Friday, December 30, 2005

There is Rocky Roll Activity

The most important band in the world has two things:

1. A gig tomorrow night, that's New Year's Evening, at the historic Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle's U-District. We've played there twice before and have proven crossover appeal with drunk hippies and meth hippies alike. Our good friends, who we've never met, Hart and the Hurricane and Sweatband are playing as well.

2. We have a MySpace page. So this clears the way for simulated friendships with Dane Cook and all that. I'm not 22. I don't know how it all works. But you can hear aaaaaancient samples of some of our, uh, we'll call them songs on this page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Welcome Global Visitors!

I put up this weird little mappy thingy underneath Kevin Duckworth over there and it confounds me every day. Someone visited from Iceland? From Indonesia? From, I think, the United Arab Emirates? I suppose it shouldn't shock me given how worldy the world is but I can't imagine a lazily maintained blog based mostly on my weird children had such a reach. Anyhow, welcome! Looks like I'm still awaiting my first Dakota or Wyoming friend. And South America and Africa continue to blow me off.
2005: The Musical

this from a producer at some radio station where I work...

Hi all-

We are doing a show this Friday called “2005: The Musical.” We will be using music to reflect on the year.

What song will remind you of 2005? Perhaps it played at a very important moment. Perhaps the lyrics of the song describe your year. What song will play 10 years from now and make you go, “I remember, it was 2005 and…”

Send your stories and song titles to before Friday. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please encourage your friends to write in ahead of time too if they have ideas.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Conversations With My Children on Different Topics

Charlie (Age 5) on Contemporary Cinema

HIM: Dad, when can I see King Kong?
ME: Maybe when you're older. Like 10 or 11.
HIM: Or maybe 12. Is King Kong evil?
ME: No, he's just misunderstood.
HIM: He's just too big. He can't help that. He's too big and too heavy.
ME: Yeah, that's his big problem.
HIM: And he weighs more than any building in New York. So people in New York are scared.

Kate (Age 3) on Calendar Planning

HER: Daddy! Don't go to work!
ME: But I've got to go to work.
HER: No!
ME: What are you going to do today?
HER: (pause) Fight people.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Beauty and Occasional Not Beauty of Flickr

As performed in a touching song and video. O, it is funny. O yes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Do You Think I Should Be, Like, Worried?

This is what we found in our daughter Kate's dollhouse today. And yes, that is an oven that the cat's head is in.

To me, it's all about the alarmed cat standing next to the oven. I mean, the cat with the head in the oven is okay. But the alarmed cat with arms sticking straight in the air makes it a real drama.
A Conversation with Charlie (age 5) about Linguistics

HIM: Hey Dad, do you know what?
ME: What?
HIM: The word "under" isn't funny. And the word "pants" isn't funny...
ME: Yeah?
HIM: But the word "underpants" is very funny.
Did you know they still make videos?

At least they did last year. And John Mellencamp just made me love him more with his video for the song "Walk Tall". It's not just about dwarfs but the video is. In a world so jam packed with bigotry against dwarfs, it's nice to see. I think I'll go paint my house pink now.
Ryan Adams, Little League Coach

Then, when the first game in May got rained out, I was sitting on the picnic table in the parking lot, watching the rain fall on the cars and thinking about Emily. I started crying when Craig's dad was asking me about who I was gonna have play first base. God, I got so high that night.

read the whole thing at McSweeney's

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 5) Goes National

After a particularly poignant viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, I wrote up something, submitted it to All Things Considered on NPR, and it ran today.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Challenge of the Flirtatious Barista

(at the coffee shop this morning. Male barista working, attractive female customer, who is a regular, comes in)

BARISTA: Hey, what's going on?
CUSTOMER: Oh. What? Sorry?
BARISTA: What's going on with you?
CUSTOMER: A tall non-fat soy latte.
BARISTA: Ah. Okay. Coming right up.
How Is Your Book Going?

Just waiting for the edit process to start. But, as a further indication that yes there really is a book, I now have an ISBN number: 0-06-085401-4. You will find nothing if you Google it, but still, neat. The ISBN is the number that bookstores and the industry use to track a book. When I've written book reviews for Amazon (editorial reviews, not customer reviews), that's the number used to load them on to the site. And since part of the goal of writing a book was to leave some kind of trace after I'm dead, 0-06-085401-4 does the trick.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Person From the Northwest Learns About the Midwest From His Wife, Who Is From the Midwest

ME: Is there any part of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago that's outdoors?
HER: No. No. It gets very cold in Chicago.
ME: Yeah. But doesn't the aquarium in Chicago incorporate, like, Lake Michigan.
HER: No. It's near Lake Michigan but it is not of Lake Michigan. The fish in Lake Michigan are not all that dramatic.
ME: You don't get, like, lake whales? Or lake dolphins?
HER: No, it's a lot of perch. And smelt. And that would be a really sparsely attended aquarium.
Misadventures in Sportscasting

(me on the air today at some radio station, doing a newscast, which I'm almost never called upon to do)

"Ray Allen had 35 points, six assists, and seven points in the effort for the Sonics; an effort that ultimately...proved...futile."

I know there are more efficient ways of saying that a team lost a game but none came to mind.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Other Matters

1. New Pop-Song Correspondence is up on McSweeney's. This one dealing with Elton John's termination from NASA.

2. I recently collaborated with my old high school drama rival Rob on a story for Weekend America (way at the bottom of the page) . We tried to figure out who was the better actor by calling up all of our old classmates. Was it as painful as it sounds? You bet it was.

3. Completely free of any political content, I just really liked the way this blogger dealt with his detractor. It's a blog, after all. They're giving it away for free. Roll with it, you know? (found on Boing Boing)
A Conversation with Charlie (Age 5) About Gender Politics

HIM: Dad, at school some of the boys dressed up like girls and we fooled the girls!
ME: Wow. What did you do?
HIM: We found some dress-up clothes, like dresses, and we pretended to be new girls at the school, and we fooled the girls! Then we jumped out and said WE'RE BOYS!
ME: That sounds fun.
HIM: BOY POWER! Hooray for Charlie Moe! BOY! POWER!
ME: Wait. What is "Boy Power"?
HIM: WE were Boy Power.
ME: But how do you get that power? How do you get Boy Power?
HIM: You pretend to be girls. Then you jump out and you're boys and then you chase the girls.
ME: And that gives you Boy Power?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I'm not sure I've ever been prouder to be Norwegian...

Than I am after seeing this video

From Norwegian band Hurra Torpedo

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Few Things On My Mind

1. Is there any scientist title more disappointing than "Egyptologist"? Because most other scientist get some cool word for what they do, like "Paleontologist", "Entomologist", and "Limnologist". Then they get to explain to people that what that means is that they study, respectively, fossils, bugs, or inland waters. But "Egyptologist"? How disappointingly unimaginative.

"Oh, an Egyptologist? So you must study..."
"Egypt. Yeah."

It would be like a biologist having to be called a bodyist. Or a cardiologist being called a heartist. Just doesn't impress.

2. Why can't I get a 12 ounce can of soda anymore? Why you gotta be pushing the 20-ouncer, soda pusher man?

3. I think it would be funny to have a big stage act called Pooh Man Group. Where it's just like Blue Man Group but with Winnie-the-Pooh.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

How is Your Book Going?
Funny thing about formatting. You can have what you think is a perfectly reasonable book of 243 pages, single spaced with a blank line between paragraphs. But when your editor prefers it without those blank lines but double spaced, you realize you've written something that's 421 pages long. Cripes! I mean, that's not how many book pages it would be but still. 123,000 words or so after four drafts. Probably need to drop 25-30k of those.

But..BUT!...I did submit the manuscript today. As per the agreement made long ago. Next comes the editing and the design and the world of other things. But tonight, I feel like I've done something.

And, it's being picked up by my fave new media outlet: conservative blogs!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Some Would Say It Was Wrong To Elect a Zombie...

(found on the estimable Wonkette site)

Monday, November 28, 2005

US News & World Report Releases Cat from Bag

Well, I can give you the link, or I can just reprint the blurb from the Washington Whispers section of US News & World Report:
Learning How the Other Half Lives
There's at least one liberal who wants to know how the other half lives. Seattle public-radio-show host John Moe spent a month immersed in conservative culture--forgoing the New York Times, resetting his radio from NPR to Rush Limbaugh, and making pilgrimages to the Reagan and Nixon libraries. He chronicles the ideological adventure in Conservatize Me, to be published by William Morrow next year. The hardest part? Listening to patriotic country and western songs. "Liberals have better music," he insists. But Moe also found conservatives to be funnier. "To be funny you have to have confidence," he says. "And you develop confidence when you rule the world."

As you know all too well if you've read this blog, I'm writing a book. Turning in the manuscript on Thursday, in fact. And the wave of publicity is on.

The idea of the book is that I took a month this summer to try to become a conservative. I met with pundits/celebrities Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, William Kristol, and "Jeff Gannon", and had them attempt to convert me. I walked among the College Republicans at the College Republican National Convention and had an opportunity to stand a few feet from Tom DeLay and scream at full volume. I made pilgrimages to the Reagan, Nixon, and Quayle(!) museums and had varying levels of resonance. I spent 4th of July in a rural Idaho county that voted for Bush at a national record 92%. I went to a Toby Keith concert, fired guns, test drove an Escalade, and listened to a whole lot of conservative talk radio. I also endured a whole lot of Lee Greenwood music and ate more beef jerky than is prudent.

It was interesting. I went a little insane after a while, to be perfectly honest with you. I feel better now.

The book will be out next October, I believe.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Consider the Code Cracked!

Thank you, local gym that I belong to, for slyly deducing that when I said I didn't care what locker you assigned me, I was really saying, "please put me right next to the desperately unhealthy very very old naked man who moves really slow and will be there right when I go to change." You read me like a book!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It Finally Happened.

You know how you always wonder if you get really high up on the swing, will you go all the way around? Lately, Charlie and Kate have been talking a lot. Like, a LOT. Like, all the time they're talking. And they are young children whose lives consist mostly of their preschool, home, the park, some books they've read, and animated videos. But still they talk, wringing the maximum amount of words out of their minimal experiences. As has been evidenced at this site in the past. But last night in the car, the well finally ran dry but they found a way to...keep...talking...anyway.

KATE: Look! There's the Y!
CHARLIE: That's not the Y!
KATE: There's a monkey outside! I see a monkey!
CHARLIE: There's no monkey!
JILL: What do you see outside, Kate?
KATE: Just cars!
CHARLIE: I have a butt!
KATE: The Y!
CHARLIE: Bla-bla-bla!
KATE: Bla-bla!
CHARLIE: Bla-bla-bla-bla-blaaaaa!
ME: I knew this day would arrive.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Things from today...

Just got off the phone with a reporter from US News & World Report. Apparently a small bit about The Book is going to be in the Washington Whispers section some time soon. Is Washington Whispering about my book? I kind of doubt that. But hey, I'll gladly accept publicity for a book that is still a year away from publication. Gladly.

Also, I'm adding Hey, Terrific! to the list of linkies on the side there. It's Sean Nelson's blog and he is several things: lead singer of Harvey Danger who have a new album out that you can download for free or you can buy it or do whatever you like, an entertaining blogger, a very good writer, and a nice fellow. He's got the Rolling Stones' "Waiting on a Friend" on his iPod. Or so he told me.
Was Tiny Einstein Robot Just Being Polite Or Is He A Loyal Republican?

(found on Boing Boing )

If only Tiny Robot Einstein was able to smash through doors.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 5) and Kate (Age 3) About Responsibilities

CHARLIE: Dad, when are we going to get the new baby? The adopted baby?
ME: Well, we have no plans to get one. We've never even looked into that. So I guess either a long, long time from now or never.
CHARLIE: You and Mom will take care of the adopted baby and Kate and me will take care of the rest of the house.
ME: Really? That sounds great. So you'll do all the cooking?
CHARLIE: We'll need help with that.
ME: And cleaning? You'll clean the house?
CHARLIE: No, we can't do that.
ME: Well what exactly will you do?
KATE: towels.
CHARLIE: We'll wash the pet whale!
ME: Pet whale? We don't have a pet whale.
KATE: Whale!
ME: And I don't think it would need washing anyway, what with the swimming.
CHARLIE: Then Kate and me will have giant scary eyeballs and WATCH everything in the house!
KATE: Eyeballs!
CHARLIE: Dad, who has no eyeballs?
ME: Well, I don't--
KATE: Eyeballs!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Converation with Charlie (Age 5) About the Animal Kingdom

The highly social girls in Charlie's preschool class like to play "cats", which involves slinking around on the ground, meowing, and kind of grooming one another. Yesterday, Charlie got involved in their game. Kinda.

HIM: Dad, the girls were playing cats and I scared one of them! And she ran away and screamed! And she ran all over the big yard!
ME: Wow. How did you scare her?
HIM: I went like this! (pounding his chest in a gorilla fashion)AAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!Remember when they did that at the zoo? The gorillas?
ME: Sure.
HIM: But they didn't scream. But I screamed.
ME: So why did you do that?
HIM: Because it was funny!
ME: Yeah. Well, you're right about that.
HIM: And cats are scared of gorillas.
ME: Well I guess we know that now.
HIM: Can we go see King Kong?
ME: I don't know. We may have to.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 5, as of tomorrow)

HIM: Dad, what does "deaf" mean?
ME: It means you can't hear.
HIM: But it has another meaning, too.
ME: What? No it doesn't.
HIM: It means when you die.
ME: No no, that's "death".
HIM: Right. Deaf.
ME: No. Deaf has a fff sound. Death has a th sound. Deaf is when you can't hear, death is when you die.
HIM: Oh. But Dad, when you die, you can't hear either.

Friday, November 11, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

Haven't answered this in some time. Probably because in the real world, fewer people ask. Which is because in the real world, no one sees me. I took this week off from work to just buckle down and write write write. The previous mention of a first draft word count of 130,000 was erroneously missing a 7,000 word chapter. But now, 40% of the way through draft 3, it's down to 122,000. So instead of being a 500 page humor book, it's a 430 page humor book. And if there's one thing everyone loves in a humor book, it's LENGTH! But I do have talented and eager editors. Their jobs shall not be dull.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Landmark Event

(at the coffee shop today, writing)

SOME LADY: Hey, aren't you in that band Chicken Starship?
ME: Yeah. Wow. Yeah.
SOME LADY: I saw you guys at The Blue Moon. It was the most amazing thing I've seen in months.
ME: Thank you.
SOME LADY: No, thank you.
ME: I've never been recognized from the band and we've been together, in some form, for like twelve years.
SOME LADY: Well, I loved it. (she leaves)
BARISTA: Are you a musician?
ME:, not really.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Conversation With Family Members (other than Charlie) About Memories

JILL: How come you always write about Charlie in your blog but not about Kate?
ME: Well Kate is so normal. Charlie says all these weird things, you know? And I don't write about the normal stuff or the cute stuff and I'm more interested in the weird. Charlie gives me lots of weird.
JILL: That's true.
KATE (age 3):
JILL: You eat pee?
KATE: Yeah. And poop.
ME: What?
KATE: I eat pee and poop, Daddy.
JILL: What does the pee taste like, Kate?
KATE: My eye.
JILL: And how about the poop?
KATE: Hmm...foot.
JILL: So that's going in the blog?
ME: Yes. Yes, it is.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Regarding the Proposed All-Male Go-Go's Cover Band I May Start

John Smersh, who wants to be the Jane Weidlin impersonator, thinks we should be called "Our Lips Have Mustaches". But I, the presumed Belinda, favor "We Got The Meat".

update: John came up with "We Got The Meat" on his own as well. And found another all-male Go-Go's tribute band out of LA. But we'll be better than them. Once we play, and rehearse, and, uh, form.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 4, still) About Aging

HIM: WHEN! WHEN! When will I turn fiiiiive?!
ME: Oh it's going to be soon. I know it's hard to wait.
HIM: Am I five NOW?
ME: No. Here's what you do. Today is November 1st. Your birthday is November 14th. So it's thirteen more days. Then you're five.
HIM: How many is thirteen?
ME: More than twelve, less than fourteen.
HIM: I want to turn FIVE! I don't want to wait SIXTY ONE YEARS!

Saturday, October 29, 2005


That's how long the book currently is. That many words. 255 pages of single spaced Times New Roman 12-point with blank lines between graphs. As of today at 11:48am when I wrote the last word of the first draft. I actually wrapped up the draft of the main part of the book last week but I had all these sidebars to write up about Red Dawn, The Patriot, Brazil, and some other movies. But today I finished the last of those (Return of the King). And I put everything in one big doc called "Book1". If I die, please search for that on my computer, edit it, and publish it.


Well, back to work. Now I have to whip it into something that's actually somewhat halfway quasi-good.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Someone with an easy job

Randall Samborn. Never heard of Randall Samborn? Preeee-cisely. He's Patrick Fitzgerald's spokesman. You know the guy who's leading the investigation about which nothing is ever revealed? This from the New York Times, tomorrow edition:
Mr. Fitzgerald is expected to hold a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington on Friday. His spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment.

How awesome is that? You're a spokesman and you decline to comment. It's like a barista who just isn't all that into the whole coffee making thing. Randall Samborn. Nice going.
It's been a while since blogging died...

But it just died again. This time it was killed by Dennis Hastert who begins his first entry, yep, "Welcome to my blog".
A Call to Arms and Pens and Computer Drawing Programs

My pal John Hodgman has this kickasssss book and along with it a website and along with that an audio recording of himself reading the names of 700 hoboes. My other friends at BoingBoing (I have other friends than just John and BoingBoing; I have three others) have issued a clarion call for illustrators to draw all 700 hoboes. This is very important. We need to understand our hoboes in this world. Entries have started coming in at Flickr where artists should post their hoboes.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 4) About Home Security


HIM: Dad, I have an idea for what we should do if there's a robot in the house that's smashing everything.
ME: Okay.
HIM: We should get a bulldozer made out of cardboard.
ME: And what would that help? Would it crush the robot?
HIM: No, it would move the robot into a barrel of leaves so the robot would stop smashing the house apart.
ME: Full of leaves?
HIM: Wait! No! Not full of leaves! Because I want the robot to have room to run around.
ME: In the barrel.
HIM: Yeah. We don't have anything remote controlled.
ME: No. Should we get some things like that?
HIM: (after some consideration) Yes.

ACT 2 (fifteen minutes later)

ME: Why does the bulldozer need to be cardboard?
HIM: We don't know anyone who has a real bulldozer. It wouldn't fit in our house.
ME: But a cardboard one would?
HIM: Well we could try.
ME: If it's a robot smashing your house, you try anything right?
HIM: Yeah.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Conversation With Charlie (Age 4)

HIM: Dad, Kate and I are here to take the place of other people.
ME: What? What do you...huh?
HIM: You know how Grandpa Moe died? And his last name was Moe?
ME: Yeah?
HIM: My last name is Moe now. And Kate's last name is Moe. We're here to replace people who have died.
ME: Oh.
(long silence)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Can't understand what you're saying, you're speaking Canada.

Steve Nash is the MP3 of the league in a new Ali G NBA commercial. And it's funny.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How is Your Book Going?'s like this. You know how you sometimes hear about writers struggling to end the book? And when you hear that you think Well hell, how about, I don't know, a PERIOD? So that's where I am. I'm in the last chapter. I think I have about 500-1000 words left to write. Then I need to write up about 12 one-page sidebars that will go with it. That will bring the aggregate word count to about eleventy zillion.

But that will also mean the first draft will. be. done. And then the second draft begins. And the third. And the eleventy zillionth. But after that first draft, hopefully completed this weekend, I plan to maybe have a beer or something.
Let the commencement...beginulate!

Made up words from The Simpsons. (also found everywhere online by now, no doubt)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I Was Thinking About This Yesterday...

Did Madonna really star in a big screen version of Evita? Did she really play Eva Peron in a movie? Was Antonio Banderas really in it too? Did all of that really happen? Really?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Correspondences of Harriet Miers and George W. Bush

Can be found here. Andrew Sullivan describes it as "mutually excruciating".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Suppose I Could Eventually Stop Staring At This...

But at the moment I don't really see how. Click on him to fling him about.
Some Questions About People I Observed Today

1. If you have all those Christian bumper stickers on your car and then I allow you into my lane in front of me, shouldn't you wave? Because wouldn't Jesus?
2. I know that the environmentalist group WASHPIRG is not picky about who it hires to gather signatures on petitions, but, young signature gatherer, are you already so jaded and dispirited that you're just going to sit on the curb like that?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Man's Final Wish

From the Chicago Tribune
(via the estimable Matthew Baldwin)

Theodore Roosevelt Heller
Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller; dear brother of the late Sonya (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the U.S. Army during WWII due to service related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 a.m. at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Ziditshover section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals, Douglas MacIsaac, funeral director 847-229-8822,

Friday, October 07, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

103,985 words. So far. First draft will likely be 130k at least. At least. Nice little 230 page humor book is maybe 70k. Sheesh.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

The good parts about writing a book: the place you are reserving for yourself in history thus mitigating your anxiety about death, the advance check, the creative act of writing which can be quite fun and satisfying in so many ways.
The bad part about writing a book: how it rips your life apart.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Some Question Upon Seeing A Bumper Sticker That Said "Vote Yes For Bears"

1. When exactly is the election?
2. Can someone explain specifically what the wording on the initiative is?
3. Has anyone seen my voters guide?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

When the WSJ editorial page turns on you...

You've got worry.
"Even a star quarterback with years of high school and college football under his belt takes years of experience and hard knocks to develop the knowledge and instincts needed to survive in the NFL. The Supreme Court is the big league of the legal profession, and Ms. Miers has never even played the judicial equivalent of high school ball, much less won a Heisman Trophy."

Friday, September 30, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

So what does it mean when I don't post a HiYBG update in three days? Does that mean that it's going so very well, so very very well that I haven't the time to even talk about it? Or is it going and I can't face up to that? I think the answer is yes. I've made it to the third week of the 30 day project and I've passed the point where I talk to the fundamentalist Kirkland pastor about gay people and now I'm at the Reagan museum, eating a huge sack of jelly bellies watching the constantly looping video of the assassination attempt (located next to the air traffic controllers strike video, also looping). I was eating the candy because I didn't realize there was a cafe there.
And so I write every day. And I'm getting there. I think. But yet, I have to think that. Actors: you know how there's that one day about a week and a half before opening when you think "My God, we open in ten days and this isn't a play at all. We're going to have to cancel this thing, tear down the posters, because this is not, in fact, viable theater"? You know that part? I think-- THINK-- that's where I am. But again, I don't know. Have never written a book.
My pal Eric Liu told me today that when he writes, he dives in and for three to seven months he writes sixteen hours a day. I'm not sure other writers live on the same planet as the rest of us.
Behold the Anti-Majesty That Is...

The Van Morrison contractual obligation album.
(via BoingBoing)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

I got through the part about Charlie Daniels' version of Freebird. Next up: the Reagan museum, which I visited without having ingested any food but a big bag of jelly bellies.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

You Ask Me Why I Love My Neighborhood Coffeeshop?

Walking in to write tonight, I crossed the street while a car drove by blasting Christian rock power ballad music.

ME: Is there anything worse in the world than Christian rock power ballads?
BARISTA: (instantly) Christian smooth jazz?
ME: Good one. Is there such a thing?
BARISTA: Yes. Oh yes.
ME: How is something like that even...allowed?
BARISTA: I don't know.
ME: Can we stop it?
BARISTA: Not under the current administration.
ME: We need to oppress Christian smooth jazz. Would you agree that we don't need less oppression, just better distribution of the oppression we got?
BARISTA: Yeah, that sounds about right.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

I got to the part where Lee Greenwood ruins the Idaho rodeo for everyone. And I'm past the gun range part and the shopping for Escalades part. Target date for completion of first draft: end of pledge drive at some radio station where I work.
A Conversation with Charlie (Age 4) About Responsibilities

HIM: Dad, when I grow up I'm going to work at the zoo.
ME: Yeah, you've mentioned that a few times.
HIM: And I'm going to take care of the jaguar.
ME: The jaguar? I thought you were going to be the bird guy.
HIM: I am. But I'll do the jaguar too.
ME: Oh. Okay.
HIM: What does the jaguar eat?
ME: Well, according to the thing we read at the zoo, it eats everything it can find. Rabbits, ducks, deer, even tapirs.
HIM: Then I'll LIIIIIIFT the tapir into the jaguar's cage and say "here jaguar!" and then he'll eat it.
ME: Sounds like a big job.
HIM: Yeah. Dad, do the jaguars eat live tapirs or dead ones?
ME: Live ones.
HIM: Oh good. Then I won't have to shoot the tapir in the head with a gun.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Most Important Rock Band In The World Plays A Concert

So there's this band called Chicken Starship that...ah...I'm the lead singer of. We dress in chicken suits and play loud fast dumb rocky roll music. This Friday it will occur at the historic Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle. Only rocky roll loyalists are invited. Along with everyone else.
Katrina explained a crazy person.
(via The Corner)

Monday, September 19, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 4) About The Appropriateness of Humor

ME: Hey what do you guys want for breakfast?
HIM: I don't know.
ME: How about an english muffin with dirt all over it?
HIM: No.
ME: Or toast with worms? A big bowl of cereal with bugs crawling around inside?
HIM: Dad?
ME: Yeah?
HIM: Stop with all the jokeable things.
ME: The..the jokeable things?
ME: Yeah. Stop being so comic.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

When you get up at 6 almost every morning to go right for a couple of hours, well, it's hard to wake up. But you tell yourself that such discipline will make for a great story later on when you're on your book tour and your book is a best seller. But also, and you try not to think about this, if the book is not a best seller or, in fact, simply never gets done, then you've just gotten out of bed for good damn reason.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oh My Goodness

So I write this little list thing for McSweeney's about Charlie Daniels and his big song, adapted from some thoughts I had for my book. And yes, the list will be part of the book. And the list gets really popular online, gets sent around a bunch, seems to kind of take. And that's the end of it. But no.

Someone illustrated it. I am impressed and deeply flattered. I hope this lubricioustouch person, if that is their real name, knows this.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Can't You Hold It? We're at the UN.

Yeah, this is a photo from Reuters. It's a note to Condoleeza Rice. Hoo boy.
A Question About Every Cell Phone Conversation I Overhear

If all the people who, when they talk on their cell phones, complain endlessly about other people were to have their cell phones snatched from their hands and destroyed, how many cell phones would there be left in the world?

Answer: about six.
How is Your Book Going?

I interviewed Griel Marcus a few months ago as part of my job at some radio station. He wrote this amazing 293 page history of the Bob Dylan song "Like a Rolling Stone". Before the interview started I asked him how long it took him to write it. He said he had made some notes and did some research but the writing took him two weeks. Two weeks. Two. F-ing. Weeks. I hate Griel Marcus.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (age 4) About Safety

Charlie, Kate, and I were sitting around lighting a Care Bear birthday candle, occasionally singing "Happy Birthday", and blowing the candle out. They got more and more excited and started hovering over the flame, putting themselves in danger of catching their hair on fire.

ME: Hey you guys, you need to scoot back a little. You're too close.
HIM: Why do we need to scoot back.
ME: Well, you know what will happen if you get too close to the flame?
HIM: We will all burn to death?
ME: No! No no. Your hair might catch on fire a little.
HIM: Oh.
ME: You won't burn
HIM: Oh. Okay.
ME: Hey, you wanna melt the Care Bear's face off?

Monday, September 12, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

I'm sorry I talked to you like that. I don't...I don't know what came over me. 54 pages of Times New Roman 12 point, single spaced, empty line between graphs. Maybe a sixth of the way through the timeline. If anyone needs me, I'll be at my friend's house.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

How is MY book going? How is YOUR book going? How about that? Maybe instead of nagging me with your questions, you should look to yourself! Write your own book! Think this is easy? Well, I'm here to tell you...that...(whimper)...I gotta get back to work.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

The book spans a 30 day period. I have written draft covering up to 3pm on the second day. And yet I feel good about things. At this rate the book will be 400,000 pages long. With lots of information about Kid Rock and Charlie Daniels. Sounds like a best seller to me.
What was Pat Leahy doing in Mississippi in the first place?

Karma haunts Cheney.
Probably wasn't the best thing to say...

Hanging out at this farm/park with Charlie and Kate the other day. We were sitting down on the grass having a little snack when a middle-aged couple walked by.

GUY: Well it's not hard to tell that those kids are yours! They look just like you!
ME: Yeah, well, that was the plan when I abducted them from the mall.

We left pretty soon after that. One step ahead of Johnny Law.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What's the best thing about John Roberts?

Apparently, he's hilarious!

(thanks to estimable Wonkette)
Everyone's talking about what Kanye West said...

But it's all about Mike Myers' reaction. See the video.
A Brief Conversation with Charlie (Age 4) About Future Plans

HIM: Dad?
ME: Yeah, bud?
HIM: When I grow up I'm going to be a zookeeper.
ME: Well that sounds like a good fit. I know how much you love animals.
HIM: Yeah. And I'm going to be in the bird exhibit. With all the birds of prey. I'm going to show people the birds and tell them about the birds.
ME: Okay.
HIM: And I'm going to have a pet bird in my home. It's going to be an owl.
ME: A pet owl?
HIM: Named Picky.
ME: Picky?
HIM: Because he likes to pick pick pick at things. And I'll feed him dead mice.
ME: Are you going to live in a house or an apartment?
HIM: An apartment.
ME: By yourself or with someone?
HIM: Just by myself, I think. And my owl.
ME: Named Picky.
HIM: Yeah.

So as a Dad, I'm pretty excited. The future looks bright for my boy, alone in his apartment feeding dead mice to an owl named Picky. What parent wouldn't be proud of that?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

For the first time in my life, I can listen to music on my headphones while I write. Not only that I HAVE to. Even if Uptown Espresso is playing music that I like, I have to listen to it on my own headphones.

Monday, September 05, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

The book is a memoir, of sorts. A memoir of a very short period of time. And I sometimes have trouble with the central conceit of memoir: am I really so interesting that people will want to spend a whole book's worth of time with me? Cause I don't even like myself all that much. But I try not to think of that, or how this paragraph might be used against me in future negative book reviews, and just plow through with the writing. I'm getting Vollman-esque with word count.

Friday, September 02, 2005

A Phone Conversation About Charlie (age 4)

ME: Hello?
GUY: Hi, may I speak to Charlie Moe please?
ME: Hmm. Not sure you want to do that. He's four.
GUY: Oh. Um...Well, I'm calling from the Sierra Club...
ME: Oh yes. He's a member.
GUY: Uh, did someone give him a membership as a gift or something?
ME: No, he joined himself. Heard about ANWR, emptied his piggy bank, and signed up. Did it pretty much on his own.
GUY: Oh.
ME: I mean, I could put him on the phone but...
GUY: Right.
ME: He wouldn't be able to...
GUY: Yeah...
ME: Okey-dokey. Good bye!
How is Your Book Going?

As I drove up to the coffee shop at 6:08 this morning, it appeared that the incredibly perky barista wasn't working. And I have to admit I was disappointed. I mock the perky, yet I need them. Turns out she was just wearing a hat. Whew. Good day writing. Got to write about my brother's long-ago assessment of Reagan's foreign policy as "suck(ing) donkey balls".
James Wolcott

Is SUCH a good writer, it makes one quake at the idea of being a writer. In this column, he just f-ing brings it. Throws down. Steps to. Read it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

How is Your Book Going?

Oh. Okay. I think that -- ah-- it's okay. It's good. It's really's okay.
Attention Condescending Pet Fish Store Employee

A few things on my mind after today's encounter:
1. I grant that you know a lot about pet fish. But I know a lot about pop music, global politics, and literature.
2. Well, pop music at least.
3. Outside of the store we were standing in, and maybe a handful of other stores, no one will find your specialty all that impressive.
4. Because they're just fish.
5. So, honestly, lay off the 'tude.
6. And it's not my fault that one of the frogs died.
7. No, the other one is fine.
8. If this place had more natural light, I bet it would be harder to clean the tanks cause of algae build up and what not. But it might also help you look, like, healthier.
9. Bye now.

Oh you're not...

"No. Don't...Mr. President...that's really not a good...uh...idea there...isn't there some other kind of dessert...see the thing is cake has all these...connotations...about letting people eat it...when things are bad...Marie Antoinette...there's this hurricane hitting...please, sir, I promise you this is a very bad idea..."

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Best Song Ever Made By Anyone Ever

For serious.
How is Your Book Going?

Lately I've been going to the West Seattle Uptown Espresso early in the morning (stop in and see me! but don't talk to me! can't you see I'm writing?! what the hell is wrong with you?!) to write for a couple of hours before I start my day. The way it works is this: alarm goes off at 6, I regret ever attempting to get a book deal, I put on the nearest clothes I can find, I drive up to Uptown and get there by 6:10, I get greeted by the perky barista who pours me a huge cup of coffee, I stare at the screen, I write small terrible things for 40 minutes, I kick into gear a little, I start writing faster and faster, despite having no food in me I elect to get a refill of coffee, 7:30 comes around and I'm flying, then I go insane from the lack of sleep and abundance of coffee, then the writing actually gets good, then it's 8:10 and time to stop. I have yet to dare to read anything I've written during these periods.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Weather, in times of crisis, can be a stressful job. Apparently.
How is Your Book Going?
This is a question frequently asked by friends and associates who know I'm writing a book. And I don't know how to answer all the time because it's a reeeeeally big process and frankly "how it's going" varies dramatically from day to day and even hour to hour. But the folks asking are good folks and are being friendly and so I don't want to give a flip little cute answer but I also don't have time to answer in depth. So I'm going to attempt to give an update in this space once a day at some point. Also, I'm not quite ready to talk about what the darn book is even about at this point. Maybe later. But it seems like a blog is the perfect place to do something like this. True, I'm seemingly taking on this new writing project in the midst of my biggest writing project ever but um...yeah. So today's update:
It's going well. Lots still to do but its flowing and I suspect I'm going to far far far surpass the minimum word count set forth by my contract. This will give me much to work with and much work to do once the writing is done. Writing is fun, worrying about writing is not.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Oh My.

This is incredibly bloggy but there is some good stuff going on at Kitten War. And while some may enjoy the winningest, all will be more fascinated by the losingest. Thanks to Tina and her estimable blog for the tipoff.
Muppet Re-write

I gave my wife the first season of The Muppet Show on DVD for her birthday. This led to instant muppet obsession on the part of the kids, naturally. And though Charlie (age 4) does not often sing, I heard him softly singing this to himself the other day, "it's time to play the music, it's time to die of fright". And when you think about some of the things on that show, it makes some sense. Like this, this, and this.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Greatest Hit

Taking a week or so off (I know, I must be exhausted from barely posting all summer) but I found this from like the opening moments of this blog. It's so dated that my son is only two years old and you'll note how I have to be weird enough for both of us whereas by now he's doing that all on his own...

Bumpy's Trip to the Woods: A Critical Overview

Last night, I was playing with my two-year-old son Charlie and he was pretending to put his enormous yellow rabbit, Bumpy, to bed. I should mention that it was by no means a "bed" that we were putting Bumpy in. It was a blanket on the floor. But whatever. After tucking Bumpy in, Charlie decided to tell Bumpy a story, the first one he's ever made up. It goes like this:

"Bumpy and a bear went to the woods. They met another bear. They heard a noise. It wasn't the other bear. It went 'baa baa baa baa'. It was a sheep. The sheep said 'Hello Bumpy. Time to wake up.'"

I don't know where to begin in dissecting this travesty.

To begin with, let's talk characters (although to be honest, that word is perhaps overly flattering to the portraits Charlie created). Bumpy is a strong protagonist: large, yellow, friendly-looking, and huggable. But then we get to the bears. Early in the story, I enjoyed the inclusion of the first bear, the "companion" character as it provided some tension to our protagonist's, Bumpy's, story. While rabbits and bears are not natural enemies, they are not exactly friends either. So why are they in the woods together? What is their agenda? The bear's existence has dramatic potential but the promise is never fulfilled. When it's revealed to be nothing but a silent do-nothing figure, well, that insults the reader and that makes me furious at my son, the author.

But while the first bear at least has squandered potential, the second bear has no place at all. Is it meant to be a red herring, trying to lure the listener into thinking that there is a major ursine twist to come? Is it merely a stalling technique by an inexperienced author who can't bring himself to set down the pen and think a situation through? No one knows, especially not the author.

If you can call him an author.

Some elements of the storyare promising. "Animals going into the woods" is a solid premise. Keep in mind, both rabbits and bears are supposed to live in the woods. Are Bumpy and his nameless companion returning to their ancestral home? Rejecting their lives in the world of humans and beginning a potentially problematic reassimilation into the wild? Or are they simply visiting? Going back to all the same old rustic haunts and reminiscing in that patronizing way that big city folk do when they go back to their old middle-American high school towns? Will they come to realize that their rustic cousins are not so dumb after all? Could this, with heavy workshopping, be a zoological Doc Hollywood? If that's the case, perhaps the second bear has a role after all. Is there a prodigal bear narrative that merits exploration? There might be a story there.

But the operative word is might. Charlie doesn't pursue it. Is that because he's lazy? Or because he's two? The reader doesn't care, the reader wants to be captivated, and Charlie fails to deliver.

Whatever my son has tried to construct in terms of an arc falls apart when we arrive at this ridiculous sheep character. It's all so facile: the rabbit and the bear, forest creatures, enter the woods and discover the sheep a meadow animal. Forgetting for a moment Charlie's clumsy and obvious introduction of the animal (do we need four full "baa"s to realize it's a sheep?), this habitat switcheroo is just another hamfisted attempt to arrive at the already tired "fish out of water" scenario. Maybe that premise is fresh when you're two.

Speaking of things that aren't fresh, let's talk about the ending. "Hello Bumpy. Time to wake up." Some Charlie enthusiasts will claim that he's deconstructing the very idea of the bedtime story. Not only is Bumpy the story's hero, he is also the one being read the story and by telling him, through the sheep, to wake up, some would argue that Charlie is attacking bedtime story convention and even making a political statement against the tyranny of bedtime. A sort of updated "Being John Malkovich". "Being Bumpy". And while "Bumpy's Trip to the Woods" is sure to score points among fellow anti-sleep toddlers, it's pandering. It's like making Ashcroft jokes at an ACLU meeting. And it does nothing to mitigate the hackneyed "all a dream" conclusion. It's not novel, it's not shocking, and it's not even innovative. It's "Dorothy wakes up" for the sippy-cup generation and it's an insult to all the readers who have invested themselves in these characters' struggles.

Does Charlie have the potential to be a great story teller? To produce the next Hamlet or Ulysses or Goodnight Moon? Well, he's still young. But I'm done working with him until he starts taking this a little more seriously.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

At the coffee shop this morning

Sitting outside to get away from the oppressively loud Stevie Wonder music being played inside, huddled over the laptop, trying to write a book.
CHEERFUL BARISTA: Hey! Working hard or hardly working?
ME: Working hard.

Turns out a straight answer kills a good-natured cliche' joke every time. Good to know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Why The Interweb Is Good

Without BoingBoing, we might never know about beautifully strange things like this.
The Wrong Turn Taken

When you start having dreams about where you're watching documentaries on television, that's not a good sign, right? That's a sign that maybe something has become sort of tedious. The dream documentary I watched last night was about Eddie Vedder's early career as a child actor. Then today, I heard a Pearl Jam song and thought, "what was that sitcom that Eddie Vedder was on when he was a kid?" And the answer is that he wasn't on any except in the tedious visions I saw at night. Thanks a lot, dull Sandman.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


So I said, 'Ma'am, may I speak with you first?' I took her to the galley. I said, 'This is probably going to help your flying career. When a man gets on the plane at 6 a.m., and he's 7-foot-5, and he's drunk, don't bring him tools!'"
A Thing I Wrote on McSweeney's

As part of the research for my book, I ended up listening to a lot of Charlie Daniels Band music this summer. Like, a LOT. And though I thought I understood his big hit song, some things didn't add up.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Plan for the Nomenclature of Swimming Frogs

Turns out we're going to get swimming frogs. I'm told they're easy to take care of and are just delighted to swim and live in a bowl and be friends with other frogs and fish. And so we told Charlie that we'll get four, one for each member of the family.

So in the car yesterday:
JILL: We could get four frogs. And then we'd each have one.
ME: I'll name mine "Dad".
JILL: I'll name mine "Mom".
KATE: I name mine "Kate"!
CHARLIE: I'm going to name my frog "Sword". Then I'll wake up in the morning and say "Hi, Sword"!

UPDATE: we picked the frogs up at the store today. Turns out they're called Dwarf Frogs. Because of course they are.
My Daughter Kate Sucks at "Guess the Animal"
(on a recent vacation in Montana, driving the whole way, lots of time in a car with two small kids, playing a question and answer game of "Guess the Animal")
CHARLIE: I'm thinking of an animal.
KATE: Pig!
ME: Is it alive today or extinct?
CHARLIE: Extinct.
ME: Is it from the Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, or after the Cretaceous?
CHARLIE: Cretaceous.
KATE: Pig!
CHARLIE: No Kate! It's not a piiiiiiig!
JILL: Is it a meat eater or a plant eater?
CHARLIE: Meat eater.
ME: So it's an extinct meat eater from the Cretaceous.
JILL: Hmm.
KATE: Hmmm. Pig?
ME: Is it an enormous prehistoric carnivorous pig, Charlie?

Friday, August 12, 2005

How to Impress One's Animal-Obsessed Son

Charlie cannot consume enough information on animals eating other animals. Just wants to know about it all the time. So I told him about this that I read about on Boing Boing. And now I'm The Coolest Dad Ever.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

In Other News...

Blogging died again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

An Incident at the Zoo

Looking at Nigerian dwarf goats with Charlie (age 4) and Kate (age 2 1/2 and a dwarf herself). Some poor kid who didn't know any better also looking at the goats.

KID: Mommy! Look at the baby goats!
CHARLIE: Hey! They're not babies! They're grown-up goats! They're just dwarf goats!
KID: Oh. I...uh...
CHARLIE: They're regular grown-up goats! Don't call them babies!
ME: That's right, son. And they can do anything that any other goat can do.
(KID wanders away, stunned, meanwhile Kate, who Charlie was trying to protect with the tirade, was already off to see the bunnies)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie, Age 4, Regarding Strategy

HIM: Dad, why does Bush always attack?
ME: Well he doesn't always attack.
HIM: When he gets mad he does. When he hates someone he attacks them and tries to hurt them and kill them.
ME: Oh. Well. Umm...
HIM: So why does Bush do that?
ME: Let's get back to the book we're reading about the, uh, dinosaurs here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (age 4)

in the car this morning, on the way to preschool, listening to an NPR report about the latest bombing in Iraq
HIM: Why did hundreds of people get killed?
ME: Oh...well...there was -- is-- a big fight going on. Far away from here. And a lot of people are fighting. And some of them died.
HIM: We need to stop that!
ME: Yeah. That would be good.
HIM: We need to take a rock and throw it into the building. Put it on a big stick and throw it and have it crash!
ME: And that would stop the fight?
HIM: Yeah!
ME: Because people would be scared?
HIM: Yeah!
ME: Oh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Brief Conversation with Charlie (age 4) About Politics and Conservation:

HIM: Dad, are there bad guys?
ME: Yeah, I suppose there are.
HIM: Do we know any bad guys?
ME: No. No, I don't think we do.
HIM: Is Bush a bad guy?
ME: Bush?
HIM: The President. Bush. Is he a bad guy?
ME: Well, I think he really believes that...uh...well, some people have different opinions than other people...uh...
HIM: But he wants to drill in the arctic! And that will hurt the animals! We have to stop him and make him go away! People need to stop building so many houses! We have to stop Bush! People shouldn't drive their cars so much!
ME: Hey, get your shoes on.
There's Nothing Not Funny About...

this. (thanks BoingBoing)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

NBA Update

A thing I wished I had written.

A thing I wrote under a fake name.
A Brief Conversation with Charlie (age 4) While Preparing Crab for Dinner

HIM: Is this crab dead?
ME: Oh yeah. It's definitely dead.
HIM: How did it die?
ME: Well, how do you think it died?
HIM: Hmmm. Did he kill himself?
ME: No! No no. He didn't do that.
HIM: I think he did.
A Brief Update

So it turns out I'm writing a book. It's tentatively planned, I don't even want to say scheduled, for October of 2006. This is something I've been working toward for a long while and I'm grateful that it's happening. Not sure what it means for this blog but my intention is to keep it going. You probably won't need to check it more than about once a week but I will endeavor to post whenever I can.

Monday, April 18, 2005

A Very Brief Conversation with Charlie (age 4)

ME: Hey it's lunchtime. What do you want for lunch? Sandwich?
HIM: No! I want extinct cat meat.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

USS Mariner has some interesting and troubling observations about the Mariner Moose.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Three Stages of Waiting for a Restroom at a Teriyaki Place Near My Work

0-2 minutes - someone is peeing
2-5 minutes - someone is going to the bathroom in another way
5 minutes + - heroin/go elsewhere
Oh it won't help your productivity any...

But it's a lovely way to spend some time as you remember Mitch Hedberg who died on March 30 of heart failure.

Friday, April 01, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 4) About Theology

(scene: we're at a local bakery looking through a storybook of Jack & The Beanstalk. We get to the part about the guy selling Jack the beans and the guy in the illustration looks like a dwarf. I decide to use it for my ongoing "dwarf awareness campaign".)

ME: You see that man? He's a dwarf.
HIM: He is? A dwarf?
ME: I think he is.
(very long pause)
HIM: I think he's God.

So really, the dwarf appreciation thing is going well but the idea of dwarfs being just like anyone else is not working out so good.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Authors have websites

When you aim to write a book, you're going to need a website to promote them so you don't look like such a schmuck when you blow your advance on tacos and pet pigs. Turns out really good, really interesting writers sometimes have outstandingly interesting websites. When my book comes out (2006, I believe) I hope it will be interesting and good. (thanks to the estimable Killing My Lobster for the link)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I was trying to think of a gag

but Defective Yeti is better than me.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Marvin Gaye and Grapevines

I got this thing up on McSweeney's today.
There are more famous and successful athletes.

But Paul Shirley is one of my new favorites.
"I really felt like I had a stellar set of games. Min: 0, TP: 0, FG%: Undefined. Bravo."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

How To Be A Terrible Father

1 screaming two-year-old
It being six in the goddamn morning

1. Go to two-year-old's room
2. Listen to her angrily demand not just "Mama" but "Mama Mama Mama Mama! Maaaa-maaaa!"
3. Pick her up and carry her around the house, talking to her in soothing tones
4. see step 2
5. Offer her cereal, a banana, juice, anything in the kitchen
6. see step 2
7. Evaluate future self-hatred against short-term convenience
8. Ask two-year-old if she wants to go downstairs and watch Sesame Street
9. Listen to her say "Yeah!" with more joy and conviction than any human, regardless of age, could seemingly muster
10. Plop her down
11. Turn it on
12. Go back to bed
13. Hate self
14. Fall asleep for another 30 minutes

Friday, March 18, 2005


A teenage girl (Haylie Duff) rebels against her authoritarian parents (Meredith Baxter-Birney, Harpo) by dating an older man (Groucho). Things get out of control when the man turns out to be marked by the mob. A notorious mafia assassin (Chico) comes to town to settle the score, placing the whole family in danger.

A rising star lawyer (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) thinks she’s landed a dream job until her new boss (Harpo) starts making sexual advances. Her only friend at the firm, a brilliant but troubled young attorney (Chico), pledges to help her but turns up missing under suspicious circumstances. Now she must defend her career and honor in front of an eccentric judge (Groucho).

A high school football player (Harpo) is a star on the field in a small Texas town, but he’s acting strange and erratic at home. His mother (Jaclyn Smith) suspects steroid use. But is she strong enough to confront the powerful football coach (Groucho) and the crooked high school principal (Chico)?

A lonely woman (Valerie Bertinelli) meets the man of her dreams (Chico) online. But an arranged meeting turns terrifying as he kidnaps her and takes her to an isolated Utah compound. There she meets the charismatic leader of a dangerous religious cult (Harpo) but also another lost soul (Groucho) with whom she plots escape.

A friendly encounter with an auto mechanic (Groucho) seems innocent enough to a divorced mother (Delta Burke) until he starts coming by her house late at night and making threats. The local police chief (Harpo) brushes off her concern and as the obsession turns increasingly dangerous, she must turn to her estranged husband (Chico).

A weeklong honeymoon on a sailing boat turns dangerous for a young couple (Justine Bateman, Harry Hamlin) when they meet up with a charming sea captain (Groucho) who turns out to be a drug smuggler. Soon they are on the run from pirates (Chico, James Brolin) and a crooked DEA agent (Harpo).

An idealistic college graduate (Sara Gilbert) takes a Peace Corps position in the country of Freedonia. Soon she finds herself at the center of political turmoil between the newly appointed ruler (Groucho) and a pair of spies (Chico, Harpo). Also, another man (Zeppo) does very little and contributes nothing to the film.

A dedicated medical school graduate (Shannen Doherty) shocks her parents (Dabney Coleman, Margaret Dumont) by taking a job in a remote part of Alaska. There, she must overcome the skepticism of the chief of the native tribe (Groucho), the resistance of local lumberjacks (Chico, Greg Evigan, Richard Moll), and a bear (Harpo).

A photographer (Cheryl Ladd) unwittingly takes a picture of a murderer (Chico) disposing of a body (Margaret Dumont). She finds help, and love, in a dedicated newspaper editor (Groucho) as they try to prove what she saw was real, all the while being hunted by the murderer’s henchman (Harpo).

A single mother (Dana Delaney) is accused of child abuse by the couple next door (Chico, Heather Locklear) and soon finds herself in a custody battle with an ambitious social worker (Groucho). Now she must take on the system to prove her fitness for motherhood, expose corruption, and win back her baby (Harpo).

An enterprising woman (Pam Dawber) moves to a small town to fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. She finds love with a local attorney (Groucho) but encounters trouble when the town reveals its terrible secrets (Chico, Harpo).

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Remember that time you asked me to show you a disturbing music video where Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis sings and seems like a children's television version of Grace Jones?

Well here you go.
Have I mentioned lately...

How much I love Strindberg & Helium? Well, now I have.
First Mario leaves now this!

They're going to be drilling in ANWAR? What? Huh?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In Other News...

Blogging is dead. Kottke linked to the New York Times article that points to the all-new and inexplicably existent Rosie O'Donnell blog.

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (age 4) Regarding Long-Range Goals

HIM: When I grow up, I'm going to be a zookeeper. I am going to run the zoo.
ME: That's great. What will be in your zoo?
HIM: Lions. And gazelles and zebras. And they'll all be in the same cage and the lions will chase the gazelles and the zebras. And catch them and kill them and eat them.
ME: Wow. What kind of zoo is this?
HIM: Well...a city zoo.
ME: Yeah, sounds like it.
Well, I for one am spamused.

Through the estimable blog of the legendary Lore, I found Spamusement. It is Spamazing.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Reason #114 to send in your pledge of support: facilities upgrades.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Greatest of All Time

Well, okay Michael Jordan is pretty good at basketball. But when it comes to voice-over work? Not so much. (a few items down) (thanks to the estimable Wizznutzz).
I was in a store yesterday

And the radio station, a "continuous soft hits" station, announced that coming up would be "Extreme Jim Croce".

I thought, that can mean three different things:

1. Lots of Croce songs
2. An unholy remix of Croce and those "More Than Words" dudes
3. The most unsuccessful Mountain Dew flavor ever

Thursday, March 10, 2005

You add a hotheaded story about hot dogs to your blog...

And suddenly all your new Google Adsense ads are about hot dogs.
Wait, I just mentioned hot dogs again - ah! a third time! -- now I'll always be stuck with hot dog ads! Four times! Porn porn porn porn.
Nobody Believes Me About The Volcanoes

CHARLIE (age 4): Dad, what comes out of a volcano? Meat?
ME: Meat?
CHARLIE: It's meat, right?
ME: No! There's no meat in volcanoes!
CHARLIE: Yes there is you're just joking right?
ME: I swear there's no meat in volcanoes.
CHARLIE: What is there?
ME: Well there's steam. Steam comes out of volcanoes.
KATE (age 2): No!
ME: Yes! Steam! Look, here's a picture in the paper of steam coming out of a volcano. It's called Mt. St. Helen's.
CHARLIE: What else comes out of a volcano?
ME: Well, ash. Steam. Lava.
CHARLIE: Hot lava?
ME: Yes.
CHARLIE: Okay. Yes. Right. (pause) And meat.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Imminent Threat of Chickens

(note: I understand from Defective Yeti that some radio station did some segment on parenting blogs the other night. Details are sketchy.)

So I was at Kelsey Creek Farm yesterday with Charlie, who is four years old. And there were some chickens walking around as they often do there. And then things got dark.

HIM: Dad, can I say hi to the chickens?
ME: Sure. Go ahead.
HIM: Hello, chickens. How are you today?
ME: (beaming with pride over my son's empathy and kind soul)
HIM: Are you looking for seeds? Or are you looking for grains? Or insects? Or are you hunting for human skin?
ME: What?! Human skin?
HIM: Are they looking for the skin of people to eat, Dad?
ME: What? No, I don't...I hope not. Where did you hear about that?
HIM: I just thought about it.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Oh My

Brown Zogg will command the bird armies.
The Home Improvement Plan

So Charlie, who is four years old, thinks that the recent siding put on the house does not go far enough in improving our house. He proposes, for our wee little front yard, that we acquire some large animals. Specifically, he's pushing for us to obtain a yak, a musk ox, a buffalo, and a bison ("Aren't a buffalo and a bison the same thing, Charlie?" "No! You're just joking, right Dad?")
ME: How are we going to get these animals?
HIM: We'll have to go to Montana. We will drive to Montana and get them there.
ME: We only have, like, a station wagon. How are we going to get them back home?
HIM: They can be on skateboards.
ME: Can yaks ride skateboards?
HIM: No, we'll drag them behind the car. We'll need some ropes.
ME: That sounds dangerous.
HIM: We'll get them some helmets. We'll get REALLY big helmets for the yak, the musk ox, the buffalo, and the bison.
ME: What about the horns?
HIM: Mom will cut holes in the helmets for the animals to put their horns through.
ME: Well. Okay. Sounds like we're all set then.

Monday, February 28, 2005

The Rocky Roll Band In Which I Sing...

Now sells stuff. I like the trucker hat.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Take Care of the Children

So I'm in this Seattle area hot dog place. Only other customers are a woman reading People magazine and her son, about six years old. He announces that he needs to pee really bad and wants his mom to come with him. She doesn't even answer. He reiterates his need. She tells him that the bathroom is right there. She asks him to please go with her. Then his Dad comes in, meeting them for lunch. He just rubs his wife's back while she reads People. Son asks Dad to come with him to the bathroom. Dad refuses. Kid's going crazy. Meanwhile I'm sitting there with a hot dog in a room where the only topic is URINE.
At this point, sentient and sensible parents will maybe realize that the thing to do is to take your kid to the friggin' bathroom as there are people trying to eat around there who really don't want to hear about pee anymore. Maybe a decent parent would think that maybe there are other people in the place.
So I took my hot dog and walked to the door. And I stopped and said "You know, maybe some people would rather eat their hot dogs without having to hear about urine. I sure wish you'd do something about that in the future."

Monday, February 14, 2005


there's this.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 4)

HIM: Dad, what's your middle name?
ME: Erling.
HIM: (incredulous) Erling?!
ME: Yep. It was my dad's name. His first name.
HIM: Did he die?
ME: Yes, he did.
HIM: So now Uncle Rick is your dad.
ME: No, that's not how it works. Grandpa Moe is still my dad.
HIM: Oh. How so?
ME: He just is. You pretty much just get the one dad.
HIM: Can I be your dad?
ME: You? I don't know about that.
HIM: Can I? I'll be your dad! Do you think that's a good idea?
ME: Well...can I still be your dad, too?
HIM: Yes!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

That's No Bargain

NPR runs this underwriting spot that mentions a special chair that's supposed to be all great and everything. And then they give the URL which is And I'm thinking, sit for less? But sitting isn't supposed to cost anything.

Yeah, it's okay...

But I wonder how much better Are We There Yet would be if it starred MC Ren instead.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Parent Snobbery

Okay, so when you say "I know what it's like to have kids, I have a dog" or "I don't have kids but I have nieces and nephews so I know what it's like", well, I'm sorry. I know you mean well. But I've had dogs, nieces and nephews, and kids and I know the difference. it's sort of like talking to a World War II veteran and saying "I know what that must have been like cause I got in an argument with someone once."

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

So I took a month off. Sorry.

A conversation with Charlie (age 4) about why I wasn't at work yesterday

ME: You know why I'm not at work today?
HIM: Is it Sunday?
ME: No. It's Martin Luther King Day. It's a day that kids don't go to school and a lot of people don't go to work and we remember what a man named Martin Luther King did.
HIM: Did he die?
ME: Well, yeah. He did.
HIM: Why?
ME: I'll get to that. The deal with Martin Luther King was that he thought people should all be together. Like, you know how your friend Will has darker skin than you? And how Will's dad has darker skin?
HIM: And I have bright skin!
ME: Or light skin. Yeah. Well, it used to be that he would have to go to different schools than you and not get to eat in the same restaurants or use the same bathrooms as you. And Martin Luther King and a bunch of other people thought that wasn't right.
HIM: Like my fish! My fish had lighter skin in the summer and it turned dark in the fall.
ME: Well, that's kind of another thing. I'm talking about people.
HIM: And I'm talking about fish.
ME: But Martin Luther King was a person. And he worked hard so that everyone could be together. And once a year we have a holiday, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, to remind ourselves of that work.
HIM: How did he die?
ME: Well, they shot him. People didn't want all that to happen so they shot him. But we try to make it happen anyway.
(long pause)
HIM: I want to talk about my fish some more.