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Monday, January 31, 2005
Our House is a Laxative. Along with a Certain Law Office I Know. And Our Bed is a Litterbox. Apparently.
Mia has been developing a regular pooping schedule over the past few months, which anyone who’s even skimmed a book on parenting a toddler will tell you is just another sign that she’s ready to be potty-training. Which is something we’ve been phasing into for the past few months. (We’re totally half-assing this whole potty-training thing. Although every time I see my Dad’s wife, she asks if we’ve been doing the Weekend Potty-Party, wherein you put your toddler on the toilet every 30 minutes or hour. I think we have a little too much going on for that, but thanks. She's using the potty; we're just working on getting her to tell us when she needs to go . . . before it's too late.)

The funny part of this is that her BMs have been moving toward being one a day . . . specifically between 5:45 and 6:15, Monday through Friday. Which corresponds with the drive home from daycare. Or our stop at Michelle’s office on Wednesdays. She has us so trained that we usually ask her if she needs to go when we get home. The answer’s usually “No.” And within five minutes, she takes that thoughtful pause in her playing, followed by the tell-tale stink.

Topping this off is Archie bookending our weekend with an unexpected return to bed-pissing. Friday evening, he peed on our bed, and then again this morning. I really wish we had an extra, well-ventilated room that we could outfit with replicas of our bed and our couch, but we don’t. I'm not sure if any of methods Styro tried with Chet would work for us. (She's had mixed success.) I think the next step is the igloo. After that, it’ll be a rocket-ship ride with Paul Wolfowitz and Anne Coulter.

Friday, January 28, 2005
Back from the Dead
Thanks to my Indian friend (skilled in the art of Technonecromancy), our computer has been brought back to life.

It was a comedy of errors, really. It started with me unable to find the driver for the ethernet card I thought was installed on my computer. Upon taking the computer apart, my friend noticed that the Dell Dimension 2350 has a built-in network adapter, and we just needed to find the driver on my reinstall disc. Which we did. Then the problem was getting the ethernet connection to work so that I could complete my Comcast account (re)setup. Which I did. So now, we’re set for 24/7 updating.

Y’know . . . as long as we can stay awake and/or remain focused. Or as long as our ethernet connection will stay connected. ‘Cuz it’s buggin’.


As it turns out, I’ll be doing more than five mix CDs . . . like, eight. Maybe nine. We’ll see what kind of mood I’m in as I’m burning them. Next week.


I was at the grocery store yesterday, and I noticed the cover of J-14 Magazine . . . for teens. Besides all the promises of teen kissy-face action, there was something about “why Jojo can’t hook up.” And Jojo looks to be a teenage girl. Anyone else think that’s a little disturbing? I mean, maybe I thought that 14 seemed like a young age to be “hooking up,” but then I reflect back to ninth and tenth grades. I guess I’m just old . . . er. Older.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Some Like it Hot
Several of you might like spicy ethnic food. I know I do.

You know the routine: You go to your favorite Indian / Thai restaurant and, when you place your order, they ask you how hot you want it (mild, medium, or hot). Well, what happens when they don’t ask you that?

Tallahassee isn’t exactly an ethnic-dining Mecca, but we have our share of Indian restaurants (two, I think) and Thai restaurants (also two). Anyway, my friends and I have been to them all. Michelle and I met at one of the Thai places for lunch today. We’ve been there a few times, so I was surprised when I ordered my green curry, armed with my nouveau-specific “medium plus” designation, and the guy didn’t ask how hot I wanted it. I think he was new.

Most of the time, there’s not a lot of consistency with food “hot-ness” in these restaurants. Mild and medium are often interchangeable, and hot could be just right . . . or could put you in the hospital. It varies night to night, and place to place. So, apparently, when they don’t ask how you'd like it, they make it "hot." Because my curry was spicy. I really liked it, but I’m afraid a lot of people would’ve been unhappy.

The moral of the story: We may need consistency with regard to spicy food. Is Bush appointing a Spicy Ethnic Food Czar? And would the Senate confirm him or her? Maybe Governor Bush could appoint one here in Florida?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
When I’m Not Visiting Your Sites, Rest Assured That I’m Up to No Good*
So here’s the deal. Our computer is back-to-life enough that I can rip songs and burn CDs, and I did just that. (Not-so-) Coincidentally, so did Michelle. The first five people** who express an interest in getting a copy will get a copy.

But . . . before you rush off to click the comments or e-mail me (yeah, right), you should know that it’s not a CD of Dave Matthews songs, or Rod Stewart’s greatest hits. It’s a very “me” mix, with lots of indie rock and/or obscure “major label” bands, running the gamut of femme punk to post-punk to post-rock to goth torch-ballad to bordering-on-offensive British guitar rock to new wave and back to femme punk***. And heartfelt, sensitive-male naval gazing. And aggressive female acoustic stuff about drinking and doing drugs. And The Pixies.

Okay, there’s the disclaimer. GO!

* Real content . . . sometime later.

** Oh, the “small print”: I’d like to make sure that at least two of these find their way into the hands of people who’ve never received a KL mix. Compound that with the fact that one or two of these five are likely spoken for. But, hey, guarantee that one of them will show up in YOUR mailbox. Comment first, comment often.

*** I'm really not a militant lesbian. Really.

Monday, January 24, 2005
”I Put the Fuck in My Pussy.”
Kids say the strangest things, don’t they?

When I went to pick Mia up on Friday, our daycare provider told me Mia said something that I’d get a big kick out of.

“Oh, really?”

“Yes. She came up to me and said, ‘I put the fork in my purse.’”* The other parents and kids looked confused as to why this would be amusing. I guess they’re not up on our child’s interesting mispronunciation.

In other news, our garage sale was somewhat of a flop (for us, anyway). And I no longer need to worry about whether the Steelers will make it to the Super Bowl. And if you’re having trouble seeing/loading the title graphic, I might just go back to the old template. And I’m going to be giving away a mix CD in the next 36 hours, so stay tuned.

* In and of itself, this may seem like a very odd thing for a child to say. But she has a thing for forks and purses. Both of which she was likely playing with at the time.

Friday, January 21, 2005
It's that new title graphic I promised!

That's all I have time for. Enjoy the soothing sounds of Fuel.

Thursday, January 20, 2005
I’m No Rock Star
I think it’s been well-established that I’m not even the biggest rock star in my own household. Shit, looking at this picture, I might even rank third.

Anyway, we had a show the other night. You didn’t hear about it? Yeah, big fuckin’ surprise. As far as music scenes go, Tallahassee is right up there with the Peorias and Albanys of the world . . . meaning several orders of magnitude below Austin or Seattle or Omaha. And no-one in our shit-ass town even knows who we are so. All this means we’re batting 0.000.

To illustrate my point, here’s a timeline of a night in the life of a non-rock star. (And no, there aren’t any fucking pictures. Why? Because no-one takes pictures of non-rock stars!)

5:25 p.m.: Leave work to pick up daughter from daycare. (So many things about that sentence should clue you in to my non-rock-star status.)

6:05 p.m.: Daughter shits diaper, which I smell from two rooms away. I had just asked her if she needed to “go potty.” Bath time!

6:20 p.m.: Watch news while eating dinner (leftover pizza) and drinking a beer (Michelob AmberBock).

6:22 p.m.: Run a roll of toilet paper to wife who has been screaming for me from the bathroom at the other end of the house.

6:45 p.m.: Decide to have that second beer while eating popcorn and folding clothes (“the whites”).

7:05 p.m.: Leave house.

7:30 p.m.: Arrive at practice space. Break down and load equipment (ourselves) into our own cars / trucks / SUVs.

8:05 p.m.: Arrive at venue for “load-in.” Promptly load-in.

8:20 to 10:10 p.m.: Talk idly to band members, members of other bands, and venue staff. Call friends to see if any of them are actually planning on coming to the show so I can put someone (anyone!) on the guest list. Make several trips to the car to listen to the FSU / Wake Forest basketball game that is, coincidentally, taking place two blocks away. Have a cider.

10:10 p.m.: The first “band” starts . . . a guy with a guitar, lots of guitar effects, a video projector (locked and loaded), and a screen. The next 35 minutes is an aural Spectre of Doom . . . a mindfuck in about five movements. Wish we had some pot. The next band is a reformation of a (much-hyped) broken-up local band that I comment to anyone who will listen that I really expected more. The third band (from out of town and old friends of one of my bandmates) plays a straight-up emo-rock set . . . very tight. They play for a long time, though. Or maybe it just seemed that way; reportedly, it was 45 of “real” time. My fourth and fifth beers/ciders have started to wear off. I’m getting sleepy and anxious at the same time. It’s after 12:30.

1:00 to 1:35 a.m.: We play our set to a crowd of about 12 to 15 people. This isn’t a modest approximation, by the way.

After we finished, it was time to break down, load out, and go home. The venue manager handed our singer two twenties as payment, which is $10 more than we got for our last show. I was in bed by 2:15, after setting my alarm to go off at 6:22 a.m. Because I had to get up for work. Because I’m not a fucking rock star. The End.

In other news, Mia threw up at daycare yesterday, so Michelle and I are switching off with her. I’m at work for the moment, but I’ve finished what I came in to do, so I’m leaving. Actually, I got to see Bush’s Coronation Address at noon. Very nice. There were so many disturbing things about the speech, but nothing made me forget seeing Santorum’s face over Bush’s shoulder while he took the Oath of Office™.

Pray for our Future™, the Internet.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Can’t We at Least be Friends?
I’m a little bummed because I heard (through the proverbial grapevine) that some of my politically motivated friends aren’t motivated enough to work on my politically motivated weblog project. Which is sad. For me. Not them, you, or the soon to be re-crowned “president.”

To balance things out, though, I have on my good-karma floaties. Here’s the stuff that's been keeping me afloat:
-- After watching Supernanny last night with Michelle, I realized that we’re not really bad parents. (That, and I’m getting a vasectomy if I have to perform that motherfucker myself.)

-- The Steelers advanced to the AFC championship game.

-- After about eight tries, I finally beat Michelle at Scrabble.

But wait! To balance out my balancing out, of course there’s a flipside (or three):
-- Apparently, we have nothing better to do with our time than watch Supernanny.

-- The Steelers have to play the Patriots. Again.

-- Michelle was really mad when I beat her.

I celebrated MLK Day with my daughter, whose daycare was closed (we had to work, as Michelle works for attorneys and I work at a company based in California). But it was a fun day, watching Mia play with her cousin, poop and pee in one potty sitting (first time for that), and get assaulted by my friend's frisky poodle (Chewie).

Thursday, January 13, 2005
I Stole a Fork
Our flatware at home is like this. Very plain and utilitarian and matching. Except for two spoons that I took from my dad’s when I was living there. (They were the perfect-sized spoons.)

At work, we have a kitchenette with all sorts of mismatched plates, glasses, mugs, and flatware. And there was one particular fork that I used whenever it was clean. It was similar to this pattern. So, anyway, I took it home.

For Christmas, we received a gift card from Bed, Bath & Beyond, which I used to buy four place settings of the bamboo pattern. But I don’t think I’ll return the kidnapped fork because it has a subtle difference (flat handle instead of round) . . . and a story to tell.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
December Birthday

It’s suddenly December
and the beach road knows—
how rust-colored trees lean over us,
sunlight strobing through.

It’s “Slow Hands” through Crawfordville
with our daughter strapped in—
swinging beads, swaying her body, shaking her head to the beat
and Paul’s lovelorn protestations.

You hum along, quietly.

It’s decidedly December
with Ochlockonee Bay at neap tide—
a lonely dock stretching over the dank sand—
cloud mountains ever ahead—
over the coastal pines,
over the tidal flats,
over your porcelain face, my finger floats
behind your ear where your half-broken glasses rest.

It’s us, framed in the rearview—
my face and right side of yours—
reflected and together.

You smile knowingly.

Monday, January 10, 2005
If You’re Happy and You Know It, Nod Your Head
A couple of Mia’s Christmas gifts included CDs of children’s songs and/or nursery rhymes that we’re apparently supposed to listen to in the car with her. It was okay to pretend like this didn’t happen . . . for a couple days. And then the grandparents started asking about them. So I broke down and started bringing the three-disc Baby Genius* collection in the car on the way to daycare.

As pained as I was to surrender any precious drive time to rousing versions of the ABC song or “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”**, I’ve discovered that it makes me a much more pleasant driver. I find that I’m much more tolerant of bad drivers, much less likely to swear (even under my breath) at some cocksucker who cut me off or ran a stop sign, and much less likely to feel angry in general.

I’m not sure whether I appreciate this or not. Although, it is nice to not worry that you might hear your daughter mimic you and yell “motherfucker!” while you’re humming along to Interpol or Auf der Maur.

* After starting Mia with the often-brilliant Baby Einstein videos, the Baby Genius series seems like a cheap imitation. Mia doesn’t seem to notice, which means we’re not raising her correctly. What, next she’ll be wearing clothes from Wal-Mart and drinking Coors?

** We were listening to this one yesterday, when I commented that the woman’s singing of, “I wanna go faster!” sounded dirty. And Michelle told me that I can make anything dirty. I mean, shouldn’t these children’s videos / CDs have an in (so to speak) for the parents if we’re going to have to sit through them?

Friday, January 07, 2005
Losing the Battle, Losing the War
The other morning, I woke up and got ready for work. As is the routine, when I was dressed and clean-shaven, I went out to the living room to eat my cereal and watch Headline News. It was then that I noticed our cat had peed on the couch. Again. There was even a puddle of it resting in an indention. The offending cat was standing there, looking up at me, waiting for me to sit down and provide him with the customary warm lap.

All the cleaning up after him, all the piss-prevention we’ve done, all the extra litter-box cleanings . . . every way to fight the War on (Feline-Urine) Terror, and we just keep losing. So, I decided to try something new.

In the heat of the moment, I grabbed the cat by the scruff of his neck, flipped him onto his back, and proceeded to wipe up the cat pee with him. Strangely, startled and angry Siamese cats aren’t very absorbent.

Of course, while victory seemed within my grasp, he went to clean himself . . . sitting on my pillow. Still, he hasn't peed on anything outside of the litter box in four days.


I’ve read lots of New Year’s Eve stories that pale in comparison to mine: Going to the in-law’s and playing Scrabble ‘til midnight (and beyond). That’s it. That’s what we did (throw in a lot of beer and champagne to get the full effect).

Michelle and I hadn’t played in years, but we warmed up on Michelle’s mom and sister (respectively), setting up a “championship” game the next morning. Which she won. And a rematch that night that she won. And another rematch a couple nights ago that she won (but not so much as I lost . . . drawing the Q, Z, W, X, and a blank to start the game . . . I mean, WTF?).

Look, Michelle’s good. Stefan Fatsis would probably call her “livingroom good,” but still.

I feel so small.


To track my resolutions from last year, I kept a list of all the books read and movies seen; the goal was 12 and 52, respectively. I think I made it on the books, but only watched slightly over half of the movies. So, anyway, I’ll try again this year.

Other resolutions for 2005 are to not weigh more a year from now (that’s as emphatic as I can be about personal fitness at the moment) and take more pictures (AND post them) and write more poems (AND post them, too).

Oh, and be a better husband and father.

I guess that’s it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Kamikaze Lunchbreak Productions presents: Looking Back at 2004
Finishing Something
Y’know, I was thinking I’d scrap this whole 2004 retrospective idea (as I did last year) seeing that it’s now 2005 and we, as Americans, hate introspection and reflection. But then I thought, “Fuck that,” because I never finish a goddamn thing. And that shit’s gotta stop. Yo. (Incidentally, the mental mantra of “You never finish anything” will play in my head this year, every time I decide not to write something down, not to pick up the camera.)

So, despite the fact that I received exactly one (or one-and-a-half) submission for the “Best of 2004,” I’m pressing ahead. Don’t get in my way, and no-one gets hurt.

Best Movie (Seen): Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (didn’t see The Incredibles or Sideways . . . but I did see Garden State)

Worst Movie (Period): The Chronicles of Riddick

Best Book (Read): The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Best Hotel Heiress Blowjob Video (Seen): Hmmm. I’ll let you know if I run across something for this strangely specific category. I don’t recall anything off the top of my head.

Best Show: Deadwood (sorry, Lost)

Best CD: Antics by Interpol

Best Example of Paternal “Branding” of Offspring: Jessica and Ashlee Simpson’s father (In an effort to not compete with big-sis Jessica, Ashlee is trying to bite into the “punk- chic” market. For fuck’s sake, Ashlee Simpson makes Avril look like Kira Roessler.)

Melman’s Top 10 Moment’s of American Culture in 2004:
10. Janet Jackson’s right tit
9. Bill O’Reilly’s vibrator
8. Jon Stewart calling Tucker Carlson a “dick” on Crossfire
7. Fox trying to sue over the use of the phrase “fair and balanced”
6. Curt Schilling
5. Janet Jackson’s right tit
4. Indiana Pacers Ron Artest beating up the wrong guy
3. Offical Bush definition of Tribal Sovereignty (http://www.jefm.net/audio/Bush%-%Tribal%Sovereignty.mp3)
2. New Political Demographic - United States of Canada vs. Jesusland
1. Janet Jackson’s right tit

(Ed. note: I won’t try and expand on or dispute this list, other than to say that there seems to be quite an emphasis on Ms. Jackson’s publicity stunt. Also, when questioned on the inclusion of Curt Schilling, our dear Melman was unaware that Curt was “shilling” for Bush in the days leading up to the election. [I assume his inclusion on the list was in reference to his Cortizone-injection-fueled slaying of the bloated Yankees.] As a side note, I saw that Under Armor has trademarked their [silly] catchphrase, “We Must Protect This House™.” More like “We Must Protect This Profit Margin!”)

All of that aside, here is Melman’s brilliant MS Paint take on the Janet Jackson marketing ploy:

Worst Song: Actually, it’s a tie between several very, very, very bad remakes . . . like Jessica’s version of “Take My Breath Away” or Sheryl Crowe’s take on “The First Cut is the Deepest.” No Doubt’s “It’s My Life” has a nice groove to it, even if adding nothing to the original.

Worst (Period): That nü-country duet featuring Ms. Crowe and Kid Rock. Sweet monkey balls!* That. Song. Makes. Me. Want. To. Flay. The skin. Off. My. Entire. Body. It’s bad enough to make real country music sound good. Which is a feat only French rap bands and Blues Traveler can perform.

Look, this list is by no means comprehensive . . . or comprehensible. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could finish something. At least I didn’t say I’d finish it well. Then I’d be fucked.

* Borrowed, as always, for the dear Mr. ADD. Who's now as old as I am.

Monday, January 03, 2005
Welcome (Back) to Kamikazeland
It’s great stellar okay to be back. I started off my week by having a cavity drilled this morning. As pleasant as my dentist tries to make it, this one was pretty difficult. Not painful, just hard to keep my mouth open for the entire procedure. It must really be hard to be Paris Hilton.

Here’s the promised quiz / meme / bit-o-gayness. Better late than never, right? (I’ll be saying that a lot this week, I’m sure.)

Three names you go by:
-- Scott
-- Hey, Asshole
-- Mr. Sand-in-his-Vagina

Three screennames you have:
-- Scott-san
-- divebomber71 (AOL IM)
-- Um . . .

Three things you like about yourself:
-- Despite my shortcomings, I seem to have gotten something right with my daughter.
-- Geez, this is hard.
-- That’s about it.

Three things you hate/dislike about yourself:
-- My lack of focus / motivation smothers any creative spark I have. I’m where good ideas go to die, apparently.
-- I’m always losing my patience in ugly, stabbing-bedroom-doors-with-a-screwdriver ways.
-- My pants are getting tight, and there are two unopened containers of egg nog in the fridge.

Three parts of your heritage:
-- “Scotch, Dutch, and Welsh” is what my mom used to tell me.
-- Mom was born in New Zealand to an American woman and a New Zealand Air Force pilot, so I guess that makes me one-quarter New Zealand-ish (or is it New Zealand-ese, or just Kiwi?).
-- Reportedly, I’m one-sixteenth Native-American.

Three things that scare you:
-- spiders
-- another four years of Dubya
-- having some horrible tragedy befall my wife and/or daughter

Three of your everyday essentials:
-- a little music in the car (at least)
-- this web-comic (weekdays)
-- a good poop? (look, this is hard stuff . . . not my poop)

Three things you are wearing right now:
-- In true metrosexual fashion, I’m wearing a baby-blue short-sleeved button down from Banana Republic; it matches my eyes.
-- Some fading, years-old navy blue khakis from Gap.
-- Fake-leather shoes from Target.

Three of your favorite bands/artists (at the moment; not counting mine or the wife’s):
-- Interpol
-- The Stills
-- Er . . . I’m at a loss. Mono?

Three things you want to try in the next 12 months:
-- Making curry once a week.
-- Putting together a poetry chapbook and/or another poetry journal.
-- Taking lots and lots of cool pictures.

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
-- friendship
-- stimulation (of all kinds)
-- boobs (and allowing me to touch them)

Two truths and a lie (random order):
-- I proposed to my wife during a fight.
-- I’m a great dancer.
-- Lunch today? Campbell’s Select Chicken & Egg Noodles, Beer Nuts, a can of pineapple chunks, and a grape soda.

Three physical things about the opposite (or same) sex that appeals to you:
-- skin
-- voice
-- milkshake

Three things you just can't do:
-- play drums
-- stop eating
-- finish anything (except a meal)

Three of your favorite hobbies:
-- playing music
-- “writing”
-- disc golf

Three things you want to do really badly right now:
-- eat something else
-- hug my daughter and have her hug me back
-- I’ll go with THB on “get out of debt.”

Three careers you're considering:
-- technical editing
-- non-technical editing
-- some other kind of editing . . . or indie record-company baron

Three places you want to go on vacation:
-- England
-- Japan
-- New Zealand

Three kids names:
-- Elowyth
-- Serendipity
-- anything but Julian

Three things you want to do before you die:
-- see my daughter grow up and make us proud
-- get published in a way that would make anyone proud
-- really live

Three people who have to take this quiz, or not:
I think everyone else has taken it. Haven’t you, The Internet?