Another Public Service Announcement

Always good advice for Mr. Moms and other males who have fulfilled their biological imperative, and are currently sitting at the back of the bus. (Hey, you done with the sports section?)

Another Public Service Announcement


The Order of Our Redemption

 First comes love...

 ...next comes marriage...

...then comes mama with a baby carriage.

Then comes no sleep...

...then come the tantrums...

 ...back comes love...

 ...then comes batmanage...

 ...then comes another damn (bat)baby carriage.

Then comes NO SLEEP...

 ...then comes sibling rivalage...

 ...last comes Da-da with accute brain damage.

Under the groundage.
Take out the garbage.
Your very may mileage.

Parenthood is very much like being stuck in a hole in the floor... but in a good way.


Your Permanent Record

Your past can KILL...  or at least make a decent B-movie.
A little cautionary tale/Monday splash of freezing cold water. One of Da-da's old friends recently got DEEP within the hiring cycle for a big job with a big firm... when they suddenly nixed the deal at the 23rd hour. They spelunked his personal history all the way back to when he was a zygote, and discovered that he'd never dealt with an out-of-state DUI charge he'd received in his teens before going into the army. Ouch. He'd totally forgotten about it (he's 42), but considering what he's been through, Da-da can't blame him. Anyway, a hard lesson, and one for all of the young people and parents of young people who, unlike Da-da, still have their entire life ahead of them. Basically, when The Man says, "This will go on your PERMANENT RECORD," he means it. Know it learn it live it. Atone once, atone often.

On the obverse side of that coin, exactly how much information should an employer be entitled to when considering you for a position? (For the record, Da-da's friend's job had nothing to do with driving.) Nowadays, with Big Brother bigger and less brotherish than ever, you can ostensibly never make a mistake and not atone, which is rather inhuman, in Da-da's humble opinion. Everyone deserves a second chance. And a third chance. A fourth chance... yes, Da-da guesses even flaky au pairs deserve a second chance, he said begrudgingly.

Your LP permanent record plays and plays and plays and plays and plays...


That Midnight Look of Parenthood

Terror, Thy Name is GRASS

Overheard at Trader Joes (visiting New Yorker to local mom): 

"We can't go to the park. My child is afraid of grass." 

And rightfully so. Thar be GRASS MONSTERS in there.

Concrete is so much safer.


Games People Play

This sad exchange from a recent school drop-off/pick-up ritual...

Chipper housewife: "Good morning! How are YOU?!"

Da-da (deadpan): "Livin' the dream."

Chipper housewife (never listening): "Super! Have a great day!"

[later that day]

Chipper housewife: "How's it going?!"

Da-da: "Dog sex! Howbout you?"

Chipper housewife (dead stop): "Uh... what?"

Da-da: "I said, 'Great, howbout you?'"

Chipper housewife: "Um. Fine."

Da-da: "Super! Have a great day!"
Note: don't ask Da-da how he is if you don't wanna know. Note2: Da-da might need a vacation.

Da-da gets children ready for bed.


Typhoid Da-da (or, "Advice for New Parents")

Germs! They're what's for dinner.

Da-da is hardly one to offer anyone advice because he keeps doing everything wrong. Making repeated mistakes is inevitable in regards to parenting (and is, in fact, a time-honored tradition). Why? Because your memory is the first to go. Over the years, lack of sleep, saying the same things over and over again, cleaning the same things over and over again, saying the same things over and over again while cleaning the same things over and over again... this stuff really takes a toll.

Case in point: last night was corn dogs for the kids and leftover spaghetti and meatballs for Ma-ma; Da-da wasn't that hungry (because he's about two steps from shuffling off his mortal coil), so he served as chef, maitre'd, referee and indentured servant, as usual. And as usual, seeing what Ma-ma's eating made both boys want it, too (despite their maddening inability to eat leftovers). Whatever. After the meal, Da-da noticed that his oldest, Nagurski, had not eaten that much of his spaghetti and meatballs, opting for other elements of the meal. Da-da's early warning system kicked in and he started to take the food to the trash... then thought, Well, he's hardly touched it, accompanied by that internecine race-memory phrase whispered in Da-da's mind by countless ghost mothers across the eons: IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO WASTE THAT.

Yup. You guessed it. Da-da woke up sick this morning.

Note to new and future parents: small children are scale models of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), but without the control. Even though Da-da's sons aren't sick, they're carriers for every preschool and elementary microorganism beastie lurking about for an unsuspecting mammalian digestive tract or mucous membrane.

So, Lesson 492: Don't Eat Your Kid's Food.

Ug. Da-da's GORGON cold medicine is... turning... him... to... stone...


It's Monday, Take the Coda

"They cat take that away from me, noo..."


Escape From Which Mountain?

Da-da ran into an insouciant, childless friend today. "Hey, how's parenthood?" he chuckled.

Da-da fixed him with a jaundiced eye. "Ever see, "Escape from Alcatraz?"" Da-da asked.

"Sure," he laughed, a little nervous. "They got out."

Da-da stared him down: "Did they? Did they really?" Does anyone ever get out?

Da-da might need some Tinkerbell mouth-to-mouth. And scotch.



Marin Barbie bursts into flame if she has to wait in line for more than three seconds.

Da-da has two boys, so the only dolls he has to worry about are two (ignored) Major Matt Masons and the entire veteran cast of the Star Wars franchise -- veteran, as they're now missing arms and legs and heads, poor devils. Because of a search for a stormtrooper arm and leg donor at the local toy store, Da-da suddently found himself in the Barbie aisle (it was an accident, Da-da swears), where Fascination of the Abomination immediately carpe'd Da-da's diem. Mattel, the company that makes Barbie, has evidently been exploring alternative marketing channels.

Besides the passe, "Remember the Alamo Barbie" (comes with a puzzled, tooth-missing Barbie, with cowboy hat, leather fringe jacket, and dead Davy Crocket), and the de riguer, "Harley Barbie" (Barbie as a biker chick, how ‘90s), Da-da was surprised to find not only, "Polynesian Barbie" (comes naked with plastic leis, vial of missionary venereal diseases and a Martin Denny CD), but also, "Southern Marin Barbie" (once trophy-hot, this well preserved Barbie drives a silver Mercedes, dresses like she's 14, and bursts into flame if she has to wait in line for more than three seconds). She's nearly identical to, "Grateful Dead Barbie," except for the matching tie-dye iPhone and mumu, flower tiara and four-foot jasmine bong. It got worse from there.

"Pocahontas Barbie," has been renamed, "Gaming Community Barbie" (slots sold separately). This gem was within PC bowshot of, "Redneck Barbie" (slots sold separately) done up with rhinestoned denim skirt, unconscious "dawg," and case of Southern Comfort (singlewide trailer and ‘72 Ford Torino with grass growing from the engine compartment sold separately). Then there was, "Manic Barbie" (wind her up and she stays up for days and days vacuuming, re-organizing her closets and making To Do lists on old Home Pregnancy Test packaging). More puzzling was, "Freudian Barbie," which comes naked with a fish, cigars and an autographed picture of Julie Andrews (Da-da didn’t get it, either).

One of the more disturbing variants – next to, "Klaus Barbie" (sorry) – was, "Coder Barbie." Box verbiage: "Work toward endless, impossible deadlines and circumnavigate vitric egos with CODER BARBIE, and learn that all you can do is NEVER ENOUGH." Pull her string and she shouts: "CODE FASTER YOU HOGS!" Accessories include: computer; another computer; another computer; autographed picture of Darth Vader; twin carpal tunnel wrist-supports and matching ergonomic manical/keyboard; tiny gray cubicle; old squeezy fuzzy thing that "reduces stress"; and a calendar highlighting the extreme outdoor life she doesn't live. Next to that was the sad, "Blogger Barbie," (dirty bathrobe, writes sitting on a toilet, never leaves the house).

Of course, "PR Barbie," was represented. Accessories include: iPhone, iPod, iPad, iBrator, laptop, another laptop, old netbook, 40 bottles of Tums, smelly boxes of three-day-old indian food, Facebook/Twitter addiction, virtual press kit, a silver Scion filled with dry and sticky Starbuck’s cups and dirty laundry atop several inch-thick Powerpoint presentations and white papers. Degree in Social Networking sold separately. Then there was a whole wall of dusty, unsold, "Presidential Candidate Barbie," (vain, reactionary, self-centered, wealthy, doesn’t do a damn thing) and, "Congressional Barbie," (vain, reactionary, self-centered, wealthy, doesn’t do a damn thing) were both on sale for $98,932.13 each. Joe Lieberman mind control remote sold separately.

Da-da won't recount the "Trophy Ken" aisle, as it made him weep like Brian Boitano on thin ice, but the PWNED BARBIE aisle promised to be quite interesting... if Da-da could've gotten into it. It was PACKED. So, what Barbie did Da-da come away with? You know he couldn't resist. He picked up the coolest one, o'course:


Awesome ductage. And the dancing mouth makes life worth living. But what REEEEALLY scared Da-da (Da-da is tough to scare, citizens) was the life-size, "POSTMODERN BARBIE," in the back. Yikes. Remember the Alamo.


Another Public Service Announcement: DWT


Picture 3YO Da-da riding his tricycle down the sidewalk from his suburban house oh soo long ago, sometime around 2:00 in the afternoon. As usual, he was left alone to, "play outside," as everyone in Da-da's generation was -- which Da-da still finds totally inexplicable.

Just then, a neighbor materializes, a 50-ish woman with white hair, reading the newspaper. She absently gets into her beige 1967 Chevy Impala and, still reading the paper, starts and backs her car out of the driveway right into Young Master Da-da, turning his trike over and skidding it backwards toward the street, grinding its left rear wheel post into the driveway cement -- SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPE -- Jeez lady, can't you hear that? -- pinning Young Da-da within the tangle of metal, the huge chrome bumper reflecting Young Da-da's frozen horror back to him: Is this really happening? He finally finds his voice and SCREAMS for the car to STOP... which it did, finally, just as the wheel post found a joint in the concrete and was thinking of buckling: a good ten feet. (Let's hear it for good-ole vintage steel construction.) STILL READING THE PAPER, the lady gets out of her car and looks more annoyed than horrified. She frowned. Aren't you dead, yet? she seemed to say, failing to ask if Young Master Da-da was alright, instead inspecting her car for damage. Meanwhile, Da-da rights his tricycle and goes off on his not-so-merry way, shaking, the bent wheels of his tryke squeaking and never the same. Same to you, lady.

So, why does Da-da tell this story? Because he sees so many of you, of all ages -- even cops -- WATCHING LITTLE SCREENS WHILE YOU DRIVE. You must stop this and keep your eyes on the road. There is no info on earth that can't wait until you stop your car. Sure, you think you're okay, because you drive more slowly and closer to the curb, like a blind great white shark in the shallows waiting for some small being to lumber in front of you, for all it's gonna take is for some ebullient little kid to run out in front of you and you won't be looking at the road and those high-tech ABS brakes won't save either of you because you'll never have a chance to use them  BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. A life will be lost and yours will be ruined. So, please put the phone done and pay attention.

Don't read email and drive.
Don't watch TV and drive.
Don't text and drive.
Don't YouTube and drive.

All this is called DWT, Driving While Texting, and is actually worse than driving after six drinks. Yup. It's illegal. And it's dangerous. Look at the graphic, Copernicus:

A useful DMV graphic. Know it, learn it, live it.

Note that it's veeeeery dangerous for you, too.


Because Da-da and those like him will not be nice to you when he/they get(s) to you. Ever see the Boogieman when he's mad?

Extradimensional Psycho Clown Da-da just wants to talk.


This isn't Photoshopped; no one knows why this river turned green overnight.
Can't recall its name.



It's a fact: full SUPERMOON APOCALYPSES encourage run-on sentences. And tantrums.

Sorry, couldn't resist. In yet another fear-mongering media attempt at mongering FEAR (you getting this?), the moon is apparently going to be soooo close to the earth -- something like 221,567 miles away (or 356,577 kilometers), which is about as far as Da-da goes for a taco, A REALLY GOOD TACO -- that we're all gonna die. AGAIN. Seems we're, "ALL GONNA DIE," about three times a quarter these days, he said, sardonically. Sure, it's the closest the moon's been in 18 years, and YES, it'll be full, such that on the March 19th APOCALYPSE MOONIE close-up, the entire earth will explode and all corporations will perish, boo hoo. (If all the corporations died, would you cry any big salty tears?) Anyway, that's what some people think. Then again, some people read, "PEOPLE."

For anyone not in the know, you should turn all this stuff off and go read, *Jane Eyre,* because:
  1. It's really good, and
  2. The fear mongers want you AFRAID and buying things 24/7 and not reading high quality books like, *Jane Eyre,* and using your head for something other than a hat rack while reading annoying run-on sentences all the time, what's wrong with you?
Not sure if fear and buying things and hat racks are related, but you're far less likely to think straight when you're afraid, and when you're not thinking straight... MAN, are you easy to control. (The last time Da-da didn't think straight due to fear -- BOOM -- he had two kids. Guess that was more like BOOM BOOM.) What was Da-da talking about? CONTROL. There's money to be made in control, and that's what life's all about, right? Right? Is this thing on? And stop starting sentences with AND, grammar-puss.

That said, it wouldn't hurt to ramp your earthquake preparedness a little, esp. as the earth and sun are more and more sympatico, electromagnetically speaking, and the mantle seems to be extra slippery in terms of the Pacific plate, but don't freak out about it -- don't freak out about anything, EVER. Even if zombies suddenly appeared, your life would be gravy. Think about it. Zombies mean all bets are off and there's no more taxes, no IRS, no 9-5, no mortgage to pay, lots of adventure and eating beany weenies before being bitten and infected and then leading all your zombie comrades on a ZOMBIE MARCH ON WASHINGTON DC... ah, allow Da-da his little fantasy a moment. Wherewasi? Right. The full moon at perigee does make earthquakes more probable, statistically, as tides are quite powerful, but nothing will happen right away. No, if Da-da were forced to hang his prophetic cheese in the wind, he'd mention that his spurious data points to a seismic event to occur early in the morning (Pacific time) on... April 14th -- 30 days from today (so you have some time to prepare), but nothing so serious that it can't be rectified by a few tactical moon pies and Da-da coffee. Put those two together and THERE'S your seismic event. Jeez, did you read all that? You NEED a moon pie and Da-da coffee after that post.

This is actually a quasi-moon-pie/vanilla ice cream thing, which is cheating, a little, but who's gonna complain?

[Postmortem: after the fact, the Supermoon Apocalypse turned out to be a micro rather than a macro, causing 3 and 5YO Bronko and Nagurski to become LOONEY, and chew on each other all freaking day. However, these types of moons tend to loosen things up for effects later. Da da da.]


Even Extraterrestrials Like Pancakes

Da-da gets ready to flip it... oh, wait. That's Uncle Buck. Da-da is easily confused these days.
Sunday is pancake day at our house, as it is in households across the omniverse (yes, even aliens like pancakes). Da-da has a secret pancake recipe, o'course. No self-respecting Da-da doesn't -- though Da-da's isn't that secret. For those of you without a Trader Joes near you, Da-da can't help you, because... he uses them to cheat, as you'll see. Here we go:
Da-da's Pancakes
  • Start with Trader Joe's multigrain pancake mix (hey, it's organic), and follow the recipe on the box. Yes, this is cheating, but who cares?
  • Add a tablespoon of maple syrup to the batter (Da-da prefers fake Log Cabin syrup, as that's what his UFO family always used; real syrup tastes weird to alien Da-da)
  • Chill the batter for a half-hour, then whisk
  • Use a big iron skillet or griddle, with plenty of either butter or corn oil or bear grease (provided you have the bear's permission); an iron skillet not only cooks better, it also cranks up the iron content a whole order of magnitude, ideal for youngins and beleagered parental units with tired blood -- or no blood at all, Dracula.
Da-da will also add blueberries or blackberries for Nagurski, as that's what he likes; kicks up the vitamin C value, too (Da-da's Emeril implant is overacting). IMPORTANT: serve with Da-da Coffee. Small children LOVE Da-da Coffee. With a pound of sugar. Then place children in the cargo hold for three days. Be sure to dog the hatch.

Like Repo Man, Da-da coffee is always intense.


The Bankie Code

Da-da's youngest, Bronco, has been rather fragile of late, waxing tantrum at the drop of a moon pie. This isn't that interesting, to you or Da-da. What is interesting is Bronco's Coping Technique 2.0, where he not only wraps himself in his blankie (which he calls his, "BANKIE"), but also his adherance to a kind of logical bankie protocol. For example, during these events, Bronco couches every word and phrase with the word, "BANKIE," basically creating the equivalent of BANKIE HTML. Observe:
"Bronco, would you like some juice?"

Or, you could write it like this:
Note that Da-da had to use brackets and not less-than/greater-than symbols, as it wouldn't show up, otherwise. Da-da isn't sure what this is good for, but the beginning stages of a whole new BANKIE coding scheme is always exciting.


The Humbled Da-da or, "APE ON THE SUBWAY"

Da-da just learned of some friends -- older friends who have grown-up children who themselves have with young kids (aged 1, 3 and 5) -- who are doing humanitarian work in Asia WITH THEIR KIDS ALONG. Da-da can barely journey to the grocery store without something catching fire off the shoulder of Orion. Da-da bows humbly and checks to the power. In comparison, Da-da is an ape on the subway.


3/8/11 to Live in Infamy? (or, ALL YOUR BASE ARE STILL BELONG TO US)

Alan Shepard wonders, Why do I suddenly feel like a Moon Pie?

That's right, citizens: tomorrow's the day -- AGAIN. Some other closet Nostradamus has hatched another alien-apppearance deadline, claiming tomorrow will see wall-to-wall motherships over major metros, yay. And won't your metro's real estate agents still WEEP like little girls when your skies aren't packed with flying mile-long Vogon fleets, like Da-da's? Wish they'd hurry up.

Hey! You can't park that there!


INEXPLICATA ALERT: Da-da Awarded Puzzling, "Stylish Blogger Award," Despite Da-da Having No Style To Speak Of


Yes, the Apocalypse must draw nearer, as Da-da was just awarded a, "Stylish Blogger Award," from Da-da's fellow blogger over at, "A Blogful of Boredom," which seems somehow apropos. Besides thanking the nominator, there were a number of provisos you, gentle reader, may see below:

A. Thank and link back to the person who awarded this to you. Many linky thanks to YOU, you Aussie wunderkind, you.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  1. Da-da used to be a musician; indeed, Da-da counts himself a recovering musician (jazz and legit).
  2. Da-da has supernatural hand-eye coordination.
  3. Da-da was raised by cats, but some of you already knew that.
  4. Da-da actually once contemplated JOINING THE NAVY, which means...
  5. DA-DA WAS ONCE EVEN MORE INSANE THAN HE IS NOW, even though Da-da likes the sea and adores barking orders at people and launching things like potatoes and rutabagas at other vessels and wears eye patches all the time, arrr. This has nothing to do with the fact that...
  6. Da-da's permanent Halloween costume is a monk's robe; Da-da wears the robe and cowl about once a month to mystify the neighbors, transmogrifying into: BROTHER DA-DA.
  7. Da-da has that terrible disorder-intersection of WRITING ABOUT YOURSELF IN THE THIRD-PERSON and CAPITALIZING THINGS TO MAKE A POINT. Though, there is hope: Da-da will soon write in the highly experimental FOURTH PERSON, which is basically the same as writing in the third person, with the subtle difference of Da-da dictating his thoughts to some cloudworld voicemail system -- in ESPERANTO -- then later listening and transcribing his own words to write the blog. Technically, this might qualify as ESPERANTO THIRD-PERSON, but Da-da's gonna risk it.
D. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers:

This is tough, as Da-da has about five minutes a day to himself that he uses for blithering to the unmassed washes. He'll try to come up with ten, though:
  1. Disapproving Rabbits: the grumpiest bunnies this side of the Playboy Mansion basement asylum.
  2. Quilt Porn: alas, despite the awesome title, this isn't what you think it is. And the blog isn't updated very often, but hey, Da-da likes to see creative, artistic sewing, and quilting isn't easy. Da-da also likes LARD, but that's a whole other post.
  3. Filth Wizardry: another outstanding name, coupled to a highly useful site from a dad who's 10 million times more creative and patient than Honky Da-da, creating all kinds of supercool crafts for kids out of manhole covers and toilet paper, tampons and Russian titanium. Kudos. Da-da's boys still haven't relinquished their milk-jug stormtrooper helmets.
  4. Bowl of Mush: excellent recipes-for-kids site that shows good taste, though this lady has made Da-da gain about 10 extra pounds. IT'S HER FAULT.
  5. Ludic Despair: a very funny pop culture site, highlighting: "An index of co-morbid symptoms."
  6. The Drunken Severed Head: Da-da has a soft spot for drunken, severed heads. Must be a childhood thing.
  7. The Swiss Kite Lab: sure, this isn't a blog, and Da-da can't afford any of these beauties (he makes all his kites from Area 52 alien dumpster diving), but he loves anything featuring Swiss kite know-how.
  8. SKY SPY Kites: the non-blog cheap side of the above non-blog (huh?). Remember bat kites for $1.99? Well, you can buy a gross of them for a bit more, but not much more. And if they wind up in the kite-eating tree? Da-da won't cry as much as if he'd just lost a $200 swiss kite.
  9. Diary of a Mad Movie Fanatic: while this blog isn't, "new," it features excellent, thoughtful reviews.
  10. If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats: great vintage pop culture obscura blog.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award. Cruise packets are on their way.

Anyway, give the abovementioned folks a look. They obviously care about what they do -- quite unlike blase Da-da, who is barely conscious half the time, with the other half involving the terpsichorean training of baby aliens and the copious distribution of whipped cream on just about everything -- except THAT (Jeez. It's not FRIDAY, Gertrude).

SMILE, Timmy, and... find your light.


That Midnight Look of Parenthood

Fig. 10a. "The Thing"

Parent-zeitgeistically speaking (it works for publishers, too), there are so many bleak, 0-Dark-30 stretches where you have to just buckle down and bail, smile, knit The Thing That Needs to Get Knitted. Someone's gotta do it. Otherwise, that thing might knit you, get struck by lightning, become a pop sensation, and forget all about you.

"Honey! Throw me the paper towels! Yeah, the whole roll!
Then there's that time where the android milk spilled all over hell. You know who got to clean it up? Da-da. Stupid androids. Hm. Da-da fears some Dada might be leaking into his Da-da.

Crap. Gotta go. The apes are stroking the monolith again.

"Hey, you apes! Getcher damn hands off that monolith!"
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