Southern Discomfort


Well folks…today was a sad day indeed.  After a wonderful New Year’s celebration last night and a great dinner with my family and friends this evening, my 2011 bubble was quickly burst when my Southern upbringing reared it’s country head.  Yep, y’all heard me right.  My evening was shattered by an “accent malfunction”.  Allow me to explain…

My wife, kids, and I went to our friend’s house this evening to enjoy some Yakiniku (a Japanese style cookout where you grill your meat and veggies on a small electric grill placed in the middle of the dinner table).  After dinner, we decided to play a few games; couple versus couple.  First we played Catchphrase, which went pretty well.  My wife and I won one game and our friends, Rebekah and Kevin, won the other.  After Catchphrase, we decided to try our hands at Pictionary.

I will be the first to admit that my drawing skills are less than desirable.  My rabbits look deranged and the cows that I draw normally turn out looking like obese mountain lions, but for some reason, my wife is very skilled at deciphering my scribbles.  We did very well the first game and ended up winning.  I must admit that the hamster that I drew on a tight rope was very abstract and thoughtful.  After our win, I suggested that we switch from couples to Man versus Woman.  The ladies obliged and we began a literal battle of the sexes.

At first, Kevin and I were handily dispatching our lovely female foes; quickly guessing what the other was drawing. Eventually though, we began to falter.  The ladies had a pretty astounding run in the end and were able to tie the game.  With one move left for the win, it was my turn to draw.  Flexing my skilled fingers, I sharpened my stub of a pencil and selected my card from the box.  My daughter flipped the hourglass timer and I began to draw.

After a few moments, Kevin had guessed that I was drawing Gel; the kind that you put in your hair when styling it for a night on the town or the form in which toothpaste comes inside of the tube.  Unfortunately, my dear wife had glimpsed the card as I passed it to her and she wore a look of both confusion and amusement on her face as I “high fived” my partner and congratulated him on a job well done.  Rising from her chair, she dug the card from the discarded pile and showed it to Kevin’s wife, who then joined my wife in a bout of hearty laughter.

“What the heck is so funny?” I asked.  “Do you guys enjoy losing?”

“Think again there Redneck,” they said as they showed me the card.

The card said Jail, not Gel.  Crestfallen, I hung my head in shame.  How could I have made such an error.  I cursed my Southern upbringing and my country accent as my wife and her friend celebrated their glorious victory.  There are many times that I relish my Southern roots, but tonight they betrayed me.  Damn my sweet sweet Georgia drawl!

Economy devistates children all over the world: The Toothfairy files Chapter 13


The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000

Image via Wikipedia

Well, well, well….times sure are tough folks.  Here is a great example of just how tough they really are:

My son lost his first tooth this week and boy was he excited.  For once, we did not have to coerce him into going to bed.  We didn’t have to tuck him in or turn out his lights or read him a story.  Nope, not this time.  This time, he hit the sack like a champ.  Lights out, tooth under pillow, and a gapped grin spread across his sweet little face.  This was pay day-Tooth Fairy Day!

Our son is only six, but he knows quite a bit about life and it’s guarantees.  He knows that if he cusses, he gets a spanking.  He knows that if he is good, he gets to play Xbox.  He also knows that the Tooth Fairy pays top dollar for bottom teeth!  Unfortunately, our son woke up rather disappointed on Friday.

I heard him rummaging around in his room early Friday morning.  I could hear him talking to himself and I could also hear him tearing through his sheets looking for something.  Not one to miss out on his strange antics, I got up and made my way to his room.  He looked very disturbed; angry even.  I could tell that he had something on his mind, so I asked him, “Son, what’s the matter?”

“I got stiffed Dad,” he said.

“What do you mean, you got stiffed,” I asked.

“The Tooth Fairy…she didn’t leave me any money,” he shouted.  He lifted his pillow to lay proof to his claim and sure enough, there was no money to be found.  The only thing that lay under his spittle stained pillow were broken dreams.  The tooth was missing, and so was the money.

Shocked, I tried to muster up some encouraging words of wisdom to offer my sobbing child.  I had nothing.  Never in my 30 years on this earth had I heard of such an egregious circumstance.  The Tooth Fairy failed to make good on payment due!  There had to be a logical explanation.  So, like any good Father, I looked to Google for advice.

A quick search for instances of Tooth Fairy misconduct yielded astonishing results.  I clicked on the first link and found that a young couple in South America had suffered through a similar experience.  Dios Mio!  To add insult to injury, the tooth was not the only thing missing from their young Daughter’s room.  It seems that someone had also taken the poor child’s Ipod.  Despicable.

I checked another link…same story.  Tooth gone, no money, and items stolen.  Alarmed by the eerie coincidence, I rushed to my son’s room for a quick inventory of his belongings.  Sure enough, it seemed that he too was the victim of a looting.  His prized copy of Halo for the XBOX 360 was missing.  In it’s place, there was a note.  It read:

“Dear Young Man,

I regret to inform you that due to dismal returns on my investment portfolio and a string of poor choices of a personal nature, I am unable to reimburse you for your lost tooth.  I have, none-the-less, taken said tooth; as it is my inherant duty to ensure that it finds it’s way to it’s final resting place.  It saddens me even further to inform you that I have had to take the liberty of ascertaining one of your video games.  I do hope that I chose one that you don’t often play.  I pray that you hold no ill feelings towards myself or any other variety of fairy.  Our people are in dire financial straights, as we do not qualify for governmental assistance or any social recovery programs.  I did, however, petition President Obama to support a program entitled ‘Cash For Molars,’ but he laughingly declined.  Do not discount the resilient nature of fairy folk.  We will prevail through these difficult times.  My uncle, the Toenail Fairy, has already seemed to have  had some luck in emerging markets.  On a final note, I hope that you are not overly fond of the upcoming holiday, Halloween.  I hear that the Pumpkin King has been incarcerated for selling bootleg DVDs.  It seems that he is unable to make bail.  Best Wishes.  The Tooth Fairy.”

I hope that the economy bounces back soon.  I couldn’t live without Peeps!

The Twilight Phenomenon: A concerned Father fights back (via The Good Twin)


Hello Folks…I’m re-posting this to celebrate the news of Twilight’s final movie. Perhaps this ridiculous tween battle will soon draw to a close….

The Twilight Phenomenon:  A concerned Father fights back So, my daughter is enamored with the whole twilight thing.  She has watched all of the movies.  She has read all of the books.  I must admit that initially I was excited that she was so engrossed in a book.  I am an avid reader and find few things more relaxing and enjoyable than a good book.  So you can imagine that I was happy when my little girl was showing interest in something that I love to do.  Little did I know the consequences of her cho … Read More

via The Good Twin

OB/GYNs are Peeping-Toms


Lounging around the womb.

Hello Folks. Yesterday I accompanied my lovely wife to the doctor’s office to take a sneak peek at the kiddo in utero, and boy what a cool little ‘field trip’ that turned out to be. For those Dudes out there who have never had the pleasure of spying on a fetus, I’ll give you the down and dirty…

The first thing that happens when you arrive for your appointment is the pregnant woman (we are going to call her Momma) gets her vitals checked out. It is important to make sure that Momma is on track with blood pressure and weight gain. We don’t want the baby to be hungry or tweaked out, so a quick check of the vitals is imperative. Everybody loves a chunky baby, right?

Next, Momma gets interviewed by the Nurse. There is a long list of questions that the nurse reads out, which I can only guess was written by a military interrogator. I’m not quite sure what some of these questions had to do with pregnancy, but if anyone can tell me what “when was the last time that you ate a peanut butter sandwich after watching the episode of Grey’s Anatomy when Izzy over-sympathized with a dying patient?” has to do with incubating babies, please let me know.

After the nurse is happy with the answers to all of the questions, you are moved to an examination room. Here is where things start to get a little interesting. There is a small television monitor plugged into an outlet alongside the exam table. This is the ultrasound machine. This nifty gadget is what the Ol’ Sawbones uses to photograph and monitor the baby. I’m not entirely sure how this device works, but I assume that it runs on the same principals as SONAR. Like a mighty Spruance Class Destroyer tracking down Soviet subs, this precision instrument pings sound waves through the soft tissue of Momma’s belly and gets a return off of the baby, which is displayed on the screen for our viewing pleasure. I wish that I could have been given free reign over that apparatus for fifteen minutes. I could have literally looked into some bodily mysteries that have always eluded me, but that is for another forum. Back to the baby…

Next, the Doc squirts some aloe-vera type stuff all over Momma’s belly and begins to rub a probe around until we get a good heartbeat from the baby. This part can be particularly stressful. I find this akin to an elderly man scanning the beach with a metal detector, patiently canvassing miles of sandy shoreline, listening for that sweet soft beep. Once you have located the baby’s heartbeat, you are ready for the fun to begin, but do not let the brevity of this description fool you, dear readers. It can take an awful long time to pinpoint the baby’s tiny heartbeat. I don’t know where our little gremlin (this is a pet name, I assure you) could have possibly been hiding, but it must be part ninja because it dropped a fetal smoke bomb and disappeared for a good two minutes. Vanished. Kapoof. After a couple of very long minutes of searching, we found it and relaxed a little. We still had a few things left to do; we had to get a look at our little miracle and do a little prenatal paparazzi-ing.

Once the heartbeat is found, it’s face time. This is when you get up-close and personal with the baby. The Doc switches out the previously used probe for a small instrument that looks like a paddle. This is used to peer through Momma and into Baby. The Doc moved that paddle all around my wife’s belly until she found the ‘sweet spot’ where we could get the best look at our new addition. Now, my wife is only 13 weeks along, so I wasn’t really prepared for what I was about to see. I expected to see a little tadpole-ish dude or dudette looking up at me like an alien who has been trapped inside my wife and cannot figure out how in the heck it got there. Boy was I wrong! The little person that appeared on the screen before me actually looked like a tiny little human. Not a tadpole, not an alien, but a human being. Granted, I couldn’t see a lot of details and this machine was definitely not an HD Sony Bravia, but I could certainly ascertain that this little guy looked a lot like me. It already had arms. It had legs. The little chap had the whole kit and caboodle! From what the Doc said, the only body part that has not formed at this point is the lungs, but it’s all gravy because the baby uses Momma’s blood for oxygen. Kind of spooky, like we have a sparkly little Edward incubating in my wife! Living on blood…yuck.

Back on topic. I’m pretty sure that the baby takes after me because we have a tiny show off on our hands. As soon as we got a good view of the fetus, it started cart wheeling all over my wife’s placenta. This baby was dropping it like it was HOT! We could see the little arms moving. The hands were opening and closing, the feet kicking, the booty shaking. Our kiddo was a rockin’. I must admit that this was a pretty cool experience. The Doctor takes some snapshots of the baby while explaining what you are looking at on the screen. The pictures, kind of like second rate Polaroids, are printed out of the bottom of the machine. Just like the photo booth at the mall, but free! Either way, the snapshots never really come out exactly like what you are actually looking at on the screen. The picture labeled “Baby’s Head and Arms” came out of the printer looking like a dragon that was attacking a medieval castle, but we accepted the portraits none-the-less.

The last thing that the doctor does is some measuring. Doc uses a digital tape measure to figure out if the baby is on the right track, growth wise, and lets you know the age. Cool stuff. Our baby looked good to go, so we were both very happy. All in all, it was a great experience. I enjoyed spying on our little one. Now we are waiting for our next visit when we get to see if my superior genetics have produced another son or if my wife’s secret prayers have been answered for another daughter (I know you want another girl Baby!) Either way, I’m glad that all was quiet on the “southern front”. Until next time, stay classy.

This is the measurement of the baby's head.

Freshly Pressured


Wow…what a weekend folks. I survived another rejection notice, I went to the circus with my wife and kids, and one of my posts was featured on Freshly Pressed! I cannot tell you how excited I was (and still am) that the “Powers that Be” chose one of my posts to be featured! I felt like a rock-star. Still do. I know that my wife and children are probably tired of hearing about it. Thank you to all of the folks out there who visited my blog and all of those who left a comment. I truly enjoyed reading each of your remarks and I hope that you all come back soon for another visit.

There are some definite benefits to being featured on Freshly Pressed. You get the satisfaction of knowing that your blog will be reviewed by more readers and you get a big boost in confidence. On the contrary, there is also an often overlooked consequence to being displayed on the WordPress homepage; pressure. I’m now lumped in with those who belong to the seedy underbelly of the blogosphere; the one time wonders of Freshly Pressed. I now feel super pressured to post better content. I know that quality trumps quantity, but what if I make a spelling error, or even worse, what if one of my blog post falls flat on its digital face? What then? I now know how the primates at the local zoo must feel about their situation. I feel terrible for all of the acclaim and recognition that I have lavished on those simple apes. How pressured they must feel to consistently outdo their last performance…what a shame. In the future I will be mindful of their strife prior to boasting of their over-the-top showmanship and their humorous antics. Perhaps that will allow them a fleeting moment of relief, at the least.

I guess that about does it for now. Again, thanks to those of you who read my blog, even the ones that did not like it. I know who you are, by the way. I hold no grudge, but next year I may forget to remind you of the dreadful day! In the meantime, stay classy!

Friday the 13th meets Cupcake Wars


You know folks, I didn’t even realize that today was Friday the 13th until I read through a few blog posts on the WordPress dashboard. Thank goodness that I have managed to survive. I consider this an amazing feat since I had no forewarning. Thanks FOX News. Thanks CNN. Thanks for nothing! Luckily I have escaped certain death and, being in Japan, I have already weathered most of the evil storm that you all in the states are going to go through over the next 15 hours. As long as I am able to hold it down for the next two hours over here, I should be good to go.

It would have been nice to have known a lot earlier today that somewhere out there lurks a masked killer poised to lob off my head at the drop of a fedora. That is the kind of information that I am looking for when I watch television, but there was absolutely no mention of this ominous date in the media today. Again, this could well be the fact that I am 13 hours ahead of EST, but that doesn’t excuse the media’s lackadaisical attitude towards the most notorious day of the year; not to mention their total disregard for my safety. Perhaps they should issue some sort of “Crimson Alert” type of thing when crazed psychopath killers are out on the loose, but instead of a cutting edge early warning system for serial murderer celebratory days, when I turn on the television, I see Cupcake Wars. Yep, you heard me folks; Cupcake Wars! I flipped on the tv and that is all I got. No warnings, no news, no political banter. Just Cupcake Wars.

For those of you who have never seen this ‘amazing’ television show, it goes a little something like this:
The audience is introduced to four sets of pastry chefs from all over the United States. Occasionally, the viewing public is surprised by an interesting import such as a French pastry chef or a Cambodian cupcake cook. Almost always, there is a contestant who is all tattooed up and is running an edgy bakery somewhere in Southern California. Probably pot cupcakes, but I digress.

These blowhards get all worked up competing against each other to create unique cupcake recipes that revolve around various themes, depending on the week. Unfortunately, there is only so much that one can do with a flipping cupcake. These “chefs” usually come off to me as self-indulgent windbags, especially the moron covered with tattoos that thinks that he is bringing something raw to the world of cupcakes. Newsflash dipstick. There is already something raw about cup-caking. It’s called eggs! Give me a break. You are an overrated caterer for children birthday parties and company potlucks. You make miniature cakes for crying out loud. You don’t even make big boy pastries!

The big shots that run network programming need to get a grip. How the hell is a cinnamon ginger jalapeno cupcake going to stop Jason Voorhees? Perhaps he is a sucker for red velvet, but I highly doubt it. The only red that he wants to see is the blood that he squeezes out of your jugular!

2010 Name That Twin Contest


Well folks, today marks the day for the first annual Name That Twin Campaign. The rules are simple. You must tag my twin brother Jeremy and I each with a fitting nickname. Sadly, most of you out there do not know us. In actuality, this is a post that is none-to-covertly aimed at getting under my dear brother’s skin. Either way, if you would like to play, please feel free to chime in. The contest will run for seven days and will be open to anyone who can bang out a coherent entry on their keyboard. I will announce the winner on my blog in seven days.

I have come up with my own entry to start things off. Don’t worry, I will try not to be biased when judging, but I am fairly certain that my entry will win.

Here is my entry:

Me: The Professor

Jeremy: The Chimp

***Disclaimer-my brother is not actually a primate, but in some circles I am considered a professor.***

What do you folks think? It is kind of catchy, huh? I imagine that it will make conversations regarding my brother and I much more interesting. For example:

“Wow, did you see the pictures that The Chimp took this weekend at Vikki’s wedding?”

“What? Vikki hired a Chimp to photograph her big day? I knew that she and Bill were struggling, but jeez louise.”

or

“Did you hear that The Professor is now living in Japan?”

“I did. I also heard that The Professor and his wife are expecting their third child.”

“The Professor is awesome.”

“I know. He is, isn’t he.”

I tell you what folks, nicknames sure can spice things up. I am looking forward to some interesting entries. Good luck and hope to hear from you soon. Let the fun begin!