Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Car Air Fresheners

So I’m parked at a red light. Got the radio going. Got the A/C going. Checking out the ghetto gas station to see what’s going… and I smell it.

I get the sudden sensation like I’m sitting inside a Jolly Rancher.

Seriously. If I can smell the inside of your car, from the inside of my car, with the windows closed, it’s too much.

I once drove behind a car, tiny little Mazda WTF360, dude had like 80 pine trees hanging from the rearview mirror. My eyes were watering.

I remember too, now that I think of it, while sitting in the Social Security office beating the dead horse that is required to change my wife’s name to mine there were a number of people that not only smelled like cotton candy, but wore more make-up than a clown.

I couldn’t help but wonder: Barnum & Bailey? Houston Rodeo? Can I get a balloon animal?

Why. So. Serious?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Haven’t updated in a while and BOOM out of the blue, had two experiences today that I thought would look good online.


Went to the Doctor today. Notice the capital “D”. That’s right. The kind of Doctor that has “been there”.

Neither here nor there, but this clinic requires I check in with a cashier before checking in with the D. So I’m standing there, patiently… heh, pun intended, and the guy in front of me is trying to pay.


He’s wearing a blue suit that looks to be of non-J.C. Penny origin and the poor girl at the desk is getting flustered. They’re making small talk while I stand there bored to tears. Yeah, I showed up early, like I’m supposed to so it’s no big deal, but I also have an angry beard.

That’s right. My beard makes me look angry. I love it.

I can be grinnin’ a big dimple pinchin’ grin, and you’ll think I’ve got gas, cramps, or a barely repressible urge to kick your ass. Like Chuck Norris, except more cuddly.

Love the beard.

Mr. Suit is still trying to pay. He’s got a deductible like the rest of us, but he decides to pay in cash. He’s sportin’ the money clip with wads o’ Benjamins. “C” notes.

Hundred dollar bills.

She’s flustered because NOBODY pays in cash at the doctor. She needs to make change. They don’t have a cash till. They don’t have a cash drawer. They don’t have a cash box. They have, this is so funny, an envelope. #10. It’s got all the credit card receipts, about 5 checks, and maybe $20 bucks for the day.

The poor girl had to leave and GO TO THE BANK! I kid you not. So they call another lady over to handle me. She had a balloon.

It was a mylar balloon that said, “Happy Birthday.” Except it was crossed out with a Sharpie and written over with, “Get Well Soon.”

I had to ask.

“Does the other side say, ‘Happy Anniversary’?”

By this time Benjamin had left and order had been restored. She had two other co-workers there that hadn’t even noticed the balloon had been altered.

“Oh my GAWD!”

“Did you do that?” right, like it came that way.

Yesterday was her birthday. Today she has a sick friend and she’s going to visit after work.

“What!? It’s a nice balloon and I wanted to recycle…” she was totally serious.


For the past 5 months there have been a small group of teenagers panhandling at an intersection in my neighborhood. Usually they’ve got their Ziploc containers and homemade signs advertising “AllStars For Jesus”. Originally it appeared to be a sports team, or a youth program of some sort.

They disappeared during the darkest winter days, but now the sun sticks around a little longer and they are back!

This time, there are only three of them. Two dudes and a girl who I’m guessing is about 5 months pregnant.

“AllStars for Jesus”

She boldly approaches each car waddling with her Ziploc container, “Donations?”

Shake the head.

“God Bless You”

She approaches me.


I shake my head no.

“God Bless you.” Those may have been the words, but the intent behind them sound more like, “Fine. Go F*** Yourself.”

I looked. Only one dude had money in his container, two dollars and some coins.

Somebody please help me out here. Does begging really get you further than a job? Seriously. I’ve got angry beard to intimidate if necessary.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rough Morning for Zoey

This morning I went to get Zoey, our soon to be 7 year-old, up and out of bed. I pulled the sheets back and rubbed her back gently, "Time to get up, Zoey."

She grumbled and mumbled but soon sat up. And then began to look around like she lost something.

"What are you looking for?" I asked.

"My ring." She went to bed with a ring on each hand. And there she was with only one ring.

She began to panic. Seriously. She started lifting pillows and animals and blankets, "I can't find my ring!"

I said, "It'll be ok, sweety. What does it look like?"

"It's round, and purple, and made in China."

We'll look for it later.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Smart Phones and Kids

The week before Christmas Stephanie (a.k.a.“The Wife”; a.k.a. “SWMBO”) scored a couple of HTC G2 smart phones… for free! I don’t know how, or care really…, all I know is that I told her not to buy me anything for Christmas.

Smart phones for doctors, lawyers, scientists, super couponers, (oh just think of anybody that constantly needs a computer to actually get anything done) are an excellent investment as it helps them become more productive and communicate better with their customers and colleagues. For the rest of us, it’s a toy. A totally awesome can’t-put-it-down toy.

I have tetris! Calvin and Hobbes! I’ve got e-mail, navigation, maps, Kindle, Alchemy, Aldiko, camera, Facebook, GOOGLE SKY!!!, podcasts, YouTube… I can connect any PC to the phone… and get internet there too.

*pant* *pant* *pant*

And that’s just the tip of iceberg.

I’ve got the weather. News updates. Quick links to any website I care to bookmark. Beer stuff too!!! Beer calculators, recipe databases, brew forums and blogs! OMG. That’s the first time I’ve ever used those three letters as such. Seriously, I hate texting idioms. But this phone is……

Oh yeah. It’s a cell phone too.

Check this out. It has this voice recognition program too. Tap the icon, speak “Send text to Stephanie,” pause “I’m on my way home.” It types a text for me.

“Send e-mail to Mom,” breathe.... “We’ll be visiting on Saturday – exclamation point – be prepared – exclamation point.”

“Find O’Reilly autoparts.”

“Navigate to 3113 Cotton Street, Houston, Texas.”

“Call Stephanie on her mobile.”

Guess what my favorite feature is.

I hate spending money, but I bought a car charger at full price from Best Buy because I ran the battery down way too fast to get home and plug it in.

“Set alarm for 2:45 pm”

“Go to weather.com”

“Map of Bellaire, TX”

And of course, “Call Stephanie on her mobile.”

One Saturday while Mommy was away doing deals and stealing candy from babies, I was at home with the girls. The girls were outside riding their bikes up and down the driveway while I did something productive and worthwhile inside. (Surely, right?)

As I walked through the kitchen I saw Zoey squatting down outside the breakfast nook window (there’s a hole in the screen) and she was screaming, “CALL DADDY ON HIS MOBILE! CALL DADDY ON HIS MOBILE! CALL DADDY ON HIS MOBILE!”

Then two seconds behind her is Sara.


So inside the house I shouted (because I had too. I was inside!) “WHAT!?!?”

Zoey, hands on hips and a scolding look, “We’re just pretending, Daddy.”