A Short List Of 2009's Favorites

Given that it's not just the end of the year, but the end of the decade too, I figured maybe I should put together a reflective post on what I've learned while sprinkling in a little commentary on the human condition ...nah! Booooring. Another day perhaps. Instead, I'm taking a page out of Suburban Scrawl, SurprisedMom and Weasel Momma's playbooks and run a short list of the best Lunchbox posts from 2009. Not as boring (maybe).

Looking over the year's worth of entries, I decided to make two lists: my top 5 favorites and those 5 that were the most popular with readers. There wasn't a whole lot of science behind this; picking my entries was easy--simple personal preference. For the reader's selections, however, I considered the amount of comments, the number of page loads, and the overall topic. Not a perfect method, but whatever, I'm rambling. (Dear Brain, shut it! ...speaking of which, I need to post a follow up on that topic.) Here they are, ranked top to bottom.

My 5 Favorite Posts of 2009

1) While You Were At BlogHer (July 27th): I probably watch this slide show of our summer vacation three or four times a week. It might be because of the Coldplay soundtrack, or it might be that it's a rare moment in the year when I can be with all five of my children at the same time.

2) 10 Reasons Why Being A SAHD Made My Wife A Man (June 24th): You she my wife's feet propped up at the end of the day while she smokes her pipe and reads the paper.

3) Celebrity Profile Status Updates On Twitter (March 1st): I'm cheating a bit since this one is a published entry on the webzine Sloth Jockey (which y'all need to read sometime), but eeh.

4) LOST, Stephen Hawking And Biblical Plagues: How Swine Flu Shut Down My Kids' School (May 1st): Swine Flu hysteria, the title says it all.

5) Things Past and Present (January 15th): A reflective essay on living in the moment.

Reader's 5 Most Popular Posts of 2009

1) Dear Soccer Mom (September 25th): Apparently thousands of you know someone like this stereotype (It also earned a double post at Confront Your Bully).

2) What's Not Fair (May 15th): This post about my role as a stepfather mad and impression on a lot of people to include, believe it or not, my ex-wife's attorney.

3) Superman Doesn't Like Cleaning Your Messes (September 11th): The Man of Steel is not keen on coming to this planet only to pick up after kids as this surveillance taken in my bathroom proves.

4) Why I "Hate" Danny Evans (August 17th): How could I hate a guy for writing a book about his battle with male depression? Easy.

5) Hope (August 4th): Being separated from your own children is miserable, but giving up the idea of being together again isn't an option.

If you've read all these, then thanks for taking the time. If you've already read them before throughout the year, then I also say thank you for coming back to my smatterings of drivel.

To close out the year, I want to express my gratitude to everyone for making Clark Kent's Lunchbox as successful as it has been in 2009. I don't normally talk stats, but it has astounded me that hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of people hit this sight daily. My life has become truly better for the connections and new friends I've made through the blogging community. I only feel bad that I cannot visit with everyone as much as I would like; I ask that you please forgive me on that point. And while I'm at it, thank you all too for your support on Sugar Milk. I just hope it lives up the hype when you read it in a few more months.

Finally, not that it carries much weight in this big 'ol world, but I offer you all my sincerest prayers that 2010 will bestow many blessings, good health and much prosperity upon you and your families. Here's to you. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

- Ron


Holiday Wishes

This little post hardly does justice my appreciation for all your support, comments and kind words over this past year. I've have been blessed to meet some incredible people throughout the blogging community. Friendship is one of the best presents anyone could ever receive, and I am both grateful and humbled by this.

So let me just say, Happy Holidays to you and your families. Here's to you. May 2010 find you all healthy, content and loved. See you next year!


If You're Smart, You Will Not Get Your Wife This For The Holidays

It's not that I'm disparaging the importance of women having this done regularly, it's just that I can think of better ways for husbands to show their love during the holiday season. Save giving this present for Columbus Day or perhaps Labor Day--just make sure to send flowers. Watch...

Or "light up her Menorah."

And should any of you brave souls decide to do this, I suggest including a box of diamond ear rings, while also avoiding anything from Victoria's Secret.


Chores FAIL

In a time when kids believe that being "naughty or nice" equates to life or death consequences when it comes to presents, one would think Allie and Avery would be a little more conscientious of doing their chores. No. Chore FAIL continues to hallmark their behavior, and I'm still repeating myself eighty-thousand times until they either accomplish the task or I jam a pen in my eyeball. "Make your bed." "Wipe off the table." "Put your shoes away." And so on, and so on.

Millions of kids assembling Zhu Zhu pets (very slowly) in sweatshops all over the Far East, and Allie can't clean out the sink while Avery continues hanging up her backpack on the carpet. I mean, it's not like I'm asking them to press my shirts or change the oil in the minivan. They have a good six or seven years before that.

Well, that's okay. I told them I posted these pictures so "Santa" could track their progress. They think he reads my blog.


All I Want For Christmas Is My Va-sec-tomy... Wait, Huh?

Last week my wife called me from work around lunch as she normally does in order to acquaint me with the events of her morning: so and so did such and such; I can't believe they want me to do this and that; a large man sat next to me on the bus and passed gas during the entire ride to work and, "Oh, your appointment with the urologist is next Tuesday at one." Her strategy of slipping this little tidbit into the conversation behind news of the Farting Man was slick, but not slick enough to elude my razor-sharp sense of hearing. "I'm sorry. What did you say, dear?"

"Your consultation appointment with the urologist is next Tuesday, and then the procedure is scheduled for that Friday." By the way she said "procedure" you'd have thought it were code for making a hit on someone, which, in a technical sense, I suppose is true; it's just that that someone hasn't been born yet. "He said he could've fit you in on Christmas Eve, but I thought that might be bad timing."

Picturing myself sitting around the tree on Christmas morning, handing presents to the woman I love while readjusting the package of frozen peas tucked under my own package did seem to detract from the festive feel of things. "But ... this is pretty quick don't you think? We just got done talking about this a couple months ago."

"I just figured you'd want to get it done this year since we've met our deductible."

Ah yes. The money angle. Well played my cherry blossom. Well played indeed.

Getting "fixed" (an oxymoron that in this case I consider on par with "military intelligence") had been the option we settled on, and it was only fair. My wife had already tried using a little device known as an IUD. However, we started referring to it as an IED--improvised explosive devise--since it brought her much pain and discomfort and needed to be removed. Of course there was the pill, but there were issues with this method as well.

With these choices exhausted, the burden of birth control now shifted to my lap--literally, and seen as how I'm pushing 40, and already have five kids to deal with, something a little more permanent was in order. Mint-flavored and glow-in-the dark condoms were out; snip, snip, clip, clip was in.

The consultation appointment was informative, but not surprising. I already had a good idea of what to expect. However, this particular doctor offered me an interesting choice: I could go with a plastic locking clip designed specifically for vasectomies, or I could go with the traditional metal clips that are not approved by the FDA because these tiny metal clips were meant to close off thin-walled blood vessels, not the thicker-walled vas tubes. Furthermore, the locking clips are less painful and carry fewer complications. Given these options, the answer was a no-brainer.

Sort of.

Turns out this doctor is the only one in Texas who uses these clips, and as such the insurance companies refuse to cover the cost of the clips themselves which run $250 a piece. Yes, $250 for a piece of plastic roughly the size of a grain of rice and about as complicated as a part from a children's toy. In the doctor's words, he could, "use baler twine and barbed-wire with the normal method, and it would be covered, but you'll have to pay outta pocket if you want the clips. Just call and let us know the day before."

Pain or Christmas presents? What to do? What to do?

Yesterday I called the doctor's office with my decision. "Yes, ma'am, could you let the doctor know I'll be going with the regular method."

"You mean the 'classical?'"

"Classical," that's ...classic. "Uh, yes, I'll be kickin' it ol' school."

Now, maybe I shouldn't be so open about all this? Maybe I should retain some sense of dignity by not sharing my impending plight with the general public? Perhaps. But I don't think it matters anymore thanks to my wife.

Last night was her company Christmas party. Understand that my wife's company is one of those places where the rigid boundaries of conservative corporate culture are solidly entrenched within the dark-paneled corridors connecting impressive offices that tower above downtown Houston. To give you an idea of the company's stature, the owner served as the energy advisor for both John McCain and Barrack Obama simultaneously during the election campaign. It's a place where you don't fool around.

The owner did not attend the party; however, a number of people from the top down did. It was a highly social affair--a lot of "a mix and a mingling," which naturally gets interesting when there's an open bar. It's only a matter of who it gets interesting for.

After, let's say, eleven, maybe twelve margaritas, my wife feels comfortable enough to strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone inside of a fifty-yard radius, making sure to include the details of my surgery. As she talked, the news of my "procedure" surfaced after three or four other items, but with more drinks, it suddenly became breaking headline on par with Tiger Woods's recent predicament. She was like Nancy Grace on crack.

"You wanna know what?" she would lead in with. "I got tomorrow off. Wanna know why?" Then my wife would point to my crotch-al area. "We're getting him fixed tomorrow!" While she laughed wickedly, my cheeks warmed yet again encasing my chagrined smile.

Managing directors, department heads, the CEO's wife, and several busboys know the truth: today I will be sterilized, never to populate God's green earth again--assuming I'm not in that one percent failure category.

Yes, at noon today, I will be sitting in a sterile, white room while a large man with thick glasses arranges metal clips, scissors and a cauterizor on a tray in preparation for "the procedure." And soon my jiggle bells, won't jiggle so merrily.

Brought to you by Fatherhood Fridays at Dad-Blogs.


One At-Home-Dad Answers Questions About His Vagina

Depending on which source you read, it's estimated that the number of stay-at-home dads (SAHD) ranges anywhere from 140,000 (Census Bureau) to 2 million men (CBS News). Other statistics claim that of the nation's 11.3 million preschoolers whose mothers are employed, 25% are regularly cared for by their father during their mother's working hours (Census Bureau). These are just a few of the figures cited as indicators that more and more dads are becoming the family's primary care giver. The trend has, as of late, received increased attention given its direct correlation to the poor economy. Many previously employed fathers, such as myself, suddenly found themselves thrust into an unfamiliar role that a number of other fathers had already been preforming well before Wall Street took a dive. One such dad is Joe Schatz, a stay-at-home vet and author of the book, Daddy, Where's Your Vagina? What I Learned as a Stay-At-Home Dad.

In his book, Schatz outlines the reasoning behind his decision to remain at home with his three daughters, and then draws on these experiences to share the lessons he learned. But this is no "how-to" book full of diagrams and sterile facts on changing a diaper or fixing a bottle. Instead, Schatz, who is the national fatherhood writer for The Examiner and co-founder of the social networking site Dad-Blogs, provides practical advice, setting a realistic expectation for down-and-dirty fatherhood not found in other conventional parenting books. What's more, he does so with a style of humor that makes this book as entertaining as it is useful.

If suffering through a sleepless night with a hungry baby, Schatz advises, "Fellas, don't watch Girls Gone Wild ads while feeding a baby--it's just wrong."

Wise words.

Other gems include being vigilant as to the scenarios in which a baby is likely to pee on you; how to tell a toddler "no" by saying "yes"; and incorporating a rating system for judging which of the many kid's art projects stay and which get trashed without sacrificing their feelings. ("Does the artwork contain any unintentional profanity? 10 points per word)

Brilliant stuff!

However, this book is not some at-home dad version of Heathcliff Huxtable, grabbing chuckles while spouting off with parental wit. Schatz displays his depth of emotion in the gut-wrenching account of his wife's miscarriage with their fourth child. This is a place few men would go, but Schatz does, showing that a father's grief during such tragedies is no less real than a mother's.

Like most stay-at-home fathers, Schatz struggles to reconcile his male ego against the traditional notion of men as the the family provider. In time, though, he resolves this issue by recognizing the greater potential and unique impact he can have on his children by staying at home. "Men have a tough time separating ego and money, and it limits us," Schatz concludes. Through the course of the book, he manages to challange the prevailing paradigm of child-rearing roles without coming across as a zealot.

Schatz doesn't shrink away from how people perceive him either. He's proactive, even in awkward moments such as being the only dad in the neighborhood playgroup. Rather than justify not his participating, he places the importance of his children's' need for social interact over his need for acceptance from the other moms. In fact, he goes a step further, initiating conversation within the group. Brave? Very. Especially with the education he receives in the process. In half-jokingly asking the group their opinions on the Baltimore Ravens football team, Schatz finds out that mommies have their own language and no subject is off limits. Based on this encounter, he develops a list of terms SAHD's need to be versed on if they plan to make it in mommy social circles. For example, the difference between McDreamy and McSteamy might not appear significant, but screwing it up at a play date will kill a dad's street cred.

Ultimately, the theme of this book is empowerment. Schatz shows both mothers and fathers that men are fully capable of being effective, full-time parents with something to offer. However, in order for this to happen, men (and women) have to stop buying into the stigma of dads being incompetent and aloof. Ironically, it's a misconception that often originates within the home, stemming from the false assumption that mothers are better equipped to deal with their child's needs, which leaves dads in the cold. The seemingly innocuous actions of mothers who always step in to change the diapers or sooth a crying baby inadvertently deny fathers the opportunity for direct involvement, thus reinforcing the message of men's shortcomings in caring for children. It's this cycle of "learned helplessness" that overshadows the truth of what fathers can do.

Schatz demonstrates otherwise through the advice and experience he shares in his book. Not only does he set an example for other fathers, at-home or otherwise, but he also proves to mothers that men have something relevant to offer in the realm of child-rearing. Daddy, Where's Your Vagina? shows that men can be the primary care providers, and find fulfillment in this role at the same time.

For more about Joe Schatz and his book, go to his official website.


"Manhood For Amateurs" - Another Book Review

Over this past year I have become a big fan of Michael Chabon. How it's taken me this long to discover the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, I don't know, especially given the many elements in his works that I can relate to. Wonder Boys, for instance, takes place in roughly the same part of Western Pennsylvania where I grew up (the movie adaptation is an all-time favorite too), and being a comic fan-boy, Kavalier & Clay, for which Chabon won the Pulitzer, kept me enthralled through all 600-plus pages. I had just started in on Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands with Mysteries of Pittsburgh waiting in the wings when I learned Chabon had just released a new book centered around masculine identity--another topic that strongly resonates with me. Needless to say, I dropped everything and went straight to the bookstore to get my copy of Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of Husband, Father, and Son.

Plowing through the book in two days, I wasn't disappointed. It felt like I had just mentally gorged myself on a large satisfying meal, and now required a long afternoon in order for it to digest. In exploring what a man is in today, Chabon approaches the issue, drawing from his own personal experiences as a husband, father and son to create a mosaic of the man he has become over the course of these moments. But Chabon doesn't point to himself as someone who has figured it all out; rather, he hands the reader his flaws, mistakes and hurts, and tempers them with the corresponding insights, joys and successes that make manhood worthwhile.

Each essay takes a conversational tone that makes Chabon seem as if he's talking to you over coffee. In fact, it doesn't matter that he ignores the the conventional advice given to writers about avoiding twenty-dollar words when a five-dollar one will suffice; Chabon is one of the few people who can pull this off without losing the reader or coming across as pretentious. Still, I kept a dictionary handy just in case, since his vocabulary choices could crash the word-of-the-day app on your iPhone. (No one's accused me of being smart anyway.)

Chabon draws from past memories, random objects, current events, pop culture, and recent moments in his life as the context within which he interpret modern day masculinity--a box of Bisquick and traditional gender roles; comics and the feminine mystique; a grocery store encounter and parental intimacy. But, of all Manhood's stories, my favorite was the aptly titled "Faking It", where Chabon contrasts replacing a towel rack against navigating a blizzard with an SUV to illustrate the difference in convincing his family of his competency by masking his ineptitude as opposed to gaining their faith through genuine self-confidence.

Of the many aspects of Chabon's life, it's that of a husband and father where he finds the greatest fulfillment. The affection he holds for his wife, fellow writer Ayelet Waldman (Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace) is evident, as is the pride he takes in parenting their four children, Sophie, 14; Zeke, 12; Rosie, 8; and Abe, 6.

"... there's nothing I work harder at than being a good father, unless it's being a good husband ... I define being a good father in precisely the same terms that we ought to define being a good mother--doing my part to handle and stay on top of the endless parade of piddly shit. And like good mothers all around the world, I fail everyday in my ambition to do the work, to make it count, to think ahead and hang in there through the tedium..."

It's with this same level of honesty throughout Manhood, that Chabon demonstrates a comfort with his own masculinity. And he doesn't just accept it, he owns it, doing so with equal amounts of fascination, humility and appreciation. In the end, Manhood makes it safe for men to celebrate the beauty of who we all really are--amateurs.

To read more of Michael Chabon's work, check out his page at Amazon.com. I also recommend this NY Times article profiling Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman's lives as parents.


"The Good Men Project" - A Book For Good Men, By Good Men

If there's one thing that's changed the most about me as a result of my transition to stay-at-home dad, it's how I view myself as a man. Frankly, this re-evaluation of my masculinity was not an easy process, and it evoked a spectrum of emotions from anger to severe depression (some of which I deal with in Sugar Milk). Truth be told, however, I had been struggling with my male identity long before I ever lost my job and started getting kids ready for school. If anything, the events of the last two years were the catalyst forcing me to find the truth behind the questions I had always been asking. Is this what a man is supposed to do? Am I the father and husband my family needs? What does it mean to be a good man?

It was convenient to mask my confusion behind the success I had achieved professionally--a good job, a nice house, and three happy boys. By all appearances, the answers should have been simple, but they were not. When all of these external indicators were peeled away like the dead skin concealing a blister, it exposed a painful part of my psyche I considered as endemic only to myself. In this isolated state, it never occurred to me that other men faced similar type issues--not without being committed to a sanatorium somewhere upstate anyway. However, when I happened upon the Good Men Project website earlier this year, I realized the extent to which men have been bottling up the mixture of feelings on their male identity.

What started off as a simple idea between two men, James Houghton and Tom Matlack, resulted in the newly released book, The Good Men Project: Real Stories From the Front Lines of Modern Manhood (edited by both Houghton and Matlack along with Larry Bean). The idea in Houghton's words stemmed from his own questions.

Might there be something meaningful in gathering a diverse group of men to write essays about difficult or challenging times in their lives and what they learned from those experiences? ...it seemed that the men of our generation spend a lot of time struggling to balance the competing interests of achieving professional success and being good husbands and partners and father and sons.

Houghton's concluding thought was that if men wrote about their struggles openly, "other men might recognize a little of themselves in those stories and take comfort in their shared humanity." In reading Good Men, I can attest that the book has achieved Houghton's core intent.

Good Men's compilation of essays touches on the major roles of manhood--being a father, a son, and a husband along with the challenges men face in their work lives. Further adding to the book's appeal is the diversity of contributors which include among others: a professional athlete, writers both professional and amateur, businessmen, doctors, academics, a photo journalist, and a former gang member. Given the varying array of perspectives found in Good Men, readers will be hard-pressed to ignore the voices behind these essays, some of which will haunt you even after closing the back cover.

In fact, it's the writers' raw openness in their words that gives Good Men the authenticity needed for gaining credibility with male readers. If there's one thing men are good at, it's recognizing frauds, and in the pages of Good Men they will not find a one. The shame of addiction, the tenderness in raising a child as a single father, the anguish over losing a child, the confusion of a father after a divorce, the taste of blood after a fight--these elements fuse together in a universal message that men are not alone in their journey to be good.

The passion behind Houghton and Matlack's belief in this book is evident, not only in the quality of the submissions they have included in Good Men, but also in their efforts to bring this project to fruition. I found it ironic that fifty different publishers rejected the concept claiming men wouldn't read a collection of essays of this nature written by other men. Maybe. But could that also be part of the problem? Maybe that's what our mainstream society has lead us to believe? Then again, maybe hearing it straight from another guy is exactly what men need today? The Good Men Project does just that.

To learn more about The Good Men Project and the documentary movie by the same name check out the The Good Men Project's official website.

Disclosure: In compliance with FCC regulations, a copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes by the publisher. No further compensation was included.


Books For Christmas: "Packaging Boyhood"

This week I'm making a brief return to share several reviews of books that could make good gifts for the holidays.

This summer I made the mistake of taking my boys to see Transformers 2. The first one didn't seem so bad, and despite the lousy reviews I figured the sequel wouldn't be either. Wrong. I spent most of the movie, either covering ears every time the mom opened her potty mouth or explaining to the boys that college is not quite the near-orgy atmosphere projected on the screen. But by the way they kept saying how cool it would be for the minivan to change into an awesome robot (that would be awesome), I'm not sure they grasped my warnings. Still, I felt like a bad parent for exposing them to such blatantly deceptive images of what a boy's life could be like. I felt even worse after reading Packaging Boyhood: Saving Our Sons From Superheros, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes.

Written by Doctors Lyn Mikel Brown and Mark Tappan, both Professors of Education at Colby College; and University of Massachusetts Mental Health Professor, Doctor Sharon Lamb, Packaging Boyhood is a follow up the successful, Packaging Girlhood. Like it's predecessor, Packaging Boyhood focuses on the methods used by marketing and media strategists in defining a false image of who boys, and how that image comes to play in how boys perceive themselves. If you're one of those people who skips the introductions to books, don't with Packaging Boyhood as it does a superb job of laying the foundation for the authors' premises. Three sentences in, I was hooked.

...the way popular culture defines what it means to be a boy has become narrower and narrower. That's because media and marketers spend billions of dollars every year promoting a version of "cool" that requires the latest fashions, technology, and lots of money and then takes advantage of his fear of not matching up or being called a wuss or "faggot."

The book spends the next several chapters outlining the impacts of pop culture on boys through what they are told to wear, what they are to watch, what they encouraged to read, what they are supposed to listen to and what they are to play with. Ultimately, these elements come together to form a bombarding message that leaves boys confused and frustrated in their attempts to reconcile what they are told they should be verses who they really are.

With girls, it's easy to see the degrading image that's being pushed on them. However, in reading Boyhood, an element of subtlety in efforts targeting boys started to take shape, and it's an element the corporate world has become adept at exploiting, using billions of dollars to perpetuate the message in order to get boys to buy into it--literally. According to the writers, some of these messages include: that acts of revenge are okay in certain situations; that life was meant to be lived to the extreme; that being anything less than the best is to be a loser; that if you can't be the best then be a clown; that friends should be sidekicks as opposed to confidants; that material wealth is the ultimate goal; that you should want sex all the time; that unless something involves a gadget, it's not fun; and that being a slacker in school is okay. In reading the details in how these messages are conveyed, I was astounded and, at times, sickened. (Axe Body products are banned for life around here.)

Despite the worthwhile message in Boyhood, the book is not without it's flaws. For example, learning that Shannen Doherty played the lead role of Sidney Prescott in the Scream horror franchise (it was Neve Campbell) put a dent in the credibility of St. Martin's (Press) fact checkers. Yet, on another level, questioning things like why toy truck makers don't always include toy figures so boys can consider the driver's feelings came across as far-reaching, while the arguments against superheros contained an overly zealousness bent reminiscent of Frederic Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent. In this context, there were times when I found myself wondering when does a little boy get to act like a little boy without it being scrutinized as solely endemic to the ills of a consumerist society?

Nonetheless, this should not detract from the overall significance of Boyhood's argument, which the authors present with equal amounts of intelligence and rationality. What's more, Boyhood doesn't simply leave readers with a bad taste in their mouth over the plethora of aforementioned influences, but rather, the writers go the extra mile, laying out recommendations for parents to use in guiding their own sons through the mass media maelstrom.

Too many times I've seen parents who recognized these negative images, but who then walled their boys off from all exposure without providing any explanation beyond, "because it's bad for you." Time and again, these boys grew up without the tools needed in discerning the complexity and sophistication behind marketing efforts targeting their naivety. For boys to acquire this ability, parents need to possess not just an awareness of this issue, but also the knowledge to help their sons discover a healthy male identity independent of those fabricated by mass media. Packaging Boyhood provides mothers and fathers the resources to do both.

You can find out more about Packaging Boyhood and its authors at their website: PackagingBoyhood.com

Disclosure: In compliance with FCC regulations, the author would like to disclose that a copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review purposes. No further compensations was included.


My Wacky Brain: I Swear It Could Give Me An Aneurysm

It's funny. When single, I always thought I would end up with a cute, Jewish girl from NYC who had a split-your-sides sense of humor like Sloane Crosley or Sarah Silverman (I would've included Tina Fey, but she's not Jewish). Turns out, I did waaaaay better: a beautiful, quick-witted, part Cherokee woman from Oklahoma who suffers from seizures and has a mother who narrowly escaped an aneurysm. Lucky indeed!

Take this weekend for instance. Sunday I walked into the kitchen and chuckled, relaying to my wife that I kept having these strong moments of de'ja vu and couldn't get this burnt hair smell out of my nose. It was like someone had set fire to a barber shop and I'd seen it in my future. This inexplicably caused her to spin around in her chair. "What did you say?"

Oddly enough, these are related details, as are the constant headaches, restless sleeping, tingling in my fingers, stiff neck, nausea, extreme fatigue (even my fingers are tired), and that five-hour dizzy spell with the goofy blurred vision I experienced the day before. Who knew? (My wife for one)

Growing up, if you needed medical attention, the mantra was: if you're not bleeding, then you're not dying. (Incidentally, I've heard they're trying to fit that statute somewhere into the universal health care legislation.) This is why it usually takes something fairly definitive to get my family into gracing a waiting room with their presence. According to my wife, this was definitive, and she made an appointment with a neurologist first thing the next morning. I guess the neurologist concurred by the way she kept nodding her head and scribbling in my folder before ordering a battery of tests that are strung out over the next few weeks. (Had my first today--strobe lights can mess with a brother's head.)

I hesitated in sharing all of this with you--one, because as part of our "hardened" childhood, eliciting attention from your aches and pains was frowned upon as being commensurate to instigating a holocaust; and two, there are several doctors and medical professionals who read this blog and who I don't want thinking this is my passive aggressive means by which to solicit there expert advice (to do so puts them in a position of liability and that's just rude on my part). My neurologist is quite on the ball, and I'm confident with her judgement. She's made me aware of what the possible diagnoses we're looking at, which I'm not going to share at this time because I'm not an alarmist.

The thought that finally influenced my decision to pass this along was that I felt I owed it to the people who read this blog and to those whose blogs I read, many of whom I've built good friendships with. What I mean to say is this, I'm taking a break from blogging--oh, I'll still read blogs and leave comments--but when it comes to posting regularly here, it's going to be sporadic at best. The extreme fatigue I mentioned is stronger than anything I've ever felt, like having an invisible force field holding you in place as your eyelids bounce up and down. Trying to blog on top of writing professionally (for pay) has become too much, which is why I've done a poor job keeping up with blogs and returning comments.

The thing about blogging that makes it so different from just writing is that it's about community, and community requires interaction. Right now, my ability to interact is, for the moment, limited. The blogging community has become very real to me, almost as real as calling up people that are physically in my area, and meeting them for lunch; in some cases I interact with blogging buddies more than my own extended family.

So, what am I getting at? I'm just setting an expectation that I won't be around consistently, at least on the blog. I still plan to keep up with Facebook and Twitter. (So if you haven't already "Friended" or "Followed" me on those two, please do so. Still trying to figure out Skype, but I'm on there too.)

Anyway, I've already taken up too much of your time, so I'll finish by saying thanks for understanding, for reading, for commenting and for allowing me to be part of your community. This isn't a farewell--more of a leave of absence if you will. I'll still be around. I'm always around. Thanks.

- Ron


"Twilight" For Girls? Dad Bloggers Share Their Thoughts

Have you hear about this story called Twilight? It's about vampires. No? Well, walk into any Target, WalMart or Borders Books, ask a store clerk and note their facial expression as they wonder if you've been living in a remote cave for the past five years. Yeah, it's that big, and with the series' latest movie installment, New Moon, hitting theaters, the story of forbidden love between mortals and vampires will reign eternal (at least until the day Twilight-related merchandise is marked for clearance after the next big thing comes along).

As part of a consortium effort known as the Twilight Dad Bloggers Experiment, participants were asked if Twilight is appropriate for young ladies. So, would I expose my stepdaughters, ages 7 and 6, to a story about girl notices boy; boy acts mysterious, girl steps in front of van, boy saves girl by using his hand as a telephone pole; girl finds out boy is not boy at all, but a vampire; vampire and girl fall in love; bad vampires show up and attack girl; girl almost ends up a vampire but boyfriend vampire rescues her (again, because that's what he does); girl and vampire attend high school prom together? In a word: maybe.

What I mean to say is that it depends on which Twilight we're talking about here--the movie or the book?

Given the girls' ages, the movie version is a bit scary. Seen as how Coraline made them leery of tiny doors, talking cats and large men with thick accents, vampires and werewolves most likely will send them into therapy. The magic of CGI is an awesome thing considering we once used paper plates on strings to depict flying saucers, but it's also a bit too realistic for girls who believe dogs can actually talk when humans aren't around.

This is not to mention the thematic elements in the movie version. Thanks to Disney (which has since been banned around here), their mother and I already spend enough time debunking the fallacies of friendship, love and high school in general. The girls were crushed after learning students don't flip around and sing in choreographed medleys during lunch; once they find out cute vampires with supernatural hair won't save them from run-away automobiles and other mean-boy vampires, then I might as well start preparing for a future living with clinically depressed, disillusioned zombies for the next 10 years.

However, if we are talking about the book version on which the movie is (loosely) based, then I have no problem once they are old enough. Why the change? For one, it means the girls are reading, and as long as it's not smut, then I'm all for them keeping their nose in a book.

Secondly, the screen version deviates by a wide degree from Stephenie Meyer's written work, or as my wife's put it, "It blows compared to the book." Why? Mass market appeal. Critically acclaimed writing has to be watered down to draw in the biggest audience possible in order to make money. Twilight as a book, however, requires effort, and there's a tangible benefit (see earlier point), as opposed to being eye-candy.

Along these same lines, Twilight is modern take on a timeless story that strongly appeals to women. Meyer claimed that she wrote Twilight inspired by a list of classical works to include: Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights. As a English Lit major, how can I begrudge that?

Finally, there's one element in the book version of Twilight, that I think all fathers will agree is a positive message to our daughters: abstinence. Believe me I'm preaching this one until my stepdaughters find a nice vampire to settle down with and have little blood suckers of their own. One note: there is some controversy on this particular point, but at least it give parents a potential springboard for approaching the subject with their kids.

In fact, my stipulation for allowing the girls to watch the movie will likely be that they have to read the book first. Once they can do that, then they'll be ready for the movie.

Make sure you read these other dads' take on Twilight for their daughters:



Mad Men = Bad Parents? My Essay on Babble

With another season of Mad Men over, my wife and I are left with a big hole to fill in our entertainment schedule. This constitutes a real problem. We're talking about Mad Men — not some cream-puff comedy easily replaced by a few rounds of Wii bowling. Night after night we have sat on the couch, she holding a tumbler of scotch, the day's newspaper folded neatly in her lap, and me in my apron, swirling my third glass of merlot. If that sounded backward, then allow me to explain. While my wife brings home the organic, hormone-free turkey-bacon, I am a stay-at-home dad (or SAHD). Our dynamic is not atypical for today, but back when the word "stereotype" might be confused with a brand of Hi-Fi radio and helicopters were odd enough without associating them with a type of parenting, the concept of a father as the primary caregiver would have raised the suspicions of both men and women. Read the rest at Babble...


My Stepdad's Not Mean, He's Just Adjusting

My wife and I were bored the other night and decided to pull out an old DVD (I suppose in a broader sense, DVD's in general are old these days). After 20 minutes of deliberation, we finally settled on Death to Smoochy staring Edward Norton, Robin Williams, Catherine Keneer, Jon Stewart and Danny DeVito (who also directed it). If you've never seen Smoochy, it's a dark, farcical comedy about the kids entertainment industry (but it's NOT a kids movie).

In one of these scenes Norton sings the song, "My Stepdad's Not Mean, He's Just Adjusting," which I totally forgot about. Ash and I rolled on the floor for another 20 minutes, laughing till our guts ached. What made it so funny, aside from the subject of the lyrics, was how the message directly related to me.

I wish I could say that I was immune to the frustration in adjusting to my role of stepdad (which ironically coincided with me also losing my job), but I wasn't. There were a lot of moments when the girls thought, "This guy's a nut-case." Thankfully, I made it to the other side, and being a SAHD turned out to be the situation that helped us all through that transition--that and a sense of humor, which when Sugar Milk hits stores (it's about to go into production, so not much longer now), you'll see a lot of examples of this.

Kind of like the song.

There's quite a lot I've learned about being a step-dad, enough to start sharing more of it with others. The article link below is something I've written on how to deal with the other dads in your kids' life. If you like it, I'd ask that you please forward it around to others who you may feel it would benefit. Thanks.

Dad in the Middle: A Stepfather's Strategy for Co-Parenting with the Biological Father

This Fatherhood Friday post brought to you courtesy of the great bunch at Dad-Blogs. If you haven't joined Dad-Blogs, head on over and join the community.


Halloween Geek Out

Here are a few pics of the girls from Halloween. In the morning we hit the comic book store a did a little Christmas shopping since wearing a costume got you a 25-30% discount. (kids make great coupons.) Yes, I know; the Clark outfit is a rerun, but the girls were begging me to wear it, so I obliged.

And in the late afternoon we hit a Halloween festival put on by the local church. Loads of fun. However, I have to say, for as cool as the girls looked, their candy collecting efforts can only be described as "deplorable."


Pride Comes After A Fall

Last week Ashley and I attended a fundraising event put on by the Young Professionals of Houston in support of city mayor, Bill White’s bid for the U.S. Senate. Our presence wasn’t due to our rampant political activism per se (I was surprised to learn that Mayor White was a Democrat, this after he’d already completed two terms as mayor.), but because of Ashley’s work in designing the invitations. In recent month’s Ashley has been doing more and more freelance work, growing a client base that now spans across the country. The increased demand, by her admission, is baffling, but not to me. What separates Ashley from the myriad of others able to navigate the incalculable nuances of graphic design software is a little something known as flair, an assertion I am fully qualified to make as a former marketing professional completely free of the biases from being her husband. And despite Ashley’s tendency to downplay this, many, from customers to casual observers, feel the same as I.

The greater significance in this goes beyond the cursoriness of simple success warranting the typical congratulatory remarks, but in knowing the fuller circumstances of Ashley’s story: A substance-abusing father who died of a drug overdose in her teen years; the cheating husband who abandoned her, the struggles as a single mother with two small daughters; the blatant job discrimination and string of lay-offs as a result, the strength she provided to her sister after their mother barely survived an aneurysm amid the afore mentioned hardships; the constant threats of creditors and landlords bereft of compassion in demanding payments, the tormenting forces of anxiety, depression and loneliness. Anyone of these events would be enough to push the sanest of people to the brink of their emotional faculties—me included.

It was befitting then to hear Ashley’s name being applauded in recognition for her creative contributions the very moment after the lady holding the clipboard like St. Peter at the pearly gates asked if she were on “The List.”

“That would be me,” Ashley replied with a blush as the clapping faded.

“Oh, you’re actually a co-host too,” the gate keeper said, a hint of surprise spiked the pitch in her voice as if a member of the royal family had just revealed themselves to her. “And you?” she asked turning to me.

“I would be the ‘Plus One.’” Referring to myself by numerically rather than by my birth name should’ve seemed odd, especially when I’ve had the more experience introducing Plus Ones than in being one myself. Usually I’m also the one playing locomotive to Ashley’s caboose in navigating our way through crowded rooms, but Ashley needed no one to lead her anywhere that night and doing so would’ve proved futile since every time I looked over my shoulder, Ashley was engaged in conversation with someone or another. My function for the evening was relegated to ordering drinks, protecting orphaned purses and learning how to operate the photo function on an innumerable cell phones—duties I performed without complaint.

Returning with another round of vodka-laced beverages wedged precariously between my overextended fingers, I was stopped by the sight of Ashley conversing with Mayor White. There was no anxiety in her face or nervous signs of fidgeting, only poise, and a resplendent comfort in her surroundings and with her current company. Rather than insert myself into the scene, I stood back, content in acknowledging the senselessness of stealing a second of Ashley’s celebrity even in handing her a drink without a word.

Since the day when our bread-winning roles were reversed, Ashley has made a name for herself at work receiving a personalized mention in her company’s annual letter to its stockholders; making her own network of friends (Hi Beth, Liz and Lauren); and as a result gaining a confidence that continues to carry her towards new opportunities. When I congratulate her on these successes Ashley counters with reminders that her achievements were in some way predicated on my presence. I disagree, and furthermore, for me to think so would only be foolish and arrogant on my part. At best, my role is auxiliary to Ashley’s work, having nothing to do with the talent, creativity and know-how that has earned her the credit she has, for years before me, been due. The fact that the Mayor personally asked Ashley in their conversation to do more design work for him in his senate campaign further proves my point.

Towards the end of the night, I joined my wife and her friends outside for a cigarette. (Yes, I know, but we belong to that nefarious group of commitment-challenged individuals responsible for the creation of that category known as “social smoker.”) As people sauntered up to our little huddle social smokers, Ashley and I were limited to only visual contact. From my vantage point on the other side of the awning where we were all gathered, I could see Ashley chatting away with those that surrounded her, and mentally I rehearsed the dexterous mannerisms of Don Draper wielding a Lucky Strike. As I continued to entertain myself, a young blond asked me for a light to which I obliged with all the coolness of a true gentleman from the late 1950’s. This in turn lead to a conversation over the course of which, I noticed my wife flash her eyes at me in an amused expression as if to ask, “Who’s the bimbo?”

The smile on my face must have tipped off my present company, and she turned to look over her shoulder. “That’s my wife,” I explained holding up my ring finger.

“Yeah? And how did you meet?” the Blond asked blowing smoke from the long unconcerned drag she just took.


“So that really works, huh?” There was a skepticism in her voice, the source of which I had difficulty attributing to either her own unproductive experiences with e-dating or her questioning the validity of the strength of my marriage.

“Heck yeah!” I responded. What followed was a fifteen-minute oral history of my relationship with Ashley finishing with the purpose behind our presence this evening. I’m not sure if it was the part about me staying home, the five kids, the minivan, or my claim to being a writer (an admission that by itself indicates the number of Absolut and soda’s with lime I had downed), but somewhere along the way, the Blond’s interest seemed to wane. Or maybe she realized her function equated to that of an out-of-date magazine lounging in a dentist office, a mere time-filler for a man in love with his wife and proud of her for getting up after every fall.


Think You Know Incriminating? Yeah, I Wore These Costumes

I don't know why I'm doing this to myself, but hey, I ran these pics last Halloween so it's like I should still feel embarrassed right? Never mind. In the spirit of the season, and because I'm buried with several other writing projects at the moment, I'll cheat and run these again. Try not to laugh too hard.

Yes, that's me at age 5 (maybe 4?), anyway, my mom was a heck of a seamstress and she took one of my dad's old uniforms (that's his beret) and hacked it down to my size. To add to the realism, she then smeared coffee grounds on my face giving me that rugged manly look (I was the first kid in my kidergarden class to learn how to shave). Don't even ask where that red hair came from, all I know is I don't have it now, thank goodness.

We didn't do much trick-or-treating a few years after this was taken. It's was a religious thing. Honestly, I had no regrets, but I'm pretty sure all those years of repression led to the rest of these other photos...

Halloween 2005: The Amish Pimp. The sign reads, "fine hoes (get it), fair price." What did you expect from a native of Pennsylvania? I was runner up at some big bash people my age shouldn't be anywhere near. When the band saw me, they quit playing they were laughing so hard - I was slightly embarrassed to say the least.

Halloween 2006: Clark Kent. No surprises here, except this is at one of those clubs in Vegas where the celebrities all hang out. We got to feel like rock stars because our friend was a manager and got us VIP seating... never would've imagined that at some point in my life Jenny McCarthy would come over and ask if she knew us from Hollywood (I finally fessed up by admitting I was a screenwriter. Yeah right.). Of course my friends and I had no idea our CEO had flown in from HQ in Miami and would be there too (of all the gin joints, right?). Hilarity ensues. I'd tell the rest, but that can be another post, another day.

And the one I'll never live down... ever.

Halloween 2007: Fire and Ice from the movie, Blades of Glory. We actually had an entire routine and everything. By the way, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a men's large size uni-tard in all of Houston? Neither did I.

Okay, fine. Here's one more...

Last year I didn't get to dress up due to a last minute event, and this year... well, we'll have see about that?

Happy Halloween!


The Chronicles of Nun-Ya

Are there times when it feels like your kids are being a bit too nosy? My stepdaughters seem to have a penchant for this, and it annoys me to no end. Mind you, we're not talking about their innocent and sincere curiosity to interpret the bigger world through inquiries as to the intent behind my actions. I'm perfectly willing to explain things such as how I managed to fix their broken Barbie party helicopter, or why I flipped the guy off at Wal Mart who failed to heed the stop sign as we attempted to negotiate the rigors of the crosswalk.

No. Instead it's the questions loaded with the insinuation of, you have something better/more fun/tastier than I, and I should have it too. Add to this the manner in which the girls will question me, and the needle on my agitation gauge is bouncing frantically beyond the red letters marked "Danger." They know full well those are cookies I'm holding, but they still ask what's in my hand, feigning ignorance in a tone that already has indicted me of a crime before I ever reply. It's much like appearing before a Senate hearing and being unfairly painted into a corner by the leading nature of the questioning. "Oh, so those are cookies in your possession, Stepfather. And what, you thought you'd just keep them for yourself without informing members of Congress?"

These inquisitions are so regular that I've formulated a standard response in the same stonewalling vein of pleading the Fifth.

Allie: Hey, whatcha eating?
Me (jamming another spoonful of ice cream into my face): Nun-Ya.
Allie: Nun-Ya?!
Me: Yeah, nun-ya. As in nun-ya business.

Avery: So whadda doing?
Me (clicking away at the game controller in my hand): Nun-Ya.
Avery: Nun-Ya?!
Me: Yup. Nun-ya business.

Allie: Where ya going?
Me: To get a extra large box of Nun-ya. We're just ran out.

Avery: What are you drinking?
Me: An ice-cold glass of Diet Nun-Ya.

Allie: Whatcha watching?
Me: The Chronicles of Nun-Ya.

My sarcasm hasn't cut down on the frequency of their self-serving questioning; however, watching them roll their eyes as they leave me to my few moments of indulgent solitude causes that agitation needle float back to "Safe."


So, the other day while watching the girls get off the bus, I noticed Avery bent awkwardly forward as she walked--gimped actually--towards me. It was obvious that her bulging backpack was forcing her to compensate for its weighty contents giving her the appearance of a pint-sized Hunchback of Notre Dame. Certain that Avery hadn't been afflicted by the same encumbered gait when she left for school, I couldn't help but wonder what she had since stuffed into the backpack. A discarded set of Encyclopedia Britannicas? Fifty pounds of quality Columbian flake? An illegal alien maybe (after all this is Houston people)?

Squinting my eyes, I asked, "Whadda you hauling in that big ol' backpack, girl?"

Turning her head but only slightly enough so as to not throw off her balance, Avery looked up at me and grinned. "Nun-ya."

...smart ass kids.


Happy Birthday To...

...my wife. Thirty-X years ago today the world was made a little more beautiful.

Being the rebel that she is, my wife takes an anti-cake stance for her birthday. Instead she prefers pie - blueberry lemon to be exact. Last year I found an easy recipe for her request and amazingly I managed not to mess it up. Today I'm going for two in a row. I'm no PJ Mullen or The Good Cook, but thought some of you may enjoy the recipe yourselves.

And if you'd like to read the story of how Ashley and I met, you can read about it at this site.

Lemon Blueberry Pie

Pie Filling:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
5 cups fresh or frozen thawed blueberries, rinsed well

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel 2/3 cup shortening, cold 4 + tablespoons ice cold water 1 tablespoon cold lemon juice

In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice and grated peel, and blueberries. Roll out half of the pastry (recipe follows) - line a 9-inch pie pan and trim edges. Pour blueberry mixture into pie crust. Roll out remaining pastry to about 1/8 inch thick. Cover pie; trim, turn edge under and crimp. Cut a few vents in top of crust to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned.

Pie Pastry:
Sift together flour and salt; blend in lemon peel. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas. Mix together 4 tablespoons of the water and the lemon juice. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of lemon water over the dry ingredients; mix lightly, adding just enough additional cold water to hold dough together. Divide dough into 2 portions and shape each portion into a ball. Flatten pastry balls 1 at a time, on lightly floured surface. Roll out to form a circle, rolling from center edge until dough is 1/8-inch.


Some Naughtiness In The 'Burbs

Hey desperate housewives. I've got someone you need to meet. Her name is Petra (Bio) of The Wise Young Mommy. Petra is one of my best blogger friends in whole world, and if you follow her you will quickly see that, in addition to being vibrant, intelligent and funny, she's also an amazing wife and mother. Those qualities alone have earned her many friends and tons of fans. But add to the mix, the spicy subject matter of her other site, Sex and The Suburbs, and you have one hot tamale.

Petra is one of handful that can cover the topic of sex and not make me blush. Her insights are both witty and informative. And now she's writing a book based on Sex and The Suburbs, and she's looking for input from mommies everywhere as part of the research for this project. Knowing Petra both as a person and a writer, I'm sure this is going to be a great book, so I recommend you go to Sex and The Suburbs and join in.


Don Draper's Daddy Issues

This is post is pending publication and can be read in its entirety upon publication.


You're A Girly Man & Other Motivational Workout Slogans: Meet The Fit Dad.

Today I'd like to introduce Ed, a.k.a. "The Fit Dad." Over the last year, Ed and I have gotten to know one another while doing some collaborative work together, and as you've probably already guessed, he's one of those guys that stands around at the gym yelling motivational slogans while you blast your quads--well, maybe not quite like that. Actually, Ed's a great guy, a fellow Superman enthusiast, and above all, an awesome family man with a wife and daughter.

Living healthy obviously is important. At one point in my life I was 30 pounds overweight and suffering through a major bout of depression. A key element in overcoming these obstacles was forcing myself to hit the gym, and the program that worked proved to be simple, doable and overall effective. According to Ed, what I did was very similar to his regiment, which he has designed specifically for busy moms and dads (go here for a free no strings gift). Given the impact getting healthy had on my life, I've kept a link to Ed's site on the Lunchbox (see below). Is this some sort of Chuck Norris-Boflex infomercial? Nope. But I view Ed's knowledge as a resource that can benefit others in the same way it did me. With that, I turn it over to "The Fit Dad."


Let’s play “The Suppose” game.

Let’s suppose you decide to lose weight.

Let’s now suppose that in order to lose that weight you’re going to exercise.

Let’s also suppose you’re going to “watch what you eat” in order to lose that extra flubber.

Can we also suppose you’ll go to the gym, hire a trainer or buy a diet book? Will you join a boot camp?

Okay, now that we’ve “supposed” all those things, let me twist things around and make you think.

What is your first priority in this journey?

Is your first priority doing things the quickest way just to reach your goal?

Maybe your first priority is fitting into your clothes from high school and everything else be damned.

Is that right? Are those good priorities?


Sure they might get you to your goal and you might get there quickly, but you won’t stay there long.

You’ll revert back to your old self in no time and you’ll hate yourself in the process.

Now that I’ve painted that gloomy picture, I suppose I should tell you what your first priority should be.

Your first priority, whether you want to lose weight, get stronger, get rid of your gut, be “healthier”, or whatever else, should be your body.

Sounds simple, right?

But do you know what that actually means?

It doesn’t mean you should become a narcissist.

It also doesn’t mean you can flex your muscles in front of every mirror, ask random people to feel your “guns” or fix your hair and make-up every time you see your reflection.

Don’t get me wrong; wanting to look better is a great goal. It’s always near the top of my list, but you need more than that.

Making your body your first priority means listening to and understanding what your body NEEDS and WANTS.

You have to understand that in order to successfully achieve and maintain your weight loss goals, your body needs more than to just “look good.”

Your body has certain nutrition and dietary needs that you should listen to.

Your body NEEDS a lot of fruits and vegetables, and other real foods like seeds and nuts in order to perform at its peak while also cutting out the processed junk that leaves you with inflamed joints, a whacked out digestive system, poor skin and hair health and a flabby gut.

Your body also NEEDS to move. You have muscles for a reason – movement – and you don’t do near enough moving as you should.

Sitting for prolonged periods is the worst thing you can do for your body. It hates sitting that long and it tries to tell you by giving you back problems, hip problems and a weak stomach.

Listen to your body and fix those problems.

You need to make your body your first priority. If you do that, everything else will fall into place, including the “look better” goals, and you’ll be a much happier and healthier person.


Thanks, Ed! Reading this post sort of makes me feel a little guilty that my body's starting to look like a handful of walnuts shoved into a condom. (That's a picture of Ed doing push-ups while his daughter shouts motivational slogans in his ear. "Push your body to the max, Daddy! Don't cheat yourself! You owe me a new doll! One more set!")

Come back tomorrow for Fatherhood Friday and my post, "Don Draper's Daddy Issues." And next week I'll have humorous story about my kids' embarrassing Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde tendencies.

As a final note, thanks to all of you who commented and helped spread the info on the homeless American Girl Doll. According to my stat counter, Mattel spent some time checking out the post, so the message was at least received.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ads Section

Ads Section

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP