Monday, September 25, 2006

Man, she would kill me.

CLC was bragging the other day how he sometimes stops on his way home to buy flowers for no reason. He got a collective swoon from all his female readers. Well, I want one of those collective swoons from all my female readers. So I'm going to tell you something. I bought flowers for my girlfriend last week too. And I bought them "just because."

Just because it was her birthday. Her 40th birthday.

She has quit reading my crap here, so I am safe in doing what I am about to do. See, she just turned forty but she looks like she's 29. She's really hot. Well, we were feeling a little fiesty the other night, and she agreed to let me take some pretty racy pictures of her. I normally wouldn't do this, but I'm just so proud of her. This may not be safe for work. If she sees this on here, she's going to kill me.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Ryan and Emerson have been coming over to hang out this summer. They came over today. Here's the kids.

A sad sight

I've been working morning noon and night for some time now. I could probably count on my fingers how many times we used the pool this summer. I'm not even going to do the math on how much it cost per use to have a pool this year.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Classic Bachelor Dad Moment

Katie's got a debate going on over here about age-appropriate swimwear. My kid is five. She has always had bikinis, her mom buys them for her. After the first time she put one on and I reminded myself that she has no concept of sexuality, I got over the initial shock, and I don't think twice about that stuff.

Last week, she came to my house with a bag full of last year's clothes given to her by a friend. I was taking her to the Titan's game, and she said she wanted to go get dressed herself. (She usually insists that I "help" her, meaning that I go in with her so that she can reject all my suggestions.) Well, she came out dressed in a halter top with ties at the bottom and a mini skirt. She was showing belly. It was pretty weird for a minute, rather Jon-Benet-ish, but that's what she picked, so I let her wear it. After getting over the initial shock, which wasn't helped when she pulled the front of her skirt down to show me that she was wearing her "hoochie mama panties," I noticed that the clothes were very wrinkled.

I do own an iron. I think. But I am also a big fan of Downy Wrinkle Releaser. I spray it on wrinkled shirts after I put them on. I mentioned that to a bunch of women one time, and they looked at me like I was an alien. Hey, it works.

So we were going to Target before the game to get her some shoes for school anyway, and I bought a bottle of Wrinkle Releaser, and treated all the passers-by in the Brentwood Target parking lot to the sight of me making her stand still outside the carwith her arms out while I sprayed this five-year-old hoochie mama front and back, with her yelling, "stop it Daddy, you're getting it in my eyes!"

It worked.

Go Flaming Thumbtacks!

I don't know what Billy Volek did to piss off the Titans' coaching staff, but it must have been a doosey. For them to think that getting a guy off his couch a week before the season starts is better than promoting your back-up for the last however many years, Volek must have pissed in Fisher's gas tank or something. Kerry Collins doesn't even know the guys' names he's throwing to, much less how they run their routes.

There's something fishy going on there. It reminds me of a something I wrote way back when, before most of you started coming here to read my crap. It was called "The Titans put the Fun in Dysfunction." So, as an inspiration to all lazy bloggers everywhere, I am going to repost it here, misspellings and all. If you've already read it, you are free to go.


Disclaimer: I am a pro football fan and a fan of the Tennessee Titans.

Now that I got that out of the way, I say the Titans need to just start all over again. I'm not talking about firing Jeff Fisher or trading Pacman, I'm talking about wiping the slate clean and completely starting over again.

Gather 'round children and listen to a tale of a completely dysfunctional NFL football franchise.

Once upon a time, Bud Adams got into a pissing contest with the city of Houston over the construction of a new stadium. Nashville pulled Bud aside and said, "We'll give you whatever you want, Buddy boy, if you'll move your team to Nashville." Bud said, "Anything I want? OK, Nashville, you've got yourself a professional tackle football team!"

Problem was, Nashville didn't have a stadium for them to play in. So we turned to Memphis, a city that already had a stadium and had been trying to land an NFL franchise for years. Now, Nashville and Memphis have a wonderful relationship where genteel Southern protocol masks a deeply rooted venomous acriomony that I can only compare to Aunt Bea and Clara at a Mayberry pickling contest.

So, Nashville turned to Memphis and said, "Memphis, we here in Nashville, the Capital of our great state of Tennessee, have managed to do something you couldn't do for years, not that you didn't try your best, bless your hearts, which is land an NFL franchise. Now this team is going to play for all of the citizens of the great State of Tennessee (under the breath: even all the thugs and criminals in Memphis), so do be a dear won't you, and let us use your cute little ol' Liberty Bowl until we build a real stadium here in the Capital of the great state of Tennessee, Nashville.

Now Memphis was stuck, because it would be completely against good Southern decorum to say no, so Memphis plastered on a most sarcastic fake smile and said, "Why, we'd be delighted to host your football team for a couple of years, after all, as you said, it is a team for all the citizens of the great state of Tennessee." (translation: We've been trying to get a team here for decades, even going so far as to have a USFL franchise, then you come along, flop down on your back and open your legs, uh, excuse us, we mean wallets for Bud Adams, promising the keys to the city and a hooker in every locker, and you want us to let them play here until you've built a stadium?!? You've completely lost your fucking minds!!")

So announcements were made and press releases sent and the team moved to the banks of the mighty Mississippi, and the thugs and criminals, er . . uh, I mean fine citizens of Memphis did the unthinkable. They stayed away in droves. So Nashville said, "Bless your hearts, Memphis, we really appreciate everything you've done, but we're going to go ahead and move the team here, to the Capital of the great state of Tennessee, so the team can really start playing for all of the citizens of the great State of Tennessee (even all the thugs and criminals in Memphis)." And so the Tennessee Oilers played at Vanderbilt. A true low point in the history of the NFL.

Then they decided to change the name to something more Tennessee-like. After much debate and water-cooler talk, the announcement was made: the Tennessee TITANS!!

Fans: huh?

You know, Greek Mythology? The titans were a race of gods who were the parents and precursors of the Olympians. You know, Atlas, Hyperion, Kronos? Nashville is the Athens of the South, right? Anyone?

Fans: huh?

OK, OK, how about this --they were great and mighty giants who took no prisioners and could whip everybody's ass!!

Fans: Whip everybody's ass?!? Yaaaaaaaay Titans!

So we get this team named after the gods of Greek literature who, by the way, were soundly defeated by a younger generation of dieties led by Zeus (whose last name -- few people know this -- was Manning), a team whose moniker is most recently associated with a cruise ship that hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage, and we construct them a big building to play in on the East Bank and we call it the Coliseum, which is a big building from Roman literature. In Greece there would be a Stadium. Oops!

Greek, Roman, what's the difference? That's like saying there's a difference between Afghanistan and Iraq.

Then we get the logo. Is it a great and mighty giant from Greek literature, marauding around the gridiron, taking no prisioners and whipping everybody's ass? No, it is (drumroll, please) a flaming comet with three stars surrounding a dagger in the shape of a "T"!!!!!!

Fans: huh?

Then we got our mascot. Is it a great and mighty giant from Greek literature, marauding around the gridiron, taking no prisioners and whipping everybody's ass? No, it is (drumroll please) a raccoon!!!

Fans: huh?

OK, first the logo. The fire represents the fire that burns in the bellies of all our players, the dagger is representative of the "fight to the death" mentality we will bring to all our games, and the stars are taken from the Tennessee flag, because this team is here to play for all of the citizens of the great State of Tennessee (even all the thugs and criminals in Memphis).

Fans: huh?

OK, how about the mascot. The raccoon has a ubiquitous presence throughout Tennessee, and has been important throughtout our history. You remember Davy Crockett and his coonskin cap? And the "T" in his name, T-Rac, stands for Tennessee, because the Titans play for all of the citizens of the great State of Tennessee (even all the thugs and criminals in Memphis).

Fans: huh?

OK, OK, how about this -- In ancient times, a great and mighty giant from Greek literature once rode a firey comet through the three stars of sport and competition and landed in Rome, where he went to the Coliseum with his mighty T-shaped dagger and his trusty companion, his raccoon T-Rac, and proceded to take no prisioners and whip everybody's ass!!!

Fans: Whip everybody's ass?!?! Yaaaaaaaaay Titans!!

And that is where we stand today. So it is time to start over. This team isn't the "Tennessee" Titans anymore than the NBA team in Memphis is the "Tennessee" Grizzlies. I will bet you a PSL that there aren't any more than a handful of season ticket holders from Memphis. Or Knoxville or Chattanooga or Johnson City for that matter. It is Nashville's team. So, now that we suck and the team is completely off the national media radar, it is time for a total makeover. I'll start by submitting that the team should be renamed the Nashville Knuckleheads. And the logo should be a mighty fist. And the mascot should, of course, be me.

I'll dress with the cheerleaders.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Mall!

I work in Berry Hill. I love Berry Hill. One square mile smack dab in the middle of Nashville. Half of it is a cemetery. We have two cops on patrol all the time. We are five to ten minutes from downtown, depending on traffic.

There are two useless (in my opinion) pieces of prime real estate that butt up to the edges of Berry Hill. First is 100 Oaks Mall. Nashville's Dead Mall. I don't know who owns this place, but it is scary. Sure the ground level stores get traffic, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Electronic Express, but upstairs is getting bleaker and bleaker every time I visit. There is one choice in the food court, a gyro. My guess is that the upstairs spaces are 90% empty. There is a Korean nail shop, a guy that sells outrageously ugly women's shoes and a Reebok store. The only people up there are three elderly mall walkers and the occasional gang that picked the wrong mall to terrorize.

The other property is the fairgrounds. That is a huge piece of land, five minutes from downtown that has a flea market once a month and a really crappy fair once a year. I saw some statistics the other day, and if I remember right, the state fair draws not even half of either the Wilson County or Williamson county fairs. I've asked people who might know about it, who owns it, why is it still there, does anyone ever broach the subject of doing something with it? The only thing anyone can come up with is that you have to have a state fair in the capital. To which I say why? The state fair is so crappy that even our own hometown washed-up B-list 80s Country hat acts who play nothing but state fairs and strawberry festivals don't even play the one in their home town.

What would I like to see there? I don't know. Something better. That's not much of a stretch. Something that generates so much tax revenue that my newly inflated property taxes will actually go down, and the public schools will become world class learning institutions.

Yeah, right.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Heartbreaking Call

My kid doesn't like to talk to me on the phone much. By not much, I mean never. Imagine my surprise when the phone rang last night and I answered, expecting her mother's voice, only to hear the frail voice of a 5-year-old little girl on the other end. She was laying in bed, trying to go to sleep and she just wanted to call and tell me she loves me and she misses me. It was very moving. I wanted to cry. But I couldn't.

I was at Hooters.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Special Event Spokesmodel Needed

My company is doing a tailgating event at the Vanderbilt game on Saturday. One of my staff is going out of town, and two will have to be at work. That's my whole staff. So that just leaves me. For this event, I need a someone to help me. This person must appeal to the College football tailgating demographic, have an easy manner when interacting with said demographic, and be willing to wear an eye-catching T-shirt with my company logo on it.

If you are interested in this opportunity, I'll be holding ad hoc interviews for this position at the Harding Place Hooters tonight and perhaps throughout the week.

California Check

I used to call it a "California Check." I would turn on the TV in the morning, just to make sure nothing big had happened, like there was a big earthquake over night, and California had fallen off into the Pacific. I didn't do one five years ago for some reason. The wife was out of town. I remember specifically thinking that I'd just leave the TV off, get the baby ready to go across the street to the lady who was caring for her at the time, then mosey on to work.

The sports talk radio guys were talking about the attack. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I turned around and went home. I sat glued to the TV. Finally I went to work about 11. We didn't have cable. We watched the towers fall in grainy broadcast mode.

I was working at a live theatre in South Florida. We had New York actors in for that particular show. People were panicked on the phone. Nobody could work. We all went home early.

I sat with a seven month old watching it all unfold. I looked at her and wondered what kind of world she was going to live in.

It got really weird after 9/11. It was revealed that nine or ten of the terrorists lived in the same town as me, Delray Beach. There were satellite trucks all over town, including at an apartment one of them lived in less than a mile from my work. We had a largely Jewish customer base, and the fact that the terrorists lived right by us made us feel that we could be a legitimate target of an attack. Kill a theatre full of Jews from New York. What a statement. It was very unsettling.

Then the Anthrax came. A friend who had shared the office with me at the theatre for years had left to go work at the National Enquirer where someone was killed by anthrax. Around that time, I threw a pile of mail on the coffee table, and noticed that there was some white powder on the envelopes. I stared at it in disbelief. Since the anthrax attack had been local, and affected one of my friends, I was genuinely worried for a moment. Then I thought if it is anthrax, it was too late for me and my family, so there was no need to panic, I just needed to think about it for a minute. I retraced the steps of the stack of mail. It turned out to be the source of many false alarms at that time, baby formula powder.

So here we are, five years later. Looking back, we had a guy from Saudi Arabia take a bunch of other guys from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan and train them and fund them so they could hi-jack planes and us them as weapons against us. The day we launched our attacks on Afghanistan, I was in a restaurant with my kid, eating lunch and getting ready to watch football. The attack was announced and most in the room cheered. I didn't cheer, but I saw the necessity of the attack.

Then the talk about Iraq started. Like I said, we had a guy from Saudi Arabia take a bunch of other guys from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan and train them and fund them so they could hi-jack planes and us them as weapons against us. So we attack Iraq? It didn't add up. The blowhards in Congress and the Senate puffed up their chests in support, because to not support it was unpatriotic. The news reported that an attack on Iraq had widespread support in America.

Well, I don't know who they were polling, but it wasn't me or my friends. I run with a crowd of intelligent, well-educated, well-employed people who actually take the time to vote. We were all puzzled by this turn of events. I said over and over, if we are going to attack soveriegn countries because they have an evil dictator that we don't like, that is fine, just call it what it is. And why start with Iraq? We have a perfectly good sovereign country with an evil dictator ninety miles south of Key West. Why not start there? Or why not go alphabetically? Or in order of GNP? Why Iraq?

Well, once we went in, I was really hoping that we would find WMD and a thriving nuclear program and vats of anthrax and scuds full of African Killer Bees just so we wouldn't have made a huge, costly, deadly mistake.

Nope. The worst happened. We made a huge, costly, deadly mistake. Now we are in a quagmire. If this isn't a quagmire, I don't know what is. I remember Viet Nam. I never thought it would happen again. But here we are.

I'm not smart enough to have a solution for getting out. I don't think the guys in charge do either. I sometimes question the whole President as Commander in Chief thing.
If a guy runs for President promising to cut taxes and wins, is it always a good idea to let him have the keys to the Pentagon? Apparently not.

Well, something is going to have to happen over there. And I'll probably hear about it on the morning news, because I check it every morning. It used to be a "California Check." Now it's a "Terror Check."

Perpetuating the Stereotype

I used to think that the typical Southern stereotype that pervades other parts of the country are unfounded and unfair.

Then I went to the Tennessee State Fair.

Good Lord.

If we, as a society, were to take just 10 - 15% of the money we spend on tatoos and Marlboros and put that money toward dental care, we would be much better off.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Memories forgotten

An angel lays next to me on the couch, torso heaving with each breath, if you can use the word "heaving" when describing the breathing of a 5-year-old. She sucks her thumb to allow herself to slide into slumber, and it is still in her mouth, albeit a slack-jaw mouth currently, relaxed with sleep. College students beat each other's brains out over a football game on high def, while a blonde haired, blue eyed cherub quietly snores, breaking my heart with every sleepy sigh.

I've been working my ass off, and as a single dad, not spending as much time with Li'l Knuck as before. So the little time we have together is monumental to me, good fun to her. We have to work tomorrow. I own a small business. She will run the register when interested, watch Nick, Jr. when bored.

Upon closing at two, we will likely drive the five minutes over to the State Fair, where she can pet goats and ride kiddie coasters with her dad and be disinterested in large pumpkins. We'll get cotton candy and corn dogs and leave fatter than before and she'll fall asleep in the car on the way home.

Then on Sunday, we'll go to her second Titans' game. While I am interested in the future of the Nashville NFL franchise, and I would like to analyze in real time the potential of a young, untested squad, we will spend the first half commenting on the cheerleaders (OK by me), the food selection, the crazy fan dressed like a Titan superhero one row in front of us, and how funny Ice Age 2 is. And we'll likely leave at halftime. She'll always remember this weekend, right?

I know that I don't have many clear memories before the age of five. So, she'll be no different. It's a weird thing, this parent game, when you have a young one, and you know that everything you do for the first several years will be forgotten. That post-shit-hit-the-fan-with-her-mom trip to Sea World is forgotten. That hike to Burgess Falls where you carried her 40 pound sleepy body a mile back to the car will be forgotten. That one-bedroom apartment we shacked up in for half a year will be forgotten. I knew it would be forgotten when it was going on, but it was important for both our developments as living, breathing people.

She doesn't even remember us all living together as a family.

So now, at five, we are doing stuff that she may remember for the rest of her life. Maybe. I hope so. "My Dad let me run the register at work, then we went to the State Fair and the next day we went to a Titans' game!"

Will she possibly remember this weekend that way? Not a chance. But as long as she insists that I am the best Daddy in the whole world, I will continue to make our time together eventful, if not memorable.

She's pulled her thumb out of her mouth. I'll carry her to her bed in a few minutes. She'll come into my bed in a few hours. She kicks me at night when she's in my bed. Tonight, she put socks on when she put on her PJs. She said, with a glint in her eye, that she put on the socks so that when she kicked me, it would be "nice and comfy" for me.

I hope she remembers that.

What I've learned about being a white American man

I am a white American man. This is what I've learned from the internet lately.
I am scum until I prove otherwise.
I am a racist.
I am a sexist.
I carelessly use others for my own personal gain.

In other words, the fact that I am a white American man means that I am a selfish bastard who hoards power with, and only cares about, other white American men.

This kind of shit reminds me of listening to people without kids talk about how they would theoretically raise their kids if the had any. Like, "my kid would NEVER be allowed to watch Barney!" Guess what? If you hadn't had a shower that lasted longer than 90 seconds in over a year, and you discovered that Barney held the attention of your child for ten minutes at a time, you would love Barney as much as the next parent. Parents don't defend things like Barney to non-parents because it goes in one ear and out the other. It's easy to raise the perfect child when you don't have one. It is a lot different in the trenches. It's a pretty good life, being a parent. It's just annoying when people who don't know what it is like tell me I'm doing it wrong.

So, unless you are a white American man, you don't know what it is like to be one. Quit lumping me in with all the other white American men. I am not a racist. I am not sexist. I'm just a schlub working my ass off so my white American daughter can go to the college of her choice. If there are some white American men that have done you wrong, that isn't my fault. Stop blaming me for your problems. Stop stereotyping me. I'm not George Bush. I'm not George Allen. I'm not Pat Robertson. I'm not Perry March. I'm not Tom Cruise.

Your attempts to make me apologize for being a white American man aren't going to work. It's a pretty good life being a white American man. Except when people who don't know what it is like tell me I'm doing it wrong.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why I Support Gay Marriage

I think there is some kind of referendum or amendment or something coming up here in Tennessee about gay marriage. I am all for gay marriage, and if the referendum is worded in such a way that I can figure out the right way to vote, I'm going to vote for allowing gay marriage in Tennessee. But, I must point out, I voted on the infamous butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County, so I'm never really quite sure what I'm voting for anymore.

Frankly, I don't give a shit who marries who and why they do it and how long it lasts. I've been married. Go do what you want. I don't care if you're gay. The reason I want to allow gay marriage is simple: My back.

I have "catastrophic" insurance. I can't even really afford that, but I keep it anyway. It is over $250 a month, and it is there in case I get cancer or alzheimers or get put in a pen and shot by a crazy country music singer with a bow and arrow. I've been having back problems lately. I've been going to the chiropractor four days a week for three weeks, and my back is unbelieveably better. When I started, the office manager asked for my insurance card.

I said, "I'll give it to you, but it won't do any good."

She said she'd call anyway, just to see. The next morning she said, "You were right, your deductible for this kind of thing is $15,000."

That's right, folks. Listen up, those of you bitching about having $20 a month taken out of your paycheck, and then having to also pay ten whole dollars when you go see a doctor, try working for yourself. I have to pay for everything that doesn't require me to get a life flight to the emergency room, plus I pay $6,000 a year in premiums.

Insurance is the biggest fucking racket in the world.

So my girlfriend works for a liberal, tree-hugging company that already recognizes co-habitation as a legitimate dependent, because they have to accomodate all the gay couples in the organization. She said if she moved in, I could get on her insurance. The big stumbling block is the whole moving in thing. I've already got a five-year-old girl there, I don't need another female living there, anymore than she would want to live with me.

So I want to marry a guy. I've known several people who have married foreigners for various illegal reasons, mostly to help them get citizenship or a green card. But the government is onto that scam, and they have ways of figuring out if you are really married or not. Remember the movie "Green Card?"

But there is no system in place to figure out if two dudes were really married in order for one of them to get on the other's insurance. And I can't imagine them coming up with a decent system to sniff out this "fraud" for a long time. In a house full of guy stuff, whose to say what is mine and what is his.

Attention all single, men with good insurance. If this bill passes, I'm looking for a husband. You don't even have to be gay.