Sylvia Plath

Hi Dad. Oops. Call me Britney. I did it again. I’m a 36-year-old man and I keep making the same mistakes. What is it again that all those dorks in the 12 Step meetings say? O yeah. They define insanity as “doing the same things over & over and expecting different results”. Trite. Stupid even. But fitting, no? How many times have I tried to make you proud of me? Did I mention that I’m 36-years-old?

But like Jackson beaming with his report card with all ‘A’s and 1 ‘B’—BEAMING!— I was like “Hey Dad! Look, I’m doing this blog thing and it’s crazy. I swear I’m not bragging I just can’t believe it myself. It’s so crazy, Dad. Look. 10,000 people have read my blog in 30 days. 10,000. Every state in the country. Countries all over the world. Look, Dad. Look. Look at me, Dad. SEE ME DAD!”

And just like a real Dad putting his arm around his son to give him some great Dad advice, you and your wife shot me an email about your concern for my children. How’d that go again? Oh yeah: “We think your posts about Jackson’s trouble with bullies are both reckless and harmful. What if he reads it? Think of how damaging it would be for him to read about his own Dad making fun of him. How can you exploit your children for your own personal gain? You should be ashamed.”

Do you have a moment? I want to teach you something about your son, Dad. I have become a thoughtful man. And because I am a thoughtful man, I will consider your concerns. I will weigh the pros & cons. I’ll discuss them with my wife and we will make a decision together about the way for me to proceed in relation to my children. I worded this paragraph with extreme caution because it was my hope that you would infer what was implied. But I fear that perhaps my hopes might not be satisfied. Let me spell it out.

You don’t get a vote.

See, Dad, way back when you were cheating on my mother and laying out the pattern for the rest of my life, that was the perfect time for you (and Amy—Hi Amy) to really dwell on words like “reckless”, “harmful”, “damaging”, and “ashamed”.

Did that statement shock you, Dad? I wonder if it gave you something like a jolt. Wait. Please. Stay inside the jolt for a moment. (It’s not so bad. I live here.) Too often that shock jolts us right into self-righteous defensiveness. Don’t get defensive, Dad. Relax. Take a load off. Soak in the irony with me. Let’s take a bath in the irony. Simmer simmer simmer. Bring it to a boil.

You. And. Amy. Are. Going. To. Tell. ME! What’s. Good. For. A. Child?

But enough of these emotional abstractions. My life’s substance is fed by images. It’s 1977. I’m dancing with my Mom. If I close my eyes, I can be there. I hear Elvis Presley on the record player. We’re dancing. We are poor. We are poor. We are poor. We had just finished leftover meatloaf off of paper plates at the kitchen table by the yellow phone. The yellow phone is so yellow. It’s the yellowest thing in the world. I’m dancing with my Mom. Elvis is sneering about that Hound Dog. The setting of this image smacks of Saint Petersburg in some pathetic Dostoevsky novel. And yet the tone is that of complete and utter happiness. It’s lit like a Vermeer. I am with my Mom and we are dancing. We’re happy. Really happy. My Mom is the Queen of the World. I do not know that her 2nd husband is beating her. We are dancing. She does not know that his son rapes me. We are dancing. And when you’re dancing, you’re happy—really happy—and it is not time to know these things. Most of all we do not know the yellow phone soon rings.

My Mother taught me how to dance in fires. Fires you lit. You don’t get a vote.

Jackson is 9. My lip is quivering and I’m biting it because the questions I have seem too big for him. But I’m feeling selfish and I need to know.

ME: Hey little dude you’re jumping up on 10 years here in July. What’s your verdict?
JACKSON: My verdict?
ME: Yeah, your verdict. Life. 10 years of it. What do you think? How’s it going?
JACKSON: Good. I guess. [I bite my lip hard. I’m so afraid to ask.]
ME: Jack?... You think I’m a good Dad? [He thinks. He’s such a pensive 9.]
JACKSON: Well… yeah… I love you Dad.
ME: Good. I love you too. Now grab your drumsticks and let’s burn this fucking house to the ground.


Blog Wars

So the fact that I’m supposed to be “meeting” Cynical Dad this weekend for an interview brings up some interesting philosophical issues. There’s no easy way for me to say this. I’m just not convinced you people exist.

I fear that I’m merely playing a crazy game called Blog Wars where comments and page loads lead to further and further progress until the Final Level where you have a big fancy cup of flavored coffee with Dooce. You talk about expensive purses and stuff and she shows you crazy ass pictures of her dogs with hats.

But I know that a lot of you supposedly really do know each other. You have blogging meetings and groups—even conventions. In fact I was recently invited to give something of a minor presentation at BlogHer but declined because I’m a terrific bore in person (I also have a penis. A substantial penis.) However, I’m cautiously suspicious of these meetings and groups and conventions. All part of the Game, I carefully tell myself. What if I were to show up in San Francisco wearing a nice suit with note cards in hand, only to be greeted by the lonely wind? A tumbleweed might tumble. You could hear pins drop and a choir of crickets.

I go to LA semi-frequently to visit my in-laws. I have imagined the possibility of having dinner with the Blogging Spohrs (Mike & Heather—Have you read their blogs? O you should be reading their blogs; they're hilarious plus they're well connected and can help you advance through many levels of Blog Wars). Anyway, I’ve imagined that having dinner with them might serve as a kind of reality test.

They look real enough, no? Like a fun pair. So we stop by: me, Guadalupe, Jackson, Lucy, and Calamari. There is in the beginning a series of nervous first time intros. I shake Mike’s hand and it’s constructed of the finest grade of flesh like synthetic rubber. Incredible. Both Heather & Mike make a spectacle of gawking at Calamari. It’s awkward.

CALAMARI: Um. Can I help you?
MIKE: No sorry. Excuse us. It’s just that. We thought you were imaginary.

Heather looked as real as Mike. Plus she just got her hair done and it was really working for her. I slowly reached out and latched onto her ample breast. IT WAS REAL!

MIKE and HEATHER and GUADALUPE (in unison): WTF?
LUCY (giggling): wtf? wtf? ha ha wtf?

I spotted Maddie. Maddie is a little song that fairies sing when they’re anticipating something wonderful. Jackson’s name was actually Madeline until he came out with that freaky little penis. I pinched Maddie’s tiny arm as hard as I could until she shattered the room’s windows with her shrieks. O give me a break, judgmental Reader! Did you really think for 1 second that I was fool enough to believe that anything this cute could possibly be real?

Who do “The Spohrs” think they’re dealing with? Mike very angrily asked me to leave and when I didn’t do so immediately, he punched me in the jaw. You’d be surprised how realistic the punches to your face seem in Blog Wars.

And so I’m “meeting” Cynical Dad this Saturday for an interview. He seemed extremely real for awhile until some glitch in the program said he didn’t like Neil Young. O they can make fancy computer programs that seem incredibly realistic. But they can’t make souls.


Nuttin Juzz Kickin It

This post represents the first major blog advertisement of discord between me & my wife. I don’t know how this is going to work out. Wish me luck. Can I sleep on your couch?

I’ll tell you this much for sure. I am never bailing no matter what on another post based on what someone else thinks ever again. And it’s not because of some goofy ass artistic integrity either. It’s because of my buddy Deez. Let me explain. I wrote a post awhile back that did some cracking on homosexuals. I sent the post to my gay cousin Tim to see if he thought it was offensive. Well, do you remember reading it? Of course you don’t because Tim went off the deep end. And he didn’t just bang on the post; he tore my entire character to shreds too. Can't wait for the Black Hockey Family Reunion where Tim's spiking mad volleyballs in my face. I DIDN’T POST IT. Enough said.

This brings me to my buddy Deez. He couldn’t believe that I didn’t just go ahead and post it anyway, and he continues to give me incredible amounts of grief for ditching it. His latest: "George Carlin would've posted it. But now George Carlin's dead and so is balls." O thanks Deez. Plus EVERY SINGLE DAY when I post on the blog, he pastes me the same old email off his clipboard that says “Great post today. I’m so glad your gay cousin Tim let you go ahead and post it.” And Deez is my best friend why?

[I know you’re wondering so let me explain. Deez got his name from Track 6 of Dre’s 1992 smash, The Chronic, where that dude asks that poor unsuspecting girl “Hey did did did what’s his name done get at you yesterday?” “Who?” “Deeez Nuuuts”. Deez is the all time master of the universe when it comes to tricking you into saying “Who?” so he can howl “Deeez Nuuuts”. So his name has been “Deez” for 16 years. He even has variations like if you ask him “What time is it?”, he’ll say “Nuuuts O’clock”. And Deez is my best friend why? I’m sure you’ll hear more about Deez in later posts.]

Anyway, onward to the Black Hockey Marital Discord. Cristina Yang (my wife) works 12 hour shifts but she’s actually gone for 14 hours. When she gets home from her very long work day, she gets way bent out of shape about big piles of dirty dishes in the sink, the house smelling like cat poop, and human pee all over the floor around the toilet. Plus she doesn’t think “Calamari did it.” is funny.

YANG: Look at this place! What the hell've you been doing all day?
BLACK HOCKEY JESUS, JACKSON, and LUCY (in unison): Nuttin juzz kickin it.

Next I try to over intellectualize, which never works with Yang. I used to live with this chick Jill that I could just use the Jedi Mind Trick with: “Jill. You are not angry and you will clean this mess yourself.”, but let me emphasize with italics that this doesn’t work with Yang.

BHJ: Honey. Listen. The German philosopher Martin Heidegger doesn’t conceive of individuals as traditional Cartesian subjects. Rather, he conceives us as these weird kind of meteorological systems that are plugged into different atmospheres. I’m just not as plugged into the atmosphere of the house’s cleanliness condition as much as you are. But it’s all relative, sweetie. Nobody’s right or wrong.
YANG (cont.): I just need a little help that’s all. Couldn’t you just take 1 tiny hour off from blogging and flirting with every mom on the internet to sweep and mop the floor?
BHJ: Hey whoa whoa whoa. I am not flirting. It's called networking.

YANG (cont.): Do you really need to "network" with Jenny The Bloggess in a bed sheet?

YANG (cont.): And does Jozet at Halushki always "network" in her bikini? What’s next? Motherbumper topless? Do I need to kick someone’s motherbumping ass? And I'm not even discussing Baby On Bored. You two need to just get a room.


I am sweeping. I’m trying to trick myself into liking it like Tom Sawyer.

BHJ: I’d let you sweep but it’s way too fun.
BHJ: C’mon lemme try.
BHJ: No way.
BHJ: I’ll give you this apple if you let me sweep.
BHJ: Awesome.

And it’s not so bad. It keeps me mindful. I think about all those great Zen stories where some little monk sweeps an acorn into a tree and the sound—BONK—reveals all the secrets of heaven & earth. The blue & green face laughs heartily in the dharma’s mirror of ignorance and time HA HA! Just sweep, Black Hockey Jesus. Just sweep.



Dear David Crosby,

How did you do it, David Crosby? I saw you Friday night. I wasn’t really into the idea of going to your show. When the Y drops off the CSN&Y, so does the BH&J. But my wife wanted to go and she agreed to see Bob Dylan with me in September if I’d go see you. I’m not telling you all this to be insulting. I’m just reminding Guinnevere out of the side of my mouth that she is still being held to her end of the deal (to see Bob Dylan in LA on September 3rd and to remind her to ask her parents if they can watch the kids while we see Bob Dylan in LA on September 3rd).

I am getting too old for mosh pits but your shows draw a peaceful crowd. Unless they’re tripping on the brown acid—then they’re just plain irritating, David Crosby. Anyway, I was able to stand very close to you. And yeah I was hoping you’d toss me a pick. Stills was tossing picks like he was in some 80s metal band. Why so stingy with the picks, David Crosby? You wore baggy blue jeans and a denim shirt that buttoned. You were startlingly fat, but who cares? I’m not trying to make you self-conscious, David Crosby. We were lucky enough to have a rare desert breeze that blew your long grey hair all Medusa-like hissing in the wind. You were awesome. I just stood and watched you the whole show and I kept wondering over & over: How did you do it, David Crosby?

I thought about my buddy Skip stabbing his inner thigh and smearing his own blood all over his apartment like some last fuck you Rothko. I thought about my wife’s best friend, Larissa, in her house for days, overdosed, alone. I remembered listening to her crying in bed next to me and the helpless way I couldn’t think of anything to say. How did you do it, David Crosby? I thought about how Keith was so late for that gig in November and poor Brandon went to his apartment to find him and boy did he ever find him. The bodies piled up at your concert last Friday night, David Crosby. You were surrounded by stacks and piles of dead bodies all awash and floating in an ocean of blood and do you know what you did in spite of all this, David Crosby?

You sang.

And when you started singing Our House, I just cried and cried and cried because I don’t know how to grieve properly, David Crosby. I’ve heard there’s steps, but I don’t do it right. I’ve never been able to do the whole emotion thing via any kind of orderly pattern detailed in the best selling self-help books. I looked at my wife and she appeared to me in the context of your singing as the radical opposite of all dead things. She doesn’t have old friends, David Crosby. Life used to be so hard. Indeed. And I wish that Crosby, Stills & Nash covered Pearl Jam’s Alive because that would’ve been sweet because we are. We’re still alive. We’re all still alive. How in the hell did we do it, David Crosby?

I should’ve grabbed Guinnevere and kissed her right there but I’m a better writer than I am a spontaneous kisser. But dear Guinnevere (JENNA!), I wanted to kiss you. I did. I wanted to stand on top of that mountain of dead bodies and kiss you because kissing, like singing, is a strong enough argument against death. Who needs meaning and afterlives when there’s kissing? Kissing is enough.

A line from one of my buddy Skip’s old poems says: “Addiction is devotion. Look it up.”

Go do it. Look it up.


Neil Young Trifecta

In honor of the end of my first month of being a Daddy Blogger, I'm taking the day off writing. But me & Jackson never take the day off rocking because we live breathe & bleed Rock, so here's 3 Neil Young songs for Cynical Dad, as promised. I understand this is where I lose 100s of readers, but Dylan did Self-Portrait. Pearl Jam did No Code. Artists need to destroy themselves sometimes in order to begin anew. But you don't need to be so literal about it Mr. Really Kill Yourself Kurt Cobain.

Dear Long Haired Dudes Who Can Really Play Guitar: O shut-up.

Dear Other Critics: We don't use mixers. We don't edit sound. We don't even do more than 1 take. We just burn the living room down so we can go bang groupies.

The highlight of this first video is during the 2nd verse when someone sneaks up behind Jackson, injects cocaine in his ass, and the tempo goes through the roof. What the hell, Jackson?

That was fun. What else do you have to do? Watch for Jackson in this next one to turn into Ninja Drummer. You'll know what I mean. He just gets all Ninja on the drums. Jackson's straight up crazy.

OK. On this last one Jackson keeps yawning & I'm pretty sure he falls asleep at some point. Am I boring you Jackson? Is all this Father/Son time getting in the way of some Pokemon tournamant or something? This song goes out to all my Canadian readers, especially the ones in N. Ontario.

If you watched all 3 of these, you're either addicted to the internet or you're addicted to Rock. Don't try to get a hold of Cynical Dad; he's out buying Decade.


OK Mom Christ!

So my mom is all like "Can you find some time between all your filthy vagina talk & eff words to post some videos of those babies?"


Lucy just started ballet & tap last Wednesday so we got some good practice film. I understand the potential boredom here is off the charts but at least watch the beginning to see Jackson going off. Jackson's crazed. There's also some good slo mo in the middle. I'm an editing wizard.

This next one is only 12 seconds but it's a good argument for me winning some "Father Of The Year" award. Me & Jackson just finished a song that went pretty well. Take a look.

Lastly, I know you've heard this song before but it's a lot tighter now and Jackson added some fills that he's stoked about and wants you to hear. Plus we added a verse that goes something like "Step to this & see how it goes / Blood dripping from your nose". When we're finished with the song, this is some good film of me & Jackson just going off like Phish or some other rad jam band. Check it.

We understand that we're lacking a chorus so please put your 2 cents in the Comments section. Plus help us make up some verses too. Remember, it's about bullies messing with Jackson.

If you read Cynical Dad, you may remember this Q & A from his blog awhile back:

"1. What do you think of Neil Young?
I've always thought he was overrated. I do like a few of his songs, but for the most part, I don't see what the fuss is all about. "

When Jackson saw that, I had to whip out the smelling salts. We call Neil Young "Uncle Neil" around here, so tomorrow we're going to post 3 Neil Young songs we played today in 1 take that will make Cynical Dad a Neil Young Junkie. Cause every junkie's like a setting sun, Chag.

And I I sure hope that all this Daddy Rocking inspires Mike Spohr to give us a taste as well.


Mr. Hockey Jesus

My wife has become so addicted to modern comforts like the house that she is now forcing me to whore myself out as a substitute teacher on her days off.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: But I am a professional blogger who requires great doses of leisure time by the pool to generate my zany blog scenarios. Let’s not forget that I’ve earned $5.90 in just under a month. Of course you understand that these things take time. Karl Marx’s family nearly starved to death while he wrote the Manifesto. And what of Van Gogh, that solitary visionary? He only lived to see one painting sell. ONE!
JENNY: First of all, it should be noted in the context of your argument that Communism was a miserable failure. And second, you’re no solitary visionary, sweetie. You’ve got an interesting sense of humor and you’re cute. I’ll give you that, but we could use the extra loot.
BHJ: Extra loot?!? We wouldn’t need all this extra loot if those gluttonous children didn’t suck on silver spoons all day and live in their laps of jewel laden luxury with all that soap and food. Devil take your extra loot. O I’ll show you extra loot little lady. I’ve just opened a Black Shopping Jesus Store where people can purchase Black Hockey Jesus shirts, jerseys, intimate apparel, baby clothes, coffee mugs, mouse pads, stickers, and posters. All the items have that adorable image Jackson made of me & him for Father's Day, the one I used for the tattoo on my arm. They can also purchase Black Hockey Jesus shirts that say “I Heart Calamari” as a means for them to proclaim their loyalty to the awesome powers of the imagination.
JENNY: Well that sounds great, but all I’m saying is that until your blog and Black Shopping Jesus Store start generating more substantial income, I think you need to substitute teach.
BHJ (a light bulb alights above my head): Your use of the word “substitute” led me via association to a great idea for a slogan. Black Shopping Jesus: Accept No Substitutes.
JENNY: That’s lame. You’re just looking for lame excuses to repeatedly link to Black Shopping Jesus over & over in this post.
BHJ: Bite your tongue woman! I’m an artist painfully bound and restricted to the confines of my relentless integrity. You won’t catch me resorting to any repeated shameless plugs for Black Shopping Jesus. JENNY: You just said Black Shopping Jesus again.
BHJ: You’re tottering on the verge of domestic assault. Or would it be teetering?

06/19/08. First day of subbing. 1st Grade.

MR. HOCKEY JESUS: Good morning. I’m Mr. Hockey Jesus. Let’s start right out by establishing some ground rules.
PUNK 1 (not raising his damn hand): What’s ‘establishing’?
MR. HJ: To establish is to institute. Listen don’t just leap in and interrupt me. I have some hardcore anxiety deals. OK. The only thing I can’t tolerate is all of you yapping at me at the same time. I will seriously flip out and start throwing desks. [various punks giggle. note to self: throwing desks is funny]
MR. HJ (cont.): You are 7. I have been 7 five times. This makes me five times cooler than all of you. In fact, I’ll tell you how cool I am. I have this humonstronormous trophy at home. It’s made of gold and covered with the finest of fine rare gems. I would’ve brought it but it’s too big to fit in my car. You wanna know what it’s for?
VARIOUS PUNKS: Yeah… Uh huh… [nodding]… What?
MR. HJ: Let’s review. I need you to raise your hands. [hands fly into the air]
PUNK 2: What’s the trophy for? What’s the trophy for?
MR. HJ (wondering if this is the Resource Room): I got the trophy for—I had to build a new house just to put it in you know? The trophy is for being… THE GREATEST SUBSTITUTE TEACHER IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!
VARIOUS PUNKS: Cool… Awesome… Dude we’re so lucky… YES!... sweet.

They believe me. This is like stealing $110 from 21 7-year-olds.

Exchange of the day…
KID: Mr. Hockey Jesus. What date were you born?
MR. HJ: January 28th.
SAME KID: When’s your birthday?
MR. HJ: Coincidentally enough, January 28th.
SAME KID: Well that’s weird.
MR. HJ (in a thought balloon): This is dim even for 7, no?


Pedophile With A Ball Of Many Colors

Yesterday at the master planned community pool there was a pedophile with a ball of many colors. I don’t have any hard evidence that indicates with any kind of certainty that he was indeed a pedophile. However, he looked like a pedophile and—even though you’re not supposed to know what I mean because that would be recklessly judgmental and you’re too open-minded for that—you know what I mean.

I should’ve had my camera. I am an irresponsible blogger. Dude was carrying 75-100 pounds of extra weight all around the belly and his entire back was covered with hair. He had that weird hollow desperate vacant staring glassy look that finds harbor in the eye of many a pedophile. Plus he had that completely suspicious hair situation going on where only the patches of hair just above the ears were grey. Are you sold yet? Keep reading.

ROXANNE (my wife): Black. Are you seeing this game of catch Jackson is playing with that weird man?
BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: Yeah. And it’s so completely strangely awesome that it’s blowing my mind. I am transfixed. Every single time I come to this master planned community pool, my blog writes itself. This pool’s water is made of melted blogging gold.
ROXY: What?
BHJ: Exhibit A. That dude came here alone. No kids. He’s just here by himself.
ROXY (nodding): Yeah.
BHJ: Exhibit B. 45-50. Overweight. Hairy back. Glassy stare. Goofy patches of grey hair.
ROXY (her eyebrows are kinda knitting together. ROXY is so hot right when she starts getting miffed, but not so much after): OK.
BHJ: Exhibit C. He brought a ball. No kids. But he brings a spongy multicolored nerf ball. Yup. He came alone with a ball of many colors. [ROXY is now looking at me like I ate the last Klondike Bar] And look—he engaged our son off in that remote corner of the pool in a game of catch. Roxy. A pedophile is grooming Jackson at the master planned community pool.
BHJ: I’m watching the whole thing like a hawk, honey. There’s no enduring psychological consequences for Jackson just because he’s having a catch with a pedophile. Plus I’m almost positive that that’s Chris Hansen over there lurking in the gazebo with a plate of cookies and a pitcher of sweet tea. This is about to go down. [but she was gone]

PWABOMC: Did you say ‘Jackson’? That’s a cool name, Jackson. I bet you like bubble gum don’t you, Jackson?

OK I made that last quote up. I am a bad person. What I saw next was Roxanne from a distance, mutely, addressing the Pedophile With A Ball Of Many Colors, pointing at him, pointing at Jackson, not letting him get a word in, waving her arms wildly, amplifying her articulation, and I loved her. The Pedophile With A Ball Of Many Colors looked at her with mouth gaping, stunned.

I felt a little sick in my stomach for him. Isn’t being a pedophile a passive condition? He can’t help the fact that he relentlessly craves sexual liaisons with young people. But empathy for his pathetic condition was not the fundamental root of my discomfort. I mostly felt sick for him because he was catching hell from Roxy. Sometimes, when I’m catching hell from Roxy, she can issue the silent treatment for up to 4 days. And the kids intuitively join forces with her and I wander around the house like a ghost with no impact on the corporeal world… for 4 days!

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned AND a dream deferred. The Pedophile With A Ball Of Many Colors was totally striking out.