Elvis & Me

October 3, 2006
  • Ashton Kutcher says that Bill Clinton ignored him while chatting up his wife, Demi Moore. As much as it pains me, I have to take Bill’s side on this one, Ashton. If I’m ever at a table with you and Demi, you may as well be in China, cuz I won’t know you’re there.
  • A recent article in The Sun claims that George Michael is “off his trolley.” “Off his trolley” . . . I like that.
  • The gig for the Nebraska governor went well. I didn’t get to meet the governor, but the gig was a lot of fun. We blasted some good ol’ classic and British invasion rock. It was held in the basement of a beautiful (and very large) home in Omaha. I felt a tad out-of-place amongst all the well-dressed Republican money people, but hey, I’m with the band. Also performing was the best Elvis impersonator I’ve ever seen. His name was Greg, and he was the nicest guy you could want. He rhinestone-studded suit and hair and sideburns and wig were dead-on. He had the moves, and even had the voice. He even sang the “American Trilogy” and nailed it. I’ll post a few pics.
  • Washington D.C. police have been forced to admit that surveillance cameras are not making the city safer. D.C. had a bloody weekend: 11 people shot, 4 fatally. Don’t expect the cameras to go away, though. They aren’t actually there to keep people safe. They are there to keep track of everyone, and when the time comes, they will be everywhere, and I mean everywhere.
  • So Mark Foley wanted to screw a page. So what? How well does he do his job? That’s the only important question. Character is overrated. Besides, only a moron parent would send their kid to be a page in Congress . . . without teaching them about safe sex, that is.
  • This animation is very, very cool.
  • Here’s a site that has loads of movies, short films, cartoons, stand-ups, concerts and documentaries that have fallen out of copyright. Perusing the list, I see not all of them are out of copyright, but there are some great classic B-movies and horror movies.
  • Once in a while, I’m acutely aware of the passing of time. Not sure what does it. Maybe it’s the change of the season. Whatever the reason, sometimes I find myself unable to say “no” to my daughters. The other night, while the Husker game was on, I did everything they asked. If they wanted to play this or that, if they wanted me to carry them or swing them or pretend like they’re flying, I would do it. It’s fun to do that sometimes. It’s also exhausting beyond belief. It’s a good kind of tired, though.

I have my energy back now, so watch out.


I Can’t Draw Woody

August 30, 2006
  • I can’t draw Woody (that’s Woody from Toy Story, Davis, not a woody). My daughters asked me to draw Woody for them, but my drawings made him look stoned. One rendition made him look like Oliver Hardy.
  • I saw a Dell commercial the other day. A man calls the Dell help line, and someone- speaking with perfect English-answers the phone on the first ring, and says “Welcome to Dell, what can we build for you today?” Oh, puh-leeeeeze!
  • On the radio, I heard an ad for a job with the radio station as a “Director of First Impressions,” a position formerly known as “receptionist.” The logic is that the receptionist is the first person a customer sees when they walk into the station building. May I suggest cleavage and leg. Everyone, repeat after me: cleavage and leg, cleavage and leg . . .
  • I didn’t see the Emmy awards, but I heard Conan was hilarious. Also heard that people are up in arms that he did a skit about a plane crash on the same day as the Kentucky plane crash. For the love of God and all that is holy, people, please stop it. Stop being so goddamned sensitive. My heart goes out to the families of those crash victims, but it is their pain, not yours or mine. It’s this sort of hyper-sensitivity and irrational fear that makes it impossible for me to see the Liberty Bell without having my prostate checked.
  • Rio is building a so-called City of Sex . . . well, what else do you need to know? We’ve found the next Gathering Point.
  • That nutjob who’s trying to take the “credit” for killing the Ramsey girl once said that he wants Johnny Depp to portray him in the movies. Sorry, asshole, but Depp will be playing me!
  • I stopped at Border’s today, and as the cashier rang up my purchase, she held up the book and asked, “Did you find it?” I’ve been struggling for days to think of a good “Here’s Your Sign” retort, but I have failed. Please help.
  • I can’t stop giggling at this, because I’m immature at heart. Just go here and have some fun. Instructions are on the right. Click “add person,” and you’re on your way.
  • If you want to add about 15 inches to your vertical jump, just have one of my daughters come up behind you and pull on your leg hairs. It worked for me.
  • One of my daughters is so tall now that I can’t take her by the arms and swing her between my legs anymore. I know how it feels. I remember growing so fast that I outgrew that sort of stuff earlier than most kids. It wasn’t long before I was too tall to be swung around, or too heavy to be carried. However, I’m still considerably larger than my daughters, so they have plenty of swinging and tossing and horsey rides left to go. I’d better get in shape, though.

Here’s yer sign.

J.K. Rowling Has a Nice Ass

August 25, 2006

  • Got your attention, eh? Well, what is your first reaction to this pic?
  • It’s nice to see some things don’t change. While watching Mr. Rogers with my girls, he came through the door, singing his theme song like always, changing his shoes and into his sweater, then said, “Hi, neighbor, I’ve been thinking about zippers today.” Me, too, Fred. Me, too.
  • A botched sewer line repair caused sewage to back up into an Omaha woman’s home. Here is what she had to say, as quoted in full in the news account: I came downstairs and this seat was full of poop. It smells really bad. He put his snake through this here pole. As he was doing that big turds of poop was coming of this drain.
  • This evening, a young lady came to the door. All she wanted, she said, was my opinion on some products. She gave me two cans of air freshener, and asked me to tell her which one I would choose if I were shopping. She told me I could keep the one I chose as a gift for helping out. Then, they brought out a vacuum cleaner, and asked if they could come inside for a moment. I told them that I didn’t have time for all that. She thanked me and left . . . and took back the air freshener. Bitch.
  • Lately, I’ve been thinking about time. It amazes me how fast it moves anymore. I read an “out-there” book about time and time travel that floated the idea that time is more relative than we think, that when we have those days when time seems to crawl or speed by, that it really is crawling or speeding by. Time moves at different speeds; it’s not just in our heads. Not sure why I brought this up.
  • I’ve always been a bit of a loner. For me, the hard part of being a stay-at-home dad is the lack of alone time. Sometimes, I just don’t want anyone pulling on my hand, telling me to “come downstairs and play.” But then, I realize that they won’t want me to play with them forever. Eventually, I will go from being a mythic figure to the most uncool being on the planet. They won’t want me around at all, but I won’t take offense. That’s how things go. A time will come when I can’t be cool, even if my guitar amp is louder than their stereo could ever be. That day will come sooner than I expect, because time always moves fast on the good things.
  • I have to say that I’m almost certain this is the first blog post in history to contain the phrases “J.K. Rowling has a nice ass” and “big turds of poop.” If you can find anyone else who beat me to it, I’ll send you a dollar.
  • Oh, and why doesn’t Blogger’s spell-check recognize the word “blog?”

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.

"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.

A Voice from the Past

June 19, 2006

Recently, while cleaning out old files and boxes, I came across this letter from my grandma, gone 6 years this November. I miss her. It was nice to talk to her again.

Mon. P.M.

Dear Tracey & Jim,

So nice to have you out here for a visit.
I saw this article in the paper and thought you might like to look at it. I wonder how our “Cornhuskers” will do now in the Big 12? I hope they keep doing good.
It’s cloudy and gloomy here today, hope we get a little rain out of it.


Granma C

What the World Almost Lost

May 16, 2006

Yesterday, while driving on the highway, my wife narrowly missed a collision with another vehicle whose crazy driver was either fleeing the police or unconscious behind the wheel. Only a matter of seconds or less separated her from a nasty crash that could have been fatal.
She told me this over the phone, and it dawned on me immediately that I could easily have had the sheriff or the state patrol on the line, telling me about a bad accident, gee we’re sure sorry and would I mind coming down to make an identification? I remember noticing details around me——sun shining bright, kids eating lunch, Eagles on the stereo, etc., and how those details came this close to forming a sort of psychological restore point. A place where everything starts over.

I don’t talk about Tracey much. Not because she’s unimportant or a source of shame. I’m simply respecting her privacy. Once I open the door, sometimes it’s hard to know where the line is drawn between what can be shared or not. But, in this case I’d like to crack the door a little.

This October will be our 13th wedding anniversary. We’ve lived in a few cities and states. We’ve made friends and then said goodbye. We brought in two furry cats—one we lost last year, the other still with us for nearly the entire stretch. We have two beautiful, twin daughters, Laura and Abby. They are intelligent to an almost freakish degree (I say that with only a mild bias).

Although the flames of passion that make relationships so much fun in the beginning have cooled a little, the benefit is to be left with a friend. I’m talking about friendship deeper and more everlasting than you can possibly imagine (if you can, you know what I’m talking about). A friend who agrees with you that no matter how hard things get, quitting is not an option. She’s a woman who continues to believe in me when I’ve lost faith in myself. A woman I don’t have to worry about out in the world because I know she puts up with less shit from others than me, and that ain’t much. She is pure beauty in the classical sense. Intelligent in a way that defies comprehension yet provides inspiration. A woman whose maternal instincts continue to amaze. I could not be more fortunate to have this woman be the mother of my children.

They say the best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother. I’m trying, girls, although she makes it pretty easy.

I am proud to tell the world that Tracey is my wife.