That Midnight Look of Parenthood -- in 3-D!

Parenthood in 3-D, coming at ya. Nothing can stop it. Best to give in to it and let it get in there and snuggle up to what's left of that heart of yours. Don't worry, it's a symbiotic relationship. Don't try to run. That just makes it giggle.

Friday is Taco Night...

...but you gotta eat fast, Da-da's tacos really MOVE.


10 Reasons Why Everything You'll Read in the Future Will Have 10 Reasons Why...

Ten ten TEN. TEN! Poorly veiled corporate hell-spawn keep sending Da-da Top 10 lists selling this and that. Manipulation aside, why does the Western world auto-code its point-blank zeitgeist with TEN? Is it from the french verb, tenet, which is where we get the word, tennis, french obloquy for, "Here it comes!"? (Well, not for Da-da's serve.) So, what's the real source for Top 10 obsession? Da-da has no idea, but he can hit brain bushes with a stick. Ready? Here we go.
  1. Ten Fingers, Ten Toes -- Duh. You're taught to use them for BASE 10 amusement, arithmetic and Boolean Algebra (well, backwards, but who cares). Oddly, George Boole himself (who not only invented Boolean Algebra, but also famously said, "I think, therefore I am Rene Descartes") used to run around his London flat yelling, "TEN TEN TEN!" till the neighbors hit him with the taxidermied penguin atop his TV... which is where Monty Python got the joke, right. You writing this down?
  2. David Letterman's Top Ten List -- Besides his joke graveyard, Dave is also a member of "The Ten," a secret celebrity cabal that controls not only what re-runs are run, but also how many rolls of toilet paper go into a Costco bulk package. Spooooky.
  3. The Decimal System/Dewey Decimal System -- Dewey was actually a vampire, and they're all OCD, hence the extreme TEN classification system... but if you need Da-da to spell out the plain ol' decimal system for you, you (like Da-da) might be suffering from low cranial pressure.

  4. The Ten Commandments -- More decimation. Note that there were actually more
    commandments, but the extra ones didn't fit the tablet, so they got tossed. One reminded the reader that these weren't, "commandments," per se, but friendly suggestions. Another suggested that Moses was rather odiferous and badly needed to be hosed down. And another mentioned not eating cassoulet in certain restaurants. As a useful aside, you can't understand the software that 48% of the brains in the U.S. are running without a thorough study of the fear, anger and guilt that is The Old Testament.
  5. Ten Plagues of Egypt -- Some believe these were caused by the eruption of the massive volcano known as Thera, but the Ten Plagues actually caused by an initial Plague, making ELEVEN. The Initial Plague was when all the attorneys (fresh from sinking Atlantis) descended upon Egypt, thus initiating the other Ten Plagues. With Ancient Egypt destroyed, the plague of attorneys moved en masse into religion. Civilization has been in decline ever since. (Note: prior to Atlantis, all the attorneys were on Mars, where they laid waste to the entire planet -- also destroying the planet in-between Mars and Earth, now the Asteroid Belt, in the process -- before coming to this planet. This is why so many people in government keep talking about going to Mars.)
  6. Ten Lost Tribes of Israel -- These aren't really lost; legend tells that they were just late for a potluck.
  7. Hammurabi's Code -- Same as Ten Commandments above, except with less zealotry and more draconian, king-y mightiness. Mighty kinginess?
  8. The Magic Ten -- A fleshed-out list of TEN THINGS seems just big enough to hand an editor without them saying, "Where's the rest?" (See LAZINESS.)
  9. Ten Lords a-Leaping -- This has NOTHING to do with the prevalence of the dreaded Top Ten List, but it does show the fun writing tradition known as, "padding." Da-da will instead remind you that you're conditioned to think in DECADES, as well as seasonal Hallmarks, to keep moolah flowing. TEN!
  10. Finally, there's Blake Edwards' movie, 10, which installed said subroutine permanently into your lower cranial code, reducing everyone in the world into a simple numeric value of immutable hotness.
Yes, there's more. We may also blame the sub-basement hurrah of ten-pin bowling (but no one really thinks about bowling, not even bowlers), as well as ten yards to a first down in football ("1st and ten"), ten guys on the field in baseball (including the batter, hello?), 10 Downing Street, Ben10, the state number of Virginia is 10 (huh?)... but in reality the TEN LIST thing is really about INERTIA.

Once people's minds are locked in a lame writing/reading framework, they're loathe to get out. Top Ten lists are what people do when they're too lazy to be creative, too lazy to think in the much superior BASE 6 system. Speaking of that, you should SO look down your nose at lists that don't make it to ten, they're just lazy. But the real secret to our DECIMATION mania is...

Yup. You guessed it. There are TEN PROVINCES IN CANADA. The truth is always shocking.

Da-da doesn't know what to make of this Unconscious Human Paradigm, either.


Um, Ok. It's People. Is It Fattening?

So, this came out. What does it mean? It's a cracker. Its meaning is intrinsic (perhaps in more ways than one), if not a little banal. If you had to ascribe a larger meaning to said cracker, you might come up with the sad truth that anything anyone ever writes or paints or builds or sings or turns into a movie -- or has written, painted, built, sung or recorded in the past 250,000 years -- will eventually be used to sell you something (which is the prime reason Da-da conditions his progeny to distrust all corporate brands). Even worse, MOST OF THOSE THINGS WILL CONTAIN GROUND-UP PEOPLE.

This is not to say that ground-up people aren't good (the natives call it, "long-pig," if that tells you anything), or good for you... alas, like hard tack 200 years ago, it is what we in the British Navy call, "REPULSIVE, but tasty." That said, Da-da has no idea if this is any good, but if someone wants to send him a free box (or 10,000), he will dutifully record how much ennui or excitement it generates... you know, as a cracker. Why not buy a nice fresh baguette instead? If you really MUST have a cracker, slice the baguette thin and wait a day. BOOM. Crackers. If you don't slice it, you have a murder weapon.


Note: those of you who have no idea what Da-da's talking about (like, ever), here's a synopsis of SOYLENT GREEN.

Brace for Impact

Most days, all you can do is brace for impact.


The Kubrick Cut-out

Love him or hate him, it's Stanley Kubrick's birthday. Da-da still can't understand why he didn't make The Shining more like the book (Kubrick's ideas were good, but Stephen King's book is 10X scarier), but Da-da still chuckles when he recalls how Kubrick would choose vapid actors over those with more... well, presence (e.g., 2001, Barry Lyndon, etc.). He basically wanted cardboard cut-outs to fulfill his vision. Da-da's also puzzled on how Kubrick made Christmas trees seem like alien sentinels in Eyes Wide Shut. Is it just Da-da, or is the below pic creepy?

"Christmas is coming for you, Barbara."

There's also that weird Salman Rushdie separated-at-birth thing:

Aaaand, as a little Kubrick present, here's one of the best 2001: A Space Odyssey explanations ever (in flash).


The Best Sandwich in the World

The runner-up: D'elia's in Riverside, California (c. 1967)

The following aren't secrets to locals, but if you happen to be traveling to said area... anyway, these are some of the food-place secrets Da-da has shared with his boys.


What's a grinder and why is it called a grinder and who cares?

A grinder is a long, yummy sandwich that Togos and Subway and Quiznos have tried for years to copy (failing miserably). It's often hot, has shredded lettuce and some kinda meat, and is wrapped in foil (Da-da has no idea why this is important; perhaps the aluminum molecules ablate due to the heat of the sandwich and coat everything in a metallic miasma of... ok, maybe not), but like any fabulous food, it's the intangibles that make it.

Everything in a grinder is very specific and for whatever reason, impossible to recreate: the way you shred lettuce, the kind of lettuce, the amount of onion, how you shred the onion, the style and make of cheese, the secret italian dressing, the size of the lizard, the quality of the air where you're enjoying your lizard grinder... blah blah blah. These are all obvious. But intangibly speaking, it's the sourcing of these intangible ingredients and their freshness that makes the sandwich, that makes an awesome sandwich experience... and dude, it's all about the awesome sandwich experience.

Um, yes, that's an old sign.

Here's what D'elia's looks like today:

See one of the intangibles? It's spelled out on the sign: "IT'S THE BREAD!" Guess that's pretty tangible. Indeed, it IS the bread. And everything else. Note that D'elias offers the runner-up best sandwich in the world.

So, where is THE BEST SANDWICH IN THE WORLD to be had?

Again, it's time for intangibles. If you've just crossed the Sahara, chances are that that first glass of water/wine you drink is going to be the best water/wine you've ever tasted. If you've stumbled into a packed, hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese sandwich place in San Francisco and you're starving, chances are you're soon to be very happy and remember it forever. (Da-da won't even get started on papusas, the name itself is sexy enough.) Anyway, THE best sandwich Da-da has ever had was from...



Yes, a silly little sandwich stand in the Gare du Nord train station in Paris. It was just (just!) a warm baguette right out of the oven, with a few slices of emmenthal or gouda or... some kinda white cheese... and smoked ham, slightly warm, all as fresh/good as is Frenchly possible, and that for only about $3. Da-da and soon-to-be-wife (now Ma-ma) then sat on the train after rushing around all morning, finally digging into the thing with no expectations... a few bites... a long moment passed. We looked at each other.

"Is this the best sandwich you've ever had?" Da-da asked.

Future Ma-ma nodded (and NO, Da-da doesn't call her, "Ma-ma" at home, only in the shower). To further validate, some of Da-da's future in-law relatives were also along, so we divided little samples here and there... all agreed. Best. Sandwich. Ever. Like Jacques Pepin says, a recipe is merely trying to replicate a moment, and that one was, alas, unique. Da-da's tried to replicate it and he cannot. So, besides freshness, what intangible was present? SIMPLICITY. It was only three things: bread, cheese, ham. All fresh. All warm. All calling Da-da's name from so far away.

"So, where are you going today?" a future neighbor will ask future Parisian Da-da.

"The train station."

"Oh? Going for a day-trip?"

"No. For lunch."

Da-da may cry if he looks at this much longer.

While Da-da has you... here's something he taught his boys early on. By the time it takes you to go to a fast food place and order, you can easily source and walk into a gourmet bakery or market, buy a baguette, a nice piece of cheese and a piece of ham, maybe an heirloom tomato... BOOM. What you have will totally blow away any BS/corporate fast-food experience. And it's better for you. And better for the environment. And it's fun. Alas, it's not cheaper. BUT... if you're with someone and split it? It's cheaper. And lunching with someone while saving money and having better food is infinitely nicer than eating BS... er, BK by yourself in some stupid plastic-smelling car in a parking lot, staring at your phone. Vive, muchachos, vive.


Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

Sorry for the reblog, but this is excellent.
15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

1. Zhaghzhagh (Persian)
The chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage.

2. Yuputka (Ulwa)
A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.

3. Slampadato (Italian)
Addicted to the infra-red glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.

4. Luftmensch (Yiddish)
The Yiddish have scores of words to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no business sense. Literally, air person.

5. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.

6. Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish)
A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside of his trousers.

7. Pana Po’o (Hawaiian)
“Hmm, now where did I leave those keys?” he said, pana po’oing. It means to scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.

8. Gumusservi (Turkish)

Meteorologists can be poets in Turkey with words like this at their disposal. It means moonlight shining on water.

9. Vybafnout (Czech)

A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out and say boo.

10. Mencolek (Indonesian)

You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.

11. Faamiti (Samoan)

To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.

12. Glas wen (Welsh)

A smile that is insincere or mocking. Literally, a blue smile.

13. Bakku-shan (Japanese)

The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

14. Boketto (Japanese)

It’s nice to know that the Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking to give it a name.

15. Kummerspeck (German)

Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
To this, Da-da will add the word, "verschwindungssehnsuchtekeit" (German, duh), which means, "missing something that isn't gone, yet."

That Midnight Look of Parenthood

That Midnight Look of Parenthood

That Midnight Look of Parenthood

It's Friday...

...time to get Sulu's horned dog trimmed.


The Curse... Nay, the HORROR of Mommy Brain

No... MOMMY brain, not mummy brain. Jeez. Who's in charge here?
For those not yet 30, and who eventually want kids, a word of advice: don't wait to have them. Da-da doesn't care what your mother says. Have them while you're still young and energetic (just not before you're 29, please). If you wait like everyone else, "till you're ready," like Da-da did (ready at 95?), then you don't exactly bounce back from the endless marathon obstacle course. Indeed, you don't bounce back much from ANYTHING. You just start moving slower and slower, getting closer and closer to the ground until you're a permanent resident.

Interestingly, scientists recently discovered that people who multitask in the extreme (like parents) begin to lose their will -- which explains Da-da and parenthood and the electorate perfectly. You find yourself not bathing for a week (oh, well). You notice that you're eating cold chicken tenders and tator tots again (ok). Someone has thrown something that's either marred the wall or stuck in it or attached itself to your head (interesting). One child starts wrestling with another and then they're hitting and using knives and shuriken and mad monkey kung fu and flying respective B-52s to their failsafe points (huh, you kids). You find that you're not sleeping much and going to bed later and waking up earlier and making kid meal after kid meal after kid meal often eating the cold leftovers while driving small beings here and there and filling out forms and making small talk about kids and forms and cold meals and no sleep and the weather and shopping for more food and washing things you can't remember getting dirty and finding the cat taped to the wall and then there's a big white BIGFOOT in the front yard tap dancing and singing, "Silver and Gold," and you think, that's nice.

THIS is Mommy Brain. Da-da's so-oo ready for it to be done... though he suspects it's a permanent condition.

Fresh from the cranium, it's Mommy Brain! Now in cheery radioactive green.

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Spooky Space-Tiki Pole Found in Space (SPOOKY!)

Sure, the auroras are pretty, but look at that alien Spooky Space-tiki Pole!

This just in... a weird, Spooky Space-tiki Pole has been discovered floating in space next to the space shuttle Atlantis. Besides being SPOOKY, and a little redundant, Spooky Space-tiki Pole apparently brandishes the following magical powers:
  1. Spooky Space-tiki Pole knows all the words sung to all the annoying songs in Disneyland's, "Enchanted Tiki Room," and sings them all day and all night.
  2. Spooky Space-tiki Pole makes pretty aurorae and great fries.
  3. Spooky Space-tiki Pole makes sexy, "Ooo, AHH, Ooo, tiki-tiki," noises when you dance with it.
  4. Spooky Space-tiki Pole is great for impromptu cargo bay limbo or Int'l Space Station tiki-fu quarterstaff action.
  5. Spooky Space-tiki Pole makes all NASA/ESA personnel not only fertile again (the MIBs sterilized them all back in '84), but also... well, ANXIOUS, ifyouknowwhatimeanandithinkyoudo. Be prepared for a mini-astro-baby-boom.
  6. Alien characters on Spooky Space-tiki Pole have been translated as saying, "Property of Adventureland. Possession of Spooky Space-tiki Pole invokes Disney Executive Order #33, thus activating frontal lobe implants and inducing expensive family vacation expenditures to Disney properties, with tickets now only $300/day per person...." C'mon. You always knew Disney was an alien construct.
  7. Like the Monolith from 2001, Spooky Space-tiki Pole has the power to embed pineapple chunks into ALL food on the surface of the earth.
  8. Spooky Space-tiki Pole takes the "NAH" outta NASA. (Ok, it doesn't. Nothing will.)
  9. Spooky Space-tiki Pole is always intense -- and fun!
  10. Spooky Space-tiki Pole contains all the pent-up tiki power of the omniverse. Do not taunt Spooky Space-tiki Pole.
Here are some Da-da prepared for earlier shuttle missions.

    Da-da's Fine Sinister Hand

    Well, you really did it this time. You made Da-da write so much between this blog and his third book that his right carpal tunnel has been sliced clean off by Dr. Joe Nengele (Da-da's former Nazi physician). Don't you Da-da readers feel terrible, all three of you? Luckily, Da-da's South Paw isn't so bad, which leaves him writing sinestre ("sinister" means left-handed in Latin, Archimedes), composing this incredibly elegant prose at a top speed of eight WPM. Not bad for a guy with a nerveless Central Nervous System...

    Wait. That's right. Da-da forgot: he can't be hurt. He has no nerves left, you see; they've long since been burned out by tantrums and shrieking and no sleep -- Other People's Tantrums (OPT), not his own. Da-da only tantrums at certain relief pitchers and football coaches who can't manage the clock.

    Ow, time for more meds and ice. Da-da should be the poster boy for either Advil, or LAMENESS.


    Ultimate Parents (#1 in a Series)

    Gives us all something to shoot for... hopefully without a conviction.

    Is there anything you'd ever do that would raise the ire of Gomez and Morticia?
    You: Dad, I broke another window.
    Gomez: Excellent! Was there blood?

    You: Mom, I spilled toys all down the stairs again.
    Morticia: That's nice, dear. Hopefully someone took a nasty tumble.

    You: Dad, I crashed the car again.
    Gomez: Fantastic! Any survivors?
    You: Afraid not.
    Gomez: Capital!

    You: Dad, I'm thinking of becoming an accountant.
    Gomez: My God! What have I done to deserve this?


    The Once and Future Da-da

    Da-da's HOT, baby. Well... maybe ten thousand years ago. And humble!

    This just in... scientists have finally identified Da-da's (former) energy stream as, "A HIGH-ENERGY CASINO-PLASMA," labeling it, "SIMULTANEOUSLY FUN AND PARALYZING AND OCCASIONAL BIPEDAL WITH AUSPICATORY FLECKS OF... WELL, SOMETHING."

    This would indeed be exciting news if Da-da had any of that energy left. The plasma racked up approx. $297,000 in slot winnings and then lost it all on 23 BLACK somewhere back in 2005, when the first child arrived. The end is now closer to the beginning... or the cart is somewhere between 154th and 155th streets, just up from the unconscious beast of burden wearing the sexy anti-snore strip. You getting all this? Jeez, some people. Anyway, here's a recent pic of Da-da's current schizophrenic energy level, as recorded by the FNORD87 torpo-geosat ensconced somewhere over Greenland, before the Zyprexa chaser.

    MAN, that seaweed-Rogaine fertilizer really worked.

    Sorry, Folks

    Google decided to inject ads into Da-da's RSS feed without Da-da's permission, though they called it a glitch. Uh huh. His sincerest apologies for the ugly ad spam (which generated a whopping seven cents for the google machine), the problem has since been fixed. Those responsible for the sacking have been sacked. The rest have had their sisters bitten by mooses.


    The Last Days of Advertising [UPDATED]

    [6YO Nagurski sees an ad full of multi-font words in a magazine, but no picture.]

    Nagurski: Da-da, what are all these words?
    Da-da: What do you think they are?
    Nagurski: They're trying to sell me something?
    Da-da: Right
    Nagurski: Like the McDonald's commercials. [He's seen them on PBS, of all places, with the sound muted.]
    Da-da: Right.
    Nagurski: Why don't they use a picture?
    Da-da: Pictures can be changed now to look like anything...
    Nagurski: So people trust words more?
    Da-da: They think they do.
    Nagurski: But words are trying to do the same thing, right?
    Da-da: Right.
    Nagurski: What's that called?
    Da-da: Advertising.
    Nagurski: Advertising doesn't work.
    Da-da: I think you're right.
    [Nagurski is officially 6 years old today. Happy birthday, bud.]

    [UPDATE: O the irony. This post, believe it or not, brings in fast-food spam robots and robo-marketers like crazy. NO, Da-da will not hawk your stupid poisonous "food-like" products! Do us all a favor and go out of business. Soon.]


    Le 14 Juillet, Bastille Day

    One can learn a lot about what 'Merica used to mean (and used to be) by studying the French reaction to it at the time of its inception. Don't forget, the French were so smitten with the red the white and the blue that, at one point, they gave us this:

    A truly astonishing gift, if you think about it. Would any country do the same, today? (Especially as a kit?)

    Anyway. Happy Bastille Day, everyone. We're having croissants for breakfast, then later throwing (stale) baguettes at the local IRS office ("Dr. Freud, clean up on aisle nine..."), shouting, "Liberte! Egalite! Fraternite!" while chugging from a box-O-montrachet (you can get them at the Paris Costco, next to the meter-high wheels of brie), eating some fine soft cheeses and later escargot with loads of garlic and fresh baguettes and Da-da's FAIM now, thanks, Rabelais. Merde.


    Evolution in Action

    After dropping the monkeys off for primate reconditioning and repatterning (read SUMMER SCHOOL), Da-da was running errands. He was waiting to cross a busy street when he noticed a tuned-out, slack-jawed tween with requisite iPod earbuds plugging his ears, obviously listing to the latest from Ten Miles of Bad Road (or perhaps Screaming Naked Lizard Under Glass), totally oblivious to his surroundings. The light changed -- that is, for the other direction -- but the kid wasn't paying attention and couldn't hear anything, so HE STEPPED OFF THE CURB IN FRONT OF AN ONCOMING BUS.  Not just any bus. It was one of those monster accordion buses that takes several years to stop even when the driver's paying attention. Sure, it was only going about 35 mph, but at any speed, a 50,000 lb. bus goes over an 80 lb. kid with nothing left over. Do the math, Dracula.

    Rather than spend hours talking to the police about what happened, Da-da reached out very quickly (Da-da has what we in the British Navy call, FAST HANDS) and yanked the kid back to the curb just before the bus turned him into so much raspberry jam. The bus rocketed past, the rush of air from so much mass quite impressive. The dumb kid just blinked at Da-da, still not registering... you know, THE NATURAL WORLD. Da-da yanked the earbuds out of the kid's ears and yelled, slowly, and for effect:


    Words to live by. Know it, learn it, live it. Jangled and factoring an impossible quadratric, the kid wandered off to his next accident, while Da-da went and bought plastic tikis and leis. Da-da's just that way. It's Evolution in Action.

    "AH, OOO, AH, TIKI TIKI..."


    The Power of (Simon Singh's) Suggestion

    Da-da doesn't like to rehash the hash, but this is excellent, a video demonstration by author Simon Singh on how your brain gets fooled into seeing something that's not there because of biases, prejudices, suggestions, expectations...

    Those of you in North America who are sensitive to old meme programming may flinch a little at the approach, so a scosche of warning is in order for you; it's certainly nothing frightening, they're just words -- not swear words, but words that some people in East Texas get hinky about, as they may not be as ontologically secure as others. Da-da on the other hand is fearless, and can kick any nasty entity's butt that happens to get caught in his space-time PB&J maquiladora. So there.

    Da-da's House-O-Mirth and Donut Love

    "Honey! The children are using me for straight lines, again!"

    Near-6YO Nagurski, Da-da's oldest, was shying from his mother this morning as she tried to kiss him, claiming she was the Undead (one of the main reasons Da-da married her), and yelled, "You're not kissing me, you Ma'ampire!" then laughing with his 4YO brother at what he said (c'mon guys, don't laugh at your own jokes), the two of them then extrapolated and started chanting, "Show me the MUMMY!" More laughter. Yup. It's always Open Mike Night here at Da-da's House-O-Mirth and Donut Love.

    Same as it ever was.


    That Midnight Look of Parenthood

    It's been lovely, but I have to scream, now.

    That Midnight Look of Parenthood

    That Midnight Look of Parenthood

    Must find baby tiger, must find baby tiger...

    Hi, Neighbor!

    Da-da teaches his boys the above concept every day -- then again, Da-da also lets his boys watch vampire movies. Ok, truthfully, Da-da teaches that we are all ZOMBIE neighbors, no matter the distance, but this was close. (Note: if Da-da doesn't want to eat your brain, it's nothing personal; he's just not that into you.)

    Is it Halloween, yet? (Only 120 more days.)
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