Liberty Mutual

Facebook passive-aggressively asked me “Season’s Greetings! What’s on your mind?”

Then, “Let your friends know if you are feeling festive.”

I am not. And, this might put me on some Watch List. Because, I read 1984, but I am not a natural-born revolutionary.

Topic: Liberty Mutual Insurance commercials.

Dear Liberty Mutual, I do not have a car named Brad. I am not driving on 3 wheels. And, I understand that my car depreciates before the first oil change. Because, I effing read the policy before I signed it. I am not standing in front of a green screen with the Statue of Liberty behind me. And, that island park that I am supposedly standing on with the sea gulls and the boat and the waves… Do you have a snorkel because I’m pretty sure that I’d be swimming in the bay. And, now, it looks like I’ll have to endure another year of your horrible commercials. The only thing missing is a gekko. Someone, get me Flo on the line. I know I’ll be in good hands with her. That’s prudential. Huh? Wait… What?

Am I the only one?

Hand on Hip

I need some help here…

Lynn and the girls (and I) attended a screening of “Paddington.” By the way, it’s a wonderful movie. Give it a chance. It is much better than you would normally think of a cloying “kids” movie. You (grown-ups) will actually enjoy it.

But, here’s my dilemma…

Gwen Stefani.

The Singer, the Voice judge, the Celebrity, and the Songwriter (with Pharell!) was on hand for a meet and greet.

Before the screening, she did her PR person proud by taking pictures with music people like me. Also, my more-deserving and wonderful wife and kids.

Here’s the thing: Gwen was sporting 4-inch heels. My wife is four inches taller than me. For the picture, Lynn put her arm around Gwen’s back. I was “forced” to put my hand on Gwen’s hip.

Now, I don’t know rock-star etiquette. But, I put my hand on Gwen Stefani’s hip. Not in an ass-grabby kind of way. Just, hippy. It was an awkward 3 seconds.

After the picture was taken, she kinda looked at me like “you know your wife is right there.”

Tell me, was I wrong? Also, I put my hand on Gwen Stefani’s hip!


Here’s the real reason my darling wife and I don’t get out much: Babysitters.

The truth is we have to spend hours and hours(!) cleaning up before they show up. No one wants to see the squalor that we actually live in. Shoes and socks. Plates and cups. Last night’s blanket fort. And all the pillows. Something sticky.

But tonight is special. Lynn bought tickets to Louis CK’s show at the LA Forum (Merry Christmas to me!).

I’ll even take out the trash.

500 Uses

Before you judge, you have no idea what the last few weeks have been like for me.

I’m about to open up the dental floss 6-pack that I bought at Costco, when I notice the labeling:

“Over 500 uses.”

500 Uses.  The Swiss Army Knife of dental hygiene.

500 Uses. The Swiss Army Knife of dental hygiene.

I begin muttering to myself. 500 uses? What the hell? How much can you possibly do with floss? Can I start a lawn mower? Can I go fishing? Can I fly a kite?

Lynn (my wonderful wife) is busy doing her own thing and not listening. She offers, “You can cut things with floss. What are you talking about?”

It is at this point that…

Me: Yeah, but can you do 500 things with it?

I then follow the asterisk, “Based on an average of 18 inches per use.”

Um… Oh.

Not MacGyver floss at all. They mean 500 sets of teeth. 3 months. With the popcorn and the lobster and the beef-jerky.

Like, you’ve never done something as stupid. Admit it. Please…..?

Phone Home

The other night, we sat down to watch the original “ET – Phone Home” movie on basic cable. And by that, I mean we were swamped with endless commercials (a 96-minute movie ended up at 3 hours.)

Toward the end, ET dies. (Ooops, Spoiler Alert. Sorry.)

Julianna (She’s 10): Daddy! Did ET really die?!

Me: No, Honey. He comes back.

J: Because… This is just a movie. And, you said that he was just a dwarf in a costume.

Me: I guess I said that somewhere along the way.

J: Then, why is that girl crying?

She is referring to 5-year-old Drew Barrymore.

J: Did they really kill ET?

Me: No. She was acting.

J: Did they kill her cat?

Me: No. Acting. Shush. Let me watch the movie.

In the background:

Did they rub salt in her eye? (No.)
Did they kill her hamster? (No.)
Is she being deported to Guatemala? (No. Different type of Alien. Also, undocumented)
Did they apply too much sunscreen? (No. Non-tears formula)
Did they cut onions in her eyes? (No.)
Did they shoot Old Yeller? (No. Well, yes. Different movie.)

I am totally ignoring this Blah Blah Blah because I want to hear the end of the story.

Me: Jesus! Please!… He comes back to life (no New Testament allusion there…) Just wait!

And, John Williams delivers the Perfect Coda!

Cue the music: Da-Dee…. da-da-da-da-Da-Deee.

(My music friends will get this.)

ET lives.

Ready for Her Close-up

After dropping off Isabella (she’s 7) at Gymnastics, Julianna (9) and I walk the three blocks to the Glendale Galleria to: a) kill time, and b) get shampoo from Target. And, maybe c) a Wetzel’s Pretzel.

On the way, we cut-through the Home Goods store. I stop to check out the pans. My 10-incher doesn’t perform like it used to. (Oh please, People! Get your mind out of the Gutter! I run a respectable blog here!..)

Anyway, an attractive young woman approaches and begins asking me a bunch of questions, mostly about Julianna. She says that Julianna could be a Star!

Now, my Bullshit Detector is activated whenever ANY attractive young woman starts chatting me up in household furnishings. Usually, she is after my wallet, or my body. (Either one will disappoint.) And, now, she’s bringing my daughter into this? Creepy.

After about 2 minutes of chit-chat, Shellyie* (*name changed from some other horrific misspelling) has invited Julianna to a non-defined “On-Camera Audition!” tomorrow.

I take the lady’s pamphlet, and amble on.

Lynn (aka Mommy) and I work in Hollywood, but our girls really don’t understand the concept of “Hollywood.” Julianna knows that she lives in North Hollywood, and that Hollywood consists of a few stops on the Red Line subway.

A Daddy/Daughter Teaching Moment lays ahead.

Me (to J): Honey, when you live where we live, people will promise you things and then steal your stuff.

J: Isabella took my hair tails!

Me: Not what I mean.

She’s puzzled.

Me: That lady said she wants to make you a TV Star. But really, she just wants our money.

J: I have stage fright. And, there’s a Black Hole in the center of the Galaxy! Science!

Me: You understand.

So, we make our way to the famed Galleria, and set up shop in the Food Court eating our third-rate Chicken Teriyaki (“It was good on the toothpick.”)

When, it turns out that a Second attractive young woman at the table next to us comments on J’s sparkly headband.

She: You are adorable! Dad, we are having an “On-Camera Audition” tomorrow.

Holy Crap! Two casting people randomly want my daughter in their Movie! What are the odds?! We’ll be Rich Beyond Belief!

Bullshit Detector at 10.

Me: Yeah, Shellyie already let us know.

2nd Young Woman (slightly disappointed): Shellyie is a “Rock Star!”

She leaves us alone.

So, Julianna and I finish our lunch, and we head off to Target.

Wouldn’t you know it, along the way: We are stopped by Attractive Young Woman Number Three.

#3: Excuse me… She’s gorgeous! Are you her father?

Me: Dude, I’ve already been hit-up twice already.

#3 (sheepishly): Ok….

So, after ignoring this ridiculousness until I get home, I check the “invitation” that Shellyie gave me:

Here’s the Don’t Sue Us verbage: “This is not an audition for employment or for obtaining a talent agent or talent management.”

It is only an event for people with an interest in “talent services.” Whatever the Hell that means. But, it will probably cost you tons of money before you realize that you are getting ripped.

I really hate to give advice on this Daddy/Daughter bloggy thingy I have. But, if you are interested in Hollywood dreams, don’t take a card from the pretty blonde in front of the Chipotle’s at the mall.

(By the way, I am also suspicious whenever an attractive, middle-aged woman approaches and asks me about my pans.)

In My Dreams

Ok, armchair psychoanalysts (and the couple of actual professionals that I know)… Explain this to me:

I had a bad nightmare last night. One of those sweaty, tossing and turning, talking in my sleep ones.

Turns out, I was the victim in a Scooby Doo episode. I was actually IN the episode! My first on-screen acting credit!

I had a friend who got mysteriously sucked into a fireplace. I couldn’t save him! I tried!

Then, a ghost banged on the door three times to let him in. When I refused, he came through the door anyway. The ghost floated right through the door! A “solid” door!

But, it was obviously just a guy in a sheet, flailing his arms. Still… This is an actual nightmare, and it scared the Shit out of me. The ghost was heading toward the gang. This guy in a sheet.

And, just as I was yelling a warning, “Velma! Velma!” Lynn grabbed my arm and woke me up.

Lynn: Honey! Wake up! You’re having a nightmare. You’re talking nonsense. What’s going on?!

Me: I was in a Scooby Doo episode! Crap! Velma! Daphne!
(breathing, breathing)


Lynn: Um. Never heard that one before.

Say what you will about watching the worst cartoon of the ’70s. Because, it’s always a guy in a costume. Always. And, even my sleeping self knew that.

But, when you are actually IN it, it is absolutely terrifying. So, when Shaggy yells “Zoinks!” I now know what he means.

(And, no, wise-ass, I did not have any “Scooby Snacks” before going to bed.)

Yoga Pants

Yes… Yoga pants.

Full disclosure: I am a huge fan.

Now, to my point. I have heard the news (a front page story at the LA Times, Washington Post, and others) that the biggest yoga pants company in the world is recalling their latest batch because they are, um, well, too transparent. (i.e. We can see your butt.)

This is a front-page problem? Syria? Sequester? War? Butt coverage?

At least, I am getting a post out of it all. (I don’t usually blog about Afghanistan…)


Women plunk down lots of cash (like $100!) for these pants. They are, as anyone will tell you, somewhat form-fitting. Totally form-fitting. Exactly form-fitting. You know this, right?

Of course, if you’re going to spend $100 on sweat pants, then I suppose they should at least protect your modesty. (Though, seriously, no one in a yoga class is concerned about modesty. You’ve seen Downward Dog, right?)

But, still. A hundred bucks.

As I said, I am a fan. And, apparently, I’m not the only one. While compiling research for this post, I discovered that there are quite a number of Web Sites dedicated to women in yoga pants. (Again, I was doing research. Scientific research.)

Now, I’ve never been in to yoga. I mean, there’s the Chi. And, the Karma. And, I don’t know, Mojo. Gravy? Something… Again, not my thing.

I know people who totally love yoga. So, I’m not knocking it. Hell, Isabella was doing the Tree pose when she was two. I never advanced beyond Dude on Sofa Watching Football. It’s not a competition. Everyone at their own pace.

But, to my women friends: You know that when you put yoga pants on, people will notice your areas. You know what you are doing, don’t you? Whether at the YMCA, the dog park, the supermarket, or the accountant’s office. You know that, right? Because…

Trust me, people will notice.

And, now, your pants are see-through. Keep that in mind.

Do You Want Fries with That?

Daddy/Daughter Fun Time goes to a restaurant for lunch.

Waitress: What can I get ya?
Isabella: Um… A corn dog.
Waitress: With…?
Isabella: French Fries!
Waitress: And you, sweety?
Julianna: Chicken Nuggets.
Waitress: With…?
Julianna: French Fries!
Waitress: And you sir, what will you be having?
Me: I’ll have the French Dip. With (cringing) French Fries.
Waitress: Ok, French Fries it is. (Adding a little judgmentally, while glancing at my mid-section,) I see where they get it.