2/22/10

The Olympics

Like every good American, I am taking this week off like I did last week. Because it's the Olympics and I am an Olympic nut. Turns out staying up to 1 am every night makes it very difficult to write for the next day. But I will be back next week with many stories involving midgets and dwarfs.

2/15/10

Blogversary

This one is for me. I rarely write them, but this one is all for Hossman. Because today is my blogversary blog so I don't have to please anyone but myself. And I like pleasing myself. Today I'm going to write about writing and the blog. It shouldn't be funny so you might want to skip this one and head off to something a little more funny. I'm sure you can find a clip of an old man getting hit in the crotch or perhaps a kitty cat playing a paino. If not, head on over to Hulu and watch an old Simpsons episode, that's what I would do.

I started the blog 3 years ago on a whim. I sent off an email about a terriable day that I had at work. Yes, I actually had a job at one time. Turns out that that little email made the rounds and I got a lot of laughs. People seem to like it when I fuck up and bad things happen to me. I'm afriad what will happen if I have a heart attack while cheering at the Olympics. Anyway, Hossmom liked the little rant I sent out so much that she encouraged me to write a blog and here we are, 3 years later. The very first post on this blog by the way, is still the property of Hossmom. It marks one of the only handful of times that she has actually written on here. She doesn't even leave comments which I do find odd considering that she is very funny and a lot of the stories about her and her children.

The biggest question that I have gotten over the years is why do I write. Honeslty, I don't really know. I've asked myself numerous times what I expect from this blog, where is it going. I don't know, I have no clue. There are times where I wrote my little funny ha-ha's because I couldn't get the image out of my head. Other times I wrote because I knew Hossmom would have a boring day at work and this would cheer her up. Sometimes I thought that perhaps I could turn this into something else, perhaps a book or a TV Show (ha!). But I wasn't really all that passionate about it but I kept writing anyway, because that I liked to do. Which provides the answer, I write because I liked to.

I like looking back over the years and seeing where my family was at, what occured and how my children have got increasingly more destructive as time has gone on. Little Hoss is 4 now and Bubba Hoss is 2 and it's fun to see the growth of our family with them. I like reading about my massive parental fuck ups (margirita milk glass) and our victories (I can't think of any at the moment, how odd). I like seeing people in my life as charactures of themselves. From Uncle Bricksalesman (one of my all time favorites) to new additions like Papa Scrum (I think that name is funny as hell). So I guess I write because I like to.

Which does't mean I haven't considered killing the blog. Pulling an old yellar and taking it behind the shed to meet the internet God. When my son was born I took a several months off and lost almost all my followers. I didn't think I would start it back up. But one day a story popped in my head and it wouldn't leave until I wrote it down. Since then I think I have done some of my very best writing. It's fun to look back and see how the writing has improved, at least I think it has. My spelling still sucks despite promises from no less than 5 people to be my "editor" It's tough to keep up folks and they soon burn out.

I like looking back at some things that I have never published. Yup, they are out there. I have got pages and pages of stuff that never made it on here because I thought it sucked or Hossmom promised me certain favors if I never publish a blog. It appears that I can be bought. I do not like censorship and figure that this is my blog so I can write whatever I want. But even I think that sometimes I've gone to far. They are out there, perhaps I'll publish one this week.

I like the heros in the blog (me) and I like the antagonists just as much (sometimes Hossmom, sometimes her Mother). I like the complexity of some (Little Hoss, sometimes good, sometimes the devil.) I like the random and the abstract at other times (star trek blog, Dr. Suess ripoff), the blogs that truly make me laugh that have no point what so ever other than to make fun of myself.

And I like my cult members,the majority of people that I have never met and probably never will. I like reading thier blogs when I have time or when Bubba Hoss is not flinging a sippy cup right into Little Hoss's forehead. He really did that by the way. I think the days of my laid back dude are over.

Sometimes I think the stories are over, that I've got nothing left to say. But then I look at my family for 10 minutes and they just keep coming. It gets to the point that some stories will stay in my head for days and demand to be written. Other times they fade away. I find it odd that it all comes down to the mood I'm in. If I "feel it" then it turns out to be a great blog. If I don't, it turns out to be shit. That sounds so "artsy" I want puke but it's the truth. I can't write unless the story speaks to me and that sounds gay as hell. What you get when I force it is some horriable piece of trash.

Hossmom deserves most of the credit for this blog, she is the one that is always pushing me. She critiques each blog, tells me what she likes and what she doesn't. When I haven't written in a while she start seeing if something is wrong with me or encourage me to give it another try. She warns me not to lose my "edge" but not to go so far over that it turns out to be a crazy guy rant. She is the one that redisigned the blog as well and keeps encouraging me to take it to the next level, what ever that may be. So thank you Hossmom, you still rock after 15 years.

And thank you to everyone who keeps coming back to read this. Hossmom says that it's unusual that I have such a dedicated list of followers and I suppose it right. Maybe I would have given up if you havent' kept coming back. It's weird but when I don't write for a week (like last week) I start to feel guilty. Am I really going to leave you high and dry during the work week while you fill out your TPS reports? Don't you deserve a laugh? Last week I meant to leave the TV show stuff up for a while to give everyone a chance to read it but by Friday I was feeling pretty guilty about not adding anything new.

So I'll keep on writing as long as you keep reading. Some will be funny (my cat is evil) and some will still suck. I've got ideas in my head, some new and some old but they will all eventually make it on here. And hidden in my little posts will still be small little jokes that I think are funny but probably only me. And just for old time's sake, I don't think I will spell chekc this blog at all. Call me nostalgic. Happy Blogversary!

Pattern Power Umizoomie.

2/4/10

The Decision

It appears that Hollywood is all about the Hurry up and Wait. At least it was for us, the six dads that were filmed for a possible reality show on SAHD’s. Now that the casting tape was done, it was out of our hands. The tape would be edited down to 15 minutes (from at least 20 hours of footage) and presented to a whole string of people. If each group liked it, it would move up the chain until the network president saw it and then would make a decision. In my head I imagine people in power suits drinking scotch while they judge whether my friends and I are TV worthy. It takes a long time apparently. The whole process does. This whole thing has been going on for about a year. But it does give you a chance to reflect and really think about what has happened.

For me, all this was very surreal. A TV show? About me and my family? Really? It didn't actually get real until I actually talked to the producer, DD.

It's weird selling yourself, even when you aren't trying. What to say, how to act, etc. I made the decision early on that if I ever did talk to a producer, I would just be me. Or the me I call Blog Hoss. The funny guy with a smile. Not the guy that sits in his underwear and black socks flipping the channel between a football game played in 1978 and an infomercial where I'm pretty sure I can see a nipple peeking out from the hosts shirt. That guy must never see the light of day.

And for me anyway, I never really meant to "sell myself." But once I started talking to the producer about my life, I couldn't help it. It was also probably a little bit easier for me as well as I have documented every funny thing that has happened over the last three years in this blog. When asked about my family, all I had to do was go down the mental checklist of the things I've written. That's how I started talking to the producer. Little Hoss and her destructive nature VS. Bubba Hoss and his almost stoner like calmness. Then it occurred to me that I should go ahead and give DD the blog link and she can read about all of our adventures herself. If you have kept track of the blog you'll also note that it was about this time that for a short while I stopped using the word "fuck" so much when I wrote. So in the end, yes, I did sell myself I suppose. But what a fine product I am. I come with a kung fu grip and a realistic receding hair line.

But now the casting tape was done and it was time for the powers that be to make a decision on whether we would be a show or not. It was a long wait but one that I wasn't particularly nervous about.

You've read what was on the casting tape and I can honestly say that it was the best we had to offer, that it was our real life and to us anyway, it was interesting. As a group we had a lot of long discussions if TV world would think so or not. Some days it was hell yes, we kick ass. Somedays it was "Who wants to watch me change a diaper while I get peed on?" But we also felt early on that if the show didn't happen, we would be ok with that because we were ok with who we are. We never planned for our 6 lives to revolve around a show. If it didn't happen, ok, we've got to go to the doctor's now because Bubba Hoss had the croup. Life still went on, pretty much the same way as before.

I also want to answer a big question here that my brother asked me when I told him we were shooting a casting tape for a show. Why? Why would you want to?

First I'll say that it's not about money, it never was. It never was going to be that much, at least until I agreed to do nude scenes and do product placement scenes such as "When I get a black eye from my daughter, I reach for the best steak around. KC Strip Steak, for when you've got to keep down the swelling and still look like a badass." Then I would have made them pay out the ass.

It was about the cause, which is weird because I find myself devoid of any big causes at the moment. No, our fear is the fear of the "House Husband." The douchebag guy that has no fucking clue what he's doing and would rather be at work but his cocaine problem got in the way. Now he has to stay home with the kids and find a way to support his meth habit. The 6 dads talked about this.

We knew that sooner or later there would be some sort of show about a Stay At Home Dad. What we didn't want was it to come off as stay at home dads who have no clue what they are doing and didn't want to be doing it in the first place. That would be a blow to our little cause and we actually do take it pretty seriously. We know that we are in the minority, we know that a lot of people look at us like we are wife beaters. We don't need that stereotype on TV confirming ignorant minds. We wanted dads on there that knew exactly what they hell they were doing, were confident around the kids and could god damn well handle anything that came up. That was our motivation, that's why we agreed to go this far in the first place.

Occasionally we would hear back from DD. The editing was done and she loved it. She put it up to her bosses. Later we were asked to come up with "show ideas". Things that would be happening over the next 6 months that would be good to film. It's reality TV but there still must be a story line. They were looking at maybe a special one hour episode and if that went well, 6 hour long episodes after that. We pitched and then she pitched. She would come back and ask us questions, we would answer them, then we would wait some more.

Her bosses loved it and had sent it off to the network. Now it was in the underlings hands. We waited. And waited. And waited.

We heard back the underlings liked it enough to send it up the chain of command. They liked and sent it higher. Finally, it landed on the desk of the network president. I find it fucking hysterical that a network president was watching my daughter rip a cake to pieces or to see me waving at the camera. I don't know why, but I do. For some reason, I just can't stop laughing thinking about that. Now it was back to waiting.

DD finally called us and let us know that the network president had made a decision. They were going to pass on the show as it wasn't a good fit for their network at that time. I don't know what that means.

Now you will have noticed that I have not mentioned WHICH network we were shooting for and I won't. But I will say that our show does not contain the douchebag factor of John and Kate, none of our wives ever said I Didn't Know I was Pregnant, and if you ever see me putting a Tiara on my Toddler, shoot me.

The network president passed on our show and that was the only reason that was told to DD. What kills me though is that we never actually saw the casting tape. The network owns it (yes, we signed a contract) and they didn't want to release it. I can see the logic behind it. If another network saw it or it ended up on the Internet and someone else made the show, they would kind of look bad.

That is the only disappointing part about this whole experience, not having the casting tape. It would have made a great souvenir of our time as stay at home dads. I would have loved to see how it was edited and if I sounded as twangy with my Texas accent as my wife tells me I do. I won't know.

The 6 dads and I talked about the reasons our show was squashed and we came up with what I think is a pretty plausible answer. We are not nutjobs that fight with each other. We are good guys and we all genuinely like each other. We are not the Housewives of orange county. We don't have fake tans and don't have jackass nicknames like Snooki (what the hell does that mean anyway?) We don't backstab each other, don't have affairs with another's wife and very rarely do we rob banks. There's no conflict between us and with the world. We're just Dads.

So that's it. That's the TV show that almost was. It was a process that took a year but in that year it was a hell of an adventure and I loved every minute of it. We got lucky with a producer that we could trust and I doubt I would ever do something like this again unless she was a part of it. I know that the 6 from the show read this blog and some of their wives do. Please comment on this one, add your two cents. The blog serves as a time capsule and I think everyone that reads it would love to hear what you have to say.

(Dedicated to DD: Thanks for all the hard work!)

2/1/10

The Casting Tape Continues

The Ladies Man's 3 year old daughter is running full tilt. Her little legs seeming to cover more ground than they should be able to. Her arms are pumping up and down one second and the next they are flailing around like a crazy woman. The pony tail on the back of her head is bouncing and seems to be taunting "Catch me if you can, fuckers." At the top of her lungs she's screaming "No Daddy! Nooooooooooooooooo! I. Don't.Want. Play!" The last word is said with a spit. She is no longer Little Hoss' best friend, the Thelma to Little Hoss' Louise. Now she is a mauranding viking needing only a villiage to plunder. No one is stupid enough to get in her way. Both Dads and kids duck and cover with screams of "incoming!" All the Ladies Man's daughter has to do is make it to the corner of the house and her feet know the way.

In close pursuit is her father, the Ladies man. But oddly he's not gaining on her. Christ she's fast. How can a 3 year old run so fast? Because she's in trouble, that's why. It's almost superhuman. "Come back here!" he yells but I don't know why. That never works and I doubt she's listening to him now.

I tap DD on the shoulder, interupiting the quiet scene she was filming and point to the fleeing daughter and frustrated father.

"You're probably going to want to get that on tape." I say.

"Oh" she utters. DD spins, points the camera, and takes off. There is a three person race now. The daughter, the father, and the poor producer trying to get the moment on camera for the casting tape of the SAHD reality show. As I see them all go the phrase "Chasing a story" comes into my head and I start laughing my balls off, I can't stop. "That's a blog." I think. The other fathers and I just watch the parade and now all are laughing. Some are being polite and trying not to laugh to loud. Not me. I can't hold it in because I've been there. DD wanted our real life but seemed worried that perhaps Little Hoss and her friends would be to shy to really play on camera. I find that thought funny as hell. My daughter is not shy.
I imagine DD is getting a full dose of our life now, uninterupted mayhem and this playgroup should pretty much show that. This is our life, this is the reality. This is not a made for TV movie. This is a 3 year old taking off because she got pissed and her father is in hot pursuit. It could have happened to any of us, today was just his turn.

Throughout the day DD has witnessed and recorded the chaos that our SAHD life sometimes is. It's not a nice little family commerical, with everyone sitting nicely on the sofa sipping Snapple and eating cheese and crackers. In this life, the Snapple is ususally whipped at someones head and the idea that any of our children are eating quietly is almost hysterical.

Earlier in the day Papa Scrums boy had a melt down over lunch. Why? Because he didn't want to eat it, that's why. It didn't matter what it was. Little Scrum just says he doesn't want to eat it to get under Papa Scrums skin. I have determined that the boy is a mastermind and his goal in his young life is to make Papa Scrum explain so many things in a row that he forgets what he was explaining in the first place. So the kid isn't eating today no matter how much Papa Scrum trys to explain to him the facts of life.

The Hippy dad brought tofo. Nobody wanted to eat that. On that one, I will side with Little Scrum.

The odd exception to this playgroup that is being filmed is that Father Hitman's kid seems to be acting good. I'm calling bullshit on this one. I'm guessing that someone got a talking to before he got to playgroup. I once walked into a room as Little Hitman was walking out. I saw both my kids crying. But I don't worry because I know that they can't keep a lid on that one any longer than I can keep a lid on mine.

DD asked me if we would get any "rambuxtionous" from the kids. If perhaps Little Hoss and Little Ladies Man would create some havoc. She didn't want anything staged of course, but she is also trying to make a TV show. I laughed when she asked me that. It's not a matter of "if" with those two. It's a matter of "when" I told her to just leave the kids unsupervised for 10 minutes and she would get more than she needed. They feed off each other. One is the brains, one is the brawn. One is the mouth and one is the fist. They are Masterblaster from Thunderdome.

10 minutes into playgroup I told DD that she might want to go check on the girls. She went upstairs and witnessed the carnage. The room was destroyed. Toys were everywhere. All the sheets and blankets were ripped off the bed. The girls had long ago ditched their clothes to put on their princess dresses and were now very joyfully jumping on the bed. And what's worse, they were trying to get the other kids to do it to. I know my daughter, that's all I'm saying.

And now DD was chasing the Ladies Man's family around a house because the little girl didn't want to share, or play nice, or got into a fight with Little Hoss. It happens. They are so much alike that sometimes they don't know who's boss and both can get aggressive.

The Little Ladies Man is now in the front of the house. Hugging the bushes like some ninja assassin. She's looking for refuge, for sanctuary and has decided that it lies just around the corner of the house. Every corner. Either that or she is trying to give the Ladies man a heart attack by running him around the house.

He comes around the corner just in time to see his daughter turn the far corner and head for the backyard again. DD is right behind him, getting it all. He stops at the front door and opens it. DD asks him what he's doing, didn't his daughter just go that way? "I'm going to cut her off."

That, my friends, is an experienced parent.

He comes out the back door as soon as his daughter makes a break for freedom and grabs her. He puts her in the patented "football hold" that we have all adopted when the kid is truly kicking and screaming. Pick the kid up by the waist and pull her to your side. That way she can't kick you in the balls. The first time I saw this I thought "genius, my balls are saved." Bubba Hoss has some wicked heels.

Little Ladies man is screaming and yelling, kicking and throwing some choice words out. She might have called him stupid. I've heard it before. She is railing against the timeout that will follow. DD now has some pretty good tape of what it's like when a bunch of SAHD's get together for a playgroup.

It's been a full day and I've written only a part of it and what I saw. DD's day was planned to come to a playgroup to watch the SAHD's interact, interview the father's that haven't been yet and finally to interview some of the Mom's on their experiences as well. By the time she is done with today, she should have some great footage of the carnage that children can be. Tomorrow she will be spending an evening with Papa Scrum and his family and then she will be going back to California to edit the tape and get ready to pitch it to the network.

Made For TV

“If glitter can work on a stripper, then it can work on a cake.”

As soon as that had left my mouth, Hossmom’s eyes got crazy wide. Her mouth dropped and she just stared at me. Not because what I said wasn’t funny, lets be honest here—that’s comedic genius. No, she was shocked because I had just said it point blank into the camera that was filming for a potential reality show on stay at home dads. I thought I heard the producer laugh though. Just want to point that out.

Hossmom has a freak out whenever we have company. Now imagine that the company is potentially a couple million people (I had high hopes for the show!), all silently judging you and your house keeping. When our producer, who we Dads nicknamed Double D (DD), said she wanted to film an evening with us, Hossmom went into high gear. Me, I’m just the talent and try to stay out of the way. Hossmom handed me the mother of all chore lists. Lists that even the great scribes of old would look at and go “Shit man, we can’t do all that.” It was practically a memo on our own peanut butter and jellied smeared stationary. There were 63 items on it and covered 3 pages. Single spaced, front and back. This is the point in the blog that I point out that I’m not actually getting paid for any of this. I’m just the pretty face.

I reassured Hossmom that this was just the casting tape, that the only people who would see it was some network executives who would obviously be dazed by the glare off my bald head and awesome parenting skills. And DD would only be n our house one evening. She would be with the other SAHD’s the other days she was in town. And as she would just be with us one evening, I doubt very much that she would actually film EVERY GOD DAMN CLOSET OR OUR SILVERWARE DRAWER. So there were somethings on the list that I refused to do.

Which was good because as DD was on her way to the house she said that part of what she wanted to see was how I clean with the kids. The whole role reversal thing of the SAHD world. Then she would watch us have dinner, have a birthday cake for Hossmom (it was her birthday), put the kids down to bed, and then interview us as a couple about our situation. Of course, when DD told me that, the house was immaculate thanks to my whip wielding wife. But no problems here because I have given spawn to the two most destructive children in the history of the world. They would wreck the tower of Babel.

I gave Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss a box of cheerios, threw away the rest of my chore list, and let the magic happen. I drank a soda. Within 20 minutes there was a decent sized mess that revolved around “My Cheerios!”. When DD got there, there was plenty to clean.

DD was nothing what I thought a producer would be. She wasn’t a chain smoker, didn’t make and break careers over a scotch brunch, and was not as well endowed as her nicknamed suggested. She was from Jersey, but no Snooki fake tan. She didn’t have any collagen and I’m pretty sure there was no gold rope chain around her neck. She was, well, normal. But just because I know DD will read this, she was normal in a hot way. Immediately I was at ease with her and had no worries about letting her in my house with her camera.

Filming began with the minions and I doing normal cleanup. Little Hoss got out the shop vac, which I still keep in my living room, and vacuumed up all the Cheerios while Bubba Hoss ate the rest of them off the floor. Then we moved on to the windows. Little Hoss did the top of the windows while sitting on my shoulders, I did the middles, and Bubba Hoss cleaned the bottoms. We have a great system.

Finally it was time to make dinner and Hossmoms birthday cake. As a seasoned parent I should know this very simple parenting rule: Never get distracted when a 3 year old and a cake are in the same room. I was answering a question that DD had asked me, I was deep in thought giving out some more nuggets of parenting genius. I turned my back on the unfinished cake while I was giving my little self serving speech. 5 minutes later I turned aback around to check on the kids and I see the tail end of Little Hoss ripping out a huge chunk of cake. Interview over, time to parent again. This had to be the third or fourth time she dug her fingers in there as there was a huge hole on the left side of the cake. The camera caught her doing it all. Welcome to my life, America.

We tried to repair the cake as best as we could, or as best as a man who doesn’t bake and his 2 toddlers can. We put frosting in the gigantic holes and threw some holy water over it to cleanse its spirit. After it was all said and done, the cake looked like it was cooked by a middle aged man and 2 toddlers. That’s not what you want in a birthday cake. So I did the only thing that I could think of, the thing that I knew from my 20’s could make anything look respectable and not coked out and high on desperation. I got the glitter. As Little Hoss and I were applying the glitter, Hossmom walked in and I said my little joke.

Again I stand by how funny I thought that was.

The rest of the night was a normal Hossman family night, with the exception that Hossmom kept her pants on. You’ve never seen a lady jump into a pair of PJ’s as fast as that lady. DD filmed us messing up the homemade pizza dinner, singing David Allen Coe songs as bathtime appropriate, and going to bed. At the end of the night, I was pretty talked out. We did the interview as a couple where again I thought I was laying down gold. We also drank a lot of wine.

The next day we would shoot a playgroup with my other stay at home dads. Hitman, Scrum, Ladies man, Larry Geographic, and the Hippie. DD was about to get a full dose of the SAHD life. The stripper cake was just the opening act.