Wednesday, May 30, 2012


You'd be supernatural if you knew when to take big risks.  But risks wouldn't be risks if the outcome was already known.  Those would just be decisions.  Regular like.  Some decisions have long lasting repercussions and some are forgotten as soon as they're made.  Lynette and I are on the verge of making a big decision.  A decision that will slightly change our geography.  Still, moving is always a momentous event in a life.  It's hard, but the temporary stress will lead to a home large enough to raise a family for many decades (hopefully).  Not that I couldn't pull it off in a Little House on the Prairie Michael Landon style home with the kids sleeping in the rafters above the kitchen table.  But I'd be lying if I said maneuvering around strollers in my kitchen wasn't starting to drive me mad.  I started day dreaming of the day when I can wash my car in the driveway.  In sixteen years I will teach James how to change a tire, just like my dad taught me.  In the driveway.  And like my dad before me, I'll have a garage with tools, which James will be forbidden to touch for fear of a father's wrath.  Good times.


Excerpts from "How to Be Perfect"

By Ron Padgett

Get some sleep.

Eat an orange every morning.

Be friendly. It will help make you happy.

Hope for everything. Expect nothing.

Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room
before you save the world. Then save the world.
Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.

Don't stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don't
forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm's length
and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass 
ball collection.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.

Plan your day so you never have to rush.

Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if
you have paid them, even if they do favors you don't want.

After dinner, wash the dishes.

Calm down.

Don't expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want 

Don't be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.

Don't think that progress exists. It doesn't.

Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don't do
anything to make it impossible.

Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not 
possible, go to another one.

If you feel tired, rest.

Don't be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel 
even older. Which is depressing.

Do one thing at a time.

If you burn your finger, put ice on it immediately. If you bang
your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for 20
minutes. you will be surprised by the curative powers of ice and

Do not inhale smoke.

Take a deep breath.

Do not smart off to a policeman.

Be good.

Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.

Do not go crazy a lot. It's a waste of time. 

Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to 
drink, say, "Water, please."

Take out the trash.

Love life.

Use exact change.

When there's shooting in the street, don't go near the window.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Be Serious for 30 Seconds

High Five TV!

Monday was a holiday, which meant I got to watch Game of Thrones Sunday night with the rest of the world.  Holy shit, Television!  If you've read the books, know that this episode, titled "Blackwater," depicts the epic battle that occurs when Stanis reaches King's Landing.  Nothing on TV (not that's there's much competition) comes remotely close to the quality workmanship of Game of Thrones.  Rarely does a TV show leave me anxious and yearning for the next episode.  I won't spoil anything here - but I would love to talk about the relationship between The Hound and Sansa.  I've only read the first two books of the series, but now I can't wait to jump into number three just to learn what becomes of these two.  At first I was put off by the numerous characters and story lines of George RR Martin's books, but now I love it.

The only other show that currently gets my attention is Mad Men, but even that one gets passed over on the DVR when I sit down to catch up on my stories.

This summer: Breaking Bad and Louie will be filling up my DVR.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Final Scene Again (Again?)

SlashFilm did a post today discussing a new possible meaning behind the controversial final scene of (arguably one of the best shows on TV) The Sopranos.  What's funny is that people are STILL discussing it!  THAT'S how powerful it was. Boom.  For a long time I was in one camp, but then eventually changed my opinion over to the other camp.

Music Appreciation: (A cover)

This song is the big horsefly bouncing off the kitchen window of my head unable to find its way out.  Here's a cool cover of it by Walk Off the Earth:

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Some days you do perfect.  My coffee this morning is perfect.  The ratio of cream and sugar is perfect.  My seat on the train was next to a working air conditioning vent.  Rain didn't fall on me as I walked to work.  I jaywalked across 15th Street without getting clipped by an arrant DC cab.  Three beautiful women jogged past me (I really, really should get back to the gym).  My boss is late to work.  I might buy my lunch today.  I heard a whole slew of great songs on The Coffeehouse (SiriusXM).  I want to go home and play my banjo - which is a good feeling to get me through the day.

Last night when I got home from work James reached up for my hand and then pressed his face into it.  An gesture of intimacy and love that destroys me every time.  I wish I could keep James in my pocket all day - because I need him to keep pulling me away from the bullshit world that tries so very hard to make me hard and mean and bitter.  With James, I live on a secluded island with my wife in the middle of a glassy lake encircled with pine trees.  The only people I see are the ones I'm making dinner for.  Sometimes we see an eagle perched on top of one of those pine trees across the lake.  Watching us.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Bob Dylan said, "You're either living to be born, or living to die."

Monday, May 21, 2012


You have absolutely nothing to worry about.  Literally nothing to worry about.  Let that soak into your head and go ahead and jump into the ______________________________.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Cryptid World According to Joe

I had an interesting discussion with my dad last weekend about ghosts, aliens, and Bigfoot.  According to Grandpa Joe,  aliens exist, Bigfoot does not, and ghosts are nothing but elaborate pranks and stunts created to raise "millions of dollars" for "these guys on TV."  The only thing I was able to convince him of was his high level of skepticism.  But I guess that's how the world works, no?  We can't prove a thing, so we sell faith.  Love, moon landings, Chicago pizza vs. New York pizza - these are the seeds of new religions.  And even though Grandpa Joe will not even consider for one second that there might be a species of primate undiscovered roaming the forests of North America, he will go to his grave convinced that Chicago pizza is the only pizza and that flimsy bullshit they make in New York is garbage.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cake Wins

Having James in the car has really helped me calm the heck down while driving.  Here's my trick:  I imagine the person driving in front of me is a baker and he's delivering a wedding cake.  "Go as slow as you need to, good sir!"  Because hey, it's cake.  Cake wins.  Where ever you need to be is trumped by cake.  Sorry, but you're not that important.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Best Friends

Found this video on Reddit this morning and I thought it was pretty cool.  These two are not siblings, just good friends.

Farmer's Market 2.0

I was strolling through our neighborhood farmer's market yesterday on an idyllic late morning when it occurred to me that there were a few things missing that absolutely could cater to the throngs of young, white, newly babied couples.  Because if the guy who makes rocking horses gets a booth, then other non-vegetative kiosks should be allowed to represent.  Like an arcade. With old school stand up machines.  And a puppet theater (with or without magician).  A crossbow range.  You're lying if you think you wouldn't love to finally shoot a crossbow.  And a tent with several recliner chairs surrounded by TVs for when the other spouse peruses the buggy radishes and over priced ______________________ (fill in the blank).  For the golfers, one of those simulated driving range thingies and a putting green.  Judging from the youthfulness of our yuppie neighbors, a discreet "adult" table would make quite a bit of money selling sex toys, etc.  (In fact, that would be the most popular table except no one would admit it.  Conservative prudishness is the silent killer.)  The coffee table sold decent tasting coffee, but I would have an actual espresso machine out there making espressos to order, served in real cups.  No fruity bullshit milkshakes - just espresso.  Order one, drink it, and get the fuck out.  And maybe a pancake booth would do well.  Like Eastern Market's famous blueberry buckwheat pancakes (only sold on Saturday and Sunday mornings) that people line up for in DC.

Maybe a band, too.  Or at least a guy in the back playing the spoons.    

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nick Offerman's 10 Secrets to Life

For those of you who don't know who Nick Offerman is, shame on you. (Just kidding, he plays Ron Swanson on TV's Parks and Rec.)

#1 – Engage in romantic love.
Offerman, a self-proclaimed “sappy, romantic lover,” spoke of the importance of snagging yourself a mate and letting yourself fall in love. Offerman spoke incredibly highly of his wife, “the crazy Jug Festival that is Megan Mullally,” who he’s been married to for 12 years.
“As a Hollywood couple, you’d expect us to be heading down to the Whiskey-A-Go-Go with the Sheen family or shooting up with the Kardashian clan,” Offerman said.
Instead, the couple enjoys staying home, watching HGTV, completing jigsaw puzzles, and “doing a shitload of cocaine while we puzzle for days.” Offerman says that you’ve got to make love a priority in your life. If you put your acting job above your relationship, even if you win an Oscar, he can tell you from experience “an Oscar is not a comfortable sexual partner, no matter which way you stick it.”
#2 – Say please and thank you.
“I don’t care if you’re a network executive or a fan of Two and a Half Men, the lowest, we are all equal brothers and sisters” said Offerman, who also placed Hitler and Jerry Gergich at the bottom rung of life.
#3 – Carry a handkerchief.
“My dad always told me to wear a clean, white t-shirt everyday and always carry a handkerchief,” to which young Nick would reply, “Dad, I’m not gonna wear a white t-shirt everyday ‘cause it looks more bitchin’ to have a little chest bush exposed…sir.”
Offerman then pulled out his handkerchief (rose petals in a field of taupe), and played, well, the only handkerchief song I’ve ever heard. According to him, you can use them for anything from wiping down prints during a B&E to wiping ejaculate from your chin.
#4 – Eat red meat.
#5 – Get a hobby.
“Hobby is an unfortunate word, like underpants, Mitt, and Romney, for something that can have such a profound impact on one’s life.”
If you’re a fan of Parks and Rec, you’re already aware of Ron’s woodworking skills. In his real life, Offerman has an actual woodshop where he builds furniture and canoes. He sees woodworking not as a nerdy hobby, but a sexy one (as he proceeded to strike a few seductive poses for the audience): “If you’re looking for a mate, would you rather find someone who’s amazing at playing Angry Birds or would you like someone who knitted the garment they’re wearing?”
Offerman, who’s no fan of social networks and smart phones, reached out to everyone to put down their iPhones, stop Googling Steve Guttenberg, and pick up a real hobby: “We’re dealing with fake people in a fake world and we’re losing the ability to look people in the eyes and communicate.” He then added,  “P.S. There’s someone imitating me on Twitter right now. If any of you are Twitter champions, if that exists, find them and f’ing chop their head off.”
#6 – Go outside. Remain.
#7 – Avoid the mirror.
“We look at ourselves and we see the Gulf between what might as well be an animated erotic cartoon and your beautiful, natural form.”
Offerman’s sensitive side came out yet again when he went on to say that you don’t need to look like a magazine cut-out in order to be beautiful.
“If you have a nose, you’re f’ing beautiful,” he proclaimed. “If you have a big nose, you’re super extra beautiful.”
Praising the Tulane student who created, Offerman also asked the audience to help him turn the tide against the unfair and painful custom of women wearing high-heeled shoes.
#8 – Maintain a relationship with Jesus Christ…if it’s getting you sex.
#9 – Use intoxicants
Offerman is a big believer in rewarding yourself after hard work. When he’s done making a boat and he’s achy and covered in sawdust, “that first ice cold beer is like the jizz of the Lord, which, if you follow my metaphor, I’m assuming that the semen of God would be an incredibly delicious beverage.”
Clearly a fan of various, beautiful intoxicants, Nick also urged everyone to just be smart about partaking in such activities and create a sphere of safety: “These things can bring beauty and joy into our lives, but just like religion, the opiate of the masses, you can use them like an asshole and ruin them for the rest of us who just wanted to get high, go outside, and look at a maple leaf.”
He closed out the 9th life tip with his own version of Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take The Wheel.” However, the Nick Offerman rendition, unlike the original, is less about the power of God and more about getting high in your car with Jesus himself.
#10 – Paddle your own canoe.
Live life for yourself. Better yourself. Succeed. Don’t be like Jerry. Jesus Christ, whatever you do, don’t be like Jerry.
Offerman concluded his 2-hour set with one of the most beautiful things that my eyes and ears have ever experienced: Ron Swanson performing “5,000 Candles In The Wind” backed by a packed auditorium. So many tears were shed that night.
Bye, bye Lil’ Sebastian.


This God of yours keeps throwing chairs in the way as I chase him around the house.  The bus pulled up at the bus stop the other day, except I didn't realize it and stood there for a long ass time before boarding, neighbors watching me through the windows as I waited for an imaginary second bus.  "What the heck is he doing?" And of course there's the countless times I have to pick up my dog's shit as cars drive by: "Ew, ew, ew," they seem to mutter.

I will admit that religion is difficult for me.  I jumped (back) into Christianity about a year ago like the hot Krispy Kreme sign was lit.  I prayed for two things  that year and both came to be.  I won't dare say my prayers changed the course of history, but I also won't discount the coincidence.

Look, I appreciate the tiny moments in life that remind me to stop being an asshole and get my head out of my ass, but I have doubts.  Significant doubts about God and/or religion.  I guess it's not so much the concept of God I have a problem with, but rather His fans I find repellent.  But can a person call himself a Christian if he does his best to avoid other Christians?

Wait, that's not what I meant.  In general, I like people.  I enjoy working in downtown DC and using public transportation and being part of the fabric of an eclectic array of humanity.  I just don't like self righteousness or traffic.

I don't care about opinions.  And I'm suspicious of interpretations.  The Bible is an amazing document, but it is not perfect.  And it is not rigid, as many would like us to believe.  I find religion to be deeply personal.  I have no problem being vulnerable, but in order for me to remain fascinated with something I have to be able to continue to question it.

Can I be a Christian and challenge Christianity simultaneously?  Or am I to check my blind faith at the door?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

She's Batman

Since this is Lynette's first Mother's Day ever (!) I have decided to lavish her with gifts.  Blaming our parents for our poor decisions in life seems to be a popular thing to do nowadays.  However, last time I checked, humans ain't perfect.  We can't expect our moms to be as equipped as Batman to meet the world's growing number of challenges.  Moms do their best.  Sure, your best might be different than my best, but perception is the hidden pickle in your Big Mac.  With that said, Lynette is the perfect mother, no foolin.'  

Jokes aside - if there was a mother fight (patent pending) Lynette would win. Like Batman.  Her utility belt is amazing.  And our son James is the luckiest little boy ever born to a human female.

There's a reason why James is so awesome.  It's her.  In the eleven months since his birth I have been delighted by James' personality and praying that he inherited our "good"  traits.  So far my whiny, impatient, egotistical nuances seem to be absent from Baby James.  Instead, he's just like his mother.  Thank God.

So I bought my son's mother a Honda Pilot and a Macbook.  Expensive yes, but still not enough.  Never enough.  Lynette works so hard at SiriusXM and then comes home and works so hard as a parent.  And in the end never complains.  Ever.  Like Batman.