Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Things are pretty grim for the Bush administration these days. The president’s poll numbers have been hovering in the low 30s for an alarming number of weeks (alarming if you’re the president, anyway). No president in the history of polling has gone into midterm elections with worse numbers. As a matter of fact, you have to go back to the days of the Nixon administration to find a president whose numbers stayed so low for so long. Not even President Carter had it so bad.

In the face of such adversity, supporters of our president know just what to do… take Carter down a few pegs. A group recently unveiled ads on CNN calling on congress to censure the former president. The group is called “Move America Forward,” a “non-partisan” organization run entirely by Republicans.

The ad features spooky music and a voice-over guy who manages to seem both concerned and angry. The angry/concerned man begins by laying out a concise and logical argument for censuring Carter. It goes a little something like this: President Bush loves America and the Constitution so much that he wants to spy on any American he wants without getting a federal warrant. If this upsets congress, they censure former President Jimmy Carter, because he is very disobedient and has had his picture taken with bad foreign leaders.

Having made an airtight argument for censure, the ad unveils its “Hall of Shame,” Carter standing next to Fidel Castro, Carter standing next to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, Carter monitoring the Palestinian elections. Then, just in case you missed the point, they put Jimmy Carter’s face on screen, then stamp “censure” over the top in big, red letters.

The Censure Carter website says the former president has “Repeatedly undermined U.S. foreign policy,” and “embrac(ed) known terrorists or terrorist organizations.” The website contains more pictures of Carter with very naughty people like democratically elected Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

The pictures are very important to the case, because anyone who poses for a picture with a known bad guy must be bad himself. Furthermore, these photos can be damaging to U.S. prestige at home and abroad. We shouldn’t tolerate anyone in such photos attaining any serious leadership role, right?

The website goes even further by providing “extensive documentation” of Carter’s numerous and flagrant offenses. This documentation is provided in the form of entries from angry bloggers, and links to such trusted news sources as Worldnet and Newsmax Magazine.

You’re hardly a human being if you didn’t find a pretty compelling argument for censure in all that. Clearly, Jimmy Carter must be stopped. The failure of our foreign policy and loss of international prestige over the past 5 years has nothing to do with us launching an ill-conceived war in Iraq or torturing prisoners abroad or the detention of hundreds in the jurisdictional black hole of Guantanamo Bay. It’s all because of an 81 year old, cardigan wearing, Georgian who hasn’t held any power in the U.S. in more than 25 years.

The Censure Carter site describes censure as “The political equivalent of a strongly worded letter.” I think I speak for all Americans when I express my hope that congress will word that letter as strongly as possible.

Without this censure, Carter will just be emboldened. He will just build more houses for homeless people, peacefully mediate more international conflicts, and, in a worse case scenario, win another Nobel Peace Prize.

And that’s just not something we can afford to let happen.

(Huge points to anyone who gets the very obscure reference contained in this post's title)

Friday, May 26, 2006


Today we learn of the death of Desmond Dekker, a pioneer of ska and Reggae. He was one of the first legends of the new form of Jamaican music that fused American R&B with an indigenous form called “mentone.”

Mr. Dekker brought many hours of happiness to me and my friends in college. A greatest hits CD of his was on heavy rotation in our house for about 4 years. His most famous song was “The Israelites,” but our favorite song was called “Reggae Recipe.” It must be heard to be truly appreciated, and nothing I can publish here can possibly convey the joy of this song. But in honor of the passing of a great musician, I bring you the lyrics that my posse and I recited endlessly in 1993…


Announces: Right here and right now ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to a very soulful brother, Soul Brother #1, from Kingston, Jamaica way!

Thank you ever so kindly. I’m here with my reggae machine, and we’re going to do you some good in the neighborhood like we should…

Hey wait a minute, I hear a sound, that sounds like organ… let me hear some drums to go with it, come on now.

Uh huh, that sounds good. How about some swinging guitar, please mister guitarist, let me hear you.

Aye, yi, yi! Baby, that sounds like it. But, let me hear some piano. You can’t sit on the keyboard, put your finger in it, come on.

Thank you. But I can’t do it without the bass. Come on, bassie, move those fingers, let me hear it. Swing it.

Aye, yi, yi! Now you’re doing your thing. That sounds like the thing. Guitarist, give me that reggae guitar please.

Aye, yi, yi! Man, that sounds pretty, that’s just fabulous. I can’t stand to listen that thing. It’s just blowing me way out of my mind. Come on now, blow it. Now shake it fellas, shake it well. Then start…

Aye! That’s it. Now we’ve got Desmond Dekker and the Aces here and they’re going to do that thing with the reggae recipe, come on fellas…

Backup Singers:
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!

You know, I wonder why thee grass is green
And why the wind is never seen
Who told the birds to build their nest
And told the trees to take a rest?
And when the moon is not quite round
Tell me, where can the missing beats be found?
They can be found in the reggae recipe,
Come on fellas, do your thing,
Come on let me hear it…

Backup singers:
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!

Stay on my scene
And be real keen
You won’t be no jellybean
It’s like the farmer said to the potato
I’m going to plant you now and dig you later
(this rhymes when you say it with a Jamaican accent.)
Give me the recipe brothers…

Backup singers:
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!

Hit the spot
With all you got
Because I’m a sure shot
I’m hot!
I’m like the cat!
You know, me
I’m free
I’m hip
I’m real sick baby
So I want to get some of them swinging recipe from the reggae, do it…

Backup singers:
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!
Reggae… recipe… la la la, la la la, la la!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I have 4 tickets to see Radiohead in Los Angeles next month, and I’m peeing my pants with excitement.

It’s not an easy thing to get tickets to see Radiohead. Their shows sell out in a matter of minutes. Simply spending two hours parked outside a TicketMaster location is no guarantee you’ll actually get to see the concert. But I had a secret weapon this time, I live about 700 miles from the venue and there was nobody lined up to get tickets in Medford.

My first experience getting Radiohead tickets was much different. I got a call from an ex-girlfriend who lived in Salt Lake City. She was, perhaps, the biggest Radiohead fan in the world. The band was playing exactly one show in the west, at the Universal Amphitheater in Hollywood. She wanted me to get up early on a Saturday morning and buy her tickets. I had been a pretty bad boyfriend, so I figured this was the least I could do to make it up to her.

On Saturday morning, there was a long line of people waiting to get tickets. I was about 20 people back. They handed out randomly numbered wristbands. Mine was #12. Then they called out the number that would be first in line: #12. I actually wasn’t much of a Radiohead fan at the time. I had seen all the headlines proclaiming “OK Computer” to be the best album of the decade, but I just didn’t have time to check it out. Now that I was first in line for tickets, I figured it was as good a time as any to see what all the hype was about. I got 3 tickets, one for my ex-girlfriend, one for her friend, one for me.

The ex and her friend arrived and we went to the show. It was amazing. We were on the 5th row and you could see Thom Yorke shaking his head as he sang, as if he was trying to stop the voices in his head. He would later reveal he was suffering a mental breakdown during that leg of the tour.

The music was at once beautiful and miserable. As the show progressed, it felt like the world was collapsing around me, and I had a moment of clarity. I realized just how desperately unhappy I was at that very moment. I was 29, broke, lonely, and next to me was an ex-girlfriend who was literally worried sick over the idea that she may have gotten pregnant with her current boyfriend. The awfulness of it all was overwhelming.

Three years later, I waited in line for Radiohead tickets again. I got a good spot and, per our agreement, I got a ticket for my ex-girlfriend. I bought four tickets this time, one for me, one for my ex, one for my wife, and one for my sister-in-law.

The show was on a lovely summer’s evening in Santa Barbara. Sometime past “Paranoid Android,” I took a moment to reflect on just how much life had changed since last I saw these Oxford lads play. I had joined a comedy troupe, made a little money during that short internet boom, met the woman of my dreams, and gotten married. At the Santa Barbara show, Julie and I had been married just a few weeks. We were in that phase where all you can do is stare into each other’s eyes and drool. The show and everything about it was nothing short of lovely. Even Thom Yorke was smiling from the stage.

Now I’ll see Radiohead again, and it’s another time of great transition. Julie won’t be there; she’s a bit to pregnant to travel that far. But I’ll be back in LA, even if only for a day or two. And I’ll be with friends. And I’ll still be happy. Not a bad setup, really.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


On Mother’s Day this year, I am forced to work. The News doesn’t rest for the holidays of God or man. And usually the lowest people on man’s totem pole will be found working on those holidays.

My job is fairly easy: go to a flower shop early in the morning and do a story on how employees are dealing with the last second rush. When I’m done, I decide to pick up some flowers to take home with me after work. Because this Mother’s Day is a pretty big deal, I go whole hog, one dozen red roses in an arty vase.

I tell the store owner about the twins and he goes into the back room and gets out two little teddy bears and places them in the arrangement. Normally, I’m not much for putting stuffed animals into flower arrangements, but these two bears are really cute and they actually look good with the roses. Also, the bears are really for our two (pretend, for now) boys, so it’s not like I’m giving my wife stuffed animals for Mother’s Day.

The owner tells me that the bears, due to the M&Ms tie in and something else that I don’t remember, are destined to become collector’s items. “Put them up on the wall, and they’re going to be worth something one day.” In my mind, I already know that our kids will drool on and ultimately ruin these little bears.

I take the arrangement home after work and get the kind of reception that makes me realize I need to buy flowers more often.

Later I’m watching the British House of Commons on C-SPAN, a Sunday night nerd ritual of mine. Julie is in her office looking at baby things on the internet. The bears are now sitting on the coffee table. Looks like someone was just playing with them.

And for a brief moment, it all becomes real to me. They don’t have names, but they’re already leaving their toys in the living room. I don’t quite know what to make of it. Looking at these two bears in M&Ms outfits, I’m at once moved and terrified. Part of me wants to pick the stuffed animals up and shove them in the faces of two little boys. Perhaps the silly outfits would make them laugh. Perhaps the soft fir would comfort or soothe them. Perhaps they would simply be baffled as to why that big, dopey guy with the floppy hair is shoving this object in their faces.

Of course, another part of me simply wants to retreat into a fantasy world where my adolescence is further extended and the next big life event is some fabulous trip to Turkey or New Zealand.

But there’s no getting around it, the kids are coming. Their stuff is already invading our house. Just yesterday I had to take my stuff out of the room I’d been using as my office. Now there are two cribs in the room. People have been mailing us little outfits and the occasional stuffed animal.

Even I have added to the clutter by getting this really cool Gorillaz print to hang in their room. It’s part of my ongoing strategy of buying cool things I really want under the guise of “it’s for the babies.” (I also employed this tactic to get an awesome Japanese stuffed pig!)

So I guess there really is no denying it. These kids are coming. Soon. Guess we should start thinking up names.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Note: This piece first appeared in the Northridge Daily Sundial on June 17, 2002. But it is still a fine bit of humor. And with my schedule this week, this run through the archives will have to do...

I was listening to NPR yesterday because, well, because I'm left-leaning yuppie-in-training who enjoys hearing commentators use words like "disingenuous." For instance: "President Bush's policy on China is truly disingenuous." There's something about that word that makes you feel smart if you hear it or say it. So anyway, I was listening to NPR and nobody was saying "disingenuous" at the time, but there was a story about a woman in Brooklyn named Anissa Mack. For several hours each day Mack dons a frilly apron and bakes apple pies in a makeshift hut outside the Brooklyn Public Library. Once a pie is baked, Mack places it on the window sill and waits for it to be stolen. Then she starts baking another pie.

Mack describes the whole operation as "performance art." NPR described Mack's work as, "the ironic statement of re-creating a small-town American scene in the middle of a crowded, modern-day Brooklyn." There was also mention of the installation helping Mack overcome her fear of strangers.

Perhaps the best thing about all of this is that Mack's project is funded by the New York Public Art Fund which, I'm assuming, assists people in living out their pastry-related fantasies. While some people blanch at the idea of paying a woman to bake pies and then encourage people to steal them, I find it rather comforting. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that venture capitalists were funding projects like Flake.com, which was an internet site dedicated exclusively to selling breakfast cereal, so why shouldn’t Mack get some money to give pies away. (In case you're wondering, Flake.com burned through its money and went out of business.) So instead of worrying about money (and let's face it, some of it was probably public money) being spent on projects such as this, I'm much more concerned about how I can get in on the action. I may be a budding journalist, but in me beats the heart of an artist, sort of.

In search of easy dough, I looked around and discovered that there is a California Arts Council, and they appear to be the types that would fund odd projects by people who can explain themselves well. I couldn't figure out how to apply for the money directly, so I'll lay out my plans here as I'm sure many members of the California Arts Council read this paper regularly.

Project 1: Prom, a Self-Portrait

A gallery space is decorated to look like a school gym. A DJ plays Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" continuously. I stand in the middle of the floor wearing an ill-fitting tuxedo. Every 15 minutes, an attractive female walks by. I don't ask her to dance. This installation boldly illustrates the isolation and intimidation felt by many a pubescent male. Untouched cups of red punch on a nearby table represent the vast opportunities available to our youth today that remain untouched. Estimated cost: $500 per evening, $200 if you can get the actual DJ from my prom.

Proposal 2: The Vast Wasteland.

The California Arts Council installs cable at my apartment and I sit around and watch it a lot. I will often complain that there's nothing good on. Once a day a pizza is delivered and consumed by me. Once in a while, I go see a movie or something. This performance piece is designed to show how our current media-saturated society breeds isolation, ignorance, and obesity. As proof of the ignorance, the California Arts Council will administer a standardized test weekly in which my scores will decline. As proof of obesity, I will be publicly weighed each Thursday. The project is expected to cost about $2000 per month, including the cost of the pizza.

Project 3: The Ugly American

The California Arts Council flies me to Paris (first class, please) where I loudly ask people "Do you speak English?" and wear t-shirts that say things like "I got leied on Maui." After a while, I get bored and buy a pile of CDs at the Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Elysees. This piece illustrates America's cultural imperialism and ignorance of cultures beyond its own. The artist acknowledges that Virgin is a British chain but prefers to shop there anyway. Estimated cost: $7,000, including airfare, lodging, CDs, and dinner at McDonalds.

Clearly I am an important artist with many important things to say, but I've saved my best work for last.

Project 4: Wacky Humor Column

The California Arts Council, or some other group, pays a dashing student humorist to write pithy but ultimately meaningless observations on the world around him.

Now that I think of it, that last one is a bit far fetched. Never mind.

Monday, May 15, 2006


I’ve already revealed in this space that I’m not so good at sports. I can’t run, I can’t shoot, I can’t throw. I can’t do anything. I can ski, though. Is skiing a sport?

I was on a softball team once, and my nickname was “power bunt.” The pitcher would throw, and I would swing for all I was worth. The ferocity of the swing would cause the infielders to back up, expecting a high fly. Instead, the ball would hang listlessly about 4 feet off the ground for a few moments before landing with a thud somewhere between home plate and the pitcher's mound. I made it to first base quite often with my power bunt, but that’s about the only trick in my sports book.

Anyway, despite my deficiencies, I actually found a good place to play sports where my talents are a little more appreciated, the Special Olympics.

Now before we go any further, I should mention that I haven’t seen the movie “The Ringer,” but I understand it’s about some guy who pretends to be handicapped so he can throw the Special Olympics. You can get it on DVD now, I think. There may have been a South Park episode with a similar premise. But my point is that I haven’t seen “The Ringer,” and this post isn’t about me trying to rig the Special Olympics.

Didn’t mean to give away the ending, but I know some readers wouldn’t be able to pay attention unless I cleared that up.

But back to the Special Olympics… several years ago, I did some volunteer work for the San Diego area Special Olympics. What they needed was people to play practice matches with the Special Olympics floor hockey team.

Special Olympics floor hockey is a little different than regular floor hockey. Instead of the regular “L” shaped hockey sticks, players use a straight pole with a rubber tip on the end. The puck or ball is replaced by a “O” shaped disc covered in felt. You put the pole into the center of the disc, and the game is on. It’s really quite fun.

Now there is a certain art to being a volunteer player in these games. You have to find a way to play almost exactly at your opponent’s ability level. Play too hard and you administer a crushing defeat to a team that is genuinely trying to get better. But if you just roll over and play dead, that’s not going to help much either. What’s more, the Special Olympians are actually quite savvy and can get insulted if you don’t really try at these games.

For me this was an easy balance to achieve. I just played all-out balls-to-the-wall floor hockey. And when I did, I was at almost the exact ability level of my Special Olympics opponents. As a matter of fact, we were so well matched that, after a few weeks, I was involved in the following exchange.

Me: Good game.

Special Olympian: You too. So, are you playing in Anaheim next weekend?

Me: No, I’m not on the team. I’m a volunteer.

He just laughed and walked away. I probably should have gone to Anaheim.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


A few posts ago, I wrote of a magic digital scale that told me, among other things, that my dreams would come true. While the scale's accuracy has likely been debunked, the following dream still bears some examination. I had it two nights ago and it haunts me still.

I'm standing in a hallway with some co-workers when CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer walks down the hall and, without a word, hugs me. Then he walks away. My co workers are all, "What's that all about?" And all I can do is shrug.

I don't know what any of this means, but, if the scale is right, I've got a mighty strange future ahead of me.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Some people, family members mostly, have been asking to see photos of Julie pregnant. So on Mother's Day, I will comply.

Six months along. She considers herself lucky because she's been getting along fine, hasn't puked much, and sleeps pretty well considering there are two babies growing inside of her.

I consider myself lucky because I'm married to her. She's so remarkable that, for a few fleeting moments, I actually believe I'll be able to pull this parenthood thing off. Time will tell.

But for now, I'll remember those birthing lessons and just take deep breaths for the next three months. Perhaps I'll focus on something that brings me joy. The subject of the above photo certainly fits the bill.

Happy Mother's Day, Julie. This time, it's for real.


Thursday, May 11, 2006


...that I've ruined an otherwise lovely Harvard girl.

Julie: So how was work?

Me: It was a good day today.

Julie: You didn't have to use your AK?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


It’s election season in Oregon. The state has mailed ballots to voters, which must be returned by May 16th. Oregon has vote by mail, but that’s a whole other subject.

A few weeks ago, I had occasion to come in contact with a man running for governor here. He’s part of a crowded pack of Democrats challenging our governor with a difficult to pronounce name. At his stop in Medford, he was doing what all underdogs do, calling for more debates with his rival.

As I watched the scene, I thought about my own plot to run for office. It was inspired, of course, by a TV show. I heard in 2003 that Fox was developing a reality show called “American Candidate” where presidential wannabes would square off and the audience would vote off one candidate each week. At the end, Fox would crown an “American Candidate” and invite him/her to run for president in the 2004. Due to US campaign rules, Fox wouldn’t be able to actually run their own candidate, so they could only invite the winner to run.

I thought this was a wonderful idea and schemed about how to get on the show. In my fantasy scenario, I skipped right past the selection process and assumed I won the show and jumped straight to the campaign.

If my memory serves me correct, the winner of “American Candidate” got a hunk of money, something like $200,000, as a prize, presumably to seed the winner’s campaign fund. The show’s creator was also supposed to do a weekly documentary on the winner’s campaign.

I planned to use that money to rent a Winnebago and throw a couple of fundraisers. With the money raised through the fundraisers (huge leap of faith, I know) I would hire my buddies as “campaign consultants” and we’d go on an American road trip, staging political themed stunts, giving speeches specifically designed to say nothing, and generally trying to make hash of the political process. The documentary would capture it all, eliminating the need to buy ads.

We’d continue until we ran out of money, or we made a big enough splash to be bribed into quitting. I’d accept nothing less than an ambassadorship to New Zealand in return for my endorsement.

Not a bad plan, I thought. Worst case scenario, a two month road trip with my friends. Best case: four years in New Zealand.

But as I’m watching this gubernatorial candidate speak in Medford, I’m struck by how tedious and ultimately humiliating campaigning can be. Here’s this guy standing in a conference room at a hotel, with pamphlets and stickers arrayed on a table next to him, just hoping someone will pay attention to him.

He seems like a decent guy, and I have every reason to believe that he’s in the race for the right reasons. But one of his brochures features a photo of this otherwise friendly looking man scowling and wearing boxing loves. I wonder if that was his idea, or if a consultant thought it was a good idea to “toughen up” a populist Democrat.

It occurs to me that the only people who would really enjoy campaigning are the exactly the kind people who shouldn’t run for office.

But back to my plans to run for president on “American Candidate." How did that go? Well, it didn’t go quite as planned. First off, I forgot about my plans, what with graduating from school and looking for work and all. But in the end, that really didn’t matter.

Fox got spooked and decided to pawn “American Candidate” off to FX. Then FX dropped the show before it went into production. Showtime picked it up, and the world yawned. 48,000 Showtime subscribers tuned in to the premiere episode. More people watched National Geographic Channel’s “Dogs With Jobs.”

In the end, several evangelical groups got together and mobilized “voters” to support a conservative Christian from North Carolina named Park Gillespie. He won, but never ran for president. Nor did he achieve any type of national notoriety for his win.

Eventually Gillespie threw his support behind President Bush, which I’m sure was important because the President was having some trouble winning over those fussy evangelical voters in 2004. Wasn’t he?

Earlier this year, Gillespie launched a bid for a congressional seat in South Carolina, which landed with a thud a few months later.

So perhaps it was better that I abandoned my presidential dreams. There was no chance of me winning “American Candidate” if it was, indeed, rigged by evangelicals (they think we Mormons eat our babies). And even if I had won, there was no wacky road trip or New Zealand ambassadorship awaiting me. Instead, I would have faced nothing but a life of ignominy home schooling my (pretend, for now) children in the bowels of the Confederacy.

All of the sudden, hanging out with governor wannabe in a Medford hotel doesn’t sound so bad.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Today President Bush announced that he had looked into the soul of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Several years ago, Bush looked into the soul of Russian President Vladimir Putin and declared him a good man. Things have gone very poorly since then.

So I'm worried when Bush looks into people's souls. It think it alters their souls and makes them do naughty things. France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic and Austria... consider yourself warned.

Liechtenstein, you're probably safe for now. Go back to your bratwurst.

Friday, May 05, 2006


(not to be confused with the Princess Diaries)

For the past several weeks, Julie and I have engaged in a curious bedtime ritual. I read passages to her from this book about a guy who reads the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Usually I’ll include worthless little tidbits like “Rene Descartes had a fetish for cross-eyed women.” I do this because I believe our household should be up to date on the sexual dysfunctions of dead French philosophers.

Julie retaliates by reading passages out of the books that she’s reading, which all have to do with raising twins. She does this because, if my memory serves me correctly, Julie will give birth to twins in a few months. Now before you run off and take her side on all this, you should know that she only reads selected passages from her books. Passages she knows will freak me out.

Consider the following:

“Don’t be alarmed by the texture and color of the early poos. The very first poos (called meconium, for you trivia buffs) are dark greenish-black and have a tar like consistency. For Heaven’s sake, use petroleum jelly liberally, or you will be chafing your babies bottoms in attempts to pry the stuff off.”

Then later, after explaining that newborns poop and eat at the exact same time, they follow up with:

“Don’t forget to note on your poo log journal which twin output what following each feeding session.”

Where to start…

First, I do consider myself something of a trivia buff. However, I probably could have lived the rest of my days without knowing that meconium fact and still lived a pretty rich life.

Second, a poo log journal?

My first instinct is to go straight into Beavis and Butthead mode and note that “poo log” is kinda redundant. Sort of like “bottom butt.”

But I’m deeply disturbed by the poo log concept in ways that extend far beyond my normal immaturity.

Parents with small children can be peculiar people. They often seem to be living on a different planet, one where poo reigns supreme. On more than one occasion, I’ve been involved in an exchange that goes something like this:

Me: So how are you today?

Parent: Fantastic. Jeremy had three very good poops today!

The parent in this exchange seems oblivious to the fact that: 1) I did not ask about Jeremy and, 2) I REALLY didn’t ask about Jeremy’s poop. But it really doesn’t matter, you can ask a parent of a newborn about Euclidian geometry and the answer you get back will have something to do with poo.

Despite what this post may lead you to believe, I’m not a real scatological person. I make no apologies for it; I’m just not a poo guy. And the thing I’m least looking forward to about parenthood is handling another human being’s excrement. I understand that poo handling is part of parenthood and I plan on participating. But the idea that it takes over your life is not very encouraging.

Poo logs seem like the kind of obsessive-compulsive thing only the British would do. After all, the Brits invented a hobby called “trainspotting” that involves sitting by train tracks and writing down the serial numbers of the engines as they pass.

But the book says poo logs are essential for twins, especially nursing twins. It is apparently difficult to measure how much food a baby eats when they’re getting it from a teat. So the only way to keep track is to keep an eye on the poop. And when you’ve got two babies, you’ve got to write it down, because once you’ve seen one pile of baby poop, you’ve seen them all.

Actually, I’ve just been informed that’s not true. Turns out the green tar poop is replaced by something that looks similar to gourmet honey mustard. Human looking and smelling mini-turds don’t make their appearance until solid food is introduced.

I’ll agree to do almost anything if Julie will promise not to read me any more passages from that book.


One of my favorite mp3 blogs, 3hive.com, recently posted a pair of tracks from Cut Chemist's upcoming album. Since downloading them a few days ago, I have been able to listen to little else. If you're a fan of flash turntable work or quality rap (not that 50 Cent nonsense)... or even what I an only describe as avant Brazilian techno... check it out.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I’m in Portland and I’ve got some time to kill and I’ve already walked around and seen just about all the urban planning one person can see in a single day. So I decide to duck into a movie about smoking and other naughty things.

On the way out, I head towards the bathroom and am confronted by one of those scales that offer you your fortune, winning lottery numbers, and weight. All that for only 25 cents. The local Powerball jackpot is up to about 50 million dollars, so learning the winning numbers is easily worth 25 cents.

I step on the scale, insert a quarter and receive the following information: 06-08-12-31-34-21, your dreams will come true, and 215 pounds.

While it’s always nice to have one’s dreams come true (as long as they’re not the ones where you show up to work naked), it’s that last piece of information that has me stunned. 215 pounds? Me? It hardly seems possible.

To look at me now, you’d likely describe me as a man of average build, sort of like the guy to the right in this photo. Granted, I’ve got a little bit of a gut, but “overweight” is not a word anyone would use to describe me.

But if you’re 6 feet tall (and I am) 215 pounds is about 40 pounds overweight.

My shock is compounded further by the fact that, deep down inside, I still think I’m this guy… the one on the right. The really skinny one. In that photo, I’m 6 feet tall, but I weigh about 130 pounds.

For most of my life, I’ve been the guy who was so skinny that it frightened other people. Now there’s a digital scale in Portland that says I am, as defined by the CDC, obese.

I determine I should get to the bottom of this as soon as possible, before I get so fat I can’t leave the movie theater.

How to determine if I’m really that fat? I had been weighing myself on our bathroom scale for a few years, but it’s about 300 miles away right now. So that’s not a viable option.

After much thought, I determine that I must attack the digital scale logically. It didn’t just tell me I’m obese, it also told me the winning lottery numbers and told me my dreams would come true. The way I see it, it’s all true, or none of it is true. Either I’m an obese man with true dreams and a winning lottery ticket, or I’m not.

I can’t remember any dreams I’ve had lately, so there’s really only one last test I can perform. I march into a 7-11 and buy a lottery ticket with my supposed “winning numbers.”

The next morning, I wake up and discover that my ticket is a complete bust. Not one number matched. It would have been nice to have that 50 million dollars, but it’s a relief to know I’m not fat anymore. Phew!

(A special tip o' the hat to anyone who gets the pun in this post's title.)

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner