Tag Archives: Opinion

Puppy Poop, Baseball, and Blog-Posting-Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

17 Jul

Whew! My fingers have been pecked down to my little finger bones from all of this writing here. I just might need a break soon. A vacation, ya know?

No, actually, in about one second back in whatever month I last posted, I went from “I must write every day” to “I don’t want to write at all.” I threw myself into work again (like throwing myself into a volcano…they used to do that on Gilligan’s Island). Doing the “t-shirt thing” has been great. I felt dead to it in the winter, but I kind of “re-did” everything and it felt fresh again. Now, in the last two weeks, I’ve been having these thoughts–damn, I feel like writing again and this t-shirt thing kinda sucks.

So on it goes

If I were elected President of the United States, two months in I’d be like “damn, this blows, I think I’d rather clean toilets now.” For now, I might do both or this may be my last post until December. Honestly, I don’t know.

It’s all cool as long as I can also fit in an hour of reading, an hour (or more) of exercise, 8 hours of sleep, a half hour of staring at the wall, two hours of eating/cooking-related activities, an hour of cleaning, and a variable amount of: quality time with the girls, watching baseball, and buying shit on Amazon (UPS is at our house five times a week. No joke.)

Holy Hell, I can’t even remember how to punctuate in and around parentheses. Should the period go outside, or in?

Although I was writing this winter, looking back, I felt pretty miserable most of the time. It was a long, rough winter for me. If I don’t do certain things regularly, I’m a mess. Namely, exercise. Now I’m in a nice jogging frame of mind; I ran 4.2 miles this morning. In fact, as I write my hair is still damp and stuck to my head and I have on my butt-cheek-exposing running shorts (with a wicking liner). I might even be in an extended runner’s high right now. I’m practically delirious  here.

I have also rediscovered the beauty, the joy, the art, of baseball. During a normal baseball season, I’m all amped up in April, amped a little less in May, and by June I’ve watched my last game  until the playoffs in October. This season, because I couldn’t get enough baseball online, I was forced to order Directv so I could get the MLB Network, 24 hours of baseball. Since the Cubs are terrible, I’ve discovered the joy of watching the Cardinals so I can root against them.

Another new development around here: a new dog, a puppy really. I refuse to write good things about him right now because he just went poo ten feet from me and it’s making me gag. I’m going to clean it up now.

Until December…

My Kids Were BORN Mouthy (But I didn’t kill ’em)

31 Jan
screaming, devil-baby

Can a precious baby be "mouthy"?

Just when I start to feel sorry for myself I see stories like this.

Julie Powers Schenecker, a 50-year-old mother from Tampa, shot and killed her two teenagers on Thursday, because she was “fed up” with their back talk and mouthiness.

A child murdered for mouthiness. Hmm.

Let’s pretend that in 1972, when you could buy a gallon of gas for 55 cents, President Nixon signed a bill into law that forced parents to kill their children as soon as they felt adequately “fed up” with back talk and mouthiness. It’s a terrible law, I know, because my life would have ended some time in early in 1974 short of my second birthday. Just think of the glut of unused toys across the nation.

Here’s a typical couple in the 70s:

Betty: Tony, I think I’m ready to have kids.

Tony: Are you sure, Betty? But what about the … ?

Betty: Yes, I am sure! You’re doing swell at the firm and the time just feels … perfect!

Tony: But what about that new mouthy law? I don’t think I have that kind of self-control. I mean, if it applied to wives instead of children, you wouldn’t even be here right now.

Let’s say the law didn’t exist until 2000. I’m no longer mouthy to my parents so I get to live, but, alas, I would be childless.

When Chloe was a baby, on her first night home, I was shocked when she started pitching a fit in the middle of the night. One second I’m dreaming I’m skipping naked through a field of lilies licking a lollipop, the next I’m elbowing Jennifer on the forehead, telling her to go find that noise and to quell it, whatever the hell it is! Then two hours later I’m again forced to put down my sucker and step out of the lily field.

My Typical Dream

My dream, my heaven

I was “fed up” with that baby’s mouthiness from day one.

But not really. I totally exaggerated all that. I had read What to Expect When You’re Expecting, so I knew she would be wailing about every three hours. I never elbowed my wife on her forehead. I was fully clothed. And it was a Popsicle.

I feel sorry for Julie Powers Schenecker because she’s obviously struggling with a serious mental disorder, but I wish her explanation included a loony rant about six-armed monkeys instead of bitching about the commonest of parental grievance: mouthy kids.


Keep Your Coat Off Public Restroom Floors, Please.

25 Jan

What I saw...sort of.

Last week here in the book store, I was in the restroom washing my hands–scrub 20 seconds, kids!– when I glanced to my left and saw that someone was in the nearest of two toilet stalls. He wore dirty white Reeboks, the kind I would have loved in the early 90s. Big deal, right? Well, the guy had his coat on the floor in front of him.


As soon as I enter a public restroom (even the “clean” ones) I start walking like the floor is covered with poisonous snakes. I’m up on my tippy toes and I feel myself becoming lighter to lessen the force applied to whatever is on those floors. I weigh 85 pounds in public restrooms, really. I scan the floor right to left, left to right for wet spots, brown spots, weird spots–just…spots! And if there IS a snake in there, I’ll see that too.

What kind of messed up human being puts their coat on the floor 12 inches from a public toilet? Do YOU do this? If I’m offending you, if you’re face is growing red with indignation and you’re thinking: what an ass! This guy doesn’t realize that it’s common to throw your coat down on public restroom floors, then please stop reading because I don’t want you to feel bad. I’m going to continue in my belief that it’s not a common practice.

I washed my hands for a full 40 seconds, twice the necessary time, because I couldn’t take my eyes off that blue coat. My hands were squeaky clean yet I moved them in a circle under the spigot to trigger the sensor. More water, please! I’m still washing here!

I pictured a dirty, dirty man, unshaven, wearing wrinkled pants. Then I looked down at myself, then into the mirror and realized I had just described myself. So I redrew my picture into an even dirtier man, but one with a tiny, tiny head and short, stubby arms. All of a sudden, my anger dissipated because if the guy looked like that I could understand the whole ordeal.

I pumped the towel machine, ripped 18 inches of paper , dried off and looked over there again at those Reeboks. Any empathy had disappeared. I thought: this guy doesn’t have a tiny head; this guy is a sociopath! I’ve been in there, I know there’s a hook on the back of the door; why didn’t this cretin use the gosh darn hook?

I have used the hook. Let’s call it the “keep your coat from touching poo” hook. If–Jesus help me–my coat ever fell from that hook my body would spasm with disgust. I know what goes on in there and I know that this world is full of dirty men with normal sized heads who care not about leaving messes for their cleaner brothers.

Okay, I’m outta here! Obviously, this guy wasn’t going to end his “coat on the floor session” until the room was empty. I used the towel to open the door.  I paused at the water fountain right outside thinking I could hydrate for several minutes and wait to see this guy, but drinking fountains that close to the restrooms freak me out a little, so I just went back to my table and sat down.

Then, whatever groove I had been in before I saw that coat was totally destroyed; I couldn’t concentrate. I sat there a mess, scanning the place for men of all head sizes wearing blue, poo-stained coats and dirty white Reeboks. No luck. I decided that he must have just wandered in off the streets–an escaped lunatic!–and ended up in a bookstore. He probably didn’t know that these rectangular things with scribbles of ink were called “books.”

I hate my mind sometimes.