12/31/08

My Apology

I have just been informed that as part of my marriage contract I am required to apologize when I am told to.

It would appear that the last blog that I entered shortly after Christmas may have slightly offended my mother in law who was visiting for a week.

There were suggestions that I take the post down. But I hid behind the principles of an artist and cited “artistic integrity” and “censorship” rather than the ever more true of “I’m a pig and will never give in to the mob.” And thus it stayed but it still seems that feelings may have been hurt, even though it was just a reprint from LAST YEAR’s Christmas and in no way reflected the joyous time that all was had by this years Christmas and the volumes on unsolicited advice and judgment.

This was all before Hossmom brought out the marriage contract and made me read the fine print, which apparently says when you read closely: “You will get absolutely no nookie, ever, until you apologize to my mother or your insensitive and shallow remarks that show just what a douchebag you are, with your inferior male anatomy and very bald, bald head”.

Seriously, before you get married, you should really have a lawyer look at that marriage contract. There’s all kinds of shit in there I didn’t know about. Such as how I am required to take the trash out, and only me, ever. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So, in order to fulfill my contractual obligations to my wife, I offer this:

I am very sorry that a certain someone out there doesn’t have a sense of humor and didn’t get the joke that I told last year, which by the way, I think is very very funny and if you would just relax a little bit you may be able to chuckle at yourself the same way that I do when you tell me constantly what a bad housekeeper I am………………………………..

Hold on, I have just been informed that that is no kind of apology what so ever and I am being ordered to rewrite it or I am going to be punched in the face.

I am very sorry that my joke was to awesome to be appreciated by all. I gladly accept all the criticism that I receive about my poor spelling and “horrendous grammar” and will offer no criticisms to anyone but myself and………………………….

Whoops, apparently that isn’t cutting it either.

Ok, let me try something else. Let me tell another joke:

A man took his wife and mother in law to the Holy Land. They had a wonderful time were the man dutifully carried all the baggage and spent thousands upon thousands on little figurines of the three wise men. Unfortunately, toward the end of the trip the mother in law feel ill and passed away.

The man made arrangements to have the mother in law buried back home. However, the local priests offered to let the man bury her in the holy land.

“Why not bury her here” they insisted. “The land of Christ.”

The man thanked them very much for their kind offer but refused.

“But sir” they pressed “Why wouldn’t you want this great honor?”

“Well” says the man. “You’ve already had one resurrected here” he sighed.

“And I just can’t take that chance.”



And who told me that joke?

My mother in law, whose trip to visit us was very welcome and enjoyed by all.

12/23/08

A Hossman Clasic

I offer everyone this Holiday season a look at a Hossman Classic from last year.

I was at my mother in laws house with the family. This year they are all at my house. Oddly, I feel this one still fits into my current situation:



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

12/15/08

New Website

For those interested to see what a bunch of stay at home dads look like, my Dads group has a new website. Check it out. I'm the awesome handsome bastard in the middle.
www.kcdads.org

12/8/08

Xbox Diaries: Level 50

3 hours of quiet. That’s all I need, 3 hours of quiet. I don’t need anyone kicking me in the balls. I don’t need anyone telling me to “turn that thing off and come to bed.” I don’t need screaming, screaming, screaming for good lord Dora the Explorer. 3 hours is what I needed.

Because what I do is not just for myself. What I do is for everyone. You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. You need me to defeat the Alien Horde and get to level 50. And that takes about 3 hours.

At least that is what I guessed when I started but could not be sure. I have never made it to level 50. I have only been as far as level 29 before some 2 year old “accidently” pushed the colored button that happened to be the off switch on my Xbox. Fantastic.

But tonight, I have my 3 hours. It’s about 11 at night. The kids are asleep. The wife is asleep. Tonight, it is just me and 4 other guys I have never met before battling the evil alien horde in our holy grail quest to reach level 50.

I have no other idea who these other gamers are. Fate has brought us together to wreak carnage in online gaming, specifically Gears of War 2. I have my pop tarts, I have my beer. I am war ready.

It starts and immediately my digital head goes on a swivel. Level 1 is easy but I have my trusty shot-gun out for close encounters. You never know. One comes at me, blamo, he is nothing but roadside paint, pieces of it’s evil body littering the landscape like the fall foliage.

I turn around and see another two. A short second later, both have gone to meet their programmer.

I turn to watch how my fellow squad mates are doing. Not bad, a little disorganized, but not bad. They seem ruthless and what I need is ruthless. I need them to be cold blooded digital assassins who have 3 hours of free time and a strong bladder to cut down on bathroom breaks. This might work, but it’s hard to tell with a squad so green.

Quickly we chainsaw our way through enemies in level’s 3, 4 and 5. This is nothing but warmup, nothing but getting a feel for those players around you. I show off a little. I take down the big guy alone, me and 300 rounds of high explosive ammo show him the door, next in line please. The others seem to be doing well when our first test comes.

Man down, corner of the map, man down. I wait to see if anyone cares enough to go and save him. This will let me know if we have a shot, a remote one to be sure, but a shot at reaching level 50. 3 of my squad members make a bee line to our downed comrade and revive him. This could work. No one player can do this alone but I don’t think that will be an issue tonight.

Levels 6,7, and 8 fly by in blood and body parts. While not dispensing justice to the alien horde, my squad mates and I pillage weapons of the fallen from the battlefield. Level 10 and it’s time that I assert my authority.

“Form up!” I bellow. “Get to the safe zone, set up those shields, recon that ammo! Assholes and elbows people!”

Without question, they follow. Sheep. Deadly sheep with razor sharp teeth and wool that everyone is allergic to.

We set up base behind barricades that will protect us as things get more difficult. So far, this has been a cake walk to what can be expected. I know because I have been to level 29, long ago and far away and it still gives me nightmares. Tonight I will conquer those nightmares and send them back to the bowls of the abyss that they have come from.

Everyone has picked up the weapons that will define them throughout the game and I am pleased by the diversity that we have because we will need it. Virtuous KY has a “Boom Shot” which is a rocket launcher. Maximus360 is sporting a “mulcher” which is the equivalent of a 50 cal chain gun. Me, I go with a combination of a chainsaw machine gun and a sniper rifle giving me the advantage of dispensing death from distance.

Level 15 and we haven’t even broken stride. The alien horde has gotten tougher and are harder to bring down, but down they go. We remain untouched and unfazed. The moral of the squad is good.

Levels 16 thorough 20 are nothing short of epic that Homer himself would immortalize. Blood and gore rain down like confetti at a hero’s parade, which is exactly what this has turned into.

Level 21, 22 and 23 turn into a party of body parts as the alien horde loses limb after limb. On level 25 I show the usefulness of long range death. I line up a gruesome creature hiding behind a house 300 yards out. I hold my breath as I squeeze the trigger. Splat, the head explodes and before the body hits the ground I am lining up my next head shot.

One, two, three—they all go down without even taking a step. I give a war cry. Somewhere, deep in cyberspace, the alien horde hears it and is afraid. They can bleed and they know it.

Level 26 and we are in some trouble. The horde has sent “boomers” after us, despicable enemies that shoot rocket’s of their own. They are flanked by heavy gunners on both sides. We are being peppered with harassing fire from a sniper holed up across the street. One member of the squad goes down. Another member goes to help him but is cut down himself.

I throw a grandee half blind and rush over. I hear an explosion, smell the cordite, and make it to my group. I am their general and their savor. They are back in action. We lure the others in close and then let lose a volley that tells them “Yes, I am death! Come and know thy doom”. We are the only ones that walk out.

Level 29 and we are running low on ammo, beer, and pop tarts. At the beginning of the round a squad mate calls for a timeout to go pinch a loaf. Sorry son, there are no time outs. I suggest he move the TV to where he can see it from the bathroom or dig a latrine, either way, we are going past level 29.

I keep empty beer bottles next to me, just incase my own needs arise. War isn’t pretty.

Explosion after explosion trumpet our success as each enemy falls beneath our ferocity. It is a symphony of carnage and justice, sweet justice. Level 29 comes and goes, we are now in uncharted territory.

Levels 30 through 35 are a blur, mixed with splashes of blood red and burnt black. Level 37 is a close one as every member of the squad goes down sometime but someone is always there to pick him up. Never play Alien Horde without your gaming buddy, do you have your gaming buddy?

Level 38 and I continue to snip anyone who decides to stick a little bit of his brain out. Show me your face and I will cure all your ills.

Level 39 is a lesson on close combat given by your instructors--team Awesome Alpha Wolf Squadron Supercool. Chainsaws rev through body parts, big handled revolvers smash down on craniums, fists fly with deadly purpose.

Level 40. They are coming from everywhere now. Every shadow holds some monstrosity. Every corner hides evil intent. Our barriers are weakening. My squad starts to go down and it is taking longer and longer for us to get to them. Something bad is going to happen.

I hear a crunch and my digital character looks to the right. Our barrier has been breached and I see the still twitching body of a squad mate. He is being trampled by some beast with a mace. God speed my friend. If we make it past this level, we will see you on the other side.

I turn to confront the new threat when from behind me I hear a scream. Another squad mate goes down. Gun fire erupts from the end my justice dispenser and I vanquish one foe only to see another pop up in his place. I’m being backed into a corner and as I go I see a third squad mate getting ripped apart by bullets. There’s only two of us left now and that doesn’t last long.

He goes down in a hail of gunfire and takes at least a dozen with him. It’s a hero’s death but will anyone be left to sing his praises? It’s only me now. Me and the will to get to level 50.

It’s a collage of headshots and chainsaws that I conduct my orchestra of death. One by the corner gets a brains touched up, one by the sandbags gets ripped through the torso by gunfire, one that got to close gets a punch to the face followed by a chainsaw through the legs. Body parts start to coalesce around me, the spattering of my footsteps through their guts the only sound I can hear besides my own wild screams.

A poison grenade sails over my head and hits the back wall. I run to the left only to find another one coming in. I do my Captain Kirk roll forward trying to escape the toxic fumes. I am met by yet another grenade, and another, and another. Explosions tear though the fog that has become accented by the flashes of my barrel. It’s a light show guaranteed to send lesser individuals into epileptic shock.

I go down, sputtering and gasping my last curses—“You sonsabitches.”

I’m barely moving, my gaming thumbs just twitching mindlessly on their own. On screen my digital character—no, that’s not right—my digital patriot tries to crawl away from the certain death he and I face, but it’s no use and he knows it. He is able to get to my own grenade boobie trap that I had set incase things got to bad. They are bad now. 5 follow me and are met with shrapnel handshake, tearing them in two. But there are many more of them and I’m out of tricks.

They gather around us, 20 if it were 1, like Jodie Foster in the accused. We will fall short of our quest but we met our end with honor, dignity and a body count to rival any Swartzenager movie.

Tell the world………………………………..

……………….that we tried……………………………………………..

Clear Instructions

The thing is, I know better. I have been a parent long enough to know that if you are going to give instructions to your child, they need to be clear and detail every single step you expect them to accomplish. The belief in my parenting awesomeness has made me lax.

We were out in the front yard at about 11 am finishing up some yard decorations and lights. My daughter told me she had to go to the bathroom, no problem. I told her to go on inside and compete her transaction, tip the waitress and come on back. In the meantime, I would complete the fire hazard that I was constructing in the front yard.

I think of my lights and Christmas decorations as a fire beacon, to shine forth in the darkness of night to give travelers and extra star to navigate by. My star just happens to contain multicolored lights that rock out to “Carol of the Bells.” God thinks it’s cool.

A few minutes later, Little Hoss comes back out of the house. There were a million things that could have gone wrong with my instructions to her earlier to go potty. She could have come inside and crapped on the floor as I didn’t specify that she should actually go to the bathroom. She could have peed in a cup, then went upstairs and splashed it all over the walls. She could have gotten on the phone, called all her friends, they could have all come over and had a pee everywhere slumber party.

All those things might have been preferable to what actually did happen. As she was walking out of the garage to come rejoin the family, she was naked. Well, almost naked. She had on her winter pink hat that she loves so much. That was it. My stark naked little girl in a little pink hat walking toward the sidewalk.

God damnit.

My one big responsibility in life is to keep my daughter off the pole. That’s it, that’s my job. Whatever else may happen, if I keep her from being a stripper named Candy, then I have done my job as a father. However, public displays of nakedness is not a good start.

She makes it all the way to the sidewalk before I can get over there. Let me tell you, and as a father and a man I’m very aware of this, you do not want to be seen chasing a toddler down the street as she is screaming. That is a very, very bad idea. There is no way in hell you are ever going to convince anyone that you are not a pedophile. You might as well go ahead and pick out your paint swatches for your brand new cell that you will share with Bubba the Ass Pounder.

I quickly turn her around and ask, of course, “What the hell?”

“I go potty, Daddy.” She says.

“Yes, I’m sure you did and it was a very good potty indeed.” It’s always important to be encouraging even in times of crisis. “Now go inside and get your pants and big girl panties.” I say

Do you see it. Do you see the fatal flaw in my instructions? Any normal person would assume that I said Go PUT your pants and big girl panties on then you can come back outside to enjoy in this family moment that we are having. But I didn’t say that. I said just to go get them.

And that’s what she did. She went inside, got her big girl panties and her pants, did not put them on, then came right back outside buck naked.

“Daddy, Daddy, I got my big girl panties!” She screams. Then she streaked across the neighbors front yard as I chased her. This is so not good.

Again, God Damnit.