Welcome to My House

**Hossmom has been working a lot of late hours and I came up with this little ditty very late at night after every creature in my house crapped somewhere they weren't supposed to. Best case scenerio: my mind is gone. Worst case: This is my reality.*****

Pick a tune and sing along!

There are stains on the floor
Fabreeze don't work no more
The cat ain't here anymore
And the dogs are keeping score!

There are crayons on the wall
They lock bathroom stalls
While ignoring my calls
And then stomp on my balls

It's all beginning to fall apart
Wreaking my failing heart
Don't know where to start
Everyone wants a pop-tart
Welcome to my house!

Vivi thinks pooting is really funny
Glen Close once cooked a bunny
Our noses are always runny
And I make no money!

It's a wreck inside
I've lost all my pride
Bring your sherpa guide
I want to run and hide!

They wreck all my stuff
Homer drinks Duff
Things are getting kinda ruff
I'm not very tough.

It's all beginning to fall apart
Wreaking my failing heart
Don't know where to start
Everyone wants a pop-tart
Welcome to my house!

Hossmom's not home.
I look like a garden nome
Where the hell is my phone
The kids want an ice cream cone

The yard is a wreck
There's poop on the deck
Raise your hands, what the heck
She punched me in the neck

For dinner we had toast
I don't want to boast
Put it in gear and let 'er coast
I do better than most

It's all beginning to fall apart
Wreaking my failing heart
Don't know where to start
Everyone wants a pop-tart
Welcome to my house!


Just One Chance

Redemption. Everyone deserves it or at least a chance at it. The young make mistakes that may define them and the old have memories that won't fade. Everyone deserves a chance at redemption, especially those that need it.

I began walking up to the plate. The bat on my shoulder was heavier than I remembered from my past. I haven't played softball in 3 1/2 years, since the days of Team Beer. You may remember reading about some of those triumphs, the days of glory and epic comebacks. Days where a hard slide often predicted the outcome, an outcome that we are reminded of now only by the scars left from that slide. Week in and week out we played on Team Beer rising from one of the worst in the league to forgone champs.

Those days are gone though. We have all moved on, had kids, changed cities. Work got more important, family time became a higher priority. So I left Team Beer, as many others did. I hung up my glove and put away my cleats.

But I was asked to play with my Dads in a charity softball tournament benefiting SIDS. I hadn't played in a little while. Hadn't caught anything other than a green bean being thrown at my head. But a chance, just a chance, to relive some of the past triumphs. How could I say no?

That's how I found myself walking up to the plate with the bases loaded with two outs in the very last game that we would play that day. The first two games didn't go well for us. I thought that, since this was for charity, that it would be a bunch of teams just playing for the fun of the game. That everyone would be playing around, we would be laughing, it was after all for charity. The first game showed me that I was wrong.

I don't like douchebag players in general. In any sport that I play, douchebags always seem to show up. You know the players. They are the ones that exploit loopholes in rules rather than let skill decide a game. This was the first team that we played. They refused to swing the bat. They wanted the walks. Mr and Mrs. Douchebag watched each pitch go by, not swinging. In a charity game. For fun. Lunch was provided for free. Elmo judges you.

We lost that first game by 19 runs. They might have had 2 hits. They celebrated their ability to stand still and do nothing at all. Who doesn't swing in slow pitch softball game for charity? For babies?

My competitive juices were now up but it was not enough to make up for some of my own mistakes in that second game. Some balls I fielded well, made strong throws to first. Others I let roll right under my glove. I had a chance to make an easy catch in left field. It hit my glove and bounced out while laughing at my small penis. It hit the ground and made comments about the promiscuity of my mother. I have had better games.

But all that was behind me as I stepped up to the plate. The third game was different. They were there just for fun to, just like us. I'm pretty sure the left fielder was hammered. This is the type of game I thought we would be playing all day. Everyone swung at the ball, jokes were being made, nothing was being taken to seriously. It was actually fun. But after losing the two previous games by a combined total of 1 million to 4, I wanted to actually win one.

We were down by 1 run. The bases were loaded. It was our last at bat. There were two outs. I dug in to the batter's box.

I should have had inspirational speeches going through my head. The voice of William Wallace should have been bouncing around inside my brain followed up by the Gipper being hugged by Vince Lombardi. But they weren't.

My knee's hurt, the first time in my life that has been an issue. With all my football and other sports, I have never had knee problems. Now they actually ached. And it turns out that I have also discovered what shin splints feel like. I threw my elbow out in the second game. My lower back was about to have a spasm. I was no Crash Davis and I could not breath through my eyelids.

I could hear Little Hoss cheering "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" louder than thunder. She's always my biggest fan and supporter and is never afraid to show it. Both of my kids where there and saw me make all my mistakes. But could they now see something different, that Daddy could still do it and come through? I don't want to fail in front of my kids, that's what was going through my mind. Please god, let Daddy be big and strong just one more time.

The pitch came. My forearms were burning and ached. The ball arched high and slowly rolled over it's apex to begin it's downward descent. My eyes got big. Redemption quietly came toward me as Little Hoss' voice got louder.

I swung.

Everyone deserves at least a chance.


Eat Your Dinner

I am living a cliche. My whole family is. We are participating in one of those tried and true parental moments that every family has to go through. Depicted in countless movies, written about so much so that it's a more popular topic than Twilight fan fiction. And it's a right of passage for every child so that when their own children pull this shit, they can at least get the payback that they deserve.

Little Hoss is sitting at the table. She's slouching in her chair and has been there for a good 30 minutes. She won't eat her dinner. She is just looking at it like it's some sort of toxic waste that I dug up from the backyard. But if it does decide to mutate and smack her in the head, I won't be disappointed. It's a test of wills and I'm not sure if I'm winning or not. But if I lose this battle then I might as well go ahead and plan for her to be knocked up when she is 15 and her boyfriend needs to live with us because his parents kicked him out. I hate Chester and always will.

Little Hoss can be a bit of a picky eater but not that bad, compared to what I've seen. If she complains during dinner I always give her the same response. You can either eat your dinner or go to bed. It's one of the other and I don't care which one you choose. At least that is what my outside look says. I actually do care because I want her to eat her dinner. She has never chosen to go to bed. She hates going to bed. Thus she eats or at least nibbles.

Tonight she chose to go to bed. Son of a bitch. I hate it when Little Hoss calls me on my bullshit.

She was up in her room for 20 minutes. I don't know why today of all days she chose to rebel against my authority. It's been rough. I'm tired and dinner took a long time to cook. All I want to do is read a book, maybe kill some zombies and then go to bed myself. That is not happening.

Eventually she comes down thinking that everything is forgotten. But it's not. Hossmom and I can't forget this one. It's either bed or dinner so back to the chair she goes. She sits and stares, stares and sits. Hossmom portions out what she has to eat. 1 green bean, 2 mouthfuls of rice and 2 pieces of porkchop. At this point it's not how much she eats but the fact that she eats because we told her to. That was a half hour ago and still nothing.

Every kid does this. I remember doing this. One time as a kid my brother, sister and I were told to eat our peas. Disgusting little things, really. We banded together, we unionized. United we stood and declared that we would not eat our peas. My dad just looked at us. I have learned throughout my childhood that it was not a good idea to challenge my father. Usually he broke any stand off with a belt and by god I thank him for those lessons now!

So we sat there, looking at the peas, while my father retired to the living room to watch Solid Gold and thier dancers.

My brother is stubborn and does not take direction well. He refused to eat anything. My sister, who is equally as stubborn but somewhat more devious, started hiding her peas in her glass of red Koolaid. Me, I'm a good boy. I don't like trouble. I took each pea like it was a pill and shot each individual one down with a chaser of koolaid. In the end, I ate all my peas. But also in the end, I was the only one that did. Things haven't changed since then. My brother still doesn't take suggestions well and my sister is still a bit passive aggressive. Me? I'm still the good boy although now I am looking at my own daughter pulling the same shit. It occurs to me that she may be a perfect mix of my own brother and sister with nothing of me in there. Stubborn and devious, that's Vivi.

I have tried everything. I gave the "starving kids in Africa speech." I complained about how long it took me to cook dinner. I threatened her with the loss of toys and privileges. I have become my own mother. Sweet Jesus it's true. Pretty soon I'm going to start flinging dishes in the sink and screaming about sacrifice.

There is a scene in the "Christmas Story" in which Randy, Ralphie's little brother, won't eat his dinner. The dad claims that he is going to get his screwdriver and cram the food down. I respect this man because now I understand this man. Although I would never use a screwdriver, I'm not a monster. No, I would use something that would do the job better such as a crowbar and a mallet.

But in the end, I take the mother approach because deep down, I'm a big pussy. I sit next to my daughter and start to joke with her. I start doing "dinosaur" bits on her leftover food. I ask her to show me how a dinosaur eats. Pretty soon her dinner is finished. She ate her one greenbean and rice and I ate the entire rest of the plate. A couple of things dawn on me as we leave the table.

First: dinner did in fact suck. The rice was plain, the green beans were overcooked and the pork was not seasoned. Perhaps my daughter just has a more advanced pallet. Second: I need to be more stubborn and devious and hide things in the Koolaid.


Daddyshome Post

I have a new post over at Daddyshome. Click here if you want a laugh.

I know that I have been somewhat lazy over the last several weeks but I think it's going to change this week. I feel good right now, energetic and full of optimism. Of course, it's 7:30 in the morning and the minions haven't wrecked anything yet. Should they start a riot, everything could change.

Enjoy the post and I'll be back on Wednesday with my normal stuff.


Jeff the Squirrel

Jeff the Squirrel is in trouble. It's big trouble. It's Big Trouble in Little China type of trouble. It's not looking good for our little resident and his little family. Got to do something here, can't back away. But I'll be honest, I'm at a loss.

So I do the only thing that makes sense. I send in the minions. It's time to see if their training has been for nothing.

Jeff the Squirrel, as you can figure out, is a squirrel. But he's our squirrel. He lives in our backyard. When we first moved in, it was just him. Little Hoss was only 2 and Bubba Hoss didn't care about anything that he couldn't crap on or eat. But they all loved the squirrel. So as is our nature in this family, we named him. Jeff seemed appropriate at the time. We name everything and the kids help.

We have Ted, which is my wife's car. We have Edgar, my car. We have Ted the Garden Gnome, no relation to the car. We have Fred the cheese frog which is actually a tree frog that hangs on our windows. Arnie, Little Hoss's blanket. Princess Candycane, the big inflatable snowman I put up at Christmas that my neighbors love so much. We are a naming family. And we have Jeff the Squirrel, who at this moment looks like he's fucked.

Jeff appears to be a family man type of squirrel. A good guy, gathering nuts for his little ones. Sometime over the last 2 years, he found himself a woman. Wooed that little thing and somehow convinced her to move in to his tree with him. Next thing you know, a kid pops out. I feel a certain connection with Jeff the Squirrel and often talk to him about our parallel situations. Just trying to get by without losing all of our nuts.

But Jeff and his family are screwed at the moment. Because right now, there is a big freaking Hawk swooping down on him from our back porch.

The kids came and got me from doing the dishes (code for "I was playing a video game) and said "Dad! Jeff the Squirrel is playing with an Owl!" Naturally, I thought they were full of it and just trying to help the digital zombies escape my wrath. So we went to the window. But it was not an owl I saw sitting on our porch, 10 feet away from us. It was a huge freaking hawk. It was almost cartoonish, all he needed was a fedora and a cigar and I would have thought we were watching a Disney flick. And he was going after Jeff.

In the zoo when you see them you marvel at their majestic nature, secure in the knowledge that they won't come down and claw your face off because of their little leather hood. When you see them in real life you think, crap, that things huge and is going to claw my face off.

But what to do? Jeff the Squirrel needs our help. The Hawk, who we have now named Hans Grueber, takes another swoop at Jeff. He misses, thanks to some fancy Heisman footwork by Jeff, and landed in a tree in the yard.

This was our moment. We either act now or loose Jeff and his little squirrel babies. Can't do it man. Can't walk away. Can't let the kids see this. We either stand up and fight or cower in fear. This is a life lesson to teach the minions. Today, we fight Hans, yippee ki yea motherfucker. So we go out on the back porch.

It occurs to me that I have said and taught my children a few stupid things in the past. Things that Hossmom will probably smack me for later like she did when I told her that I taught Little Hoss how to use the nailgun. This could be one of those things.

Reading this you probably are worried about the children. This tells me that you've never read my blog before. I'm worried about the Hawk, man. I know my kids, I know what they are capable of. My daughter broke an "indestructible" cell phone without even thinking about it. Honestly, I'm a little scared for Hans.

So without much thought, because that's how this things usually work out for us, we head out to the back porch. The dogs follow. They see the hawk swoop once more at Jeff. They bark and run back inside. Cowards.

We get to the railing. Jeff is climbing up a tree, does a mid-air somersault matrix thing, twists and runs the other way. Well done, my friend. We need to act now.

I look at the minions. The wind goes still. The sun glimmers through the trees creating areas of shading in which Jeff squirrels though trying to avoid the next attack. The kids smile at me. I nod. They are unleashed.

"ROAR!" They yell. Bubba Hoss has been enamored here lately with Dinosaurs. It's the scariest thing that they know.

"Rooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!" They scream together again, drawing out the syllables. Hans turns his head and looks at them.

"Hey Hawk" Little Hoss yells. "You go away, that's my Jeff!" Yup, my little girl is taunting a hawk.

"Cock a doodle do!" Bubba Hoss yells. I have no real idea why. But I will give the little man credit. It's loud and he has followed up his sister's threat.

Now they both start yelling cock a doodle do. Louder and louder and louder. I think that Hans the Hawk is confused. I know I am.

Hans looks at Jeff again. Then he flies away.

Not even mother nature can handle the loudness of my children. We all clap as Hans flies away, surely cussing that he won't be earning his 20% on the beach. Jeff the squirrel heads up his tree and his family follows.

So when some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall hawk grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."