Teeny Tiny Houses

I was watching one of those “tiny house” shows tonight on HGTV. Because, Tiny Houses is the new hipster thing, I guess. Apparently, at under 200 square feet, having actual floor space is far too limiting to your freedom, bro.

I snark.

And, dammit, if the buyers don’t always complain that “the kitchen is a little tight.” Jesus. Really? Also, there are no granite counter tops or stainless steel appliances. Or, that you have to walk through the bedroom to get to the 3-foot wide x 6-foot long bathroom. And, there’s no oven and the bathroom sink is also the kitchen sink. Oh… And, they were hoping for a fireplace? Seriously. You know what you’re buying, right?

Also… You’re in Wyoming. Not Manhattan. Look out your 6-inch double-paned window… There are wide open spaces where you are. But, please squeeze yourself into a closet on the Plains, if you like. Just don’t complain about it.

Back to the show: That 200 square foot house is too luxurious for our buyers, so, lets look at a 96 square foot home (yes, literally).

But, “It’s kinda small”… Surprise!

The layout is really great, though. It has great flow. The bed/sofa/desk/craft table/dance room/workshop/dinner table/garage/play room/family room/chemistry lab/yoga room is perfect.

“With the loft ceilings, it doesn’t feel as cramped as it should.” As a party place, we could actually entertain someone here. And, by that, I mean one person. Elbow to elbow.

How much does it cost? Depends on how many banks you want to rob, Bonnie and Clyde. Because, it could be free. A prison cell is roomier. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

And yet, the buyers are sooo happy. Yay for them!

Wait… Oh, and now, suddenly they’re pregnant…. Good luck with that. With your 96 square feet.

Pay Per View

I occasionally click around and visit the other Daddy Blogs on the old Internet. You know, market research and all. And, I gotta tell you, I was shocked to find that one of my fellow bloggers now requires a paid Membership to, I guess, view his daughter’s 7th birthday party pictures. He even has an Advisory Board. Seriously, an Advisory Board.

Now, I’m all for the Free Market and Capitalism and all. But, when your Daddy Blog needs and Advisory Board, don’t you think you’re taking ‘raising your kids’ (as required by law) a little too seriously?

(But there’s always profit to be made.)

Gentle reader, what would you pay to read my hilarious posts for a year? (Please tell me it is $99/year, like some people.) Maybe, you’d like my posts in book form. (Hint…)

(My posts are funnier than his, by the way.)

America, you are my advisors. Talk to me.

The Concert Master

My good friend Larry Rench semi-stole my thunder on this post on the Facebook. But no regrets or apologies are needed. Because, his post merely re-enforces what I have been saying for all these years:

At the Hollywood Bowl’s Live Performance of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.” The actual 1982 movie performed on-screen by the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. Scored by John Williams. On the BIG screen, under the sky. With the stars. And, the occasional helicopter.

The orchestra warms up, then out comes the concertmaster (concertmistress, actually, because she’s a woman) under her own spotlight.

Julianna (she’s 11): Who is that?

Me: She’s called the “Concertmaster.” She’s the Number One Violinist.

J: Is she the Best in the World?

Me: Think smaller.

Isabella (she’s 8): In the Universe?

Me: Maybe…..: Daa Deee… Dadadada DaDeeeeee….

My New Dentist

So, we have settled on a new dentist, close to the girls’ school. But first, I have to get past the hygienist.

Maria: When’s the last time you saw a dentist?

Me: Maybe, seems like, a couple years.

Maria: Have you had any major problems with your mouth?

Me: No. But, I do say a lot of stupid things.

She is not amused.

Maria: With your previous dentist, did you have any goals?

Goals? Really? Like winning a Nobel Prize? Or scoring a Perfect 10 at the Olympics?

And, I actually said this:

Me: My goal is to not see the dentist for the rest of my life.

She remained unamused.

A root canal is ordered.


We just got back from a many-thousand mile trip (99 bottles of milk on the wall. 99 bottles of milk… Someone get me a bottle of beer because now I understand why that guy wrote this song.)

Anyway, we got home, flipped on the TV and saw Isabella’s eHarmony commercial.

Blink and you'll miss her.  Because you'll fall asleep listening to the eHarmony guy.

Blink and you’ll miss her. Because you’ll fall asleep listening to the eHarmony guy

Iz: Daddy, I don’t want to just be in commercials. I want to be in Real movies.

Me: Ok, then let’s start by cleaning up your room.

Iz: Um… Actually… I’m Ok with commercials.


On the road from Atlanta to Baltimore, the girls (8 and 11) are engaged in a classic “You’re on My Side” battle. Tempers run high. Lots of screaming. Everyone is yelling. Mommy and Daddy. Yelling. At 75 MPH.

Mommy (trying to diffuse the situation): Look! There are cows! Look! … Mooo!

Julianna (things get quiet… the 11-year-old suddenly gets pensive, wistful…): Hello, cow. Too bad you are so delicious. Taste you soon.


Isabella (8): She’s looking at a cow on my side! That’s MY cow!

Crap. 545 miles to go.

Car Pool Lane

On the way to gymnastics, Isabella (she’s 8) and I are in the car pool lane.

Iz: Daddy?

Me: Yes, dear?

Iz: When you are driving with a baby in a car seat in the back seat, are you allowed to use the car pool lane?

Me: Yes, Sweetie. Two people. Doesn’t matter how old they are.

Iz: Really?

Me: Yes. And, that’s about the only advantage to having a child. You can use the car pool lane.

Pause. Pause.

Iz: Heeeeeyyy!

“More” Is Less

I don’t normally post this type of rant on the blog. But, it’s a bit long for Facebook, and it does deal with some kid-tangential things. So…

Summer School is in session. I need some help. And, I have a lot of teacher and science/math-oriented friends. Before my brain atrophies any further, I need a grammarian and a mathematician to talk me down from the ledge. Also, I have a feminist or two to keep me on track.

Not your usual vacation photo post, I know. But, here’s a real-life exercise that is killing me. Give me 10 minutes. (Get a cup of coffee.)

Following the fantastic USA Women’s Soccer World Cup victory, I saw the following headline: “U.S. Women Champs Earn 4 Times Less than Men”

Politics aside, I have two problems: one grammatical and one mathematical.

1) Grammar: This headline is at best inartfully worded, and at worst, intentionally confusing.

When one says that something is “4 times” something else, you immediately think more. But then you have this big fat “less” in there, and now it is reductive. How contrarian of you. You’re beginning to sound like me.

“U.S. Women Champs Earn 4 Times Less than Men”

Is this because of our penchant for hyping things to make them sound grander and more luxurious and glamorous when we actually mean they are smaller? “More” is less.

More is less.

Take the scenario: The 50-year-old Director married the 25-year-old Supermodel. Would you say…

– She is half his age.
– He is twice as old as her. Or…
– She is two-times younger than he is.

Who talks like that?

(And, of course, this is a trick question, because the Director was a woman. And the Supermodel was a man. It’s my scenario, so deal…) But, you get the point.

“U.S. Women Champs Earn 4 Times Less than Men”

I think I know what this headline writer meant (or I don’t, see below), but wouldn’t it be easier to simply say:

“U.S. Women Champs Earn One Quarter of Men’s Winnings.”

Wouldn’t that just be clearer? Why try to inflate things in a smaller direction?

But, here’s where I have a bigger problem with the numbers…

“U.S. Women Champs Earn 4 Times Less than Men”

2) Mathematics. Is this in a Common Core question, because if it is, it is a bullshit, sloppy damn question? And, I totally expect to find it on my 6th grader’s state test.

“U.S. Women Champs Earn 4 Times Less than Men”

“4 Times Less” is not an animal that lives in nature. Times = more, Less = Less. Combining the two is a bit like oil and water. They don’t mix. By nature.

And, this plays out as… Should I grab an abacus?

Let’s say the men earn 4 Units. And the women earn 1 Unit. 4 -1 = 3.

The difference between the Men and Women is 3 units.

Where does “4 times less” factor in? 4 times “what,” exactly? Isn’t there a coefficient? A constant? A Pythagorean or something?

It is a quarter of the men. But how is it 4 times less?

Math people, explain. What am I misunderstanding? (And, I’m not afraid of decimals.)

“U.S. Women Champs Earn 4 Times Less than Men”

But, pay the ladies. Times 5. Sounds fair. I mean, they actually WON the damn thing.

Awesome Bro!

Saturday morning, catching up on some DVR’d TV with Isabella (the eight-year-old).

Iz: Daddy, I wanna watch American Ninja Warrior.

Me: Really?… Ok.

It’s an obstacle course. Really tough.

Dude falls into the water. Another dude falls into the water. The girl falls into the water (Isabella: Rats! I thought she could do it!)

Announcer Bro: Our next contestant is a Professional Frisbee Player so you know he has mad reaction skillz!

(With a “Z.”)

Alas, An eight-year-old brings the first bit of rationality:

Iz: Daddy… A Professional Frisbee player? Is that even a thing?

Me: No, Honey. No. Except for frat boys or Trust Fund kids. No one can make a living throwing a frisbee.

Seriously, America. It’s getting out of hand. With the elevating everyone to awesomeness!

Dude fell into the water. (But, with an awesome splash!)

[Yes, I’m awaiting the slings and arrows of pro-frizzB fans. Wait… there aren’t any? Point proven.]

Fields of Flat

Family night the other night had us watching “The Gabby Douglas Story” about the US gymnast who took a couple of gold medals at the 2012 Olympics. It’s a Lifetime TV movie, so there’s that. (Expect lots of exclamation points.)

On screen, Gabby and her mother have a bit of dialogue. (I don’t have a script, so I’m paraphrasing. But, it was pretty much like this the whole way through.)

Gabby (upset): Mommy! I finished in 16th place! I have to go to Iowa to train with Coach Liang Chow!

Gabby’s mother: Honey! Iowa is a long way from here!

Gabby: I don’t care! I’m going! I want to go to the Olympics!


Here’s how the discussion went in our house. (Also, no script. Fewer exclamation points. More sarcasm.)

Isabella (the 8-year-old gymnast): Daddy…

Me: Let me stop you right there.

Isabella: Stop who? Where?

Me: If you ever finish in 16th place, we will happily send you to Iowa.

Iz: So, I can train with Coach Chow?!

Me: No. Because of the shame you will have brought to this family, we will send you to Iowa.

Iz: But, they must have other coaches there, right?

Me: You know what they have in Iowa?

Iz: What?

Me: Flat. They have a whole lot of flat.

Mommy (chiming in): And, Fields of Dreams.

Me: Yeah. Flat and ’90s-era Kevin Costner baseball movies.

Iz: But, what if I win?

Me: What do you mean?

Iz: Well, if I win, then I think YOU should go to Iowa. So, it will be less flat. Because, you know, your belly.

I’ve already spent half the day looking for my baseball glove.