Double Rainbow Jinx

I brought it on myself. There is no one to blame but me.

I’m in the bathroom with the girls at bedtime: brushing teeth, braiding hair, believing that they will listen to me about the value of a full night’s sleep.

Good luck with that.

Isabella (she’s 9): Daddy, I have crusty stuff under my eye.

Me: Everybody gets that. Because, your eyes are constantly leaking tears even when you don’t think they are. And, there’s stuff in tears that make the crusty stuff.

Julianna (11): Maybe you have a fection.

Me: IN-fection, and no she doesn’t.

Isabella and I both look deeply into the mirror at our eyes.

And, then, quite on purpose, just to see if my monkeys are as trained as I think…

Me: Man, I am a good-looking man!

And then, my monkeys perform…

Girls, simultaneously: No you’re not.

Girls: Jinx!

Girls: Double Jinx!

Girls: Rainbow Jinx!

Girls: Double Rainbow Jinx!

Iz: You owe me a soda.

J: No, You owe me a soda, because you weren’t looking at me when you called the Double Rainbow Jinx.

Iz: Yeah, but you weren’t looking at me when I said you owed me a soda.

Me: Who came up with the rules? Back in my day, a Jinx was a Jinx.

Girls: Daaad! Stop!

They are so well-trained.

There’s quite a bit of back and forth regarding who owes whom a soda. I quietly slip out of the bathroom.

Now, I’ve never heard of a Rainbow Jinx. Apparently, if you call Jinx under a roof, it has to be of the Rainbow persuasion. The “you owe me a soda” thing is completely out of left field, because the girls don’t drink soda.

The fight roars for 4 or 5 minutes. Feelings are hurt. Tears are shed. Crusty stuff forms.

Meanwhile, I head to the kitchen, and crack open a Coke.


It’s a God-Awful Small Affair

The local LA indie/artsy radio station KCRW is playing David Bowie all day today. He died last week. I can’t turn it off. It’s a somber day of reflection for me.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be insulted. Because, kids.

On the drive back from gymnastics with Isabella (the newly minted nine-year-old), the radio plays a version of the ’80s hit “Let’s Dance” that was re-mixed sometime around 2000. It’s all Spanish-y guitar and a melody that most people would call a harmony part with lousy voice leading. (Inside musician joke.)

Isabella: Who’s that?

Me: David Bowie. You know, you have the same birthday as he does.

Iz: Yes, and Elvis Pretzles.

Me: Presley. January 8th.

Iz: Whatever… Was David Bowie old when he made this?

Me: Well, when he first recorded it, he was probably in his mid-30s.

Iz: But, was he old when he made this?

Me: Um, I guess he was about the age I am now. So, if you think that’s old, then…

Iz: Wait! What? You mean you could still make a song. Even at your age?

Me: Well, yes, I suppose I could. I try sometimes.

Iz: But, it wouldn’t be popular.

Me: Because…?

Iz: Because, you’re not very popular.

Me: Thanks for that, Honey. I was never very popular no matter what age. It’s probably why I loved Bowie so much.

Iz (on the bright side): But, I know you’re popular with 5 people. Me and Julianna. Mommy. And, Grandma and Grandpa… Though, some more than others.

Let all the Children boogie.

Golden Gate

I’m going to do what I never wanted to do on this blog: A Travelogue. I hear you screaming Nooooooo! But, I’m closing in on 500 posts, and I need some filler material to reach my goal. But, this is mostly for Grandmothers…

San Francisco.

I’ve never been there. Lynn (the Mommy) has never been. The girls only briefly during a layover from Beijing. (I kid, of course. China doesn’t allow for US adoptions.) So, we had them the old fashioned way: Me, with a cigar in the waiting room. Everything else was easy. I am digressing in a major way. (If I am too funny, then just smack me a little. Owww!… You won’t be the first.)

So, Santa didn’t really bring many gifts. But, he left us a big-ass Recreational Vehicle in the driveway. The label read: San Francisco.

Oh, look.  Santa brought us a trip.  Who's driving... [crickets]

Oh, look. Santa brought us a trip. Who’s driving…? [crickets]

So, we loaded up the truck, and we moved from Beverly. Hills that is… (You get the reference, or am I that old?)

We took an unorthodox trip, because the voyage is about the journey, not the destination. Or some such Buddha/New Age jumbo. Also, Isabella (she’s 8) said that. Smart kid.

And, off the itinerary, we visited a Catholic mission. San Antonio de Padua. Lynn couldn’t be more excited. The priest didn’t expect to, but he held an actual mass for the four people in attendance. There was kneeling and praying and standing and sitting and kneeling.


We really did see things through the Los Padres National Forest that were breathtaking. (Hint, don’t try this drive in an RV. Unless you are manly-man driver like me. Or, stupid. Like me.)

At the top, there are extraordinary panoramic views of the Pacific. But, this picture pretty much sums it up:

Yay!  Daddy didn't drive off the cliff!

Yay! Daddy didn’t drive off the cliff!

And, we haven’t even gotten to San Francisco.

The RV park in ‘frisco (yeah, the locals hate that. It’s like people from Iowa referring to California as ‘Cali.’ No one here calls it that. So, stop that.)

Anyway, the RV park is nothing to write home about. It is across the street from what used to be Candlestick Park, home of the Giants and 49ers. Candlestick is now a pile of rubble, destined for yuppie condos and a mall.

Location Location...  There was a picnic table in our "preferred" spot.  Dude "upgraded" us.

Location Location… There was a picnic table in our “preferred” spot. Dude “upgraded” us.

But, now, we had a home base. And, thanks to Uber, we were ‘frisco bound. Yeah, I’ve got to stop doing that. (Am I right, Cali friends?)

So, of course, Chinatown for… Sushi! Wait, what? Ok, we walked past the “Floating Sushi Boat” restaurant, and the girls were transfixed. They didn’t care about the ethnic incongruity. Because there’s sushi. On boats!

Japanese food in Chinatown.  Why?

Japanese food in Chinatown. Why?

I’m a non-pescatarian (I don’t eat fish), so we also worked our way up to an actual Chinese restaurant. Funny enough, it’s hard to find good Chinese food. In Chinatown. But, I digress.

We also took a New Year’s Eve boat ride across the Bay to Sausalito, or as Julianna calls it: Sausage Island. It is not an island. And, sausage is served only during breakfast hours.

Not Sausage Island.  Because, it is not, in fact, an island.  Also, sausage is served only during regular breakfast hours.

Not Sausage Island. Because, it is not, in fact, an island. Also, sausage is served only during regular breakfast hours.

Oh look, Alcatraz.

The Rock.  With the Bay Bridge (to Oakland) behind it.

The Rock. With the Bay Bridge (to Oakland) behind it.

Julianna (she’s 11): Daddy, are there still prisoners there?

Me: No, Honey. It was closed years and years ago.

J: Good. Because, they would be sad to see us in the boat pass them by…

And, of course, there’s the Golden Gate Bridge. We walked across it on New Year’s Eve. Making us among the last people to cross in 2015.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Isabella desperately wanted an “I walked across the bridge” button from the gift shop before we did the walk. After the walk, the gift store was closed.

Oh, look. Disappointment and crying and screaming. Also, Isabella was bummed.

Family vacations are fun!