Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Something off My Chest

I had a very traumatic experience the day after my 35th birthday. As I got into the shower, I let out a scream that startled my wife, who was getting ready for work herself...

Yes, I found my first grey chest hair. At first, I thought perhaps it wasn't attached. Surely, this is a hair from my dog that has attached itself to me. I went to pull it off of me...and it hurt.

My wife, kind person that she is, snipped it right off for me...there's a visual. Now at least I don't have to think about it until it grows back.

As if it weren't bad enough that I look like Chewbacca on Rogaine, I now have hair that is turning on me.

It gets worse. I'm now doing things that my parents used to do. When I'm upset at my kids, I start calling them by the wrong names. I find myself saying things like, "Don't make me come in there again!" and "I will turn this car around if you don't cut it out right now!"

The annual Fall time-change has also been a real treat. My 2-year-old is now waking up at 6am, raring to go. At 6am, I can't even remember how to open the bedroom door yet my daughter comes in, picks up the remote, and turns on "The Wiggles".

Then there's tonight.....Halloween! I took both of our girls 'trick or treating', one as a vampiress and the other as a doctor. Me, I went as Neo. Of course, once I saw the picture that my wife took, it occured to me that Neo doesn't really have a slightly receding hairline but, hey, what the hell?

We left the house with lots of energy and enthusiasm. By the fourth house I was carrying a bucket of candy, a stethoscope, and a doctor...which is ironic because, by then, it looked as though Neo might need one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

35? There Must be Some Mistake

So today is my birthday. As Garfield would say, "Big, fat, hairy deal." I don't FEEL any older. I guess it's possible that my hair is a little thinner. Was that wrinkle there last week?...

Actually, I feel like I'm on top of my game. After all, males "peak" in their mid-30's...which I guess means I am no longer in my "early" 30's. Nope, I'm half-way to 70...one-third of the way to 105....look out Willard Scott.

My 2-year-old daughter stomped into our bedroom this morning and said, "Happy Birffday, Daddy!"

So you know those cards that tell you what happened during the year you were born? I hate those things. Not because they make one feel old but because no one actually REMEMBERS the year they were born. I know I don't remember being born.

This is a good thing because I'm sure I would not have liked it. I don't even like getting out of our nice, warm bed in October to hit the cold bathroom floor. I don't even like squeezing my head through a T-shirt that's too small. I really don't even like taking my shirt off at the beach, let alone being naked in room full of people.

I DO, however, remember being 10-years-old. Let's look at the year 1981....

- The hostages in Iran were freed (I remember my mother letting me stay home from school to watch it on TV......moms are the best!)

- Pope John Paul II was wounded by some crazy gunman

- President Reagan was wounded by some crazy gunman (hmm, is there a theme here?)

- A stamp cost $0.18

- The L.A. Dodgers beat the Yankees in the World Series (I KNEW I liked being 10)

- A little TV channel went on the air called MTV

- A little video game swept across the country called Pac-Man

- IBM introduced a strange little thing called a " personal computer" (actually, it was a huge device that would NEVER fit on your lap)

- The FDA approved of a sweetener called aspartame (NutraSweet), my wife and I haven't been the same since (thank you, Diet Coke).

- The Grammy for Record of the Year (you see records were these round things...oh forget it) went to Christopher Cross for "Christopher Cross"

- Miss America was Susan Powell (OK)....er, I mean she WAS OK, but she was from Oklahoma

- Best Picture, "Ordinary People" (I have no idea what this was about but I'm guessing it was about people that were.....ordinary)

When I was 10, I walked 5 minutes across the street to school. Now, I drive 30 minutes to work...on a GOOD day with no traffic. Back then, I worried that my mom forgot to put a dessert in my lunch. Now, I worry that that goofball in North Korea is going to Nuke someone. Back then, my "baby" brother was 3 years old. Now, he's going to be 28...and he's taller than I am. How does THAT happen? Back then, my dad would throw the football around with me in his work clothes after he got home. Now, I toss the lacrosse ball around with my 9-year-old daughter and kick the soccer ball around with my 2-year-old daughter...in my work clothes.

Back then, girls were still kind of gross. Now, my wife is my best friend, my kids are my life...and life is good. Watch out 40, here I come!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

"Where There's Smoke..."

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I have now seen it all. As I was flipping through the pages of this month's "Details" magazine, I saw the ad. Can we all agree that the "100% natural" trend has gone a little too far?...

You can now buy "natural" Kellogg's cereals and "natural" Ragu pasta sauce (I don't even want to know what's in it). There are now even "natural" potato chips. Where do they grow those, exactly? I don't recall ever driving through the country and staring in awe at the massive potato chip fields.

Anyway, there within the pages of the magazine is the ad. "Do you know what you're smoking?", it begins. Did you know that most cigarettes are full of artificial by-products? Well, now there is an answer. Yes, you too can smoke "Natural Spirit" cigarettes...the "all natural" cigarette. Are they serious??? The ad should just read,

"This cigarette will kill you MUCH more slowly."

We were watching a movie together last week and my two-year-old asked, "What's that in her mouth?"

It occurred to my wife and me that she had, fortunately, never SEEN someone smoke. We actually had difficulty explaining this. I mean, really, who was the first guy (or girl) that thought of this?

Who actually looked at some tobacco and said, "I know...let's roll it up in some paper, light it on fire, then stick it in our MOUTHS and INHALE it!"??

Thankfully, smoking has been banned in most indoor places...at least here in Maryland. Of course, this just means that most people congregate outside the entrances and exits and smoke there.

I really enjoy going to the mall and pushing Sophia up the stroller entrance only to have to walk through the mushroom cloud of cigarette smoke from the 14-year-old Britney Spears Wanna-Be's who have somehow managed to get their hands on a pack of smokes.

I've trained my daughter to hold her breath as we approach the door. I've even been known to say something to the smokers congregating by the stroller entrance from time to time. I mean, if you want to fill kids' lungs with smoke, do it to your own and not to mine.

I was watching the news a few weeks ago and there was a clip of this woman fleeing from a burning house. She was smoking a cigarette. I felt like saying, "What's your hurry?". The fire would have only accelerated the process a few years and saved her from years of suffering from lung cancer, emphysema, etc. If I had to choose between slow torture and a bullet to the head, I'd choose a bullet to the head any day.

Well, maybe she was smoking one of those "all natural" cigarettes. At least then she might make it another 20 or 30 years.