12/22/09

What Santa Wants

I'm guessing by now all your presents are wrapped and under the tree. The kids like to come in and shake them, perhaps open a few when the parents are asleep and then cleverly re-wrap them thus giving them the best 3 nights of Tecmo Bowl a child could ever have. (sorry mom but it was worth it)

But that's not all the presents as we all very well know. Santa is coming and he brings presents to! Your kids are being extra special good because they love Santa. They are helping with the laundry, they are picking up their room and they are not pounding on their little brother like a speed bag in a basement gym in Chicago.

And on Christmas eve you and your family will follow the tradition of setting out cookies and milk for Santa.

Well, let me tell you something. I know Santa. I know him very, very well. You could say that I know him personally.

And Santa loves cookies and milk. But c'mon, maybe Santa would like something a little different this year. I heard, and I won't say from where, that Santa would appreciate a nice cold Corona with a fresh cut lime right next to his cookie plate. Milk is good but Santa has a tough job that night. He's got to visit the houses of billions of children all in one night.

And let's say in one particular house he has to put together several toys so that they'll be ready to roll in the morning. Let's face it, that bike isn't going to put itself together and nothing is more disappointing than getting a toy in a box that you have to wait to play with. Santa is a handy man, no doubt. In fact, Santa just helped a buddy remodel his bathroom, he's good like that. Yes, he can put together a bike. But it might take a while and the beer would be awful good.

But don't stop there. After all, Santa is giving so much of himself this year. Instead of cookies, if you TRULY love Santa, perhaps you should cook him a nice thick steak to go with that beer. Don't get me wrong, Santa still loves cookies, but Santa appreciates a good piece of meat with perhaps some sort of butter sauce on the side.

And since you are going to all that trouble, why not just go a little bit further. I would bet you dollars to donuts that Santa would think it's great if you added a baked potato with that steak and beer. Don't go cheap on Santa now.

I mean think about it, this is your last ditch effort to make the nice list. Maybe a certain 3 year old girl and a 2 year old boy are on the bubble. Maybe they won't make the cut. It couldn't hurt any to give yourself one big boost by getting that steak and potato ready and adding a chilled glass for the beer. You want Santa to have good thoughts and Santa is happiest digging into a dead cow carcus.

Listen, he loves your cookies. He thinks they are great. But Santa has a big night and needs all the energy he can. Do you really want Santa stopping by the 7-11 to pick up a muchaco? Probably not, what if he misses your house.

And if he misses your house, how is he going to have time to put together the toy lawnmower that a 2 year old boy has been drooling over. What if he gets tired and just leaves it in the chimney. He's already got to put together a bike. And let's be honest here, those instructions are going to be in Japanese and Santa doesn't read Japanese. He's going to be tired and he is going to be frustrated because his drill isn't all the way charged up.

Maybe he'll have the shakes because he didn't get enough to eat. So when he's opening the box the knife slips and he cuts his wrists. Bam, you killed Santa because you insisted on the cookies and milk routine. Besides, shouldn't Santa lay off the sweets, he does have a little bit of a weight problem.

This is just something to think about, something to chew on while you wait for your Christmas morning presents. But it would sure be a shame if the only thing keeping you from that dollhouse was a lousy steak.

But if you do lay out cookies..........

Santa prefers Peanut Butter ones.

12/21/09

The Downfall of Grandma

"What did you do to your grandmother." I asked both of the minions.

They just looked at me.

"Seriously, what did you do."

No answer.

I'm going to get an answer. I'm going to get an answer because I got a call from my mother 30 minutes ago telling me that she was "whipped" and asked how much longer my wife and I are going to be out Christmas Shopping. She was with the kids for 2 hours. Hossmom and I were hoping to finish the Christmas shopping and then go for a nice private dinner as we haven't' done that without the kids in a good year. We don't live near any family so baby sitters are hard to come by.

But when someone calls you and asks you how much longer are you going to be, that's code for "Please come home, dear god please come home before they make me a human sacrifice."


So I came home with the wife. We had no dinner. There were no bread sticks. There was no filling up on salad. There was no nice glass of water and a beer. What did I have instead? 3 day old chili. And now I'm gassy and have two children that in 2 hours wore grandma out to the point that she called me to come home.

We don't get to go to dinner often and when we do, there is usually a clown somewhere in the vicinity. And if not a clown, there are pancakes because that seems the only food that they won't throw in a crowded restaurant. I find this odd as pancakes are an obvious substitute for a Frisbee. We could play pancake golf. At least then I could get in on the action.

I asked grandma what happened, did they misbehave?

"No, no, no." She exclaimed. "They were angels. But they sure are an active duo."

I think Grandma is covering for them. She is grandma after all. She dotes on the kids. Buys them gifts for no reason. Gives them cookies for dinner and at every chance undoes all the work that my disciplined regime has instilled. Grandma is a nice lady. She is a caring person. And she is also a liar.

"Huh." I say. I'm not buying any of it.

I said again: "What did you two do to grandma?"

Still no answer.

I don't think the minions understand what this means. I was going to have a steak tonight. A big thick hunk of meat with a nice pink strip in the middle. It was going to be accompanied by a potato with just a little bit of butter. Maybe some green beans or if I was feeling saucy, just another potato. I'm Irish. And afterwards, if the wife and I weren't bloated from the eating, I might have gotten some nookie.

The wife and I would have talked about politics. We would have argued about health care. We would have made vacation plans that we never meant to follow through with. Although I swear to all that is holy, one day, I'm going to Tahiti.

There would have been no one grabbing across the table for a piece of my steak. There would have been no little hands fascinated with the little salt shakers. Sugar packets would have remained unopened and neatly placed in the little sugar packet holder. There would have been no bathroom trips where I had to apologize to someone already in there. It would have been a nice, quiet, wonderful dinner.

"Someone's not telling me the whole story here." I say. And this time I look at Grandma and the minions, my eyes sweeping across the room to find out who will crack first. It won't be Little Hoss, the kid has nerves of steal. Grandma would never rat out the kids. But Bubba Hoss? Maybe. Except he would have to live in constant fear of his big sister. So I got nothing.

Tacs in chairs, hiding under beds, coloring on walls. My mind races through the possibilities. I have spawned two Bart Simpsons. It wouldn't surprise me if one of them called the cops just to mess with grandma. They've done it before. When my daughter was a year and a half, she called 911. We believed it to be an accident. Now I'm not so sure.

Did someone get tied up? Was there an incident involving cookies and ice cream? Did they saddle the dog to perform in a little rodeo while they lassoed the cat and hog tied her? I look at the dogs, studying them as well. I know that they would like nothing better than to get to the cat and I wouldn't be surprised if they got the kids involved in their little jihad. The dogs say nothing as well. Just sitting on the floor next to the minions, looking stupid and fat.

When I was a kid, my brother and I got almost every spanking together. We wouldn't rat out each other so we took them together rather than tattle on one another. Now I understand the frustration that my father felt.

So I do the only thing I could. I sent everyone to bed. Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss, two dogs, and Grandma. All put their PJs on and went to bed.

The wife went to bed to.

Me,well, I got some more chili and watched the travel channel. Tahiti is looking nicer all the time.

A Day In The Life

Come over here.
Go over there.
Eat your lunch.
Don't throw your lunch on the floor.
Let the dog eat it.

I can handle this.

Don't hit your brother.
Don't hit the dog.
Don't hit me in the balls.
Don't hit the cat.
I told you not to hit the cat.

I can really handle this, I'm in complete control.

That's why we don't throw peanut butter and jelly, isn't it?
Clean it up.
Stop licking the wall.
Call the dog over.
Get off the dog.

They listen to me like I am speaking the gospel.

Put your socks on.
No, on your feet, not your hands.
Put both of your socks on.
Not on the same foot.
Just let me do it.

Seriously, I know what I'm doing.

Hold hands everybody, we have to be careful.
Look out for the car.
Don't throw rocks at the car.
We are almost there, everyone just keep walking.
Not backwards.

Sure, they take things a little to literal at times, but we'll get past it.

I see you, honey.
Yes honey, I see you.
Honey, I see you. Stop asking.
I don't need to come closer. I still see you.
Where did my daughter go?

We just have to stick to the routine.

Don't eat that off the floor.
Because it's gross.
Because I said so.
Because you'll get sick.
Go get the mop.

My life needs a theme song.

Yes honey, I see your butterfly wings.
No honey, you can't fly.
No honey, you can't climb on top of the car.
No honey, I won't help you.
No honey, I can't go faster.

Something with a good beat.

I like your toy cars, too.
I don't want to eat your toy cars.
Please move your toy cars out of my face.
Seriously, let's move the toy cars out of my face.
Because I already ate lunch.

And a big guitar riff.

You throw that and you're getting a timeout.
Now your sister's crying.
I'm going to let her punch you.
Don't punch your brother, I was just kidding.
Ok, everyone goes into timeout.

And girls with big hooters dancing on poles.

Put this in the laundry basket.
Take this out of the laundry basket.
Everyone get out of the laundry basket.
The laundry basket is going to break.
Everyone get out of the dryer.

I should be on TV.

That's AC/DC guys, they're cool.
That's Metallica, they're cool to.
That's Nirvana, they were once cool.
That's Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.
She's hot.

How am I not on TV?

I don't want to watch Dora.
I don't want to watch Diego.
I don't want to watch Wonder Pets
I don't want to watch Penguins.
Let's watch The Simpsons.

A TV show with my own theme music. That would be cool.

Let's go potty.
Ok, let's go pee-pee.
Wait, take your panties off first.
Not all the way off.
Because we are in a public restroom and it's creepy.

And I would do commercials.

This is my blog, honey.
Yes dear, I'm writing.
Yes dear, those are words.
I'm writing about you and your brother.
Because you are both funny.

But I couldn't handle the fame.

12/20/09

A Christmas Wish

Christmas week, is anyone going to read this? Let's find out. I'm going to be posting three new blogs this week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That should get everyone through work and into the holidays. The first one will be up today at noon and we'll go from there. It was either this or give you all an ashtray made by Little Hoss. Merry Christmas.

12/16/09

Lost Son

Let's get this straight. I think I'm funny as hell. And at least 41 people would agree with me. Now with that said, my kids also think they are funny as hell. To which I would reply: not as funny as you think you are and you are going to be a lot less funny when I bring the hammer down on you. Join me in this story. For parents, this story will probably bring back memories. For non parents, this will prevent you from having kids and staying child free as you whisk around Europe drinking Mojitos and meeting interesting people with names like Claude and Pfifer.

I was in the bathroom because that's the way all of my stories seem to start. The kids were watching their beloved Dora. Life was good. All was serene, gentle Hispanic music played in the background as I continued my current reading "The Grapes of Wrath." If you walked into my house and ignored the huge mess laying all around us, you would think "Wow, what a great dad. I want to bone him." And I would be ok with that.

I just finished a chapter and decided that the kids had been unsupervised for long enough. I wash my hands (or did I) and came on out. I found my daughter watching Dora and even singing along. But where was her brother. It is unlike my male minion to miss this cartoon.

"Little Hoss" I said. "Where's your darling brother."

"Don't know" she replied. Her answer was short and curt.

I don't like it when I don't know where the kids are. It usually means something is going to get broke and a cat might get tossed out a window. I would be ok with that second part. PETA can suck it.

I looked downstairs and couldn't see him. I walked through the living room, the kitchen, the play room and the dining room. No Bubba Hoss. He must be upstairs.

I went upstairs and checked his room. No Bubba Hoss. I went and checked his sister's room. No Bubba Hoss. I went and checked the bathrooms, my room and just in case, the spare bedroom that no one is allowed to go in. I looked under beds and I checked all the closets. No Bubba Hoss.

Now the parent part. For those of us who have found ourselves in this situation know the feeling you start to get when you can't find your kid in under 15 seconds. Your mind starts to wander, imagining some pretty dark stuff. Your heart sinks a little and the adrenaline starts to flow. But then you find them 10 seconds later and you laugh at your silliness. I had been looking for my son for 2 minutes, no kid. I start to become very concerned.

I go back downstairs. Now I'm calling his name. I'm not just saying it lightly, I'm yelling it. No answer. I start checking cabinets. My walking pace has quickened. I start opening closets that I missed before. Nothing. No answer to my calls. I'm starting to get a little panicky.

I head back up stairs and rip off my sweat shirt. I don't know why I did this but I remember I started to feel restricted, like I was having trouble breathing. I was going on the offensive and my blood was up. Because now more horrible thoughts started going through my head.

I'm almost jogging as I go through the house upstairs once again. Now I"m opening all the closets for a second time and doing a thorough. I'm flat out yelling his name and waiting for his answer. Nothing, not a sound.

I start thinking that someone has come into my house and stole my kid. It didn't occur to me that our downstairs bathroom is located directly between both doors and I have very loud dogs. They bark their heads off if a fly so much as lands on the window. But my mind wasn't right, I couldn't find my son.

My next thought is that he is hurt somewhere and just lying there helpless. Now I am jogging as I head downstairs. I check the basement thinking that maybe he got curious and somehow figured out how to open the door. Or more than likely, Little Hoss opened it for him. I search the basement which isn't hard, it's not finished and doesn't have much in it.

But then I realize that if she could open the basement door, she could open the back door or the front door. I run to the backyard and see nothing. I run to the front yard and see nothing. What if Bubba Hoss decided take a little walk around the neighborhood?

I'm at the point where I'm losing it. I'm terrified. My breathing is short and quick. Little Hoss is following me around the house yelling her brother's name as well. When I abruptly change direction she complains because she can't keep up. My temper is short and I tell her to button it. I ask her if she knows where her brother is. She says no. I don't know if I can believe her.

I head back up stairs because that is where my cell phone is. I'm going to call the police first then my wife.

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Hi, yeah, I was taking a crap and my son has gone missing. I think he was kidnapped or mailed to Russia by his big sister."

That would be a fantastic call. At this point, I want the whole national guard here.

I grab my phone and flip it open. Now I can't breath at all. I look over at my daughter and she is sitting on the bed smiling. ?????

I look where she is looking at.

Behind my bedside table, behind the sheer red curtains in my bedroom, I see the distinctive top curl of my son's hair. Below that, just above the table, I see his beady little eyes. I couldn't find my son for 15 good minutes. I yelled his name. I threatened his very existence. I came within a foot of him.

And he kept quiet. He didn't utter a single sound or a word.

I look back at his sister.

"We got you!" she says.

My son jumps up and pushes his melon head out of the curtain, laughing, laughing, laughing.

I feel like I want to puke. Then I want to hug him. Then I want to send him into time out until he is old enough to check into a nursing home. I want to do all these things at once.

Instead I just hang my head on the footboard of my bed, taking in deep breaths. One after another. For a good 10 minutes. All the while both of the minions are laughing like there is no tomorrow.

I decide to do two things when it's all calmed down. First, I'm going to call my own mother and apologize for ever scaring the shit out of her. After that, I took both kids and forced them to eat cookies and watch cartoons. Sitting on my lap. With my arms tightly wrapped around them.

Yes, you got me. You got me forever.

12/14/09

The Remote

She says that I lost it. She says it was my fault. She says that I had it last. Good job Perry Mason, it wasn't me though. I fully admit that I was sitting down watching The Simpsons because that's just good family TV. But then I sat the remote down and left the children to the best babysitter ever, Homer Simpson.

That's the last I saw of the remote. Hossmom deduces that since I had it last, that I was the one that misplaced it. Very nice, very neat case she has built there. It all comes together, no loose ends. Very well done.

Oh but wait, who else is in the house? Why, it's Bubba Hoss and Little Hoss. C'mon man, that's like assuming I'm the killer when my roommates are Ted Bundy and Charles Manson. I'm not saying that my kids are crazed murderers but they will cut you. and when it comes to the remote, they go for it like a fat kid goes for cake. Your case is full holes now, isn't it? And that, ladies and gentlemen, is called reasonable doubt.

Regardless though, it left us without the remote control. Combined with the lazy boy it becomes the single most identifier of the American male. and it shows our single greatest weakness: we are totally addicted to Tivo. Think you're not? Try it and see how well you fair. And if I'm an every day addict, then the kids are Keith Richards. By the way, I do realize that I have now compared my children to Ted Bundy and Kieth Richards in one blog. Turns out, I'm a bad father.

I got the shakes from the children asking me repeatedly for Dora, that cartoonish minx that is the bain of my world. Honestly, I'm not even sure how to work the TV without the remote. Do they even make them like that anymore? And the kids have never lived in a world without on demand TV. So I did the only thing that an addict can do. I ripped apart the house, systematically, piece by piece, looking for that last score.

In the living room I moved out every piece of furniture we had. I threw over all the cushions, I dug in all the crevices and I moved every knick nack that could possibly be kiestering my remote. I found 1 sipppie cup, 2 hot wheels cars, a dish towel from 1982, what looked to once have been an M&M and the tattered remains of my manhood. But no remote.

In the kitchen I emptied every drawer. I took out and checked every pot and pan. I looked in the pantry, opened a box of cookies just to make sure. I ate the hole box and still nothing. I went to the top cabinets even though they can't reach them. Because after all, they are my kids and history says that they will find a way. I even checked the dishwasher as that has been an issue in the past (I wrote a blog about that one.) Still, no remote.

I tore apart the playroom. Pulled down every book in case they had found a way to squish a remote between the pages. I checked every bin and punched every stuffed animal that I could find. I took the fabric off the bottom of our chairs because they are ingenious little bastards. Nothing. Only a 1/2 eaten muffin that is a least a year old and exactly 23 cents.

I did this to every room we had. Over 2 days I looked every where a remote could possibly be. I looked in the heating vents, jacket pockets and then traveled to the Bermuda triangle just to be sure. My thought was that if I actually touched every single thing in this house eventually I would come upon the remote. But just like Keyser Soze--puff, it was gone. 2 days and the only worth while thing I found was a couple of batteries that I think are still good. Christmas is around the corner.


After all this, Hossmom walked around the house with a smile on her face. It appears that in my search I had inadvertently done a deep clean on the entire place. She was happy, the thought of the remote gone.

Son of a bitch. Boys, I think we have a new suspect.

12/8/09

My Pot of Gold

My balls hurt. They have hurt for more than 8 hours. They still hurt. A lot. More specifically, it's like I've have been kicked in the balls. By a very vindictive nut-slapping leprechaun that for some reason has singled out my junk to hide his pot of gold. In this case, the pot of gold is a kidney stone and for some reason that makes your balls hurt. Eventually the doctor explained to me why this is but I didn't catch the gist of it as my balls were hurting.

The pain is located in my lower abdomen. Guys that have been kicked in the junk will know the feeling, because it felt exactly like that. It was a nice dull ache that began around 11:30 the other night. It was right when I was finishing up my last blog. I was minding my own business, then the leprechaun showed up and I felt, um, discomfort.

At first I thought that perhaps I had just adjusted wrong, it's been known to happen. After all, they aren't really protected. Great job on the human engineering there God, let's hang the most valuable part of me right out there in the open.

So I readjusted and waited. The nut throbbing pain was still there. I began to employ all the strategies that guys have learned over a lifetime of pissing off vindictive women who have knees and aren't afraid to use them. I spread my legs. I did some up and down squat thrusts. I walked around a bit. I ate some meat. Nothing worked. By midnight I was starting to become concerned.

But that concern didn't last long. I didn't get the nickname Hoss for crying about every ache and pain. I cry at the end of romantic comedies, not the aches and pains though. I decided to do what all guys do when they have a mysterious pain. Ignore it and go to bed, assuming that I am so damn tough that whatever it was got scared and decided to pipe down.

At 1:30 I got out of bed because the pain did not take the hint that I am tough. Instead of slowly dissolving into an uncomfortable memory, it actually got worse. Now not only did my lower abdomen hurt but it had spread to my back. It wasn't acute mind you, but just a lot more intense. Under the surface still but I could still walk and use reason. In this case, the reason in my head decided that it was time to check WebMD. That website should be banned.

I put in my symptoms: aching balls. I browsed through the lists of possibles. This is never good to do and why you should never self-diagnose yourself. At different times through the next two hours I decided that I had twisted my testicle in such a way that it was now going gangrene. After that, I was pretty sure I had a Lance Armstrong. Then I decided that it didn't sound right either, how about a gall bladder. Anyone want gallstones? How about me. Finally I decided that none of them fit but from what I heard and read, I was thinking appendicitis.

I knew that the appendix was located there so to me the dull ache in the pit of my stomach was an indication that I would have to have it removed. Kidney stone never entered my mind.

By this time it was 3:30am and I did some more reasoning that seemed to go so well for me before. I could either drive myself to the hospital without telling my wife or I could wake everyone up and get us all down there together. Or, what I eventually decided to do, was to go back to bed and "suck it up" for a couple more hours until everyone got up normally and then go to the hospital. After all, I didn't have a fever and by that logic, I had plenty of time before I burst into appendix flames.

I'll admit, a lot of this doesn't sound so good a few days later.

But in my head I was thinking that I didn't want to get everyone up and drag them down there with little or no sleep. I'm a good dad and as my son says, dad is "Big and Strong." So sure, I'm big and strong and as such I can just chew on some leather until they all get up.

I eventually fell asleep at about 4am. An hour later, I woke up. The pain was still there. The pain had spread. The pain had gotten worse.

Now it was more like someone was actually kicking me in the balls and not just the after effects. My lower back hurt, my abdomen hurt, everything hurt. But again, using reason, I decided that I could take it for another couple of hours. I got up and watched SportsCenter, the men's placebo that works every time. I showered, got dressed and just kind of rolled around on the couch for a little while.

At 6:30 I was wondering why today of all days my children didn't wake up at their normal time. Sure, every other Monday morning they are up at 6 AM wanting breakfast. When dad needs them to be up, they sleep in. I still wasn't all that convinced that I needed to go to the hospital thinking now that maybe I just had twisted a muscle. I went into the bathroom to pee and that's when everything changed.

I'm a big guy. I like to really think that I am a tough guy with a pretty high tolerance for pain. But I will tell you this. If I wasn't holding onto the wall, I would have fallen face-first into a toilet of my own piss.

Almost immediately the leprechaun in my junk kicked, hard. Very hard. There was a shooting pain up my side. My knees buckled and my fingernails actually dug into the wall a little bit. And I couldn't stop peeing. Nor could I aim anymore. Fantastic. But I am proud to admit, despite it all, I didn't cry out. I may have wanted to but the pain was intense enough in my side that I had no air left in my lungs. And that was it, that was the big moment. I had passed my kidney stone. Even if I didn't know that I had done it.

That sealed the deal. Time to go to the hospital. I crawled up three stairs on my hands and knees before forcing myself to stand straight up and "take it like a man." I only made it to a hunched over position before saying screw it and just made it into my bedroom as best as I could.

Not wanting to freak out my wife, I gently patted her on the leg. "Honey," I said. "I need you to wake up."

"Huh?"

"No big deal babe, we just need to go to the hospital for a little while."

That did it. That woke her up. I didn't want her to panic but that's kind of hard to do when you are being woken up when it's still dark outside by a man grunting in pain that he needs to go to the hospital. She got out of bed and I told her what had been happening. Her immediate anger at not being woken up sooner was gone as soon as she saw me. I was laying at the foot of the bed, moaning, rocking myself from side to side. I may have said something about nut-kicking leprechauns.

She got the kids up and we piled into the car. We told them that we were going to get donuts. Oh, and daddy has an owie. My daughter became very concerned. She doesn't like to see me hurt and I don't like her to see me hurt. Damages the image of all-powerful Dad that I'm trying to portray here. Bubba Hoss just wanted donuts.

Turns out, there's not many people at the hospital at 7am on a Monday so I got to see the doctor really quick. He asked me what was wrong and I decided candor was the best way to go.

"I feel like someone kicked me in the balls." and then I told him about the big pain 30 minutes earlier. His diagnosis was quick. Kidney stone. The worst was past me. The CAT scan showed a stone about 3 millimeters in size was resting nicely in my bladder. The pain comes when it goes from your kidney to your bladder and apparently all the hard work was already over. The rest is just doing what you do naturally.

So for the past several days I spent hopped up on some killer pain meds and peeing into a plastic container so that my urine can be strained. The pills are fine, the straining, not so much. But in the end, I will get my little pot of gold and then I will tell the leprechaun to fuck off.

12/7/09

Three Milimeters is a Lot Bigger Than it Sounds

Especially when it passes through your urethra. That's right, kids - Hossman is down for the count due to a kidney stone he is currently working through his bladder. Hossmom is the interim blogger for a day or so, so be nice and wish us plenty of hallucinogenic-level meds.

12/6/09

The Soft Glow

My neighbors hate me. And if they don't yet, then they soon will. Hell, I'm practically asking for it.

Sometimes I don't mow my yard on time. I know that must bug them on occasion. It's gotten bad enough sometimes that a hemp community of hippies could have moved in and I wouldn't have known. There could be guitar strumming going on along with pagan rituals and I would have thought that the crickets had unionized and were beginning a mass revolt. Dr. Livingston, I presume, would have been living in there. But that is not why they are going to hate me.

I leave my trashcan out for 2 days sometimes. It's been known to happen. I don't know why I do this but I know that I do it. It's like some weird cosmic protective force that prevents me from lugging my ass out to the street to pull it in. I will drive by it several times a day and think "Man, I got to get that thing in." But then I don't because the sweet allure of Xbox gaming calls my name. I may have a problem.

I answer the door in my underwear, but let's be honest here, this is more of a treat than a reason to dislike me. Maybe one day I'll ditch the wife-beater T-shirt and show a little man boob as well.

I don't buy your kids 20 pounds of rock salt he is selling for boy scouts. Now if he offered to shovel my driveway for 3 bucks, then we would have a deal. I ask you, where is the work ethic of the youth these days? And when your other kid comes by selling girl scout cookies I only buy 1 box because I just can't resist the sweet, sweet call of Thin Mints.

I park in the driveway, my dogs bark during the day, the Halloween pumpkin was out way too long I don't go to the neighborhood parities, I'm pretty sure I'm a phony when I say hi to you and I check out your wife when she walks by my house.

Yes, all these things are reasons to not like me as a neighbor. I'm working on it. I'm in therapy. Dr. Beer and I are making progress. But none of these are the reasons why they truly don't like me. I'm guessing that it's because of my beliefs on Christmas.

Egg nog, presents, tree, good will toward men, getting trashed at the office party. I believe in all these things. I believe in getting up super early on Christmas morning going through your brother's stocking first to make early trades that he may not agree with. I believe in holiday cookies so sugary that you will get diabetes. I believe in fruit cake because it is edible AND a weapon.

But most of all, I believe in a tacky Christmas.

And nothing says tacky like houselights overdone. My neighbors, for the most part, pay people to put up lights. This bugs me on many levels. They are totally missing the point of putting up lights. It's about getting out there in the cold and cussing. It's about convincing yourself that the electrician doesn't know as much as you do. It's about hanging from the roof while also hiding that fact from your wife because she would freak out. That's Christmas.

My neighbors put up nice very well coordinated displays. There's usually a baby Jesus hanging around somewhere. A wreath or two tastefully done. The Christmas tree is perfectly centered in the middle of the street windows and coordinates with what is going on outside. And all the lights, from tree to house, are white. They all point in the same direction. They all stand like perfect little soldiers harking the angels in. In short, they are very, very boring.

The result is that each house looks exactly the same. Where's the creativity? If this were a painting, it would be motel art. It would be motel art that they hang in the men's bathroom, opposite the urinal. And the urinal cakes would have more appeal than the motel art. I ask you, where is the fun in that?

Christmas is about fun, about joy, about over the top enthusiasm. It's not about looking good. It's about diversity. The diversity that 300 multicolored lights bring to a place. It's about them coming together and screaming to Santa, "I'm HERE! Bring me my loot!" That's Christmas. It's tacky and it's awesome.

And so I put up my main multicolored lights. I strung them around the garage door, around the porch and up on the roof. I hung them down rain gutters and twisted them around bushes. I mixed big multicolored lights with small multicolored lights. The left side of my house was looking naked when I ran out of lights and Hossmom has put me on a budget this year. So I pulled out my half working reindeer and put him on the left side. And as he looked lonely, I got a small wreath and put indoor lights on it and put it above it's head.

It screams tacky. It yells for someone to bring their car to my front yard and put it up on blocks. It is one 12-pack away from having one inflatable yard creature decked out in full glory front and center. Shocked I don't have one? I used to but Little Hoss gave it too many hugs 2 years ago and it popped. It was an 8 foot snowman named Princess Candycane, may she rest in peace.

And none of this matches the decor of the neighborhood. In fact, I would say it clashes. And it's awesome.

But I'm not done. No sir, not done at all.

My mother in law got me a contraption a couple of years ago and we have put it to us.

My lights now blink to music. That's right, I have the Bud Light house. At 7pm daily I invite you to attend the concert with the kids and I. We fire up the machine to Carol of the Bells and let it do it's magic. It's horrific. One side blinking, the other side dark. But wait, on the next note it all lights up to the pulsating beat. And the kids love it. They can't wait to turn it on. My wife came out to look and got to embarrassed because cars were slowing and staring. She had to go inside. But the kids, the kids love. Now they know what Christmas is all about.

The only thing that I am missing is the soft glow of electric sex in the window.

12/3/09

The Friday Five

5 Things Heard On Children's TV That When Taken Out of Context, Mean Something Totally Else.

5. "This grass doesn't taste right." That's right Deigo, it tastes weird. Put it in some brownies, see if that helps.

4. "Come over here and sit on my lap." I used that very line at a strip club just last week.

3. "Momma needs some boom boom." Yup, this was actually said and I laughed my ass off.

2. "A woman with a tail." It's called a freak show kids, come inside and see the other wonderful oddities that we have! Guaranteed to scar you for life.

1. "Can we tie her up with a rope." S&M on early morning cartoons. Now that's what I'm talking about.

12/1/09

The Sweetness

It occurs to me that I have spent a lot of time lately writing about how my daughter and my son have constantly destroyed things that frankly, should withstand Armageddon. Impressive to be sure, even if it is costly. It also occurs to me that this blog serves as a history of their childhood and one day they'll read this.

That said, I think today I should focus on some of the sweeter and good things about the minions. I wouldn't trade the SAHD lifestyle for anything right now. Well, maybe to have the ability to once again eat bacon. Maybe I would give it all up for just one juicy tidbit of nature's goodness without the worry of high cholesterol that runs in my family. Mmmm, bacon. But that isn't going to happen anymore than they are going to discover a way to make bacon without giving me high cholesterol. If they do though, you sons of bitches better let me know about it. And the first dumb bastard that mentions turkey bacon can just leave the blog right now.


The minions are rough and tumble but so are all kids their age. My wife seems to enjoy the antics a lot but I maintain because she is never the one that has to snake the toilet because Barbie's head was flushed down there. I would enjoy it more myself. But what she says she enjoys most is seeing Karma take hold. According to Hossmom, I'm every bit as destructive as my daughter and son and that this is the universe's way of evening things out. In this discussion she rattles off a dozen or so things that I unintentionally broke the last week and then brings up her favorite. I once put my foot through the bathtub. Stupid fiberglass piece of shit. You are now asking yourself what I was doing in the bathtub to put my foot through it. It was nothing important, let's forget about it and move on. I broke it, it got fixed, done.

Karma or no Karma though, the kids have a lot of good traits that make the SAHD life worth it.

My son likes to flex in the mirror. I taught him this and it's cool as hell as he constantly repeats "Big and Strong, grrrr." Then I do it and Little Hoss lets me know that I'm bigger and stronger than everyone. Damn right, keep that in mind when you start dating.

Little Hoss likes to serenade me when I'm fixing one of the things that she has broken. It's no particular song, just whatever is popping up in her minion brain. Today it was "People like my Daddy because he got me a Barbie movie." It was very good and we almost had a few unintentional rhymes.

Both of them love to watch football with me late at night. Whether it's because they are up past their bedtimes or they enjoy America's finest game, I don't really care. We share chips and yell at the players. It's awesome.

Bubba Hoss is just learning to talk so everything he says is cute. Like "Daddy, I pooping!" He says it with such vigor, how can I not think that is cute.

Little Hoss chases the cat off the table. I hope she catches her one day. WWE Smackdown.

No "surprise" face that you see will ever be better than a 3 year old and a 2 year old. It doesn't matter what the surprise is that causes them to make the face. Only that it is special and for them. You'll get the best reactions every time.

Little Hoss loves broccoli and they both eat green beans raw. Gross but hows that for not having to fight for them to eat vegetables.

Nothing makes you feel more accomplished than getting high fives from your biggest fan club. Even if you screw up, they still give you a high five for trying. And sometimes, when you do an extra good job, you get a fist bump.

Little Hoss loves to vacuum.

Bubba Hoss got a splinter in his foot and didn't scream once when I was digging it out with the tweezers even though it had to hurt like hell.

Little Hoss sleeps best when she goes to bed on my chest.

Bubba Hoss wakes up best when he is able to see me first thing in the morning. Excited every time.

Little Hoss threw me a tea party today because I was being a "good boy."

Whenever we go get movies from the rental store, Little Hoss insists that I get one for me, too.

Both of them are big supporters of letting me play video games without ratting me out to Hossmom.

I put up the Christmas lights and now I am their "favorite Daddy."

Hossmom spent 5 hours making thanksgiving dinner. I opened the can of cranberry sauce and slide the gelatinous mass onto a plate. It took less than five minutes. During Thanksgiving, all they wanted to do was eat the jelly. I am an awesome cook.

I have only been bitten once in the past 2 weeks.

I have only been punched in the balls twice in the past 2 weeks.

Seeing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich fly through the air at the dogs head is actually a pretty beautiful sight. The spinning is mesmerizing.

Little Hoss picks up her crayons now.

Bubba Hoss hasn't thrown anything down the top of the stairs in a long time.

No kid is easier at bedtime than Bubba Hoss. Jammies and a pacifier and he goes straight into the bed. One song and count to ten and he's good for the night.

They both love going to civil war battlefields with me. In fact, they love going everywhere with me.

Every time I pick up my daughter from preschool she tells me that she misses me so much.


So it's not all chaos here. It's sweet and tender and memories that will be with me forever. These are the same memories that I go over in my head when I've just about had it. In fact, I'm doing it right now because because currently I am reattaching the vacuum cleaner hose back onto the vacuum. I have no idea how they did it but it's important to remember that a little girl that knows where the butter knives are can take apart anything.