Mother’s Day is not just for Moms

As the event planner for our family, I scheduled quite the weekend of fun. I made sure I did what I wanted to do and brought my wife – the mother of our child – and said child along for the ride.

Yes, I am the world’s least thoughtful husband. I stopped just short of buying myself a gift.

At one point, my daughter thought it hilarious, in her 9-year-old way, to state all of the work my wife does and compare it to how little I do. This wasn’t on my list of events for the weekend. But that didn’t stop her from delivering this bonus gift to her mom, at my expense. Ouch.

This is what you'd call industrial size fun if you were into washing clothes. Is anyone into washing clothes? Wouldn't it be better if we wore plastic and hosed each off? Creative Commons: Cherrycoke

Then my wife joined my flogging and asked me if I ever did laundry before we met. I must have. But to tell the truth, I don’t remember how I did it.

I don’t think I can operate our current washing machine. I’d have to stare at it and hope my Jedi powers would jump start it. But I do remember putting quarters in the machines I once used. Quarters in, wash. Quarters in, dry. Walk away without a date.

I can say this: I hated washing clothes.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. I’m sure I’ll get another beating on Father’s Day. But, the male lion did defend himself with the building of our bathroom, a deck, the furnishing of the house, and the planning of this weekend, which without me would have left the two ladies in my life sitting around playing Uno and watching HGTV – all in the house that I built with my bare hands while wearing a manly tool belt and oozing a certain man musk that attracted every feral cat in the neighborhood.

I saved my wife and daughter from the mundane and episodes of “House Hunters.” Growl. Now let me take my 16-hour nap while you hunt for my dinner.

Every angle of this building looks cool

The fun started Saturday with “The Songs of Patsy Cline” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. We’re not big fans of Patsy Cline songs, but we were of the talent singing the songs. And, having never been to the amazing hall, an attraction in itself,  I decided it would be a fun thing to do on the evening prior to Mother’s Day.

Come along, ladies, you’re my invited guests.

Five jammed lanes of L.A. traffic killed our plans to eat dinner in a historic downtown firehouse, now transformed into a restaurant. So, we improvised and ate chicken curry, peanut butter and jelly, and saltwater taffy at the concert hall cafe.

Oh, and what a building it is. It lived up to every photo I’ve seen of it. And the inside – equally jaw-dropping.

The concert delivered voices best appreciated in person. Inara George of Bird and the Bee fame and The Living Sisters hosted and brought tears to my eyes with their harmonies. Guest stars included John C. Reilly, the actor, who is an excellent performer, John Doe of X fame, who my wife couldn’t stop talking about after the concert, as if he would be a better husband than I, because as we all know, rock stars make great husbands, and Zooey Deschanel, who my daughter knew of from Elf, the movie.

I had to take a picture of the empty stage because I wasn't allowed to take a picture of the performers. No, one wouldn't want a picture promoting them on a blog now, would they?

Sunday included a trip to our favorite local secret hideout of talent – Theatricum Botanicum. I used the term “secret” because this outdoor theater is one of the best values in L.A., and showcases incredible performers.

We watched Momentum Place presented by Take Note! and Lexi Pearl. The show  mixed acrobatics with comedy and the reading of the written word. It was fantastic.

The highlight for us was a comedian/juggler/contortionist named Scot Nery. Here’s his web site: http://jugglegood.com/#home  If you ever get a chance to see him, do it. He put on one of the funniest “clean” shows I’ve ever watched.

I’m grateful to have weekends like this one, as we made the most of the two days we had. I only wish they weren’t so fleeting.

I can’t wait to see what my wife plans for Father’s Day. Probably a mani-pedi, or something delicious like watching reruns of Sex and the City, or talking about our feelings.

Payback can be cruel.

Shallow thoughts from an idiot purple sheep

[WARNING: Adult language, themes, and childish thoughts – a bad combination. Read at risk to your mental health.]

The big monkey pays a visit

Life disguised as King Kong took its giant monkey hand, paw, whatever it’s called because I’m too lazy to Google it, and picked me up by my ankles and dipped me headfirst into a gas-station toilet. Then it slapped me to the ground like a wet fish and called it a head cold.

I have a bad case of mascot head, big and stuffy. My chest is congested, too. It’s not looking good for staying out of jail. I should know better than to go to the mall in March without a space suit – and one for my daughter, too. The term for “Mall” in my language is “Casa de Virus.”

Read the instructions on the soup can and follow them

Soups don't burn people, people do

I read the instructions to cover the soup bowl and let it sit for a minute before removing it from the microwave. But I didn’t let it sit or stay covered – hence the accurate title of this blog post. Instead I pulled it out and peeled away the plastic covering.

The escaping steam burned my middle finger, bad. Bad enough to override my mental ability to turn pain into pleasure, which makes me sound like I’m calling 900-numbers nightly to speak to dominatrices. It’s not nightly, just once a week, but even this level of pain overrides my amazing ability to withstand pain, which was honed by dozens of hospital visits and the hospital workers who think smoking crack and showing up to work is a good idea.

And, if Lizippy’s brilliant theory of “Google-search-word pervs” is true, I should get some new readers with this post. Welcome, slaves. Now sit down and shut up and beg for your beating.

“Leather-whip to the ass” fans aside, I will be borrowing my wife’s Vicodin, another key search word, so I can once again flip off Walmart when I drive by it. My thanks for selling me $5 rubber-hard pillows that make my head bounce up and down when I’m sleeping. Or, is it my rubber neck? Hmm, I did look at the accident on the freeway the other day.

Making a correct decision doesn’t mean a warm fuzzy feeling in return.

Yes, I made the correct decision not to go to Jersey yesterday. Still, today I stayed away from the knife drawer and was thankful California has a waiting period for handguns. Not a good day. The work team is in NJ and I’m not. Once again CF isolates me from the clan . . . of the cavebear – (more disappointed Googlers). CF has a way of doing that – for my entire life. I’ve always felt apart from others, someone who doesn’t belong, a purple sheep.

So, between my cold getting worse and not being able to travel, I’ve done a fantastic job of feeling sorry for myself today. I want a gold star and a meaty rib from the Woolly Mammoth we killed together, as a work team. We worked together to kill it. Go, Team Cavebear.

Guys, why am I by myself? Hello? Anyone? This cough isn’t contagious, you stupid fucks. Come back here.

Scare the people who knock on your door – if they’re not kids selling cookies or chocolate bars

Someone came to my door today selling steaks. Steaks? Are you f’ing kidding me? Who thinks of something like that? I know who – the guy who passes out on the couch with his hand in the front of his jockeys after drinking the entire 12-pack of Schlitz. Yes, my dad.

A dim Christmas bulb blinks while he’s sleeping it off, and he dreams: “I can sell steaks. I can sell steaks door to door. I’m a fucking genius. No one sells steaks door to door. I’ll be rich just like the person who glued sleeves on a blanket.” No, you won’t, Dad, because they sewed the sleeves on. My apologies to those Googling “selling steaks door to door,” but not to my dad.

The next time someone comes to my door selling shiate I don’t need, I’m going to put on my McDonald’s bag, or better yet, wear a bandanna, western bank-robber style. I’ll say in my happiest of voices, “I have highly contagious TB,” and ask them to feel my forehead to see if I have a fever, just like my mommy did. I’ll ask them if they’d like a whip to the ass, too.

Then I’ll call Mistress Honey with the news that some salesman who looked like my father dropped a box of $2 llama steaks on my porch. She’ll be angry because I’ve been bad again. Yes, I have.

The Dog Couch

My daughter tells her friends I sleep on the couch. A couple of parents have overheard her. “Oh, she’s so funny,” they say. “Is your wife mad at you? Did you misbehave again?”

Yes, I misbehaved, ha, ha, ha, ha. I’m being punished.

But not by my wife. I have my buddy CF to thank for my exile.

Cystic fibrosis has given me the amazing superpower to sleep anywhere, except flat on a bed. Give me $5 Walmart pillow and a couch, chair, tub, wheel well of an old pick-up truck, or dumpster full of McGriddle wrappers and I’m good to go.

It’s been over 9 years since I’ve slept prone, even in a hospital. The wonderful tag team of GERD and hemoptysis has forced me to sleep upright on a couch. And that’s what I do, sleep on a couch. But not just any couch.

I sleep on the dog couch.

And a dog sleeps with me. As well as three princesses who keep me warm at night. It’s magical.

I place an old ottoman next to the couch for my legs because the pup sleeps at one end and takes up my foot space.

If I weren’t so cheap, I’d buy another couch. However, this couch has sentimental value. It’s the one my daughter puked on five or six times when she had the stomach flu. Oh, the memories. The special smell. The stains. The trip to the weekend Pediatric ER for a fluids I.V.

How could I ever get rid of it?

I love this couch. And this couch loves me.

Ladies, sorry to keep you waiting. I'm here. Sleeping with me may commence this minute.

Here's my sleeping buddy taking an afternoon siesta. (Does she look familiar, L?)

CF Bones and Benihana Redux

It’s all in the bones

“You look skinnier,” one of my co-workers said. I had just arrived at the office and “POW,” in my face. Cream pie, yum. It amazes me when someone comments on how I look when they greet me. I don’t understand it and never will. “Yo, Unknown. Hey, is that a new mole on your neck? I hadn’t noticed it before. It’s gotta be a centimeter in diameter. Wow, look at the curly hair coming out of your left ear. Oh my. And look at that nasty looking suit. Is that lice?”

I’ve heard comments about my weight my entire life. They used to throw me into a tailspin and send me to the vitamin store for a jumbo can of weight gain powder. Now they don’t bother me as much because my skin is elephant-thick. And my scale screams when I step on it these days. But sometimes people say “thinner” because of my CF bones and the look CF etches on my face. What my co-worker probably meant to say is “you look sick in the face,” which makes me think a bag over my head at work would be a good idea. But later that night, when another coworker told me I was looking well, I got confused. Does anyone else get this many comments about their looks? Supermodels need not answer.

********************************************************

Don’t pick up the phone when he calls

Why does every local work dinner I go to culminate in a trip to Benihana? What is the allure of the place? Instead of my thoughts on it tonight, let’s hear what Stacey of Confessions of a Cyster thinks of Benihana. She gave me specific instructions to give her credit (in a funny, charming way like only Stacey can do).

You have to constantly act impressed with the stupid knife-slinging show…then ohh and ahh at the onion volcano.  Seriously, how many onion volcanos do you really have to see in one lifetime.  All this while trying to avoid being in the path the one time they slip up.  Oops, everybody makes mistakes, right?

Exactly, Stacey. You’re right on. Nothing spoils a good night out like a hibachi knife to the chest.

I once posted this photo for CG. It's good luck. So, perhaps the screaming chef shouldn't knock it over. I don't want "Brady Bunch finds lost Tiki statue in Hawaii" bad luck. Sorry, Lucky Kitty. Please don't curse or hurt me.

The food was good, but the applause for tossing a few shrimp tails into a hat was non-existent. Suggestion for improvement to the Chef: toss a few flaming shrimp tails in your paper hat, let it catch fire, and run screaming from the restaurant, knocking over the lucky kitty and aquarium as you go. That will earn you the standing O you used to receive in the 1970s when your table was filled with onion-volcano virgins.

I did, however, think Benihana would benefit from Stacey’s constructive feedback. So, I emailed her blog site and home phone number to the Head Chef at Benihana. (Stacey, he wrote back and said he’d like to make you dinner one night. You’re welcome. Enjoy. Your pal, UC.)

Stay happy and wear a Kevlar vest when eating out.


BREAKING NEWS: Blogger derails in midnight crash

Mar 10, 7:32 PM EST

By HENRY CHINASKI
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) – An obscure blogger was injured in a mental derailment in a northern suburb of Los Angeles early this morning. The incident happened at approximately 12:30 a.m. Many details are still unconfirmed at this time. However, KCBS reported on its 9:00 a.m. news broadcast that the blogger was high on M&Ms while blogging late into the evening.

In confirmed witness reports from LAPD, the blogger experienced unusual pains like those of indigestion or heart-related troubles. He also felt anxiety over an upcoming trip to the state of New Jersey and a general sense of worthlessness. Mild hemoptysis is also suspected in adding to the feeling of dread experienced by the blogger.

The mental breakdown comes after weeks of staying up late writing blog posts while running on fumes and anxiety.

Rumors also persist there was constant pain in his back, which may have led to the heightened anxiety throughout the day and leading up to the episode in question.

Two witnesses, a large furry mutt and a lazy yellow Labrador, were on the scene and witnessed some of the events.

“I thought it was odd when he pushed my hindquarters off the couch. But then left within . . . what’s Time again? Well, he walked away soon after whenever,” said the yellow lab, clearly shaken by the behavior of the blogger. “I’m still upset. He does that to me every night. I have the spot. It’s mine. He just takes it like he owns it. Sometimes he grabs me by the collar. I feel bullied. It’s awful. But I still love him. I can’t explain it. He has it. Do I earn a treat for this interview?”

Family members who slept through the nightmarish agony and drama had no comment at this time. However, the furry mutt did provide additional details. “I saw him with his head in his hands for a long time. I was worried. Then he ate something small and round and drank some water,” added the mutt. “Later he went back to his couch and fell asleep. But he didn’t look so good this morning. Maybe it was bad kibble? It can happen. Eat some grass, that’s what I tried to tell him. He never listens.”

Though the blogger himself had no comment when the AP contacted him by phone, it was reported by KABC that he fell asleep at his desk several times today and felt lousy.

Unconfirmed reports indicate he stood on his front lawn at approximately noon today waiting for a meteor to fall on his head and crush him. However, AP sources have yet to confirm whether his wish was granted. No meteor sightings were reported in Los Angeles today.

According to both dogs, he ingested at least 200 M&Ms of various colors this afternoon in an effort to recapture his work “mojo.” A source who asked not to be identified confirmed the plan failed.

AP will continue to monitor the situation and bring you live updates should events warrant.

©2001 The Associated Parody. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Raindrops on Roses, Crushes and Bromances

Today started off in a dark place and improved until I coughed up blood streaks tonight. Add that to the back pain I’ve had for the past four days and I feel like I’m playing the game where you place your forehead on a baseball bat, spin around it, and then run to first base. How did I end up in the stadium parking lot?

Photo by Angela Sevin, Creative Commons

This is my mind on CF

My “monkey mind” is lighting up like a fireworks factory fire. Will I be in the hospital tomorrow for the bleeding? What if my kidneys are damaged? I can’t get comfortable. Am I peeing too much or too little? I can’t concentrate on work. WebMD says I have a rare form of kidney Ebola.

I gave urine and blood at Quest Diagnostics (QD) yesterday. I fucking hate Quest Diagnostics.

First, the waiting room is full of sick people who want to kill me (always bring your own pen to sign in with or you will catch Ebola).

Second, the QD workers always ask me: “Why the mask?” Because I have a highly contagious disease that made my ass expand to the size of a beach ball. They used a 14-inch railroad spike to pop it. Hurt like hell. Oh, and what a mess. However, I will take this mask off if you kiss me while I pee in this cup?

Third, QD bills are the gift that keeps on giving for months to come. Thanks to them I had a collection agency harassing me over a $120 invoice I’d never received. QD representative on the phone: Oops, we’re so sorry. Computer error. We’ll tell the agency to remove the medieval catapult parked in front of your house.

I’m in the outfield again. Oh, yeah, Crushes and Bromances.

I was thinking tonight about a few of my blogging and Twitter friends and how much I dig them. I admit the following: I have crushes on my female readers. And a bromance or two – don’t want the guys to feel left out. But, dudes, eat your hearts out – I have some highly intelligent women reading and commenting. How did that happen? Clearly, the bag on my head makes me better looking, as I was told it would in high school – yes, the bullies were right. Thanks guys, I thought you were just screwing with me.

So when does the “Women of CF: Mensa Edition” calendar hit stores? I am so ready to buy it. Sign me up. And I want each month autographed: To Unknown, [(I +U ) 2011] x CH3CH2OH + HLT = CF-3 ft x ∞

Strange, I never anticipated blogging would have this benefit. I do confess it’s hard to be on my best behavior in comments and email.  Sometimes, I’m biting my knuckles with Fox telling me: “Write it. Write it. She’ll take it as a compliment. Oh, you wimp.” Rule #2 in the Book of the Unknown: Never listen to Fox.

Broccoli, Wasabi. Wasabi, Broccoli. Cabbage, Wasabi. Wasabi, Cabbage.

[This is not a medical advice site. But webmd.com is, and where you should go for medical information, please. This is a “guy wearing a bag on his head thinking McGriddles cure everything” site. Can you say “nutty biscuit buns”?  I knew you could. And you liked saying those words, didn’t you?]

I’ve written about my love of broccoli and cabbage and how they’ve benefited my digestion. Gots to have my daily dose of Isothiocyanates or papa turns into a grouchy bathroom bear. But is it the Isothiocyanates or just the benefit of eating more vegetables that helps my gut?

Here’s what I do know: I used to have stomach problems, or the mystery ailment known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is a terrible name and one doctors use for stomach problems they can’t’ figure out. (In a Foghorn Leghorn voice: Yes, sir, yes, sir, that there’s something irritating and in your bowels. That’s right. And it’s a Syndrome. I am, I say, I am gonna call it Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Catchy sounding, ain’t it?)

Then, I started eating broccoli and cabbage and voila, much better and stable. And fewer visits to the stomach doctor. So, I’ve continued to this day. Sometimes,  I’ll eat something different like bad deli meat and things go sideways, but I recover much faster with the power of my gut pals, Mr. Broccoli and Mr. Cabbage, which were the original names of the characters in Reservoir Dogs by Quinton Tarantino, but got changed after the Vegetable Growers of America complained it showed broccoli and cabbage as ruthless killers and no one would want to eat them anymore.

Cough, cough. Bullshit.

Boys, give her some space before she gives you an ass-kicking you'll never forget

And now the boys have a new pal: Ms. Wasabi. Yep, I’ve added her to the mix and she packs a punch like Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill. I eat it to the point my eyes water and my nose burns. Occasionally,  I can’t breathe for a second and have to grab the table. Oh, Ms. Wasabi, why do you hurt me so?

Today, I dipped peanut-butter pretzel crackers in it. I’ve also mixed it in tea, which I don’t recommend, as it gets lumpy and doesn’t taste very good and just plain looks bad in the teacup.Think layer of barf.

The strange part is that my breathing seems pretty good this week. Really good. Wasabi? It does have horseradish in it, which is in the Isothiocyanate family. Very interesting. It makes for quite the ITC cocktail with Mr. B and Mr. C. Or, it could be my imagination. And, as many of us know, sometimes that’s all it takes to make a positive difference.

Stay healthy.

[Note: The original title of this post was “Isothiocyanate Threesome.” But after reading Lizi’s excellent post about search engines and key words, I thought it best to change it.]

Two more links to keep the ultra rich from visiting my blog

I can’t help posting these links. I feel like I’m at war regarding who pays taxes in this country. The middle and lower classes keep taking it in the shorts because the ultra-rich claim it’s good for all of us if we continue to keep them ultra-rich: We’ve worked so hard for our money and you haven’t.

I feel like I’ve been bamboozled by multimillionaires telling me to drink their Kool-Aid.  Well, I can’t drink this shit anymore. I’ve had it. (BTW, I like the word “bamboozled” and may use it to name out next dog. How cool would it be if our new dog escaped the yard and I had to drive through the neighborhood yelling, “BAMBOOOOOOOZLED, BAMBOOOOOZLED. Get your ass home NOW.”)

Here are two more articles that got my blood boiling. I guess this means I’ll never be invited to play golf with Donald Trump. Oh, well, I’ll be busy doing my taxes with Turbo Tax again because I don’t have a team of accountants to do them for me. But I do have a dog named Bamboozled, and he’s one messed-up mutt.

http://www.truth-out.org/how-rich-soaked-rest-us68155?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/22/income-inequality-america_n_772687.html

The Story of the Manure Salesman

One day an unknown manure salesman hurried to load his camel. Shovelsful of manure were thrown up and into a large wood crate strapped to the camel until it became a heaping pile and the camel’s legs shook from the weight. At that point, the salesman threw handfuls of hay onto the load to keep it together, and to knock down the smell, as if that were possible.

A woman watched from the shadow of a doorway.

Sweating from his labor, the man stood back and looked at the camel – loaded and ready to go. Glancing at the ground, he picked up one more long stray piece of straw and tossed it on the load. In the time it takes a summer breeze to appear, the camel collapsed and died, crushed by the weight of the manure, which spilled into the street and onto the salesman.

He stood there stunned and speechless, covered, stinking, his hands not wanting to touch his soiled clothing. Tears filled his eyes from the loss or the smell.

“That was unfortunate,” the wise woman said, stepping carefully to avoid the mess as she approached.

“It was the fault of this one straw,” the man said, as he plucked a sample from his shirt and held it up for her to see. “It only took this cursed piece of hay to kill my animal. If not for this single straw, I would still have my livelihood and load.”

“It’s never the fault of a single straw.”

“It isn’t?”

“All of that manure weighed a ton. You were an idiot for loading too much on your camel – to the point it only took one straw to tip the scales toward disaster. But it was the total load, not the single straw, that killed your animal.”

The man gave this some thought, his facial expressions mirroring the realization of the truth and his responsibility. Then his face became calm, his body relaxed, and he pulled out a gun and shot himself in the heart while the wise woman watched.

She stood there for a minute, calm, quiet, studying the scene in front of her. The man, the camel, and the fertilizer, all linked together. Her hand raised up to her face, slowly wiping away a drop of blood, but no lines appeared on her face for anyone to read – if they had noticed her.

People circled around the man and camel, letting their curiosity overcome their sense of smell. A young girl stood next to the wise woman and tried to peek through the cracks of the wall the onlookers formed.

“What happened?” she asked the wise woman.

Looking down into the young green eyes, the woman said: “Always choose your words carefully when speaking to someone who doesn’t have their shit together.” Then she turned and walked the opposite direction of the growing mass.

It’s time for an Academy Awards makeover

I moved to California to become an actor and failed. I can’t say I gave it my best effort. That was when I peaked as a screw-up. I spent more time watching movies, up to three a day, to escape, than I did practicing my craft, though I did take lessons. And when I took the time to memorize my lines, I did well, but that was the exception.

Perhaps if I’d spent more time acting instead of watching movies and the Oscars, dreaming that one day I’d be up there thanking my agent and everyone at William-Morris, including the lowly assistant that once brought me a diamond-studded bottle of Evian when my mouth was dry from negotiating the size of my trailer’s hot tub on the set of my next blockbuster movie, I would have had an acting career.

So, as a long-time Academy Awards freak, who used to watch every minute of every show, I feel they’ve become so “yesterday” and stale, delivering the same formula every year. Even worse, each year is more sanitized than the previous year, going as far as casting two harmless young actors to host for fear a comedian might tell a joke making fun of spoiled millionaires who have the greatest career in the world and can order anything they want from the Pottery Barn catalog. Poor, sensitive show-biz folk.

Where did the surprises go? The unpredictable moments? The politically incorrect? The causes? It’s definitely show “business” now, wrapped in a sterile Kraft cheese-slice wrapper. How many thank you’s to agents, mothers and God can one take in three-plus hours?

There’s something disconcerting about watching all of these masterpieces of make-up and genetics get up on stage to receive a reward for having the greatest job in the world – and thanking others who have the greatest job in the world. They are rewarded for being the most pampered of the pampered.

Then there’s the apples to oranges problem. How do you compare these talented people and works of art to each other and say one is better, or the best? It would be easier to get over this hurdle, as it was in previous years, if the show was better. Now it’s lack of meaning and quality opens it up to criticism and the picking of rotting meat from its bones.

I say blow it all up and give it an Ultimate Fighting Championship flavor mixed with a dash of Wipeout and spoonful of Survivor. I’d like to see the actors battle for the award. Put them all on stage, the Oscar in the center, and let them run for it like a Barry Bonds homerun ball. Spray wet cement and margarine on the stage while they fight it out. The actor who comes up with the Oscar, keeps it. Perhaps, the Oscars could go Pay-Per-View?

Even this concept might get old after a while with the winners constantly thanking their trainers: “Thank you to my Ultimate Fighting Coach, Busta Cap, who taught me how to crush a man’s ribs with two fingers. Sorry about the hurt I put on you, James Franco, but the Oscar is mine. All mine. ‘F’ all of you. I am the best actor – and I got the gold in my hand to prove it.”

It might get old eventually, but it would keep me off my DVR remote’s fast forward button for a few years.

Stay fresh.