AOC’s GND

I feel compelled to comment on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal.  Everybody else seems to be so I figured I’d add my unsolicited take on the topic.  It appears, depending on your world view, we fall into some variation of the following camps.  Camp 1 thinks AOC is an articulate visionary willing to take on the big money special interests and D.C. corruption to finally get the tone deaf politicians to focus on the greatest threat to the world and democracy which is climate change.  But even more than that, the Green New Deal represents the left’s vision for an America based on social justice, intersectionality and anti-corporatism.

Camp 2 thinks AOC is a gullibly idealistic millennial who lacks the life experience to realize the inherent evil of socialism and as result has been tricked into believing that socialism doesn’t always end in corruption, poverty and government sanctioned murder.  This group sees the GND as a collectivist Neverland based on soviet-style central economic planning that results complete and unilateral disembowelment of the United States Armed Forces.  Because tanks don’t run on good intentions.  Camp 2 doesn’t want to pay the incomprehensibly massive tax increases necessary to provide free houses, free vehicles, free money, free food and free diplomas which devalues the investments they’ve made into their houses and educations.  They also feel zero obligation – and that’s being generous – to support people “unwilling” to work.

To me the plan is really just a naïve lefty millennial screed of diet-communism.  It is a lot like a watermelon.  Green on the outside but red on the inside.  But here’s the thing that really pisses me off about the GND.  The thing that no one seems to be talking about.  And it becomes transparently obvious once you read the plan.

Now I’m just spitballin’ here because I don’t have an economic degree from Boston U. and probably can’t intellectually understand the GND, but it seems to me that AOC believes greenhouse gases are America’s least favorite thing.  Like less than Bill Belichick.  Or somebody mowing their yard at 8:00 on a Saturday morning.  Or The Last Jedi.  Back to science though, one of the sources of greenhouse gases, according to the EPA anyway, is livestock such as cows.  Additionally, the EPA says livestock, especially ruminants such as cattle, produce methane.  Yeah, so I also didn’t know what a ruminant was so I looked it up.  Examples of ruminants are cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, deer and elk.  Fun fact about ruminants is they are evidently prolific farters.  Their farts produce methane gas.  Methane gas is a greenhouse gas.  AOC wants to be greenhouse gas free.  Beef cattle are ruminants.  Hence the logic behind AOC’s reference to getting rid of “farting cows” over the next 10 years in her supporting documents.

So as far I can tell, if you want to eliminate greenhouse gases you eventually have to eliminate methane gas producing ruminants.  And there are two ways to do that:  1) Physically eliminate all the ruminants, 2) Invent new gas free ruminants.  Since #2 seems to be a bit of a stretch, it looks like #1 is her plan.

So no more beef.  No more steaks.  No more meatballs.  No more beef jerky.  And no more hamburgers.  And without hamburgers we’re left with the total and complete annihilation of traditional tailgating.

Which can only mean one thing.  AOC hates tailgating.  And that my friends is just f*cking crazy.

Who in their right mind hates tailgating?  No one.  Not a single person.  You know why?  Because hating tailgating is f*cking crazy.  I mean what else does she hate?  Sunshine?  Happiness?  Smiling?  Tailgating is an American as planting Old Glory on the freaking moon!  It’s as American as drinking free unlimited refills on your John Deere tractor wearing cut off jean shorts listening to Kid Rock as you drive by your red, white and blue 4-door extended cab pickup watching fireworks and eating a big ass turkey leg while you contemplate whether or not you should grow your beard out like Abe Freaking Lincoln.

But that’s just me…

Now I know some of you are shrugging your shoulders and sarcastically saying, “Geez dude, maybe you just grill up some chicken or turkey.  Or some pork chops.  You could even try some vegan meat substitute.”

Fair point.  Except for that last part.  The generally accepted by-laws for the American Bad Ass Tailgaters of America clearly frown upon communism.  And the use of vegan meat substitutes.  They’re not outlawed, because freedom you know, but everybody understands that unless you have severe heart disease, we’re serving hamburgers.

Now I like chicken and turkey.  And I live in the top pork producing state in America.  Those meats are welcome at any tailgate.  Because freedom of meat selection is in the Constitution.  But those meats are like our allies in World War II.  You‘d notice if they weren’t there, but beef is driving the bus.  A big red, white and blue star-spangled commie bulldozing bus.

Battle drills at Fort KnoxSo all I’m saying is maybe tailgating isn’t the problem AOC is targeting.  But if you’re going to take a M134 six-barrel rotary Gatling-style machine gun to American society, you better know what you’re doing or you’re going to hit a lot of shit.  And some of us…we like our shit.

Advertisements

Chargers

No, not the team quarterbacked by Philip Rivers.  Not that I’m adverse to discussing them, it’s just that unless we’re talking about the Chargers of Dan Fouts and Air Coryell then I’m not really interested.

What I’m talking about is phone chargers.  Adapters.  Cords.  The lifeblood of your mobile electronic device.  Is this specific case, iphones.  Now I don’t own an iphone.  I own a phone that uses android technology.  Not that I have a preference, it’s just that I’ve always had an android and I don’t want to learn how to use an iphone.  And please read the next part very carefully…I DON’T CARE HOW EASY YOU SAY IT IS.  AT ALL.  I also don’t care how much you talk about how all your devices are integrated and can talk to each other and make plans and take each other out to dinner.  Two words: Sky. Net.  Your annoying insistence on talking about your affinity for your iphone and all its integrated devices is only topped by millennials’ annoying insistence that everything they say and do is morally superior to literally everything anybody else has ever done in the history of -and let me phrase this right- ever.

I mean you have a phone that millions of other people have.  You’re not special.  Plus Apple Jedi-mind tricks you into buying a new version of the same damn phone every other year while also fooling you into buying a a freaking watch that does the same crap your phone already does.  Then forces you to spend time in the most Godforsaken place on earth…the i store.  So good job morons.  So while I understand that, much like progressives, you believe the only reason I don’t do what you do is because I’m an ignorant, backwoods a-hole.  I’m not.  I just don’t care about what you care about.  And yes, I do realize that won’t stop your never-ending sermonizing regarding how you’re making a impact while achieving a healthy work/life balance while influencing the values of your organization while you’re just being you in you’re own unique way.  Blah, blah, blah.

That being said, against my free will I’ve been forced to care about iphones.  There are 4 of them on our plan.  Mom has one and the girls each have one.  So, much like corporate business incentives, MSNBC and liberal bias in public education, I’m forced to pay for something I don’t use, want or need.

So I went to Wal-Mart.  And I’m not a big Wal-Mart guy.  But Wal-Mart electronics section is pretty bad ass.  I found four chargers, each a different color, and gave them to each of the iphone users in my house.  I did this for one very specific reason.

To make them all be quiet.  When it comes to iphone chargers, I assume the budget shutdown discussions between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi are similar to the ones amongst Mom and the girls.  There’s yelling, sarcasm, condescension and an astonishing amount of blame.  Then that is quickly followed by a helluva lot of shoulder shrugging and a complete and total inability to look for the simplest solution on their own.  I mean, it’s a phone charger.  Maybe look around your damn room, in your damn car.  Or how about in your damn backpack.  You’re not looking for Jimmy Freaking Hoffa. It’s a charger, not Flight 19.  I mean next to the actual iphone, the charger is the most important possession they have.  You’d think they would treat it the way Texans treat the 2nd Amendment.  Instead they treat it the way Jim Acosta treats his credibility.

So for the last few weeks we’ve had this uneasy detente.  I’m skeptical of its duration.  So I’m planning more trips to Wal-Mart…

So I Had This Dream…

miamivicecrockettYou know how you have a dream that is so awesome, so compelling, that you simply enjoy the dream as if you’re watching a great movie?  You might even realize at some point that you’re really asleep and what you’re experiencing is only a dream.  But you don’t care because the dream is so gripping that you can’t look away.  Like the Miami Vice episode when Crockett gets shot by that Columbian drug lord’s girlfriend while Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight is playing during.  But then the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the one thing you don’t want to happen actually happens.  You wake up before the dream is over or at least has reached a point that you’re satisfied with the outcome.

That happened to me right before Christmas.  Granted the dream was powered by Miller Lite and tacos but it was still awesome.  I got up the next morning and immediately wrote it down because I didn’t want to forget any details.

So Mom and I are at a Peter Gabriel concert.  Don’t really have a historical context for the point in which this concert was taking place during Peter Gabriel’s career but I’m comfortable saying it was during his  greatest hits phase.  We’re sitting in the back row on the end of the aisle.  The seats are arranged in a half circle.  We were super pumped about being there which is kinda weird because I’m not really a big Peter Gabriel guy.  Never have been.  There’s really only two, maybe three, songs that I like.  But here’s the thing, Peter Gabriel was only sitting one minute versions of his songs.  Who does that?  I distinctly remember it pissing me off because I had hauled my arse to a freaking Peter Gabriel concert and I wasn’t even going to hear the full version of Solsbury Hill.  Which, as we all know, is Peter Gabriel’s best song closely followed by In Your Eyes with Shock the Monkey a distant third.  I realize you could make a persuasive argument for Games Without Frontiers for that 3 spot.  I’m just saying that I’m not going to help you with that argument.

Anyway, I had a spiral notebook at the concert and everybody was stepping on the notebook tearing all the pages off.  The presence of the notebook and the reasons behind its presence remain unclear.  Regardless it was there.  At this point everybody in our row needed to get up and leave the concert or at least the row we were in.  I assumed the short ass concert was over.  So I turned to my left and let everybody leave the row and then I picked up the now loose and torn pages of the trampled notebook .  I was very angry about the notebook being torn up and combined with the unannounced and thoroughly unacceptable plan for Peter Gabriel to only sing one minute versions of his songsStill extremely mad we only got to hear a one minute version of Solsbury Hill.

As we got up to leave our seats we turned to leave but instead of stepping into the aisle we stepped out of the driver’s side back seat of a stretch limo.  Don’t really remember being confused by this occurrence either.  Regardless, we just stepped out of a limo.  And I was barefoot.  Yeah, as we were walking to our car to leave I realized that I was barefoot.  I know, weird.  So I turned back to the limo to get my shoes out of the back seat.  The shoes were my brown Birkenstock clogs.  Don’t laugh, they’re super comfortable.  But as I turned back to get the shoes the limo driver is walking across the street to this shanty looking house and he gives my shoes to the people at the house!

voodoohenchmanAnd these folks were those creepy looking voodoo guys like Yaphet Kotto’s henchmen in Live and Let Die.  So I casually, but in a sternly confident way, walked up to them to get my shoes and – poof – they were gone.  Like voodoo magic.  So I yelled at the limo driver “Yo, Yo, Yo, those are my shoes!”  But the creepy Cajun guys just smiled toothy unsettling smiles and opened the door to the shanty.  There, directly in front of me was a staircase to an upstairs room that looked like your uncle’s den from 1973.  Gold carpet, wood paneling, crappy fold out table for a desk.  The guy at the desk was the big fat black guy with the gravely voice and big glasses from the Kandy Bar in Weird Science.  I climbed the stairs and a quick conversation ensured.  Turns out to get my shoes back I had to agree to buy some homemade alcohol in a super weirdly decorated bottle.  The bottle kinda looked like a homemade maple syrup jug.

But it was apparent that this was now a bargaining process to get my shoes back.  Unbeknownst to the guy from Weird Science, I had this giant crumpled up wad of cash in my pocket.  But, like any good negotiator, I didn’t want to take the money out because then he’d know how much money I had and the price of getting my shoes back would undoubtedly go up.

So I offered $30.

gravelyvoicedguyweirdscienceFor some reason I knew the price was $50 so I tried to lowball him.  He said “higher.”  So I said $40 and he just laughed and walked away.  That’s when two of my nieces, Mom and one of Mom’s sisters started walking up the stairs at various intervals.  And their hair was wet because they had all taken showers.  And I thought, “Wow these creepy weird Cajun voodoo guys are letting everybody take showers after the horrible Peter Gabriel concert, that’s really nice.”  But then Mom walked into the den where I was and asked the big fat black guy from Weird Science if she owed anything else.  I turned to her with the WTF look on my face.  I was naturally confused because I was negotiating for my shoes which had nothing to do with Mom.  And I was completely and utterly unaware of any previous business dealings between Mom and Weird Science guy.  So I said, “What are you doing?  He wants me to pay for this stupid homemade moonshine to get my birks back.”  But then the guy says to Mom, “No we’re square. $58 dollars.”  So I was super mad now because how is this guy doing business with Mom and I had no idea.  And what the hell cost $58?

Even weirder was everybody from Mom’s side of the family was there and waiting outside the shanty.  I mean everybody except the few that were lucky enough to score shanty showers.  Anyway, they all wanted to leave the absurdly short Peter Gabriel concert so I was feeling a lot of pressure to get the moonshine for shoes deal done. So now the Weird Science guy knows that I didn’t know Mom had some side deal going and that I’m under pressure to wrap it up.  Both of which undermine my credibility!  Then I notice this one guy from work is also there.  He was wearing a red and black track suit and was also wearing his blublockers.  He’s also getting irritated with me to get this thing done because he had to ref a soccer game at 1:00 and it took two hours to drive home from where we were.  And, he was tapping his watch telling me it was exactly 11:06.

Which made me even angrier because now I’m losing even more leverage in the deal making process.  Which, of course, means the price to get my sweet Birkenstock clogs back is not going to go down.   So I offered $50 and said you win.  But he said that was the old price, the new price is higher now.  So now I’m moving from feeling pressure to being just plain angry.  So angry that I start doing what Denzel Washington was doing in The Equalizer when he checks his watch to time himself on how long it takes to kill all the guys in the room.  Evidently that got me so angry, I woke myself up.

So I did what everybody would have done.  I frantically tried to go back to sleep to find out if I ever got my shoes back and how much damage I caused in the process.  Didn’t work though.  Instead I woke up Mom to tell her that if she’s going to negotiate side deals with big fat gravely-voiced dudes from Weird Science then I’m going to need a heads up.

Things are getting better…

We have a busy December. But, in America, that’s just how we roll.  We have family coming to house the next two weekends.  Then right after Christmas, we’d headed to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl.  This weekend the 16 year-old volunteered to host the secret Santa party for the softball program at the girls’ high school.  So about 30 girls showed up about 10:30 in the a.m. on Sunday and stuck around for about 90 minutes.  At first I was a little apprehensive about the whole thing.  But who can blame me?  I am a seasoned veteran when it comes to trials and tribulations of the aforementioned teenage girls.  I already have had YEARS of teenage girls living in my house.  Why the hell would I purposely invite an extra 30 girls between 14 and 18 into my house?  No, seriously, why would I do that? 

But I gave my approval.  Mostly because I’m a seasoned veteran and know which battles to pick.  Piece of advice for all you Dads of little girls out there.  Anyway, even though I knew it was a good long-term decision, it still had me pondering what in the name of the Burl Ives was I thinking.  Turns out it was mostly cool.  They organized it all themselves and helped clean up afterwards.  In fact, the food they brought over was awesome.  Breakfast pizza, egg casseroles, donuts, cookies, bagels, muffins and chocolate milk.

Plus I had to drive up to Ames and pick the 19 year-old.  So I flipped on the radio to the station that plays the old top 40s.  Today was this week in 1987.  So yeah, I was singing my ass off.  Top 5 songs for the week ending Dec. 12 1987:

5- Is This Love – Whitesnake

4- (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

3- Should’ve Known Better – Richard Marx

2- Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Belinda Carlisle

1- Faith – George Michael

So let’s break this morning down.  First, my house was invaded by teenage girls.  This is a normal occurrence.  So I was relatively unfazed.  Like John McClane when he finds Hans checking the explosives in the Nakatomi Building.  He knows it’s Hans.  But Hans doesn’t know he knows.  So John is unfazed.  He’s not relaxed, his cop senses are on high alert.  But he’s unfazed.  That’s how I felt.  Because these invasions are normally conducted by small raiding parties of less than 5 girls.  Sometimes they only come in pairs and I don’t even notice they are in the house except for the extra shoes by the front door.  Today it was a platoon of softball girls.  But I wasn’t there for most of it.  And, instead of bringing drama, they brought delicious breakfast foods.  Unfazed.  Also a tad bit hungry.

Second, on my way up to pick up our oldest at college, I enjoyed the best music from the Christmas season in 1987.  Notably absent from the top 40 were two songs I distinctly remember from playing an outsized role in the soundtrack to the fall of my senior year in high school.  Those two songs?  Casanova by LeVert and Say You Will by Foreigner.  Man, that LeVert song, now that I listen to it again, is…still freaking awesome.  It might even be better.  Im-freaking-possible not bust out your best dance moves.  Better than I remember.  Say You Will still rocks too but it just didn’t have the same surprise impact that LeVert did.  But go back and look at that top 5.  Not sure you can make a credible case that you’re referencing an actual top 40 list from the late 80’s unless Richard Marx and his power mullet are on the list.  Okay, quick, you have to listen to a Richard Marx song…what is it?  Should’ve Know Better?  Satisfied?  Endless Summer Nights?  Not easy is it?  Because nobody is going to pick any of those songs.  Unless you’re drunk and playing name that tune with your friends as you search for somewhat memorable Richard Marx songs from the 80’s.  Also go play Heaven Is A Place On Earth and don’t sing along.  

Can’t do it can you?  It can’t be done.  There is something physiological that happens.  Some kind of chemical that is released in the human brain when you hear Belinda Carlisle.  Involuntary response to said stimuli is to sing your ass off.  

So I know it sucks that wokeness police are trying to kill Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  And I know they killed any chance you were going to watch the Oscars by sacking Kevin Hart.  And now you have to worry about anything you said when you were 14 years old because the USA Today is going to dig it up and turn it over to the woke Stasi.  But I ended up with free egg casserole and sweet tunes from December of ’87.  So that’s a win dudes.

Like Clockwork…

Every year about this time CBS airs “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”  This year marked the 54th airing.  I have, more or less, watched it each year 1976ish.  But in the last few years with radical progressive outragery selecting every target it can, Rudolph has unwittingly wandered a little too far outside the boundaries of Christmastown.  And now, the airing of this childhood classic has become as much of a Christmas tradition as the grievances about the dizzying array of so-called problematic behavior exhibited by make believe claymation characters.  Which is interesting in and of itself.  I mean the left’s need to control speech and thought is so great it extends into worlds that don’t actually exist.

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

Anyway, some of the common outrages displayed by the social justice warriors are the following:

It is really a story about bullying.  Yeah, part of it is.  And it’s also a story about overcoming that crap and sticking it to the jerks who bullied you.  Which, and again I’m just spitballin’ here, but kicking a bully’s ass is pretty damn American.  Although being pretty damn American is also problematic behavior according to some of the leftists.  Anyway, Rudolph is bullied – mildly – by the other reindeer boys and by his coach at reindeer practice.  It’s verbal not physical and Rudolph does stand up for himself.  So far this is a good message.  But the whole scene really just shows two things:

1) the other boys are immature jerks, which if you remember grade school, is kinda what most kids act like from time to time,

2) The coach is a bad coach.  I mean Rudolph literally just showed how far ahead of the other boys he was in flight skills.

And, yes, I agree if you are a youth coach and you’re bullying the kids on your team, then you’re a douchebag.  But I don’t know what kind of internal politics go on at the North Pole.  Who picks the coach?  Is it Santa?  Is it the parents?  Maybe the coach throws kick-ass New Year’s Eve parties and the only way to get an invite to vote for him to be coach.  We just don’t know the dynamics.  Bottom line is Rudolph says “screw you guys” and then comes back and burns everybody by being better at reindeer stuff than the kids who were mean to him.  Problem solved.  Then you have Hermey.  Hermey is bullied by the other elves because he wants to be a dentist and doesn’t like to make toys.  Well, this pretty much sucks if your an elf.  Because it sure seems like most of the job openings are relating to toy making.  But let’s be fair.  Hermey isn’t doing his job.  Then he quits by sneaking out the window.  That’s not exactly responsible behavior either.  I mean why can’t he study dentistry at night?  Lots of people work jobs they don’t particularly enjoy as a means to an end they do want to achieve.

It is really a story about racism.   All the elves are white.  Sam the narrating snow man is white.  Santa is white.  The snow is white.  Fireball has blond hair.  Which probably makes him a Nazi.  The progressive lynch mob rarely mentions that there are females elves also in the workplace.  Which for the early 60’s shows, well, a progressive workplace I guess.  I mean I wasn’t there at Santa’s workshop so I can’t comment on the HR policies regarding equal pay, inclusivity training and the acceptable methods of twitter shaming people who aren’t woke.

It is really a story about homophobia.  Yeah, so what about that part with Yukon, Hermey and Rudolph all sharing a bed in small cottage on the Island of Misfit Toys?  Nobody seemed to have any issues with their the sexuality in that scene.  They were all cold and tired so they hit the sack.  If anything, Rudolph is kind of a inconsiderate jerk for leaving in the middle of the night without telling his bros.  Then they spend a whole crap ton of time searching for him while fighting the cold and snow and evading the abomidable snow monster of the north.  This isn’t homophobia, this is Rudolph being a crappy friend.

Santa is bigot.  When he’s first introduced to Rudolph, Santa tells the young buck that he hopes his nose takes care of itself if wants to lead the sleigh team someday.  I don’t think this makes Santa a bigot.  It makes him a bad GM.  He may as well be in charge of the Jets’ drafts.  I mean he’s evaluating the wrong criteria.  Now I’m not sure what the measurements are at the Reindeer Draft Combine at the North Pole, but my guess is that sturdiness, strength, and air speed are probably a tad bit more important than nose illumination.  Plus, if he were better at team building, he’d notice that the shiny nose presents a unique skill set.  Rudolph could eventually be the best 3rd down back on the sleigh team.  He’d be the James Brooks of reindeer.  Santa might be good as delivering toys but he sucks at reindeer skill evaluation.

Clarice’s Dad is a bigot.  He sees his daughter chatting up Rudolph and tells her that there’s no way she’s hanging with a dude with a red nose.  Is this bigotry?  Or rampant leftyism?  I think the latter.  If Rudolph’s nose were blue, then you can be damn sure he let Clarice date Rudolph.  If Rudolph were hanging out in a safe space lamenting his reindeer privilege flashing his sparkly blue nose around, then we’d be having an entirely different conversation.

Donner is a sexist, a verbally abusive father and is ashamed of his son’s physical characteristics.  Now, I think Donner gets a little bit of a bad rap.  He obviously loves the little guy and he teaches him vital reindeer skills like how to get food, fight off enemies and how to hide from the abomidable snow monster of the north.  How different is this than when your Dad told you get off your butt and practice if you wanted to getting more minutes on the court?  Telling your kid the truth about the how the world works is good parenting.

None of the social justice stormtroopers ever seem to mention the strong female characters in the show.  Clarice gives absolutely no craps what the other kids – or her Dad for that matter – think about her hanging out with Rudolph.  Rudolph’s Mom completely ignores Donner’s directives about staying home while he goes and finds Rudolph.  In fact, her and Clarice basically tell the dudes in their lives, “listen jagoffs, your plan sucks, so either get out of the way or get on board because we’re taking care of business.”

The Latest Halloween

So with the oldest off at college and the remaining daughters still under our roof but really too old to go trick or treating, Halloween continues to evolve away from us taking the girls door to door to load up on candy.  Which really just means that the girls do stuff with their friends and Mom and I hand out candy.  I’m both happy and sad about this.  I sincerely enjoyed taking them trick or treating.  I also sincerely enjoy not taking them trick or treating.  And since we moved we only get the most the dedicated and determined trick or treaters.  We’ve had 11 in three years.  Which is simply more evidence of the wussification of American youth by well meaning but utterly misguided adults engaged in safetyism…but that’s a rant for another day.

Regardless, our college freshman sent us some pics of her costume at the Halloween party she went to with the other girls in her sorority.  I had suggested that she go as Elizabeth Warren and carry a DNA kit while wearing a big sandwich board that said “1/1024th” but she didn’t think it was as funny as me.  Instead she went as a cowgirl.  Or a country girl.  Or a girl from a rural area.  I don’t know what pretentiously smug politically correct term the liberal illuminati are using.  No offense intended.  All I’m doing there is what used to be called sarcasm.  Anyway, if we’re really being honest, what she really went as was a girl from the suburbs wearing clothing associated with country music fans.

But I mean who is trying to fool?  Country girl?  I know she goes to Iowa State and evidently all of us who went there are backwoods rubes, but she listens to Justin Beiber and Imagine Dragons.  She used to work at a Cupcakery.  I know…LAME.  She’s no country girl.  She’s comes from good ol’ dependable Gen X stock.  And as we all know that means she really should be dressed like this if she has any cultural pride at all.

vixen

 

Things could be worse…

I know after the last two weeks everybody is angry.  Everybody is at battle stations.

But things could be worse.

On the way home from church Sunday morning Mom and I were listening to the radio station that airs replays from Casey Kasem’s American Top 40’s from this week in some distant year.  Truth be told, assuming it is a year from the 80’s, I like to show off by being able to name the year by hearing any song within whatever Top 40 is featured.  Nobody is impressed.  Except me.  Whatever.  Today was this week in 1981.

I was 11 in October of ’81.  My main concern was the Steelers recovering from an 0-2 start and what I was going to be for Halloween.  What should have been a top concern for all of us was the fact that Eddie Rabbit, Ronnie Milsap and Juice Newton all had songs in the top freaking 10!  The top song in the country and evidently for 8 consecutive weeks back in the late summer and early fall of 1981 was – brace yourself – Endless Freaking Love.  I know, I know…there are no words.  How did America survive this?

If you jumped in your Chevy Chevette on your way to the local watering hole because tonight was kinda special and you wanted it to be a Lowenbrau, and you flipped on the local top 40 station, you were tortured with a loop of Pablo Cruise, Kenny Rogers and Air Supply.  I’m not certain how the new Reagan administration recovered from this headwind of suckitude.  I mean the hostages had been home for almost a year and we welcomed them back by forcing them to listen to Al Jarreau?  Geez, Al Jarreau?  Al Jarreau wasn’t even remotely cool until he sang the theme song to Moonlighting in 1986.  How did this happen?  The early 80’s were evidently a dark, dark time…

BoDukeIf that wasn’t bad enough John Schneider, yes Bo F’ing Duke, actually was moving up the charts.  Seriously, what in the sweet hell was going in the early days of the 1980’s?  Thankfully MTV was born in August of ’81 and quickly and mercilessly annihilated all this easy listening, countryesque soft rock bullshit from the airwaves.  It wasn’t long until Genesis, Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield were dominating the Top 40…along with under appreciated one hit wonder No Time to Lose from the Tarney Spencer Band.

So rest easy America, things have been worse.

Full Disclosure

Gotta admit something…I’ve watched both episodes of the new Magnum, P.I.  Both of them.  And here’s the thing…I don’t hate it.  I sorta like it.  It’s not nearly as cool as the original but it really isn’t bad.  But that’s not really what I wanted to write about.

High school yearbooks and the remarks contained within are evidently the latest thing we all need to worry about.

With this in mind, I took a look at my high school yearbook from senior year.  I don’t remember the last time I did this.  But after the last couple weeks, all of our senior year high school yearbooks have become the code breaker for our DNA.  They are evidently filled with clairvoyance.  These amazingly prophetic crystal balls foretell our activities and conduct for the rest of lives.  Which is weird because after talking with some friends, it turns out nobody wanted to be judged on what was in their yearbooks.  Regardless, let’s examine mine.

Turns out, at least according to the wise teenage sages who detailed my senior year through written notes in said yearbook, beer and parties were our main interests.  Now I’m just spitballin’ here but that qualifies me for exactly one job…an 18 year old high school senior boy.  Weird, I know.  In fact my senior picture was adored by a hand sketched arm holding a beer.  Still not sure who drew that.  But judge away I guess…

Second sentence of the very first note written in the yearbook on the inside front cover was by a guy who is still a great friend and has gone on to become a respectable husband, father and public servant.  Nonetheless, he thoughtlessly wrote – “Now we have to get out and party all summer but we can’t get in any more trouble with the cops or we’re toast.  We need to get wasted!”

Just so there’s no misunderstanding of the terms used – when we say “cops” we mean local law enforcement.  When we say “wasted” we mean drinking to the point of being inebriated.  And just for some context, we considered getting wasted a worthwhile pursuit of happiness.  That pursuit of happiness often led us to participate in drinking games.  It was through these games that we were able to satisfy our toxic masculine desires to drink beer, compete in games of skill and yell movie quotes in loud voices.  Such is the life of the 18 year-old recently graduated high school senior.  But I graduated from a small suburban Catholic high school so judge away…

In another note, one of my buddies told me not to forget to ZEUS.  We used zeus as a euphemism for farting.  So two things here: not totally sure what Zeus has to do with farting and I’m not clear why I needed to “remember” to zeus as I’ve never really thought of farting as being a memory issue.  But that’s just me.  There’s also references to “blowing chow” and “booting” and “Q.P.T.” and a short note from my senior prom date who wrote that she just might take me up on the offer to pour a beer on my head.  Again, facts remain cloudy as to why I allegedly made that offer.  Again, just to be clear “blowing chow” or “booting” means throwing up.  In college we called it “honking” and it sometimes happened because you drank too much over the course of an evening.  Other times it was likely the result of a beer bong.  And I’m sure you’ll agree that not all stomachs react the same way to quick consumption of beer using what is essentially a hose.  “Q.P.T.” means quality party time.  It was also noted that Q.P.T. lasts until well after midnight.  The stamina for partying amongst high school seniors is astonishing.  Almost as astonishing as the amount of references to throwing up in my yearbook.  It’s almost as if we thought it was cool…

But these weren’t the only terms we used that became colloquialisms within our group.  I know, I know sounds like crazy talk.  For example, when something unfortunate would happen to one of us, the rest of us would derisively say “Dude, you failed to avoid the goon rush.”  Sometimes it was further slanged into “failed to avoid the GR” or to simply “gooned.”  I haven’t doubled checked its meaning in Urban Dictionary…

One of our favorite movies was Heartbreak Ridge.  And we dubbed ourselves the Recon Boys and the platoon that was featured in the movie.  Which, now that I write it, is astoundingly lame.  Nonetheless we came up with 46 Rules for Partying with the Recon Boys.  This list of unenforceable decrees was, and this might surprise you, laced with our preoccupation with beer and parties.

Rule #1: If you are there, then you drink — no exceptions.

Rule #7: Blowing chow is a positive experience — it makes room for more beer.

Rule #11: Never under any circumstances leave a half-finished beer sitting around.

Rule #21: If you spill, you clean it up.

Rule #30: If a keg is present, assume you are spending the night.

Rule#39: We are not totally worthless, we can always serve as a bad example.

It’s as if we thought beer actually gave us superpowers…

We even gave each other nicknames.  Our friend Rich was called “Sid” one year because another guy on the baseball team thought he looked like Mets pitcher Sid Fernandez when he pitched.  Another dude was “Gouk.”  And it was pronounced the same way a racial slur for Asians is pronounced.  But that’s not what we meant and our friend wasn’t Asian.  His first name was Matt.  Turns out that at the time we were in high school the head coach of the 76ers was Matty Goukas.  So we started calling our friend Matt “Goukas”  or “Gouk.”  I wonder how that would be interpreted in a Senate hearing?

There are references to parties at my house and parties at my friends’ houses, parties in cornfields, parties in an unoccupied house owned by a friends’ parents, parties in an undeveloped cul-de-sac we dubbed “The Circle.”  Lots of references to drinking at Prom and parties in hotel rooms we somehow were able to get.  A reference or two to the liquor store in the town north of our high school which thought our fake ID’s were good enough to sell us 30 packs of Stroh’s and cases of Milwaukee’s Best.  By fake IDs I mean small laminated cards with our actual pictures accompanied by made up names and addresses.  We used them to buy beer.  Because we were teenagers who liked to break rules and were impatient to be 21.

So current and future high school seniors…choose your words carefully I guess.  You never know…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think I like this teacher…

I walk in the door after work Thursday and the 14 year-old is sitting the kitchen doing her homework.  So two things comes to mind:

  1. Damn, we’re killing this parenting thing.
  2. Wait, is she just trying to impress us by doing her homework right after school and in an area of the house which we will undoubtedly notice her doing homework and therefore be impressed with her…so she can ask us for money or something?

Regardless, she was doing her math homework.  She also let us know a couple observations she has of her math teacher.

“Dad, my math teacher is like you times 100.”

“What?  Why?  Does he consider the first weekend of the NFL season a national holiday?  Does he agree that Die Hard is a Christmas movie?  Does he agree that socialized health care like Obamacare is only supported by people who are bad at math?”

“I don’t know but he’s the most Gen X teacher I have.”

“Hmm…I’m interested.  Go on.”

“First, he tells us that he’s there to teach us math.  Not care about our feelings.  So if we think he’s mean or that our feelings get hurt then we should just go see the guidance counselor because math doesn’t care about our feelings.”

“Sounds reasonsable.”

“Then, he tells us that his main rule is no whining.  And if we have any complaints about that we should write them down put them in his complaint file which is his garbage can.”

“Well that’s just smart management.”

“Then he tells us that he’ll let us listen to music in class when we’re doing work but that our music is crap.  He thinks the rap we listen to is trash so he’s going to do for us what his parents did for him and teach us about good music.”

“And what’s that?”

“He makes us listen to classic rock.”

“This guy either should get a raise or they should make him superintendent of the whole school district.”

Which got me thinking about something else.  Did any of you watch the VMA’s last week?  For yet to be explained reasons, Mom was.  Which was weird because unless you’re pretty sure Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a future president of these United States, you’re not watching the VMA’s.  But I’m a Gen X Dad in my late 40’s.  This ain’t my show anymore.  Judging from the ratings, most of America agrees with me.  But Mom was interested in a few of the performances.  So we watched it.  Kevin Hart’s comments about Trump sounded a bit forced.  Which was disappointing to me because I was looking forward to a lot of moralistic smuggery from the liberal thought police.  There were a couple things that were simply a surprise.  For example, I just learned that they no longer call the video music award handed out at MTV’s awards show a “moonman.”  They now call it a “moonperson.”  I’m sure someone can explain to me why that change is so important.  I’m also equally sure I won’t listen.  I also learned that they hand out something called the VMA for video with a social message?  Maybe you knew that.  Maybe you watch the VMA’s and believe this is an award that is super important.  I don’t.  It kinda sounded like an award developed within the “everybody gets a trophy for participating” school of thought.  But that’s just me.  Because, once again, I’m a Gen X Dad in my late 40’s.  Truth be told, the award did make me a bit curious.  I mean, what videos would have won this award back when I would have watching the VMA’s?  I’m just spitballin’ here but here’s a few guesses:

1984 – “You Can Still Rock in America” by Night Ranger.  Back in the 80’s you could still rock in America.  Social message?  We’re Americans.  We like to rock.

1985 – “My Girl Wants to Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy.  Reagan just got re-elected and Rick James was in the video.  Social message?  We want to party.  All the time.

1986 – “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins.  I feel the need, the need for speed.  Social message?  We’re Americans, we like to sing off key in bars and blow those commie bastards outta the sky.

1987 – “You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party” by The Beastie Boys.  White dudes rapping.  Diversity.  Social message?  Breaking racial stereotypes is important…but not as important as partying.

1988 – “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard.  Social message?  Sugar, beer, tax cuts…who cares…just pour it on me.

1989 – “Bust a Move” by Young MC.  A rap song can sound like music.  Social message?  Got no money and you got no car, then you got no women and there you are.

1990 – “Up All Night” by Slaughter.  Social message?  Annoy authority.  Sleep all day.  Party all night.

I’m just saying that maybe Gen X was pretty good at staying on message.  And our messages, and again I’m just spitballin’ here, seem like a helluva lot more fun.

 

 

It Has Arrived

It’s here.  Feels weird but there’s nothing we can do about it.  Not that I want to do anything about it, I’m just saying that it is weird that it is actually happening.

College.  The oldest daughter started classes on last Monday.  Which means that we are now the parents of a college student.  How in the freaking hell did this happen?  It was only…30 years ago that I was going to college.  Wait…30 years…Holy Crap.

joeelliotshreddedjeansAnyway, college is cool.  Going to college was cool.  Having a kid going to college is weird.  I mean, yes, it is also cool.  I guess anyway.  Like putting the Democrats in charge of Congress, it just makes things more expensive.  But it is pretty cool seeing your kid and her friends getting ready to experience the awesomeness that is college.  Although I seriously doubt it is cooler going to college now than it was between 1988 and 1992.  Then we had hair metal.  Now they have safe spaces.  Then we had Milwaukee’s Best Light.  Now they have Crispin Rose Hard Cider  Then we had shredded up jeans.  Now they have…shredded up jeans.  Who knew that Joe Elliot’s legacy wasn’t Hysteria but the shredded jeans in the Pour Some Sugar On Me video.  Evidently these sneaky kids did pick up on few things…

Regardless, moving your oldest into her dorm room and then leaving her there is disconcerting.  On one hand you’re happy for them because nothing is like going to college.  On the other hand, well, you hope to hell you did a good job because all the guidance either took or it didn’t.  And we’ll all find out shortly.

Anyway, we moved her and her roommate in a little over two weeks ago.  Move-in is essentially a convention of sweaty Dads.  So yeah, pretty awesome.  I impressed myself, but no one else, by carrying in the fridge single handedly.  Those things really are pretty light but who cares.  I carried a damn fridge alone!  Her roommate’s brother and I carried in the couch.  Here’s the backstory.  Dorm is on the 2nd floor…which is really the third floor since it goes ground, 1st, 2nd.  Dorm has 7 or 8 floors.  Not really sure because when your kid lives on floor 2, you don’t give any craps about the floors above.  Those are problems other Dads need to navigate.  The dorm room was right at the top of the stair well on the west side of the building.  So, assuming the couch fit through the outer door, the door to the stairwell, the door from the stairwell to the hall and the door to the dorm room, we’re golden.  Since Mom is awesome, she remembered to bring a tape measure.  33 inches of clearance in all the doorways.  Shortest side of the couch is roughly 31 inches.  Easy peezy.  But we had to carry the couch across the street, through the parking lot, around the line of Dads waiting to use the elevator which ran out of the main doors before finally making it to the outer door on the west side of the building.  Helpful Dad #1 stops us at the door and recommends we go back around to the main doors and then the long way down the hall because those main doors are way, way wider.  I smile and tap the tape measure hooked onto my belt.  “Thanks Chief but we measured and as long as we keep our hands underneath I think we’re good.”  We slip through the opening with barely any room to spare.  Tim Allen like grunts of approval from the other sweaty Dads.

Next was going up a couple flights of stairs.  I made the roommate’s brother go backwards.  What?  He’s 16.  I’m 48.  Helpful Dad #2 puts his stuff down, grabs the cushions off the couch that had started to come loose and then opens the doors for us.  Sweaty Dads Unite!

We successfully navigated the stairs using our innate knowledge of geometry and weight distribution.  More vocal noises of approval from other sweaty Dads.  Not gonna lie, I feeling pretty damn good about myself at this point.  Helpful Dad #3 who is one of the Dads of the girls living directly across the hall, clears out the doorway of his daughter’s dorm room and lets me back in to create an easy angle of entry through which to enter our desired destination.

So what’s the lesson?  Sweaty Dads are friggin’ awesome.  It’s like a bond of unspoken camaraderie.  A connection of implicit admiration.  A pledge of unsaid solidarity.  It was beautiful really.

Once everything was in the room, I sat down on the aforementioned couch.  Mom started suggesting where everything could go.  The two 18 year-olds immediately resisted.  It was like Hillary Clinton saying, well, anything to a room full of midwesterners.  In response, I suggested that we should just run to Target and get whatever supplies they needed and then we’d go get tacos.  Because everybody likes tacos.

Dropped off the supplies and then had lunch.  And that was it.  Just like that you’re down one kid.  Although the 14 year-old took about 5 minutes to get used to her being gone.  She immediately went into the departed sister’s room to examine what clothes she had left behind…