She kicks and misses. The girl next to her also takes a swing. She has a bit better aim and the ball moves about 2 inches. The other girls swarm around the ball like a hive of bees, for some reason never really moving any closer to the ball, just orbiting it like they were put there by NASA. My daughter is one of these satellites.

The soccer ball is now the great philosophical question that haunts her and her other teammates. The soccer ball exists because it must. It is there, moving perhaps a foot at a time. She circles it, they circle it, the world circles it. They know that they must kick it, that is it's purpose, that is her purpose. She kicks therefore she is. But when most of them go to kick, they discover the duality of the soccer ball and it's being. It does not exists, they do not kick it, they always come close but for some reason the universe pulls it an inch to the left, an inch to the right and there is nothingness where once there was mass. They hover around the soccer ball, running in a tight circle, defining it's very universe.

I am there as well, both my presence and my spirit. I have discovered a great truth, a truth that has somehow eluded me for years. 5 year old soccer games are the greatest sporting event on the face of the Earth. I am shocked that this knowledge has come to me but once that it has, the obviousness of it does not allow one to deny it. I am on the edge of my seat. My hands hurt from clapping, a clapping that cannot be heard because the soccer ball holds all attention. It is the black hole of the soccer field, nothing escapes it.

My voice is horse for cheering for the Butterflies but the Butterflies are consumed by the ball, the ball that blinks from one space/time dimension to the other. I cheer, they kick, the world evolves. I once thought soccer to be a silly sport, a sport for those that couldn't pick up a football. I was arrogant, naive and failed to consider the ultimate question of soccer: Can your child kick it? Once that question was known the search for the answer has now become all consuming. I watch, I cheer, I question the soccer balls existence.

Hossmom is there as well. Her voice is not horse, that is not her role to play in this cosmic game. Her role is to shout out "good job baby!" Her voice merges with the other mother's saying the same things so that it appears that a choir of angels heralds the game of soccer. This is what they were meant to do, to care about those things, to foster a serene environment where concentration and meditation can drive a being forward toward the soccer ball.

My son is there, he is almost impish as he runs from one lawn chair to another. The existence of the soccer game and the soccer ball elude him. It's just an inch outside his consciousness. He knows that something is here, after all we brought him to this special place, but he is not sure what. But to be honest, as it is my son, unless it has bright flashing lights on it he is not going to notice it. Another truth that has been revealed on the soccer field. He asks for water, I squirt some in his general direction hoping that his mouth is somewhere near there. I cannot take my eyes off the orbiting girls, circling.

They are picking up speed now, something is happening. Faster they go. One way, then another as if they have been transformed into a school of tuna. I cannot see through 6 sets of tiny shin guard wearing legs. I do not know what is happening but something is happening. My daughter separates from the pack, it leaves her, she is not fast enough to keep up. I think that tragedy is about to unfold, that soccer has shown her our family short comings. We Hoss's are not fast, we are not built for speed. We are built to take punishment and doll give out vengeance. It's a slow methadical existence that has been handed down for generations. I feel that soccer is going to expose us for what we are, our weaknesses to be on display.

But soccer and it's cosmic plan has eluded me like it has for eons. Soccer shows our weaknesses but it also exposes our strengths.

The ball pops out of the back, almost on it's own. It rolls as if it is taking a nice Sunday drive to nowhere. It ends up at my daughter's feet.

I do not know anything about soccer or the skills involved. But I know my daughter as I know myself. I gave her two rules of soccer to begin with. Number 1, always do your best and a try hard. There is no shame in effort. Number 2, if you don't know what to do, kick the shit out of the ball.

I will her to remember my words, I will her to kick it, to prove the existence of the ball, to validate my parental abilities. She looks down at the ball, almost if she is considering what to do with it. It's there. She's there. She is alone in her world, the orbiting girls no longer exist, I don't exist. Only the soccer ball and perhaps, just maybe, my words of advice to my little girl.

She smiles. She pulls back her leg. She makes contact.

The ball rolls towards the goal like it's life finally has purpose, like it finally has meaning.

I am out of my chair. I am complete.

And somewhere behind me, an impish boy takes a break from throwing dirt. He looks towards the field. He sees a soccer ball rolling toward a net and two poles. A simple soccer ball and all of a sudden he understands that perhaps it isn't so simple after all.



The dogs tore apart the trash can. They got into all the trash and dragged it into the front hall. They smeared old yogurt on the front door. They drug an empty bag of chips, ripped it apart and greased up the hallway like some weird doggy slip and slide. Rotten apple cores were obviously inspected, licked and then tossed aside like trash. Because that is what they were, trash, thus they belonged in the trash can.

Then they peed all over it.



It's just...

There is no story this time. This is all I got. They tore up the trash, spread it everywhere and then peed all over, like 4 different times. If I wasn't so mad right now, I would come to the logical conclusion that my dogs went on a cocaine bender while I was gone. There is probably a dead dog hooker in the back.

Hossmom says we need to talk about our feelings. We need to open up and express what is inside of us. She says this during long conversations where I mainly listen and nod my head while she expresses her desire to hear me express my feelings. She says that if we bottle things up it will cause strokes and a mid-life crisis where I will want to buy a Corvette and get a 21 year old to "babysit" me while the kids are out playing. She then shoots me a disgusted look that says "how could you?! She's just 21! What kind of pervert are you!" Mind you, I haven't done anything but she likes to work herself up sometimes and then tell me about it.

So we are going to give her method a shot before that bad scenario happens. How do I feel right now?

Well, honestly, I feel like my fucking dogs just took the fucking trash and then fucking peed all over it. That pretty much sums up how I feel at the moment. And I feel that I am the only one to clean it up because it's the middle of the day and Hossmom is working late tonight so I can't really leave it on the floor for the next 5 hours. However, the thought has occurred to me to do just that thing. I mean honestly, how bad would that be? We could just ignore it, perhaps quarantine that part of the house. We'll make a game out of it. That's where the monsters are, they are stinky and smell like trash and pee. Don't go in there.

But eventually the smell and my conscious would get to me. And then I would have to answer questions to Hossmom about how I could leave such a mess the entire day. Then she probably wouldn't clean it up either just to teach me a lesson. So I'm going to have to clean it up which also gives me feelings. Like I feel that I don't want to clean this up.

My dogs have been known to eat some very disgusting things. It is possible that if I put a little cheese on the trash and pee that the dogs will probably eat it. This idea has merit for a moment. If they eat it then I won't have to clean it up, which makes me feel good. However, they would probably puke it up later, most likely in my bed while I sleep, and this would make me feel Hulk-like rage.

In the end I feel that I'm going to have to clean this up. I'm going to bite the bullet and get my work gloves on and dive in the disgusting mess that is in the other room. I'll feel like I'll die a bit inside, perhaps a part of my soul will shrivel up and go hide in the corner while I do what I don't feel like doing.
OR I could hire a 21 year old babysitter and just hope that she cleans this mess up while I go Corvette shopping.

Little Hoss Brings the Zombies

We were discussing zombies, which is what we do in this house. Sure, there are more probable end-of-the-world scenarios that may happen. We could prepare for nuclear mutants or perhaps even aliens. But our zombie training could easily be adapted to all of those and besides, zombies are pure evil, the devil's hoard that rises to suck on the will of the living. We must battle the evil, it is in our very nature.

As I was painting, again, I quizzed the children on the important parts of zombie knowledge. "What do zombies eat?" I asked.

"Brains!" the minions responded.

"And what to do zombies sound like?"

"Braaaahahahahahaaaaa" they wailed while shuffling.

Excellent. We know what they sound like and what they eat. Our training has progressed well. Soon we will start the decapitating by chainsaw but we can't do that until Hossmom gets out of the house for a bit. She does not approve of chainsaw decapitation training. Fine, she can be the decoy bait then when the Apocalypse comes. Everyone team needs one and we just found ours. She is also slated to be the family medic to dispense band aids and kisses to all our skinned knees. She doesn't know this yet but she doesn't have to, it's her natural role. At the end of the world I'm sure that Hossmom will remind me once again that I'm getting older and will need the good old prostate checked out. During the zombie Apocalypse. That's just her style.

Little Hoss asks me a question. "Daddy?" she says. "Can we keep a zombie as a pet?"

This one has thrown me off a bit. I admit, I wasn't expecting this question. Who wants to keep a zombie as a pet? I tell her no, that perhaps this isn't the best idea.

But she starts demanding that we keep a zombie pet. And not just one zombie pet, but a lot of zombie pets.

Hmmm, I think. Perhaps she is thinking of Sun Zu, know your enemy as you know yourself. Have I trained her this well? It is possible, I am awesome.

"And we can feed them lettuce and carrots and dog food!" she tells me.

Somethings wrong here. I'm not sure what but something feels off. I look at my daughter.

She is smiling while describing how she would put zombies on leashes and make them do the afternoon cleanup, which she hates to do. Her eyes are in dreamland, glazed over as she describes her zombie utopia that she is creating. They will do chores for us and they will play games with us. Then they can play games with other people, like tag.

I'm about to remind her that zombie tag is not a game that you want to be a part of her. But I look at her and it hits me, the truth is there and I just never wanted to acknowledge it.

My daughter isn't here to resist the zombie Apocalypse. She is here to start it.

I can see my daughter thinking and thinking hard. She is planning on how to get the deadly retro T-4 virus and how she can unleash it. Then the world would do her bidding and those that didn't would find a very dangerous game of zombie tag arriving at their unprepared doorsteps. Perhaps she would take down her enemies quickly or perhaps she would torment them for weeks before crushing them with her own zombie hoard army.

I am concerned as she starts to laugh, a maniacal laughter that starts low and slow and precedes to get high and fast. She is talking through the laughter, describing what she would name her zombies. There would be Fred and Steve and Princess Candycane. They would play all day, everyday. They would live outside in the yard and play with Jeff the Squirrel. Poor Jeff the Squirrel, who we have protected for 4 years, will become nothing more than a zombie poptart, an afternoon snack that lives at the whim of my daughter.

I'm looking at her now, looking hard. I am no longer painting. I don't even know what to say. I trained her? I did this.

"I'm just kidding Daddy!" she says. But I know she is not. No, this is not kidding. This is planning.

Dear God, what have I done?



Head on over to Daddyshome today and you can read your normal Monday blog from Hossman. I've been a bit lax but it's Paint Week this week. That means good times but not enough spare time. However, I'm all done so expect blogs on Wednesday and Friday as I try to get back to some normal routine. Normal for me means dodging flying spaghetti while playing soccer in the kitchen while I try to listen to the most recent broadcast of March Madness.

Also read some of the other guys that have recently posted on the Dads Don't Babysit campaign. If you don't know what this is, take time to find out. It's worth it.

Click here to head on over.


Soccer Practice and Our Bad Day

We are having a bad day. The first rule of having a bad day is to admit that you are having a bad day and hope that the God of Toilets will let you out of his swirling bowl of shit. However, as often happens when you know you are having a bad day, it just doesn't get better, it gets worse. This is the one and only day that you discover that you win the lottery but have lost the ticket and that the girl you knew in high school actually had your love child and wants 18 years of back child support. And it all started with you dropping a bowl of cereal on the floor first thing in the morning and saying to yourself, Man, I'm already having a bad day.

Our bad day started with me getting some sort of weird sickness. Of course this happens because one of the minions picked up something from the alley ways that I let them play in and have brought it home to me. While it is only the slight sniffles to one of them, it's the plague to me and I have to call a snake healer to come with some venom to do some voodoo on me. It never works but I like the chanting.

And of course there are no days off when you are the primary caregiver. There are no PTO days or earned time off days. You're sick, now take care of your children. Parenting, you never get a break but you get plenty of germs and if you are lucky, constantly hit in the ball sack.

You do what you have to do, you take out a box of Pop Tarts and throw them at the wolves hoping that the scrum you have created will last long enough to give you 25 minutes of interrupted time with your snake healer so you can get back to parenting. You put on some cartoons, not even caring which one comes on. Deep Throat could be remade into a children's classic for all you care at this moment, all you want is to lay down and blow the massive amounts of snot out of system. Maybe you can sell this stuff as lubricant.

I'm getting quite good at this, both having a sickness while parenting and managing bad days. I stay on the couch waiting for the next disaster to strike, ready to throw a box of tissues at anything that launches itself at me and my unprotected crotch. So for most of the day, I was able to contain it. I was feeling good about it, like maybe I turned this thing around, which is of course when things get worse.

I have turned into a full fledged soccer mom. Both kids are in soccer both have practices before Hossmom gets home from work. Tonight is my son's first practice and he's been looking forward to it. There is no doubt that we are going. An hour before practice time I finally put on some pants and start getting ready. It's at this moment that I realize what a bitch a bad day can be. All the soccer gear is in Hossmom's car which is currently 45 minutes in the wrong direction. Cleats, shorts, soccer ball, none of it is here.

It is easy to blame Hossmom for this although I have no idea why other than it makes me feel better. It was my fault I didn't bring it inside after my daughter's last practice. It's my fault that I didn't get ready the night before. I'm pumped about my kids getting into sports, I'm looking forward to it. So I got everything you are supposed to have and made a big deal of telling everyone that all equipment MUST GO IN THE BAG! They actually listened to me and now I am screwed because of it.

But I am adaptable. We currently have no shorts that would fit my son, it's winter. But I do have a pair of PJ pants that kind of look like sweats. That will work. The practice is indoors so he'll sweat a little bit and look like shit but so be it. We don't have our soccer ball and this is going to suck because he can't practice without a ball. So I nut up, load everyone into the car and go spend the 15 bucks to get a new one. My plan is to make Hossmom return it the next day as penance for letting me mess up.

45 minutes and 10 box of tissues later, we are at my son's first soccer practice. And then I meet the real soccer moms. They all seem to know each other and they all seem to congregate together in the sign-in line, ignoring all the line cutting rules that society usually adheres to. I let it go, it's fun time for my son.

I quickly get the up and down stare from one mom in front of me and am judged accordingly for my son's PJ pants. I look down at my son bringing him in close to me when I also realize that I have put his shoes on the wrong feet so that he looks somewhat even more ridiculous. I know what they are thinking. They are thinking "I guess mom wasn't home to........" I hate this. I hate it being assumed I don't know what I'm doing just because I'm dad. But with my son's PJs and wrong footed shoes, I can't really blame them. It still bugs me because I look at their kids.

It looks like and Adidas salesman vomited on each of them. New Adidas cleats, Adidas shorts, Adidas shirts covered nicely by new Adidas pullovers. And of course Adidas soccer balls, brand new. I say hi and am quickly shunned. I am not Adidas material apparently.

But I begin to feel better shortly there after when practice starts. It turns out that my son has a decent talent for soccer and is much better than the triple Adidas bombs. And not only that, my son is remarkably well behaved, he listens and does what he is supposed to do. He traps the ball with his feet, he kicks it into the goal, he gets his ball and goes back to talk to the coach. I am feeling quite proud while the Adidas triplets run wild, decide that they would rather play basketball, pick up their balls and throw it over the net and then take off.

It's the simple things in life that matters and I almost smirk with my more advanced parenting techniques. My son will grow up to run companies and change lives, the Adidas triplets will grow up and go by nicknames such as "The Situation." My bad day is getting better.

At home I'm telling Hossmom about our first practice and how we really didn't fit in with the moms. This is when she stops me and asks if my shirt has been inside out all day. Bad day. Should have realized it's just a bad day. Moms weren't judging me, I just looked like I had stolen someone else's kids and went to soccer practice to watch little boys run.


It's White, Seriously.

White. A simple color or the simple absence of color. The color of purity and innocence. Also the color of the last circle of hell. A devilish area where husbands are tortured by trying to define the different shades of white. Their crime? Painting. Their punishment? Confusion and more work.

The doors upstairs needed a good paint, it was time. I'm on a whole "improve the house" thing this month. Step one, paint. Hossmom has wanted a couple of rooms painted for a while now. So I have grabbed my brush, gave some women a lusty look to let them know how good I look painting, and grabbed some white paint. Just plain white paint, the most simple thing in the world.

I told my son to get his game face one, we were painting today. No screwing around. I told him that our strokes must be long and sure, our attention to detail focused and our rock music to be loud and offensive. He was all gung ho; he loves to paint.

Up we went and dipped our brushes into the innocence to the sounds of Steven Tyler telling us how to walk. We listened, we painted. My son has the temperament for this kind of thing. He finds it fun but he is also careful, unlike his sister who likes to go "improv" when we do this. She's in school, today it's me and my boy creating pearly whiteness and memories. The dog even helped. I told her not to sniff the wet door. She did anyway. No one listens to me in this house and that's why she has a white splotch on her nose. A side note for other painters out there, dog snot thins paint better than gasoline.

All day we painted, all day we repaired, all day we rocked out. My daughter's door was a bit of a challenge. Last year she ran out of tape and without tape she couldn't put her pictures up on her door. But if she was out of tape, she had an abundance of glue which works just as well, and it did. We spent an hour scraping crap off her door.

Our bedroom door was also a challenge. We lock the dogs in there from time to time when we have guests over. They take this as an invitation to claw the door like there are some Snausages on the other side which of course, there is not.

By the end of it, we had done four doors and finished our afternoon with a nice red wine and Metallica screaming about sandmen entering places. A good day.

Hossmom comes home. We are ready to show her our labors so that she can marvel in our productivity. This is why I stay home, I have taken care of the house! Worship me.

"Wow, that's white."

Yes honey, it is white. White is white and that is white. It's also dark outside (that's black) and the dog vomited some paint on the carpet (that's a yellow and white mix).

"It's really white."


"That's too white."


"I don't like it."


"Seriously, I don't like it."

Find my calm place, communicate like the books say you are supposed to. Do not punch a whole in the door like you want to. I ask her to further elaborate on her craziness. Understanding her mental illness and white paint is crucial to the continuation of our marriage.

"It's too white, it's too bright. We need softer white."

White is white. It does not have a "feel" If you touch it, it's just wet. It's not soft or hard. I am confused.

"It needs to have a higher gloss and be muted."

Must. Not. Punch. Door. Do. Not. Understand. How do we need it shinier and duller at the same time? I......I........my brain hurts. I'm beginning to think that this is some sort of ancient Chinese torture. Please god, just shoot me and get it over with.

"Sorry hun, we are going to have to redo it."

By we, I know that she means me. I like how she does that. "We" must take out the trash. "We" must do the dishes at night. "We" must go to work and make money. Ha! See, it works both ways baby! I'm going to pay for that.

But it's just white, I explain like it's the most obvious thing in the world. White is white and really, does this make that big of difference, the shade of white of a door. I point that out, she looks at me like I'm the one that suddenly went crazy. I'm starting to lose it a little bit, I'm starting to lash out. I tell her she hates white people too, it's sad really.

I point out all the repairs on the doors. No more glue marks, all the duck tape residue is scraped off. My Ipod has finished all it's songs. Please for the love of god, look at the level of work that went into this. And don't think it was just me sitting on the floor having a good time. Have you ever tried painting with a 4 year old that likes to point at things with a wet paintbrush. That takes a monk-like concentration, grasshopper.

"Yup, we have to redo it."

I lose my shit a little bit. I don't understand. It's like she's telling me I have crabs because she cheated on me with a hobo, which in hindsight, would probably have been less painful than telling me that my entire day's worth of work is for nothing.

I make the mistake of telling her that she can just "live with it." I then get a 30 minute lecture on the color spectrum and house harmony. In the end, I just cave because I have lost track of the conversation 10 minutes in. Somehow we ended up talking about proper table manners. I have no idea how we go here. I'm lost, confused and apparently I don't know what the color white is.

I could live with this color of white, I would be fine with it. White is white, there isn't much difference. Hossmom cannot. In the end, it's easier for me to just let it go, grab a new paint brush, a couple of kids and send her downstairs for a couple of days while I repaint the doors.

But in the future, just to make sure she is happy, "We" will both be present and accounted for when painting the rest of the house. "We" will be much happier and less likely to start throwing paint cans at someone's head if "we" have the right shade of white.


I Love You

I find myself a bit exasperated at the moment. I don't want to be and I feel a bit guilty about it. I normally don't carry around much guilt because in general, I'm an awesome guy. People love me. And so do dogs. Dogs love


me very much. I have no idea why other than they take one look or smell and see that I am a brethren that gets in the dirt with them. This is a nice way to stay that most times I probably stink from cleaning up dog shit. Maybe this is why they love me so


much. I know my wife loves me because I clean up the house a lot. Usually when she gets home, dinner is on a table, the kitchen is clean, the living room is clean and the kids are still alive. Nothing is a bigger


turn on for Hossmom than a freshly cleaned house that she didn't have to do anything with. Our next child will probably be called Windex. So we have established that I am a lovable


guy and this herein lies the rub. It seems that whenever I am trying to do something that requires my full attention or multitasking, my children feel that


this is the perfect time to come screaming to me and ask for a hug or to tell me that they love me. They make it sound dire. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! they scream. I quickly scan for intruders or zombies because this is the tone of voice


that they use. When I don't see the undead, I ask them what is wrong. This is when they reply "I love you." Now this sounds great, doesn't it? Their need to tell me that they love me so very much is so urgent that they must risk scalding me while I'm cooking dinner just so they can tell me that


and give me a hug. But the problem becomes when I am actually involved with something, like cooking dinner, that requires all of my hands and attention. I get fancy sometimes but even mac and cheese requires


my attention. Boiling water around children is usually something that you want to


stay on top of. And when a child comes running into give a hug, how can you deny them or even get upset? This isn't the type of atmosphere that I want to ruin. I want to encourage this. However


, I just wish that it would be at more opportune times, like when we are sitting down and I'm not wielding a knife at high speeds. It's more than just when I'm cooking dinner. Say I'm on the phone with our wonderful Internet provider. Now in order not to be transferred to the 10th circle of hell, they are the gatekeepers, I must listen intently and respond with almostGermenesque enthusiasm. "Are you having


problems with your interwebs sir?" "Sir Yes Sir!" I scream. Failing to do so will get me kicked off of my interweb and yet still owing a monthly payment. So I have to be on my toes. It is even more difficult when I'm


talking to Hossmom after she gets home. I like spending time


with my wife. I like hearing


about her day. She in turn likes to hear about the demons that I slayed over the phone by talking to our interweb provider.


But it's hard to get a good flow going with the constant interruption that you really can't say no to. It often happens that


when we are talking, the I love you or HUG will come and thus we cannot remember what we were talking about. I feel bad for saying this, but it's a dad bit frustrating to be loved so much


sometimes. For example, let's say I'm writing a nice little


story about something that happened in my day when all of a sudden


I am interrupted from my train of thought. It makes it very difficult to finish the


Fuck it.