Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Ahhh, Halloween. Still one of my favorite holidays even though as an adult I don't really participate in it much anymore. Can't remember the last time I went to a Halloween costume party. No, anymore it's pretty much all about the kids. I enjoy watching them enjoy it though. But like a lot of my blog posts I'd prefer to write about what I don't like…I find that so much more therapeutic.

When I was a kid...uh oh, I'm sounding more and more like an "old fogy" all the time…in fact just using a term like "old fogy" makes me sound like an "old fogy"…. Anyways…as I was saying, when I was a kid my friends and I would put on a our Halloween costumes that our parents helped us make which ran the gamut from bloody ghouls and the undead to dressing as a hideous version of the opposite sex. Then we'd grab a pillow case for holding the massive amount of candy we were about to collect and when there was no trace of daylight left (usually about 6:00pm) we would head out to canvas the neighborhood for 3-4 hours, only stopping in our candy collection when someone opened the door to their house and said "It's late, we are in bed now, go home".

By that time we had literally covered miles of our neighborhood and we didn't have any pesky over-protective parents following us with flashlights. Nope, we were on our own, like herds of 4-5 ft tall candy starved ghouls roaming in the night. Occasionally we would be chased by egg throwing teenagers, which just made the night that much more exciting. Eventually though we would make it back to our homes where we would all dump our candy out onto the floor into giant pyramids of sugar and chocolate and begin trading for our favorites. It was so much fun.

Now this is not to say that my kids don't have fun on Halloween, but it's certainly not the same. I saw a news story on TV the other day about "Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy" where this woman was trying to show how to make fruits and vegetables "fun" for Halloween. I was thinking "Are you kidding me?!" For gawd sakes let the kids have one night of the year where they can feel free to stuff their faces with candy without having any guilt about it! They are kids! That's what they do!! I remember getting the occasional apple dropped into my bag and let me tell you it looked really cool exploding against the door of the house of the people who had just made the mistake of giving it to me.

I must admit that I have now become one of those flashlight toting parents that follow their kids around. I don't do it so much to protect them, but more because I just enjoy watching them run from house to house. Compared to my Halloween adventures my kids Halloween is pretty tame though. Each year we go to our daycare person's house because they have a Halloween party for all of the kids and families. They live on an island (on Lake Tapps) and there is only about 25 homes on the island so the trick or treating is very safe and self-contained. The kids are not allowed to wear scary masks because "they might scare the younger kids" - to which I would like to say "Tough! Deal with it! I don't care if you are only two years old!" But alas, I relent and we make Jake and Trevor wear only mildly scary costumes…Oooooh a scary Bumble Bee! Oooooh a scary Prince!

This year however Trevor insisted on being a vampire with black makeup up around his eyes…now dat's my Boy!! Halloween should be scary! It's about blood and gore and yes on occasion adolescent cross-dressing…and then loading up on enough candy to put an elephant into a diabetic coma. Hand my kid an orange and you can bet my answer to their question of "Do I have to keep this?" will be "Hell no! In fact show me how good your arm is and see if you can take out that pumpkin that's carved like Minnie Mouse".

Monday, October 22, 2007

My New Truck (and my bad luck)

I got a new truck! It's a Toyota Tacoma. I loooooove it! I've been waiting to get it for several weeks now. I started looking for a black one about a month ago and I was told by the 5 dealers I contacted that there were no black ones in the entire puget sound area. I then decided I would get a white one, even though I've never liked white cars but for some reason I thought the white Toyota Tacomas' I saw at the dealership were really sharp looking. So I put in my order (because they didn't have one with all the options I wanted) and I waited...and as the weeks went by I managed to talk myself out of getting a white one and as fate would have it, a black one came in to the dealership - so I bought it.

So now for the bad luck part. I had only owned my new truck for approx. 48 hours - and I got rear-ended!! I was merging onto the freeway and traffic came to a stop and the young woman in the little Honda Civic behind me took about a 1/2 second too long to hit the brakes and she gave my truck a little bump. I was horrified! I jumped out expecting to see the worst but as far as I could tell the only damage to my truck was that the plastic plug that fits into the reciever hitch had a slight crack in the lower left corner. The young woman's car on the other hand had a nice dent in the hood. Like I said, I don't think my truck sustained any damage but I'm going to have a friend (who is a auto-body repair shop manager) check it out tomorrow just to make sure. The poor girl who hit me was a wreck, I think she thought I was going to jump out of my truck and kill her because she knew the truck was brand new (it doesn't have license plates yet). I assured her I wasn't mad, especially since it was not that long ago that I rear-ended someone myself.

Now of course I am paranoid to the extreme about anything else violating the "newness" of my truck. We were at my boys soccer games the other day and it was a rainy day and instead of caring about how my boys were doing in the game I spent the whole time freaking out about how much mud was collecting on their bodies! I was actually tempted to make them both ride home in the bed of the truck, but the rain and cold temperature - and the thought of child protective services taking my kids away from me stopped me from doing that. So instead I put an old blanket down and instructed them to "Do Not Move!!".

I'm sure in time that my fear of my truck being "violated" in some way will pass. But for right now I am still enjoying getting in it and breathing that sweet "new car smell" (which my boys have declared "STINKS!"). I know it's only a matter of time that the new car smell will be replaced by the smell of McDonald's Happy Meals and sweaty/muddy soccer feet. (Big sigh)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

THE Talk

I can't remember exactly how the subject came up but Jake (my 9 year old son) said to me last night something to the affect of "Dad, if you had never met mom, Trevor and me would still have been born right?". I was afraid where this was going but I replied "No. Mom and I made you and Trevor." Jake thought about this and then he said "But what if mom had married someone else - Trevor and me would have still been born right?" (This got Trevor's attention). I said (trying to sound all philosophical) "Without me, there would be no You. You are made of parts of both me and your mom. If mom had a different husband they would have made different kids - you and Trev would not have been born". This, of course, led to "the question"…Jake asked "So how did you make us?". But before I could start to work on forming the best response in my head, my 7 year old son Trevor piped in and said "I know! It was sex!". With my best wild eyed Gary Coleman look (what you talk'n 'bout Willis!) I said "What!". I then quickly recovered and said "Um, well…yeah…" and Jake immediately covered his face and moaned "Ohhh gaaawd!....".

I was then prepared (kind of) to launch into my sex education speech that I have been preparing since the boys were about 3, but suddenly Trevor said "Oh look dad, "The Biggest Loser" is on - can we watch that! (For some odd reason they both like that show) and I said "Uh, yeah - okay!".

Whew! Saved by grotesquely fat people…but not for long I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tasering the Stupid

Tasering stupid people benefits us all. It punishes people for being idiots without actually causing any permanent damage and an important by-product of it is that it provides entertainment for the rest of us. I site two examples recently seen on the news (and of course YouTube) 1) where a young man purposely tried to ask ridiculous questions at a John Kerry speech in an obvious attempt to disrupt the proceedings and draw attention to himself and 2) the incident of the woman who attacked a bartender in a drunken rage and then argued with the police - both were then tasered repeatedly by the authorities. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say it's okay for the police to just willy nilly taser anyone for no good reason at all. No, what I'm talking about here is tasering the stupid people among us (and you know who you are). If you decide to act like a fool and/or be belligerent in public then I say by all means officer pull out that taser and start zapping! Don't tell me the police are over-reacting…if you decide to act like an idiot then you simply need to decide whether or not it's worth getting zapped with 50,000 volts for it. In the cases of the guy at the Kerry speech and the drunk woman, I would've liked to seen them tasered even more - I'm talking about just tasering them till they are on the ground quivering like a piece of sizzling bacon. No I don't feel sorry for you, yes I think you deserve it. I'd even like to see people tasered (perhaps at a lower voltage) for lesser, but no less stupid offenses: Drive like a idiot - Zap! Talk on your cell phone in a movie theater - Zap! Question the price of every single item in your shopping cart with the cashier at Target ("I think that's on sale, you rang it up as $8.97, the sale sign said they are $8.57...) while I'm standing behind you waiting to purchase a single pack of gum - ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! ZAP!!!!

This is probably just one of many reasons I'll never get elected to public office.