Archive for December, 2011

Do NOT let your daughter watch this movie. Just say no!

So, I know what you are thinking, “How cute.  She’s a little mermaid.”  WRONG!  Not that mermaid.  Disney’s The Little Mermaid was possibly one of the most popular movies with little girls.  It was the classic story of a beautiful girl giving up everything to be with the man she loves and everything becomes perfect as a result.  Worst story for little women, EVER!   Tangled was also a popular movie.  A girl trapped in a tower so that an evil women can remain young and beautiful, (because this is most important to women), but she is saved by a scoundrel of a man and life is better.  This in spite of the worthlessness of the man.  You see, you can be a thief and a no-good, but you’re a man, so you still make a woman’s life better.  Don’t get me started.

Did you know that in the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, she dies?  In the original story by Andersen, mermaids differ from humans in two key aspects:  mermaids live up to 300 years and mermaids have no soul.  When mermaids die, they turn into sea-foam.  When the Little Mermaid requests that the Witch make her human, she is asking for more than just a boyfriend and to be anatomically correct, she wants love and a soul.  So, the Witch makes her human in exchange for her beautiful voice.  The Little Mermaid must make the prince fall in love with her or she will die.  The movie is pretty true to the story up until the Little Mermaid saves the prince from drowning, but then things change dramatically.  In the story, the prince is set to marry another princess.  Like the movie, he does not know that the Little Mermaid is the one that saved his life, because she can ‘t talk.  When he meets the princess, he is convinced that it is she that saved his life, and he falls in love with her immediately.  They are to be wed and the Little Mermaid is going to die.  Here is the cool part.  In the original story, the Little Mermaid’s sisters make a deal with the Witch.  They sell her their hair in exchange for the Little Mermaid’s life.  The Witch agrees, but the Little Mermaid must take the knife, that she provides to the sisters, and kill the prince.  The witch says that as the prince’s blood flows on her legs, they will combine to a mermaid tail again.  The sisters give the knife to the Little Mermaid.  But the Little Mermaid sees how happy the prince is with his new wife-to-be and can’t bare to kill him.  She turns to foam as the sunrises.  Isn’t Andersen’s story better?  It is way more realistic.  The book is always better.

You see, even Hans Christian Andersen knew that men do not solve all of women’s problems.  As matter of fact, they often make things worse.  The perpetuation of the idea that men solve everything for women needs to be squashed, but I have no idea how to make that happen.  This is why the Princess and the Frog did not do well with American audiences.  First of all, she was black, and second of all, she was independent.  She did not need a man.  As a matter of act, the man needed her.  From a Disney financial perspective, a bust.  Crazy.  It was an awesome movie.  As far as my daughter is concern, it will be the only female dominated Disney movie that exists.

A Disney female character I can support for my daughter.

So, why is my daughter a mermaid?  She is beautiful, manipulative, and will destroy me.

Mami Wata pictures almost always have her wearing a watch and with a snake.

A brief mermaid lesson:  Many cultures have a long history of water spirits, or mermaids.  One of the most popular water spirit from Africa is Mami Wata.  Mami Wata is often seen as a mermaid.  She is believed capable of healing the sick and bringing good luck.  However, she also has a temper, and will drown those that disobey her.  Her name actually comes from the English words “Mommy Water,” and is portrayed wearing foreign clothing and jewelry as her followers believe she is from another world.  In European lore, mermaids would lure sailors with their song and beauty.  Ships would crash into rocks as a result.  In Homer’s Odyssey, Ulysses ties himself to the mast of the ship in order to avoid the song of the mermaids.  The story of mermaids has been around for at least 3000 years and most agree, they are beautiful and dangerous.

That’s my Violet.  She is beautiful and dangerous.  She lures me in with her cuteness and makes me obey her every wish.  This morning, like many mornings, we ate breakfast together.  I fixed her breakfast (often blueberry waffles with peanut butter) and I make myself my usual, granola with berries and various other fruits.  Today it was blueberries and bananas.  When she is finished with her food, she wants to eat mine.  No, you don’t understand, she wants me to give her some of my food.  She wants me to share my food.  Me… Share…  MY food.

If you ask my wife what was our first issue as a couple, she will respond quickly and easily.  On one of our dates, she grabbed some food off of my plate.  I was shocked.  She will tell you in clear detail, as if it was yesterday, that I proceeded to explain to her that taking food off my plate was in no uncertain terms, unacceptable.  I do not share food.  The relationship almost died right then and there.  And here I am this morning, and multiple previous mornings, sharing food with my daughter.  There is no other explanation, she is a mermaid.

I don't stand a chance.


Last night, I was watching a cable TV series called, Spartacus: Blood and Sand.  This is not an endorsement for the show, but let me just tell you that the title of the series is quite accurate.  It’s a TV show about gladiators and the  apparently crazy times surrounding the time of gladiator fighting in the arena.  I don’t know why I watched it, but I did.  It has Lucy Lawless in it.  Remember her?  Lawless used to play Xena in Xena the Warrior Princess.  That show was awesome.  Anyhoo, there was a scene in which one of the gladiators was ordered to disrobe and the guy was standing naked in front of some important woman.  It was full frontal nudity.  Remember when a penis flashed at the end of Fight Club, and that was kind of shocking?  When did it become OK for the penis to be hangin’ on cable TV?  I don’t care if you are a man or woman, homo- or heterosexual.  If a man is standing before you naked, you are sneaking a peek at his junk.  The thing is, I couldn’t NOT look at it.  What’s up with that?  Does that make me gay?  I’m just sayin …

Another female character I approve of for my daughter.

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So, for some reason I woke up this morning thinking about death. It may have to do with the fact that I have been with my family for the last 67 hours and 20 minutes, but who is counting. I love my family, but holidays are stressful.

It starts off with trying to get out the door. We got three kids, and we need to make sure everyone has what they need for the annual trip to the great white north. Of course, this year, the north is not so white. Not a flake of snow this year, and it’s Minnesota. What is up with that? I am not a huge fan of snow, but even for this California boy, it is weird. It does make the drive less stressful, which is nice. This year is particularly difficult, as I still have grading to do, my oldest is sick as a dog, and I can’t seem to figure out why on God’s green earth my wife’s suitcase is so freakin’ heavy. Next year I am implementing a new family rule, if the wife can’t load it into the car, it is too damn heavy. If I was an airline, I would charge her 50 bucks. Actually, I like that idea better. Just call me United, because I am charging for extra bags and over the weight limit bags next year.

There is also of course, the standard snide remarks and evil looks. “We were supposed to leave an hour ago.” “I am hungry” – this is not the kids, it is me. “Can you change Violet’s diaper?” “I can’t do that at the same time as doing the last thing you asked me to do.” “Where is the camera?” “Why is your suitcase so heavy.” “Did you bring the camera?” “Maybe it is in your suitcase.” “I thought you had it.” “I didn’t have it, why would I have it?” “You had it last.” “No I didn’t, you used it at that thing.” “It doesn’t matter, where is it? Oh here it is.” And then of course, after everyone is loaded in the car, the wheels are beginning to spin in reverse, the it-never-fails, “Shoot! I forgot something.” Ugggggggghhh! Eventually, we arrive to the father-in-law’s house without incident. Let the holidays begin.

As I said before, my oldest son was sick. He is feeling a lot better now. While we were trying to get out the door, he was asleep in his bedroom. We did not leave without him, but I thought it would have been funny if we did. The reason I thought about this was because I completely forgot about him as I was loading the car, then all of sudden he came out of his bedroom with his backpack full of the things he needed for the trip. I then thought, “Oh yeah, my son is coming with us.” How funny would that have been if we had left without him? Half way to Minneapolis, “I feel like we are missing something.” I told this to my son. He did not think the possibility was as funny as I did. Did you know that many people have a story of how their parents left them alone somewhere when they were a kid? If I remember correctly, my ex-wife was left alone at a gas station. She came out of the bathroom and her family was gone. I wonder how often this happens.

So, back to death. As I stated, I woke up this morning thinking of death. Not in a Nicholas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas sad kind of way, but more in a uplifting Leanardo DiCaprio, Titanic kind of way. My heart will go on. You see I have been very impressed with my kids over the last couple of days. Let’s start with Violet. She was wonderful in the car (almost five hours) and seems to be comfortable wherever we go. She explores, smiles. and interacts with everyone. She is quite frankly, a joy. My son, Isaac is awesome as always, but what has been most wonderful is his patience. If you have ever met my son, Isaac, you know that he has enough energy to power a major city, and I mean Los Angeles. And with all the waiting around, packing and unpacking, he has been awesome. And finally, my oldest, Brett Jr. He brought his violin. And has put on two concerts already, and the family has loved each and everyone of them. I am so proud of the way that he has presented himself and how wonderful it is to watch him play the violin for others. He has one more concert, and that will be on Christmas day. He is amazing.

So, when I die, I want there to be no ambiguity in my children’s minds on how I feel and felt about them. On my deathbed, there will be no question of how much they meant to me. Why? Because I will tell them now, and everyday until my death. In this holiday season, regardless of your belief, take a moment to let the ones you love know how you feel. Don’t let it wait till your eulogy, tell them now. May love be shared this holiday season, and may it be shared as strong and powerful as the One who gave His Son to be born on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas everyone!

Cool. It’s snowing.

I was at the post office and I saw a Kwanzaa stamp. Are people still doing this? I am black, and I’m still unsure exactly what it means to celebrate Kwanzaa.  I agree with Stanley’s response to all of the political correctness surrounding the Holiday Season, from the TV show, The Office, “I don’t want it.  Christmas is Christmas is Christmas is Christmas.  I don’t want no Kwanzaa wreath.  I don’t need no dreidle in my face, that’s its own thing.  And who is that black Santa for?  I don’t care.  I know Santa ain’t black.  I could care less.  I want Christmas!  Just give me plain baby Jesus lying in the manger Christmas!”  I agree with Stanley.  I’m just sayin …

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This is Yul Brynner in the Ten Commandments. What?!?

So, before you get offended by the title, I must say that this is an often misquoted line from The Ten Commandments.  I try really hard to make sure that everything that I write about in my blog is true (Take a lesson from me Fox News).  So, I was about to talk about this quote as being from the movie, The Ten Commandments, but after some brief research (approximately 30 minutes, yeah that’s right.  Now you know why if I am busy I don’t blog), I discovered that this line was made popular by Billy Crystal.  I always assumed he was quoting the movie.  I know he was doing Yul Brynner doing a Bible character, but I thought the line was a parody of a true line from the movie.  Oh well.  It makes me wonder what else Wikipedia has lied to me about (don’t get me started).

Alright, back to the blog.  I have blog ADD or ADHD or whatever the heck they are calling it these days.  Oh look, a bird is outside.  How pretty.  Anyway, just to be clear, I am NOT a Tim Tebow fan.  I think he is anywhere from a horrible to a mediocre quarterback.  As a matter of fact, I think he is improving to be a mediocre quarterback.  So, why the hype?  You can’t turn on any sports channel without hearing significant talk about this man.  What is up with that?  Well let me tell you, it is for one reason, and one reason only:  He is an in-your-face, kneeling and praying, God-loving Christian.  And just to make things clear, I am not writing that as a good thing.

Once again, cards on the table, I am a Christian.  I take my beliefs very seriously, but I am no Tebow.  Also, I must say that I do NOT blame Tebow for the persona that has been created.  I don’t know the guy, but I get a real sense that this is who he actually is, cameras or no cameras.  So, I blame the media, and I blame the thousands, maybe millions of fans that are looking for a Christian Hero.  Again, I do not write this as a good thing.  This is something that people do, they need a symbol, hero, and/or leader of their own personal cause.  I live in Wisconsin, and no one knows this more than Packers fans.  Do you remember a guy by the name of Brett Favre?  He is like a fallen angel around here, and Rodgers is the risen lord.  It’s crazy!  So, maybe this blog is not about Tebow, but about the phenomenon of Tebow.  Why do people crave a representative for their own beliefs.  Why is it so important to show the world proof that you are “Right”?

Unlike many people, I do not have a problem with people sharing their faith.  However, here are a few rules that I devised for sharing one’s faith:

1.  The listener should have a choice.  This could easily be my only rule.  I feel like I should be able to watch a football game without someone giving me their opinion about how I should be.  Again, I don’t think Tebow is intending to do this, but I do believe as the media discuss his actions it becomes so in the face that it is annoying.  You love God.  We get it.  If I thought his actions were actually encouraging others to love God, I think I would be for it.  Unfortunately, I think it hardens those that do not believe in God and I think it gives believers a holier than thou attitude, an attitude that I personally wish would die.

2.  Once the listener has made their choice, respect it.  Here is one of my biggest pet peeves:  Two people walk up to my door.  “Hello sir, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?”  “Why yes, yes I have.”  I reply.  And then they proceed to convince me to go to their church and believe their beliefs.  Uh Hello?  McFly?  Did you not hear me?  We are on the same team?  But it is clear to me by the way they talk to me, that we are not, we are not on the same team.

3.  Have a relationship with the person you are sharing your faith.  Why would a stranger listen to anything I had to say?  Why would they believe my word over a friend’s?  As a matter of fact, this is biblical, but I won’t go into it now.

Every time. What happened to praying in a closet?

4.  Keep it Real.  I don’t know Tebow and as I stated above he may be genuine.  If he is genuine, then we will never hang out, but if he is not, then I hope he reads this blog and takes it down a notch.

I predicted a big victory for the Patriots over the Broncos and I got it.  Was it Tebow’s fault that they lost?  No.  Did he play decently?  Yes.  Is he still a mediocre QB at best?  You got that right.  Did Jesus help him win all those games this year?  Maybe.  Surprised?  Regardless of whether or not you believe Jesus is on Tebow’s side, it doesn’t matter.  If He is on his side, He is on his side regardless of what you believe.  So, chill out.  Saturday Night Live did a skit on Tebow and people lost their freakin’ minds.  Guess what?  It was funny.  Don’t be offended.  Let your God be the same God regardless of what other people say or do.

I actually don’t have a problem with the concept that God has had a hand in this Tebow business.  He should never have been a first round pick.  Quite frankly, he should never have won at least three of the games that the team did win this season. Tebow has made a lot of money and he is getting a lot of press, and as a result, God is getting a lot of press.  Maybe that is what He wants.  Or maybe God wants Tebow to be rich and famous, so he can build a $3 million hospital in the Philippines.  Who knows?  But I am confident in one thing, you don’t need a Tebow to believe in God.  So, maybe my message is to you, Tebow fan … take it down a notch.


Can you imagine what it would be like to make a statement and have everyone believe it to be true?  Think about it.  Google my title.  You will find it quoted as from The Ten Commandments.  As a matter of fact, you will have more difficulty finding a website that does NOT say it comes from that movie.  Crazy huh?  Well anyway, I got to go exercise my right eye, it is getting kind of weak.  I read with my left eye covered for an hour and it will be all better.  It makes sense, because I am right-handed.  I need to do this anyway, as one always remembers what they read better when they read with only their dominant eye.  I’m just sayin’ …

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Tim Tebow

So, my next blog will be devoted to Tim Tebow. I do not have time now, but will have time on Monday or Tuesday. But for now, here is my prediction: New England Patriots 38 Denver Broncos 10.

“Where’s your Messiah now, Tebow?”

I am ready for a retraction if and when I am wrong.

Until next week …

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So, I am very well aware that I have readers that have more than two kids.  I am also aware that I have more than two kids.  Nonetheless, my advice to everyone that will listen is simple: Never have more than two kids.

Granted, I am biased at the moment.  I am almost done with a multi-day stint of being on my own with my three kids.  My wife is out-of-town, and I am very much looking forward to her return.  I love my kids, but I am ready to be done.  I especially don’t get anyone that has more than two kids and is raising them alone.  Crazy!  My sister did that, and it is a wonder that she is still standing.  Let me give you a sense of one my typical days in the last week:

5:30 am – My one-year-old makes enough noise to wake me up.  I ignore her (Don’t judge me).

5:35 am – She is ramping up the noise.

5:40 am – She is quiet.  Yeahh!

5:45 am – She shakes her crib like a convicted felon screaming her innocence.

5:46 am – We head down to the kitchen to get breakfast.  She eats a waffle with peanut butter, three eggs and orange juice.

6:30 am – My four-year-old wakes up.  I fix him blueberry waffles with peanut butter and syrup.

6:40 am – My twelve-year-old arrives.  Luckily for me he is self-sufficient and fixes his own breakfast.  We chat about his homework, and I make sure that he has everything he needs for school and is dressed warmly enough for riding his bike.  Unfortunately, the temperature has dropped severely.  It is too cold for him to ride his bike.

7:30 am – Everyone is dressed, cleaned, teeth brushed and it is time to load the car.  Drop oldest off at middle school and then on my way to day-care to drop of the two youngest.

8:00 am – Biggest sigh of relief as every child is now under someone else’s care.  Awesome.

I will now gloss over the work details, but simply summarize as, hour drive to work, 9-5 busy day, ride home, pick up my oldest on my way to daycare, and arrive approximately 5:55 pm, five minutes before they close.  Exhausted.

Do I drive home and fix a dinner for everyone?  Hell no.  It is McDonald’s time.  Now, as a family, especially my wife, we are not a huge fan of McDonald’s.  Mainly because of its lack of healthy options.  But let me tell you something; I GET IT!  The kids love the food.  There is a playland.  There are toys with the kid meals.  And here is the kicker, three kids and me ate until satisfaction for approximately 15 bucks.  I am now willing to blame America’s obesity on McDonald’s.  The convenience and low-cost of feeding four?  Too easy.  I am not even sure I could have cooked a meal cheaper than that.  I can no longer look at parents in disgust that feed their children McDonald’s.  I still say it should be rare, but as a temporary single parent of three, I get it.

7:00 pm – Time to get my daughter to bed.

7:30 pm – Time to get my youngest son to bed.

8:00 pm – Talk to oldest son about homework.  Go over his school materials for the next couple of days.

8:30 pm – Sit down and relax for the very first time.  Exhausted.

9:00 pm – Oldest gets ready for bed.

9:15 pm – Say goodnight to oldest.

9:30 pm – Fall asleep on the couch.

6:00 am – Daughter is awake.  You have GOT to be kidding me!

Three kids is too many.  I don’t care what anyone says.  Having one kid is fine as long as they are well-connected with other kids for proper socialization.  Two kids, I think is perfect.  From a parent stand point, you are still playing man-to-man defense, and quite frankly, even when you are by yourself, watching out for two kids is manageable.  But three or more, it’s crazy.  So, what do I do now?  I’d get rid of one of them, but I have grown attached.  All three are simply awesome.  So, I will quietly dream of the day that they are all out of my house.  People tell me that I will miss them when they are gone, which may be true, but I am looking forward to finding out.  On a side note, my daughter ate an entire happy meal by herself.  Where does she put it?  If this keeps up, we will go bankrupt just from feeding them.  I may celebrate the day of my vasectomy every year.


Tomorrow I am going to the Packers game.  It will be my first time at Lambeau Field.  As a bonus, they are playing the Raiders, my team.  I am very excited.  I will be wearing all black and will make it very clear that I am a Raiders fan.  Yesterday, I went to a sports store looking for a raiders hat.  I asked the cashier if they have a section for hats.  She asked me what I was looking for, and I said a Raider’s cap.  She looked at me in disgust, and said “We don’t carry that here,” and literally walked away.  Of course I had a Raiders t-shirt in my hand that the store carried, which I pointed out to no avail.  She might as well have said, “We don’t serve your kind here.”  It was exactly the same tone.  If by rare chance the Raiders win tomorrow and break the Packer’s win streak, you may never hear from me again.  If that is the case, please tell the world of my blog.  Tell my story.  If they find my body in one of the stalls you can confirm with the police that they may have found his body in the stall, but he sure wasn’t there to poop.  I’m just sayin …



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