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Entries in red wine (2)


It's What's For Dinner

Son: “Dad, what’s for dinner?”

Me: “Pork chops in a pineapple-glazed honey sauce with jasmine rice and edamame .”

Son: “AWWWWWW!!! NOOOO Dad!!! Aw come-on!! Can’t we have pizza?”

And that’s how our nights begin these days.

The kids love rice. They love honey. They love pineapple. And if you put a bowl of edamame in the middle of a room and unleash the little bastards they’ll literally fight to the death until it’s all gone.

Feeding edamame to them is like tying down a small child and throwing it into a room full of zombies. Yeah…like that.

But when you lovingly toss it all together on a plate, gleefully place it in front of the troops, stand back and wait for the overwhelming cheers…all we get is the kid’s version of Chef Ramsay.

“Dad! What the fuck is this you donkey? Come here…taste this! It’s crap dad! Crap!”

I absolutely love cooking. There’s nothing better than cranking the radio, pouring a full glass of red wine and knocking out a killer meal. But with the birth of two little rug-rats we’ve fallen victim to the lure of eating out.

Sitting at a table, having beer brought to you on demand without having to lift a finger while plates of goodness are brought is such a wonderful thing. But damn that’s expensive.

And sushi is…make that “was”…our weakness. We LOVE sushi!!! But damn it’s expensive.

The boy has to learn to eat food that costs less than $50 to create. The girl…well, she would eat chicken nuggets and chicken noodle soup until the world ended.

So, we’ve taken the old school “we used to walk to school uphill both ways” philosophy of parenting.

Last night we fed them pork chops. They tried it. They hated it. They went to bed with empty stomachs. And, yes…I showed them the trash can with their food in it and said, “daddy listened to a story on the radio today where a lady who struggles for food said a good day for her is when she gets half a glass of goat milk and cornmeal soup for the day.”

To help the message sink in further, maybe weekend we’ll take the boy to a soup kitchen.

I won’t categorize the experience as learning through guilt. Instead, I chalk it up as teaching through reality.

I’ll know I’m successful when he cleans his plate and then says, “dad, can we volunteer at the soup kitchen again this weekend?”

OK, now I’m dreaming. So I’ll lower my goals and just shoot for the clean plate.


Where The Hell Did My Dude-Mojo Go?

This past weekend the wife tossed the kids and all their accoutrements in the car and drove 18 hours to Greensboro, North Carolina to spend the week with our family. I just started a new job in March, so I haven’t earned enough vacation time to where I could take a week off to join in on the trip. So…I was left behind.

I was stoked to be thrown in a spot where I’d have a solid week alone. I’ll admit, when they first drove down the street, I was sad. My daughter had cranked out a cute little picture and my son telling me how much he’d miss me was still ringing in my ears.

I walked back in the house, put on some coffee, walked upstairs, peed, then started to put the seat down when I realized, “what the hell are you doing man?

I immediately threw the seat back up with authority and walked out of the bathroom a new man.

It was time to be a freakin’ dude again. Storming down the stairs with a mission I walked in the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and quickly found myself sidetracked by all the dirty dishes. Immediately I started cleaning. I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the counters, and ten minutes later found myself wiping down all the cabinets with cleaner.

Who the hell had I become? I had an entire house to myself and all I could do was think about dropping toilet seats and having a clean kitchen.

Fortunately the World Cup, USA vs. Ghana game was coming on. But it didn’t get any better. By half time I was drinking white wine and standing on my front doorstep wondering what flowers I should buy for the new front flowerbed I had made.

Instance after instance I found myself doing non-dude stuff.

Finally, I’d had enough. So I went down to the basement, watched porn, then laced up my running shoes and went out for a run. Refreshed and ready to get my man-mojo back, I showered, didn’t shave, and left the deodorant right where it was sitting.

Twenty minutes later I was drinking red wine, eating brie and crackers and watching the news. Now I’d apparently turned 80.

That’s when I decided to just embrace who the hell I’ve become. So what if I plan on spending a couple hours in the garden. So what if I look in the mirror and criticize my body every time I get out of the shower. So what if a tiny tear appeared in my eye at the end of Toy Story 3.

I’m still going to fart, drink beer, watch a few baseball games, run, and check out women at the grocery store. Cause I AM a dude damn it.

I’m a dude with a wife and kids who have apparently spent many dark nights slowly pumping small amounts of estrogen in me while I sleep.