids, are they the undead? Are they the Children of the Corn type kids? Because then I would have no problems what so ever. Those little bastards are killers.

“Click for your answer.”

“You could take 23 five year olds on in a fight.”

I’m calling bullshit. I could whip at least 30 or so with my kung fu style. Do I get a sidekick? Everyone gets a sidekick. If I had Little Hoss with me, you could double that number.

Take a Knee

“Take a knee” I told my daughter. She’s 2.

She very carefully put one knee on the ground and then put her hand on her other knee. When you give pep talks, this is how it is done—with everyone taking a knee. That’s what my coach taught me and that is what I have taught my daughter. When we are going to have a heart to heart, we have to take knee.

“Ok,” I say. “We are going to put up the Christmas lights. I know, I know, we have been lazy and they should have been up a while ago. But never mind that because we are doing it now.”

She leans in closer to really hear her instructions next.

“What I want you to do is to run around the front yard and cause havoc. I want you to destroy and rip and go nuts. See those boxes of lights over there? I want the lights unpacked and boxes ripped apart pronto. Those stakes over there, those I want thrown about. Think you can do that?”

“Newt!” She yells. She yells the name of our dog when she means yes.

“Good deal. Let’s get rolling.”

I love it when my daughter helps, it’s very entertaining. I know some people get pissed off when the little kids help because things do slow down and something is bound to get lost. I, however, love the hell out of it. It makes any job fun and I gotta be honest here, I love it when she looks so proud when she has accomplished something like putting a stake in the ground. Hossmom says she is very eager to please her father. Great, I have a toadie.

Imagine Godzilla rampaging in downtown Hong Kong. Now imagine Mothra showing up and Godzilla and Mothra doing battle in downtown Hong Kong. That’s how we put up lights.

“Brahhhhahahahahahah~!” she yells.

I look over and she has just tripped over the lights that I have put in the sidewalk on the stakes. 5 stakes have popped out of the ground.

I look at her and say “Well, put them back in” and I turn my back to the tree in the front yard. I have to put up lights on this thing while at the same time dodging spiders and old wasp nests. While my daughter is Japanimation in action, I am the freaking ballet. Together, we are formidable.

A minute later I look back over to my daughter. She has accomplished putting most of the stakes back in and to my amazement, they are straight. I am raising a genius, all of you should be jealous.

But then she steps over them to the other side of the sidewalk and proceeds to again trip over the strand of lights and pulling them out of the ground. This time she doesn’t even look for my instructions, she just begins putting the stakes back in the ground. However, she has decided that if she licks each light bulb before putting them back in the ground, they will stay better. I can find no fault in her logic.

I have finished the tree and have only screamed like a girl once, I am counting this as a good day. It’s time to move on to the reindeer that my daughter has so generously unpacked for me 20 minutes ago. At my feet is a mass of metal and lights that is supposed to look like Rudolph. I have no idea where most of the parts are that keep this thing together thanks to Little Hoss. I love the challenge and call over my henchman.

I tell her to bring the wire and to my amazement, she does. Seriously, she is a great helper and we work well together.

The next 20 minutes is spent putting together the reindeer. I am 99% sure that Scrooge himself designed these things so that fathers would eventually get pissed off and just throw them in the gutter. But we are resourceful and we have duct tape and chicken wire, enough to build a god damn Macy’s Float if we have to.

We get the reindeer up and things are starting to come together. I am getting pleased. A neighbor comes over and says that I am starting to make them look bad because they haven’t put up their lights yet. Secretly, I agree with him. You do look bad next to this gaudy over the top Christmas spectacle that I am putting on.

My philosophy on Christmas is that the tackier it is the better it is. Lights, lights and more lights are the way to go. Presents poorly wrapped, colored lights mixed with white lights and an 8ft inflatable snowman, that’s the only way to go.

Sadly, our 8ft snowman—named Princess Candycane by the neighbors kid—is not going to make this years celebration. She has passed beyond that point that I could repair the nylon and will be sorely missed.

As well as the lights that I normally put on top of the house, but this was done in protest. Hossmom does not want me to “risk” myself on top of the roof this year. She seems to think that I will come tumbling down and brain myself. She has it in her head the image of me last year up there laying upside down on my stomach, spread eagle, trying to reach the last corner of the roof. No worries, I made it. I think having a second kid is making Hossmom soft.

It still doesn’t mean we can’t go all out and tacky though because this year we are bringing in “The Machine.” My mother in law actually got me a machine where you plug all the lights into it and it synchronizes it all to music. Think the bud light commercial with more lights, none of which that match.

I am eager to try this thing out and so is Little Hoss. She is starting to growl which I know means that she is getting impatient. Soon, my little one, soon.

Everything is plugged in and ready to go. I call my wife out with Bubba Hoss. We stand out front and I look at my daughter.

“Flip the switch” I say. She pushes the red button.

If you have epilepsy, or think that you might have it, please stay away from my house. In fact, even if you don’t, you may want to still stay away because this might cause it.

The lights blink and twirl, sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Sometimes only one side of the yard is lit up and sometimes the whole thing is. Carol of the Bells, Here Comes Santa Claus, Feliz Navidad—words cannot describe the beauty.

I look down at Little Hoss and she has her hands on her hips, looking at a job well done. I am doing the same and sometimes it amazes me when she mimics me. I spit and she tries to with the effect of some slobber just rolling off her chin.

Maybe she can get on the roof with me next year?

12/13/07

The Stay At Home Dad

I just quit my job. No more than 20 minutes ago.

It’s scary just even writing that. I have been gainfully employed since I left college 9 years ago. I have never been fired and I have never been laid off. I have been with the same company, although in different roles, for the last 8 years which seems to be somewhat of an aberration for my generation.

But I don’t want you to think that this was a rash decision or that I lived the dream of saying “Take this job and shove it.” It’s actually quite the opposite.

10 months ago my wife and I started having serious discussions about a parent staying home with the children for a few years. It has always been hard for us to drop off our daughter off at daycare even though we had a great lady. Over the 10 months we looked at a lot of angles, a lot of options and answered a lot of questions to ourselves. How important is it to us that someone stay home with the kids for awhile.

That was probably the biggest question. I’m not an anti-daycare guy, not at all and before I found out we were having a second kid, I was ok with the status quo. But we started thinking and there was a revelation in my head.

I’m going to work 50 years of my life, probably constantly. Out of that 50 years is it really going to make that much of a difference in my career if I take off 3 or 4 years? When I said it like that, my mind started to shift. 3 years out of 50. It doesn’t sound so bad stated like that and let me look at things a little bit differently.

Do you work to live or live to work? I am certainly one of the latter ones on that. I have always put my wife and children ahead of my job. I even took my current job so that I would have more time off with the kids. I decided even back then that I wanted to spend more time with my daughter, for me. It may sound kind of selfish but that’s the truth. I didn’t like missing some of the things in my daughters life. I don’t want to be that kind of dad. I want to be there when she took her first step or says her first word.

I want to be there when she learns that dog food is not the same as people food or when she puts make up on her brother. I wanted to be part of that because I think when I get older those are the things I am going to remember, not whether or not I filed a memo correctly—that’s not the person I wanted to be.

I know a lot of you out there may be asking—why the stay at home dad? Isn’t this a bit unusual? It is but not as much as you may think.

My wife makes a lot more money than I do. She works in advertising and I work in social work. I have always joked with her that she lies for a living but I make up for it with helping people, our karma has equaled out. So it wasn’t that hard of a decision for us as to who was going to stay home. Her income is a lot more than mine.

And then I started to do research on the subject and this is when I realized that it’s actually not such an aberration. There is a whole culture out there of stay at home dads. Everyday I read about 10 to 15 stay at home dad blogging sites. When I first started doing this, it was the attitude that I loved about it.

There was no judgment here, only support. And everyone was gun-ho as well and freely admitted that they do things much differently at home that the normal stay at home mom. There was advice, the pitfalls, a plan on how to do it and everyone had pretty much the same reason. We all love our kids and we all want to be a bigger part of their lives than maybe our father’s where.

In my case, I actually had a role model of someone I respected that did this. My own father was a stay at home dad for many years. So this has been done even in my own family. Growing up my dad was a carpenter while putting himself and my mom through college. For the most part, there was no daycare for us. We were usually at the job site with my dad. I have mixed more concrete and hauled more lumber than I care to remember. But I got to spend a hell of a lot of time with my dad and those are some of the greatest memories that I have of my childhood. Would your mother allow you to build a boxing ring out of spare lumber—probably not.

So as I read more and more of the dad blogs and thought more of my own childhood, I was pretty sure that I wanted to take on this challenge. But my wife and I do nothing without research and caution. We are those people that actually have a 5 year plan.

What would I do during the day? Will there be depression and how do I handle the isolation? How do I approach this, what rules will I put upon myself? What about my own sense of self worth and self esteem? The dad blogs are where I found the answers.

First, I make a vow to never end up on the couch eating bon-bons while watching Oprah. I won’t go that way, my sanity depends on it!

I read on one dad blog that there big project this week was brewing home made beer. There was another that built a deck on his house with his kids. That got me thinking as well: If I do this it’s going to have to be my way. I don’t have fit into some kind of mold of the stay at home parent, and these guys certainty don’t.

And I found that a lot are still the macho men. Sure, they stay home, but they have no problem cussing and whipping a little ass from time to time. I don’t have to cut off my balls and get implants to do this. We’ll just do things a little bit different.

In my head I picture the colonel from the sound of music. He comes into the room and blows a whistle and the kids show up. That’s not a half bad idea. Two whistles mean lunch, 3 mean nap. I could do this.

I also took the time to talk to a lot of stay at home mom’s. Like it or not, they are going to be part of my world and it would be foolish not to listen to some of the things that they have said. No one knows how to do things during the day for cheap like stay at home moms. But also practical advice, like do your grocery shopping twice a week rather than once. It counts as an outing and the kids love to run the long hallways.

And then I found out there was a stay a home dad convention. This kicks so much ass. That’s how gun-ho a lot of stay at home fathers are about this and the decision was pretty easy from there.

What about the view that I may get from society, friends, family etc? Well, for the most part, I don’t care. I have never made apologies for doing what I thought was necessary for my family and I won’t start now, that just ain’t me. But the majority of my friends and family were extremely supportive. What about other guys who work? Believe it or not, a lot in my age range with kids were jealous. They thought it would indeed kick ass. They would even talk about the things that they would do—like attend the World Series of Video games with the kids.

But there will always be that part out there that freaks people out. My wife was approached by a stay at home mom with a mothers group. When my wife informed her that her husband was going to stay at home instead of her, she quickly withdrew her offer for her to join.

That’s understandable I think. I mean, you don’t really want to talk about your episiotomy scar with me. I get that and I won’t force myself down your throat. But I’m not going to hide either.

So to date I have set up the following: a day schedule for how things are going to work, flexible of course, I’m joining the early childhood PTA, I do have a mom’s group, I know at least one other stay at home dad, and I have a blog to continue to get the support that I have gotten so far.

I know that there will be failures and I know there I times where I will be ready to snap. I know that some days I will fall flat on my face and be tired of coloring books and baby vomit. But I also know that this is a rare opportunity and I don’t want to pass it up, because I need this as much as my kids need this.

Finally, you may be asking yourself what was the first thing I did when I quit my job this morning. Well, I put my feet on my desk and it felt good.

12/12/07

The Commando Shopper

Trivia Question: What is a Pummelo?

Think real hard. What is it? Is it a thing or a place? Is it what you do to the guy who cuts you off in traffic or is it a small town in the panhandle in Texas?

Seriously, who the hell knows. I didn’t. I had no idea and it has taken me a good 30 minutes searching the all knowledgeable OZ to figure it out. It would appear that I don’t have a brain.

I went to the grocery store tonight to pick up some ingredients for dinner as I am also in the role of Top Chef now as well as chief poop handler. It was no big deal as I am also an excellent shopper unlike my wife who happens to come back with a 10 dollar magazine every time she goes. And Kleenex, I have no idea how we go through so much god damn Kleenex.

I am a commando shopper. I am in and out, no browsing. I have a list and we shall get what’s on the list. We do not wander, we do not check out the specials. We ambush the meat aisle and then head to the checkout. The guy that you may or may not see behind the stack of tomato soup with painted red face, that’s me. Or it isn’t, you can never tell. By the way, you might want to stay out of aisle 9 next to the spaghetti, there may or may not be a tiger trap there.

On this trip I was as efficient as ever and headed to the checkout stand. There were three lines. Two of them were really long and one only had one couple in it. I love the short check out line, it’s like winning a free tank of gas for the being the 100th customer.

I get in line and there is a middle aged couple ahead of me. They have a 5 items, one of which is a fruit. I’m thinking that I have scored, I should be out of here fast.

“Ma’am, ma’am! You rang this up wrong, it’s not a cantaloupe.” Says Ms. Dickwad as her tool of a husband nods his head next to her.
“Oh, I thought you said it was a cantaloupe.” Says the checkout lady who looks like she is only doing this to supplement her social security.

“Well I never said it was a cantaloupe. It’s a Pummelo.” Says Ms. Dickwad.

“A what?”

“A pummelo, it’s a fruit.” Says Mr. Dickwad. At this point, it’s the tone of voice that is starting to piss me off. I think we can all see that it is a fruit jackass. Agreed, I have no idea what type of fruit but to me it does look a little like a cantaloupe. I see no reason to get an attitude with a lady making minimum wage, butthole.

“A what?” she says again

Now everyone who has been to a grocery store knows that on a lot of fruits there is a sticker. On this sticker is a number that lets the check out people know what code to put in so that they charge you right. But Mr. and Mrs. Dickwad’s weird Pluto Fruit has no sticker on it and they god damn well know it. So our poor check out lady has no idea what the hell this is and what to charge for it. Houston, we have a price check.

“It’s a pummelo and it’s 1.78 a pound” says Ms. Dickwad with a swear to god was almost a sneer like she thought she and her pummelo where the shit. Look, I don’t know what the hell a pummelo is either, how about talking down to me?

But it would appear that the price check is taking to long for Mr. and Mrs. Dickwad. Now I know why this line was so short—every one could feel the evil coming off these people.

There are times like this that I wish to god the Soup Nazi really existed. You give the checkout people any shit and you get kicked out of line. That’s it, no debate, just get your ass out of line. Look, it’s basic line etiquette. You get your shit together prior to getting into line. If you don’t have your shit together, get the fuck out of the line so I can pay for my loaf of bread. Seriously, I got only three things here and you are arguing about a fucking fruit that doesn’t really exist. I have come to the conclusion that it really is a cantaloupe that has just gone bad and your to dumb to realize it. Either way, make sure it has a fucking sticker on it before causing a scene.

The price check apparently is taking to much time for Ms. Dickwad. So she actually leans over the lady’s counter and picks up the special grocery store book with all the codes in. This is the same one that our checkout lady has spent the last 10 minutes looking in. It would appear that Ms. Dickwad does not think that checkout lady can spell. I want to punch her or at least get my daughter to headbutt someone in the crotch.

Of course Ms. Dickwad can’t find her Twilight zone fruit listed as it doesn’t really exist and the manager has to come over. I realize that I should have changed lines by now with a turn of disgust but I am boxed in by 2 people behind me. We are all pretending to read the latest gossip on Britney but we all know we are listening to this ridiculous argument.

The manager says to just charge her for a cantaloupe and call it a day. Good decision my man, let’s just get this going.

But Mr. and Mrs. Dickwad protest stating that the cantaloupe is more expensive than the pummelo. Now I’m not a fruit pricing guru here, but seriously, it can’t be more than like 20 or 30 cents. Because all that shit is close together. Cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew melon, it’s not like it’s 40 bucks more expensive. It’s not like you are buying the Rolex of fruit. And it’s not like these a-holes are hurting for money as she takes out her gold credit card, so pay the extra 50 cents just to shut the fuck up and release the hostages you have in the line behind you.

Finally the manager states that they will give them a store coupon so that the fruit will cost no more than 1.78. Fine, you have your victory. You just gave 20 minutes of shit to a nice lady who just likes to talk to people while at the same time fucking over the 30 people now behind you just so you could make it known to everyone that you are buying a Pommelo and not some ghetto fruit like cantaloupe.

They eventually leave, almost in a huff and I slide my bread over to the checkout lady who now looks beat down. I want to tell her not to worry.

Because I may or may not have left a trip wire attached to a claymore by the exit.

Life Through the Eyes of My Cat

I hate you all. I hope you die and leave me all your money.

And Catnip, lots and lots of catnip.

12/11/07

Life Through the Eyes of My Dog

Drop it. Drop it Drop it Drop it Drop it Drop it!

Drop the food! Drop the food on the ground! Drop the food on the ground near my mouth!

Don’t look at the other dog. She doesn’t like you, trust me, I know. I am the only one that likes you and the only one that deserves that piece of meat that you have in your hand. The other dog is just using you for your food, you mean nothing to her. I love you all the time. Drop the food towards me!

No no no no no no, don’t give it to the cat! The cat is evil, you know this! How many times has the cat tried to scratch you, huh? And who chases the cat away from you when she gets all uppity? Me, that’s right, me the dog. You owe me that meat in your hand.

The cat is a snob to and spreads bad rumors about you. Didn’t know that did you? Yesterday I heard her tell the plant that she thought that you stink. She did, I heard it with my own floppy ears.

I think you smell great. There’s nothing better than the smell of a fresh diaper if you ask me. I could smell you all day if you wanted me to. Of course, if you liked it, then perhaps you should just drop that piece of meat that you are hanging onto.

I mean, honestly, we both know that you aren’t going to eat that piece of meat that the big guy made for you. So what’s with this game your playing? JUST DROP IT!

Ya know, I let you eat my food all the time. You know that, don’t you? I could just push you out of the way and eat my dinner. But I don’t because I love you and I know that you love food. So I let you have the first handful out of my bowl. That’s just the kind of dog that I am man, I’m a giver.

And when the big guy over there tries to tell you “no” and comes to pick you up, who do you think gets in his way so that you can shove at least one more handful into that piehole of yours. I do. Hell, I’m a hero to you. So give me the meat.

Look, I’ll make it easy for you. I’ll turn around like I’m not paying attention. Then you can fling it at my head like you like to do at times. Then I’ll act all shocked and all and you’ll laugh and I’ll get my meat. How’s that work?

Ok, maybe you want me to do some tricks. Ok, fine, I can do some tricks. How about this one.

See, are you looking? I’m sitting because I’m a good boy. How you like that?

Ok, maybe that isn’t doing it for you. I got more. This one gets you all the time.

Look at my face, look hard. See my sad little puppy dog eyes and my slobbering. That took years of practice on the big guy. I’m almost crying, how about that?! Emotion on demand, I’m freaking Al Pacino!!

All right, I got some more. You like my tail right? Ok, watch this. Watch how fast I can make it wiggle. Look at that little bastard go! That’s right, it’s like a little energizer tail, right there. Yup, you are making me do that. You are that powerful and all knowing. NOW GIVE ME YOUR MEAT!

Hey, Hey! Don’t look at the lady coming at you. TURN YOUR EYES AWAY! Don’t listen to her, she wants to take away your piece of meat! Listen to me kid, she doesn’t want this happen so don’t look at her!

What has she ever done with you, huh? Has she ever dug in the yard like I have with you? Has she ever barked at all the scary sounds at night so that you are safe? No, that was all me. I was the one that barked at 4 in the morning last night because there was some clanking going on out there. And trust me, you don’t want that clanking in this house, it will steal your soul.

So don’t listen to that lady talking to you! C’mon! Your stronger than her!! Quick, just drop the meat in my mouth before she notices anything! We can do it in one quick movement, quick like a cat, quick like a cat, quick like a cat!

DAMIT! You let her take the meat away! SON OF A BITCH! Jesus H Christ hopping on a stick, why the SAM HELL did you let her do that? See, see! I told you, she’s just eating the meat herself. See, SEE! Now you got nothing, nothing at all because you didn’t listen to you good old pal the dog.

Hey, what’s that? What do you have in your hand now? Is that a stick? Is there meat on that stick!!!!!!! THEY MAKE STICKS THAT HAVE MEAT ON THEM!?

Drop the stick. Drop it drop it drop it drop it drop it!

DROP THE STICK!

12/10/07

Stockings

If Hossmom did your stocking for Christmas, this is what you would get:

1. Some sort of Tupperware container for organizing.
2. Toothpaste
3. perhaps a keychain
4. a gift card to have your oil changed.
5. socks and/or underwear
6. a nice pen for taking down phone messages.
7. A calendar of some type.
8. Probably some dried fruit or chex mix for a snack.

That is why Hossmom is not allowed to do stockings at our household and hasn’t been allowed to do them since I met her.

It’s not that she doesn’t put a great deal of effort into them. Good lord she does. She will spend a good week researching the perfect place for you to have your oil changed. And that toothpaste, it will at least be the special kind of toothpaste because everyone needs toothpaste. You can never have enough socks or underwear and who doesn’t want to be more organized.

The stockings are given with love and supreme effort.

However, as you can tell, my wife is practical and is shocked that everyone else is not practical. Therefore, everything in your stocking must have a practical purpose. Because to her, practical is supreme fun. What could be more practical and fun than having a new filter for your Brita? One year for Chirstmas she got me luggage with wheels as a gift.

Granted, it was a pretty great gift and lord knows that I wanted them. But it wasn’t exactly Castle Greyskull when I was six either.

So she is no longer allowed to do the stockings for anyone.

Christmas is supposed to be about fun and surprise. It’s supposed to be about something you really wanted but maybe you didn’t really ask for. It’s supposed to be about getting that completely off the wall fun gift that has no other purpose other than having fun or being used later as something you throw at your brother’s head. At Christmas, you are basically chasing that first high like you are a 40 year old Meth Head. It’s never quite the same but you are always hoping.

The stockings are your first introduction to that day. They should be filled with the most un-useful things you can imagine. If you get pencils in your stocking then they should at least be Spider man pencils. If you get underwear then they should at least have a funny slogan on them. Hard Candy, suckers and some type of gooey material that will one day be lodged in the fibers of your carpet.

I do the stockings for the whole family. Trust me, it’s necessary unless the whole family wants a coupon for a day at the carwash.

My wife is ok with this because she does all the other shopping for the family. And when I say all, I do mean all. If you get something from me this year, I didn’t get it for you. I didn’t trudge down to the mall. I didn’t fight the crowds. I didn’t punch some old lady to get you a scarf. My wife does all the WWF maneuvers in this family. It may be one of the single greatest things about being married.

It’s like I’m ordering at a drive through. “Hey Honey, let’s get my sister a hula-hoop.” And like magic, the next day a hula-hoop shows up under the tree. Santa is real kids and she has two kids and loves luggage with rollers.

I’m going to brag on myself here. I kick ass at stockings. I really do. And I do all my own shopping for the stockings, it’s the one thing I really get into every Christmas. If you get a stocking from me then your Christmas will be great. I’m all about the surprise.

Here’s your recipe for you other stocking cookers out there or those that are trapped in the mindset that a holder for your business cards are a great stocking stuffer.

First, start with candy. Everyone gets candy. What else are you supposed to do while you wait for everyone to get out of bed at 3 in the morning.

Second, know your audience. What does your person like? Don’t go generic and give everyone the same stocking, that sucks. You think that I would like some hand lotion? Nope. Give me some WD-40 and then we are in business.

Third, put in a toy. Every stocking must have a toy. It doesn’t have to be a big toy but it does have to be a toy because you give toys on Christmas and it sets the tone for the day. For example, one year I gave my sister a pen that wiggles when you write. Completely useless but greatness.

Fourth, it does at least have to have one thing that is useful in it. Practical is good but it needs to be hidden behind the great. So if you are giving Dental Floss in a stocking, make sure it is behind the 3 lb bar of chocolate.

Fifth, always get something surprising. It has to be something that when they open it and look at it there expression should be “What the hell?”. I do not mean putting in your divorce papers, that’s the wrong idea. For example, this year in my daughters stocking she will be getting scented bubbles. One of the scents are grape because I am assuming that she will eat them so I tried to get her tastes with the surprise.

Finally, get your 2 year old daughter to help with picking out the stuff for the stockings. They have the right idea of what should go into a stocking! The look of surprise on the morning of will be priceless as they pull out a sucker that whistles while you suck on it.

But this doesn’t always work because there are times that you run into the wet blanket that loves the practical.

That’s ok, just change up your style a little bit. Still get some fun stuff but keep in mind that “fun” to them may be a hair clip. So get a hair clip.

Just make sure that it is a Spiderman hair clip.

12/8/07

Welcome to Hossmom's Life

My wife normally doesn’t post on this blog. I really try to get her to sometimes just to give her viewpoint but she still refuses to. So there are times that I am forced to interview her to give you an idea into her life. Following is her answers to “What has changed now that you are a mom.”

My wife is the mother of 2 children under the age of two.

My wife is a vivacious reader. She still is except that ¾ of the books she now reads are about a lonely hippopotamus or a Llama who needs to find it’s Mamma.

Sleeping in for her now means that she gets to sleep in until sunrise.

Getting ready to go out is now a 3 hour marathon complete with volunteers handing her shots of Gatorade. And when she does finally get to go out she is always back in bed by 9 pm, every night.

She actually worries if the seatbelts in the back of our car actually work and are not just for show.

My son has learned that a new outfit means “Puke on it”. My wife has become the wardrobe coordinator on the scale of a Broadway play.

Instead of going to movies to see who will win the Oscars she now watches the trailers to see who will win the Oscars.

Instead of wearing a sexy bra to bed to entice me she has to wear a nursing bra to repel me. Its like she has a force field generator on the Planet Endor and the Force doesn’t work for shit. Her bra is now designed for easy entry for another man.

Fine china in our house has been replaced by plastic Dora Plates and easy grip sippy cups.

Her whole 24 hour day is now broken down on a 3 hour schedule and none of it includes things like sleep or clean.

Statements such as “Honey, grab me that bottle of Merlot” has now been replaced with “Honey, grab me that bottle of Milacon.”

Instead of flashing her tits to get free drinks in clubs she now flashes her tits to give someone else a free drink.

Public nudity is no longer something that bothers her.

She hasn’t gone to the bathroom by herself for over a year. Seriously.

Inviting company over for Tequila and Vodka shooters has been replaced with inviting company over for washable markers and Polly Pockets.

Showering daily has been replaced with showering optional and if she gets wet from my daughters splashing during her bath time, that counts.

A quiet house used to be relaxing. Now it means that someone has found the cat box an d is doing a kitchen makeover.

Walking in a home and checking out the d├ęcor has been replaced with walking into someone’s home and finding which areas are death traps for children.

“Your kid pooped” appears to be acceptable starter conversation for complete strangers.

There is someone pulling her hair and it’s A: Not Hossman and B: not sexy. She is now truly jealous of bald men.

Her hair coloring has gone from vibrant brown to purplish grape jelly with highlights of spit up.

My son gets more action than I do.

Maternity pants never go out of style.

She brags about her kids to anyone whether they want to hear it or not. She knows this and doesn’t care. “Ah, she’s cute” from the random stranger in Targe is her que to unleash an hour and a half speech about the greatness of disposable placemats.

She is absolutely sure that no woman my son may marry will be as good as her. I agree. Good luck kid.

She routinely finds that a good book she is interested in has the last 17 pages ripped out forcing her to wait and see the movie to find out the ending. Her direct quote to this: “Fuck that, when was the last time I saw a movie.”

My wife is the mother of 2 children under the age of two. Welcome to her life. We would be lost without her.

Welcome to my Life

I am the father of two kids under the age of two.

My sports illustrated has become a coloring book. The article with Brett Favre has been re-edited so that he is surrounded by Hot Pink Sunset and Purple Magic Marker.

Today I watched the rest of the Backyardigans episode without my daughter just so I could see if Pablo or Tyrone won the race around the world. Austin came from behind and I was happy for him.

My fever for cheering for my favorite football team has been replaced by me cheering my kids when they are about to figure something out. My son learned to roll from his stomach to his back yesterday and I was cheering like it was 4th and 1 with less than 2 seconds to play. I don’t mean after he did it. I mean when he was actually in the process of doing it. “Come on Bubba Hoss, let’s see some spirit. Kick that leg over and whip some ass!”

My meals now consist of at least one type of chicken nugget, macaroni and cheese or a hot dog. I have to taste each one because apparently my daughter thinks that they may be poisoned by the evil cat.

When I get drunk, which is rare, I now do it in private. I used to think that this was a sign of alcoholism. I have since come to understand that it’s a sign of a man with two kids who would not go to bed at the right time and god dammit I just need a beer.

I write with crayons. All the time.

My car holds a stroller, a baby bag, the houmoungus box of crayons that are no longer in the box, at least one magazine that my daughter likes to color on, 2 car seats, and I no longer get blow jobs on long car trips.

My outfits each day are classified as: 1. This one only has a little vomit on it. 2. This one has some vomit on it but I doubt anyone would notice and 3. This one has a lot of vomit on it but it’s less vomit than everything else.

I can only watch porn really, really late at night but I have given this up because the first time you hear a kid cry from their bedroom it ruins everything and I feel like a weirdo.

I alternate the songs on my radio from my heavy metal music to The Ants go Marching on and on.

My son has this internal clock that says “Hey, Dad and Mom are about to eat. It’s about time for me to scream my head off.” Fuck it, cold steak is still good steak.

My wife is breastfeeding our 2 month old son. I am no longer allowed to touch the boobies and I am sad. Yes, I blame him for this. When he is married I’m going to get my revenge by showing up unannounced with his mother and then have really loud sex on his living room couch in the middle of the night. Payback is a bitch.

I have, on occasion, drank out of sippy cups. Very handy.

Dora the Explorer judges my parenting style, I know it.

I have a daughter. I know that she will want to date one day. This worry has become all consuming.

The amount of tip that we leave at a restaurant is in direct proportion to how much food my daughter has flung off the table.

And also on that note: I no longer feel guilty if my daughter causes a scene in a restaurant that may annoy other patrons. She’s 2. Every meal is a scene and I ask that you just tune us out. I have stopped caring. I have now become “that” guy.

I touch other people’s poop at least 4 times a day. Every day. For the last 2 years.

I eat Cheerios as a snack. Without any milk. Just dry old boring Cheerios.

I teach my daughter how to say sports related things rather than useful things such as “There is a burglar in our house.” Instead, we say “Rock on.”

I. Love. Microwavable. Fishsticks.

Ketchup has replaced most of my daughters meals. Even if I smear it on something like a meat, she licks it off like ice-cream. I think this may be one of the grossest things I have ever witnessed.

I have not seen a movie in over 8 months. And when we rent movies, we can never find the time to actually watch them and end up turning them in late. Basically, I have to buy a movie that I will hate and watch it in bits and pieces over a 5 month period.

My daughter eats raw red peppers and spits half of them out. I count this as her vegetable for the afternoon.

I have a pretty good collection of tools in the garage but haven’t built anything in a very long time. However, I did use my sander to sharpen my daughters crayons. Honestly, I am quite impressed with myself.

My daughter has just learned to pick her nose. But instead of whipping it on the dog like a normal person she says “Here ya go” and gives the booger to me. I don’t realize what I have until it is to late.

I am the father of 2 kids under the age of 2 and I love it. Welcome to my life.

The Dropoff

I dropped off my xbox this morning at the UPS store so that it could be mailed back and fixed.

It was in a general box, no identifying information on it as to what it is.

The guy at the counter said: "Oh, an xbox. Make sure you have the tracking number." He was about 50

And that was it.

I find it disturbing that a random guy at the UPS store knows the look of the shipping box that Xbox uses considering that it's supposed be generic enough that it doesn't get stolen. I think it scares me because this has to happen a freaking lot for a 50 old guy to be so familiar with it.

I could use your prayers right about now.

12/7/07

Career Day

A local middle school asked me to present during career day.

To be honest, I was a little skeptical at first but then I reminded myself that I rock and decided to take them up on there offer. I was going to get a chance to talk about me for 30 minutes, who wouldn’t want to do that.

My audience was going to be 11 and 12 year olds and I was sure that they would be hanging on my every word.

I went this morning to the school and was very happy with the reception that we were offered. They took all the speakers for that day and had us in the library. They had recruited some members of the school band to play background Muzac for us and offered us quiches.

I’m not really sure what a quiche is but I thought it was pretty cool that we had them. It made me feel fancy. It made me feel like an Astor or something on that realm.

There was some jovial small talk between all the presenters and I took the chance to see which chump would come in second to my greatness.

They had the expected cosmetologists there, which to be honest, I just don’t know why they don’t call them hairdressers. They had some nurses and some in the health profession—nothing that would really overshadow my presentation.

They had some guy from FedEx there and I knew that my presentation had to be a hell of a lot more exciting than the guy that dealt with boxes all day.

There was a guy there that was a writer and I may have mentioned that I write a blog and if he should care to read it, I might be persuaded to give him some tips on spelling and grammar.

All in all, I was feeling pretty good. I can hang with these people and the kids will love me.

Then the U.S Marshal walked in with his full on swat gear. Shit. I got nothing compared to that.

He was clad head to toe in black terminator type gear. There was a visor for Christ’s sake. I had no visor. And he had to bring his gun and holster, cocky asswhip. Seriously, this is career day we are not storming the beaches at Normandy.

I can’t follow that. Please God don’t make me follow that. Let me follow the FedEx guy, that would be great.

They broke us up and we each went to an assigned classroom. The kids would rotate between classrooms and we would give our little 30 minute speeches and then take questions.

I was rolling by the second class that came in. We had four total and I was just getting to the point where they were eating out of my hand. Jump monkeys, jump while Hossman tells you of his greatness.

I told them of a case where there were a 120 cats locked in the house. I told them of the time I went into the meth lab to help the old lady and they ended up barricading the police out for 10 hours. I told them to help people sometimes you gotta get a little bit dirty damnit! It was good stuff.

Until the last class came in. I started with my usual banter about what I did and what they needed to become me. Stay in school, go to college, get a degree, don’t do drugs, drink your milk and love your mamma.

But this class wasn’t responding. In fact, they looked bored, what the hell. I told them that I had been on the news and had given interviews. They still looked bored. I told them that I was the biggest celebrity that they were likely to ever meet. Nothing.

Finally, a kid in the back let me know that they had just listened to the U.S. Marshals presentation.

He said that the Marshal chased bad guys and let them play with his handcuffs. Really? He let you play with the handcuffs. Ok, that’s pretty cool.

He said that the Marshal also let everyone look at his fancy bobophet visor and put it on. He let you put that on did he?

Finally, he said that the U.S. Marshal let everyone try on his bullet proof vest that he wore when he went all swat. They said it was heavy but very cool.

I looked down at my hand that held my sad little pamphlet. This couldn’t compete with a U.S. Marshal’s bulletproof vest.

So I turned the class over to my partner and left the classroom to find the U.S. Marshal. Maybe he would let me try on the vest and visor. Then we could play Xbox together and be Best Friends Forever.

12/6/07

The Headbutt

“You taught our Daughter to head butt?!” Hossmom says somewhat accusingly.

“Sure I did” I say “How great is that!”

“It’s not great.” She says

I think this is when she started to get a little mad.

“Why is it not great? Do you realize what this is? She is my Latimer now! We will root and chest bump! We will dog pile the stuffed animals when my teams when! We will shake and open juice in victory celebration and spray each other in the face with it! How is that not great!” I ask

“You are an idiot” She responds

“What? Look, no one else does this with me. This is great I tell you!” I say

“And how ‘great’ do you think it will be when we get a call from daycare saying that our daughter has head butted some poor kid? How great will it be then?” Hossmom says.

“…………..” I have no response

“How ‘great’ do you think it will be when she starts head butting the walls and putting holes in them” Hossmom continues.

“How ‘great’ do you think it will be when she starts head butting the dogs?”

“Well, they probably won’t mind” I say trying to find a way out of this hole.

“Right, sure.” Hossmom says. “I’m sure they won’t mind and I’m sure that the doctor won’t mind when we have to take our daughter to the ER for a concussion. I’m sure that they won’t mind it when I say my husband taught our daughter how to head butt.”

There is a possibility that I haven’t thought this one all the way through.

“But I thought you liked it when I teach her stuff. I mean because of me she can rock out in the car, she can say touchdown and offsides, she can give a highfive, she says Beep Beep and mush in the stroller.” This is my strategy at this point—point out all the good funny things that I have taught my daughter.

“None of those things involve bodily injury to our child or to other people” Hossmom says.

“Well, when she says Beep Beep we often run into people. That’s happened before.” That’s it Hossman, lets see if we can twist that logic.

“Then you shouldn’t be teaching her that either.” Hossmom says, cutting off my only avenue of argument.

“But she likes to head butt. In fact, she did it first.” This is all I got left, blame the kid. She will understand when she is older.

“And then you encouraged it. That’s not helping” she says.

Crap

“But it’s fun. It’s how we celebrate the mundane. How can a father’s love for his daughter be so wrong?” I say. I’ve got nothing left, I’m just grasping at straws here.

“I’m sure it’s fun when she gets a big gash in her head and some other poor kid is laid out on the sidewalk with his eyes rolled back.” She says.

“Well, how big is the kid. Is he like her age or is he more like 5 or 6 years old?” I say.

This time she doesn’t even bother to respond. She just gives me the look which means the argument is over and that I have lost.

“At least she won’t be punching anyone anymore.”

Seriously, I should have just shut up.

12/5/07

My Response to Your Complaint

Today someone complained that I had my feet on my desk. Yes, this occurred at work.

You know that I normally don’t write about work and several people at work may read this blog. But today I have decided that I don’t care about that. Today I care about that there is some whiney know it all there that is so offended that I keep my god damned feet on my desk.

This is just one of those things that really get you going. The fact that I put my feet on my desk has absolutely nothing to do with you. My job in all likelihood has nothing to do with you. In fact, it is more than likely that you are some depressed nutjob that has nothing better to do than to be offended at feet on desks. Most likely because you have very bad BO and no one can stand you.

But I understand, I really do. I mean if my life was so boring that my cat couldn’t even stand to be around me, I would want to create some drama to. I mean why not? I would imagine that there is only so much paint drying you can actually do while you are not doing your work and instead checking up on me and my feet on my desk. It’s down right understandable that you find this as offensive as your last date found you. So sure, let’s create some drama here and get really riled that my fucking feet are on my fucking desk in my fucking office.

I mean sure, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to come to my into my office other than my boss and fellow members of my unit as my job has nothing to do with anyone else’s job that works here. But that shouldn’t stop you, whoever you are, from making special trips to my office just to look at my offensive feet. Come on down and take a stroll, I’m sure your heart needs the work to break up that last cheese fry blockage that you may have there.

But listen, I’m sure that by now, as it is mid afternoon, your butt is nice and settled in your special order cow chair and you can’t be bothered to get out and actually come down here and take a gander at my feet on my desk. I got your back. What I’ll do, if you ever decide to make yourself known to me, is to take a picture right now of my offensive feet and then I’ll send you it in an email every ten minutes. Then you can huff and puff about how offended you are and thus get back to your Jerry Springer.

I know that a long time ago your stories let you down and that you no longer find them interesting. I know that Days of Our Lives and General Hospital just doesn’t tickle you in your special places anymore and that you have grown tired and weary without your drama. But maybe in the future you can instead go find your ex-husband and bug his newer and more beautiful wife that he replaced you with rather than making complaints about my feet being on my desk.

I know that I have been hard on you today, Mr. Or Mrs. Complainer. But seriously, I gotta know, is this really fucking for real? I mean seriously, who complains to somebody’s boss about his type of shit? I really don’t get it, I swear to god I just don’t. Please Oh Please explain it to me. I really want to know what’s going on in your fucked up head. Honestly, I won’t be all that mad. I would be more intrigued, like you are an alien that needs to be studied so we can understand how to really communicate with you. Of course, my message at that time may be “Get the fuck out of my office” but still, at least we would be on talking terms.

I know that this is a pipe dream because you obviously didn’t have the courage to come to me directly to complain about my feet. Because no one does this because no one is really at all fucking concerned about it, except you of course. But you may want to know a reason why I do this. Sure, I’ll give you an explanation. Because each and every day I go through thousands of applications for people who want jobs. Basically I read all the freaking day. It is more comfortable for me to put my feet up when I do this. And yes, normally I close my door because of dipshits like you but somehow you have found a way around this and still made the complaint. It would appear that you are trying awfully fucking hard to see my feet on my desk.

I know that you are to embarrassed to come to me in person. You know that if you did come to me the first thing I would do is to complain about your single buck tooth and hillbilly mullet because those are the only type of people that really give two shits about this. So it’s really out of your own sense of self worth that you haven’t gone to me in person and instead followed the chain of command.

For that, I salute you. There is nothing quite like bringing down someone else to make you feel better about yourself. Congratulations, I mean it. If I knew who you were, I would gladly give you a trophy for cocksucker of the year. But don’t show up in person, that really wouldn’t be your style.

Lick. My. Balls.

12/4/07

I Give Up

Ok, seriously, stop hitting me in the nuts.

I don’t know what I have done to offend the world. Whatever it is I offer this very sincere and meaningful apology so that you can stop hitting me in the nuts.

I have taken great strides my entire life to protect that region of Hossness. I wear boxer shorts, I wore cups and I flinch at even the slightest provocation that my jumbles will be hit. But I can see that the world has found a way past my defenses and I am begging everyone to make this stop. Look, I lose. Ok, I get it. You win. Please stop hitting the boys.

A couple of days ago my daughter was playing in front of me. I wasn’t thinking anything about it, she does this all the time. And then, unprovoked I might add, she turned around and using her little carnie hand she smacked me right in the balls. You wouldn’t think that a 21 month old could cause such damage. But that’s the thing about those boys, even the slightest graze can send you into a tailspin of lower stomach pain. In Little Hoss’s case she proved that her aim was true and practically palmed the right one.

I went down immediately begging for mercy from my little girl. Why? Why? And Why again I ask you! Why must Daddy’s balls be a form of enjoyment for the entire family? Why must I be rolling around on the ground like a wounded deer (reference there for my redneck hunting fans) as she circles me looking for the last killer blow? Why must God find it funny to put this most sensitive area in a most unprotected spot? And why, god why, does my daughter think it’s funny when she does this?

Which has led me to my next parenting conclusion: I will never buy still toed boots for my daughter. Ever. You can guess why. I should write a book called What not to buy for your Daughter if you are a Dad. The top two things would be steel toed boots and a piercing of any shape or form, any where on her body. Yes, I don’t care if I have tattoos. I’m a parent now, I’m allowed to be a hypocrite, screw off.

And to my dogs. Seriously, if one of you fat dumb son of bitches decides that you want to chase the fat dumb son of a bitch cat and you think that my crotch region is the best route, I am going to kick you. Fine, send Peta my way, I’ll kick them too. Because there isn’t a man on the planet that would not understand it. I know that normally I’m a laid back guy and that we wrestle a lot but you don’t see me grabbing your stones and giving them a twist, do you?

I have not nurtured my dog out of a show of respect for his family jewels. That respect is quickly dwindling and I swear to all that is holy that if you plant your big paw on my balls again, I’m going straight to the vet and telling him to just use the old rubber band trick (another reference for my red neck readers).

But don’t think the cats are getting off easy hear. Because if they decide that they want to skidadle away using my junk as starter’s blocks I swear to God I’m going to throw them in a sack and then into the river it goes. I’m not all that far from the Rio Grande, it’s about a days trip from where I live. And yes, I would make that trip just to pitch the sack in, me and my aching balls.

Bubba Hoss, you should just know better. Really man, you are my son and you should just really know better. But I’ll take a little of the blame here but over all, son, you should know better. I was in the bathroom when you decided to have a melt down. Your scream was louder than normal so I thought maybe something had happened while you were sleeping in your swing chair. I have no idea what, maybe alien abduction, I suppose it’s possible.

But because of this scream I tried to hurry up and ended up catching myself in my zipper. Do you have any idea how freaking bad that hurts??? And crawling on all fours to get to your rescue and it turns out that the Backyardigans show had stopped and we all know how much you love the Backyardigans. That’s why your scream was so loud, your show was over. Seriously man, you should know better.

Do you have any idea what this feels like? Well, one day you will. And inside Daddy is going to say “Hurts, don’t it”. Then I’m going to turn on the Backyardigans and watch it by myself.

Finally, Hossmom, you have actually been doing pretty well and have not let your flailing at night hit me in the balls in several months. Hey, I appreciate that, I really do. In fact, I’m going to take you out to a movie because I appreciate that so much. I’ll arrange for a sitter and we’ll just lock the animals outside for a couple of hours, no problems. That’s what I really like in a wife, not hitting my balls more than 4 or 5 times a year.

To the rest of the world, I give up. Whatever it is that you want from me, you have it. I’m done, I’m broken. You have taken my spirit and snapped it, I hope that you are proud of yourself.

To anyone that is thinking about having a vasectomy once they have kids and a couple of dogs, I say wait a little while. Nature has a way of taking care of this for you.

11/30/07

Black Friday

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The biggest shopping day of the year. There is no politeness. There is no niceties. It is a brutal, up at 3 am, slug the soccer mom by 5, give me the tickle me Elmo god damit kind of day.

“No! Don’t go!” you scream. “Think of your children! For the love of god man, think of your children!”

I’m not listening.

“They’re monsters!” you further utter. “They’ll make you apply for the department store credit card for 10% savings!”

You are a coward, I scoff at you.

“At least leave you two children with Hossmom!” This is your last piece of advice. “They’ll never retain their sanity!”

I can’t leave them with Hossmom. Because today they are my army. What you may see as insanity driven bargain shoppers, the kind that get up at 4 am on Saturdays for garage sales so they can buy other peoples junk, I see as glory waiting to be claimed. And I ride with Little Hoss.

We do not go unprepared to Old Navy. Our double stroller, henceforth known as the Vehicle of Ankle Death, is not an ordinary stroller. It’s not ordinary because I have drawn flames on my lime green Vehicle of Ankle Death. I used Hossmom’s nail polish, blood red to match the carnage that we are about to waste. If I could have chromed it out I would have. I go to my workshop and attempt to fashion a cow catcher but Hossmom stops me. You know the kind, the kind on all the old trains that would slaughter any wandering cow. In my case, I was going to use it for psychotic middle aged women. They should all thank Hossmom.

We are off to get a pair of gloves and a hat for Little Hoss. It’s gotten cold and she needs it and she will not be denied. I load up Little Hoss’s wingman, Bubba Hoss, and we set sail for Old Navy. The earth groans at our departure.

We arrive and it is crowded. It is carnage. It is victory waiting to be snatched by those with the guts to do so. We load up in the Vehicle of Ankle Death.

We do not come unprepared. Remember this.

“Mush!” my daughter says because that is what I have taught her to say this morning. We are in sync, we are of one mind.

“Mush!” I reply, proud of Little Hoss’s desire for destruction and submission.

We don’t even bother opening the doors with our hands and we use the Vehicle of Ankle Death as a battering ram as we storm the store. The doors fling open. Somewhere I hear a young Swedish chick gasp. We have arrived.

We stop at the beginning of the aisle. We see our goal at the end. The aisle is the 9th circle of hell, full of those that have betrayed the worst. They have betrayed sleep and common sense. They have betrayed courtesy and manners. They have betrayed themselves. But we will remind them.

The aisle is almost unnegotiatable. Thousands stand in the way. They are looking at racks but failing to make any room for anyone that wishes to pass. For some reason, people on this day lose all sense of decency, I have no idea why. But at least they are shopping which is more than I can say for the couple that has decided to argue in the middle of the aisle. You would think they would have some tact and at least take this to the side, but they don’t because they are madness, madness in this world and on this day.

Again, we are prepared.

“Now” I tell Little Hoss in my calm and commanding voice.

Immediately she unleashes her fury.

“Beep Beep!” she yells. This is the second special words that I have taught her this morning. “Beep Beep! Beep Beep! Beep Beep!”

I have given the people a chance at redemption. It is of no concern of mine if they choose to ignore it. The Vehicle of Ankle Death does not slow down, it’s flames burning on the side from the speed of our movements. We split the couple who are startled at Little Hoss’s warnings. We catch his shin but do not bother to look back. I smelled blood from his brand new leg wound. Others should take heed.

We hack down grandmothers, we scare old guys with bad hearts, soccer moms dive into the nearest sales rack to escape our wrath. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. A few running kids collide with the side of the Vehicle of Ankle Death. I help them up because I am not heartless. Then Bubba Hoss pukes on them because he believes that all should feel our justice, there will be no exceptions.

We reach the gloves and hats. We try them on. Little Hoss is still yelling Beep Beep and I am still proud. To the check out stand we go, Little Hoss and the Vehicle clearing the way. The check out girl charges me 8 bucks as I hear her heart flutter in her chest. A dad out alone on Black Friday with his 2 kids under the age of 2 makes any woman melt. I wink and she sucks in the air like she is trying to fill her soul with my presence. Here baby, take my card, I write a blog.

We again use the Vehicle as a battering ram as we leave the store. I glance back and see that in our wake the carnage still continues although with a few less unfortunate souls. We are back in the house within 45 minutes of leaving.

Hossmom is impressed and shocked. She likes the hat and she likes the gloves but truly they are of no concern to Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss and I. We have our victory and it smells of fleece.

11/29/07

Xbox Eulogy

Dear friends, thank you all for coming today.

Yesterday, as some of you may have heard, my Xbox 360 died quite suddenly. It suffered from the mythical Ring of Death that so many Xbox owners are familiar with. Unfortunately, there was no way to diagnosis this problem as there were no symptoms. As a result, my Xbox 360 passed away yesterday at 8:30 am. I am devastated as you can imagine.

The Xbox was always a good and loyal friend. He never judged and was always there with an open controller and an online game. He understood that sometimes a man needs a chance to distribute virtual justice to the legions of those that wished to doom me. He understood a chainsaw to the face was much better than any therapy.

The Xbox always understood that an hour without complaint is what every man wishes for. He understood that in that hour you could transcend normal work life and become an agent for justice as you let fly a grenade at your enemies. He understood that escapes in life are rare and he provided that rarity.


My Xbox will be remembered for the marathon sessions that we had together. He will be remembered the night we played until 4 am when all the kids were asleep. In that night we attained new heights as we waylaid the 14 year old bastard that had the smart mouth. In that night we put down destruction vs. the 20 year old gorked out of his head college student. And in that night, we became more than just a man and his video game machine.

We became a scourge on the multiplayer/online world. We became a name to be respected as Namssoh unleashed hell. Gears of War, Call of Duty, Halo—they were just the vehicles for our greatness, our shared glory.

And finally, he will be remembered for our last online adventure together. We had just gotten the new Call of Duty 4 game and we were finally getting to a point where we were not just cannon fodder for the kids with the greater reflexes and unlimited practice time. We entered the game and we were quickly promoted to Major General, which is a rank benefiting my greatness.

Oh the devastation that we caused! We quickly went from the hunted to the hunter as we stalked out latest victim. We used a ruse, a common tactic of feeding the enemy false information on our location. When that enemy came, we were behind him. And yes my friends! Yes! We distributed a version of vengeance not seen since biblical days. We destroyed our enemy and then took his gun. And we used this gun to further lay a siege upon all those that challenged us.

So to you my good friend, we say goodbye. Because after calling Microsoft we have learned that there is no easy fix for you. But as you are more than a man, and are a machine, perhaps all is not lost. We will send you in for repairs and you will once again be in our sweet embrace in 4 to 6 weeks.

Until that time, we will keep you in our thoughts and our prayers.

Let us now have a moment of silence to honor my Xbox.

11/26/07

The Ambush

I had my son sitting on one leg. I had my daughter sitting on the other because she has determined that every time I hold my newborn son she must be right there in the thick of the action.

It was bliss, a moment straight out of the goodness of the Waltons or Leave it to Beaver. I was the proper picture of the perfect father. I had both children calmly playing on my lap.

And then both kids farted on me.

At the same time, in unison. It was like it was some prearranged attack plan. It was the Pearl Harbor of the kid fart attack.

I have pretty much had to suffer many things as a father. Some I expected and some I didn’t. I knew that I would have to watch my kids come out in a bloody mess of goo when born and I took it in stride. I knew that I would never get any sleep and I took that in stride. I even knew that they would suck money out of me like a Vegas slot machine and I still rolled with the punches.

But no one ever told me that both my kids would think it was so funny to gas bomb dad. This is in no book I had ever read. There is no pamphlet at the pediatricians office explaining this eventually. There is not even a PBS public service announcement. That’s why I never donate to them, because they never get to the hard core topics like a 2 month old and a 20 month old laying down on pop.

My daughter, who’s vocab consists of Touchdown and Offsides, started to laughing as she said “Poop”, one of the few non football related words she knows unless you are talking about Notre Dame Football this season. Then I looked at my son and I swear to god that little chump smiled. He knew exactly what was going on.

I have no doubt that Little Hoss put him up to this. I know that she is the mastermind because she was not allowed to come into the kitchen when I was cooking. She threw a temper tantrum which I ignored which makes her even more mad. She has the temper of my wife. Hossmom will deny this but it’s true. Even the “upset” look is the same with the eyebrows coming down. I get it pretty constantly when I won’t give either of them shoes.

And now my son has been recruited into this diabolical revenge plan. But I honestly can’t say that I’m surprised because Little Hoss can be very manipulative and aggressive when she doesn’t get her way. Ok, let me back up, that’s a complete dad statement. I understand that as Dad I will forgive my daughter a lot and sugar coat things. So let me re-state it. Little Hoss screams her head off and then starts taking swings at people when she doesn’t get her way. She has a pretty good right hook, I’ll give her that.

I looked at both of my children and their smiling and laughing. I asked them it perhaps they want to rethink this farting terrorism on dear old dad. I mean, after all, I’m a 32 year old guy and this is not an arena that you really want to get into with me. I mean come on, one Mexican dinner night and I will have you begging for mercy. I have trained in the trenches of locker rooms and my mentor was my older brother who, like all older brothers, had farting on people down to an absolute science.

My daughter then bowed her head as she came in for a hug and said “I wuv oooo”.

See, I told you. Manipulative.

11/20/07

The Racoon and the Pack

The doorman at the bar just shook her head when I pulled out my ID. She smiled and let me in. It would appear that there was no reason to check to see if I was under the age of 21.

I know the law about this in the State of Texas. If you appear within 10 years of 21 they are supposed to check your ID. Now granted, it has been a pretty long time since I have been to a bar but I had no idea that I now officially look “old”. Hey, here’s an idea, let me lay down and spread my legs so that you can stomp on my nuts to.

But maybe it’s because we went to a college bar and I was about the only one there not wearing torn jeans and a ragged out cap. I remember these days. You spend a good 2 hours trying to dress like you don’t care. How do I look laid back enough to get the women to be laid back for me?

The last time Hossmom and I went to a bar was a year ago. It’s so sad, really. I used to like bars. Not clubs but bars where you could drink and talk to your friends. But as I have been stamped “old” by this crowd I don’t think that I would have the same experience.

First, I wasn’t drinking. Do you have any idea how bad it sucks to be in a bar and not drink? I tell you what, you don’t go for the atmosphere. I mean, hey, I enjoy smokey rooms and vomit stink as much as anyone else. And as this was a college bar it was on the lower end of veneral diseaseville. I do remember these bars: cheap drinks and cheap women, that’s all I was looking for when I was 21. This bar is not different.

I wasn’t drinking because Hossmom and I made a deal when she became pregnant. For the next year of our life Hossmom would be the designated driver and I could drink my ass off where ever we went. When I made this deal it sounded great because I am instant gratification man. I get to drink and never have to worry about driving, how great is that. It’s great until Hossmom calls in to collect.

And tonight she was collecting. She was having her first cocktails in over a year. That meant I had to drive which meant that I had to stay sober because I have a family and I don’t trust my mother in law to raise them without me in the picture because who would teach them how to be hoss? No one would, that’s who. They would be taught to eat green peppers and enjoy Oprah. So as you can see, I have a higher calling—namely being the only one in my family that can teach my daughter all the signs in a football game. We’ve got three down.

But at least Hossmom is a cheap date. She has no tolerance after a year of not drinking so after 2 drinks she was pretty much done for the night.

What I really wanted to do in the bar was to watch my college football game. That was my redeaming moment. That and friends of course but I only say that because I know that many of them read this blog.

I went to Texas Tech University and tonight we were playing Oklahoma. Not to sound like a bad fan here, but I was shocked that we were actually in the game and had a good chance to win. Please god, let this happen tonight. Please let there be touchdowns and field storming so I can have something meaningful in my life tonight. Again, no drinking in a bar sucks ass.

We find our seats in the bar and I get a pretty decent seat where I can see the TV screen. There are conversations going on around me but to be honest with you, I have no idea what they were about. I’m a better listener when I’m drinking to.

The place is not to packed but is busy with college students sipping on their Zima and Keystone. Many are laughing and walking around, probably talking about old professor Rogers and his murderous tests. Then the college students will get deeper into philosophy the drunker they get because everyone that age is smarter when they drink, I certainly was.

They wax poetic about things that they just now noticed about life and how the generation before them just doesn’t know man, they just don’t know. They envision themselves as high powered executives at the age of 24 and a hot secretary. This is before they have discovered the greatness of mortgages and sexual harassment lawsuits. I will not be a dream killer tonight, let them have their future. Besides, the game is on.

The women are in packs which I very much remember from my college days. They spent hours getting their look just right before coming to a very dark and smokey bar where you are barely able to see the ebola covered peanuts infront of you. They have short skirts on and the boobs have seemed to bloomed like springtime.

I also remember that during this time in my life I would sit at my table and wait for any one of the members of these packs to have to bend over so I could get a free shot of the panty life. I quickly fall back into this role but added with the creepy older guy vibe as I have a good 10 years on just about everyone here. However, I am oddly comfortable with this new persona.

The packs of girls attract the single lone wolf man. I call them the lone wolf because I have no doubt that this is how they see themselves because this is how I saw myself. Now that I have some experience and am watching this ritual from my protected nature blind I can say that it more closely resembles not that of a lone wolf but of a raccoon sneaking up to a garbage can at night. He’s not sure if he can get in but if he can just work his little raccoon like charm he might be able to convince her that he is pitiful enough to give a morsel of table scrap to. Secretly, I root for him because I know how hard it is to do this.

I root for him for all of about 2 seconds when the pack and the raccoon decided to move their conversation right in front of my eye line for the TV. And there they make their little nest as the male of the species continues to determine if any of the pack like long walks on the beach, sensitive conversation and awkward sex with minimul drooling.
As is my nature when I walk into any bar, I took a mental assessment as soon as I sat down and decided that if a bar brawl broke out I would probably win. I don’t know why I do this but it is seeming like a better idea now that they are standing in front of my football game. It’s in the fourth quarter and Tech is still winning. This could be the biggest win and as a fan I want to be a part of it. I want to be able to say that I cheered them on and then talk about it for the rest of the year. But I can’t do that while the TV is blocked.

One of the friends that we went with is a District Attorney and I am trying to convince her to whip out her badge and start checking some I.D.s. I’m guessing that would clear this dive out pretty damn quick and allow me to watch my game as my wife finishes her second drink and is clearly at her limit.

But it would appear that she has ethics and said something about abuse of power. I make a mental note to hang out more with drug dealers in the future so that this will not be a problem again. My friend also went to Tech and is also watching the game. Lucky for me, she is resourceful and tells me there is a Better TV away from the pack and the raccoon.

We get there in time to see it end and my night is saved. I again secretly root for the raccoon and the pack to find the same happiness that I have sitting there with a slightly inebriated Hossmom, good friends and an upset win over a top 5 team. This is why I liked coming to bars in the first place. Sure, I’m not drinking but I make up for it because I went home to my daughter and woke her up at 2 am.

“Touchdown, baby” I say, a big smile on my face.

“Touchdown, daddy” she says and goes back to sleep. Life is good.