December 26, 2010

Merry Happy Kwanzchrist...aww whatever.

As our holy moly-ist holiday shows up in red slacks on a ramshackle wooden sled with feral flying beasts and a wispy white beard, I really thought it appropriate to throw a few words toward the menace, malice and majesty that is our mis-celebration of your lord and savior.

Yes, a mis-celebration because even if Jesus was really born, he was most likely birthed around April or March and some argue around six months after Passover. The early adopters of the Christian gunk thought it would be a peachy idea to piggyback our Pagan brethren and absorb a few of their super sweet sinful ideas about celebrations.

Back when Babylon wasn’t a horrifying, constantly exploding little nugget known as Iraq, the denizens of that area would willingly enjoyed the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) and just happened to celebrate this debauched occasion on ... you guessed it — Dec. 25! Since then, vomitous partying, irresponsible eating and mindless gift-giving have been a winter tradition.

As I tap these words on my laptop in the wee hours of my birthday, I can only imagine that Santa is throwing S’Nick points my way toward a new Android Tablet (on general principle, if you have an iPad, kick yourself in the face) or something else technologically fancy on which I can beep-boop-bop my way toward pointless celebrity gossip satisfaction and online zombie killing.

Perhaps an Xbox 360 Kinect so I can forgo any restricting controllers and flail around my living room as only Jesus would have done in his tiny, dirt-floored carpenter’s shack.

How do I accept gifts on the most religious of holidays when I am a very vocal and vociferous agnostic/atheist you ask?


Though my daughter Samantha sometimes occupies a place in my heart I hold dear only for televangelists and smooshbags, I don’t feel the need to rob her of the pure joy that I had when I would sneak out of bed in the wee hours of Christmas Eve, much to the chagrin of my poor beleaguered parents. It was common knowledge that I liked to get a 3 a.m. preview of what gift Santa had brought and what fantastic little knick-knacks he’d left in my stocking.

None of that had anything to do with Jeebus or pointless religious overtones. It was about my family being together and enjoying a day of giving to each other.

Until my brother Chris touched my Star Wars figurines, to which I felt a swift death was the only appropriate solution.

In a time of ever-increasing separation of our populace, gather your friends and relatives and just enjoy the time you have to spend together. Our holidays are less and less about some archaic event that may or may not have happened. They are about choosing to celebrate our time with one another.

But seriously, I want an Xbox. And if Chris touches my Boba Fett figurine one more time, I am seriously going to cut his head off with the soup ladle.


July 8, 2010


Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.
- William Dement

I have this recurring dream where I’m hardly wearing any clothing and for some reason I’m walking around in around in public. I try to come to grips with the fact that I’m only wearing a pair of Sponge Bob Square Pants boxers. Which, strangely enough, wouldn’t really bother me in real life.

Dreams to me are usually just a tiny window into our thought process for a brief moment in time. The dreams can vary from common realistic situations, to far-fetched fantasy scenarios.

Just like bad breath and choking snores, everyone has dreams that they feel are important to blather to the rest of us.

A word of caution: Don’t be that person that always feels the need to share their demented dreams with other people.

If you’re having sex with Big Bird on the set of Gone With the Wind and your third grade teacher is filming the whole thing on a Speak-And-Spell, please do all of us a favor and report to your nearest psychiatrist. It’s best to seek the proper medication because you’ve passed nutty quite some time ago.

One of the more comical situations I’ve dealt with is when someone you know wakes up from a crappy dream they’ve just had in which I’ve had a starring role. They’re instantly pissed off, even though I’m completely innocent. I’ve even had my wife Shannon wake me up after having one of these dreams and give me the stink eye as if I had a fugue-state affair with someone she works with.

And speaking of bad dream experiences, we’ve all had to deal nightmares at some point in our lives. I remember one of the first real night terrors I had was when I first watched “Nightmare of Elm Street”.

Now that I think back, I have no clue as to why Tom and Annette were letting their ten-year-old son watch a horror movie about a cackling roasted-faced child killer with knife blades for fingers.

I recall waking up and not being able to differentiate between what was real and what was dream. So, I just lay petrified in my bed, occasionally peering out from underneath the safety of my sheets.

And we all know that no monster, killer, or nocturnal evil can get past a pair cotton San Diego Padre sheets. Apparently it holds some form of magical protection for kids, something akin to kryptonite for all things that go bump in the night.

Another part of nightmares that can be equally frustrating is when you’re in a situation that requires either running from or defending yourself in a fight.

What type of intense gravitational pull is exerted on my body as soon as I enter dreamland? I can remember having a dream where I was pitching in a baseball game in college, only to have it seamlessly revert to a game of wiffleball in a walk-in closet.

Please spare me your Freudian evaluation…

I also tend to sleep walk. Well, not really walking. More like jumping out of bed and ranting nonsense and freaking my wife out to the point where she’s relegated to being a nighttime bouncer. Most of my antics revolve around keeping my daughter Samantha safe, so at this point, I’m safe in my freakery.

To me, dreaming is a healthy process that we should all embrace and explore. There’s even ongoing studies regarding something called lucid dreaming, which is where you train yourself to realize you’re in a dream so that you can delve deeper into why you’re actually having that dream.

I guess in the long run, just try and accept what they are. Dreams are just fantastical home movies set within our own mind. Write them down, remember them, study them, just don’t take it too seriously.

I just have to figure out why I have a tendency to sleep walk though. It sure makes my family’s life interesting...and my staircase a insurance liability.

June 16, 2010

    As I awoke this morning to my daughter's siren's serenade of "dadaaaa", my tired smile turned to horror as I caught a whiff of what I thought had been month old roadkill. 
Alas, it was not. 

    With my daughter Samantha turning two recently, I thought I might share small bits of wisdom that I've gleaned over the years that might help her out in her young little life. 
    Or she'll most likely read this in ten years and tell me I'm lame and should get a life. Yes, I'm sure of the latter...and I'm not sure I disagree. I say, not as I do. 
    Do M&M's with beef jerky with hot sauce for breakfast. those disgusting Pop Tarts I put on your plate. Or jam them in your ear. I'm sure they have the same nutritional content either way. 

    Do...continue to use the cute words that make me want to squish you into a pile of lavender smelling blond curls. And eat those Pop Tarts...they're not cheap. 

    Do not...mimic the words that Dad uses when he's fixing just about anything around the house. Its bad enough when you say the word "truck" in public and people glare at me like I'm the devil, let's not hone your ability to enunciate. every single book you can get your hands on. This includes the Bible because it's funny, sad, and scary at the same time. 

    Do tabloids. Fake boobs, money, and shiny cars seem to be the sum total of what they're pushing. It's like Del Mar. Except in Del Mar, you don't have to be literate to be sucessful. as much Fox News as possible.

    Do not...stop laughing as you watch those silly sycophants try to make their silly doctrine make sense to anyone who's under the age of 60. 

    Do...pretend that children's statue across from Leucadia Pizza isn't frighteningly creepy. 

    Do not...GO NEAR IT. Ever. If you are the lunatic that designed that bronze monstrosity.. go away. It's awful and passersby cringe and wonder why you hate kids. 

    Do...remember that going to college is an important right of passage and a logical step upon high school graduation. 

    Do not...think that every person with a college degree is intelligent. It only means they stayed within a certain discipline and finished what they started. They are by no means smarter than anyone else. 

    Do...go to bars and restaurants. Enjoy yourself and don't forget that waiters, waitresses, servers, bartenders, and hosts aren't slaves to cater to your every whim. If you think that, you're most likely brain dead and beyond help. 

    Do not...forget that the waitstaff will kill you where you stand. Seriously, we will kill you. Know the rules and don't be rude or your service will be non-existent. 

    Do...remember that your Dad is and always will be vehemently overprotective. 

    Do not...take everything he says as gospel. He's scared and cautious when it comes to his daughter and just wants you to avoid all the problems he had to deal with. can have beef jerky for breakfast. Just don't tell Mom.

June 8, 2010


    As June peeks its gloomy head around the clouds and begins the blistering pace towards the August finale, I wanted to discuss a sport that is severely lacking national attention. 

    Or any attention for that matter. 

    Throwing horseshoes, or "pitching" to those privy to the appropriate lexicon, has been a Waterhouse extravaganza dating back to the days of pretending that El Cajon was a viable real estate choice. 

    My Dad and uncles would gather most of their truck-driving brethren and do their best to not crush knees, smash shins, or crank ankles of those involved in the backyard shenanigans. This was a big event around the neighborhood, and nary a chucker of bended steel missed one of these events. 

    Though Coors Original did not help the festivities, I'm sure that the participating athletes in the East County Horseshoe Olympics felt that those golden circles of hopped delight were indeed a performance-enhancing substance. 

    Children were strictly forbidden to play horseshoes and yet played a role in every tournament. We were usually relegated to gofers and neophyte bartenders yet we eagerly grabbed those mangled steel shoes at any given chance always wondering what type of mammoth horse these shoes actually fit. 

    A quick note to purists: my brother Chris throws left-handed and pitches his horseshoes overhand. Is he the devil? I wanted to run it by my fellow pitchers. He is, isn't he? I knew it. 
    Over the years, my love for the game never wavered but finding appropriate venues and viable opponents seemed to cleave away my time in the pits. I'd get a beach game here, or the occasional family tournament there, but they never really reached within and grabbed a hold of me like it had in my youth. 

    This lull lasted until a breezy conversation with my fellow co-worker Kenny Buckner. Though his last name brings dread among  Red Sox faithful, he's excellent behind the bar and a person I've found has a keen respect for the fine art of the ringer.  

    KB and I thought it appropriate to test each other's clanging skills at Glen Park on a blindingly bright day where the sun sears your eyelids shut when you don't bring sunglasses or a low brimmed hat. Which I did. 

    Though I was victorious that day (YES!), I felt a certain camaraderie and kinship with my fellow employee. We chatted as we finished our requisite innings and concocted a plan to continue practicing until we elevated our game with a very specific goal in mind. 

    We were going to barnstorm the NHPA (National Horseshoe Pitching Association) and make our way to fame and glory as the oh-so-inventively nicknamed "Dead Ringers". Don't worry, the t-shirts will be available for sale on our website. When we get a website. 

    So the next time you hear the clang of metal on metal or a flurry of foul language by men trying not to curse in a public park, take heed: We've thrown the gauntlet. You know where to find us and we're taking on all challengers. 

    Dead Ringers...coming to a pit near you. 

May 5, 2010

Yeah, we do hate you...

There's a season two of "The Bartender Hates You" also. Please watch them. Learn.

April 29, 2010

Sartorial choices...

I've just recently come to the conclusion that I'm the type of person whose wardrobe choices are often dictated by which pair of jeans already has a belt in them....

April 27, 2010

Children at play....

It was me.

I was that little jerk that pounded on your door as the moon shone white with my young group of marauding miscreant cohorts. Those stifled giggles weren’t coming from your fence or a feverishly sentient raccoon that patrolled your front yard.

No, that was just us laughing at you. Because we were bored and had nothing better to do with our time than waste yours and steal precious hours of sleep that you desperately needed.

I do recall having to branch out to other areas, or make new friends so we didn’t have to keep doorbell ditching the same handful of people who actually got up and answered the door. That would mean my parents could have found out, which would put me on lockdown for a couple of weeks.

At some point we’d get caught and have to apologize, which was worse than running in scattered directions when the old guy threatened to shoot us with rock salt. I don’t know if that’s even possible but to this day I fear the lawns of white haired men in flannel.

Playing hide and seek was another way for us to run around the neighborhood unsupervised, albeit with less chance of getting beaten or having vicious canines sicced on us.

There was always something oddly exhilarating about playing a block-wide game of hide and seek with thirty five kids, doing your best to climb under cars, in trees, or stay stationary just long enough to find that perfect hiding spot...only to have it spoiled by having to pee as soon as your in it.

I had the hide and seek bladder of a small infant. I would keep moving from spot to spot because I left whiz tracks wherever I went.

Then there was the curious schoolyard game of Butts Up. A group of kids throwing a ball against the wall in hopes of one of them muffing it. Then, someone within the group pounces on it and rushes to chuck the tennis ball against the wall before the muff-ee touches said wall.
If that person drops the balls three times, then he or she is forced to face the wall and take a firing squad of one throw per Butt’s Up participant. There’s something to be said for simplicity.

Another simple game concocted by seemingly homophobic children is the ever popular, and always schoolyard banned, Smear the Queer. Poetic, no?

Anyway, this one revolved less on rules, and more on brutality to maintain it’s dominance throughout the decades. One person has a ball. Everyone else does their best to smear his or her face into the ground until everyone is roughed up to the point of bloodied submission.

Oh, how the games we play in our youth rarely translate to adult life. Or do they? You screw up, your Butt’s on the line. When you’re on the ball, everyone wants to Smear you into the dirt. Hiding from the masses is usually good for the soul on occasion.

And doorbell ditching? Well, okay, not all games translate. But you have to admit, you still want to. But not at my house.

I have rock salt...

April 18, 2010


In casual conversations with my two-year-old nephew Zach, he's fairly
liberal with his usage of the English language.

At this point, he's got a rudimentary understanding of verbal
communication and giggles his way through discussions about food,
baseball, motorcycles, and constantly reminding me about the F bomb I
accidentally muttered. Again.

There are words he likes to share with the rest of the world that he
knows aren't appropriate to utter. So instead of singing it out loud
and letting everyone know about it, he quietly saddles up next to your
ear to share these words with you.

There's something about a curly-haired little blond kid whispering
curse words to you with a sly Cheshire grin that makes it really
difficult to chastise him.

But there's another word that he utters. A word I don't understand,
yet I've become acutely fascinated with it. Perplexed and infatuated
with a term I can't possibly comprehend and with the thousands of
words I've pounded into my keyboard, this one utterance still haunts


Six innocent little letters spoken from the mouth of grinning little
towhead. With his eyes quietly laughing at me, as if I should know
what he means. He taunts me with vocabulary I can't possibly decipher.

I've even tried every permutation to figure out what he's trying to
say. I've Googled it. I'm beginning to think it's not even English and
might be some type of global infant conspiracy.

It usually starts with me simply saying the word to him. I'm a glutton
for punishment and I can't help myself. A typical conversation is as

"Hey Zach…Imoway."

This simple sentence usually resets his demeanor, and he'll sit down
next to me and look me straight in the eye and tell me:

"No Cowey…Imoway",

He says this with a stern face as if warning me of my foolish adult
transgression. If I repeated the word imoway, he'd become more
insistent and sit on my lap to remind me, that he himself was…imoway.

I thought this was just a fun game for him and me to play until recently…

I was having lunch a few weeks ago and a young lad had freed himself
from his parents and was walking around greeting people waiting in
line. Jokingly, I shook his chubby little hand and instead of hello, I
said "imoway".

As he walked past me, he stopped dead in his tracks, turned and looked
me straight in the eye. He knew what I was saying. Realizing I knew,
he promptly walked in the direction of his parents.

Just to test my theory, I had my wife say the same thing to a
kid at Island's last week. He glared at us and sat down while the
whole time sneaking sideways glances at us. He whispered something to
his younger sister, and I swear they spoke into their wrist like
secret service agents.

As I write this, I feel like every child I see looks at me like I'm on
to them. I know conspiracies are for the mentally unstable but they're
after me. Seriously. The Imoway Society knows my every move.

Try it for yourself. The next time you're around a little rug monster,
mention the word imoway. Watch their reaction. Then kiss your ass
goodbye. They're on to us. You've been warned…


People watching...

People watching is a wonderful activity, but you people are freaks.

I was lucky enough to sit at the Coast News booth during the Encinitas Street Fair. I sat there with the intrepid Jean Gillette of "Small Talk" fame and a couple other fine scholars that the Coast News employs. We all spent a few hours trying to get passers by to fill out surveys about our local papered blog.

What started out as a simple grass roots fact finding mission for the newspaper became a people watching event of mythic proportions. And that was only after two hours.

My attention was initially sparked with the amount of grubby people that were walking around without shoes on. Shabby hippies that reeked of patchouli and parental disappointment. I was starting to think that a small percentage of people living in Encinitas were born in a barn.

I’ll admit, I wear my slippers in public, but the thought of walking around without shoes on is just repulsive. Dodging spilled drinks, toppled funnel cake swirlies, and roughly ten million stinky dog bombs dropped on the 101 is not the proper arena to shed your shoes. Nasty...

Then a nice lady was talking with us about some local piece of news that she liked (we’re much more patient when given compliments) when I noticed that she had a large slash of chocolate across the right side of her chin. Apparently the idea of having to eat chocolate-covered strawberries and talk was too tough a task. I didn’t bother telling her either because she was on a roll, and like I said...we like compliments.

Even though the weather was overcast and a tad on the chilly side, there were clearly muffin tops as far as my sad eyes could see. A vast ocean of belly and back fat cascading over the top of jeans that wouldn’t have fit these women in high school.

Please, stop wearing tight jeans and cropped shirts. We don’t want to see your Grateful Dead tattoo anymore. After fifteen years, it looks like someone set those poor stoned bears on fire and used a baseball bat to douse the flames.

I’m so tired of seeing Mom’s dressed like their daughters and daughter’s dressed like their for sale. Have a little self-respect. There were children present. And I have eyes.

Speaking of children, I was curious... when are people not related to a child allowed to punt them? I’m not sure of the legalities just yet, but I’m pretty sure if a kid is a whiny little twit and the parents don’t attempt to rectify said brattiness, we as a society are allowed to drop kick them into the ocean. Just a thought.

Then to top it all off, there was a bright orange electrical cord near our booth that seem to attract those with three left feet. Instead of just leaving the little orange wire, they put a large black plastic piece over it as a "safety" precaution. I wish I was a lawyer...

I was sitting there with another employee marking down how many people tripped over the black plastic precautionary device.

Final tally: 60+ in less than three hours.

Another street fair comes to a close in our little hamlet, and Encinitas has once again been proven to be the eclectic dwelling of ethnic, cultural, and socio-political melting pot that it’s known for.

Now if only we could get deep fried Twinkies like those rich bastards in Del Mar...

March 31, 2010


    We've all had one of those nights that started innocuously enough, just intending to have a few measly cocktails and chatter about topics of little consequence like sports or current travel. A Coors Light here, a jigger of Jager there and the path to obscured memories becomes clearer. 

    Yet we also know that these nocturnal excursions also take a u-turn for the absurd when we accept "just one more drink" into the night's liquid lexicon. 

   Let's follow the clues to revealing just how drunk you "really" were, Sherlock...

    Arguing with a stranger for an hour and a half how the designated hitter is necessary for the survival of major league baseball. 

    Waking up with a phone number illegibly scrawled on each hand...and they're both your own. 

    The car in the driveway is not your own. More pertinent information: the bed and clothes you're in also do not belong to you. And yet your shoes are your own.

    New tattoos: Multiple, misspelled and some scripted in a language recognized as possibly not earthbound. 

    Wedding band made primarily of braided animal hair. Discuss. 

    Passport stamp on forehead and impossibly-tan buttocks. From Thailand. Three weeks ago. 

    You have 127 text messages on your cell phone in a four hour time period. All sent. 

    Drinking enough Patron to realize that it really is that bad...and a sudden interest in cliche auto-tuned hip hop songs. 

    Drinking enough Jack Daniel's to realize that it really is that good...and a sudden interest in family reunions. 

    Arguing with your "new" best friend that the designated hitter will eventually ruin major league baseball forever.     

    Seeing the idiom, "Dance like no one's watching" vibrantly come to life on youtube and playing the role...fumble funking your way around a dance floor. 

    Receiving 127 text messages back, all with the short reply: "Take a cab."

    Scribbled notes on "it all being Hurley's Twinkie-induced dreams..."

    Waking up with a nicotine patch on your eye, a Marlboro bandana on your head, and a "I Was Puffy the Pirate Smoker for Halloween" t-shirt on. It's March. 

    So when you find yourself at the drink.drank.drunk stage of the night...use a dash of caution and a splash of common sense or nightmares and nicotine fits are in your immediate future. 

    A shower and a good attorney on retainer can't hurt either. 


February 12, 2010


If you haven't seen it, you should.

If you've seen it and don't like it...then you're a putz.

That is all...