Charles Dickens Friday

I totally wanna marry 10 Word Tuesday over at i Am Bossy. Every Tuesday she gives a topic and you have to express yourself in 10 words. You should try it. It’s a blast. It made me wonder what kind of weekly fun blog thing I could do to rival the likes of Bossy and here’s what I came up with:

Charles (arles) Dickens (ickens) Friday (ay… ay… ay).

Every Friday (unless it turns out to be really stupid), I’ll share with you the best of something in my life and the worst of something in my life, you’ll do the same in my Comments, and together we’ll achieve psychic wholeness. For example, I might tell you about the best date I ever had in my life and the worst date I ever had in my life, you’ll tell me about yours, and together we’ll achieve psychic wholeness. I know I said it twice. That made it even wholer. OK. Inaugural Charles Dickens Friday is massive, because it’s your best & worst times… EVER.

In light of my post yesterday, let’s get my worst time out of the way first. Yeah, having divorced parents sucked. But let me give you a different perspective (let the Many-Headed Beast Of Perspective slay the Cyclops Of “Truth”) of how things went with my Dad, so you’ll stop being so mean to him.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: My blog’s not harming Jackson. You’re never proud of me. You’re jealous old man.
DAD: Well I think you’re going to destroy his psyche. You never listen to anyone. Do what you want. You always do whatever you want anyway.
BHJ: I will. Plus I’m going to dramatize this conversation in a post that makes you look like the biggest dick on the internet.
DAD: Let her rip.
BHJ: Give my love to Amy.

All of our parents are divorced, aren’t they? It’s nothing special. Plus you get all kinds of extra Christmas & Birthday presents and your parents compete for your affection. My Dad bought me a Sims Jeff Phillips the summer of 87. That deck was so rad. Did you know Jeff Phillips committed suicide?

And yeah I really was sexually abused by Randy Pope. But 1 in 4 of all of us are sexually abused. Not necessarily by Randy Pope. But now that I write a blog that gets some exposure, I’m pretty excited that I get to write Randy Pope over & over. I’ll also put “sex with kids” in this paragraph so if Randy Pope ever Googles “Randy Pope likes sex with kids”, my blog will pop right up. Hi Randy. I still weep immediately after I have an orgasm. Thanks for that.

Can Randy Pope sue me for this?

No, the actual worst time in my entire life was when my buddy Chris was killed by a car when we were 14. Straight up. That’s as bad as it’s ever been for me. My life was significantly altered by that event and I’ve never been the same. When I saw him in his casket, Axl Rose got up in my face and screamed: “You know where you are? You’re in the jungle baby…”. Another song intimately connected with that event is Ocean Size by Jane’s Addiction. You wanna give me a bad case of the shivers? Play “I was made with a heart of stone / To be broken with one hard blow”.

The best time of my entire life was seeing Lucy born. Lest my DAD, the self-proclaimed Guardian Of Jackson’s Fragile Psyche, object because I picked Lucy’s birth, let me remind you all that I wasn’t very committed to being Jackson’s Dad until he spoke me. Truth be told, when Jenna was giving birth to Jackson, I was at The Golden Harvest in Lansing, Michigan eating a Denver omelet. (The Cleaver’s are a dead myth—families are interesting.) Anyway, seeing Lucy born was mind-blowing. Who could ever explain? All I can say is that when the doctor yanked Lucy free and held her up, Jenna screamed “Lou-Seeeeeeeeee”, Lucy’s expression embodied the essence of “WTF?”, and I was killed & reborn again.

What was your Best Time Ever? What was your Worst Time Ever?

EDIT: Here’s how strange my life is; this was a total accident, but it’s a sign that I’m unconsciously whole and motivated by super trippy forces beyond my control. Notice that my Worst Time involved Chris (CHRIST) and my Best Time involved Lucy (LUCIFER). The way up is the way down. The Ghost Of Dead Skip slowly nods his wise dead head.

Imagine my middle fingers.


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.



They’re all asleep. I’m alone (alonealone… ). That tenacious ancient longing stirs from within my most infinite places but I am jarred by the memory that I’m a Daddy Blogger. I’m trying to maintain a family atmosphere. Very well then. There are balloons littered about. Red and yellow and blue. The night is sexless. I am drinking tea when The Ghost Of Dead Skip appears. He is an eerily faded neon kind of green that faintly flickers like his spirit is on the blink. He looks totally freaking cool. I wish you were here.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: What wise tidings call you forth on their behalf, Ghost Of Dead Skip?
GHOST OF DEAD SKIP: I have come to speak with you about your progress in the subtle ways of The Force.
BHJ: Hold it right there. We can’t call it “The Force”, Ghost Of Dead Skip. Lucas has “The Force” totally trademarked.
GODS: Well what should we call it then?
BHJ: How about… The Stuff?
GODS: Naw.
BHJ: The Sweet Powers?
GODS: Hmmm. No.
BHJ: I got it. I got it. Ready? The JUICE!
GODS: O good call, man, good call. Awesome movie with young Tupac.
BHJ: Word. Tupac was so dope. Didn’t he take 9?
GODS: No. I’m pretty sure 50 Cent took 9.
BHJ: Well, if The Game took 5 and 50 Cent took 9, how many did Tupac take?
GODS: I think Tupac got all shot up before they started bragging about how many they took.
BHJ: Believe dat. Did you know I took 1, Ghost Of Dead Skip?
GODS: Bullshit.
BHJ: No really. Randy Potratz shot me in the ass with a pellet gun pumped up 20 times. I tear up the mic with mad flowz about it too. Check it:

I took 1 in the butt / So what / if it was a pellet / What the hell it / still hurts / to catch a blast / in yo ass / You naïve jerks

GODS: The Juice is strong with this one.
BHJ: Dude I am the Juiciest! My cup isn’t half empty. It’s not even half full. It’s filled to the top with Juice. My Juice runneth over!
GODS: Slow down, eager young Juicy one. This is precisely what I’ve come to talk to you about, Black Hockey. You are indeed well versed in the subtle ways of The Juice.
BHJ: Believe dat.
GODS: But there is yet still a long path to tread. For there is Juicy and then there is Juicy. The truest sign of the one with the most Juice is he who has forgotten all about his own Juice. The One who is so Juicy that knowledge of his own Juice falls away has indeed achieved the rarest concentration of Juiciness.
BHJ: Holy Crap Ghost Of Dead Skip!
GODS: And because Dooce rhymes with Juice, we must speak about her as well.
BHJ: Yes of course. Dooce. Dooce has the most Juice.
GODS: She does. And I’m concerned about some of the things you’ve written about her in your guest post for Cynical Dad set to drop on Monday, June 30.
BHJ: Did you say Monday, June 30?
GODS: Yes. Monday, June 30. On Cynical Dad. Anyway, some of the things you wrote about Dooce are outlandish and untrue.
BHJ: I’m sorry, but I respectfully disagree, Master. Every single thing I write is true.
GODS: True? But what Truth is this, Black Hockey Jesus?
GODS: Try me, Col. Jessup.
BHJ: Master… Truth is merely the twin sister of Fiction, both of whom are the children of the Mother Of All Things.
GODS: And the Mother Of All Things?
BHJ: Imagination, Ghost Of Dead Skip. The Mother Of All Things is Imagination.
GODS (nodding slowly): The Juice is strong with this one.