I Don’t Bless the Sneeze

Achoo… and God.
I was at a concert when I had a sneezing fit. In the middle of Schubert, I ka-chooed. Not once but thrice. The lady behind me knee-jerked: God Bless You after each sneeze. I did not thank her (as most people would do.)
I heard a huff…
Now, I’m not a natural born attention-getter, what with my smarts, natural good looks, charming personality, and artistic flair. So be it, America. I don’t seek attention.
Attention seeks me.
But, when I sneeze, I don’t need more attention being drawn to my possibly contagious affliction. (It was just pollen, by the way.)
Please, don’t God Bless Me when I sneeze. It’s one of the pet peeves that really gets under my skin. I assure you, Zeus doesn’t care. (That’s the right God, right?)
Corollary, please, please, don’t get offended when I don’t God Bless You when You sneeze.
I was in the checkout line at the Ralphs supermarket (no apostrophe needed) the other day. The lady in front of me loading her yogurt and celery and cat food and whatnot on the conveyor belt. She sneezed.
She looked at me like, are you going to say something?
And, I was like: Nope. That’s between you and Jehovah or Archimedes. I just need these bagels rung up ASAP. Are you contagious? ’cause, that would be nice to know.

Online Polls

A friend of mine recently posted a nonsense Facebook poll of the yes/no variety. And, you can bet that Facebook is parsing the answers to target you with their advertisements. Here’s me:

Tattoos: 0
Reason: Perspective. My lower back is too fat for my favorite butterfly, the monarch. Also, I’m not 20. And, I’m not stupid.

Piercings: My current Headache. I have kids. So, piercing.  From the top of my head, through my skull. Like a dagger. Screw Tylenol. Bullshit.

Marriage: 1

Children: 2, that I know of.

Surgeries: 2, that I know of.

Hobos: 1 buried in the garden.

Skipped school: Actually, I never did.

Watched someone give birth: Twice, that I know of.

Buried a Hobo in the Garden: See above. Once.

Are you sure: Yes.

Yes, you are sure. Or, yes you’ve been profiled: Let me check my notes.

Been to Canada: Where do you think I got my accent. Think aboot it. Eh?

Been to Williamsburg, VA: Birthplace of America, yes.

Been to Washington D.C.: Cemetery of America, yes.

Been to Mexico: What the hell is with this damn wall?

Grabbed a woman by the Trump: Consensually? Two times, that I know of.

Stop and Frisk: Only the ladies. You know what I’m sayin’. Yeah, Boy!

You know Facebook reads this: Only my friends.

And the NSA: Am I being punk’d? Then, no.  But, my hands are yuge.

Ridden in an Ambulance: Does car jacking count? Then, yes.

Been reprimanded by HR: See above… Not the previous above, but higher.

Escorted Out by Security: Does Sheriff’s Deputy count?

Gone zip lining: No

Visited Europe: No.

Eaten goat cheese: It tastes like you are eating the farm. So, no.

Have a chihuahua: No.

Have two chihuahuas: Yes

Met Elvis: Last week at the 7-Eleven. No.

Does Earth revolve around the sun: Well, I’m not a scientist.

Been to Hawaii: I have eaten pineapple. Does that count?

A Nigerian Prince needs help: Credit Card Number. PIN. And that stupid 3-digit “security” code.

El Niño: Good luck with that, Mr. Drought.  ¿How “hot” is La Niña?  I’d hit that.

Kardashians: Spell check actually just corrected me. Vomit likely. Really? Spellcheck?

What the hell: Your guess (I admit) is better than mine.

Tire Change Breakfast

So, our van has a busted tire. Chunks out of the sidewall. Lynn says I must have hit something. Other than that damn squirrel, I think “no.” Nothing that would cause that much damage. I’d remember that. But, I didn’t drive the van last Saturday night. I wonder who did. (Dun-dun-DUUNN!)

Fingers are pointed. Puzzled looks are shared. Conspiracy theories are hatched. Made-in-Hollywood Headlines are generated. The passive voice is used. (That’s for my English-major friends…)

But, honestly… It doesn’t matter. The tire is busted.

I take it to the Costco for replacement. Road hazard, they tell me. Under warranty. They pro-rate me 50% on the 3 year old tire. I am Ok with that.

How long? Umm. About an hour, hour and 15.

Cool.

8:40am.

Surely, there’s a nice, neighborly breakfast place nearby. Let me walk down Victory Blvd in beautiful Burbank, CA. Yeah, no. Umm… No place to eat. Nothing but apartments.

8:50

Let’s me swing down to Burbank Blvd. “Hair’s Where You Wanna Be!” Or, something. “Otto’s Auto Autopia.” Tongue Twister. Also, redundant. No food. No dice.

9:05. Nothing.

So, I U-turn it, and head back to the only land of breakfast civilization that I can find.

9:20

McDonalds. Big Breakfast. With the greasy hash browns. WiFi. It’s a small place. I sit near the bathrooms. Hell, the whole place is near the bathrooms. I’m Lovin’ It.

9:45.

I cross the crazy-multi-intersection back to Costco. I see that the van is still in the bay. So, I kill time by actually, you know, shopping in Costco. (Hint, the doors open early Post-Thanksgiving. Most people are lined up for returns…)

I pick up some bananas, pigs-in-a-blanket. Bottle of egg nog. A couple of those. Chips.

I pay the lady, get the exit-door guy to mark my receipt, then I see my van pull out of the bay. I show the dude my paper work, and I get in and drive away.

But, I’m left wondering… Surely, there’s got to be some decent breakfast place in the neighborhood. Near the 5. Victory and Burbank. Near the Costco. I come by all the time, just not usually in the morning with time to kill. This was my chance. And, now… I’m afraid I will never know.

Where do the people eat?

(And, now the Burbank Chamber of Commerce will flood me with freebies… Let’s see. Let’s hope.)

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.

“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.

Yoga Pants

Last week in the War on Women: Yoga Pants

And, this is not a joke.

It seems there’s a Montana state Representative who wants to expand the definition of “indecent exposure” to include any “device, costume, or covering” that is too form-fitting. This includes yoga pants.

Actual quote: “Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” said the idiot. Sorry, said Rep. David Moore.

Rep. David Moore:  Yoga Pants!  But it is 1958!  Harlots!

Rep. David Moore: Yoga Pants! But it is 1958! Harlots!

A friend of mine asked: Then, what are Moms supposed to wear?

Good question, indeed.

Under the proposed bill, a third-time offense could cost a violator $5,000 and five years in jail. For wearing yoga pants. Again, this is absolutely real.

Fortunately, the Montana House of Representatives scuttled this plan. Because it is sexist. But mostly, because it is just plain stupid.

Ladies, if I should ever run for the office of State Representative in Montana (or any other state), I assure you that I am most definitely Pro-Yoga Pants. I’m a huge fan.

[Note: As we went to press, Rep. Moore declared it was all just a joke! His pandering to a select constituency was met with more ridicule than it was worth.

So… Hahaha! He was only kidding. And, all those wasted taxpayer dollars. Plus, the government overreach stuff…. Ha.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/14/republican-montana-yoga-pants-obscenity]

[Another Note. This blog runs on WordPress through GoDaddy.com (yes, I’m cheap and possibly immoral). But, I can’t for the life of me get my links to work when I post them. Little help.]

I’m not a Scientist, but…

I’m not a scientist, but global warming is a hoax.

I’m not an economist, but Trickle Down brings wealth to everyone.

I’m not a crime expert, but Second Amendment.

I’m not an ecologist, but chopping these trees won’t change the environment.

I’m not a doctor, but anyone from Africa needs to be quarantined.

I’m not an evolutionist, but dinosaurs and people foraged together 6,000 years ago.

I’m not illegal, but hablo español. Un poquito.

I’m not gay, but that invites demons.

I’m not a woman, but my uterus is state property. Also, I have a nice ass.

I’m not poor, so fuck ‘em.

I’m not your father. From now on, you are called “Luke.”

— Cordially yours, D. Vader.

Kicking the Bucket

Like everyone else in America, I also did the Bucket Challenge. Though, I may not have read the instructions correctly.

Finger-Licking Good!

Finger-Licking Good!

Not to get too preachy, but ALS is a terrible condition that has visited my family. And, if you have to dump a bucket of chicken on your head to help find a cure, then do it. And, I’ll even bring the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Photon Torpedos

Watching the Science Channel tonight. Julianna is intrigued.

A photon begins its life at the center of the sun as a gamma ray. It takes hundreds of thousands of years for the photon to make it to the surface. It loses it gamma ray energy down to X-ray energy and finally to visible light. That’s quite a demotion. And it takes a million years.

Julianna has already fallen asleep. Not me. This is awesome.

Finally, our poor photon escapes the gravitational pull and environment of the sun. At 186,000 miles per second it aims itself at our blue planet of Earth.

It bounces off of Kim Kardashian’s ass. Shit.

Dear Mr. Photon: We regret to inform you that your existence will be undervalued, and may cause a local health outbreak. We had hoped hoped for the Declaration of Independence, the Magna carta, or the Ten Commandments. Alas, Mr. Photon, you are contributing to a “reality” TV show.

May your energy be transformed….

Father’s Day

I have to admit, Father’s Day is stressful. I know it’s not supposed to be that way, because everyone tells you how much of a perfect father you are and all of that. It’s a celebration!

The truth is, I think I am a pretty Ok daddy, but, yeah, I scream too much. No one listens to me. I’ll spend three hours in the car to get you to and from piano lessons, but No, we are not getting ice cream at McDonald’s (even though I already promised it.) Cry all you want.

You see, I am a liar.

I do try to engage with my daughters, though. So, I created this very blog and discovered that, generally speaking, I either mock their stupidity or they insult me. It’s a two-way street. It’s about a 50/50 split. I won’t dispense with any advice to other fathers because I’m also figuring it out as I go. There are other Daddy Blogs that will “help” you.

(By the way, I’m really not fat. And, if I were, who cares? … I am old, however.)

This year, I’ve had to field the question: Why isn’t there a Kids’ Day? And, the standard answer (you know it): Every day is Kids’ Day.

And, I guess, my point is that this Father’s Day is really, truly about my daughters. Yeah, I’ll volunteer 100 hours at school for you. And, I don’t care that your dance class is in the middle of my work day, we’ll go. And, yes. We’ll get ice cream at McDonald’s.

So, every day really is Kids’ Day.

Now, go clean up your room. And, get me a beer. It’s Father’s Day for crying out loud. (I’m horrible.)