Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here, fishy fishy!

K and I are having dinner with another married couple this evening, because that's what married people do--have dinner, then talk about what we'll be eating tomorrow. The difference is that this couple is 9-months pregnant. That essentially means we'll never see these two people again, until years later when we'll get a letter from the child asking us to buy magazine subscriptions.

But such is life, if you want to be married. And K and I will be no different someday soon. It'll be our 10-year dating anniversary in February (married for...3?), and we've long run out of funny anecdotes. We'll need to talk to and about our children very soon or else every dinner we'll be simultaneously staring into our stews, wondering when would be a good time to turn on Nick at Night.

But I do have some anecdotes that I've never gotten around to telling K. And if she knew them, she might think twice about whether children are really worth all the trouble.

I spent my adolescence in Alaska, which is a slushy, bright, blustery place with tall trees and thick beards. I couldn't have grown up in a better place. And although my parents weren't exactly from the wilderness, I think the Anchorage Welcoming Committee bestows hatchets and compasses to people in the airport, like Hawaiian leis. The moose can be violently territorial, though, so the socialized hatchets might have been the result of a lawsuit.

Anyway, my childhood memories are made up of mental slide shows, rather than one continuous film strip. But most of those pictures have trees and fish in them. My dad and I went fishing a lot. At least, it seemed like a lot. And one childhood trip stands out from the rest. This was the time that I had diarrhea. I was probably nine.

In order to understand the events of the day, I've gotta get some facts in:
- We usually river-fished, which I totally prefer.
- My dad always made sure that I somehow caught the biggest fish of the day
- I think I got sick a lot. I remember having a lot of canker sores. I believe I went an entire year with the same cold.
- A lot of what I'm about to say may have happened at different times, so this might be more Biblical than C-Span-ish (Wow, does C-Spanish exist?)

I was also a motion-sick kid. So much so that I couldn't fly anywhere without vomiting. And on this day, sitting in a boat with my dad and some guide who may or may not have been my dad's coworker on the choppy river in an aluminum boat with an outboard, the mixture of exhaust and fish smells weren't sitting right. Maybe I threw up? Maybe I didn't? I do know that I crapped my pants.

Things were going everywhere. We pulled off to the shore and my dad told me I should crap behind a tree. So he escorted me to a tree, where I let it all go. Keep in mind that it's pretty hard to crap in the woods, but also keep in mind that I was a gifted child. And if it wasn't enough for my dad to excuse himself from the boat because his son was gross, or to brace his son while he crapped on the forest floor, but he also found some moss to clean me off. And I think he did it. He wiped my ass with moss. This is the essence of my blog. This is as uncomfortable of a position as it gets. For both of us. I'm sure he'll get me back when he's old and incontinent.

I doubt I ever thanked him, but they don't exactly make Hallmark moments for things like that.

Then it got weird.

So now I'm totally dehydrated, my stomach's in knots, and we're miles from the car. Somehow, we come upon what I guess was a commune. I mean, I don't remember campers, just dozens of people living on the riverbank--kids and adults, sharing tarps, purifying water. I must have smelled pretty bad. Yet my dad must have negotiated with the tribe that I could do some recouping in their hammocks. I think they actually had television, and I watched it with some of the woodsmen.

I don't remember getting home, but I'm sure my dad does. We were a long car-ride away from home. He still probably convinced me that I caught the biggest fish that day. Whatever motivated my father (and mother, for that matter. She did the laundry, after all!) to be as selfless as they were and are, I hope I get that attribute when I have kids. I will pass on my angler skills. I will carry moss at all times.

So K, when do those newfangled robot children come out? Christmas?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gym Closure

Remember the "no hugs by the squat rack" guy from my September 11 post? Well I was at the gym this morning and saw my hockey friend again. Turns out he's a trainer there. Today, he wore a Detroit Red Wings jersey to work. And his trainee? A man in a t-shirt that celebrates the Mighty Ducks Stanley Cup win. They were laughing and squatting. Smiling and curling. It was kind of nice to see that there's someone for everyone.

We made eye contact, the trainer and I. I didn't get the sense that he remembered me, which is probably best. I bet the Stanley Cup guy's real nice.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Give it a rest!

Bat Boy...again.

He really did the slow walk-around!

When I get old, I will not be the cantankerous man who insists that he was ahead of you in the ATM line. I will use words to respond to your protests, instead of walking around your body like a cloud casting a shadow on you. I will button up my shirt. I will wear a belt. I will do my best to speak to you in a language that you understand, rather than what is probably some Armenian thing. I will look you in the eye, instead of in your most vulnerable-to-punching points. And when I get to the ATM, I will not laugh at how weak you are to not have stepped to me. I will understand how to deposit checks. I will not carry my money and important information in a loose stack in my front pocket.

Most importantly, I will hide my PIN number from the people I cut in front of (1-9-5-8).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reunited at last

When I was growing up, I went to the same "hair stylist," who I guess I can now blame for making me look like the unsexy Kramer instead of the sexy Kirk Cameron. I'll be attending my 10-year high school reunion this weekend. Here are some of the other changes that my former classmates will hopefully notice on Saturday:

- I stopped wearing those Nike high-tops with the laces out.
- I've tongue kissed a girl
- I don't only wear Levi's Silvertab jeans anymore
- I'm 35 pounds heavier
- I'm over Quentin Tarantino
- I have less energy
- My parents don't make my lunch anymore--my wife does
- No more unibrow

Here are some of the things that have stayed the same:

- I still wear Hugo cologne
- My mom still buys me underwear, socks, and floss for presents
- Now, instead of the unibrow, I have this strange hair that tries to connect my eyebrows to my sideburns.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recently, with Marc and Zach

This is a new show Marc Horowitz and I are doing, LIVE every Wednesday at 5pm PST. Check it.

Recently, with Marc & Zach

Friday, October 10, 2008

What a great moment

Have you ever been incredibly parched, so you chug your fast-food restaurant fountain drink through a straw. Then you run out of soda and you can't get refills and you don't have money for a second cup. But THEN you give the straw a push and realize that it wasn't at the very bottom, so you have MORE Coke than you thought?

Those are the lunches to remember.

Y'know, the straw thing could also be an allegory for sub-prime mortgage holders. Maybe I shouldn't have finished my drink...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My coffee shop

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but since I moved to Los Angeles I've been a frequent customer at Psychobabble in Los Feliz. The barista is friendly enough to me, and through a couple years of accidental lies, he thinks I am a world-class writer with a home in New York City.

Today I discovered that they keep The Onion under all the utensils. I pulled one out and chuckled at it while my barista friend made my large, non-fat iced chai. Then he saw what I was reading and scowled at me. "Do you like that stuff?"

He said stuff. I tried to be non-committal, since this guy can be pretty mean. "Well, it's hit or miss."

"It's terrible."


"You really like it? You think it's good?"

"Yeah, I mean. I guess so."

"Wow. I guess I never heard a professional talk about it. Maybe I'll give it a second try."

Wait'll he hears what I have to say about Arby's.