Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

I'm back again with my fake Twitter Machine.  I've once again included a cartoon bird which makes it especially official.  As always these are my random thoughts that would have made their way onto my Twitter Machine if I ever decided it was worth my time.

-I embrace my inevitable gray hairs. I'll maybe finally look my age.
-Our washing machine really stopped working the other night. Then it was running again the next day. I hate appliances.
-Craigslist will not be our solution this time around. We may even go new!
-Craigslust would be a good name for a gay dating website.
-I wonder if Tracy Morgan is just playing himself on 30 Rock.
-I don't understand the appeal of raw onions and radishes. They just overpower every flavor.
-My wife would probably say the same thing about super spicy food.
-Cat people always say "My cat is just like a dog." Then buy a dog. They're better, and that is why you use them for comparison.
-I'm working on a big fireworks show this weekend. Should be lots of work and lots of fun.
-I love weddings. Even in back-to-back weekends. I'm a sap & I love to dance, so they're perfect for me.
-Kate Miller-Heidke is an artist you should be listening to.
-I know the second one was shit, but I still really want to see the new Transformers.
-Jumperoos are the greatest. Our girls LOVE them. Too bad they cost an arm & leg.
-Ana gets this grin on her face like she was doing something wrong when you walk into the nursery.
-Saw a Corvette driven by what looked like an old Hell's Angel with a Rascal scooter strapped to the trunk. Gotta love retirement.
-The nicer the shirt the sooner they spit up on you. Also running late while going out will always lead to spit up.
-I love having people over for dinner. Preparing food for friends, eating and telling stories.
-And I thought I was the only one that had to deal with a wife that leaves shoes everywhere.
-My wife isn't a fan of me irrationally hating things #juliaroberts #nirvana #twilight
-Summer rain is definitely not a California thing, but I welcome it.
-Is there a more beloved actor based on a cancelled tv show than Nathan Fillion?
-Rice noodles are better than any other noodle. FACT!
-Grace's new nickname is going to be The Alarm Clock. She is up every morning at 5. No matter when she falls asleep.
-I'm really awful about waking up for the girls in the middle of the night. I feel bad about it.
-A part of me feels bad about the Dodgers filing bankruptcy.
-Another, much larger part of me loves seeing them fail & knows they deserve it because they're the scum of the earth.
-As far as promotions/sales go, the 5 cent wine sale at BevMo is maybe the best one out there
-I seriously hate when my wife lets the microwave beep over and over again. Okay I don't hate it. It just annoys me.
-I still love my wife in spite of this. Obviously.

Checking out for this week's edition.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

1000 Words

Back for another week of pictures.  This week was definitely not as "exciting" as last week.  We actually attended another wedding, but you don't know how much of a difference it is to not being one of the groomsmen in a family member's wedding.  I'm more able to cut loose and not have to worry about a schedule and being at certain places.  Although I couldn't enjoy the wedding that much since my lovely wife was sick and worn down from the previous week.  We called it a night very early.  Pretty much worked out for the best since I would have without a doubt drank too much considering the other wedding goers.  It was rather fortuitous.

But at this point I'm just wasting words when I could be sharing pictures.  Not that many this week, so I'll get right to it.

I love the little outfits that our girls wear.  And there is something especially adorable about the prototypical jean overalls.  It is something every little kids wears at some time or another.  But the weather was also hotter this week, so Grace had to rock the overalls sans onesie or undershirt if you will.  But all I could keep thinking was how she would fit right in to Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen" video.  Needless to say whenever Ana or Grace are sporting the jean overalls and nothing else look, I just can't help myself from singing "Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye ay And we'll sing just like our fathers".  They don't know the song.  Yet.

I'm starting to think Ana may be a bully.  She steals toys from Grace.  She constantly is grabbing at her sister's ears and nose.  She scratches the bejesus out of her constantly.  She crawls completely over Grace to take things away from her.  This little number is Ana taking away Grace's stuffed giraffe.  The worst part is Ana will lose interest with it almost immediately.  Usually because Grace just grabbed something else.  And of course we encourage it to a degree because we want Ana to move and crawl, but it shouldn't be in spite of her sister.  Maybe we need to teach Grace to not be such a push over or a crawl over or whatever.

My wife has now gotten me hooked on Hanging with Friends.  It is pretty much the game hangman that you play on your phone.  It is better than Words with Friends because you have less of the douchebaggery of people flat out making up words and being dicks like only Scrabble-like games could inspire.  This one is just a little more Wheel of Fortune and mindless.  Also I frustrate the hell out of my wife since apparently I can guess just about any word she plays.

I'm getting to the point that I'm going to post a picture every time I eat pizza.  But this just isn't any pizza, this is an Amici's Combo from Amici's pizza.  This my favorite pizza of all time.  I went to San Francisco for work this past week, and I pretty much had to stop at eat at Amici's for lunch.  I at least didn't blow off work completely and go to the Giants' afternoon game that day.  I also made sure to send this picture to Erin just to kind of rub it in that she wasn't having it.  I'm already aware that I'm an asshole, so you don't need to point that out.

This is my wife's version of being an asshole.  Add this to my "I hate that I have to be at work an miss situations like this" collection.  She sends me this pictures all the time which simultaneously make my day and make me hate that it isn't with them.  I mean seriously.  I love them.

I love them in spite of the schedule Grace has decided on for the weekends.  This picture was taken at approximately 6am on a Saturday.  There is no need for that.  What makes it worse is that Grace was already up since a quarter to 5.  So unnecessary.  What makes it especially unfair is how cute these girls are when they first get up and see you in the morning.  Big smiles on their faces.  I've yet to determine if there are smiling because they are happy to see me or if they are just mischevious.

My wife is funny.  She names random animals.  For example this little guy is Frank the Frog.  He was hanging out on our screen door just looking for some bugs to chomp on.  One of the cool things about backing up to a greenbelt is that we always end up with little frogs and birds in our back yard.  What isn't cool is how noisy this little animals that my wife gives names to can be.

I got my eyes checked in the first time since I was in high school.  I have the VSP coverage that I never use and basically have so that Erin can get glasses more often, so why not pop in and get them checked out?  I also had been having problems with headaches after long days at work, and that is usually a sure sign of eye strain.  Turns out I'm slightly far-sighted and could use glasses for reading and using while on the computer.  Erin unfortunately doesn't like my choice in frames.  She wanted me to go with something "more chunky" or with the plastic frames.  I'm not about to try to look like Ryan from The Office or every other hipster.  I just wanted something that wasn't overbearing and made me know I was wearing glasses.  Apparently I have to take my wife next time I pick out frames.  Just another of the many joys of marriage.

That's all for this week.  Head to Kim's blog to see the week that was for others.  You'll see me next week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

It wouldn't be a Tuesday without me dipping into my Twitter Machine.  At least it wouldn't be a Tuesday in my world without my fake Twitter Machine.  It really is my opportunity to let all my mind diahrea slip out.  Enjoy.

-The conference call is secretly the most counter-productive "productive" thing ever.
-My littlest sister (the one who didn't get married) is a strong-ass woman.
-At least she told us that between 40-50 times after the wedding.
-I want to write a script that is simply "Will Ferrell enters. Hilarity ensues."
-I learned this weekend why everyone always talks about the after party. The after party is better. Fact!
-My girls actually survived a night without us. Equally important we survived.
-The over/under for us being asked if we're worried about them was set at 100.
-Should have definitely bet the over.
-I don't care who you are or where you're from: There isn't a better drunk food than pizza.
-Stop trying to think of better foods. Ain't happening.
-It's all fun and games until someone falls asleep at the bar...then it's even more fun and games.
-Everyone questioning Pixar for Cars 2 invariably means it will be excellent.
-I'd like to go sky-diving, but it only seems legit if I do it Point Break-style i.e. gun & no chute.
-Okay tacos are a pretty good drunk food. I'll give you that.
-There is no joy I could experience that could match a child running through sprinklers on a hot day.
-I hate being in the car because as we all know everyone but us sucks at driving.
-Typing "Punched in the face" into a YouTube search has provided me with hours of entertainment.
-How do I get a gig as an actor in a corporate learning/orientation video? That'd be sweet.
-People will always find something to complain about. See I'm complaining about that.
-I've purchased movies I don't especially like simply because of an actor in them #gayforbradpitt
-Manufactured drama is my least favorite kind of drama. Ironic that reality tv feels the most manufactured.
-I have a great idea for an anniversary gift for Erin but she wants to do something different.  Right now I'd like a whole house fan.
-Erin and I hate summer and forget it every year until the weather is horribly hot.  We realize that summer is the most overrated season.
-Grace is now rolling over with ease, so the dream of only one mobile child was short-lived.
-I just want one weekend where I don't have to do anything.
-Let's just separate the musicians/actors from their opinions.  I don't really care about someone's politics or worldview if their job is to entertain me.
-And here is how I feel about the current administration...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

1000 Words

Here I am again with my week in picutres.  This week was actually very exciting, and for once in a good long while I knew I had to plan to take lots of pictures this week.  As you'll see below it was a very exciting week, so without further ado here is my week in photos.

As always I give love and shout-outs to Kim at Yep, They're All Mine.

Ana has learned how to pull down the buffer in her crib.  Apparently she didn't like her view of the world being blocked by some adorable bedding from Pottery Barn Kids.  Oh and this is pretty much  the cutest picture I've ever taken of the girls.  Also we'll be dropping the crib soon.

And this is a picture of Grace sleeping in that my wife sent to me.  I swear it makes me want to start working later, so I stop missing these things.

I purchased Texas Toast this week for the sole reason of my wife making french toast.  It was a completely frivolous and unnecessary purchase, but it was worth it.

This week was also wedding week.  My sister got married on Saturday, but we had about 3-4 days worth of activities that were dedicated to the wedding.  Thursday was bachelor party day.  Now normally I would plan on taking a day off and doing something after sleeping in and having a nice relaxing morning.  We didn't do that.  We got up even before the butt-crack of dawn to do some fishing in the bay because my new brother-in-law loves to fish.

It wasn't a wasted day by any means.  We started drinking at 6 (That is AM by the way).  I got to know the other groomsmen in the wedding who are all awesome, and I wished that they didn't all live in Cincinnatti because they are a blast.  And I caught a pretty good sized fish.  That is a Striped Sea Bass in case you were wondering.  I also won some money on it because as you may or may not know guys bet on everything, and this fish won some money that we kicked into the pool.

We also got to see views of The City like this.  And that is certainly worth the price of admission.

Ana wanted to help me drive to the rehearsal dinner, but I'm pretty sure she had no idea where she was going.  But as the saying goes "Crawl before you drive."

The wedding was the first time we've both spent a night away from the girls since they were released from the NICU.  Erin's mom helped out and watched them so we could party down with my family and friends.  She sent us pictures to let us know they were still alive.

My wife is so cute.  This is pretty much recreating one of the photos she took for our wedding.  I love her.  I will say that I didn't really take any pictures on the day of the wedding for various reasons.  But mostly I didn't want to drain the battery on my phone in case we were called and needed to leave at a moment's notice.

My wife however did take pictures (also the reason her phone died very early on during the night).  My little sister getting married is one of the more surreal experiences in my life.  I mean she is my little sister.  I can remember times playing in our back yard or going to her soccer games when she was a kid.  We are the closest in age from all my brothers and sisters, and we probably have the most similar personalities in the family.  And we've always kind of gotten each other, but I can honestly say that I never really thought about her getting married.  When I saw her in her wedding dress for the first time, I realized how beautiful she really is.  She isn't that little girl I used to make fun of anymore.  She is a woman who has achieved so much.  She found a wonderful and caring man that I am proud to call my brother.  She radiated beauty and grace like I've never seen until now.  I give her a hard time for not always showing emotion and being a little too matter of fact, but I know how joyful and full of love she was on this day.  It brought a tear to my eye to see it.  I love my little sister and the woman she has become.

The morning after.  My brother, dad and me out in front of where the wedding and EPIC after-party took place.  Seriously one of the most fun nights I've had in a while.  These guys from Cincy know how to party, and the ladies hold their own too.  There are so many stories that could be told here.  In fact I just don't have enough time and space to relay them.  All I will say is that I was not nearly as hung over from the previous week in spite of how hard we partied.  Dancing will always allow me to sweat most of the alcohol out of my system.  And as a final note to all the guys out there: I can't explain it, but women love guys that dance.  It is universally accepted.  You don't even have to be a good dancer.  Just be willing to have fun and make a fool of yourself, and the ladies eat it up.  In fact one of the women at the wedding told Erin how lucky she is because I dance.  She wasn't quite sure how to respond as I flailed away on the dance floor.

As much as I had a great time at the wedding, the highlight of the entire week had to be my first Father's Day since having Grace and Ana.  It was the perfect way to cap off my week.  Obviously being a dad is a big part of who I am and what I write about, so this is a special day for me.  I know that the girls don't know any better, but seeing their faces light up when they saw me for the first time in almost 24 hours made me realize what Father's Day is all about.  Erin got me a wonderful gift in the name of the girls.  It is a personalized brick that will be put outside of AT&T Park (Mays Field if you will) that is all about my two little ones who will forever be tied to my favorite team.  It is so thoughtful and will last so much longer than a tie or some tools from Home Depot, and it is all about being Grace and Ana's dad.  What more could you want?

What a great week.  You'll see me next Sunday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Twitter is supposed to have cartoon bird pictures, right?
 Twitter Machine Tuesday is back with a vengance.  I've realized it is the only consistent thing I do on this blog.  I may not post something on any other day of the week, but I'll make sure you have something to read (i.e. glance over and immediately dismiss) on Tuesday.  Death, taxes and Twitter Machines.  I don't have any mantras, but that is close to one right?  Once again this is what I'd post to my Twitter Machine if it ever existed.

-It's time to start referring to LeBron James as Costanza. What with the shrinking and all.
-I think ADD & ADHD are made up by the pharmaceutical industry to get more people medicated.
-Cat people are convinced they're better than dog people. Dog people don't care and therefore are better.
-My daughters may smile when they see me, but they glow when they see their mom.
-People always appreciate and work harder when you give them free food.
-A woman that like sports makes life easier. Take time to teach wives/girlfriends/daughters.
-Congrats to my sister who is getting married this weekend. It is going to be a blast.
-Every wedding I've been to has been a-mazing. Is it because I'm there and know how to have a great time? YES
-Very surprised Super 8 was #1 with Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer coming out. No accounting for taste I guess.
-There are just some people that will never appreciate being given a prize. They want more for nothing.
-My secret shame: Many of these thoughts are not under 140 characters. This one is. Or is it?
-Ana may actually predestined to be a swimmer. She touches the water and immediately starts kicking. Quite adorably even.
-My wife is quite the perfectionist along with being a procrastinator. It makes for some interesting 11th hours.
-More appropriate name for their scandal: Pee-wee Herman or Anthony Weiner? Outdated references FTW.
-I'm happy for Dirk and the Mavs. He has busted his ass for a long time and earned it (as has Jason Kidd).
-Working from 6:30AM to 8:00PM sucks balls. I don't recommend it especially if you want to see your kids.
-How awful and irredeemable does Human Centipede 2 have to be that the entire country of England has banned it?
-Admit it. Ever since you read that one about being over 140 characters you've gone back and started counting.
-I had an eye appointment last week and confirmed what I already knew: slightly far-sighted and need reading glasses.
-I was thinking of huge horn-rimmed glasses like total 50s style but went in totally different direction.
-I actually think my knee is injured after Jillian Michael's Shred. Don't think it caused it, but it didn't help.
-Mobile kids scare the hell out of me. Mostly because it is still Giants season and I can be quite inattentive during games.
-Didn't Saved by the Bell ultimately predict this whole energy drink dependency that our youth is dealing with? I'm so, so scared Zack.
-When Grace actually knows what dada means when she says it, that will be a fabulous day.

That should do it for this week.  Keep on keeping on.  As always any comments that you'd like to post in Twitter Machine form are greatly appreciated.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Lesson in Adequacy

I think I may have raised the bar too high.  This isn’t some crazy way to laud myself and talk about how great I am.  I actually think that I’ve been so adequate and average for so long that my consistency has morphed and been misinterpreted as some form of excellence.  Really I’m not the type to exude excellence.

I write this because I was not even close to excellent this past Saturday.  Hell I wasn’t even adequate.  I wasn’t in the same neighborhood as average.  I would have gladly welcomed piss poor as an alternative to my Saturday performance.  But it all started on Friday night as these stories normally do.

We went out to dinner with Erin’s brother and mom.  We of course brought the girls along.  I had pizza for the first time in months.  I had a couple of beers.  We laughed and joked and had wonderful food.  We were the focus of much attention from the other restaurant goers, and it wasn’t even in a “look at those freaks with the twins” sort of interest.  People loved seeing us with our girls (or more accurately they loved seeing our girls with us since they get top billing).  Grace was saying DADADADA, and I was loving the attention it brought since it is absolutely adorable.  But it all headed downhill after we got home and did bath, bottle and bed time.

Once the girls were settled in for the evening, some friends came over.  I was already about 4 beers in when all parties were over to hang out in the back yard on beautiful summer evening.  It was a Goldilocks kind of night.  Not too hot, not too cold.  I continued to have more beer in a number of varieties.  Now I’ve never been a huge drinker.  I was later to the drinking party than most.  I didn’t go away to college and was pretty much working and going to school full time during my formative drinking years, so I didn’t build up the type of tolerances most do.  Even now I don’t drink a ton very often, and I rarely deviate from one type of alcohol of choice while doing so.  Friday was not a normal one of my nights.

I drank.  A lot.  My wife kept mentioning that I was drinking.  A lot.  I didn’t listen to her.  At all.  I was being pretty hilarious if I say so myself, but that may have been fueled by my self-reflective beer goggles.  You know where you think you’re the most witty, handsome and gregarious person alive when in reality you are saying rude, inappropriate things while offending all your guests and making things extremely awkward.  My wife actually doesn’t disagree that I was being very fun and lively, so at least Friday was a shining moment in my weekend.  I think I escorted our guests out.  I stumbled upstairs with a greenish-pale face.  I went to bed feeling sick.

I actually slept well which is not the normal occurrence when I drink entirely too much.  But when I woke up, I knew I was hungover.  I didn’t even have to move from my fetal position in the bed.  I just knew it.  The oddest thing is that I had no trace of a headache.  In fact my head was completely clear, and that may have made it worse.  I was completely cognisant of how I felt and why.  I was sick to my stomach and no good to anyone.  I actually tried to tough out when I first got up and yacked (auto-correct doesn’t know the proper spelling and I’m too lazy to look it up).  I actually tried to lay on the floor with Grace and play with her.  She seemed to enjoy daddy’s pain and even smacked me a few times on the forehead as if to say "You idiot.  Why did you do this to yourself?"  She is so wise.

I got up and tried to eat some graham crackers and drink some water.  Didn’t work.

Erin took the girls away to let me rest and do some shopping.  Didn’t help.

I tried to eat a little more and drink some more water.  Wasn’t having it.

Erin was not happy about my current state and didn’t hesitate to remind me that I did it to myself and should have listened to her.  When has this ever helped a situation by the way?  “I told you so” never actually solves anything and makes the person you are saying “I told you so” to only more pissed off and willing to defy you even if it is to their own detriment.  She also pulled out the guilt-trip card of a wasted day with my girls because I was in no condition to spend time with them.  I also wasn’t able to help her.  This is where it hurt because I knew she was right, and it only made me feel worse.  This is where I dropped off the adequate scale into the worthless domain, and I felt even worse than what I’m sure the alcohol poisoning did to me.

I don’t get lots of time with my girls what with me basically working and away from them 11-12 hours per day, and here I was throwing away a day with them.  My wife can say whatever she wants about any of my shortcomings and my lack of polish, but I’ve always been attentive and willing to help (especially since the girls were born).  Here I was killing a day that I normally cherish just for a night of too many beers with friends.

Because I felt like I was letting everyone down, I tried to rally.  Erin and I were supposed to take the girls to a barbeque with the other members of the twin group we joined.  It was not nearby, and I tried my hardest to tough out the car ride.  It wasn't happening which forced Erin to turn back around and head home.  So I ruined a day for everyone.  Awesome.

My wife brought me back home and left me there to go to the mall with the girls.  She was supportive in that she wanted to feel better, but she had no problem showing her disappointment.  When she returned hours later, I finally started to feel a little like myself again.  I actually held down some food and water which was huge.  I did some yard work feeling not entirely like I’d hold it together but kept a brave face.  I hopefully made up for it Sunday when I watched the girls while Erin was gone for a few hours, and we took them swimming for the first time ever.

What it taught me is that a parent of twins (or any parent really) can’t take a day off from being a parent.  My wife needs me to be a part of this.  I already knew this, but it really crystallized when I couldn’t help and felt equal parts powerless and worthless.  I also learned that being there is sometimes as big as being amazing.  In fact always being there may actually be better than being amazing.

I just know that I certainly won’t be spending my first Father’s Day hungover in spite of my sister getting married the day before and the raging party that should follow.  And that’s called a lesson my friends.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

1000 Words

It's been a few weeks since I've written one of these posts.  I have to say that more often than not it has everything to do with not taking pictures.  I'm pretty positive that there are perhaps hundreds of pictures throughout my week that I don't take that I could use.  Unfortunately I'm just not quick on the draw to take pictures like my wife is.  She is on the ball.  I am not.  But I'm working on it.

But I'm back with a vengance this week.  So here we go...

Ana is very excited about this post.

Sitting in daddy's chair

What do we have here?

Erin bought me a hedge trimmer as what I'm guessing was a father's day gift, or should I say that my girls got it for me.  I have to tell you it makes my yard work so much easier.  I figure it will give me some extra baby time.

This was another of the father's day presents that my girls got me.  It has excellent character development.  A good story.  Food falling from the sky.  Pretty much everything that you could want in a book.

Grace and Ana are like seconds away from crawling and making my life incredibly more difficult.

I'm thinking Grace probably feels like a millionaire at the time of this picture.  Or as we like to call it "Double Fisting It"

The first real pizza I've had in months. It was glorious. Seriously. I think the waiting for it made it that much better. Now I know how all those people who wait until marriage feel.

Let's just say this may have had something to my horrible hangover on Saturday.  It was a blast at the time though.

We're working on a new Olympic sport Baby Greco Roman Wrestling.  Right now Ana is dominating, but Grace will only improve as she practices against someone in a higher weight class.

Just admiring our hats.

Can't get enough of pictures like this.

Okay this picture wasn't taken in the last week, but damnit my wife is hilarious and obviously has very little shame.  This is her modeling the Giants Snuggie.

That's all for this week.  Have a great one.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sleeping Beauties

I don’t think there is anything more beautiful or peaceful than my daughters sleeping.  Sure there are contenders to the throne like when they give me a huge smile after I walk in the door after a long day at work or when they belly laugh or giggle when I’m playing with them.  Those are great too, but nothing compares to Grace or Ana falling asleep, head on my shoulder, hands on my chest or arm and in a perfect position to kiss their forehead and listen to them breathe.

Apparently they have picked up on their dad’s love of holding them while they sleep because they invariably are out whenever I feed them at night.  We do bottles before they go to bed at night.  It’s something we’ve done from the beginning because they’ve had a supplement of Neosure from day one to give them those extra calories and get their weight up (something that is obviously working since they were actually on the chart the last time we had an appointment).  Erin and I switch off who we feed each night, but she is convinced that I have some sort of magical calming power since no matter who I’m feeding is always out first.  No matter what position they are in.

I’m not complaining because I love my sleeping girls.  I just think it is high comedy when they fall asleep with the bottle still in their mouth or mid-burp.  When they fall asleep, they fall hard.  Especially recently with them moving more and more, on the cusp of crawling and bouncing like a Mexican jumping bean in the jumperoo (which is something Ana just discovered and I’m planning on recording).  They just seem so tuckered out at the end of each day.

I mentioned the other night that I wish that I could sleep in my chair all night while holding either of my girls.  Erin didn’t and doesn’t hesitate to tell me that I should enjoy it while it lasts.  She constantly reminds me that they’re not always going to want to be held or fall asleep in my arms.  I know she is trying to prepare me so I don’t get that dose of disappointment all of sudden, but I don’t want to hear that yet.  I just want to enjoy these moments of peace and knowing that Grace and Ana feel protected and comfortable in their dad’s arms.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Top Five

My wife has had conversations with other bloggers and friends about their top five guys.  Basically the top men that they find attractive or gets them all hot and bothered.  Obviously besides their husbands since I know I’d top my wife’s list even over the likes of Rob Lowe, Ryan Reynolds and all the rest.  Yeah right.  Like I could compete with those guys.  That isn’t even me fishing for a compliment from her in the comments section.  Normally I can say things like “I have a winning personality, and I think I’m pretty good dad and husband” to sort of put myself ahead of the normal celebrity crushes.  But damnit those guys also have winning personalities, are good husbands and fathers and have killer looks with a ton of money (And Reynolds is Canadian.  CANADIAN!  How can I compare with that?).  Can’t compete.  Wouldn’t even try.

I was also quite pleased that her and her friends were even having the conversation.  Normally men are portrayed as the horn dogs that constantly come up with female celebrities to ogle and rank.  Look at the Maxim Hot 100 list that comes out every year for proof of that.  Does Maxim magazine even exist anymore?  Why are they still putting out a hot list when there is no magazine to put it in?  But I digress.  It was actually quite refreshing to be somewhat of a fly on the wall for the conversation.  Women have the same capacity to treat the opposite sex like objects as men.  I applaud it.  I’m sure it is some result of the women’s rights movement or something like that.  All I know is that men get a bad rap and shouldn’t feel guilty about this anymore.

The conversation between my wife and her friends also got me thinking about my list.  We all have one, and anyone that says they don’t is a liar.  You hear me?  You’re lying not only to us but yourself.  It made me realize that I hadn’t really run an inventory on my list in quite some time.  I wondered if there were any new people that would crack my top five, so I’d figure I would share it with the blogger world.

Now before I continue I know what you’re going to say: “You’re a father of girls now.  How can you still look at women the same way and simply think of them as a number or a ranking?  These women are someone’s daughters.  How would you feel if your girls became just a number on some guy’s list?”  My response:  I can still do it because I’m a man, and that is what men do.  Celebrities want to be ogled and fawned over for their looks and sexuality.  It’s the nature of celebrity.  My girls will always have enough self-respect to be more than an object, but I can’t control if some guys think they’re attractive when they grow up.  I can only control loading the shotgun to keep them away.

Before I get to my list, this doesn't include my wife who is my obvious number one above all others.  This is more just about celebrities.  My steady number one besides her is always the same, so basically I’ll be listing off the Top 5 after my normal number one.  But I should at least mention my top spot.  That of course is Brad Pitt.  I mean I’m not gay, but Brad Pitt transcends the normal homo/heterosexual definitions.  If you don’t find Brad Pitt attractive then you aren’t a human being, and you should be brought in for questioning.  Basically you can’t be trusted.  I think he may be the one person (male or female) that should appear on any person’s list.  If I can’t convince you then this should:

Still not on your list?  Seriously?

Okay on to my Top Five with the only rule being that they are contemporary celebrities.  I could do a list of Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor in their primes, but that loses sight of the present and is a different list.  I have to keep it current in my opinion.

5.  Jessica Alba
I think Jessica Alba has been on my list since her time on Dark Angel, the short-lived Fox show.  Her olive skin and brunette hair has always appealed to my sensibilities (brunette hair especially as you’ll see on the majority of my list).  She’s also kind of goofy and plays to comedy a lot.  There is something to be said about a great sense of humor.  But she really put herself as a permanent fixture on my list after Sin City/Into the Blue double feature.  "Damn" is really the only thing you can say about those particular roles.

4. Carrie Underwood
How beautiful is Carrie Underwood?  But she isn't just looks.  She is very talented and has some very catchy songs.  She kills it every time she performs the National Anthem and looks ravishing while doing it.  She just seems classy, and that is in spite of dating Tony Romo.  He didn't even ruin.  She looks gorgeous on every red carpet without forcing it and slutting up.  I respect that and it just makes her that much more appealing.

3. Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale is arguably the most beautiful woman alive.  Esquire magazine seemed to agree when she was named Sexiest Woman Alive in their annual issue.  She is British which is always a plus (Accents are hot, and we can all agree on that).  She looks phenomenal in a leather cat suit.  Her looks work in any era as she proved in Pearl Harbor and The Aviator.  Plus I have a huge soft spot for the movie Serendipity.  She is the classic brunette beauty.

2.  Natalie Portman
It isn’t so much that Natalie Portman is sexy (although she can definitely pull that off).  That isn’t the attraction for me.  Watch her in Garden State and try not to fall in love with her.  She is cute and can be quirky.  She is beautiful but isn’t afraid to look a little foolish or poke fun at herself.  She had that phenomenal rap video from SNL.  She can be geeky enough as to not intimidate you but probably out of your league (I mean she went to Harvard and won an Oscar).  She is like your friend’s little sister that you always dismissed growing up, but you run into her later on and start questioning why you never gave her a second thought.

1. Charlize Theron
I don’t know that there is a more beautiful person that has ever walked this earth (non-Brad Pitt and my wife division).  If she was born 70 years ago, she would have been the most beautiful person in the world and a Hollywood starlet even then.  If she was born 1000 years ago, they would have artists wanting to paint her, and those portraits would probably be hanging in museums now.  If she was born 2000 years ago, Jesus may have reconsidered that whole dying thing.  She is so beautiful that being blond has no effect on her being at the top of my list.  Simply gorgeous.  And she appeared on Arrested Development which is always a plus.

Honorable mentions: Drew Barrymore, Monica Belluci, Audrey Tautou, Shakira, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lauren Graham, Ashley Judd

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Back again for another Twitter Machine Tuesday post.  My lazy and random ramblings in 140-character form.  As always I invite your 140-character comments below.  Or 280-characters.  Or however many damn characters you please.

-I'm doing the 30-day shred with my wife. I'd punch Jillian Michaels in the face...if I could lift my arms.
-It always feels good when an employee is thankful that they are working for you and not someone else.
-Maybe staying up til midnight watching the Giants wasn't a good idea, but that's being a fan. So proud my wife stayed up too.
-Little Debbie may be a white trash version of Hostess, but damn if Nutty Bars aren't the most delicious thing either sells.
-A little disappointed that @erinsgirls ALWAYS gets sucked into The Bachelor(ette). I could write a whole post on how craptacular that show is.
-I've never understood strip clubs. It's like a homeless guy paying money to look at a sandwich. How does that help with your hunger?
-I constantly say things while watching sports that the announcers say 2-3 seconds later. It freaks my wife out.
-It's June and the hottest day we've had so far this year was in the 80s. Go global warming!
-Erin bought me Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for Father's Day.  The book not the movie. I love reading it to the girls, but I'm not really sure how they made a movie from that book.
-I also can't wait to introduce them to Calvin & Hobbes. Not sure if girls relate to it as much as boys. But I hope they love it because their dad does.
-I don't know how I can live in a world without Oprah. Are there any support groups I can join?
-Do you have to be a creepy guy to drive an ice cream truck? Why did we not realize this growing up?  This was before you could look up sex offenders on the internet.  That must be it.
-I just want to see Super 8. It seems like the sort of movie that needs a theatre experience.
-Seeing any movie while trying to get someone to watch the girls seems like more work than it is worth.
-Junior Mints may be the best theatre food. Especially after they've been in the freezer.
-I love that my wife makes breakfast like waffles or eggs & potatoes on the weekend. Like she's promoting family values. Or she just doesn't want Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
-Someone at work asked me if I wanted their first-born child. I told them I have plenty of those, but I'd take a middle child and a child to be named later.
-I had a dream that the Dutch were trying to steal our government secrets. This just shows that I don't racially profile, but I don't trust wooden shoes. Always vigilant!

Have a great rest of the week.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Antisocial Media

A couple of weeks ago my wife wrote a blog post all about the Twitter Machine and all of its shortcomings.  This only hammered home the point that I didn’t need that particular piece of social media to better my life.  But it also made me start to wonder just how “social” social media really is.

I know that things like Facebook and Twitter (Machine) have pushed us further along in this information age.  I love that my iPhone and computer can keep me in touch with people that live across the country or around the world.  They also allow me access to more information than I’ll ever know what to do with.  But is this really a good thing?

I notice people walking down the street or in social settings with their noses buried in their cell phones.  Texting away as if it is a meaningful “conversation” or checking in on Four Square or Facebook as if anyone actually cares that they’re at Starbucks for the 47th times this week.  People tweet thoughts and feelings that they wouldn’t share with a sibling, yet they broadcast it to the internets to see if it might gain them a few more followers because they are being so “real.”  People want you to go to their "farm" while completely avoiding visitors and the outdoors.  Scrabble boards and spending time with people while playing it has been replaced by its digital counterpart and chatting in text form.  Online gaming allows us to kill someone we’ve never even seen in person.  It seems to me that the more accessible social media is the more anti-social we are becoming.

There are people that actually don’t know how to write unless it is in textspeak.  We so rarely have casual conversation because we can avoid pretty much any contact with another human being.  We don’t even have to speak on the phone anymore because a text can do the same job without taking up all of your time.  The phone has actually done more damage to verbal interaction because of all the bells and whistles that come with it.  We’ve become more “friendly” with total strangers than ever before, but it oftentimes doesn’t translate to opening up with family and actual friends.

I know that it is very ironical to be calling out social media in a blog, and I’m well aware that there are people out there that will read this and disregard it.  It is sort of like those “Get out of the house and play” commercials that constantly play during children’s television.  Sure you want that kid to leave the house and play and stop watching your mind-numbing shows.  Just like I want you to stop relying on social media except for my blog and maybe a few of the other blogs I read.  Don’t throw out the message just because where you’re reading it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Funny Women

Recently the movie Bridesmaids was released, and invariably I'd always hear the same things about it.  It was the female answer to The Hangover.  It proved that women can be just as funny as men.  Female comedians are underappreciated.  And so on and so on.

It made me wonder if funny women was some kind of secret that we've never experienced until now.  Why was it some earth-shattering news that women can be and often are very funny?  Is this some deep-seated sexism that I was unaware of?  Apparently men everywhere have just dismissed women as a source of comedy unless we are making fun of them.  This is something I don't really understand.

Granted there aren't a lot of huge female stars in the world of stand-up, and that may be part of the reason.  It may also stem from the fact that most funny women usually become relegated to horrible romantic comedies instead of the slapstick and screwball stuff that men gravitate towards.  But there are have always seemed to be funny women at the forefront of entertainment.  Rosalind Russell and Marilyn Monroe were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and they worked primarily in comedies.  Saturday Night Live has always featured very funny women from Gilda Radner all the way to Tina Fey (who is just hilarious by the way).  Yet Bridesmaids is some great revelation about women in comedy?

The reason I write all of this: my wife.  I didn't need some crappily written review for a movie to tell me that women can be funny (Ye Gads! Never heard of the thought!).  I've spent the better part of my adult life with one of the funniest women I know.  She is hilarious.  She is inappropriate at times (mostly in private).  She knows what makes me laugh.  She isn't afraid to look a little foolish which is always a key to humor.  We don't always agree on what is funny (*AHEM*Anchorman*COUGH), but she is always willing to let something humor her.  She also associates with a lot of other funny women who write funny and entertaining blogs.

It's sad that so many people have written off women as a source for humor.  I know it worries me that my girls might not be appreciated fully whether it be because of their humor or hard work or intelligence.  I don't want them to be short-changed.  They will however be brought up in an environment where it is okay to laugh at yourself and joke about things and have a good sense of humor.  Hopefully my wife continues to be an example for them.  She can show them that women can have depth.  They can be beautiful and smart without having to sacrifice their wit.