1/25/09

Mangroup

Father's don't have playgroups. Playgroups are for women to get around to make quilts and scrapbooks. Playgroups are for little wee ones to prance around and do some skipping, perhaps talk about the color pink a lot. I don't know really, because I've never been to a playgroup.

I go to Mangroup. That's what stay at home dad's do. Screw playgroup, bring on Mangroup. We do things like teaching our children how to defend themselves against Pinko Communist Charlie. We talk to each other about the best sniper positions in our neighborhood to accomplish recon. We tell our children that the 72 Dolphins were the best team ever, no more discussion. It's fact, look it up.

And apparently stay at home dad's decide that it's a great idea to have a barbecue at the park in the middle of January. It would appear that Mangroup maybe a little stupid as well.

But dumb as we might be at times, we are still tough. We are not sissies. We arrived at the playground and immediately put our kids in the circle of death, also known as the sandbox, and the day was on.

Dirt was flying and the fathers were all looking proud. Because we are tough and expect our kids to be tough and...........

"Dude, what are you doing with the paper towels? I know the slide is dirty, but what's with the paper towels? You are going to clean the slide? Dude, there are stay at home mom's here. They are judging us. We're supposed to be tough. Dirt is tough, we love dirt. Look at my kid in the sandbox, she is already got a mouthful of dirt. What, it's wet too? Ok, go ahead and clean it off. That's actually a good idea. But don't let the mom's see you, we'll never hear the end of it. Do you mind if I borrow one for my dirt-eating kid? Thanks."

It may have been cold but cold means nothing to the tough and rowdy bunch of the stay at home dad Mangroup. The cold just passes over us like an early morning piss chill. We shake it off and so do our kids, because we are raising tough kids. Kids that are self sufficient. Kids that can realize it's cold and so go rake a pile of leaves to lie under to conserve body heat. We are raising Bear Grylls type of kids.

"Hoss, for being such a tough guy, your kids sure do whine a lot."

The grill came out. And no sissy propane grill. No this was a grill that required man made fire, and wood and charcoal and tons and tons of lighter fluid. Later we would teach the kids the how to spell S.O.S. in Morse code with the smoke. And then to use the rest of the fire to sharpen the end of their homemade spears. That's what we do at man group, raise children that could kick any other kids' ass in Lord of the Flies. Give me the fucking Conch!

"Here sweety, come to Daddy. Did you fall down? Does it hurt? Do you want me to kiss it? There, all better. Daddy make it all better."

And there will be no fancy food served at this grill. If we were in France, they would be drinking beer. Yup, beer with the old man, a father's dream whether they are 21 or 2. Everyone brought some food and it was the same food. Hot dogs. Made from cows, pigs, a goat or two and possibly some sort of amazon creature that is now extinct. Because we teach our kids to eat meat because meat is manly.

"Hey guys, can we have some of your carrots? All we brought was Fruit Loops and I'm feeling kinda bad because all of you are busting out the grapes, carrots and ohh are those fresh strawberries?"


And after our manly lunch we set up a competition because every child needs to compete at something at all times. A bike race, yes, that seems very American and Stay at Home Dads are the most fucking American people on the planet. We will have ribbons and we will scream at the coach of the bike race because he is under utilizing our all-star. Quit holding them back or I swear to god I will grab that hockey stick and............

"Come on son, don't you want to ride the bike instead of the little truck? Look at the bike, it's great. I tell you what, I'll see if I can go get you one of those cool pink helmets, won't that be neat? No? Ok, let's just ride the truck for a little longer."


After the bike race, the children will get together to share some camaraderie. They will slug each other in the shoulder and get into deep philosophical discussions about the use of the timeout before kicking a field goal.

"Son, let go of my pants leg. Come on man, let go of my pants leg. Go play with some of the other kids. Come on boy, do it for daddy? Screw it, give me a hug instead. Do you want a hug? A little bitsy hug. Of course you do."

Triumph, good nature laughs, little two year old bar brawls. It's all part of the Mangroup. Independent children who are tough as nails because their father's are the same.

"Ok, does everyone have their blankie, Arnie or armchair cover? We don't need any meltdowns on the ride home."

Yup, Mangroup. Were men are men and our children are our minions destined to dominate the world.

"Who's going to scrapbook this weekend?"

1/22/09

Personal Spin Control

I am not fat, I am big boned.

I am not lazy, I am aggressively seeking napping opportunities

I do not procrastinate, I thourghly plan for tomorrow.

I am not bald, I am conserving hair.

My kids do not watch to much t.v., they absorb culture

My house is not dirty, we cultivate fungus.

I do not have fat feet, I have a wide base for support.

I do not have bad fashion sense, I am setting my own trend.

My daughter is not destrcutive, she is constructing new works with the given materials at hand.

I do not neglect my kids, I am teaching them to be self sufficient.

I do not eat to many girl scout cookies, I am conducting quality control tests.

I do not have weak ankles, I have delicate features.

I do not play video games to much, I am acting as a role model to millions of nerds.

I do not cuss to much, I am a straight shooter.

That's not a mole, that's a beauty mark.

Those are not ear hairs, those are little shots of brillance pouring out of my skull.

I do not have body odor, I have a personal manly musk.

My pants do not have holes, they have proper ventalation.

I am not a house mom, I am the XO of a high powered machine.

My son does not throw food on the floor, he is testing the aerodynamics of meat.

I am not a blogger, I am a social scientist commenting on complexities of the American family.

1/21/09

My Garbage

I am embarrassed of my garbage. I know, it sounds like a weird thing to say but it's true.

We are still new enough to this neighborhood that I still feel like we are constantly being judged by the old ladies and their binoculars sitting behind their curtains. I imagine them eating crackers and talking to the cat: "Oh, those new people are so filthy." Crunch, munch crunch. Bitches.

Normally I try to make the garbage we take out very tidy. I dread to be known as the person that puts loose stuff out the night before and have it blow over. Don't get me wrong, I'm white trash at heart, but there it's just to much to have a bag of used diapers spill over and sit there in the mush.

Because the garbage men won't pick that shit up and I don't blame them. Their jobs are hard enough without Mr. Dillweed who can't figure out how to use a twist tie.

I believe that a person's garbage says alot about you. Check it out one day, just walk by your neighbors garbage and see if you can make some snap judgements.

Lot of beer bottles--closet alcoholic that probably does porn on the side.

More than 2 cereal boxes--can't cook and is a methhead that craves sugar.

A tube of toothpaste and and old sock--into some really, really freaky stuff that would make the Internet look tame.

25 full black garbage bags, one full garbage can, and 5 kitchen trash bags sitting by the curb---the gross stay at home father of two who just moved to our neighborhood and is probably a registered sex offender.

That's right, 25 black garbage bags and 5 kitchen bags boxed in ever so neatly by the garbage can itself, it would appear that my family is that gross and the little old lady is about to have a stroke as she counted them.

I don't do this every week of course, but this is the second time and one more and it officially becomes a pattern. The first time was when trimmed all my monstrous trees in the backyard. What I thought had to be giant sequoias turned out to be nothing more than a tall twig.

This time it was because I finally got my lazy ass down in the basement (still creepy) and broke down all the boxes and the paper that was in them. We have 50 boxes and all were filled with packing paper. I thought for a while that we would recycle them but then I remembered that I'm really not that good of a person and I only recycle when people watch me. As no one was watching and most of you don't know where I live, fuck it, I'll admit that I got tired of the fire hazard and just decided to throw it all away to the landfill to be dealt with by future generations. You could say that it is my legacy to my children.

It's tough getting that much garbage stacked neatly on the little space between the sidewalk and the street. I don't want to actually block the sidewalk, that's just rude and I don't want to actually put any bags on the actual street. I take full responsibility for my trash and that means it stays on my very brown yard that would probably be green if I paid as much attention to it as I do my garbage.

I tried stacking them in pyramids of 5 but I wasn't happy with the feng shui and the aura. Then I lined it up in a very nice row but discoed that 25 bags stretched end to end would circle the globe five times over and therefore end up in my neighbor's yard, making them judge me even more.

Finally, I did a very symmetrical pattern 2 deep with a space between every 4th one. I felt that this design said look at that guy, he's obviously responsible, I bet he recycles.

I put it out the night before because I knew there was no way that I was going to get up early enough to beat the garbage man to the street. They only come once a week and if I missed this week I would have a cardiac arrest by next week with the shock of the extra garbage and the little old lady judgement. It was almost like I snuck it out in the middle of the night.

When we got up at 7:00am the garbage was still there. Most times the garbage men come that early but they appeared to be running slow. I believe it is because they also judge me because I bet my garbage is stinkier than most. Lots of diapers in this house.

By 7:30 I was looking out the window every 5 minutes to see if it was picked up yet. No go. But I was lucky enough to see each and everyone of my neighbors leave for work and drive by my house and look at my massive amount of garbage. Some even slowed down.

7:45, no luck. 7:50, just me and the dogs. 8:00 and now the second wave of morning commuters are starting to drive by. It's at this point that I consider popping a Xanex to deal with my pending panic attack. It's funny, I'm a guy that usually doesn't give a crap what a lot of people think about me. I quit my job and took a very nontraditional role as a house husband, a kept man, the child rearing gimp. But the garbage makes me anxious.

8:30 finally comes and the garbage men finally arrive to take away my shame but not before the little old cat talking ladies activated their phone tree to let everyone know about the new guy douchebag and his 25 bags of garbage. If they break a hip I hope it hurts.

What..............?

LOST is such a mind fuck.

1/19/09

The Price of Adult Coversation

The Hossman family is still pretty new to this town. Just like the hillbillies, we packed up everything, threw grandma on the top of the truck, and headed to new digs. We don't have a cement pond though, just piles and piles of dog crap that I am forced to pick up by myself because everyone else in the family thinks it's "too disgusting."

Hey, look, life is disgusting. Why the hell do I get all the gross jobs anyway? They are FAMILY dogs, not MY dogs alone. So grab a shovel, a quart of gasoline and let's go get some dog poop.

So as we are new we have had to replace everything that we left. This is the main reason why moving sucks such massive, massive donkey balls and I would highly recommend against it. You have to find new doctors who won't laugh at that little bump on your junk, you have to find new stores that won't judge you to harshly when your credit card is declined, and you have to find a new mechanic that won't totally ass rape you for a 5 dollar gasket, shitheads.

You also have to find new friends to go have dinner with kids about the same age as yours so they can entertain each other and can be totally ignored by grownups. This is called "parenting" for those not familiar with it. It's a trick between neglecting the children just enough that you still feel good about yourself but not enough that the police come.

This past weekend Hossmom and I tried out some new friends from my Dad's group for a weekend dinner. They have a son my daughter's age and a daughter my son's age. Everyone is going to get married and live in a big compound on day like Mormons, but without the weirdness. I prefer the term survivalists instead, that's still less weird than Mormons.

I apologize to all my Mormon readers, you are awesome. May you have many wives and never get busted.

Anyway, we packed up Gozar the Gozarian and her little brother into the car and headed off to a nice evening.

We get there and things seem to be going pretty well. The other Dad and me know each other from our group so we are chatted right along about which stain remover actually gets the stains out and the wives seem to be hitting it off pretty well also. This is always a good sign, it means that I may get to come out and play more often. I like getting out to play and it's even better when I don't have to come home when the streetlights come on.

Of course, in a strip club the street lights never come on.------sorry, just realized what a crap joke that was. In fact, I don't even know where I was going with that. It sounded funnier in my head. Let's get back to the story.

So things are going pretty well. We have dinner--homemade lasagna. It was awesome. My daughter is sitting at the little table with the other little boy. They have decided fuck it, they don't want to eat the lasagna that the dad had obviously spent time on. They want crackers instead. So we gave them crackers but just enough grapes to go with it that we could make a reasonable argument at a balanced meal.

My son was on his best behavior and did not pelt anyone in the head with any food. There was some screaming of course, but I assume that he was just showing off his war cry. That's my boy.

We move the party into the living room still enjoying the conversation. Although with kids you have to understand that any conversation that you are having has to be raised at least 20 decibels and can be interrupted at any time because someone has to show daddy that they can hop. Yes, yes honey, I see you hopping. Here, have a grape.

Pretty soon my daughter and his son go into the basement. This is his playroom and he was showing my daughter. The other dad said that his son plays down there all the time and everything is fine. At this point I should have pointed out that his son is not the total Destructor that my Little Hoss is but it slipped my mind. Fine, I was drinking, I'll admit it. But the kids did have grapes so I'm not all bad.

Over the next 45 minutes the kids stay down in the basement. The door is open and we can here them laughing and playing. I'm feeling pretty good about Little Hoss because she has been the angel I hope for all day. She has shared toys, said please and thank you and has not once farted out loud. I am father of the year.

And it was nice to have some adult conversation that did not revolve around the color of poop.

My wife and I have a general rule when going over to people's houses that we don't know that well. We don't talk about religion, sex or politics. Such as: "I love to bang Baptist politicians while getting a Cleveland steamer." That kind of conversation is more appropriate for the second couple date.

Shortly my little Mongo comes up from the basement and goes to her mother. "Momma" she says. "I need wash hands."

What a good little girl I think, knowing when she needs to wash her hands and asking for help in doing it.......................Wait, what the hell does she need to wash her hands for.

You would think that me, knowing my Genghis Khan of a daughter, would have caught on much quicker.

We all look at her hands and they are black. My first thought is Pen, she got a pen and has done horrible horrible things. I know my daughter, at least I thought I did.

Immediately every parent's spidey sense goes off and we decide that we need to go down to the basement to see what is going on. When we get there, well,.....it ain't good.

This is where I point out that everyone saw their son as well and his hands were black to. It's important that I bring that up.

It would appear that our new friends keep a very big potted plant in the basement. And being a plant, it needs dirt. And being the good plant people that they are, they have supplied this plant with a very rich black soil complete with fertilizer. Or at least they did until my daughter got a hold of it.

She took the dirt, one little tiny hand full at a time, and preceded to spread it all around their nice, clean basement like she was in Shawshank redemption. It is all over the place. It's on the couch, it's on the shelves, it's everywhere. Black soil, ground in, with little white specs of fertilizer. That's my mongo, right there.

"Wow" was about the only word any of use could manage to mumble. The level of destruction was quite well done. I mean it was just everywhere and I think that all of us just forgot to get mad. It was parental shock. Normally I would beat some ass when this occurred but I just never thought she would destroy someone else's house.

I asked the other dad if their son has ever done this before, ever played in the potted plant? "no" he replied. "He's down here all the time and this is the first time he has ever done this."

Fantastic.

You see, I explain it as the Bonnie and Clyde theory. Clyde was going along just fine until Bonnie came over and told him to rob banks. In this case, the plant had never been touched by unloving hands until my little Gozar the Gozarian choose her form of destruction and got a little boy to help her. She was the instigator, I have no doubt.

At this point, I'm not sure if we were asked to leave or we ran out on our own. Either way, the party was over. On the way out, as I was apologizing for my ape of a daughter, the other mom said something that rang true with me.

"Totally worth it."

This is another reason you need new parent friends. An hour of quiet at the cost of destruction is usually totally worth it.


1/16/09

A Hossman Rerun: Trekkie Support Club

Hello, my name is Hossman, and I am a Trekkie.

You reply—Hello Hossman.

I know all the actual serial numbers of every Enterprise. And yes Shorty, there is more than one Enterprise. Most forget about the one that was destroyed defending the Klingon base on Kitymar because it had only a short run.
I have had serious debates over who is the better captain, Picard or Kirk and to a lesser extent the one that Scott Bacula played.
I know the name of the first actual captain of the enterprise and no, it wasn’t Kirk
I know the actual actors names of every major character, including guest appearances.
I know where the science station is located compared to the weapons or navigation. On both shows.

You reply—we still love you Brother!

I know what the T stands for in James T. Kirk.
I know where Picard was born.
Every cell phone that I buy MUST flip open so I can imagine that I am using a communicator.
I was once disappointed because when I got my new toy phaser, it didn’t actually stun anyone.
I know that Tasha Yar once had relations with an Android and I thought that was cool.

You Reply—Sing to Jesus, Brother

When I realized that Star Trek didn’t really exist, it was worse than finding out the truth about Santa Claus.
I know exactly how fast “Warp 1” is.
I know who is the inventor of the Warp Drive Engine.
I know the physics behind the “Picard Maneuver”

You Reply—We forgive you!

I know the age at which Spock’s Father died, and I know his name.
I know his mother’s name and place of birth.
My brother once punched me for telling him that I thought Star Trek was stupid. I agreed with him punching me.
When a fellow Trekkie showed up for jury duty in her official star trek uniform, I thought that was a great idea.

You Reply—Bring it home Father Hossman

Bring up any episode, of any show, and I can tell you what it is about based on one line of dialog.
I judge people that are fans of Deep Space Nine or Voyager, because they have gotten away from the roots that is Star Trek.
I truly believe that you can time travel if you sling shot around the sun.
I can tell you in what movie or show you are watching based on the style of uniform that is being worn.
I avoid wearing tight red shirts and black pants so I won’t be the first crew member killed.

You Reply—Preach to us, convert us!

I know how to play Star Trek chess with three levels.
I was disappointed when I discovered that I couldn’t Mind Meld with the dog.
I named my dog Kahn, after the Wrath of Kahn.
Wrath of Kahn is my fantasy football name.
I considered naming my child Tiberius.
I know what frequency of phaser is best suited to slicing through the atmosphere of a planet to dig a hole on the ground.

You Reply----I feel the spirit of the Kirk, I feel the spirit of the Kirk!

I describe my address in terms of which Quadrant of the Neutral Zone I live in.
If in your campaign you mention anything about Star Trek, you will get my vote.
I believe the Prime Directive could fix the BCS.
I am afraid that other Trekkie’s will not think that I am Trekkie enough.

You Reply—Have no fear, have no fear.

My secret ambition is to learn to read and write Kligon fluently.
I celebrate the future birthday of James T. Kirk.
I know that when I meet a green skinned hot alien, I will have to make out with her
I think that fans of Battlestar Galatica are rip off copy cats.

You reply—let them burn, let them burn.

I say “engage” everytime I press the gas pedal on my car.
I let people know that “I’m a doctor damit, not a faith healer” every chance I get.
I wish I had green Vulcan blood.
I wish I had a convention costume.

You reply—come join us, come join us.

I do believe that there is an alien world out there where the super hot aliens where nothing but loin clothes and are in open marriages.
I can sing the theme song.
I boldly go where no man has gone before.

You reply-We will follow.

Let us pray.

1/14/09

The Wall

I don't want to do shit today, not a damn thing.

I hit this wall every now and then as a stay at home dad. I wake up and I think, fuck it, I'm not getting up. I'm going to let my kids stumble downstairs by themselves and cook there own breakfast. If it happens to be pudding and candy, fuck it, I don't care.

Then they can watch as much TV as they want. Dora, Backyardigans, Porn, whatever. If they can figure out how to work the remote, then it's all thiers.

I'm going to let them fight and see who gets the conch. I'm tired of breaking up the cage matches. If my son wants to pick up the plastic bat to protect himself, more power to him. Just aim for the knees son, Little Hoss is pretty stout and she goes from the top rope.

I'm going to let them answer every phone call that comes to the house. I don't care who it is. If the prince of Nigeria calls asking for help moving a million bucks to the United States, fantastic. If my brother calls wanting something, he can get it from the two year old. He's been a dick the last week anyway.

I'm not going to argue with anyone today. In fact, I'm totally giving in. I'm going to let Little Hoss tell me "I can't" as much as she wants today. "No Daddy, I can't take a nap." "No Daddy, I can't change a flat tire." Fine, you win today. I have no idea how my life turned into a debate with a child anyway.

I'm going to let my son chunk all his food on the floor, as much as he wants. Screw it, maybe he'll learn the lesson. The lesson that says QUIT THROWING YOUR GOD DAMN FOOD ON THE GOD DAMN FLOOR!

I'm going to let my daughter pick out her own clothes and the clothes for her brother. Currently she is wearing snow pants, her Dora pajamas and two shoes that don't match. It looks like I dressed her.

I'm going to let all the cats and dogs puke all they want, wherever they want. Then I'm going to let them live outside forever and ever and ever. Go ahead, one of you piss on the floor just one more time.

I'm going to let every sales person that comes to my door come in and talk as much as they want. I will be asleep so if you can sell that fantastic dog house siding to a two year old, man you are a hell of a salesman. She's got no money though so you may have to work out a payment plan. I tell you what, you leave the siding and I'm sure my son won't bite you. Maybe. No promises.

No diapers for anyone today, we are all going comando. Clean your own messes.

For dinner, everyone gets whatever my son threw on the floor today. I'm not cooking.

Everyone can scream and whine as much as they want to today. I've got my IPod in and I refuse to acknowledge you.

Here, everyone can play on the computer. In fact, type the blog.

aeoiuewqnmdshadsahewa a;lkjsa;lkjdsaiuajr;lkjdsaijfdsaoiufdsalkfds;lkj i

Look at that, it's a funny joke and you managed to order some medications from Canada, well done kids.

But of course, I can't do this. I can't do any of this. Because what if they actually got along fine and didn't need me. What if I became obsolete? Who would need me? What would be my purpose? What if I'm outsourced to a hot british nanny and I'm not even there to enjoy the hot British Nanny? What good would that be.

Who would "accidentaly" walk in on her in the shower and then slowly and awkwardly turn around ever so slowly while singing "Spoon full of sugar." The opportunity would be totally wasted on my 1 year old son. Ok, so I'm going to get out of bed and I'm going to be father of the year.

For the British Nanny.

1/9/09

Not So Fast

I have been thinking that I have been turning into a little bit of a sissy. Discussing and doing things that perhaps I wouldn't normally do, such as wondering what my horseshoe hair would look like with highlights.

As a stay at home dad raising a daughter and a son, this can be difficult. Am I turning a little too sissy? Is my mangina fully and completely formed and am I transferring that to my children? Are they going to be wimps, whining at the drop of the hat?

There's my son who seems to have a problem taking a punch from his older sister. And my daughter who I used to think was pretty tough until she started demanding ever princess toy ever made by Disney. We are singularly responsible for keeping that company from feeling the effects of the recession.

I've always been a pretty tough character, at least in my own head. In Mexico once, a bunch of us tried to prove how manly and tough we were by grabbing a live car battery and holding on until there was only one left. The little Mexican dude kicked up the juice higher and higher. First there were six, then there was only Hossman. Now you know how I got the nickname and the stutter.

So in the year that I have stayed home with the kids, this has been somewhat of an adjustment for me.

Will my kids turn out to be somewhat light in the toughness department?

The answer to this question came at one of our playgroups. A couple of stay at dads and I were hanging out, letting our little girls play in the other room.

We heard some ruckus in the other room so we went to check it out.

There were our three little girls, all under the age of 3, running back and forth. Two of them appeared to be chasing the other. The other had a football cradled in her arm. Hand over one end of it and the other neatly nestled appropriately in the elbow.

Back and forth they went, trying to tackle each other.

Yup, we are all good here in the Hossman household.

1/7/09

A Mickey Mouse Operation

We are running a Mickey Mouse operation, I have no doubt about it.

That's the term my grandfather would use. He would use it when something was cheap or suspect. For example, that car that you bought that has now broken down 6 times after leaving the lot, well, you bought that from a Mickey Mouse dealer. Or the people that made your computer that is now infected digitial gonorrhea, that's a Mickey Mouse operation.

Or the 7 foot homemade pole that I have in my hand. That is certainty Mickey Mouse.

I'll admit, I haven't unpacked all of my tools yet. That's a problem but the truth is I don't have any place to put them. So as a result, sometimes I am forced to use other instruments that were not designed to be tools. Such as a butter knife as a screwdriver. Big time Mickey Mouse.

This time it's that my ladder is about 6 feet too short to go where I need to go.

The problem with buying a foreclosed house is the amount of repairs that need to be done. In this particular case, the dryer vent leading to the outside is blocked, stuffed with lint and god knows what else. I'm guessing it's where the last owners stuck left over body parts from there massive killing spree. I might find a gold tooth.

The dryer vent has a plastic covering over it that I suppose is supposed to block birds and whatnot from getting up there. However, it does an equally good job of keeping things in. Believe it or not, it's something designed that works to well. It is the Alcatraz of dryer covers, not Mickey Mouse at all. Only my solution to the problem is.

The vent is on the backside of our house, where our walk out basement comes out. As a result, it's about 3 stories up instead of 2. My ladder can't reach it, which probably has saved my life as my ladder buckles a little every time I lug my pudgy frame on it. But this has to be fixed because otherwise we can't dry the massive amounts of laundry that my family comes up with. Seriously, it's like I'm working at a laundry mat, only without the drive through service.

I fully blame the kids and the wife for this one. They all go through a minimum of 3 outfits a day. I wear the same jeans for 3 days in a row. This isn't me this time. I mean, god damn, can we all just manage not to drop something red and wet on ourselves?

My solution is the pole of destiny, the mickey mouse tool that I have made out of a broom handle, a 3 foot scrap of wood, a coat hanger and a roll of duct tape. Duct tape should never be given to any man, ever. With a roll of duct tape a man is convinced that he can fix anything and it will hold. All because of Apollo 13 where they fixed a filter and made it back. We all think we can do that. It's given us some false sense of hope. Surely if duct tape can fix millions of dollars of machinery, I should be able to create a tool, no problem right?

It's not the genius of NASA engineers that fixed the space shuttle, it was duct tape. We totally forget about the combined experience and intelligence of everyone involved and give full credit to duct tape, the greatest invention ever. It should be banned from all households unless you have a degree from MIT and you can prove that you have never used it to tape a buddy to a wall.

But it's not banned and I've got it into my head that my 7 foot constructed Pole of Destiny can do this job without killing me or maiming my family. I will probably only lose an eye. Then I will sue the makers of duct tape.

The scrap wood is taped to the broom handle. On top of the scrap wood is the remains of a coat hanger that I have bent into a hook. I got this idea from constantly using the same coat hanger to dig the large amounts of hair out of the shower drain. Again, I am bald. This one is not my fault either but somehow I end up with the job. Mickey Mouse all the way.

I climb up on to my ladder to about as high as I can go without an oxygen mask and a Sherpa to guide me. Now it's time to see if the pole will work. My wife is "helping" by having the phone ready with 9-1 already dialed making it a little bit quicker should something go wrong, which it probably will. This is how my wife normally "helps". I think she does not have any confidence in duct tape.

I push the pole up and use my years of game playing, which has given me tremendous hand/eye coordination, to thread the end of it through the opening of the cover. Tension builds, the ladder groans. A lone bird flies by. I pull.

Poof, a big wad of lint comes out.

I am AWESOME! I am not running a Mickey Mouse operation! I am running a finely tuned 500 power horsepowered masterpiece of parenting! I throw my hands up in the air in victory, almost fall off my ladder just as Hossmom was dialing the last 1, and get ready to complete the task at hand with my pole of destiny.

As I get ready for round two of lint cleaning and walking on water I notice that my pole is about a foot shorter than it was a minute ago. I look up and the coat hanger part of my pole has come loose and is currently hanging from the vent.

Shit.

I am running a Mickey Mouse operation.

1/4/09

My Mangina

“Dude! I have this cookbook!” I said. “It’s awesome. Seriously, dude, have you tried the smothered chicken yet?”

“No man, not yet, but I’m going to this weekend” the other dad said.

This conversation, about a god damn cookbook, went on for about an hour. When it was done and I was sitting alone, I realized that I may have a problem. It slowly just came to me, very slowly apparently as it has taken me almost a year to realize it.

Dear Jesus, I have a mangina. Sweet holy mother of god, I have a mangina.

Shock was what I experienced. Like the shock you get when you think you are about to get a blowjob and instead the girl you’re making out with starts sticking fingers where they don’t belong. Not that you don’t appreciate the effort but, um, I don’t think I’m into that. Especially on my roommates couch. And his mom was coming over tomorrow. And would probably sit on that couch.

For the record, I was the roommate and my mom did in fact sit on that couch. When the confession was made, I was shocked just like I am now when I realize that I may have a mangina.

What’s happened? Where did it go wrong. I have been doing this stay at home dad thing for almost a year now. I was going to do it my way. It was going to manly all the way. We were not going to make any excuses or any apologies. We were going to go balls to the wall, no holds bard, full on man child raising.

For the most part we have. But somewhere along the way, I’m guessing probably between changing diapers in restaurants and pushing the stroller to the doll aisle, my balls must have completely dropped off and morphed into a mangina.

It was slow at first, things that you wouldn’t really think about. The family needed to eat, Dad was at home, so Dad starting cooking dinner. Shortly, I got tired of spaghetti night, we needed something a little more nutritious. What about chicken? That sounds good,mmmm, yeah chicken with a little rice. What about a sauce, I bet a good slightly tangy sauce, maybe with a little lemon and garlic. Fantastic.

Next thing you know, I have 4 different cook books, a garlic press and several recipes of things that I cannot even remotely pronounce. Steak Au Pouvre. Yup, I can cook it and I mispronounce it ever single time.

It just snowballed from there until the snow ball that was gently tossed down Mt. Kilimanjaro has gathered enough mangina power to turn itself into a full fledged hot flash.

I find myself watching QVC from time to time.

I go shopping and yes, it indeed makes me feel better to buy something pretty for myself—like a new video game.

I actually thought about writing Hints from Heloise to find out what gets smudges off the wall without ruining the paint.

I have a sewing kit. I am going to patch my blue jeans and some socks.

I bake cookies.

When I take a shower at home, I do not throw my towel on the floor.

I can’t sleep at night if the kitchen is dirty.

Jenn? Anglina? Jenn? Anglina? Oh, the heartbreak.

Today I actually put conditioner in my hair, for possibly the first time in my life, and I don’t even have that much hair.

Not all clothes go into the dryer. Some have to be hung up. And there is, to my surprise, a setting for “cold” and “hot” on the washing machine and this indeed makes a difference.

I spit on a napkin to clean my daughter’s face.

But alas, this is not the worst of the mangina, the loss of my manhood. It gets much, much worse.

I sit down to take a piss. And I don’t even call it taking a piss anymore. Instead, we all go “potty.” A word that is as distasteful to me as cockguzzeling twat mongler may be to others. In short, it is close to a swear word as it can be without putting fuck before or behind it.

I have no choice, I have to sit down to take a leak. For some reason my kids love to follow me into the bathroom. If the door is ever closed a full on Attica riot ensues and the door is busted down. And as such, standing up to take a leak poses problems to one year old children that want to reach out and touch it. It affects my aim somewhat to be holding off one kid with one leg while grabbing the other kid with my only free hand and avoid what is known in the business as “splatter”.

So I sit to pee-pee, and my mangina is complete. Then we will all read the latest copy of US Weekly. Brittany is so crazy. And Brad, you stupid pottyfuck.