That Semi-Permanent Look of Parenthood

THIS is truly the look of parenthood, in case you were wondering. But take heart,
it does seem to fade after a couple hundred years, depending on how much
virgin blood/Da-da coffee one ingests.



Stage 1.Ahh, that first blush of pregnancy.

Stage 2. Ah, that first blush of nausea.

Stage 3. Ah, that first ontological SLAM of responsibility.

Stage 4. Ah, that second SLAM, often occurring during the post-birth realization
that comes over you when they make you take that big burrito home.

Stage 5. Ah, those first 5000 diapers.

Stage 6. Ah, that partial realization of life as you know it ending forever.

Stage 7. Full realization.

Note that some parents reach Stage 7 within moments of learning that they are to become parents, while others take more time before all their gray matter is loosed from their skulls, roasted and returned to their cranial vaults. This form of parenting freak-out catatonia (PFOC) can last for several years -- often occurring beneath the surface -- but is esp. prevalent during the toddler/tween/teen/post-college-moving-back-in decades that oddly stretch out
for something like 160 years (or 900 years subjective).

Stage 8. Night-terror parenting flashbacks.

These are typically a razorblade-bannister montage of child-rearing fears,  doubts and miscellaneous self-loathing -- in those rare moments where you can actually get some sleep -- salted with images of projectile vomit, poop-on-the-ceiling, Force 5 Tantrums, DefCon 1 sibling rivalry, property damage and social deviancy, as well as other catatonia-inducing parenting witness and responsibility. Basically, normal kid stuff.
This can go on for years, and often does, until...

Stage 9. The full-on ontological weight and lifetime responsibility of what you've done -- and the fact that YOU did it to yourself -- often accompanied by lifelong family tree hierarchy/parenting reality bursts, family get-together reminiscences, cognizance of repeated parental patterning (reminders that you're exactly the same as your parents), and of course the rooted notion that this existential road re-surfacing will pave your kids' lives, and their kids', and probably won't end even after your death, which may explain ghosts and hauntings, the living dead and other relatives,
but is mercifully beyond the meager scope of this illustrated guide.

(PARENTHOOD PALLIATIVE: Watch, "Roseanne" reruns. They really seem to help.)


Pre-Halloween BOO: Rare Photo of Da-da (and Ma-ma) in the Morning

Horrifyingly prissy, Da-da's Frankenstein mullet is AWESOME. (See? You'd wear bandages, too.)
And now a rare pic of Ma-ma in the morning. We have few, as they're all so excruciatingly...

The hills are alive with the sound of ALACRITY.

...cheerful. You wanted a Halloween scare, right?


That BodySnatcher Look of Parenthood



A Rare Pic of Da-da

Behold a rare pic of Da-da without bandages. What, you were expecting FACIAL FEATURES?


Intermission Riff: Da-da on the Edge of Forever

One last post before Da-da jumps into writing some new books, a serious post that Da-da doubts anyone will read with their phones, as Da-da's serious is far from vogue. But, if you've gone this far, perhaps you'll go a little farther. Or not.

Da-da has never been one for playing it safe, so he won't do it now. He's made hard decisions time and again, always taking what he saw as the high road -- that is, the hard road, even when the LOW road's been greased with dinero. And by taking the high road, Da-da's never gone unpunished. He's almost always suffered for it, despite it being the right thing to do. Doing that which is right is tough in this day and age, as only "whackos" seem to relish the truth. Never a traffic jam on the high road these days. Dada doesn't mean to wax sanctimonious here, but his integrity is at least still in one piece. Da-da can't stomach the alternative, and neither can the corporate world, apparently.

In this warped klieg light, Da-da -- acting as Old Man and the Internet Sea -- has one last shot to fire over the generational bow, one last school of fish to mayhaps spook into a whole new direction, or at least give food for thought. Alas, Da-da's too much of a realist to think anyone will listen. So.

There are lots of things he'd like to comment on regarding the current crops of young humans taking new posts in the world, but what alarms Da-da most is everyone's fascination with small screens, often to the detriment of all else. Eyewitness examples leap to mind:

First, at a restaurant most recently, Da-da observed a twentysomething couple with their two young children: a seven-year-old girl and a baby boy. The twentysomethings completely ignored their kids and stared at their phones all night, texting and what-not throughout the entire meal, not saying a word to each other or their kids, while the little seven-year-old girl fed and took care of the baby. Talk about a new definition of co-dependency.

Second, at a recent dinner with friends, their 10- and 12-year-old sons kept rudely interrupting the social get-together to address their personal stream of texts while at-table. The parents chided their boys -- but the boys pushed back, surprisingly, just like teens. Sure, this is commonplace with nearly everyone these days, from ten to forty, but note that our ancestors would have been outraged at this kind of manner-fail/social fragmentation. Unbridled, "social networking" has become an untenable oxymoron when it comes to REAL face-to-face social networking. (Note that Da-da isn't criticizing the parents, here; this is more of an all-too-common society-wide event, that crosses demographics. While Da-da's boysare too young to have cellphones, he's definitely NOT going to be rectifying this perceived lack until they're in high school. There's simply too much medical data available that shows that developing brains and RF do NOT go together.)

Demographically speaking, teens of the past are now the pre-teens of today -- "tweens," as they're called by Madison Ave in yet another demographic denigration -- but, basically, these are kids we're talking about, the definition of which keeps getting pushed farther and farther out. Kids need instruction on how to become decent, responsible people; Da-da himself strives to one day be a decent, responsible person. And decent, responsible people pay attention to other people in LIVE social interactions, whether they like it or not. It's part of being in a family, part of being a decent person, a citizen, a friend. Jeez, look at this 20-something dufus who co-hosted the Academy Awards.

Dude, text AFTER the Academy Awards are over. How much are they paying you??
And how much for Steve Martin, again?

This kind of self-indulgent rudeness is all over the place, and is now de facto acceptable. But we as parents don't have to support this a-social behavior, esp. as we are the ones typically paying for these technological luxuries, luxuries that aren't that important, or constructive. If it causes pain to take them away, so be it. The title of "parent" doesn't come with any kind of popularity rating over absolute zero, not until they need something; as Da-da has said to his boys many many times: "I'm your father, not your friend." Da-da wants the best for his boys, just as he's sure you do for your own children, and that invariably comes with hard-ass unpopular choices that take an iron will and a heart of gold and a wallet of emptiness.

That said, let's center on the most egregious of the current social ills. Meals are one thing, but driving under the influence is another. The influence of what? you might ask. TEXTING WHILE DRIVING.

Driving in this world is dangerous enough. People drive way too fast in cars that go faster and faster -- often silently, with the new hybrids -- and fully half of these drivers are under the influence of smart phones, looking down at small screens while driving. All the teens, moms and cops in Da-da's town do this.

Folks, Da-da is here to tell you that NOTHING in the world is so goddamned important or compelling as to make you or your children stare at small screens when you're driving. You look at your so-called "smart phone," such an oxymoron when you see how it affects human behavior, and when you do so at 35-70 mph, you put every child in the world at risk, not to mention yourself and everyone else. This may make no sense to many of you, because you have no children, but when you eventually do, and your own child is mowed down by a driver who's watching a YouTube movie while driving, or reading some insipid 'SUP' text from their friends... well. It's your life that's SUP. You kill someone while texting and your life is over. Just like that. Dead. Like that mowed-down 50-lb. child you just mangled with your two-ton automobile. This just happened where Da-da lives, unfortunately -- and Da-da had to see the faces of the parents who lost their 10YO child. Alas, it happens all the time. It's real. Just like when armies kill kids for no reason, that kid's life is over, as so is yours. And for what? For absolutely nothing.

So, turn off your small screens when driving, when living. Look at the world. Use your senses. Go for a walk without the tunes, without the earbuds. (It's illegal to drive with earphones/headphones, btw.) Your life doesn't need a soundtrack. LISTEN TO THE WORLD. Smell it. Feel it. Know it, learn it, live it. Pay attention. Listen to people. Listen to your inner self. Unplug. Detune. Drop IN... and then you'll see the illusion for what it is. But until that realization, you'll always be a slave to it. Do you like being a slave?

One of the best ways to understand what the hell Da-da is talking about is to have kids yourself, and live firsthand the thrill and the horror of parenthood. But that's hard. It's difficult, and most people don't like difficult these days. Be sure to figure yourself out first before you have kids. It's no use making them pay for you being screwed up.

And before you get all mad and flame Da-da here, note that Da-da believes in telling the hardest truths first. Da-da's here to help. He's not buttering you up to get some advertising moolah, a slave to his hit-count. Da-da never works that way. No, Da-da sees ALL OF YOU as his sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and drunken slot-machine-addicted uncles, and he wants all of you to do better than Da-da. He wants to BOOST YOU UP.

So, do yourself this favor for the rest of the year and UNPLUG. Take an ontological, technological vacation. You might even save money on your phone bill. You'll definitely be happier, Da-da guarantees it.

That said, Da-da will now make a rare book recommendation, as you might want to delve into that TRUTH thing, once you take stand. And no, this isn't one of Da-da's books, but that of a writer-friend whom Da-da knows and respects. Note now that there are many paths, many roads that will get you where you will eventually go, but some paths are faster than others, and there are in fact shortcuts. This is a short cut. Anyway, good luck. We're all counting on you.


Is that a unicorn up there? Or just the way she's holding the grapefruit?


That Long Moment of Long Momentum

FYI, Da-da's gonna be writing some things... things, wonderful things... so he may be a bit spurious in the bloggy dept. He won't totally disengage from TOAMCDD simply because IT'S HALLOWEEN MONTH and Da-da's mind reels with Halloweeny parenting humor. AND horror, but in a Julie Andrews kinda way. So, try not to lapse into too deep a depression between Da-da's infrequent postage. And don't forget: Vote Sandworm.

Pumpkin-Ramming Speed, You Red Panda Emperor

Pumpkin - 1, Red Panda - 0.


Invasion of the PTA Snatchers

When there's dissent on acceptable books for children, there's always PODS.


Legends of the Fall

fall, pumpkins, retro, station wagon
Ah, the good ol' days with the family truckster, before HONKY LYPS.


Da-da's Top 8 NFL Franchise Names for L.A.

Sorry, but Da-da does possess male reproductive organs (well, in a box), so every once in a while he's compelled to write a manly post. Once a year, anyway.

Before Da-da was roped into being Da-da, Da-da's job was NAMING THINGS. Da-da loves naming things. He's named all kinds of things you use every day: the orange, chloral hydrate, Mr. T. But what made Da-da's Naming Light switch back on was the recent announcement of yet another NFL franchise, to be hatched from some old dusty egg in the NFL's Olde Fridge of Gameday Curiosities. While this is probably just the NFL owners' plan to blackmail their various venues into new stadiums and illicit backroom moolah and concessions (like they need 'em), it is kinda fun to imagine what the new team(s) might be called -- esp. considering that Da-da gets to do this naming exercise without having to stare down humorless billionaire execs who haven't had an original thought since the 1972 Tampa Bay Buccaneer uniform (FYI, the Buccaneers actually used to be an L.A. football team back in 1926).


Now, Da-da's from Southern California. Someone had to be. So, he's earned the right to make fun of the place. Da-da also knows a bit about NFL history and old timey football, so his cranium is full of actual historical names the NFL keeps locked in their giant cryogenic pigskin of frozen brand memes. Note that these are all real names, taken from real teams of yore (that were mostly terrible, hence their exit from the zeitgeist), and are more in the realm of possibility than those of any fey naming/branding agency (e.g., the L.A. Mustangs, the L.A. Squeeze, the L.A. Code Monkeys, etc.). Also note that Da-da excised any name that's in use by any college or baseball team, or any name that sounds too common, like "Pros" or "All-Stars." These names are from wayback, when peanuts and ticket prices were... well, FREE. And beer was five cents. (Psst, peanuts make people drink more beer.) Anyway, here's the list of those names that didn't make the cut:

The Rejects
The Rockets (they were more interesting when they were the Chicago Rockets, even though they were in last place so many times that they changed their name to...)

The Hornets
(too college-y, however, the "Green Hornets" with mascot Cato might work)

The Stapletons
(too Rotarian)

The Steam Rollers
(might work if they were the "L.A. Steam Punks," but probably not)

The Yellow Jackets
(too yellow, too jacket, too jacuzzi jazz)

The Tornadoes
(L.A. doesn't have tornadoes, and "Earthquakes" sounds fake name from some movie)

The Kelleys
(L.A. hasn't been Irish since... well, since all the snakes were removed, but they're all back now after law school, so whatever)

The Colonels
(too Armed Forces Radio)

The Brecks
(the Brecks? Maybe if they were THE BRECHTS, the team breaking into song mid-play...)

The Independents
(sounds like a newspaper)

The Jeffersons
("Well, we're movin' on UP... to the East Side... to a DE-luxe sta-di-um in the skyyyy...")

The Celts
(too "How to Train Your Dragon")

The Blues
(already an L.A. soccer team, they stole this name from the proto-NFL 1924 Kansas City Blues; besides, the "L.A. Blues" sound kinda namey).

And without further ado, here are Da-da's Top Eight Historical Names for any future NFL franchise(s), in L.A., or anywhere else.
8. The L.A. Maroons: Maroon not as in color, but slang for, "fugitive slaves" seems to work well for the NFL these days. The Pottsville Maroons were pretty good in 1926 (where the hell is Pottsville, anyway?), but should never be confused with the Kenosha Maroons of 1924, which were all, as a team, disowned by their parents. Both teams were, of course, maroon, so at least the uniform palette is a no-brainer.

7. The L.A. Eskimos: Since the NFL often makes no sense, L.A.'s inclement weather is a perfect match for this oxymoron (as it was for the 1926 Duluth Eskimos) -- AND there's the opportunity for an In-n-Out Burger stadium franchise for, "Inuit-Out Burgers." Yeah, same to you.

6. The L.A. Heralds: formerly a '20s Detroit team, The Heralds... ok, they do sound like a newspaper for The Silver Surfer, but the 48% religious element could get slap-happy about it, and this could work really well considering God is primariy on the side of all the NFL owners.

5. The L.A. Kardex: The L.A. Kardex? Sounds just weird enough to stick. This actual team, the Tonawanda Kardex, lost the only game they ever played back in 1921 and then totally vanished. So. It's a mystery! Just like L.A.! And if they ever lose, ESPN will say, "The Kardex is not amused."

4. The L.A. Black Triangles: named after the 1920-29 Dayton Triangles, the L.A. area has seen enough black triangles in the skies these days to make this one work. And an alien is the perfect mascot for L.A. Free "Repo Man" midnight movie nights on the Jumbotron!

3. The L.A. Gunners:  Sure, they're another do-nothing MIA team from St. Lewis in 1934, but in L.A., they're a non-stop LAPD nightmare... or its poster child. Same difference.

2. The L.A. Panhandles: The 1920-22 Columbus Panhandles only won three games, but that didn't stop them from making a few bucks bumming off the clientele after games! Factually, The Panhandles name might work better for San Francisco, given its season-ending Tenderloin, but it's also perfect for L.A.

1. The L.A. Legion: Not only does this pay homage to the 1922 Racine Legion, which were pure excitement due to their proximity to O&H Danish Bakery and every kringle flavor imaginable, it's also reminiscent of those demonic nether regions that L.A. occasionally typifies -- esp in the summer.

NFL, you can send Da-da a check -- a BIG check -- not those little checks you paid to the refs.

We are Legion: THE L.A. LEGION.


The PTA Has Risen From the Grave

When you see Da-da's PTA sans blood and black robes and torches, they're actually quite...
...well, they're actually the same, but they make GREAT cafe macchiatos.


That Terrifying, Infinite-Outcome Look of Pre-Parenthood

What pre-parenthood actually looks like on the way up that first plunge.

Haunted Disney: Take a Ride on The People Remover

"Let's take a ride on the PEOPLE REMOVER..."

Since it's Halloween time, Da-da's gonna mix fun and spooky into... fooky? spun? Something like that. Not sure anything that's based on kids dying can be fun, though. Anyway, way back when Da-da used to play at Disneyland as a musician (glockenspiel, steam-powered), several "cast members" (what Disney calls, "expendable robot slaves" "employees") used to group together on breaks and tell stories about what REAALLY transpires at The Happiest Place on Earth... especially when it comes to deaths in the park, a subject tres verboten by The Maus.

It should be noted that Disneyland works hard to make things as safe as possible, and they are MANIACS about stubble (they made Da-da shave between shifts until he started wearing bandages), but since people pretty much check their brains at the gate and assume that physical laws do not apply within Disneyland (aka, "the park"), accidents happen. Da-da won't recount them here, as they're quite grisly, but if you must know, check out, "Mouse Tales" by David Koenig. While all park deaths are tragic, some tragedies are apparently being replayed on Disney's stage.

Those of you familiar with the old Anaheim Disneyland may have forgotten about The Peoplemover...



Not gonna find Enlightenment there, kid.

So. It's Monday. You're staring at your 3-D iPhone/Android/computerish device all the time, bored out of your mind, commuting without looking at anything but that little screen, "communicating" in a rather uncommunicative way, working without working, eating at trendy places, traveling the world without looking at it, wondering who you are, waiting for something to happen, feeling disconnected because there's no cultural lingua franca to pull everyone you know together save for that small screen YouTube fascination du jour. Then... for whatever reason... you start secretly wishing for a time machine to take you away from all this. IS THERE ONE?, you wonder. Well, Da-da is here to tell you that there IS.

It's called: PARENTHOOD. Yes, IT'S TIME TO HAVE KIDS! Imagine how fulfilled you'll be. You step into The Crucible of Parenthood and all that other stuff gets burned away. You won't look at your phone for months! Trendy restaurants will become dim memories that probably happened to someone else. And, "commuting"? Commuting will actually become something YOU RECALL FONDLY.

Then, before you know it, five years will have gone by, and the entire world will be so different that you won't realize where to jump back in -- and chances are you won't, 'cause it'll look so weird and alien, the new players such advanced aliens that you'll stand on the sidelines and watch the game flow past and wonder why you ever played in the first place. That's because you have a new game to play, an ULTIMATE GAME. Why is it the ULTIMATE GAME? It's the ULTIMATE GAME because YOU CAN NEVER WIN! You can only tie. You'll still be just as bored, but you'll spend your time trying to talk other people into... PARENTHOOD! It's the vicious circle that keeps on giving the whole year 'round.

So, why is Da-da being so scary? BECAUSE IT'S ONLY 31 DAYS TILL HALLOWEEN. And everyone deserves a really good scare this month -- and parenthood is one of those scares that just gets scarier every time you turn your back on it. So, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?
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