My Kid Saw Me Naked

30 12 2007

Isn’t it great when your child is a baby, and you don’t have to hide or close any doors when you take a shower or change clothes? The baby does not care if you have an extra arm, scars, or even whether you are anatomically correct (just for the record, I am). It’s like the Garden of Eden before the apple biting.

I’ve heard that it’s somewhere around age 2-3 that you are supposed to start being more careful around your child in the “nudity” area. I certainly am not one of those that feels the body au naturale is shameful or dirty (unless you’ve taken a mud bath, but that’s a different story). However, trying to be a good parent, I’ve started being conscious of the situation when taking a shower or changing in our walk-in closet.

A few days ago, I was coming out of the shower clad in a towel and making the trek to the walk-in. Down the hallway, I spied our daughter, who is smack dab in the middle of that 2-3 age range, happily playing on the living room floor with books and toys. Surprisingly, she had not found yet another dangerous object that we thought we had placed in an unreachable place. No, she was actually enjoying items appropriate for her age. She seemed not even to notice me. Therefore, I thought I did not need to worry about closing any doors. After grabbing boxers from a drawer, I proceeded into the closet and picked out something to wear (no doubt something stylish, like jeans and a sweatshirt).

As I let the towel drop, ready to don the boxers, I looked up, and there she stood. (If you’ve ever seen the movie, The Ring where the scary girl could transport herself quickly to a new location, well, it was like that). She was looking directly at me. She was looking DIRECTLY at me (we’re not talking eye contact here; we’re talking her eye level, my midsection level – staring with a sort of contemplative look on her face.) Did I quickly pull on the boxers? Did I turn around to give her a somewhat less offensive view? Did I push the door shut? No, I turned into a deer on a midnight, two-lane highway with an SUV speeding toward it and froze in terror.

The ball (no pun intended) was absolutely in her court now, as it usually seems to be. I could see her thinking. At this point, it’s important for you to know that she likes to watch the Disney t.v. show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This is important because they end the show with a silly song that repeatedly uses the words “hot dog.” While my daughter continued to stare at my most private part, she happily burst out into song, singing “hot dog, hot dog” repeatedly. The only thing that would have made it funnier, more embarrassing, worse would have been if she had actually pointed right at me. This, she did not do. At some point, which seemed like a LONG minute to me, she walked back toward the living room, and I was left to finally put on my clothes.

Obviously, I do NOT think she is scarred for life or anything like that. However, I wonder if maybe I am. If that song pops into my head at inopportune times in the future, I’m doomed. I’m going to do my best to keep the hot dog, buns, and beans covered around her in the future.

(Yeah, I went with a humongous large hot dog pic.)





Spoilers! Don’t Read if You Believe in Anything

28 12 2007

Over the Christmas holiday, the whole discussion about when one stopped believing in Santa Claus came up. It’s interesting that there is this big concept out there that one particular segment of society (kids) believes in, while most others do not. I decided to spend some time thinking about other beliefs that one portion of our society deems the truth, while others would scoff. (I’m staying away from the God’s existence debate in this blog, but you can count me as a believer on that one). Cher once asked in song, “Do you believe in life after love?” The Lovin’ Spoonful musically asked, “Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart?’ I simply ask, “What do you believe?” Let’s delve into the human mind, shall we?

Aliens Visiting Earth: There is a good-sized chunk of people out there who believe in the visitors-from-another-world-probing-people’s-butts thing. They subscribe to magazines with names like “Abduction Tales” (or is it Tails because of the probing?). They chat with others online about what is really going on in Area 51 and also in an empty wooded lot behind the super Wal-Mart near their home. These people did really well on science projects in school and always came up with something more in-depth than that dumb baking soda volcano that those of us who would have rather been pummeling someone in dodge ball resorted to. (p.s. These alien abduction people always sucked at dodge ball. They were the ones who just stood in a corner and didn’t even try to catch the ball that was careening toward their noggin.)
My Take: Hey, I like Coast to Coast with George Noory when I’m having insomnia as much as the next person, but I do not believe there is any being smart enough to travel the galaxy but dumb enough to think the best way to study us is to put something they ultimately want to keep in our rectums (or is it recti?).
When to invite these people to your party: When you might be playing Trivial Pursuit and you need someone who can answer science fiction questions.

Ghosts & Demons Among Us: These people study parapsychology in college, and, except for a few who actually find gainful employment in that field, end up working in a bookstore or library part time. They pore over photographs looking for weird white orbs in the background and listen to audio tapes recorded overnight in cemeteries hoping to catch whispered phrases such as, “I need a snorkel,” apparently uttered by someone who drowned 15 years ago. They constantly warn us of the evils of the Ouija board while secretly holding their own séances and asking if their great aunt Edna is in a happy place. They don’t date much but are prone to being attacked in their own bed by an “entity.” They have The Exorcist memorized and have probably watched Linda Blair spew the green soupy stuff in slow motion.
My Take: I certainly believe in an afterlife, but I can only keep my sanity if I refuse to believe that any spirits are wasting their afterlife time whispering into a tape recorder that someone stuck by a grave and then ran and hid behind a tree. If I’m ever a spirit in that situation, though, I plan to mess with the parapsychologists by saying things like, “It was Mr. Green with a machete in the laundry room.” (Despite my pessimism, I plan to stay away from Ouija boards just to be on the safe side.)
When to invite these people to your party: When it’s a Halloween party and you want someone to talk about “Shadow People” who are out to get you. As an aside, Shadow People would have a very unfair advantage in dodge ball.

I Deserve to Have it All Work Out. This one’s a little different. These are the people who believe that the stars will align for them one day, and, without having to do any planning or making any real sacrifices, they will find their soul mate, their perfect job, and will have the perfect house and car. These people usually drop out of college the first year. They are pretty sure they’ll win a car from Drew Carey on The Price Is Right (despite the fact that they are not actively trying to get on the show), and it will only be a matter of time before some publisher reads their blogs and begs them to turn them into a best-selling book. They know their soul mate is out there, and they are not the least bit alarmed that their past ten relationships have fallen apart within six months. Also, their retirement plans usually consist of winning the Power Ball lottery. Today’s politically correct atmosphere has really killed any gumption these people might have had at one point. They’ve had it pounded into their brain that everyone is extremely special and that everyone who plays a game is a “winner.” P.S. These people are very against dodge ball, as it is very difficult for this game to end in a tie.
My Take: It’s not going to “just happen” for you. Get a plan, and do the work.
When to invite these people to your party: Never.

The Government is Conducting Secret Projects to Screw with Me. These people have twelve months’ worth of water, canned sardines and ammunition hidden underground. They believe the government has been involved in conspiracies in the following areas: JFK assassination, 911, airplane exhaust comtrails (the white lines left in the sky), pink Teletubbies promoting homosexuality, cell phones causing brain damage, subliminal messages in pop songs and cartoons, battery packages being impossible to open, potato chip bags being only 1/3 full when you open them (due to that conspiracy known as “settling”), El Nino weather patterns, the New England Patriots’ winning streak, and dodge ball being banned in many schools.
My Take: I really don’t think the government is capable of many conspiracies more complicated than keeping that affair last summer with a 19-year-old Senate Page a secret.
When to invite these people to your party: When you’re almost out of sardines.

The Chicago Cubs Will Win the World Series in the Next Decade. I don’t know what else to say about these people other than, wow. When they chose to become a fan of the Cubs, they chose a lifetime of heartbreak. Resting your hopes and dreams on the psyche of Carlos “No Cy Young Awards Yet” Zambrano is a dicey proposition.
My Take: Long live the curse of the goat! (If the Cubs do win it soon, I may start to also believe in aliens, ghosts, etc.)
When to invite these people to your party: When you need someone to bring Chicago-style pizza to your place.





What if Your Church Was Like High School?

25 12 2007

Remember getting your high school yearbook? We received our church directory recently, and, while it was fun to thumb through, it did not have the same impact as the day yearbooks got passed out senior year. Now that we have the church directory, what do we do with it? I think it would be interesting to handle it in a similar fashion as a yearbook.

We could go around before and after church, asking others to sign it. Now that I think of it, I just don’t know if it would be the same. What would people write? “I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know each other. Stay Sweet! Stay Christian!” How about, “You always make me laugh during sermons! Man, that preacher is boooooring sometimes. Good luck in the afterlife. LYLAB” I don’t think us guys would get the kind of comments from fellow churchgoers that we used to get from male high school buddies. I just can’t see someone at church writing, “You’re OK except for being such a douche. Your friend, (insert name here),” or the ever popular, “Hey nutbag, how about I beat your face in? Sincerely, (name).”

Also, would there be the same pressure in getting certain signatures at church? In high school (at least for guys), there was a sort of unwritten competition regarding whom you could get to sign your yearbook. We all tried to get the really pretty girls, of course. It was sort of like you got 2 points for every cheerleader…3 points for a homecoming queen…4 points for signage from any girl who had “blossomed” early in the chest department, etc. Bonus points if they signed it “Love, (name)” or drew a heart, especially if done in pink or red or purple ink. Bonus points if it said, “I really want to get to know you better.” On the other hand, you would lose points if they wrote anything remotely like, “Thanks for writing that history paper for me” or worse yet, “You didn’t go to this school all four years, did you?” (especially if you had).

I’m thinking the bonus points in the church directory would come from signatures from the attractive, well-off, BMW-driving couples who go on ski weekends. Bonus points if they write, “We should get together some time.” Points would be lost if they simply signed their names, and illegibly at that. I wonder if a church directory filled with signatures, witty comments, social invitations, and even pink hearts could possibly do some good if, on judgment day, one was considered “borderline.” Is it feasible that St. Peter could browse the directory and be swayed by something like, “Matt, you seem like a really nice guy. It’s been great having you at our church. LYLAS” (meaning: Love Ya Like a Saint)? Could this make up for a certain number of episodes of having lust in one’s heart, for example? It’s all so confusing, but not nearly as confusing as being in high school. That could be punishment enough in the afterlife…sentenced to eternity in HHS (Hell High School) repeatedly taking classes like “Advanced Impossible Calculus” with a guy named Mr. Brimstoner. Plus, I don’t even want to think about the cafeteria food at HHS. I’m guessing everything would be overcooked.





The Life and Death of My Father, a WWII Veteran and a Great Dad

24 12 2007

There are relatively few of the noble people who fought the Nazis left in this world. This past year, my father died, and he was one of them. I am lucky that I have never been in the position to make the sacrifices he and so many others made. This is my first Christmas with no parents here on earth (my mother died a few years ago). I miss them both. I decided to post something I wrote the night before my father died along with a wedding picture of my parents.

August 30, 2007

A Man, My Father

As I contemplate the impending passing of my dad, many thoughts pass through my mind. He was a man who loved God, loved his wife, loved his children, and loved golf (not necessarily in that order).

Born on May 13, 1924, many of Dad’s formative years were spent during the great depression. Consequently, he was a man wise with money and willing to find many ways to make an income. He caddied, worked as a delivery man, owned restaurants with my mother, and eventually retired from Prudential, where he worked the insurance game.

He was also known to occasionally take money from the poor saps who made wagers against him on the golf course. Dad was not averse to following the ponies or checking on an over/under on a college basketball game. I took special pride in being the only 2nd grader at my elementary school who had a working knowledge of point spreads, pools, and daily doubles.

Despite this vice, as some would call it, my dad was a consummately moral man. He was serious about teaching right and wrong to his children, and he passed on the importance of being a good, God-fearing person. My rear end was going to be in church every Sunday; that was NOT something that was up for debate.

I admired my Dad more than he ever knew for his religious conviction. I remember when I was a child, and he could no longer kneel in church due to the growing severity of his arthritis. I always worried that people in the surrounding pews would mistakenly think Dad was just being lazy or lacked devotion. Now I am sure no one at that church ever thought that about him.

Dad was blessed with a keen wit. I will never forget, many years ago when Dad answered what was obviously a call from a telemarketer. The caller was trying to convince Dad that a “special deal” could be had if Dad could correctly answer a trivia question. The caller then asked Dad if he could name the “Bluegrass State.” Dad quickly answered “Utah.” After the surprised telemarketer hemmed and hawed a bit, he asked Dad if Dad wanted another guess. Dad dryly stated, “No, that wouldn’t be fair” and hung up.

One of the most incredible parts of Dad’s life was his service to the country he loved whole-heartedly during World War II. Dad saw friends demolished by bombs and even experienced a shell land in his foxhole. Luckily for us all, it was a dud. Dad was held prisoner of war by the Nazis and survived interrogation from a German commandant despite not telling him what he wanted to know. Tom Brokaw said of the men and women from this time, “It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.” I concede that I am a little biased, but I would tend to agree.

Nearly forgotten memories are returning to me like a flash flood: Dad working in his garden – Dad poring over a racing form at the local horse race track – Dad making his famous chili – Dad watching MASH or Barney Miller on TV and laughing that contagious laugh of his – Dad making the day of his grandchildren as they raced around the house while Dad called out the race-horse nicknames he had given each one of them (“Little Scratch” was one) – Dad giving me heck about the brown spot in the back yard where my wiffleball home plate and batter’s box were located – Dad requesting my assistance with resetting the clock on the VCR (I felt important back then as I was the only thing standing between my parents and a migraine-inducing digital clock blinking 12:00 for infinity).

Easily the most lasting memory I will have of this man will be a simple, yet magical one. He was a true father, and nothing was ever going to change that. He will be missed greatly, but I know that he has a nearing tee time on the most beautiful golf course he has ever seen, and he will be playing pain free for the first time in decades. Enjoy it, Dad.





2008 New Year’s Survey: Avoid Ex-Girlfriends and Broken Cell Phones

22 12 2007

It’s time for an original New Year’s survey for 2008 that My wife and I had fun creating. (Feel free to use if you so desire). Happy New Year!

1. How many times will you break and/or lose your cell phone in 2008? Between my work and personal cell, I’m going to say 1 time. I’m TRYING to be careful with them.

2. If for one year (2008) you could choose to be any age, what age would you be and why? I’ll go with 23. Old enough to have some knowledge gained, but young enough to still have some “stupid” fun as well. (p.s. I still want my wife with me even though I hadn’t met her yet.)

3. In past years, what New Year’s resolution did you break the fastest? Probably trying to quit drinking soft drinks. I used to be the king of Mountain Dew (and Ski, a local drink). Now it’s caffeine free, Diet Mt. Dew.

4. Who do you NOT want to see in 2008? A couple of particular ex-girlfriends. Probably wouldn’t be pleasant. I’d rather not see any “news” about Rosie O’Donnell, either.

5. On New Year’s Eve, do you:

a) Fall asleep at 9:00 p.m. (like you do any other night.)

b) Barely make it to midnight with your significant other/family.

c) Hit the town like a party animal until at least 1:00 a.m.

I’m a b. sort of guy the past few years. I look forward to banging some pots and pans at midnight with my daughter when she’s old enough (a few years to go).

6. What word or phrase will you hear your significant other or best friend say most often in 2008? My Wife: It’s going to be great to have another baby!”

7. What 2008 movie or book are you most looking forward to? Well, it’s definitely NOT the new Rambo. However, I’ll go with Harrison Ford in the new Indiana Jones movie. Haven’t heard a bunch about it yet, but I’m optimistic at this point. I’m also a big Agent Pendergast fan in the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child books, but I do not know of one to be published in ’08.

8. Are you more likely to get fired from a job or get a big promotion in 2008? Big promotion. (Unless I get fired for focusing too much on my blogs! Just kidding, this is strictly a night/weekend thing for me)

9. What new thing would you mix with chocolate in 2008? A kiss from my wife after she’s just had hot cocoa.

10. What celebrity headline do you foresee in 2008? I predict Anne Heche will be romantically linked in tabloids to both Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney within a one-week period (just before the season finale of Men in Trees). Like Brangelina, I can already see magazines nicknaming the couples Cliche and Miche.

11. How many people will you romantically kiss in 2008? The perfect number: 1





New Product in 2008 Will Stop the Stench

19 12 2007

2008 is upon us, and one thing is certain: A bunch of new stuff will be produced and placed tantalizingly in front of our advertising-saturated eyes. What cutting-edge items will we all be talking about?

-Have you tried that?

-Is it as good as they say?

-I heard they are made in China.

-I bet the price comes down after it’s out awhile.

Being an amateur prognosticator, I’ll take a stab at what we’ll be shopping for soon.

1. There will be a new OTC pill you can take that will take the stench out of bodily gaseous emissions. In fact, it will give these human emanations a pleasing aroma. It will be called “Pooty-licious” and will come in several scents, including raspberry, supersonic seaweed, carnival fried pickle, and chocolate milk. (Kudos to the marketer who convinces Beyonce – or, in a pinch, one of the other Destiny’s Child members – to be the spokesperson). The side effects for this product will be relatively “mild” and will include: Migraine headaches, back pain, discoloration of urine, voice changes, and sleeplessness. Food for thought: Would teenage boys take this product if available? Taking the horrific scent out of their “rips” would rob them of 50% of their daily entertainment (the other 50% involves nudity on the internet).

2. A new publication will help men survive the maze of digital cable and satellite television stations. It will provide much needed information to the dumber weaker sex and will be called T.V. GUIDO. Excerpt from February 14, 2008: Throw your wife a bone and agree to watch that Lifetime movie tonight about one woman’s triumphs over binge eating, prostitution, a break-up with her married boss, restless legs syndrome, dyslexia, and the sudden death of her twin sister in a horrible zoo accident involving a jaguar (sorry, not the car). Saving grace: A few decent cleavage shots of Kelly Preston (you’ll remember her from the movie, “Secret Admirer”…yeah, that one).

3. Anyone else upset that magnets won’t work on your jet setter stainless steel refrigerator? Rejoice! 2008 brings “Steel Sticks” to your favorite online retailer. For just 14.99 (plus shipping), you’ll get three (yes three!) of these nifty gadgets that stick just like a magnet to steel. Without them, you’d have to use tape, and that’s just so tacky (pun intended). Now you’ll have that grocery list, proctologist appointment reminder card, and your kid’s awful scribbles back where they belong…where everyone can see them.

4. Now this is something any God-fearing parent of a baby/toddler really needs. They’re called “Bodily Func-ometers” and are practically life savers. They are cute little stickers that you place by your baby’s belly button when you are changing a diaper, lifting your child after a bath, or any other time you are susceptible to a sudden spray of bodily wastes. The sticker will give you 5 seconds’ warning by turning either yellow, brown or green whenever your child is going to pee, poop, or throw up. This gives you just enough time to grab that diaper, blanket, towel, spouse’s favorite shirt, etc to serve as an all-important shield between you and the vile substances.

5. I know you’ll want this one. It’s an all-in-one program called “Blog-O-Matic” and will work wonders. Among other things, this little puppy will give you blog ideas daily (“Master, how about a blog involving snack cakes, astrology and seafood….you could call it, Twinkie, Twinkie, little star, how I flounder what you are.”) But wait, that’s not all. It will also repeatedly beg others to link to your page and will also visit your page numerous times when you’re not looking, thereby making you feel better about your number of hits and cutting your suicidal ideation nearly in half. Oh, and it leaves anonymous comments on your blogs involving words like, brilliant, fantastic, and genius. Now what would you pay?!





Heathen Toddler Saved!

15 12 2007

This past Sunday morning, it did not take our toddler long to figure out that we were on our weekly (well, nearly weekly) drive to church. Apparently this was not her idea of a good time on this particular day, as she started yelling, “NO CHURCH! NO JESUS!” We were somewhat concerned that this two-year-old might be in need of an exorcism. (Actually, aren’t all two-year-olds in need of that? But that’s another story). Undeterred, we dropped her off in the preschool room at the church, and we heard possibly blasphemous screams and cries as we walked toward the service. However, she was quite a different child when we picked her up after church. She was all smiles and quickly said, “It’s Jesus day, Daddy!” It was a true miracle. Sure, the miracle may have been the yummy treats they gave her or the fun activity they did involving paste, but we’ll call it a “miracle” all the same. No need to put an ad in the paper for an “experienced exorcist” just yet.








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