What a Waste

Posted by Brandon |

Today I went to Pep Boys to buy $3.00 worth of fuses for my messed up car - I have a gremlin in the electrical system and it's starting to seriously piss me off. One item, $3, and here is the receipt that Pep Boys issued to me...


The above picture doesn't even do the receipt justice. It's a full 20 inches long. Uhhh, thanks Pep Boys. I always appreciate a free tree with any purchase.

In the immortal words of Mitch Hedberg - "We do not need to bring ink and paper into this."


Dear Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA

Posted by Brandon |

I just wanted to quickly write and thank you for your role in the birth of our first child, a little girl named Adelaide, three months ago. We couldn't have done it without you.

My wife went through virtually everything possible when delivering a baby. She had to be induced, she had high blood pressure, she got an epidural, she had to have antibiotics...you name it, she had it. Unfortunately for her, there were no Prescott Pharmaceuticals in the entire hospital. All of this could've been avoided with just a little bit of Vaxiwomb.

As a result of being in labor so long and because of all of the drugs that my wife had to have in her system, our little girl had a flat heart rate. As you know as a doctor yourself, her heart rate should change whenever mom has a contraction. Unfortunately, whenever mom had a contraction, Addie's heart rate stayed constant. She was asleep, knocked out by the drugs, and that's a sign of a baby that has been very stressed by the labor.

Various methods of stimulation were used to try to wake her up but nothing worked until I remembered just how much she reacted and kicked when I read her stories or when we watched The Colbert Report during the pregnancy. So I grabbed my bag and pulled out the only book that I brought to the hospital - I Am America, (And So Can You!).

Between contractions, we covered such important topics as sports, sex and dating, and homosexuals. And I'm happy to report that not only did her heart rate improve and she was born completely healthy, but she also already knows that sports isn't her thing, we've already had "the talk" and she knows all about the vast gay conspiracy - although she still insists on breast feeding, maybe I need to read that chapter to her again.

And yesterday I swear that in the middle of her incoherent baby babbling, she called Barack Obama a secret Muslim. I am so proud.

So thanks again, Dr. Colbert, for your inspirational and baby saving book. When we got home, we cleared all of her other books off of her book shelf because we know that your's is the only one that she'll ever need.

Truthinessly yours,

P.S...I tried to convince the wife to drop the Australian name, Adelaide, in favor of Liberty Colbert, but she's obviously not as patriotic as you or I.


Bad Daddy

Posted by Brandon |

Because it was so hot here yesterday, we decided to cool off at the beach. Taking Addie to the beach means bringing a ton of stuff. Chairs, towels, body board, picnic bag, diaper bag and of course, her in her car seat. Death? tried to grab what she could, but I still ended up with the chairs, the diaper bag and Addie.

Both of my arms were full and weighted down so I couldn't kick off my flip-flops once we hit the thick sand. It didn't occur to me that flip-flops are like little springy scoop shovels from hell. So when I got down to where Death? was setting up shop and I finally got to drop the chairs and put Addie down, I was shocked and totally dismayed to find her covered in a layer of sand. It was everywhere. It was in her hair, her mouth, her eyes, her nose, her clothes, her diapers, her little fat rolls, her car seat. Everywhere.

I felt so horrible. It was the first time I've made a mistake like that so far. Bad daddy! Baaaaad daddy!

Thankfully, all was okay. She didn't even cry, not at all. In fact, I think she kind of liked it. A quick wash up with a towel at the beach and later a shower with mommy and despite still finding sand hidden in various places, all was forgotten...for her. I'll never forget the day that I gave her her first sand bath and how bad and how stupid it made me feel. I'm sure it won't be the last time.

Related bad daddy stuff - She went to her first movie on Friday, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She was awake for the whole movie and may have accidentally seen her first naked man. Whoops!

Then today, we took her to a matinée of Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. Thankfully for her future vocab, she slept through the whole thing.


Fun With Random Medicine Review Questions

Posted by Brandon |

Death? just randomly flipped open her Family Medicine Board Review book and landed on this little gem...

"369. A 38-year-old describes severe rectal pain associated with pallor, diaphoresis, and tachycardia that lasts for only a few minutes. The pains occur mostly at night and are described as spasms. The most likely diagnosis is...

A) thromobosed hemorrohoids
B) irritable bowel syndrome
C) ulcerative colitis
D) gay bowel syndrome
E) proctalgia fugax"

So, show of hands. How many of you are going with "gay bowel syndrome" just out of the sheer want to answer a question with "gay bowel syndrome"?

"Answer and Discussion
The answer is E. Proctalgia Fugax is a unique anal pain. Patients...experience severe episodes of spasm-like pain that often occur at night. Proctaglia fugax may only occur once a year, or may be sporadic in waves of three or four times per week. Each episode lasts only minutes, but the pain is severe...Patients experience urgency to defecate, yet pass no stool...little can be done to treat proctalgia fugax."

In so many words, proctalgia fugax is simply a fucking awful random ass spasm that has virtually no rhyme or reason or has any treatment. What a pain in the butt that must be!

And gay bowel syndrome is so out of favor in the medical community that Death? assumed it was a fake answer option. Turns out, it's not. It was a term coined in the 1970's to describe a bunch of anal disorders found in gay males. It fell out of favor in the 80's because it is was so inherently wrong and is only used today by anti-homosexual groups.

Death? says it's inclusion as an answer on the test is probably to throw off old-timers that still think it's an accepted term. It helps root out the old troll doctors that haven't kept up with the times.

Oh the things you learn and the fun you can have when you just randomly open up a medicine board review book.


Yesterday and today in Down With Pants! history...

2007 - Polenta = Masa = Ewww = Sleeping on the Couch and Happy Feet is Propaganda
2006 - 2006 Sitcom Tournament - Sweet Sixteen
2005 - Weezer!!!


Pants Free Is The Way To Be

Posted by Brandon |

Being a stay at home daddy may be difficult, probably harder than any job that I've ever had - my client is very demanding - but it has allowed me to finally practice what I preach.

Tomorrow, I will be pants free for three weeks. Yes, I haven't worn long pants since April 5th and I can't really see a situation between now and, well, winter that I will need to wear them. Down With Pants! indeed.

To add to my very mature shorts only wardrobe, I am now also rocking the very adult camouflage Converse...

Last year I wrote about a letter to the editor that appeared in our local weekly that complained about how all the camouflage clothing in stores promotes and glamorizes war. To her I just have one thing to say today....How you like me now, you stupid, over PC bitch!?

In case you are wondering, I just turned 31. Go me!


Today in Down With Pants! history...

2006 - This Gas Issue Is Bullshit
2005 - Spam Keeps Getting Weirder
2004 - Ex-NFL Player Pat Tillman Killed In Action In Afghanistan


My Thighs! My Thighs!

Posted by Brandon |

So you know that part in Juno where Pauly Bleeker is getting ready to go running and he takes his deodorant and applies it to his inner thighs...

Not only did this scene catch my attention because Michael Cera's short shorts and pasty white legs really do it for me - I'm not surprised Juno wanted a piece of that, but also because I suffer from an affliction known as thightinimus fattidius, or fat thigh disease. I have fat thighs. I have fat thighs that like to rub together and it bothers the shit out of me. I need a solution and Juno gave me an idea.

So tonight before softball, because I need to make sure I'm geared up for maximum performance for beer league softball, I went ahead and rolled it on. And guess what? It actually works! Thigh friction be gone!

Seriously, if you're like me and you have thigh friction issues, and I think a lot of people do, fat or not, I highly recommend this little runners trick. Throw some deodorant up on those thighs and not only will your crotch smell like Old Spice (in my case) but your inner thighs will be nice and lubricated. You too will be ready to suck at softball.

So thanks Juno! Not only have you made me cry (yes, I cried, I still kick ass!), but you've also made me think...about my inner thighs. My friction-free inner thighs.

UPDATE: Thanks to Peeved Michelle for so snarkily alerting me to a few of the different friction creams available...

Greyhound Juice Anti-Friction Cream and Brave Soldier Friction Zone look like great little products. I had no idea that this was even an option. But why would I search out and spend money on these items when I can just spread some Old Spice on down there? Hmmm...perhaps I'll have to compare and contrast all of these items very soon.


Today in Down With Pants! History...

2007 - Telecommuting
2006 - Shameless Cross Promotion - Central Valley Coyotes



Posted by Brandon |

30 seconds of cuteness specifically engineered for Grandmas and Great Grandmas. Get ready for a little surprise at the end!

Sometimes I do love California. Where else would you see a surfer swim by with his dog on the front of the board?

Welcome to the Topper Motel! Ventura's finest halfway house.

Little monster window art at Archie McPhee in Seattle.

My hometown of Olympia, Washington from the Capital Campus. Yes, California has surfers with dogs, but I need trees.


Lazy Yo Gabba Gabba Blogging

Posted by Brandon |

Ugh, so lazy tonight. Here I have a small window of opportunity to do some writing (Death? and Addie are both out of the house) and yet all I want to do is post my favorite clip from Yo Gabba Gabba...

There's some tacos in my tummy! So yummy, so yummy!


Today in Down With Pants! History...

2007 - Rise and Shine...It's Earth Day!
2004 - Howard Bulson Returns!



Posted by Brandon |

I don't know if too many people know this or not, but many minor league baseball teams ask local area families to host their players for the season. The family takes the player in, let's them stay at their house and makes them feel at home all in exchange for season tickets, typically. Usually it's a great situation. The families love it, the players like the home cooking and cheap or free rent and people generally get along.

Not always though. When I worked for the Elmira Pioneers in 2000, we had one problem player - Reymundo D. The first time I met Rey, I picked him up from the Greyhound station - interesting way to get to Elmira from Puerto Rico, don't you think? I asked him what position he played and he responded "lefthand peetcher" and made the throwing motion with his right arm. I don't know why, but that kind of tipped me off to him being a little unstable.

Later in the season, when his host family came to complain that he was taking their teenage son's clothing and wearing it like it was his own, they also informed us of his daily routine...

Get up, smoke a bowl, eat a bowl of cereal, take a shower, go back to sleep.
An hour later: Get up, smoke a bowl, eat a bowl of cereal, take a shower, go back to sleep.
An hour later: Get up, smoke a bowl, eat a bowl of cereal, take a shower, go back to sleep.
An hour later: Get up, smoke a bowl, eat a bowl of cereal, take a shower, go back to sleep.
An hour....you get the idea. It usually continued like that until he had to get ready to report to the ballpark.

The life of a ballplayer, huh?

Yeah, he didn't last too much longer with us after that. In fact, and I'm still not totally sure why, he ended up cleaning the ballpark with the cleaning crew in the mornings after a game day. I think he was broke and couldn't get a Greyhound ticket back to Puerto Rico. Weed, your own clothes and your own cereal can really put a strain on the old pocketbook.

God I miss working in baseball.


Today in Down With Pants! history...

Apparently, April 21st is a DWP! day of rest. No history to speak of.


Redux: The Hardest Working Pope In Show Business

Posted by Brandon |

In honor of the Pope's visit this week, I bring you my post from exactly three years ago...


Uh, uh, aaaaaaaahhhh yeah...

Just throw your hands in the A-yer and wave 'em like ya just don't cay-yer and if you like fish and grits and all that pimp shit somebody say oh yay-yer.

The clinic, the clinic, the clinics on fire! The clinic, the clinic, the clinics on fire...
we don't need no water let the muthafucka burn, burn abortion clinic, burn!

Somebody Sing Oh la, oh la ay...Oh la, oh la ay!
Oh la, oh la ay...Oh la, oh la ay!

I wanna hear ya say We don't need no condoms, come on...We don't need no condoms!
I can't hear you! We don't need no condoms...We don't need no condoms!

(Benedict starts doing the Ed Lover dance)
Go Benny! Go Benny! Go, go, go Benny!
Go Benny! Go Benny! Go, go, go Benny!

I wanna hear the ladies say AIDS is for the wicked...AIDS is for the wicked!
Come on ladies, say AIDS is for the wicked...AIDS is for the wicked!

After mass it's the after mass party and, after the party it's St. Peter's lobby and, after the lobby ya gotta freak an alter boy's body and...

Now somebody, anybody, everybody SCREAM!!!....AHHHHHHH!!!



Today in Down With Pants! history...

2006: Machete! Machete!
2005: See above
2004: Mountain Trip To Japan, 1959


Layoff Scorecard

Posted by Brandon |

When I was reduced last month, I mentioned that I have now been laid off four different times. Each one was treated very differently by both myself and my employers. Here's the scorecard for each one...

Richmond Roosters Baseball Team
Situation: I moved to Richmond, Indiana from Olympia, Washington specifically for this job. I barely made any money and I was working long, long hours. I was supposed to sell advertising and tickets but I was struggling - Richmond isn't a big place and between three owners, a general manager and another sales executive, there weren't many sales to be had. I was assured that it was OK and since I brought their media relations up from nothing to really, really good, I thought I was safe.
Timing: The very next day after the first homestand and after two weeks straight of 12-14 hour days.
Who/how they told me: Three people - The team president, our general manager and a minority partner. The minority partner broke the news, for some reason. I think the owner and GM were too weenie to do it.
How I reacted: I won't lie, I started crying right then and there. I lost it.
Afterward: Two of my co-workers were planning on going to a Cincinnati Reds game that evening so we still went and afterwards they bought me dinner at Hooters.
Short term results: I thought I was stuck in Indiana, I had no idea what I was going to do. Luckily, I got out of my lease and decided to move home. An old boss had a team in Rockford, Illinois so I stopped there and he offered me a job but I didn't like the situation so I kept going back to Oly.
Long term results: Although my career in baseball ended with that, it turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me. I moved home, moved in with my girlfriend/future wife and haven't really looked back. Made me realize that being with her was more important than a job in baseball. Team no longer exists.
Overall Grade: "F" at the time, "A" in the long term

Stall & Dean/Ebbets Field Flannels
Situation: I was living in Seattle, working for a company that I loved. Too bad the company was going through some tough times. The crummy new owners moved my job to Connecticut and a couple of us got the axe.
Timing: Early summer. Gave us over a month before our last day.
Who/How They Told Me: I can't remember if they broke the news to us in a meeting or one-on-one. Either way, it wasn't bad.
How I reacted: I was sad, but I understood. The owners that we worked with didn't want it but were being strong armed by the new investors.
Afterward: Since we had a ton of time to prepare, we didn't do much commiserating.
Short term results: They allowed us to take any merchandise we wanted so I ended up with a ton of jerseys and caps and t-shirts. Made it almost worth getting let go. I found a job with Pioneer Organics and started working for them the day after my last day at Ebbets.
Long term results: Left Pioneer Organics after a month or two to take job with Archie McPhee. Still wear my jerseys quite often.
Overall Grade: "B"

Lime Green
Situation: My first non-temp job after I moved to Ventura. Worked for them for three months or so as their warehouse/shipping manager. Holiday sales were really, really poor and the company nearly went under. Since I was the last one hired in an office of four people, I got the boot.
Who/how they told me: The general manager told me out in the warehouse. She was pretty upset.
Timing: Worst part - only two weeks before Christmas.
How I reacted: Shock. Although I knew sales stunk, I had no idea I would be let go.
Afterward: Spent the evening surfing the internet trying to find another job.
Short term results: Found a new job with the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and was working before Christmas.
Long term results: Great experience in running a warehouse all by myself. Ended up at a job that I stayed with for a long time and I got paid much better.
Overall Grade: "C"

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Situation: Longest I've ever held a job - over two years. Managed the e-Commerce division. Company "reduced" 35 people or so.
Who/how they told me: Some flunky from human resources. The most cold, caluclated and corporate of my layoffs. Had to sign a bunch of stuff, waive some rights to get severance, etc.
Timing: Shortly before I was going to go on paternity leave, a few months before we are moving back to Seattle.
Afterward: Celebrated. Thanks Coffee Bean!
Short term results: Set me up to get paid until we move back to Seattle.
Long term results: Too early to tell. Most likely a great bond with Addie.
Overall Grade: "F" for the corporateness of it all, "A" for how happy I was to get let go.

Isn't it funny how something that seems so bad at the time could end up working out so well. All of the times I've been let go, things have worked out for the best. The Roosters led to me moving home and working at Ebbets. Ebbets got me some sweet gear and led me to working for Archie McPhee. Lime Green led me to The Coffee Bean and The Coffee Bean set me up to get paid until we move. Perhaps I'm just good at making the best out of a bad situation. That's definitely a surprise to me. That's usually not one of my better traits.


Today in Down With Pants! history...

2007: Orgasm Interupted
2006: Consumer Brandon
2005: Benedict is in the Hizzee
2004: Flames Down Canucks In OT - Iginla Is God


Drum Solo!

Posted by Brandon |

Every single time I walk by this shrub down our block, I can't help myself. My body is taken over and I have to play the kick ass drum transition from Phil Collins' "In The Air".

It's a stupid, silly, cheesy thing to do and I must look like a complete idiot when I do it. But what the hell, it makes me happy. I'll keep doing it, no matter what.


Jesus, Brandon and Joseph

Posted by Brandon |

Last night we rented and watched The Last Temptation of Christ. What an incredible film. Willem Dafoe makes for the creepiest Jesus ever. How in the world that movie didn't get nominated for more Academy Awards is beyond me. Martin Scorsese was nominated for Best Director, and that's it. No Best Actor for Dafoe, no Best Supporting Actor for Harvey Keitel as Judas, no art or costume design...nothing. And David Bowie is in it for God's sake. He plays Pontius Pilate. Bowie steals any movie that he's in. Ever seen him play Andy Warhol in Basquiat?

Now, I'm not a Christian nor am I really religious. I guess you could call me agnostic. I don't totally know what I believe. I'd like to believe that there is a God and an afterlife and this isn't all just a big random happening that ends when we die, but either way, it doesn't matter to me that much. Is there a word for someone that just doesn't have any need or really care about religion or spirituality in there lives?

I do believe in our interconnectedness and that how I conduct myself does somehow have an effect on others. I believe that being a good person, living a clean and good life and raising a family that shares those values and conducts themselves in the same manner is what it's all about. And I don't feel like I need anybody or scripture to tell me what is a good, clean life. I just know. It's programmed in me already. Death? calls me a Humanist. That's a pretty fair description. I'd take it a step further and call myself a Secular Humanist, if anything.

But the film did get me thinking, in a weird way, about hope and despair and it made me think about my own plight in recent months. I basically had lost all hope, all faith. Despair had started to set in. And just last night, I really thought that all was lost and I'd have to resign myself to a life without one particular light in it. Would I survive without it? Probably. Well, definitely. But would life be worth living without it? Ok, yes, very much so. But mornings wouldn't be quite as sweet.

And then I saw the light and the despair was gone and hope sprang anew...

I have searched high and low through the supermarkets of Ventura to find my favorite cereal ever - Chocolate Lucky Charms - and for months have been depressingly disappointed. What happened to it? Why is it gone?

But Ralph's has resurrected it, at least the recipe. Whatever, I'll take Chocolate Marshmallow Cosmos. Joseph Smith gave hope to a lot of people as a knockoff Jesus, Chocolate Marshmallow Cosmos are just Joseph Smith.

So I guess you can just call me Mormon from now on.


Obey Holly

Posted by Brandon |

When I was working for the great, threatened Archie McPhee - fine purveyors of the Librarian Action Figure, the Yodeling Pickle and the Avenging Narwhal - we leased the abandoned liquor store across the parking lot from the main store in Ballard and opened up an extension - More Archie McPhee.

It was decided, for some reason, that the ceiling would be repainted pink. But to jazz it up even more, everybody in the company was given one ceiling tile to decorate pretty much any way they want, with some time restrictions in place so that work didn't suffer.

This is my tile. It's one of the first decorated tiles visible when you walk in the front door. A few people went a little personal, most went with familiar McPhee imagery. I opted for the imagery - I ain't that creative - and chose the happy, parasite ridden Holly to star in her own OBEY poster. Too bad the Parasite Pals flopped and are barely sold in the store anymore.

Considering I have no artistic talent and have never done any painting, I think it turned out pretty good. I'm just proud to have something of my creation in my favorite store. It's a nice little memento to remind me of the great time I had working for Accoutrements and Archie McPhee.


Quick Question - Would You Listen To My Show?

Posted by Brandon |

Quick question - If I did a show on Blog Talk Radio in the middle of the day during the week, would anybody listen?

I've been wanting to do a show but there is virtually no way it would happen at night or on the weekends. It would have to be while Addie is sleeping during the week. I'm thinking about 1:00 PM on Tuesdays. I might also just do an hour here or there when I feel like it.



2008 Bigger Dance - Now With DWP! Office Pool

Posted by Brandon |

Every single year I post something about this and hope someone will play along with me and nobody ever does. Well I don't care. Why not try one more time.

The 2008 Bigger Dance is here! The Bigger Dance is a tournament run by Seattle sports radio station KJR to determine what pop-culture female is the "Queen of the Hardwood". I'm not proud to love this contest, but I do. It's one of my great meat head pleasures. But the main reason is because the final prize is so awesome - A free trip to ANY sporting event in the world. Airfare, hotel and tickets included. Oh, and the babes, too.

This year I've setup a DOWN WITH PANTS! Office Pool. So if you are interested in competing against my entry, just go to The Bigger Dance page, sign up for a Sports Club membership (Sorry! Hopefully that's not a deal breaker. I don't ever get any spam from them if it makes you feel better), and then enter...

Password: downwithpants

I want to offer a prize to the winner of the pool, I just haven't figured out what it should be.

In case you're wondering, my Final Four consists of Stacey Keibler, Hayden Panettiere, Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba. Stacey Keibler and Jessica Alba face off in the final with Jessica Alba taking home her third straight Bigger Dance Championship.

Sadly, they missed the boat. No Kristen Bell. Have they seen the trailers for Forgetting Sarah Marshall yet?


Liberals and Tibet

Posted by Brandon |

While I am not against a free and independent Tibet and in no way do I condone the human rights atrocities China has committed there, wouldn't a free and independent Tibet be a religious state? How is that any different than a Christian state or a Muslim state or a Pastafarian state? It will be a Buddhist country run and ruled by the church. Sure, the Dalai Lama is a warm and fuzzy guy and the message that he conveys is beautiful, but he is still a religious leader. He is Buddhism's Pope.

So why do so many crunchy granola liberals get moist when it comes to the freedom of Tibet? I'm making a generalization here, but many of them are the same people that want the Church out of, well, everything, rail against the Christian Right, get upset about how women are treated in Muslim societies, etc. etc. And yet, they will go out and protest and try to extinguish the Olympic flame and then will line up thousands deep to see the Dalai Lama and the Dave Matthews Band. I just don't think that you can fight for one religious state because you perceive it to be s a nice, happy religion while protesting against another because you think it's yucky and Christ-y.

I'm a big time liberal myself but I hate how many liberals can't see the hypocrisy in their own philosophy. I know that in ways I'm hypocritical, none of us have our philosophies mapped out perfectly, but at least I can recognize the things that I can't reconcile and I'm not out protesting for or against them.

But perhaps I'm judging these people wrong. Maybe there isn't anything hypocritical about this. Or maybe I'm wrong about Tibet becoming a religious state. Somebody please explain to me why this so important for so many liberals. Am I missing the boat? Should I be out trying to extinguish the flame too? I'm trying to understand. I'm willing to listen.


The Shit We Get In The Mail

Posted by Brandon |

With a doctor in the house, some of the mail that we receive is, well, informative and educational...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I've got a Type 3 coming on. When I'm done, I'll have to remember to...ummm...log it...

Oh you gotta love the shit we get in the mail sometimes.


Idle Threats

Posted by Brandon |

Do you know what I hate? Idle threats.

Last night, our downstairs neighbors - Trixie and Billy - got into the loudest fight of their short marriage. Skank versus meathead. Let's get it on!

Yelling and screaming and banging shit and all of that good stuff. It was ridiculous. At one point early on, when it just seemed like a normal, idiotic but loud fight, I stomped on the floor. Then a demonic voice came up from the floor "I don't care if the neighbors hear us!" Damn! This is going to be good!

In fact, it got so good that we heard Trixie kick Billy's ass out. She told him to "get out and go back to mom's" and later we heard what was obviously her taking all of his stuff out of the closet and throwing it across the room.

At that point, nevermind the prospect of them waking up the baby, this was a good fight and the drama was totally awesome. I was stoked at the possibility of seeing her throw all his stuff out in the front driveway and then totally go into a psychotic rage like she used to do. That would've been the perfect and most satisfying way for it to end.

Fuck! Is that how it ended? No! Instead everything is totally kosher downstairs. Idle threats, Trixie. Fucking idle threats.

Not that I ever want anybody to breakup and lose their shit. But there are just some people that deserve all the drama that they bring on themselves. If it brings a little bit of entertainment into my life - and occasionally, their fights are better than anything on TV - I'm all for it. Fight on!

Just don't give me idle threats. Act on your crazy bullshit. Make it happen. Get it done.

I did laugh a little bit this morning when I could hear one of them fixing the closet doors. They must've knocked them off track. Ha ha! Those are a bitch to get back on.

It was 2001, I was the Director of Media Relations/Community Affairs for the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings baseball team in Harlingen, Texas. Rapidly approaching was Team Baseball Card Night on our promotional schedule and we didn't have any cards made yet or had take any pictures yet and the deadline to get the photos in to ensure delivery by game day, was only a day away.

We had no money to hire a professional and this was just before everybody and their mom had nice digital camera. So, since I had a camera that was a little bit more than a normal point-and-shoot - a beat up 35 mm Canon AE that was originally my parents when I was a kid that I had equipped with a nice zoom lens - I was enlisted to take the pictures.

Nevermind the fact that I had no experience and didn't really know how to use my camera that well. Until that point, I had just taken pictures for my amusement. I really didn't think that I'd do some work that would have to be published. But again, since the team had no money, it was up to me. I had one day to get it right.

I found the cards while I was home last week and all in all, given the circumstances, they aren't that bad. The color is horrible - I've always had trouble with the color on that camera for some reason. And some of the players I just couldn't get a good picture of - Willie Oropeza and Carlos Duncan in particular.

But some are really good. I love the picture of Joel Barreto because he was one of the only players that I took portraits of that smiled for me. No surprise there, he was always happy. Too bad you can't see his eyes. That's the problem with baseball caps.

And Joe Fretwell was such a good guy, one of the best dudes on our team. The card is a little weird because they cropped the picture so much, but the original photo is incredible and because of the beer ad over his shoulder, it fit him perfectly. Not that he was a drunk, it just worked with his personality in a weird way. It's one of my best pictures I've ever taken. I gave him the original when the season was over.

Clark Viegas was one of our coaches that we also signed to play for us late in the season when we were out of contention and didn't want to go through the hassle of finding a player to come down for only a week or two. This picture is great because it captures him looking like he's a coach showing you proper technique, but it also captures him as a player as well. Plus, he was a good guy too so I was happy to get a good picture of him.

Many of my best pictures were of the nicest guys on the team because they would help me out by posing or smiling or would let me keep taking pictures of them so I had a bunch to choose. The worst pictures are of guys that didn't care and didn't help or I didn't like enough to make sure they had a nice picture they would be happy with on their card.

And then there's the Jamie Clark card. Don't even ask me how I got him in this position, there's a point when you are throwing long that you hit and I somehow captured it. It was the only one that turned out of him, so I had to use it. Turns out it's one of my favorites and he was cut from the team before the cards were even finished, so I doubt he even saw it. I got future Major Leaguer Bobby Madritsch in a similar pose.

It still amazes me that I was asked to do these cards in the first place. It clearly illustrates just how shot the budget was for the WhiteWings that year. We didn't have a very good year on the field or in the stands and it hurt. It got so bad that there were times when payroll almost wasn't met. Occasionally our assistant general manager had to go out a few days before payroll and personally collect checks from people that owed us so that we would have enough money in the bank. Ah, the life of an independent baseball team.

What also amazes me is that this was only seven years ago - just yesterday in my book - and nobody associated with the team had a digital camera yet. That's crazy. The technology has advanced so quickly, has become so cheap and so readily available in such a short time period, it's absurd. Now anybody, and pretty much everybody, could take these pictures.

To see the whole set of professional baseball cards with amateur photography - these are crappy scans, by the way - click here.


Mr. Mom Day One Recap

Posted by Brandon |

Ginormous Boobs made the mistake of saying "can't wait to hear how this went" on yesterday's post. Ask and you shall receive...

3:45 AM - Day one gets off to a rip-roaring start when Addie wakes wide up well before she usually does and only a half hour after she last ate. Fussiness ensues. Addie and I head out to the couch to watch SportsCenter and let Mommy sleep.

5:00 AM - After more than an hour of SportsCenter and nonstop binky replacement, Death? wakes up to go to work. A quick feeding and Addie is back in my arms, pissed.

5:45 AM - Death? leaves for work. I'm now officially flying solo.

6:00 AM - After about 45 minutes of being pissed off and fussy, Addie finally falls asleep. Daddy also finally gets a little bit of sleep.

6:45 AM - Seriously? 45 minutes of sleep and that's it? You can't be serious! Wide awake Addie wakes me up and decides that sleep just isn't in her best interest. No crying, just little noises and wide eyes. It's back to the living room and eventually to the couch again for some more SportsCenter.

7:30 AM - Addie falls asleep in my arms. I fall asleep with her in my arms. This ain't so bad.

8:15 AM - Good god! That is some loud crying. Now it's definitely time for a feeding.

8:30 AM - After 15 minutes of her crying and me fumbling around trying to get a bottle ready, I commence feeding. She likes.

9:00 AM - Feeding over. Change diaper. Change clothes. Now it's play time.

10:00 AM - Play time ends with fussiness, it's back to the couch for some gentle rocking and again, a nap for both of us.

11:00 AM - Uh oh, she sounds like she's hungry again. Yet we have an hour comes home for the lunchtime feeding. A panic starts to set in.

11:10 AM - False alarm. She's back asleep.

11:30 AM - YO GABBA GABBA'S ON!!! YEA!!! Addie sleeps through it, I watch anyway. My name is Brandon. I like to dance!


12:30 PM - Mommy's gone. Luckily Addie is happy with some play time on her mat.

12:50 PM - Addie tires of play time on her mat. I'm trying to make something quick for lunch so I put her in her swing. Something isn't quite right.

1:00 PM - Standing in the kitchen, putting a pita in the toaster, I hear one of the loudest poop sounds I have ever heard, then another. I rush over to Addie and lift her out of her swing, obviously she'll need a change. What I didn't expect to find was the biggest poop of her short life. It went halfway up her back and out each side of her diaper. She slimed the swing seat, her onsie, her pants, her socks and her changing table pad. There was poop everywhere.

1:05 PM - While changing her, she gives me some of the biggest, happiest smiles and giggles she has ever dealt out. Giant poop is forgiven.

1:30 PM to 4:00 PM - Everything goes pretty well after that. Some general fussiness, a nap or two, a bottle at 2:30.

4:00 PM - Mommy's home! Cranky baby goes to happy baby in mere minutes.

5:30 PM - Mommy and baby take a nap.

6:00 PM - Daddy sneaks out (just kidding, I had permission) and goes to Rookees Sports Bar to watch the NCAA basketball championship game, reflect on my first day as a house husband, and knock back a couple of well deserved beers.

11:20 PM - Daddy writes recap of days events with the hope that tomorrow will be much easier and with a lot of strengthened respect for Death? and all mommies that do this. This is way harder than any of my days at work.


DWP! - Mr. Mom To Be

Posted by Brandon |

When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will wake up to a whole new chapter in my life. Tomorrow morning, when Death? returns to work - a very demanding and time consuming job, I might add - I become a Mr. Mom, a house husband, the main caregiver to my little girl.

I'm not going to lie to you, despite my cool facade that I'm trying to put up at home, I am a little bit scared. I think I'm ready and I think it's going to be fine, but I really have no idea how Addie is going to react to not having mommy around all the time catering to her every hungry whim.

Since we got back from our trip home, she has been very fussy and very unpredictable and is totally off her old, easy routine. She's still a great baby and is probably better than most, but compared to before, it's been stressful trying to make her happy. I'm hoping that she won't continue this trend for my first day on my own. If she does continue this, I will be a big frazzled mess by the time Death? comes home. If not, I might turn into a killer housewife and a big blogging fool.

That being said, I'm also really excited. She has just started developing a personality and it's so cute. She learned how to smile the other day and now hands them out like candy. She's giggled a little bit and makes a bunch of happy noises and soon, very soon, she'll laugh. It's going to be a great laugh, I can tell, and I can't wait to hear it.

And she has started to take an interest in everything and seems to be learning at an amazing rate. In fact, I think that's why she's been so fussy. She is so fascinated by her surroundings that she's wearing herself out and then fighting going to sleep. She just can't stand being asleep right now.

It's going to be great to be home to see her develop over the next three months. Let's just hope she also gets on a routine and takes it a little bit easy on Daddy.

Now, it's off to bed. Death? has to be in to work by 6:00 AM. I don't anticipate getting a whole lot of sleep after she leaves.


Today in Great American Poetry

Posted by Brandon |

Today in Great American Poetry is brought to you by the Dove Fairy Bunny that now resides happily in Brandon Tummyland and later will cheerily be sent to Porcelain Lake.



Posted by Brandon |