Thursday, April 30, 2009

Would She Be Wearing Clear Heels?

I did the 5 People You Want to Have Dinner With thing on Facebook. It’s supposed to be five dead people, but Jessica Alba wound up on my list. I imagine these people are going to be brought back to life, otherwise dinner will not only be boring but gross, so Jessica stays. The list is Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther, and Jessica Alba. Everybody except Ms. Alba is on the list because I want to ask them two questions: What was it like, and what do you think? As I’m thinking about it, the seating chart would be difficult. I feel like a teacher. I want to put Malcolm X and MLK together because they were from the same time and place. But I don’t want to put Malcolm X and Martin Luther together because one is a Muslim, who doesn’t drink, the other is a German who makes his own beer. I don’t want to put Jessica Alba too close to Benjamin Franklin because I’m pretty sure he’d violate her personal space. We’re not really supposed to talk about it, but Dr. King might get a bit touchy too. What’s funny is that Bill Clinton and Thomas Jefferson almost made this list. I guess, going clockwise around the table it would go: me, Alba, X, King, Luther, and Franklin. After everyone was seated, I’d start with the questions. What would Malcolm and Martin think about Obama, and Michael Steele, and Flavor Flav, and Hilary Clinton? Would they be excited? Would they be sad? I’d ask Ben Franklin what he thought about the road this country – his country – had taken, and if I made the right Jessica choice or should I have invited Biel. I’d ask him for stories about Washington, Adams, and Jefferson – the gossipy style stuff. I’d ask Martin Luther if knowing how his theses affected Christianity and if he could go back in time would he take a claw hammer with him. I’m starting to rethink my Jessica Alba choice. I don’t know anything about her except that she’s really, really hot and she makes really, really bad movies. She’s not a psycho like Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, and she doesn’t have a reputation for being a diva like Jennifer Lopez or Madonna. I don’t know, maybe she’d have some interesting questions for the other guests. Yeah, that doesn’t help me out at all. I’m changing my pick to Mary Magdalene. Dinner just got interesting.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ramblings About The Republicans

I don’t want to write about politics but we might be witnessing something historic, and I want to know what I thought about it when and if it happened. Is the Republican Party, as we know it, dying? Arlen Specter, the senior senator from Pennsylvania, switched parties and became a Democrat. He left because the Republican Party has become caricatures of themselves, and the final straw was them preparing to attack him, along with two other moderate Republican senators, in their home states for voting with the Democrats on President Obama’s stimulus package. The Democrats were one seat short of a filibuster proof Senate majority, and the Republican’s simple minded, bully boy tactics that stopped working in 2002 gave them that seat. Trying to intimidate a 5th term senator was dumb. What were they hoping to accomplish? Did they even look at the results of his last election? He won the general election by more than he won the primary. The people of Pennsylvania like him. He called their bluff by switching parties, and now he doesn’t have to deal with a Republican primary or a vindictive party. The Democrats aren’t going to run anyone serious against him in their 2010 primary, and the Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They’re going to have to back a right wing nut, who will get crushed, or run a pale imitation of Specter and look stupid. They just gave Pennsylvania to Obama in 2012. He took office less than fifteen weeks ago. This move was extra dumb because the Democrats did the exact same thing to Massachusetts senator Joe Lieberman in 2006, less than three years ago, and he kept his seat by running as an Independent. How could the Republicans have this guy speak at their convention last fall and not remember that? Even if they do replace all the moderates with dyed in the wool fascists, they still don’t pick up any seats. The best they could hope for is not to lose any more, and they already have. The Republicans are becoming a regional, irrelevant footnote, and they don’t seem to know how to stop the collapse. They’re becoming the party for the shrinking demographic of the angry white guy. In five years will the Republican Party be the 20 million Rush Limbaugh fans and nothing else or will they figure out a way to step into the 21st century?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


As I was reading the paper this morning and enjoying my cheese toast, MJ read me a headline from the Times-Union, “Handcuffed Runaway Tries to Drown Police Dog”. Yeah, it grabbed my attention too. A suspect slipped off one of his handcuffs, overpowered his female police captor, evaded helicopters, and waded out into a lake. Being the world class law enforcement organization that they are – or at least big Rin Tin Tin fans – they sent a dog into the water after him. Dogs aren’t dolphins. They dog paddle. They swim well enough not to drown if they fall out of a boat. Some swim well enough to fetch a ball, but perps aren’t balls. Was the dispatch sergeant a cat? That’s the most reasonable explanation I can come up with for how a dog was sent into the water after a guy who’d already kicked a human cop in the chest. They caught the wannabe Mike Vick in the lake later with a marine patrol, but that doesn’t answer the question of why a dog was sent in the first place. Maybe they don’t have an animal marine unit – or would it be a marine animal unit? If they get one, they need to start with alligators – American crocodiles, more precisely. Alligators are lazy and basically wait for food to crawl into their mouths. American crocs hunt. This makes sense for a whole bunch of reasons. First, they’re naturally bullet proof. You have to shoot a gator with something bigger than a .38 if you even want to get its attention. Second, they have 60+ year life expectancies. You won’t have to replace them all the time. Third, they’re endangered so if we start farm raising them it will be good for conservation. Fourth, while they can and will eat almost anything, they can go a full two years without eating. These things have been in their present state for more than 300 million years. They were here 150 million years before the dinosaurs. They’re built to last. They’re low maintenance. Fifth, they could be named after Florida Gator greats: Steve Spurrier, Wilbur Marshall, Emmitt Smith, Danny Weurful, Tim Tebow. Finally, there’s the fear factor. My uncle, who was a cop, used to show up to crime scenes and sit in his car while his officers questioned people. There was a rule: if the sergeant gets out of the car, somebody has to go to jail. The gator rule would be the opposite: if the gator gets in the water, NOBODY goes to jail. That’s not only environmentally friendly – nothing goes to waste – it’s also fiscally responsible. Guess who doesn’t have to feed, clothe, and house a convict. Go Gators.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Only Downside Is The 2 Pounds of Ligustrum We Inhale

Two days in a row now the family has gone on a bike ride through the neighborhood. MJ has decided that she needs to get back in shape after a two year hiatus from exercise. It started for her a couple of weeks ago when she added pushups to her morning routine – not the tasty ice cream treat, that’s for summer. She moved from lady pushups to real pushups a couple of days ago and she can now do thirteen. She’s ripped. We added a bike ride yesterday when we couldn’t muster the mental energy to get to the beach, but still wanted to do something outside. I put LMJ on my handlebars and we ride through Riverside. I fasten her shoes to the bike with her Velcro laces. Not really, she has a DMV approved seat with seatbelts and a reflector and everything. Yesterday’s ride was easier because there wasn’t any traffic on the road. I suppose everyone was at church. We went today at the height of rush hour, but there are enough side streets and sidewalks so it’s not too dangerous. We rode what is basically my five mile running route, down along the river, through Memorial Park, up Riverside Avenue and the North Bank River Walk to the Times-Union helipad, where we watch a train cross the St. John’s if we’re lucky. The engineers are nice enough to honk the horn when we wave at them. MJ is getting used to movement again, and her thighs are protesting a little bit. No pain, no gain. I’m really glad she’s exercising. She needs to recover the muscle mass she’s lost and exercise is the best way to fight off osteoporosis. I’m always up for a bike ride because I dropped $100 on LMJ’s bike seat about nine months ago and we’ve used it fewer than ten times. LMJ wasn’t down with the bike seat at first, but now she likes the wind in her face and bumps in the road. She’s a trooper and so is her mom.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Worry About It.

I was watching one of the Fast and Furious movies last night. It was late and nothing else was on. It was so bad it was good. It was one of those movies where everyone involved was just there for a paycheck, even though no one in the movie was a star. The biggest “name” was Vin Diesel. He was a star for about twenty minutes five years ago. The writers didn’t care. The script wasn’t even a first draft. It was just some drunken ramblings on a cocktail napkin. The movie starts out with Vin Diesel looking at some skid marks of the crash that killed his girlfriend. He sniffs some of the rubber on the asphalt and identifies it as nitro methane, and apparently only one guy in Los Angeles uses it. I was sitting at my computer so I looked up nitro methane. It’s the base for drag racing fuel. This was my mistake because now I was going to have to watch the whole movie to see just how stupid it would get. Of course Vin Diesel decides he has to get revenge for his girlfriend’s murder, even though “girlfriend” is used loosely. He hadn’t seen her in three years. She stayed in L.A. while he became a truck pirate in Central America – I kid you not. His piracy has him pretty high on the F.B.I. list, even though their jurisdiction doesn’t extend to Central America, so he needs to keep a low profile. He does this by driving up to his old house in South Central Los Angeles in a bright yellow muscle car with three fourths of the chrome engine sticking out of the hood. He pulls into the garage, of his last known address, and starts tinkering with his car – in the middle of the night, with the light on, and the garage door open. His sister, who still lives at this house, shows up with a couple bags of groceries and drops the cliché, “You can’t be here. The Feds are looking for you!” He responds with the deadpan, “Don’t worry about it.” That was the end of that plot point. I watched another half hour, no Feds, no nothing. I glossed over the fact that the biggest truck pirate in Central America still has his sister living in the ghetto. I ignored the notion of a drug cartel looking for drug mules by throwing a block party/drag racing tournament. The only Fed we encounter is the other main character who’s undercover and isn’t after Vin. I now know the secret to avoiding federal prosecution, “Don’t worry about it.” I got offended and went to bed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'll Be Right There!

Cough, cough, water? Ice? That’s what I hear when LMJ wants some water, and she always wants ice in it. She usually waits for me to sit down or start doing something else when she is overcome with thirst. She’s not even two yet and she’s already a drama queen. She and her mother are becoming quite the tag team. I wish I knew how to move up the social ladder in my own house, but we seem to be on some type of caste system and I’m stuck. Oh well, maybe in another life. I don’t mind the servitude caste, but I don’t see how it can lead to anything other than my premature death. LMJ understands that certain jobs are mine, and she thinks it’s her responsibility to make sure I get those jobs done. She takes off her diaper as she’s getting ready for her bath, comes and finds me, puts it in my hand, and waits for me to correctly dispose of it. If I’m busy doing something important, like commenting on why Brock Lesnar is a legitimate UFC champion despite his professional wrestling roots, she will interrupt me and lead me by the hand to the trash can like I'm stupid. I’ve been here damn near twenty years. How in the name of all that’s holy did she get promoted to supervisor before me? She’s two. What’s it going to be like when she’s four, eight, sixteen? When she’s sixteen I’m going to be fifty-two. More importantly her mom is going to be fifty-seven. They are both going to become more demanding as we all get older. What if we have another girl? Then there will be three of them. The only hope that I have is to divide and conquer. If I can get them competing with each other for my limited attention, then maybe they’ll both get sick of my incompetence and let me get back to my beer drinking and television watching. Bill Cosby advanced this theory about thirty years ago. I don’t know how it worked out for him, but I know that my dad, who was in a similar situation as me, just calls that wishful thinking. I should probably accept my lot and be happy to make them happy. What if we get a cat? I have to take some pills now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

You Kids Today, You Don't Understand

This was a very old week for me. I had aspirations of being a professional basketball player or football player when I was a kid, as most American boys do. They weren’t serious. I never spent extra time working on my game or in the weight room. If a guy with a whistle wasn’t screaming at me, I wasn’t doing it. I was always going to get in gear tomorrow. Tomorrow arrived on June 24, 1992. That was the day Shaquille O’Neal went number 1 to the Orlando Magic. That was the day it sank in that pro sports wasn’t going to happen for me. Shaq was the first guy I was aware of to go pro who was younger than me. That created a connection for me with him. He was some kind of life cycle benchmark for me. That was seventeen years ago. Shaq went on to be one of the best six or seven basketball players ever, and about three years ago he got old. The NBA playoffs started this week, and for the first time since his rookie season Shaq won’t be a part of them. He’s probably going to retire after next season – his contract is up – and then he’ll be the first hall-of-famer younger than me to retire. I don’t have the same connection to Chuck Liddell. He’s a fighter, for those who don’t know, or he was until he got knocked out for the third time in his last five fights this past Saturday. He was MMA’s first star. He was Mike Tyson – in the ring, not out. Tyson has tattoos on his face. The Iceman has tattoos on his head. For about eight years if you stepped into the cage against Liddell, he put you to sleep. Now, like Shaq and me, he’s old. He can’t do what he used to do. He’s Willie Mays stumbling around the outfield for the Mets, and I’m the New York Giants fan who watched him do magic for a decade, and I’m annoyed that kids don’t know how great he was. I’m turning into an old man. I’m calling adults kids. I don’t start sentences with “BACK IN MY DAY!!!” but I feel the sentiment. How the hell did this happen?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

March Madness May Have Just Gotten A Little Thorazine

A kid named Jeremy Tyler just pumped a burning slug into big time college basketball’s gut, and now we get to watch it die a slow painful death, which I don’t really have a problem with. Jeremy Tyler is a 6’11” high school junior in San Diego who is skipping his senior year to go play professional basketball in Europe. I say good for him. Big time college sports – football and basketball – are indentured servitude at best and slavery at worst. They’re part of a subtle syndicate with the NFL and NBA who use the college games as free minor leagues, and the colleges make billions of dollars pimping out kids. The NFL has a more legitimate “argument” for forcing kids to wait to play than the NBA does. Eighteen year old bodies are not developed enough to endure the constant car crashes that pass for life in professional football. That’s not the case in the NBA, but a few years ago they decided to follow football’s lead and instituted a policy where players had to be at least one year removed from their high school class’s graduation date, which ultimately forced kids to play college ball for at least a year. These kids are squeaking out 2.0’s in the fall and then showing up for zero classes in the spring because grades don’t come out until after the basketball season is over. It’s a sham. Everybody knows it’s a sham. But the people making the money don’t care. Jeremy Tyler decided to hold up a middle finger to the NCAA. His grades and test scores are good enough to get into college, but he doesn’t want to go. He wants to play basketball. Some European team is willing to pay him six figures a year to do that. He’ll face better competition, and if there are holes in his game they’re more likely to be exposed and he’ll have an opportunity to fix them before he makes the transition to the NBA in a couple of years. The reason this is going to kill big time college basketball is because it doesn’t hurt the NBA at all. They still get their minor league that they don’t have to pay for, and it’s a better minor league. College basketball is going to be reduced to the level of the rest of the non-football sports, an afterthought. His grades and scores aren't going away so if basketball doesn't work out, college is still going to be there. Good luck kid.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Don’t Let Your Leptonic Girlfriend Catch You!

That was the subject line in a spam email I got. I had to look up leptonic in the dictionary.

lepton–noun Physics.
any of a class of particles with spin of 1/2 that are not subject to the strong force and that are believed to be truly elementary and not composed of quarks or other subunits. The leptons known or believed to exist are the electron and electron-neutrino, the muon and mu-neutrino, and the tau lepton and tau-neutrino.

There aren’t any other definitions. MJ, is there something you need to tell me? The headline was a good one because after learning what a lepton was, I had to know more about elementary particle porn. Sure, I’ve dabbled in theoretical physics erotica – who hasn’t – but never in this particular sub-genre. I hesitated in opening the message but my curiosity and faith in AOL’s filters and LFA’s anti-virus software was too much for me to resist. There were pictures that AOL blocked and I did not unblock them. I know that things can’t be unseen once they’ve been seen, and I don’t have time to see a psychiatrist. I’ve cleaned up the one “sentence” message for the delicate sensibilities of my audience, but the gist of it was, “Thai MILF [performs filthy act] on young studs meloidae lophiidae lussazione cream pie.” Guess who was headed back to Meloidae is the family of blister beetles: water, desert spider, oil, and a bunch of others. Lophiidae is the family of Goosefishes, the most famous being the Monkfish. Their livers, known as ankimo, are Japanese delicacies. Lussazione is an Italian word for dislocation in a medical sense, as opposed to a diasporatic sense. I’m almost 40% sure diasporatic is a word. There’s no way a person wrote that email message. Not even Sarah Palin using her word-a-day calendar could come up with that. Although it is remarkably close to her position on gay marriage. I just don’t understand how there could still be enough money in internet porn to buy a random email spamming program. Because, at the end of the day, I didn’t go to whatever website they were pimping. I learned a lot. I got a blog post out of it. But they didn’t make any money, unless there’s a huge conspiracy between Google,, and whatever bug site I went to to learn about blister beetles. Then again, maybe High Times should get right on this.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Will Gut Your Children in Front of You and Hang You with Their Intestines

Wow, and it’s just that quick. I rolled into the office this morning, settled in, and went to the break room/kitchen to get myself a Diet Dr. Pepper – it tastes more like the real Dr. Pepper. I opened the refrigerator, knelt down to see the bottom row and an empty space where I had left my delicious treats. A nice young assistant was watching Fox News’ morning crew debate whether or not Burger King’s Sponge Bob Square Pants ads were offensive while she waited for her bagel to finish toasting. It was an onion and garlic bagel, and it smelled fantastic. I’m sure she felt a chill run through her body, not because the refrigerator was open or my natural sexual magnetism – I sweat Drakkar Noir - but because the End Times were nigh. In the soon to be smoldering epicenter of a vast wasteland there was no Dr. Pepper where there should have been three 24oz. bottles. I hadn’t had one since last Wednesday, so I’m sure someone thought they were up for grabs, even though they had to know what the consequences would be. Why would I, or anyone else for that matter, have a sense of humor about stolen sodas? I might understand taking one – no I wouldn’t – but three is beyond any type of suitable excuse, explanation, justification, or rationalization. It was time for everyone to die – slowly and painfully. I was regretting never learning how to waterboard people. Then, as I was standing up I saw my babies on the door. Someone hadn’t stolen them, they had just moved them. Armageddon averted. Looking back on it I may have been on the verge of an overreaction. Yes, there would have been a massive breach of innumerable social contracts in cosmic proportion, and some type of righteous retribution would have been demanded, but if losing a soft drink is the worst thing that happens to me, I think I should be counted among the lucky. Diet soda isn’t good for me anyway.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Sweet Sticky Icky

Today is April 20, 4/20, which means something to stoners. It’s some kind of grand New Year holiday. They get baked everyday at 4:20, which isn’t a big deal in the afternoon, but I guess these jackasses set their alarms for the a.m. session because there is no way in hell they’re up that early or that late. I know they’re not up that early because they’re losers who get up at the crack of noon at the earliest. I also know they’re not up that late because they’re losers that spend all day getting wasted. If we include indulging the munchies, watching television, figuring out who really killed MLK and why, and then forgetting it all takes a maximum of six hours, plus the two hours arguing with their mom about getting a job. Occasionally, maybe on the weekends they’ll mix in some hackeysack to stay fit. I’ve never understood the “reason for the season”. These guys don’t need an excuse to burn some hippy lettuce. I would look up the origin of the 4-20 thing but I feel it would make me dumber. Some things are better left unknown. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not anti-ganja. I am anti-stoner, the dedicated pot smoker who sees it as a way of life and some kind of contribution to society. I think weed should be legal for a bunch of reasons. Regulating it and taxing it would solve a whole bunch of problems. It would reduce the burden on the legal and penal systems, saving billions of dollars a year while raising billions of dollars a year in brand new tax revenue. Game theory calls that a win-win. I just don’t want to hear about the textile or medical benefits of marijuana. At least not until I need a medical marijuana card. Y’all like gettin’ high. I’d respect the “movement” a lot more if it was sold as a freedom issue. I’m pretty sure getting stoned is the definition of the pursuit of happiness. The only reason I can think of for keeping weed illegal is patchouli oil. Just bathe, hippy. That’s why everyone hates you. You’re like mimes, if mimes stank and wouldn’t shut up. But now I’m starting to ramble like I was on something. What? Did you hear that? It’s the helicopters, man – whisper mode. I was reading this thing in High Times…wait, what? Did someone call the pizza guy yet?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Now Daddy doesn't Have to Post Today

Sorry to disappoint the regular readers but this is MJ here doing a guest post for Daddy. He was struggling with what to write (since today was just another fun day at the beach) so I wrote down what was happening at this moment in our lives.
LMJ talking is in italics--and easy to follow since she is into repeating everything.

Stir, stir—wooden spoon. LJ stirs up some Special K water in the kitchen.

Sit, sit, sit, sit (while she pats me on the lap). (This actually means get up and let me watcha podcast on Daddy's computer).

Slurp, slurp --LJ in kitchen.

Daddy’s, daddy’s (computer, she means.)

Crayons, crayons, crayons, crayons,

Paper, paper, paper

Me: There you go; you can sit there and draw.


Tweet, tweet, tweet (baby monitor beeps)

Daddy walks by.

Crayon, crayon, crayon, crayon, crayon, crayon, crayon, crayon, crayon, crayon

Sounds of LMJ coloring at my feet. Flipping the paper; choosing a new crayon.

Me: Nope, color on the paper!

The clothes washer enters a new part of the cycle.

From another room, I hear the NBA play-offs.


Little footsteps walking away.

Quiet tinkering in the sunroom. Playing with the Little People, maybe? (yes)

LJ checks on her.

Sounds of hugs and kisses behind me.

LJ: I love you; I love you. Daddy loves kisses.

LMJ throws a crayon into the box.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

David Sedaris

Last night was date night for MJ and me. We went to see David Sedaris read his essays at the Florida Theatre. The show started at 8pm and we got downtown at 7:45 and without tickets. MJ dropped me off at the ticket booth and drove around looking for a parking spot. On my way into the box office a guy in his mid-forties asked me if I needed tickets. I told him that I did, I needed two, and he told me that he had two great seats that he would sell me for less than face value. I told him I didn’t have any cash on me, and unless he took Visa we’d have to find an ATM. For once working downtown paid off because I knew of a machine less than a block away. I told him I’d give him $50 for the tickets and he seemed a little disappointed, time was on my side because it was now 10 till 8 and he still had go hook up with his wife. Apparently, they had bought tickets months ago and forgot to invite any of their friends until last night, so he was a little bit stuck. He gave me the tickets. I gave him the $50. I didn’t realize how great the seats were. When I looked at the tickets closely on the walk back to the theatre I noticed they were $60 a piece and I just bought both of them for $50 total. I’m going to have to change my name to Marvelous Marvin Haggler. Get it? We were seated on the third or fourth row right next to this guy and his wife. We were closer to the stage than any other heterosexuals in the auditorium. The coolest part of the night was that David Sedaris read all new stuff. He didn’t read a single thing from any of his books. He read a couple of new essays and some entries from his diary. He signed books after the show, but we didn’t bring any books and we’re 78 years old. It was after 10pm by the time it ended, two hours past our bedtime, and we were missing the baby girl. We’ll definitely go see him again if he ever makes it back to Jacksonville

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Forgot To Title This

I write this as I’m on the way to watch a homosexual guy read his essays to me. I really don’t understand how people think in the surreal world that is the upper middle class white Northeast. Judith Warner has written another column that has upset me. Why isn’t anything anyone’s responsibility? She wrote about kids killing themselves after getting bullied – random, although persistent, name calling. First of all she seems surprised that high school boys call people fag and gay. As if this epithet was coined by Ann Coulter eighteen months ago. It would have been a lot easier to just write, “I have no idea what goes on in the real world”. Of course she and her commenters want to make bullying a hanging offense – name calling. I have so many problems with the whole premise of this column that I don’t know where to begin. I think when she writes she should imagine herself reading her column to Elie Wiesel or anyone with problems bigger than the alternative minimum tax. I understand that it’s an awful word, and I’ve been trying very hard to remove it from my vocabulary along with its pumped up brother “faggot” for eighteen months. But if someone kills themselves because they were teased then there is one of two things going on: one, name calling isn’t the real problem, or two, natural selection. If being called a name is too much for little Jimmy to handle then little Jimmy was never cut out for life. Since time began, the way to deal with a bully is by standing up to him or her. Yes, it’s that simple. There are a million ways to do it, but it has to be done. If it gets physical, it gets physical. Dignity is worth an ass whoopin’, whether giving or receiving. In high school bullying boys, as a population, aren’t truly motivated by a hatred of gays or blacks or Jews, they’re motivated at a primal level by a hatred of weakness. That’s why when these incidents escalate and someone really gets hurt, it’s because the bullied party never stood up to the bullying directly. That’s what happens when bullying turns into full blown gay bashing, and it’s what happens when kids snap and show up at school ready for war. ALL CHILDREN GOING THROUGH PUBERTY ARE AWKWARD AND UNCOMFORTABLE AND LOOKING FOR VALIDATION, the bullies and the bullied both. I know what it is to want to protect your children, but sheltering them from everything will only lead to you coming home one day and finding one of them swinging from a chandelier because they found out they weren’t going to be valedictorian or Blanche in Street. We're raising our kids to be emotional AIDS victims, and then blaming anyone and everyone else. This is why the world has justified contempt for us.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kid Dynamite Is Dead

Four days, eight hours of exercise, unknown gallons of lactic acid, extreme levels of pain. This week went well as I continue to get back into the swing of lifting weights. I took it easy on my legs last week in the hopes that I could trick them into overlooking that I added lifting back to the routine. It didn’t work. I did my legs, the whole program, on Monday. The soreness increased steadily up through yesterday. I was walking like a zombie with a dump in my pants. It was incredibly difficult not to grimace as I moved. The pain started to subside today. I think I blasted my legs into submission. Even though I added weights this week I still did my hour of cardio every day. Once I got going everything was fine. Once I stopped, my legs plotted their revenge. Now my legs are just stiff or I have lupus. The family was in the backyard this evening hitting a plastic softball off a tee. I was trying to play the field. If the ball was hit directly at me I caught it. There’s nothing wrong with my upper body or eye hand coordination. If the ball was hit more than a foot to the left or right of me it flew by me because my legs refused to budge. I would be bouncing on my toes with my knees bent ready to react, but when I tried to move I could actually sense that in some small sentience my legs refused to budge. I hate getting old. I want to know why my body has to break down. There was biochemical stuff that healed my body almost instantly when I was a teenager, why can’t it just do that now? What changed? Why do my healing abilities continue getting more and more inefficient? I don’t like being relegated to distance running as a sport. I want to be explosive again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cut The Cadology or More Pots Calling Kettles Black

I’m sitting here listening to a Sesame Street podcast, and the word on the street is “frustrated”. I’m also staring at an email sent to me by the Florida Democratic Party, whose slogan is, “Putting Floridians first because security begins at home”. That’s a non-sequitur. For every Florida Democrat that made fun of Sarah Palin, “Cohesive thought begins at home”. The only people involved in party politics in the 21st century are stupid, all of them. Not a good portion of them, not a lot of them, not most of them, all of them, every single one. I don’t have a problem with them begging for money. I do have a problem with them whining about corruption in Tallahassee by the Republican legislature. They’re Southern Democrats. They invented corruption. Their complaining about someone else’s corruption is like Keith Richard’s complaining about someone else’s drug abuse. It also bothers me that they’re ham-fisted about it. They seem to think that since Florida went to Obama that people in Florida are down with his act. They aren’t. Very few people voted for Obama in Florida. They voted against the lingering stench of the worst president in the country’s history, a six hundred and fifty year old guy with a history of cancer, and his Desperate Housewives of Juno running mate. The Governor is a Republican and Republicans outnumber Democrats almost two to one in both the State House and State Senate. The “We’re queer and we’re here!” strategy isn’t going to work, at least not on anyone over the age of twenty-two, which makes me think they’re not really trying to accomplish anything. How does donating money to the Democratic Party show the Republican legislature that Floridians are unhappy with how they’re doing things? We do that at the polls on Election Day, if we’re unhappy, which in this state is a very big “if”. Why are you telling me about how they’re spending money on ads, instead of telling me about how you would pull Florida ahead of Arkansas and/or Louisiana in education? You know, since we have the fourth biggest economy in the country and we’re dead ass last in teaching children how to read, write, and rithmetic. A hurricane is on the horizon and you’re telling me about how my fire insurance deductible is too high. Y’all think the wrong stuff is important at the wrong time, and that’s why you suck. Lawton Chiles 2010: Even a dead guy would be an improvement.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let My People Go!

JG asked me to come up with some ideas for some animatronics for some Jewish holidays. First of all, I want to know why there isn’t a Passover amusement park. That’s the holiday I’d start with. I’d build an Egyptian village in the front yard with Egyptians and their doomed first born sons made out of sugar or something that will melt under water on one side and the water proof Hebrews on the other. When the sun goes down we turn on the sprinklers – aka the angel of death - and pipe in Nancy Kerrigan screaming “Whyyyyyy!!!!” from when Jeff Gilooly clubbed her in her knee and Metallica’s song Creeping Death as the Egyptian first borns melt. I can’t decide whether to leave the vocals in for the Metallica song. On the one hand the song tells the story of Passover. On the other it will clash with Nancy’s lamentations. I also can’t decide if animatronic Moses should be modeled after me or animatronic Ramses. On the one hand Moses is a much more significant religious and historic figure. On the other hand Ramses has an entire condom company named after him. What’s the hieroglyph for “ribbed for her pleasure”? I’ll split the difference and have them both modeled after me. Ramses will be bald and clean shaven like Yul Brynner. Moses will have Chuck Heston post burning bush hair and beard. We’re also going to have a game show based on the Four Questions. A rabbi will randomly select a number of Jewish families who will compete to see who can run through The Four Questions correctly the quickest. The third thing I’ve come up with for Passover is a tie in with the Publishers’ Clearing House Sweepstakes. Ed McMahon does his thing, but instead of showing up as himself in a suit, I’m going to make him grow a beard and show up as Elijah the Prophet. Passover is easiest because they made a movie about it. The other Jewish holidays are hard because most of them have to do with fasting, and that’s not fun. I have a couple of ideas for Hanukkah but their militant and involve Israeli commandos, but this is fun and I’m going to have to come back to it. Mazeltov!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Have A Brand New Favorite Show

I’ve never watched Mythbusters before, but I may have to start. I’m not sure what myth they were trying to bust, maybe that a car can’t actually be pounded flat, or maybe they just thought, “You know what would be fu**ing AWESOME?” Either way it lead to the most balls-out thing caught on film since the Manhattan Project. See, what they did was they put a compact car in front of a concrete wall and then fired a rocket propelled sled at it going the speed of sound. Okay, apparently there is – was – a misconception that if two tractor trailers collided head on they could crush a compact car so that it would be indistinguishable in the debris. I’ve never heard of this, but someone must have written in about it, and Jamie and Adam, the Mythbusters, called B.S. and decided to prove it. They smashed the two tractor trailers together, but the car wasn’t obliterated. It was FUBAR, but not obliterated. Obliterate is a great word that I don’t get to use as much as I’d like. Anyway, even though the “myth” was basically lying in a pool of its own blood, one of its legs was still moving, and we can’t have that. So Jamie and Adam got the nice folks at New Mexico Tech – not candy ass Cal Tech or M.I.T. - to set up their rocket sled just to make sure it’s not possible to lose a compact car in a tractor trailer collision. What they found out was that it is possible to pancake a compact car. All that’s has to be done is to smash a small car into a 25 ton steel reinforced concrete wall with a rocket sled traveling at 650 mph. I don’t know why a Slayer song wasn’t playing during the “demonstration”. Actually, I don’t know why they didn’t fly Slayer in to play live. They would have done it. This scene is what they’ve been trying to describe musically for twenty-five years.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lazy Easter Sundy

This was an uneventful end to an overly eventful weekend. We had my parents over for Easter brunch. Our Lord and Savior crawled up out of the grave, and we had eggs Benedict and asparagus and a bit of an Easter egg hunt. It wasn’t really a hunt since MJ and I watched LMJ hide the eggs. I wasn’t able to get my animatronic Jesus writhing and screaming in agony up and running this year, so that’s a goal for Good Friday next year. Everybody has a Christmas display. Nobody has an Easter display – remember the reason for the season. Until about a month ago I had never had homemade eggs Benedict. I’d only had it at a restaurant once or twice, and the hollandaise was boring. CG’s hollandaise is fantastic. I’m thinking about suing the restaurant for depraved indifference toward their sauce(s). I could’ve been enjoying another heavy sauce for the past twenty years. I’ve turned down eggs Benedict time and time again. I should have known it was a good sauce just by looking at a recipe. Eggs Benedict is one of those dishes, like spaghetti or pork chops, that is really difficult to reproduce in a restaurant setting. It’s all about timing the sauce, the eggs, and the muffins. You can’t mass produce that. Today was exactly what the doctor ordered, chill. We didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t talk to anyone. It was so low key that I had a rough time coming up with something to write about, which is why this may seem as if I’m rambling a bit. This was a great weekend. We hung out with good friends. We ate good food. I was able to mix in a little beer. The only thing that would have made it better is if my back had even tried to come close to cooperating so I could get a run in. Unfortunately, it’s been sore for the last few days. I think I may have slept funny. Oh well, back to the salt mines tomorrow morning. Legs are on deck.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Day at The Beach

LMJ got some water wings and spent the day in the pool today. We had another busy day. We spent today at our good friends’ house. Yesterday the beach, today the pool, you have no idea how hard my life is. LMJ had a blast. She is a dyed in the wool Florida girl. Water? Let’s get in. She was in this floaty thing we have for her, and I was dipping up and down under the water and blowing bubbles, trying to teach her how not to drown. She thought it was the funniest thing ever. What I thought was funny is every time I came up she was darker. When we got in the pool around 1:30 she could pass. At 1:45 she would have needed to move to the back of the bus. Y’all know what I’m talking about. She doesn’t just get darker, she changes ethnicities. She got in a little Italian girl. She got out some kind of New Zealand aborigine. She has a really cool blue swimsuit/rashguard that’s begging for a surfboard. I’d throw some pictures up, but they’re on Mama’s camera and she’s gone to bed with the baby girl. Like I said it was another long and tiring day. We went over to the G’s house to offer some moral support to EG who has ripped a hole in his brain stem and is literally flat on his back bored to tears. He bounced around with us in the pool and hot tub. Oh, I didn’t mention the hot tub? Like I said, every day is rougher than the one before it. EG bounced around and drank Mountain Dew – per doctor’s orders – and hopefully had a good time. LMJ certainly did. She learned how to jump off the steps and into our arms. It’s a miracle we got her out of the pool at all. And since there’s no rest for the wicked, we have a huge day tomorrow too. In celebration of Jesus crawling out of the grave we’re going to try to go to church, and we’re having brunch afterwards with my parents, hopefully. It’s a good thing I go back to work Monday. I don’t know how much longer I could keep up this pace.

Friday, April 10, 2009

No! That's Not the Point I Was Trying to Make

We had a fun but extremely tiring day today. We went to the beach to see ME and her brood. She has a really nice condo on the beach with multiple bathrooms, which makes it Shangri-La for MJ. LMJ had a bit of a rough moment that I wound up taking the worst of. As she approaches two my wisdom is plummeting in her esteem. It was very windy and a little bit chilly on the beach, so we eased into the ocean. I wasn’t really pumped this morning about the beach, so in my negativity I didn’t dress properly. I dressed in shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers with socks. No big deal I took off my shoes and I had no plans of going swimming. I wound up walking LMJ down to the water to get our feet wet when she decided that she didn’t need to hold my hand. I gave her an inch, she took a mile, and in the infinite perfection that is the universe, Mother Nature knocked my baby girl on her ass. We were in maybe six inches of water, and I was less than a foot away from her, so she wasn’t in danger of being swept away. However, it did give LMJ the second big fright of the morning. The first was when she was in our study and the printer started. It scared her so badly she started to scream, which scared us until we figured what had happened. Then it became funny. LMJ didn’t think it was funny. After the Atlantic said, “Listen to your father!” in its domineering voice I picked up my frightened little girl, who was cold and wet, which meant I was now cold and wet. She was in a swimsuit, however. I was just shivering. She cried a bit. She had some animal crackers, and then she was back at it. She filed the fact that the ocean could knock her over in the back of her mind and went on running around and scaring the crap out of me for another forty-five minutes. She completely missed the lesson she was supposed to learn, which was that she should listen to her daddy when he tells her stuff. She never seems to get that message. I don’t know if I should stop expecting her to learn it, or if I should start carrying flip charts so I can better diagram it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Is This a Topic for Television? (EG, Skip This One, Really)

I did my shoulders today and blah blah blah. Cardio blah blah blah. I ate right blah blah blah. Oprah had Dr. Laura Berman on her show today to explain why it’s important to teach our daughters how to rub one out. She made some succinct, lucid points based in biology, psychology, and plain old common sense. She even recommended what used to be politely referred to as “neck massagers”. I bet if Dr. Berman doesn’t have a deal with Water Pic, she will soon. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about this conversation for a while, and by “we” I mean MJ. This is not a conversation I will be having with LMJ or any other potential daughter. I’ll talk x’s and o’s – zygotes, mitosis, meiosis, fertilization etc., but “being her own best friend” is not a dad conversation topic, at least not this dad. You can go ahead and carve that in stone and gild it. MJ might weigh a buck twenty five soaking wet holding a brick. Unless I am a quadriplegic, she can’t physically get me into that room, let alone stop me from blowing my brains out. If we have a son, I’ll have that conversation, not that I'll need to. The hardest most difficult part of that will be getting him not to do it - at the dinner table, or in public. If I’m forced to talk about sex in anything other than a clinical fashion with LMJ there will be talk of evil. There will be high definition 3D video in Dolby Surround Sound of difficult births and afterbirths, of Cesarian sections. Episiotomies will be shown. I will tell my baby girl that if God wanted her to have sex while her father was still alive, he would have killed me a long time ago. Think about it. Strategically and tactically I understand where Dr. Berman is coming from (no pun intended), but that’s all abstract. Her main point was that if pubescent girls are TCB’n at home, then they won’t feel need to let a pimply faced chimp in a Flo Rida t-shirt try. In practice, in reality some things are just too creepy to talk about. I have to go watch demolition derby or something.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Me Whining and Complaing, Moaning and Groaning

I went extra super-duper heavy on my back today, and I know I’m going to pay for it tomorrow. I was not motivated to be there today, and I had to talk to myself more than usual. I got a couple of funny looks, but I do what I have to do to throw around some heavy ass weights. It seems like if I write about exercise lately, it’s nothing more than a chronicle of my anticipated pain. My body is fatigued. I had forgotten how exhausting it is to get back into lifting shape. I’m going to have to start putting sticky notes everywhere to remind myself to workout so I don’t have too many weeks like I’m having. I’m doing the elliptical because I’m cheap. I don’t want to wear out my new running shoes, but I know that at some point I’m going to start running again, and then I’ll be posting about how much it sucks getting back into running shape. As far as the weights are concerned, I just need to be consistent through next week and my body will be used to it. My legs don’t hurt as much as I expected them to. The stretching and hydrating is paying dividends, as are my free form amino acids. My chest is another story. That was yesterday so the soreness is still fresh. I was playing with LMJ in the back yard this evening, and I felt like Pamela Anderson running on Baywatch. But it’s all good for me. It means I’m being active and getting my blood flowing. I see people in their seventies and eighties who exercised their whole lives and those who didn’t. It looks like it’s much better to be in the first group. I’m also glad that I exercised today because I went gangsta on some pizza. EG and his leaking brain, JG and her sweet kicks, and IG and her text device showed up at the door bearing a couple pies, basically. It was a very pleasant surprise. Hi, my name is LJ and I’m a pizzaholic. Tomorrow is shoulders and a lot more pain, but Friday is weight free. I may run a few miles just to recover but nothing intense. It’s 8:30pm and I’m off to bed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kevin Costner Isn't Mexican

My idea for tonight’s post was shot down by my sometimes editor so I’m just going to write about a weird idea that is running through my brain. One of the most surprising things about Battlestar Galactica was that Edward James Olmos stuck around for the whole thing. He’s a serious artsy fartsy activist performer and the instant he starts thinking a show sucks he quits. He did it with Miami Vice. He refused to be in the movie even though they offered him roughly $600 trillion because he knew it was going to be a festering turd. He was the only one from the television show cast that was asked to reprise his role, which was kind of cruel, because I think he’s the only one that didn’t need the money. None of this has to do with my idea. Olmos made a movie about Mexican gangs in East Los Angeles (EasLos, odelay) and prison life called American Me. It was the rawest, grittiest, thing I had seen until The Wire came out. What stuck out to me most from the movie were the accents and the slang, and how messing them up would totally ruin its intensity. What I want to do is reshoot the movie, but I want to replace Olmos with Kevin Costner. If I shoot it sequentially we’ll be able to pinpoint when he quits trying to speak with an accent at all. His accent in Robin Hood fades in and out because it wasn’t shot in order, so we have no idea when he gave up and just stopped caring. Who wouldn’t pay $9 to hear Kevin Costner speak Spanglish, or just to hear him say “Ese”? The fact that Kevin Costner is a huge star shows that Hollywood is truly a meritocracy; one of the few in the world along with politics. Oh, man! I just remembered his accent in JFK. I wonder what the directors were thinking when Robin Hood and JFK were getting made. Oliver Stone probably didn’t care, if he noticed at all, as long as his conspiracy theory was rammed home over and over and over again. But what about the guy making Robin Hood or Costner himself? Everybody else on the set could do it, even Christian Slater. This seems to have turned into an anti-Kevin Costner post, and I’m really indifferent. I guess the problem is that I watched Tombstone before I watched the first five minutes of Wyatt Earp. Kurt Russell really nailed it. Kevin Costner can't act

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Cruel Tutelage of The Master Pai Mei

Last Tuesday I wrote about having to sit through a ridiculous training where I had PowerPoint slides read to me, and that I was surfing YouTube because I wouldn’t remember any of the training even if I did pay attention, and Lincoln was going to change it anyway. At 9:08 am EDT this morning, less than a week later, I got an email saying the whole system is being scrapped and we’re going back to the way it was. Man is it hard being right all the time – Rush Limbaugh and me. I made it to the gym this morning and the squats went about as I expected. My legs are mush. I didn’t even push it this morning. I was smart. I warmed up on the elliptical to get the blood going. I eased into my routine. And this is the part where I was smart, I allowed myself an extra minute between sets to let my legs figure out what was going on, and put a stop to it. I knew I would feel great at the beginning, and I did, but I also knew that if I wasn’t careful I’d wind up walking like Fred Sanford for the next week. Squats hit everything below the belly button, and running doesn’t stress the hamstrings the way squats do. They’re not really the goal of the exercise, but they have to get used to their support role or they’ll pop. Pulling a hammy is a good laxative or more precisely, it can be a good enema. The pain is at its full intensity instantly. It’s horrible, and there’s no way to take all of the pressure off your legs. I had finished a set and I was waiting the extra minute when I caught a twinge in the back of my leg. I was about to add another 90 lbs. to the bar. Instead, the party was over. I packed up my stuff, and nobody had to go to the hospital. I’m going to spend the rest of the day drinking water and gently stretching my legs in the desperate hope that I can avoid as much of the inevitable soreness as possible. Squats are a harsh mistress but I’m glad they’re back.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It Needs to Be Big, And It Needs to Say Tide on It.

I’m reading Dr. Denis Leary’s Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy, and Stupid, so maybe I’m a little bit extra cynical, a little bit extra jaded. I read a blog post/column in the New York Times a couple of days ago that really got under my skin. It had to do with new research suggesting that breast milk isn’t really that much better than modern formula, and about the nefarious evil that is the breast pump. I don’t have a problem with the new research. I’m highly skeptical, and I’m inclined to trust millions of years of evolution over the results of a study conducted by a company that makes baby formula, especially since the formula shares some of its finer ingredients with rocket fuel. Not the Red Bull style energy drink, the stuff that pushes multiple tons of metal past escape velocity. But I’m not questioning the research on its face. The problem I have is with the reaction of the writer and her gaggle of friends, who have all been traumatized by the act of breast pumping. It’s why everyone else, everywhere else hates America to the core of their bones. No one has ever thought or said breast pumping was easy. I understand that La Leche are a bunch of zealots and pressure all mothers to breast feed. But this group loses me when one of them says, “That was my least favorite thing I ever did in my whole life.” The women of Darfur weep for you. The 26 year old mother of two whose husband stepped on an IED in Iraq is glad she’s not you. They go on to talk about what a chore motherhood is and how they should have more maternity leave, to the tune of six months. Be careful what you wish for, ladies. You may get all the maternity leave you want and then some. I doubt they’ll call it “maternity” leave. They’ll just tell you to leave because the company is going out of business. If you don’t want to pump or breastfeed, then come to a decision with your significant other before you get pregnant. You can breast feed your kids, you can feed them formula, or you can – and this is my default recommendation – not have them at all. If you’re worried your husband won’t have sex with you because breastfeeding and pumping make your nipples funny looking, then your husband is probably gay and you have some self esteem issues. I honestly try to live my life by understanding where other people are coming from. I remind myself everyday how lucky I am to be a healthy American with a beautiful family and a job. When people are complaining in a newspaper about how their lives were nearly ruined by breast pumping, right next to an article about the 600 thousand people who lost their jobs in February it makes it difficult for me to take them seriously. When are we going to get around to legalizing weed? I think I’m off my soapbox.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another Day at The Beach

Today was busy beyond busy. We went to the Riverside Arts Market, which is a fancy word for swap meet, this morning. It was fun, and a friend who lives in Valdosta, TF, was in town with her two daughters. There were arts and crafts, fruits and vegetables vendors, a grandmother belly dancing, and some ethnic food vendors – basically boring, boring, ahhhh make it stop, and I’m in. I’ve been on a trying new food kick and there was a British food booth. They were giving away free samples of shepherd’s pie, which I had no use for. I grew up on it. I wanted the food that conquered the world by way of dysentery. I paid $6 for a steak and kidney pie because it was the only thing they were serving that included an organ meat. They sold it cold so I had to wait until we got home to heat it up in the toaster oven. I was expecting some strong flavors, something metallic, something harsh, something that would let me know I was eating a cow’s poison filter. I even bought some beer to specifically wash down the shock and awe. I got a boring pot pie. I took huge mouthfuls from the center and the only part that was remarkable was the halfway decent pastry. While I was expanding my food experience LMJ was taking a three hour nap, and as soon as she woke up we went to the beach and hung out with TF. It was a little bit cooler today than it was yesterday, but everyone was a trooper. LMJ had a blast playing with TF’s older daughters; one is eight, MF, the other is five, LF. They dug in the sand and played with some paddle things, which I think is a law, and the highlight of the day, they played soccer. I was so impressed with how LMJ dove right into everything. She’s not intimidated by bigger kids at all, which I always forget. She kicked the ball with everyone, until she saw the huge hole in the sand left by some other people – big beach no, no. I wouldn’t let her jump into it, so she decided she would pick up the ball and throw it in the hole. I didn’t necessarily want to steer her towards soccer because everyone does that, but I think she might be a natural goalie. Today was jam packed from beginning to end, but seeing friends from out of town and spending time at the beach is worth it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Day at The Beach

I started the day talking to my accountant about my taxes and wanted to add to my list from yesterday. Fortunately, the sun came out today and MJ was able to coax me off the ledge and out to the beach. There is something magical about the shore. I was in a horrible mood when I opened the car door and smelled the sea air. My spirits were instantly lifted. We ran around and played and built sand castles and just had a big time. We watched dogs playing, which is just funny. Not just the knucklehead young dog who wants to do nothing but chase the tennis ball his owner has thrown into the ocean, but we also love watching the dogs interact with each other. I love the jealousy the dog on the leash has for the free dog. I love how they all smell each other hello. There was one downer, an eight hundred year old yellow lab whose hips hurt and was too old to lift his tail. I felt bad for the owner because it’s not going to be too long before he has one of the worst days of his life. LMJ was better behaved than could reasonably be expected. She didn’t eat any sand and she didn’t run too far away. She had to run away from a surfer walking up the beach with his board when she lost sight of me, but that was the scariest part of her beach day. We could tell that she wanted to get in the water, and last summer she would have just headed towards Bermuda and I would have had to chase her down, but today she didn’t even get close. Right as we were about to leave I walked her down to the water and we got our feet wet. Just like the sea air the water just felt “right”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t understand how people live without easy access to the beach.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Suicidal Tendencies Isn't Just A Band - It's A Great Band

MJ and I took LMJ on a walk tonight and while the evil baby was secretly falling asleep MJ was telling me about where her mind was wandering when she couldn’t find me this afternoon. I was having a nine martini lunch like I do everyday and I had my phone off. As any spouse does, her mind immediately went to the worst possible scenario – my bloody death. The conversation strayed into suicide and MJ not really understanding how someone could get to that point. I can. There’s a reason I approach double digit martinis at lunch five times a week. I skip coffee on the weekend and start pounding beers at sunrise. This is a list of reasons I will kill myself

• The Jaguars take a quarterback in the first round of the draft
• Men In Black 3 gets made
• The Seminoles don’t beat the Gators in football in the next two years
• The Gators win another national championship
• I’m forced to watch Slumdog Millionaire
• Sean Penn is elected to public office
• Sean Hannity is elected to public office
• Moon River Pizza closes
• The Jaguars don’t make the playoffs and Jack Del Rio keeps his job
• It rains everyday of spring break (uh-oh)

I wonder if it would be a violation of the terms of service to post this as a meme on Facebook. Name the top ten reasons you’d selfishly eat a bullet so your significant other could find your brains plastered all over the wall, and pass it on to ten friends. Let’s see how long it takes for all of Facebook to do it – the list not the act. I saw what they tried to do to Judas Priest back in the ‘80’s and they’re not going to get me the same way. There are just a couple of ground rules to be in this group: no pills, no CO poisoning. It has to involve firearms and/or explosives. Collateral damage is up to you, your conscience, and your God.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bistro Aix in Jacksonville

We went out to dinner tonight. It was “date night”. Yes, we’re seventy years old. We were in the mood for some fine dining, but we weren’t in the mood for Ruth’s Chris, and if you’ve been in Jacksonville for more than twenty seconds you know it doesn’t quite measure up to Paris or New York as a restaurant town, so our options were limited. We decided to brave a new world and blaze a new trail, so we chose Bistro Aix. It’s close, in San Marco, and highly rated and recommended. I’m really upset that we haven’t had this spot in the rotation for the past ten years. Unfortunately, we’d been a little intimidated by the menu. We didn’t feel we were ready for the full on French selections. I don’t know about MJ but I had a little trepidation going in, and I was in full on Andrew Zimmern/Tony Bourdain mode, and was looking at this as a positive new experience whether I enjoyed my meal or not. What I noticed as we walked in was the dude in his fifties sitting at the bar with a martini and hitting on this chick in her late thirties. She was out of his league, but I imagine he bought her a drink and she felt she owed him some conversation. My first thought was thank God I’m married. If I was in the dating scene trying to pick up skanks barflies single women I’d eat a bunch of cyanide and wash it down with some broken glass. We were lead through the dark trying-not-to-go-home-alone section of the restaurant and into the better lit I-can-get-a-date section. The atmosphere was great. Our waitress, who was fantastic the whole night, brought us a big fancy glass bottle of tap water. I upgraded to Heineken the next time she came by. We ordered the crispy duck confit with pineapple ketchup appetizer, which was very good but nothing to write home about. I ordered the Braised Pork Shank in harissa broth with organic parsnip-celeriac purée & broccoli rabe for my entrée and MJ ordered the Roasted Chicken with organic broccoli, whipped potatoes & natural jus for hers. Sweet…mother…of…all…that’s…holy. I ordered the pork because I didn’t want a steak. Normally, I don’t like pork in a restaurant. It tends to either be greasy or bone dry. This was falling off the bone and perfect. I forgot that it came on a bed of parsnip-celeriac purée and I thought they were really sweet potatoes - potatoes that were sweet as oppossed to yams. I thought the chef was trying to show how groovy he was. MJ was nice enough to remind me that they were parsnips and that they were probably seasoned to go with the broccoli rabe and pork. She was right. This was literally the best meal I’ve had in the United States in almost a decade. MJ made me try her chicken, which looked like a Publix rotisserie chicken. It didn’t taste like a Publix rotisserie chicken. It was other worldly good. My favorite part of the meal(s) was that the braised pork and roasted chicken were simple and well prepared. The chef demonstrating that he’s a professional, and smacking the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a problem, but with the other ingredients he showed that he was original and creative. He’s definitely way too good to be on Top Chef. I’d be excited to see him on Iron Chef, although I’d stay away from Cat Cora and Mario Batali, and try my luck with either Bobby Flay or Morimoto. We also got out of Bistro Aix for about 60% of what it would have cost us to go to Ruth’s Chris. So Bonus.