Advising Myself

July 27, 2006

  1. You see those ripples on your abdomen? It would be pretty cool to still have those at 35, so stay active.
  2. Right now, the world is a pretty safe and cozy place. You have lots of friends. Grandma and Grandma live in their house in Holdrege, the cookie jar fully stocked. Granny is in her trailer, waiting to tell you interesting stories. Some day all of this will be gone. Cherish it.
  3. Remember that story you wrote about an underwater city, and the dome covering the city collapses and causes a giant whirlpool in the ocean? And all the James Bond rip-off stories? And all the campy comic books you drew? And all the audio tapes of you and Davis doing your own radio show? Keep those, will you?
  4. There is no such thing as “fate,” but there are “many futures.” Take time to look and listen, and signs will appear, showing you a path. Take it and run.
  5. There are two sides to every story, and I mean every story.
  6. Friends will come and go. Don’t fight it. Sometimes, people grow apart and become different people. Do your part to maintain friendships that mean a lot to you, and they’ll endure if they’re supposed to.
  7. As you turn your dimpled mug toward Mr. Achteburg to take your 3rd grade picture, the year is 1979. You have recently chosen the Los Angeles Rams as your favorite football team. They will lose this year’s Super Bowl to the Steelers. It’s going to be a while, but the Rams will win a Super Bowl . . . after they’ve moved to St. Louis.
  8. Love the pink vest.
  9. You and Davis will get the great idea to run and jump off the roof to land in Dad’s pick-up as he drives through the alley. This is a very, very bad idea. Yes, even if you’re wearing capes (and they aren’t capes, they’re bath towels).
  10. In the distant future, you’ll be working in a retail store, minding your own business and trying to make a buck, and an angry customer will come up to you and insult you because the store doesn’t carry an item he wants. My advice: screw the job. Follow that asshole into the parking lot and beat the shit out of him.
  11. Voltaire wrote—speaking of religion——that what all sects agree on is true, and what they disagree on is false. Therefore, if all sects agree that “there is a God, and one must be just,” then you can probably take it to the bank. Don’t join “sects” though. Make your spiritual journey a personal one. Let it take you wherever it will.
  12. Do the best you can in school. The system isn’t perfect, but do your best. Just remember that sometimes teachers have dull, disagreeable personalities that make them ill-suited to the job of teaching. That ain’t your fault.
  13. It hurts your fingers when you play the guitar for the first time. Just keep at it, and eventually it won’t hurt anymore.
  14. You’re going to be a father to twins someday. Wait . . . where are you going? Stop!
  15. Someday you’ll have a crush on a bank teller, but your boss will tell you it’s useless to ask her out because such a classy lady would never go for a blue-collar type like you. I’d tell you to go for it anyway, but you will eventually meet someone very special, and she’ll prove that you can get a classy lady who’s out of your league. Be patient. The nice girls don’t always go for jerks, although it seems that way.
  16. That big box of letters and cards and pictures from friends and girlfriends and family that you’ll throw out to have more room? For Christ’s sake, don’t do that.
  17. You love to read and write. Nurture both of these hobbies. Devote yourself to them completely, starting now.
  18. Stand up straight. Stop slouching. Walk like you’re going somewhere.
  19. The world can change quickly. Be ready and willing for upheaval, and you’ll be one step ahead of the changes when they come.
  20. Always respect yourself, and demand that others do the same.

It was Kristin’s idea.


The Birds

July 18, 2006
  • A family of birds have a nest over our outdoor garage light. Their little chicks have hatched, and the adults are extremely protective. This morning, one of them dive-bombed me so close I had to duck. Another one came in right behind and I could feel its wings graze my hair. Thoroughly pissed, when the next one came for a swipe, I swung my arm like Barry Bonds and swatted that bastard high into the air. I waited for him to crash to the pavement, but he righted himself and made another pass at me. This is war.
  • While out running errands, I passed one of those fund-raising car washes with sixteen-year-old girls in skimpy bikinis trying to lure customers in. I was tempted (to get the car wash), but did not have the time. Further up the road, stopped at a red light, an overweight teenaged boy tried desperately to get me into his car wash. I was too nice to tell him that if a half-naked teenage girl couldn’t entice me, he didn’t have a prayer. Ah, summer.
  • As I’ve mentioned previously, one of the joys of parenting is rediscovering the joys of childhood, such as cartoons and Disney movies. Another childhood pleasure our children and I have discovered together is that fart noises are funny. It’s like we’re in a neverending scene from Blazing Saddles.
  • An interesting column by an Arab writer begins with this paragraph: Yes, world, there is a silent Arab majority that believes that seventh-century Islam is not fit for 21st-century challenges. That women do not have to look like walking black tents. That men do not have to wear beards and robes, act like lunatics, and run around blowing themselves up in order to enjoy 72 virgins in paradise. And that secular laws, not Islamic Shariah, should rule our day-to-day lives.” It gets better.
  • Our kids have several toys that say letters of the alphabet when you press the corresponding buttons. None of them, however, will let me spell a dirty word. It will say “F-U-C-” but will giggle or make some other noise instead of speaking the last letter. I managed to outsmart it and spell “F-O-R-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N.” So there.
  • My 2-year-old daughter came up to me and asked, “Daddy, where’s your tummy?” “How can you miss it?” I asked. She lifted up my shirt, patted my belly and said, “Is there a baby in there?” They ought to put 2-year-olds in charge of international diplomacy. They can level anyone.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some sit-ups to do.

Cats That Look Like Hitler

July 16, 2006

I laughed so hard at this, I needed a hanky. Cats that look like Hitler, otherwise known as “Kitlers.” Funny stuff.

"If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride."

July 12, 2006
  • A new study shows that mothers think their babies’ poop smells better than other children’s. It shows that humans can determine biological relatedness through body odors. This is not to be confused with the study indicating most moms and dads don’t think their shit stinks at all.
  • Speaking of children, I’ve noticed that my girls love to cut a rug to the Rolling Stones or the Doobie Brothers, but get quite fussy when we try to play “baby” music for them. (sniff) I’m so proud.
  • Speaking of music, Syd Barret died recently. I have to say I’m quite embarassed. I thought he’d died like 20 years ago. When some people become a recluse, they don’t mess around.
  • I visited one of those sites that tell you crap about yourself based on the year you were born. I was shocked to learn that in the year of my birth, Easter was on a Sunday.
  • I was at a conspiracy site perusing some articles when they made a claim that caught my attention. The author alleged that U.S. elections are controlled by a powerful international cabal (which is old news, really), and when this shadowy group wants a change in American domestic policy, a Democrat will be elected president, and when a change in American foreign policy is needed, a Republican will be elected. It makes startling sense when you cast an unbiased eye over recent U.S. history.
  • Hide the children. I found this rhyme in my kids’ Mother Goose book. Who needs the Diceman when they already have something like this:

    I like little Pussy,Her coat is so warm,And if I don't hurt herShe'll do me no harm;So I'll not pull her tail,Nor drive her away,But Pussy and IVery gently will play.

Hey, I didn’t write it.

"Hey, like, this kid cut off a corpse’s head to use as a bong, man!"

July 6, 2006

Nickolas Buckalew, a teenager from Vermont, is going to jail for disinterring a corpse and stealing its head to use as a bong. Among the details in the story that can be placed in the “No Shit” file:

“A psychiatrist has diagnosed Buckalew with mental health issues.”

The most shocking part of the crime?

“On April 8, 2005, Buckalew broke into a tomb, opened the lid of a casket and cut off the head of a corpse. He stole eyeglasses and a bow tie from the dead man.”

I can understand stealing eyeglasses and a head, but stealing a corpse’s bow tie is way, way, way over the line.

Kinda gives the phrase “head shop” a whole new meaning, man.

"Damn Near Killed ‘Em"

July 2, 2006
  • I love scented candles. My current favorite is called vanilla sugar. The aroma gets me all hot and bothered. The fun thing about getting a new candle is sneaking up behind my wife and saying “Hey, smell this.”
  • I was in a giant retail store, and I saw a young girl begging her mother to get her a snow cone machine. The mother resisted, and eventually said “oh, all right.” The pure joy on that little girl’s face made me smile. It’s a good lesson for me and other parents. Sometimes, you have to say to hell with tradition and expectations and habit and say “oh, all right.”
  • We had our home theater projector set up to watch a movie (Used Cars “We’re blowing the shit out of high prices!”), and when we shut it off, the TV (tuned to HBO) came back on, and we were greeted to the sight of a naked woman kneeling with another woman putting her hand in a very dark place. It was a Real Sex episode about butt lovin’. There were a bunch of couples exploring themselves and each other, and one geek in a cardigan taking measurements and walking around with a magnifying glass or some shit (pardon the expression). It was hard to turn away, butt, I mean but at least I got to use the old joke “rectum? damn near killed ’em!” about fifty times. Mrs. Jimmy was appreciative, I’m sure.
  • Yesterday, I had lunch with these two beautiful toddler girls. They are my daughters, but something has happened. They sit at the table to eat. No more high chairs. They drink out of regular cups and use silverware and daintily wipe their mouths with a napkin. What happened to the helpless little twitching creatures that could fit in the crook of my arm?
  • We watched Memoirs of a Geisha finally. If you love beauty, you must see this film, preferrably on a big screen. The story is beautiful, the cinematography is beautiful, the scenery is beautiful, the people are beautiful. I loved it. A perfect movie.
  • Bumpersticker spotted on a, um, bumper: “Black on Black Love . . . It’s not a crime.” I don’t get it.
  • I had to drive almost to hell and back to get a few simple fireworks for our daughters to enjoy. Fireworks are illegal in the People’s Republic of Omaha. You’ll be damned if you can find a diving board at a swimming pool, or the freedom to ride a bike without a suit of armor so you can feel the wind in your face, or the option of buying enough cold medicine for your family. I’m so glad the busybodies of the nannystate are working so hard to protect me from myself. Soon I will receive a certificate absolving me of any responsibility for myself whatsoever.

Have a great weekend.